Introducing a flight of the imagination- what might have been! Bridger
Hawken for heavy slugs up to 600 grains, half-stock with .500
caliber 1-24, fast twist, shallow .040 groove barrel shoots
elongated lubricated slip-fit bullets, what eventually would have
developed in such mountain rifles if cartridges had not come along,
Whitworth /White style.
Maple is AAA, conformation classic late Bridger Hawken. The internal barrel dimensions are the same as any .500 caliber White inline rifle, like the Super 91 or Model 98 and will shoot every bit as well, with the same bullets. 2 inch groups at 200 yards are not uncommon
Bullets used are slip-fit, sized 1/1oooth less than the land to land diameter of the barrel, sliding easily down a dirty bore for a quick reload yet super accurate and plenty powerful, with more than 1700 ft. lbs of energy left at 200 yards with maximum loads. Bullets used commonly weigh 400-600 grains and are fired with with up to 150 grains black powder or substitute, easily the equivalent of a 50-140. I am getting to like BlackHorn 209 with a 5 grain black powder igniter.
This baby has got his big boy pants up, with tapered antique rust blued barrel, case hardened and colored tang, buttplate, trigger guard, rear pipe and lock, also fitted with long bar double bolted long bar DST , 2 under-lugs with keys and silver surrounds and a heavy ramrod in the best Bridger Hawken fashion. It’s as truly traditional as I could make it and should shoot as good as it looks.
Not only has this bad boy grown up with color case hardened iron furniture, antique rust blued barrel and German silver roundels but also has a real silver plated fore-end tip, and a long adjustable rear sight like Gemmer used for accurate long range shooting.
The maple is elegant AAA. If it shoots as good as it looks, it will ‘shine’.
Here it is. Handsomer frontier rifles don’t exist. And shootable! Fully the equivalent of the later 50-140 black powder cartridge.