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Thread: Looking for a new "Dangerous game Rifle" Which one?

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    Member Silver Tip's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a new "Dangerous game Rifle" Which one?

    I looking to buy a new dangerous game rifle and want to use it in the States (including Alaska) and in Africa. I've considered the Ruger 375, the Ruger 416 in the Hawkeye African model not the Alaskan model or maybe converting a Remington Model 700 (now a 338 WM) into a 416 Taylor. I want to shoot Cape buffalo in Africa...probably the cheapest "dangerous game available. What do you thinks.......I have about $1000.00 to but into the project?

    Silver Tip
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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Find yourself a friendly FFL dealer. The Ruger 416 wholesales at $708.00 plus shipping and handling should put you in around $800-825. You then could work on a scope.

    Good luck.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I would take the 375H&H or the 416 Rigby over the others as the shells can be found easy in Africa. Of the two Rugers it would be the 416Ruger with a good peep sight.Don't forget the 458WM with about the same recoil and a respected preformer in both places

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    You might be able to find a new CZ 375 H&H in your price range. For traveling, I agree with sticking with a more common round like the 375 H&H.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Another vote for the 375 H&H. Ammunition has a way of getting seperated from rifles when you travel. The 375 H&H is the world standard dgr round with ammo available where thick skinned and toothy critters are hunted. It also has enough power to work with proper shot placement.

    As to rifles, I'd consider keeping my eyes peeled for one of the older whitworth mausers. They can be had pretty reasonbly, and they have a reputation for decent accuracy.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Default Reliability is a must.

    As for cartridge selection it is hard to argue with the 375 H&H, but the 458 WM or 458 Lott would be a great choice as well. Either cartridge should be an easy conversion on your action and they will be among the most common chamberings you'll find used or new in a DGR. In addition ammo and components abound.

    You could buy another rifle, which is always a good idea , but finding a quality scope & rifle for under 1000$ is pretty tough. It can be done and you might find a steal, but if you only have a 1000$ a prechambered barrel from Douglas (or similar company) can be had and installed for less than 500$ and that leaves you some spare change to buy a scope, ammo or components. You might come out cheaper by rebarreling your action, but then it may require significant stock work and the action may require some help to make certain it feeds 100% of the time. You just need to make certain that whoever does the work is competent at this kind of conversion. It is not difficult, but it must be done correctly. So long as the cartridge is suitable, reliability is more important than guilt edge accuracy in a DGR.

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    My vote is a used Sako AV 375 H&H.

    I may be a bit partial though, as I just got one recently!

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've had two 458 lotts. They can either be heavy enough to shoot comfortably, or be built light enough to carry in the field. But most folks are going to have a rough time firing the second configuration unless they put a muzzle brake on it. As much as I've enjoyed the big bores, they are typically a poor choice for a primary hunting weapon unless the hunter puts in the time and frequent practice to master it. There is a world of difference in the shootability of a 375 H&H and a 458 lott.

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    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    I've had two 458 lotts. They can either be heavy enough to shoot comfortably, or be built light enough to carry in the field. But most folks are going to have a rough time firing the second configuration unless they put a muzzle brake on it. As much as I've enjoyed the big bores, they are typically a poor choice for a primary hunting weapon unless the hunter puts in the time and frequent practice to master it. There is a world of difference in the shootability of a 375 H&H and a 458 lott.
    The Lott can be a handful, maybe I should say it is a handful, but it doesn't have to be. The recoil is stiffest with 500 grain bullets, but unless you need maximum penetration you can use 465 & 400 grain bullets for most things--even dangerous game. For lesser beasts the 350 grain bullets have much less felt recoil and a flat enough trajectory to be effective in the field. The 375 is more comfortable to shoot, but a reasonable amount of practice time and a lot of dry fire practice will develop the necessary skills to use the Lott. The 375 will absolutely work, but the Lott is better if you can place your shots in the same place. Of course you can build a Lott and use it when you like and fire 458 WM in the Lott chamber when you don't need Lott performance.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I am in the process of building up a 416 Taylor on a Czech Vz-24 action.
    Not because it was the ebst all around cartridge for that type of work, nor because it would be less expensive than a factory rifle.

    Just because I have not had a 416 Taylor before and not many folks have.
    Not that I really need the darn thing anyway....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  11. #11

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    Get a 375H&H Ruger and go hunting.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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    I own a 416 Ruger Alaskan and we are thinking of getting married. She is the one and I knew it the day I picked her up.

  13. #13

    Default Cz .375 h&h...

