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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • reloading manual
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
  • bullet reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.470 Nitro Express (using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Mar 29 2016

The .470 Nitro Express was developed around 1907 by Joseph Lang, and quickly became a favorite with the British gun trade, finding its way into a variety of fine double rifles. It also has been offered by manufacturers in different countries, and has established an outstanding record on all of Africa’s large and dangerous game where deep penetration is a requirement. In spite of factory loads pushing a 500-grain bullet at around 2,150 fps, recoil is not as sharp as comparable cartridges that operate at higher pressures. Recoil is stout from a .470 NE, but manageable by experienced big-bore riflemen.

Due to the large powder capacity, using either Federal #215 or #215GM Large Rifle Magnum primers is strongly recommended to obtain reliable powder ignition.

Bullets must be heavily roll crimped in place to aid with uniform powder ignition and to keep them in place when subjected to the heavy recoil associated with this cartridge.

Cases were found to vary in thickness and length, so it is best to trim them to the same length, and if possible load a single lot number to obtain the most uniform ammunition.

Many presses are not large enough to load the .470 NE. In assembling ammunition to offer the accompanying test data, a Lyman Orange Crusher press (the same as the current Lyman Crusher Reloading Press) was used, which features a 4 ½-inch opening and offers enough space to accommodate this rather long cartridge. However, it was not large enough to give clearance to a bullet sitting on top of the case mouth prior to seating/crimping. The bullet first had to be inserted up into the seating die and held in place while a case was placed into the shell holder. The bullet could then be allowed to drop onto the case mouth and could then be seated and crimped, and the finished cartridge removed in a normal fashion.