.375 H&H over .375 Flanged, or for that matter .416 Rigby in a double

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Ardent, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Ardent

    Ardent GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2010
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    3
    Hunted:
    Canada (British Columbia, Alberta), Zimbabwe, South Africa (Limpopo, North Cape), USA
    I've seen a good bit of cautionary advice saying don't buy a double in a cartridge without a rim, how much weight should I give this? I'm already set up for .375 H&H, brass is easily attainable, and a Krieghoff in the H&H would be a gem for me- if of course I'm not handicapping a magnificent rifle with a non-rimmed cartridge. .416 Rigby in a Merkel 140 also interests me, however a feel slightly better about the belted H&H over the rimless Rigby. Is this misguided or foolhardy? I would hunt here in Northern Canada with the rifle, as I do with my current .375, and as such lean towards the lighter and conventional end of double cartridge choices, as in the .375 H&H and .416 Rigby mentioned. Much as I'd love a NE cal for the romance, I'd be better served by a more conventional bore and case. Advice is appreciated.
  2. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    2
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    Ardent It will do no good to advise you of the pit-falls of the rimless/ belted rimless cartridge in a double rifle. I think your mind is already made up, and you are just looking for someone to approve your choice. So I will just say the 375 H&H is one of my favorite cartridges for the world wide hunting of large, and smaller animals alike. Between the two you have mentioned the 375 H&H makes far more economic sense than the 416 Rigby. The 375H&H ammo and componants are to be found in every country in the world where large game hunting is allowed, and componants where handloading is allowed. The Rigby is not so easy to find, and componants are a little spendy to say the least.

    Both cartridges are pretty high pressure for a break top double rifle, and the tiny palls that are required to extract the rimless cases are break prone, and henders quick drop-in reloading of the rifle. If one of these tiny palls breaks off it can jam the rifle closed, and if it finds it's way down in the action, it can prevent the rifle closeing. In the world of Mr. Murphy if this happens it will happen at the worse possible moment, as a rule. IMO Merkel and all the others who chamber the 375 H&H made a costly mistake because these double rifle don't sell well even new, and used one sit on the racks for months before selling very low. If, however, you want a 375 H&H you can make a very good deal on one of the Merkels on the used market, and as long as you don't want to hunt a lot of dangerous game with your double than if you can put up with the draw-backs you can come out on top on one of them. One Caustion here: Do not use the hot loads you us in your bolt rifle, but use factory or factory equivelant handloads, and all 375 H&H double rifles are regulated with 300 gr bullets! Do not use top end loads, use nothing over the medium loads listed in the loading manual.

    ............................Welcome to the wacky world of double rifles!
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    Ardent.............while I suspect Dugaboy is right, if you are going to invest in a double, my opinion is that you should select a cartridge that is designed for such a rifle, and that means a rimmed cartridge.

    For North American use a good pick would be the 9.3x74R. I have guided quite a few European hunters over the years using it and it hammers moose and grizzly bears just fine. Ammo is very common across the pond.
  4. Stoneman

    Stoneman New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Pawls?

    With respect to Dugaboy1, I take issue with, "...the tiny palls that are required to extract the rimless cases are break prone..."

    You make it sound like "tiny palls" (sic. pawls) can be relied on to break A LOT? Have you evidence of incidences to support this with regard to double rifles? You make it sound like a double rifle with pawls is unsafe and unworthy.

    Is this a biased opinion you have against pawls in general?

    I own a High Grade 416 Rigby double rifle with pawls; mind you they are not worthless, as depicted. My pawls don't break nor have I had one fail to catch and extract a case. In fact, I can't get a casehead to push past the spring pawls. If you like a flanged-type cartridge then by all means PAY FOR IT! However today, belted, non-belted, and rimless cartridges "all" work in double rifles. Unless you are a qualified firearms engineer opinions are just that ...cheap fodder. People should not cast dispersions on calibers and firearms that others have found to be a fine personal choice.

    As in all hunting, one needs to fit the bore-caliber best suited to the game being hunted and then consider the best type of action based how quickly one needs a second shot. I doubt extractor pawls are the nemesis being portrayed. Anyone spitting on them here probably doesn't have a double rifle with them anyway (obvious from the spit). It’s likely pawls are no more critical than the possibility of developing broken trigger(s), bad primer(s), bad powder (duds), mud-plugged barrel(s), or "God forbid" any possibly that you lost your crucifix before going hunting. Anyway, in a Dangerous Game scenario you ALWAYS have someone to backing you up. Having NO backup is foolish.

