Budget Bunny Gun Dreams

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CB posted this 04 February 2011

I've been reading all the bunny gun threads recently and have really been bitten by the bug.   I've been discussing it with a buddy at work lately and we've mapped out a few possibilities I'd like to run by the experts as to which would produce decent results. 

I've got a Marlin CB in .32H&R and am a longtime devotee of the H&R so I'm looking at the H&R or maybe the .327 although I think the operating pressure may be a limiting factor. 

I'm working on a pretty tight budget for this project so I'm trying to go as cheaply as possible.  I was thinking of picking up a Rossi “Matched Set” with the barrels in .410 and .44Mag and having one of them relined to the desired .32.  Is this something that has any merit?  Anybody have any insight on the platform?  An H&R Hand-Rifle is another option if it's a better platform.  I've got a Topper in .410 but would have to have another barrel fitted to be relined as the .410 is a keeper. 

Any Gunsmiths that come to mind to do the reline and chamber?  While funds are limited, I know a good gunsmith is worth his fees to have it done right. 

Thoughts on the project would be appreciated, feel free to take it in a completely different direction too, I'm not married to anything yet. 

Thanks to all. 

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RicinYakima posted this 05 February 2011

461,

Unless you have a spare 30 caliber barrel and a lathe, consider having a barrel made for your Topper. It would probably be cheaper in the long run than getting a new to you action and having the work done. Having made a couple of these, the 32 H&R is the best compromise. If you are going to even think about 327 Fed, plan on spending money to have the firing pin bushed smaller!

PM Ed Harris here on the board as he has a good gunsmith who does this sort of thing and his price was pretty reasonable, I thought.

Ric

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tturner53 posted this 05 February 2011

Welcome to the forum 461. Why not use the Marlin for a bunny gun? Not that I don't like the ideas you have, more is always better.

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CB posted this 05 February 2011

Thanks guys,   Now first off, I admittedly don't know enough about this stuff to be anything but dangerous. 

The reason behind not using my “Topper” is largely due to the firing pin not being bushed while the Rossi or a new Handi-Rifle (SB2) would be.  I only look at the .327 Federal is for versatility, it would mostly be a .32acp/long with the occasional H&R and a very rare .327, but I do shoot all the rounds so if the longer chamber doesn't affect accuracy much I'd like to have the capability.  I'm wondering if a liner has issues with high pressure though? 

The Marlin is my “Bunny Gun” and I love it to death and it's going nowhere, but I'm wanting a single shot.   I'm sure you all know what it's like to have that nagging little project in the back of your mind that just gets the best of you.  This has been bouncing around for a few years now and it's time to move forward. 

I'm in the formative stages now where I'm going to gather the necessary pieces and parts and then save up for the Gunsmith costs. 

Thanks to all,

Tim

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CB posted this 05 February 2011

On bore size, I see a lot of folks using .308's and they seem like they're working fine, what happens if a jacketed bullet finds its way into the mix? Would it create a pressure problem? Are there any reasons to go with a .308 over the .312?

Thanks,

Tim

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RicinYakima posted this 05 February 2011

The shotgun conversions I have done have been with old 1903 Springfield barrels, .308” and 1 in 10 twist. The original firing pins were used. I used 32 H&R Mag jacketed bullet loads as proof loads. While they were harder to open from primer flow back, they didn't puncture. A .313” jacketed bullet would give higher pressure, but I don't know by how much.

I have not found much accuracy differences between 32 long cases and the 32 mag cases in light loads at up to 50 yards. The first Iver Johnson that I did does shoot some loads better with the 32 mag case, but its chamber is not perfect and a long size case mouth opens onto a rough spot.

The first liner I made was .375” and while safe, it has vibration issues with being free floating in the barrel. The next was .410” and is glued into the barrel and works much better. The strength of the liner made from a old barrel doesn't seem to be an issue at up to H&R mag pressures.

Ric

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jhrosier posted this 05 February 2011

There is a simple solution to the bullet size problem. When I first loaded for the 7.62x25mm there weren't any lightweight jacketed bullets available. I bought some Speer .312 bullets and a Lee .308 push through sizing die. I quick roll on the case lube pad and they went through the Lee sizer without any problem.

Jack

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tturner53 posted this 05 February 2011

For an advanced degree in H&R single shots check out 'Greybeard Outdoors'. There's some dedicated fans there that do a lot of fun stuff with their farmer's companions. “Dreaming” was in the title, so I'll go off topic a bit. For a cheap and easy bunny gun/plinker I got a H&R UltraLight .223 with synthetic youth stock. It has adjustable sights, is about maybe 5 lbs. 9” twist if I remember right. I've shot very light cb loads up to 62 gr military stuff and it is accurate enough for what it is. I also have a Hornet barrel for that frame which is a shooter, also has factory sights. Of course a project is more fun than 'off the rack'.

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CB posted this 05 February 2011

The more I think about this, the Handi-Rifle seems like a more logical way to go. If one can safely use a .308 bore for a .32 H&R then I could simply pick up a Handi in .308 and have the chamber portion lined and rechambered.

Is a partial reline and rechamber a possibility? The barrel could be set back but that would get into quite a bit of machining with the forearm mount and the barrel mounting lug having to move forward.

I'm feeling more on track now, thanks for the help.

