The Accurate Reloading Forums
** FIELD TEST ** Another Combination Gun purchased - a Manufrance Cape Gun

This topic can be found at:
http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/335105333/m/5151033362

15 December 2020, 00:46
buckstix
** FIELD TEST ** Another Combination Gun purchased - a Manufrance Cape Gun
Hello All,

I watched this one advertised for over a year. Finally decided to bring it to Wisconsin. Looks like it should be a real dandy. I have several French Guns, and this one looks to be high quality. This one is a Christmas Gift.

Your comments are always welcome.




" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
21 December 2020, 18:34
Black Fly
Very Nice!
I've looked at one of these, myself. I am really interested in how it works with slugs and buckshot. I'm now stuck in non rifle deer hunting country. We are allowed muzzle loaders, but not real rifles, so my drillings and BBF's can only be used away from home.
I was told that the rifling was set up to do something special with shot and not to shoot slugs, but not everything I've been told over the years has been true. I'm really looking forward to some shooting results.
Nice find!
Bfly


Work hard and be nice, you never have enough time or friends.
24 December 2020, 05:29
luv2safari
stix,

Might be good to check the chamber length. My 16ga Robust No.4 has short chambers. I dressed them up with a long forcing cone reamer and shoot 2 3/4" field loads in it.

That gun of yours made my tongue hard. It definitely rates a Two-Cool.

Cool Cool
24 December 2020, 05:48
Vol717
you might
find that the right barrel has very slow-twist rifling that is intended to spread shot. Guns with this configuration are called battue guns in Europe. The rifling may not be fast enough to stabilize a slug. Only testing will tell. Might I suggest Brenneke 2-1/2” slugs as a first try. I use those in my drillings. One has the left barrel regulated for these. Makes a good companion to the 9.3X74R rifle barrel.


Quick, Cheap, or Good: Pick Two
24 December 2020, 19:04
buckstix
quote:
Originally posted by Black Fly:
Very Nice!
I've looked at one of these, myself. I am really interested in how it works with slugs and buckshot. I'm now stuck in non rifle deer hunting country. We are allowed muzzle loaders, but not real rifles, so my drillings and BBF's can only be used away from home.
I was told that the rifling was set up to do something special with shot and not to shoot slugs, but not everything I've been told over the years has been true. I'm really looking forward to some shooting results.
Nice find!
Bfly

Hello Black Fly.
Thanks for the reply.

There is a lot of miss-information around these internet forums. This gun, and ones like it, are meant to shoot Ball in the rifled barrel. ("ball meaning slug or bullet) see my last post below - especially that in red.

quote:
Originally posted by luv2safari:
stix,

Might be good to check the chamber length. My 16ga Robust No.4 has short chambers. I dressed them up with a long forcing cone reamer and shoot 2 3/4" field loads in it.

That gun of yours made my tongue hard. It definitely rates a Two-Cool.

Cool Cool

Hello luv2safari,
Thanks for the reply.

Even though the gun was advertised as 2-3/4" chambers, I always check to make sure. And yes, this one has 2-3/4" chambers.

quote:
Originally posted by Vol717:
you might find that the right barrel has very slow-twist rifling that is intended to spread shot. Guns with this configuration are called battue guns in Europe. The rifling may not be fast enough to stabilize a slug. Only testing will tell. Might I suggest Brenneke 2-1/2” slugs as a first try. I use those in my drillings. One has the left barrel regulated for these. Makes a good companion to the 9.3X74R rifle barrel.

Hello Vol717,
Thanks for the reply.

A publication about Manufrance guns was translated for me. It explain several types of rifling in their shotgun barrels. The last one mentions:

"... There is another particularity which we are going to find on the barrels .... The (shallow) rifling. For the dispersion of shot when firing at a short distance and, for the shooting of ball .... , a number of (guns) came, on special order, with the right barrel (unchoked) rifled “SUPRA” beginning in the 1920’s. ...." ".... it’s worth noting that certain barrels, meant for firing ball, were rifled from the exit of the chamber, along the entire length of the barrel. What happiness for a collector to come upon such a rarity."

