.470NE vs .500NE Recoil

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by PHOENIX PHIL, Oct 21, 2016.

  1. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Phil,

    In the end, if you can tolerate recoil from a typical bolt action .458 Winchester, (Model 70, etc.) with full pressure, 500 grain bullet ammunition, you will tolerate recoil from an 11 or 11.5 pound 500 NE, firing the original spec 570 gr loads just fine, even though technically, the typical .500 NE double rifle generates a bit more recoil.

    Since I cannot tell the difference anyway, such small difference in recoil between the .470 NE and .500 NE would not be enough for me personally to favor the .470 but, the ammunition availability might persuade me (probably not, LOL).

    In terms of smokeless or "Nitro" double rifle cartridges, anything above the .450/400 kicks pretty hard but even a wimp like me can shoot the .500 accurately, for a few shots anyway.

    Cheers,
    Velocipede Anti-Dog.

    PS:
    If you read the book "Hunter" by J. A. Hunter, you will choose the .500 for sure, heh heh.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  2. Bos Javanicus

    Bos Javanicus AH Senior Member

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    My two cents worth is if you wish to compare different calibre's for recoil the only fair way would be to shoot well fitted rifles of the same make. I have a Merkel .500 that my mate does not like to shoot and says it kicks pretty good compared to his .470 Kreighoff. I didn't think there would be much difference myself, but I am yet to shoot his .470 as yet. I sent my .500 to a very knowledgable double gunsmith in the Territory to do some work and when he test fired it he said it feels more like a .577 than a .500, and said a well made English .500 would never kick that hard. Me? Well I'm just dumb enough not to know any different and have just got used to shooting it now. Another guy I know has a .470 which is just on 9lb, whilst a delight it would be to carry in the bush, he says it kicks a bit for a .470. I think what I trying to say here is we must test like for like to get a true appreciation in felt recoil.
     
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  3. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Or we could use Science?

    Weight calculations in relationship to case capacity, powder in grains, bullet weight? That produces the felt recoil and recoil speed calculations which assist immensely.

    Let me go back to the references and pull them up.
     

  4. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    470 N.E. (500 at 2150) 12.0 pound gun 63.5 pounds recoil

    .500 N.E. (570 at 2150) 12.0 pound gun 74.5 pounds recoil

    Just shy of a 20% increase in recoil.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I think you're dead on. Numbers are useful but don't tell the whole story.
     
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  6. HeinrichH

    HeinrichH AH Enthusiast

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    There is a difference but its not much. I shoot a .470 Merkel, and my good friend from KMG Safaris, Marius shoots the .500 Merkel. There is definitely a difference but its not much, especially if you are use to shooting big calibers. Both excellent calibers
     
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  7. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    phil agree all they do is provide an indication of what you might think is going to happen....the difference in the felt/perceived recoil with a stock that fits and one that doesnt is BIG....i had a .300 win mag that i put away for a year after firing 3 or 4 shots from it.....it was horrible and hurt which was a first for me ! i had it restocked and the difference was chalk and cheese and have used it a lot. my .500 jeff is more pleasant to shoot than that .300 was when i first got it....so yeah take the numbers for what they are...things written on a bit of paper. go find ones to shoot that fit you if you can, or just go ahead and order one thats fitted to you. i promise to come and hold your hand at sci if you want to go order a nice round body Verney Carron there.......:E Big Grin:
     
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  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the offer Mike, but I'd prefer to be holding my wife's hand while on a vacation of southern Europe that happens to coincide with a visit to VC. That way when I order it there at the factory she can only come at me with one hand....:D

    Then again if her other hand was holding the 2nd or 3rd glass of a fine French red, it might be all good!
     

  9. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    for sure :E Big Grin: you got a plan for this option?
     

  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I have all sorts of plans, it's the financing that's a challenge!
     
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  11. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    your mistaking "recoil energy" for "felt recoil", these are not the same thing. recoil energy only covers half of what makes up felt recoil. felt recoil is going to be a combination of recoil energy and rifle fit to the user. you can reduce the felt recoil by adjusting the LOP, drop, point of balance, rubber butt pad, and butt thickness. two rifles with the same recoil energy can generate completely different felt recoil or one rifle with greater recoil energy can produce the same felt recoil as a rifle with less recoil energy.

    -Matt
     
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  12. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    @matt85 is correct, thank you for correcting my statement. Actual recoil is the calculation I provided. Felt recoil would be subjective based upon a variety of subjective factors and mitigating factors. (Soft recoil pads)

    Not to be overlooked, there is also recoil speed which is what makes some guns feel so "brisk" upon firing. The best example I can provide is .300 H&H versus .300 Win Mag. Assuming all things held constant, same loads, same gun model, same stock, same weight, same everything, the .300H&H is moderately less recoil energy...about 10%. As anyone that has shot both can attest, the .300H&H is much friendlier than the .300WM and it is not just because of the recoil energy, but also because the recoil velocity is faster on the .300WM. When you're hit harder, and faster, you perceive more recoil.

