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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8") (Read 4614 times)
Reverend Al
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Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Aug 15th, 2018 at 4:39pm
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First off I have to extend my sincere thanks to Terry (shovel80) for allowing me to become the new curator of this wonderful piece of shooting history.  I've been liquidating a few duplicate and project guns (mostly Winchester lever actions) and replacing them with a few single shot rifles, which have always been my favorites.  I didn't have a Hepburn action rifle yet and when Terry posted this one for sale I contacted him ASAP.  It took a bit of extra effort and patience to get this rifle up across the border to me, but it was definitely worth the trouble and again my thanks to Terry for agreeing to the cross border sale and everything that it entailed.  I'm in the process of shortening and fire-forming some .303 British cases to use in it and if our local weather will cool down a bit then I can cast some sample bullets to test it out.  I just happened to have a spare Unertl 15 power scope to drop onto the supplied bases and that will help with the load testing since my blurry old eyes just aren't what they use to be!

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #1 - Aug 15th, 2018 at 6:46pm
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Nice 'un. Me like. Smiley
  

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LONG RANGE
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #2 - Aug 15th, 2018 at 8:02pm
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While I am glad for you, I am turning green. I never got to own a Hepburn and it looks like I never will. I have a 40-60 heavr barrle rifle but it is no Hepburn. I also use 303 British cases but I don't have to shorten mine. I do have one of those 1 inch Unertl scopes but I rarely use it. Again, that is a very nice rifle. It is also great that it came down thru the years in such good shape.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #3 - Aug 16th, 2018 at 12:38am
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I love Hepburns, and I just got a .40-50SS Rolling Block a little over a year ago, and like the caliber an awful lot!
It's extremely close to the old .38-55 in load data and I use that data for my loads, and .303 British brass shortened.
That's a real beauty, in a great caliber!
  

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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2018 at 3:30am
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Finally got up to the range today with a few rifles (and to host a friend and his 16 year old grandson for a day of shooting) and I fire-formed 10 test loads made from shortened Winchester .303 British cases.  They blew out fairly well, but they are not 100% yet, so I'll up the load another grain or a grain and a half of powder and test a few more.  (For these loads I used 7.5 grains of Nitro Trap 100, a 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue, bulk yellow cornmeal up to the case mouth, and then another 1/4 sheet of toilet tissue to hold it all in place.)  If a slightly heavier charge works better then I have another 150 or so rounds of Winchester .303 British brass that I can fire-form into a batch of "shooter" brass for this .40-50 SS.  Now if it will just cool down a bit I can cast some bullets for it ...

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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #5 - Aug 22nd, 2018 at 5:53pm
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Since this is my first Remington Hepburn I just thought I'd ask the resident experts if it is typical of them to strike the primers this hard?  As my old shooting buddy of many years would say ... "It hits them with conviction!"  Didn't experience any pierced primers at all, it just really "whacks" them good.  It takes a bit of effort to cock the hammer on this rifle so it seems to have a heavy hammer spring.  (It has a very nice trigger pull though regardless of the effort it takes to cock the hammer so I'm not complaining at all ...)

Smiley

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Still hoping for a break in our heat wave so that I can cast some test bullets.

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CW
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #6 - Aug 22nd, 2018 at 6:10pm
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Yup!

Your rifle has the large diameter (BP era) firing pin and I think Remington used old steam locomotive truck springs for main springs.

All mine are the same way....

Cool Cool Cool
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #7 - Aug 22nd, 2018 at 6:35pm
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OK, thanks for the info.  I kind of suspected that, but thought I should ask!

Wink
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #8 - Sep 5th, 2018 at 6:51pm
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Terrific rifle. Great 'belly' guns (prone) with the side lever. Have a few myself.

Tell us about the barrel (#4?, twist, length?). Looks great, though I would wear a shoulder pad with that original buttplate. Especially prone.

The 40-50 is an excellent BPCR round with minimal recoil. In fact, one of the national BPCR records has been held since 2008 by someone who shot a 40-50SS.

If that were my rifle I would polish off the tip on the firing pin a bit until it wasn't hitting so deep. Mine do not and I've never suffered a misfire in ~15,000rds (40-65, 38-50 & 35-40).
« Last Edit: Sep 5th, 2018 at 6:56pm by SSShooter »  

Glenn
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marlinguy
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #9 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 12:32pm
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The .40-50SS is such a mild round that even with the very narrow original buttplate the recoil is never painful. I have one on an original Rolling Block with the same buttplate, and it's no different than a .38-55 to shoot.
I use a bullet cast from the RCBS 300 CSA mold, and it's a very accurate gun/caliber. Shoot all day with no fatigue.
  

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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #10 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 6:45pm
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SSShooter wrote on Sep 5th, 2018 at 6:51pm:
The 40-50 is an excellent BPCR round with minimal recoil. In fact, one of the national BPCR records has been held since 2008 by someone who shot a 40-50SS.

.


What record it that?
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #11 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 7:00pm
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I think that was a junior record in silhouette.
  
