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  #26  
Old February 7th, 2005, 11:07 PM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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sheeesh.
somebody's bolt won't close.

FYI,
Muzzle velocity on a 300 grain Winchester .405 is 2230f/s. The 300 being more widely used than the 400 to my knowledge.

watch out kevin,
he'll be after .35 wheelen next.
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  #27  
Old February 7th, 2005, 11:14 PM
hochung hochung is offline
Ho Chung
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while you guys go on about this .4 this .3 that, i think kevin is already gone to africa hunting.
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  #28  
Old February 8th, 2005, 07:42 AM
KevinNY
 
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September 20th to be exact. While the 405 is a classic in terms of TR's use (I'm sitting at my desk looking at a 1923 copy of African Game Trails), I'd rather have my Whelen stoked with 300 grain Woodleighs with a sectional density of over .330 if I had to face a buffalo or elephant with it. Or 280 grain swift Aframes, still over .300 Sec. Density. I used 250gr. North Fork soft points to great effect last time but will be carrying a .375 this time since we will be in lion and elephant country.
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  #29  
Old February 8th, 2005, 08:15 AM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNY
September 20th to be exact. While the 405 is a classic in terms of TR's use (I'm sitting at my desk looking at a 1923 copy of African Game Trails), I'd rather have my Whelen stoked with 300 grain Woodleighs with a sectional density of over .330 if I had to face a buffalo or elephant with it. Or 280 grain swift Aframes, still over .300 Sec. Density. I used 250gr. North Fork soft points to great effect last time but will be carrying a .375 this time since we will be in lion and elephant country.

Where are you going... or did I miss that?
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  #30  
Old February 8th, 2005, 08:49 AM
KevinNY
 
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Northwest Namibia, the Evi-Rovipuka and Omatendeka Communal Conservancies bordering Etosha Park.
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  #31  
Old February 8th, 2005, 09:26 AM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinNY
Northwest Namibia, the Evi-Rovipuka and Omatendeka Communal Conservancies bordering Etosha Park.



My wife has less and less living family in Africa, making it harder and harder to justify another vacation there. It's too bad... a beautiful place to visit.
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  #32  
Old February 8th, 2005, 10:11 AM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Sure, one can increase the velocity of the .405 by using lighter bullets, but then the sectional density of the projectile is decreased. A .411" projectile weighing only 300 grains has poor sectional density and is severely overbored. If you want to use a 300-grain projectile (and there is nothing wrong with a 300-grain projectile), then something like a .375" diameter projectile is more appropriate.

Far be it from me to badmouth the .35 Whelen. It's a fine cartridge. No less an authority than Jeff Cooper uses .35 Whelen ballistics on his plains game hunts. Cooper also used .35 Whelen ballistics to take his lion. I think Kevin understands this cartridge, its strengths, and its weaknesses. His understanding goes beyond mere nostalia or aping Theodore Roosevelt.

Kevin, please share pics of your next African hunt. I can't wait to see them.
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  #33  
Old February 8th, 2005, 10:33 AM
traveltoad traveltoad is online now
Aaron Shrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
Kevin, please share pics of your next African hunt. I can't wait to see them.

Please do!

Last edited by traveltoad : February 8th, 2005 at 11:03 AM.
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  #34  
Old February 8th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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Jack, I don't want to come off as an ass kisser here, but I've got to agree with John on the .405 Winchester. It seems you are choosing form completely over function here. In hunting dangerous game, the minimum I'd want would be a .416 Rigby. The .405 Winchester falls way short of the .416 Rigby.

Even on plains game, it really doesn't have a role. A friend of mine went to Namibia last year to hunt Kudu and Gemsbok. Both animals were taken at around 300 yards with a 300 Weatherby. The .405 isn't suited for that kind of hunting. I realize that many cartridges have no romantic appeal, but they are much more suited for African hunting.

To be honest, the .405 Winchester would probably make a nice wild boar round.
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  #35  
Old February 8th, 2005, 01:28 PM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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300 Weatherby??!!

shudder.

I'm not even going there.

I'm not choosing form COMPLETELY over function here. The .405 will kill plenty of African game good and dead. I'm leaning heavily towards form, but I'm not bringing a knife to a gunfight.

