By Michael Shyne
Harry Scarlett and Robert Blankenship, of Spencer Gun Company in Portland, TN, do remarkable work on Browning .50 caliber machine guns. Recently, Robert was returning a World War II Hi-Standard to me and brought along one of his experiments. I want to be clear in this brief article. This is not intended to be instruction, nor encouragement for anyone to do the experimental research Robert Blankenship is pursuing. That caveat noted, Robert told me he was bringing a Winchester Model 71 and a Chinese Dragunov re-worked to handle a smokeless powder version of the .50-110 cartridge. When he told me this, I figured I misinterpreted something he was saying and thought I’d wait until he arrived to see what he was really talking about.
Shooting a smokeless version of the old .50-110 buffalo hunters’ cartridge in a Winchester Model 71 is outlandish. Shooting it in a Chinese Dragunov sniper rifle is extreme. Needless to say, the recoil would be stout if it wasn’t for an extraordinary muzzle break Robert designed and installed on both rifles. Yevgeniy Dragunov would be impressed!
Spencer Rifle Company
145 CB&L Lane
Portland, TN 37148
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V6N5 (February 2003)|