1st Traditional Dangerous Game Rifle

WAB

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WAB

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By traditional do you mean classic? If so Witold has given you two of the best. If you want to match them to a classic action you will want to go with some variant of the Mauser. The .375 H&H is a little newer but has become a classic in its own right. I will ruffle some feathers, but the most classic .375 IMO is a pre 64 M-70.
 

Forrest Halley

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Bolt actions are reliable if one takes care of them and is using a quality rifle. Heck, we have fought several wars with them. A great majority of big game hunts world wide are done with bolt action rifles. In regards to CZs they do have a reputation for being unreliable out of the box, hence why there are companies out there that make a living tuning CZ rifles. I would not judge double rifles based on Sabati (sp) experience, and you should not judge bolt actions based on factory CZs etc.. I'd also submit that learner PH qualifying shoots in Zimbabwe are not done with the most reliable rifles and ammo. Not to mention there are more PHs using bolt action rifles as the rifle to backup a client than double rifles from what I have seen.



But, we are not talking about you, are we? The OP is looking for his FIRST big bore rifle.
The OP sounds like he can handle it. He's already taking the ride on a heavy .45-70 load.

A .375 H&H No. 1 loads really smoothly like Lyman 230's into a 625 S&W. Or in your case like an MBX 140mm into a Dawson Ice Magwell. It takes about sixty rounds through the rifle and you become adept at reloading it rapidly. I shot two deer with an Encore pulling the empty clear by hand and loose shells out of my jacket pocket. With a No.1 just about anyone could do it. Especially if they used one of those neat shell caddies that kept the ammo close to the breech.
There's a guy on here doing that with a .416 Rigby.
 

Skinnersblade

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For the money a Zastava is a good choice, crf ruggedly built. Most are Never going to win a beauty contest though.

I’ve never hunted dangerous game, I own both crf and push feed rifles.

my Uneducated observance the only round you can truely count on is the one in the chamber anyway.
 

Skinnersblade

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I should add the Zastava model 70 is available in .375h&h and.458 winmag.
 

Wyatt Smith

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For the money a Zastava is a good choice, crf ruggedly built. Most are Never going to win a beauty contest though.

I’ve never hunted dangerous game, I own both crf and push feed rifles.

my Uneducated observance the only round you can truely count on is the one in the chamber anyway.
The only round you can count on being in the chamber, is the one in the chamber. Wether it goes off or not is different. I’ve had more FTFs than I am comfortable with. Luckily only a few hunting and those were intended for geese.
 

Forrest Halley

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The only round you can count on being in the chamber, is the one in the chamber. Wether it goes off or not is different. I’ve had more FTFs than I am comfortable with. Luckily only a few hunting and those were intended for geese.
I have had some amazing FTFs. The most exhilarating was on a well educated groundhog that was only thrifty yards away. I couldn't get the round to eject either so I had to dig it out with my fingernails and chamber a new one. It was a lot going on in a short period of time, but I still got him.
 

Rum Runner

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First of all, I've only been to Africa once. Maybe you should tell ME what kind of rifle to take. Anyway, my CZ 550 performed perfectly right out of the box! The caliber? .416 Rigby...very doable kick (though, I have been bit)...very capable for DG.
 

Longwalker

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So many good dangerous game rifles are bought by people who dream of using them, but seldom take them afield. My only advice is to maximize your value by buying a good used rifle rather than a new one. There are some amazing values out there on the used market. Better to buy an excellent quality used rifle that has lots of life left in it than a questionable quality new rifle that was built to meet a budget market price point.
 

BeeMaa

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The most important thing on a DG rifle is that it fits YOU.
As the caliber goes up, rifle stock fit becomes more critical.
Traditional or not, this is what I consider most important.

As others have said..."traditional rifle" would be the Win M70 or CZ550.
For a step up take a look at the Dakota 76 Safari or African.

However I'm with @curtism1234...you don't need a CRF to hunt DG.
There are PH's on this site who backup clients on DG with a PF action.
If you like the Rem 700 and are comfortable with the platform...stick with it.

Classic calibers for bolt actions would obviously start with the 375H&H and other 9.3's.
416RIGBY, 404J, 458WM and 458LOTT are all classics with tolerable recoil.
I'm 70" and 160# and shoot a 416RM with no problems, you can do it too.

Why not do a classic caliber in a modern rifle?
Like a Sako 85 or even a Blaser R8.
There are a couple Sako 85 Brown Bear in 416RIGBY available on GB.
 

Jon Glajchen

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You cannot go wrong with either the Winchester Mod 70 or CZ 550 in 375 H&H. Try them both out and choose the one you like !
 

ve7poi

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404 Jeffery bolt action did mine on a 416rm Winchester 70 with a barrel swap
Used it for first cape buffalo was a great choice 400 gr TSX @2300 FPS will load hotter but super accurate with load at 2300
 

John Camp

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CZ-550 Safari Magnum in 375 H&H listed on Guns International. New and in the box $900.00 That is about as good as one could hope for.
 

michael458

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I’m wanting to obtain a traditional DG rifle for hunting Cape Buffalo.