I'm not laying claim to any sort of ballistic superiority or versatility either. What I am demanding is that the .405 be recognized as a classic. Yes, an AFRICAN classic. It is an iconic round and gun that while being used widely in North America still holds it's strongest association with the dark continent. I cannot bring to mind a long list of famous PHs that carried it but I think that has more to do with the demographic that makes up the hunters than the merits of the rifle. I am sure countless Americans have gone to Africa since 1909 carrying an 1895 in .405 and have killed everything under the sun with it, even when severly undergunned. To me the gun and round just say safari. Not end all of greatest big game cartridges, but merely a combination which is inherently a part of the African game traditions.

As for the Cottars, didn't nearly all of them die in the field under once circumstance or another and weren't most of them accused at one point or another of having a death wish? Charles nearly was killed by leapords multiple times and the .405 is plenty for small cats. The Cottars definitely loved the .405, I've seen the pics of them and their Winchesters. I'm pretty confident they would have contrived to get done in at some point carrying just about any rifle imaginable.
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  #36  
Old February 8th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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Jack, my opinion of the Weatherby is that it is like driving a fast Camaro.

The problem is that the 405 Winchester was a good cartridge. I stress was. Here's a quick table of ballistics of a few rounds:

Cartridge Grain Velocity Energy @ muzzle Energy @ 300 yards Drop at 300 yards
405 Winchester 300 2250 3372 1895 37.7
375 H&H 300 2655 4695 3207 25.2
300 Weatherby 180 3025 3657 2200 20.3
338 Winchester 250 2742 4197 2811 23.7
416 Rigby 400 2400 5115 3407 31.1

The problem is that the 405 doesn't really do anything well. The 405 is lacking in all ballistic categories. It doesn't compare to the 300 Weatherby or 338 WinMag as a plains game rifle. It also doesn't even compare with the 416 Rigby or 375 H&H for short range energy.

I'll take your word that the 405 has a wonderful history and should be given iconic status, but so what? Why use it today? I could see if you already owned one. Assuming that you would be buying a rifle for African hunting, there are plenty of better choices. To John's point, what's wrong with a 375 H&H for versatility? Doesn't the 375 H&H have a wonderful history as well?
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  #37  
Old February 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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What's the problem with the .375? T.R. didn't use one.
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  #38  
Old February 8th, 2005, 04:11 PM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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Let's try that table again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg table.jpg (19.5 KB, 408 views)
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  #39  
Old February 8th, 2005, 06:16 PM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
What's the problem with the .375? T.R. didn't use one.


you know full well that when I was at the shop I said I'd be totally happy to just have a .375 for everything if I were in Africa the very first time cartridge selection came up.

and again,
Mike,
I never made any claims about ballistics so give the tables a rest. John just tried to infer that b/c I said that the .405 is the gun I would carry that I somehow suggested it was the ultimate cartridge and gun. It's his way of trying to tech me to death and skirt around the fact that the .405 is wicked cool and sooooooooooo Africa.

I don't have any pictures of TR sitting on my desk, but I do think he was an impressive individual and he knew a thing or two about firearms to boot. He knew enough never to carry a Krag-Jorgensen and had a Winchester 1895 special made in 30-40 krag to take on his excursion to Cuba.
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  #40  
Old February 8th, 2005, 06:33 PM
KevinNY
 
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On the subject of African hunting, Stef Swanepoel, owner and licensed proffessional hunter of Numzaan Safaris of South Africa will be staying with me for a couple of days next week. I will be hosting anyone who would like to come to my home just outside Albany,NY on Tuesday of next week to meet him. If you've thought of going to the Dark Continent heres your chance to "meet the man". My wife and I spent 11 days with Stef last April and had the time of out lives.
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  #41  
Old February 8th, 2005, 08:24 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
I never made any claims about ballistics so give the tables a rest. John just tried to infer that b/c I said that the .405 is the gun I would carry that I somehow suggested it was the ultimate cartridge and gun. It's his way of trying to tech me to death and skirt around the fact that the .405 is wicked cool and sooooooooooo Africa.


I think your memory is off. I never claimed that you said the .405 was the ultimate cartridge. My disagreement with you was your statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
three of the all time classic safari rounds: .35 Wheelen, .416 Rigby and .405 Winchester.


