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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
friends,

at the SATX Gunshow yesterday PM, i found an DUBLIN-made, 1903 model (according to the markings on the bottom of the left barrel) 16gage RIFLE x 16gage SMOOTHBORE with bottom lever opening in NRA EXCELLENT condition EXCEPT that the firing pins & firing pin springs are MISSING.

the capegun is EXTREMELY ornate, with "tropical flora & fauna" carved on most metal surfaces, beautifully figured walnut & even the screwheads are "decorated".= i suspect, but do NOT know, that the capegun was made for some local "rich guy" from India, as the previous/deceased owner (an USAAC pilot) reportedly brought it home from the CBI after WWII.

do any of you have knowledge of such a unique (i've never seen a capegun with a "shotgun gage" RIFLED barrel!) combination weapon AND know of a gunsmith that you would trust to repair the firing mechanism?

note: also, does anyone have an idea as what a safe/useable 16gage, smokeless powder, RIFLE load might be?
(i'd guess that it was designed for a heavy cordite load & "packed a wallop"!)


yours, sw
 

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I'd kinda suspicion that the piece was intended to use something like a solid bullet loaded in a shotgun shell (brass?). There was a development called a Paradox popular about that time that featured rifled barrels (only the last few inches). The rifling would shoot slugs/bullets well and do acceptable short range shotgun patterns.

I'd suggest checking ammo collectors or sites that may specialize in the more esoteric firearms products of the United Kingdom/British Commonwealth. Added: a quick check indicates a 12 bore Paradox slug weighed 740 grains. Presumably, these were loaded in shotgun shells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WRM et. al.,

fwiw, i went to the SATX gunshow at the Shrine Auditorium yesterday afternoon & consulted BOTH of the "local experts" in "heavy rifles". = neither had a clue about what a safe/proper/smokeless load of modern powder might be.
(IF i can come up with a "ballpark guess" or even a "SWAG" of what the correct load was, my brother-of-the-heart, C.E. Harris, will help me work up an approximation that will work AND be safe for me/the capegun. = Ed does NOT want to start from scratch, w/o any notion at all. = i do NOT blame him a bit for that, though he is REALLY good at casting bullets/working up loads/handloading.)

like me, both of the men figure that the load was a 16gage brass shotshell loaded with a BIG/HEAVY conical bullet (Jose T_________ guessed that the conical bullet was probably over 1100 grains!) in front of a BUNCH of cordite. = neither gentleman thought that the proper rifle load was anything like a Paradox load (Paradox loads were NOT more powerful than current "rifled slugs", as they were made for SHOTGUNS, with 4-6" of shallow rifleing), but rather a MUCH more powerful & "shoulder punishing" big game rifle load, "which was suitable for tigers, elephant, gaur & other beasties."

to ALL: Cartridges of the World does NOT list a 16gage RIFLE load. i'm hoping that, with all the expertise on this site, that someone will have the data.

yours, sw
 

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I've been thinking about this, and am handicapped by not being able to actually see the weapon in question.

One of the things you have to recall is that in 1903, smokeless powder was kinda a new fangled thing. Since, in 1903 Dublin was still firmly part of the British Empire, there should be proof marks somewhere that could give you some guidance as to the proof level and if it is nitro proofed. Somebody had to make ammo for it.

A SWAG puts caliber of the rifle barrel around 0.670. I know the weight of the bullet for the .600 NE was 900 grains, so an 1100 grain bullet seems too heavy. You should be aware that .600 NE doubles generally started at around 18 lbs and went up. The breech and barrels at the breech are .....substantial.

Blackpowder big game rifles of 8 gauge and larger were common. Sir Samuel Baker regularly used 4 gauge and had a 2 gauge (named Baby) made for him. Recoil was (obviously) brutal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
WilliamRMoore et. al.,


the breech/barrels are substantially heavier than a typical SxS shotgun & i would guess that the capegun probably weighs at least 10-12 pounds.

fyi, i tried to read the writing on the underside of the barrels w/o much sucess. - it wasn't very bright inside the gunshow & all i had was a 2.5 power magnifying glass.= hopefully, i will get to go to the attorney's office/home to examine the capegun under better circumstances soon. = he's selling it for the estate.

yours, sw
 
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