A Magazine Or A Second Barrel?

Kawshik Rahman

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I believe Don Heath said the double rifle was great tool for a PH. He said the ranges at which a PH will stop a charge don’t leave much time to work the bolt. But I believe he used a bolt action in most of his work.
Wyatt Smith
Why yes. I have been reading many articles kindly sent to me by Hoss Delgado , written by this gentleman, recently. He appears to favor a 9.3 millimeter mauser calibre bolt operation rifle with a removable magazine for general work , and a double barrel rifle of .416 bore for elephants and buffaloes made by the European firm , Krieghoff.
 

Red Leg

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"Ganyana" - Don Heath - was a remarkable man that our hunting culture misses very badly.

I am of the belief that a double is a rifle for a very experienced hunter. If only equipped with open sights, it is also a rifle for someone with meaningful open sight experience as well. One of my friends who guides in Mozambique says his single most worrying experience is whenever a first time buffalo hunter arrives with a double rifle. It really is a rifle optimized to sort out issues at pistol range. There are exceptions to the traditional design - Blaser and Krieghoff for instance - that have the accuracy and configuration capability (read optical sight) - that makes them almost as versatile for a client as a bolt action. But they are exception to the rules.

Which is not to say a client should never use a double - but I would never recommend one on a first buffalo. Get that first dugga boy - understand the experience and challenges - then take more traditional safari with that .470 or .450. There are shots, easily made with a scoped .375, that have to be passed on with irons and/or a double. Notice, I never said number of rounds in the magazine has anything to do with any of this.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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"Ganyana" - Don Heath - was a remarkable man that our hunting culture misses very badly.

I am of the belief that a double is a rifle for a very experienced hunter. If only equipped with open sights, it is also a rifle for someone with meaningful open sight experience as well. One of my friends who guides in Mozambique says his single most worrying experience is whenever a first time buffalo hunter arrives with a double rifle. It really is a rifle optimized to sort out issues at pistol range. There are exceptions to the traditional design - Blaser and Krieghoff for instance - that have the accuracy and configuration capability (read optical sight) - that makes them almost as versatile for a client as a bolt action. But they are exception to the rules.

Which is not to say a client should never use a double - but I would never recommend one on a first buffalo. Get that first dugga boy - understand the experience and challenges - then take more traditional safari with that .470 or .450. There are shots, easily made with a scoped .375, that have to be passed on with irons and/or a double. Notice, I never said number of rounds in the magazine has anything to do with any of this.
Red Leg
You are a most mature Shikari who speaks from actual experience in the field .
You are correct in your assessment . Majority of my clients could indeed shoot better with a bolt operation rifle rather than a double barrel rifle , especially for those longer distance shots taken over open terrain .
There are , like you say , exception to the rules. One gentleman client had a beautiful double barrel rifle calibrated for the .22 High Power cartridge , built by the English firm, Westley Richards which had a telescopic sight on it. The client was such an excellent marksman with that little light rifle that , he took six mouse deer with that rifle with six cartridges ( they were all of the 70 grain soft nose variety , from the firm , Winchester ) .
A very unusually skilled gentleman indeed .
I also agree about most double barrel rifles being short range affairs. Infact , l do not believe ever seeing a client Shikari use one at distances greater than forty yards for Royal Bengal tiger , Gaur or leopards.
On a related subject , you once mentioned that you own a Blaser firm double barrel rifle calibrated to shoot .30-06 Springfield cartridges , if l recall correctly. Is yours regulated for the 180 grain cartridges or the 220 grain cartridges ?
Also , is Don Heath still alive or has he passed away ? I read his articles with great enthusiasm these days.
 

Red Leg

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Red Leg
You are a most mature Shikari who speaks from actual experience in the field .
You are correct in your assessment . Majority of my clients could indeed shoot better with a bolt operation rifle rather than a double barrel rifle , especially for those longer distance shots taken over open terrain .
There are , like you say , exception to the rules. One gentleman client had a beautiful double barrel rifle calibrated for the .22 High Power cartridge , built by the English firm, Westley Richards which had a telescopic sight on it. The client was such an excellent marksman with that little light rifle that , he took six mouse deer with that rifle with six cartridges ( they were all of the 70 grain soft nose variety , from the firm , Winchester ) .
A very unusually skilled gentleman indeed .
I also agree about most double barrel rifles being short range affairs. Infact , l do not believe ever seeing a client Shikari use one at distances greater than forty yards for Royal Bengal tiger , Gaur or leopards.
On a related subject , you once mentioned that you own a Blaser firm double barrel rifle calibrated to shoot .30-06 Springfield cartridges , if l recall correctly. Is yours regulated for the 180 grain cartridges or the 220 grain cartridges ?
Also , is Don Heath still alive or has he passed away ? I read his articles with great enthusiasm these days.
Regrettably, he passed away I believe in 2015. A great loss to our sport and the industry.

