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Shooting large powerful rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by guitarguy314, Oct 7, 2012.

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  1. musicman10_1

    musicman10_1 Member

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    I am in the same boat as the OP; I love reading about safaris and dream of going to Africa. I also love the big bore guns and have a Ruger No. 1 375 H&H in stainless and I just got a Marlin Guide Gun in 45/70. I really want something in .458 Lott and would love to take a shot with a 470 NE Double Rifle.

    My 375 packs a punch with hot loads and shooting offhand is the way to go.
     
  2. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    I've been considering another No.1 this time in .458 lott, but I'm also considering the .450/400 NE. I got started in this whole safari fascination from Peter Hathaway Capsticks books.
     
  3. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    I wish I knew a secret to controlling heavy recoil. Fact is I get the snot kicked out of me with my big rifles.

    I find the 375 H&H to be right on the limit. I can deal with it but it's not fun. I own the 45 bore rifles because they are beautiful and I feel like I should have some big rifles but I don't enjoy shooting them with full loads.


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    With this 458 Ruger I can't even imagine full power loads. It would be brutal.


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    This custom built 460 isn't as violent as the Ruger but gives a Hell of a shove.


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  4. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    I personally would say start with the .375 H&H, if thats not enough work your way up. I think you will find that even though the H&H isn't as big as the big bores it's about as much as most people can handle, without a lot of practice. Also that .375 H&H ammo is expensive and it just gets pricier the bigger you go, I've also noticed a big price jump in reloading components going from the H&H to say a .416 rigby, .450/400 NE, or .458 lott. For example. I can buy 50pcs. of .375 H&H brass for $50 and 50 300 grain SP's for $22.49, for the .400, .416, and .458 it jumps to $40 for 20 pieces of brass and $40-$50 for 50 400 or 500 grain bullets. For factory ammo your looking at $50+ a box for .375, and $120+ for anything bigger. I don't think you will let yourself down if you buy the H&H it's a fine 100 year old cartridge with alot of history, versatility, and power. The price of ammo kept me away from the .375 H&H Ruger No. 1 that I've dreamt of since I was 15, but in the 7 years since then I've learned to reload and that helped make my dream a reality.
     
  5. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Yes. *wrings hands* My evil plan is working. Soon everyone who reads this thread will be forced to go out and shoot their incredibly fun big bore rifles. *evil laugh* My plan has always been to start with a 45-70 lever action rifle. After that, a .375 sounds perfect. Thanks for commenting guys!
     
  6. Hizzie

    Hizzie Member

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    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=614570

    I love my 458! If you already own a 45/70 skip the 375 and go straight to 458. You can build your own loads to your recoil tolerance using .458 45/70 bullets. Trail Boss or 5744 can be used for powder puff loads for fun. I'm still happy with Remmy 405gr RNSP's @ 2200fps.
     
  7. luv2safari

    luv2safari Member

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    If you're afraid of big thumpers to the point of ruining stocks in Lead Sleds or loading down to powder-puff loads...don't get one. You'll never use it as intended, and you'll spend a lot of money better spent on something that is within your comfort zone.

    As I get older I have sold off my 458s and 416s, and I now shoot nothing bigger than a 375 Wby in a great old FN action Sako and a pre-64 Mdl 70 375 H&H.

    Also, if you sight in without holding the rifle in your hands it will shoot a lot differently when you get into the field and have to make hunting shots. The only way to get dead on zero for field use is to have your hand under the forend where you would ordinarily, and have the butt firmly against your shoulder. ;)
     
  8. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

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    I like to have the front knee flexed as I lean into the shot a little. This allows the body to "rock" and move "over" rear leg which acts as a pivot, absorbing the recoil, the body then naturally returns to the original position ready for the next shot. Try it without a rifle.

    Standing up straight tend to take you off balance which requires require re-adjustment for the next shot.

    DON'T be scared but don't be cocky. Don't fight recoil, roll with it.
     
  9. Njal Thorgeirsson

    Njal Thorgeirsson Member

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    How does the Handi rifle with hot loads compare to the .416 and the .375? I've been thinking about getting one of those .45-70 handis if I happen to find one used for a good price. Also, is it reasonably accurate?
     
  10. Mr. Completely

    Mr. Completely Member

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    Take a 10 guage double, load it with 3 1/2 inch magnums and pull both barrels!That will also give you an idea of a large powerful rifle! And ammo is not as expensive.
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    From my experience with Alaskan big bores (not African), the worst offenders are smaller rifles. So the lightweight Mossberg slug gun firing Brenneke magnums is absolutely unforgiving. But the CZ 550 in .375 is a pussycat (though not on the wallet!). With African rifles, though, you're kicking it up several notches and have huge rifles firing VERY potent rounds. So the rifle not only kicks hard, it's gigantic. That makes the recoil issues not just irritating but potentially shoulder-dislocating. Personally for a true Elephant gun I'd want plenty of yoga practice and I'd work my way up to full power loads.
     
  12. 45crittergitter

    45crittergitter Member

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    My experience with rifles in .416 (Taylor & Rem.), .378 Wby., and .458 is that none are exactly painful, but you get all you want pretty fast. If you want to hunt with them from a tree stand, be darn sure you're stable before firing. My main advice is if it's scoped, be very sure you have adequate eye relief. I wouldn't consider anything with less than 3.5" as you hold it. 4" is better.
     
