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Your calibre preferences for Africa

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Readyrod, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    Ok, this is a bit off topic, but you jerks really have me wanting a .375H&H.

    What would you recommend? A drop block like the Ruger or some bolt gun? Cost would rule out a double gun (unless I win the lottery tonight).
     
  2. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Husker Fan,

    if you want a general purpose .375H&H I'd highly recommend a Winchester in either the Alaskan or the Safari with preference to the Alaskan. Because it's a lighter more lively feeling rifle than the somewhat blocky safari version. With the following recommendation get the thing bedded before you ever shoot it. Winchester factory bedding is worthless. But after it's bedded it is ready for action. You can find a M-70 Alaskan in .375H&H on Gunbroker it's the Only place I've been able to find one. Some distributor has bought them all up and is selling them on Gunbroker.

    Good luck and you are welcome from the "jerks".;)
     
  3. hq

    hq Member

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    When selecting mine, I considered a number of different bolt rifles, from Winchester to Ruger, CZ to Remington and so on. I really wanted a Sako with battue-style full stock, but they weren't available at the time and when I couldn't find a nice, used Sako AIII, I ended up buying a Weatherby Mark V.

    VERY strong action (great for my handload experiments), 60deg bolt angle for fast reloading even with a low-mounted scope and a factory accuracy guarantee, which the rifle exceeded in practice by a good margin. I also like the angled comb in high recoil applications. Bedding the action wasn't really necessary, even though nowadays mine sits in an all-out aluminum frame custom walnut stock.

    Remember to take all recommendations from us "jerks" with a grain of salt and buy something you really like and want. The caliber is pretty much universal for all game and when your favorite rifle is chambered in it, you can take it to any hunt you want. Don't forget the scope; I blew my budget on the custom stock and while it now has a semi-decent Redfield borrowed from another rifle, I really want to install a 56mm Zeiss on it, complete with an illuminated BDC reticle. Dawn and dusk hunts with a large, quality scope are sheer bliss.
     
  4. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    H&Hhunter,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I, of course, don't think the people here who give me wonderful ideas on how to spend money are "jerks." My wife may differ though. :)

    I'm off to do a search over lunch to see your other threads and maybe find a picture of a trophy room.
     
  5. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I booked an ill-fated plains game hunt about six years ago. Biggest game to be hunted was kudu. The plan was to take a late model Winchester 1895 .405WCF after having it fitted with a receiver sight, swivel studs, glass bedding and a trigger job. Hornady soft points proved to be too tender for tough game and the switch to Woodleigh WeldCore soft points was made. Loaded with 400gr bullets, it is the full equivalent to original .450/.400 loads. There was some miscommunication between myself and the PH and I ended up cancelling and getting screwed out of my deposit.

    That said, I have since picked up and moved to some acreage in Tennessee, which has soaked up most of my disposable income until the last year or so. The new plan is to again book a trip to Africa for a plains game hunt sometime in the next few years, for maybe two weeks or more. The same .405 will go along and probably the 98 sporter 8x57 I just found. I'll take my Clements Custom Bisley .44Mag along if the laws are still accommodating. They were then, not sure now.

    I've talked to guys that have been out west hunting elk several times without getting a bull. I just couldn't see spending ten thousand on an elk hunt, with zero guarantee that I'll even see any elk when I can have a hell of a time in Africa for the same cost.
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    I love my M70 Safari Express, no matter how blocky it may be. But H&H is spot on, have the thing bedded by a good smith. Ask me how I know.
     
  7. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Looks like the 375H&H wins. I know it's been asked before but since we are on the subject how is the recoil, and how do you deal with it or handle it?
     
  8. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Recoil on a .375H&H is not heavy. I've yet to meet anyone who can't learn to shoot a .375H&H very well even small women and teenagers.
     
  9. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Recoil on my 375 is much better than shooting my 590 with heavy slugs. Standing or sitting is fine, off a bench it gets a little old but is still doable.
     
  10. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    Here's how to handle medium and big-bores without developing a flinch:

    1 - On your first trip to the range, shoot your rifle at moderate distances and STANDING UP. Keep your body absolutely relaxed as you shoot. This will allow you to rock back gently with the recoil, which will feel like a gentle shove rather than a punch. You feel the recoil only when you try to resist it.

    2 - On subsequent trips to the range, once you no longer tense up under recoil, use the bench, but SIT STRAIGHT. Do not assume the typical forward-leaning position, and let your body rock back from the waist up (see previous point). Do not crawl the stock. The .375 does come back quite a bit under recoil, and the scope will hit your brow if you're not careful. Ask me how I know.

    3 - If you start flinching, go back to step 1, and force yourself to keep both eyes open and follow the scope-picture under recoil. Play it as a game--see how many times you can do it every 10 shots, and try to beat your own record.

    4 - Once this becomes a habit, you'll think no more about recoil. Besides, the .375 comes back slow and deep rather than giving you a vicious jab like a 7mm or 300 WBY.

    I hope this helps
     
  11. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Thanks for the recoil advice. Much appreciated.
     
  12. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    We, me and my three son's, have hunted the plains game of Africa, from porcupine to eland, with the 9.3x62 (250 gr Barnes X), 358 Win (200 gr Barnes TTSX), 7x57 (160 gr Accubond) and 8x57 (180 gr Ballistic Tip). All worked fine. I am in the throes of finishing a buffalo rifle and it is based upon a NH 416 Rem M70 Safari with Wisner sights, PT&G bottom metal and a soon to arrive McM stock.
     