    I think the CZ in .375 H&H has proven to be a top performer for many years and many hunts. It is a Mauser action, has the claw extractor and proven "controlled round feeding" that so many think is mandatory on a "dangerous game rifle" and holds 5 in the magazine. Beats the heck out of the majority of the rifles that hold 3 big rounds in their magazine. The price on them is reasonable. I like the "controlled round feed" Mod. 70 Winchesters also. Used ones with the wonderful old trigger are way over priced now.

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    To me dangerous game rifles start with a 4. Once you've shot a cape buffalo with a 375, you'll go looking for a rifle. Yeah, I know most buffalo are taken with a 375 but that's because more people shoot a 375. More white tail are killed by cars than any combinatioon of rifles, that doesn't mean anything. I am a big fan of the 416's, made my own, love it, but to be practical on that budget I'd look no further than the Ruger Hawkeye African in 416 Ruger caliber. I would beg to differ with Will, the 416 Remington is the more popular 416 in Africa these days. Rigby ammo is very expensive and stilll hard to come by over there. There won't be any 416 Ruger or Taylor or Murphy ammo there either but ammo can be put in two different bags and you can swap ammo with a travel companion to increase the odds your ammo getting there. I don't consider that a serious problem these days. You can take 11 pounds of those 400 grain loads and you should and leave any excess with your PH for the next trip.

    I believe a good 416 should weigh in at about 81/2 pounds loaded and add a pound or so for a good low power variable scope, topping at 10 pounds max. This makes a rifle that you can carry on long days afield and you will bond with your rifle during these day long outings over buffalo spoor and good company. I do think such a rifle is shootable without discomfort just as much as the 8# 375 H&H. It is a bunch more punch than the 375 bore and a well placed 400 grain 416 will bring a buff down quicker than any 375. I like to hunt with irons and the Ruger has good iron sights, Well capable of making good hits on buff out to 100 yards if need be. It is a mistake to take buffalo out aways, you'll miss that up close and personal experience. You want to be able to smell them and hear their stomachs rumble. Look those bosses over, bosses make the difference between a good buff and a great buff. I'm going to Zim next summer to try out the 416 Murphy on buff and elephant, Man I'm getting excited, I love buffalo hunting.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Hey Murphy I knew the 416 maker started with an R,wait they all do

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    Default Dangerous game rifle

    I second the "4" as the starting caliber. The 375 H&H is sort of the 30-06 of Africa (included in that would have to be the 9.3 Mauser)... good for everything, but not great for some things.

    The 375 H&H is the upper limit for most people recoil wise. Better shots for recoil sensitive types. In the hands of a very good rifleman, it can do anything within reason.

    Taking anything to Africa that has little stocked ammo there, is essentially taking a wildcat. If the ammo doesn't make it....the rifle is useless. 9.3, 375 H&H, 416 Rigby and 458 Win Mag ammo is ubiquitous... although (always) expensive. The Lott can fire 458 Win Mag so it has a leg up.

    The 416 Rigby and the 458 Lott with 450 bullets hang around the 2400 fps mark... the golden velocity for dynamic "shock" (hate that word).

    "Dangerous Game" also has a ego factor. Nothing like shooting the Rigby knowing Harry Selby used one. Carry the 375 H&H puts one in lockstep with John Taylor. The 470 NE was Ruarks double. Lugging around an 8 bore would really send one back to the late 1800's. Oh... and a Paradox... well .. it oozes history.

    Shot the biggest baddest rilfe you can effectively shoot.... but let your body tell you the limits, not your ego.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaBob View Post

    Shot the biggest baddest rilfe you can effectively shoot.... but let your body tell you the limits, not your ego.

    Very well said AlaskaBob, YES!!!! Let you body tell you not your ego!!!!!
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  18. #18
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Remington 700 XCR in 375 H&H....... Should be tough enough for every continent and every weather condition.

    Ron

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    Default All World --ALL Weather

    The Remington XRC and the Kimber in stainless and synthetic are "all world". I took my Win 70 Classic to Africa. Murphy is right... the Win 70 barrel is too heavy. The Remington just feels better and is lighter. Haven't played with the Kimber.

    I switched my Win to an H&S stock and put the XRC into a Bell & Carlson...both with aluminum (aluminium to you Brits) bedding for stability.

    OK.. heresy time... if you are going to pound yourself with a 375 RUM.... move up to the 4's and turn velocity into diameter and Knock Out factor. Or.... put a 350 grain bullet into the 375 H&H.. a Woodleigh .. or a 370 grain Rhino... and let rip.

    I'll take large and heavy over fast in Africa most of the time. Now, big/fast/heavy in one package is different.

    Fun stuff. I'll tip my hat to H&H, Rigby, Westley Richards and Lang....

