What exactly is a "Big Bore" rifle?

sestoppelman

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Von S. says, "For me I am truly a firm believer that the 458 win mag should be the absolute minimum to shoot all of the "Big 5"." To each his own, but that is rather extreme.;) You should perhaps add to that, for those that can handle the recoil.:eek: Absolute minimum?o_O So maybe a 505 Gibbs for leo would be good? You must have read a lot of Elmer Keith!:rolleyes: He once wrote that the .270 Win was a damned adequate coyote rifle!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Many have taken the Big 5 with much less than the .458 and lived to tell the tale. You mention "cape" a couple of times. Cape buffalo? They are tough, I have taken two, both with a .375. First one was not hit well, and the PH and I shot again, both .375's btw and dropped it. My second buff was taken at over 140 yards, moving, with the same .375 and dropped stone dead to one shot. I think the .375 is damned adequate:rolleyes: for buffalo when properly hit.:D JMHO.:rolleyes:
 

matt85

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I think that's a little extreme and we both know it will never happen so the point isn't well made.

The OP asked the question and I answered with my opinion and definition. I didn't say it was correct and everyone should think the same way as me, in fact I mentioned that ten different hunters would likely have ten different opinions as you have demonstrated.

Many here might question using a .416 for plains game but no one should tell you you're wrong if that's your choice. In fact I would suggest you're in the minority but if it works for you then fair play, I'm not going to tell you you're wrong.

Agree to disagree, accept others have different opinions.

im not saying your choice in cartridges is bad for dangerous game, quite the opposite actually. what im saying is the reasoning of "If that is the minimum legal calibre to use on the largest land animal that will be my definition." isnt a good one. in RSA the 375 is the minimum but in other countries there is no requirement which means you could easily get away with using a 338 WM or even a 30-06. just because its legal to do something doesnt make it right.

-matt
 

IvW

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Von S. says, "For me I am truly a firm believer that the 458 win mag should be the absolute minimum to shoot all of the "Big 5"." To each his own, but that is rather extreme.;) You should perhaps add to that, for those that can handle the recoil.:eek: Absolute minimum?o_O So maybe a 505 Gibbs for leo would be good? You must have read a lot of Elmer Keith!:rolleyes: He once wrote that the .270 Win was a damned adequate coyote rifle!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Many have taken the Big 5 with much less than the .458 and lived to tell the tale. You mention "cape" a couple of times. Cape buffalo? They are tough, I have taken two, both with a .375. First one was not hit well, and the PH and I shot again, both .375's btw and dropped it. My second buff was taken at over 140 yards, moving, with the same .375 and dropped stone dead to one shot. I think the .375 is damned adequate:rolleyes: for buffalo when properly hit.:D JMHO.:rolleyes:

Agreed. 458 WM is in my opinion a poor choice for DG. Few shoot them well and they consistently do not achieve what they where intended to. (recoil, pressure, bullet choice, penetration, extraction, reliability). I know, I know, many like them, I do not. There are much better performers in the same recoil class with no issues.

A 375 H&H or any of the new ones that fire a premium grade bullet is more than adequate for for Cape buffalo. Most hunters can shoot these calibers well and shot placement with an appropriate bullet is more important for a client than bore diameter.

The .400 calibers and in particular the 404 Jeff is a superb Cape buffalo caliber and more than adequate for Elephant for use by a client. 416 Rigby and 416 Rem same as long as the hunter can manage the recoil with ease and place the first shot.

Rifles for use by clients and PH's are not intended for the same purpose.

The biggest legal caliber with an appropriate premium grade bullet that can be fired accurately and used competently by whoever is using it is the most appropriate caliber and rifle to use irrespective if it is a client or a PH when it comes to DG.

I would much rather have a client using a 375 H&H with the correct bullet who can hit what he is aiming at rather than a one using a 460 Weatherby that he cannot hit the proverbial barn door with.
 

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Sstoppelman

Hey! If you're gonna quote me .....quote me as to what I said and not just what you want.

I also said that I was glad that they allow people to use the 375becase if they didn't guys like yourself would never have a chance to hunt DG.

Kick you say? You think the 458 kicks? i know a5'2" guy who had me build one for him and it would be pretty light for an 06.

