Griffin and Howe bull gun.

Calfed

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A few years back I glommed an old 30.06 Griffin and Howe "bull gun". It was in pretty good shape and had a 28" heavy bull barrel. I wondered if 30.06 is pretty well dead as a target round.

The rifle is set up for one of the old long tube, external adjustment scopes and I would like to give it a whirl at long range.
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DIBBS

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    Purdee sumbitch right there! You got a nice one for sure.
     
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    GrumpyOleFart

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    Beautiful!!!!!!😍😍😍
    30-06 is not dead.
    It's got a lot of potential.
    Maybe popularity wanes, but the old slugger can still achieve great results.
    That's a gorgeous set-up.
    It was built to be used, so rig it up and have some fun!
    I've got mates that shoot 30-06 with outrageous accuracy.
     
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    rhsc

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    You scored very well - that's a classy rifle!

    As I'm sure you know, the 30-06 was the service rifle target round of choice for decades here in the U.S. With the developments made since that time in powders, bullets and reloading techniques, there's no reason the '06 can't shoot as well as any of the currently more popular rounds. How does the barrel and chamber look?
     
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    Calfed

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    Beautiful!!!!!!😍😍😍
    30-06 is not dead.
    It's got a lot of potential.
    Maybe popularity wanes, but the old slugger can still achieve great results.
    That's a gorgeous set-up.
    It was built to be used, so rig it up and have some fun!
    I've got mates that shoot 30-06 with outrageous accuracy.
    Purdee sumbitch right there! You got a nice one for sure.
    Oh hot damn... that is gorgeous!!!!

    Sirhr
    Thanks, guys!
     

    Calfed

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    You scored very well - that's a classy rifle!

    As I'm sure you know, the 30-06 was the service rifle target round of choice for decades here in the U.S. With the developments made since that time in powders, bullets and reloading techniques, there's no reason the '06 can't shoot as well as any of the currently more popular rounds. How does the barrel and chamber look?
    The barrel and chamber look good and the muzzle is tight.

    It is slightly under "0" on the CMP muzzle gauge.

    xMKiONK.jpg
     
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    Calfed

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    Last week I mounted an old Fecker scope on the G&H and shot it a bit.

    mKJ45nS.jpg


    The scope was of unknown magnification and was somewhat cloudy. I also had no luck adjusting the parallax, so the image was a little blurry. Despite that, the rifle shot a hair over 1MOA using Federal GMM. I think it will do better once I sort out the scope issues.

    I used some cheap PRVI to get on paper, and then shot a 5 round group with 168 gr Federal GMM at 100 yards.

    FUxaDvX.jpg
     

    pmclaine

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    Left side of the receiver.....are those plugged holes?

    Is the Sn early enough to be WWI?
     

    pmclaine

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    Serial number is 1.2m...so after WWI.

    Yes, those are plugged holes.
    Okay so not a warner swazey receiver.

    Wonder if it was a G&H drilled gun.

    But that would be taking apart a beautiful gun to make a beautiful gun. Seems kind of spendy.
     
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    Calfed

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    Okay so not a warner swazey receiver.

    Wonder if it was a G&H drilled gun.

    But that would be taking apart a beautiful gun to make a beautiful gun. Seems kind of spendy.
    A big draw for this gun was the price...

     
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    sirhrmechanic

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    A big draw for this gun was the price...

    I hate you.... ;-)

    Steal of the year.

    Sirhr
     

    lonegunman762x51

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    I'm guessing since you posted it on 15 different shooting forums you know what you found was a pretty good deal. Try it will a few different bullet weights and styles. Longer, heavy modern bullets were not a thing in the 1930's. I've got a couple of boxes of 1939 National Match ammunition that would work perfectly in that gun.
     
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    fdkay

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    I would try the Lapua D46, it was a thing back in the 30's, so they may pair very well.

    or these:
     
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    Random Guy

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    Lapua D46 are great bullets for sure. Pricey but quality is excellent. For decades a 180 boat-tail bullet was the "go-to" bullet for match 30-06 ammo.

    Fwiw, in Peter Senich's book, The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping, Capt William Brophy did a lot of testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in late 1953 to mid-1954 with various 'sniper-type' rifles to test accuracy, including both a WRA target M70 and an M70 "Bull Gun" with a 28" heavy barrel that is similar to the customized M1903 rifle in this post. Scopes were 10X Unertl Target and 12X Lyman Super Target Spot.