  20. #20
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    To me dangerous game rifles start with a 4. Once you've shot a cape buffalo with a 375, you'll go looking for a rifle. Yeah, I know most buffalo are taken with a 375 but that's because more people shoot a 375. More white tail are killed by cars than any combinatioon of rifles, that doesn't mean anything. I am a big fan of the 416's, made my own, love it, but to be practical on that budget I'd look no further than the Ruger Hawkeye African in 416 Ruger caliber. I would beg to differ with Will, the 416 Remington is the more popular 416 in Africa these days. Rigby ammo is very expensive and stilll hard to come by over there. There won't be any 416 Ruger or Taylor or Murphy ammo there either but ammo can be put in two different bags and you can swap ammo with a travel companion to increase the odds your ammo getting there. I don't consider that a serious problem these days. You can take 11 pounds of those 400 grain loads and you should and leave any excess with your PH for the next trip.

    I believe a good 416 should weigh in at about 81/2 pounds loaded and add a pound or so for a good low power variable scope, topping at 10 pounds max. This makes a rifle that you can carry on long days afield and you will bond with your rifle during these day long outings over buffalo spoor and good company. I do think such a rifle is shootable without discomfort just as much as the 8# 375 H&H. It is a bunch more punch than the 375 bore and a well placed 400 grain 416 will bring a buff down quicker than any 375. I like to hunt with irons and the Ruger has good iron sights, Well capable of making good hits on buff out to 100 yards if need be. It is a mistake to take buffalo out aways, you'll miss that up close and personal experience. You want to be able to smell them and hear their stomachs rumble. Look those bosses over, bosses make the difference between a good buff and a great buff. I'm going to Zim next summer to try out the 416 Murphy on buff and elephant, Man I'm getting excited, I love buffalo hunting.

    I think discounting the .375 for buffalo is absurd, but I do agree .416+ is better medicine if you can handle it. Saeed al Maktoum who has probably shot more buffalo than any living person (clients not PHs, however he's probably shot more than most PHs) now exclusively uses a .375 calibre rifle after shooting buffalo with a multitude of calibres. Saeed has a passion for buffalo and has shot well over 100. Craig Boddington who must also rank highly on the list of most buffalo wacked among those living is also a proponent of the .375s for clients on buffalo. As far as clients go if there are more qualified opinnions on this subject I don't know of them. The other issue is that you rarely JUST go for buffalo, so having a scoped (low power variable) rifle that is versitile enough to shoot buffalo at close range and plains game at long range is important. I hunted the Selous 3 years ago for buffalo and the grass was horrendous (10-12' in some places). I still managed to have a 300 yard shot on an impala even in that grass!! You can always import two rifles, but it simplifies things considerably and cheapens things some by taking one rifle. .416 are infinitely more versitile than the .458s, but not as much as the .375s. I'm not saying a .416+ is a mistake because it isn't, but just know what you're getting into if you buy one.

    The other issue is personal "quarks". This is what makes some people take handguns, bows, .45-70s, open sights, double rifles, .577NE's, .500 Jefferys, ect to hunt buffalo. Clearly other rifle/cartrige combos are more affective/practicle for successful buffalo hunting, but for those people it's not just about hunting the buffalo, but about doing it in "their style". If you have a "quark" go for it, but just know it may handy cap you and keep you from going home successful.

    As far as the rifles are concerned I'd tend to shy away from the .375 or .416 Rugers unless I was a handloader. I'm not sold on the Hornady softs, so having bullet sellection is tantamount to me. That said I am a handloader and just bought a .375 Ruger in the African model. I love the rifle, but it will need some work if you get one. Mine currently resides with Stan Jackson for a trigger job and Pachmyr recoil pad. The trigger is so/so and the recoil pad quite frankly SUCKS!!! However the gun fits me like it was a bespoke rifle!!! The open sights are also the best/fastest I have ever seen. I can close my eyes, mount the rifle, open them, and I'm right on the money!!!! The front white bead is really fast!!!! It has control round feed and a 3 position safety. The weight is also apropriate for calibre in my oppinion. I agree with Murphy 100% on his weight recommendations. My rifle will weigh 8lbs 14oz scoped and unloaded. Hands down CZ and Ruger make the best factory dangerous game rifles in your price range. I would look at the .375 H&H every closely if you want a .375. Airport screw ups are eminent if you travel enough, so having a universally popular/in stock cartrige like the .375 H&H could make the difference between you resighting your rifle and still using it or having to use an unfamiliar camp rifle or losing expensive hunting days. For a .416 the Rigby is probably the most likely to be found in Africa if ammo doesn't show. For the .458s a .458 win or lott. Those aren't necessarily my calibre recomendations, but just something to consider.

    My 2 cents.

    Brett

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