I have been curious about Cape Buffalo hunting and Dangerous Game rifles for a while now. I thought I would ask you all and see what your opinions are. If you were going to Africa on a Dream Cape Buffalo hunt what rifle would you want hanging off your shoulder and why?
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February 2, 2008, 02:20 AM
John Rigby double in .470 or .500 NE, or an H&H double:D nothing beats the stopping power and elegance of a classic double rifle
on the lesser side of $30,000, a controlled round feed bolt action in a very large caliber, probably .416 rigby or .460 weatherby, reliable, relatively affordable, and will still drop most dangerous game when it counts
February 2, 2008, 02:26 AM
Ruger or Remington bolt rifle in .416 Rem mag.
February 2, 2008, 02:28 AM
458 win comes to mind. 500 grains going 2100 fps... should do the trick...
February 2, 2008, 02:44 AM
.458 Lott will do the job.
February 2, 2008, 02:45 AM
I would have to say SxS 416 Rigby
February 2, 2008, 02:45 AM
Hmm, good question. The biggest thing I own is a Browning BAR in .338 Win Mag. I took a moose with it, but of course those Cape Buffalo are bigger then that aren't they. Thats my ticket, 250gr at 2900fps...
February 2, 2008, 02:58 AM
British .303 is used quite extensively over there in Africa if I am not mistaken. Not to mention my favorite the .308. I would also consider a Ruger MK1 in something like .375 H&H or better.
February 2, 2008, 03:05 AM
February 2, 2008, 03:08 AM
February 2, 2008, 03:39 AM
February 2, 2008, 03:41 AM
Not just the gun , everything he recommends, says, suggests, hints, yells at me... in regard to Cape Buffalo or any DG, heck any hunting of any kind!
February 2, 2008, 03:57 AM
there is a barret .50 modification company out there that makes a mag fed 20mm vulcan rifle... im sure that would do the trick... and you can even get a supressor for it
February 2, 2008, 07:04 AM
At a bare minimum a .375 H&H. I would prefer a double rifle in .577 Nitro Express.
30 cal slob
February 2, 2008, 07:11 AM
the .375 H&H gets a lot of mention as a minimum rifle. i flinch just thinking about shooting it.
February 2, 2008, 07:27 AM
February 2, 2008, 08:52 AM
February 2, 2008, 09:10 AM
The 375 H&H is legal minimum for Any dangerous game in most african countries. I would go with a 416 rigby though, or maybe a 416 rem mag.
February 2, 2008, 09:32 AM
I dont even want to be in the same county as a pissed-off cape buffalo when he realizes I just took a shot at him.
February 2, 2008, 09:39 AM
Quote: .458 Lott will do the job.
Yeah. Just get the buffalo to shoot it, and it should knock him flat!
February 2, 2008, 09:46 AM
Yeah, from my time reading Africa books, I seem to recall that the .375 H&H was recommended as a minimum rifle, but more than that, it was recommended as the rifle that would reliably do the job if you could only take one rifle. Those same guys would recommend a two rifle battery of .375 H&H and .458 Win Mag.
February 2, 2008, 09:49 AM
I had a friend, a Navy Corpsman, who did a stint in Africa with the Peace Corps.
He told me that you see 12ga. shotguns and 375 H&H pretty universally over there.
Square business, I would never hunt one, but if one required being fired on, I would like something that could do it from a neighboring zip code, like a 50 BMG.
February 2, 2008, 10:09 AM
It's not so much that the Cape Buffalo is bigger than a Moose. It's the physiological difference in their nervous systems.
The buff is much more simple in design. And, it's CNS is much more difficult to hit because it's so rudimentary. And, the buff is so massive.
I'd take the aforementioned double rifle in 375 H&H or 416 Rigby. What's reward without risk? :D
February 2, 2008, 10:33 AM
.500 A-Square. A friend went on safari about ten years ago and the airline temporarily lost his .416 Remington. His professional hunter loaned him a .500 A-Square. He said it knocked the buffalo flat reliably.