    Testing out to 1,400 yards, the best accuracy with the Winchester 28" Bull Gun (presumably a 1/10 twist barrel) was the following:
    "Cartridge, Remington, Caliber .30 Palma Match, Lot C238157. This cartridge using a 180 grain, metal-cased, boat-tailed bullet."
    Out of 20 rds, he had 6 hits on the "E" silhouette at 1400 yds with that ammo, but the other match ammo tested resulted in 1 and 2 hits only. (They also tested M2 Armor Piercing at 1,400 yards and got zero hits on the E silhouette).

    My 2cts? The old 180-grain FMJBT bullets were very popular in the 1950s-1960s for long distance shooting with 30-06 out to 1000 yards. Attached is a 1954 ad re the M70 and I think the ammo shown is the old 'Super Match' 180 grain boat tail match ammo. Today many substitute the 175 SMK for the old 180gr BT bullet that Sierra used to make. My shooting buddies have lately utilized the 185 Berger Jaggernaut's in their M1903 sniper replicas.

    My 2cts.
     

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    Calfed

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    Try it will a few different bullet weights and styles. Longer, heavy modern bullets were not a thing in the 1930's. I've got a couple of boxes of 1939 National Match ammunition that would work perfectly in that gun.
    What is the weight and profile of the 1939 National Match ammo that you have?
     

    Calfed

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    I would try the Lapua D46, it was a thing back in the 30's, so they may pair very well.

    or these:
    Thanks, fd.

    I've got a good supply of Nosler 175gr Custom Competition and RDF's right now. Also a few boxes of 190 gr .308 Nosler Custom Comps.
    I'll certainly look into the bullets you suggest.
     

    Calfed

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    Lapua D46 are great bullets for sure. Pricey but quality is excellent. For decades a 180 boat-tail bullet was the "go-to" bullet for match 30-06 ammo.

    Fwiw, in Peter Senich's book, The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping, Capt William Brophy did a lot of testing at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in late 1953 to mid-1954 with various 'sniper-type' rifles to test accuracy, including both a WRA target M70 and an M70 "Bull Gun" with a 28" heavy barrel that is similar to the customized M1903 rifle in this post. Scopes were 10X Unertl Target and 12X Lyman Super Target Spot.

    Testing out to 1,400 yards, the best accuracy with the Winchester 28" Bull Gun (presumably a 1/10 twist barrel) was the following:
    "Cartridge, Remington, Caliber .30 Palma Match, Lot C238157. This cartridge using a 180 grain, metal-cased, boat-tailed bullet."
    Out of 20 rds, he had 6 hits on the "E" silhouette at 1400 yds with that ammo, but the other match ammo tested resulted in 1 and 2 hits only. (They also tested M2 Armor Piercing at 1,400 yards and got zero hits on the E silhouette).

    My 2cts? The old 180-grain FMJBT bullets were very popular in the 1950s-1960s for long distance shooting with 30-06 out to 1000 yards. Attached is a 1954 ad re the M70 and I think the ammo shown is the old 'Super Match' 180 grain boat tail match ammo. Today many substitute the 175 SMK for the old 180gr BT bullet that Sierra used to make. My shooting buddies have lately utilized the 185 Berger Jaggernaut's in their M1903 sniper replicas.

    My 2cts.
    Thanks, rg.

    I wondered what Ammo Palma and long range shooters used back in the day.

    I'd looked around and found that Remington sold 180gr "tapered heel" Palma ammo. I'm guessing "tapered heel"="boat tail".

    yAvh39a.jpg


    I certainly have cause to work on 30.06 long range accuracy loads. In addition to my G&H rifle, last year I glommed a Winchester 70 NM in 30.06.

    azqCCqQ.jpg
     
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    Calfed

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    You might drop Paul Chapman at G&H an email with the serial number and see if they have any records on it.

    [email protected]

    I met him at Dallas Safari Club meet a couple years ago, very nice gent.

    Nice looking rig.
    Thanks!

    I'll check with Paul.

    After I got the rifle, I checked it over carefully for stamps or engraving. I took one of the scope blocks off and found one of the numerals in the build number, "No. 1X27" had been drilled through...