Tim

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mike morrison posted this 05 February 2011

i guess i made a bunny gun in the 1970. did not know it was a bunny gun. we had a visitor to our town and he was a great shot and quick draw guy. he had a sawed off (legal legnth) 12 gage single bbl. he had a insert in the bbl that shot a 38 special. this interested me and he told me that he bought the insert from a place in calif. called red jett. i got their address and ordered one. then ordered a bbl blank and a chamber reamer and since i had a small lathe i made one and then another. one for me and one for my son in 20 guage. this slides into the shotgun bbl and is an almost snug fit with two o rings at the muzzle and a cutaway of the rim part so the shotgun ejector would clear. the rear is configured so you can extract the fired case with your fingernail. if one is stubborn simply use the rim of another ctg case to move it. probably not as accurate as afixed bbl. one can hit a pop can at 50 yds with no problem. this would be a real in expensive way to make a bunny gun in the calibur of choice and be able to make it back to a shotgun by pushing the insert out. the h&r shotguns i have encountered have had a small firing pin. the new ones i have seen will need to have the firing pin bushed if you want to shoot a higher prssure round. hope you can follow what i said. just an idea for a low cost sub caliber. had a take off 03 springfield bbl and turned it to fit a 12 guage and used the o ring on the front. just to see if it would work and it did. i only shot cast bullets in it. that satisfied me that it could be done and never shot it again. yes 30-06. the bbl was in too bad shape for any accuracy.just my opinion but i think and h&r with a slide in insert with a red dot sight or a scope would fill the nich. m

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Ed Harris posted this 07 February 2011

John Taylor Machine did mine.

http://www.johntaylormachine.com/49.0.html

While he can reline an existing barrel, there is no need to buy a barrel to reline, as he can fabricate from scatch a complete barrel assembly and fit to your action.

Recommend that if you will use higher than factory pressure .32 H&R Magnum or .327 Federal that you have the firing pin bushed.

Whether you go .308 or .311-.312 barrel makes no difference. I chose .30 cal. because it was easier to find a quality barrel in the twist which I wanted.

H&R Handi Gun would be a good choice. Might ask NEF if they do a .32 H&R Magnum barrel. If not, ask if they would sell you to ship directly to your gunsmith, an unchambered .30 cal. barrel assembly. They may not, but it costs only a phone call or stamp to ask.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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CB posted this 07 February 2011

Thanks Ed, I think I'm headed for the Handi-Rifle and it's good to know that I can get a full barrel done up for it. I'll give H&R a shout tomorrow and see what they have to say.

This project may actually be easier than I was expecting.

Thanks Mike, I've looked into the rifled insert and can't seem to find anything that looks quite right for the project right now. I wish I had the machine skills to work on stuff like you guys do, but I'll just have to settle for being good looking instead of talented. ;-)

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CB posted this 08 February 2011

Contacted H&R and didn't have any luck on the .32 front. Contacted John Taylor and he gave me some good ideas to think about and we're headed toward getting this project going. I'm very excited about this and I'll keep you all posted on the progress.

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frank l jr posted this 08 February 2011

461 i also seem to be leaning toward the H&R, seems to be the way to go with out the presence of a lathe. lost my comtacts to a great one of the finest i ever knew, just a brain tumor and resulting death of a dear friend and mentor. age and the grim reaper have stolen a several from me. such is life. keep us posted, seem to be headed in a very good direction. keep the faith! se ya frank l jr

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CB posted this 10 February 2011

Well, after thinking it through the past couple days, I have to put the “Budget Bunny Gun” on hold. I just can't put that kind of money into a Handi-Rifle as the end result would be like paying for a lexus and driving home a Focus. I'm going to keep an eye out for an action with a tad bit more class to have converted instead.

For now, I'll have to rely on the Marlin CB as my go to for the .32, which still makes me a pretty lucky guy. I'll drag this thread up if and when I come across a classy little donor gun. Thanks to all.

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frank l jr posted this 10 February 2011

461 i'm in the same thought process and (budget) bunny gun reality . yes the 32 marlin is a jewel, my 336 = 1964 made isn't to bad. was my dad's piece. probally has less than 200 rounds through it, most of which i shot getting a good load fot it. shoots well..!!3 ==less than the proverable inch when i did my job. keep the faith see ya frank l jr

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jr460 posted this 10 February 2011

For you 32 single shot bunny gun shooters try http://www.matchgrademachine.com/>http://www.matchgrademachine.com

They make great barrels for the TC Encore, G2 AND THE OLD TC in just about all calibers including 32 H&R and 327 federal BARRELS UP TO 27 INCHES STD steal or SS If you have a action just order which barrel you need.

JR

1000 yards easy

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CB posted this 11 February 2011

jr460- I've got a buddy of mine at work that told me to just go get a Contender and I have to tell you, I'm starting to entertain the idea.

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jr460 posted this 11 February 2011

461

I have a couple of the new encore pro hunter action and when I get the itch for something new I will always go to match grade machine for the barrel. I have a pre 64 model 70 super grade in 300 H&H. Rifle is like new and will shoot .250 inch groups at 100 yds all day long but the rifle is worth to much to take to the woods and scratch up so I found a

Used 28 inch ss pro hunter barrel in 30/06 for 200.00 and sent it to them to rechamber to 300H&H now I have a rifle that can get a few dings and will shoot right along with the model 70. If you do go the Tc rout I would strongly suggest the wooden thumbhole stock

Makes a lot better hold for a scope and less felt recoil if you decide to go to a bigger caliber and you will sooner or latter. Watch out for the TC bug you will have more barrels than you can dream up. Have fun with the bunny gun quest.

JR   

1000 yards easy

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rhouser posted this 12 February 2011

all - Without hijacking the thread (cause I am wanting a .327 bunny gun too), what is the difference between the Encore and the Contender for a rifle/carbine base? Is the Encore the way to go?

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Lefty posted this 12 February 2011

I have an Encore with a 25-20 barrel from EA Brown. I like everything about it except the weight. It weighs just as much as any full size rifle. I don't know if Brown does any light weight barrels but I have been very pleased with the quality of this barrel.

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