Help Deciding on Double Rifle Chambering


AH senior member
Apr 26, 2017
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USA, Canada, West Germany, Romania
Are there any statistics on ballistics, energy and stuff for the 470 vs. the 500? I'd certainly say those are 2 of the best choices since a box of 20 rounds can be bought for an ok price
Yes; I would recommend perusing The Chamberlain Development Cartridge Comparison Guide.

Not sure what "and stuff" you seek, and I'm not going to transcribe the entire book here, but this is what they say specifically for Hornady factory loads in those two calibers:

CartridgeBullet weight (gr)Muzzle velocity (fps)Muzzle energy (ft-lbs)MomentumSectional densityRecoil Energy (ft-lbs) by rifle weight
8 lbs.11lbs.14 lbs.
.470 NE50021505131153.60.31782.0959.7046.91
.500 NE57021505849.3175.10.313105.2776.5660.15
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AH veteran
Feb 1, 2021
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RSA, Tanzania, Zambia
Though not very popular the 450#2 is a wonderful cartridge. For handloading the bullet selection is endless and using Reloader 15 powder the recoil is very tame. It’s an oddball but a truly wonderful oddball. Honestly if I was going nostalgia I would have to build a 476 Westley Richards- just because I’m a W.R.&Co fan. Enjoy the build !

Opposite Pole

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Jun 6, 2017
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Warsaw & Sydney
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Few years ago I went through the same process - my candidates were 500/416, 500/450, 470NE & 500NE. I wanted (not necessarily needed) a powerful big bore so narrowed it down to 470 & 500. Having previously hunted with 470 I knew for a fact I can tolerate the recoil. I visited Krieghoff in Ulm and fired both from otherwise identical rifles. To me the recoil didn’t feel much different but getting back on target with 500 took noticeably longer. Still unconvinced which one to get and having to pick one I ordered 470 based on wishy-washy idea that ammo is a little more accessible, and due to 500’s black powder origins, reloading of the 500 is a bit harder. I’m happy with my choice but I’m fairly sure I would have been equally happy with either of the other ones and I doubt any animal would ever notice the difference.

I have also ordered a second set of barrels in 9.3x74R. It is something I recommend. For not that much more money you end up with two rifles one of which you get to use much more frequently. Naturally smaller calibre barrels are much lighter so balance changes etc. but that’s a small tradeoff. In my rifle, due to weight of the receiver, shooting the 9.3 feels like 308Win. There are so many great medium and small bore calibres a double can be chambered in that you can surely find one that you’ll get to use a lot. It’s good fun and great practise too. You can scope the smaller set as well which further extends its usefulness. Krieghoff does the following as standard medium bore calibres in doubles: 7x57R, 7x65R, 308Win, 30-06, 30R Blaser, 8x57IRS, 8x75RS, 9.3x74R, and the rimmed 375H&H. I’m sure all the other makers offer similar choices.


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Jul 26, 2020
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If 480grain @ 2100-2150 ft/sec is the goal the .450nitro would be my choice.

The .450 No2 is a great good cartridge and impressive looking as well. But bottlenecked cartridges in a double can be a downside. In my book straightwall cartridges only.

I know Arthur Neumann used a .577bpe for most of his elephantwork and disregarded his 10bore(I think he lost it or ruined it), but if buffalo is the goal for the upcomming purchase why not consider a .577bpe?. Lots of fun and yet a tremendous power. Beautiful classic cartridge that is easy lot for and cast bullets for too. If one double are in mind get a straightwall caliber where everything available or atleast can be ordered of the shelf. The .450nitro is practical logical choice particular if living in the US. If none-dangerous game hunting and one likes the feel heading of with a vintage double in a .500ex is a good choice. Lots of power and easy in the reloading dept. 470 nitro cases can easily be formed. The has been a few articals about hunters who brought their .500ex succesfully for buffalohunting in Africa. So 440grain @ 1750 ft/sec is leathal.

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I am glad you found some useful info in my posts. Hard cast WFN with GC will do the job fine. I trust Veral Smith (owner of LBT company) - I believe that he can provide you with some finest HC bullets. Many companies are coping his design. I can help you from here in developing max loads (40.000psi) just let me know which powder you are using (I use Quick Load software which turns to be very reliable).