Cartridge for dangerous first game

I just bought a .458 lott last week, and picked it up yesterday - never shot one before. I have shot my .450 rigby hundreds of times though. I don't load mine up to the Norma African PH specs (500 gr x 2500 FPS) - I load 500 grain TSX's at 2350 which is just over 6100 ft lbs, which is plenty. I killed a buff on my second trip from 110 yards, one frontal shot, dead center of the chest - boom dead.

I'll say this there is a noticeable, but manageable difference in recoil between my .416 and my .450 Rigby - they are both Sako Brown Bears - so perfect comparison.

Also keep in mind while you may not feel the recoil while hunting, you do NEED TO PRACTICE before you going running off into the woods chasing after something they call black death. I practice on plastic water bottles, the massive explosions of water seem to take my mind off of the recoil.

PS - Practice off of sticks, the bench is for zeroing the rifle, and that's about it.
Great, and you, both of you, notice too much difference between the recoil of the 458 Lott and the 450 Rigby?
As I said before I read on a website that the 450 Rigby is surprisingly manageable, more than a kick it's a push.

I also suppose that these calibers, both the 458 Lott and 450 Rigby, are more than enough for any type of shot and circumstance, right?
Even for a frontal shot at an elephant?

I don't like leaving my pieces hurt or with deaths that aren't enough.

This is like everything in life, the rifle I bought before going to Africa will shoot at least 100 rounds to practice (especially shooting with open sights) and from the stick and also without support at distances between 25 meters to 100 meters.
 
I would advise shooting a 450 before committing. Frankly, I just don't see the need for something with that much recoil. And it won't be a light gun to carry all day.

I must say, though the 404 Jeffery is noted for its relatively moderate recoil, I was not ready for what it had to dish out after a lifetime of shooting 30-06. First shot fired out of that thumper was punishing ... literally.
20230722_081141.jpg
 
I have a question to ask you, as I have put in my presentation in AH, my next hunt will be my first dangerous hunt and I have an idea that it is a buffalo.
I want it to be a unique experience, and I don't know if the behavior of a buffalo in a fenced farm in South Africa really changes much to that of a buffalo in, for example, Botswana in the Okavango area, completely free. Since the price difference is substantial and I want to know if it really changes its way of being from being fenced to freedom.

Second, the fighters so far have been with a 30-06 and a 308 win.
I need a rifle that is good enough for a buffalo and also for future dangerous hunts since I want to complete the BIG 5.
I have thought of the 404 Jeffery, 416 Rigby, 450 Rigby and 505 Gibbs calibers. I want the rifle to be bolt action as I feel more confident and capable with this rifle.

The 404 Jeffery caliber calls my attention the most because of its low recoil compared to the rest of the calibers and its larger capacity magazine, but I don't know if it would be enough even for a frontal shot at an elephant, or if it would be underpowered and would i need a 416 Rigby or more powerful?

Due to the limitation of buying weapons in my country, I cannot have all the desired calibers, so I can only take one of those 4 options.

Please, if you say any caliber, tell me why, thank you very much, regards.

If you're bringing 2 guns or 3 guns, no matter what, you want a 375HH for three reasons.

A.) It can do it all
B.) It is a second gun so if one breaks, you're still able to hunt
C.) If your ammo goes missing, you have a chance of finding ammo in country

If you're bringing a 375HH and another gun, you can pick any esoteric large bore caliber as your second gun. If it breaks or you lose your ammo, so what? Your 375HH still saves the day for dangerous game or plains game.

The largebore "2nd gun" for a safari depends on what you're hunting and how much recoil you can handle. Buffalo's ideal low-recoil caliber is 404J or 450-400. Elephant's ideal low-recoil caliber is 458 winmag or 470NE.

Anything bigger/cooler/odder is just whatever you prefer.
 
Great, and you, both of you, notice too much difference between the recoil of the 458 Lott and the 450 Rigby?
As I said before I read on a website that the 450 Rigby is surprisingly manageable, more than a kick it's a push.

I also suppose that these calibers, both the 458 Lott and 450 Rigby, are more than enough for any type of shot and circumstance, right?
Even for a frontal shot at an elephant?

I don't like leaving my pieces hurt or with deaths that aren't enough.

This is like everything in life, the rifle I bought before going to Africa will shoot at least 100 rounds to practice (especially shooting with open sights) and from the stick and also without support at distances between 25 meters to 100 meters
Good idea with the practice, sounds like you know what you're doing there. I have not shot the .458 lott yet as I just picked it up yesterday. On one hand energy is energy, so more ft. lbs. = more recoil. The .458 lott is a CZ 550 - a much longer gun than my sako brown bears. I think the length will reduce barrel lift which may make the recoil feel less severe. With extra length you do sacrifice maneuverability.
I also fit all of my guns to my length of pull, which helps with the recoil.