My Blaser has 30-06, 500-416, and .375 barrels. All use the Blaser mounting system for telescopic sights. As I would with a Blaser R8, I have a dedicated scope for each set of barrels. In all calibers, with the scope and regulated ammunition, it shoots MOA from each barrel and composite 2 - 2.5 inch four shot (LxR/LxR) at 100 meters. I sight in on the right barrel which gives me the same accuracy of a single shot out to nearly three-hundred meters and the second shot will always be within an MOA or two. I have killed everything from buffalo to oribi with it from ranges better measured in feet to nearly three hundred meters. Of course, I can instantly dismount the scope and use the rifles superb open sights for a follow-up in the thick stuff. A truly remarkable design. With the 'o6, the rifle is regulated for the 180 gr TSX. Remember, this is a double rifle that I can shoot to 300 meters in that caliber. So, I have no use for the 220.

That said, for my next buffalo, I may take my William Douglas & Son .470. It isn't the most practical choice, but sometimes, I suppose one just wants to be a "Stewart Granger wannabe."

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/in-memoriam-professional-hunter-don-heath-passes-away.24482/ The link on Don Heath.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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Regrettably, he passed away I believe in 2015. A great loss to our sport and the industry.

My Blaser has 30-06, 500-416, and .375 barrels. All use the Blaser mounting system for telescopic sights. As I would with a Blaser R8, I have a dedicated scope for each set of barrels. In all calibers, with the scope and regulated ammunition, it shoots MOA from each barrel and composite 2 - 2.5 inch four shot (LxR/LxR) at 100 meters. I sight in on the right barrel which gives me the same accuracy of a single shot out to nearly three-hundred meters and the second shot will always be within an MOA or two. I have killed everything from buffalo to oribi with it from ranges better measured in feet to nearly three hundred meters. Of course, I can instantly dismount the scope and use the rifles superb open sights for a follow-up in the thick stuff. A truly remarkable design. With the 'o6, the rifle is regulated for the 180 gr TSX. Remember, this is a double rifle that I can shoot to 300 meters in that caliber. So, I have no use for the 220.

That said, for my next buffalo, I may take my William Douglas & Son .470. It isn't the most practical choice, but sometimes, I suppose one just wants to be a "Stewart Granger wannabe."

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/in-memoriam-professional-hunter-don-heath-passes-away.24482/ The link on Don Heath.
Red Leg
Thank you so much for your insightful response. These German pieces certainly rival the English pieces in terms of craftsmanship , do they not ?
I assure you that you are no more a " Stewart Granger Wannabe" than myself . I actually became a Professional Shikari , just because l wanted to be like him . It was a childish reasoning at the time but l do not regret it one bit.
 

IvW

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But IvW , you hate double too :(
Besides , 7 rounds can stop a charge better than 2 rounds , right ?

Wrong you only need one well placed shot to stop any charge....
 

kurpfalzjäger

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"Ganyana" - Don Heath - was a remarkable man that our hunting culture misses very badly.

I am of the belief that a double is a rifle for a very experienced hunter. If only equipped with open sights, it is also a rifle for someone with meaningful open sight experience as well. One of my friends who guides in Mozambique says his single most worrying experience is whenever a first time buffalo hunter arrives with a double rifle. It really is a rifle optimized to sort out issues at pistol range. There are exceptions to the traditional design - Blaser and Krieghoff for instance - that have the accuracy and configuration capability (read optical sight) - that makes them almost as versatile for a client as a bolt action. But they are exception to the rules.

Which is not to say a client should never use a double - but I would never recommend one on a first buffalo. Get that first dugga boy - understand the experience and challenges - then take more traditional safari with that .470 or .450. There are shots, easily made with a scoped .375, that have to be passed on with irons and/or a double. Notice, I never said number of rounds in the magazine has anything to do with any of this.

I agree with that , and I would even say that in all cases a scoped bolt action rifle should be preferred to a DR with open sights.

We don't live in the days of Karamoja Bell and our game no longer too. Shooting conditions are becoming more difficult and , depending on the terrain and the habits of the game , longer range shooting on buffalos for example is sometimes required. One is therefore always in the advantage with a scoped bolt action rifle as with a DR with open sights , also as far as shot placement in heavy cover is concerned or in poor light conditions. I could not have shot half of my buffalos if I had only hunted with an DR with open sights.

If you want to hunt with a double rifle DG , you may need to adapt your hunting to your rifle and to be less successful.

"I would never recommend one on a first buffalo" is therefore IMHO a very good recommendation.
 
Last edited:

perttime

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...
One is therefore always in the advantage with a scoped bolt action rifle as with a DR with open sights , also as far as shot placement in heavy cover is concerned or in poor light conditions. I could not have shot half of my buffalos if I had only hunted with an DR with open sights.
....
That reminds me.

There are - or at least were - people who have made strong cases for using "ghost ring" sights (large and thin-rimmed aperture sights): very fast with a little practice, more precise than traditional open sights, very little that can go wrong with the sight, do not add bulk to the rifle.

I suppose they don't help you see better in heavy cover but heavy cover is risky anyway.

Is anyone using those now?

