The perfect DG rifle for the African sport hunter.


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H&Hhunter
December 14, 2010, 04:08 PM
The "perfect" rifle for any given application doesn't exist.....


However there are a couple that come real close for the stated application which is general purpose rifle for hunting Africa when thick skinned DG is on the menu.

Lets start off with some disclaimers. First of all there is no magic wand that will enable you to put game on the ground without some effort on your part. None of them will work well for you unless you put some time and effort into them. You need to practice and I don't mean going out to the range and sighting in off the bench. I mean getting out and using your rifle in field conditions and shooting a lot. You need to know all of the weird little quirks your rifle may have and how to either deal with them or get them fixed. If you spend enough time with any rifle you'll find that they all have little bit of a personality. Maybe it's a tendency to misfeed on the first round off the stack, maybe they shoot a bit high out of a cold barrel, maybe they are a perfect gentlemen until 150 rounds later when they develop a hiccup. Maybe they will perform perfectly you need to know that before you get to the field on your hunt.

That is why you see pictures of me with dead feral hogs and heavy caliber double rifles and bolt guns a day in the field actually hunting critters is worth a month of shooting at the range. There is no better way to get to know your rifle and to use it the way it's going to be used on your DG hunt and hogs provide a very good simulation IF you get out and hunt them on foot. Heck so do jack rabbits if you can't find any hogs. If you can't do either get out and shoot rocks at vary ranges from varying field positions. It's all better than punching paper.

I am going to say this right off. Double rifles are a very romantic weapon and conjure up fantasies of old Africa and days past. While they are still extremely useful and have a very definite purpose unless you are willing to put the time and money into buying one and then getting proficient with one, which is a HUGE expense in time and money. Forget about doubles they take some serious learning under field conditions before you should consider yourself proficient with one. There is nothing more worrisome to a PH than a client showing up with a shiny new heavy caliber double and load of excuses as to why he can't the paper at 50 yards at the sight in range at camp. don't let this be you.

Next in line is that heavy caliber iron sighted bolt gun in some kind of intoxicating sounding caliber like .458 Lott or .450 Rigby perhaps a .505 Gibbs. Once again I'm not saying it can't be done I'm not even saying it shouldn't be done what I am saying is that if you are going to do it make sure and understand the time and effort it takes to get proficient enough to hunt animals with one of these type rifles. If you haven't fired a heavy recoiling beast before the first time you take big Bertha to the range will be a wake up call. You know your ready when you can shoot one of these rifle without thinking to yourself as you are squeezing the trigger "oh this is going to hurt!" when you can shoot one with no more worry or contemplation than you would a .22 LR you're ready. Believe me friends if you are honest with yourself that takes more time than most are willing to put thumpers. Adding a scope helps some only because most guys are not proficient with iron sights so it's one less thing to learn.

What does this leave the average hunter who just wants to hunt and not necessarily learn a whole new style of shooting. You can't go wrong with a .375H&H or if you are able and you should be because the recoil isn't that much more than the an H&H one of the various .416's or a possibly as .404 with a low power variable or fixed scope. I like quick release mounts and decent back up sights but even that is very optional.

A new .416 Remington in a M-70 would be my choice if I were buying a general hunting rifle for Africa today. They are one heck of a lot of rifle for the money. The .416 gives a flat enough trajectory that you have no issues using it for plains game out to three hundred + yards and the 400 Gr bullet in a modern offering like a Barnes TSX makes a very safe and reliable DG round on anything up to cape buffalo. Stuff some solids into it and you've got yourself a rock solid very capable elephant rig.

Opinions vary but it's hard to argue that this one of the finest client hunting rigs in all of Africa where DG is in your plans.

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hirundo82
December 14, 2010, 09:38 PM
Any opinions as to capacity? I remember an old Jeff Cooper piece about his idea of the idea dangerous game rifle for Africa (talking about the .460G&A and such) and he speaks highly of his rifle having five rounds on tap. Is that actually a big concern, or are you unlikely to get more than a couple of rounds off in a realistic scenario?

H&Hhunter
December 14, 2010, 09:55 PM
Jeff sure had his idea of a perfect DG rifle and I can't argue with any of his opinions. A six shooter is nice my .375H&H is a six shooter 5 down one up. My .404 is a five shooter with 4 down and one up. I want more than three but four or five is plenty.