The .450 vs. .416 on the same platform there is a noticeable, but manageable difference. I did eventually port the .450 rigby which has made it much easier to handle, but also super fucking loud. Part of me regrets doing that, but I did discuss it with my ph prior to doing it.

I have never hunted elephant, but the .450 has been more than enough for buffalo/hippo. I would think it would do well on elephant as well.
 
The problem with the R8 blaser rifle, let me tell you, that although I can change the barrel, it's a rifle that I don't like its aesthetics at all.
I'm looking at the Heym Express which is available in these calibers or any custom made rifle from a good UK company like John Rigby "Big Game" rifle.

- 404 Jeffery and 416 Rigby ammunition, I can't find the ammunition available anywhere.

- 450 Lott and 450 Rigby ammunition, are the ones with the most variety.

-500 Jeffery and 505 Gibbs ammunition, also not available anywhere.

My main idea was to look at a rifle that had more magazine capacity and a manageable recoil and that was capable of everything including frontal shots at elephants.
But the 404 Jeffery and the 416 Rigby, I can't find ammunition available anywhere in my country and out of curiosity I've looked in South Africa and I can't find much variety either.
I repeat, the cartridges that I have seen that are most available are the 458 Lott and 450 Rigby (Not counting the 375 H&H that is available everywhere.).

I have read from a page the following; "Despite this colossal difference, the .450 Rigby is surprisingly manageable. I remember being stunned on squeezing off the first round at just how easy it was to handle this large caliber. I wouldn't describe the recoil as severe – more like exhilarating. Unlike some big calibers that kick you abruptly with head-snatching violence, this was more of a long, hard push. Needless to say, I had already become a fan at this point."

I have seen that for example in the Normal 500gr FMJ in both calibers (Norma is the most accessible ammunition), the .450 Rigby comes out at 2,500 fps and a power of 6,941 ft/lb which is considerably more power than the 458 Lott.

I think that at the time of the hunt, you don't really feel any kind of kickback with the adrenaline in your body. But anyone who has or has shot the 450 Rigby and the 458 Lott is there that much of a difference in recoil or is it not too noticeable?

Thank you very much for all your answers and help.

What's your budget?....you mentioned the heym and rigby, so maybe presuming wrong...but go for a rigby made for you in 450 rigby....and if you can swing it..a Highland stalker in 275 ....sorted...oh and nothing wrong with 308...shot leopard..wildebeest..zebra...etc..etc with it....so basically get what you want....which to me from your practical point is the 450 rigby... :D Beers:..and yeah those blaser things look like a pile of...horse shite....got fed up waiting for the smiley of that to load....but people here know my opinion of them anyway :A Thumbs Up::A Thumbs Up::D Beers:
 
Good idea with the practice, sounds like you know what you're doing there. I have not shot the .458 lott yet as I just picked it up yesterday. On one hand energy is energy, so more ft. lbs. = more recoil. The .458 lott is a CZ 550 - a much longer gun than my sako brown bears. I think the length will reduce barrel lift which may make the recoil feel less severe. With extra length you do sacrifice maneuverability.
I also fit all of my guns to my length of pull, which helps with the recoil.

The .450 vs. .416 on the same platform there is a noticeable, but manageable difference. I did eventually port the .450 rigby which has made it much easier to handle, but also super fucking loud. Part of me regrets doing that, but I did discuss it with my ph prior to doing it.

I have never hunted elephant, but the .450 has been more than enough for buffalo/hippo. I would think it would do well on elephant as well.
What barrel length does your CZ have on a 458 Lott and the Sako on a 450 Rigby?

You say you regret trading your 416 Rigby for a 450 Rigby, just because of the noise or also because of the recoil or something else?
 
I love the 404 Jeffery because of its history and because of all the calibers described above, it has a reputation for little recoil compared to the larger ones and is capable of anything.
The same thing happens to me with the 416 Rigby, a caliber also full of history, but the same thing happens to both cartridges, I CANNOT FIND ammunition in my country or in South Africa (Maybe I'm looking wrong, but I can't see anything).

But seeing the difficulty of finding ammunition for these two, I only have the 458 Lott and 450 Rigby left for bolt-action rifles, since there is more variety of the 470 NE and 500 NE but these are for double-barreled rifles and in the short-medium term I'm not interested in either as I've shot a double before and didn't like it too much.

My budget depends and depends on, for example, which rifle, let me explain: a Blaser R8 Selous that is sold new in my country for €20,000 seems like a lot of money to me, for me it is a rifle that does not have the personality of, for example, a personalized John Rigby "Big Game" and therefore to leave that money in the Blaser I prefer something more personalized and exclusive.

