Nyati, I'm going to pick up a heavy bolt gun(as well as the double). I'm more than pleased with my CZ in .375 H&H so I'll continue to do business with that company... this time in .458 Lott or .505 Gibbs . Haha, I have no intrest in being rich or famous... I lean far towards quited and happy. But thank you none the less. I sure do like the Heym guns, I like the classic lines. Merkel has more or less the same look. What guns are you hunting with and prefer for all game ?
Buy a Heym, it is the best DR from Germany.
Dr. FM, I would surely do that if I could find them for Merkel prices but they just don't come along often enough to put much hope in finding one at the right time.
May be worth having a look at Baily Bradshaws falling block doubles. I know it's not a traditional double, but since you will have to become proficient shooting one from scratch it probably does not matter. Also at $8500 new makes them well priced.
I was looking at them earlier today and I very much like the look of them. Seems like they'd be a bit slow as a two handed operation. You very well maybe right and if anyone on here has any or of opinion or experience I would love to hear it. They certilaly have the look of quality and the price is just about right. Thank you
Redriverjake, Apparently reloading is actualy quicker then with a normal double as it can be done without taking the gun from your shoulder. I guess it would take practice, but so will reloading a normal double quickly.
One of my PHs was so impressed with my Merkel 470 that he purchased it from me. A good price helped the decision.
A double makes a fantastic Elephant and Buffalo rifle along with great performance with " follow ups" but you will find the majority of BG Pro hunters prefer a light weight hard hitting bolt rifle that can take a beating.
Doubles are a lot like Swiss Watches, quality precision tools yet generally not up to the abuse rifles in that trade often are unintentionally put through.
Classicsafari, thats exactly why I plan on getting a heavy bolt and a double gun... one is back up for the other. I've seen Jeff Rann and his clients take doubles into the Okavango and I guess under some situations I might too but I'd prefer the option. The fact that CZ is making good rifles at a damn good price makes it possible to have the best of both worlds. It's all a matter of money and I personaly cant think of anything I would prefer to spend my "extra" money on than good rifles and other equipment. Just have to play it smart... would be an awful shame to be sitting over here with a big double when I could have used that money to back me while I apprentice. If it comes down to that I will wait on the double. Thanks for the strong words for the Merkel.
For all around use, my old Sako L61R in .338 WM, with Mc Millan stock, for more serious use, a Heym African Express Light in .375 HH
Originally Posted by redriverjake
Never owned a .338 of any sort but I've heard only the best things. I've thought of getting one for the lady.
Please allow me to clairify... It would be her heavy rifle. Or at least that would be my angle when the time comes. ;D
You will need all the spare dollars you can save if doing an apprenticeship. Plenty of costs such as Medical and Vehicle costs. Note; Loans are almost impossible to get in Africa.
Originally Posted by redriverjake
Redriverjake, I encourage you to follow your dreams and genuinely hope they pan out they way you have envisaged them to.
With regards to rifles, let me tell you the industry has a way of scewing your perspective on what a makes a "good" rifle.
Don't get me wrong.. I love double rifles, and would near trade my left (non-shooting) arm for one, but you get to the point were your focuses shift.
Carying a 10 lb double for a week is a LOT different than carrying a 10lb double for 8 months !
Doubles are very nostaligic and romantic and I would never doubt their practicle application, but if you end up guiding enough clients you will also eventually end up in a scenario where a magazine full from bolt gun will be VERY MUCH appreciated.
After your first season the novelty of a double will have worn thin, but the 10lbs will still be there.
I'm defenitely not here to stir the bolt verses double debate.
Merely suggesting that if you do make it through to the P.h ranks your first focus will be getting to know your country and the animals you will be hunting, achieving a high standard of results for your clients, working/establishing a relationship with your trackers, maintaining your hunting vehicle, tending to the proper treatment of your client's trophies, working in with the camp manager, coming up with a daily hunting plan etc etc etc etc.
The level of enjoyment, nostalgia and romance you gain from your personal back-up rifle will, in the grand scheme of things, be irrelevant.
You will be expected to perform with that firearm in the most stressfull and demanding situations you could possibly imagine, wether it's a double or bolt.
If you do seriously intend on going down the P.h track it is time to re-evaluate your perspective from want to need.
Your personal back-up weapon will become your new best freind.
If you believe you will perform best with a double as a best freind then go for it.
If you have grown up with bolts and are adept and comfortable in using them you need to consider this.
Guiding clients on expensive hunts (aren't they all) is not the place to becoming familiar with a new style of weapon (certainly not for the P.H, anyway).
Worry less about the style/configuration and concetrate more on being able to pull down a departing, wounded animals in thick scrub and on the move.
Your clients will be much more greatfull if you can save the occasional wounded animal from getting away, or trampling their asses, than they will be admiring your shiny twin bores.
I can't tell you how many clients I've had in my various camps cast a very disrespectful and derogitary glance towards my beaten old bolt gun UNTIL they've seen it bark in the field !
Paul, if it survived in your demanding profession to become old and beat-up it probably is one hell of a rifle! What do you carry?
Originally Posted by PaulT
In my current line of work I carry on a daily basis- Kit 35 # + Rifle 7.5 # + extra Ammo aprox 5 # + Head Gear and NVG's 3.5 # + extra water 3 # + Full Long pants, shirt & Boots 6 # = about 60 lbs of gear and that's on the lightest of days in some of the worst conditions and terrain on the planet. I'm not saying you have a very valid point but it's not something I'm overly concerned with. Please let me say again, the double is not something I need.
Originally Posted by PaulT
The familiarity and performance are in my opinion are to be the most important aspects. I see that you run hunts there in Australia, I've also thought seriously of coming there to work. What would the possibility of that and what steps would have to be taken? Thank you for sharing your experience and valued advice.
Timbear, I have been carrying a much modified CZ 550 in 458 Lott.
I personally removed a lot of wood from the original stock to re-shapen, slim down and reduce weight.
I changed the original front sight pin which was very difficult to see in some cirumstances and also had a completely new trigger assembly installed.
The Stock was cut to my length of pull, a Pachmyer kick pad installed and re-checkered by Ross Waghorn.
It is now one hell of a gun that I can shoot instinctively.
My two main issues is that it still catches some rounds on the way in to the magazine when rapid loaded (totally unacceptable for me) AND it still weighs in excess of 9 1/2 lbs.
This gun is shortly due to be replaced with two that I have had built in the U.S, both weighing 8 1/2 lbs.
One is a 458 Lott, the other a 500 M.D.M Ultra.
Redriverjake, p.m inbound.
I just know a lot of PHs in Africa--who carry doubles--choose to carry a Searcy.
Thanks for your service to our country.
I would recommend buying a used rifle. My .470 is a Krieghoff, bought used, and I'm well pleased with it. It had less than 20 rounds through it and was in "like new" condition. It's been on multiple safaris with me and in 2010, dropped a charging elephant at 13 paces and accounted for a record book Dagga Boy at 16 paces. This year, I followed up a wounded lion with it.
I personally like the cock/decock lever a lot, but some people don't.
A good, used Krieghoff can be had at the SCI convention for $7-$9K, depending on condition and extras. Probably closer to $7K in this economy. Mine has had more than 300 rounds through it (lots of practice) and I have absolutely no complaints. Superior loads a reduced velocity lead bullet load that shoots to the same point of aim as full charge and is a big help when "learning" the rifle.
At 7k sure sounds good... I'll be at the DSC convention at the first of the year. I'd be awful tempted to pull the trigger on 7k.
I think .416 Rigby gave you some excellent advice. The used gun market for doubles is a excellent way to afford a double gun. Good Luck!