.600 Nitro Express

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by monish, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    .600 Nitro Express

    The .600 Nitro Express is a round in the Nitro Express series which was introduced in 1903. It is the second largest calibre in the Nitro Express line, exceeded only by Holland & Holland's .700 Nitro Express round.

    It was developed for elephant guns, but most hunters felt that it was too powerful and harsh in recoil for anything but emergency use to stop a charging animal. Because of the larger cartridge, there was more recoil and guns chambered to fire the .600 were significantly heavier than those firing the .577 Nitro Express, which was already considered as being at the extreme end of manageable gun size and weight for a professional hunter.

    English professional hunters using .600 Nitro double rifles generally had them carried by a gun bearer until just before they were needed. This was because these rifles often weighed 15 pounds (6.8 kg) or so, and an exhausted carrier simply could not use one effectively in an emergency. Slightly smaller-calibre rifles were used for all other shooting.

    Classic 20th-century .600 Nitro double rifles were almost always completely hand-made from raw steel and the best walnut wood, and they were and are extremely expensive. Making one could employ a gunsmith working full-time on a single rifle for many months, even for a whole year. Like other double rifles they were regulated so that both barrels would shoot to the same point of impact at the range specified by the customer. For a high-grade specimen in good condition, a price in excess of $100,000 can be expected.

    All .600 Nitro Express cartridges carried a 900 grain projectile. Early versions were loaded with cordite. While the .700 Nitro is of course larger, the .600 Nitro is the largest dangerous game caliber to have been used during the heyday of African ivory hunting. The .700 was a 1980s creation as a result of a well-to-do gentleman being denied a 600 NE calibered rifle from renowned maker Holland and Holland.

    Though the .600 was larger than the .577, it was not nearly as popular among professional hunters of the day. In use, a professional hunter would carry this rifle only when expecting a charge, or when the hunter was in the "thick brush", with a gun-bearer carrying it at other times. The rifles chambered for these rounds were most often side-by-side double rifles with boxlock actions made by the Jeffery Company of England. However, Jeffery did introduce their Model 1904 Farquharson-based falling block, single shot rifle in 1904 specifically for the 600 NE.

    .600 Nitro Express
    • Type Rifle: Hunting
    • Place of origin: UK
    • Production history: Designer Jeffery
    • Designed 1899
    • Produced 1903

    Specifications
    • Case type: Rimmed
    • Bullet diameter: .600 in (15.24 mm)
    • Case length: 3 in (76 mm)
    • Filling: Cordite
    • Filling weight: 120 grains

    Ballistic performance
    Bullet weight/type - Velocity - Energy
    • 900 gr (58 g) SP/FMJ - 2,050 ft/s (620 m/s) - 8,400 ft•lbf (11,400 J)


    Monish
     

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  2. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Ahhh, would like one of these!!
     
  3. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Kiwi505,

    Even I wish to own one , I have used a WR 600 NE , man !! its a canon ,with a tremendous wallop, but its fun firing the big bores off ones shoulder , it is very addictive & intoxicating ,which none of the best of alcohols can bestow. Mark Sullivan the PH would be the best person to give a oration on this goliath of a caliber .

    Monish
     
  4. ibie

    ibie AH Veteran

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    wish to use 1 of these but will it down a elephant in like 1 or 2 shots??
    All the best
    Ibie!
     
  5. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Ibie,

    A perfect placed frontal brain shot should get the pachyderm down with this monster caliber.

    Monish
     
  6. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    I dropped an elephant bull straight down with a single frontal brain shot with a 300 gr solid from a .375 H&H. I can therefore assure you that a single properly placed brain shot using a 900 gr in a .600 NE will certainly knock it down straight away. Shot placement is everything.

    Happy hunting ibie!
     
  7. M'bogo hunter

    M'bogo hunter AH Senior Member

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    I fired this caliber a month ago in a double rifle by Searcy (actually the first .600 NE they made). It was on a range and i did fire 3 consecutive rounds but the only thing that made me notice the recoil of this veritable cannon was a slight shoulder pain some 3 hours after the shooting and that lasted for only a day!!
    I know i will one day own this caliber in a fine double!
     
  8. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Indeed, one day1............................................
     
  9. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    WOW, that is one big cartridge! Does anybody know how many ft.lbs of recoil this cartridge produces? I'd imagine it is around 165 ft.lbs?;)
     
  10. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Big 5,

    Very rightly said the placement is the point . Thats why , I believe " ITS NOT THE RIFLE BUT THE MAN BEHIND THE RIFLE" I hope you agree????

    Monish
     
  11. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Christian,

    .600 NE produces 104 ft. lbs of recoil energy & recoil velocity of 20 F.P.S. . The hardest hitting on recoil is .600 NE OVERKILL caliber with recoil energy of 189 ft lbs., a real shoulder shatterer....

    Monish
     
  12. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you Monish. I was a bit off on my estimate.:)
     
  13. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Monish,

    I certainly do agree. A firearm in and of itself is not capable of killing. It takes a person to operate the firearm and to take the aim necessary to ensure a proper point of impact which will result in a quick and humane kill.

    Shot placement is crucial. I'm therefore a firm believer in the old saying;

    'There is but one degree of dead . . . yet there are many degrees of wounded'
     
  14. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    Or, as we say in IPSC, you can't shoot fast enough to miss!!
     
  15. Popo

    Popo AH Member

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    Big 5,
    Can I use the old saying: "There is but one degree of dead....yet there are many degrees of wounded" as part of my regular quote? Or does someone else already uses it?
    Cheers,
    Popo
     
  16. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Popo- thanks for asking, private messsage sent.
     
  17. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    [​IMG]

    I just happen to have picked up my 'new' 600 last night from the dealer. Alas tis' not a double rifle but a single shot. But it's based on Daniel Frasers side lever falling block. Loading supplies are enroute so maybe this week end it'll be shot at the range.
    It's wearing a 28" barrel and is a light weight at 11.5# so I know it'll get my attention quickly.
     

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  18. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Mike,

    Congrats !!!Thats a very handsome rifle you procured . What do you plan hunting with it ????

    Monish
     
  19. Kiwi505

    Kiwi505 AH Veteran

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    That is a lovely rifle indeed!
     
  20. trigger creep

    trigger creep AH Enthusiast

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    That is a very good looking rifle there AKMike! Congrats.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2010

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