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.470 NE versus .500 NE Felt recoil

This is a discussion on .470 NE versus .500 NE Felt recoil within the Double Rifles forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Dear Gentlemen, I am going to order my first double rifle in the not too distant future. I expect to ...

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    roughshooter is offline New Member
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    Default .470 NE versus .500 NE Felt recoil

    Dear Gentlemen,

    I am going to order my first double rifle in the not too distant future. I expect to use the gun almost exclusively for cape buffalo and maybe occasionally elephant.

    I had been set on the calibre of .470 Nitro Express. However I have recently read the book written by Terry Wieland on Dangerous Game Rifles and it has made me stop and think.

    Mr Wielands' book appears well written to me and he makes some excellent points.

    He suggests that .500 NE is actually a more preferable cartridge to .470 NE, and considering that the rifle I will be ordering is the same price in both calibres I am interested in members opinions and experiences on felt recoil.

    I also and considering the availablity of .500 NE versus .470 NE if my ammo ends up in J'Burg and I (and my rifle) am in Namibia or something like that.

    I am used to shooting a 9,3x62 Mauser and find the recoil perfectly acceptable but am concerned if I go 'a calibre too far' when buying what will be my only double rifle I might be inclined to wish I hadn't.

    Totally undecided on this one and it will be at least until October until I have the chance to shoot either calibre as the opportunity to shoot these big bores in the UK at least if very restricted, owing to our gun laws. I won't order anything until I shoot both calibres but value all your comments and experiences.

    Regards Roughshooter.

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    James.Grage's Avatar
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    Welcome to AH...very good question....

    I have a few friends who have the 450/400, 450 NE, 470 NE and 500 NE...

    That said some have moved up to the 500NE and are very happy...

    That said if you shoot a cape buffalo with say the 450NE and have great bullet placement that is all you need..

    Now if you are not so good a shot and 577NE or 600NE will be of little help...it is all about bullet placement....

    I would like to kill my own game and let the PH watch than having it the other way around...

    The question you are asking is one that i will have to make a decision on next year...what to do and what to order....
    James Grage - New Mexico
    Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
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    Your last sentence says it all. Shoot both and see which you prefer. I shot both and decided on the 470 but you may prefer the 500. I like to read the various gunwriters myself, but sometimes they make stuff up to sell articles. He may have already written 15 pieces on why the 470 NE is best and just needed new material. As long as you can tollerate the recoil there is no wrong choice.

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    I will preface this opinion with saying I own a 470 Nitro and have shot several 500 Nitros.

    The 470 is a fine round and is capable of killing anything on the planet with ease. My 470 fits me properly and is a pleasure to shoot.

    The 500 is another fine rifle and the 570 grain bullet will hit with more authority but it comes as a price. The recoil from a 470 is a big step-up from the 9.3 by 62 you shoot but is very manageable. The 500 is a step-up from the 470 and is manageable but will require more dedication and concentration to learn how to shoot.

    One memorable experience with a 500 ended up with me almost breaking my nose. The length of pull was way to short. Another one I shoot fit me very well was proper weight aand nicely balanced. It kicked harder than my 470 but was reasonable.

    As far as ammo in Africa in my experience the 470 is more prevelant. Two PHs carried 470s although another I hunted with in Tanzania used a 500 double. But I do believe in general the 470 ammo is more available.

    If you were looking for a dedicated elephant rifle I would say the 500. If you are looking to hunt buffalo and an occasional elephant the 470 may be a better choice.

    Just remember fit is everything, so when you test the rifles later this year keep that in mind.

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    I agree with what Mike is saying. The other to consideration is that felt recoil is something that is different for everyone. As Mike states rifle fit and proper weight help control recoil and the larger the caliber the more important this becomes. With double rifles this is even more important because when you aim the rifle you want the sights to line up instantly.

    Again as Mike has said you need to try and shoot what ever caliber you are thinking of getting as this is the only way you will know what your recoil limit is. The recoil from a 470 is a lot more then from your 9.3, I would think by more then double.

    As far as ammo goes the thing to keep in mind is that if you can buy ammo to replace your lost or missing stuff during a hunt, will it be the correct ammo that you double is regulated for. Doubles do not generaly shoot the same with ammo that they are not regulated for.

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    Relative recoil factor (RRF)...i have pulled some data from my library...

    300 Wby ... RRF 2.63
    9.3 X 74R .. RRF 3.45
    375 H & H .. RRF 3.42
    416 Rigby ...RRF 4.27
    458 Lott ....RRF 5.05


    470 NE .......RRF 4.84
    500 NE .......RRF 5.52
    577 NE .......RRF 6.93
    600 NE .......RRF 7.91

    Moving up to the 500NE as you can see will almost double the felt relative recoil factor in the rifle...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Quote Originally Posted by James.Grage View Post
    Relative recoil factor (RRF)...i have pulled some data from my library...

