A Question for the Big Five PH's

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Jacques.strauss, May 22, 2012.

  1. Jacques.strauss

    Jacques.strauss AH Veteran

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    I have heard a lot of things about diffrent choices some PH's have of their "back-up" rifles... What do you consider the best Big Five Backup Rifle a PH could have in your opinion?

    Can't wait to see some of your choices:)
     
  2. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Whatever he shoots best .375 and above.
     
  3. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Morning Jaco,
    I personally think when all things are considered, I would go with a .458 Lott in a Winchester action.
    The ease of ammo availability means more practice and the ability to download practice rounds a bit make it an ideal caliber.
    The 'double' men out there will argue for the double, but having 4 rounds available immediately without having to take my hands away from the gun is a big plus for me. It takes an exceptional double user to keep up the rate of fire over 4 rounds to compete with an average bolt user.
    Reach and accuracy should also be considered. bearing in mind, the back up gun is not just used in charges but in those going away anchoring or raking shots.
    For example, a wounded Bull Giraffe will keep you at a good distance and you can't do much with a double regulated at 60 yds.
    I have brain shot a wounded Hippo at 189m with a scoped 458 win mag!
    My other choices would be: 416 Rem or a .450 A for the same reasons!
    Have a blessed day!
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    i agree with ole bally ,also with the .458 lott you can use .458win mag in an emergency. if as a ph you are however working in mainly thick bush after elephant and buff, or following a wounded lion i think a double is possibly better as you get 2 fast aimed shots , and thats probably the only ones you will have a chance to fire when in such close proximity to the animal. the bolt action is more all round usable whereas the double is more specialized . and i do love doubles! i am not a ph but have been on quite a few hunts of my own and probably more with people i have booked hunts for. most of these hunts were for at least one of the big five and a lot of the times for two or three. there were a few follow ups and on one occasion as ole bally said it was nice to have the 4 shots from the .458lott, as there was a lot of jumping around and i think trying to reload a double wouldnt have been that quick. friends who are phs use bolt actions, doubles, some have both, i think you go with the action and calibre you are comfortable and happy with.
     
  5. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Ole Bally have to agree and I am sure Jaques will as well.... :) you as well as Spike T are spot on in my mind, and my experience.

    Jacques Go for it!
     
  6. Jacques.strauss

    Jacques.strauss AH Veteran

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    Thank you very much for you opinions... I agree with you 100%.:)

    Mr. Jaco, what is your call on this question?

    Regards
    Jacques
     
  7. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    My humble opinion would be to say that it depends on which of the Big Five you are back-up on. For three of them the .375 is enough gun. For the two big guys I would be comfortable with the .404 Jeffery. With the spotty cat there would also always be a 12g pump gun around. My :2c: only.
     
  8. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    There is no easy answer to this question.
    There are to many variables to say that this or that gun in this or that configuration is the best.

    For DG in thick stuff that charges a Double in the biggest caliber -that you can shoot well- will be great. What does not make it such a good choice is the cost and how much the PH practice with it, again cost.

    For DG that is running away - a bolt gun with 375H&H as the minimum. very few big guns have the penetration of a 375 solid and that is what you need when doing a Texas heart shot.

    The problem with a PH is that he can not determine if the animal is going to come or go or if it is going from relatively open bush-veld to thick bush.

    Every area has a "best" rifle for the job. The secret is to have something that can do the job in most areas in most scenarios.

    More important to what the best rifle for the job is, is how well does the PH handle the one he has in his hands when the time comes.

    Doubles are beautiful and I have one that I use on a regular basis but my working rifle is a worn 416Rem bolt gun that was modified slightly to hold 6 rounds with a ghost ring sight. This rifle is accurate up to 200y if I do my part.

    The only reason why I had it built was because I have a double and I already have a 375 and a 416Rigby and a 458 Lott. I was given a magnum action and I had it built. I sold the Rigby and the 458 because I just felt comfortable with the 416Rem. Not because it was a better cartridge or this or that.

    I just shoot it extremely well.
     
  9. shangwari

    shangwari

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    I would allso say anything that shoots a 400 grain bullet and upwards.My personal choice for cats,plainsgame and buff(even elle) is my 416 Rigby.If going after elle with clients i use my 458 lott. Doing as much elle per season as i do,i am looking at coverting my 458 lott to 450 Rigby to only shoot a 600 grain dzombo solids.maybe not the best choice but thats what i am looking at.i am allso getting a 375 and double within the next 2 months but every situation requires a different weapon that can work in that circumstances.Sometimes a double is the one and sometimes the bolt action is superior.My opinion is as long as the driver can shoot his rifle in a dangerous situation to point of impact,use inough gun ,use the best ammo and correct ammo for the game you are after.then trust the fire arms you are using as confidence in their ability to do the job right will pul you out off any dangerous situation. just my thoughts!happy hunting.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I know of two who would vote for the 458 Lott and one for the 375 HH.
    There is not near enough space to explain all the rationale I heard in this space. :)
     
  11. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    My own is and has been (for many years) a .500 Jeffery built to my own specs and measurements by Sabi Rifles in Nelspruit RSA.

