medium bores "neither fish nor fowl"

Tanks

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...On the other hand, a DG PH has a "vital" role of being ready and able to stop a dangerous situation like a close in charge and to do so in seconds (or less).... So the whole discussion of "stopping calibers" is really a discussion that should be for the PH's.... The client (me for example) should bring a legal and effective gun/caliber that has been practiced with a lot and he/she can shoot accurately and as quickly as possible...

I disagree partially. I agree that the client should bring a gun he/she can shoot accurately and as quickly as possible while being accurate. However, on a hunt I'd rather take responsibility for my shots and not depend on the PH to close the deal. So, if that means I take a big bore, then so be it. Heck, I have a bear hunt in 6 days before I go to Africa in a month, I like shooting the bigger guns so will be using 335gr tipped CEB Raptor at 2800 ft/s on my .500.
 

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Tanks that is great for you and the people who are proficient with such guns.

I did not mean "not" taking responsibility for the shots... I meant that there seems to be a strong contingent of people more experienced than me and probably the majority of "tourist hunters" as we're sometimes referred to, that a 375 or 416 is probably a more accurate, thus killing caliber in the hands of people (admittedly, like myself) who are not fully comfortable and capable of shooting truly big bore guns.

As I have come to understand the definition of a "stopping caliber", is one that in the hands of an experienced professional is capable of performing as a last resort backup in the event something does go wrong. And that it has the authority to stop an incredibly large and angry beast in it's tracks, at the last moment.... I was understanding that it is to be "insurance".... I don't think any of us buy accident insurance hoping we need to use it. But if you do need it, your sure glad it is there!

And furthermore that in the role of being the client hunter, it is my responsibility to take ownership of my shot, as you state, however if I am not comfortable handling that big bore gun..... I would not truly be acting responsibly by taking it would I?

I absolutely want to "close the deal" myself and would probably come away very disappointed if I needed the PH to do it for me... That is the very reason I want to shoot a gun I am comfortable and reasonably proficient with.

I may well be mistaken in that interpretation of a "stopping gun". Perhaps one should not undertake such a hunt until being proficient with a true big bore gun? And being able to afford it...... I've never hunted DG yet but hope to soon... I'm open to advice.
 

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Spike/Mike; These days I am largely administration and travel around a lot so lots of time to think. I also deal with a lot of very smart people on a regular basis so get really good input.. But mainly I threw my back out a couple Sunday ago cleaning up some storm damaged trees, so limited what I can do these past couple weeks and took out some of my boredom on you guys.... But feeling better so maybe by Monday I can leave you alone more;)
 

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There are a few different degrees of dead. To me one good placed bullet trumps 3 bad shots. I know some of you guys are crack shots with with your big guns and I'm proud of you. But I think if a guy or gal can control their excitement it only takes one or two good shots with a 375 or so called "small gun .416". I still don't believe the lion story I heard this week. No amount of bad shooting prevents a charge. I have studied enough anatomy to know one good shot is a "final statement" and last breath. There is nothing small about a .416. And the whole notion of a 500 is crazy, especially with ammo costs today. You would be better off spending more time at the range with the so called small big bores.
 
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Tanks

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Actually, I think the best gun to practice marksmanship is a .22. One can practice on the cheap while getting the techniques down in a variety of positions, and a lot more places to shoot as well. However, one also needs to know the gun he/she is going to use as each gun has its peculiarities. Cost is really immaterial as the price of rounds is not that much different between a .500 and .416 or .375 if one reloads. Not to mention if one is going to Africa for DG, the cost of the rifle and practice rounds is minuscule compared to the total cost, but hold such an immense importance. And, yes I have heard the stories of people going to Africa having never fired their rifle and expecting the PH to sight in, and even shoot their trophies. It takes all kinds.
 

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im with enysse on this.

ignoring the cost (which is not as small as you would think) you need to consider physical limits. when you start getting into guns chambered in calibers such as 416 and larger there is a physical limit to how much you can shoot that gun. this limit varies from person to person but it is there. I can and have fired 30 500/416 NE cartridges in a single sitting with no negative effects but I doubt I could fire many more then that and still feel fine the next day. I haven't tried a 500 NE yet (haven't been given the chance) but im betting the number of shots before negative physical effects set it is much smaller. shooting practice with other guns/calibers only goes so far, at some point you need to spend some serious time with your hunting firearm. my personal belief is that you do not know your firearm till you fired at least 200 rounds threw it and you have not mastered it until you've fired around 500 rounds. at around 20 rounds per range trip it will take you a long time to truly master the use of your rifle.

im by no means knocking the 500 NE cartridge! my point is that its easier to become more proficient with medium bore guns then it is with big bore guns.

personal experience: as a true glutton for punishment I have tested my limits with a few rifles. the most memorable being a super light Winchester M70 with a plastic stock chambered in 375 H&H that was shooting hot hand loads (300gr at just over 2600fps). I fired 50 such cartridges from this gun in a single sitting. at first I suffered no negative effects and thought I was fine but when I woke up the next morning I knew I had made a bad choice. my shoulder was very stiff and sore for almost a week after the shooting. it was this particular experience that taught me moderation with African grade magnums.

-matt
 

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In grand scheme of things you are correct Tanks, with the costs of hunting going up it probably pays to have the best equipment.

I still think there is huge difference in learning to shoot a 270 Win and a 500.
 
