The Big Bore Dilemma

kurpfalzjäger

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
441
Reaction score
626
Media
9
I have a high opinion of the 500 jeffery cartridge , but for elephant hunting. For the buffalo hunting you are already a little bit over-gunned with this cartridge. IMHO , I would because of that do not burden myself unnecessarily with this very strong cartridge for hunting smaller game. The positive side is that you keep in training with it.

I have never shot a bear , but some elk and that with cartridges like the 340WM or 9,3x64. Some people have already considered me as over-gunned.
 

Bullthrower338

AH legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
10,142
Location
Houston, Texas and Alder, MT
Media
179
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
2
Member of
Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe
I have a high opinion of the 500 jeffery cartridge , but for elephant hunting. For the buffalo hunting you are already a little bit over-gunned with this cartridge. IMHO , I would because of that do not burden myself unnecessarily with this very strong cartridge for hunting smaller game. The positive side is that you keep in training with it.

I have never shot a bear , but some elk and that with cartridges like the 340WM or 9,3x64. Some people have already considered me as over-gunned.
I believe your choices in an Elk cartridge are about as perfect as you can get 8mm-.375 are in my opinion the best elk medicine there is. My personal favorite is a 250 grain Swift A-Frame out of a 338, and I really don’t care which 338 it is, WM, RUM or .340. They just work.
 

njc110381

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
344
Reaction score
364
Location
Gloucestershire, UK
Media
1
I have to agree with Toby. So far I have only one dg kill, my buff with a 375HH and 350g Barnes TSX. One shot kill frontal. Good shot? Maybe. Lucky? Damn right. Will it happen again? Who knows. As of now I am a firm believer of the venerable 375HH being all one needs. The name of the game is not throwing fist sized blobs of lead at something but putting a round from something manageable in the right spot.
I can see people owning and attempting to manage one of these shoulder fired howitzers but is it necessary or is it an ego trip? For most hunters I don't think it's necessary. The bigger than you syndrome is not practical to me.
Now, on the other hand, I am about to break the 40 threshhold with my 404Jeffery. Needless to say, there is going to be a learning curve. Do I really need one? Probably not but it is nice to have (contradicting my previous statement). Can I manage the recoil? We'll see. Can I hit anything consistantly? Again, it remains to be seen. If it proves out it will be my first, last, and only true big bore. Should I get in a situation where it is not adequate, I'll holler for my PH and his cannon.

I have to say, reading that made me smile. I await the post that says the .404 is all the gun a hunter will ever need but on the other hand I've just ordered a .500...

That's how I work anyway. I buy something thinking it is as big as I'll ever need, but then I want more. I wanted a .40+ calibre over a .375 and put a lot of effort into getting one, I ended up with a .416 Rigby. I couldn't shoot it to start with so don't let that worry you if you find yourself in a similar position. Get and shoot it, things will work out.

A year later I'm shooting my .416 pretty well but can't help staring longingly at the CZ550 in .505 Gibbs. Do I need it? No. Should I buy one anyway? Probably not. Does that mean I'll never buy one? Never say never!
 

Forrest Halley

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
774
Reaction score
996
Location
VA, USA
Media
25
Ok I'll bite, who is snapping up the .458 Lott Ruger No. 1? 's? They are disappearing rapidly upon surfacing...
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,672
Reaction score
4,187
Location
Eastern US
Media
98
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Ok I'll bite, who is snapping up the .458 Lott Ruger No. 1? 's? They are disappearing rapidly upon surfacing...
If you are seeing them surface, and not snapping them up yourself...
Who exactly are you asking because there is certianly nobody here that knows anything about anything like that.:whistle:
 

colorado

AH elite
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
1,150
Reaction score
1,179
Media
59
Jamison Brass, Barnes 570g TSX, CCI magnum rifle primers, 103g H4835 Good for 2300 fps chrono'd. Nothing on this hemisphere gets up if you place your bullet even approximately right.
 

Forrest Halley

AH fanatic
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
774
Reaction score
996
Location
VA, USA
Media
25
If you are seeing them surface, and not snapping them up yourself...
Who exactly are you asking because there is certianly nobody here that knows anything about anything like that.:whistle:

Well I was hoping to strike a lower price than the ridiculous premium the gentleman thought it was worth. God Bless whomsoever acquired it...probably sleeps on a mattress of M&P 9mm magazines and .22LR ammo.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,601
Reaction score
7,819
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Jamison Brass, Barnes 570g TSX, CCI magnum rifle primers, 103g H4835 Good for 2300 fps chrono'd. Nothing on this hemisphere gets up if you place your bullet even approximately right.

OUCH! On both ends! That makes my old damaged shoulder hurt just thinking about it!
 

Bullthrower338

AH legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
10,142
Location
Houston, Texas and Alder, MT
Media
179
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
2
Member of
Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe
Well I was hoping to strike a lower price than the ridiculous premium the gentleman thought it was worth. God Bless whomsoever acquired it...probably sleeps on a mattress of M&P 9mm magazines and .22LR ammo.
FAC9DF37-BD5A-438C-A7DE-F0B12A5B509D.jpeg

Who doesn’t sleep on a mattress like that!
 

