Monday, September 03, 2007

Boomsticks: Bad Idea #352,179


I love my .405 Win rifle. I like the round. Factory loads toss a 300 grainer at 2200fps; more than enough wallop for anything in the Lower 48 and most African game, too. It has that cool Teddy Roosevelt panache about it.

Using it to go after an elephant, however, is a splendid way to wind up as pachyderm toejam.

22 comments:

Chris Byrne said...

One would presume the guy intended to find stories about TR doing it (at least I assume it was a guy).

I'm reasonably certain no game authority or professional hunter would allow you to attempt such stupidity today.

TD said...

Assuming you loaded with 400-grain solids pushed as fast as the gun would allow, it should work. Certainly not the best tool for the job, but not outright suicidal, either.

HTRN said...

Well, it's over the .375 minimum most of the African nations require for hunting dangerous game. A PH however, probably won't take kindly to risking his neck on such a venture. Then again, I know of at least one individual that supposedly took a .45/70 to Africa to hunt Cape Buffalo..

So you got a .405 Tam? I'm jealous - how about some details?

Mauser*Girl said...

He he he

I think this guy needs to get together with the guy who was looking for the rounds to put down a bear.

Anonymous said...

Check out the classic, "Use Enough Gun"....Robert Ruark.

Tam said...

"Then again, I know of at least one individual that supposedly took a .45/70 to Africa to hunt Cape Buffalo.."

I know a guy who bagged a Syncerus Caffer with a .45-70 using heavy cast solids. Haven't seen the mount, but I've seen plenty of pictures.

"So you got a .405 Tam? I'm jealous - how about some details?"

I got mine the easy way; a barrel for my Encore. Not a good DGR... ;)

Dr. StrangeGun said...

"Not a good DGR... ;)"

I don't know Tam, it only came apart in my hands that once... :-D

Tam said...

It works better when the forend screws are actually tightened down. :o

Anonymous said...

Shotgun Butt or Curved i have fired one with a curved all i can say is OW!
My friends was a take down as well
he now has a 405 double one of his Twelve Doubles he's greedy!

Drew in UK

B&N said...

Taking elephant with anything other than one of the old English doubles in the 4 or 8-bore class is utterly ridiculous, in my opinion.

Tam said...

"Shotgun Butt or Curved"

About a 3/4" Sorbathane recoil pad, actually. It'll still rattle your teeth loose in that sub-7 lb. carbine.

Anonymous said...

Karamojo Bell killed a total of 1,011 elephant by shooting the majority of them through the brain with a .275 Rigby... identical to the Boer 7x57...."The Wanderings of an Elephant Hunter." The classic shot attempted diagonally from back is referred to as the "bell shot."

Tam said...

1) I'm not Karamojo Bell.

2) Actually, those old round-nosed military solids for early 6.5 and 7mm rifles would penetrate a long way in game, due to their high sectional densities and the resistance to yaw offered by their nearly cylindrical shape.

triticale said...

Sounds like the perfect use for a Barrett or equivalent in .50 BMG.

Anonymous said...

The Zimbabwean Parks Dept. used 7.62x54R and 30-06 for almost all their culling.....23,000 elephants in the 80s...shot placement is everything.

HTRN said...

Bell used Steel Jacketed bullets.

He also had backup in the form of a big double.

And alot of Hunters have gotten their fool ass killed trying the same thing he did.

Anonymous said...

that big ass double your talking about weighed 12 lbs. + .... he must have had great confidence in the tracker he had carrying it...or maybe he could just run faster.

Anonymous said...

Some years ago, the only bullets available for maximum penetration on heavy, dangerous game were conventional solids - that is, lead cored bullets which were (generally) encased in a steel jacket with a copper wash on the surface. Such bullets were supposed to keep their shape no matter what, and penetrate to great depth. Such performance was needed, especially on elephant if the bullet was to reach the brain or other vital organs protected by massive bones and resilient tissue, hidden right in the depths of a huge animal. The trouble was, they didn’t always keep their shape. Solids were prone to a variety of failures such as fishtailing, rivetting, bending, splitting or even breaking up completely. Such misbehaviour led to very erratic penetration or even none at all, and was termed as “sick leave material” by National Parks personnel of yore. This, of course, was due to the likelihood that if a solid pulled such a stunt on a heavy, dangerous and irate animal that you, the shooter, would shortly be spending a considerable time flat on your back in hospital listening to your bones knit. If you were lucky. This in turn gave rise to the monometal bullets, pioneered by A-Square and their Monolithic bullet. Such bullets have no separate core and jacket, but as the name suggests are made of a hard homogeneous brass or bronze-like metal. Such bullets resisted deformation much better than the older, failure-prone lead cored solids, and soon became very common in the safari industry.

Jay G said...

I don't think I'd chance it with anything less than an M79...

B&N said...

"that big ass double your talking about weighed 12 lbs. +"

Try doubling that amount.

No joke here, after having actually handled one about ten years ago. Hauling a 4-bore to your shoulder is NOT easy.

Oh, and htrn, thanks for pointing out the obvious that I had very much failed to mention.

Anonymous said...

By 1900 the trend in rifle choice was clear. Adventurers and explorers generally chose small bores/military cartridges, gentlemen/sportsmen chose the hugely successful (and very effective) .450 NE, whilst the professional hunter chose the 450/400. Even Karamojo Bell started his elephant hunting career with a Jeffery-built double in 450/400...like I said, 12+ lbs.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Hrmm.

I wonder what I could do with a heavy monometal bullet in my .444 ...