Advice on first Dangerous Game rifle

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Scrumbag, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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    Hello folks


    I’m pondering my first DG rifle and wondering what to go for and would welcome your thoughts for a novice on the truly big bores.


    .375 H&H – Ruled out as have a 9.3x62 and so too close. Also reading seems to suggest a “Stoppers start with a four”


    .404 Jeffrey – Really like the sound of this one. Enough power but perhaps not as heavy recoil as the .416 Rigby and also in a standard length action. (Not recoil shy but I think practice is good and shouldn’t be too unpleasant and I’m concerned about the availability of ammo both for practice and if the ammo box gets lost).


    .416 Rigby – Seems very popular and seemingly with good reason but quite punchy


    .458 WM – Have read some horror stories about ammunition with the .458WM. Are these true or over exaggerated? Is modern ammunition just better? I read the hunting Blackbeards of Botswana and it seems those guys put down lots of beasts with a 458WM


    .458 Lott – Sounds good and like the idea of being able to run 458WM but seems to run at higher pressures, ammo seems quite uncommon and also worry about feeding 458WM in it


    500J and 505 Gibbs – Seem to be very large, very heavy, very punchy and out of my price range.


    Would really appreciate your input.


    KR,


    Scrummy
     

  2. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    Scrummy,
    There is nothing wrong with the .375. Keep in mind that your job is not to stop the charge, but to prevent it with a well placed shot first up, and in my opinion, the 375 gives you the best chance in doing this. It's recoil is mild, and it does the number on most dangerous game animals on the other side. If you were telling me that your are going after Elephant, I would re-evaluate my comments. As a matter of fact, if someone asked which rifle I would prefer them bring on a dangerous game and they had a 375, it would be the 375. My dangerous game arsenal consists out of the 375H&H, .416Rigby and the .500N.E. , so I am in no way biased towards anything, but have seen plenty of times how effective it is. It is not rated arguably the best all round caliber in the world for nothing.

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen
     
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  3. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Marius,

    Many thanks for those thoughts. 375 probably wouldn't be on my list as it is too close to 9.3x62 (I refuse to buy an ever so slightly larger rifle just to satisfy legal requirements and also I don't want to trade in that 9.3 as it fits me and it is the most fun thing to shoot running boar with).

    So, you reckon 416 might be the one to go for after that?

    Scrummy
     

  4. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    Scrummy,
    You are opening a whole new can of worms here... :D

    Let me just reiterate my opinion on bringing a .375. It is certainly not the begin and end all. I feel the .375 is the correct weapon simply because most people can handle it pretty well, and put the bullet in the correct place with a .375 since they are not too sensitive to its recoil. So, just wanted to inform you why I enjoy having my hunters shoot the .375 during dangerous game hunts.
    Many here know that I am a Rigby man, so in my eyes there is only one .416 that I would ever consider and that is in the Rigby case . There is not a big recoil difference between the .416Rigby and the .375H&H. As a matter of fact, I think my .416 recoils less than my 375.
    I have heard many say that they have a 375 and want to jump to something bigger than the .416 because it is too close to the .375.

    Maybe the bullet diameter is not much bigger than the .375 , and the recoil is pretty close, but let me tell you that it hits 10 times harder on the business end. There is no doubt that bigger is better in most cases, so if you can shoot the .416 , it will take care of business on anything that Africa has to offer.

    My .416Rigby has been my dangerous game backup rifle for many years, until I moved to the .500NE. It has been used as the rifle for the first shot as well. If I could not carry my double for some reason, I would have no problems carrying the .416Rigby. It is a rifle very close to my heart.
     
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  5. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Enthusiast

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    I would mirror what Marius sad if you just want a bigger rifle any of the 416 will hit much harder than a 375 and the game seem to really feel it but the 375 is plenty for a client and a well placed shot will put about anything down. I would not hesitate to use it. I would only think of going 416 or bigger if I was looking at a elephant hunt. The 416 has plenty of penetration for that with a good solid or you could look at a 450 Rigby. If I was looking at something in the 450 or bigger cal that is what I would be building. But then again I have a 375 416 and 470 out of those I hunt just about everything with the 375 from 10lb suni to buffalo.
     

  6. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks folks, certainly something to mull over. Went to an "open evening" at Rigby and they said the 450 was very much an elephant hunters gun.

    No love at all for the 404J of the 458WM?
     

  7. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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  8. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Enthusiast

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    I'm sensing there's a "but" in there...
     

  9. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Enthusiast

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    I'm not a fan of the 458wm I do like the 404 J and put it in the same category as the 416s. For everything dangerous game minus elephant I would say the 375 is great and any of the 416 or the 404 are as well and most of those hunts be it buffalo croc or the cats you will most likely hunt plains game as well so for that I like the 375. It covers everything I feel more limited past 200 yards with my 416. On the other hand for elephant I feel the 416 or 404 ar the minimum and a 450 cal or up is better.
     
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  10. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    Not all all. After the .416Rigby, the .404J would be my next choice. Actually looked at the .404J just before acquiring my .416. Also not a 458WM fan.