February 2, 2008, 10:34 AM
February 2, 2008, 10:36 AM
Lever action 45-70 with heavy, hard cast bullets.
February 2, 2008, 11:11 AM
458 Lott. No 458 Lott ammo available? Run it on 458 Win Mag.
On the other hand, I have always wanted to own (and afford it and ammo) a 700 NE.
February 2, 2008, 11:20 AM
For cape Buffalo? Ruger 10/22 and a pointed stick. What's the point of going all the way to africa just to be able to come home and say "I went on a guided hunt and shot a cow from a truck with a .458, just like everybody else. I was never in any more danger than I would be in from going to the grocery store". - ZZZZZ!
If you're going to go on an adventure, make it an adventure people will still be talking about generations from now. Make it the story your grandkids tell their grandchildren. That's how I'd do it.
February 2, 2008, 11:31 AM
.600 OverKill bolt gun.
February 2, 2008, 11:36 AM
The .375 H&H, .416 Remington and Rigby, and .450 Dakota are good calibers.
Anything bigger like the .458 Lott and flinching becomes a problem, something you don't want to do when facing a Cape.
Heck even the .375, .416 and .450 make you think and its not something you want to wait till you get to Africa to shoot cause if the first shot doesn't put it down, the hesitation on the second shot from the recoil will get you, your guide or a tracker killed.
Bottom line when all said and done is it does'nt matter what caliber you use if the hunter can't shoot worth a damn.
February 2, 2008, 11:38 AM
Something moderate in pressure (read 'classic DG round) in a double. No high-pressure UberWhompers for me, please - extraction difficulties in the brush are not my idea of fun.
Failing a double, a gone-over CZ that's been thoroughly vetted will do the job.
I'd also want a metric buttload of ammo, and sufficient time to get competent with the rifle shooting offhand, moving, and at a moving target.
Many of y'all are putting emphasis on muzzle energy. Talk to any PH, and they'll advise putting more stock in reliability under field conditions, and being competent at snap shots. Once you reach a certain level of energy (say, 416 Rigby), the returns are diminishing.
Muzzle energy won't make up for not being able to put metal on meat under duress (whether due to equipment or skill gaps).
February 2, 2008, 12:27 PM
Ok I just feel like being different today lets go with a standard 30-06.
February 2, 2008, 12:34 PM
The .468 Win Mag has become the de facto standard for many African Game Rangers. The .375 H&H has about the same standing among Professional Hunters who understand the risks of a client shooting a dangerous animal with a rifle he hasn't mastered.
My "heavy" rifle is Bigfoot Wallace, a custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen. I drive a 225 grain Nosler Partition to an honest 2800 fps, which is stepping on the heels of the .375 H&H, so I am confident that with a little practice, I could shoot that round well. I'd want to fire several hundred rounds of .458 Win Mag before being confident with it.
Monsters like the .460 Weatherby I think are often owned by men who also own most of the first box of shells they bought for it.;)
February 2, 2008, 12:35 PM
45/70 or 375 Ruger.:D
February 2, 2008, 12:56 PM
As stated already, usually the .375 is minimun.
As for the recoil, I shot a buddy's .375 H&H and it kicked less that my 12ga. Ithaca buck barrel shotgun with 2 3/4" slugs!!!!
I'm also a fan of the .416 Rem.
February 2, 2008, 01:55 PM
On a full on charge head first you need to hit them right below the boss(horns), there heads do not stay steady when they run.
375 h&h is good for a body shot but the answer is bring the biggest gun you can shoot well.
When hunting impala of same size game, carry something that will work on buffalo and bigger game.
416 taylor, 458 lott are common chamberings but you can get any chambering you need at any of the lodges.
A CZ in 416 or 458 is about 3 grand set up for DG hunting, a good double gun from Beretta is 4 to 5 grand, Accurate reloading has fourms on this topic, lotts of good information about this.
February 2, 2008, 02:02 PM
The one on the left. A Remington Model 30S custom .460.