Winchester M70 Control Feed 458 Winchester, and load proper bullets........You can find them from $1200-$1500 on various sites, 99% chance you will never have to do anything to get it to feed, function and retain. You don't need 500 gr bullets anymore, 450s are perfect for 458 Winchester.

Otherwise, you can spend a $1000 on a POS rifle, that won't work, feed, function or retain, in a small medium caliber that is not sufficient for your mission, and when you are finished spending another $1000 to get it half way working some of the time you will still have a POS and spent all your time trying to sort it out.

Do it right to begin with and be done, spend your time shooting and enjoying the rifle.
 

deewayne2003

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Trout Tracker - I would say to keep an open mind while watching the classified adds on this forum as well as making regular rounds through the local gun shops; you never know what will pop up.

I recently came across this Whiteworth Express Rifle in .375H&H - This particular one was made in 1975 which would be the 2nd year of production.


Some mock these rifles as cheap but they have an interesting story; barreled actions by Zastava in Yugoslavia were shipped to Manchester England then finished, fitted with express sights and proofed - This rifle has Birmingham proof marks.

I didn't really have any interest in buying this rifle until I noticed some things about it....

1. It fit me like a glove
2. Trigger was excellent
3. Sights are the best I've ever seen stock on a production rifle
4. I could tell the action was glass bedded & an extra recoil lug was added.
5. Pachmayr recoil pad installed
6. Bore was clean and rifling looks good, bolt face appears like new & muzzle has been re-crowned

Someone obviously put some work into this rifle and I didn't know how extensive this extra work was until I got it home and took the stock off.



Not only is the recoil lug area bedded, the barrel is free floated and a recess milled into the forend and re-enforcing rod added and epoxied in place.

Pillars installed and bedded in a + configuration with the cross bolts and bedded, the bottom metal is bedded as well and contact points around the tang have been relieved and bedded.

I purchased this rifle as a project/contestant for possibly converting to .404J; but the more I handle this rifle the more I like it and I may just switch out the slide 2 position safety for a 3 postion Winchester 70 style and keep it as my open sighted pig/water buffalo rifle.
 

machinistbutler

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Like Dewayne, I recently picked up a beautiful older rifle. A Belgium Browning Safari in 375 H&H , around 1967 or 68. Rifle looks used very little and I am not sure if it ever had a scope mounted . Functions flawlessly, and handles great. My father hunted with the same rifle in 338 for 45 years, and still a beauty of a rifle.

This rifle was a great price, I am looking forward to taking it on a hunt.

Screenshot_20200915-123557.png
Screenshot_20200915-123618.png
 

C.W. Richter

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I dont know your budget but you can pick up a cz 550 safari manum in 375 H&H about a grand. That is traditional and is a highly recommended DG CALIBER.
You may wish to have the action bedded and do a trigger job but after that the CZ Safari should be perfect. as most such guns are lightly used you might be able to find a deal on a pre-owned one as well. I picked up a used Steyer-M. S/T for about the same price as a new CZ many moons ago and that worked wonders for my first trip involving the big stuff but that said the CZ has a better feed and extract system for such work.
 

RayAtkinson

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Id use as large a bore as Im truly comfortable with and don't lie to yourself, so a 9.3x62 or 375 Ruger or H&H is always a good choice, otherwise a 416 Rem is as good as it gets..I never like the 45 and larger bit recoiling calibers, not because of recoil but because of the slow recoil recovery with the big bores, plus I never have seen the need for larger bores..My all time DG rifle was the 404 Jefferys for no particular reason other than nostalgia, otherwise the 416 REM is just as good.
 

krish

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The reson cz 550 375 hh is good starter.
1) it is a gateway rifle for larger bore
2) ca 550 magnum action can take up to 416 Rigby and beyond.
3) The cost effective CRF CZ 550 is going away
4) you can rebarrel CZ 550 in the future for larger bore. Large magnums action may go up in price in the future as CZ and MRC NO LONGER
produce CRF ACTIONS.
5) CZ 550 magazine can hold more RT rounds than M70.
 

WAB

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Id use as large a bore as Im truly comfortable with and don't lie to yourself, so a 9.3x62 or 375 Ruger or H&H is always a good choice, otherwise a 416 Rem is as good as it gets..I never like the 45 and larger bit recoiling calibers, not because of recoil but because of the slow recoil recovery with the big bores, plus I never have seen the need for larger bores..My all time DG rifle was the 404 Jefferys for no particular reason other than nostalgia, otherwise the 416 REM is just as good.

I know some very good PH’s who are not fans of the .416’s but give high marks to the .404. Something about the .404 bullet setting up better for better straight line penetration. Having no experience with either the .416 or .404 I find this very curious. Has anyone else heard this?
 

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