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

Ryan

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378 Weatherby-300gr bullet @ 2925 ft/s and 5699 ft/lbs
460 Weatherby-500gr bullet @ 2600 ft/s and 7504 ft/lbs

Very impressive, however getting back to why they are not liked.

Excessive recoil-few can handle them and shoot them well, most can't, resulting in follow up's, wounded and lost animals, not due to lack of ability of the cartridges but due to bad first shot placement as a result of the recoil.

Long recovery and reload time for the second shot due to excess muzzle lift(recoil).

In an attempt to manage the recoil, many are fitted with muzzle brakes-I hate them and have yet to meet a PH who likes muzzle breaks on a DG rifle while guiding a client using one.

Excessive speed again resulting in wounded animals. Download them to a sensible velocity and you have a wonderful African rifle. Then remove the brake if fitted as you will no longer need it.
Excessive speed in DG cartridges actually gives you less penetration than slower speed. You do not need more than 2400 ft/s in a DG rifle if you use heavy for calibre bullets. A 500gr solid bullet at 2400 ft/s will out penetrate the same bullet doing 2600 ft/s.

They are wonderfully strong rifles and actions, well finished, have excellent triggers and although they have push feed actions I have yet to see one not function as intended, however in factory form they are loaded to high pressures and speeds that are not needed in Africa.

I well remember a 18 day hunt with Spanish client who arrived in camp with a brand new 460 Weatherby that he had ordered from the Weatherby custom shop. The stock, finished with some shiney farnish, shone like a mirror and although it had one of the best figured pieces of wood I could just not understand why the stock had this shiny finish. He had quite a few animals on his wish list, including elephant, 2 x buff, sable, lion etc. This rifle quickly started beating and battering him up as the safari progressed and at one stage he used one of my 375 H&H rifles on his plains game animals as he could no longer endure the punishment dealt out by this power house with it's full power loads.

At the end of the safari, he presented me with this rifle, which although I thanked him profusely for, declined to take as I had no need or use for it. I use a 500 Jeff as a back up rifle on DG and have the utmost confidence in this rifle. This upset him and he insisted I take the rifle.

Long story short, I eventually took the barrel of the Weatherby(in those day's only the barrels where licenced in my country and if he took that back with him there would be no need for licencing etc.) and kept the stock and action.

It sat in my safe for a long time until I eventually gave it to my gunsmith who fitted a 30 1/2 inch 338 Lapua Magnum match barrel. Converting it to a "long range fun gun", for lack of a better description. He at the same time god rid of the shiny finish on the stock and did a London oil finish on it. It now has the most beautiful stock of all the rifles I own. It shoots very well and I still own this rifle.

No issues with Weatherby rifles, rather with the full power loads they come with. Down load them with heavy bullets to a sensible velocity and get rid of the brake and you will have a wonderful DG game rifle.
Dave Petzal agrees with you.
http://www.fieldandstream.com/pages/flying-dutchman-my-old-378-weatherby-doomed-wander-earth-alone

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Aaron Nietfeld

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I find it interesting that no PH's have chimed in.....
 

Foxi

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Be honest,who can handle the Weatherby Big Ones ?
Sure,here in AH we think we are all experts :)
The (few) hunter I met who was carrying a. 378 and a .460 in Africa all said : perfect for Big Game.
The experienced from them ( almost 20 buffs) meant,that the .378 is probably the best buff cartridge and you can far shoot, so its necessary with it.
But imagine,a .378 (110gr) needs 50% more powder as my 375 H+H (73 gr) need.
Lot of stuff.
When some hunter are saying a 375 H+H has a soft recoil.
I politely disagree.
My CZ full loaded ,with scope, has a weight from 5.2 kg.
A heavy bride.
But on the shooting range ,after the 7th shot I have enough.

Here on that picture,a beech with the shoot - out,almost 70 cm, with my .375 H+H FMJ I think it has enough energy to go 2-3x for Big Ones in Africa.
And when you are loosing your Weatherby cartridges,no one can help you in the camp.
375 or .458 to get is no problem.
Just my two cents.
Foxi
Beech.JPG
 

Dwight Beagle

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Weatherby didn't do their reputation any favors when they starting selling cheap rifles at Wal-Mart. Maybe the PH's have seen too many of those.
Their cheap rifles are much better quality than other company's cheap rifles such as Axis, RAR, 783, AB3 and SPR. And I don't believe Weatherby is the end all, be all. Just saying. I'd rather have a Vanguard than any of the above mentioned rifles. I'd rather have a Model 70 than a Mark V in any chambering. And the only Weatherby proprietary chambering I'd own would be a .257 mag, though I don't own one currently and doubt I ever will.
 

Velo Dog

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Look up "garish" in any English language dictionary.
 
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Rob404

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Don't Hate us cause were Beautiful
 

BWH

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The thing about weatherby magnums....... they are great, BUT.... they are too much of a good thing & their ammo is so rare & damn expensive. So why?!?!?!
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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The thing about weatherby magnums....... they are great, BUT.... they are too much of a good thing & their ammo is so rare & damn expensive. So why?!?!?!

