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Which BIG THUMP caliber?

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Which BIG THUMP caliber?

Old 12-13-2006, 09:01 AM
  #21  
 
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

ORIGINAL: Soilarch

Does anyone have experience with the "Safari" or "Dangerous Game" cartridges? I've mainly become interested in 375H&H and 416 Rem. Is the recoil really that much of an issue when you don't try to sit down and fire of 20 from the bench? ...
I'm not going to hold myself out as having a large amount of experience with big bore cartridges, I'm just a little furthur down the road than you as far as over 30 cal offerrings.

I was intrigued enough to want one as well, and spent quite a bit of time looking at the options. Although not all Safari class (I was just looking at 'over 30 cal.') and my usage, if any more than just the shooting range, was going to be in NA. I was intrigued by many, and due mostly to purchase price, ended up with a 338 RUM. A local retailer started discounting the gun in lefty bolt, I'm a lefty, so it worked out well for both of us.

I spent the next several month's getting supplies, and reloading test rounds, and preparing for recoil - my personal goal was to try to manage recoil without a brake - technique, form, maybe a Sims - but see if I could avoid the brake.

One thing I did not do was lower the bullet weight to manage recoil - I kind of figured if I was going to shoot a bigger bore, why not put heavier lead out there as well. 225-250 grain seem to be common 338 caliber weights, I went with a 280 grain bullet (discontinued now).

My first trip to the range, I was (honestly) nervous going into the unknown, on the verge of being scared - 5000 ft lbs at the muzzle, 50-60 felt recoil..., but still confident because I spent quite a bit of time preparing to shoot a thumper. After the first shot - you couldn't have gotten the smile off my face.

Your right, it's not something you want to shoot 20 times a day - but the felt recoil was much more manageable than I was starting to fear. I do head James B's warnings, and do not want to hurt my shoulder years down the road - so I am really careful not to over do it.

I do not see the need for a brake, which is satisfying. I will re-fit the gun with Sims eventually.

35 Whelan, 45-70, 338 Win are all on my radar for future calibers. I'll never be in Africa. I think someone mentioned they did not know what you wanted to do with the gun, so it would be hard to suggest - that's pretty true.

Anyhow, thought I would share my experiences going into a larger bore offerring. It has been fun for me, while a 'different' set of challenges than the 243-30 cal options.






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Old 12-13-2006, 09:56 AM
  #22  
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

ORIGINAL: KareImp

35 Whelan, 45-70, 338 Win are all on my radar for future calibers. I'll never be in Africa. I think someone mentioned they did not know what you wanted to do with the gun, so it would be hard to suggest - that's pretty true.
I have never owned a .35 Whelan, but own .35 Remington,Marlin.45-70, Browning A-Bolt .338 and BLR .358.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:48 AM
  #23  
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

own a 35 Whelen in AI version on a custom 700 platform... i havn't approached the HOT load area with it yet... far as i have gone is 225 grains leaving the barrel at just a tick under 2700 FPS... gee that's only 3600+ ft-lb of mojo... heck my hunting loads are only at the top fo the std Whelen reloading charts (2600fps / 3400 ft-lb)... Personally with bullets in the .358 range, especially "premium" bullets, i think i need to push it a bit harder than i am to get them to perform better on target... for North America i think i have it covered with this puppy... I might not have it loaded "Hot" but it doesn't hit me nearly as hard as my 700 MR in 280 Rem, which isn't loaded "hot" either....

