375's and up: How important is blued/wood vs stainless/synthetic to you for Africa?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by curtism1234, Feb 10, 2019.

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What is your personal preference for taking a 375+ to Africa?

  1. Blued/wood all the way, don't compromise

  2. Blued/wood might be preferred but I wouldn't pass up a good deal

  3. Indifferent or Stainless/synthetic preferred

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  1. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Ok. I'll say a prayer for you--and good luck.
     

  2. CM McKenzie

    CM McKenzie AH Member

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    Life is to short to hunt with an ugly weapon.
     

  3. TTundra

    TTundra AH Enthusiast

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    Doesnt really matter what the stock material is, nor the steel as long as its suited for the hunt and hunting conditions.

    I see just as much wear and marks on my hogue overmolded stocks as I do on my wood stocks...it just shows differently. Just as much memories with blued steel as stainless.

    Although I do wonder what the Africa hunters of 100+ years ago would prefer if they had the choice of coatings and materials we have today.
     
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  4. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Lifes to short to own ugly rifles!

    Stainless synthetic has a place in cold uninhabitable places or in a picture with a Grizzly bear trophy.
    My vote is timber for an African safari. My .458 cz550 is just a factory stock but it’s timber and will look great sitting on top of a Buffalo.
     

  5. steve white

    steve white AH Veteran

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    The synthetic stock will be stable--but it STILL might need to be bedded...they often do. The stainless stock will be much more tolerant of corrosion--like the kind you get on chrome moly if you are lazy or forget to clean them. Most serious accuracy buffs go with stainless barrels. It will be a shooting machine, and probably won't be broken by baggage monkeys at the airports.
     

  6. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    It all depends where you are going and when you are going.

    I once was in a fly camp in Newfoundland, moose hunting, with a $10k custom .340 Wby built on a ZKK 602 action, custom barrel and custom French walnut by Griffin & Howe, and we had 10 days of non-stop rain. I could literally see the rust blue turn into rust, and the hand rubbed, linseed oil-finished walnut turn into a cracked and warped hunk of grey wood over the course of the 10 days, despite spending time every evening cleaning, and attempting to dry things etc. ...

    Going to a place warm and dry? One would think "go with what you like," but keep in mind that if you live in a relatively high humidity area (e.g. US East Coast, your walnut rifle stock has actually quite a high moisture content. 10 days of dry Africa is going to suck this moisture out. There is no predicting what can happen. This is why stocks sometimes warp and occasionally crack. I personally take kevlar/aramid stocks to Africa with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars (Bell & Carlson Medalist to be specific: best value for the $ in the market). Carbon steel or stainless both work.

    Cold and wet (Alaska) or warm and wet (rainy season in Africa; hard core foot hunt in the Okavango Delta, etc.): go with stainless and kevlar unless you are 100% sure that you can have a dry place every evening to spend 1/2 hour caring for the rifle ... and that it will not develop into a hassle. In the aforementioned Newfoundland fly camp, after a while everything was wet, and taking the rifle apart every evening quickly stopped being fun...

    I am not concerned with shiny stainless steel barrels, they do not flash in the sun anymore than "Royal Blue" barrels, and anyway most stainless barrels/actions have a dull finish.

    As to beauty? In the eyes of the beholders! I personally love them both: old world rust blue and linseed oil, and modern stainless & kevlar. I understand that the modern black nitrite finishes provide as much corrosion resistance as stainless steel, and that hydro dipping can emulate grade 7 walnut. I have not tested the premises...

    Life is indeed too short to hunt with an ugly weapon, but life is also way too short to be stuck with a cracked stock or a rusting trigger and barrel, 10,000 miles and $10,000 away from where you can do something about it...

    By the way, this all applies .375 & down as much as .375 and up...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019

  7. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    You are not alone. A few here in Aussie have been trying to get Lithgow to do a modern rifle in 303. They could go with an Mauser style magazine so no need to make separate mag. I have had long discussions - via email - over why they went with a single stack magazine instead of a double stack. Several there agreed with me but the board/designers didn't.
     

  8. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    One Day,
    Very well put. I can see your point about stainless and composite. If I were going to Alaska or some tropical location, I might consider it. However, I live in NV where it's high desert and dry. I hunt mostly in RSA where the climate is just about the same. I can sympathize with your diversion to constant cleaning of guns. It's not my favorite pastime but has to be done.

    I read somewhere that Cerocote can pretty well seal metal against corrosion and rust and NP 3 or something like it can do the same. I kind of believe that a good coat of satin polyurethane on wood would work. Big ticket items like custom guns demand all the protection they can get.
     

  9. Patton63

    Patton63 AH Veteran

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    My rifles are tools. I’m more concerned about - and will spend my money to ensure - functionality, dependability, and accuracy. Blue and wood, just for blue and wood’s sake, is not appealing to me if there are other options that will do the job as well or better.
     

  10. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    After reliability my biggest concern for a rifle in 375 or larger is weight, I want a 9 pound rifle or better to soak up some of the recoil. I love my T/C Encore with it's synthetic stocks but IMO it's to light for 375 or any thing larger. As far as Stainless Steel goes I'm ok with a matte finish but the shiny finish reflects to much light for my liking.
     

  11. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    Well I have both, a stainless CeraKoted Rem XCR II in 375 Weatherby that weighs 7 1/2 lbs with scope and a CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery blued/walnut that weighs 12 lbs with scope. Both work well. My heart lies with the 500 Jeffery though.
     

