505 Gibbs
L/R: .30-06 Springfield, .375 H&H, .404 Jeffery, .505 Gibbs
Type Rifle
Place of origin England
Production history
Designer George Gibbs
Designed 1910
Manufacturer Gibbs
Produced 1911
Parent case none
Case type Rimless, Bottleneck
Bullet diameter .505 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter .538 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Shoulder diameter .600 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter .640 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter .640 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim thickness .065 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length 3.150 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length 3.850 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case capacity 178 gr H2O (11.57 cm³)
Rifling twist 1 in 16 (406 mm)
Primer type .254/Kynoch#40/Large Rifle
Maximum pressure 39,160 psi (Bad rounding hereScript error MPa)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
600 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) Protected Point2,100 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)5,877 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
600 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) FMJ2,100 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)5,877 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
525 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) Welded Core SP2,300 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)6,180 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
Test barrel length: 24"
Source(s): Norma [1] & MidwayUSA [2]

The 505 Gibbs cartridge was designed by George Gibbs in 1911. The cartridge was originally known as the .505 Rimless Nitro Express or simply as the .505 Rimless. CIP refers to the cartridge as the 505 Mag. Gibbs in their publications. It is a .50 caliber (12.8 mm) rimless bottlenecked cartridge intended for magazine rifles.

General InformationEdit

The .505 Gibbs has a case capacity of 178 grains (Bad rounding hereScript error g).[3] This cartridge was originally loaded with 90-grain (Bad rounding hereScript error g) of cordite and 525-grain (Bad rounding hereScript error g) bullet at 2,300 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) for 6,166 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J) of kinetic energy.[3] While the .505 Gibbs has a greater case capacity than most modern cartridges, it is loaded to lower pressures.[3] The C.I.P. recommends a pressure standard of 2,700 bars (39,160 p.s.i.) for the cartridge.[4] As .505 Gibbs was intended for hunting dangerous game in a tropical environment and due to the temperature sensitivity of cordite the lower pressures provided a greater safety and reliability margin.

The .505 Gibbs has a unique bullet diameter of .505 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm) while most other .50 caliber bullets have diameters of .510 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm). Barnes Bullets and Woodleigh Bullets are a few of the bullet manufacturers who produce component bullets for reloading in this caliber. Woodleigh Bullets does not recommend impact velocities of over 2,250 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s) for their .505 caliber 525 gr. Weldcore bullets.[5]

Premium dangerous game rifle manufacturers, such as Hartmann & Weiss (Hamburg, Germany) and Westley-Richards (Birmingham, UK) build expensive but thoroughly reliable .505 Gibbs rifles on Mauser 98 actions. Ceska Zbrojovka (CZ) currently manufactures the Safari Classics rifle[6] for this cartridge. Doumoulin Herstal SA of Belgium offers the cartridge in their White Hunter model.[7] Modern semi-automatic rifles are also available in this cartridge from Vigilance Rifles.[8]

As of 2013, Norma, Nosler and Kynoch are offering loaded ammunition in 505 Gibbs. Excellent bullets are available from Cutting Edge Bullets, Woodleigh Bullets, and North Fork Bullets.

Design & SpecificationsEdit

The .505 Gibbs is one of the most voluminous cases designed. The large volume was required as the cartridge was designed to burn cordite as its propellant. CIP has published specifications for the cartridge.

CIP compliant schematic of the .505 Magnum Gibbs - all dimensions in mm (in))

The CIP requires that a barrel have 5 grooves, twist rate of a bore Ø of one revolution in 406 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in), a bore Ø of 12.55 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in) and a groove Ø of 12.80 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in) with each grove measuring 5.33 mm (Bad rounding hereScript error in) wide. The recommended pressure for the .505 Gibbs is 2,700 bar (Bad rounding hereScript error psi).

Sporting UseEdit

The .505 Gibbs is a niche cartridge, designed for hunting heavy, dangerous game, such as elephant, cape buffalo and grizzly bear.

In LiteratureEdit

The cartridge's claim to fame was its use by the fictional character, Robert Wilson, the hunter of Ernest Hemingway's short story The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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