But to each their own.

In my opinion the 375 is a wonderful elk and moose round and moose can get bigger than a cape. It's a good pg round and there are those who will double a cape's weight on the hoof. Its simply that the cape may decide to try juggling your jingle bobs with his hoofs while he's trying to get you unimpailed from his hoofs that has me concerned.

Use what you like.....enjoy!
 

IvW

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Sstoppelman

Hey! If you're gonna quote me .....quote me as to what I said and not just what you want.

I also said that I was glad that they allow people to use the 375becase if they didn't guys like yourself would never have a chance to hunt DG.

Kick you say? You think the 458 kicks? i know a5'2" guy who had me build one for him and it would be pretty light for an 06.

But to each their own.

In my opinion the 375 is a wonderful elk and moose round and moose can get bigger than a cape. It's a good pg round and there are those who will double a cape's weight on the hoof. Its simply that the cape may decide to try juggling your jingle bobs with his hoofs while he's trying to get you unimpailed from his hoofs that has me concerned.

Use what you like.....enjoy!

Elk and Moose round?? PG??

More Cape Buffalo are hunted every year with .375 caliber rifles than any other caliber.

It is the best choice for Lion hunting and more than adequate for a client to use on Elephant.

Some people read too much and believe that stopping rifles are required when coming to Africa and that 90% of DG hunts end in charges and that clients need to be armed in such a way as to be able to sort out the pawpaw when it hits the fan, not so and 99.9% of hunts will not end in a follow up situation if a client used a rifle cartridge combination he is competent with. Much better to use what is legal and what you are comfortable with. Shot placement is the main factor.

A good .375 bullet through the boiler room is much better than a 458 through the ass or guts.

Suggesting that the .458 WM is the minimum recommendation is, well, ridiculous, especially for Cape Buffalo.

The .400 calibers are better than the .375's but not by all that much when using the 375's with appropriate bullets.

The 400's would be the best choice for a buffalo only safari, mixed bag the 375 gets the nod.

458 WM in my opinion is a poor choice, if somebody can handle the recoil, and they want to use a .458, I would suggest starting with the 458 Lott and work up from there.

I would use and suggest a decent 375 H&H, 404 Jeff, 416 Rigby or even a 416 RM or Ruger long before I would either use or recommend the 458 WM.

Unless somebody plans on multiple elephant hunts there is no need to look further than the 400 calibers or the 375 calibers if that is what they shoot the best.
 

sestoppelman

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Sstoppelman

Hey! If you're gonna quote me .....quote me as to what I said and not just what you want.

I also said that I was glad that they allow people to use the 375becase if they didn't guys like yourself would never have a chance to hunt DG.

Kick you say? You think the 458 kicks? i know a5'2" guy who had me build one for him and it would be pretty light for an 06.

But to each their own.

In my opinion the 375 is a wonderful elk and moose round and moose can get bigger than a cape. It's a good pg round and there are those who will double a cape's weight on the hoof. Its simply that the cape may decide to try juggling your jingle bobs with his hoofs while he's trying to get you unimpailed from his hoofs that has me concerned.

Use what you like.....enjoy!
HEY! I quoted directly the relevant statement, regarding your recommendation that nothing less than a .458 be used on any big 5 animals. You said it, not me.
 

Von S.

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A 375 with a 270 grain bullet delivers to the shooter 45 foot pounds of recoil.

The 458 with a 510 grain soft point leaving the muzzle at 2125fps delivers to the shooter 46 foot pounds of recoil.

Wow! A whopping "1" extra foot pound of recoil...a whole one more pound difference, yet somehow there are those out there, who I have some doubts have ever fired a 458 and maybe have never even seen one, have fraudulently laid claim to the viciousness of the 458 recoil as to somehow induce only "gut and ass" shots is simply mystifying.

Yes! The 375 is a really good round and very suitable to sending a laundry list of animals to the bone yard. I believe that it excels at taking game up to a ton in weight down to animals that can be easily downed by something like a 243.

Can the 375 be used on tougher game with acceptable results? Of course it can, and it is used around the world and has killed everything that has, walked, talked or crawled. A claim that has also the dubious distinction of many other calibers and rounds.

