Borrowing Firearms

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Skyline, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    The topic about changes to the South African firearms regulations made me think about the practice of borrowing a rifle from the safari operator to use on your hunt. The various firearms regulations that come into play for point of origin, final destination, countries in transit, and the airlines themselves, are becoming an issue for many hunters. Heck I know American clients that quit coming to Canada just because they have to submit a firearms declaration form and pay a $25 fee as they enter Canada.

    I have noticed more and more hunters from Europe that enquire about hunting in Canada are asking if they can borrow a rifle from the outfitter so they can avoid transporting firearms. I think we are going to see more and more of this.

    Restrictions continue to change and get tighter and eventually everyone has a tolerance limit for bureaucracy. I sure like to use own my firearms that are familiar and known quantities, but the day is going to come when a person may have to think about the option of renting or borrowing at your hunt destination.

    Even now, the next time I hunt in Texas I am going to borrow a rifle from a friend down there because I can't be bothered to apply three months in advance of the trip to the BATF for a permit.

    I could tolerate borrowing a rifle for plains I think, but I would really have reservations about it with dangerous game. How do the rest of you feel about it?
  2. Oliver.Wettstein

    Oliver.Wettstein AH Senior Member

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    Kelly,

    When I was in Mozambique last year i borrowed the outfitters rifle, because I was first on vacation with my family. I had a terrible experience with these borrowed rifles, as they just did not function properly... one shot went high, the next low... it just did not shoot straight, thus not hitting any crocs or hippos and going home with nothing in the bag. I have learned my lesson from this experience, and will most probably never borrow a rifle from an outfitter again if I don't know how the rifle shoots in advance.
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Oli,

    Yes, I think that is everyones greatest fear. I have seen some 'camp' rifles that were pretty rough and looked like they had been through several wars. On the other hand I know guides/PH's who have a pretty fine collection of firearms, with excellent optics and that are very savvy about ballistics and bullet selection.

    What happened to you would, I hope, not be typical as it is in the end self-defeating for the operator. Unhappy clients usually means bad reviews and negative publicity.

    I think the key is to be sure before you go that the operator has something decent to rent you and of course you will need to have a range session with it prior to hunting. I am confidant the rifle I borrow on my next hunt in Texas will be a tack driver, with a nice trigger and good optics............because I know the owner and what he likes. But I will put a few rounds through it before we head into the field so that I can be sure of the point of impact with me behind the scope and to get a 'feel' for the trigger and the rifle in general.

    Still, I believe I will continue to take my own rifles overseas until they won't let you or the regulations get to the point that I simply can't stand the hastle any longer.
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Hi Everyone,

    I will not use anyone's gun but my own for the most part. My opinion .... hunting is not a cheap sport! I have a very good gun collection and bullet collection and I'm going to use what I think is the best combination. Especially with the safety and money on the line! I know way to many people that I think...should never have a gun in there hands. Everyone calls me one shot. I look for that one good shot and pull the trigger...the animal runs less than 200 yards and falls over...usually it doesn't make it 100 yards. I practice a lot before a hunt with my firearm and trying firing quickly in case I have too. Most of my guns have been worked on...the stock is bedded, there a muzzlebrake, there is a trigger job...etc. Another reason many people are over gunned and undergunned. I practice with a gun I know will do the job....so I don't flinch or pull a shot because the gun doen't fit or the bullet is not what I want to use.

    It costs a lot of time and money to travel with guns and it is definitely not getting better out there. The government regulations...sicken me!!! Our forefathers are rolling in their graves. I still will bring my gun for everyhunt.

    I know people that bring guns to a destination and leave it there for future use. I know it not too legal and politically correct....but I can see there point.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  5. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Always best to be able to use your own firearm and ammo considering the nature of hunting these days. But there is a very valid point about it becoming tougher and tougher to travel with firearms and ammo. The government policies and airlines carriers seem to be working against hunters and I can see the situation escalating to the point where the option would be to use an outfitter gun to hunt. Let's hope not - but the signs are there.

    Guns and ammo must be of the highest quality to be used for hunting. To me, quality has nothing to do with the price tag. A gun should be well kept and maintained and shooting where you want it to shoot. Giving a client a faulty or below-par gun, is like cheating him/her. It should not be tolerated. If you are going to hire guns to clients, then they should be top notch and ones that you would use yourself in a situation that requires an accurate, dependable weapon.

    My cry is 'when are people going to start accepting the conservation side of hunting?' Do they not realize that making it difficult for genuine, ethical hunters is at the demise of wildlife and habitats worldwide?
  6. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Borrowing a gun from the outfitter would be fine if a person knew what they had before hand. If you are looking through the services of most outfitters in South Africa gun rentals are nuts & the ammunition prices you would swear are made of gold.
    I went to Africa twice with the same outfitter & all he had for rifles were a 375 H&H which was his & a 223. Not to much of choice for the hunter & the 375 was iron sights. Now I sent a friend of mine to him for hunting and he decided to rent the gun. $30 a day plus ammo come on!! for $300 plus and God only knows how many more people have done this with him, I would think the outfitter could have a decent array of guns! After every 2 hunters he should be able to buy another dandy some other hunter could pay for!!
    After seeing that ... I will continue going through the BS with the governments & their gun laws until you no longer can bring your own guns. I work to hard & long for my money to take a chance when I have a small fortune invested in the hunt of a life time!
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The one outfitter I saw in Namibia was using a beat up 338 Win. with a 4 power scope and 250 grain round nose bullets. I thought if you hit what you aiming at..it will be dead. But they are a ton of better options out there. Especially since it's a wide open country in that part of Namibia.
  8. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Guys, all your points are valid ones. But, any decent outfitter should have a good rifle available to you and should take you to the range to feel the rifle out and make sure that it is zeroed correctly. Bringing a firearm into this country is not as bad as everybody makes it out to be, as long as you get help in filling out the forms, it should be a breeze.
    The clients that hunt with me use the rifle that I usually hunt which is a 308 Win that has served me very well. It is my personal rifle. If a client wishes to hire the rifle for the duration of the safari, if requested by the client for backup , I carry a .375 H&H . Or vise versa , if the client wants to hunt with the .375 thats fine. Enysse. you make a very valid point, and that is that its an expensive sport. Especially coming to Africa to hunt, thus it is your right, as a client, to have decent equipment to get the job done.
  9. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Marius,

