Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

You Are Headed to Africa on Safari. Which Big Game Rifle Do You Buy?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Kynoch, Sep 9, 2012.

?

Which Big Game Rifle Would You Choose if Your Choice was Limited to:

Poll closed Dec 8, 2012.
  1. Browning Safari (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    13 vote(s)
    9.3%
  2. CZ 550 (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    51 vote(s)
    36.4%
  3. Interarms Mark X (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    7 vote(s)
    5.0%
  4. Kimber Model 89 (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    5 vote(s)
    3.6%
  5. Remington Model 700 (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    15 vote(s)
    10.7%
  6. Ruger No. 1 Tropical (in .458 Win. Mag.)

    12 vote(s)
    8.6%
  7. Weatherby MK V (in .460 Wby. mag.)

    17 vote(s)
    12.1%
  8. Winchester Model 70 (post '64 in .458 Win. Mag.)

    20 vote(s)
    14.3%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DM~

    DM~ Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2,261
    Location:
    upper mid west
    I'm "kinda" with you on that, i wouldn't want to have to use a 45/70 at all!

    I don't care what cast bullet is in the 45/70, i don't see or even ever hear of any guide in Africa using that combo as a stopper, and they would if it really was a "stopper"! In fact all the guys that i know that hunt African regulary, none of them buy into that either.

    DM
     
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,452
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    A number of years back, TFL's Rich Lucibella did a safari with a .45-70. He had heavy-duty backup, of course, but was successful on buffalo with no misadventure.
     
  3. brandonc

    brandonc Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Arizona
    Sounds good to me. The 9.3x62 can be used on the biggest of the big 5 in some areas. It is probably second to the .375 on the most African game taken.
     
  4. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,015
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    I find there to be LOTS of bias and closed minds when it comes to rifle/cartridge selection for Africa. Facts be damned.
     
  5. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,032
    Location:
    Johannesburg S.A.
    I went and did a bit of of work on the .45-70 and found a web page where a chap had taken the big six (Hippo included) with his .45-70. So that was most interesting and I stand corrected on it penetrative ability.

    A friend shoots Kudu with a .222, but headshots only and at no more than 100m.

    In the right hands some calibres will achieve wonders. The problem is when things go wrong, that is where good shot placement has to make way for some stopping power and frenetic shooting. Saw Johan Calitz shoot a charging Lion from the hip at 5 yds, the calibre stopped the Lion which fell dead on his lower leg. That will give you the adrenaline shakes for a couple of hours.

    I think we have side tracked the OP's thread. He simply wanted to know which of the rifles he had posted would be better and was not looking for alternate suggestions.

    So given that he is ACTUALLY going to target Buffalo then and that he is comfortable will the handling and recoil of these calibres. Then it would be one of two for me the CZ550 or the Weatherby.

    If the rifle will be used once then the CZ550 as it is cheaper (here at least), if this is to be a regular hunt then the Weatherby cause its nice to keep. You saw the pics I posted of the custome .450 Rigby running at .460 Weatherby loads? It has massive stopping power. The CZ/Brno are wonderful workhorses and have made their claim to fame in Africa, there are better rifles .....

    The last consideration would be if something happens to you ammo enroute. You will find .458 ammo but will battle with .460. If you are loading then obvioulsy premium bullets are a must.
     
  6. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
    Thank you so much for recognizing that! I honestly do appreciate it!

    Prior to posting I had already settled on a caliber (.458 Win or Lott Mag or Wby. 460) because I have shot all three and I am very comfortable with all three. I listed the rifles (and the calibers) that I did because that's what I have seen on the used or consignment shelves at some gun shops I have visited.

    It's very interesting to see the number of votes given to the CZ. I suspect that's largely because it offers such good value for the money. These big boomers are rather odd when it comes to availability and pricing. When I had absolutely no interest in one I remember running across a few at very good prices. We'll see what the next couple of months uncovers. If I run across a smoking hot deal on an old H&H double chambered for 600 NE I'll jump on it, but I'm not holding my breath...

    Thanks again.

    I'll pay a great deal of attention to making sure my ammo gets to where it needs to go but I won't let it influence my selection in a rifle.
     
  7. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,211
    Location:
    Georgia
    Winchesters have been made with CRF since 1994. They still offered their budget guns in PF unitil they closed in 2006, but top end rifles, and anything offered in DG calibers has been CRF since then.

    All new production rifles made since moving to South Carolina are CRF. They no longer offer PF as an option.

