Bolt action rifle for dangerous game!

Paul newhouse

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Here we go again! i have good rifle for the plains game and it works fine it is winchester m70 308. but i have a real problem to choose the caliber to my big game custom bolt action rifle..... at first i was leaning to 375H&H. but now im so lost! i have some calibers in mind. please someone help me! 416 rigby 458wm. 458lott.
 

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Unless you have shot some of the bigger guns and know how they recoil; or unless you are impervious to recoil, you might consider sticking to the .375 or perhaps something like the .404 Jeffery in a fairly heavy rifle like the CZ. Much depends on your intended usage. If you are going to go on a buffalo hunt or two, shoot one ele at some point; stick with the .375 because you will be backed up by your PH. Dont let anyone tell you the .375 is too light for DG as that is just plain hogwash. It might not be the stopping cartridge that the big heavy kickers are, but you put a good bullet in the right place and it does just fine.
 

shakari

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Felt recoil is about a lot more than calibre. Amongst the factors that affect it are stock design, weight and whether or not you fit a mercury tube or tungsten bead recoil arrestor or even the hated (by sensible PHs) muzzle brake.

For a sport hunter, I reckon the 416 Rigby or 404 Jeffery take an awful lot of beating and the single greatest help on the recoil front is a correctly fitted mercury tube recoil arrestor.
 

Paul newhouse

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I have tested the 375H&H and 458wm. it is not the recoil that keeps me thinking. 458wm and 375H&H are easy to find on gun stores but 458 lott, 404 jeffery 416 rigby are a little harder to find (in Finland) and the prices of loading components fits my wallet :) for 458wm,458lott and 375 H&H so maybe i have to just think..... a lot before going to gunsmith and order the rifle:) but thanks a lot for help. it is good to hear some other opinions.
 

35bore

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Paul, May be a little late to chime in here, but, in my opinion if you can handle the recoil of the 458 wm or the 458 lott then I would really lean more toward them, they are both great calibers. Quite a bit more lead penetrating the animal as well. I had a 416 Rigby in a CZ 550 and it was an amazingly accurate rifle but, the last box of ammo I bought for it was $235 US, sold it and I am having a 458 win mag built right now, well at gunsmith speed anyway, been about a year and a half now. The 458 is an awesome caliber, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper to shoot.
 

safari-lawyer

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416 Remington Magnum.

Why?

Many quality rifles are available in this caliber, so there's no need for a custom build.
Ammo is widely available, so there is no requirement that you hand load.
Ammo is affordable, costing well less than 416 Rigby.
Shoots to basically the same POI at 25 and 200 yards.

Provided, I use a 416. It does everything the 375 does, it just does it better.

I've used it on everything from elephant and buffaloes down to klipspringer and grysbok.
 

sestoppelman

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By most accounts the 416 Rem is a fine round. Designed to duplicate the .416 Rigby (factory) velocities in the smaller case. The trade off is of course that it takes more pressure to achieve its 2400fps/400gr than the larger Rigby case. As long as one uses factory ammo or keeps the loads reasonable this is not a problem however. That is the beauty of the old larger rounds like the Rigby and the .404 and others. They were designed to produce good velocity at lower pressure specifically for the tropics.
 

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but i have a real problem to choose the caliber to my big game custom bolt action rifle..... at first i was leaning to 375H&H

Nothing wrong with leaning towards the .375 at all.With premium 300gr or 350gr softs,backed up with 380gr solids,knowing your rifle and good shot placement,you can take down any DG on earth.Let your PH carry the heavy stuff which,if you shoot well,he shouldn't even have to use..!
 

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Without including Double Rifles I prefer the 9.3x62 and 458Win (with 480grn bullets) I also use a 425WR but ammo is an issue.
The 9.3 would be great because it would work well for your Moose also..
 

colorado

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Either a 375 H&H or a 500 Jeffery (I have both), why go with something in between?

