When have you needed your "back up" gun...

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by gxsr-sarge, Apr 18, 2014.

  1. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

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    In 40 years of western big game hunting and multiple hunts on 3 continents, I have only had one gun failure.

    When hunting a Caracal in South Africa, the primer failed to ignite the full case of powder, but had enough force to lodge the bullet in the barrel. Luckily, my PH had a borrowed .22 LR rifle in his truck, and I used it to shoot the Caracal.

    We couldn't get the stuck bullet out until the next day. The other 19 cartridges in that box all fired flawlessly. I now carry an 8" piece of brass rod in my rifle case, that can be dropped down the barrel to dislodge a stuck bullet.
     
  2. colorado

    colorado AH Enthusiast

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    I've never brought a backup gun, but I will bring a backup scope when I finally make it to Africa. When I go back to Alaska for brown bear (after my kids are through college) I'm going to get one of those nice B&H Kevlar stocks for my 500 Jeffery and bring it this time. Used the Rem XCR II in 375 Weatherby last time, it worked great, but my youngest son claimed it lol ...
     
  3. Brett Becker

    Brett Becker New Member

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    It's alright for all you right handed hunters relying on your PH or outfitters but for us "lefties" it can be a little more difficult;). Having said that I only took one rifle ( left handed) with me to Namibia, and have shot right handed rifles most of my life. Up until recently it has been really hard to find LH rifles in this country
     
  4. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Member

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    I hunted in Limpopo a couple of weeks ago, and had to rely on my back up rifle for the majority of the trip.......not because of a cracked stock or any of the other horrors one might think, but because of stupidity and dumbassedness on my part.
    I was really looking forward to using my Ruger 77 in .338 Win mag; I worked up a handload that was accurate with a premium bullet, and the single rounds fed from the box to the chamber without a hitch......that is, until you tried to load more than 1 round in the magazine! It was then that I discovered that hadn't seated the bullets quite deep enough (I'm sure another fraction of an inch, and they will work perfectly).....they were just a bit too long, and the result is that the second round won't feed from the box magazine (the rim of the cartridge is pushed down below the bolt by the tip of the bullet). Unfortunately, I discovered this after I shot my blue wildebeest and it got up, ran 2o yards and stopped; my P.H. said "Shoot him again", so I racked the bolt, took careful aim, squeezed the trigger, and heard a sickening "CLICK"! I opened the bolt to find no cartridge in the chamber, and the other two in the magazine at an awkward angle...I was able to get a round from my ammo pouch in the chamber and was taking aim when the wildebeest (still standing there broadside) expired and fell over....thank goodness I wasn't hunting DG and facing a charge.
    So...........the rest of the trip (and the rest of my game) was taken with a .30-06 that I've had for years and a 200 grain Nosler partition handload.
    Lesson learned...........next time I will fill up the entire magazine and check for function prior to a hunting trip...................
     
  5. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sarge

    Taking a back up rifle or taking a second rifle are different.

    For Your Dangerous Game hunt you have identified your primary rifle. 404 Jeffery

    For Your Plains game hunt you have identified your primary rifle. 300 Win Mag

    Now you are thinking about adding a 375 H & H in the mix and leaving the 300 WM home. I think that is a poor choice.

    I all my hunting or shooting trips the only guns that i have had that broke down was a shotgun. like hammer springs, release lever, worn out or broken firing pins, broken for arm release latch, cracked stock (when i shot in the rain for 3 days). But then i try to replace many of these items after 20,000 rounds. All you can do is make sure you do a very good inspection prior to leaving.

    All the PH's that i have hunted with have had back up rifles that were very nice rifles if you needed to use them.

    In all concerns, a second scope is something to consider in taking along. I have had two scopes fail, however not while i was in the field.
     
  6. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mr. 16 gauge ... one thing you will learn from reading is that you remove your firing pin from your bolt and check to see if all rounds you plan on taking on a hunting trip will feed properly in your rifle. Wipe the ammo down and re-box after doing this. sometimes new factory ammo also hangs up.
     
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That's a shame, I took the same exact rifle to RSA a few years ago myself and I know its Grages go to rifle as well. Its too bad you weren't a member earlier as this has been covered many times about making sure all rounds feed from the mag. There is no need to remove the firing pin from the bolt though. Just as always make sure the rifle is pointed in a safe direction. The biggest safety is the one between our ears, not on the gun.
     
  8. NitroX

    NitroX AH Member

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    Some "loaners" can be absolute clunkers or setup in an annoying way. I remember one where the reticle of the scope was at quite a distinct angle. Also often if one has not been arranged there may not be a loaner in camp.

    Took a 9.3x74R double rifle once along with a .450 NE dr for a plains game hunt in Namibia followed by a cow elephant hunt in Zimbabwe. I did plan to try out the PHs 8x68S M98 before hand anyway. The 9.3 for some unexplained reason developed a problem with regulation. So used the 8x68S mostly and then the .450 No.2 NE for the two elephant. I intended to use that anyway.

    A problem I have had which could be a problem on my .375. It was not on a hunt but in Darwin shooting a Big Game Rifle Club competition. On a hunt it would have been a real problem. My front sight fell off the barrel during a rapid fire shoot! The solder must have failed due to the heat of the barrel, the ambient temp and the number of shots. But I have fired this rifle a lot before thos. Quite difficult to shoot guessing where the site should be. Did get four out of the last five rounds on target though. :)
     
  9. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    I think it's about situational choice. I took my 45-70 on the first trip in case of heavy brush but shot everything with my 300 WinMag. I never had the need for the 325 grain brush busting 45-70 but I could not have know that. It was comforting to have the choice between two guns.
     
  10. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    I needed my back up rifle (.375 Ruger BLR rebarrelled from 300 Win mag) a few weeks ago on a free-range plainsgame hunt on the Eastern Cape in RSA. I had problems with the scope on my .308 BLR so the .375 was put into service. Soo glad I took it as a "back up"!
     
  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    On the hunt this April I took the Ruger416 Guide Gun for Dangerous Game but I also took my 300 Win Mag. The intent was that the 416 would have been my back up gun on plains game. I would have used the PH's gun as back up for the lioness and cape buff.
     
  12. Cable68

    Cable68 AH Member

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    My last time I took 375 and 404 for buffalo and plains game. 404 took the buff, 375 was for hippo and everything else. Hippo wasn't planned when I left, it just turned out that way.

    I like taking 2 rifles of similar caliber, would love to take 2 of same caliber if allowed, but 2 mediums is ideal to me if there is game of different size on the menu.
     

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