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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles (Read 1417 times)
hairtrigger
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On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Nov 24th, 2021 at 4:32pm
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Building, shooting and hunting with these rifles has been a 50+ year interest of mine and I probably built some 25 - 30 with .17 and .20 cals. almost exclusively since 2000. 
Action choices favoring Win. hi wall, Stevs. 44 1/2 and Rem.-Hep.,w/2 or 3 Cadet Martinis thrown in. 
The rifle pictured here is a 1983 build on a Win. hi wall, D.S. triggered, coil spring action. Bbl. is chambered for the German 5.6 x 50 R mag. (A ballistic twin of the American .222 Rem. mag.) The bbl. is a Shilen 1:14” twist machined full octagon w/an integral 1/4 rib by my old friend + metal mentor, Emil Facuna.
I stocked this rifle from scratch w/exc. quality European walnut and the stock pattern has worked out well in the field. 
After testing it I settled on the 40 grn. Hornady ballistic tip at 3500 fps. and it will stay in 1/2” to 5/8” at 100 yards on any day I am “on”. The optics were upgraded in 2000 w/a Zeiss Diavari V 5-15 x 42 scope. A good move! 
In the 1980’s and 90’s this rifle often accompanied me to the S.Dakota prairie dog towns and it also accounted for several coyotes here in Illinois.
“Knowing all there is to know about single shot varmint rifles almost ranks up there with knowing all there is to know about braiding buggy whips.”
From John T. Amber circa 1983.
  
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JLouis
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #1 - Nov 24th, 2021 at 5:09pm
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Dennis I remember when a few of those for sale and I believe it was in the ASSRA Journal sometime back. 
  

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Kurt_701
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #2 - Nov 24th, 2021 at 8:27pm
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I think we tend to forget that single shot rifles lost some interest as the WWII boys returned home. I appreciate that many actions were saved by being made into varmint rifles. I too lament the lost many barrels made by the old craftsmen being lost. Here is a Winchester Highwall in .225 Win.
  

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JLouis
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #3 - Nov 24th, 2021 at 9:15pm
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Very nice and they had their own type of charm. As well as quite bit of their history and unfortunately it is getting lost. More importantly some were being built by some of the very best gunsmiths at the time
  

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Crown-C
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #4 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 9:31am
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Love the comment: Knowing everything there is to know about Varmint rifles ranks right up there knowing how to braid buggy whips from John Amber, circa 1983. 
Actually, we used to have a neighbor who showed me how to make braided horse bridles and reins. They were beautiful! Still have one of his hanging on the wall.
If I ever get tired of these old single shots, maybe I can revitalize that old art!👍😆. Less I digress.
  

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marlinguy
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #5 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 9:53am
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I had a JR Buhmiller varmint rifle built on a Winchester High wall with beautiful stock work, and very nice checkering. It was in .218Bee Improved, and shot extremely well. I appreciated the workmanship, and didn't want to alter it. Eventually I sold it to my friend Ben Shelor here on ASSRA, as he too really loved the old varmint rifles done nicely.
  

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rkba2nd
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #6 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 4:52pm
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Well done varmint rifles have always held interest for me ever since reading "Wood Chucks, and Wood Chuck rifles" by Landis. My favorite single shot, is a Pfeifer built, stocked by Monty Kennedy, in a beautiful stick of Oregon Myrtle, and chambered in 220 SK or Saunders Krag. Always liked the cartridge and name!!   Krag
  

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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #7 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 5:04pm
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I should add that it was built on a Borchardt action, Pfeifer barrel, with the best factory trigger I have ever owned, or tried on a Borchardt, and prints sub half minute groups all day long "still". Some of many reasons a favorite.
  

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moodyholler
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #8 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 7:22pm
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Valley, Ben Shelor is a name I haven't heard in many moons. Had lots of great conversations with him. Sure do miss him. moodyholler
  
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marlinguy
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #9 - Nov 25th, 2021 at 7:40pm
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moodyholler wrote on Nov 25th, 2021 at 7:22pm:
Valley, Ben Shelor is a name I haven't heard in many moons. Had lots of great conversations with him. Sure do miss him. moodyholler


Me too! He was one of the greatest characters I ever got to know, and although we talked once or twice a week by phone, never met face to face. I loved answering the phone and hearing his distinctive voice on the other end. He sounded like Foghorn Leghorn from the Looney Tunes cartoons.
  

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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #10 - Dec 5th, 2021 at 6:26am
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I have a varmint project that's been on my mind for a good few years.

It would not involve wrecking an original vintage rifle.  I plan to use a BRC Borchardt action I currently have.  I will need a barrel and stock set.  I have the wood blank.

Can anybody suggest a meticulous gunsmith who would take on such a project and finish it in a reasonable time?

Background: This harkens back to the 1980s when I was quite active as a groundhog hunter.  I then had a Sharps Borchardt custom varmint rifle chambered in .225 Win.  It shot lights out and put an end to the careers of quite a few whistlepigs.  Here's the only photo from back in the day:

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Oh, I regret letting that rifle go.

Curly

  
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.22-5-40
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #11 - Dec 31st, 2021 at 2:19am
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I asked this same question nearly 20 years ago..why can't the ASSRA host a postal match..say 100yds for all the shooters with no access to 200yds range for these vintage and historic varmint rifles using cast bullets?  At the time, I suggested the rules be relaxed only for this match and permit the use of the gas checks...after all they are over 100 years old.  What say you guys?
  
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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #12 - Dec 31st, 2021 at 4:20am
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I'll do it but loads have to be jacketed smokeless loads they were built for. 

Reduced loads, lead bullets and extreme overbore is asking for trouble.
  

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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #13 - Dec 31st, 2021 at 10:06am
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.22-5-40 wrote on Dec 31st, 2021 at 2:19am:
I asked this same question nearly 20 years ago..why can't the ASSRA host a postal match..say 100yds for all the shooters with no access to 200yds range for these vintage and historic varmint rifles using cast bullets?  At the time, I suggested the rules be relaxed only for this match and permit the use of the gas checks...after all they are over 100 years old.  What say you guys?


All it takes is a volunteer to run it  Wink
  

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Re: On Classic Single Shot Varmint Rifles
Reply #14 - Dec 31st, 2021 at 12:07pm
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More than that. It takes incentive.  What are we shooting for?
  

A blind squirrel runs into a tree every once in a while.
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