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Longrider
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Colton's Rifle
Mar 12th, 2005 at 8:45pm
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Ok friends, my daughter is expecting a baby boy in May and this soon to be Grandpa ( Cheesyfor the first time! Cheesy) is gonna start making him a rifle. I was thinking about #2 or #4 Rolling Block converted to center fire and chambered in .25-21 Stevens. Shotgun butt, oct. bbl. Whaddya think? Any other ideas? What would you put together? Let's have fun and get creative here.

Scott

  

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ken_hurst
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #1 - Mar 12th, 2005 at 8:52pm
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Okay Scott, you asked.  I would suggest a #4 roller or perhaps even a #2 roller. Dominick Persano ( stockmaker) did a rifle for his soon to born grandaughter. As you are doing the same, let me suggest you buy a really nice piece of wood from Cecil Fredi ( inexpensive for small stocks) and I will donate some gun scratching (free)  hows that sound for a starter ? Smiley     Ken

PS, when are you going to ship the seaters ?
  
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PETE
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #2 - Mar 12th, 2005 at 11:14pm
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Longrider,

  Can't say I'd do much different than what you want to do. If you think the .25 cal. is the way to go I don't think you can do any better than the .25/21 you're purposing. It's supposed to be the best of that caliber class. With Ken putting on some engraving it ought to be one humdinger of a rifle!

PETE
  
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Longrider
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #3 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 12:21am
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I think I know of a #4 that I can lay my hands on. It's in .32 RF with a not so good bore and mostly brown patina but no real pitting. Does G.M. make a .25 cal. bbl.? Other choices for oct. .25 cal. bbl.? What should we do for sights?

Ken, thanks for the generous offer! Do you have contact info. for Cecil F.? Seaters go out Monday. Speaking of seaters, when is the spring auction? I was thinking of donating one for that. Am I too late?

Pete, I've never been around a .25-21 but it just "looks" right. Case capacity, bullet wt., etc. It should be a performer and a fun little pop gun! 

When I got my first gun and all the other kids were getting .22's and pellet rifles, I picked out a .45 cal. muzzle loading long rifle. My son has it now. Gotta start 'em off right!

Scott
  

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waterman
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #4 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 1:12am
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All young boys & girls ought to have a good single shot as a first rifle, and I pray that Colton's grandpa gets to spend many years shooting with him.  I taught my sons and now my grandson with a couple of Winder muskets, and that brings me to an observation and a question.

First my observation.  Before kids (or anyone else) become familiar with guns, they have been exposed to a bunch of horror stories about recoil and tend to be somewhat shy of anything bigger than a .22.  Over the years, I have suggested to 4 different kids that maybe it was time to move from the .22 to my .32-20 low wall, and all 4 viewed the jump with a lot of fear.  So Colton's grandpa has a major education job ahead of him.  Now my questions.   

First, how old should a normal kid be before he or she is allowed to shoot?  That the shooting should be strictly supervised is a given.   

Second, how much ammunition should you expect to burn up teaching the basics; pointing and "aiming", trigger control, sight pictures, etc.?  I am just starting the 3rd brick of .22 shorts with the Winder musket for my grandson, and he is beginning to get a pretty firm grasp of the idea, but it took a lot of patience and a lot of tolerance for what looks like plinking.

FWIW, seems to me that along with building the rifle, a lot of effort should be put into casting good bullets & putting them away for future educational projects.  Same goes for cartridge cases.  Will we be allowed such things when Colton is 12?  Will RMC still be in business?  And powder & primers.  Remember the problems getting primers a few years back? Colton needs a hope chest full of goodies to go along with the rifle.
  
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Dale53
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #5 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 1:29am
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I'm going to disagree with most of you here. A child's rifle should be chambered in .22 LR. To really learn to shoot, a youngster needs to shoot a LOT. Trying to keep up with a youngster with cast bullets is a losing proposition. When he/she gets old enough to cast his/her own is soon enough to start him/her out on a centerfire.

I think a nice .22 rimfire single shot is a wonderful way to go with a youngster.

