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B&M Cartridges

Discussion in 'Big Bore Rifles' started by Michael458, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    More or less, I have introduced you to the 50 B&M Alaskan Lever guns, the B&M Big Bores, and as an individual the 50 B&M.

    Again, because most of my big bore experiences in the field for the last 15 years have been with these rifles and cartridges is the reason you are seeing this, not to sell you something, again, have nothing for sale.

    You got an introduction to the 50 B&M, the 2.5 inch RUM case cut and trimmed to true .500 Caliber, below we talked about what it was capable of and so forth.........

    Here, is the rest of the B&M Standard Cartridges Family............. All are 2.240-2.250 inch RUM Based. All the cartridges are designed for Winchester M70 WSM Actions, Control Feed Only. Barrels are from 18-20 inches max.

    Cases are actually pretty easy to make. Any RUM case, cut it, trim it, and basically size it. You may need a trim after sizing, load it up and shoot. It is pretty easy to "Go Down" in size, say from basic .500 caliber to .458 caliber and so forth Much easier to go down, than to go up. These cases have basically the same case capacity as a 458 Winchester. Just fatter, and shorter.

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    As we progress we can talk about each individual, of course with the exception of the 9.3 B&M which is a Medium Caliber, not Big Bore.......
     
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  2. KnotRight

    KnotRight Well-Known Member Charter Member Benefactor Life Member

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    One in each caliber would make a great wall plaque.
     
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  3. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Starting at the "Small End" of big bore, with the 416 B&M. Standard issue is 20 inch barrels at 1:14 Twist. With the case capacity of the 416 B&M it is at its very best with 350 gr Solids, and its matching Raptor which is 325 grs. You can shoot 400s at 2300-2320 fps, but the 350 Solids and 325 Raptors are so good, there just is no need for a 400. Much the same as with 458 calibers, 450 are more than enough, there is no requirement for 500s anymore.

    A 20 inch 416 B&M can run various 350 gr bullets to 2400--2500 fps from 52000 PSI to 58000 PSI. That is more than capable of drilling through big heavy animal tissue, elephant, buffalo and hippo.

    I used a 340 Woodleigh in 416 Remington on plains game, zebra and such, back in 2005 in Tanzania. I really liked that bullet, and it works just as well in 416 B&M at 2500 fps too. Today, I would use the 325 North Fork Premium in place of the Woodleigh, it runs 2553 fps and is a better bullet overall. The 325 Raptor is the buffalo smasher at just a tad under 2600 fps.

    Some years ago we designed a 225 gr Raptor. And this thing is "wicked" to say the least. It runs over 2900 fps at low pressure from 56000-58000 PSI, and will handle everything on the planet, just short of buffalo, and I have shot a good number of cow buffalo with it in Australia, big cows at that. And, it exits all broadside shots. Leaves goo inside..............

    This is one of my 416 B&Ms, 20 inch barrel, Myrtle Stock.............

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    This is another 416 B&M I had done, probably 2cd or 3rd one built as I recall. In 2008 both my boys, Mark David and Matthew used this rifle in South Africa for Kudu, zebra, oryx and such......

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    Here is one with the Ultimate Stock... I don't know what happened to this gun? I know it was used in a Jon Sundra Article, but I don't remember it after that.

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    This is my most favorite 416 B&M ever. Its a 18 inch gun, it weighs in at 6.5 lbs with no scope, and it is absolutely easy to carry and a pleasure to hunt with.

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    I used this gun in Australia in 2013 I believe on a few buffalo and a bunch of pigs........... It was a pig hammer with that 225 Raptor, one pig shot a little far back, gut shot, it was running. It was nearly torn in half. It didn't go anywhere.

    I had a good friend, Sean Russell from Texas. He was a 416 B&M nut. He loved his, had a special stock done for it. He was only able to make one trip to Africa before he died last year. But he made the best out of it, used his 416 B&M for everything.................

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  4. Friday

    Friday Polite-Knock raid Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Very informative. Thank you.
     
  5. gsimmons

    gsimmons Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I’m a military collector, but find this all fascinating stuff. Thank you for sharing!
     
  6. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    You are welcome, no thanks needed, nor required. Hoping all get something out of it................

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    Oh, OK, the rifle above, I found it. I set it up for a fellow going to Mozambique in 2105. I set it up for him for buffalo, and had it shooting these loads when it left here.......

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    This was 50 yards of course, with both 350/325 Combo...

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    I never heard back??????????

    416 B&Ms are very popular in Alaska, there are several up there that Bear Guides use....... This is one of them I had here before sending it to Alaska. Sent another one to Alaska just a few months ago..........