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Spike/Mike; These days I am largely administration and travel around a lot so lots of time to think. I also deal with a lot of very smart people on a regular basis so get really good input.. But mainly I threw my back out a couple Sunday ago cleaning up some storm damaged trees, so limited what I can do these past couple weeks and took out some of my boredom on you guys.... But feeling better so maybe by Monday I can leave you alone more;)

Bob keep it up you come out with some very well reasoned posts :)
 

Tanks

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Seems like we are having a circular discussion. At no point have I advocated someone use a rifle that he/she can not shoot. My view is that one should take the biggest caliber they can handle which is appropriate for the game they are hunting or their budget.

As far as recoil is concerned, one can both train for it, and also minimize it via gun stock design that fits one well.

Of course, I would not recommend someone shoot a 577 T-Rex without training.
Enjoy ;)
http://www.baxterbyrd.com/BOOM.mov
 

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Matt and others;
I would love to see pictures of your doubles. And of the cartridges, especially if you could set them up along side something common for comparison.

TIA
Bob
 

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Everyone has a different plan

I like your plan Bob, it's a lot like mine. I don't like to invest in guns and scopes too much only hunts and memories.

Just hoping that one day I have the money to do both!!!! :)
 

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i was checking out the NE forum looking for load information on the 500/416 NE and found that many people there seem to consider medium bore cartridges as useless and even going as far as to hate them. the general opinion i came across was that calibers such as 375, 416, and 404 were "neither fish nor fowl" or too powerful for plains game and too small for DG (especially elephant).

i noticed this forum tends to take a different view on medium bores and tends to promote their use alongside big bore guns. i personally tend to agree with many on this forum in that medium bores serve as general purpose guns for people who dont just hunt elephants.

Matt, I believe you got the wrong impression in your quotation above. The comment regarding the .500/416 and the .470 was not about the smaller big bores in .375, .400, .416. .404 being "too powerful for plains game and too small for DG -especially elephant". Nothing of that sort was said. It was all about the recoil of the .500/416 being equivalent to a .470. Comparing a .450/400 DR the recoil is much milder, and the DRs can be handier and lighter. A .500/416 has similar recoil to a .470 which is a more effective cartridge on DG. As a result of its having a larger calibre and heavier bullets. The members of NE forum use a LOT of 9.3x74Rs, .375s, .400s in DRs and a lot of 9.3x62s, .375s. .404, .416s, .425s etc on a lot of hunts and different game species. From driven game in Europe, plains game and medium game in Africa and many other countries, and also of course on game such as elephant and buffalo.
 
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NitroX

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Hi Mike,

It is my first double rifle, a WJ Jeffery boxlock in .450 No.2 Nitro Express. It has worked well on a couple of cow elephant, a banteng, some water buffalo, some scrub bull, a fair number of boar, horses, donkeys, deer and all sorts! I've hunted cape buffalo more than one, but only taken one, and that with my .375 H&H M98. I've been using that avatar for about twelve years. Maybe time for a new one. One with bigger holes! :)

However as this one came from India and has a gaur "scratched" on its sides, it is my bovine rifle. Hopefully one day a cape and forest buff, wisent and buffalo and whatever else is legal around the world in the bovine herds.
 

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Hi Mike,

It is my first double rifle, a WJ Jeffery boxlock in .450 No.2 Nitro Express. It has worked well on a couple of cow elephant, a banteng, some water buffalo, some scrub bull, a fair number of boar, horses, donkeys, deer and all sorts! I've hunted cape buffalo more than one, but only taken one, and that with my .375 H&H M98. I've been using that avatar for about twelve years. Maybe time for a new one. One with bigger holes! :)

However as this one came from India and has a gaur "scratched" on its sides, it is my bovine rifle. Hopefully one day a cape and forest buff, wisent and buffalo and whatever else is legal around the world in the bovine herds.

nah its a good avatar , but the holes in the end look a lot bigger than a .450!!!!! :D
 

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NitroX, that quote was indeed pulled from your forum. it was a relatively common theme in many of the posts related to medium bores.

-matt
 

Bert the Turtle

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I think the main reason why the medium bores are though better of here than on the nitro forum is that this is a hunting forum, that is a gun forum.
 

NitroX

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NitroX, that quote was indeed pulled from your forum. it was a relatively common theme in many of the posts related to medium bores.

Ah I see, it was a thread from six years ago, where when the comment was made LOTS of other members questioned it.

I would think when it comes to double rifles, more members of NE would own medium bore ones than anywhere else on the net. And shoot them and hunt with them and the big bores more too. ;)

Not many NE people buy one, take it without much experience in it to Africa for a safari, then sell it again as soon as they get back home.

I read elsewhere on AH where it was recommended to get a DR with 200 or 300 loaded cartridges and they would probably last a lifetime! Or more than fifteen years anyway. Firstly it is good advice to start off get a couple of hundred brass cases (or for rich guys - custom loaded rounds!). Saves hassles later on when trying to access them especially if there are long production lead times on manufacturing new brass by the specialist brass case makers. But 200 or 300 cartridges lasting 15 years! I wish! Hunting and shooting buffalo, donkeys, horses, pigs and everything in between uses them up a bit quicker than a shot or two on an African safari. ;) Plus "practice" at Big Game Rifle comps.
 

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"From my point of view, it is neither fish nor fowl, which caan make it just about right or not. Equiped with a good detachable scope system, it would be a fantastic all rounder. Perfect for lion, fine for leopard, buff, everything else and with good velocity ofr relatively flat trejectory. But not quite ideal for elephant. So for general hunting it would seem super. At the same time, recoil is significant. So I end up wondering why not a 450/400 with the same scope system. Enough for elephant, but even less ideal, fine for all else, maybe a little slow for lion and leopard and for longer ranges, but flat enough. Easy to shoot and if you look, available in a lighter rifle."

BTW found the original "neither fish nor fowl" comment. Second comment of the sort. I think the author of the comment makes good points.
 

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