Big Bores


September 5, 2004, 05:12 PM
Burned out on all the roundtable/political rodeo stuff and decided to get back to basics and things that interest me more. GUNS, specifically big bore rifles. So what have ya got, what do ya want. Some whys and details should be required to keep our interest up. Range reports are good to, so is load selection. and use.

I didn't plan this in advance so I can't lead off with pics. One of my favorites is my 1958 Win Model 70, 375 H&H. The stock is a woodworkers dream, and the workmanship is exquist. Currently in the shop getting the upper portion of the Griffon and Howe side scope mount ordered and custom fitted. For real nasties 300 gr. Barnes solids @ 2550 are the ticket. For deep pentetration soft skinned stuff ( grizzly included ) my favorite bullets are Nosler partitions and Swift A frames both in 300 grs @ 2550. The lower 48 stateside stuff ( most use) the Nosler partitions in 260 gr are good, so are the Swift 270. Actually I haven't found a bad bullet by any manufacturer yet in this range, they all seem to perform for the task at hand, which is limited to moose/elk for most part. Normal velocity is 2700 fps.

Next, toss up here, looking at a 9.3x62 or a 404 Jeffries. Either way I want the classic english express rifle. Straight grain walnut, barrel band swivel, express sights, dropped extra capacity magazine. The action is an open book right now, CZ, Winchester, BRNO, or a original Mauser are all in consideration. If I was independently wealthy this would be a original H&H or a Rigby but that isn't likely to happen.

If you enjoyed reading about "Big Bores" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2004, 06:10 PM
My big bore is Bigfoot Wallace, a custom '03 Springfield, built by CW Fitch of Phoenix in the late '60s or early '70s in .35 Brown-Whelen. My handloads drive a 225 grain Nosler Partition Jacket a little over 2,800 fps.

This is a very accurate rifle, albeit a bit heavier than modern rifles tend to run. However, between the weight and a superb stock design with a good butt pad, it is a joy to shoot.

I recently had some misfire problems, and finally solved them by switching out the whole "guts" of the bolt -- replacing them with a LaPorte 3-position (Winchester style) safety and a Wolff Blitzen 20 lb spring, and adjusting the Mashburne trigger for the extra spring pressure.

September 5, 2004, 06:26 PM

My big bore is Bigfoot Wallace

Did you name your rifle?

The right stock on the big bore, heavy recoil rifles makes the difference between enjoyable to shoot, or trade it as fast as you can. I also want a reasonably heavy barrel contour. I have been looking at the current manufactured rifles and all but the customs seem a little light. The new winchester safari express is 8 1/2 lbs, the Custom Safari express in the 404 is better @ 9lbs 4oz but the price jumps up to $3000.00 The african express is the best but add another $1500 to the custom safari..ouch

Vern Humphrey
September 5, 2004, 06:40 PM
Did you name your rifle?

Yep -- Bigfoot Wallace was a Texas Ranger. He was one of those captured by the Mexicans, who had to draw beans out of a jar to see if they would be shot or survive. He was a man whose life was larger than its legend.

Bigfoot Wallace wears the original barrel -- bored out and re-rifled (you can still see the Ordnance Bomb near the muzzle.) As you probably know, the Springfield barrel forward of the shank is the same diameter as the receiver ring -- no step down in front of the receiver. This adds weight, of course, which is not all that bad in a hard-kicking cartridge.

The cheekpiece is "swamped" -- with a curve in the surface the cheek rests on, so it pulls away from the cheek in recoil. That alone makes a considerable difference in perceived recoil.

September 11, 2004, 12:57 PM
Since there was a Hurricane and THR was down when I first got this going, I want to see if anyone besides two of us are interested in the Big Bores.

Or am I the member of a small little group in the shooting community?

