Hemingway went to Africa in 1933 and 1954. On his second trip, the .577 Nitro Express Westley Richards you see here and in the video above was the gun he carried.
The .577 Nitro Express is one of the most bad-ass hunting rounds of all time. Hemingway’s rifle fired a 750 gr. bullet, and generated a crushing 7,010 ft⋅lbf. By comparison, a .30-06 Springfield shooting a 220-gr bullet generates a wimpy 2,981 ft⋅lbf.
Famous Africa hunter John “Pondoro” Taylor wrote that the .577 Nitro Express was “a magnificent killer – it literally crumbles up an elephant”. Unfortunately, it could have the same impact on the man shooting it.
Here’s a cool look at hunting Cape Buffalo with a SAFARI IMPERIAL .700 Nitro Express boxlock side-by-side double rifle made by the gunmaker Verney-Carron.
The 700 Nitro Express was created by Holland & Holland in 1988. It shoots a 1,000 gr (65 g) bullet at 2,000 ft/s (610 m/s) and with about 8,900 foot-pounds of muzzle energy . In an 18-pound rifle, this load pushes back with 160 ft·lbf — 10X more recoil than most .308s. Ouch.