Proper age depends on the youngster and his or her attitude in general.

We have a very active Junior Program at our local club. Are general rule of thumb is to start the children out when they reach the age of 12. We DO have a few younger children who are strong enough to hold a rifle up and they work out fine. It is mostly a strength (along with a sense of responsibility) issue.

FWIW

  
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #6 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 2:24am
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Longrider:

It obvious we have a dilema here. The .25-21  on a Remington #2 would be great. I recently obtained .25-21 on a 44.5 action and I can't wait until the glaciers recede so I can play with it.  As for the barrel,  I understand that Green Mountain is going to make a limited run of .25 barrels in #2 Winchester tapered octagon. You might want to get in line.

Howsomever, Dale is right.  A .22 rf is the ideal place for a young one to start. A light rifle and lots of ammo is the secret. Can't beat a .22 for that.

Fortunately I am here to solve this conundrum. I like the .25 caliber #2 but it is abit much of a gun for a youngster. Shucks, he will have to be all of 5 or 6 years old before he can handle it. What's he gonna do 'til then?

Build him a #4 in .22 rf  to start with and then get working on the #2 for when he is ready.

No thanks necessary, it is all part of the job...

Glenn
  
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ken_hurst
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #7 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 2:39am
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Mr. Glenn, where you been hiding --- under a rock ???  They now make rifle racks for baby carriages  Grin    

You can reach Cecil at 703-382-8470, tell him I sent you.     Ken
  
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First_Shirt
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #8 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 7:08am
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Guys, I'm thinking a #2 taper barrel might be a tad heavy for a boy's rifle...how about one of the barrels GM makes for lever action rifles?  I think they're 26" long, and taper from .875 to .750 or so, and are available in both .22 and .25 calibers.

I'm gathering parts for the same project, my little Grandpa's buddy will be 4 in June.  At the rate I work, the rifle might be finished by the time he's old enough to shoot it.... Roll Eyes

Scott, I'd be happy to donate a stockfitting to your project...heck, if you find a No. 2 action, I even have a pattern that might be persuaded to work.

Greg Pennell
  
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Longrider
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #9 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 12:16pm
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The roller in .25-21 will be Colton's "special" rifle but he will start off with a .22 RF.  My son has already beat me to the punch for giving Colton his FIRST rifle, a Stevens Favorite .22. I figure a couple years with the .22 and he should be ready to graduate to the .25-21 

When to start a child shooting? When they're ready. I know that sounds a little vauge but every child is different in attitude, etc. so the parrents and grand parrents need to temper enthusiasm with caution. I started when I was four. My grandpa would set his .22 rifle on a suitable rest and hold the butt for me while I attempted to line up the sights and work the trigger (I can't say squeeze the trigger because just like everyone else I had to LEARN to shoot properly). I remember one particular outing grandpa had put a target up on a tree and I was spraying bullets at it and the squirrel that lived above was really giving us "what for" over the whole deal. 

I volunteer as an instructor for our county hunter's education program and work with kids of different backgrounds and experience with firearms. I teach the firearms portion of the class and yes, patience is a prerequisite  Wink

Thank you Greg for the offer of stock fitting! Wow at this rate Colton will have not only a grandpa to thank for a nice little rifle but a bunch of "uncles" for helping put it together!

It's going to take some effort to get everything together, the #4 I was thinking of is already gone so the search is on. Anybody know of a #2 or #4 that just cries "Project"?

Have a blessed day!

Scott
  

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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #10 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 2:00pm
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Well, if you can't find a good low-wall action to build it on... 8)

Actually, if I were doing this project, I would look very hard at the slick side low-wall action and the little pistol weight lever gun barrel from Grn Mtn mentioned previously.  I would chamber it in the more-commonly available .25-20 repeater (WCF) so the kid could have LOTS of brass, teach him to cast bullets, buy Unique and primers in bulk, and tell the kid, "Here...wear this out!"

I have that very project in the works now except with a "grownup sized" stock and in .25-20 SS which I DON'T advise you try at home (I am a professional -  Roll Eyes ) and it looks 'way cool with the "tulip" at the breech end made possible by Grn Mtn's grinding technique on that barrel...I highly recommend this barrel for a small shooter or if the rifle will be carried a lot.

