Why are Weatherby guns in 375+ calibers not liked on a Safari?

rookhawk

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There is a lot of interest here in these topics so it might be worth taking a step back to understand form and function because there are many variables that come into all these “religious” doctrines.

The first thing to understand is Roy Weatherby founded a religion based on a principle: Speed Kills.

The Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 Swedish would be the antithetical view to Roy’s religion. Heavy for caliber bullets fly true and their moderate speed results in more “hang time” in the animal to deplete the energy of the projectile by slowly burrowing a very large expanding mushroom into the animal. This ideology in contrast to Roy’s religion is best demonstrated by the 6.5x55, the 7x57, the .318 Westley, and other small bores. To a lesser extent, it is present in the large bores like the 404 Jeffery and the 450-400 NE.

So now that we know the golden rules of these two competing religions, what are the consequences that come from these primary commandments.

If you follow Roy, that speed creates a lot of recoil. It also creates a benefit of flat shooting guns. The MPBR (maximum point blank range) increases moderately in this religion but not substantially, yet the recoil increases a lot. Say 8% to 15% MPBR for 50% more recoil. So now that recoil must be contended with. Roy has an idea! Let’s take the montecarlo straight comb stock (you can mass produce them, they fit everyone the same....poorly) from bench rest shooting and lets them put negative drop at comb so your face doesn’t incline on the stock, but rather declined upon forward recoil getting your face off the stock before you are jarred by skidding your face over a gloss finish for 1”-2” of travel. It works. So now Roy’s religion has created new benefits and new problems. Bad stock fit for rapid snap shooting is a problem, but recoil management, mass production for fit with high ring scopes is a benefit. Now you have a stock that works from a bench to hold a giant scope with a flat shooting cartridge for modest improvements to long range shooting.

Is Roy correct? His theory does work. Speed does kill. Swedish theory is true also, hang time and heavy for caliber guns at moderate velocities kills really well too. They are killing with different mechanisms in different ratios. (Generally tissue damage versus hydrostatic shock and sheer)

So that was Roy’s premise and how it started. He was right to a more profound level on the little stuff, 257 and 270 weatherby works so well because it’s killing with small bullets at high speeds like .243 win and .25-06. Further, Roy’s ammo was optimized to max loads plus 2% more. How did he avoid lawyers saying he shouldn’t sell such hit ammo?

integrated supply chain. If you make the framers, and the actions, and the barrels, and you sole-source powder and brass from one private label (Norma) you can rigorously test and sell extreme ammo for extreme guns. To do this with non-Weatherbys you’d need to hand load and test under various conditions that no private individuals are really equipped to do.

So back to the traditional religion, they wanted the fast acquisition stock dimensions of England or Mid-century America. They wanted a low scope mount so the stock geometry works with irons or optics. They wanted feed to be assured. They wanted lighter weights without recoil discomfort. They wanted animals dead too. That’s where heavy for caliber bullets making big holes comes in. 450gr .404 Jeff at 38lbs to 43lbs of recoil is a perfect example of the antithesis of Roy’s religion. Yet it slays Buffalo way better than the .375HH because it is doing more “Swede” things than “Roy” things in its functions.

So this is why it’s such a complex discussion. What do you love about or hate about Roy’s religion? Some of his beliefs were probably not ideal, but consequences or solutions to following his other edicts.

Do you hate Roy calibers and recoil? Which ones and why? (For me, the bigger, the worse)

Do you hate Roy’s stocks that are needed more and more the bigger you go?

Do you hate his push feed actions?

Do you hate the factory max load principle because you get 95% there by factory loading standard cartridges.

Do you dislike the uninformed snobbery that thinks a gun 15% more to any other department store gun is the best that there is when it’s still in the utility-camp price point?

Do you have historical biases that were true and made Roy a fool that aren’t true anymore? (Jacket separation by launching bullets that fast before bonded bullets existed)

It’s a quagmire. But I lean against Roy because he was an inventor that took little appreciation in history. He thought he discovered most of this stuff, ignoring 10,000 brilliant inventors that tried it all and evolved a strategy over 200 years with tremendous thought, avoiding Roy’s conclusions because of the dozen consequences to his premise “speed kills”.
 

Arthur Morta

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We get a number of 'big guns' at our club range, like the 577's 600's, and so on. The other day I experienced the blast from a 378WM with a muzzle recoil suppressor and it was another level all together. Not pleasant to be anywhere near that beast!

