There’s something hypnotic and empowering about the bang of a high-powered firearm. Hunters, marksmen, and gun enthusiasts from all walks of life love it. Some guns have more firepower than others. What about the .700 Nitro Express?
There’s a certain amount of firepower expected from the pool of guns common among most buyers around the world.
The classic 9mm and .22 handgun options make for a great concealable line of defense, but they don’t do much in terms of massive stopping power. The 12-gauge shotgun is another classic firearm. While it has more stopping power, it isn’t great at long distances.
While these guns are readily available at most gun stores around the country, the same can’t be said for all guns. And, not surprisingly, digging a little deeper is necessary if you want the big boom.
The Background of Big-Game Rifles: A Firearm with a Purpose
We all know that guns are designed to hit targets, and if necessary, bring targets down. On the shooting range, there isn’t much need to go for the biggest caliber available.
Sure, it could be a place for 9mm fans to try out the .357 magnum they’ve always heard about. Why go bigger than that? On the shooting range, there may not be much of a demand and therefore not much of a need but on the hunting range, everything changes.
Animals aren’t just tricky and intelligent in many situations; they’re strong and durable. Bringing down a big animal like a deer or black bear can require some serious artillery. This is especially true if you want to take a shot at long range.
With such a unique need, hunters have seen their necessary type of firearm get its own sector of the firearms industry. It’s no longer just about rifles – big game rifles are in a category of their own.
They aren’t in short supply either. There are plenty of options on the market if you’re looking to buy a big game rifle. Sometimes for collectors, snagging the rarer option is worth the hunt and the price.
That’s why the .700 Nitro Express is in such high demand. Yes, you read that right – a .700 cartridge, obviously made to take down the biggest and beefiest animals in the wilderness. With that kind of stopping power, your prey doesn’t stand a chance.
Let’s take a closer look at the .700 Nitro Express – an illustrious big-game hunting option with a massive reputation and a big boom to match.
History of the .700 Nitro Express: A Big-Game Background
When it comes to the history of this weapon, one finds it in the hunting range. Those who needed a big cartridge on the field turned to the one made by Holland & Holland.
It came into existence in London, England back in 1988 when the cartridge was first invented. While a lot of confusion may exist about this gun, it should be noted that the product itself is a cartridge. Such a massive cartridge can be integrated into a properly sized firearm with a long barrel for a deadly combination.
While the market for big-game rifles can fluctuate, this one saw immediate success. So many orders came in that the production had to be revamped and restarted to meet the soaring demand.
The cartridge parallels to the .600 Nitro Express, essentially functions like a scaled-up variant of that model. It is powerful in its own right but also fires a heavier bullet. The casing is new and the cartridge is capable of offering massive firepower.
This unit can also be reloaded by hand, making it more functional than some big-game gun cartridges. The .700 Nitro Express can generate about 8,900 foot-pounds of force with high kickback despite the balanced weight of many guns it's used in.
A Look at a .700 Nitro Express Product Listing
The .700 Nitro Express is a very rare gun. Because it is somewhat hard to find and a little more obscure than many other big-game rifles, it comes with a higher price tag.
The Nitro Express here has its current bid over $1000, with the buy now price set at $6500. That may seem like a massive price tag – and it is – but it is to be expected for rifles like this. Not only are you getting the type of firepower that is impossible to find elsewhere, but you’re getting a very rare piece of firearms history.
Even ammo stores list individuals at $50, and this is a testament to the high demand and low supply of these cartridges and guns.
Where exactly do you need to look to find these? Here are three main sources to check:
Major Gun Stores
While it isn’t likely you’ll find one of these cartridges sitting in the shelves of a tiny gun store, major locations may have them. They could be more likely to house rare items like this for the sake of atmosphere, or even for sale under certain conditions.
It is important to note that while many major gun stores may not carry all the inventory they have on their shelves, they can order unseen items. Even if you don’t spot one of these cartridges at a store known for big-game equipment, check their catalog or ask if it can be specially ordered.
Sure, you may cough up a little more cash for the price of shipping if it does have to be ordered in store, but for a piece of equipment like this, it is worth it.
Antique Stores or Pawn Shops
These two unique locations are lumped together in one category for one reason – both have a tendency to rack up eye-popping items.
A rifle cartridge like the .700 Nitro Express could easily fetch a big price for its visual appeal alone. There’s also added value in the unit being usable, meaning it is possible a person would pawn it or sell it for a big price.
If you do find the cartridge at one of these locations, make sure you ask about whether it is safe for use. And if you want to be on the safe side, get something in writing.
Shooting Ranges (Sometimes)
We did mention earlier that it would be rare to find big-game rifle cartridges in shooting ranges. However, in some cases, there are exceptions.
Many ranges like to add in unique twists at times and keep their customers guessing. Giving them the chance to use such firepower would truly constitute a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is why on certain occasions a .700 could show up here.
As for buying it from the range, that would be a challenge. Not all locations would be open to this request, and thus it could cost an even higher price.
As the supply for something goes down, all other things being equal, the demand should increase. While these cartridges have seen an increase in their production at some points in the product’s life cycle, demand has stayed constant.
How Hard is it to Use a Cartridge Like This One?
Not everyone is a big-game hunter, and there is a good reason for that. Big-game hunting not only requires a person to be comfortable with firearms but also to be comfortable with some of the heaviest artillery a civilian could hold.
Guns like the ones these cartridges are built around have some serious power. That also means they have some series kickback, sound, and heat generated with them. Some people who shoot guns regularly may be comfortable with some of these characteristics but perhaps not to this extent.
It would take a lot of getting used to, even for someone who has a lot of firearm experience with powerful ammunition like magnum rounds or shotgun shells. Rifle cartridges can be as powerful if not more – especially if they are built for big-game hunting.
When we think about buying one of these cartridges, it is a big investment. It is also an equally complex investment for someone to get comfortable using such a type of artillery.
How Big Does the Game Need to Be?
Many hunters make their hunting equipment choices based on the game they are hunting. Obviously, there is no need to use a bigger bullet than necessary as it would damage the animal’s carcass, making it wasteful for the hunter.
Big game like jungle or reserve animals are the types of targets people would look for with cartridges like this one. Only animals that are tough to bring down would warrant this level of firepower in a hunting expedition.
If you’re looking to buy one of these cartridges, be prepared to pay big money. That’s simply the price you’ll have to pay for such a massive amount of power.