Managing Recoil - Preparation for Buffalo Hunt

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by dtarin09, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    We're a few months out from your question, but as I haven't checked in for a while, here are my thoughts:

    I have a .416 Rigby in CZ 550 that I've put maybe 100-150 rounds through so far. I recently fired a Browning Safari in .375 H&H that my dad bought intending to use it on buff. My normal go-to rifle is a Weatherby .300 in Mk V that I've had for about 25 years now.

    First, there are some who don't deal well with a .300, so for them I don't know what to say. For me, the .300 is a joy to shoot, but from the bench about 20 rounds is enough for me. From sticks or sitting bipod shots I'm good all day long. My 17 year-old has his own .300 WBY and shoots it better than I do.

    The .416 is a rifle that demands a slightly different mental approach. My usual routine is to shoot one or two offhand shots to reacquaint myself with the trigger and then settle down on the sticks for 4-6 rounds at a target. For one day that's about as much as I usually do. I'm shooting 400gr Barnes bullets - both TSX and solids - handloaded just a touch hotter than 2,400 fps. Both loads are spot-on at 100 yds. I agree it is best to tuck it in tight, roll with the recoil, and just relax. It whallops harder if you hold it with a death grip. Last trip out I put four of five rounds into a 6" circle at 100 yds off tall sticks. Not perfect, but acceptable and doing that builds a ton of confidence. Shooting the .416 from the bench is tollerable, but not something I'd do all day long. When sighting-in or developing a load I cheat and use the leadsled. Interestingly, this gun is also well inside of 1" accuracy at 100. I'm not really into the reduced-load idea for practice, but that's just me.

    Shooting the .375 was really very similar to the .300. The gun/scope combo is reasonably heavy and it's possible that it has less perceived recoil than I get from the .300. I absolutely enjoyed shooting it and would be very comfortable carrying it for anything on any continent.

    When shooting, if I find myself getting even the slightest bit flinchy I quit and grab the 22-250. I'll shoot it until my trigger control is perfect again and usually call it a day. The biggest trick is to shoot a lot and then shoot lots more. Before my first plainsgame hunt to Namibia I went through roughly 1,000 rounds getting ready. About 2/3 of this was through the 22-250, the rest was from the .300 in hunting positions, various ranges, uphill, downhill, etc.
  2. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    The best advise I could give is to minimise shooting from the bench ONLY to sight in the scope, and try to stay as up right in the chair as possible. Once sited in practise shooting from a pair of shooting sticks because that is likely how you will shoot over there. Dry firing is also a great way to become familiar with your rifle.
  3. dtarin09

    dtarin09 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience. I finally had the opportunity to shoot both the .375 and .416! WOW.... There is a significant difference in recoil between the two. It actually caught me off guard. Not a big difference between my .300 Win Mag and .375. I think I am going to use the caliber I feel most comfortable with and focus on shot placement!!!


    I also own a 375H&H & only shoot 300gr premium bullets which is enough to kill anything in Africa.... My brother in law bought a 416 Rigby and I had the opportunity to shoot it this past weekend....!

    Firstly, I,m 6ft 2' tall and weighs 146kg so the recoil of my 375 is very manageable for me.... So when I took the 416 to the shoulder my thouhts were "how big difference can there be between 300gr & 400gr"?????

    BANG!!!!! a BIG difference....

    Took me 6 shots to get it to hit the vitals on the paper target at 50 meters... Shots 7 & 8 were beauties. Went back to my 375 H&H after that and I were in love all over again! Its not that I'm bad mouthing the 416, its just like with any other rifle, the more you shoot it, the better you'll get. In my opinion the 375 will be beter & like DOC said you'll have a PH with a big stick to back you up, IF necessary....

    PS: Very nice Kudu!!! Congrats[/QUOTE]
  4. dtarin09

    dtarin09 AH Senior Member

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    Bryce and Ed,

    Thanks for advice and tips. I am practicing quite a bit by dry firing and then moving upwards in caliber. I use my 6.8 quite a bit and then bump up to my .300. I need to do a better job of getting use to shooting off the sticks. I am still shooting an inch below the bullseye?!
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Wow, I wish had the problem of shooting 1 inch below the bullseye. I usually shoot high, unless I have a real secure shooting stance then I'm shooting close to the bulleyes, just never low. I have a light 300 Win Mag that I shoot terribly high unless I mentally focus to hold it down.
  6. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    I can bench my 375. When it comes to anything bigger, I place the sandbags on the hood of the truck, and let go. That would be my advice, instead of sitting just stand up so there is more "give" in the body from recoil. Also makes it a little easier switching over to shooting sticks, which is where you should be before you go to Africa.:thumb: good luck on your upcoming hunt.

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