September 11, 2004, 02:28 PM
Starting at .35 and working up: .358 Norma Mag on 1917 action custom maple stock heavy contour barrel with 4X post Bear Cub scope in Bhueler mounts. .375 custom Mauser Whitworth action with Lothar Walther 25" integral 1/4 rib barrel where the triple folding leaf express sights are mounted. This gun weighs 10 1/2 pounds with its 1.75-6X Leupold Vari X 3 scope . 700 Remington .375 H&H Stainless with Brown Precision stock and Gentry brake on 22" barrel . It weighs just under 8 pounds with a Burris Signiture Illumiated Safai Plex 1.75-6x scope in Warne quick detach mounts ,factory irons with "fire sight" blades. 3 marlin 45-70's, and a Remington 788, and Browning B-92 .44 mag are also big bores I quess. Lastly a 1932 Cogs Well and Harrison built (labeled Army & Navy) field grade .470 Nitro Express double. Oh, Oh I forgot my Barrett Light .50 BMG!:D :D :D

September 12, 2004, 10:44 AM
I shot a Colt-Saur and a CZ .375 some years ago. I found both pretty easy to handle, recoilwise. Another guy and I shot a bunch of "attacking" milk jugs to see who could get the most the fastest. He won, partly because I had a misfeed in the CZ.

A couple months ago I shot a .470 Nitro double rifle made by Butch Searcy. I only shot it once. Even though I had a PAST recoil pad on, it was too much of a good thing for me.

I missed a Marlin .45-70 lever for $175 once. I was too broke to buy it. I've regretted missing that gun for a long time.

September 12, 2004, 01:46 PM
I really like Winchester M-71's in .348 Win.

Neat gun. Neat caliber. I like the old '86 too.

The Trapdoor Springfield is still the favorite I own, of course.

Black Snowman
September 12, 2004, 02:13 PM
I really enjoyed my father's Weatherby Mark V in .340 Wby Mag. Made me a bit of a recoil junky. I'd love to have a .408 ChyTac or Berrett Mod 82 for serious booming but can't afford the $8000 for the rifles they're chambered in. Need to pay off the credit cards for the guns and goodies I've already bought ;)

September 12, 2004, 02:28 PM
If I need a really big bore, I turn to my 18.5x76 chambered Remington. It throws a 470gr solid at 1700 ft/sec out of a 21 1/2" rifled barrel - that's serious medicine for just about anything. :neener:

September 12, 2004, 11:18 PM
I can sure tell I'm right in there with you guys with my new marlin .44 mag:neener:

Am just sooo glad I choose a Winchester m70 and CZ550 for my .375 H&H's, and not a 45/70! The cheap little 44 is such a handi little hoot,

AND IT'S BORE IS ENORMOUS:neener: :neener: :neener: :neener:

October 23, 2008, 06:03 PM
i have a .375 Holland & Holland boltaction, a .470 NE double barrel, my fathers .500 NE double barrel, a .338 Lupa Mag, a .300 Win Mag, a .404 Gibbs leaver action, and i still have my brothers .416 Rigby.

yes, i have been to africa. yes, i will go again. i have been there 17 times and love africa more than my, oops, she is in the room.

you know, once we went together, and the ele she shot with her .375 H&H was bigger than mine by four inches.

October 23, 2008, 06:19 PM
I now have two .243s and two 30/30s - does that count ? :o

Would love to have a .375 H&H and a .416 Rigby in double rifles, or a Ruger #1, or a Remington 700, or a Winchester model 70. Have no earthly idea what I would do with them though.:confused:


October 23, 2008, 06:22 PM
My one and only, don't know if it counts as big bore....
Remington 788 lefty bolt in .308. It carries a Simmons Whitetail classic 3x9x40 that was given to me. Total utility and workhorse.

Want - Marlin 1895 in 45/70. I know that counts as big bore:D

October 23, 2008, 06:43 PM
I've got an 1895 Winchester in 405 WCF. I'd like to have another in the near future, budget permitting. Next is an early Ruger 77 Safari in 416 Rigby. Last but not least a State Arms Lightweight model in 50 BMG, but that really doesn't fit the bill of what we're talking about.

James T Thomas
October 23, 2008, 09:48 PM
Congratulations on your Winchester, and the 375 H&H. While there are more powerful rounds available, that one is tried and true and nearly universal in a big game round.

My brother; oh my, not me, had a Sako chambered for the 375 that was also in the great category. I hunted deer with it, with limited expansion ammo.

If I "had to choose one big bore, big game cartridge, the 375 H&H would be it.
( This person has never set foot in Africa how ever.)