I am a big bore fan and if given the opportunity would fore go all the guess work of what round goes best with what and just use something that throws 500 grain or better out of the barrel at a healthy pace.

Actually, I am glad that very few animals anywhere do a banzai charge at the end of their lives in an attempt to take their agitator with them to the here after.

If that were the case I most assureidly would want something extremely powerful and highly destructive and be damned the cost or the collective bucket's of tearful complaints about recoil from those who have never seen , handled or fired a bruiser like the T-Rex or the Over Kill.

As for me I really couldn't care less if someone wants to hunt a cape with a snazzy 22 long rifle, decked out like one of those old actors from the 30's safari movies and expecting to be called "bwanna".

The 458, by the way, makes one hell of a right spiffy bear rifle. One well placed shot that takes the heart and lungs out and they immediately face plant, never to as much as twitch ever again.
 

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I consider my .458 Lott a big bore and my .375 a medium. They are both great rifles. I have zero experience with the various .400’s and leave it to others to comment. I have to admit that I would love to get my hands on a well worn .404 Jeff., one that’s been there and done that....
 

sestoppelman

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A 375 with a 270 grain bullet delivers to the shooter 45 foot pounds of recoil.

The 458 with a 510 grain soft point leaving the muzzle at 2125fps delivers to the shooter 46 foot pounds of recoil.

Wow! A whopping "1" extra foot pound of recoil...a whole one more pound difference, yet somehow there are those out there, who I have some doubts have ever fired a 458 and maybe have never even seen one, have fraudulently laid claim to the viciousness of the 458 recoil as to somehow induce only "gut and ass" shots is simply mystifying.

Yes! The 375 is a really good round and very suitable to sending a laundry list of animals to the bone yard. I believe that it excels at taking game up to a ton in weight down to animals that can be easily downed by something like a 243.

Can the 375 be used on tougher game with acceptable results? Of course it can, and it is used around the world and has killed everything that has, walked, talked or crawled. A claim that has also the dubious distinction of many other calibers and rounds.

I am a big bore fan and if given the opportunity would fore go all the guess work of what round goes best with what and just use something that throws 500 grain or better out of the barrel at a healthy pace.

Actually, I am glad that very few animals anywhere do a banzai charge at the end of their lives in an attempt to take their agitator with them to the here after.

If that were the case I most assureidly would want something extremely powerful and highly destructive and be damned the cost or the collective bucket's of tearful complaints about recoil from those who have never seen , handled or fired a bruiser like the T-Rex or the Over Kill.

As for me I really couldn't care less if someone wants to hunt a cape with a snazzy 22 long rifle, decked out like one of those old actors from the 30's safari movies and expecting to be called "bwanna".

The 458, by the way, makes one hell of a right spiffy bear rifle. One well placed shot that takes the heart and lungs out and they immediately face plant, never to as much as twitch ever again.
LOL! Not sure what comic book you got those figures from but they are laughable as anyone who has ever fired both rounds would know without looking it up! The tables I saw showed with both rifles of the same weight and using a heavier bullet for the .375 than your example: .375 with 300@2530 fps = 37.3, while the .458 with 510@2100 = 62.3 in recoil energy. Your numbers are beyond silly. And yes I have owned and shot both calibers. BTW, of the various PH's I have hunted with, only one carried a .458, a double. The others carried mostly the .375 for general back up.
 
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IvW

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Recoil comparison:

Lets stick with standard loads 300 gr for the 375 H&H and 500 gr for the 458 WM.

Both in 9 pound rifles which is pretty much standard for them.

375 H&H 300 gr bullet @ 2530 fps produces 37.3 ft-lbs of recoil energy and 16.3 ft/s of recoil velocity.

458 WM 500 gr bullet & 2100 fps produces 62.3 ft-lbs of recoil energy and 21.1 ft/s of recoil velocity.

So that gives us 67.02 % more recoil from the 458 WM than the 375 H&H and also significant 29.44 % more recoil velocity!

Now almost 70 percent more recoil is a significant amount for somebody to master for a one off DG hunt and to learn to master without enough practice.

It is quite obvious from a recoil point of view which one will be the easiest to master.

http://www.sportingshooter.com.au/

This link only shows me some guy who got nailed by a water buffalo and shows no recoil charts.
 