:)
 

Rastaman

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The 375 will get it all done. It is the African 30-06 equivalent. However the 416 rigby gives you a bit more confidence to handle the big stuff. I assume the 416 Remington does the same. I have searched for years for one gun in a double that does it all. Right now I'm on the 450/400 which may be the one.
 

Paul newhouse

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Paul, May be a little late to chime in here, but, in my opinion if you can handle the recoil of the 458 wm or the 458 lott then I would really lean more toward them, they are both great calibers. Quite a bit more lead penetrating the animal as well. I had a 416 Rigby in a CZ 550 and it was an amazingly accurate rifle but, the last box of ammo I bought for it was $235 US, sold it and I am having a 458 win mag built right now, well at gunsmith speed anyway, been about a year and a half now. The 458 is an awesome caliber, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper to shoot.

if i choose the 458wm. (i like it wery much) it works great here in finland for moose and bear. my friend has one and he handloads 405 grain. bullets for bear and moose. but only thing that keeps me thinking is the old problems whit the 458. in africa.... but there are many who use it today and are happy whit it. but pleas tell me why you chosed the 458wm. and are you planning to use it in africa and what loads you prefer to use.
 

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Sounds like you have decided, but it might be worthwhile to be certain of the rifle's intent. If you are going to have a dedicated Dangerous Game rifle and only use it for Dangerous Game then I would lean toward the big forties (assuming recoil isn't an issue which is something you need to be honest with yourself about.) If, on the other hand, it is also going to serve as an all purpose rifle to take Plains Game as well while on a DG safari, then I would recomend the .375 and .416 in that order. Relatively light but manageable .375s can be had which make wonderful all purpose rifles and would probably be a bit less out of place on that moose hunt.
 

INGOZI

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The .375 H&H is most probably the best all rounder, but if you are looking for something with a little more stopping power then I would suggest you look at either the .404 Jeffrey or alternatively the .416 Rigby

Anything bigger than that is going to become a serious issue considering recoil as you wont need a Elephant stopper fulltime. But that being said, the abovementioned calibers still have the "punch" you need without the "kick" associated with big game rifles as you can build your custom bolt action in such a way as being not only practical but also a pleasure to shoot.
 

Second Wind

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After a lot of detailed research and experimentation I personally chose the Rigby

Aside from the obvious reasons which I will not bore you with, one of the main points is versatility.

If you handload, this cartridge changes dramatically.

Originally designed to working chamber pressures of around 40,000psi with a factory 400 gr bullet at 2400 fps you yield around 5,000 ft lbs which is a nice place to be for that rifle

However, if I disappear into the reloading closet and change nothing but powder type I can boost the chamber pressure to 60,000 psi and with the same pill, have 6,000 ft lbs at the muzzle which, I really believe, everyone will agree is plenty.

Flat shooting, not too cumbersome, that's my opinion.

Oh yeah, there was one other small thing I forgot to mention....recoil.

Now shooting the 416 Rigby is a lot like slow dancing with my ex-wife, you still know "its" there but if you will just ignore it . . . . well its just a lot like my ex-wife . . . . you would not want to spend a lot of time at the range (or with my ex wife for that matter) without a trainer and a good cut man.
 

sestoppelman

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Second Wind, You made my day man with the ex stuff! Very funny! LMFAO!
 

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My favorite bumper sticker "I still miss my ex, but my aim's improving ..."
 

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And at 60k psi your ex will kick you in the face .... viciously.
 

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At 60,000 it's not really a bang so much a a real shrill whistle

which is not alarming at all in that

the 8' squirt of flame out the muzzle focuses most of your attention

with a charging buff and the felt recoil from 6,115 ft lbs the whole incident can't last long

one of us is gonna need to take a little break in there somewhere
 

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I'm building a 404 Jeffery. I went thru some of the same thoughts as you, but I'm not that large and wanted something I can handle with 100% confidence without the dreaded flinch. I also wanted something with a little history and settled on the 404 Jeffery, plus it has a cool ring in my opinion.

Good luck with your choice!
 

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