Big Bores

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by jaustin, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    I love rifles with big holes in the end of the barrel. I admit that I don’t get to use them much here in Oklahoma, but I haven’t found a turtle or an armadillo that can keep going after a hit from a .416 Rigby. Part of my fascination with big bores comes from reading so much about Africa. I have a somewhat romantic image of the .375 H&H and the .416 Rigby and of course all the Nitro Express cartridges. As we have discussed in a previous post, doubles are a bit pricy for many of us but one can find affordable single shots and bolt action rifles in these big calibers. One of the great things happening today is that with all of the current interest in big bores many ammo manufacturers are making affordable ammo. I have been finding Hornady .416 Rigby ammo for $70 to $80 a box. I used their new DGX soft point on a cape buffalo with excellent results and I am planning on using their new DGS solid on elephant this year. I see many articles these days that claim that most PH’s like to see their clients show up with a .375 for dangerous game because they shoot them better than bigger calibers. I have shot my .375 and .416 one after the other and I really can’t tell any difference in recoil. My .375 is built on a Remington action and weighs about nine and a half pounds and my .416 is a Ruger Magnum rifle at about 10 pounds. Both are very comfortable to shoot especially compared to my light weight .300 mag. The great thing about being an American is that we can have as many rifles as we wish, so even if we don’t get to use them much they are still great to own and shoot.
  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Jaustin, - I shoot a Remington model 700 in 375 H&H and I really love the gun. I never shot to many other big bores a little bit with a rem 416. If it wasn't for reloading my own shells I certainly would never get to shoot it as much as I do.
    I didn't use it either time I went to Africa as I only have hunted plains game and strictly used my model 70 30/06. Next time I will definitely use it as I plan to hunt Eland & possibly a Hippo!
  3. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    My dream is buy a Ceska 550 in 458 Lott caliber. :D

    Regards,

    Oscar.
  4. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    The 550 is a nice rifle Oscar, I looked at one in 416 Rigby but decided to go with a Ruger. I have not shot a 458 Lott but I have read a lot of good things about them.
  5. GWH

    GWH AH Member

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    i have a Ruger RSM in 458 Lott, it is a nice rifle in a nice calibre. hasn't been used on game yet, aim to rectify that next year on Water Buffalo...
  6. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    I have a 375 H & H Magnum, but my desire is to buy a 458 Lott. I was discussing the possibility of a 416 Rigby, but I think that if I want something really powerful, I prefer the 458 Lott.
  7. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    I hope that next year we see excellent photos of water buffalo that I wish you effective. I buy Ceska achieved when the 458 Lott, of course we will show here, but I will take a while because I'm saving a little money too little. In Spain there is a huge crisis and prices of essential goods have skyrocketed and wages have not risen to the level of products. I am fortunate to be an official of the state, but in Spain people are losing their jobs. I'm lucky in that aspect.

    Best regards,

    Oscar.
  8. GWH

    GWH AH Member

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    Good to hear you are doing OK. I also have a parker hale 375 H+H and have taken one Buffalo with it, it is not quite as nice as the 458. Ireckon the Lott is one of the mostyversatile rounds around. if you can't find Lott ammo it takes the 458 Win mag with no problem!

    Cheers
  9. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    Another advantage of the 458 Lott, who at one point you can use Winchester Magnum ammunition.

    Oscar.
  10. peter weismann

    peter weismann New Member

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    My biggest,
    no, let me start the other way. Not my biggest, but the biggest I was involved with at least to a very detail, had been a .700 based on the .50BMG case with belt and was thought to be used in a double-barrel bolt-action. That was to be build by one guy in Canada, I forgot his exact name, Slesy or something and he had developed those double-bolt-action rifles and used them in smaller calibers too, starting with 9.3x64.
    I never saw this .700 in action.
    The biggest I loaded and shot had been the .600NE and I did also some loads for lesser NE, such as .500NE and my favorite case, the .505Gibs in a cheap bolt action on a MarkX(?) action. All those big bores are big and show you what it means: the shooter gets the same punch as what he sends towards the game.
    Therefore and given by practical reasons, I opted myself for .416 and based it on a German case, the 8x68. I build a line of wildcats in that case, startin with .25x68, the very good and powerfull .27x68, a .30, .34 and 9.3 and finally the .416. It was thought to use bullets of the lighter side. I used an old DWM action (yes, this case fits a standard K98 action!) and gave it an Heym barrel, pretty short and had this bedded in synthetic stock. The first design was almost done with nothing else in mind as the .34x68 and no real look at the .416. So it was a bit hard to form the brass and I thought right from the beginning about a second design that should be better suited to the .416. My friend Chuck Richardson had the gun and shot it and reported he easy could reach into .416Rem fields. He liked design one, but when I had it changed to design two and it became easier to form shells, he did only a few more shots with it. This rifle is lost, Chuck died and I lost some of my loading stuff and some rifles due to that.
    So, the .416x68#2 is my biggest wildcat and considering my wallet, enough for the game I may be able to afford.
    The 8x68 case, as the .300WinMag or the .338WinMag delivers the power needed to travel a .416 Bullet fast enough to kill bufallo clean with it.
    I ever wanted the .404Jefrey as base for such a .416 case and tried to talk Walter Gehman into one, based on his 9.5x66SE, what, as the Dakota-Line of cases, origins on the .404.
    There is enough room in those cases to get the velocity out at moderate (to modern rifles) pressures and still get the chance to build them in short actions, short enough to take those famous pre 64 Winchesters or even K98, original Mauser or (I mean better) DWM (1907 and 1908) Systems.
    Can you imagine something big-bore cheaper as my .416x68?
    I paid less than $100 for the action, at that time, about $200 for the barrel and than for stock, chambering and gunsmithing, scope mount and such, again about $500. Makes you a real big-bore for less than $1000 and something very special and unique. Well, that is ten years away or so, that means today it would perhaps cost about $2500 or what?
    Maybe I go an start a project again at one time. Now I have enough others to work with.