When I read that statement, I just had to a do double-take, sort of like when you said that drill instructor said a bullet travels in a sine wave. Shit like that just can't go without further comment. The .405 Winchester is one of the all-time classic safari rounds? I was rolling and just had to toss in my two cents.

I prefaced my statement by conceding that there is no litmus test for makes a round a classic safari round, and that the subject is a contentious and debatable one, as we've proved here. I went on to show why I don't think the .405 qualifies as a classic African round. I didn't just provide conclusory statements. Rather, I gave specific reasons. One reason was that the .405 was used so little on African game. Another reason was that only two famous African hunters used the .405. A third reason was that the .405 is unsuited for African game, being too light for heavy game like hippo, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros and lacking the reach necessary to take plains game like eland, kudu, sable, and gemsbok at a distance. A fourth reason was that the .405 is a lever-action cartridge, and the lever action is largely foreign to African use. A fifth reason was that the propellant used in the .405 is not cordite, and the vast majority of classic African cartridges were propelled by cordite.

Whether you agree or disagree with these reasons, at least they are reasons. I freely admit that there is no definitive litmus test for what is and is not a classic African round. But I listed those tests above as some of the tests I use. But what reasons have you offered? Have you offered any reason other than T.R. used the .405 in Africa? Let's take a look at some of your reasons:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
The .405 not only has proven itself on all of the African game but it has the very qualities which make it an inseperable part of the Safari mystique.

Proven itself on all of the African game? Hardly. Again, who used it? TR and Charles Cottar. Two dudes. Can you name anyone else?

This is why the issue of ballistics came up at all. Mike and I have shown that the .405's terminal and external ballistics are unsuited for African game. The .405, for instance, is considerably less powerful than the other over-.40 "classic" calibers like the .450/.400 Nitro Express, .416 Rigby, .404 Jeffery, and .425 Westley Richards. This makes the .405 unsuitable for use on heavy game. And Mike and I have shown that the .405's external ballistics make it incompatible with plains game. You call this "teching you to death", but it's not. It's showing why the .405 is poor choice for African game, which in my mind makes it impossible for the .405 to an African classic. After all, if a cartridge is unsuitable for taking the different species of game that live on the continent of Africa, how can that cartridge be an African classic? I say this is a valid question but you call this teching you to death.

Can one use the .405 on dangerous game? Sure. Untold thousands of heavy game have been taken with the 6.5, 275, and .303. And with a competent professional backing you up, the risk of getting mangled is lessened considerably. Sure, it can be done. But are those rounds suitable for use on dangerous game? No. Is the .405 a suitable dangerous game cartridge? No.

Can one use the .405 on plains game? Absolutely. If one is the stalking fucking master and can get close, the .405's rainbow trajectory is not a disadvantage. Does this mean the .405 is a suitable plains game cartridge? No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
That being that it has a direct association with a great gun and a great hunter. The .405 is synonymous with the 1895 Winchester and the man best known for carrying it: TR.

T.R. used it. Actually, I consider this to a valid reason. As I said before, when a famous user uses a cartridge to great effect, it undoubtedly glamorizes that cartridge. Many famous hunters and shooters are associated with various cartridges, such as Elmer Keith and the .44 Magnum, Jim Sutherland with the .577, W.D.M Bell with the .275, Jack O'Connor with the .270, C.H. Stigand with the .256, Jeff Cooper with the .460 G&A, etc. This kind of stuff happens all the time and is perfectly natural.

So far, T.R.'s having used the .405 in Africa is your only valid reason the .405 is a "classic safari round."

Let's take a look at some of your others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
The .405 will kill plenty of African game good and dead.

This is undoubtedly true, but isn't this true of any cartridge? As I said before, untold thousands of dangerous game has been killed with light rifles. W.D.M. killed I think 800 of his more than 1,000 elephants with the lowly 7x57 Mauser round. And I think a good chunk of the remaining 200 plus were shot by Bell with the 6.5 Mannlicher. John Taylor personally witnessed a kill on a bull elephant using the .22 Long Rifle cartridge. How the shooter pulled it off is a mystery, but it happened. Ernest Hemingway used the .30-06/220 in a sporterized Springfield for much of his dangerous game hunting, as did fellow American Stewart Edward White. All of these rounds will kill plenty of African game good and dead. So will the .280 Remington. So will the .270 Winchester. So will the .257 Roberts and .25-06. The test is so broad as to be meaningless. Virtually any cartridge would qualify for "classic" status under the "good and dead" test.