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    Our Friend and part of the B&M Family Greg Bauer used his 416 B&M in Alaska for a big bear, he was very happy, I think Greg is from NC as well......??

    Below are Gregs words about the bear.......

    Michael,

    I just want to let you know that I had a successful brown bear hunt. The rifle/bullet combo performed perfectly. I will work on some more and try to get you a good pic for your website if you want. It was tough hunting, There was a mild winter and a warm and early spring. This was the only shooter I saw on the entire hunt. I shot him on day 6. The wind got swirly and hit me in the back of the neck when I was 155 yards from the sow. The boar was in the woods. We could not risk getting any closer. When he came out and was a slight quartering towards, I hit him with the 225 gr raptor and and turned around toward the woods and went 5 yards and went straight down.

    Thanks, Greg


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    Greg did have a scope on for the hunt. He and I sighted it in here before he left............ I forget what it was exactly..............
     
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  7. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I enjoyed shooting Billy's 50 B&M at 100 yard steel. It was not nearly as recoil as I expected. Very manageable, and easy to shoot multiple times.
     
  8. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    I wonder if he found those lighter loads I sent to him?.............Those would be fun for him.........
     
  9. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    In the field I used the 416 B&M very little compared to some others. The 416 version was the third cartridge designed in the series. I personally consider 416 caliber just on the light side for the heavies, buffalo, hippo, elephant. Most certainly 416 will do the job, and has done the job many times. I just believe that, in particular for buffalo, that caliber makes a big difference. I think it was 2013 that I shot several Australian buffalo with that little 18 inch 416 B&M of mine. It did fine, but I did not get that knock their ass in the dirt feeling with 416 that I get with various larger, 458 or 500 caliber guns. For anything in North America, it is a hammer, lion and other thin skinned dangerous game, it is a hammer. It could be the perfect Alaskan Rifle/Cartridge.

    This is our friend Paul Truccolo and I with a big Aussie Cow I shot with the 416 B&M, which you see on the right. On the left is Paul's backup rifle, his 500 MDM. The 500 MDM is the largest most powerful B&M in .500 caliber, and at some point we will have a thread on that one, If anyone is interested....................

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  10. BBD280

    BBD280 God, Guns, and Guts

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    @Michael458 How do those Australian buffalo compare to the Cape buffalo?
     
  11. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Compare to what exactly..... Eating, all I know is that no one eats the Australian buffalo that I know of, they won't touch it, not even the natives. Of course Cape Buffalo to me is as good as it gets with Bovine for eating. Not sure why in the hell they don't eat the Australian version. Its bovine? Cow should be a cow? ???????

    Hunting! The areas we were hunting then, had not been hunted in many many years, even some of the older buffalo did not know exactly what we were? They were curious and sometimes pay you no attention at all, and sometimes would approach in a curious manner. They never just up and run like Cape Buffalo. Some would show some aggression. Paul had been charged several times, but I did not have any charge, show some aggression, and when they did that I put a bullet in them to calm them down a bit. They absolutely can be and are dangerous, just like all bovine.

    They are bigger than cape buffalo. Big Aussie bulls in their prime look like massive TANKS, and I would guess outweigh a big Cape by 500 lbs or more.................They are just as hard to put down as well. Nothing on the planet can soak up bullets like buffalo of any sort.......... Buffalo are the Prime Test Medium for Bullets!
     
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  12. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    My boys used 416 B&M on their first trip to Africa back in 2008.... It was very successful with them............We were using a 350 Barnes TSX at this time. I worked great as well..........

    This is Mark David........

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    Matthew...............

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  13. MacEntyre

    MacEntyre Shoot on Sight! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Fine lookin' young'uns, Michael!
     
  14. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Thank you. They turned out pretty good........
     
  15. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    One of the last B&Ms big bores to be designed was the 475 B&M. I never really was very hot on .474 caliber. In fact, .474 caliber had been a Plague for me.

    It started with Winchester Custom Shops Big Five Series Rifles.......... I was in on two sets, but late to the party. First one out was 375 H&H with a gold lion engraved on the floor plate. I did not get these guns. Then there was 338 Winchester with Gold Leopard, 416 Remington with Gold Buffalo, and 458 Winchester with Elephant. We figured that the last one, with Rhino would be 458 Lott. Custom Shop had experience with 458 Lott, so I thought that would be a given....... NOT... They surprised everyone with 470 Capstick. Which is a H&H Based case, blown out as far as you can go to .474 caliber. Now I had two of these.

