4 Bore Smoothbores for dangerous game?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by 4 Bore, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    Hello , gentlemen.
    I am new on these forums but definitely not new to big game hunting or fine fire arms. My Go to rifle for Dangerous African Game is my .450 Nitro Express Double rifle by Rigby. It is an excellent weapon for African Game. For the non dangerous game , l primarily use my Grandfather's 7 MM Rigby Mauser Bolt Action Rifle ( the one pictured in my profile ). For Fowl , l use a fixed choke Beretta 12 Bore Over Under shotgun accepting 2.75 inch cartridges. It's a pretty solid battery and has served me well , in my last safari.
    But l recently am Ordering a new Gun from Watson Brothers. It is a 4 Bore Droplock side by side shotgun , with double triggers and cylinder bores ( as in , Zero Choke in both barrels ) using 4 inch brass cases . I am having the gun built to fire Solid slugs / Round Balls.
    Here is the thing :
    The gun makers told me that a 4 bore slug fired from a Smoothbore will not have the penetration or stopping energy of a 4 bore rifle or a .577 NE or a .600 NE . But they still told me to ask around and see what other hunters say.
    So , l am asking anyone knowledgeable to answer me. Is a 4 bore slug/ round ball fired from a Smoothbore adequate to take down things like Cape buffalo ?
    Because if it isn't , then l wont use it for big game .
    Having shot Cape buffalo before , l know how vicious those things are , and l certainly don't wanna face off an angry brute like that with an underpowered gun . My .450 has always put them down easily.
    I know that in the old days many hunters used 4 bores , but these were mostly rifled . Only two people used Smoothbores of 4 gauge . One was FC sealous who used 4 bore percussion Hollis and Sons Duck guns loaded with Ball and a handful of black powder . The other was George P Sanderson who used a WW Greener 4 bore cartridge ball gun.
    What do you experienced gentlemen think ?
     

  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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  3. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Smooth bore is a problem.
    Round balls are a bigger problem.

    If it was rifled with slugs it would be a much better idea.

    What weight slug and velocity will your combination be producing?
     
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  4. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    The slug will weigh a quarter of a pound. The diameter of my shotgun barrels are 1.052 inches, sir. The Gun maker himself said that the slug will lack the penetration of a rifle. So you're the third person to have the same input. Maybe , l should stick to my .450 NE if it is such a risky idea
     

  5. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Velocity?

    Slug?, I presume you are referring to cylindrical and not ball(round)?

    As for "slugs" I have shot very dead many African PG with a smooth bore shotgun 2 3/4 inch using Brenneke slugs. (Bushpig, Bluewildebeest, Gemsbuck, Impala, Warthog etc.) as well as Leopard followed up after being wounded.

    A good friend of mine also shot very dead one Cape Buffalo in Zambia using the same Brenneke slugs. It was at close range on a Cape Buffalo which had no idea he was there and he waited for the bull to move his on side front leg forward and he placed the slug exactly behind the front leg and through the top of the hart and both lungs. The bull gave some steps backward and fell over.

    Can be done but the need for the correct "slug" and shot plavement is critical.
     

  6. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As @PHOENIX PHIL advised, contact @cal pappas, he is this forum expert on such matters. He hunts everything Africa with very old very big guns!
     

  7. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    I am having the gun loaded for either round ball or slug. Maybe Both . A gentleman named Alan Myers agreed to build me 10 brass cartridge cases for the gun , which he says will last me many years. I am not sure about the exact velocity , but the gun makers said that it will be lower than a rifle of 4 bore
    I think l have known about your friend , sir. Was he was a gunsmith by the name of Ginger Van Zyl ?
     

  8. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    Absolutely , sir .Will do
     
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  9. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    Thank you so much. I dropped him an email.
     

  10. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    A quarter of a pound will give about 137.5 grams which is more than the original BP weight of 113.4 grams which would then make it cylindrical.

    Are you going to use 4" or 4.5" cases?

    Velocity will be in the range of 1330 fps with a light load of 12 drams in the 4" case from a appropriately built rifle with the right weight.

    Max would probably be about 16 drams for a heavy load.

    Slugs will outperform round balls all day long.
     
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  11. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    It will be regulated for 16 drams , sir. Alan Myers will build me a round ball mould and a slug mould. It will take 4.5 inch cases
     

  12. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Correct, that is the man I am talking about.

    Built and done many of my rifles, including my "poor mans" double.

    With the correct rifle and shot placement you should not have a problem with the right 4 bore....

    Selous after all could not have been wrong...
     

  13. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    Ah , l knew it was him ! He had a look at my Grandfather's 7 MM Rigby Mauser too.
    Regarding Sealous , it is worth noting a few things. Those 12 pound Hollis and Sons Muzzleloader Duck guns weren't originally made for ball. They were meant for firing large charges of shot. The guy who sold it to Sealous had the barrels shortened and stocks re inforced , but due to their poor weight , they always recoiled inhumanly . Also , l recall Sealous usually taking 4-7 shots with those things at an elephant , often without penetrating into the brain. So it is A bit disconcerting
     

  14. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    4.5 inch case, 16 drams and the correct slug molded to the right weight and hardness, you will have a fine cape buffalo rifle.

    Would love to guide you on such a hunt, would be a real classic.. I would carry my 500 Jeff as back up though and not my 12ga poor mans double!!
     

  15. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    It would be a privilege sir. I'll bring my .450 NE Rigby Double rifle as a back up... Incase my 4 bore experiment fails :(
     

  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have a good friend who has killed buffalo with both 4 and 8 bore conical bullets from RIFLED doubles. They penetrated and were accurate. Your gun maker pretty clearly says not to use it on dangerous game. Disagreeing with him is a bit like ignoring your surgeon and consulting a bunch of witch doctors. (Me included - maybe not IvW)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
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  17. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Yip.

    Round balls do not penetrate well...
    Rifle needs to be built well and to the correct weight, especially if using the 4.5 inch case at 16 drams(heavy load).

    There is a big difference in hunting cape buffalo with a 4 bore as compared to hunting elephant with the same rifle...
     

  18. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    That's very good advice , sir. I am right now 80 % thinking of just sticking to my .450 NE.
    My gunmakers exact words were " Sir , Your cylinder Smoothbore can definitely and safely fire slugs , but bear in mind that it will lack the penetration / stopping energy of a rifle . Especially since you are going after cape buffalo
     

  19. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    The 4 bore would be a much greater challenge though....

    You could leave the .450 NE for the last two day's....
     

  20. 4 Bore

    4 Bore AH Senior Member

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    It's a Smoothbore. That's where the complications arise
     

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