This is all well and good.. but then i do have a hankering for something half an inch + to play with... something that'll just cut a deer clean in two... i am sick of having to look within 10 yds of where i hit the critter to find it... J/K.... only want one... because i can... and big holes are cool
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:09 PM
  #24  
EKM
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

FYI

"....Does anyone have experience with the "Safari" or "Dangerous Game" cartridges? I've mainly become interested in 375H&H and 416 Rem. Is the recoil really that much of an issue when you don't try to sit down and fire of 20 from the bench? Any other 'practical' big boys? Double rifles are out...and the Ruger No. 1 is out...which leaves the criteria at bolt guns. I do realize that I'll probably have to have an action custom barreled even though Remington does offer LH versions of these cartridges

(Yeah, I've looked the recoil numbers up and compared to 30-06s and 12gauge slugs)...."
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:57 PM
  #25  
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

Thank you for the posts all. EKM, I understand your concern as to whether "this guy named Soilarch" would do things the right way or the common way. 30-06 and 12gauge slugs and waterfowl are all that I have expereince with when discussing any real amount of recoil. With that being said I have done quite a bit of reading now on and of for several months. Some of the tips I've tried on with the slugs and by golly it works! ALSO I don't konw that you'll find a bigger believer in that fact that gun 'fit' makes a world of difference. I'd rather shoot 10 slugs from the bench in my 870 with slugs and some fitting done to it than a box of target loads through my father's SXS. My friend has a pecularly stocked 30-06 that feels a world apart from my grandfathers. Fit is golden...and gold can get expensive...its worth it.

It's lookin' like I may go 375H&H if I go big at all since it and the 416 Rem are same dimensions (in regard to actions).
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:28 PM
  #26  
EKM
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

"....EKM, I understand your concern as to whether "this guy named Soilarch" would do things the right way or the common way...."
Nice line, I hope you don't mind if I use it sometime.
No, I wasn't really concerned; it sounded like a straight forward question voiced by someone who had "looked into it already" and wasn't just shooting from the hip or out "stirring the pot."

"....Fit is golden...and gold can get expensive...its worth it...."
Fit doesn't have to be expensive. Different gun manufacturers make stocks that are different from one another. The key is not to fall in love with the manufacturer before you know for a fact that their particular stocks fit you well (as determined by a pro). Go to a large outfit like Cabelas and have them lay out 5-6 different bolt action 375 H&H's on the counter, get a helper and work thru them (adding or removing a "velcro on" recoil pad for length adjustment) andwith your eyes closed throw them to your shoulder and settle in, open your eyes for a nano-second to see if you are looking right down thesites with NO head movementand then rank each one without ever looking at it. Letyour helper/fitter keep track and he can tell you the progression and the winner you chose. If one doesn't do it youjust move on to the next. Narrow it down from 5 to 3 to 2 to 1.... now you have a stock that fits like a glove with no customization charge.

CZ Safari Magnums in the Lux (Hogback) stockare what fits me superbly, not pretty to look at, but perfect for recoil. In the 416 caliber testing, it beat out the Ruger Safari and the Winchester M-70 Safari and was the least expensive too. Unfortunately, most folks commit to the manufacturer while they are still in the dreaming stage and before they work thru the actual rifles, mistake IMHO.
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:36 PM
  #27  
EKM
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

Since you are at 30-06's and 12 gauge stage(ones first three long guns should be a 22LR, a 12 Gauge, and a 30-06) I would recommend the 375 H&H as your biggest "jump". It is a classic (94 years old), it is semi-friendly without hard work, some consider it the very bottom rung of the "big bore club", you can reach long with it, and for NA game it is a thumper, probably my favorite for elk. The cartridges aren't overwhelming to look at, but they sure do the job (300 grain TSXat 2,450 fps and you can eat right up to the hole).
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:48 PM
  #28  
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Default RE: Which BIG THUMP caliber?

That you EKM. I've never been to Cabelas. Nearest Bass Pro is 2-3 hours away and the Gander Mountain doesn't have any 375H&H (I've looked). Besides that what really stinks is that I'm left handed....so most types of monte carlo style stocks with concern to the right side of the stock. That's where my impression of fit being expensive comes from. I guess I've just had it engrained that the lefties are much more likely to have to have a stock made for them. On top of that I've not been impressed with my Gander mountain. We all know you can tell who's the gopher and who's in charge pretty easy if you just sit back and watch awhile. Even the guys up on the command ladder haven't been much help in times past. Granted, I probably ask some unusual questions.

You've been very helpful, thank you.
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