I wonder whose that was Kevin?
 

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You my friend! I take my hat off to you, I would never be able to tolerate that recoil, the noise was enough! You definitely have the most powerful rifle on the range.
 

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There is a lot of interest here in these topics so it might be worth taking a step back to understand form and function because there are many variables that come into all these “religious” doctrines.

The first thing to understand is Roy Weatherby founded a religion based on a principle: Speed Kills.

The Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 Swedish would be the antithetical view to Roy’s religion. Heavy for caliber bullets fly true and their moderate speed results in more “hang time” in the animal to deplete the energy of the projectile by slowly burrowing a very large expanding mushroom into the animal. This ideology in contrast to Roy’s religion is best demonstrated by the 6.5x55, the 7x57, the .318 Westley, and other small bores. To a lesser extent, it is present in the large bores like the 404 Jeffery and the 450-400 NE.

So now that we know the golden rules of these two competing religions, what are the consequences that come from these primary commandments.

If you follow Roy, that speed creates a lot of recoil. It also creates a benefit of flat shooting guns. The MPBR (maximum point blank range) increases moderately in this religion but not substantially, yet the recoil increases a lot. Say 8% to 15% MPBR for 50% more recoil. So now that recoil must be contended with. Roy has an idea! Let’s take the montecarlo straight comb stock (you can mass produce them, they fit everyone the same....poorly) from bench rest shooting and lets them put negative drop at comb so your face doesn’t incline on the stock, but rather declined upon forward recoil getting your face off the stock before you are jarred by skidding your face over a gloss finish for 1”-2” of travel. It works. So now Roy’s religion has created new benefits and new problems. Bad stock fit for rapid snap shooting is a problem, but recoil management, mass production for fit with high ring scopes is a benefit. Now you have a stock that works from a bench to hold a giant scope with a flat shooting cartridge for modest improvements to long range shooting.

Is Roy correct? His theory does work. Speed does kill. Swedish theory is true also, hang time and heavy for caliber guns at moderate velocities kills really well too. They are killing with different mechanisms in different ratios. (Generally tissue damage versus hydrostatic shock and sheer)

So that was Roy’s premise and how it started. He was right to a more profound level on the little stuff, 257 and 270 weatherby works so well because it’s killing with small bullets at high speeds like .243 win and .25-06. Further, Roy’s ammo was optimized to max loads plus 2% more. How did he avoid lawyers saying he shouldn’t sell such hit ammo?

integrated supply chain. If you make the framers, and the actions, and the barrels, and you sole-source powder and brass from one private label (Norma) you can rigorously test and sell extreme ammo for extreme guns. To do this with non-Weatherbys you’d need to hand load and test under various conditions that no private individuals are really equipped to do.

So back to the traditional religion, they wanted the fast acquisition stock dimensions of England or Mid-century America. They wanted a low scope mount so the stock geometry works with irons or optics. They wanted feed to be assured. They wanted lighter weights without recoil discomfort. They wanted animals dead too. That’s where heavy for caliber bullets making big holes comes in. 450gr .404 Jeff at 38lbs to 43lbs of recoil is a perfect example of the antithesis of Roy’s religion. Yet it slays Buffalo way better than the .375HH because it is doing more “Swede” things than “Roy” things in its functions.

So this is why it’s such a complex discussion. What do you love about or hate about Roy’s religion? Some of his beliefs were probably not ideal, but consequences or solutions to following his other edicts.

Do you hate Roy calibers and recoil? Which ones and why? (For me, the bigger, the worse)

Do you hate Roy’s stocks that are needed more and more the bigger you go?

Do you hate his push feed actions?

Do you hate the factory max load principle because you get 95% there by factory loading standard cartridges.

Do you dislike the uninformed snobbery that thinks a gun 15% more to any other department store gun is the best that there is when it’s still in the utility-camp price point?

Do you have historical biases that were true and made Roy a fool that aren’t true anymore? (Jacket separation by launching bullets that fast before bonded bullets existed)

It’s a quagmire. But I lean against Roy because he was an inventor that took little appreciation in history. He thought he discovered most of this stuff, ignoring 10,000 brilliant inventors that tried it all and evolved a strategy over 200 years with tremendous thought, avoiding Roy’s conclusions because of the dozen consequences to his premise “speed kills”.
I make it easy...I'm an atheist.
 