    Right from the start there was trouble. Winchester did not take into account that the 470 case was just ever so slightly larger in diameter than 458s on the same H&H Case. Winchester had zero experience with 470 Capstick. Neither of my guns would retain cartridges in the magazine. Load three down, close the bolt. Common practice when hunting, and then when entering the bush after game, one loads the tube. Well, soon as you move the bolt to the rear, rounds come spilling out of the magazine. They would also do this during shooting, shoot one, snatch the bolt, rounds spill out. Well you can't have this on a DGR. Back in those days, Winchester was not qualified to sort this out. And those suggested by Winchester would not work on the guns, because they didn't build them! So I was screwed, two guns, that would not function. They were good looking guns, hi grade wood and such, but useless in the field. Leslie Dengler, head of the Custom Shop at that time, stated they were not having that problem with the other 123 guns! I told her of course not, there was no one but me shooting the damn things! The rest were sitting in a corner getting petted from time to time, and fondled. They were not for shooting!

    I put them away for some time. I picked them back up again when I got acquainted with Brian Alberts, at SSK Industries. Brian was a big bore Winchester Whiz, and had proven it building and putting together the B&M rifles. I asked Brian to sort these out, sent them to him and in a week I had both back, they would retain, feed and function 100%....... So I started shooting them some, but even more I used them to start testing .474 caliber bullets. Test work did not go so well! I pull bullets out of the box, and there is absolutely ZERO engraving on the bullets? No engraving, not touching rifling at all??????

    Well, what I learned is that Woodleigh and Barnes do not make their bullets .474 caliber. Since most guns in this caliber are Double Rifles, both Woodleigh and Barnes are scared of "Barrel Strain" on the doubles. At that time, the only way to decrease barrel strain was to reduce diameter. Barnes and Woodleigh 470s were actual .4723... Not the .474. But this still really should not have been a big deal. Swift A Frames were .474 caliber, and they had only very slight ghost engraving, you could see some, but you could not feel it. There was something wrong with the barrels. Sam Rose and I slugged these barrels and found them to be .477 caliber actual, so no wonder they were not engraving. This was bad for poorly designed Solids, or Round Nose Solids, they were horrible unstable during terminal penetration with engraving, much less without any. Expanding bullets did not suffer much from no engraving, and to my surprise, DG Accuracy was fine at 50 yards! Both guns would shoot under an inch at 50 yards, no engraving. I never experienced any sideways bullets, another surprise.

    I had a decision to make, either rebarrel both guns and call it a day, or just forget about it, make a note, because I was never going to hunt with these guns ever, not now, with B&Ms on the table. I decided to let them slide and do nothing. Put them in the corner for another 15 years...........I did sell these guns about a year ago, full disclosure as well.................. So they are gone. By the time I learned about the oversize barrels, there was no more Winchester Custom Shop to tell about it. I figure a major screw up from whoever supplied those barrels to Winchester for these guns.

    Now, on to the 475 B&M. The 475 B&M and the 475 B&M Super Short were the last of the bolt gun B&M series, almost...... There are two bastard children we will talk about at some point. The first 475 B&M was a grand success. I worked with CEB and North Fork, we designed some incredible bullets for these cartridges. I did all the bullet tests with this first gun, a Hi Polish Blue, Accurate Innovations English stock with 18 inch barrel. In the beginning not so excited about 475 B&M, but this was a dandy little rifle. 475 B&M was proving a bit difficult to form brass, and I was experiencing a lot of head separation, no matter what I did, and yes, I bump that first firing pretty hard in the chamber so it does not flow forward, but even then, getting a certain percentage of head separation within two to three firings regardless.

    The first gun was so good, that an outfitter friend of mine wanted this gun for a special client he had in TX. I tried to talk him into other things, like a proven 458 B&M, but he was having no part of it, this was unique and he wanted a unique gift for this fellow. I sold Gun #1. This left me with nothing, so I sent a stainless action up to Brian to have another built, and while I was at it, sent a blue action up to have a Matte Black Gunkote finish gun done as well............. Gun #2 and Gun #3.

    Got the stainless gun back, put it in a very nice Accurate Innovations stock and started shooting it in. Shot great, all in a hole, and it was similar in ballistics to 458 B&M, same weight bullets from CEB, and from North Fork John and I had designed all 425 gr bullets for the gun. 450 Solids/420 Raptors from CEB and 425 Solids and 425 Expanding CPS from North Fork, all the same POI at 50 yards. Shooting great. And the gun looked great........... I was pleased with with the gun, cartridge and bullets thus far........... And decided to take it to Australia in 2012 with the family and our pal Sam Rose...........

