The Big Bore Dilemma

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by TOBY458, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. Forrest Halley

    Forrest Halley AH Veteran

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    How come nobody says anything about peep sights and variable apertures? Scope this or iron sights that, but little about peeps. Didn't somebody have an article about the PH course and how several of the serious candidates were running apertures? They seem to have the best low light performance of any non telescopic sight I have used. I practice in the twilight and setting sun. It's not ideal but you get used to it.
     

  2. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Veteran

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    Such devices are not common on classic big bore hunting rifles. Although there is the Rigby style diopter , but peep sights or variable apertures are more likely to be found on combat rifles.

    This devices are superior to classic open sights especially when it comes to locking a target quickly and shooting fast , but IMHO cannot replace a scope with magnification and light amplification when it comes to a very accurate shot placement.
     
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  3. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Recoil

    Here is the data:

    • .300 Win. Mag. shooting 180 gr at 2,960 fps in a 8.5 lbs rifle generates 26 ft/lbs of free recoil at 14 fps.
    • .375 H&H Mag. shooting 300 gr at 2,530 fps in a 10 lbs rifle generates 33 ft/lbs of free recoil at 16 fps.
    • .404 Jeffery shooting 400 gr at 2,170 fps in a 10 lbs rifle generates 42 ft/lbs of free recoil at 16 fps.
    • .416 Rigby shooting 400 gr at 2,400 fps in a 10 lbs rifle generates 56 ft/lbs of free recoil at 19 fps.
    • .458 Win. Mag. shooting 500 gr at 2,100 fps in a 10 lbs rifle generates 55 ft/lbs of free recoil at 21 fps.
    • .458 Lott shooting 500 gr at 2,300 fps in a 10 lbs rifle generates 71 ft/lbs of free recoil at 21 fps.
    • .470 NE shooting 500 gr at 2,150 fps in a 11 lbs rifle generates 69 ft/lbs of free recoil at 20 fps.

    Observe that both the energy (ft/lbs) and the speed (fps) contribute to perceived recoil.

    The data verifies a few well known empirical truths:
    • .375 H&H is the recommended minimum for DG for visiting sportsmen, because while combining decent frontal area (caliber) and bullet weight (300 gr), it recoils not much more than a .300 Win. This makes it easy to shoot. It is a great compromise of a caliber. This, I suspect, is the primary reason why it is so popular.
    • .404 Jeffery is well liked in the .40 cal club because it has the frontal area of a .40; it shoots a 400 gr bullet; and its recoil is not dramatically more than the recoil of the .375 H&H. It genuinely approaches the effectiveness of the .416 Rigby (while lacking some of its penetration) but it is markedly easier to shoot. This, I suspect, is why it occupies a special niche.
    • .416 Rigby (and all its modern derivatives trying to copy it in shorter cases, albeit at significantly higher pressure) truly bridges the gap between the .375 and the .45. In so many words, it delivers a .450 / .458 / .470 punch (albeit with less frontal area) with almost the ballistic trajectory of a .375. It can handle a charge (although not being the best at it) and it can still shoot plains game at 250 yards (although not being the best at it). In addition, its 400 gr bullet at 2,400 fps has deeper penetration than the .450 / .458 / .470. This dual-role, I suspect, is why many past or present professionals like(d) it as their all-around rifle.
    • .458 Lott is at the very edge (and often beyond the edge) of what most people can shoot accurately. It simply recoils too much...
    Scopes

    The debate will rage as to whether a wide rear V; a diopter / aperture rear sight (peep sight); or a scope is faster. Here are a few thoughts:
    • Practice is likely the most important variable in the speed discussion.
    • An aperture rear sight will unquestionably be more accurate than a rear wide V. Whether it is faster is likely again a question of practice.
    • To be a valid "stopper rifle" aiming device, a scope must have a very low or preferably NO magnification and a very wide field of view.
    • I would include in this discussion the newer "red dot" sights, whether built in traditional scope form or, preferably in my mind, the holographic ones, espescially the ones that can be installed forward on the barrel where rear sights traditionally stand.
    • The major drawbacks to traditional tube scopes, even the 1x no magnification scopes, on "stopper rifles" are:
      • Ability to withstand the recoil and retain zero. This seems to be achieved easily by the better makers of both scopes and mounts, but it remains amazingly common for scope bases to sheer their screws; scopes to slide in their rings; rings to move on their bases, etc.
      • The very high risk of injury to the shooter (from the classic scope scar on the forehead, to the potential loss of an eye) in case of quick shooting of very high recoil rifles, when the shooter's mind is not focused on controlling the rifle.
    My own personal experience

