Type Rifle
Place of origin England
Production history
Designer Joseph Lang
Designed 1900
Produced 1907-Present
Case type Rimmed, necked
Bullet diameter .475 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter .500 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Shoulder diameter .528 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter .572 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter .646 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length 3.25 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length 4.00 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case capacity 156.65 gr H2O (10.182 cm³)
Rifling twist 20"
Primer type Berdan .254/ Federal 216
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
500 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) SP,FMJ2,150 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)5,140 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
Source(s): "Cartridges of the World"[1]

The .470 Nitro Express is a cartridge developed in England for very large or dangerous game hunting. This cartridge is used almost exclusively in single shot and double express rifles for hunting in the tropics or hot climate. It is in wide use in the Southern and Central-East African region, favoured by hunting guides, primarily while out for Cape buffalo and elephant.


The .470 NE was originally designed as a replacement for the .450 Nitro Express. This was because the .450 NE had been banned in several countries such as India.[1] Because of the heavy bullet and powder charge, the gun has significant recoil but this is mitigated by the low velocity, resulting in recoil being delivered as a strong push rather than a violent blow. Rifles chambered for this cartridge tend to be heavy double-gun style, and are typically quite expensive.[2]

The .470 NE continues to be popular and is the most popular of all the Nitro Express cartridges.[3] Ammunition and components are readily available.[1]


Like other dangerous game cartridges, ammunition is expensive compared to standard hunting cartridges, often costing up to 10 times more per shell than typical cartridges such as the .30-06.[4] Because of this many shooters choose to handload the .470 NE.[1] Brass can be obtained from a variety of sources, and like most reloading components varies in quality. Lighter loads for practice can be created that are more enjoyable and cheaper to shoot.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Script error
  2. "Twin-Tube Dreamin'" by Ted Hatfield, in American Rifleman
  3. "The .450 Nitro Express" by Charlie Haley
  4. 4.0 4.1 "An Adventure with Lead Bullets In The .470 Nitro Express" by Leo Grizzaffi
  • Cartridge capacity: Script error

Nitro Express in Popular CultureEdit

  • Author and adventurer James S. Gardner provides a realistic, detailed account of the capabilities of a Nitro Express during an ill-fated Safari, and again in a graphical account of a desperate firefight against men and a helicopter in his book, The Lion Killer. Seen here:
  • "The Lion Killer" from James Gardner

External linksEdit

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