We’ve all heard the stories. Hunter shoots Cape buffalo through the chest with a .416 Remington Magnum. Buffalo charges. Uh oh!
Staring black death in the face, the hunter pumps two more 400-grain bullets into it. His Professional Hunter (PH) slams it with two 525-grain bullets from a .505 Gibbs, each bullet carrying 6,200 foot-pounds of kinetic energy. Despite absorbing 27,000 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy from 5 ounces of lead and copper, the 1,600-pound buffalo keeps coming, flicks the hunter into an arcing, 20-foot, three-and-a-half twist, double summersault. Then he bulldozes the PH to the ground, and grinds him into the dust.
Often overlooked in stopping rifle discussions is the hippo, which kills more people annually that do any other dangerous game species. (Ron Spomer/)
Stopping rifle? More than a handful of PHs have died while trusting what I call the " stopping rifle myth.” Maybe it’s time we adopted a more accurate description.
“Stopping rifle” is a term widely used to describe a rifle/cartridge/bullet combination supposedly big, strong, and deadly enough to protect humans from death and destruction at the claws, fangs, horns, and physical pummeling from a myriad of large beasts, most especially those of African dangerous game.
“Black Death” himself is probably today’s greatest inspiration for the stopping rifle. (Ron Spomer/)
Think lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, hippo, elephant. From North America throw in polar, brown, and grizzly bears. Let India contribute tigers and more leopards. I think we can agree these are all large, tough, and mean enough to reduce the largest, strongest human to a bittersweet memory.