Deciding on Guns for First Safari

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Saul, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    It is my first time ever hunting in Africa and I want it to be absolutely perfect. I am taking my dad for his 70th birthday and I need to decide on what guns to bring. I will be hunting plains game up to kudu and eland, hippo, lion, cape buffalo, and elephant. Having never hunted these animals before, I read everything online and asked my friends. Of course everyone had a different answer but they all offered me their preferred guns to bring on my hunt. These are the guns I was specifically recommended for each animal:

    Plains Game:
    Weatherby Mark V .300 wby (my personal gun)
    Wetherby Mark V 30-378 wby
    HS Precision .338 Lapua

    Hippo:
    Weatherby Mark V .378 wby
    Weatherby Mark V .416 wby

    Lion, Cape Buffalo, Elephant:
    Merkel 140A double rifle 375 H&H
    Perugini & Visini double rifle .458 win/Lott

    These are the guns I currently have access to for the trip. Please tell me which ones you think I should bring and why. If you have another recommendation or a reason why I shouldn't choose one of these guns, please tell me. Thanks so much.
     
  2. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Saul,the .300 weatherby and .416 weatherby will cover everything you want to hunt.If you need to bring a third rifle I would suggest the.458 double it just puts more "Africa" into the hunt.
     
  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Hope you have shot those things a bit. The .300 is a great PG rifle - I would suggest the 200gr bullet - you will need the penetration not the range.

    The big weatherby calibers can be a lot to handle. I have shot the .416 some and absolutely loathe it. It is, I have no doubt, a very effective round, but the rifle in which it was packaged could not have been more brutal on the shooter. And most PH's absolutely hate muzzle brakes.
     
  4. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    hi saul welcome to AH. you say the 300 is your personal rifle, but does that mean the others are friends rifles that you can borrow, and i presume this means you havent shot them or only a small amount of times? for the amount of money this hunt must be costing i would use your 300wby if its yours and you use it a lot, but as for the others i would forget them, and go buy yourself a nice .375 h&h or .416 rigby ( or a .404 to keep Doc happy) which will be a lot more pleasant to use than the other weatherbys mentioned, and then practice with it . they will be fine to use on all the big animals and also the smaller ones if needed.
     
  5. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Yip. that about sums it up.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Wanting it to be "perfect". As Spike said, if you want to, buy that new rifle for the trip.

    If you are just going to borrow a rifle I agree with the guys - take the 458. Choosing the Lott or the Win, up to you.
    Shoot them and see which fits and feels good.

    DO NOT JUST GRAB IT AND GO HUNTING.

    If you are hunting Dangerous game, know your firearm inside and out.
    Lots of practice and your hunt will more likely end perfectly.
     
  7. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    Thanks guys. I feel very countable with the 300 why because I have shot that gun all of my life. I have had some extensive trigger time behind most of these firearms except for the .416 wby. I feel supremely comfortable with either double rifle, I'm just not sure how well a double rifle using .375 H&H or .458 Lott will work in Africa because they are not rimmed. Besides that fact, ballistically speaking, is there a reason why I should take some of these guns over the other or even buy a new gun? The 338 Lapua definitely peaked my interest but after reading about it some more, I have come to the conclusion that it is ridiculous for plains game. I would also like to mention that I do plan on practicing religiously with whichever guns I choose to bring or buy.
     
  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That .458 Lott Double was protecting some of my buddies from the nasty critters on several hunts.
    Have no fear of the belt less. :)
     
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    unless it decides to pop its little ejector thingymajig over the back end of the case.....i hope you meant rimless as i thought .458 win/lott had a belt :biggrin2:
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    He said he was going to practice before he left. Therefore, no reloading. Two shots, he's good to go.
    Spike you are a pessimist.
     
  11. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    yup could be :beer:
     
  12. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    Plains Game:
    Weatherby Mark V .300 wby (my personal gun)
    Wetherby Mark V 30-378 wby
    HS Precision .338 Lapua

    Hippo:
    Weatherby Mark V .378 wby
    Weatherby Mark V .416 wby

    Lion, Cape Buffalo, Elephant:
    Merkel 140A double rifle 375 H&H
    Perugini & Visini double rifle .458 win/Lot
    __________________________________

    You asked for our opinions, so here goes: My opinion is that the Weatherby calibers are a thing of the past, or damn well should be. Roy Weatherby was foremost, a great salesman, obviously selling the American shooting public on the merits of high velocity, and gaudy inletted showy beasts of rifles, though well made mechanically. Truth is, that over time, the same Americans (the ones with extensive hunting experience anyway) learned that all that highfaluting super velocity was not needed. For one thing, it blood shot ruined a quarter or more of meat on a killed animal; produced way too much recoil for any sort of gain. Long range shooting of animals is not something that most experienced hunters do; the most skilled hunters know how to get as close as possible to the prey, and then get a bit closer, before taking any shots. I once owned a .378 Weatherby and a .460 Weatherby too, and now wouldn't give you a dime for either of them now, thanks to my learning curve. For Hippo and other large animals, Cape buff. and elephant, take one good double rifle for the job, in .450 NE or .470NE, or .500NE; leave the Weatherby rifles to the armchair hunters back home. For plains game, take your .300 Weatherby, or better yet, trade it off on a 9.3x74R or .375 flanged double rifle, or bolt rifle in .350 to .400 caliber. By the way, if you find that you like a .375, you will simply love a .416 Rigby (Rigby was the first with the .416 caliber; it is still the best of the lot of .416s), bolt rifles, or, better yet, a double rifle in .500/.416, giving a flanged cartridge of lower breech pressure, more suitable for double rifle, yet giving performance of full .416 Rigby cartridge. Any double rifle is best if used with flanged cartridges, for more positive extraction/ejection. .458 Winchester cartridge is not suitable for double rifle; overall is vastly inferior to a common .450 NE or a .470 NE, better yet, a .500 NE, because the NE rounds produce less breech pressure, easier on double rifles, and that damn .458 Winchester, with its small case capacity, produces way too much breech pressure in the super hot hunting conditions of Africa, while the NE rounds do not---the British got it right so many years ago; Winchester did not.
     
