If you had to Pick One of These Calibers for Dangerous Game, Which would it be?


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J.Ogilvie

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Hello everyone, I have been asking around the different forums to get as much advice as possible.

I have been thinking about what caliber to pick for a dangerous game rifle, that I hope to use on a water buffalo hunt in the near future (they are similar to Cape Buffalo). So far I'm torn between a .375 H&H or a .416 Rem Mag, and I'm leaning slightly towards the latter for the added stopping power.

My question to the community is how bad is the recoil on a .416 Rem Mag? To try and create some perspective, the biggest caliber that I currently shoot regularly is a .308. How can the recoil be managed, and would the difference in recoil justify stepping down to a .375.

I would really appreciate any input from the community.

Sincere regards,
John8789
 

PeteG

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I prefer the 416 to the 375. The recoil is not intolerable by any means and it does not take long to get used to it.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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.308 to .375 or .416 is a considerable step up in recoil. The .416 will be a somewhat bigger step than the .375. If you're a hand loader, then I'd be less concerned with going to the .416 and just load down a bit to lessen the recoil and work yourself up. If you're a factory ammo shooter, the big bore stuff is expensive and I'm concerned with how much you will be willing to spend on throw away ammo. As such, I'd be inclined to recommend the .375.

You're no different than any other person making the jump into the bigger bores. It takes time at the range slowly acclimating yourself into the bigger thumpers. While it is something to respect, it is not something to fear. I'm sure either caliber with the proper bullet will get the job done no matter which you decide.
 

Roan

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Agree with Phoenix Phil.

There is quite a jump from 308 to the other two.

The 416 would be more than 3 times as much as 308 if you go on number alone.

But number are misleading and felt recoil is determined by many factors, rifle weight, stock design, bullet load ect ...

Best thing to do if you can is to shoot one first then decide.

The recoil from 375 is manageable by most shooters.

If you are going to get something to stop big game your are going to need to get a rifle that you can practice with many times and send a lot of lead down range, and be comfortable with it.
 

ActionBob

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Where are you from John? Maybe you can arrange to shoot a couple big bores?

Based on your question I voted 416. That is easy if it was as simple as that question. However if that water buffalo is the only DG you plan to shoot, or the nastiest... and given the nothing over 308 experience. Then I would go withthe 375. It will be more versatile going forward.

If you compare many 375 H&H to many 416 rem mags, particulary in the same model gun, you might find the 416 is slightly lighter weight as the only real difference is the hole down the barrel. Magazines and actions are the same for all practical purposes. So obviously that alone makes the 416 felt recoil greater. That could be changed by installing a recoil reducer in the stock. And of course the pure foot pounds of energy is greater, by a significant enough amount you will feel it. However a 416 is not terrible to shoot once you get it figured out.

I got great advice from @matt85 on how to hold the heavy hitters and that really helped me. I'll happily squeeze off several rounds wearing a T shirt and no other padding other than what is onthe gun. Pull the gun in tight into the pocket of your shoulder and hold it there firmly, get your head down with cheek firmly planted onthe stock. A side note, mount any optic low so you get a solid cheek weld. If your scared of it and hold it away, it will slap you! Hold it near and dear hug it tight, and it is just a love tap and she'll dance sweetly with you;)
 

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ChrisG

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.375 H&H is quite a step up from .308 but it won't take long to get used to it. A .308 is very forgiving in terms of your shooting position and posture. .375 and up will not be so. Leaning into the rifle and gripping it tight make a world of difference. Also, as a plus side... when you go back to shooting your .308, it will feel like a .243 and sound like a .45 ACP! Seriously though... It isn't that bad and a .375 H&H with 300 grain loaded to 2450fps will kill anything on the planet! All you need to do is read a little John "Pondoro" Taylor... he loved it and claimed that he pole axed buffalo all the time with his, even on body shots.

The .375 H&H is easy to shoot well and hits hard. All that being said, I just ordered a .416 Ruger because well..... why not? :D
 

matt85

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I greatly prefer the 416 over the 375 but I typically do not shoot animals outside of 200 yards. if I had to shoot further then 200 yards then the 375 would be a better choice.

I have used the 416 RM in the US and in Africa and find it to be a very versatile cartridge. my rifle is a Winchester M70 "Safari" with a Leupold VX6 1-6x24 and I strongly recommend this set up for anything that walks the planet.

if your concerned about recoil then I can assure you the 416 is quite manageable and easy to get used to. however it will require you to shoot it like a "big bore", if you treat it like a 308 then you will get beat up. if you live any where near WA state then you are more then welcome to try out my rifle.