    One question about, where do you think, big bore should start?
    Is it common to take .375 as starting line?
    The well ballanced German 9.3x64 in my eyes does anything better as the English belted magnum, except it is only .366. Are that big-bores? Where do you start?
  11. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    I build my 500 Jeff over the last couple of years.

    It took 18 months just to get the license in South Africa.

    The rifle was finished last year while I was working in Dubai and I got to shoot it the 1st time in January this year.

    I fell in love with the 1st shot.

    Still had a couple of problems so I handed her in at a good gun smith and will go and pick her up in May after my 3 month stint here in Luanda.

    I cast my own bullets 580gr.

    [​IMG]

    These bullets are used for practise and I am sure they will do great on all the plains game.

    For the Big Guys I will look at GS Custom and Rhino Bullets as some of the best bullets available for the calibre in South Africa.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  12. GWH

    GWH AH Member

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    thats an impressive looking round gerhard!!!
  13. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    And its fun to shoot as well

    1st Shot 500 Jeff

    Sorry about the bad video quality will get some more in May when I am back in South Africa and maybe the 500 Jeff can be blooded as welll
  14. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    Wow, it's an impressive size, but here in Spain the authorities consider it a war for their cartridge diameter and is therefore prohibited.

    I too have to buy a Ceska reported in the 505 caliber Gibbs, but neither imported into Spain and the rifle is expensive for my budget.

    An excellent cartridge 500 Jeffery, the great favorite of the professional hunter Spanish Tony Sanchez Ariño, along with the 416 Rigby.

    Cheers and enjoy the rifle,

    Oscar.
  15. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have shot most of the big bores and have hunted with quite a number of them, but any caliber larger than my 404 Jefferys or 416 Remington makes me have to thing "this is just a gun and recoil never killed anyone" and thats probably not a good scenario to have to deal with..At 75 and after a lifetime of taking a beating from big bores my neck and shoulders and hearing have paid the price of my sins! :) :)

    I can shoot the 375, 404, 416 or 450-400, and its ilk with the same degree of thought to recoil as I would give a 22 L.R., so thats were I am at on my DG rifles, and have been for a number of years now..

    BTW, most of the 458 Lotts that I have shot recoiled more than the 500s, 470s and 505s that I have shot..The Lott can be pretty grim loaded to max with a 500 gr. bullet at 2350 FPS!. If I had one then I would load it to 2150-2200 FPS and be good to go.
  16. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    I built my 404 knowing it would be the only big bore that I would probably ever have but also decded it would be all that was necessary should I ever get the chance to go to Africa. I shoot it a lot and feel familiar with it to be as comfortable as with a small bore. It was built to complement a 7x57 so I would have a 'pair' to cover any eventuality.

    Von Gruff.
  17. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    A 404 Jefferys and a 7x57???? It just couldn't get any better than that..The 7x57 is the lightest caliber that I would hunt any animal on this earth with if I had to including elephant..The 404 Jefferys has served me so well that there is nothing negitive that I can say about, it is pretty close to perfection IMO..:) You pick'em well my friend.
  18. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Here is some eye candy for you!:happywave:

    .....[​IMG]

    Having really big bore rifles is no draw back to hunting in Oklahoma! We hunt wild hogs in Texas with double rifles in all chamberings from 577NE down to little 8x57 JRS ! Like you I've never seen a jack rabbit run off after being hit with a 470NE double rifle. Going to Africa is the Holy Grail of hunting, however, and especially with a well made big bore rifle!

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