My Favorite Cartridges for Africa (Part 20)

by david on November 16, 2012

470 Nitro Express

A 500-grain bullet at 2150 fps yields 5175 ft. lbs. of energy and 69.3 ft. lbs. of recoil

Ammunition readily available.


            According to John Taylor, the .470 was designed by Joseph Lang around 19001.  It became extremely popular with African hunters as it is extremely capable of dispatching anything in Africa.  It became extremely popular with the British gun trade, and many double rifles were chambered for it1.  Most of the British double rifle cartridges have one thing in common — they drive a large heavy bullet at a velocity of 2000 fps to 2300 fps, and the .470 falls into the middle of this2.  Any way you look at it, this cartridge delivers a lot of stopping power.  When used in a double rifle, the hunter can put a whopping 10,000 plus ft. lbs. of energy into his target in a matter of seconds.  This cartridge is expensive, often running $150 to $300 per box of 20 in premium safari ammunition.  It is easy to reload, however.  After an initial investment for dies and brass, a hand loader can reload it for less than $2 per round.  This is the cartridge that my double will be chambered for, if and when I ever own a double rifle.

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