Caliber for my Double Rifle


one last thought, the .470 is a popular round with phs and you can usually find a round or two over there in a pinch.
A Searcy in 450/400J

The built in Talley Mount Bases.
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Beautiful rifle classicsafari, thanks for posting pictures!
I go green when I read topics like this, because doubles are honestly for the rich hear in South Africa, I mean they very rarly go for anything under R100000 and then that's a second hand one
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.

The 450/400NE 3" is capable of taking elephant, and is one of my all time favorite chamberings in a double rifle. That chambering is also less worry when buying an older calsic double rifle chambered for it over the 450/400 3 1/4" version. The 3" version (Jeffery .411) was never offered in a black powder, or nitro for black cartridges, so is always a nitro proofed rifle, while the 3 1/4" rifle may be a reproofed BPE, or NFB rifle.

On the statement noteing boosting the cartridge up to 2400 fps, is not a good idea in a double rifle, that speed would totally destroy regulation. The 450/400NE 3" was regulated at 2150 FPS, and a 400 gr .411 bullet will reach the brain in an elephant from the front quite easily. I too consider the 450/400NE 3" light for a dedicated elephant rifle, but it is capable, and is a very good all around double rifle chambering that is very good for Buffalo. The boosting of this cartridge in a Ruger No1 is fine, but those rounds shouldn't be used in a double rifle.
Not that I’m an expert by any stretch on the word, but I do own and 375 Ruger that I’ve harvested Croc, Lion, Hippo and Elephant with, as well as a 458 Win that hammered a Lion.
From what I recall the ammo cost on the 458 Win or Lott is strikingly less costly then the exotic calibers.
I may be speaking from lack of experience with the exotic calibers but there it is.
Good luck and happy hunting!
I rented a 450 NE 3 1/4" this past year from the PH for my hunt...He gave me a list of other guns he had available however i was able to find both soft and solids for the double gun...I did not notice any recoil from this old English double rifle.

I used it for buffalo and on my first one: I had a nice quartering away standing shot, from about 50yds on sticks. the first shot was all that was needed , however the PH said shoot again and i did off hand and the buffalo fell after taking 1 step... another followup was at point blank range and that was it.

The second buffalo was off hand at about 120 yds. and after the first shot (a soft) to the lungs we tracked the buffalo for about 1 1/2 miles and put in the final shots in heavy cover...

The other choices the PH had were were the 450-400 double and the 505 Gibbs bolt action. all rental guns were open sights.

If i had it to do over i would have wanted a bigger double gun in the 500 NE. What i am looking for now...
Can any of the more knowledgable folks on this thread enlighten me as to why the .450 No2 is not offered by any of the modern makers, as opposed to the .450 3&1/4, that is listed with Heym, V.C etc etc.

I'm certainly not trying to be provocative here, just cant see the obvious explanation for myself.

Are cases for the No2 procurable/available.

Does this cartridge design have some inherent problems/difficulty.

I'm just at a loss to understand why the No2 fails to get offered as a standard chambering in any of the modern doubles.

Do any of the modern companies offer it as a custom chambering.

I'd love to get some feedback from some of you well versed in doubles.

Thanks in advance,
I believe it was due to the fact that the 450,3/4 was more popular.
Personally I don't believe the massive No2 case is all that necessary.
My choice in doubles has always been the 450-400-3" and it has served me with perfection. I am also a fan of the 450-3.25 if elephant are to be on the agenda, but all the elephant I have shot have been with the 450-400 and no complaints. No flies on the .470 except it is getting to the edge of my recoil preference.
You are talking about the mild recoil of a 450/400 Does it have very much recoil than a 375H&H?
Since you omitted the elephant then my choice would be and has always been the 450-400-3" but the 3-1/4 is just as good balistically.

I have shot two elephant with the 450-400; a number of Cape Buffalo; a few Hippo; some Eland; and both Lion and Leopard. I am more than content to continue my DG hunting with the 450-400 and see no need for a larger caliber for myself.

That said, if elephant are going to be on the menu more often than not then the 450-3.25 or .470 might well be a better choice if one is completely comfortable with the additional recoil of the larger caliber.
All of them will kill a buffalo perfectly, but my recommendation is the 470NE.
The reason for what I recommend you this caliber is easy, a lot PH uses it, its easier to find ammunition in Africa of the 470NE than the others you mention.
If the airline looses your ammo case you will be able to find ammo for the 470NE, unfortunately this happens a lot.

I think this is something we need to have in mind by the time we are planning to by a rifle to hunt in Africa.
I ve only had the opportunity to shoot a .470NE made by Heym, a great rifle, very well balanced, at least for me, and I totally agree with Alcornoque, ammo availability is a crucial matter in Africa, and .470NE is the easiest of the three to find.
As I mention in other thread, the 470NE is a rifle I always wanted to hunt with.
In September I will get my double!!! I friend of mine is launching a new brand of fine rifles, bolt and doubles, and they are making a 470NE for me...
I am looking forward to see it and to shoot it.

Anyway, as said before, its really important to have in mind how easy is to get ammo of your rifle in Africa, just in case!!!
I love the 470 and the 476!
My favorite double is a 450-400-3", and has been for years..I have used the others and find that kind of power unnecessary..

However, my other favorite caliber in doubles is the 450-3.25..Its a great caliber and recoil is a bit less than the 470 it seems to me..

They are all good, and you should pick one by your ability to be honest with yourself as to how much recoil you can tolerate and by that I mean that you can shoot as well as say a 222 or 243..

Too many shooters think they can handle recoil that they cannot, they believe they don't flinch shooting at game, but they do on targets or off a bench..Thats all BS boys, you can either handle la rifles recoil or you cannot..If one shoots a LOT then he probably can handle the big bores.

I can shoot any big bore, been doing it for years but I do not enjoy the 470 and up and I have to "concentrate" on not flinching..With the 450-400 I just shoot it with no more concern than I shoot a 22 L.R. therefore I see my limit is the 450-400 for the most part and its served me well on Buffalo and even elephant to a somewhat lesser extent.

Bottom line is one does not need more power than a 450-400 on this planet IMO.
I've shot two cow elephants only but like a .450 NE or larger for elephant. In reality no real difference between a .470 and a .450, a .450 to me is just that bit more "classic". Also can use other .458 bullets in it, more choice, of course depending on if the rifle can be shot to regulation in any of the "other" choices of bullets, ie a handload which regulates for it developed.

I also always think its great the guys that discuss what to use for elephant hunting, can actually back up their internet "stories" with photographs if necessary.
Banning of .45 calibres in India and Sudan

Just a small correction, you have your dates the wrong way round. The banning came into effect in 1907, not 1909. The development of all the british calibres between the .450 and .476 was as a direct result of this banning, as the various gunmakers sought to find a calibre to equal or better the performance of the .450.
You can buy .450 No. 2 Cartidges from Kynoch. Bertram also makes brass for the .450 No.2

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