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What cartridges are good for elephant?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by thaumaturgist, Aug 12, 2010.

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  1. thaumaturgist

    thaumaturgist Member

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    Yes, you read correctly. What do you guys think would be the right choice of cartridge for elephant?
     
  2. 45Fan

    45Fan Member

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    What platform? Handgun, rifle? If handgun, revolver, or single shot? Lots of different choices.
     
  3. thaumaturgist

    thaumaturgist Member

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    Since many places in Africa prohibit handguns, and most elephant hunters use rifles, I was thinking rifles (all types).
     
  4. DIM

    DIM Member

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    Déjà vu again...
     
  5. DIM

    DIM Member

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  6. Old Shooter

    Old Shooter Member

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    Ouch! That 577 t-rex has gotta hurt!

    As far as the original question, I would use the cartridge that fits my elephant gun.

    The biggest one I have now is a 35 Remington so I guess I'll go after the little elephants.

    Bigger ones I believe I'd go for 458 Winchester or 460 Weatherby Magnum.
     
  7. DIM

    DIM Member

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    we had same discussion last year about same time, where we agreed that 338LM is the lowest you can take, by the way good old 45-70 can do fantastic job on the elephant, big or small...
     
  8. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Member

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    .470 NE is a popular tusker round
     
  9. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The last elephant I talked to said that the .375 H&H was about the smallest horse doover he liked to nibble on. Things like the various .416s tasted a lot better.

    (Sorry, but this subject has been beaten to death in every hunting magazine known to mankind, aside from discussions all over the Internet for years...)

    FWIW, some countries disallow any cartridge of less than 40 caliber...
     
  10. DIM

    DIM Member

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    Quote "For the larger CXP4 class beasts (rhino, hippo and elephant), 5,000 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy seems to be about right. Professional hunters and guides generally prefer a big bore rifle shooting solid (non-expanding) bullets in case it becomes necessary to stop or turn a charging animal. Tough, controlled expansion, premium bullets like the A-Square Dead Tough, Barnes X, Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw and Swift A-Frame have gained a reputation as good medicine (particularly for the first shot and often backed by a solid for the second shot).

    What is left of this kind of hunting is mostly in Africa, where the following are recommended for all CXP4 game: 9.3x64, .375 Mag., .378 Wby., .404 Rimless NE, .416 Rigby, .416 Mag., .450 Nitro Express, .458 Win. Mag., .458 Lott, .460 Wby. Mag., .470 Nitro Express and .500 NE 3"."

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/gun_game.htm
     
  11. jojo200517

    jojo200517 Member

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    .50BMG should do the trick. I have a fear of hunting stuff that could pretty easily overturn the car I am in, so i'd go with semi auto if belt fed wasn't available. Remember your shooting one of of the largest things walking, if its running at you and you hit it with a kill shot there is still a lot of momentum coming at you. If he falls over dead on you its still gonna be a bad day.
     
  12. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    7x57.

    The best used it so why not?
     
  13. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    I suppose my favorite line on the subject is "Hitting an elephant in the brain is rather like hitting a Volkswagen in the carburetor. You know it's there, but exactly where is a very good question". This with regard to small calibers like Bell's 7x57. The point, of course, is that if you have utterly mastered elephant anatomy from every possible angle and are such a calm and sure shot that you can always bring off the perfect brain shot, then small bore elephant hunting is perfectly feasible.

    Me? I'll stick with the .505 Gibbs.
     
  14. Justin Holder

    Justin Holder Member

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    Hmmmm, seeing how I'd probably buy a nice truck and new garage for it to go in before I would go elephant hunting my opinion may be bias.

    But here it goes.

    .458 Winchester magnum is classic

    .404 Jeffery is old school

    .475 Turnbull is interesting
     
  15. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    While illegal in some African countries, seems that the hot 45-70 loads are used even at present times to take out Dumbo and other big 5


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    So where legal, probably the Marlin 1895 is the cheapest Dumbo rifle available....:D
     
  16. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Member

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    ^^^^
    the guy in the 4th picture looks a little scared/like he crapped his pants... like that buff charged him or something. Judging by the brain shot, I would say it was a close encounter.
     
  17. scottmphoto

    scottmphoto Member

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    For me, it would currently be .303 British. That round has already proven itself in hunting African Elephant and it's the biggest that I currently own.
     
  18. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    DIM,

    Whoever "agreed" that the .338 LM is the lowest you can take for elephant is an ignorant little twit! There are no .338's that are legal for the sport hunting of elephants anywhere in Africa.

    Because it's illegal. Next question?

    I like a .458 caliber and up firing a 500+ grain well constructed solid bullet which produces 5,000 Ft Lbs+ for a reliable elephant thumper.

    Note I've only killed one elephant so please feel free to disregard my opinion on the subject.

    Also as a note if you actually take the time to READ Bell's books you'll find that he did not go into thick cover or follow up wounded elephant with his .275 instead he used a .400 of some sort for that work.

    Last note, save yourself the embarrassment of correcting me on Bell's caliber choice the .275 Rigby and the 7x57 are the same round.

    If you have ever personally been in the thick Jesse bush of the Zambezi or the long grass of Central Tanzania where a pissed off herd of cow elephants are screaming knocking trees over and generally trying to hunt you down and kill you. I can most definitley promise you that you won't wishing you had a 7mm anything in your hands. It's a transformational life experience that will get you thinking big bore in a hurry.

    PS

    The .45-70 is not officially legal for thick skinned DG hunting anywhere in Africa in any country.

    For thick skinned DG in Africa with a few minor exceptions the minimum caliber diameter is .375" the minimum FPE required is just at 4,000 if your rifle doesn't meet those requirement it ain't legal to hunt buffalo, elephant, rhino or hippo with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  19. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I heard that too myself H&H but how come these people in the pictures did hunt them?? There is an entire little cottage industry of American hunters that go to Africa with their lever action 45-70 (and even Sharps)...where do they go for that?? Somewhere must be legal...or maybe the guides let them take a crack at it even if is illegal in that particular country.....

    Same for handgun hunters.....some of them go to Africa to take Dumbo and the other big 5 with their big wheel pistolas....where do they go??

    I totally agree on the 338 LM (or any 338 Magnum for that matter) being not adequate for Africa (elephant or not)
    They are very high pressure cartridges that can dangerously generate overpressures in an extremely hot climate.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  20. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Member

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    private hunting preserves????
     
  21. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Private hunting reserves are exempt from the country firearm regulations regarding hunting??

    All hunting regardless does not happen in private reserves over there in Africa anyway?? Just asking....
     
  22. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Member

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    I am not sure what the rules are...I was just suggesting a possibility.
     
  23. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    416 in either flavor is used very successfully
     
  24. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The infamous Vince Luppo of .45-70/Garret ammo fame shot all of his game on a high fenced hunting farm in South Africa.

    These caliber and FPE rules are pretty loosely regulated and if your bore diameter is is .375 or greater most won't even give it a second look. That is how these guys do it with the .45-70.

    You can also get waivers in some countries for hand gun and other stunt hunting on dangerous game. South Africa tends to be the loosest you show up on a private game farm you close the gate behind you and who is ever really going to say squat as long as you pay your fees and leave happy.
     
  25. 375shooter

    375shooter Member

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    A reliable bolt action in .416 Rigby, .458 Win Mag, or .458 Lott, loaded with solids, would be my choice for elephant.
     
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