    I'd actually prefer one of the 1994-2006 guns for DG. They went to a different trigger in 2008 that gives smoother factroy pull. The older trigger often need a little gunsmithing to get it smooth, but was the most reliable, rugged trigger ever put on a rifle.
     
  8. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,032
    Location:
    Johannesburg S.A.
    I have two CZ's and they are value for money. The 30-06 is a 0.75" and less when I do my part and the 6.5X55mm Swede is better. I often shoot with my mates CZ550 .375 and this will be my next rifle. I cannot justify a Buffalo as I am a meat hunter as opposed to trophy (although Buffalo is excellent and makes great Jerky) but it would like the larger calibre for Eland and Blue Wildebeest (and simply to have it).

    If I shot more, or professionally then the more exotic rifles and the like would enter the frame. Prices here in South Africa are considerably more than in the States, it is actually quiet soul destroying to see what you boys pay for stuff.

    The other reason for the CZ is the Mauser action which has great appeal with PH's due to the controlled feed under duress.

    You have a tough choice, they are all great. If it was based on want's vs. needs then the .460 would be the one that I would want. Good luck, it's a large animal notorious for being cantankerous.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2012
  9. HankB

    HankB Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Messages:
    5,230
    Location:
    Central Texas
    The Czechs seems to be getting their act together on building a heavy rifle, which is different than building a rifle, but they still have a ways to go.

    On my Zambian trip, my PH had a couple of BRNO ZKK rifles - the nice ones with the integral pop-up peep sight in the rear bridge, which I believe are no longer made. Chambered in .375 H&H and .458 Win, neither of these rifles had reinforcing bolts in front of and behind the magazine. When I examined these, I drew the PH's attention to the fact that both of these rifles had incipient cracks in the wood, visible on the bottom in front of and behind the floor plate.

    He was a bit shaken - and more than a little PO'd.

    I think the new ones have dual crossbolts, and a recoil lug on the barrel ahead of the receiver - both necessities on a heavy rifle. (it may only be the upgraded/custom versions.) Combined with ample (but not excessive) thickness through the wrist of the stock, proper bedding, and good, straight grain, and an extra round or two magazine capacity over most of the competition, they have all the makings of an excellent heavy rifle today, and if I were in the market I'd seriously consider one if the stock fit me correctly. Now, if the barrels just weren't 25" long . . .
     
  10. Andrew Leigh

    Andrew Leigh Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,032
    Location:
    Johannesburg S.A.
    The 550 range fixed this problem as you rightfully pointed out.
     
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    9,050
    Never EVER count on the ability of a PH to shoot your butt out of a dangerous situation. He may not be in the right position to get it done, his rifle might fail or he might just not have the time, training, experience or the skill to make it happen.

    I've hunted with a PH in Tanzania who admitted to me right before we closed on a herd of buff that his CZ was "jamming up" on every other shot so "he hoped that we didn't get into any trouble" on this hunt. When I got charged in Zimbabwe in 2004 I stopped my buff at snot slinging range while the PH was trying to reload his rifle. This rookie attitude of shoot whatever you want because you have a PH backing you up is dangerously flawed and just plain ignorant. If you start a fight with a buff or a lion or an elephant you need to be prepared to finish it on your own because stuff happens it happens fast and it is totally variable as to how and at what range it's going to happen or what kind of animal it's going to be. You might well be hunting buff and get charged at close range from a cow elephant, it's happened to me. Good luck with that .45-70 on a frontal brain shot on an elephant BTW. It been proven that it's marginal and totally unreliable with the best ammo out there on frontal shots on elephant.

    A .375H&H with a good 300 gr solid will get the job done as will a .416 or a .404 or .458 WM or a Lott or a .470 or a .500 or similar with quality solids. That is why they are considered DG rounds and the .45-70 IS NOT....

    Now as far as rifles the CZ has some major issues. They can be fixed but stock CZ 550 is not to be considered DG ready. they are as follows in the heavy recoiling CZ'z the safety has the bad habit of popping on during a shot. Not good, there is a fix and it needs to be done. the CZ is notorious for splitting it's stock also fixable also needs to be done. the one and only CZ I've ever owned was in .458 Lott and it had serious feeding issues when worked hard the other CZ I've seen with serious feeding issues was the one in Tanzania. most recently I've seen two CZ's both in .416 that had the trigger fall off after several hundred rounds. There is a major weak link in the single set trigger mechanism that is causing them to fail.