October 23, 2008, 11:39 PM
I'm still kicking myself for not buying a 1939 Model 70 in 375 H&H the local gun store had.

October 24, 2008, 08:56 AM
Here's mine, not really a 'dangerous game' rifle but she's a hoot to shoot!
German-made (c.1895) double rifle by Gruendig of Dresden.

Caliber is 12.3x62mmR. I use a 470grain .478" bullet paper patched to .488". This photo shows an empty case, a bullet, & a loaded round compared to a .45/70 Govt. round.

She weighs 6.25lbs wringing wet, so she has some authority when you touch one off. Here's a picture of the muzzles....not much meat there!

October 24, 2008, 09:21 AM
hmmm...still have two...

16" TC carbine in 45-70...but it DOES have a Muzzle Tamer...I am crazy...not stupid...

and a custom Mauser in 416 Taylor. Neck down a 458 WM to 416 and do a light face trim and your there. REAL nice caliber.


October 24, 2008, 11:10 AM
Mine is a Marlin .45-70 GOVT. using Garrett Hammerhead ammo.

October 24, 2008, 11:25 AM
My 62 cal. fusil de chase smoothbore is pretty potent out to 100 yards. my sons mod 71 348 with the steel butt plate kills on one end cripples on the other.

October 24, 2008, 11:36 AM
I have and use several .375H&H's. It is my favorite ctg above all others for a mid size bore. When the need arose for a better squirrel rifle I found that the .500 NE filled the bill. Mine is on a 1897 WR single shot action and is the perfect rifle for these pesky squirrels in the neighborhood.

Using the 450 grain bullets, rarely is a follow up shot needed. I just wish I had a gunbearer to complete my African clothing. I was kinda of hoping that Barrack Obama was open for the job after November the 5th.:neener:

October 25, 2008, 12:37 AM
Holy Thread resurrection, Batman!

Nice double rifle, btw.

My only big bore is a Pedersoli Sharps in 45-70. Been thinking a Mauser rebarreled to 45-70 would be cool, but SWMBO might kill me if I buy any more guns for a while.

October 25, 2008, 12:42 AM
I have always wanted a 45 110.

October 25, 2008, 08:30 AM
my big bore is a regular old marlin 1895g guide gun. it is enough for me. shooting 400 or 405 grain loads @ around 1900 fps out of it is ALL i will ever want to handle. unless i win the lottery and can go to africa. then there is only one rifle i would buy. a weatherby 460 mag. it WOULD NOT be any fun to shoot. but it should stop anything provided i could place the shot in a decent spot. but, for now, since i really do not expect to win the lottery, this is the max i want kicking my shoulder. the only rifle i want now is a 5.56 ar style gun. something to go out and have fun with. i would however, like a big bore revolver someday soon.

November 1, 2008, 05:07 AM
AR-50 baby!! the mighty BMG

November 1, 2008, 07:11 AM
Mine may not be the classic BIG BORES, but for my whitetail, black bear, and occasional moose hunt my little collection of a Ruger #3 in 45-70, Ruger 77 in 35 Whelen, Marlin 336 in 35 Remington, and soon to have Browning BLR in 358 Winchester, suits me just fine.


November 1, 2008, 09:59 AM
I have never owned big bore rifle but have shot them a few times. I like mine around 375 HH or 416 Rigby with open sights.

For some excellent reading try Dangerous Game Rifles by Terry Wieland, great book on all facets of big bore rifles.

November 4, 2008, 09:14 AM
Haven't read that one, will have to take a look. Certainly sounds interesting.

Speaking of books, I passed by a secondhand bookstore yesterday so I thought I'd take a look and see if they had anything interesting on hunting. Rumaging around in their travel/adventure selection eventually yielded a very nice copy of John 'Pondoro' Taylor's Big Game and Big Game Rifles, complete with dustjacket for $7.99!

I'm looking at a secondhand BRNO ZKK 602 in .375H&H, asking price $800. I'm tempted, but wondering if I should save my pennies for the current version, the CZ 550 American Safari Magnum. Any thoughts?

Is it still possible to buy rings for the ZKK 602 dovetailed receiver?

If you enjoyed reading about "Big Bores" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!