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  16. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    Now we were off to Australia, the B&M McCourry Clan, along with our pal Sam Rose....... Matthew Daniel was carrying his 50 B&M Super Short, Mark David had his 475 B&M Super Short, I was carrying the 475 B&M and I wanted to see how the 9.3 B&M did on buffalo. I had the 9.3 B&M in Africa that April and it hammered hell out of zebra, wildebeest and oryx along with other lesser plains game. But it was the cut off for Zebra, shot 3, all three ran, and then piled up. Larger calibers with Raptors, zebra are DRT. Zebra are very tough animals. The 9.3 did great on them, as good as any medium caliber I had used on zebra, and I have shot a hell of a lot of zebra. But it was not a big bore. In the end, it was dismal on buffalo, more or less expected, but I had hoped that with the meanest, most wicked bullet ever devised that 9.3 might be improved when it comes to buffalo, hopes are hopes, but reality kicks in when it comes to buffalo. Caliber makes all the difference in the world with buffalo. Buffalo didn't pay much more attention to 9.3 than swatting flies. And I would have to shoot buffalo several times to get it down. So 9.3 was put to the side, and I picked up the 475 B&M for the rest of the trip.

    Sam was carrying one of his 500 NE and we were working with new solids and raptors for it. Extremely successful results. The big surprise was just how good the Super Shorts performed, they were hammers. The boys were just wicked with those little guns, and extremely fast. I never seen finer bolt work than what those two were doing, I am not sure a semi auto could have fired faster, aimed and accurate shots on target than what those two were doing with those super shorts. Sam, Paul, and I were very impressed. We also noted that buffalo reacted the same with the super shorts, as they did with Sam's 500 NE, they were hit hard, and they showed being hit hard. It was eye opening for me just how good the Super Shorts were performing. I would have never recommended the Super Shorts for this sort of work, always leaning to the larger cartridges, but I had to change that up a bit after seeing this.

    Mercedes was 9 years old then, and she had lots of hunting experience. She made several days out with us chasing buffalo, one day Sam staged her with his Double rifle for some photos........

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    I quickly had to get that thing out of her hands and set her up with a proper rifle............. That was the 9.3 B&M, a little short on caliber, but proper rifle none the less... HEH

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    I shot several buffalo with the 475 B&M and found it doing very good. I did not think it was any better than 458 at all, and it did not make .500 caliber, but it was good, buffalo dropped and I was shooting a lot less because of caliber and good bullets. At this point I had it dead even with the 458s, but not the hammer the .500s are. Nothing wrong with that.............

    At the beginning of the trip our guide, friend and PH, Paul Truccolo had been talking about a big bull, with one straight horn. I was teasing him for days, as there is always that "Special" sort of animal, that the PH's tell you about to be on the look out! Yeah, Right! Who the hell you think you blowing smoke to Paul? Been there, heard that many a time! Blow that smoke somewhere else! And the story goes on!

    Well I'll be damned, we are riding one day, and sure enough Paul spots the "straight" horned buffalo, and it just so happens I was up as next shooter..............

    I jumped out, the big bugger was in the shadows about 35 yards out, up against some seriously thick brush, and I had to drop down to one knee to get a shot. In the shadows I was having a hell of a time getting on target as well. I found the shoulder, I had the North Fork 425 gr CPS loaded at 2300 fps and turned it loose. I felt good about the shot, but the buffalo disappeared. And, we really could not see to know exactly where he went? Paul and I approached the spot where he was standing, there was a trail leading off to the left, lots of tracks, so we followed those for maybe a 100 yards. Found no blood? Nothing. So we back tracked to the spot again, looked behind where the buffalo was standing, it was nearly a solid wall of brush. We parted the bushes, and at our feet was our buffalo stone cold dead. He had enough life in him to jump through the brush, and turn around to face us. Only we cut left down the trail, instead of going directly to him. He expired before we got back. He had turned, his intentions were clear, he was going to fight just as soon as we parted the brush, and it was such a tight spot, and he was so close, there would not have been time for a shot at all. Fortunately the 425 North Fork had took out his heart, and he expired, and fortunately we did not part that brush on our first look..............

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    This is my buddy Sam Rose...................

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    We were out the evening before stalking around just before dark. A herd of buffalo was coming to us, so we ducked behind some trees and brush and watched. There was this big brawny prime bull with the herd. Not much on horn, but huge big brawny rascal. And he came, and he kept coming. He was getting closer and closer, and I could not take it anymore. It was more than I could bear! I dropped the hammer on him at around 15 yards and he dropped like a rock. I think the boys got a kick out of Dad with this one, I don't know why I just could not let this bull walk on by, but I couldn't, so there.............