Hunting the cape buffalo is like shooting cows?
Every experienced African hunter I have ever read expressed admiration for the cape buffalo as the toughest and most dangerous of game animals.
Part of my initial planning of such a trip would involve going through the archives, and reading pretty much everything that H&H Hunter has posted on the subject.
February 2, 2008, 02:06 PM
My Thomas Bland 3" .577 double. It has been a safe queen for nearly 20yrs just waiting for the funds and opportunity to take a trip. I have thought about selling it a few times, then taking the money to pay for the trip. If I did that then I'd probably use my new .375 Ruger alaskan. Took both deer and elk with it this year. It is a GREAT rifle.
February 2, 2008, 02:12 PM
February 2, 2008, 02:14 PM
I have seen first hand the bullets and punishment the 'normal' plains game can soak up. If I ever get back for a dangerous game hunt I will be toting a Searcy or Merkel SxS in .470 Nitro.
February 2, 2008, 02:21 PM
I would think you should consider the range of shooting also. 375 H&H shoots 300gr's as flat as 30-06 does 180's so you could engage the Buff at some extended range.....which would be my first thought regarding my safety.
If the range MUST be short....then the calibers starting with '4' start looking a LOT better and I'd use the heaviest I could use properly.
February 2, 2008, 02:22 PM
Yes this would be a great big game round, You need to video tape this hunt for me...HAHAHA
February 2, 2008, 02:27 PM
A Sharps rifle in 50-140.
February 2, 2008, 02:34 PM
I have a friend that goes to africa frequently. He uses a 416 taylor its slightly more economical than most because you can make the brass out of something else more common like 338 win mag I think but I could be wrong. I saw where it has been posted 375 mag is the minimum but I had read years ago that 40 cal was the minimum. I would consider 45-70 to be slightly weak for a cape buffapoo 45-90 45-100 45-120 50-90 or 50-140 in a sharps would be more fun to me. I would stay away from the 500-600-700 nitromags I shot 1 barrel of a 600 nitromag 2 years ago and had a headache for 5 days its not fun to shoot. My friend uses a 416 taylor with a solid bullet for cape buffapoo's so I might be inclined to go that way for a bolt gun.
February 2, 2008, 02:41 PM
Ruger #1 tropical in 458Win Mag. The rifle does come back at you at the range but in the field I never seem to notice the recoil. In fact the only recoil I have ever notice in the field was an AT4 anti-tank weapon. Which is too big for cape buffs.
February 2, 2008, 02:59 PM
I quickly skimmed this thread, but I've got a nice .405 Win that puts big holes in things. Proven on African game too...
I agree. I would ask H&H hunter, but I have always had a hankering for a 416 Rigby.
February 2, 2008, 03:27 PM
I would go for one of the Blaser doubles (cause I don't have a real fortune) in .458 Lott or something along those lines. Under no circumstances would I use any type of single shot and I would take a double over a bolt action to give a faster follow up shot without taking my eyes, or sights, off a charging buffalo. I'm not sure that I could work a bolt action fast or efficiently enough (IE not short throwing the bolt) to get a second shot in before I got squashed.
February 2, 2008, 03:33 PM
I'm more of a shot placement kind of guy. :)
February 2, 2008, 03:34 PM
My father went to Africa in the 80's and participated in a buffalo cull hunt. He was shooting a Win. Model 70 in .375H&H with a 1.5-4X Leupold scope. It is a fine rifle but using cheap, rapidly expanding ammunition (some type of Winchester soft points, I still have a box at home) very nearly got him killed. He ended up on the ground under 900lbs of dead buffalo cow that had been shot about ten times.
If you're going, spend the money on good ammunition.
February 2, 2008, 03:41 PM
I'm more of a shot placement kind of guy.
HAHAHA!! Now that's funny!
