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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help please, I am trying to identify a drilling rifle caliber. It is 44 caliber but I'm unsure of the cartridge. Shotgun is 16 ga.; it is a hammer gun. Only markings other than one proof mark is 5 letters under the rifle selector switch. first 2 are hard to make out. Last three appear to be GET. So it is _ _ G E T . I've exhausted my search capability. I tried the archieves here also. A .44-40 case fits it best but is way too short. The push through slug measured .431. Only thing I know of would be a 444 but i doubt an old european drilling would have such a caliber. I assume it is an older (not used in US) european cartridge. Any help is appreciated.
 

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Farmer,
Put this question over on ShootingWorld also. There a couple of guys there that have a good background on these guns.

HWD
 

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i've looked at a few of those guns myself.hope this helps
only american gun company to manuf. drillings(3 barrels) was Wheeling gun co.(also known as wheeling co.,hollenbeck gun co.,three barrel gun co.,and the royal gun co.) they folded in 1911.most of those had the .32/40, .38/55,or.30/30 caliber.and with a 12g bores.
16g tends to be a european gauge.and most drillings were custom made,.being a hammergun,problably an obsolete black powder cartridge.is it a high end drilling?custom ammo?
Most early drillings were german or austrian manuf.
good luck and don't give up !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cerrasafe is already on the way. Push thru slug is only definitative measure I have right now. Chamber appears to be a long straight wall or slight taper all the way.

Drilling does appear to be upper mid to high end in it's day. Scroll work around the screws, other engraving in various places. I'll definitely post the dimensions once we get the cast done.

Thanks
 

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The .431 measurement is rather odd to be combined with a 16 bore. Here are a few straight wall cartriges that may be of interest:

10.3X65R Baenziger

10.75X57

10.75X65R Collath

Probably the best candidate for a German drilling would be the 9.3X74R. This cartridge was popular in Europe in both drillings and O/U combination guns.

These are all European straight wall cartriges that were originaly designed for black powder and used in break open guns. Your gun may well have been rebored to a simular US caliber such at the 401 Herter Power Mag,40-70 Sharps(Straight),40-70 Winchester,4072 Winchester,40-75 Bullard,40-85 or 40-90 Ballard,405 Winchester or any number of obsolete US black powder cartriges. When you get the chamber cast,let us know what the measurements show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think the cerrasafe came in last night. Hopefully can cast this weekend. I'll definitely let you guys know dimensions.

BTW, I've never even heard of many of these cartridges. Should be interesting. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We need to start another topic of proper Cerrasafe use. My neighbor had a terrible time. Finally got a good one except after hardening, it will not go back in the chamber. Anyway the measurements which are a little big include:
Throat area appears around .434-.436 so the .431-.432 push thru slug verifies the .44 caliber. The case length appears to be 2.11. 444 Marlin is close, 7.62x54R is perfect except the rim is too big. Casting shows rim to be .522. Again the Marlin 444 rim at .514 appears a little small but workable. Base diameter is .4745 with neck diameter being .473 so a very slight taper. Nothing I have access to appears any better than some cut down 444 Marlin cases. Any other ideas appreciated. We plan to pull some 444 Marlin bullets and down load them after cutting the case back. We'll see if it works well.
 

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My info on Cerrosafe says "Casts must be removed promptly. The alloy expands after cooling and the cast will seize if left in the barrel to long."
"Cerrosafe shrinks slightly in initial cooling, but then expands. Expansion equals shrinkage approximatly one hour after casting. Accurate measurements may then be taken."

So it sounds to me like to get an accurate measurement you have to measure it at the one hour mark.

Michael Grace
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
After pulling a factory 444 Marlin, I cut the case down until it fit evenly at the rim. I think the case was 2.124" but I'm not sure. Cerrasafe cast appeared to be 2.110" but no doubt the case fits. I was concerned about the case being down in the throat but it should not have any trouble releasing the bullet. Prior to loading it appeared the case was hitting the rim in the chamber so maybe the casting was off a little.