  12. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for everyone's opinion. It is interesting to see the voting

    I was leaning towards wood but was open to a deal. After some reflection, I suppose I'm still that way but leaning a bit more towards wood. $700 was the price of this remington and I reminded myself that's the price of a brand new synthetic weatherby I could get any time. So I will pass on this and keep looking out there. I really like the feel of the older Winchester Super Express but dislike the prices I've seen lately as they approach the cost of a new Winchester. I think I will keep shopping around at this point.

    Thanks all
     

  13. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    New Boomer, I find satin polyurethane to be effective if all of the stock is coated with it but do not like the look or feel. I have found a good timber wax that is rubbed into all of the stock works just as well and more pleasing to my eye. :)

    I see yet again people are pre occupied with rifle weight to soak up felt recoil. I have found the best way to reduce felt recoil is stock fit. A good fit to you reduces felt recoil far more than weight and also means you have a better handling rifle. Also my Rem 700 SPS 375H&H weighing 2 lb lighter than my CZ550 in 375H&H is far more comfortable to shoot and felt recoil is way lower than in the CZ. That shitty cheap plastic stock absorbs quite a bit of recoil energy and shoots just as tight as the CZ.
     

  14. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Rule 303. I've seen that in other posts and it sounds like a good solution. I mentioned poly because it being oil based might adhere better to an oiled stock. I don't like high gloss finishes on a gun. To me it's too garish and reflects too much bling and not enough working gun.

    I don't rely too much on the weight factor, either. I like enough weight to keep me from being knocked into the next county as long as the gun balances well. My Win 70 Safari Express weighs 11 lbs scoped and loaded but handles like a dream. In that case the weight is not an issue. Keeps the muzzle flip down and quick return to target.
     
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  15. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    I personally prefer stainless. I'm not worried so much about the outside of the barrel as the inside. As for stocks, I like wood but it can be fickle. I've used rifles with both and have to say they did the job well. So it's a personal thing. If you want a wood stock for that 700 do some research and see if that action will work for these stocks. Pretty good deal. https://www.stockysstocks.com/coope...ngton-700-french-and-claro-walnut-stocks.html
     

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  16. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Don't know if it is a concern to you, curtism1234, but it may make sense to plan changing the rear sight on a Super Express. Some marketing genius had the glorious idea that the rear sight is in the way of a scope and that a brilliant solution would be to put a folding rear sight on it...
    Murphy being always the optimist, you can bet your life (literally!) that the day you will need a quick self-defense shot a close range, the rear sight will be folded. Just a thought...

    Another thought is +1 on the CZ 550 ... and I would add: with a Bell & Carlson stock so that - Murphy still being at the party :) - you do not become the one whose stock splits (yep, it DOES happen, regardless of quality. My own shocking experience was with a Sauer 90 Luxus, not a rifle with a shabby reputation for cheap steel or wood...)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019

  17. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    The rear sight is actually the reason I like the rifle. I grew up on buckhorn open sights and the notch mimics that very closely. Whatever I get will likely be shot/hunted with open sights. With the Super Express I can close my eyes, point the rifle, open my eyes and I'm right on target. Unfortunately that particular rifle I saw was all beat to hell and I didn't have any interest in it.

    Point taken on the folding rear though. I have a number of rifles with the folding rear. While it takes a good deal of force to flip them and I've never had it happen accidently, that doesn't mean it can't happen.
     
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  18. Rule 303

    Rule 303 AH Fanatic

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    New Boomer, I have to agree that weight in a well balanced rifle does not feel like it weighs as much as it does. The Win M70 I have handled in 416Rem did not feel as heavy as the CZ and where livelier in handling. The CZ 375H&H I had weighed in at near enough to 10lb. No way would I have thought the Win was a lb heavier even with a scope.

    The Rem SPS 375H&H does not rock you back as much as the CZ does.

    Ryan thanks for the info on those wood stocks but I am happy to stay with the shitty SPS plastic stock. It just works.
     
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  19. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    I find my 12lb (with scope) CZ 550 in 500 Jeffery light and lively in my hands. It's balanced at the middle of the floor plate. It's even more lively when you touch it off lol
     
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  20. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry to hear about the rain and custom rifle. It sucks to be blunt.
    I like nice gear and nice rifles even more.

    That’s where I am torn, nice, classic, traditional, bespoke, custom, Africa, hunting, quality, they all fit in the same space.

    I can’t justify spending 10k on the rifle alone but I would itv I could,

    If I get to hunt some nice places with some nice rifles I’ll be happy.

    Horses for courses, I’d do Alaska and the cold miserable uninhabitable places if Grizzly were on the menu.

    For Africa I’d like the Cape Buffalo and Warthog. I, seriously considering trying for a cull hunt on plains game and think it’s achievable within current budget.

    I digress Its about wood blued vs S/S.


    Someone said they are happy with the Rem SPS, Bugga, they were on the menu under a grand in Australia some 5-6 years back from Cleavers and I didn’t know I needed one at the time. Sadly if I grabbed a synthetic version I’d have been searching for a timber stock and there goes the budget on that budget rifle.

    Side note, I avoid the term Weapon, I’ve never used a firearm against a person. Not even swung it as a weapon or hit someone on the head with it.
    It’s not a weapon unless I use it against you, Not for discussion. I’m sticking to that point. Thankyou.
     

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