IvW

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The 458, by the way, makes one hell of a right spiffy bear rifle. One well placed shot that takes the heart and lungs out and they immediately face plant, never to as much as twitch ever again.

I am sure a 375 loaded with a 300 gr bullet @ 2530 fps or a 350 gr bullet @ 2300 would have the same effect with a lot less recoil and more reach if needed with the same well placed shot.
 

sestoppelman

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Rifle weight plays a large part as well. Given a .375 that weighs 5 #:eek: and a .458 that weighs 12, the difference in felt recoil will be more similar, but as the above examples show, given the same weight the difference in recoil is considerable. My own .375, a Whitworth Express with scope weighs nearly 10#. Just right, and the recoil is more than adequate.;);)
 

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Good morning all,

I was reading over some of the recent threads on here and it suddenly occurred to me that I had a very poor grasp on what, exactly, a "Big Bore" rifle is. I know the "Wikipedia definition" which is "large-bore refers to calibers with a diameter of .40 inches or larger." but what does that mean to you? For example when I decided to go to Africa for the first time last year I purchased a .375 H&H. Having never shot anything (in the civilian world, not counting the service) larger than a 300 Win Mag the .375 was most definitely a "Big Bore" to me! I thought that surly the minimum caliber acceptable to stop an elephant must be a big bore, but by the definition I was mistaken. I then purchased a 404 Jeffrey. Now I certainly had the "text book" big bore, but I have come to find that some do not even consider this, nor the 416 that would come after it, to be a "big bore" rifle. So I'm asking the community: What, to you, is a "big bore" and why? Is it bullet weight? Speed? Recoil? Sheer machismo and history? Please let myself and the others who may be wondering but do not want to ask know. As always, thank you in advance for your time and wisdom.

404J has a larger diameter than 416, Remember, Brits do caliber to the lands, not the grooves. Groove diameter on 404J is .423. You see the same thing with 275 Rigby, which is in fact a .284/7mm caliber.

Just sayin'. ;)
 

bruce moulds

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i cannot see what the problem is with the 458win.
accepting that it might not give 2200 to 510 gn bullets, is this a problem?
all the great 45 cal nitros used a 480 gn bullet, so is a 500+ gn bullet necessary?
can an animal tell the difference between 1900 and 2200 fps?
put a 480 gn bullet in the 458 and you have a 450 nitro.
the old kynock bullets i have fired into wet clay all held together and mushroomed, when hornady 500 gn turned inside out and totally lost their cores.
something was lost in bullet making over the years, but now you can get good bullets again.
bruce.
 

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404J has a larger diameter than 416, Remember, Brits do caliber to the lands, not the grooves. Groove diameter on 404J is .423. You see the same thing with 275 Rigby, which is in fact a .284/7mm caliber.

Just sayin'. ;)

And the really weird thing about the 404J is the land diameter is .411" and groove is .423" . The exact reason it is called the .404J is probably only known by Jeffery himself.
 

Von S.

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I am sure a 375 loaded with a 300 gr bullet @ 2530 fps or a 350 gr bullet @ 2300 would have the same effect with a lot less recoil and more reach if needed with the same well placed shot.

If the "effect" that you are talking about is that the bear would be dead then I'll agree....either bullet placed in the right spot and the bear would be dead.

The problem is that to be equal you would have to be equal in the same respects.

The 458 starts out being larger thereby creating an instantaneous advantage of an already larger permanent wound cavity. The second is that a 300 grain 458 bullet out of the winchester can reach around 3000 fps and the 350 at about 2750 and then some before bad pressure signs. With the larger diameter it will shed energy more quickly, but it will be inside the animal where it counts.

On the flip side the 375 /350 grain due to profile and diameter will penetrate deeper but both will exit a standing or side shot.

I have shot bears with a 375, as well as just about everything in Africa except rhino and crocodile along with some of the more piddling game roaming the plains. I do admire the round, but it does have limitations , but will admit that it does deserve it's handle of "Queen of the medium bores".

I still contend that in my opinion the the 458 Winchester Magnum is my choice ad the minimum big bore that I would use on DG no matter what continent they were on.
 

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