After doing so we loaded a 205 grain lead bullet over 10 grains of 700x per an older Lyman cast bullet book. This is a very mild load but should have sufficient pressure to fully expand the case. My main concern is the case mouth. According to the matrix on reloadbench.com the case neck is .453 while the measured cerrasafe casting was .473. 0.020 may be enough to split the neck. Test firing was scheduled for this afternoon. The saga continues......

BTW>>>My neighbor is known to follow "most" of the directions so I may not have the whole story on the casting. It was good enough to help but the proof will be in the firing. I need to bone up on neck annealing process in case the necks do indeed split.
 

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Annealing is a piece of cake. If you get to that point, let me know, been doing that kind of stuff for a loooooong time now! Would be happy to help if I can.

BP
 

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Frequently the caliber was stamped under the forearm?????? Anything there???
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Firing went very well, so even though chambering is still a mystery we now have a usable cartridge. Accuracy is poor but we may tweak around with the load, bullets etc. Sights are poor at best so new/better ones may help. He wants to try BP or 777 but I have never loaded BP cartridges. I'll move that to another forum.

We stripped the drilling as best we could and found nothing. The letters under the selector switch is best hope but I have found nothing yet.

Case mouths do stretch and 444 dies bring them back. I expect some cracks but we'll see. Annealing sounds like the right path.

Thanks to everyone for their input. I plan to keep an eye out but I suspect a custom wildcat or similar from an old German cartridge. Due to straight wall, probably a bottleneck case cut back to straight wall area.
 

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If accuracy is poor, try some cowboy action or black powder cartridge bullets. I did some work with an old Ballard 38-50 Eversasting a couple years back and made the cases with 38-55 and 30-30s. I used hard Laser Cast bullets and couldn't hit a five gallon bucket at 10 paces. Went to some much softer black powder cartridge bullets and the accuracy improved exponentialy, more likley light years! You wouldn't want to be out at 100 yd and expect that I couldn't hit a coke can off hand with it now! Made all the difference in the world. 4227 also was a good powder for my application.

BP
 

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I found a 11.15 X 52 Shot shell that was frequently loaded with a ball that was used in rifled barrels Bore size was 0.439.
Page 406 of Cartriges of the World by Frank Barnes.
 

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I think Curly-No Hair is on to something here... The shotshell shows up on page 442 of my book (9th Edition), and the 52mm length is 2.05" long, very close to the 2.11 that farmer33 measured. It IS Euoropean in nature and was popular after the turn of the century. It would also explain the thick case mouth (0.020") as no bullet crimp was performed.

I am going to do more reasearch and bring in the other half of The Cartridge Guys to put this mystery to bed. I will try to find dimensional data for the 11.15x52mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I never thought to explore slug-type shotshells. I'll keep checking back and will look in a few books I have access to, again. Thanks.
 

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Hi. I realize this is an old thread, but I wish to add to it. My Light Baby Carbine (LBC) Rolling Block appears to have been re=chambered to this caliber, probably to comply with the laws of Uruguay of the time regarding civilians possessing rifles with military caliber chambers. The LBC was originally caliber 44-40. So a chamber cast 130 years later by me shows a straight walled chamber about 2.3" long and only .460 wide. The bore is still .435 with rifling. I have been shooting .444 Marlin brass in it with Black Powder charges under bullets varying in weight from 200 gr. to a 370 grain bullet. This chamber will also accept and fire bp loads made with.44 Bulldog, 442 Webley, .44 American, .44 Russian, .44 Special, 44-40, and .44 Magnum. All fired cases fireform out to .460. I find I get smoother extraction if I cut the brass down to about 54 to 50mm. My belief is the chamber cut of my own carbine is also the same as this double. I.e., 11.15x52mm. If anyone knows anything about the history of this round, please share it as Cartridges of the World really doesn't say much about it. I can't post a picture of the chamber cast here, but you can see a video of the carbine in action at
 
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