Bullthrower338

AH legend
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
4,439
Reaction score
10,142
Location
Houston, Texas and Alder, MT
Media
179
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
2
Member of
Life Member Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, NRA, Huntin' Fool, DSC and Pope and Young Club
Hunted
USA, Mexico, Canada, RSA, Australia NT, Zimbabwe

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,224
Reaction score
3,130
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
378
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
Are we forgetting something in this discussion about large calibers?

Interestingly, it seems that the big bore discussion has become somewhat monolithic in term of what purpose a big bore serves. Nowadays the quasi universal answer seems to be: a big bore is a DG caliber. That is likely a mistake...

Thankfully, we still hear, and appropriately so, good AH people making the distinction between a client's caliber and a PH's caliber. This makes a lot of sense, but why?

Is your DG rifle, a "stopper"?
For the longest time it seems, and at least into the 1990's, the discussion of the large calibers differentiated between what were called "stoppers" and non-stoppers. A "stopper" as its name indicates is a caliber than is capable of not only killing a buff, an elephant, a lion, etc. but that it also likely (there is no guarantee!) to stop a charge, through massive trauma caused by massive bullets releasing massive energy...

.375 H&H ? Great killer. No "stopper"...
From this perspective, the .375 H&H is indeed likely the best "client" cartridge because about anyone can shoot it OK, but it is easy to understand why darn few past or present pros use(d) it to back up clients. It is no stopper. It simply lacks the frontal area (caliber), bullet weight, and raw energy. A .375 caliber 300 grains bullet at ~2,500 fps and delivering ~4,000 ft/lbs is simply not enough for a "stopper." I am tempted to add: Period.

.416 ? Great killers. So, so "stoppers"...
400 grains at ~2,400 fps and delivering ~5,000 ft/lbs nudge the answer, but about a century of field experience seems to indicate that although 5,000 ft/lbs is the right number, the .416 does not get there the right way to be a reliable "stopper."

.450, .458, .470. etc. Great short range killers. Great "stoppers"...
Apparently, the century of field experience seems to indicate that the proper formula for a "stopper" is to go another notch in caliber (frontal area) and bullet weight to .45 cal 500 grains delivering ~5,000 ft/lbs.

Did you notice that I did not include velocity in this last one? It is because there are wide variations, from a classic .450 NE 2,100 fps to a .460 Wby 2,600 fps. But does it matter?

Apparently, based on the experience of those who have actually used extensively both the older and newer "stoppers" (Tony Sanchez-Arino - 1,000+ elephants , 2,000+ buffalo - comes to mind) there does not seem to be a notable difference in stopping performance with increased velocity for the "stoppers." In his book On the Trail of the African Elephant he actually says something to the effect that he sees little if any difference in stopping effectiveness between .460 Wby (500 gr - 2,600 fps - 7,500 ft/lbs !!!) and .450 NE / .470 NE (500 gr - 2,100 fps - 5,100 ft/lbs).

.500, .577, etc. Bigger is better...
As bullet weight and caliber go up (NOT SPEED), stopping power increases, the pros have been telling us since the 1920's.
A .500 NE 570 grains slug at 2,100 fps and delivering 5,500 ft/lbs apparently hits them harder than a .450 / .470.
A .577 NE 750 grains slug at 2,000 fps and delivering 7,000 ft/lbs apparently hits them considerable harder. No kidding!

Notice that the .577 NE 750 gr load energy (7,000 ft/lbs) does not match the .460 Wby 500 gr load energy (7,500 ft/lbs) but few people in their right mind should consider the .460 Wby a better "stopper" than the .577 NE, based on the experience of those who have been there and done that (about which I hasten to add, I am not one of them).

And the .458 Win ?
With modern powders that do not clump when compressed as the original Olin ball powder did - which resulted in erratic ignition when the cartridges were cooked long enough in the African sun - the .458 Win is perfectly fine thank you very much. With 500 gr bullets at ~2,100 fps it breaks the magic 5,000 ft/lbs barrier and graduates in its full right in the "stoppers" world. The Lott originally gave the added case capacity to avoid pesky compressed loads with finicky powders (a decisive advantage in the 1960's) but it is today not a better "stopper." What its increased velocity does however, is make it fly a little flatter/further, which some may appreciate. There is a price to pay though: increased recoil...
  • If one subscribes to the basic premise that the client's job is to kill, each time, every time, yes indeed the .375 is a great client DG rifle.
  • If the role of the PH becomes, once the gun battle starts, to be the potential charge-stopper, then, yes, he needs a proper "stopper" rifle, .45 cal and up.
  • If the client also wants to be able to partake in the stopping, should need arise, then, yes, he too needs a "stopper" rifle PROVIDED HE CAN SHOOT IT to begin with.
Give me a well placed 9.3x62 first shoot in a buff's heart & lungs (never mind .375 H&H if its recoils is too much) over a .458 Lott first shoot "somewhere" in a buff :)

But if you can put that .458 Lott slug in the right place, each time, every time, you have an edge if things get unsavory... :)
 
Last edited:

kurpfalzjäger

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
441
Reaction score
626
Media
9
Very well summarized and analyzed.