RayAtkinson

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Most PHs and many seasoned hunters of DG consider the Wby to have too much velocity and tend to tear up bullets particularly at close range..Thats the primary complaint, too much velocity tends to slow down penetration as a matter of fact,, a bullet expanding too fast slows the bullet down...These are the problems that raised their ugly head..Justifiable? I doubt it, probably came about by poor bullet choice..Ive seen the 300 Wby perform miracles on game of all sorts, owned a couple of them but wasn't my cup of tea, I preferred the .338 and 9.3x62 for light rifles as rule with others of various caliber just for determining my search for the perfect caliber, have yet to arrive at a particular caliber..
 

Mike Van Horn

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There is a lot of interest here in these topics so it might be worth taking a step back to understand form and function because there are many variables that come into all these “religious” doctrines.

The first thing to understand is Roy Weatherby founded a religion based on a principle: Speed Kills.

The Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55 Swedish would be the antithetical view to Roy’s religion. Heavy for caliber bullets fly true and their moderate speed results in more “hang time” in the animal to deplete the energy of the projectile by slowly burrowing a very large expanding mushroom into the animal. This ideology in contrast to Roy’s religion is best demonstrated by the 6.5x55, the 7x57, the .318 Westley, and other small bores. To a lesser extent, it is present in the large bores like the 404 Jeffery and the 450-400 NE.

So now that we know the golden rules of these two competing religions, what are the consequences that come from these primary commandments.

If you follow Roy, that speed creates a lot of recoil. It also creates a benefit of flat shooting guns. The MPBR (maximum point blank range) increases moderately in this religion but not substantially, yet the recoil increases a lot. Say 8% to 15% MPBR for 50% more recoil. So now that recoil must be contended with. Roy has an idea! Let’s take the montecarlo straight comb stock (you can mass produce them, they fit everyone the same....poorly) from bench rest shooting and lets them put negative drop at comb so your face doesn’t incline on the stock, but rather declined upon forward recoil getting your face off the stock before you are jarred by skidding your face over a gloss finish for 1”-2” of travel. It works. So now Roy’s religion has created new benefits and new problems. Bad stock fit for rapid snap shooting is a problem, but recoil management, mass production for fit with high ring scopes is a benefit. Now you have a stock that works from a bench to hold a giant scope with a flat shooting cartridge for modest improvements to long range shooting.

Is Roy correct? His theory does work. Speed does kill. Swedish theory is true also, hang time and heavy for caliber guns at moderate velocities kills really well too. They are killing with different mechanisms in different ratios. (Generally tissue damage versus hydrostatic shock and sheer)

So that was Roy’s premise and how it started. He was right to a more profound level on the little stuff, 257 and 270 weatherby works so well because it’s killing with small bullets at high speeds like .243 win and .25-06. Further, Roy’s ammo was optimized to max loads plus 2% more. How did he avoid lawyers saying he shouldn’t sell such hit ammo?

integrated supply chain. If you make the framers, and the actions, and the barrels, and you sole-source powder and brass from one private label (Norma) you can rigorously test and sell extreme ammo for extreme guns. To do this with non-Weatherbys you’d need to hand load and test under various conditions that no private individuals are really equipped to do.

So back to the traditional religion, they wanted the fast acquisition stock dimensions of England or Mid-century America. They wanted a low scope mount so the stock geometry works with irons or optics. They wanted feed to be assured. They wanted lighter weights without recoil discomfort. They wanted animals dead too. That’s where heavy for caliber bullets making big holes comes in. 450gr .404 Jeff at 38lbs to 43lbs of recoil is a perfect example of the antithesis of Roy’s religion. Yet it slays Buffalo way better than the .375HH because it is doing more “Swede” things than “Roy” things in its functions.

So this is why it’s such a complex discussion. What do you love about or hate about Roy’s religion? Some of his beliefs were probably not ideal, but consequences or solutions to following his other edicts.

Do you hate Roy calibers and recoil? Which ones and why? (For me, the bigger, the worse)

Do you hate Roy’s stocks that are needed more and more the bigger you go?

Do you hate his push feed actions?

Do you hate the factory max load principle because you get 95% there by factory loading standard cartridges.

Do you dislike the uninformed snobbery that thinks a gun 15% more to any other department store gun is the best that there is when it’s still in the utility-camp price point?