    Very rightly stated. I reside in a country where the new amended arms law does not permit us to carry our firearms abroad, so I as a hunter has to depend on the availability of the rifles with the outfitter , I plan to take up a safari with. And I certainly aim to use the best & fine rifle to hunt as even for the rifle hire as a client I have to pay & thats business , I need to be catered with a fine & accurate flawless rifle, which all the PHs & outfitter do have for the hunter clients who are not carrrying their firearms.

    For every hunter I believe , his firearm is his ornament & he has the desire to take on the game with his favourite rifle, its very unfortunate for me that in my life time now all the rifles & shotguns in my gunrack would never open up on practical hunting except the weekend target shoots.

    .375 H&H Magnum is my favourite caliber too.

    Monish
  10. ibie

    ibie AH Veteran

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    yes if you shoot with your outfits gun take a couple of rounds with it on the range so you understand the gun and know how it shoots etc....

    All the best
    Ibie
  11. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    But getting use to a rifle with 10 rounds at the range is not a very practical thougt, for plains game its fine but when in for a dangerous game safari your rifle is the only instrument between your life & death. As it is said Kill or be Killed, but you would rather wish to live and see your adversary dead, and thats possible when you have a rifle with your thought process working on it. Hope you agree ????
  12. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    i would like to take my own firearm with me but have loaned from my ph in the past. the airlines are now charging for firearms as sporting goods. i like to include travelling as well as hunting. africa is such a beautiful place that travelling is a must for myself. i find that i enjoy meeting new people, seeing the sights and experiencing different cultures. plus it is a long way to go for just a hunt. i find it far more convenient to rent and not have to worry about what to do with my gun before or after my hunt. and my ph had a fine gun.
  13. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    The way it should be!
  14. davidarizpe

    davidarizpe AH Veteran

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    I borrowed a gun on my las trip to Zimbabwe and had a really good experience, to be honest they were better guns that the ones I have and had the same optics I use at home, they were supper acurate, Sako Deluxe with Swarovskis.
  15. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    Borrowing / renting a rifle(s) on safari... thoughts?

    I'm interested in hearing pros/cons about borrowing / renting a rifle(s) on safari vs bringing your own...

    My experience is mixed, but the red tape and airline/country restrictions appear to be getting to be even more of a major hassle; including the extra luggage fees. If I must pay extra I'd rather pay to bring a few SCI blue bags
    I have many rifles (never enough!) w/several favorites that I use near home for deer/bear/hogs, Of course I prefer to use my own rifle but I'm obviously not wed to that....I've been using guides' rifles on my flying trips to Africa, Canada, Western US. I ask details about

    what guns they have and most are solid shooters in game-appropriate calibers ( sometimes the bullets offered are questionable, though)...I passed on a Nfld caribou hunt where the only gun offered was a military, iron-sighted .303 with FMJ ammo...

    Lastly what are the going rates in Africa for daily rifle rentals & ammo?
  16. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    joester

    Sometimes if time is short renting a rifle is the way to go. Many PH will offer an aray of caliber to pick from. including bolt with or with out scope and some offer double rifles.

    Rates i have seen (and paid one time, however i went with ammo for the rifle) go up to $80+ dollars a day for rifle hire, plus you pay for ammunition on a per round basis. usually $2 to $10+ dollars for each round. depending on rifle. If you are on a 10 day hunt renting a heavy bore rifle at say $80 a day plus $10 to $30 dollars a shell you probably should look for a rifle and take it with you, so you are familiar with the rifle. Remember some of the big bore ammo cost upwards of $400 a box.
  17. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think it depends on how much you want to spend on the trip? It certainly makes travel easier! But the rental fees are just too much to me. Plus I trust my equipment over anyone else's. And trust is a big thing with me.
  18. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    i rented rifles on my last hunt for 30 a day and $4 a round. i travelled for 2 weeks first and this was a great option.
  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I have only borrowed once. Yes borrowed, not rented. The BATF managed to get my import to me a week after my hunt which was quite convenient. I have since learned how to beat this but that is another topic.

    The gun I borrowed was a Cooper .257 Ackley improved with the nicest peice of wood I have ever seen. It arrived from Cooper arms the week before I did thus the outfitter had not even shot it himself yet. It cloverleafed 3 shots at 100yds and I spent my whole hunt worrying about putting a mar on this pristine work of art! A little stressful but I could not have asked for a better weapon.
  20. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    If a country wants to make it hard for me to travel with my firearms, I'll just spend my money elsewhere. In two trips to Namibia, the hardest part has been the initial check in in the USA. You'd think USAir has never transported a firearm. I don't have much choice about departing from the US, but I'll choose another airline in the future.

    I like my weapons the way I like them, built for me and with the optics of my choosing. It isn't that I won't or can't use someone else's rifle, but a simple matter of when I am on my leisure time, I spend my money to have a good time, not a hassle. If African Country A wants to make it hard, there is always country B or C. By the time C has gotten ridiculous, A will have had a regime change anyway.

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