Does anyone have a Heym and a John Rigby? From what I understand, both are incredible rifles, but the English one beats it in details and customization.

If I go for the John Rigby, I will ask you a question that I cannot answer, what is the real difference between a "Big Game" and a "London Best" since configuring it, one starts at £12,000 and the other at £41,000, (3 times the price) and the only differences I find is choosing what caliber you want, the "peep sight" and making engravings on the rifle.
 
What barrel length does your CZ have on a 458 Lott and the Sako on a 450 Rigby?

You say you regret trading your 416 Rigby for a 450 Rigby, just because of the noise or also because of the recoil or something else?
I did not trade .450 Rigby for the .416 Rigby. I partially regret porting the barrel on the .450 rigby. I still have both rifles. The sako's have a 21" barrel, which I really like, makes for easy handling. The .458 lott has a 24" barrel. If I was choosing between those guns I would take one of the Sako's. It sounds like you're looking into more expensive guns though.
 
Given the 4 you listed, I would go with 404 or 416. The 505 is unnecessarily big. I own a 450 Rigby. I’m glad I have it, but I have serious concerns how much longer it will be commercially available. The 404 and 416 have staying power. The 450 is a relatively new cartridge and has never really caught on. The factory ammo options are very limited in USA and will probably be even less in a few years. Hornady shows discontinued on the 450 Rigby which isn’t a good sign.
For your question on free range or fenced buffalo it really depends. I’ve seen very calm buffalo in Caprivi. I’ve seen very alert buffalo familiar with poaching in Zimbabwe. They were both 100% wild though, no question how they ended up where they were. I’ve seen buffalo breeding pens in South Africa. The first buffalo I saw in South Africa was actually an escaped bull running along highway and fence line getting chased down with a truck. There will be properties with only bulls introduced as calves from breeding operations. There will be “self sustaining” herds that are heavily supplemented with young bulls (or trophy bulls) each year. There will be properties were they are required to be fed every dry season and chase the truck. Then there are properties that are fully self sustaining as well and some that will even have big 5 but you really need to search these out. Finding buffalo that will run away from you in South Africa shouldn’t be a challenge if you discuss what you want with outfitter. My question would be what level of game farming are you willing to accept and still call it a trophy?
 
Given the 4 you listed, I would go with 404 or 416. The 505 is unnecessarily big. I own a 450 Rigby. I’m glad I have it, but I have serious concerns how much longer it will be commercially available. The 404 and 416 have staying power. The 450 is a relatively new cartridge and has never really caught on. The factory ammo options are very limited in USA and will probably be even less in a few years. Hornady shows discontinued on the 450 Rigby which isn’t a good sign.
For your question on free range or fenced buffalo it really depends. I’ve seen very calm buffalo in Caprivi. I’ve seen very alert buffalo familiar with poaching in Zimbabwe. They were both 100% wild though, no question how they ended up where they were. I’ve seen buffalo breeding pens in South Africa. The first buffalo I saw in South Africa was actually an escaped bull running along highway and fence line getting chased down with a truck. There will be properties with only bulls introduced as calves from breeding operations. There will be “self sustaining” herds that are heavily supplemented with young bulls (or trophy bulls) each year. There will be properties were they are required to be fed every dry season and chase the truck. Then there are properties that are fully self sustaining as well and some that will even have big 5 but you really need to search these out. Finding buffalo that will run away from you in South Africa shouldn’t be a challenge if you discuss what you want with outfitter. My question would be what level of game farming are you willing to accept and still call it a trophy?
I had not realized that indeed the 450 Rigby is no longer available on the official Hornady website....
As for hunting fences or not, I have to tell you that I totally agree, a farm of 1,000 hectares can have the wildest and bravest buffalo than one of 23,000 hectares.
What really influences us is if that buffalo has been fed as tame cattle or if it has really been bred 100% wild.

I will try to send an email to Hornady to find out if it has been officially discontinued
 
I had not realized that indeed the 450 Rigby is no longer available on the official Hornady website....
As for hunting fences or not, I have to tell you that I totally agree, a farm of 1,000 hectares can have the wildest and bravest buffalo than one of 23,000 hectares.
What really influences us is if that buffalo has been fed as tame cattle or if it has really been bred 100% wild.

I will try to send an email to Hornady to find out if it has been officially discontinued
My first buffalo was a management cow shot on a 3600 acre breeding/stocking operation back in 2019 in the midst of a seven year drought. The animals were being fed to keep them alive. It took some time to find the herd in very thick brush. Suddenly we were in the middle of them on three sides. The herd bull, a magnificent specimen that cost $114K US at auction, bolted before the designated animal was sighted. We lucked out and caught them moving in the open to a brushier section of the property and I killed the 25 year-old cow with one shot. Then the herd bull came for us three times. It was hairy!
2019-08-26 buffalo posed(1).JPG
 
.404J
I have a question to ask you, as I have put in my presentation in AH, my next hunt will be my first dangerous hunt and I have an idea that it is a buffalo.
I want it to be a unique experience, and I don't know if the behavior of a buffalo in a fenced farm in South Africa really changes much to that of a buffalo in, for example, Botswana in the Okavango area, completely free. Since the price difference is substantial and I want to know if it really changes its way of being from being fenced to freedom.