    300 Wby ... RRF 2.63
    9.3 X 74R .. RRF 3.45
    375 H & H .. RRF 3.42
    416 Rigby ...RRF 4.27
    458 Lott ....RRF 5.05


    470 NE .......RRF 4.84
    500 NE .......RRF 5.52
    577 NE .......RRF 6.93
    600 NE .......RRF 7.91

    Moving up to the 500NE as you can see will almost double the felt relative recoil factor in the rifle...
    Sorry to butt in hear, but I'm learning something even though I have nothing to add. But James do you have units on those numbers, the engineer that I am is lost without units. If you don't can you explain what RRF is? Thanks.
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    The .470 gets my vote. The recoil is substantial and it feels a little big for buffalo. However it is great for elephant. Ammo for 470 is probably a bit easier to find. I can't imagine needing more horsepower.

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    Phoenix Phil

    I am not the sharpest at giving "Cliff Notes" on books so i would suggest the following...i should note that i hve no association with the company other than a purchaser of materials and books...

    If you have the latest copy of "Ammo & Ballistics 4" it is all covered in the book...it is available from safari press for 26.95 plus shipping...

    they also have another book on Safari Rifles that is a good read...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    "Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne

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    I'll check it out James, thanks.
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    Don't pass up the 450 Nitro either! The effective recoil felt is the same as the 470. IE; Same basic weight bullet(480 vs. 500) going the same speed.

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    I shoot a .500 double. I have shot 470's and if there is a difference in the recoil it is slight. In conversation and from reading books like Wieland, Wright and Bodington it is generaly considered to be a step up from the .470. I have no experience hunting with the .470 so I cant comment. But I can say that I did miss the brain by a couple of inches on a bull elephant and it stunned him enough that he didnt move. I was able to get the second shot to the brain which connected while the other two bulls ran off. Having said that when I bought the .500 I was looking for a .470 and just by chance found a .500 that was left handed for my price. No regrets and if it had been a .470 I would likely be saying the same thing. For buffalo hunting the 500 might be on the heavy side, but there is no such thing as to dead. Thats why I got a big double in the first place after getting a little scare from Bull that didnt no he was dead. Keep in mind there have probably been more buffalo and elephant killed succesfuly in game control with the .458 win in the last 30 years than anything else?

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    Thank you to all who replied to my post.

    I knew the answer was going to be suck it and see !

    I have heard both plus and minus points for both calibres so it looks like their is going to be no substitue for range time. One thing I do realise is that to shoot any double well I will need to practise and for that reason alone the .500 might be easier to reload with practise loads (as per Mr Wielands book) but we shall see.

    By the way this is great forum,

    Regards from Europe.

    Craig.

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    Craig

    It will come down to how well the rifle fits you...to short of a stock or a stock that is to long will have to be worked with for proper fit and that will help reduce the recoil factor...
    James Grage - New Mexico
    Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
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    Hi Craig,
    have used both and personally i didnt even think of the recoil as I was probably too engrossed in the moment.My 470 is a 28 inch barrel rigby and there is hardly any flip of the barrel so the second shot is easier to let fly!!
    The ammo is definitely more readily available than the 500. BUT I presume when u do go for your safari you will carry enough to last you the duration,the chances of running out of ammo are dim if any.
    So far as kill power is concerned.......we have all heard of a certain gent nailing more than a 1000 elephant with a tiny rifle!! So shot placement will always matter....lastly on knockdown power the 500 gets my vote.Hope this helps

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    Shoot a 500 first. A 470 Kicks no doubt, but a 500 stops the shit out of me. The first one I had was ill fitting for me (Merkel) my new one fits to a T (FAMARS) and it just stomps the shit out of me to a lesser degree.

    I vote for the 470 if those are your pic's, the 470 I had (William Douglass) was a fine and accurate double.

    I'm with AKmatt dont overlook the 450 3 1/4-- the one I shot was sweet. Also dont think a 450/400 is too light, I can shoot mine lights out--accurate out to 100 yards with open sights, with a very fast recovery time, and thats what counts!

    I have helped alot of guys into doubles, and most want more than they need off the bat (same for me I had a Searcy 577). When the last guy I helped was looking at 500's we went out with my 500,505 gibbs (bolt), and 450/400. He bought a 450 3 1/4.

    As my father said when he lit off a round of my 577...son nothing needs that much killing....

    Ed

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    Ed, thanks for the post, that was hilarious! And very good advice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 505ED View Post
    As my father said when he lit off a round of my 577...son nothing needs that much killing....

    Ed
    LMAO! Ed I think we might have the same father.
    Good to meet you `bro!

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