Only One

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Big Woolie, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Big Woolie

    Big Woolie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA (AK, TX, TN)
    My family and I are moving to Ghanzi, Botswana later this year where I am starting a horseback outfitter's business. I know that the firearms laws are extremely restrictive in Botswana, so all of this may be a moot point. I have been hunting Alaska for years with a Marlin .45-70. I have taken caribou, moose and grizzly, love the gun, love the round. I know, however, it is not the most practicle round for Africa. A little short ranged for plains game and a little light for dangerous game. Also, I expect ammo will be a little hard to come by.

    I want something to hunt plains game for myself, but also to carry horseback on some deeper trips into the Kalahari for "just in case"

    I have a nice Winchester Model 70 (post -64) in 30-06, a bit light for an angry...anything? Also, as wonderful as a model 70 is, they are not good full-time scabbard guns for a professional horseman.

    I am looking at a Ruger Number 1 in .375HH, great scabbard gun, good stopper, too much for plains game?

    It's going to be so hard to get permission to bring anything in permanent, I only want to work on one rifle right now, and it's going to be so hard, I want it to be the right one.

    I would appreciate any and all advice and insight from you guys, I know enough to know when I know... nothing. :)
  2. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,797
    Likes Received:
    60
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    never ridden around on a horse with a rifle so only a stab in the dark, but the ruger guide gun in ruger .375 will be fine for everything, and its got a short 20 inch barrel with laminate stock and a stainless matt finish , they are nice compact lightweight rifles. check it out on the ruger website.
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,903
    Likes Received:
    113
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    If you can get your hands on it and can get it into Botswana it will work just fine.
    You are not likely going to be engaging to much Dangerous game hunting.

    Always nice to have something big enough to take a wounded Eland down.
  4. Big Woolie

    Big Woolie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA (AK, TX, TN)
    Spike, thanks for the heads-up, had not run across this model yet. Is the 375 Ruger ammo available fairly readily in SA or Bots?
  5. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,797
    Likes Received:
    60
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    dont know about bots but i would have thought its available in sa as i think some on here use it, i am sure someone on here from sa will let you know. if you can take ammo when you go a 100 rounds will last quite a while, as you get used to conserving your ammo in certain african countries.
  6. Big Woolie

    Big Woolie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA (AK, TX, TN)
    Brickburn, I'm not really planning on deliberately hunting any dg, I've probably just spent too many years in grizzly country and I tend to feel naked being underarmed while knowing Im in the living room of something that loves steak as much as I do, and might consider me the steak. I had a 50 yrd run in with a sow grizzly, and we spotted each other at the same time. I wasnt under gunned, and I'm glad 'cuz I saw clear in her eyes at that last second that she was coming. She had 2 two-year-old cubs with her that didnt come out of the trees and that I didnt see until she was down. I dont like to leave stuff like that to a pure heart and good luck
  7. Poucher

    Poucher AH Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Ruger carbine in 375 or 416 Ruger is ideal for what you are looking for.....
  8. Big Woolie

    Big Woolie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA (AK, TX, TN)
    Thank you. Actually, I called a fellow today who has a Ruger Number 1 Tropical in .458 Win Mag. He wants to talk trade on some of the things I'm clearing out for the move, so it may work. He said (and I dont really know) that since I am used to shooting an 18" Marlin levergun in .45-70 with heavy, hardcast Buffalo Bore ammo, this Number One Tropical with heavy 24"bbl will, though of course be heavier recoiling, not be that much worse than what I've been shooting. He has another .458, same action but scoped, and two of the Marlin .45-70's. I have never had a problem with the recoil of the Marlin and heavy bear loads, so if this turns out to be true, that's one concern I can put away. I've read horror stories about the .458 recoil, and I like my retinas right where they are. :)
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,797
    Likes Received:
    60
    My Photos:
    131
    Member of:
    sci int, basc
    Hunted:
    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    hey woolie thought you wanted to be able to do some plains game hunting as well? so to be blunt forget the .458 and go practical......you are going to be outfitting horse riding safaris of x amount of days/or day trips? your only problem with horses is maybe going to be lions on overnight stays in the bush, so most plains game calibres will suffice. you can sleep in the bush in the open preferably with a mosi net cos they will bite (depending on time of the year and temp) 99+% of the time and nothing will bother you, even if they walk around having a sniff while you are asleep..your horses will let you know however! so to be happy go for a .338 to .375 all you will need .:)
  10. Poucher

