Medium bore DG cartridges

matt85

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im kicken around the idea of writing an article on medium bore DG cartridges. ive been doing a large amount of research on them and find them to be very interesting. im thinking a brief history, potential uses, reloading tips, and perhaps my own general opinion.

this article isnt going to be published or anything. im really writing it just for fun.

so far the cartridges id like to talk about are:

416 weatherby
416 Rigby
416 Remington Mag
416 Ruger
500/416 NE 3.25"
404 Jeffery
375 H&H
450/400 NE 3"
9.3x74R (may or may not include this one)

any one think i should add any other cartridges? any suggested info i should put in the article?

thanks
-matt
 

bassasdaindia

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nice idea Matt

I would like to read about the preferred bullet weights and at what speed they perform best.
 

Von Gruff

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Surely if you are going to possible include the 9.3x74 you have to also include the 9.3 x62 as well. I think it is a great idea as there are many who may have the good sense to except that the super bores have limited use (for them) and the medium to large bores offer a very much wider use. The 40 cal really is the do all bore size and the 404/416 while having a wide exceptance among the knowelegable, those new to the idea of DG hunting are often swayed toward the super bores as being necessary. It may be for your own enjoyment but I believe there are many who would learn fro such an article.
 

Velo Dog

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Matt85,

In terms of adding any other cartridges:
The .405 Winchester made a small splash in Africa (perhaps due to T. Roosevelt having used one there in about 1909/1910.)
This is possibly evidenced by the common Belgian (and other makers), Pre-War double rifles in .405 caliber.
(When you get a chance, have a peep at: www.champlinarms.com.)

With factory loads, it is not my idea of a good cartridge for thick skinned game but for so called plains game, I would not hesitate to carry it to Africa.
Likewise, it is popular in Alaska where I live and I will guess next door in Canada as well.

After that, if you end up deciding to include the 9.3x74R, I suggest that you include the 9.3x62 as well.
No doubt you already know one is for single shots, doubles, and combination guns of one type or another, while the other is primarily for bolt actions, and they are ballistic twins.
That being said, it seems good press that if you decide to write about one, you should at least mention the other.

Your idea for an article on the medium bores is excellent.
I applaud you for it.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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matt85

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im very hesitant to include the 9.3mm cartridges since its debatable whether they are suitable for DG. personally I believe they would be fine for thin skinned DG but falls short for thick skinned game.

the 405 Win falls into the same category as the 9.3mm's in that its suitable for cats but not really thick skinned critters.

I did forget the 375 Ruger in my caliber list. :oops:

-matt
 

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i am with von gruff and velo dog that you have to include the 9.3x62 along with the 9.3x74r also they are 2 of my favourite cals :). they have both taken plenty of the big stuff in the past and still do, and dont forget the 9.3x64 which is very similar in capabilities to the .375h&h
 

LRich

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i am with von gruff and velo dog that you have to include the 9.3x62 along with the 9.3x74r also they are 2 of my favourite cals :). they have both taken plenty of the big stuff in the past and still do, and dont forget the 9.3x64 which is very similar in capabilities to the .375h&h

I would add the 375 Weatherby.
 

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Just to complicate your project, back in the day the Wesley Richards .318 Accelerated Express accounted for a whole lot of DG. Selby tells the story that a .318 solid penetrated deeper than any other bullet he ever witnessed. One inbound black rhino took one in the snout and it was just under the hide of its right rear hip. 250 gr is the classic load. With solids it was very dependable on elephant and buffalo, and softs were considered ideal lion medicine. It will certainly do anything a 9.3 x 74 will do.
 

Velo Dog

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Just to complicate your project, back in the day the Wesley Richards .318 Accelerated Express accounted for a whole lot of DG. Selby tells the story that a .318 solid penetrated deeper than any other bullet he ever witnessed. One inbound black rhino took one in the snout and it was just under the hide of its right rear hip. 250 gr is the classic load. With solids it was very dependable on elephant and buffalo, and softs were considered ideal lion medicine. It will certainly do anything a 9.3 x 74 will do.

I'm with Red Leg on this one.

In African hunting cartridge terms, I do not really know where "small bore" ends and "medium bore" begins.
However, he is correct about the .318 WR's awesome reputation in Africa's history.
According to Bell (refer to his book: "The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter"), his favorite cartridge for heavy/thick skinned game was the .318, with 250 grain FMJ bullet (then and now it was/is a 2400 fps load).

Sorry to pour more kerosene on the fire but, if you write about that incredibly well balanced and historic cartridge, you must by good rights at least mention its ballistic twin; the .338-06....(250 gr RN bullet @ 2400 fps).