Second, the fighters so far have been with a 30-06 and a 308 win.
I need a rifle that is good enough for a buffalo and also for future dangerous hunts since I want to complete the BIG 5.
I have thought of the 404 Jeffery, 416 Rigby, 450 Rigby and 505 Gibbs calibers. I want the rifle to be bolt action as I feel more confident and capable with this rifle.

The 404 Jeffery caliber calls my attention the most because of its low recoil compared to the rest of the calibers and its larger capacity magazine, but I don't know if it would be enough even for a frontal shot at an elephant, or if it would be underpowered and would i need a 416 Rigby or more powerful?

Due to the limitation of buying weapons in my country, I cannot have all the desired calibers, so I can only take one of those 4 options.

Please, if you say any caliber, tell me why, thank you very much, regards.
 
I have a 404 Jeffery in a Heym Express. I also have a 450 Rigby in a Mauser M98 Diplomat. The 404 has considerably less recoil than the 450 Rigby. The recoil from a 458 Lott and a 450 Rigby are very close. Relating to performance, I do not believe that you will be wanting for any extra power than what the 404 can deliver, unless you are talking about a stopping rifle which would step up to the .458 calibers and larger. If you were to hand load or have someone load your ammunition, you could choose from some premium bullets for the 404 in 350, 380, 400, and 430 grains. Bullet selection for the .458 caliber rifles is a good bit more. I have seen bullets from 300 grain up to 600 grain in some of the premium bullets. I do not believe that you would be disappointed with a rifle in any of the cartridges that you mentioned. However, I would be more concerned with getting a reliably functioning rifle that fit you properly over buying one in any certain chambering.
 
Choose the calibre you shoot well and comfortably... the 1st shot is the most important on all game, .375 is good enough for elephant too, remember your ph has a bigger calibre for back up if things go south but wont be needed if your 1st shot is where it should be
 
The largest caliber you should take is the one you can consistently get off a second shot in trying circumstances. Try before you buy. Remember it’s the second shot you need to worry about.

There is essentially nothing you can’t do globally with an 06 and 375 except very long range stuff. Bullets now are so much better. Practice in your shooting conditions (sticks not bench) until you’re confident about shot placement.

375 and 06 ammo is available everywhere. The others not so much.
 
My first buffalo was a management cow shot on a 3600 acre breeding/stocking operation back in 2019 in the midst of a seven year drought. The animals were being fed to keep them alive. It took some time to find the herd in very thick brush. Suddenly we were in the middle of them on three sides. The herd bull, a magnificent specimen that cost $114K US at auction, bolted before the designated animal was sighted. We lucked out and caught them moving in the open to a brushier section of the property and I killed the 25 year-old cow with one shot. Then the herd bull came for us three times. It was hairy!
View attachment 553062
Incredible experience for what you describe, I hope you enjoyed it a lot.
 
Thanks to all of you, I think I'll opt for the 375 H&H, I hope I'm not wrong.
My idea was the 404 Jeffery or 416 Rigby so as not to have an excessive recoil, but since the factory ammunition for these two cartridges is currently almost impossible to obtain at least in my country and in South Africa (where I plan the hunt at the moment).

Out of curiosity, I've seen this video (I don't know if I can put Youtube links) at minute 26:30 the elephant receives a frontal shot, and the boy then reloads, is it a 375 H&H?

 
Thanks to all of you, I think I'll opt for the 375 H&H, I hope I'm not wrong.
My idea was the 404 Jeffery or 416 Rigby so as not to have an excessive recoil, but since the factory ammunition for these two cartridges is currently almost impossible to obtain at least in my country and in South Africa (where I plan the hunt at the moment).

Out of curiosity, I've seen this video (I don't know if I can put Youtube links) at minute 26:30 the elephant receives a frontal shot, and the boy then reloads, is it a 375 H&H?

That kid knew what he was doing! Offhand brain shot at what appeared to be seventy yards. No sticks! I'm sure it was 375 as that's the minimum legal elephant cartridge in most countries. Had it been a 416 Rigby I think that boy would have had trouble staying upright after the shot. Sure blows holes in all the big wallet guys who claim a double gun Nitro Express is the only gun for elephants.

I think you made a wise choice. I only have 37 brass to work with for my 404 and don't know when more will be available. It should be much easier to find 375 ammo and components.
 
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Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
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