Thought Provoking Question : How Many Of You Would Use A Smaller Calibre If It Were Legal?

kurpfalzjäger

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It is better to compensate the lack of expansion of an solid bullet by the bigger size of the caliber for shooting elephants. But whether you still need a DR with open sights caliber 577NE or 600NE for this purpose nowadays is another question. A scoped rifle caliber 500 Jeffery at the upper limit does the job on elephant perfect in terms of precision , deep penetration of the solid bullet and shock effect.
 

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It is better to compensate the lack of expansion of an solid bullet by the bigger size of the caliber for shooting elephants. But whether you still need a DR with open sights caliber 577NE or 600NE for this purpose nowadays is another question. A scoped rifle caliber 500 Jeffery at the upper limit does the job on elephant perfect in terms of precision , deep penetration of the solid bullet and shock effect.

The question is whether one would use a smaller caliber if legal, guess the answer again is NO. ;) I got my elephants with a .500 bolt with a red dot instead of a scope. The next ones I most likely will use a double in .500 NE (after all, I bought it for DG), most likely with an RMR as well.

To go bigger to .577 or .600 is a personal choice, I don't have those rifles so I would not. If I did, sure, as I do not buy rifles I do not intend to use.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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To go bigger to .577 or .600 is a personal choice, I don't have those rifles so I would not. If I did, sure, as I do not buy rifles I do not intend to use.

I quoted especially the cartridge 577NE because among other things the cartridge was the reference of the professional ivory hunters at the beginning of the 20th century.

What about the purchase of large-bore rifles ?

It is certainly the best to buy such rifles to use them. Unfortunately for some of us , with me too , the collector effect plays a role so that you also buy something to have it in your battery without being sure that it will be used at some point. The opportunity to regularly shoot with such old traditional rifles is also pleasant and it serves as recoil tolerance training for the other big bores that you use regularly.
 

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Well, shooting them counts as using them as well I guess.

I'll be honest if I was not left handed I am sure I would have many more rifles than I currently have. It is very rare that I give into impulse buying due to the fact that almost all rifles being offered for sale are right handed. All, but one of my bolt rifles are custom ordered. The only one that isn't is an Anschutz .22 that came from the factory left handed.

My latest impulse purchase was the left handed Heym 88B in .500 NE that was basically unused, but I was already looking to purchase a double rifle and had been doing research on manufacturers. A few days after I looked at Heyms and realized that they made left handed stocks etc., I ran across the advertisement at gunsinternational web site. If Chris Sells had been in the office and answered my phone call I am sure I would have placed an order with him. So, it was fortunate that he was unavailable. I got the rifle now instead of waiting 8 months or so.

The original intent was to take it on my 28 day hunt in 2022, but now I can spend enough time with it to take it this August if that hunt happens.
 

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Let us not forget that the historic hunting figures being referenced were not paying to hunt, nor were there any repercussions for losing an animal due to wounding. Unlimited game, cheaper/available ammo and no real "skin-off the back" in loosing an animal (or just refusing to track it) if the shot didn't swiftly work. Further, around the time of British occupancy etc, ammo was at a premium and 30 cal on elephant was used because it was all that was readily available. It's always nice to champion that "something works" because your circumstances have forced you into making it work. If those historic hunters had their druthers and unlimited resources (as we do now, comparatively), I can only assume no one would be shooting elephant with a 375.
 

Wyatt Smith

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I would like add that many of the old hunters first smokeless rifles were small bore, often a .303. I would probably rather take a 303 with 215s than a 500 BPE with their light for caliber bullets. Also all bullets/ammo weren’t equal back then. Bell’s favorite elephant ammo was German military ammo. It was only available in 7mm Mauser.
Finally somebody had to figure out what calibers were capable of and what they were too small for. Bell found out that the 7mm Mauser was big enough for elephant, but many found it to inadequate, I’m guessing we didn’t read their books because they didn’t live long enough to write them.
It was a different time.
 

Tanks

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... Also all bullets/ammo weren’t equal back then. Bell’s favorite elephant ammo was German military ammo. It was only available in 7mm Mauser.
Finally somebody had to figure out what calibers were capable of and what they were too small for. Bell found out that the 7mm Mauser was big enough for elephant, but many found it to inadequate, I’m guessing we didn’t read their books because they didn’t live long enough to write them.
It was a different time.

Actually, one did. John Taylor wrote "African Rifles and Cartridges", his comment was that Bell was hunting in high grass on a platform (see pics above), and sniping at elephants with brain shots. Completely different than stalking them in the bush where you did need a stopping rifle.