    I don't have the calculations for recoil velocity 470NE vs. 500NE but I'd be interested to know if the .500NE is also a noticeably faster recoil velocity? All I know is that I've owned a .500 and its not an enjoyable cartridge although its not miserable either. The .470NE has better penetration, more readily available ammo and 20% less recoil so what's not to love? If I ever have the means, I'll own a .470NE. I'm also happy I don't have to shoot my .500 anymore. (and it was a good fit, proper stocked English model. I can only imagine a boar backed Germanic gun instead...OUCH!)
     

  13. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    G'day Bos Javanicus,

    I'm +1 with you on this notion of comparing recoil the experience from two otherwise same make and model rifles, one in .470 and the other in .500 NE.
    With that, rookhawk's calculation of almost 20% difference in recoil, between these two powerful cartridges no doubt, becomes quite relevant.
    Not that such a scenario would be easy to line-up, since it requires not one but two, "not found in Wal-Mart" rifles (rather expensive rifles for us blue collar workers).
    In my personal experiences with those two cartridges, I can tell pretty much no difference in felt recoil.
    However, it is noteworthy that I do not recall firing either cartridge in same make / model rifles.
    Here in the Anchorage, Alaska general area, we are blessed with quite a few fellows owning double rifles, drillings, Cape guns and single shots, appropriate to hunting in Africa.
    We have at least two organized shoots for these, each year, thanks to the considerable efforts of AH member, Cal Pappas.
    Nonetheless, if any two of these chaps has the same but-for-the-caliber rifle, I have not had the privilege of doing such a valid side by side (pardon the play on words) comparison with the .470 vs 500 cartridges (have fired both calibers, more than one or two shots each, from various makers but, underline "various" makers).

    Also in furtherance of your above post, I have a Heym 88B, in "only" caliber .458 Winchester but, it kicks like Satan with factory loaded 500 grain ammunition.
    It is a beautiful rifle, fancy wood, accurate, etc., but somewhat unpleasant to shoot (at least it is so for my wimpy shoulder anyway).
    Then conversely, one of my Alaskan mates here (again Cal Pappas) has a proper London built (or Birmingham?) .500 NE that when I fire it, (with full-house 570 grainers) I experience no such discomfort.
    In other words, felt recoil is plenty from Cal's .500 but, not as "plenty" as it is from my .458 Heym.
    If both above described rifles were the same make & model, I expect the approximately 20% difference in recoil would be obvious.

    As mentioned earlier in this thread, between the two cartridges being considered, if I were not so old and soft now, I would probably prefer the .500 NE.
    But, at this stage of my life, personally I'm not as interested in the hard kickers as I once was, (compared to when I thought there was actually more than one African dangerous game hunt in my future).
    Now, with the continuing slump in oil prices and at my ripe old age, it does not look promising from me to hunt DG again so, there is no .470 or .500 in my plans, unfortunately.
    Fact is, one of these days I will begin working on a 350 to 400 grain load that, can regulate well in my mentioned .458 double, in hopes of considerably lowering that sharp recoil.
    Sometimes I even consider possibly some day, trading my .458 toward "Paradox Gun", since I then could use it plenty for grouse and hare around here.
    Plus with regulated slug capability, one of these years it might be a pleasure to take it somewhere for boar/deer, etc.

    I'm getting off topic here and my stein is looking powerful empty.
    Therefore, I had better hush my mouth, and wet my whistle.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
     

  14. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I don't mean to derail the thread but the "felt" recoil part,the unscientific side, came to bare just recently and it may be of interest to gun fit folks.

    My little 7 year old needed a gun so I bought her a vintage mod 70 featherweight 243 and had the stock chopped in many dimensions. I couldn't help but love the rifle but loathe the original design of the factory stock.

    I measured my Brit 375hh Mauser, my .303 Brit Rigby, and an English dimension Dakota 10 single shot. All three had the same comb, under comb and drop ratios in harmony. 3 guns, 3 makers, 125 years difference in age, all long stocked. My 318 Westley too matched.

    We laid it the ratios and started a pattern to chop the model 70 and thin it down dramatically while also making it a 11.75" LOP youth gun. The ratios all worked when shortened.

    I've found Brit guns to fit considerably better than American guns as the recoil is much less perceived. I think the Win/Weatherby high comb or Germanic counterparts to be a source of bad fit and more recoil felt.

    Just an experiential statement although I prefer data myself. Whether 4'4" with a 11.75" LOP or 6'9" with a 15.5"-16.25" LOP, the Brit stock ratios appear to work better for fit and mitigating recoil in my family. Noticeably so in fact.

    Now the inflammatory suspicion: I suspect that is Americans have zero consideration to these gun geometry designs before we built them, we probably just guessed how to get our face high up enough to see through scopes on med-high rings and called it done. On the other end, I bet the Brits gave eons of man-years labor considering the stock dimensions and then they and G&H and claw mount makers figured out how to make scopes work with these low comb guns, not the other way around.
     

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