Any Thoughts on an Old Rifle?

Via email from Paul K.

I was thinking who I know (I only know a gun people) who would appreciate this, and perhaps have some comments about it.

Yesterday I dropped in at a local gun shop and saw a rifle on display marked “Dutch Beaumont-Vitali (Dutch), 1888 11.38 x 50”. It’s apparently modified — shortened barrel, 22 inches instead of the original rather long barrel.

I never heard of it or that caliber so I did some looking. Apparently it’s one of the first metal cartridge repeating rifles, black powder of course. is one description. There are even some webpages that discuss how to make brass for it, and reloading for it. But, amazingly, Buffalo makes new ammo for it, not cheap but not insane.

Oh yes, the price is $299 if I remember right, or maybe $249. Not all that high for sure.

I’m tempted…


8 thoughts on “Any Thoughts on an Old Rifle?

  1. Tempted? I learned the lesson a long time ago that if it tickled my interest, the regret was going to be more expensive in the end. At $299 that’s a five second conversation to get my wallet free. That is cheap for owning that story.

    The third paragraph alone makes it worth the money. Paul needs to go back and get that rifle and make it his.

  2. Check it hard to see if that 22″ barrel has been sawed off or was a factory variant. Cause if it was modified that drops the price big time.
    But hey, if you like a challenge and building your own ammo. Older guns are a ton-o-fun!
    At the gun shop half our business was for scroungers. Guns, brass, ammo. Use to tell the boss all we were missing was the potbelly stove and coffee pot to make that section complete.

  3. At that price, if it’s safe to shoot and brass reloading dies can be found at a semi-reasonable price (looks like they are), it’s a no-brainer to grab a piece of history like that. roughly equiv to a .45-50 in terms of power, so it should be pleasant to shoot. Reloading components like bullets, and finding out what’s the right powder and charge, might be an adventure, but a fun one.

  4. I think the short barrel is a later modification, though the webpage linked from the one I referenced does show several versions including a “Cadet” model (26 inch barrel rather than 32) plus a “paramilitary” version with a different stock, no barrel length mentioned. I’ll have to go look at it again. That, and discuss it with my dear spouse.

  5. One thing I noticed when I looked at the rifle is that its bolt handle is unusually fat. I just learned why: the mainspring is a leaf spring, V-shaped like in classic Colt revolvers. It is located inside the (hollow) bolt handle.


  6. You can get those for similar prices from Royal Tiger Imports; they’ve got lots of them. Most of them are old enough to not require an FFL. Sometimes they go on sale for less.
    Condition varies ALOT.

  7. have one like that(short barrel)and 50 (modern mfg’d) rounds for it. Haven’t shot it yet. There is a guy I found on line(I think) builds ammo for a lot of those old, odd calibers. Many of them can be made out of re-purposed modern brass or some of the “general purpose” black powder cases. Always thought it would be fun to take it to a SASS(?) shoot. Price for things like that is really in the area of a how-badly-do-I-want-it ticket. I think mine was $125, but that was a while ago. In fact IIRC buying the damn ammo cost almost as much as the gun, heh.

  8. HA!! Just found the rounds in the original bag WITH the receipt. Gad Custom Cartridges in WI 715-748-0919. $60 for 20 rounds; built off 50-90 Sharps brass. Circa. 09/2008, have fun. . .

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