A package from Dave Manson of Loon Lake Precision has in it a reamer marked with my name and a number. This is the soon to be famous 411 caliber CQB (Close Quarters Bear gun). My plan is to build this on an old Sears & Roebuck, J.C. Higgins, FN Mauser action into a light and handy, agile and extremely portable, get down and wallow in the mud, the blood and the bear scat kind of rifle. I also have a quote in hand from Redding to make a set of dies for this beast for about $160, better than some probably because I've had some made on this basic case before.
The cartridge case for this is the 376 Steyr case. Chosen because it seems to fit in the Mauser M98 action so well with little modification.
Recent discussions with Jim Brockman leads me to think he may well be the builder. I've seen his rifles before though I've never commissioned him to build one for me. I have a few others to check with before the final decision but he's definately on the list.
It will be stocked in a lovelty OD green McMillan fiberglass stock, and be equipped with good ghost ring sights and possibly a scout type scope.
The 40 caliber was chosen for the brute power it can deliver from a relatively small package, both gun and cartridge. A 416 might be a better choice from a logistics stand point but the 411 bullet is available and is becoming increasingly more so. Hornady has begun loading the 450/400 Nitro Express ammo and that will generate new .411" bullets. Woodleigh also still has a full compliment of them as well as Kodiak Bullets of Juneau. Another reason for the .411" bore was keeping with the most resilient and trouble free operation of the cartridge/gun combo. The improved 376 Steyr case will have ample shoulder to headspace on and maintain the highest degree of reliability and ease of hand loading ammo. Making ammo will consist of necking up the 376 Steyr case to .411" and changing the shoulder angle ever so slightly. The case is then ready to fireform in the new 411 chamber. This will reduce the taper of the case, increase the diameter at the shoulder and change the shoulder angle to give the best possible headspace. The neck will be a full .400" in length to maintain a good grip on bullets to withstand the rigors of recoil and magazine bashing.
The ballistics of this little number will be to duplicate the famous 450/400 N.E. ballistics. It will actually exceed that and at less pressure than the 30-06. At about 55,000 psi it will launch 400 grains of Woodleigh softpoint to about 2250 fps. Exceeding the 405 Winchester ballistics by a full 100 grains of bullet weight. All of this from a meager 20" of barrel. Even big brown bears will quake at the sight of such a rig.