Here's another one:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
I'm not laying claim to any sort of ballistic superiority or versatility either. What I am demanding is that the .405 be recognized as a classic. Yes, an AFRICAN classic. It is an iconic round and gun that while being used widely in North America still holds it's strongest association with the dark continent. I cannot bring to mind a long list of famous PHs that carried it but I think that has more to do with the demographic that makes up the hunters than the merits of the rifle. I am sure countless Americans have gone to Africa since 1909 carrying an 1895 in .405 and have killed everything under the sun with it, even when severly undergunned. To me the gun and round just say safari. Not end all of greatest big game cartridges, but merely a combination which is inherently a part of the African game traditions.

I don't know what the fuck that says, but it doesn't say anything. It's merely conclusory statements that the .405 is African classic. It's an iconic round. In other words, it's a African classic. It holds its strongest association with the dark continent. In other words, it's an African classic. Countless Americans went to Africa with the .405? Are you sure? Can you name any of them? Can you name anyone other than T.R. and Charles Cottar who used the .405 in Africa? The round just says safari. In other words, it's an African classic. It's inherently part of the African game tradition. In other words, it's an African classic.

All I see there is conclusory statements and one unsupported factual statement. Nothing else. You may disagree with my reasons about why the .405 is not an African classic, but at least they are reasons.

Thus far, all we have from you is that T.R. used the .405 on his epic safari. If that's all you got, that's just no enough.
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  #42  
Old February 8th, 2005, 08:40 PM
hochung hochung is offline
Ho Chung
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man, now my head hurts.
is there a round that is truely bad ass like a rolex? that doens't call for any argument? that it's clearly superior?
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  #43  
Old February 8th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Steve Rupp Steve Rupp is offline
Steve Rupp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnlee
As I said before, untold thousands of dangerous game has been killed with light rifles.

Don't forget about the 17 Remington. There's no rainbow trajectory there! Sending a 25 g round at right around 4000 fps is bound to take down some game. Ok, maybe not African game but it'll sure turn a prarie dog into a cloud of red smoke. I know this has nothing to do with this discussion but I sure like that round and I will definately add this one to my arsenal.

As far as the large calibers, I think I will have to go with something in the area of 375. I have been researching the .378 Weatherby for a while now. Lets go, start ripping. I know you all don't like the Weatherby, but this round has some amazing abilities. Maybe even better than the .416. With a 270g Barnes X at 3150 fps and a muzzle energy of 5948 foot pounds, I think this will take care of anything that I might hunt in the future. I know this rifle has no history and Weatherby is a knock off +p cartridge, but you can't argue with the facts. Especially when it's your life at risk.
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  #44  
Old February 8th, 2005, 10:12 PM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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Well in terms of the gun being used in recent history, Midway USA President Larry Potterfield and his son Russ have taken the .405 to Africa and used it on various game including Cape Buffalo according to American Rifleman.

So there's a third and fourth although not nearly as notable.

I did read something interesting about density and penetration which I'll leave to you two to refute:

"The .405 Winchester was the most powerful cartridge ever chambered in a lever-action rifle. Teddy Roosevelt loved it and worte of shooting African game with it at distances long even by today's "super magnum" standards. He shot 296 animals with that rifle while on his 1909-1910 African Safari. The Winchester 1895 in .405 Win. clearly was his favorite rifle, and undoubtedly the majority of those critters fell to one of its 300-gr. bullets. Roosevelt used the .405 Win. to shoot all of the big stuff, including rhino and elephant, but he is best known for his praise of the .405 Win. as a lion gun.

John Taylor, on the other hand had nothing good to say about the .405 Win. in his book, African Rifles & Cartridges. If thers is a criticsim of a cartridge, it probably appeared in his brief section on the .405 Win.