    Of all the rifles mentioned the one and only that I'd look at seriously is the M-70 not a post 64 but either a classic with CRf or new CRF safari rifle in either .375H&H or if DG is on the menu I'd much prefer a .416 rem over either a .375H&h or a .458 WM. Even then make sure it's properly bedded and that you've used it hard for several hundred rounds to find any hidden flaws most rifles have one or two that will rear their ugly heads. You don't want to find out about it during a life or death situation.

    I currently own shoot and hunt DG and other stuff with a .375H&H M-70 Classic, a .458 Lott M-70 Classic, a .404 Jeffery in a M-76 Dakota and a .470 NE in a double rifle. If I had just one rifle to use for everything DG it would be the .404. If I was hunting exclusively in thick jesse bush elephant country like the Zambezi Valley it would be the .470 or preferably a .500 double rifle.

    I also own a .45-70 lever gun. It's fun, it's useful for brush popping hogs and such but it is not a serious DG rifle. Sure you can kill the biggest DG with it just like you can with a .30-06 but it isn't the best tool for the job.

    Good luck on your hunt. Where are you going?
     
  12. luv2safari

    luv2safari Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    If this will be your only time over to Africa, get a good 375. A Winchester 70 Safari Classic is a very good choice.

    If you'll be going back after dangerous game several times get the same rifle in 416Rem or a CZ 550 in 416 Rigby. Have two scopes for your heavy gun...a fixed 2 1/2 or similar and a good quality 1.5-6 variable. Sight the 2 1/2 in for 75 yards and the 1.5-6 for 200 yards with lighter, faster bullets like a 300-350gr for the 416 for PH hunting as a second gun to your 30cal.

    In the 375, a Ruger Safari is a great and economical choice, also. Do the same as with the 416 with whatever 375 you get, if that is the choice.

    Mount the scopes in good quality QR mounts, so you can use open sights for very close in work if necessary and for simply having a spare and one for closer work, with the other for longer shots with lighter bullets.

    Sorry for the poor photo. It is a scan of a smaller photograph. I took this buffalo with a CZ 550 416 Rigby and swear by the 416. I've also used a drilling in 9,3X74R and an FN action Sako in 375 Wby. If elephant and hippo are on the menue, the 416 is a better choice.

    I don't really like the 458 Win much. It isn't flexible like a 375 or 416.
    MASAILANDBUFFALO-LOKISALETANZ001.png
    MASAILANDBUFFALO-LOKISALETANZ200-1.png

    This one fell to a 9,3mm...
    MVC-004L-1.jpg
    MVC-008L-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  13. luv2safari

    luv2safari Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    If I ever manage to back one more time I'll take one gun...this Fortuna drilling in 12/12/9,3X74R with a 22mag insert and a Hertel & Ruess 2.75-10 scope in claw mounts.

    I can kill everything I want with it, from sand grouse to Buffalo.

    058.jpg
    056.jpg
    120-1.jpg
    169.gif
    277.jpg
     
  14. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    Ruger M77 in 9.3x62 topped with a good quality 1.5-6x42 scope. No "Big 5" for me, no money or desire. The classic 9.3x62 would do for the game I would go after without beating the snot out of me. I'd also have a great rifle to use when I got back home, not a safe queen that'd get little use.

    I agree 100% on the caliber. I have a Ruger Hawkeye African in 9.3x62, outstanding accuracy and easy on the shoulder. If I were to move up from there, 375 H&H would be my next larger caliber and probably the biggest that I could get used to shooting accurately.

    I found long ago that I can't shoot the 458 Win Mag without flinching.
     
  15. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
    Thank you for your wonderful post. It's great to hear first hand information from someone who has actually been on an African safari. I am going to South Africa for a total of two weeks. It was one of those packages where other people I know are going and I figured "now is the time."

    This is a very interesting thread to me. Take for instance all the votes for the CZ. I suspect many like me are voting from what we have heard without ever shooting of possibly even seeing one in person. Your's and other threads dug deeper and I appreciate it.

    Thanks for the mention of the 416 Remington Magnum -- the first on this thread. From what I understand it's an absolutely outstanding round but it's not as cool or historic to talk about as say the .375 H&H.

    It's also a challenge to balance the canned advice to what really works. A prime example would be sights. I plan for my DG rifle to have a Trijicon red dot. So many react in a knee-jerk manner and state they would never place their lives in the hands of a sight that required batteries or one that could not take an African safari. Yet some of these sights require no batteries and they survive something far more difficult than a safari -- they survive combat where others shoot back.

    Anyway, thanks again. It's much appreciated.
     