-matt
 

enysse

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For dangerous game, I'd use the .416 Rem Mag.
 

Buckdog

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for DG I would go 416 but as other have said that a really big jump from a 308 and if it bites you and beats you up then you wont shoot it, you will start flinching, etc, etc. SO for you I chg my recommendation to 375HH. very manageable and versatile lots availability, etc it is a serious classic caliber and can use in usa on bears, moose, elk etc too. works real well on brown bears (y) If you ere a experience mag shooter i would go 416 but you are not.
 

IronCowboy

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I'd tend toward the .416RM, as long as you 1) reload, OR 2) have control over the rifle build. I almost added in an item 3) have access to someone to teach you how to shoot magnums properly - BUT, to be honest, you'll need that for either.

Given a good pad and technique, both are manageable. Neither are fun. Make sure your rifle is heavy enough, in a 5,000ft.lbs. cartridge, even with padding and technique, I prefer something over 11lbs. Right or wrong, I tend to be able to manage any recoil energy where my recoil VELOCITY is somewhere around or under 15-18fps. Heavy hits aren't bad as long as they aren't "sharp" too (aka fast/quick). For me, in a .416 Ruger, Rem Mag, or Rigby, that puts me somewhere between a 11-12lb rifle. So for me, I move a lot more, but I can shoot just about as many shots in a day from a 7lb lightweight 308win as I can a 12lb .416 Rigby before my arm wants to fall off.

In reality, however, if you can learn to manage a 375 H&H in your first foray above 308win level, then you can likely manage .416 RM too. BUT... With that said, the most likely result will be you're unhappy shooting either, then have to really work to keep yourself away from developing a flinch habit.

(But - don't let all of us magnum nuts talk you out of a tried-and-true .375H&H either...)
 

The_Wanderer

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Hello everyone, I have been asking around the different forums to get as much advice as possible.

I have been thinking about what caliber to pick for a dangerous game rifle, that I hope to use on a water buffalo hunt in the near future (they are similar to Cape Buffalo). So far I'm torn between a .375 H&H or a .416 Rem Mag, and I'm leaning slightly towards the latter for the added stopping power.

My question to the community is how bad is the recoil on a .416 Rem Mag? To try and create some perspective, the biggest caliber that I currently shoot regularly is a .308. How can the recoil be managed, and would the difference in recoil justify stepping down to a .375.

I would really appreciate any input from the community.

Sincere regards,
John8789

What rifle are you considering? if its a Mod 70 the Safari model is hard to get here in Australia. Have you shot big bores before? if you haven't shot Big bores previously, the 375 would be my pick, use a good projie like a woodleigh and go hunt. I am only new to big bores and started with a 375 then worked unto a 416rigby. where about are you in Oz?
 

J.Ogilvie

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What rifle are you considering? if its a Mod 70 the Safari model is hard to get here in Australia. Have you shot big bores before? if you haven't shot Big bores previously, the 375 would be my pick, use a good projie like a woodleigh and go hunt. I am only new to big bores and started with a 375 then worked unto a 416rigby. where about are you in Oz?

Hello, The_Wanderer. Thank you very much for the response. I live in Western Australia, and it seems like a .375 will be the most sensible option. I contacted two local gun stores, and both said that a Model 70 in .416 Rem would be $2.7K, which is a bit out of my price range.

I am planning on contacting a local big-bore rifle club to try out some guns before I make my purchase, likely a .375 Mod 70.
 
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The_Wanderer

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Small World, me too! Message sent
 

bebo

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I 'm in love with my Winch 70 Safari 416Rm + Leupold 1.25-4x24 (400 & 300grs)
 

Shootist43

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For references purposes only I just ran the recoil numbers on a 416 Rigby using 400 Gr. bullets @ 2350 fps. in a Ruger No. 1 weighing 11.5 pounds. The result was 53.58 ft. lbs. As I recall the average 8 lb. 30-06 shooting a 180 Gr. bullet is about 28 ft. lbs. Your .308 is probably slightly less than that. I recognize that fit, design etc. play a roll in the "felt recoil" the numbers referenced is the amount of energy that needs to be dealt with.

The 416 is new to me and I was curious about the recoil that is why I ran the numbers. I haven't shot it yet, hope to do so in a couple of weeks.
 

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