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Deadeye Bly
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #12 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 8:19pm
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It is actually 3 records held by my son since 2009 as an intermediate junior and junior shooter in BPCR silhouette. He actually shot several Master scores in monthly matches that are higher than the records he holds. Only scores in registered matches are recognized for records.
  
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #13 - Sep 6th, 2018 at 8:48pm
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Here's a pic of my Heppy in 38-55.

Aaron
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #14 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 12:13am
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Deadeye Bly wrote on Sep 6th, 2018 at 8:19pm:
It is actually 3 records held by my son since 2009 as an intermediate junior and junior shooter in BPCR silhouette. He actually shot several Master scores in monthly matches that are higher than the records he holds. Only scores in registered matches are recognized for records.

Congrats to him!
  

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marlinguy
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #15 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 11:49am
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Rebel wrote on Sep 6th, 2018 at 8:48pm:
Here's a pic of my Heppy in 38-55.

Aaron


Love that extra heavy barrel!
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #16 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 3:19pm
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The record is long run on BP Turkeys, shot by Eric Stevens at Shippensburg, Pa silhouette range, with Barry Harmon spotting. They held up the match so he could go for a long run record. I was there that day, and if memory serves he shot 34 turkeys in a row (at 385 meters). He shot with iron sights, using a CPA rifle. The last few hits were a bit shaky because he was running out of ammo and was down to his chicken loads.
  
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #17 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 5:29pm
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I was referring to John's son's junior records, which still stand. Did not know that the turkey long-run record is with a 40-50SS. Obviously, the cartridge can shoot. John will some day shoot his (though in a High Wall).
  

Glenn
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #18 - Sep 7th, 2018 at 8:26pm
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Eric's record was with the 40/50 Bottleneck cartridge. Either one will shoot with the proper loads and technique. It is a good cartridge for a youth or lady or a shooter with neck or shoulder problems. Heck, its a good cartridge for anyone.
  
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #19 - Sep 8th, 2018 at 2:21am
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"Eric's record was with the 40/50 Bottleneck cartridge. Either one will shoot with the proper loads and technique. It is a good cartridge for a youth or lady or a shooter with neck or shoulder problems. Heck, its a good cartridge for anyone."
That little cartridge certainly was working that day for sure.
  
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #20 - Sep 8th, 2018 at 4:29am
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That running out of ammo reminds me of shooting the Quigley Bucket offhand at 500 yards. The target was the size of a 5 gallon bucket.  I only had 3 shells left and they were foulers; 2 of one loading and one of another. I told my spotter to watch close on the first shot because it may hit off my point of aim.  Got lucky and hit the bucket  Roll Eyes  Got a second hit out of the 3 shots.  We shot that for several years at Ravensdale and Tacoma.  Only time anyone hit it twice in 3 shots  Cheesy  Luck trumps skill ever time  Grin
  

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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #21 - Sep 26th, 2018 at 9:40pm
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Enjoyed a great day up at the range today fire-forming some brass for three of my old single shots.  Formed about 50 plus rounds of shortened .303 British in to .40-50 Sharps 1 7/8" for the Remington Hepburn.  Now I need to cast some .40 calibre bullets to test in my various .40 calibre rifles.

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #22 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 10:28am
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Wonderful Rem-Hepburn, Al!

Do you believe you will have any worrisome excess headspace using reformed .303 brass?

When I reformed some .303 brass (and some .30-40K brass) for my .40 2 1/2" Hepburn years ago....I could hear the cases rattling in the chamber when I shook the rifle hard back and forth. The primers also sat a bit "proud" after firing. Tapping the rims forward a bit solved that problem, and I lived with that until BACO began offering "stretched" Krag cases of the proper length. They also swaged the rims somehow to proper thickness.

My R.-Hepburn example is an early one with 3-digit SN.
  
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marlinguy
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #23 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 11:49am
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.303 brass is pretty short to use in a .40-2 1/2 chamber. I would expect it to rattle around on first fire forming, and even after it will be short in the chamber by a good .25"! I never got past opening up .303 brass for mine, and seeing it wasn't even close I abandoned it and went to Hornady .405 Win. brass.
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #24 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 1:53pm
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marlinguy wrote on Sep 27th, 2018 at 11:49am:
.303 brass is pretty short to use in a .40-2 1/2 chamber. I would expect it to rattle around on first fire forming, and even after it will be short in the chamber by a good .25"! I never got past opening up .303 brass for mine, and seeing it wasn't even close I abandoned it and went to Hornady .405 Win. brass.


You assumed something incorrectly. Cases that had been fired many times rattled and showed "proud" primers. That's when I decided to bend the case rims forward a bit to take up more space in the rim cut of the chamber.

