Caliber for my Double Rifle

CK1

AH member
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Member of
SCI, Life Member Dallas Safari Club, Life Member NRA, RMEF
Hunted
USA, Canada, Namibia
I've been doing my homework learning about Doubles for a year or two and I'm debating which caliber for mine. So I thought I would test the waters from this august group.

The rifle will be for animals other than elephant so I'm going to stay under a .50. I'm looking at the following"

.450/400 NE 3"
.450 NE 3 1/4"
.470 NE

Opinions and thoughts? Pro's and cons?

Thanks.
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,751
Reaction score
4,342
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
I would buy the .450/400 NE 3"....it's on the wish list!

I have nothing again any one of your picks. They are all sensible and wise...as far as I'm concerned. My choice reflected...a lesser recoil.
 

CK1

AH member
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Member of
SCI, Life Member Dallas Safari Club, Life Member NRA, RMEF
Hunted
USA, Canada, Namibia
I've been doing my homework learning about Doubles for a year or two and I'm debating which caliber for mine. So I thought I would test the waters from this august group.

The rifle will be for animals other than elephant so I'm going to stay under a .50. I'm looking at the following"

.450/400 NE 3"
.450 NE 3 1/4"
.470 NE

Opinions and thoughts? Pro's and cons?

Thanks.

What I should have said is I will be hunting elephant with this double as well as other animals.
 

AkMike

AH fanatic
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
813
Reaction score
180
Location
Anchorage
Media
37
Member of
NRA-Life ASSRA DRSS
I have 2 450NE 3 1/4 and the 500/450 NE as well as a Ruger 450/400 #1. I'd stay with the 458 diameter especially if you hand load.
The 470 is a fine caliber also but there's not enough of a real difference between that and a 450 to say so. I tosses out almost the same weight bullet at the same speed with only a few thousands bigger diameter. The only reason the 470 ever came to be is because of the old British ruling about banning the 45 cal. in parts of the realm.
 

tarawa

AH veteran
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
210
Reaction score
24
Media
14
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
3
Member of
SCI, NRA
Hunted
USA, Canada
450 3 1/4"
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,595
Reaction score
7,398
Media
171
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Assume we all know that the .450-400 3" (.400 Jeffery) in the Ruger #1 shoots a bullet of .410-.411 diameter and not .458 inch.
 

Mike70560

AH elite
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
1,107
Reaction score
699
Location
Delcambre, LA
Media
154
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI, DSC, NRA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Republic of Congo, Canada
My choice would be the 470 Nitro. Owning one may skew my judgement but I do have a few good reasons. The 450 3 1/4" will kill as effectively as a 470 Nitro. While the 470 Nitro may have a SLIGHT edge in power it makes no difference in the real world. Rifles will be very similar in weight and recoil.

Why the 470 Nitro? I have been in six different camps in Africa and have never seen a 450 3 1/4" round. Just about all had 470 Nitros. My last two PH's carried 470s. It is just more common. Lost ammo is more easily replaced. My last hunt I ended up doing way more shooting with the double than anticipated (Three buff and a follow up on my wife's zebra) and ended up borrowing ammo from my PH. I did not need it but had only one of my rounds remaining when the hunt ended.

I also have a 450-400 3 1/4" double in a 1905 Boswell. It is a fine rifle that will kill an elephant as dead as doornail. I just prefer a little more power. If you are a little recoil sensitive the 450-400 would be a good choice especially for buffalo.
 

DUGABOY1

Contributor
AH enthusiast
Joined
May 6, 2009
Messages
327
Reaction score
152
Articles
5
Member of
Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
Hunted
Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
I have 2 450NE 3 1/4 and the 500/450 NE as well as a Ruger 450/400 #1. I'd stay with the 458 diameter especially if you hand load.
The 470 is a fine caliber also but there's not enough of a real difference between that and a 450 to say so. I tosses out almost the same weight bullet at the same speed with only a few thousands bigger diameter. The only reason the 470 ever came to be is because of the old British ruling about banning the 45 cal. in parts of the realm.

All three choices are fine for hunting anything in Africa, but Like you in this case I would stick with the 450NE 3 1/4" whether you hand load or not! However IMO the double rifle is a type that handloading is the best one can do to get the absolute best from his double rifle. It is true that the 450NE will do about as well as the 470NE with equal placement, and cheaper to shoot.