At one time, the .405 Win. was the most powerful US cartrdige on the market. With a 300-gr bullet traveling at 2200 fps, it developed 3,325 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. It is often compared to the .375 H&H Mag., but in truth, the muzzle engery is closer to that of the .35 Wheelen. But, when comparing momentum, which, in my opinion is a much more accurate assessment of big-bore power because it's not biased to velocity as is energy, the .405 Win. is almost exactly the same as the muzzle as a 250-gr. 338 Win. Mag factory load. Of course, with a .411" bullet it has more frontal area than either of those cartridges. With a sectional density of .255, the .405 Win.'s 300-gr bullet is often criticized for poor penetration. But, that SD is heigher than the 225-gr., .35 cal. bullet and just behind the 210-gr. .338-cal., 260-gr. .375 cal. and 400-gr. .458-cal bullets. When is the last time you read about the "poor penetration" of those bullets? I think this is just one of those myths that kepts being repeated until it became "the truth".

I suspect that any probem with pentration on the big African stuff in those days with the .405 Win. was a function of bullet design more than sectional density."

-Bryce M. Towsley
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  #45  
Old February 9th, 2005, 08:30 AM
nosivad_bor nosivad_bor is offline
Rob Davison
 
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Ho, if you want a rolex bullet give me a call. I am working on some Tungsten Carbide bullets. Density is about 14 g/cm I will adjust the internal dimensions to achive your desired finish wieght. If you want the true bling I'll have it ground and polished to mirror 0.05m. Can do TiN coating to give it that gold pimp look if you desire.

Should be around $50 with price breaks for quantity.

Rd
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  #46  
Old February 9th, 2005, 11:53 AM
ronward ronward is offline
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What timepiece did T.R. carry?
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  #47  
Old February 9th, 2005, 02:14 PM
JSQ JSQ is offline
Jack Quinlan
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That's a question worth looking into.

An Oyster Bay man such as him, I bet it was something intersting.
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  #48  
Old February 9th, 2005, 09:57 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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T.R.'s timepiece? I'm guessing a gold Hamilton Railroad pocket watch.

OK, this .405 stuff is still cracking me up, and this Towsley guy is just making me laugh even harder. I've never heard of this guy, but he is totally clueless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
"The .405 Winchester was the most powerful cartridge ever chambered in a lever-action rifle."

This doesn't really relate to the .405, but this should tell you something about the lever action and its locking strength, camming action, etc. T.R. tried to make a good case for the lever action, but I think history has shown that the bolt is far superior to the lever action. The Henry was, I believe, the first successful repeater. One would think that the Henry would set a trend that would last, but with Mauser's perfection of the bolt action in 1898, lever actions faded into obscurity.

OK, back to the .405 stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
"Teddy Roosevelt loved it and worte of shooting African game with it at distances long even by today's "super magnum" standards. He shot 296 animals with that rifle while on his 1909-1910 African Safari. The Winchester 1895 in .405 Win. clearly was his favorite rifle, and undoubtedly the majority of those critters fell to one of its 300-gr. bullets. Roosevelt used the .405 Win. to shoot all of the big stuff, including rhino and elephant, but he is best known for his praise of the .405 Win. as a lion gun."

So basically we have here another "T.R. used it" argument. But Towsley does make some points, both of which are jokes.

Towsley's first point is that T.R. used the .405 at long ranges. This is true. However, it is equally true that T.R. had zero patience for stalking game and was known to take shots at ridiculous distances, well beyond his eyesight and well beyond his limited shooting ability (T.R. was a poor shot). Here's one example:

"One his first day's hunting, the President wounded a bull wildebeest at 400 yards, and a cow wildebeest at 350. Both were hit too far back, well behind the heart, and galloped out of sight, but Kermit, a spirited horseman, killed the bull after a hard, seven-mile ride. The cow was hunted down shortly before sunset by Sir Alfred Pease [the author of The Book of the Lion]."

So T.R.'s first day out, he was taking pot shots at wildebeest at 400 and 350 yards. Those ranges seem ridiculous even by today's standards. But let's look at T.R. and his special circumstances. Even before T.R. hit Africa, he was completely blind in his left eye. He had no binocular vision and could not judge distance. Add to this the fact that he was a poor shot. Then add to this the looping trajectory of the .405, with its 300-grain projectiles of very low sectional density and low ballistic coefficient. Then add to this the fact that T.R. was using open sights, a buckhorn in the rear in and I believe round gold bead up front. These sights are very hard to use even with young eyes but for a half-blind man with aged eyes to use them well is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Each one of these handicaps makes those shots at the wildebeest completely unsporting. Taken together, however, they make T.R.'s shooting at those animals at those ranges totally absurd. This kind of shooting continued through the safari:

"Roosevelt's early lion kills were slightly messy. After unwittingly shooting a cub, he wounded his first big male at thirty yards, then missed, and then wounded it again. the animal finally collapsed when Sir Alfred, Kermit, and Roosevelt all fired together. Karamojo Bell would not have considered it sport. After shooting vainly at another from very long range, Roosevelt and Kermit shot from horseback at 150 yards, both missing, before Roosevelt steadied his Winchester on the shoulder of Simba, his sais, and wounded the lion."