When that Hepburn came to me in ~1977.....Hornady .405 Win. brass did not exist. Initially, I had to use a small batch of ancient .40-70 UMC brass that came with the rifle, and when that stuff wore out, I had to "make-do" with formed .303 and .30-40 cases. Even though they are too short, they worked satisfactorily for several decades........and we do what we have to do to keep the old rifles shooting. The BACO "stretched and rim-swaged" Krag cases have worked perfectly for my Rem-Hep ever since they became available. Besides that, the "stretching" thins the necks enough for me to be able to seat the proper size grooved bullet without thinning the inside of the necks. I've tried a few of the .405 Hornady cases....and the necks are too thick to do that. I'm not interested in fooling with paper patch bullets in this rifle.
« Last Edit: Sep 27th, 2018 at 2:07pm by xtimberman »  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #25 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 3:16pm
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I guess I got lucky on this Hepburn since the Winchester .303 British cases I'm fire-forming are a great fit and don't appear to have any headspace issues.  The fired primers don't seem to be backing out (which I think would be more likely in low pressure fire-forming loads than with full charges with a cast bullet?) and everything looks pretty good.  The odd round had a slightly higher fired primer than others, but I suspect that is probably just variations in rim thickness on the WW cases I used.  Not all of them were once fired brass, I just picked out a bunch of WW brass to keep them all the same.  Most of the fired primers are flat and flush to the case heads.  I was also lucky that this one is in .40-50 Sharps Straight 1 7/8" so case length is not an issue.  I shortened the .303 case necks to just above the shoulder, fire-formed them, and now will trim them all to finished length.

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marlinguy
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #26 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 3:42pm
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I didn't have any issue with cases rattling once they were fire formed, as they expanded to fit well. But being so short I didn't want to use them.
I started using .405 Win. brass and outside turned case necks, as I didn't like inside turning myself. Once fire formed the necks expanded out and bullets worked fine as fixed grease groove bullets.
I went to Hornady as soon as they became available as the cost was cheaper, and they were plentiful. I also share the .405 Hornady brass amongst several Ballard rifles and the Hepburn, as the .405 brass works well for the .40-63/.40-70 Ballard also. Unfortunately it appears Hornady has dropped the .405 from their lineup and I hope I have enough brass purchased to ensure I'm good for some time! Hate to have to start scrounging again at this point in life!
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #27 - Sep 27th, 2018 at 5:24pm
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marlinguy wrote on Sep 27th, 2018 at 3:42pm:
I went to Hornady as soon as they became available as the cost was cheaper, and they were plentiful. I also share the .405 Hornady brass amongst several Ballard rifles and the Hepburn, as the .405 brass works well for the .40-63/.40-70 Ballard also. Unfortunately it appears Hornady has dropped the .405 from their lineup and I hope I have enough brass purchased to ensure I'm good for some time! Hate to have to start scrounging again at this point in life!


Al,
So glad you have an available and inexpensive source of brass for your "new" Hepburn! Bet it will be a fine shooter!

marlinguy,
I never could get .405 cases, or short expanded .30-40 to work suitably in my Ballard 1 1/2 .40-63 chamber. Too often, the extractor would end up behind the case rims of that brass. I used it primarily as a hunting rifle, and that bugaboo always seemed to happen to me in the dark.....leaving me blindly trying to pick out the cartridge that the extractor shoved in ahead of it. With those cases being a bit too small in diameter at the base for my chamber, that "bulge" ahead of the base "bugged" me, too. When RMC began making lathe-turned cases, I saved my pennies and ordered a batch of those.
  
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Reverend Al
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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #28 - Oct 5th, 2018 at 2:06pm
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My brother in law is out from Manitoba and staying with us for a visit and I always take him out for a range day when he is in town, so yesterday we spent the day up at one of my local ranges and I let him shoot several hundred rounds in a variety of rifles.  While he was shooting I fire formed another 70 or so rounds of .40-50 SS in the Remington Hepburn.  I fired up my RCBS bottom pour pot a few days ago and finally cast a batch of 300 grain RCBS CSA bullets so now I need to make a bunch of test loads since I have about 120 formed cases.  The project continues ...
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #29 - Apr 4th, 2019 at 7:52pm
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Finally getting back around to doing some more with this Hepburn tomorrow.  I bought a set of .41 Rem Mag dies from a friend this morning and I used them to neck size the fire-formed brass I had already, neck expanded and belled them, and then loaded 50 rounds of test loads to shoot tomorrow.  I just set the dies higher in the press and adjusted them for the longer cases and it seemed to work OK.  I'm using the 300 grain RCBS CSA bullet for these initial tests with IMR4198.  Meeting a friend up at our local range tomorrow and will finally get this old girl on paper ...
  

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #30 - Apr 8th, 2019 at 1:32pm
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I did get the Hepburn out to the range, but only got a chance to zero it before the weather turned sour.  The wind got ugly and it started to rain off and on which is not good weather for shooting groups!  I was zeroing at 50 yards to start and then planned to take it to 100 and test 3 different loads; it's looking promising so far.  If the weather improves this week I'll try to get out again ...

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Re: Remington Hepburn .40-50 Sharps Straight (1 7/8")
Reply #31 - Apr 11th, 2019 at 5:32pm
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Tried again today, but didn't even get the Hepburn out of the gun case once I got up to our club.  Range conditions were terrible up there compared to when I left home.  Steady drizzle of rain and a very heavy fog that obscured the target holders past about 50 yards most of the time.  The wind kept blowing the fog in and out, but never cleared it comletely.  I'll try again another day next week if the weather improves ...

  

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