.700 Nitro Express
The .700 Nitro Express is a big game rifle
A rifle is a firearm designed to be fired from the shoulder, with a barrel that has a helical groove or pattern of grooves cut into the barrel walls. The raised areas of the rifling are called "lands," which make contact with the projectile , imparting spin around an axis corresponding to the...

 cartridge made by Holland & Holland
Holland & Holland
Holland & Holland is a British gun-maker based in London, England. They offer hand-made sporting rifles and shotguns. H&H holds two Royal Warrants.-History:Holland & Holland was founded by Harris Holland in the year 1835....

, London, England. It was developed in 1988 by Jim Bell and William Feldstein and built by H&H. Feldstein had tried unsuccessfully to get H&H to build a .600 Nitro Express
.600 Nitro Express
The .600 Nitro Express is a round in the Nitro Express series which was introduced in 1903. It is the second largest calibre in the Nitro Express line, exceeded only by Holland & Holland's .700 Nitro Express round.-Overview:...

 for him, but they had already ceased production. However, when Bell and Feldstein produced the entirely new .700 Nitro Express cartridge, they were able to attract the interest of H&H, who was looking for a new big-bore cartridge. After production began, the backlog of orders was so great that it continues to this time (2007) and H&H has even restarted the production of .600 Nitro Express guns.


In many respects this cartridge parallels the .600 Nitro Express, in that it is essentially a scaled-up version of that cartridge, but is somewhat more powerful, and fires a heavier 1000-grain
Grain (measure)
A grain is a unit of measurement of mass that is nominally based upon the mass of a single seed of a cereal. From the Bronze Age into the Renaissance the average masses of wheat and barley grains were part of the legal definition of units of mass. However, there is no evidence of any country ever...

 (64.8 g) bullet. The case itself is a completely new case, not simply another case resized. Double rifles are extremely expensive (many will sell for US $60,000 or much more in 2005 American currency) and have generally been replaced by repeater-rifles using rounds like the .458 Winchester. Single factory loaded .700 Nitro cartridges are available, typically at $100 each, although they have been sold on the internet for as little as $50. .700 Nitro cases, like those of other big bore cartridges, can be hand reloaded
Handloading or reloading is the process of loading firearm cartridges or shotgun shells by assembling the individual components , rather than purchasing completely assembled, factory-loaded cartridges...

, drastically reducing the cost - although few users are likely to expend much of this massively-recoiling ammunition.


The .700 Nitro Express develops an approximate average of 8900 foot-pounds (12,066.8 J) of muzzle energy with a 1000 gr bullet at 2000 ft/s (610 m/s). However handloaders can push the cartridge to generate as much as 15000 foot-pounds (20,337.3 J) in a modern bolt action, by using a 1000 gr bullet fired at 2600 ft/s (792 m/s). However, doing so necessitates a rifle so heavy it is almost inoperable for hunting purposes. Lathe turned cases as used in the Accurate Reloading rifle above will suffer blown primers at this level though a good source of drawn brass would allow (in theory) velocities up to 2700 ft/s (823 m/s).

The typical average muzzle velocity of a factory-loaded cartridge is 2000 ft/s (610 m/s). In the 18 pounds (8.2 kg) rifle used by Accurate Reloading this would result in recoil energy of approximately 160 ft·lbf (216.9 J). This is more than ten times the average recoil from a .308 Winchester
.308 Winchester
The .308 Winchester is a rifle cartridge and is the commercial cartridge upon which the military 7.62x51mm NATO centerfire cartridge is based. The .308 Winchester was introduced in 1952, two years prior to the NATO adoption of the 7.62x51mm NATO T65...

 which is a very common hunting calibre, and more than 4 times the recoil of a strong .45-70 Government round.

Comparable calibres

Shoulder-fired rifle calibres comparable to the .700 Nitro Express in terms of power and recoil include the following:
  • .600 Nitro Express
    .600 Nitro Express
    The .600 Nitro Express is a round in the Nitro Express series which was introduced in 1903. It is the second largest calibre in the Nitro Express line, exceeded only by Holland & Holland's .700 Nitro Express round.-Overview:...

  • .600 Overkill
    .600 Overkill
    The .600 Overkill cartridge is a hunting cartridge designed to fit the CZ-550 action, by American Hunting Rifles.-Design:The .600 Overkill was designed by Robert Garnick of Las Vegas, Nevada, USA...

  • .585 Gehringer
  • .585 Nyati
    .585 Nyati
    The .585 Nyati is a shoulder-fired rifle cartridge. Nyati means Cape Buffalo in many African languages such as Swahili. The .585 Nyati can generate of muzzle energy. This places it at or near the top of the list for most powerful cartridges that can be chambered in a rifle that can still be...

  • .577 Tyrannosaur
    .577 Tyrannosaur
    The .577 Tyrannosaur or .577 T-rex is a type of cartridge developed by A-Square in 1993 for big game hunting in Africa. The .577 contains a diameter Monolithic Solid Projectile which when fired moves at producing of muzzle energy. The production model from A-square is based on their Hannibal...

  • .475 A&M Magnum
    .475 A&M Magnum
    The .475 A&M Magnum is a rifle cartridge developed in the United States. At the time of its development it was considered the most powerful sporting rifle cartridge ever developed...

  • .460 Weatherby Magnum
    .460 Weatherby Magnum
    The .460 Weatherby Magnum is a belted, bottlenecked rifle cartridge, developed by Roy Weatherby in 1957. The cartridge is based on the .378 Weatherby Magnum necked up to accept the bullet. The original .378 Weatherby Magnum parent case was inspired by the .416 Rigby...

  • .50 BMG
    .50 BMG
    The .50 Browning Machine Gun or 12.7×99mm NATO is a cartridge developed for the Browning .50 caliber machine gun in the late 1910s. Entering service officially in 1921, the round is based on a greatly scaled-up .30-06 cartridge...

  • .950 JDJ
    .950 JDJ
    The .950 JDJ is a large caliber rifle cartridge developed by J. D. Jones of SSK Industries. Jones is also the noted developer of many other well-known cartridges, such as the Whisper family.-Cartridge:...

External links

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