Caliber for my Double Rifle

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by CK1, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    I've been doing my homework learning about Doubles for a year or two and I'm debating which caliber for mine. So I thought I would test the waters from this august group.

    The rifle will be for animals other than elephant so I'm going to stay under a .50. I'm looking at the following"

    .450/400 NE 3"
    .450 NE 3 1/4"
    .470 NE

    Opinions and thoughts? Pro's and cons?

    Thanks.
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I would buy the .450/400 NE 3"....it's on the wish list!

    I have nothing again any one of your picks. They are all sensible and wise...as far as I'm concerned. My choice reflected...a lesser recoil.
  3. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    What I should have said is I will be hunting elephant with this double as well as other animals.
  4. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    I have 2 450NE 3 1/4 and the 500/450 NE as well as a Ruger 450/400 #1. I'd stay with the 458 diameter especially if you hand load.
    The 470 is a fine caliber also but there's not enough of a real difference between that and a 450 to say so. I tosses out almost the same weight bullet at the same speed with only a few thousands bigger diameter. The only reason the 470 ever came to be is because of the old British ruling about banning the 45 cal. in parts of the realm.
  5. tarawa

    tarawa AH Veteran

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    450 3 1/4"
  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Assume we all know that the .450-400 3" (.400 Jeffery) in the Ruger #1 shoots a bullet of .410-.411 diameter and not .458 inch.
  7. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    My choice would be the 470 Nitro. Owning one may skew my judgement but I do have a few good reasons. The 450 3 1/4" will kill as effectively as a 470 Nitro. While the 470 Nitro may have a SLIGHT edge in power it makes no difference in the real world. Rifles will be very similar in weight and recoil.

    Why the 470 Nitro? I have been in six different camps in Africa and have never seen a 450 3 1/4" round. Just about all had 470 Nitros. My last two PH's carried 470s. It is just more common. Lost ammo is more easily replaced. My last hunt I ended up doing way more shooting with the double than anticipated (Three buff and a follow up on my wife's zebra) and ended up borrowing ammo from my PH. I did not need it but had only one of my rounds remaining when the hunt ended.

    I also have a 450-400 3 1/4" double in a 1905 Boswell. It is a fine rifle that will kill an elephant as dead as doornail. I just prefer a little more power. If you are a little recoil sensitive the 450-400 would be a good choice especially for buffalo.
  8. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    All three choices are fine for hunting anything in Africa, but Like you in this case I would stick with the 450NE 3 1/4" whether you hand load or not! However IMO the double rifle is a type that handloading is the best one can do to get the absolute best from his double rifle. It is true that the 450NE will do about as well as the 470NE with equal placement, and cheaper to shoot.

    One correction here however, the existence of the 470NE had nothing to do with the banning of the .450 in India, and the Sudan. That happened in 1909, and the 470NE was already Came out in 1907. The reason it became so popular is because it was released to the trade so anyone could chamber it in their rifles, while most other NE cartridges were proprietary cartridges. Of course the banning of the .450 calibers in those two places two years later didn't hurt the 470NE's popularity! :)
  9. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    I stand corrected Duggaboy!
    My calender was off a bit. :(
  10. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    This is a tough one. I do not own a .450 but I have shot elephant and buffalo with the .470. I just bought a double .450/.400 but cant find any commercially available ammo. Hornady keeps promising to make another run but so far I have not seen any. I plan on using the .450/.400 on buffalo but Im a bit concerned that it is too light for elephant. of course, even if you are hunting buffalo, in elephant country you should carry an elephant gun. I have been assured by others that the .450/.400 wiill be just fine for elephant but I KNOW the .470 does the trick.
    Listening to myself ramble it seems like the .450 3.25 is the right answer. I have also found plenty of ammo available for this caliber.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    John "Pondoro" Taylor assures us that a 400 gr bullet of decent caliber at around 2000 fps is perfectly adequate for all game including elephant and he ought to know. If handloading it can be boosted up to 2400 fps, about like the .416 Rigby and no one doubts that round for all game.
  12. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    With the easy ability to ad a quick detachable scope to the mild recoiling and light weighted 450/400 this makes it an obvious option for a versatile big game double.
  13. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Rastaman,

    I see quite a bit of .450-400 3" Hornady ammo on Gunbroker.com for sale at the usual high factory load prices, but its around.
  14. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    Don't count the .500 out

    When I was looking for a double I had prity much the same list as yours. I was leaning towards a .470. Being as I am left handed it was hard to find something. One day I find .500x 3 1/4" Searcy for sale on guns america. Long story short I bought it and am happy I did. In your second post you said you will hunt elephant with it and from my own experience the .500 works very well on elelphant. The recoil is only slightly more than the two 470's I have shot and maybe that difference was just in my head.
  15. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    You will love the 450/400 it is a very sweet shooting big bore double. I have also shot a 500/416 a fair amount and it is a very nice shooting round.

    The 470 just hammers the piss out of me/ but so does a 500!

    Ed
  16. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Out of curiosity, who makes a 450/400 in a decent double gun? Prices and makes?
  17. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    i just bought a sabatti from cabelas in .450/400 and it looks great. Had to replace the butt pad and do a few other little adjustments.
  18. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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  19. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks 505ED! and Rastaman, I was wondering how you guys went about looking for good deals on double guns. When I first started on the forums over 2 years ago....I would have never considered a double. But now with all the great information on this website. I must be breaking down, because I'd like to get one....and my price range was in the 10K range. I think, I'd like to save up with the goal buying a 450/400 3".

    The Krieghoff gun looked absolutely beautiful!
  20. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    I appreciate the comments. The .450/400 was a distant 3rd in this eval and it's moving farther away. Leaning towards the .450 3 1/4. Call it nostalgia but I have an affinity for it. But a .470 is, well, a sweet round.

    CK

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