Cal: I’m a new reader to the African Hunter and bought some back issues and a subscription at the Dallas Safari Club show. I’m also new to double rifles and want one very badly. May I ask you some questions? You are the only source I know to ask.
- What is meant by a .450 no2?
- Is it the same as a .450 Rigby?
- Then, what is a .470 Rigby?
- What is a .375 flanged?
- What is flanged?
- Makers: Osborne, Army and Navy, John Wilkes--is one better than the other? Merkel--is as good as an English rifle?
- Why the low price?
- What kind of ammo for a .450 or .470 nitro do you recommend?
- How can I learn about reloading for the double rifles?
Sincerely Ajit. R. Arkansas
Glad to assist. Welcome to the wonderful of double rifles and the African Hunter magazine. You could not have chosen a better firearm than a double nor a finer magazine than the AH.
To reply: First in the .450 caliber in nitro express was the .450 3 1/4” Rigby. A second cartridge by a competitive maker was 3 1/2” long with a greater internal capacity to lessen chamber pressures. It was (is) a bottleneck cartridge, also of .450 caliber, but designated a no2 to separate it from the first round. When England banned the .450 caliber in the Sudan and India (about 1903-4) the makers rushed to come out with calibers of the same power but with a larger diameter bullet. They were the .465 Holland, .470, .475, .475 no2 (with two diameters bullets--.483” and .488”), and the .476 By Westley Richards. The Rigby designation is the make of rifle the cartridge is chambered in.
A flange is a rim. Always use a flanged, or rimmed, cartridge in a double rifle to be sure extraction or ejection is sure. A rimless cartridge requires small pawls to reach into the extractor groove remove the case. They will work fine most of the time but are prone to failures--especially so in an ejector rifle.
The makers you mentioned are superb English makers and all are of excellent reputation. Merkel is a European rifle, a good utility rifle, and will serve you well. It is priced lower due to fewer man hours of labor intensive hand work. A non English rifle does not have the balance, fit, feel, and lines of a fine English gun or rifle. But, that is my opinion only. Hornady, Federal, Superior and others make excellent ammo of you don’t reload.
As to reloading, I will write a separate reply as this will take some time. Also, contact me via email