Here we have another long shot. 150 yards at a lion with open sights and Roosevelt's other handicaps. It's not as bad as shooting at plains game at 400, but it's still bad. I mention these examples not to embarrass Roosevelt but only to show that his judgment was questionable at best when hunting. It is widely known that Roosevelt was a man of endless enthusiasm. I can't help but think that T.R. let his enthusiasm cloud his judgment. His long shots would be very risky with any rifle, not just his .405. But to use his .405 for these types of long shots was wholly unsporting. I think these are examples of what not to do, not examples to follow.

There are more examples of T.R. letting his enthusiasm cloud his judgment. Later in the safari, Roosevelt later clobbered nine white rhinoceros, including four cows and a calf. Roosevelt also wounded two other calves. Roosevelt's license, however, provided for only six rhinos. Yet he killed nine and wounded two others. Roosevelt's guests, all gentlemen hunters, were stunned:

"Roosevelt's friend Lord Cranworth, a keen but restrained hunter himself, deplored 'the slaughter which he and his party perpetrated', later asking, 'Do those nine white rhinoceros ever cause ex-President Roosevelt a pang of conscience or a restless night? I venture to hope so.'

"One feature of Roosevelt's hunting that did not impress the Kenya sportsmen was his habit of taking shots at, and occasionally wounding, animals at long distances, particularly as he had bad vision and a slow horse, and was not a reliable shot. The President's basic tactic was to spot the game and start shooting. He frequently fired at distances exceeding 300, and occasionally 400 or even 500 yards. He missed one lion at over 600 yards. Even at the end of his safari, when his shooting and sensibilities had improved somewhat, Roosevelt fired off more than two magazines at a retreating bushbuck. Often he relied on what he called the 'Ciceronian theory, that he who throws the javelin all day must hit the mark some time.'

"The President often seemed impatient with the careful stalks on foot that are generally required for a close, sure shot. As Cranworth put it with affection, 'Colonel Roosevelt's bulk and conversational powers somewhat precluded him from tracking.'"

Roosevelt's Ciceronian theory obviously worked. I'm sure T.R. was able to connect at those long ranges on occasion. Today many gun writers make much of Roosevelt's feats with his rifles, just as this Towsley guy does. But it's a joke. T.R. had many admirable qualities, but his shooting and his hunting weren't among them. The President was wholly unsuited for shooting game at these ranges. Just the idea of shooting at a lion at over 600 yards should tell you something. These ranges are ridiculous even by today's standards. Today we have very flat shooting cartridges and telescopic sights. Hunters today also routinely shoot from shooting sticks. Roosevelt used none of these things and he still took pot shots at these ridiculous distances.

The .405 fans like this Towsley guy can point to Roosevelt's occasional hits, but I think this is more of an example of what not to do.

Towsley's second point is that T.R. used the .405 on elephant and rhino. I have no doubt this is true. Anyone willing to take shots at 400, 500, and 600 yards will probably try anything.

Towsley's second point is just as absurd as his first. Roosevelt himself wrote in African Game Trails that he found his .405 "marvelously effective on lion" but that the .405 lacked the penetration for heavy game like buffalo, elephant, and rhinoceros. So while Roosevelt tried the .405 on heavy game, he himself concluded that its penetration was insufficient.

This is to be expected. As stated before, a .411" diameter projectile weighing only 300 grains has very poor sectional density. Even if the President used the 400-grain load for heavy game (it is not known for sure if he did), these 400-grain projectiles would be propelled at insufficient velocity for them to be reliable killers on heavy game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
John Taylor, on the other hand had nothing good to say about the .405 Win. in his book, African Rifles & Cartridges. If thers is a criticsim of a cartridge, it probably appeared in his brief section on the .405 Win.