February 2, 2008, 03:46 PM
I'd take my BRNO 602ZKK in .458 Winchester Magnum. It's got the 'hogsback' buttstock that seems to soak up recoil. A friend who had a .458 Winmag Ruger M77 said the ammunition we were using kicked like a mule. The same box of ammunition had recoil comparable to a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with full load slugs. Not a plinking gun by any means. But cost limits my shooting the gun much more than any avoidance of super recoil.
February 2, 2008, 06:48 PM
375 H&H with CRF. Dakota 76 would be my preference, but Mauser or Win M70. No push feed guns for dangerous game.
February 2, 2008, 06:56 PM
I like your choices -- but I would say the reliability of the claw extractor is much more critical than the "controlled feed" vs "push feed" argument. Many men who have far more experience than I use M700s, even for dangerous game.
On the other hand, my father never shot a cape buffalo, but he did kill a Sumatran tiger in the late '30s and later on in Etheopia killed a slug of plains game, including a lion and a cheetah -- all with a Model 99 Savage in .250-3000.
February 2, 2008, 07:18 PM
Probably this one...:D
February 2, 2008, 07:20 PM
I would take Col. Jeff Cooper's "Baby". He once killed (inadvertantly) two cape buffaloes with one shot from his legendary rifle.
February 2, 2008, 09:39 PM
what about the Portuguese .22--.458 Weatherby!! :what:
February 3, 2008, 10:29 AM
one with a !BIG! hole in the working end of the barrel. then someone with cajones to stand at the controls. makes me nauseated thinkin' about it!
do cape buffalo bite too? no dugger boys for me, maybe one of those nice little Dik Dik antelope.
have fun always!
February 3, 2008, 11:27 AM
I work with docile, relatively small domesticated dairy cattle. Common domesticated dairy bulls terrify me when I see them on other farms, and the thought of dealing with a bigger, feral, and angry version whose name in the native languages is "death with horns", I would not feel confident using anything less than a .40 caliber double, and would prefer something along the lines of a drilling with two 12ga slugs and an underbarrel of something like 8x57.
People who don't work with animals daily usually just don't quite understand how much power they have. They assume they're just big safe objects that if something kinda-goes-wrong it's like a fender-bender with a car, instead of what an angry animal ten to twenty times your size who's fully aware of its strength and desires to hurt you at all costs can do.
February 3, 2008, 12:51 PM
If it's charging me, I wouldn't want a rifle, I'd want a gun.
If I'm hunting a Big Buff, I'm going to want a Huge and a Half caliber Thunder Boomer with cartridges a foot long and enough energy to not only clean the Buff, but halfway cook him too!
Yep, that's what I want for that ONE shot on that ONE day that I flew halfway around the world for.
For the rest of the time while I'm there, I think a couple of lever actions for hunting would be a good idea. A Marlin 39 and a Marlin 336 would be an excellent pair to have along.
I mean, You DO want to eat while you are out there in the bush, don't you?
What? you were going to try to shoot game for food with your Thunder Boomer?
February 3, 2008, 06:25 PM
On Safari in Tanzania in 2002, I was fortunate enough to be able to take two Cape Buffalo while there.
While I prefer .375 H&H as a bare minimum for dangerous game, the key to successfully dropping the animal in humane fashion is adequate bullet construction and placement, both being of equal importance.
My first Cape Buffalo (38") that I shot while there was taken at ~200 feet/60 yards with a Winchester Model 70 Stainless Classic in .375 H&H using a 300 gr. Nosler JSP (standing broadside) followed by six 300 gr. Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer Solids (frontal chest) that penetrated him completely lengthwise as he charged me,:uhoh: faltering several times during the charge. The sixth 300 gr. solid managed to anchor him at about 15 feet from my position. Taking a charging Buffalo like that is, in my opinion, the most fun that you can have with your pants on.:D
My second Cape Buffalo (43") was taken at ~240 feet/80 yards with three shots from my Winchester Model 70 Classic Stainless in .30-06 using 180 gr. Winchester Fail-Safe JHP's. (Yes, I know that .375 is the minimal legal caliber in Tanzania. It is however, truly amazing what can be achieved by getting to know your PH and the game officials on a personal basis.) The first two rounds (quartering away, lungs) stopped him in his tracks and the third anchored him from behind (moved forward to make a spinal shot from about 40 yards) as he attempted to get up from where he sat on his haunches. The two lung shot bullets (shanks) were recovered fully expanded, imbedded in the offside ribs/tissue, petals torn from the bullet during expansion/transit leaving only the shanks to penetrate the rest of the way where they would ultimately come to rest against the inside of the ribs. The third bullet (spinal shot) shivered the vertebrae that it struck completely, passing through it to bury itself in the upper rear portion of the bull's sternum.