The only time I've ever run my .375H&H dry on game is when cropping hogs. If I was to be hunting cow elephant exclusively I can sure see where a six shooter would be handy as elephant cows are always herded up and can be viscous when they get their dander up but it isn't a deal killer having less capacity.

usmc1371
December 17, 2010, 12:52 AM
I couldn't agree with you more, I had a great time hunting deer and coyote with my 375 HnH. I grew up shooting scoped bolt action rifles so for me the CZ 550 375 was just like shooting any of my ruger bolt guns. I shot my CZ with the factory open "express" sights and it was fun and milk jug accurate at 100 yards but putting a fixed power 4X leo on it really made a big improvement. I don't think the recoil on the 375 is bad at all, infact I would rather shoot it than my 300wm.
Don't get me wrong I would love to own a nice double in 470 NE but I just can't ever see me having that kind of disposable income laying around. And I don't think I could shoot up to many 100$ boxes of shells and still have fun doing it. When I bought my first box of HnH shells there was a box of 416 rigby right next to it and it was 212$ !! Had I won a 416 rigby instead of a 375 I think I would have sold it NIB never fired! I don't see a point to owning a rifle I can't afford to shoot.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 17, 2010, 01:06 AM
You sure aint joking usmc1371, I just bought a couple of boxes of 450ne for a nice crisp 120+ a piece + shipping. And H&H, a little warning would have been nice about the recoil ON THE BENCH from that monster! Not to bad at all in field stances but SHEESH that thing kills on both ends and in the middle from bench rest! But by crickies I am going after HogZilla with her come spring time! Florida first then Texas soon after I hope. (Im not missing Bike week in Florida this year dag nabbit)

H&H some load suggestions for loading it down some and maybe even some Black Powder loads would be GREATLY appreciated :)

H&Hhunter
December 18, 2010, 09:26 PM
FFIL,

Don't shoot heavy magnums from a seated bench rest. Use a standing rest. I've only mentioned that about three million times here in THR.;)

DON'T use BP in your .450 NE I've got some nice reduced NE loads with smokeless. I will have to dig something up for the .450 NE.

PS

I've never bought a NE round in my life. Nor a .458 Lott round and darn few .375 H&H rounds. These heavies pretty much demand that you roll your own or go broke.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 19, 2010, 12:44 AM
H&H why not use Black Powder? Seems to me it would be fun and nostalgic at least. BIG SMOKE :) Granted no I wasn't going after Mr. HogZilla with it but maybe a little fun at the range for the kids to watch daddy make clouds :)

H&Hhunter
December 19, 2010, 02:08 AM
Well I guess you could but it sure is messy and tough to get it completely cleaned out of a falling block action.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
December 19, 2010, 12:20 PM
Ewwwww, yeah you are right. scwuu that! For some reason I was thinking it would not be that bad on a cartridge based BP but that crap does get EVERYWHERE and this FB is a pain to clean completely. Thanks for the brain check H&H!

Robert Wilson
December 19, 2010, 01:55 PM
I agree with most of what you've written, H&H, but I have to defend the honor of black powder. It was good enough for Selous!

I had a Ruger #1 in .45-70 rechambered to .450 and marked ".450 Express" (as opposed to "NE".) I used it exclusively with black and enjoyed it tremendously. Cleanup was a snap, as fouling was contained almost entirely within the bore. Granted, a falling block action is a lot simpler than a rolling block, but it seems to me that if you're getting a lot of fouling in the action, something must be wrong.

H&Hhunter
December 21, 2010, 08:10 PM
You might have a point there Robert.

double bogey
December 25, 2010, 01:52 AM
I was browsing in a pawn shop in Plano Tx. and saw a rifle with a beautiful piece of wood. Also noticed a very fat barrel, an the distinctive shape of a CZ buttstock. It was a .458 win mag. I have absolutly no use for one, but if I had the money on me it may have went home with me. It was marked $950.00, and this shop usually works about 25% off for cash.

H&Hhunter
December 25, 2010, 08:16 AM
$950 is pretty high for a used CZ in .458. Epecially a hogs back.

double bogey
December 26, 2010, 11:35 PM
I figure it could have been picked uo for $700 or so. Didn't negotiate, I was afraid they might give me a price. That was in September, sure its gone by now. I wouldn't mind having something like this, would probably cook up some rounds in the 45-70 range and hunt deer with it.

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