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gitano 05-14-2018 11:42 PM

Making Another .416x348 Win
This one, not 'lipstick on a pig'.

I like that cartridge. I like the H&R that I built. But... It's still an H&R. Personally, I just can't get past that. Good 'truck gun', but not exactly 'elegant'. I also really like Ruger falling block actions. So...

I bought a Ruger #3 chambered in .45-70 Government to be the donor action. (Got it for $300 less than the cheapest I have seen on the auction sites. :D) I actually prefer the #3 to the #1. The only difference in the metal is the lever, and I much prefer the #3s lever. Now I needed a .416 barrel.

I looked at Pac-Nor's website ( for a barrel, and noticed that they installed barrels so, anticipating deal-killing "details", I called and inquired. Turned out that they will:
1) Remove the factory barrel,
2) Install their new barrel,
3) Chamber it to .416x.348 Win, (and CUSTOM lengthen the throat for the Hawk 400-grain bullet),
4) Cut the extractor groove,
5) Install a new extractor, and
6) Copy the profile of the original barrel to the new barrel. (Actually, I asked them if they would copy the original profile to the end of the forearm and make it 'straight' from there to the muzzle. They said "No problem." I said, "How much extra." They said, "No extra charge." :eek: That's the way CUSTOMER SERVICE is supposed to be!)

All for $575.

The new (28" finished length) barrel cost $275 (not exactly cheap), which makes the labor cost $300. That's not great either, but it's not bad, and SEVERAL hundred less than the next competitor. What sealed the deal was that they would blue the barrel for an extra $50 AND the bluing would only take an extra "two weeks". So, total cost to Pac-Nor is $625 plus shipping to and fro. I got the No.3 last Thursday. It was on it's way to Pac-Nor the next day. They should have received the barreled action today.

I have no problem shaping, finish inletting, and finishing stocks. However, INITIAL inletting is another matter. Especially for a rifle that requires a hole to be drilled in the butt for a draw bolt like the Ruger falling block actions do, AND for the angled hole required for the forearm hanger. So, I went looking for 'someone' to inlet "my wood" for fore arm and butt stock. I found a couple of places, but, they REALLY ticked me off with all their whining and completely unnecessary constraints!

GOOD GRIEF! These places advertise CUSTOM gun stocks, but what they REALLY mean is "not factory". You WILL do it "their way", (which means just like every other one they do for everyone else, which is hardly "custom"), or they will whine and gripe and patronize you, and tell YOU what YOU want. I am SO sick and tired of people in the firearms industries. Especially the after-market businesses, and extra especially gunsmiths and stock-makers!

The first guy I contacted makes a BIG deal about NOT doing ANY metal work. NOT doing ANY fitting. "These are only partially inlet and you have to do the finish inletting. Also there is a LOT of finish work to SHAPING the stock". Ok. I'm fine with that. His prices if he uses HIS wood (which he brags about being "Exhibition grade") is $275 for the Ruger No. 1s and 3s. In our first conversation, I told him that all I wanted him to do was INLET the action and fore arm. He didn't need to shape the stock or fore arm AT ALL. I would take care of that. He said $300 for MY wood. I told him I had to look at my wood and see what I wanted to use. I would get back to him. I sent him an email and told him I had found some wood I wanted to use, but the butt piece was pretty narrow. If he didn't want to try inlet the "narrow" wood, fine. How much just for the forearm? I got a two-sentence response: $370 and that was "If you measured the butt correctly." So $100 more for using MY wood and doing LESS work! I resisted the temptation to respond.

The next place was more amenable to "doing the work", and the prices with MY WOOD wasn't too bad - $100 for the butt and $85 for the forearm. (Using THEIR wood it was $85 for the butt and $65 for the forearm. Using MY wood costs MORE. That makes perfect sense. :sarc:) Extra for drilling the draw bolt hole. Extra for attaching MY fore end wood to the forearm. AND...

My wood had to be 2 and a quarter inches SQUARE for the fore end, and the butt needed to be AT LEAST 2" thick. Both of those dimensions were problematic for me. My forearm was only 1 and 15/16ths inches square, and the butt was only 1.815" thick. The FACTORY forearm is not even 1.5" wide, and the factory butt is only 1.7" wide AT THE ABSOLUTE WIDEST. Their dimensional requirements were simply because they are too :cens: lazy to position the blanks carefully. I didn't argue with them.