    Poucher AH Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ruger Nコ1 rifle are nice rifles, but if you are engaging dangerous game a rifle with magazine is a must.
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,368
    Likes Received:
    20
    My Photos:
    68
    Member of:
    NRA, NA Hunt Club
    Hunted:
    Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe (2), Namibia, South Africa (2)
    The Ruger No.1 is a great rifle, but in the heavy kickers, it seems to kick more than a bolt rifle. I had one in .450-400 which kicks less than the .458 and it rattled my bones and gave me recoil headache, the only rifle I have owned to do that. Got a .404 Jeff on a CZ, no more problems, and they are essentially the same round. If you are only going to be able to take one rifle in at a time, I would go a bolt rifle as well, .375 H&H is perfect.
  12. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,881
    Likes Received:
    6
    My Photos:
    72
    Member of:
    NRA,Missouri hunters ed, SCI, Owensville Gun Club, Quail Forever
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa, France
    Big W,

    Great suggestions and comments thus far. I will add two more cents here. Your beloved model 70 would be a fine scabbard gun, without a scope. Might I recommend finding a model 70 in 375 H&H, sight it in "iron sights" 50 yards of so (for your just in case moments). Then get a set of quick detach rings and bases for a scope, stored in a seperate leather container/scabbard, (for your plains game hunting at a distance). Just my thoughts.
  13. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    34
    Member of:
    SCI, NRA Life Member, Ducks Unlimited
    Hunted:
    Republic South Africa (Limpopo)
    Hi Big Woolie,

    There is a member here on AH that goes by the handle "joester" who has what I think would be the ultimate scabbard gun.

    A Browning BLR re-chambered for the .375 Ruger.

    TB
  14. Big Woolie

    Big Woolie New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member
    Hunted:
    USA (AK, TX, TN)
    I greatly appreciate all of the input, guys. And trust me, Im heeding and listening to everyone. I put the .458 deal on hold, I was looking at it cuz it was a good price, but if its not what I need, how good a price can it be?

    The .375HH seems to be the most recommended by far, and I would be wise to heed that.

    There is some variance in opinion on action. I carried a Sharps up here for years, and am pretty quick and comfortable with single shot, but maybe its not best.

    There is an older model 70 for sale up here in .375HH for about 600.00. It has a muzle brake, however, which I do not like. Suppose I could get a good smith to remove and restore.

    anyway, no hurry. I am soaking up all of the input like a sponge.

    PS. - I already have a great 30-.06 in a model 70. With heavy ammo available today... ? in a rare possibility of an emergency with a cat...? Just wondering
  15. D Hunter

    D Hunter New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    NRA,QDMA
    Hunted:
    Namibia, Zimbabawe, Tanzania
    You are looking for a one gun, do it all, for all times, and places and circumstances rifle. I don't know why you would have any question. It would be a 375 H&H in a bolt action(my preference would be a model 70 but others would work as well) with iron sights and a tip off scope. The H&H gives you ammo in Africa wherever ammo is sold. Others may not be as easy to feed. Bolt action is the easiest to tune up and get accuracy up to potential. 375 gets you into minimum range for DGR and not too much for plains game. OK it hits a little hard on duikers. You can go bigger but you are getting into a specialized rifle. You can go smaller but not legal if you have to whack DG. You would likely be carrying a rifle in case something dangerous had a difference of opinion with you. Why not carry a gun that is legal for that circumstance? Best choice with no close second choices. Just my .02$ and well worth what you paid for it. "D"
  16. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    5
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Hello Big Woolie,

    Ammunition for the Ruger version of the .375 is difficult to find in here in Anchorage, I cannot imagine how impossible it must be in Botswana.

    I vote with those who recommend a sturdy bolt action in .375 H&H.

    Having done some horseback/muleback hunting trips in rough terrain (Bitterroot Mts).......for what you're up to, I would recommend any of the following:

    Model-70.....(Classic or Pre-64 type, not the cheesy push feed ones from 1965 through the 1980s I think it was. But now they make good Model 70s again, thankfully).
    Ruger 77 Magnum
    CZ 550 Magnum
    Not necessarily in that order.

    I would want iron sights on it and I would bring a couple extra front sight blades, plus a few simple tools that fit the stock screws and such.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog.
  17. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,084
    Likes Received:
    26
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I have a bit different view than most that have replied here :)
    I would get a 9.3x62 if I was you. A perfect cartridge for your use in my opinion.
    And even if it is not legal for DG in Botswana, it will still do a good job on DG in a pinch. It is legal for DG in other countries.
    Moderate recoil, packs a punch on the animals and should be easy to get ammo for.

    This is coming from a person that owns a 375 Ruger that I love, but I see that ammo can be a potential problem for it in Botswana.
    This of course depends on how much ammo you feel that you need for it :)

Share This Page