Do you have historical biases that were true and made Roy a fool that aren’t true anymore? (Jacket separation by launching bullets that fast before bonded bullets existed)

It’s a quagmire. But I lean against Roy because he was an inventor that took little appreciation in history. He thought he discovered most of this stuff, ignoring 10,000 brilliant inventors that tried it all and evolved a strategy over 200 years with tremendous thought, avoiding Roy’s conclusions because of the dozen consequences to his premise “speed kills”.

While we're taking a step back, maybe we should read the OP topic!!
375+
 

rookhawk

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While we're taking a step back, maybe we should read the OP topic!!
375+

I started with the principle that created the movement. Roy just kept upping the size and making bigger guns under the same principles. The bigger they go, the more problematic they become. The additional consequences to achieve Roy’s solutions with large bores are why they aren’t as popular.
Don’t want push feed. Don’t want excessive recoil. Don’t want jacket separation. Don’t want bad stock geometry. Don’t want a flinch. Don’t want a muzzlebreak to prevent a flinch. Don’t want ammo running at max load in a tropical environment. Don’t want a mass produced rifle on a safari.

pick any of the above. But do so understanding why Roy did what he did.
 

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Tortoise and the Hare...we all know who won that race.
 

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I would agree more with some of the previous post' as far as the calibre of (some of the people) that own them. My personal case in point, would be an ex-uncle, who honestly believed that his 300 Weatherby could defy gravity. He straight up told me that he sighted in 1 inch high at 100 yards, and, that with this rifle and caliber he could hold dead on out to 600 yards and it would still hit/kill his quarry. He really believed what he was telling me. Just like anyone who thought they had a "laser bullet" would do, he argued with me about ballistics, gravity, and he probably would have argued the color of a school bus at that point. This is my impression of the guys who think that Roy Weatherby created something so great, that anyone who doesn't own one is "sub par". I'm guessing that the distance of an ocean would not cure arrogance.
So...all Weatherby gun owners are arrogant?
 

35bore

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So...all Weatherby gun owners are arrogant?
Are you serious, or trying to prove my point? I clearly said "some of the people". Its even in the post you quoted hoss.
 

tn4lee

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Yes. Only need to check the safety on some Weatherby it will fire if you take the safety off.
i'm raising my B.S. flag on this guy. I've owned 6 Weatherby's, have never had such a problem, and have never talked to a WBY owner or shooter who has.
 

tn4lee

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Anyone who can't handle the recoil of their gun, shouldn't be using that gun. I've taken many shots, both on the bench and at deer/elk with my .340WBY and I won't tell you that I like the recoil, but I find it to be manageable. Especially when shooting at an animal, with a little adrenaline, its barely noticeable. I'm probably a little larger man than many, but I've never had an issue with the recoil of my particular WBY rifle. I feel the recoil on my brother-in-law's 300 win mag is worse and more difficult for follow-up shots, but it is much lighter than mine.
I weighed 161 pounds when I first fired a .460 and .378 Weatherby. I didn't find the recoil to be unmanageable. In fact, I enjoy shooting my .340 Wby and it's my preferred rifle. No one on this site who played football, if at only the high school level, dared complain to their football coach about the pain of a head-on shoulder tackle ( a heckuva a lot more pressure than 100 ft-lbs) so why do they complain about a few pounds of pressure shooting a rifle, just because they don't like the brand? Perhaps, we're dealing with the pudgies I see on the African Safari videos on YouTube. I told a safari hunting friend just last week that I feel as thought I need to gain an extra 100 pounds to qualify to go on a safari. Or, to be a PH.
 
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tn4lee

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STRICTLY BUSH LEAGUE

The real thumper would be a toss-up between a 6.5/378 Wby and the 6.5/50BMG
:):):):):)

Actually, I think the thing about Weatherbys that gets the most negative reaction was the Hydraulic Shock theory that said a hit anywhere on the animal would transmit shock through the circulatory system ending up at the heart, where the shock would disrupt the heart causing the animals death. The result of believing that theory was that you could shoot the animal anywhere- so no need for accurate shot placement, and the killing properties of the high velocity bullet would take care of things. Since there was no need for accurate shot placement, it left the user free to take 6-7-8-900, even a thousand yard shots, in the belief that a hit anywhere would result in a kill. Since this does not happen to be true, it created a division between hunters and subsequent ill thoughts.
Actually, the same line of thinking was espoused by DOD in the early to mid sixties about the M-16 rifle and 5.56 round. I know, because I heard that in "official" M-16 training classes.
 