  13. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I would beg to differ on the 375 H&H recoil not being heavy. You have to remember there are those who think the recoil on a 22-250 is pretty bad. Just the fact that one of the above posters warned about scope bites shows how heavy it can be.

    While the recoil is heavier than a 30/06 or 300 Win. Mag., I would agree that most can learn to shoot a 375 H&H Magnum well since it isn't as bad as some others. My technique:

    1. Started out with a 7X57 Mauser; yes, I thought the recoil was bad and the muzzle blast even worse.

    2. Got a 308 Winchester; that recoil was pretty bad.

    3. Got an Encore in 375 H&H Magnum. At first I shot it off the bench with a Lead Sled weighted down with 100 lbs. of shot. I almost thought it was too much but persisted and was impressed at what a hammer it was. Yea, I was bleeding after I shot my Warthog with it.

    4. I quit using the Lead Sled and sold it. I then got a 458 Lott with no brake. After shooting that for awhile off the bench, the 375 H&H Magnum didn't seem too bad. In fact, a 378 Weatherby (with no brake) doesn't seem too bad now.

    I have 2 375 H&H Magnums now; one a rifle & one a handgun. It's all what you get used to I guess.
     
  14. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The worst scope bite I've ever had was with an unloaded .308. Long story, but scope bites have a lot more to do with technique eye relief and rifle fit than actual recoil. Anybody who "thinks" a .22-250 has bad recoil is over thinking.

    Recoil is in most cases is about 95% mental and 5% real and a .375H&H is a medium bore with medium recoil that anybody who wants can learn to shoot very accurately and very well.

    I agree though that it's what you are willing to get used to. Don't psych yourself out like I see so many shooters do, have a positive attitude and learn how to hold onto a rifle and you'll find success with just about anything you want to shoot.
     
  15. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    H&H Hunter is absolutely right.

    I had scope bite because I was using poor technique on the particular shots that gave it to me. It could have happened with any other rifle. I remember once when I sat all day in a deer stand, got fidgety as a result, and when the deer finally appeared (after sundown, when there was barely light to see), I got so excited that I welded my eye to the 'scope. And the .375 H&H reminded me that I shouldn't have (although the deer was worth the bleeding!).

    Having said that, there's no denying that a .375 H&H *does* come back quite a bit. But it does so slowly.

    H&H Hunter is also right in advising you not to psyche yourself out. If you use the recoil tips I gave you, I assure you that you will not only not suffer from the recoil, but you'll come to enjoy the sensation of a big gun feeling "alive" when you shoot it. I'm not a big guy at all, and I guarantee you that the .375 H&H is something you can put tens and tens of round through without getting sore.
     
  16. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Sounds good. Thanks.
    Thanks H&H too.
     
  17. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    I thought I'd poke my head into this thread. This summer, I'm going to Africa for my first plains game. My only hunting rifle is a Tikka T3 Lite in 7mm Rem Mag. I'm happy with the rifle and my ability to shoot it well for most all of the game they have, but I'm a little concerned about Eland. If Eland is the only large game I'll be taking, would sticking with the 7mm RM be okay if I use the right bullet and stick to <150 yard shot? I've got 10 days to hunt a 22 square mile ranch, so I don't think I will be rushed into making a sub-optimal shot.

    Otherwise, I'll probably purchase a second gun for Eland/Moose/Bear (in something medium-bore like 338 Win Mag).

    On the other hand, I could skip the second gun and just add a true dangerous game rifle in 375 H&H or 416 Rigby, but having never fired serious cartridge like that, I'm a bit concerned about recoil. I don't have as much mass to soak up the foot-pounds as most of the other African hunters I've seen. I'll head up to my friend's land in Vermont and try his. That'll pretty quickly determine whether or not I want a gun like that.

    apologies if this is considered a threadjack.
     
  18. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    atek,

    A 375H&H is NOT a "serious" cartridge from a recoil standpoint. If you can shoot a .338 you can shoot a .375.A .416 Rigby is upping the ante a bit though.

    A 7 MM will kill an eland but is really really minimum on a critter that big.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  19. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I met a hunter whilst in South Africa who was on his way to hunt elephant. He was probably 5' 6" and maybe 125 lbs. soaking wet. He was going to use an 8 bore.

    As for Eland and a 7mm Remington Magnum, if you use a sturdy bullet in the 160 grain range and place your shot well you should be OK. You'd be better off with something bigger though. I don't think you'd get much more recoil with a 375 H&H Magnum than you would with a 338 Winchester Magnum so if I were you, I'd just go with the 375 H&H Magnum.
     
  20. atek3

    atek3 Member

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    I don't have a momentum chart with me but my guess is that it basically goes 7mm>338>375>416 with roughly a step function increase in recoil from one to the next.

    Again, hopefully I'll get to test out my friend's Sako in 375 H&H sooner than later
     
  21. atek3

    atek3 Member

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  22. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Agreed.

    Folks the .338 and the .375 both put out about 4,000 ft/lbs they fire similar weight bullets at similar velocity. therefore in equal weights their recoil will also be very similar.
     
  23. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    IMHO, if you can handle any of the smallbore magnums, you shouldn't have a problem with the .375.
     
  24. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    And of course it's an absolute fallacy that a small man feels less recoil than a big one. In fact quite the opposite. I big man soaks up more recoil than a slightly built man. Recoil tolerance is a personal matter and psychological one more than anything.

    Connie Brooks of Barnes bullet fame is .500 NE shooter. If she weighs 130 lbs I'd be shocked.
     
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