Where do you live? i need to come give you a smack across the ear for that one...but .416 Rigby just doesn't sound that cool.
koburn,How much truth is there in what I've read regarding non-rimmed cartridges in doubles? If it's just BS then .416 Rigby would make much sense as a moose/bear rifle double (and I'd be ready for Africa as well).
I am not dead set on limiting myself to 2 rifles, I could own 3 or 4 rifles as long as they get use. Outside of Africa I just don't see any use for more than 2 centerfire rifles. That's why it'd be nice if there was sensible cartridge that is enough gun on pachyderms but not overkill on moose/bear. I think the .416 Rigby is sensible enough on CX3 game and would find use. But it seems more suitable for a bolt action than a double. 375H&H also fits the bill, but looks a bit weak on really big stuff. And, it's also non-rimmed so not sure if it's a good choice in a double.
If I knew I'd never would hunt Africa then the choice would be easy:
bolt action 6.5x55 or 7x57
double rifle 9.3x74R (I don't think anything larger is needed outside of Africa, except maybe for bison or water buffalo)
But 450/400 or 470 could work just as well. The latter should be relatively easy to find ammo for as well.
From an ammo perspective perhaps this would make most sense:
30-06 bolt for CXP2/3
470 NE double for CXP3/4
(12 gauge shotgun for CXP1+birds)
Of course I could do everything you just listed with - let's see - I know! A .300WM and a .375 Just saying. And I truly don't love the .243 enough to use it to poke small holes in medium size PG - much less use it to brain or spine a croc - particularly if I am a paying client. (Though were I culling and utilizing the meat I guess I would prefer it to the .223 for head/neck shots). It does make a fine Southern whitetail round (or Roe deer) - though again not my first choice. And of course, a number of jurisdictions (maybe not Zambia?) will get grumpy with you for disturbing their lions with a .300.To be honest, there are very few Big 5 cartridges that are suitable for anything else all over the world.
the smallest of the DG calibers would be the obvious choice, that being the 375, 9,3's etc.
But they are rubbish
Once you start looking at 458's and up in bolt or double they become more specific to certain game and certain situations.
If you are looking at a 3 gun battery, i would choose any of the 6mm/6.5mm's as a small gun, a 300wm as a medium and a 416/458 as a DG gun.
If you get it right, you can have all three in mauser m03.
Where do you live? i need to come give you a smack across the ear for that one...
i have a 243, 300wm and 416rigby as my regulars, the 243 will cover all animals up to lechwe size with ease, perfect medicine for crocs too.
the 300 will do all up to lion, leopard, eland etc.
the 416/458 will cover buff, ele, hippo and anything smaller that you happen across.
there is very little worldwide that you couldnt shoot with those 3 calibers. you could always swap out the 416/458 for a double in 450, 470 or 500 and it would be much of the same.
there will always be occasions when a specialty rifle may come in handy, but these three will most certainly do it.
as a note, i would swap the 243 for a 6,5x55 personally as the heavier bullets will be advantageous.
There you go talking sense again...Of course I could do everything you just listed with - let's see - I know! A .300WM and a .375 Just saying.
Am I missing something? .243 would be considered overkill where I live for red or grey foxes. .22LR is what is used most often. Are the foxes bigger where you live, or are shots just taken much further away?Here, a .243 would only be legal for roe deer, lynx and wolf (and smaller game). Anything larger than that requires a minimum of 6.5mm and 139g (honestly, even that is quite minimal for moose, I think it'd be better with ca 160g). But I would never shoot a moose with a .243 unless my life depended on it.
As for 30-06 and lighter loads, I think that's rifle specific, the ones I've shot with seemed to work best with 165g or 180g. Can't recall shooting heavier loads than 180g though. But yeah, it might work fine with foxes and lighter loads, not saying it doesn't. And I am sure it works on the bigger bears as well, they've been shot with 6.5x55 SE and smaller calibers as well. But I don't think neither caliber is particularly optimal for big bears (I would shoot with either one if needed though, but definitely prefer a 30-06). 6.5x55 seems to work quite fine on fox though (most of the time).
I was a bit unclear. It's legal to hunt the following big game here with a smaller caliber than 6.5mm w/ 139g: roe deer, lynx and wolf. Everything above that requires a min. of 6.5mm.Am I missing something? .243 would be considered overkill where I live for red or grey foxes. .22LR is what is used most often. Are the foxes bigger where you live, or are shots just taken much further away?