Tanks

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Actually, the same line of thinking was espoused by DOD in the early to mid sixties about the M-16 rifle and 5.56 round. I know, because I heard that in "official" M-16 training classes.

They might have stated that, but that was not the sole reason. Not much recoil plus the load out as soldiers could carry more ammo than if using M-14s.
 

EfRed

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i'm raising my B.S. flag on this guy. I've owned 6 Weatherby's, have never had such a problem, and have never talked to a WBY owner or shooter who has.
Hi - I've never had it happen on any of my 4 Mark V's either; other Weatherby owners I know personally haven't either. But I've read that if you adjust the trigger pull way down, it can happen, and the problem may be complicated by dirt. On the other hand, if it were happening very often, I think Weatherby will have been sued into extinction by now.

My father did have a problem with his 300 Wby: emptying the magazine through the chamber twice resulted in accidental discharges for him. I know he didn't press the trigger. So I ever made it a practice to unload the magazine through the bottom plate. When I finally got hold of a Weatherby instruction manual, it warned to never unload through the chamber, but through the bottom plate. Also, Rule 1 - don't point it where you don't want it to shoot. Over the years, a number of very good guns have been afflicted by such peculiarities. Rule 1 covers this,
 

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Weatherby cartridges do two things: 1) flatten the trajectory 2) arrive at a given distance at greater velocity. These two things can be very valuable for certain situations. The hydrostatic shock theory never claimed you could shoot an antelope in the toe and kill him instantly as long as you had super velocity. It does claim that center mass bone structure hits have amplified killing effect if the velocity is great enough, and great enough depends on the size of the animal. No theory should be blamed for its misapplication. Don't shoot an antelope in the toe or a buffalo with a 240 Wby and expect a hydrostatic shock effect.

A .340 Weatherby is about as fine a cartridge as you can find in its size range. A 375 Weatherby, especially for a handloader, is a dream - don't have to load them smoking hot, but can if you need it. A .378 Weatherby is a fine cartridge that is capable of extraordinary but special purpose performance; you wouldn't choose it for 50 yard buffalo. A .416 Weatherby gives the same flexibility to the handloader. A .460 always seemed like too much recoil, but then its no worse than a 500 NE. And it too offers a wide range of flexibility to the handloader. Having a little margin in your pocket never hurts. You have to suit the tool to the job at hand.

To me, in the '60s, the Weatherby Mark V was a beautiful rifle that handled recoil very well. A very comfortable and handy stock. Still is. I suppose a person may like one stock style better than another; sometimes that might be due to having a lot of experience with that particular stock. Fortunately, our tastes in appearance are our own, and each of us is still the arbiter of "best" stock for handling recoil.

I'm still waiting for my 404 Jeffery's, one on a Mark V action with synthetic stock, the other on a Granite Mtn action and a nicely figured Turkish Walnut stock, express style. I do hope they show up.
 

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Are you serious, or trying to prove my point? I clearly said "some of the people". Its even in the post you quoted hoss.

Beat me to it. I had read your post and in no way have you said all or implied all.
 

Rule 303

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I weighed 161 pounds when I first fired a .460 and .378 Weatherby. I didn't find the recoil to be unmanageable. In fact, I enjoy shooting my .340 Wby and it's my preferred rifle. No one on this site who played football, if at only the high school level, dared complain to their football coach about the pain of a head-on shoulder tackle ( a heckuva a lot more pressure than 100 ft-lbs) so why do they complain about a few pounds of pressure shooting a rifle, just because they don't like the brand? Perhaps, we're dealing with the pudgies I see on the African Safari videos on YouTube. I told a safari hunting friend just last week that I feel as thought I need to gain an extra 100 pounds to qualify to go on a safari. Or, to be a PH.

I really am struggling to understand how a body being hit by another person compares to rifle recoil. Now if you compared a punch I can see the similarities. I am not sure all are complaining about the recoil produced by the Roys simply because they don't like the brand. Some maybe. Don't forget the Weatherby cartridges generally generate a faster recoil than most. This can make them uncomfortable for a lot of people.

I like my 416 Rigby when I load it using AR2209 powder. Don't like it with AR2213SC. The recoil becomes swifter and harsher. Some effect with some of Roy's cals. to harsh/swift for me. As I have said, I hate the look of his stocks but they sure work at reducing felt recoil, well for me anyway.

As for putting on weight to handle recoil, well that has been shown to be an urban myth by many.
 

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