I do not believe that I could have made such shots and had them be so effective without those premium quality bullets and their toughness or without an excellent comprehension of the Cape Buffalo's anatomy. Allowing good placement to/within the vitals, superior bullet design will further ensure your success.
To those considering such a hunt, I would say that at the very least you will need is:
1. A rifle of sufficient/adequate caliber that you can shoot very well.
2. The best premium quality ammunition that you can buy with price being no object and optimal performance for the game being taken being the main concern.
3. A solid comprehension of the anatomy of the particular animal that you intend to pursue.
4. To practice with your chosen rifle/ammunition until you achieve a level of competence sufficient to see you through even the most intense encounter where things go completely contrary to what you expected. This means "tons" of practice months prior to setting foot "afield".
All the best,
February 3, 2008, 06:53 PM
That was a super post.
February 3, 2008, 07:40 PM
Thank you so much. :)
I am glad that you enjoyed it.
February 3, 2008, 08:29 PM
Gunslinger, were these rifles open sights or scoped? Thanks
February 3, 2008, 08:54 PM
My Model 70 Classic Stainless in .375 H&H has no scope at all and bears factory "irons" only. It is my "up close and personal" 'heavy' rifle and I find that optics tend to get in the way during such high intensity, close-quarters encounters.
My Model 70 Classic Stainless in .30-06 bears a Leupold 3x9-40mm VX-II atop a set of Leupold QD Rings/Mounts (2 pc.) and a 'clean' (no sights) barrel since it was my "go to" medium rifle for everything else.(Topi, Zebra, Impala, Warthog, etc.)
Hope this answers your questions,
February 4, 2008, 12:39 AM
Kodiac 45-70 double
February 4, 2008, 01:15 AM
Probably something in the high-30/low-40 area, either .375H&H, .416 Rigby, maybe one of the big Weatherbys. If I were going double, either .470 or .500NE.
If I wanted to do it from a distance and not man-style, then .50BMG has more than enough stopping power.
February 4, 2008, 01:44 AM
a double in something 375 or bigger....
February 4, 2008, 02:53 AM
I like reading about Cape Buff hunts and hearing about and seeing pics of really nice BIG GAME rifles. I guess I'm a purist I would prefer to have a Purdey or H&H Double in 500NE. I don't know that much about calibers though. I know I am in the fantasy world here because I could never afford such a rifle. I also have nothing against bolt guns. Some of the nicest ones I have seen and read about are the Kimber Caprivi, the Ruger Hawkeye and maybe a Blaser Safari. All of those BIG SAFARI rifles with that distinctive barrel band just get my imagination going. I guess that's why I like reading about them so much.
I have read several articles recently about hunters taking several of the BIG 6 with tricked-out Marlin 45-70 lever guns with BIG SOLID ammo from Garretts or Buffalo Bore. From what I have read those rounds don't produce near the energy that lots of the rounds that have been mentioned in this thread but it is said that in wet newspaper tests these BIG 45-70 rounds penetrate better than any of the NE rounds.
Do you all have any thoughts on using the 45-70 for hunting dangerous game? I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.
Thanks everyone for posting. How about some pics if ya got 'em?
February 4, 2008, 01:36 PM
Dixie Terminator 12 ga slugs. Hard Cast .750 inch designed for such beasties as the Cape. Put them in a dead reliable pump gun like a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870
February 4, 2008, 01:46 PM
February 4, 2008, 03:10 PM
GET A .50!
