470 Nitro Bullets

When the sun never set on your country’s empire, you must make certain you have a cartridge that can handle any animal living within it. Is there any wonder why so many elephant hunting rounds originated in England?

Joseph Lang developed the 470 Nitro Express after the 450 Nitro Express was banned in India. (The 450 was still perfectly good at its job, but its bullets could be used by enemies of the Crown in stolen Martini Henry rifles.) The 470 Nitro Express still offered healthy recoil, but with its 2,150 fps muzzle velocity it isn’t quite as jarring as its predecessor’s.

Even if demand for dangerous game ammo was very high – say, for example, rogue hippopotamuses started ravaging Peoria, IL – such enormous cartridges would still be fantastically expensive. Fortunately savvy handloaders can make use of .474 diameter bullets to craft their own 470 Nitro Express ammo at home. Bullets weighing 500 grains are the standard for the round, which must be loaded to pressures not in excess of 39,160 fps. Lighter loads can make target practice a little more comfortable, with recoil that won’t send either of your socks into different time zones.

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