From that French publication ... those barrels that had rifling that was intended to "spread" shot, were not rifled full length. They were rifled only about 8 cm at the beginning of the barrel. Those barrels that were rifled "full-lenght" without choke, were meant for firing ball. - that's this one.

Based on that last line .... " ... What happiness for a collector to come upon such a rarity." That's me. I'm Happy ! ! dancing


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
25 December 2020, 00:53
Black Fly
My relationship with the French language ended with a negotiated D if I promised not to take another semester of French! It was a win-win.
I missed one, a plain Jane, a couple years ago for a price that I'll likely not see again. I remember rifling full length. I had just sent a big check to JJ, so my pockets were empty and I just didn't know enough to take a chance. I'll just have to keep my eyes open.
Thanks for the info. I learn a lot on AR. There are a lot of good folks here.
Bfly


Work hard and be nice, you never have enough time or friends.
25 December 2020, 08:06
luv2safari
My Manufrance Robust No. 4 is pretty plain, compared to that stunning combination Manufrance. It does get the quail and grouse like a champion, however. I wish it had that spreader right barrel for both grouse and quail hunting.

When the Manufrance came out of the safe Ms Scarlet knew it was grouse or quail! dancing



Ms Scarlet when younger


Ms Scarlet her last week with me. She was gone five days later, but she was still magic.

26 December 2020, 15:19
buckstix
quote:
Originally posted by luv2safari: ..... Ms Scarlet her last week with me. She was gone five days later, but she was still magic.

Hello luv2safari,
Thanks for the reply.

You never forget the good ones.




" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
27 December 2020, 11:24
luv2safari
Handsome friend.
03 January 2021, 16:27
buckstix
quote:
Originally posted by Vol717:"... you might find that the right barrel has very slow-twist rifling that is intended to spread shot. Guns with this configuration are called battue guns in Europe. The rifling may not be fast enough to stabilize a slug. Only testing will tell. ..."

Hello Vol717
Thanks for the reply.

I did my first testing yesterday, and I think this paragraph from a fellow on another Forum pretty much describes the gun I have.....

" ... There is another particularity which we are going to find on the barrels ..... The (shallow) rifling. For the dispersion of shot when firing at a short distance, and for the shooting of ball...."

The targets below show the results of yesterday's testing. I started very conservative. I will carefully increase velocities in my next load testing. I anticipate with the correct load the gun will shoot more to point of aim. I will be adjusting both velocity and bullet weight to try to achieve this. I found it difficult sighting with the swamp rib and a single bead for aiming the rifled barrel. I think a lot of the dispersion was due to that. I'll likely get better as I become more familiar with this sighting system. I'm guessing the option of shooting a ball, was intended as a way to take advantage of as unexpected opportunity for a deer, or boar, at reasonably close range.

Of particular note is that both the light weight 1oz hollow base bullets, and the heavy 1-1/2oz bullets stabilized in the slow twist of the rifled barrel, as evidenced by round holes, in close groups. I did not shoot either bullet in the smooth bore barrel.

I tested first with shotshell on the 17" square target. A mild 1oz target load of 7-1/2s. The shotshell fired from the left smooth bore barrel patterned a bit high, but shows a good pattern from its modified choke. However, the shotshell fired at 25 yards from the rifled barrel shows only 23 pellets of the 338 pellets in the 1oz cartridge. (black circles) I fired a second shell in the rifled barrel on the same target, but this time from 12 yards. That shot shows a very uniform pattern. (red circles) This barrel would be excellent for close shooting of flushed game, or driven game, with the ability for a follow-up shot from the left barrel if the range increased.