One correction here however, the existence of the 470NE had nothing to do with the banning of the .450 in India, and the Sudan. That happened in 1909, and the 470NE was already Came out in 1907. The reason it became so popular is because it was released to the trade so anyone could chamber it in their rifles, while most other NE cartridges were proprietary cartridges. Of course the banning of the .450 calibers in those two places two years later didn't hurt the 470NE's popularity! :)
 

AkMike

AH fanatic
Joined
Nov 6, 2009
Messages
813
Reaction score
180
Location
Anchorage
Media
37
Member of
NRA-Life ASSRA DRSS
I stand corrected Duggaboy!
My calender was off a bit. :(
 

Rastaman

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
171
Reaction score
7
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI
This is a tough one. I do not own a .450 but I have shot elephant and buffalo with the .470. I just bought a double .450/.400 but cant find any commercially available ammo. Hornady keeps promising to make another run but so far I have not seen any. I plan on using the .450/.400 on buffalo but Im a bit concerned that it is too light for elephant. of course, even if you are hunting buffalo, in elephant country you should carry an elephant gun. I have been assured by others that the .450/.400 wiill be just fine for elephant but I KNOW the .470 does the trick.
Listening to myself ramble it seems like the .450 3.25 is the right answer. I have also found plenty of ammo available for this caliber.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,595
Reaction score
7,398
Media
171
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
John "Pondoro" Taylor assures us that a 400 gr bullet of decent caliber at around 2000 fps is perfectly adequate for all game including elephant and he ought to know. If handloading it can be boosted up to 2400 fps, about like the .416 Rigby and no one doubts that round for all game.
 

classicsafari

AH enthusiast
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
270
Reaction score
63
Media
45
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Aus, New Zealand,New Calidonia, Mongolia, Zim and Moz
With the easy ability to ad a quick detachable scope to the mild recoiling and light weighted 450/400 this makes it an obvious option for a versatile big game double.
 

sestoppelman

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2010
Messages
7,595
Reaction score
7,398
Media
171
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
NRA, NA Hunt Club
Hunted
Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia (2), South Africa (2)
Rastaman,

I see quite a bit of .450-400 3" Hornady ammo on Gunbroker.com for sale at the usual high factory load prices, but its around.
 

Double D

AH senior member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
87
Reaction score
17
Media
4
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI
Hunted
South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Canada, Kyrgyzstan
Don't count the .500 out

When I was looking for a double I had prity much the same list as yours. I was leaning towards a .470. Being as I am left handed it was hard to find something. One day I find .500x 3 1/4" Searcy for sale on guns america. Long story short I bought it and am happy I did. In your second post you said you will hunt elephant with it and from my own experience the .500 works very well on elelphant. The recoil is only slightly more than the two 470's I have shot and maybe that difference was just in my head.
 

505ED

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
174
Reaction score
42
Media
18
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
SCI,DSC,NRA,DRSS
Hunted
North America, South America, South Africa
You will love the 450/400 it is a very sweet shooting big bore double. I have also shot a 500/416 a fair amount and it is a very nice shooting round.

The 470 just hammers the piss out of me/ but so does a 500!

Ed
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,751
Reaction score
4,342
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
Out of curiosity, who makes a 450/400 in a decent double gun? Prices and makes?
 

Rastaman

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
171
Reaction score
7
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI
i just bought a sabatti from cabelas in .450/400 and it looks great. Had to replace the butt pad and do a few other little adjustments.
 

505ED

AH veteran
Joined
Jun 1, 2010
Messages
174
Reaction score
42
Media
18
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Member of
SCI,DSC,NRA,DRSS
Hunted
North America, South America, South Africa

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,751
Reaction score
4,342
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
Thanks 505ED! and Rastaman, I was wondering how you guys went about looking for good deals on double guns. When I first started on the forums over 2 years ago....I would have never considered a double. But now with all the great information on this website. I must be breaking down, because I'd like to get one....and my price range was in the 10K range. I think, I'd like to save up with the goal buying a 450/400 3".

The Krieghoff gun looked absolutely beautiful!
 

CK1

AH member
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Member of
SCI, Life Member Dallas Safari Club, Life Member NRA, RMEF
Hunted
USA, Canada, Namibia
I appreciate the comments. The .450/400 was a distant 3rd in this eval and it's moving farther away. Leaning towards the .450 3 1/4. Call it nostalgia but I have an affinity for it. But a .470 is, well, a sweet round.

CK
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,290
Messages
710,742
Members
66,398
Latest member
Danielwrimi
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
Serbian Hunter wrote on Tundra Tiger's profile.
Hi TT
I am glad you found some useful info in my posts. Hard cast WFN with GC will do the job fine. I trust Veral Smith (owner of LBT company) - I believe that he can provide you with some finest HC bullets. Many companies are coping his design. I can help you from here in developing max loads (40.000psi) just let me know which powder you are using (I use Quick Load software which turns to be very reliable).
 
Top