    I do not have the field experience in Africa necessary of profess an opinion as to compared repeated effectiveness on game. Darn few of us do these days, and even the pros today do not have the beginning of the experience that the pros of yesterday had: what with control work on thousands of elephants and buffalo, 3-buffalo-per-license clients, constant big-5 clients, etc. But I have been shooting DG calibers for the better part of 30 years, so I can share that:
    • The .375 H&H is not an issue for me. Mine is a customized CZ 550. I have a great eye relief Leica ER i 2.5-10 x 42 on it and I shoot it without a thought as easily as a .300.
    • The .416 (mine is a Rigby on a customized CZ 550) requires that I remember not to crawl the stock. I have an indestructible 1970's Schmidt & Bender 1.25-4 x 20 on it, which has a long 4" rear ocular and a short 3" eye relief (not the best combination!). I have come perilously close to be cut by it in fast shooting on the run. Feeling the bump on the forehead but not cutting the skin. I have been patiently on the lookout for a used Leica Visus 1-4 x 24 with short 3" rear ocular and a long 4" eye relief. The extra 1 inch of margin will allow me to shoot it without a second thought.
    • I would not dare put a scope on my .458 Lott, but this is admittedly because mine, a Mauser 66, is just too light. At 8 lbs 13 oz it dishes out 79 ft/lbs of free recoil. I have a Docter III holographic sight on it that I bought on a whim. I clocked myself with and without it. There is no appreciable difference - for me - in shooting speed or accuracy at 50 yards between rear wide V iron sights and "red dot" holographic sight. After about 20 rounds I develop a mild headache, the sure medical sign of a small concussion... It comes back too hard and too fast. A heavier rifle would be much better. Keep in mind that a 10% increase in rifle weight causes a 10% decrease in free recoil...
    • I can shoot my .470 NE "all day long." Mine is a Kreighoff. It certainly kicks, but it comes back just a bit slower than the .458 Win or Lott and it seems to make a difference. I also like its 11 lbs 6 oz weight with a kick stop in the stock. The fact that the stock happens to fit me really well is also likely a big contributor in perceived gentler recoil than what the pure data says.
    Do you need a "stopper"?

    The obvious answer is no, but this is not the right question.

    The real question is to you want a stopper? Many of us answer yes, but I also note that a large number of stopper rifles in the US rarely fire more than half a dozen shots per year.

    There is a lesson in that: it is not fun when it hurts. So, I would suggest to approach the subject progressively. Three clear advice would be: try to fire a friend's "Stopper" before you shell out your hard earned money; and fire a few boxes from your new .458 Lott using iron sights before thinking about putting a scope on it; and keep in mind that you will be shooting it a 50 yards anyway, where it is difficult to miss a cantaloupe even with iron sights...
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019

  4. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Fanatic

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    Great little scope, I have one installed on 9.3x74R barrels on my Krieghoff Big Five double. I’ve got the rail version which to me seems superior to the rings in every way.
     
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  5. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    @One Day...
    That’s an informative answer and a good response to my question.
    So now I ask my self do I want a stopper?
    I missed out on the Lott it was well priced and sold in a day on usedguns.com.au.
    It seemed silly to rush in on that having just sold my .458 and the components I had. I could start over but can I justify the cost.
    Yes it may we’ll only fire 6 shots a year if I had it but I also hope the Lott May feed better than the shorter wm I had.
    Point taken on the scope or advice against it.
    I’m going to try my EoTech holo on my Tikka CTR for some hunting pigs on foot.
    I’ve heard the Aimpoint are very tough and reliable. The Eotech should be too but i haven’t been heard of them mounted on cannons and took it
    they were more intended in combat roles and rifles up to .308 sort of class.
    If i stop getting distracted I will take that .375 out and make sure I get past that quota of 6 shots per year it’s fun to shoot it needs to get out some more.
     

  6. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    I agree with you / an excellent choice.
    I’ve fallen in love with my 416 Remington magnum!
    My 375 just sits in my safe so forlorn!
     
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  7. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Dr, I did some reading on some .416 rounds, sounds like the Rem Mag matches the others in performance and the info from One day on .416Rigby and it’s derivatives places it nicely in a usable category.

    Any comments on optics? I have a Leupold VX3 for my .375 but the info from one day has opened my eyes.
    I like the traditional look and the nostalgia of an era I didn’t see but if I don’t have a stopping rifle or I do buy a stopping rifle I don’t want to get it if I am faced with a wounded water buff or scrub bull. Hell even pigs in thick cover.
     

  8. Moosemind

    Moosemind AH Senior Member

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    I didn't catch the name of that hot momma in blue. Color really accents her eyes.
     
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  9. HWL

    HWL AH Fanatic

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    Don't worry, your .375 never ever was a Big Bore!

    :sneaky:

    HWL
     
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  10. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Sorry Bullthrower,
    bulletweight going well beyond my powers :sleep:
     
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  11. Forrest Halley

    Forrest Halley AH Veteran

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    • That Twinkie No. 2 Nitro Express really shakes the Earth when fired. Launching a celophane jacketed 38.5g projectile twenty-five feet from the muzzle unleashing 9,000 joules of energy in gluttonous madness as the cellulite monstress thunders across the Serengeti to devour it.
     
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  12. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    That's sloppy firsts and seconds!
     
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  13. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I just threw up a little!
     

  14. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    Real men use 416s! Lol!
    Scopes - I really like my Swarovski but on heavy recoiling rifles I use Leupold. I been whacked twice using a Weatherby 460! And the rubber ringed (fortunately) scope whacked me.
    Worst headaches I have ever experienced and I might add they were instant.
    I suggest that what you have it fine.
    Let’s say that after using the 416 Rem I wonder what I’d do with the 375 sob sob!!
     

  15. Forrest Halley

    Forrest Halley AH Veteran

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    Load it with VLD bullets and watch it out pace all your other rifles at distance??
     
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