A Safari without your own rifles?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by CK1, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    I had a situation come up where I'll be in Europe on business and decided I could run on down to RSA and hunt plains game for 7-10 days (It's only a 10 hour flight! :)). My problem is I'm going to travel from DFW-CDG (Paris) and work for a few days, then travel to JNB to hunt then returning to DFW.

    I'm sure the French will have issues with me taking two rifles in country and not hunting for 4-5 days and then heading to JNB. Obviously I can use the outfitters rifle(s) in .308/.375.

    I would love to hunt with my own rifles so I'm curious if any of you have run across this situation before and can possibly offer any suggestions.

    Thanks.

    CK
  2. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    CK - i've hunted Africa with my own and with borrowed rifles.

    Travelling without firearms is fantastic - much too easy. Hunting with someone else's rifle is not really a big deal. If you're hunting plains game in RSA you are very likely to have a bit of time to get your shot off. Insist on firing the rifle at a target before hunting and check the ammo you are to be using is consistent - so you're looking for a new box of factory ammo or someone who is very diligent about their handloading. If you have mixed rounds in a plastic shopping bag - make some noise!

    Travelling with your own firearms can be difficult and awkward. Outside of Africa I think a man flying with rifles is a huge negative amongst most airport staff. But when you get to Africa and you get that opportunity for a split second to get that one measured shot off - well you can't beat doing that with your own rifle.

    I won't take risky shots with any rifle, but I'm more likely to successfully make a "difficult shot" with my own rifle.

    If you're hunting impala, blesbok, wildebeest, sprinkbok, gemsbok and similar - borrow a rifle. If you're likely to have to shoot quickly at bushbuck, reedbuck, bushpig, warthog and similar species, then you will definitely have an advantage with your own rifle.
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    It is getting increasingly difficult to travel with firearms and if you are on a two or three country trip it can wear you down with the paperwork and trying to make sure you have everything in order for several different airline companies. Increasingly we are also seeing advance permits required from your own country so that you can export and re-import your own firearms and scopes. Then there are the permits you need just to travel through a country, where your firearms are in transit and are simply being switched from one plane to another, such as required by the United States and the UK, etc.

    All in all it can be a royal pain in the rear and I have to admit I am finding myself questioning whether all of the paperwork nightmare is worth it. The problems are compounded when you want to do some touristy things either before or after and need to 'store' rifles somewhere. Easy in some countries, not in others.

    I suspect in the near future that if I am not hunting dangerous game or an animal with a huge price tag and that will likely require a difficult shot..................I will be renting a rifle at the other end, providing they have something decent. Most of the operators I have dealt with not only have good rifles, they have makes and models that I am familiar with and have used in the past at home.
  4. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Looks like the French allow hunting rifles to come in and go to my hotel for a few days. So I'll apparently have that option.

    CK
  5. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I would always prefer to hunt with my own rifles..even if its a bit of a problem..If one has a problem, keep your cool, be polite and act dumber n hell (I have a talent for that, in that I don't have to act) and you come out of it smelling like a rose..
  6. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    i am leaving in 2 weeks.most airlines now make you pay for second bags, AND for firearms. the cost of getting my firearm to namibia from northern canada is $300. the paperwork involved is a pain in the butt. i will be travelling for 2 weeks besides my hunt and then spending time in amsterdam after my hunt. this was the deciding factor in not taking my own rifle. the last hunt in r.s.a., my p.h. supplied me with the exact same rifle that i shoot back home. he also reloaded his own ammo. as i am hunting plains game, this is a no brainer, leave your rifle at home and relax. just my 2 cents.
  7. stew31r

    stew31r New Member

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    I ended up having to use a rifle provided by my outfitter and it worked out perfectly, so I would not have a problem with using one again as long as it was a caliber that I'm comfortable shooting and an action type I'm comfortable operating.
  8. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    As much as I prefer using my own rifles...and I do by a mile....if I was taking advantage of a business trip and extending it with some hunting rather than traveling specifically to hunt, I would probably rent a rifle rather than cart my heavy duty aluminum rifle case around for days.

    Most PH's have a decent plains game rifle. If the PH I was hunting had that option I would probably take him up on it when combining business/hunt just because carry business cloths, hunting gear and a rifle case around is a PITA not including all the rifle permit paperwork/hassle.

    But I would miss my rifles none the less.
  9. TERMINATOR

    TERMINATOR AH Enthusiast

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    It might even make it kind of interesting if the PH had a rifle in a caliber I had not used before...

    Like I said, I would prefer to use my rifles but if a business trip gave me an excuse to get some hunting in I think it would be a major hassle to deal with my rifle for the business portion of the trip and unless I was going to mix work cloths in with hunting gear I would end up with

    1) Bag for dress cloths
    2) Bag for hunting gear
    3) Gun case

    3 things to check ($$$) and carting around the hunting gear bag and rifle case while on business and carting around the business cloths when it is time to hunt...

    I would rent a rifle the more I think about it.
  10. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    My two cents. I've hunted Africa with my own rifles, and I've rented rifles there.

    Frist, as everyone says, hunting with your own rifles is both easier and more rewarding. The sense of familiarity goes a long way to improve confidence in what for many is a new situation.

    That said, and again I repeat others, travelling without rifles is a lot easier, and gives you options to visit different countries, extend visits, etc., that you wouldn't otherwise have without a great deal of advance planning.

    I would add this. In my experience, renting rifles is typically not overly expensive, and the rifles themselves are usually in pretty good shape. With a bit of advance notice you can usually get a calibre you're familiar with, as long as it's reasonably common. What you often won't get, though, is a scope of similar quality to what you may have on your own rifles. I'm not talking about expecting a Zeiss or a Swarovski. You likely shouldn't expect a Leupold, or even a better Bushnell, either. You may find an older scope which may or may not be adjustable to your eyesight, it may have had many years of hard wear, and the optics may not have been great to start with. That can be a challenge.

    The other thing to bear in mind is that most African countries won't allow you to bring in ammo unless you are also bringinig in a rifle. That means not only do you have to use whatever may be at hand - as some have noted - but you will pay dearly for the rounds almost everywhere. In Zimbabwe for instance, it wouldn't be unusual to pay $10 per round for the most common types of ammo, and if you happen to get a rifle like a .416 Rigby, you could be paying through the nose.

    Having done both, I'd take my own rifle - and scope - and bullets if I had time to plan the trip. If I ever get luckey enough to be able to "jump" over for a "quick" hun though, I would do it in a minute and rent guns.
  11. karibu

    karibu AH Member

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    I prefer to hunt like every body with my own guns but if I have to rent I did, and I´ll do, I use to shoot with diferent rifles at the shooting range, I have to set some rifles and scopes.
  12. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Always better if you have your own. Got back 4 weeks ago from RSA. One day we had a chance to shoot a cull Impala ram. He had a bad leg. I was in the back of the truck sitting on an ice chest with a pillow on top of the cab. Not much different from a shooting bench back home. The PH thought he was "about" 225 yards. My laser said 373 yards. One shot and one dead Impala. I had run around 150 rounds of ammo through my rifle before I went and knew what it would do and where it would shoot. Never would of tried the shot with a borrowed or rented gun. Then there was the cross canyon shot on the bushbuck. 308 yards. I'll tell the rest of that story later.... Hopefully with pictures. Bruce

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