Change in Primary Caliber, New Winchester Model 70 .416 First Thoughts
Over the past month while reading this forum, and reading several good books, I finally convinced myself that I needed a .416 over my current .375. My main reason behind this is the overwhelming agreement (on both this forum and several books I've read) that the 416 is a bit better for buffalo, which is pretty much the top dream species on my list. I'll be bringing this rifle to South Africa with me next year, with the intent of taking a nice eland with it. I'm sure I'll return as soon as I can to go after a huge buff of my dreams!
Long story short, I sold my .375 to a good buddy, who paid just about what I did for it, and bought a new model 70 in .416 remington mag for the same price. Got it to the range for the first time this morning, and was very impressed with the guns performance, both in accuracy and it's ability to handle recoil. While the .416 came back at me noticeably more than the 375, I think the model 70's stock does a great job in handling the recoil.
After shooting off the bench at 100 yds to get the scope sighted in (Leupold 2-7x), I went straight to the sticks, and turned in the following groups with the remaining 8 shells. The load I was using were Speer 350 grain soft points loaded to about 2600 fps.
These new Model 70 safari rifles are a great buy, and I think they are the best safari rifle option for the price. Here's a pic of the new one with scope mounted. I used the leupold quick detach bases so I could switch to iron sights if need be. I've already got another 20 shells loaded up for next weekend.
I'm still looking for my secondary rifle for the smaller species on my list, but I think it's a sure thing that it will be new production model 70. I love the raised cheek piece on the stock, so I'm leaning towards a sporter over the featheweight, but time will tell!