  13. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    ^That is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. Honest and informational.
     
  14. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    300 wby and 30-378 wby are definitely bigger than you need.
    .338 lapua is also bigger than you need but I did use one a couple year back and found that with 210 gr Barnes TSX they punched right through smaller plainsgame without putting much of a hole while doing a great job on the bigger stuff.

    .378 WBY is a lot of recoil for the amount of bullet used, long shots on big game will simply not happen so its real advantage is moot.
    .416 WBY is a good choice for Big game
    .458 is plenty of medicine for any big game but comes with a lot of recoil
    .375 H&H is the 30-06 of African hunting calibers. A real do all workhorse, it spans the gap between both Plains and big game.

    My vote is take the .375 for everything smaller than Ele and if have problems with your large caliber Ele gun you can still use the .375 so bring some solids for it as well as soft points.
    Take the .458 Either Win or Lott for your Ele with both solids and soft points.
     
  15. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Forgot to mention. Every shop you come across throughout Africa is likely to have .375 ammo on hand.
     
  16. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    Saul,
    One final remark: The .458 Win or Lott, is not suitable for a double rifle due to more breech pressure than desirable in a double rifle; even worst when used in the extreme heat of Africa. Being cartridges without a rim or flange, also is not good for a double---these cartridges were designed for bolt rifles. Many guys who bought double rifles in these calibers, have had them rechambered for much more suitable double rifle cartridges, such as .450 or .470, and re-regulated. JJ Perdeau of Champlin firearms recently did exactly that, for a member of this forum.
     
  17. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    I have heard this from several people online. I don't mean any disrespect, but I'm just not sure how much merit I put in it. I mean, technology and metallurgy have come a long way. The double in .375 H&H is a Merkel and the .458 Lott is a Perugini & Visini. Those are both very reputable companies from what I have read as well as from the people I know who own them. On top of that, the P&V .458 is around $40,000 so it's certainly not a cheap Baikal or something. I understand that this has to be taken with a grain of salt, but still.
     
  18. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    I certainly am very familiar with modern firearms metallurgy, and how it compares to metallurgy of Vintage double rifles of the past, including the finest from the British and the Germans. There is no comparison, most all of the vintage double rifles were made using mild, low carbon, steel, and modern ones are made using finest modern high strength alloy steels. Also, I am very familiar with gun technology of the modern double rifles, compared to the technology when vintage doubles were made. Though the Merkel certainly is from a fine maker; best materials were used, I am sure, but it is still best, when considering using the .375 caliber, to chamber it in .375 flanged, rather than in belted versions, just easier on the rifle over time, with lower breech pressures involved. Even more so, it is best, when contemplating chambering in either .458 Win. or Lott vs. .450 NE or .470 NE. The basic design of the break open double rifle, regardless of what maker it is from, or what modern high strength steel was used in its construction, cannot withstand long term forces involved. This is the opinion of the finest modern gun makers in Germany and best gunmakers in other countries as well. If you choose to not place merit in it, that is your choice, of course, and you may very well not encounter any negative problems should you buy one of these rifles for such cartridges, simply because you don't expose that gun to long term firing stresses. But, if you expose them to such long term firing stresses, over time you will be convinced and willing to place merit of what I am telling you is fact, when you see results of what you propose. Also, double rifles in such calibers lose value immediately, due to fact that the only people interested in buying such doubles, chambered as you suggest, are the uninitiated, the uninformed. They lose value due to fact that they are hard to impossible to sell, should you ever wish to sell them, because most people don't want doubles in such calibers.
     
  19. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    I've had the pawls on my ejectors rip thru the rims of my 300 H&H Winkler and leave the brass stuck in the chambers. Trust me. Stick with a rimmed cartridge for a DG rifle and eliminate the possibility!
     
  20. Saul

    Saul AH Veteran

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    What you say makes sense. The reasons why I was thinking of a double rifle in one of those calibers, aside from tr fact that I have a friend ready to sell them to me, is because the ammo is very readily available and because the .458 Lott is supposedly more powerful than the .450 and .470 NE. On top of that, you made a good point. How many times are you really going to shoot the gun? 1,000 rounds? If you shoot that many rounds, then I think you can bring the gun into a gunsmith for repairs.
     

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