One interesting thing that he also mentioned was that the big bores (.500, .577 etc.) on a frontal brain shot near miss would knock the elephant out for several minutes enabling him to finish the elephant off whereas lighter calibers would be ineffective on that near miss. Again, a good case for "Use Enough Gun".
 

Dr Ray

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Just out of curiosity, I plugged in the recoil numbers for two of thigh highest recoiling rifles I have. My .500 MDM is at 87 ft/lbs and my newly acquired .500NE is at 85 ft/lbs. Then, I plugged in the numbers for .460 Weatherby load data and the recoil came at 115 ft/lbs!!! 25% more than I am used to. I can't imagine going to the field with that gun without shooting it much. I do not take a firearm to a hunt unless I have several hundred rounds through it at various shooting distances I might encounter. I just can't imagine taking a gun that recoils 25% more than I am used to cold.

However, I'd submit that guys that take firearms they are not that familiar with to a hunt, especially DG safaris outside of RSA, are rare. We hear stories of "that one guy", but out of how many hundreds or thousands?

I suggest that the 460 Weatherby with a 500 grain bullet in the Weatherby Mark v rifle would have recoil at around 100-105.
I’ve had the 460 whack me a few times - leaning under a tree to fire.
I’ve never had such an instant and painful headache in my life as I had from the whack.
In actual fact the recoil allowed the one cartridge in the magazine to fall out on the ground.
That’s recoil for you!
 

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338 win mag and the 9.3x62 (and the various 9.3 flavors) all would work very well on pretty much anything. It’s still all about shot placement with a good bullet at the end of the day, so whichever one you can shoot competently is the one you should be using. I’d take the 9.3x62 over the 338 win mag since the former doesn’t sharp kick the crap out of you like the win mag does making follow up shots quicker should you need them, can be used in a shorter barrel length effectively, and carries more rounds, in most cases.
 

Forrest Halley

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I’d take the 9.3x62 over the 338 win mag since the former doesn’t sharp kick the crap out of you like the win mag does making follow up shots quicker should you need them, can be used in a shorter barrel length effectively, and carries more rounds, in most cases.

He said shorter barrel length! I can hear all the .375 and .416 Ruger users firing up their hybrid SUVs now! H&H and NE believers abandon all hope! The hype, ahh I mean the END, the the END is near!
 

Tanks

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He said shorter barrel length! I can hear all the .375 and .416 Ruger users firing up their hybrid SUVs now! H&H and NE believers abandon all hope! The hype, ahh I mean the END, the the END is near!

My .458 wildcat has an 18" barrel, .416 and .500 have 20" barrels. But same ballistics of a comparable caliber of 24" barrel :LOL::LOL::LOL:
 

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IMG_0703.JPG


.303
 

Dr Ray

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I equate using a smaller and/or less powerful cartridge akin to using light tackle on big fish.
I also suggest that using a cartridge that is underpowered for the game such as using a 243 (ridiculous example I know) on shooting a buffalo is really asking for trouble and I would suggest that it would be in humane to use such.
My friend used a 308 on camels and buffalo. Average of 5 shots to bring the animal down,
I suggested he use at least a 338 (which he had done so) and is buying my 375 once the Coronavirus lockdown is over.
I will use my 416 Rem however especially when we hunt on foot.
So in essence nothing beats a well placed shot but I really believe you really need to have the ethical crunch factor.
 

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I definitely wouldn’t use a .243 on buffalo! Now, .22-250 on the other hand...

Seriously, I don’t recommend what I often do. Barnes TSX really help, but it’s still a delicate job requiring each moment and situation to be carefully chosen. However, done properly it’s more humane than a novice with a bazooka often is. I have made mistakes and found myself in dangerous situations, and I won’t go into thick cover unless armed with something over .375H&H and proper 300 grain premium bullets.

A .300 magnum with a premium solid is an exceptionally fast killer, incredibly humane. But it’s still not enough for thick cover.
 

Forrest Halley

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My .458 wildcat has an 18" barrel, .416 and .500 have 20" barrels. But same ballistics of a comparable caliber of 24" barrel :LOL::LOL::LOL:
Imagine what they could do in a 24" barrel...
 

Forrest Halley

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One of the main reasons these wildcats were developed was to provide a hard hitting cartridge in a more maneuverable shorter barrel weighing 7.5-8 lbs with wood stock . Having a longer barrel would defeat the purpose.

More info here:
https://www.b-mriflesandcartridges.com/About-Us.html
That's good information for sure. I'm not a certified fan of the RUM donor brass. Just because it seems easy for them to fall silent.
 

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