A question always asked..............

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by BigBoreShooter777, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    I'm new here, but I'm sure this question has been asked over a million times. Before I ask, if you have any info that could be profitable to my question in regards to the answer, please dont hesitate to post it.

    Now, I'm gonna get a "Dangerous Game" rifle and cant decided on caliber. This is for any of the Dangerous game species (obviously elephant,cape buff,hippo....).

    To the best of my understanding a .375 H&H will do the job cleanly on all of the animals if shot placement is near perfect. And most seem to prefer .416 (rem or rigby) and up. It doesn't take much common sense to realize that a 600 nitro is bigger than necessary and can actually cause other issues regarding penetration because of bullet diameter. So what are your thoughts? I have been contemplating over the .416 Rigby and the .458 Lott ((yes, I do realize that the difference between the Lott and win mag ballistics may not be significant, but I dont want a Win Mag)).

    I'm not asking for what rifle, but what caliber. Something else I would like to know, is what type of accuracy is necessary and at what range?

    Thanks, and sorry for the semi-long post.
     
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH and while your question has been dealt with before, we're a pretty patient lot here and are happy to answer your questions. Having said that, your AH name suggests you've shot big bores before, but your question suggests that you haven't. I'm going to assume the latter is the case.

    Generally speaking I'd say it's good advice to any shooter moving up to the bigger African calibers that starting out at the .375H&H is a great place to start. The most punishing caliber I had shot before getting my .375 was a .300RUM which I sold and backed down that wussy little .300 Win Mag. When I first shot the .375 it was definitely noticeable but it wasn't that big of a deal and I quickly grew use to it. After having that rifle for about a year, I came across a very good buy on a CZ in .416 Rigby and jumped on it. After all the only thing better than having a DG rifle is having two!

    The step up to the 416 Rigby I can tell you was significantly bigger than from the .300WM to the .375H&H. To give you some perspective I shoot 78gr of IMR4350 behind a 300gr bullet in the .375H&H. My .416 Rigby load is 103gr of H4831 behind a 400gr bullet. I'm expecting that muzzle velocity to be comparable between the two. But that jump in 100gr in bullet weight makes a BIG difference. While I just pull the trigger now on the .375 without much thought, I assure you I've not got to that point with the Rigby. I wouldn't say I'm afraid of the Rigby as I'm getting good groups while bench shooting, but I can tell you I'm very mindful of my shooting position and the grip I have on that rifle.

    So if you have limited or no big bore experience, I highly recommend you do not go to the .416 Rigby and most definitely not the 458 Lott (or Win Mag for that matter). If you do that's another matter, but I'd still suggest you find someone who has those calibers and will give you a chance to shoot them before you decide.

    What I'd recommend is either a .375H&H or perhaps better yet, the .404 Jeffery. The .404J pushes a 400gr bullet at roughly 2200fps. A bit slow perhaps, but at DG ranges plenty fast. Personally I see no difference in the recoil having shot both. If you do this and spend a year shooting a few hundred rounds, you could then move up to the 458 category a bit more easier. I think you'll still find it a big jump, but not quite so drastic.

    My second recommendation is if you don't follow my first, and go to the .416 or .458, then without a doubt start your loads nice and light and bring yourself up slowly. A nasty flinch at that moment of truth on a Cape Buffalo could spell disaster.
     
  3. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    As far as big bore, I shoot lots of 12 ga slugs (which is considered to be basically a .73 cal rifle when shooting full bore slugs out of a rifled barrel). With Dixie slugs, they are over a 300 on the thornily relative stopping power scale.

    Recoil, I dont see being much of a problem because I can shoot 2 oz. 12 ga 3.5" mag loads which get around the 60 ft.lbs of recoil and in some loads on the upwards of 80 ft. lbs. and not think twice after a few fast shots out of a 7 lb/7.5 lbs gun.

    Maybe I should re-phrase my question..... What would perform better on game? I prefer to get something bigger than the 375 H&H so I dont have to buy another gun later. Nyati makes the lower recoil loads as well, if the full horse factory loads prove to be a bit much.

    Thanks for the warm welcome Phil!!!!
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    welcome to AH. phil called it well, but if you want to go bigger than a .375 and are ok with the recoil, then i would say the .416 rigby is more practical for you as the client than a .458 lott. it is more versatile and with a scope can be used for longer shots. if you are planning to do mainly dangerous game hunts then the .458 lott has the edge, but the rigby also is no slouch in close up situations. its what you can handle and shoot well that matters in the end, and not what is the biggest calibre i think i should have. :)
     
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    if you have ruled out the 375 H & H then go with what you want.

    The 458 Lott can fire 458 win mag loads.

    and like mentioned start low on your reloads and work up a load that you are comfortable with.

    The 375 was going to be my first choice for you however you have discounted it, so that leaves me with, I was going to recommend the 416 Rigby or 404 J that Phil indicated to you.
     
  6. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    I appreciate your help guys. I will probably go with the 416 rigby. The rifle will be a CZ 550 american safari magnum.

    Im looking forward to being a part on this forum, and thanks for the welcomes.
     
  7. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Either caliber will do a great job. The 416 Rigby is a great choice, it screams Africa and has the ballistics to back it up.

    It sounds like you have decided on the CZ. Another good choice.

    Have you considered sending it to American Hunting Rifles for upgrades? Wayne turns a solid rifle in to a very nice functioning firearm.

    American Hunting Rifles - CZ Owners
     
  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    BBS,

    If that's the way you decide to go, let me know. That's exactly what I have, with an upgraded stock. I really like the rifle and have a very accurate 400gr North Fork load for it. But I was originally trying to get a 404 Jeffery and am inclined to still do so. So I may be inclined to sell mine.

    Phil
     
  9. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Welcome!

