Define "Big Bore" Rifle?

This is a discussion on Define "Big Bore" Rifle? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi, I keep seeing the term "big bore" as applied to rifles. What the heck is this "big bore?" I would certainly consider a .50 ...

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Thread: Define "Big Bore" Rifle?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Define "Big Bore" Rifle?

    Hi,

    I keep seeing the term "big bore" as applied to rifles.

    What the heck is this "big bore?" I would certainly consider a .50 caliber a big bore, as well as something like, say, a .45-70.

    But the .30-30, .30-'06, and the wide variety of 7.x mm rounds would seem to fall into a "medium bore" catagory. Problem is, I've never seen the term "medium bore" used.

    So what do these terms mean?

    Thanks,

    Josh <><

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    I generally think of .40 cal and greater. But I would add a .375 to the list so .375 cal and larger.
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    I am not sure there is a definitive description - might be but ... I tend to initially separate by ignition and so small-bore/rimfire is category #1.

    Then onto center fire ... well some folks call ''big bore'' anything .30 cal and up - reserving maybe medium for .223. OTOH logically, maybe .30 cal region could be medium, when we consider the true big bores such as 45-70.

    If we look at power tho then big bore could include 300Mag, 7mm Mag, 338, 375 H&H ... all the hot loaded options around .30 cal category.

    600 Nitro Express too - forget cal exactly but that for sure deserves big bore LOL.

    Others yet may use ''big bore'' just to describe sizes that can take large game .. and so .375 H&H as an example could be called such.

    See? I have no idea what is definitive
    Chris - P95
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    Senior Member Array blueyedevil's Avatar
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    It's all pretty subjective; small bore, big bore. If you're going to Africa you'll hear light, medium, medium heavy and heavy rifles referred to. To me Big bore is larger than .30, since .30 cal is pretty much the standard for centerfire rifles.

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    Member Array Shooterer's Avatar
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    +1 for .30 and larger
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    This is what Chuck Hawks says about big bore.

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/intro_big_bore.htm

    Big bore cartridges include those with bore diameters ranging from .40 to .70 (and larger, should a sporting rifle ever be made with a bore larger than .700). Excluding pistol cartridges that are also chambered in rifles (such as the .44 Magnum), and ancient deer cartridges that happen to have bores over .40 (such as the .44-40 WCF) big bore rifle cartridges are generally intended for tough and dangerous game.

    Sounds reasonably good to me.
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    88m
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    might just be me but even a .22 looks like a big bore if your looking down the wrong end of the thing

    anywho I would agree with the .40 and above. Hard call on including the .357 though.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    anything 30 cal and above to 40 call is consider medium by most but i call anything about 30 big bore

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    Hard call on including the .357 though
    If that refers to my post - I was mentioning the .375 H&H - a ''useful'' cal (not .357!)
    Chris - P95
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    "Big Bore" is old terminology that comes from Africa where many of the game animals there required the use of a .40 caliber rifle or greater as mandated by various Fish and Game Commisions.

    Medium bore rifles were considered less than .40 caliber.

    "Big bore" pistols were generally designed to shoot shotguns slugs or ball such as the "Howdah "pistols that were chambered in various gages to use for personal defense against lions and tigers and other things that thought humans were tasty.

    I've seen an old Howda pistol in 8 guage, a double barrel with 10 inch barrels. Trust me, it had some big bores...
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    How about in the States its .338 and up, and in Africa its .40 and up?

    Austin

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