When one reads African Rifles & Cartridges, it is abundantly clear that John Taylor was into terminal ballistics. His thing was bullet performance. To Taylor, it mattered not the size of the projectile but rather what it did to animals when the projectiles landed. Note that Taylor doesn't badmouth the .275/173 or the 6.5/160. Both are light cartridges in every sense of the term, but they penetrate to and through the vital organs of game animals from almost any angle. They are reliable killers, as has been shown by W.D.M Bell. Taylor also doesn't badmouth the 300-grain projectiles. Taylor applauds the performance of the .375 H&H, which launches 300-grain projectiles.

What Taylor badmouths about the .405 is its lack of performance on game. I can't say it enough: a 300-grain projectile of .411" diameter lacks sectional density and cannot be relied upon to penetrate to and through the vital organs of a game animal. The .405 is severely overbored. The 400-grain projectiles possess good sectional density, but the 405 lacks the powder capacity to launch the 400-grain projectiles to an adequate velocity. The 1900 f/s velocity is inadequate for good penetration. Taylor knew it and generations of hunting in Africa have proved it.
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  #49  
Old February 9th, 2005, 10:04 PM
johnlee johnlee is offline
John Lee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSQ
At one time, the .405 Win. was the most powerful US cartrdige on the market. With a 300-gr bullet traveling at 2200 fps, it developed 3,325 ft-lbs of energy at the muzzle. It is often compared to the .375 H&H Mag., but in truth, the muzzle engery is closer to that of the .35 Wheelen. But, when comparing momentum, which, in my opinion is a much more accurate assessment of big-bore power because it's not biased to velocity as is energy, the .405 Win. is almost exactly the same as the muzzle as a 250-gr. 338 Win. Mag factory load. Of course, with a .411" bullet it has more frontal area than either of those cartridges. With a sectional density of .255, the .405 Win.'s 300-gr bullet is often criticized for poor penetration. But, that SD is heigher than the 225-gr., .35 cal. bullet and just behind the 210-gr. .338-cal., 260-gr. .375 cal. and 400-gr. .458-cal bullets. When is the last time you read about the "poor penetration" of those bullets? I think this is just one of those myths that kepts being repeated until it became "the truth". I suspect that any probem with pentration on the big African stuff in those days with the .405 Win. was a function of bullet design more than sectional density."

This is fucking hilarious. Towsley likes momentum. Towsley claims that the .405 300-grain load has the same momentum as the .338/250 Win Mag. Then he adds that the .405 has greater frontal area, as if this were a good thing. But what Towsley fails to realize is that the .405's frontal area is its primary handicap, not an advantage. The .405's projectile is too fat for its weight. This is not so of the .338/250, which has superb sectional density.

The .338/250 has proven itself in recent decades to be a superb killer. The .338/250 did not exist during the halcyon days of African hunting, but let's use the .318 Westley Richards, which has a sterling reputation in Africa. The .318 has a bullet diameter of .330" I believe. It might be .333" though, I can't recall for sure. But the weight is 250 grains at 2400 f/s. It's clear why the .318 WR is such an effective cartridge. It follows the tested formula of a bullet of high sectional density launched at a high velocity.

To use momentum without looking at sectional density is a joke. To equate the killing power of the .405 to the .338/250 because they have the same momentum is absurd. For example, a baseball thrown by a major league pitcher has way more momentum than a .22 Long Rifle bullet shot from a rifle. But yet the .22LR is deadlier. Why? Because the baseball has such low sectional density, i.e., it doesn't penetrate. This Towsley guy is so clueless. Even a child can understand this but apparently Towsley can't.

Then Towsley uses the example of the .458/400. "When is the last time you read about the poor penetration of the .458/400?, he asks. This guy has got to be kidding. The .458/400 is a joke. Even the .458/500 is a joke.

The .458 Win Mag was Winchester's attempt to duplicate the ballistics of the .450" Nitro Express rounds in a standard-length action. At the time Winchester made the .458, short magnums were all the rage. However, in making the .458 in a case with such little case capacity, Winchester fucked up.

First of all, the .458 never was able to duplicate the ballistics of the .450 class of Nitro Express rounds, which propel a 480-grain projectile at 2150 f/s. Even with very long 26" barrels, .458 had trouble getting over 2000 f/s.

