Help Deciding on Double Rifle Chambering

AES

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Hi guys, I am in the process of ordering a new DR and have to decide on what I would like to chamber it in. This is not as easy of a decision as one might think given that I am trying to avoid caliber “overlap”. In making my decision and soliciting yours, the below must be taken into consideration . . .

- I have a 416 Rigby bolt that I absolutely adore and can cleanly take any huntable animal. Given this, there is no specific requirement to go bigger and, frankly, not really that many options to do so given modern loads
- Caliber selected needs to be able to be rationally used to hunt Elephant (no .303 British, please!)
- I will have a 500/465 at some point, so that can be eliminated
- I very much like the romantacism around the 450 3 1/4. Buying that would then make duplicative the rounds that were later introduced to replicate its performance? . . . The 470 NE, 500/460, 475NE, 470 Non2, 458 etc.
- Assume this will be my only DR and that it will not be scoped

I don’t know what else to say to guide your comments. I will try to respond to suggestions with what as I see as a downside to them.

My gut is to go .500NE but lead me as you will.
 

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Hi guys, I am in the process of ordering a new DR and have to decide on what I would like to chamber it in. This is not as easy of a decision as one might think given that I am trying to avoid caliber “overlap”. In making my decision and soliciting yours, the below must be taken into consideration . . .

- I have a 416 Rigby bolt that I absolutely adore and can cleanly take any huntable animal. Given this, there is no specific requirement to go bigger and, frankly, not really that many options to do so given modern loads
- Caliber selected needs to be able to be rationally used to hunt Elephant (no .303 British, please!)
- I will have a 500/465 at some point, so that can be eliminated
- I very much like the romantacism around the 450 3 1/4. Buying that would then make duplicative the rounds that were later introduced to replicate its performance? . . . The 470 NE, 500/460, 475NE, 470 Non2, 458 etc.
- Assume this will be my only DR and that it will not be scoped

I don’t know what else to say to guide your comments. I will try to respond to suggestions with what as I see as a downside to them.

My gut is to go .500NE but lead me as you will.

.470NE is an easy choice. A popular caliber that fits what you are looking for.
I was in your shoes a few years ago and I am so glad I didn’t get a .500.
 

chashardy

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I had this same conversation with Chris Sells at Heym during the DSC convention a couple of years ago. I was thinking 470NE and he strongly suggested 450/400 instead. Easier to manage and more than enough stopping power.
My PH in South Africa carries a 450/400 double and it's the caliber he suggested if I add a second double to my 375H&H double and 416 Rigby bolt.
 

mikecatt13

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I love my 470NE but cant really give you any truly helpful advice since it's my first DR, but I'm interested to see what other with more experience have to say
 

Kevin Peacocke

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It also depends upon the weight of the double you want to lug around and can hold on target. Heym for example comes in several frame sizes: the Light is just 3.6kg and will probably max out at 375 Flanged. I have a Verney of this size, you dont even notice the weight. The Africa is 4.5kg, and 450/400 is a good fit. Then it is up to 5.4kg for the 500 and above. I am leaning towards the Afrca in 450/400, it is enough gun for the hunter and manageable to heft and point.
 

John458Lott

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For a Client Double the 450/400 makes the most sense but then the "V8" phenomenon takes over and why not a 450 NE or 470 NE and then again there is the "V12" so why not a 500 NE. 500 NE owners tell me it just a "push" why do I not believe them?

Your gut is telling you the truth!
 

Philip Glass

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why Are you happy to have passed on the 500?
Because the .470 is absolutely all the recoil I can physically handle. Too many car wrecks when I was young. My neck just can’t take too much when you get to these extremes. Plus the Kreighoff rep recommended the .470 and I am so glad he did.
Most people don’t keep a double very long so my advice is to go with a .470 as it has by far the best resale value.
Philip
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Only yesterday I was discussing this very subject with a very seasoned PH here in Zim and he told me he is so over getting neck issues with heavy calibres. "What is the fun", he said. "In getting a stiff neck from the first shot of the hunt and then putting up with it for the next two weeks?" So I thought well dont fire the thing at all, and then the only remaining question is why buy it in the first place? If you can neither afford, financially or physically to shoot heavy calibres, what it the point? I just don't get it.
 

John458Lott

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Kevin, I was discussing a double purchase with my friends too most recently. One has a VC 450 NE and the other sold his Merkel 500 NE but is non the lookout for a replacement. They are trying to get me to buy one but my eyes are not good enough for open sights maybe a Trijicon RMR though. Then I watch that Stefan guy from SA who has a show on youtube and it absolutely puts me off doubles. The amount of animals he wounds with his open sighted double! So I tell my friends why would I spend all that money on a bow and arrow that can deliver 4,000 ft-lbs! Just joking!

One day most likely I'll get one even if it makes no sense to do so. We're loonies after all!
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Kevin, I was discussing a double purchase with my friends too most recently. One has a VC 450 NE and the other sold his Merkel 500 NE but is non the lookout for a replacement. They are trying to get me to buy one but my eyes are not good enough for open sights maybe a Trijicon RMR though. Then I watch that Stefan guy from SA who has a show on youtube and it absolutely puts me off doubles. The amount of animals he wounds with his open sighted double! So I tell my friends why would I spend all that money on a bow and arrow that can deliver 4,000 ft-lbs! Just joking!