I suffer with 300/257 fatigue... Ammo issues ALWAYS.,.,
 

BWH

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My point.... they are all badass.... you get 100 more fps, and cost you an extra $100.... and you still get same results..... dead animal.
 

1dirthawker

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have no idea why they are not liked in africa. however, can shed some light on why I don't like weatherbys or ultra-mags up here in alaska. basically is a bullet issue. one hunter had a 375 weatherby, shot it poorly. missed a bear 3 times. then had another brown bear (9.5 footer) at 171 yards. missed first shot, then hit with second. (shot it as well with my 375 ruger) was he afraid of the rifle? maybe. no trigger time with it tho.

several hunters have shot brown bears with our guiding outfit (i am only an assistant guide) with 300 ultra mags with 200 gr swift a frame bullets. they were at ranges from 150-30 yards. the bullets riveted out, held together but so big did not penetrate, and did not get to vitals of the bears.

weatherbys are similar, super fast, but not many bullets can take the impact they deliver and hold together. animals don't read energy charts. they don't know they are supposed to die when hit with 4500 ft pounds, multiple times.

the 150 yard bear took the 200 gr swift and took off. was shot once with a 375 h&h and stopped it, (spine) and then the hunter continued to shoot 5 more times before the bear expired. i was underwhelmed.

i think that the bullets dump energy into animal, they just don't make the long hole in the vitals that is necessary to kill the beast.

my 2 cents
 

Buckdog

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Ol' Roy is probably rolling over in his grave! You guys have ripped Weatherby mostly pretty well. I am NOT going to admit to owning any of those purty shooting sticks or you might attack me:whistle: But my 2 cents is they are purty POS because 1. too much head space to get out close to the lands and groove when seat bullets 2. burn alot of powder for some extra speed and extra recoil 3. kill no better than non weatherby similar cal. 4. not control rd feed 5. overall i dont find any that are super accurate the radius shoulder design that isntt conducive to best accuracy. 6. all that extra power eats up brass cost 7. cost more to feed a webby.
So I like to look at roy's purty guns but they are just that collect dust in back of safe for me never took one out to hunt. And I have no fear of the recoil just dont like webbys. BUT if anybody likes one and can shoot it well then go for it:) it all a matter of taste. put a chunk of lead where it needs to go and they will def get er done.
 

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I don't own a Weatherby but I am inclined to think that this is about esthetics and politics, not about too much power. A 375 will kill anything but people go to hunt Africa with .40 and .50 cal rifles and no one says much about it being too powerful - it is nostalgic - but mention the double raidus shoulder and things get ugly. And, I am sure unprepared shooters carry all manner of Remington
 

IvW

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Speed does not kill any better on African animals. You only need premium heavy for caliber bullets at modest velocity(2100-2400 fps) and you will be fine. That is why European cartridges have done so well in Africa over the years.

Weatherby's are all just about speed, the all American speed freak guns, not what you need for Africa.

The main problem with Weatherby cartridges are that the owners cannot shoot them properly. They are just too scared of the recoil. Not flinching getting beaten by the vicious recoil. The result is wounded animals and a client that cannot hit what he is aiming at. Not what any PH needs. If you can handle your Weatherby, fine use it in Africa(without a break that is), if not leave it at home and come to Africa with a sensible rifle/caliber combination. Not only will you shoot a lot better but your whole hunting experience will be so much better without wounded animals.
 

colorado

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My son and I rechambered our very light (7.25 lbs with scope) Rem XCR II in 375 H&H to 375 Weatherby. The motivation really was quality control from Remington or lack thereof. It came with an extractor too large to chamber factory Rem 375 H&H ammo and when I took it to the gunsmith I found out the chamber wasn't exactly perfect either. So I had a Sako extractor installed and had it rechambered to 375 Weatherby. It's been a great gun ever since. It's a bit snappy with 300g bullets at 2800 fps, but shooting factory 375 H&H rounds (300g at 2500 fps) it's a pussycat. It's very accurate with either load. Got my first brown bear with it at 13 yards so really didn't need the reach of the 375 Weatherby, but for long elk or eland shots it's there if you need it.

As far as speed not killing, given the choice between being shot in the shoulder with a 25-20 or a 257 Weatherby Mag, I'm thinking I'm picking the 25-20
 

IvW

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As far as speed not killing, given the choice between being shot in the shoulder with a 25-20 or a 257 Weatherby Mag, I'm thinking I'm picking the 25-20

We are talking 375+ calibers for hunting in Africa, not peashooters.
 

colorado

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If the bullet construction is not up to it, velocity is a detriment, but with today's excellent bullets (Swift A-Frames, NorthFork Softs and Cup Points) it's not an issue as long as you stay within their velocity parameters. Should we be shooting 30-30s at plains game (170g bullet at 2100 fps) instead of a 30-06 or a 300 Win Mag? Should we go back to shooting black powder 8 bores instead of 416 Rigbys, 500 Jefferys? I don't think so.
 
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