Starrbow!!! Hey, I started those threads!!!! ;D
If I was going to Africa to hunt the bigs boys, and if I had my "choice" of rifles, the 416 would be on my shoulder! I would not flinch at all at using the SG 444 (with correct bullets)...but, I am sure I would flinch using a 577 T-Rex!!! Its all in what we are capable of handling, and shooting well when under stress. That is where the labeling issue concerns me. The 444 "can" be used for just about anything, if, its in the right hands. Some PH's I have talked to over the years always express concerns about their clients choice of weapons. There seems to be two sides to that story. On one side you have the bring "too much gun" bunch, who believe that the bigger and more powerful the cartridge, the better the clients chances are of not getting himself (or the PH) killed, and then you have the other side of the story, where PH's feel that the client should use a reasonable rifle/cartridge for the task, that he can handle well and shoot accurately...in hopes that a more precise shot will keep the client (or the PH) from getting killed. I guess whichever way you look at it, it can work out for the best....or the worst. As long as bullet choice is correct for the purpose the ballistics are rather etched in stone. The 375 H&H is the minimum "standard" (these days) in most African nations for large game hunting, and is a favored cartridge for the big bears here. Compare the ballistics of some of your 444 loads to the 375. Now grant it, the 444 wont reach out and touch someone like the 375 will (the bullet is the issue there), but, "within its useful ballistics range" the 444 "is" an awesome cartridge. With most large game shots being within 100 yards (actually more like feet than yards), and, if you look at the 444 out to those ranges, and compare ballistics, it is amazing what the ol' 444 is capable of accomplishing. Be that as it may, wherever a "more" suitable rifle/cartridge combination can be chosen, it normally will be. Taylor and many other hunters have talked about "Knock Out" power.....the ability of a shot to, in essence, "paralyze" an animal so a killing shot can be made. The K.O. ratings that Taylor gave cartridges was supposed to indicate, not the ability of the cartridge to kill, but, its ability to "stun" the game (and in many instances this is how large African game is taken) so a killing shot (or shots as the case may be) could be rendered. An old fella that I used to shoot with many years ago had been to Africa many, many times, and had taken numerous head of large dangerous game. He told me that when it came to the "big boys" as he called them, that very rarely was there ever a one shot kill. He told me that in the case of elephant just getting one to stop and be still for a moment (K.O.) was all one could hope for...thus allowing a killing shot (or two, three, four....or more) to be placed in the heart/lung area. An elephants skull is not like most animals skulls...it is a honeycombed affair full of air pockets and according to the old man, it was a real chore to penetrate, so, the best one could hope for was to K.O. the elephant, and then apply the killing shot. Interesting stuff...I always enjoyed talking to him!!!