One day most likely I'll get one even if it makes no sense to do so. We're loonies after all!
Maybe he is just a kak shot John (just joking Stefan). The whole point of a double is to get in close, where open sights or an RMR are doable and a miss of vitals is highly unlikely. In our club we have a 'big bore' shoot every month and it is excellent fun as well as good training. Most common calibre? 375. The winner is almost without exception a 375 too.
 

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Hi guys, I am in the process of ordering a new DR and have to decide on what I would like to chamber it in. This is not as easy of a decision as one might think given that I am trying to avoid caliber “overlap”. In making my decision and soliciting yours, the below must be taken into consideration . . .

- I have a 416 Rigby bolt that I absolutely adore and can cleanly take any huntable animal. Given this, there is no specific requirement to go bigger and, frankly, not really that many options to do so given modern loads
- Caliber selected needs to be able to be rationally used to hunt Elephant (no .303 British, please!)
- I will have a 500/465 at some point, so that can be eliminated
- I very much like the romantacism around the 450 3 1/4. Buying that would then make duplicative the rounds that were later introduced to replicate its performance? . . . The 470 NE, 500/460, 475NE, 470 Non2, 458 etc.
- Assume this will be my only DR and that it will not be scoped

I don’t know what else to say to guide your comments. I will try to respond to suggestions with what as I see as a downside to them.

My gut is to go .500NE but lead me as you will.

It took me two years to make that decision, so I was very much in the same boat as you. I ended up going with the 500N.E and have not regretted it for a single day. Go with your gut. My DR comes in at 10.6 lbs, so not the heaviest double out there, but the way I see it, you carry it way more than you shoot it.
Good luck with your decision. Looking forward to seeing what you decide on.
 

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I would pay more attention to fit...if the double rifle fits you, percieved recoil will be less.. When you throw the rifle up the sights should automatically align..

You can take any DG with 450/400..... .450/470/475 has more heavy recoil... as your .416 Rigby (but not as fast..)

The .500´s and up is more and unless you plan to hunt much elephant, let it be..
 

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Assuming you intend to remain a client and not take up full time PH work, then I would get the one that carries the easiest and allows you to put the first shot exactly where it needs to be after a long stern pursuit in the heat (that is always the client's primary responsibility). That is usually not a 12 pound plus rifle of any caliber.

I have a supremely accurate 500/416 that accomplishes that role very well (it also uses a quick detachable scope with 200 meter accuracy). A 450/500 would be similar in a more traditional caliber. My .470, and it fits well, is a noticeable step up in recoil and step down in accuracy than the 500/416. Though in fairness, the rifle obviously has a lot to do with accuracy. The .470 is a traditional Birmingham boxlock with a white bead and the 500/416 is a superbly accurate and ergonomic S2 Blaser with a Z6.
 

Surgeon1

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I have both a Heym 470 and a matching one in 450-400. the recoil from the 479 is significantly more,
but less than a Dakota Traveler in 416 Rigby! My choice.....Model 88 Heym in 470NE
 

degoins

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I've had a 450/400 and a 450 NE, still have the .450. Loved the slim and trimness of the 450/400 and the lighter recoil, but the plethora of available bullets plus the nostalgia of the .450 makes me lean toward it.
 

AES

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I had this same conversation with Chris Sells at Heym
That's who I am speaking/meeting/shooting with, as well. Getting to actually shoot all of these calibers with Chris will be the final deciding factor.

It took me two years to make that decision, so I was very much in the same boat as you. I ended up going with the 500N.E and have not regretted it for a single day. Go with your gut. My DR comes in at 10.6 lbs, so not the heaviest double out there, but the way I see it, you carry it way more than you shoot it.
Good luck with your decision. Looking forward to seeing what you decide on.
Leaning the 500 NE

I would pay more attention to fit...if the double rifle fits you, percieved recoil will be less.. When you throw the rifle up the sights should automatically align..

You can take any DG with 450/400..... .450/470/475 has more heavy recoil... as your .416 Rigby (but not as fast..)

The .500´s and up is more and unless you plan to hunt much elephant, let it be..
My assumption is that fit and weight will be optimized for whatever caliber I select. Totally agree this is a huge contributor to felt recoil.

I have both a Heym 470 and a matching one in 450-400. the recoil from the 479 is significantly more,
but less than a Dakota Traveler in 416 Rigby! My choice.....Model 88 Heym in 470NE
Interesting that you feel the 470 recoil is less than the 416. I don't mind the amount of recoil in the 416 so sounds like a 470 would be fine . . . so may be that is more reason to go 500? Did you have no concern about the 470 being too much overlap v the 416? Did you debate going to the 500?

I am also doing an 88b (and my 416 is a Dakota). Good taste!
 

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500/416 NE 3 1/4 makes a lot of sense...but somehow did not take off....
I always wanted a 500 NE but I have a 500 Jeff that is not going anywhere....
I am strongly leaning towards the old warhorse 450/400 NE 3" or AKA 400 Jeff....
Having said that I am experienced and know where to aim am not getting younger and the 400 Jeff seems to tick all the boxes for me anyway.....

An O/U with a set of 450/400 NE barrels, another set 9.3x74R/7×57R(Bergstutzen) and another 7x65R/12ga may just be the perfect do it all combination....I am permitted to dream......Lotto....
 

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