- Jun 23, 2021
- Reaction score
It’s hard to view an answer as wholly well intentioned if it ends on a note of condescension.Penetration Index & Energy See A.B.Alphin, Any Shot You Want, On Target Press 1996 About Penetration Index The penetration index is calculated by dividing kinetic energy with the frontal area of the bullet and multiplying the result by the sectional density, as described by A. Alphin. If...www.africahunting.com
Check out this very interesting chart. It does actually show a 30-06 has not only better penetration than a 500NE, but considerably more. And a 375 H&H has more yet (with heavy for caliber bullets) and is in fact near the top of the range.
I remember looking at this chart before my elephant hunt. I had just purchased a 505 Gibbs, owned a 375 H&H, and ended up buying a 416 Rem Mag which i ultimately shot my elephant with. I did take the 375 with, and left the 505 home for two reasons. 1. It was having feeding issues occasionally, especially when the bolt was cycled very fast. 2. The thing is just simply heavy to carry.
The particular 416 i took actually weighs less than that 375 of the same make and model. And in my case at least, elephant was hunted with feet. Much strenuous walking through difficult terrain. So to me at least, every extra ounce I was carrying was important. And it was mostly HOT. So an extra pound of rifle meant one less bottle of water. And that one extra bottle of water became very important late in the afternoon which happened to be when we often caught up and approached elephants.
Notice the really big heavy hitters are not even in the acceptable range on penetration for a frontal head shot on elephant. I'm talking .577 NE, .600 and 700.
Now Justin way at the bottom you can see the clear choice for your elephant hunt would be a 50 BMG.
Seriously, pretty much all of the double rifle calibers are at best only in the "Just Suitable" category or if tuned just right with heavy bullets can eek barely into the "Well Suited" category and none come even close to the "Very Reliable" or "Top Values" that the 375 fits right into, as does a 416 rem mag or Rigby. Of note is the 416/500NE that @Red Leg mentioned is likely one of the few Double Rifle cartridges that might fare well if it was included on this chart.
Now I realize, as does the author of that chart, that charts and indexes do not kill elephants.
I would like to also point out a couple simple points that I'm sure all parties of this discussion are aware, but points worth making and to Joe's point on accuracy and the main point on penetration.
Bullet diameter. The greater the caliber, the greater the frontal area of the bullet. This is why starting at about .474, or even .423 in the case of the 404 Jeffrey, penetration starts to fall off. Increased frontal area needs to be overcome with weight and speed. Those two things create recoil. And no matter what kind of He Man you are, at some point recoil reduces accuracy. It can and is typically managed by rifle weight. But for the type of elephant hunt many of us dream of, you will be walking them down. You will need water. You get the point.
I also want to point out something else about frontal area of a bullet. @Royal27 heart shot his elephant with a 458 Lott. It ran for something like 13 hours and he finished it with a frontal brain shot. Upon skinning it out, the heart had a nice groove put in it by the .458 bullet but it had failed to opened the heart up to rapid blood loss. Someone mentioned he should have bored his 458 out to 470 Capstick and possibly the extra diameter would have opened up the heart....
I would contend that if the tsetse fly who shit on Royal's left shoulder had instead relieved itself on his right shoulder it might have also caused Royal to lean just enough to one side to make that shot penetrate the heart
In my case, I took a side brain shot. I was told to shoot 3" behind the ear hole. I should have shot 3" ahead. In defense of my PH, he was more concerned about the second elephant coming through a thicket to stomp us than watching the exact angle presented at my shot. My bullet clipped the vertebrae connected to the skull and knock the elephant unconscious. I got a second shot in between the shoulder blades and a 3rd into the top of the head within a few seconds and it was all over. Would a 300 grain 375 bullet have had the shock value to knock that bull down? I don't know. The 400 grain i was shooting did. Had I been shooting a double I just don't know. Mine is very accurate but not close to my good bolt guns.
My point being that Joe is of course absolutely correct on the importance of shot placement being much more important than caliber. However there is something to be said about a heavier bullet. Not sure what I might use on a second elephant hunt?
However if I get into a public discussion about it, I would certainly try to be polite and open minded to well intentioned answers to my questions.
Not talking about your post.