    Judging comments, the 416 Rigby is an inferior case design and it should be relegated to bolt action use, only. That's interesting when so many fine manufacturers have made them in double rifles, as well as in bolts. If it's a thump you need then the 416 Rigby has a lot more THUMP than a 375 H&H. I own both calibers, but I still use each according to the game hunted (pawls or NOT).

    Good Luck ARDENT, and throw a little salt over your shoulder when reading views tossed around here.
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    :popcorn:

    I have a feeling this could be good.;)
  6. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    13
    Member of:
    SCI Life member, NRA Life/Benefactor member
    Hunted:
    USA, Canada, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Spain, Russia
    Ahhh, yes. I sit here on the edge of my chair in anticipation.
    .
  7. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    661
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    37
    Member of:
    NRA-Life ASSRA DRSS
    Get what you want. If it isn't that great you can always sell it off and upgrade.
    I shot my first DR that wasn't rimmed today and it was a bit of a PITA getting the empties out of the chamber at 10deg f. It wasn't an ejector rifle. All the rimmed rifles came clean easily.
  8. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    255
    Likes Received:
    2
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    First let me comment on your quote above! You are intitaled to your opinion, but let me ask you one question. First what brand are these two double rifles? How long have you owned the rifles you claim, and how many hundred rounds have you shot through them under the African sun, and in the African dust, or in the cold of Alaska? Or is your post simply an opinion based on nothing more than what you hope will turn out to be as you think when you actually buy these two double rifles? :D

    Now to the pawls issue! The pawls are not only break prone but are jam prone as well. A tinny amount of the very fine African dust that gets into everything mixing with oil in the slots the pawls are fitted in can and does on occasion jam them in the down position. Also the tiny springs that work these things are very fragile as well.

    I’m sure you own a HIGH GRADE DOUBLE RIFLE chambered for 416 Rigby, and I’m sure you have used it in the conditions where it is exposed to 115 degree heat, and the dust of Africa, riding miles of dusty tracks in the bakki, then pushing through jesse that is as thick and dirty as any place one can hunt, and I’m sure you have never had a malfunction under those conditions. And your last sentence in the above quote points out another of the draw-backs to rimless, and belted rimless cartridges in a double rifle. Having to PUSH the rounds into the cambers rather than simply dropping them in the chambers, and closing the rifle. If your HIGH GRADE double rifle has ejectors and they work then fine, but if it has extractors, then the cases must be plucked out of the chambers rather than simply being dumped out by raising the rifle’s barrels up.

    Again flanged cartridges cost no more than the rimless chamberings, so I do pay for it, and the “TODAY” you mention is smoke. Even if your double rifle as made yesterday, it is still 19th century technology, and is prone to the same conditions in operation as a 100 year old double rifle with the same features. I am not a firearms "engineer", but have built my own double rifles on three occasions, owned over 35 different double rifles, from 22 Hornet to 577NE, in the last 52 years since I bought my first one in the spring of 1958 when I was 21 years old, and have hunted them on four continents for every thing form hippo and Cape Buffalo down to black-tail jackrabbits, in every kind of weather from 40 below zero to 118 degrees above, and from snow to the thickest dust, and bush known to man. I think I have some experience with double rifles, and what works, and what doesn’t. Of course evidently not as much as you, according to you.

    Son, you can’t name a type of double rifle other than a bolt action double that I have not owned, and hunted with. As far as the second shot is concerned, one often needs more than the SECOND SHOT, and that again is another reason a rimless, or belted rimless cartridge is not a good idea in a double rifle that may be used for hunting dangerous game. O/U doubles, and any double rifle chambered for a rimless cartridge is very slow to re-load for shot three, and four, because the cartridges usually can’t simply be dropped into the chambers simultaneously, but must be inserted all the way into the chambers with your fingers, with the resulting loss of precious time. On Cape Buffalo two shots are rarely enough, and if he is headed in your direction, you need no hindrance to your re-load.

    “IF” the pawl breaks off it can jam the rifle closed, or prevent it’s closing! A broken trigger (on a two trigger double, the only way the should come) or a dud, hang fire, or bad primer, only effects one barrel, temporarily. While a broken pawl may put the rifle OTS till tools can be used to fix the rifle, or broken trigger simply turns your double into a working single shot.

