Musgrave Afrika Supreme 375H&H - Proudly South African

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by AlSpaeth, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Would like any info anyone might have on my 375H&H Afrika Supreme?

    I got the rifle in the 1980s while I was still in the Safari Business.

    The story I got from the dealer was:
    The rifle was the first Supreme ever built by Musgrave. Serial Number is XMA001
    Musgrave intended to build these rifles for export
    The engraving was done by Armin Winkler who Musgrave had brought out from Austria and trained at Ferlach.
    The stock is French Walnut
    The foregrip is tipped with buffalo horn
    Trigger solid gold
    Polished Action Mod 90 (as smooth as a Sauer)
    Express sights are Holland & Holland
    He added Zeiss detachable mounts and a 4X36 Schmidt & Bender scope
    The pistol grip has a hidden compartment with two additional front sights drop compensated which I have never tried.

    I used the rifle for everything from Buffalo to Steenbuck and tested ammo for Art Alphen of A-Squared. We also tested PMP monolithic solids. Accuracy is amazing and recoil is no more than a 30-06 I think due to stock design. Several of my clients wanted to buy it. I hunted with Peter Capstick around 1990 when Gordon Cundill had Hunters Africa in Botswana and after seeing mine, he ordered a 375 H&H Supreme from Musgrave I saw the rifle before he passed away and it was the only other one I know of. Peter was, at that time, one of the best known authors and hunters in the world and virtually every gunmaker offered him free firearms. He told me the Musgrave was his favourite which is quite a compliment to Musgrave.

    In all the years that followed, which included some very fancy rifles at SCI, Dallas, and Houston conventions as well as a visit to Holland & Holland I have never seen a rifle I would rather own. It has the classic English lines but, I think, is better engineered. It is another example of what South Africa was capable of during those difficult times of sanctions and embargoes. This was also a time of secrecy so it was difficult to get more info.

    I would love to know more about why they were made, how many were produced, and what it might be worth to a collector.


    AFRIKA on side of action.jpg DSC00168.jpg DSC00170.jpg DSC00184.jpg DSC00191 - Copy.jpg DSC00195.jpg DSC00201.jpg DSC00203.jpg DSC00204.jpg DSC00211.jpg French Walnut Stock.jpg Two front sights stored in pistol grip floor plate.jpg
     
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  2. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Enthusiast

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    Have Musgrave themselves nothing to add for you?
     
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    An incredible piece of art.
    If it shoots half as well as you say it does they should be producing them and marketing them.

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. wayne1

    wayne1 AH Veteran

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    A beautiful well executed piece of working art Al. I'm very envious. I would say if it come up for auction, considering the provinance, which is extremely important, and that it is 1 of 2 known to exist, I would say that it would probably go for $50,000+ US. Mind you, thats just a guess. I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't go for double that.
     
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  5. wayne1

    wayne1 AH Veteran

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    Al, go into Wikipeadia and type in MUSGRAVE RIFLE MAKERS. It has a bit of history about the makers. Hope that helps mate?
     
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  6. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Hi Wayne - tried the Wiki search - but not much info.
    Thanks
     
  7. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Wayne - I have no idea how to value it - even for insurance. Any suggestions?
     
  8. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..speak to these guy's..they build Musgrave's now...just click on the following site :HOME - TEL 017 819 3415
     
  9. wayne1

    wayne1 AH Veteran

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    Hi Al,
    As for insurance, think about how much it would cost you to replace the rifle you have. Then seek an insurance quote, that will give you some idea of how much the rifle is worth. Do you have any receipts and/or paperwork that came with the rifle. Also there's a big Rifle Auction Website based in the USA (can't remember their name), but they auction everything that fires a bullet. Leave it with me and I'll find their name for you. It might take a day or two, but I'll ley you know mate.
     
  10. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..have you spoken to the guy's in Nelspruit yet..?
     
  11. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Peter Capstick

    I mentioned that the only other Supreme I ever saw was Peter Hathaway Capstick's custom Rifle. I have found more info on his and am trying to get photos.