    1usDGVc.jpg


    I contacted Brian Beach, the Griffin and Howe (G&H is still in business) now-retired historian, who responded...

    "I regret that I have retired from doing the research and letters of provenance effective the end of 2018. There is a current G&H employee who intends to continue the service but it will take some time to rearrange his present responsibilities and familiarize him with the available documents.
    A new Research email account has not yet been set up for him so I will continue to read and respond to inquiries. As you may know there are no original G&H& records prior to 1970 except for those rifles sold through Abercrombie & Fitch which owned G&H from 1930 until 1976 and sold many G&H rifles as both new and used guns. I checked all of the possible G&H serials numbers in the A&F records that were in the form 1x27 and there were four possibilities, but each does not seem to describe your rifle.

    No. 1127 is built on a Winc. M54 action

    No. 1627 has a 26 inch barrel

    No. 1827 is a Winc. model 70 in .270 caliber

    No. 1927 is in caliber 257 Roberts.

    This suggests that your rifle could be:

    No. 1027 built in 1930 – 31

    No. 1227 built in 1933

    No. 1327 built about 1933 - 34

    No. 1427 built in 1935

    No. 1527 built about 1936

    or No. 1727 built in the early 1940’s

    These dates are derived from the dates of near number G&H rifles sold at A&F and Michael Petroff’s research. I will check the files at G&H when I next get there which may not happen until November. G&H does have some paperwork for guns that were sent back for shop work post 1970 but these haven’t yet been put into the database that I can check. If I find anything more for you I’ll be sure to get back to you.

    Thank you for the inquiry and enjoy owning this piece of undocumented history.
     
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    lonegunman762x51

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    What is the weight and profile of the 1939 National Match ammo that you have?

    It is the M1 bullet, 172 grains with a 9 degree boat tail, 30 caliber. It was introduced in 1929 and it still used in M118 special Ball. You used to be able to buy them in bulk from the CMP.

    I'm curious about the twist rate in your rifle, have you checked it? I have a Remington 40X KSSB in 7.62 and an M24, both use 1-11.25" twist instead of 1-10.
     
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    j-huskey

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    Way back when it was 1/10... pretty much from 1903 30govt03, to 30govt06 up until the m14 got a 1/12.
    All the 1919 machine gun series had 1/10 bc/in part, it stabilized the bullets further out for cone of fire/beaten zones. Springfield, Rock Island, and Picitinny Arsenals did experiments on twist. Brophys book has an awful lot of information on the background on all of this.
    Bench rest proved the slowest twist you can get by with, then the 300meter international matches used this thought process to give us the 12 twist 308's for super accuracy. (Still the 13 twist Palma gun thought, slowest twist you can get by with.)
    Which failed on heavier bullets and longer distances which led to the 11.25 twist for 172/173 grain "match" bullets, supposedly being the best of all worlds between 10 and 12, with the variety of type classified military bullets in use.

    Almost forgotten history now.
    vr
     

    Random Guy

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    Which failed on heavier bullets and longer distances which led to the 11.25 twist for 172/173 grain "match" bullets, supposedly being the best of all worlds between 10 and 12, with the variety of type classified military bullets in use.
    Almost forgotten history now.
    Digressing somewhat, and I can't find my reference at the moment, but I seem to recall that during the US Army's M24 solicitation circa 1986, that twist rates were tested and and the 1/11.25 was deemed the best compromise with the match M118 (173-174 gr LC match bullet) and the lighter M80 'ball' ammo with 147-150 grain bullets. Perhaps the Army thought that M80 might have to be used by a sniper in an urgent situation (if they didn't have any M118 ammo left, for example). Anyhow, I think the odd 1-11.25 twist was a product of the M24 rifles trials circa 1987-88...but again, I can't find the specific reference at the moment.

    Regarding 30-06 barrels, I always thought they are 1/10 twist going back to the early 20th century and remained that way to the best of my knowledge. (Of course some custom barrels with really light or really heavy bullets for the .30" bore might have used a different twist rate, but I don't recall ever seeing a 1/9 twist or 1/11 twist 30-06 barrel....but I am sure their are exceptions).

    "What is the weight and profile of the 1939 National Match ammo that you have?
    lonegunman7.62x51 answered the question, and attached is a picture of the profile of some 1957 era M1 bullets (174 grain) with the boat tail design. (To the left is a typical 150 grain M2 bullet which replaced the M1 bullet back in 1940 for the M1 Garand, but the heavier and more efficiently bullet design was used post-war for match ammo).
     