Next I tested the rifled barrel. Some years ago I had a custom bullet mold made for the 1-1/2oz (655g) .676 dia. 16 gauge bullet. I wanted a bullet that duplicated the German bullets used in Vogel Schiessen rifles. I have two of those types of rifles, one in 18 gauge and one in 16 gauge. The bullet casts .676 and was sized down to .660 dia for this gun's bore. The hollow base 1oz bullet is from a Lyman mold and casts a .695 dia. slug. Although the groove dia of this gun is .660, I fired this bullet as is. The soft hollow bullet swages down through the forcing cone with no effect on pressure. I did not directly lube either bullet. After the cartridges are loaded, I dripped 6 drops of oil, one drop in each for the fold openings of the crimp, and store the cartridges "bullet-up". The oil coats the bullets and is absorbed into the fiber wad below it. This method has worked well in my Thomas Bland Paradox gun with no leading. I used the paradox crimping tool I designed (and sell) to hold the bullets in place.

GERMAN VOGEL SCHIESSEN BULLETS


.
.
.
.
.

MY 16 BORE BULLET


.
.
.
.
.

1-1/2oz 655g BULLET - .676 dia sized down to .660 dia


.
.
.
.
.
1oz 438g HOLLOW BASE 16ga SLUG - .695 dia


.
.
.
.
.

BULLETS CRIMPED WITH THE CUSTOM PARADOX CRIMPING TOOL - THAT I MAKE & SELL


.
.
.
.
.

TARGET SHOWING BULLETS FIRED IN RIFLED BARREL @ 25yds


.
.
.
.
.

TARGET SHOWING 1oz #7-1/2 SHOT FIRED IN RIFLED BARREL @ 25yds (BLACK) and @ 12yds (RED)


.
.
.
.
.

TARGET SHOWING 1oz #7-1/2 SHOT FIRED IN SMOOTH BORE MOD CHOKE BARREL @ 25yds



.
.
.
.
.


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
05 January 2021, 10:05
luv2safari
That looks pretty good.

The slugs can be tamed into a good usable close quarters big game round.

I sure wouldn't kick that beauty out of bed.
05 January 2021, 16:41
buckstix
quote:
Originally posted by luv2safari:
That looks pretty good.

The slugs can be tamed into a good usable close quarters big game round.

I sure wouldn't kick that beauty out of bed.

Hello luv2safari,
Thanks for the reply.

I'll be doing some more testing and load development later this week. I had to use our 25 yard range because the snow was too deep to get to the 50 yard range. As soon as the road gets plowed, 50 yard testing will begin.


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
05 January 2021, 19:54
enfieldspares
Nice pictures of your Manufrance. I've two, both are the Model 28E. One in 12 bore and one in 16 bore. Both barrels in each gun are smoothbore "lisse" not rifled "raye".

I paid UK £40 for the 16 bore maybe now twenty to thirty years ago. The 12 bore was UK £240 but two years ago.

As with the USA here in the UK French shotguns aren't really that much loved nor liked. Strange really....but it is as it is.

The Model 32E-S (which yours is) dates around 1930 to 1931.





You'll often find the exact date stamped in ink on the back plain face of the buttstock if the buttplate is carefully removed.

As you've no doubt found to great delight the spring and rod under the barrels gives a self-opening/easy-opening ability to the gun.

The E for "ejector" and the S for "supra" (the rifled barrel)

The rifled barrel is NOT however primarily intended "for slug" as is often wrongly noted. And to the best of my knowledge they are all full length rifled. Not part length like a Holland's "Paradox". I think the French book is therefore wrong.

So these are not as such "cape guns" for big game but for something much much smaller. Rabbits and/or woodcock. I even have seen one...yes the one...rifled in both barrels.



But features can and do become benefits!

So as the advertising leaflet notes: "Enfin....." or roughly: "Finally, and a no less interesting side to this improvement our new rifled barrel allows shooting round ball, conical ball or the "MF Bullet" with precision, sufficient for distances from 50 to 100 metres."

