Time to build a monster


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Il Duca
February 14, 2008, 12:13 AM
So I watched Ghost and the Darkness the other night and it's got me yearning for a true bigbore traditional safari rifle. I have a P17 converted to .375 H&H but now I feel the need for something really outrageous. My base action will be a Mauser 98. Before all you puritans start howling, I have a bubbad 98 in mind I think I can salvage. And yes, I know all the work and cost involved in the build I am proposing. I already know where I will have my bolt and action work done.

What I need now is input on a cartridge. I want something a little off the beaten path, so a .458 Win Mag is out for now. I have been cruising the forums at accuratereloading.com and I am really intrigued by the .500 Jeffrey. Anybody have one? I know it will be a pain to shoot but I am fascinated by big bores and need something one of a kind. Besides, I hope to go to Africa someday and it will help keep the dream alive. This rifle will be shot very little and shown off very much so ammo cost I'm not too concerned about. Besides, the fun is in the build.

So let's hear from some of you big bore afficianadoes.

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skinewmexico
February 14, 2008, 12:18 AM
416 Rigby? Can a 98 Mauser handle it?

Hypnogator
February 14, 2008, 12:24 AM
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. :what::eek:

AFAIK, a standard '98 Mauser action won't handle the true monster cartridges. :uhoh:

See, for example, http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=78060&an=0&page=2#Post78060

W.E.G.
February 14, 2008, 12:29 AM
You should have been here 19 pages ago.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=178655

Puny 30-06 on the right.

http://www.gunownerstv.com/naval.jpg

TheGrimReaper
February 14, 2008, 12:33 AM
I know guys that have built safari grade rifles on a BRUNO mauser action. One buddy chambered his in .416 Taylor, then found out how much the ammo costs!!!

Skofnung
February 14, 2008, 12:40 AM
You should have been here 19 pages ago.


And yea, the rumpstomping was of epic proportions.

That photo makes me sore just looking at it.

Il Duca
February 14, 2008, 12:47 AM
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

Ah, but you can, I've done it before:D. And I know I can't do a Nitro Express (what I really want) or something truly wild like that. But the .500 Jeffrey from what I hear is doable on a standard 98 action. Again, that's why I'm asking for input.

Thanx for the link W.E.G., I haven't been on the boards too much lately and must have missed that one.

jpwilly
February 14, 2008, 12:56 AM
Nice pic of artillery rounds!

Il Duca
February 14, 2008, 01:00 AM
Thanx to another member on thefiringline I think I have found a cartridge to fit my needs. The 550 Express. Look under the section for 550 Magnum here:

http://www.470mbogo.com/BigBoreCompendium/

BattleChimp Potemkin
February 14, 2008, 10:23 AM
You can get barrels for the Mauser series of rifle in 458 WinMag. Ive personally fired a .257 roberts (beautifully restored) Mauser rifle converted to that task (was my fathers, he gave it up, idiot:) ). 458 is not something to sneeze at (I personally own a restored .460 Weatherby bolt action from the same company), but anything bigger, you have to ask yourself: Are you doing it because you want to hunt elephants or do it b/c you think it's cool. People HAVE BEEN HURT!!! by trying to put crazy nitro cartidge barrels into weapons that CANNOT take it. Stick to what others have done (sensibly) and you will have a FUNCTIONAL and SAFE rifle.

rangerruck
February 14, 2008, 11:45 AM
I'd go 416...

nicholst55
February 14, 2008, 11:52 AM
You could rebarrel and otherwise convert your 1917 from .375 to essentially whatever your heart desires. It's much better suited to a true bigbore cartridge than the Mauser action is. I've seen 1917s in .505 Gibbs, and I'm currently building a .458 Lott (think .458 Win Mag all grown up) on one.

Il Duca
February 14, 2008, 11:47 PM
Thanx for the input guys, keep it coming. Right now the winner is looking like the .550 Express. It was designed to be used in standard Mauser actions so I'm pretty sure it will be safe. The action work will be done by a gunsmith whose work I am familiar and pleased with. I will also probably only rarely run full house lods through it.

I had thought about converting my P17 to something beefier but I love it just the way it is. I settled on the Mauser over other actions because of the aftermarket support it has. I can get anything from triggers to safeties to other little widgets in about any flavor I want. They are also more readily and economically available than the P17.

Gordon
February 15, 2008, 01:25 AM
fast follow up shots! There was more than one! No lion thatever walked the earth could withstand a controlled expansion .375 300 grain bullet at 2500 fps or so,and you can shoot faster than anything bigger in a bolt gun!

smokingun45
February 15, 2008, 12:41 PM
I would go with one of the cartridges developed at Texas A&M University. They are based on a standard 30/06 cartridge necked up to 50 cal & use the BMG bullet:neener::what::eek:

dirtyjim
February 15, 2008, 07:24 PM
i've been contemplating a big bore mauser myself useing the .495a-square, the 500 a-squares little brother,was made to fit in a stanard length mauser 98 action & uses necked up weatherby 460 mag cases. for the action i'd use a czech 98/22 or vz-24 they seem to be a little harder than the others & i just happen to have four of them.
i also saw a mauser chambered in 50ae, that way you can still have the huge hole in the end of the barrel & not kill your shoulder

Il Duca
February 16, 2008, 12:01 AM
i've been contemplating a big bore mauser myself useing the .495a-square, the 500 a-squares little brother,was made to fit in a stanard length mauser 98 action & uses necked up weatherby 460 mag cases.