  13. CharlieDeltaJuliet

    CharlieDeltaJuliet Member

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    I do not shoot the "hunting" big bore calibers as much as the 50bmg, 416, and 375 Chey-Tac, but the main thing I have learned over the years, is double up on hearing protection. I agree with Pete D. About not holding the forearm of the rifle. I rest mine on bags or their bi-pods. I like to load the bi-pod with my shoulder, leaning just enough to put forward pressure on the rifle. Other than that, squeeze,grin, and hang on. They are a blast to shoot(pun intended). If I could afford too, I would be shooting my 50 everyday...
     
  14. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Member

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    I recently acquired a Rem 700 XCR II in .375 H&H Magnum and replaced the factory stock with a Bell & Carlson Medalist Sporter in Weatherby profile (I liked the idea of the Monte Carlo and the cast-off to help manage recoil). I took it to the range on Saturday for initial sight in after mounting one of my Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 scopes and bore sighting it.

    To begin, if you want to get the sight in right, you have to do it off a bench. I used my Caldwell Rock Front Rest, a nice rabbit-ear rear bag filled with heavy sand and, given the temp was just about 60*F, I wore a vest which freed my arms but gave me a little extra padding over a shooting shirt with a minimal shoulder pad. I'm an experienced shooter (and NRA instructor) so I:

    1. made sure I had the buttstock firmly placed against my shoulder
    2. had a solid cheek weld on the Monte Carlo (I had carefully adjusted the scope for a 4-1/2" eye relief and good sight picture with that cheek weld (a Tipton "Best" Vise is a good investment, as is a good set of Wheeler scope mounting tools and screwdrivers)
    3. had a low bench seat so I could maintain a reasonably upright position with a slight forward lean and a good range of motion to absorb recoil
    4. did a function test standing, even though I have shot heavy caliber rifles before to reacquaint my self with the recoil

    Now I had prepared 60 rounds for test plus another 20-round box of Federal Premium with 260 gr Nosler AccuBond bullets. While one of my pals said these are great Cape Buffalo loads, I look at them as Elk/Moose/Brown Bear Loads.

    Once I got to work, I quickly found that my 67.5gr of IMR 4895 under a 250gr Sierra GameKing was a great load that produced 0.67" 100-yard 3-shot groups. By end of test, my 69.0gr of RL 15 powder under a 260gr Nosler AccuBond produced several 3-shot groups slightly over 0.425" or 0.4 MOA groups. My .375 H&H Magnum is officially one of my three most accurate rifles...and a pleasure to shoot.

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    I'll quickly admit that the .375 H&H kicks...it's got about twice the recoil of my Savage 116 or Win M70 .30-06s. I was pretty tired by the end of my 40-round test and didn't get to my box of factory loads. The good news is that, with a 0.4 MOA load, I never have to play at the bench again. I will confine my further practice to my shoooting sticks and field positions. If you use good field positions with a .375 H&H or larger, you'll be able to manage with a solid shoulder fit, a good cheek weld, good scope clearance and reasonable forward lean with flexed knees.

    The .375 H&H will take any game on earth if you do your job...you really won't need bigger.

    Cheers,

    FH
     
  15. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    Interesting responses. I have not fired anything larger than a 7.62x54 Mosin M44 and a 12ga Shotgun Slug, but both of those have pretty hefty recoil.

    How do those compare to the recoil of larger calibers like 458 and 375H&H?

    Also i'm somehow infatuated with a .338Lapua Magnum Rifle (would love to own one someday). Is that considered a large powerful rifle like the others?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  16. finnwolf64

    finnwolf64 Member

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    I own a CZ in 375H&H which is a heavy rifle that helps absorb recoil. When initially sighting in & testing ammo from the bench I was left with a sore shoulder after firing 40 rounds in one sitting.
    I don't notice the recoil when hunting with this rifle & would say if you are confident with shooting a 30-06 you will be fine with a .375 H&H.
    All my friends have had a few shots from my .375H&H & they all remark that they thought it would kick more than it does. As others have said, you can't get sloppy with your form & must hold the rifle correctly otherwise it will bite you.
    I've since rechecked grouping using different types of ammunition, but this time with a lead sled. I found the lead sled is the way to go if sighting in or checking different ammunition off the bench.
     
  17. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Njal:
    Sorry to be so long responding. The recoil of the Handi rifle is not on par with the .375 or the .416 in terms of free recoil. What does make a difference with the Handi- is the recoil velocity of the gun. Since it is about three pounds lighter than the either the Model 70 or the #1, it takes less to make it come back fast.
    The recoil vel. of the Ruger shooting 400 grain .416s is about 21fps; the recoil of the Handi shooting hot 45-70s (350s at 1900 fps) is about 19 fps. So the chart tells me. Sure feels like it. So "felt" recoil is brisk.
    Accuracy was acceptable, though, I was mostly testing it for function/recoil tolerance...shooting only at 50 yards. No group sizes to report.
     
  18. Njal Thorgeirsson

    Njal Thorgeirsson Member

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    ^ I've definitely decided on something large bore as my next purchase- I just can't decide between a .45-70 handi, or ruger no1 in .458 lott. Certainly a large price (and quality) difference.

    I have fired a number of rounds through someone else's rem700 in .300 RUM. Can anyone relate the recoil of the .300RUM to .375h&h, .416, .458 or other large bores?
     
  19. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    12ga slugs in a pump gun like a 590 kick harder than my Winchester Mod70 375H&H.
     
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