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    RTH1800

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    The Win 70 you posted is not a NM. It appears to be a Standard target rifle. NM HAS sporting weight barrel and a target stock.
     
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    Random Guy

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    As noted in post #33, the rifle in post #26 is technically a 'Model 70 Target' rifle (see attached old ads). The M70 'National Match' rifle is sort of rare, it had a Sporter size barrel but with the heavier Marksman stock, weight needed to be under 10 lbs back in the 1950s for Service Rifle. The M70 'Target' version with a sling weighed just over 10 lbs, so WRA made the NM to meet the weight restriction in place at the time. I think less than 2k NM M70s were made.

    Here's the specifics for anyone interested (all three had the heavy Marksman stock, but different barrels and thus overall weight):
    M70 National Match: 24" 'Sporter' weight barrel approx 0.60" diameter at the muzzle (Weight 9.15 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    M70 Target: 24" 'medium heavy' barrel approx 0.79" diameter at the muzzle (Weight 9.80 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    M70 Bull Gun: 28" 'heavy' barrel approx 0.842" diameter at muzzle. (Weight 12.48 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    Source: Peter Senich, The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping (1988), pages 137-138.

    Personally I wish I had all 3 flavors in my safe....something about the Bull Gun with a heavy 28" barrel appeals to me. Oh well.
     

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    j-huskey

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    Digressing somewhat, and I can't find my reference at the moment, but I seem to recall that during the US Army's M24 solicitation circa 1986, that twist rates were tested and and the 1/11.25 was deemed the best compromise with the match M118 (173-174 gr LC match bullet) and the lighter M80 'ball' ammo with 147-150 grain bullets. Perhaps the Army thought that M80 might have to be used by a sniper in an urgent situation (if they didn't have any M118 ammo left, for example). Anyhow, I think the odd 1-11.25 twist was a product of the M24 rifles trials circa 1987-88...but again, I can't find the specific reference at the moment.

    That/you, are correct. ^^^^^.
    My reference materials are packed and in the storage shed since I retired, and I have zero desire to dig them out.

    We probably have the same reference materials...🤗

    vr
     

    Calfed

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    It is the M1 bullet, 172 grains with a 9 degree boat tail, 30 caliber. It was introduced in 1929 and it still used in M118 special Ball. You used to be able to buy them in bulk from the CMP.

    I'm curious about the twist rate in your rifle, have you checked it? I have a Remington 40X KSSB in 7.62 and an M24, both use 1-11.25" twist instead of 1-10.
    Thanks for the bullet information.

    I haven't checked the the twist on my rifle yet
     

    Calfed

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    As noted in post #33, the rifle in post #26 is technically a 'Model 70 Target' rifle (see attached old ads). The M70 'National Match' rifle is sort of rare, it had a Sporter size barrel but with the heavier Marksman stock, weight needed to be under 10 lbs back in the 1950s for Service Rifle. The M70 'Target' version with a sling weighed just over 10 lbs, so WRA made the NM to meet the weight restriction in place at the time. I think less than 2k NM M70s were made.

    Here's the specifics for anyone interested (all three had the heavy Marksman stock, but different barrels and thus overall weight):
    M70 National Match: 24" 'Sporter' weight barrel approx 0.60" diameter at the muzzle (Weight 9.15 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    M70 Target: 24" 'medium heavy' barrel approx 0.79" diameter at the muzzle (Weight 9.80 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    M70 Bull Gun: 28" 'heavy' barrel approx 0.842" diameter at muzzle. (Weight 12.48 lbs w/ iron sights and no sling)
    Source: Peter Senich, The Complete Book of U.S. Sniping (1988), pages 137-138.

    Personally I wish I had all 3 flavors in my safe....something about the Bull Gun with a heavy 28" barrel appeals to me. Oh well
    The Win 70 you posted is not a NM. It appears to be a Standard target rifle. NM HAS sporting weight barrel and a target stock.

    Thanks, guys. My mistake.

    I based my description based on this information.

    ry2Cjhc.jpg
     

    Random Guy

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    I based my description based on this information.
    No worries, that 1950's era catalog had an error, the top and bottom pics are swapped re the specific model shown, opps....
     
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