  16. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
     
  17. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
    I have a question for those who have actually hunted DG. What's the reasoning behind single shot rifles chambered in DG calibers like the Ruger No. 1? Are they actually intended to be used for DG or are they more shooting range conversation pieces?

    Is there is reckless machismo that same have that makes them actually prefer a single shot or are there other reasons? This is a serious question. Thanks.
     
  18. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Messages:
    10,211
    Location:
    Georgia
    I've not hunted DG, but have a pretty good idea why. A "quality" double is probably the most reliable, and fastest for repeat shots. But most doubles of that quality have 5 figure price tags. For most of us a good bolt rifle is the next best logical choice.

    But with practiced hands a single shot is surprisingly fast for followup shots, especially with heavy recoiling rifles. Guys who really know their guns can shoot a bolt rifle just as fast as a lever, but not everyone can master a bolt gun and would do just as well with a single shot. A quality single shot can be had for under $1,000 and is just as dependable as a double costing 10X as much, just a little slower for repeat shots.

    I cannot speak for everyone, but I much prefer a bolt gun and value reliability and durability above all else. A CRF bolt gun is my 1st choice, but given a choice between a quality single shot or a big bore lever in 45-70, would take the single shot.
     
  19. luv2safari

    luv2safari Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Messages:
    61
    In all reality, I like to have a second shot, but remember you're hunting with a PH with a stopper in his hands and probably another hunter with something adequate in his.

    For DG my first choice as the client hunter is a good and proven CRF bolt gun with a low power scope. It's your responsibility to have mastered the gun and the round of choice BEFORE you get on the plane.

    I can reload a drilling rimmed round pretty fast, but not as fast as using a bolt gun or double rifle.

    As to the post about the 9,3X62 in Hawkeye African, some countries will frown on it, but you almost never have a problem using it once in camp and you have shown you can hit where you need to with it. It is ballistically the same as the 9,3X74R...no difference at all.

    The advantage of my using the 9,3X74R is I can bluff game scouts into believing it is a 375 Flanged magnum. :rolleyes:

    In the drilling having two magnum rifled slugs in both shotgun barrels adds a small measure of extra firepower; I'm trying to develop a slug with deep penetration capabilities right now that would enhance the effectiveness of a shotgun at close ranges.
     
  20. brandonc

    brandonc Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Arizona
    http://www.garrettcartridges.com/penetration.html

    This is an interesting article where the penetration of the 45-70 is compared to the .458 magnums. The author finds the 45-70 out penetrates them due to the lower speed causing less explosive deceleration.
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    9,050
    Very few people are killed while hunting wet newspaper. I have however seen with my own two eyes a 500 gr Woodleigh solid launched from a .458 lott at 2250 FPS hit a buffalo bull from behind break the massive hip joint, rake forward through the guts, the diaphragm, the heart and lungs penetrate the massive muscles of the neck and stop under the skin of the neck just below the jaw.

    I've also recovered 500 gr solids from a .470 that gave full length penetration front to rear on a buffalo. I've read of guys recovering 500 gr solids from a .450 Rigby under the skin of the hind quarters after making a frontal brain shot on a cow elephant. That's correct, full length penetration on an elephant after the bullet smashed through the skull length wise, front to rear.

    While I do not belittle the penetrative abilities of a 500 gr bullet at 1500 FPS or less on wet newspaper. They do not tend to show that type of penetration on large game after hitting heavy bone. In any case the .45-70 is not and never will be in the same category as a true heavy rifle when it comes to bone smashing, stopping ability.
     
  22. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    2,323
    Location:
    N. Georgia
    I'd like to take a Weatherby .378.
     
  23. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
    I'm not sure that's the case. While some can shoot singles and doubles very quickly (holding rounds between their left fingers, etc.) that takes a lot more practice and dexterity to master than learning how to cycle a bolt action gun halfway decently. Decently enough in other words to even be facing DG to begin with.
     
  24. Kynoch

    Kynoch member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,481
    Location:
    California Coast
    How does that compare with:

    This can really get confusing after a while. In the end I guess one gathers all the opinions they can from people who have actually hunted DG and form their own opinions based on their own distillation.
     
  25. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2,912
    It's two opinions, based on their individual experience.

    Ultimately, you'll have to decide what your priorities are, make your decision, pay your money, and live with the consequences. Just like with every other hunting rifle purchase. :D

    This is a very interesting thread, has been from the beginning. I doubt I'll ever make it to Africa to hunt (went once, but hunting was not on the agenda), but I guess I'll live those trips vicariously, reading about those who do.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page