After all, you can get one for
around only $2,000, $28,000
less than a H&H!;)
February 8, 2008, 12:45 PM
The above link goes over the really big ones, .505 Gibbs and up.
There is a lot of extra weridness involved in those. Normal actions don't fit them. Brass is non-existant or hard to find.
I like standard calibers for lots of reasons. One thing I've read about quite a bit is that many custom agents look dimly on ammunition that is headstamped differently from the rifle. Thus your ".597 Unobtanium" ammo with brass made from .460 Weatherby might not make it into the country you are visiting.
Of course small lots of properly headstamped brass are available for some wildcats, but maybe not the really obscure ones. I thought the .600 Overkill suggestion eleswhere on the thread was a joke, but it's not! Good luck finding brass for that!!
Having said that I'd probably favor the .416 Remington as the most standard of calibers out there. Remington makes the African Big Game Rifle or something for about $3000.
The Ruger in .416 Rigby would be just as good, but the cartridges might be a little harder to find.
The .458 Win is a fine stopping rifle. The great Finn Aagard, a professional hunter for many years in Zimbabwe and Kenya carried one. But, he advised his clients to carry a .416 if they could handle it. Why? It's a flatter shooting gun and more versitile. You could use it for a long shot on a Zebra. I believe he said that it's the biggest cartridge that is still general purpose with a relatively flat trajectory.
The .416 and .460 Weatherby might bear consideration too. They are well standardized and obviously Weatherby makes guns for them. They both have impressive ballistics and recoil to match.
February 8, 2008, 12:47 PM
If you can find the book "Any Shot You Want" you should pick up a copy. It was written by the owners of A-Square, the ammo company. It covers every useful big game cartridge from the .22 Hornet on up. It has better descriptions of, particularly, the differences in all these big bore cartridges than "Cartridges of the World".
February 8, 2008, 12:49 PM
February 8, 2008, 01:21 PM
Don't remember if it was German or Russian, but I vote for the WWII vintage T-72 anti-tank "rifle"
February 8, 2008, 02:29 PM
Since I have a 458 win mag (1917 Enfield converted) that would be the one;)
Nothing else I have comes close to this baby for pure power, comes real close to the "Lott" if loaded right, without needing the ream:)
February 8, 2008, 03:00 PM
FWIW Find ANY SHOT YOU WANT edited by Arthur Alphin by going to abebooks.com. Three copies currently listed starting at $33.95.
February 8, 2008, 04:47 PM
I'd like a ruger #1 in .458 Lott and something nice and heavy but semiautomatic for a backup gun.
February 8, 2008, 07:34 PM
February 8, 2008, 11:48 PM
The guys at http://www.leverguns.com/ have done a couple African safaris.
A .45-70 loaded right, will put down darn near anything if the shooter does his part.
Myself, I vote for the gun......as in naval:)
February 9, 2008, 12:43 AM
I'd bring my Barrett .50 BMG
February 9, 2008, 02:52 AM
Ruger 10/22 Carbine with one extra ten-round rotary magazine just in case.
February 9, 2008, 02:57 AM
Andrewsky, I think ole Reginald would end up having to pack out your mangled body...
February 9, 2008, 03:03 AM
"The Cape Buffalo waits for NO man!"
February 9, 2008, 06:37 PM
I shot my first buf with a .416 Remington Mag in 1995. I shot my second in 2006 in Zimbabwe with a .458 Lott with 500-gr. solids. The first buffalo took the fourth shot right between his eyes at 6 yards. The second one, I had to use a Texas brain shot at about 135 yards. Drilled him from stern to stink, passing through the heart in the process. He still ran 150 yards.
My major point being that I would never use anything under a .404 Jeffery or a 450-400 Nitro. These animals wake up in the morning with a bad attitude and go steadily down hill from there. He WILL hunt you down if you don't hit him right. I've known two men (PH & tracker) who have been gored by a Cape Buffalo.
Use enough gun !
February 9, 2008, 07:24 PM
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