That little lathe is the greatest!!!
You bet! Don's quite an innovator. He actually first made this for me with a .45 collet for my .45-70 bullets.
1) I could not find brass for the .50-70 easier/cheaper than this. The .348 brass cost me $0.50 each and the Cream of Wheat, primer and powder cost another $0.03, and
2) The primary purpose for getting and building this rifle was to shoot buffalo. In Alaska, the main free-ranging herd is the "Delta Herd", located in and around the barley fields near Delta Junction.
These buffalo are fairly spooky, and when hunting the wide open barley fields, the only available shot can sometimes approach 300 yards. I 'like' to shoot a 500-grain bullet from both my .45-70 and this rifle. At 1650 f/s, the trajectory of the .50 Alaskan (essentially a .50-90) sighted in for a 12" target, is such that I wouldn't have to aim "off hair" on a bull at 300 yds. It was my initial intent to use black powder, but I couldn't pack enough black powder in this case, let alone the .50-70, to get that 500-grain bullet up to 1650 f/s.
The 435-grain cast bullet shown in the above pictures has a fairly low BC, about .215. A custom made jacketed bullet (500-grains), made by Northwest Custom Projectiles has a BC of about .500. At 1650 f/s and sighted in for a 12" target, the 500-grain bullet is 34" low at 300 yds. I did push the muzzle velocity up to 1850 f/s where the drop at 300 reduces to 24", but the 9.5 lb rifle becomes too unpleasant to shoot. The 1650 f/s MV gives me all the terminal energy I need, and the probability of a 300 yd shot, while real, is relatively low. Nonetheless, I am considering having Bob make some 405-grainers for me to run up to about 2000 f/s, which drops to only 16" low at 300 yds.
Oh yeah, I forgot... Although the Martini-Enfield action can handle higher pressures, I am restricting chamber pressure to a max of 25,000 PSI because of some barrel issues.