    Fully agree.
     
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  11. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Enthusiast

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    That it is. I had the pleasure of shooting Karl Stumpfe 450 Rigby and had to borrow it for a day last month as my 470 got held up on the transfer from SA great rifle not to bad on the recoil and not to heave to carry all day. You got to remember tracking buffalo or elephant you will be toting your rifle around for many hours. For that I like as light as possible. This is probably why I prefer my 375 over my 416 as it is a few lbs lighter.
     

  12. Rob404

    Rob404 AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have both a 375HH and a 404Jeff I like the versatility of the 375, being able to load from 200g up to 350g. make it a real one caliber fits all
     
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  13. Gsxrmike

    Gsxrmike AH Veteran

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    The .404 is a great caliber. Mine performed perfectly on the buffalo in my avatar. I can't tell the difference in recoil compared to my .416 Rem.
    Ammunition is not available in most areas so you will need to buy online (usually best option for any caliber to get the best price) or load your own.
    I'm not a fan of .458 but the .458 Lott is very effective. You do pay a price in recoil. My .458 Lott has significantly more recoil than my .404 or .416.
    My .458 Lott feels like the same recoil as my .470 Nitro Express.

    If you are wanting a rifle bigger than a .375 I think a .416 Rigby is a great choice. Buy good quality ammo like something loaded with Barnes TSX or A-Frame bullets and good solids such as Woodleigh.
     

  14. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

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    [QUOTE="KMG Hunting Safaris, post: 288304,
    There is nothing wrong with the .375. Keep in mind that your job is not to stop the charge, but to prevent it with a well placed shot first up, and in my opinion, the 375 gives you the best chance in doing this....

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen[/QUOTE]

    I knew there was a reason I like hunting with you!!! That's always been my sentiment, not that I wouldn't shoot whatever is in my hands on a charge or wounded animal, but my job is to put the first bullet in there!!!
     

  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Scrummy,

    One thing to keep in mind about the .416 Rigby is the cost of ammo. It is stupid expensive here in the U.S. and we here seem to enjoy a steep discount to what the rest of the world pays for factory ammo.

    On that subject, if you're a factory ammo shooter, then you'll want to take this into account with any of the calibers.

    I would not argue with Marius @KMG Hunting Safaris regarding recoil differences and I'm not sure what he's using in his .416Rigby. But I load my own cartridges and I'm afflicted with an incurable case of "I must load to or at least near max" disease. I just can't help myself. When I loaded for mine, I can assure you the 400gr bullet was traveling quite a bit faster than any 300gr bullet I've sent out of my .375H&H. And the recoil difference was significant. I could handle it, but I did not enjoy it.

    My understanding of 416 Rigby factory ammo is that it's loaded for worst case scenario rifles, i.e. old ones which don't have as strong a receivers as newer rifles. Therefore these rounds are not loaded to maximum capability of the case. So I would expect the recoil in those rounds to be significantly less.

    The stories regarding the .458WM are true but they're also very old. With modern powders, it is a fine choice. From what I can tell the caliber is going through a bit of a resurgence in popularity as these initial problems from some 50 odd years ago have been resolved with the newer powders and the claims of velocity of a 500gr projectile are now met.

    I totally get why don't want to buy the .375 with 9.3 already in the fold, but it is a great caliber. Of the calibers you listed, I think I'd go with the .404 Jeffery, but one reason for that as mentioned I load my own. The .416 Rigby's shoulder is easily collapsed if there's even the slightest friction in the neck when seating a bullet. So I'm not a fan of the case from that perspective. The 404's case design I would not expect to have that problem.
     
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  16. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

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    I agree with Marius , and I have both 9.3x62 and a 375 as well as a few of the fours .

    I don't agree that a 9.3 is similar to a 375 , the 375 is a more versatile rifle , my next choice would be one of the .416's or a 404 Jeff .
     
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  17. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

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    I own a .458 Lott as well , I prefer the .416's to any of the .458's

    they reload easier and better and are more versatile with regards to bullet weight and speed of the bullet .
     
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  18. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Legend

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    Phil, my .416Rigby runs standard loads. I think it is more attest to how hot the load is in my .375H&H.
     

  19. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Phil is correct on the current .458 ammo. The negative stories have to do with earlier rounds due to the design of the powder. It apparently took many years for the brains that deal with these things to figure it out. The Rigby has a greater flatter shooting range compared to the .458. My .458 is a 1964 Model 70. It is too light and kicks to much for me. I bought my RSM .416 Rigby two years and in my opinion is a much better and heavier rifle and longer range caliber. The .458 will be for sale by December when I get home from working overseas. For two years or more now it only takes up room in the safe. I have no reason to shoot it again. I don't reload so can't comment on Phil's habit of filling up the Rigby case. Sounds like more than I would want though!!!
     

  20. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Scrummy...I know you said you don't want a .375 H&H. But that is as close as you can get to the perfect hunting rifle!!!
     

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