The people who dig shooting very large animals with very small calibers (recoil sensitive I guess) often claim that Bell sacked a thousand elephants with a 7x57 Mauser (.275 Rigby) but, if you read his book, he actually preferred the .318/250 gr/round nose "solid" (dreaded cup & core FMJ type). There were other calibers that he used as well but exact numbers of elephant (and other game) taken with each might be foggy.

Another roach in the small bore oatmeal is that in his excellent book: "Elephant Hunters", Tony Sanchez-Arino (with my apologies, my keyboard in monolingual and will not let me put the altilde over the n in Arino but it's pronounced "Areenyo" not Areeno") writes content something about like the following:

There are written records from Rigby indicating that Bell, during his prosperous ivory hunting career, ordered not one but two .416 caliber rifles and a thousand rounds for each of 410 grain FMJ ammunition.

To that I say; Hmmmm.

Trivia Time:
(Speaking of the .318 WR): For an anti-hunting / anti-gun / politically floppy wristed Hollywood type, Robert Redford allowed some proper hardware into his movie "Out of Africa".
In the scene where Meryl Streep crumples a charging lioness with her Mauser ... if she was not shooting a .318 WR, then my name is Rumplestilskin.

I talk too much so cheerio for now,
Velo Dog.
 
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matt85

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thanks for the info guys! this is the first ive heard of the 318 (WR or AE?), I will have to look it up. but sorry both the 318 and the 338 would count as small bores so they aren't going to be the topic of this article. I believe these days medium bore starts at .35" and ive decided id like to stick with cartridges suitable for all DG which the 9.3mm's are not. plus id like to stick with cartridges that are actually legal to use on DG these days.

as for the 375 weatherby, I need to do a bit of research into weatherby's .375" diameter cartridges. I know of the 375 and the 378 but im not familiar with the history of either. this could make for some fun research. I did get a chance to fire a rifle in 378 weatherby once and talk about a powerful rifle!

-matt
 

zephyr

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Like my 400H&H pushes a .411 dia 400gr bullet at 2400fps with less pressure than a 416 REM a 300gr bullet at 2700fps ..
You should check out Pierre van der Walt"s book
African Dangerous Game Cartridges
 

Red Leg

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thanks for the info guys! this is the first ive heard of the 318 (WR or AE?), I will have to look it up. but sorry both the 318 and the 338 would count as small bores so they aren't going to be the topic of this article. I believe these days medium bore starts at .35" and ive decided id like to stick with cartridges suitable for all DG which the 9.3mm's are not. plus id like to stick with cartridges that are actually legal to use on DG these days.

as for the 375 weatherby, I need to do a bit of research into weatherby's .375" diameter cartridges. I know of the 375 and the 378 but im not familiar with the history of either. this could make for some fun research. I did get a chance to fire a rifle in 378 weatherby once and talk about a powerful rifle!

-matt

Really? According to whom? Not sure I understand the difference between a 9.3 250 gr bullet from a 63 0r 74R and a .33 cal .318 WR or .338-06 250 gr. But I digress. :)
 

enysse

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I would like a article on the 400 H&H. Why did it not become popular?
 

matt85

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Really? According to whom? Not sure I understand the difference between a 9.3 250 gr bullet from a 63 0r 74R and a .33 cal .318 WR or .338-06 250 gr. But I digress. :)

if they are legal to hunt thick skinned DG with in all African countries (that allow hunting) then i will include them. but i dont intend to include cartridges that are not legal to use.

never heard of the 400 H&H, but it sounds like i need to fire up google and do some searching.

thank you
-matt
 

Velo Dog

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I would like a article on the 400 H&H. Why did it not become popular?

Hello Enysse,

It is a fairly new cartridge.
I predict it will not become popular due to others already quite well established (Pre-WW-I) in that same general ballistic range.
Also, the relatively recent .416 Remington is quite similar in concept and that one is not a huge seller compared to the Rigby.

The .400 appears to be a custom build option only, at this point.
Maybe that will change and some outfit like Ruger or CZ could offer it (but I doubt it for the first reason).
Besides, Ruger likes to save steel (AKA: money) by making their DG repeaters on .30-06 length actions these days.

It's a shame that one, because it is a fine cartridge as far as I have read about it.
Incidentally, H&H also announced another DG cartridge for repeaters about the same time as they did their .400, called "the .465 H&H Belted Rimless Magnum" (or something like that.)
This is not to be confused with the .500/.465 H&H NE Flanged for doubles.
I do not remember for certain but, it seems like the .465 Belted is on a larger diameter case, sort of like the larger Weatherby head/belt size cartridges.