Thanks for sharing your experience with the AR members. The only thing I'd add is that AFAIK (AND I MAY BE WRONG) the chambers are 65mm in these guns...including yours? I am told that the best spread with the rifled barrel for shot may be using fibre wads instead of plastic cup type wads?
05 January 2021, 21:22
buckstix
quote:
Originally posted by enfieldspares:
Nice pictures of your Manufrance. I've two, both are the Model 28E. One in 12 bore and one in 16 bore. Both barrels in each gun are smoothbore "lisse" not rifled "raye".

I paid UK £40 for the 16 bore maybe now twenty to thirty years ago. The 12 bore was UK £240 but two years ago.

As with the USA here in the UK French shotguns aren't really that much loved nor liked. Strange really....but it is as it is.

The Model 32E-S (which yours is) dates around 1930 to 1931.


You'll often find the exact date stamped in ink on the back plain face of the buttstock if the buttplate is carefully removed.

As you've no doubt found to great delight the spring and rod under the barrels gives a self-opening/easy-opening ability to the gun.

The E for "ejector" and the S for "supra" (the rifled barrel).....

.......Thanks for sharing your experience with the AR members. The only thing I'd add is that AFAIK (AND I MAY BE WRONG) the chambers are 65mm in these guns...including yours? I am told that the best spread with the rifled barrel for shot may be using fibre wads instead of plastic cup type wads?


Hello enfieldspares,
Thanks for the reply.

I really appreciate the ad describing the "intended" use, even if not so much practical.

My chambers seem unaltered and measure 2-3/4" (70mm) but I'll likely only use 2-1/2" brass paradox loadings.

More testing to follow.


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
05 January 2021, 23:20
enfieldspares
Manufarnce were like Sears in the US or, in the UK the Army and Navy Co-operative Society Ltd.

The plant was massive and sold either in house made, or bought in, sporting guns, garden tools, bicycles, clothing, cooking utensils and about all of everything else you'd want "mail order". Except Russian brides...LOL.

The company collapsed in the late 20th Century but there is a resurrected Manufrance. Here:

https://www.manufrance.fr/

And gun related stuff often comes up on French eBay of ebay.fr and also the home grown French equivalent of naturabuy.fr here:

https://www.naturabuy.fr/Boit-...00-item-7226998.html

As to the "balle MF" I'll see if I can find any sort of an image as to what that was in shape, diameter and weight.

Thanks for posting the actual "real world" patterning images. It really does seems to do just as the advertising leafket claims at 12 to 15 metres.

Other French makers also make "woodcock guns" of "becassier" as the bird is called a "becasse" in French. The maker Bretton making, from memory, as well as a side by side an over and under with (part rifled) barrels.

https://www.naturabuy.fr/JUXTA...-5-item-7421084.html

Well I think the Bretton over and under was part length not full rifled...so that may be why that French reference book makes note of full length and part length rifling? But I may be wrong!

Anyway here's a mad Frenchman with a very practical mould made from a bi-hexagonal wrench! Wow!

Enjoy the link! A novel idea and I am guessing it works.

https://youtu.be/YjXtGKyCPiU
06 January 2021, 02:12
enfieldspares
Some images. It may be that the "balle MF" is the odd shaped one with the three ungreased grease grooves on the extreme right in the picture?


06 January 2021, 06:17
buckstix
Hello enfieldspares,
Thank you for the additional information


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar
06 January 2021, 07:36
enfieldspares


My two Model 28E A 12 and, uppermost, a 16.
06 January 2021, 08:17
enfieldspares
http://www.cetaitmanufrance.fr/
06 January 2021, 16:38
buckstix
Hello enfieldspares,
Thanks for the repky.


" .... you never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early .... "

How to Hunt Wisconsin Whitetail Deer with a Cannon

How to Hunt Feral Cats with a Mortar