    As Mike stated, the .416 is a great choice. Despite some deep-rooted beliefs, it really doesn't matter how a 400 grain projectile reaches 2400 fps as it exits the muzzle ... it's all the same after that. I took a .416 Rem on my last safari and fell in love with it. Brown Precision with a Winchester Model 70 action. It's undoubtedly the fit and the flex of the fiberglass stock, but it is more tolerable to shoot than my .375 H&H (both rifles weigh the same).

    The .416 gives sufficient range for the plains game encounters while still delivering outstanding penetration and impact on close-range DG.
     
  10. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    CZ offers a rifle in 450 rigby thats what I recomend.
    Bart
     
  11. Stan-Elephant Trail

    Stan-Elephant Trail AH Veteran

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    "Now, I'm gonna get a "Dangerous Game" rifle and cant decided on caliber. This is for any of the Dangerous game species (obviously elephant,cape buff,hippo...."

    Hello,

    If you are getting a "Dangerous Games Rifle", the best choice would be .450-.458 caliber and up! You do not want a small bullet with fast velocity but you need a heavy caliber bullet at moderate velocity. Most of the shot will be at close range and in a thick cover. Most of the times you will find the animal stand right behind some branches. Small bullet will be deflected easily by branches.

    If you hunt with a good PH, it is his job to get you very close to the animal. For elephant, most shooting range will be between 15-40 meters. For lion, buffalo and hippo, most shooting range will be about 40-75 meters. However, once these animals are wounded, you will very much likely find yourself in a very thick stuff. By then you will wish you are carrying a bigger caliber.

    I the past two years, I have taken fourteen elephants, four lions, six buffalos and some plain games, all with .375 H&H. .375 H&H is a great caliber, very accurate with mild recoil. However, of all those trips I wish I have at least .458 in hands, especially for elephant. The only reason I have been using .375 H&H for dangerous games is because I do not have a bigger caliber to hunt with. I have ordered a Mauser M03 .416 Rem, a Heym .470 NE from Germany. They are all finished and ready for shipment but I can not import them to my country yet due to stupid political issues. I have made a rush order for a custom Outschar .458 Lott from Austria to delivery and register it to my PH name in Zim for my next safari in this coming November.

    Recoil? I am 5' 6" (167 cm) tall and weight 123 lbs (56 kgs). I have shot: .375 H&H is very sweet to shoot. .458 WSM is fine. .458 Lott is controllable with practice. .505 Gibbs is too much for me.

    For a dangerous game rifle, I would recommend you to get .458 Lott and practice with it. I am certain you will love it in the end.

    Stan
     
  12. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    mike you beat me to it, after seeing usernames rifle was going to suggest the same, and BBS777 the .416rigby is a great choice . stan has some good points , but a .416 rigby is a big step up from a .375 and i never felt undergunned with mine. enjoy :beer:
     
  13. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome to the forum, BigBoreShooter777 !

    I see you already got the proper advice from the old timers here.
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    416 Rigby in a CZ 550 sounds like a excellent idea.
     
  15. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I appreciate it!

    Now, I have a question that is gonna build off of the rifle I chose. Does anyone know whether or not CZ could convert a 416 to a 458 on the gun if I later wanted?

    I have been told on here that the .416 Rigby is enough to kill and elephant if I do my part. But is it marginal? To better phrase my question, is it respected as a VIABLE dangerous game round?

    I'm not gonna say that it is a dedicated DG gun. I would like to not have to take 3 different guns :)
     
  16. BigBoreShooter777

    BigBoreShooter777 New Member

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    P.S.- I did some recoil calculators and with the .458 Lott it is telling me under 60 ft.lbs of recoil in a 9.5 lb gun with a muzzle velocity of 2100 fps and a bullet weight of 500 grain..........Any input on that?

    I think both are great cartridges, but right when I think I have decided on the caliber, I second guess myself. I just cant seem to find which one fits me best.....Its not because of lack of guidance, because you guys have been a great help.
     
  17. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    the .416 rigby is highly respected and very viable as a dangerous game round. professional hunters including harry selby and commander david blunt used them on plenty of elephant and didnt find it lacking in any department. norman carr had one and it is still used by his son adrian in zambia now, so dont worry it is well tried and tested.
     
  18. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Either is a great choice. I have said on a one rifle safari it would be a 416 Rem or Rigby, but would not hesitate to do it with a Lott. Do not second guess either choice, there are plenty of others that will do that for you.

    Recoil on a Lott with a good fitting stock is not bad. It will get your attention, but with proper technique it is very manageable.
     
  19. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    A good gunsmith can build a CZ 550 in just about any big bore cartridge. It would of course require a new barrel, the bolt face is larger on the Rigby, so it may need to be changed or modified, a gunsmith could answer that. The magazine/follower would be modified or changed also so it would feed properly.
     
  20. Stan-Elephant Trail

    Stan-Elephant Trail AH Veteran

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    Hi again,

    Both .416 and .458 are great choices. Choose what you like best.

    If you plan to hunt a lot of elephant and hippo, go with bigger caliber. If you plan to hunt of buffalo and cats more, go with .416.

    If you will be using factory ammo, may I suggest that you chronograph them before you decide on one as you will be surprise with the outcome?
    I had Federal Cape Shoc 375 H&H 300 Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer chonographed at 1,816 Ft/s average VS 2,440 Ft/s advertised. Please watch this video, was my shot bad or not enough penetration from this ammo? The shot was angle up. This was from my last safari in Namibia.



    With .458 Lott, I plan to load it down to 2,150 to 2,200 Ft/s. with 500 grains bullet. And like James has mentioned you can use .458 WSA ammo too.

    You will need to consider what bullet you will be using too. For solid, I highly recommend Flat Nose.

    Good luck.
     
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