    Being backed-up with dangerous game in Africa is a matter of law, not your choice! However, stop and think for a moment, why is it acceptable to use an inferior, or ill appointed firearm simply because someone else is armed? What if the PH is the first one hit, leaving you to pull his nuts out of the fire? You don’t think it would be your responsibility to shoot a lion, or buffalo off him? Anyone hunting in dangerous game country should be properly armed, as if he were totally alone! Any reliance on others to protect your life is folly, of the first order!

    Nobody I know ever said the 416 Rigby is an inferior case design for any thing but a double rifle, and that has nothing to do with it’s “THUMP” as you call it. It is only that it is a rimless cartridge nothing more, and that applies to all rimless cartridges that will be used to hunt dangerous game in a double rifle.

    A proper double rifle for use on dangerous game is first best suited to a Side by side configuration. Should have two triggers, should never be fitted with an automatic safety, and shpuld be chambered for a flanged cartridge of sufficient power for the game you are hunting or likely to come in contact with in the bush. The rifle should also re-cock it’s self after firing one or both barrels, and breaking it to re-charge one or both barrels! There are both break-top single shots, and double rifles that must be manually re-cocked if opened for any reason. The Blaser S2 is one such rifle.

    Ardent, the above sentence is good advice, but you need to know which views tossed around to take!

    Ignorance is only a word that signifies that a person simply doesn't know something, and carries no insult to the person. However stubbornly rejecting the knowledge that corrects that ignorance is another matter all together.

    Ardent you can certainly take Stoneman's advice and if the belted/rimless 375 H&H in a double rifle floats your boat, then set sail! My advice is to look a little farther down the road of double rifles and if cost is a problem for you, and it is for most, including me, then Merkel 140-2 chambered for 470NE or 500NE can be had at a reasonable price used, ot the newer ones that are now chambered for 450/400NE 3" Jeffery cartridge is a very good choice. but the rimless chamberings for a rifle that you may use to hunt dangerous game is certainly not a good choice!

    The double rifle chambered for a rimless cartridge may work for years without mishap, and it may fail on the first hunt, but when ever it does, my prediction is it will be at the most inoppertune time! Murphy's law wouldn't have it any other way!

    .................................Good hunting Ardent
  9. chemarq

    chemarq AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    5
    Member of:
    Spitskop Safaris, SCI
    Hunted:
    Spain, South Africa, Namibia, Canada
    I am not an expert as DUGABOY, i only have one double in 375 Flanged NE, a rimmed cartridge; and i selected my first and only rifle in a rimmed cartridge because i wanted reliability, i didn´t wanted any mechanical problem in the worst moment.

    One common problem among hunters is defending always the rifle/caliber/manufacturer of the rifles that the hunters has. I think that having a 375 H&H double rifle is not bad at all; BUT has some small problems that the buyer should know, and the gunshop is not gonna explain it to you. Only experienced double rifle owners, or good literature can explain it to you.

    Many of the "new" double rifles are manufactured in rimless cartridges, but gunshop owners are not experts at all in these type of rifles. They simply offer you the catalog products, and they have no experience about these guns, so you can´t expect any wise information from them ; they are so happy because they will earn 1000$ to your rifle... that they will tell you that this double rifle will never break, never fail, and even more.... will never MISS a buffalo !!!!

    Even rimless cartridges will work properly in all the modern double rifles... it is a weak point of them... and you can avoid it simply getting your double rifles in rimmed calibers; more reliable in the moment you need them.

    This is only my non expert opinion, that i took afer a lot of reading, speaking with old wise men, and learning from all of them.

    Jose
  10. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    76
    Wait for it...
  11. dragman

    dragman AH Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would like a 375H&H or a 416 rigby but if I had my choice I think the 416 would be the one I would take.
  12. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    29
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    i am in total agreement with DUGABOY1 in his reasoning and arguments against having a double rifle in a rimless calibre. fine if you want to play and shoot targets, but if murphys law comes into play ( and you have given him more little mechanical parts to mess with), it will happen at the worst time, and if this involves dangerous game then you are a liability to yourself and others with you.as for .416`s j rigby themselves (pre california) only built i think it was four or five doubles in this calibre in total, and i believe theodore rigby refused to make a double rifle in a rimless calibre, and it was only on his death this changed . think that says something .so ardent as DUGABOY1 says the 450/400 3" , or indeed the .375 flanged would be great for you, or if you want a .416 there is a rimmed one now.the reason an o/u double even in a rimmed calibre is slower to reload is that you have to open the action a lot further than a s/s to eject/remove the empty case from the bottom barrel. have fun choosing

Share This Page