The .458's case capacity was so small that the powder charge had to be compressed tightly inside the case. The powder charge is so tightly packed inside the case that .458 rounds left sitting on the shelf for a year routinely show signs of the bullet pushing out of the case mouth past the roll crimp. These rounds are unreliable for use against dangerous game, for obvious reasons. The powder charge in the .458 is so tightly packed that even when the bullet is seated properly within the case, ignition is unreliable. Sometimes the powder charge doesn't ignite properly and the bullets give erratic velocities and performance.

Enough of these stories got back to Winchester that it quietly downloaded the .458 to levels even lower than its anemic original loading. Today's .458 loads average 1900 f/s. These loads have a very bad reputation in Africa and are considered inadequate. Harry Selby and Robin Hurt, two of the most famous and respected PH's in Africa today, both advise their clients not to bring a .458 Win Mag and to choose something else.

The proliferation of the numerous .450 wildcats and quasi-wildcats also shows that the .458 Win Mag is inadequate. The introduction of the .458 Win Mag could not have happened at a better time. Kynoch had ceased production of the Nitro Express rounds and numerous hunters, both amateur and professional, were left scrambling for a heavy they could shoot and obtain ammunition for. But the .458 still crapped out and numerous wildcats and quasi-wildcats exist that seek to fix the .458's deficiencies. Offhand, I can think of the .450 Ackley, .450 Barnes, .458 Lott, .450 Dakota, .470 Capstick, .450 Rigby, and .460 G&A, and I'm sure there are many more. all of these rounds propel the .458" or similar size 500-grain projectile at 2300 to 2400 f/s and they are all marvelous performers on heavy game. (I don't include the .460 Weatherby among these because Roy Weatherby would have hot-rodded the .458 even if the .458 performed admirably.) With the .458 being so cheap to shoot and so widely available, these wildcats would not exist if the .458 Win Mag actually performed.

In contrast to the .458 Win Mag, let's take a look at the .416 Rigby, a round that has numerous wildcats based upon it, just like the .458 Win Mag. The Rigby is not a true heavy, but is rather a "light-heavy". Yet it has a sterling reputation in Africa. The round was never widely used, and its reputation far outclassed its actual use. From 1912, when the .416 Rigby was introduced to the time when Kynoch ceased loading ammunition after World War II, Rigby's had produced only about 300 .416's in total. With so few rifles ever made in this caliber and with Kynoch ammunition unavailable, the .416 Rigby all but died. But of course the wildcatters came in. Robert Taylor created the .416 Taylor. Professional Hunter George Hoffman created the .416 Hoffman. KDF made the .411 KDF. Cameron Hopkins made the .425 Express. Even Remington jumped on board with the .416 Rem Mag. Krieghoff has its .500/.416 quasi-wildcat for double rifles. But note one difference between the .416 wildcats and the .450 wildcats. All of these .416 wildcats duplicate the ballistics of the .416 Rigby: 400-grain projectile of high sectional density propelled @ 2400 f/s. In concept they are distinctly unlike the numerous .450 wildcats, which exceed the velocity of the .458 Win Mag and seek to avoid the .458 Win Mag's lack of power. With the .416 wildcats, more power was not needed. The Rigby already delivered the winning formula. (As before, I don't include the .416 Weatherby here because Weatherby would have hot-rodded the .416 no matter what.)

Note that the .458/500 @ 1900 f/s and the .405/400 @ 1900 f/s share the same problem. They both launch a projectile of sufficient sectional density, but they both launch that projectile at an insufficient velocity. If we use lighter bullets to obtain the requisite velocity, such as the .458/400 @ 2300 f/s and the .405/300 @2300 f/s, we achieve sufficient velocity but inadequate sectional density. To me, it's not surprising at all that both the .405 and .458 are inadequate killers. This Towsley guy is so lost it's unreal.
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  #50  
Old February 10th, 2005, 05:11 AM
Mike_Rupp Mike_Rupp is offline
Mike Rupp
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John, even if the .458 Win Mag is a joke, if there were a .458 and a .405 sitting together and I had to choose one I'd take the .458. I'm definitely not making an argument for the .458, just one against the .405.

With all of this rifle talk, I made a trip to a local gun store. They had a Ruger in .458 Lott. It's not a bad looking rifle. Even the stock looks decent. Man, the barrel is thick. It looks like a cannon.
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