The discussion of whether cartridges caliber 416 are as good a stopper as cartridges caliber 458 is run since the end of the eighties , where the cartridge 416 Rigby resurfaced. Even then , the cartridge 458 Win Mag was already considered a better stopper.

I still believe that for a client who does not have to do his backup himself , a cartridge caliber 416 is nevertheless , also considering the modern bullets , a better all-rounder than a cartridge caliber 375 when it comes to DG hunting. But it may be that the future will teach me better , if i still have enough time to hunt in Africa.
 

CBH Australia

AH elite
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
1,605
Reaction score
2,009
Location
NSW Australia
Media
16
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
Sporting Shooters Association Australia, Africa Hunting website!!!
Hunted
Australia and now South Africa
So I sold a .458wm to fund a .375H&H and now I see a .458Lott at a good price.
Do I buy it? Do I need a stopper? I can only carry one and don’t have the hunt planned yet but can someone try describe the difference in recoil. I know it’s hard but any thoughts?
 

cagkt3

AH legend
Joined
Apr 10, 2017
Messages
2,926
Reaction score
2,029
Location
Texas
Media
87
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, SCI - West Texas Chapter, HSC, NRA Life Member, Ducks Unlimited
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, OK, TX, UT, KS
So I sold a .458wm to fund a .375H&H and now I see a .458Lott at a good price.
Do I buy it? Do I need a stopper? I can only carry one and don’t have the hunt planned yet but can someone try describe the difference in recoil. I know it’s hard but any thoughts?
Need is such an ugly word.

Can't help on the recoil - don't own a 458 (yet). Do own a 470NE and it is more of a "push" than a sharp recoil. Not sure on the Lott though. I say buy it and find out for yourself!!
 

WAB

AH legend
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
2,602
Reaction score
5,523
Location
Alabama
Media
90
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Scotland, England, Canada, Alaska, Ireland
So I sold a .458wm to fund a .375H&H and now I see a .458Lott at a good price.
Do I buy it? Do I need a stopper? I can only carry one and don’t have the hunt planned yet but can someone try describe the difference in recoil. I know it’s hard but any thoughts?

I have both in Custom M70’s. These have very well designed stocks with large butt areas and good recoil pads. I have no trouble with either rifle and shoot them both accurately. However, the Lott does have significantly more recoil.

Due to a hockey injury, I have two screws and five pins in my left wrist. My grip in that hand is probably 80% of what it was. As a result, I have to really make sure that I maintain my grip on the fore-end with the Lott. If I lose my grip it will bite me which has happened twice over the years with likely 500 or so rounds fired.
 

Foxi

AH elite
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
1,650
Reaction score
2,766
Location
Germany
Media
181
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Europe
1
Hunted
Canada, USA,Austria,Turkey,Tschech Rep.,Poland,Hungary,Serbia,Denmark,Khomas HL and Omaheke/Namibia and England(England is wonderful) Romania,Luangwa/Zambia-,Gwayi/Zimbabwe/- + Save/Zimbabwe/- River. Horseback-tours in South Africa and Botswana.
the double rifle discussion last week caused me, to ask my PH in Zimbabwe with what rifle/caliber his clients lost the most big game .
The answer : those who hunt with open sights,those loose the most pieces.Few can (and these few are great ) and the distance is quickly much too wide for that.....
Recognize yourself Socrates once said :)
 

kurpfalzjäger

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 1, 2019
Messages
441
Reaction score
626
Media
9
the double rifle discussion last week caused me, to ask my PH in Zimbabwe with what rifle/caliber his clients lost the most big game .
The answer : those who hunt with open sights,those loose the most pieces.Few can (and these few are great ) and the distance is quickly much too wide for that.....
Recognize yourself Socrates once said :)

I am not surprised from the answer.

A sports schooter will say that you can shoot very accurate and even at long range with open sights. That's right , but a target made on cardboard on a shooting range is not a game that stands in the bush under poor light conditions , no matter what distance. You still have to be able to identify perfectly the point for a good shot placement and that is in all cases better to do with a riflescope as with open sights.
 
Last edited:

Forum statistics

Threads
36,071
Messages
678,629
Members
62,141
Latest member
VertigoBE
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Tokoloshe Safaris wrote on Milan's profile.
I do not know where this video was posted, but I would very much like to see it.
Al Burke wrote on Milan's profile.
Hello Milan, I just watched your video on disassembling/reassembling the CZ 550. I have spent days looking for something like this. I now have no reservations taking apart my rifle. I like to do this with all my guns so I understand them "inside and out". Thank you very much for the information. It is greatly appreciated.
Al
Fred Gunner wrote on Viral_SIGness's profile.
60 375 Ruger Brass
$75+$8.30 Priority Mail Shipping
Postal Money Order Or Certified Tellers Check.

for final confirmation
Fred Gunner wrote on Viral_SIGness's profile.
60 375 Ruger Brass
$75+$8.30 Priority Mail Shipping
Postal Money Order Or Certified Tellers Check.

for final confirmation
raamw wrote on krish's profile.
send me your email.
 
Top