I called Sakorick and asked him if he wouldn't mind going down to see them face-to-face with my wood. (He lives about 2 hours from them and he has some stock work he wants done too.) I thought that face-to-face he might be able to talk them into using my "small" wood. He agreed. However, the more I thought about it as I was preparing my wood to ship to Rick, the angrier I got. I finally just decided to quit putting up with GETTING GOUGED for using MY WOOD, AND, to add insult to injury, I had to listen to their whining and arrogance. All of that for a "custom" stock THAT WASN'T CUSTOM AT ALL!

MAN! I am TIRED of these arrogant, prima donna, firearms people! REALLY TIRED of them! Pac-Nor was surprising in their willingness to actually DO WHAT THE CUSTOMER WANTED! :cens:!!!

So... I'm doing ALL of the fabrication of the forearm and butt. Both will be of persimmon, and the fore end will be black-and-white ebony (hereafter BWE). What's interesting (to me) about the forearm is that persimmon and BWE are the same genus. As I have mentioned before, persimmon is often called "American ebony" because it is the same genus (Diospyros virginiana) as the black ebony with which everyone is familiar (Diospyros crassiflora). BWE (D. malabarica) is great-looking stuff, having high contrasting yellow and black wood. The pieces I have THAT FIT are not that "black and white". (You'll see below.)

So here I am again, all too willing to PAY people to do work they ADVERTISE for, and again essentially forced to "do it myself if I want it done right".


Here are two pictures of the factory forearm. The first shows the whole forearm with all the inletting. The second is a closeup of the inletting required for the hanger.

The next four pictures are of the persimmon forearm "blank" with the BWE fore end attached and ready for inletting and shaping.
First the "top". This is the barrel/inletting side.

This is the right side. Note the black figuring. Ebony. :)

Here's the bottom:

And finally, the left side:

Because this is now a genuine "build" instead of just an "assembly", I'll be providing pictures as I go along.

I came within a cat's whisker of using a very nice maple butt stock blank that Paul Hoskins gave me. It would be perfect except that it doesn't match the persimmon forearm I want to use. I'll save that butt for my next 'special' build. (I should be able to get both butt and forearm out of that piece of wood.)

I should (hope) to get the newly barreled action back in less than 6 weeks. I will be able to perform the preliminary inletting on both the butt and forearm without having to have the barreled action. I'll just use the factory pieces as models.

I'll try to be conscientious about taking pictures, but no promises.


gitano 05-15-2018 09:51 AM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
By the way... I would like to enlist the THL 'army' in search of a good butt stock pattern. (I'm looking for an actual PATTERN, not a "design". I want something I can cut out and tape to a piece of wood to cut around.) It doesn't matter if it's for a Ruger falling block action or not. I can 'fix' it if it isn't. The most important feature is a straight wrist. I do NOT want a pistol grip. I also do NOT want the Ruger factory #3 butt. That thing looks a whole lot like a 2x4, and from what I read, makes felt recoil very unpleasant.

So, if you have, or can find a such a pattern, please let me know.


sakorick 05-15-2018 01:02 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
I'll poke around for one.

recoil junky 05-15-2018 01:46 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
No doubt this rifle will be elegant, but my past experience with Ruger #1's and one #3 has been less than stellar in the accuracy department. Too much :cens: :cens: mucking about with no rewards in accuracy. You will notice I do no bragging about any Ruger rifles in the accuracy department, only Remingtons.

My opinion only


sakorick 05-15-2018 02:53 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
That ebony looks like some of my Mun Ebony. I've used it many times on various projects and I think it really is a corker!

gitano 05-15-2018 04:26 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
RJ - It is common to hear about poor "accuracy" in Ruger #1s and 3s. From what I read, most blame it on the hanger out in front of the action. I've not spent a lot of time trying to 'accurize' my #1s. (This is my first #3.) Troofiz, I've never even taken one of my #1s hunting! No particular reason other than I had other rifles to take. Since this #3 will be a "short range" rifle, my precision requirements are fairly modest. I THINK I'll be able to live with 2 MoA at 100 yd. ("Short range" - unless hunting buffalo or moose, ranges less than 250 yd for sure and more than likely, 150 or less.) The reason I wrote 'think' in all caps is that I do not have a hunting rifle that shoots worse than 1.5 MoA, and I'm not liking that very much. Therefore, I might not be able to 'tolerate' 2 MoA from this rifle. Time will tell. My psyche will be a moot point if it does better than 1.5 MoA. However, moose and buffalo are BIG targets.

ALL of my Ruger model 77s shoot sub-MoA, and I own several - one of which is my first .338 Win Mag. For precision, it is among the best hunting rifles I own. I have one Ruger bolt gun that I have not even shot! :eek: It is the M77 Hawkeye. I think it's chambered in .308 Win. Hmm... looks like a trend. I'm going to have to take my #1s and that Haweye to the range and see if my personal experience with #1s is consistent with what is reported around the internet.