I'm rambling again.

Out,
Velo Dog.
 
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enysse

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Thanks, I did not do the research on it. Sounds like some of the better known cartridges will do.
I'm still trying to wrap head around the idea of why the .404 Jeffrey is not more available.
And until the .416 Rem was invented, the .416 Rigby was essentially dead and not being used much.
I guess some cartridges get new lives and while others go dormant.
 

Velo Dog

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Thanks, I did not do the research on it. Sounds like some of the better known cartridges will do.
I'm still trying to wrap head around the idea of why the .404 Jeffrey is not more available.
And until the .416 Rem was invented, the .416 Rigby was essentially dead and not being used much.
I guess some cartridges get new lives and while others go dormant.

Hi again Enysse,

Yup, some of that popularity trend stuff is mumbo-jumbo that I do not understand.
My best guess on the .404 though, is that until sort of recently, there were no standard SAAMI specs.
Confusion on exactly what dimensions the chamber reamers, reloading dies and live ammunition should be made to, must be very frustrating for Gunsmiths and manufacturers.
Ruger originally planned to chamber their excellent but no longer made Model 77 Magnum in .404 Jeffery but for some reason (no SAAMI specs?) did not follow through with it.
They did market a small run of the #1 single shot in .404 but I do not know why it was not anything more than a very small run and I have never known anyone who tried one.

Now that there are standard specs for it, CZ offers it in their so called "Custom Shop" rifles at around $3,000.+ some odd hundred dollars.
If they'd stop that nonsense and just offer it in their regular 550 magnum for about the same price as their .375s and .458s, many hunters and rifle nuts would have bought one by now.

Sadly, I once caved in and bought one in .500 Jeffery but, it will not feed plus, the chamber is too short for factory Kynoch live ammunition (!)
CZ's so called Custom Gunsmith gave me the royal runaround when I called him a couple times so, I decided to not let him or any other Bozo The Clown types at CZ touch it again (he / they had chance plenty enough when they built it and supposedly inspected it prior to letting it out the door in the first place).

A local proper Gunsmith is fixing it here in Anchorage.
He already fixed a CZ "Custom Shop" rifle in .505 Gibbs with the exact same problem plus, he has done simply perfect work on other rifles for me so, all things will be made right, even if I did have to fit the bill.
Oh well, it has saved me money in the long run because, I was formerly planning to save up and eventually over the next few years, to buy three more from their so called "Custom Shop" (.300 H&H, .404 Jeffery and .425 Westley Richards).
At well over 3K each, I am saving almost 10K total because I would not wipe my you-know-what with one now.

I'm out on one of my soapbox tangents again....dang.

Parting Shot:
Get yerself a .404, you will not be sorry.
It is one of the world's greatest DG cartridges.
I have fired one and at that point, made a sober oath to get one when the right deal comes along.
Blah, blah, blah.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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enysse

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Huge mistake on CZ's part for not making the .404 Jeffrey on the regular 550 platform. I bought my 375 H&H for less than $750 when it first came out. I love that gun. CZ always seems to looking for ways to sell more guns.
 

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Probably the best reason the 400H&H has not taken off is there are no commercial loadings for it. In fact one cannot find any Saami specs for it either. The owners of Gulf Breeze Fire Arms in Florida a Dakota dealer has sold quite a few 400H&H rifles and were trying very hard to get Barnes to come up with loaded ammunition, unfortunately Barnes gave up on the project. For now there are a few custom reloaders out there Superior being one that will load for you. Being that there is no pressure data the cartridge is basically a wildcat, proper head stamped brass is available or you can make it from 375 brass and there is enough .411 dia projectiles out there to make the gun interesting. I rebarreled a 375 H&H for my 400 other than putting irons on it the rest was easy.
Why the 400 when there are plenty of 416 cartridges to choose from? Well why not, the gun shoots softer then the Remington and is in a shorter action that the Rigby, gives everything you need from a 40 cal gun 400gr bullet 2400fps 5000lbs of energy.
Good luck with your article lets us know where we can read it..
 

bassasdaindia

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Thanks, I did not do the research on it. Sounds like some of the better known cartridges will do.
I'm still trying to wrap head around the idea of why the .404 Jeffrey is not more available.
And until the .416 Rem was invented, the .416 Rigby was essentially dead and not being used much.
I guess some cartridges get new lives and while others go dormant.

this I totally agree with,why do manufacturers not make 404 Jeff's !
 

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