Dating buzz muzzleloader
In England, the Rigby-designed .450 Nitro Express – released in 1898 – truly opened the eyes of the Indian and African hunters who had relied on the .500 and .577 calibers, or the behemoth four and even two-bore muzzleloaders.Mauser’s 7x57mm cartridge led to a whole lot of cartridge development on both sides of the pond, and the resulting field reports were equally enlightening and confusing.It gave a significant velocity increase over the .30-’06 (just as the .300 H&H did) and works just fine on any game animal you’d use a .30 caliber bullet for.However, the 1963 release of the .300 Winchester Magnum (with a case length of 2.62” and a short neck, for more powder capacity) and the rifles and ammunition available for it ensured that the Winchester variety pushed the Norma, and subsequently the H&H, version off of the stage.
We’ll be at a summer barbecue, or sharing a beer at the local pub, or sitting around the campfire, and the cartridge debate will begin.The fact that the early rifles wouldn’t handle the heavy 220-grain bullets had all to do with the twist rate of the initial barrels, and nothing to do with the case.It does run a bit slower than the ’06, but so what? I have used a .308 Winchester for a quarter-century, and have killed all kinds of game with it, yet wouldn’t hesitate to use a .30-’06 in its place.Sometimes it may be a valid point, other times a twist on numbers or lengths or velocities and such.But that’s all irrelevant, as are most of the arguments about cartridges and calibers.
The projectiles available for these cartridges played a definite role in the development of a reputation, and as the projectiles went through a development phase, the cartridges limits – real or perceived – changed along with them. The 7×57 Mauser, the .30-’06 Springfield, the .30-30 Winchester, the .416 Rigby, the 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser, the .375 H&H Belted Magnum, the .450 and .470 Nitro Express, the .250-300 Savage, the .270 Winchester, the .404 Jeffery and the .300 Holland & Holland Magnum; all were available to the hunter/shooter by the 1926 hunting season.