I'm a little nervous about the 28" barrel I'm having put on this #3. Long barrels can get "whippy". I've seen the videos! The "good" news is that it will be fairly 'beefy' at 0.800" at the muzzle. The reason for the long barrel is primarily increasing muzzle velocity while keeping max pressure down. I'm not too concerned about the pressure in the #3 action, as it is PLENTY strong enough for 'modern' pressures. According to SAAMI, the max pressure for the .348 Win cartridge is 46,413 PSI, and I can get the velocities I want without pushing that spec. 46.4 kPSI is certainly modest by today's high pressure cartridges.

The second reason for the long barrel is weight. Using pretty good numbers from the barrel's profile, Pac-Nor's barrel weight calculator says it should weigh 4 lb 14 oz. That makes getting the total weight of the rifle to a minimum of 9.5 lb, MUCH easier. In fact, with the persimmon stock, a scope, and some tungsten beads, I should be able to get to 10+ lbs without having to work at it. Combine weight with good stock design (wide butt with good pad), and I should be able to get the 400-grain Hawk bullet over 2100 f/s at the muzzle without dislocating my shoulder. 2100 f/s from a 400-grain bullet generates 3900 ft-lb of "push back". That's about 500 ft-lb over my personal preference for lighter - less than 9 lb - rifles. At 2100 f/s MV, sighted in for 3" high at 100, that bullet is 'only' 17" low at 300 yd. That means for elk, moose, and buffalo, at 300 and under, I don't have to aim 'off hair'. Impact velocity at 300 is ~1660 f/s, (which, according to Hawk, is fine for that bullet's terminal performance), and the impact energy is 2450 ft-lb. That is plenty for moose or buffalo medicine out that far.

Rick - That particular piece of BWE does look a lot like Mun ebony (Diospyros mun - from Viet Nam).


PS - I have to retract that assertion that I have never taken one of my #1s hunting. I took my first #1, REchambered from .300 Win Mag to .300 Weatherby mag, on the "Ol' Number 42" bear hunt. ( I just didn't kill the bear with it.


recoil junky 05-15-2018 09:47 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
Which is why Sharps rifles were/are so accurate. Big hefty barrels to reduce whip. Now if it was octagon, that would be purty! I'm not sure how they attach their forearms but it must work.

Oh, not saying Ruger bolt guns are poor performers, I should have clarified. A certain gorgeous #1 in 22-250 was very disappointing as it refused to go less than 1.5 moa. For a varmint rifle, that's in the :toilet: I liked the action though.


gitano 05-15-2018 11:25 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
1 Attachment(s)
I think I've seen a #1 with an octagon barrel, but I'm not sure.

I've attached a picture of the hanger. What many don't understand, and I didn't until I started fiddling with them, is that the trigger and firing pin springs are located in this hanger. The forearm touches NOTHING but the little nut at the front of the hanger and where it butts against the receiver. And therein lies the 'accuracy' rub. I have seen some 'fixes'. I'll worry about those when the issue comes up.


gitano 05-15-2018 11:39 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
Have a look at the 29th post in this thread. I would be inclined to try that, since it 'goes' with my view of the world with respect to barrel 'pressure points'.


Paul Hoskins 05-16-2018 05:57 PM

Re: Making Another .416x348 Win
3 Attachment(s)
Very interesting project, Paul. Anxious to see the final results. The Ruger #1's & #3's are the same action with different operating levers & methods of keeping the action closed. I can't understand all the noise about Ruger SS rifles not being accurate. I own several #1's & one #3 & have never had an accuracy problem with any of them. None of them are as accurate & consistent as my old Hi Wall Win. chambered for the 225 Win. cartridge but it's a specialty gun built specifically with accuracy in mind. All of my Ruger SS rifles have been re barelled with the exception of the 7X57 carbine. For a go to gun my old #3 chambered for the 22 Newton gets the nod for everything. It just kills everything I shoot at with it. It's not the most accurate gun in the world by a long shot but consistently shoots 3/4 inch groups all the time. The only drawback is having to make my own bullets but that's no big problem. For the most part I don't like long barrels but a 28 inch barrel will add about 100 FPS more over a 24 inch barrel in most cases. ......You can find semi finished stocks for these SS rifles in the ad's of Shotgun News pretty often. That's where the stock on my #3 came from many years ago. It's a reject piece of Oregon myrtle that was semi finished. .......Paul H

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