    His wife donated his Musgrave to Dallas Safari Club for the 2003 convention auction (proceeds to conservation)
    According to the DSC Oct 2002 Newsletter - page 14:
    Donor - Capstick Rifle
    Desc - Peter H. Capstick's Custom Musgrave Bolt Action .375 H&H Magnum Rifle
    Value Priceless


    In Capstick's book Sands of Silence Chapter 1 - he says

    I had a chance to visit the gunmaking plant of Musgrave, which was some hours south of my Pretoria home. We were greeted by Abe Koch, the general manager, who so impressed me with their general and custom shops that I ordered a .375 H&H Magnum on a Mauser action.
    Now, really, when it was finished, I have never seen a prettier or more functional rifle. I have owned custom guns before, but nobody ever put one together like Musgrave did. Owing to the UN sanctions against armaments, Musgrave has had its problems in exporting its wares, but this seems as if it won't go on very long, since, as of this writing, President F. W. de Klerk has just returned from Washington. Musgrave used Grade V Turkish walnut and inscribed on it my personal serial number, PHC-1, as well as inlaying my name in gold on the top of the octagonal barrel. I was quite puritan about the engraving, although Musgrave has some of the best chisel-men in the world. Just the front of the chamber, the magazine floor plate and the bolt knurl were done, but oh, so tastefully, in a soft scroll. Of course, engraving doesn't add anything to the shooting characteristics of a rifle, but coupled with a Timney adjustable trigger and the rigidity of an octagonal barrel, PHC-1 will shoot one-inch groups at one hundred meters with factory ammo all day long. Believe me, when sanctions go, and they will, possibly by the publication date of this book, the best deal in the world is with Musgrave of Bloemfontein, South Africa. The rand-dollar exchange assures that.
     
  12. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Finally an update.

    Willem Lombard in Pretoria is the Owner of XMA003.
    He found this letter from Musgrave dated 1989.
    They built three handmade rifles to show they could build rifles to compete with the best in the world.

    XMA stood for "Export Musgrave Africa_

    XMA001 – Supreme Grade
    XMA002 – Custom Grade
    XMA003 – Standard Grade

    They took the rifles on a world tour including the USA but they never started production due to the arms embargo and could not get the French Walnut for the stocks any longer.

    Willem says XMA001 was made for P W Botha who was minister of defence so when Musgrave phoned the dealer and asked him to return the rifle because it was "Built for a Cabinent Minister" they were serious. I had already bought it.

    So it would appear that three were made but XMA001 was the only Supreme Grade built.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  13. AlSpaeth

    AlSpaeth AH Senior Member

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    Here is the letter from Musgrave.
     

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  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    It's a great looking rifle simply put.
     
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  15. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Beautiful rifle! I believe that researching the history of a firearm such as this is a huge part of what makes this rifle so special. I have researched many colt SAA revolvers and once you dive into the history you cant stop until every stone has been turned.
    You are blessed to have such a firearm. Congratulations.
    Rockislandauction.com is a large auction house that may help with giving you some insight on the value of your rifle.
    Cheers,
    Cody
     
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  16. Hector Carlos Roveda

    Hector Carlos Roveda New Member

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    I have a Musgrave Afrikan de Luxe, in my home, in Patagonia Argentina, in the same caliber .375 H & H, acquired in the International Exhibition of Arms of 1991. It is a very fine weapon. Glad to meet another owner so fine rifle. Best Regards. Hector
    DSC00424.JPG DSC00431.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2014
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  17. Bsums

    Bsums AH Veteran

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    Wow that is an impressive rifle! That is a rifle of dreams.
     
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  18. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Al,

    Pretty neat being able to find out this information about your rifle.

    Congratulations on having such a special piece!

    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  19. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    This hurts. I believe I was a Major at the time, and went to the Tulsa Gun Show - Say around 1990. On one of the tables was a Musgrave .404, and as beautiful a rifle as one can imagine. Shadow line cheek rest, express sights, rust blue finish, and detachable mounts. Africa was still the stuff of dreams, and I couldn't justify $750 for an obscure .404 deer rifle. I still kick myself.
     
  20. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH Veteran

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    Very nice rifle.
    Witold
     

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