I just wish MY grandfather had built this rifle for me about 55 years ago!   

Regards,
Charlie the Frog
  
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #11 - Mar 13th, 2005 at 3:55pm
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2Cents worth,  The 22 on  the #4 roller is the way to start. My eldest started that way now my grandson will use the same rifle to get his feet wet. Cheap to shoot, no noise to scare him, and lightweight enough not to discourage. No scopes until he knows how to shoot. By the way the #4 can't handle the 25's unless you duplicate the 25 Stevens in centerfire.(that's another story) but the #2 would be great. Always another reason to hoard those singleshot actions, ain't there.
  
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Ed_Tilford
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #12 - Mar 14th, 2005 at 12:12pm
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I started my grandson Zach off with a Wn High Wall in 32-40 when he was 12 years old.  He is very small yet but had no problem with IMR 4227 and a 198 grn bullet.  He won 1st place from the bench at 200 yards at Eau Claire in his first year,  This year he is moving to a Wn High Wall in 40-65 and a much bigger bullet.  He loves it!  One of these days he will get big enough to stand up an shoot like a man.

Ed Tilford
  
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Longrider
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #13 - Mar 19th, 2005 at 8:21pm
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Am rethinking the caliber of this project. Owing to the fact that .25-21 brass is hard to get and/or expen$ive. How about the .25 Hornet? any other ideas? I'd prefer to stay with a straight case.

Scott
  

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ken_hurst
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #14 - Mar 19th, 2005 at 9:15pm
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Works for me, I have heard good things about this little cart.   Ken
  
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #15 - Mar 20th, 2005 at 2:02pm
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I haven't been able to find much of anything on the .25 Hornet other than it is shorter than the .25-21. How does it perform? Anyone shooting one? Please tell us about it. I tried a topic search but didn't come up with anything other than xxgrampa was having a hard time finding a reamer. I talked with him yesterday and discussed the possibility of several of us who wanted to build rifles in this cal. chipping in and buying a reamer. 

Scott
  

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PETE
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #16 - Mar 20th, 2005 at 4:40pm
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Scott,

  I did quite a bit of shooting with the .25 Hornet a few years back.

  It's the .22 Hornet case blown out to .25 cal. as you might have guessed.

  The only info I ever found....... admittedly I didn't look all that hard..... is in one of Ackley's  two vol. set of "Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders". Page 327 Vol. I.

  It's strictly a wildcat cartridge so you'd be pretty well on your own outside of Ackley's work. Not really an awful lot there. The only powder listed is for IMR 2400. with 8 & 11 gr. loads for the 60 gr. bullet, 6 & 10 grs. for the 86 grainer. MV's run from 1525 fps to 2035 for the 60 gr. & 955 to 1675 fps for the 86 gr., using the standard 1-16" twist.

  The case has a very shallow neck, similar to the .32/20, which makes it almost a straight case. Ackley says that a load of 12.0 grs. of 2400 and the 67 gr. bullet will give a MV of 2000 fps with very low pressures making it suitable for weak actions such as the Ballard.

  Never did any hunting with it, but it's more than accurate enuf for animals as small as head shots on Squirrels out to 100 yds. or so with hard cast bullets. I had mine set up on a Win. Low Wall. It's kind of my switch barrel gun, thus the "had".  Smiley

  If I can be of any other help let me know!

PETE
  
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SCHUETZEN
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #17 - Mar 20th, 2005 at 6:21pm
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One of our local shooters has a 25 Hornet in 1-10 twist , 120 grain bullet, using 4227 and has had real good success.

If any of you are shooting a CPA Gail has a reamer!
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Longrider
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #18 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 12:46am
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I have a friend who has a .22 K Hornet and had good results with lil' gun powder. How would this work? 

Scott
  

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PETE
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #19 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 9:50am
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Scott,

  Couldn't really say about "Lil Gun" powder. Haven't used it altho a friend of mine (GWarden) has used it in a .22 Hornet with really good results..... with jacketed bullets.