    Specs are 19 inch barrel, red fibre optic foresight, shallow vee rearsight, extended mag to hold 3 + 1, left hand Weatherby action and mercury tube recoil arrestor.
     
  12. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Shakari, I'll go for that as well commonly accepted as the best stopper around the 500 Jeffrey just can not be neglected, the thing with the 416's are that they lack the knock down (stopping) power of the other 500grainers as well as the frontal bullet diamiter directly related to "STOPPING" or rather knock down ability there is no doubt that they are penetrating monsters don't get me wrong but I would prefer something launching a 500 gr + when looking for a Stopper as such.

    Just my 2c

    My two working Stoppers are 460 WBY (bolt) (which I load to pretty much to immitate a 500 Jeff)
    And 500 NE Double. I find ammo availibility hard for both.

    My best always,
     
  13. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Shangwari, You're 100% correct!But sometimes carrying an arsenal can also have it's drawbacks! The old adage of 'beware of the man that only carries one gun' rings true!
    I was once involved in what became a hilarious charade. I have always been accustomed to carrying my 458. One day, I needed to carry some kit to a Leopard blind about a km away from the car and told the client to bring his 375 with him and off we went. When we got near the blind area, there were some Ele there so I gave the client the box and took the rifle and slung it over my shoulder, took the box back and we carried on. When I got to some meters from the bait, a 'Rattel' came hurtling around the boulder straight at me! Do I need to remind you of the myth of what they go for?! In the next instant I found my self dancing around like a demented Zulu trying to get my feet out of the way as this critter charged in underneath the box where I couldn't see it. I didn't want to drop the box as it contained some electronic kit. In those split seconds a lot went though my mind...was it rabid, was it gonna eat my nuts, I still have a whole season ahead of me and can't afford the injury etc etc!!! The client and my tracker are now rolling around on the ground howling with laughter...at a safe distance of course! Well I dropped the box and then realised I had good boots on so I kicked the critter about 5m! It thought nothing of charging straight back in! I took the rifle and chambered a round...or so I thought...and as it came in close puled the trigger...click! By then it was back in at my feet...another kick....slam the bolt back almost enough to bend the bolt handle...chamber the round and fire!
    Now if that had been a Lion, leopard, buff or ele charge and I'd short stroked the action...I'd have been toast!
    Be VERY VERY familiar with your DG rifle and stick with it!
    just saying! :)
     
  14. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    Bullet choice is also something to consider here.

    My own personal choice is GS Custom monolithic solids for most situations and Woodleigh SP (as opposed to PSP) for cats and I reckon those are about as good as it gets.

    FWIW, I also don't consider anything below .416 to be a real chearge stopper and should say I'm also esp keen on the .404 Jeffery which is actually .423 is calibre and therefore above my .416 minimum.
     
  15. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    Thanx for a great laugh. I know them well. Here where I live there are many of them and I for one know exactly what you went through. Always better to laugh at another person. It is no joke if you are the one being laughed at. ;)
     
  16. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Yeah they're a menace on Leopard hunts! The racket they make when feeding takes a discerning ear to differentiate between them and Leopard! They do provide excellent entertainment at the bait though!
     
  17. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ole bally that story had me laughing, from the mental picture you portrayed i can understand why your client and tracker were rolling around howling. made a good start to the morning. :D
     
  18. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..Steve, we must sit by the fire once before they put me in the ground under the big tree..! :beer:
     
  19. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    Love to my friend but I'm out of Africa (and missing it!) now and trying to retire..... looks like I might have a couple of months of safari this year but hopefully I'll be retired from the field after that.
     
  20. Ivan Carter

    Ivan Carter AH Senior Member

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    based on the fact that the phs job is as a "stopper" the rifle should be such .. something that can stop a charge and something that can stop a wounded animal from dissapearing ..i have carried a double for many years , i am well familiar with it and a well made double rifle will be accurate to as far out as the shooter can shoot with iron sights ..based on the fact that most PHs DG rifles , even bolt guns are not scoped you are in the same boat double or bolt when it comes to distance .

    i agree that with a bolt you can get 4 rounds off faster but there are a lot of moving parts to getting each round after the first one into the chamber and ready to go ...hilarious story by ole bally ..turned out well , but a short stroke as he said in the face of a DG animal ...problem !

    close quarters with elephant , or any big game in thick bush where you wont have much time , i would certainly prefer a double...you probably wouldnt have time for more than two shots anyhow ...

    in bolt , the lott and 416 are great choices ...

    thanks
     

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