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  17. Michael458

    Michael458 Active Member

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    There is a wild cattle in this area that we were hunting. They were specific breed called Redskins by the locals. There were no more wild cattle in the area except for these, so they were purebred and not mixed with others. I think there might even be a separate category for these of some sort, but they are wilder than the buffalo, and much harder to hunt. I have shot a few in the past, but I took two good ones on this trip, and the last one was a monster of an old bull and perhaps the biggest ever shot....... Certainly the biggest I ever shot....

    This was the first one I shot, not the big one.................. But none the less a good one in any book..............
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    And then later, there was this old bugger...............

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    I did a long stalk on this rascal......... And hammered him with a few 420 Raptors. I forget how many in the heat of battle. Now on this entire trip we had not recovered any bullets from the 475 B&M, all had passed through. But I had shot a point on the shoulder of this RedSkin, and found a lump of a bullet way back on the hip.

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    Sam and I started digging this bullet out................That was a hell of a lot of penetration for any bullet, and the base of this Raptor had gone 4-5 feet of RedSkin from the point of the shoulder.

    No conventional Expanding bullet could achieve that amount of penetration.

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    But what we found that was disturbing, the Raptor did not have one bit of rifling engraved into it. It was smooth as could be! HOLY COW--Pun Intended......... Two things came out of this episode.


    #1.... Here I was AGAIN, with a damn rifle that was supposed to be .474 caliber, and I had another OVERSIZED BARREL, this time in my own 475 B&M! Barrels came from PacNor! We had never had

    issues with PacNor Barrels and used them exclusively in all the .500s........... I could not believe it, my .474 caliber Plague had returned!


    #2... Bullet performance was not effected at all. All Solids fired had drove deep and straight, and exited on the mark. All North Fork and CEB Bullets had performed perfectly, regardless of not having engaged

    any rifling at all. Common bullets would not have done this once terminals had started. This told me we had taken Bullet Tech to the maximum in our big bore rifles, there was no where to go from here in

    that regard. I was very pleased.........


    When I returned home I sent the rifle to Brian, he slugged it, it was over sized from PacNor, they replaced it. PacNor offers two twists, we had gone with a fast 1:10 Twist rate on these, but they made a 1:16 as well. We prefer the faster twist, as in all our test work, the faster twist helps stabilize "Less Than Well Designed Solids"....... But, the slower twists were fine, with Proper Designs, solid bullets with over 65% meplat of caliber. I decided to put a 1;16 twist back on this gun, and would conduct terminal test with it, compared to 1:10 twist guns. PacNor of course replaced the barrel at no cost.


    I had a few things going on in my mind however during this time. First, I did not think the 475 was one bit better than 458 caliber. I saw zero advantages at all. It was not enough caliber above .458 to make any difference in anything. I was still having some issues with getting the brass to fire form properly. It was being a little hateful in that regard. In the case of 458 B&M you could do anything on the planet you wanted to

    do with it and never ever once had head separation no matter how you worked the brass. You could go brand new unfired, formed only, and set the shoulder back so it chambers easy, and never experience a problem in the future with the brass. Not so with this 475 B&M.


    Strike TWO against 475 B&M..........


    And now this damned over size barrel, exactly like the 470 Capsticks. That was it, that was STRIKE THREE.


    I received the gun back from SSK, with new 1:16 twist PacNor barrel. This had to be early 2013. Well, the gun is still sitting there, barrel is still NEW, its never been fired.


    Not so long after this, the fellow in TX that bought gun #1 decided it was too much recoil for him, and asked it I would take it back. Sure, I agreed to take it back, so Gun #1 Came back home. I have it here now as well.


    The third gun, the black gunkote finish one, I shot some lighter bullets in it over the years, messed with it a little bit, maybe 100 rounds total, and it too sits in the rack.......


    There have been a total of only 3 guns built, I have all three. I do NOT recommend them to anyone, those that have asked, I send them to the 458 B&Ms instead. Or in some cases they want 50s.... As far as I am concerned the 475 B&M is a dead issue. There won't be anymore done, and I won't let these three out again. Probably just hand them down to the kids at some point.


    But, I did take my most favorite Australian Buffalo with the 475, and with great success............ It is on the B&M website, and I always think I am going to remove 475 from the lineup, but I just have not, mainly because

    of that damn buffalo, the one with "one straight horn"...................


    Overall, the 458 B&M is far superior in every way.................
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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