  As I mentioned above, if you decide to go with the .25 Hornet you will be pretty much on your own as to powder and load selection goes.

PETE
  
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mes
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #20 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 11:29am
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Little cases and big bullets (over 100 grains) can get you into trouble if the powder dispensing is not carefully done.
Pressure can spike very quickly.  I am talking .1 or  .2 tenths of a grain. Personal experience with a .25 Hornet.
mes
  

Martin Stenback
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ken_hurst
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #21 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 2:26pm
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Scott,   I received the cart. seaters today and will engrave your son's starter in the next few days. All I have to do is find a few extra hours to do the cutting --- worked 14 hours yesterday Tongue        Ken
  
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Longrider
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #22 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 4:20pm
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Ken, 

At your leisure sir. No rush, I know you're a busy man. We're in no hurry.

The Hepburn seater should be self explanatory but if you have any questions let me know. 

Have a fabulous day my friend!

God Bless!
Scott
  

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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #23 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 4:30pm
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Pete and mes, 

Any information you would be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. If you don't wish to post load data, etc. here please send me a PM or e-mail. I'm not looking to make a mach 2 screamer here just a fun little target/plinking/small game rifle. I was thinking of using 86-100 gr. cast bullets. Would a 1:12" twist be adequate or should I go with 1:10"? I thought Unique or AA #5 would be a good place to start (?), or perhaps even the new Pinnacle BP substitute from Goex. Any thoughts?

Thanks and God Bless!

Scott
  

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PETE
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #24 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 6:24pm
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Scott,

  Well, I'll fill you in on what I feel comfortable giving you. This is not meant as a slam on you, it's just I don't like giving out load data, especially for wildcat cartridges.

  What I was trying to do was see if I could get a .25 cal. set up something like the .32 Miller. A small case that would shoot a heavy bullet and a case full of powder.

  So, I set the gun up with a 1-10" twist, and had NEI make a custom GC bullet weighing 110 grs. Not sure what their current number is but I have it listed in an old catalog as #20. Worked real well, but then decided I wanted to use it in ASSRA competition so had the GC machined out, ending up with a bullet wgt. of about 117 grs.

  With that bullet I found that MV's in the 1250 to 1325 fps range gave the best accuracy, 1270 fps gives around 3/4" at 100 yds. and 1315 gives right at an inch. With this wgt. bullet, twist, and case I wasn't able to get BP to work at all well. Bullets tipped quite a bit at 100 & 200 yds. I'm not even sure if you used lighter bullets that you would get exceptable accuracy. The .25 Hornet is basically a smokeless powder cartridge.

  Later the barrel was chambered out to .25/20SS and with the 117 gr. bullet it would show serious tipping at 200 yds. with BP.  An original Ideal mould 257222 (90 grs) worked well enuf for Squirrel hunting at normal distances, but would tip slightly at 100 yds. with accuracy there and at 200 yds. not anything to write home about. With smokeless it shoots very well.

  The capacity for both cases when using BP is just not designed for any bullets over 75 to 80 grs. The .25 Hornet case just isn't designed for BP at all. But, the .22 Hornet is bascially a slightly re-designed .22 WCF case that held 15 grs. of BP and is very similar to the .22/15/60 cartridge. This makes a real dynamite Squiirrel caliber.

  If you do want to use BP in a .25 cal. then I would recommend the .25/20SS or .25/21 case and no more than a 1-12" twist and that you stay with 75 or 80 gr. bullets.

PETE
  
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Re: Colton's Rifle
Reply #25 - Mar 21st, 2005 at 10:29pm
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Longrider:
My powder was 9S which is quite close to AA#9.  My brother wanted to shoot the rifle and was a little more heavy handed in operating the powder measure which lead to a .2 grain increase in powder. The bullet was 109 grains and the primer  was perferated.  I tried Win 540 in it also and it perffed primers when working up a load .1 grain up from a somewhat  accurate load.  Just too touchy for me so I rechambered the barrel to a .25-20 Win.   
mes
  

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