So, here I am after a three week hiatus from blog writing. Actually, I’ve been real busy, however… with other essential matters, like checking on the wildlife in our back yard and pushing that 286 Nos. Partition out the muzzle of my 9.3 X 62 at unheard of speeds… using RL-17 of course. Now, I know you’ll want to argue or give it a try, but DON’T in either case!!
How Big? What about a .505 Gibbs? I hear that with full loads it’ll shake any loose fillings out of your teeth, and perhaps your teeth as well. At least, if the teeth weren’t loose and ready for exit from your mouth (and be careful now to swallow them) before shooting the Gibbs they may very well be after that experience! How much recoil? About 112 ft-lbs worth. And the .460 Weatherby isn’t that far behind, either, at about a hundred.
Is that much power needed for anything other than stopping an armored car — that is if you’re into robbing banks! The answer is an unequivocal and resounding “NO!!!”. But there are those of us who like power… lots of it, it seems. I don’t deny that I’m at least half-way there, but reality steps in and puts on the breaks to that idea, especially at this stage of matters in my life. But, not too long ago I was contemplating having my CZ550 .458 Win Mag rechambered to .460 Weatherby, no less! My smith would have done it for about a cool hundred. And the gun would have handled it with ease. But I was less sure about myself. Reason pushed hard on the petal again.
There are others above the mid-bores with more reasonable ballistics and the companion recoil. And others well above the Gibbs echelon, but who cares except for a minuscule number who don’t realize, yet, that it’s not needed for anything other than to turbo-charge the ego. But like mountain climbing… it’s another mountain to climb. It gives a kind of… well… satisfaction that can only be appreciated by those who survive the test of their will to achieve the dubious distinction of having “been there, done that”, kind of thing.
“Normal” Big Bores, such as the .416 Remington and .458 Winchester Magnums lack nothing for bringing success to the table of hunting Africa’s Dangerous, for example, and they may be usefully employed for lesser game at more modest recoil in the process. We’re talking 50 to 60 ft-lbs of recoil on the upper end with heavy-weigh bullets for the mean and nasty, and 40 to 50 ft-lbs from the same rifles employing mid-weight bullets for plains game or North American moose and big bears. Please note that the recoil of these popular and practical Big Bores is about 1/2 that of thumpers like the .505 Gibbs and .460 Weatherby! That’s an honest practical means of both reducing and controlling recoil. And all of it without sacrificing one iota of smash for anything in the cross hairs or dancing on the bead of the front sight.
How do I know these things? Well, I learned to read most things, and using a dictionary, like everybody deciphering these lines, by the time I was ten or twelve years old. It’s been done, in other words, at least a million, and perhaps ten million, times! A .416 Taylor, Remington or Ruger will handily finish “a war” with ANY 4-legged extant creature on Planet Earth! So will a .458 Winchester Magnum. Nothing more is needed. What about the .416 Rigby, Dakota or Weatherby? I’m sure if you made it this far, you have read the above words: “NOTHING MORE IS NEEDED”. Period. And you can do it without getting beat up in the process. The Rigby’s selling point is nostalgia. I’m not into sweet memories of a bygone era. I like today, not “Back in the day”.
What about the .458 Lott? Yes, what about it? At it’s best, all else equal, it manages (maybe) 100 fps more, or less, velocity than the .458 Winchester. I prefer the Winchester, and not because it has slightly less recoil than the Lott, but, rather, the reason for the Lott’s existence is no longer a valid one, if ballistics was the main point for it’s development.
Internet hunters go on for hours, days and months trying to rationalize their choice of the Lott over the Winchester based on ballistics when in truth it’s simply wanting to boost their egos by “My rifle is more powerful than yours” kind of mentality. Or wanting to garner some status by being identified with some gun writer or hunter of fame. “After all, so-and-so is a celebrated writer and/or hunter, and he became famous in using the same rifle/cartridge that I’ve chosen”. That means — in his mind — that he’s smarter and will likely become famous as well. Really?
I’m for the underdog, and like to see him put a whipping on the brash head dog.
That’s all for this time. During the Summer months, I’ll be writing two per month rather than the usual 3 or 4.
But there’s more to come on this theme.