You can also make the .550 Express brass with the .460 Weatherby.

So I ran into a snag. The snag being that anything over .50 is a destructive device. So the Express is on hold until I figure out if the hassle will be worth it. Depending on what has to be done with that I may be going with something a little more reasonable: .416 Rigby, .500 NE or some such.

I have also decided to use a CZ action instead of a Mauser. I figured with all the work that would have to be done with a Mauser I could get a brand new CZ action for about the same. The CZ is also a little longer.

General Geoff
February 16, 2008, 12:15 AM
If it weren't for arbitrary ".375 minimum caliber" rules in African dangerous game territory, I'd build a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle for the job, honestly.

dirtyjim
February 16, 2008, 01:00 PM
So I ran into a snag. The snag being that anything over .50 is a destructive device
not necessarily, anything over 50 cal thats considered a sporting arm is usuallly not classified as a dd.
"the term shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the secretary of the army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10, united states code; or any device wich the director finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting recreational, or cultural purposes"
page 44&45 of the federal firearms regulation reference guide, clear as mud.

the 338 lapua is a great round but your very limited on bullets for it because its not used as a dangerous game round. woodleigh has up to a 300sn & you may be able to cast some heavy solids but i'm not aware of any 338 moulds that are over 250 grain.
but most importantly it doesn't have that huge hole in the end of the barrel

herohog
February 16, 2008, 01:26 PM
.577 T-Rex (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FCY3_5Bg1M) perhaps? :evil:

Il Duca
February 16, 2008, 04:10 PM
The T-Rex is just too outlandish, even for me. I think I may end up going with some form of Nitro Express, probably the .500 3". It was my first choice but the .550 Express just looked so promising when I was going to use a Mauser. Then I figured up the costs with the Mauser: Bolt forging and face opening, opening the feed rails, convert the shroud to a sporter style with no safety, a nice trigger, etc. and figured for actually less money than the costs of the mag conversion on the Mauser plus a Mauser action I could get a brand new CZ magnum action and have a much easier time and actually do what I really wanted in the first place.

GI Joe
February 16, 2008, 11:43 PM
CZ has their own line of Safari Classics in 500 Jeffrey and 505 Gibbs. I have the 505. I doubt too many people have either of them so it would definitely be different.

Markbo
February 17, 2008, 12:26 AM
I would ask a couple of questions: Have you ever fired a .375 H&H? Do you have some reason to believe it is a weak sister in the big Africa cartridges? Do you plan on taking Buff, Elephant, Rhino or Hippo?


But... for no other reason than the cool name, I would have to recommend the .600 Overkill. :D

dirtyjim
February 17, 2008, 12:40 PM
i think alot of people just want a big bore gun & don't need to explain the rational behind it. i know that i'll likely never see an elephant or cape buffalo outside of the zoo unless i win the lottery. that doesn't mean i shouldn't want a 700ne double rifle or a 500jeffrey bolt gun. i don't dress up in tweed but i still like my guild mausers.
the 375h&h is more than adequate for any animal but that doesn't mean i shouldn't build something larger if i want to.
thats like saying the 30-30 is good enough for deer so there is no reason to build a 35whelen or 338 wm

Markbo
February 17, 2008, 12:47 PM
Bravo!

eldon519
February 17, 2008, 12:59 PM
I don't know a whole lot about African rifles, but I looked into them for a while, and a couple places I came across made references to the .458 Winchester sometimes lacking in penetration, and that many PHs prefer the .416 Rigby for deeper penetration and controllability. I don't know how accepted that notion is, but I've gotten the impression that a lot of the larger African calibers increase diameter at the expense of sectional density/penetration. It may or may not be a real issue (never been to Africa), but I figured I'd mention it since your life may depend on it.

Markbo
February 17, 2008, 01:29 PM
I am guessing too that you will do a LOT of research before deciding on a final choice. I would really appreciate a follow up with a final decision and how/why you arrived at that decision. it seems to me watching that .577 video (that just never gets old, does it? :) ) that you have to be able to control whatever you choose.

I guess when your hinie is on the line you'd better be able to pull off successive shots, yet when you get only 4 feet of penetration if 6 feet are needed, there is a spot somewhere in there you have to find.

CLICK< CLICK< PULL

Il Duca
February 17, 2008, 04:48 PM
I would ask a couple of questions: Have you ever fired a .375 H&H? Do you have some reason to believe it is a weak sister in the big Africa cartridges? Do you plan on taking Buff, Elephant, Rhino or Hippo?

Yes, I have a .375 and I love it, but I want more. And I do hope to someday take a Buff and would love a crack at a Hippo. It most likely will not be for years to come but some day...

I am doing vast amounts of research and may flip flop over more choices as I progress but I will keep all posted. It may be a lengthy project but I will soon have the funds to order my action. I will take my time with the final caliber decision while I hunt for a stock and such. Might just end up with a CZ factory stock, who knows.

For now, it's looking like a .500 Nitro Express. Maybe I'll find a better choice, maybe not. From what I have read penetration is more than adequate and I have read that if you happen to shoot a Buff in the rear the bullet will travel up to and thru the lungs. Ammo is readily available in the right places and not what I consider extremely expensive.

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