Photo stolen from the internet:

460.jpg
 

Kawshik Rahman

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I agree with that , and I would even say that in all cases a scoped bolt action rifle should be preferred to a DR with open sights.

We don't live in the days of Karamoja Bell and our game no longer too. Shooting conditions are becoming more difficult and , depending on the terrain and the habits of the game , longer range shooting on buffalos for example is sometimes required. One is therefore always in the advantage with a scoped bolt action rifle as with a DR with open sights , also as far as shot placement in heavy cover is concerned or in poor light conditions. I could not have shot half of my buffalos if I had only hunted with an DR with open sights.

If you want to hunt with a double rifle DG , you may need to adapt your hunting to your rifle and to be less successful.

"I would never recommend one on a first buffalo" is therefore IMHO a very good recommendation.
Kurpfalzjager
That is an excellent assessment . For
I agree with that , and I would even say that in all cases a scoped bolt action rifle should be preferred to a DR with open sights.

We don't live in the days of Karamoja Bell and our game no longer too. Shooting conditions are becoming more difficult and , depending on the terrain and the habits of the game , longer range shooting on buffalos for example is sometimes required. One is therefore always in the advantage with a scoped bolt action rifle as with a DR with open sights , also as far as shot placement in heavy cover is concerned or in poor light conditions. I could not have shot half of my buffalos if I had only hunted with an DR with open sights.

If you want to hunt with a double rifle DG , you may need to adapt your hunting to your rifle and to be less successful.

"I would never recommend one on a first buffalo" is therefore IMHO a very good recommendation.
Kurpfalzjager
That is an excellent assessment . I personally believe that a bolt operation rifle can easily do , whatever a double barrel rifle can do . My preference lies with a .375 Holland and Holland magnum calibre bolt operation rifle built on a French Brevex mechanism and 24 inch barrel .
The one place where a double barrel rifle is irreplaceable , is for pursuing wounded leopards into dense vegetation . In such a case , l would use a double barrel rifle calibrated for the .375 Holland and Holland magnum Winchester silver tip cartridge , with 26 inch long muzzles , two triggers and no automatic safety mechanism.
 

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That reminds me.

There are - or at least were - people who have made strong cases for using "ghost ring" sights (large and thin-rimmed aperture sights): very fast with a little practice, more precise than traditional open sights, very little that can go wrong with the sight, do not add bulk to the rifle.

I suppose they don't help you see better in heavy cover but heavy cover is risky anyway.

Is anyone using those now?

Photo stolen from the internet:

View attachment 314443

All the time. I have both a .375 and 9.3x62 so equipped.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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That reminds me.

There are - or at least were - people who have made strong cases for using "ghost ring" sights (large and thin-rimmed aperture sights): very fast with a little practice, more precise than traditional open sights, very little that can go wrong with the sight, do not add bulk to the rifle.

I suppose they don't help you see better in heavy cover but heavy cover is risky anyway.

Is anyone using those now?

Photo stolen from the internet:

View attachment 314443

I know similar systems of various combat rifles , but don't use this one on a hunting rifle. I have a Rigby-style diopter on one of my big bore rifle , but a scope too.

The ghost ring sights or the Rigby style peep sights improve in all cases the shooting with open sights , but IMHO does not replace a scope.
 

perttime

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All the time. I have both a .375 and 9.3x62 so equipped.
What sights do you have exactly?
I've been browsing the interwebs for them, and there's some quite inexpensive ones out there - and there's things like Rigby which is not inexpensive.

edit:
another question: is it possible to use ghost ring or peep sights together with traditional open sights, or do they get in each other's way?
 

IvW

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What sights do you have exactly?
I've been browsing the interwebs for them, and there's some quite inexpensive ones out there - and there's things like Rigby which is not inexpensive.

edit:
another question: is it possible to use ghost ring or peep sights together with traditional open sights, or do they get in each other's way?

Rear sight will be in the way. You look through the ghost ring and should only see the front sight and bead not the ring.
Ghost ring needs to be mounted as far back and as close to the eye as practical for it to work correctly.
 

perttime

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Yes, the eye centers itself without thought or focus, when you look through the aperture or ring. I suspected that a conventional rear sight would interfere.
 

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Rear sight will be in the way. You look through the ghost ring and should only see the front sight and bead not the ring.
Ghost ring needs to be mounted as far back and as close to the eye as practical for it to work correctly.

That is exactly correct.

That reminds me.

There are - or at least were - people who have made strong cases for using "ghost ring" sights (large and thin-rimmed aperture sights): very fast with a little practice, more precise than traditional open sights, very little that can go wrong with the sight, do not add bulk to the rifle.

I suppose they don't help you see better in heavy cover but heavy cover is risky anyway.

Is anyone using those now?

Photo stolen from the internet:

View attachment 314443

Heavy cover is indeed "risky", but that is where you are likely to find your bull. And for that first, most important shot, even in heavy cover, nothing beats a scope to put that bullet in exactly the right spot.

The "ghost ring" type peep is both quicker and more accurate than traditional irons. It is why the US Army adopted them on all infantry rifles after introduction of the Model 1917 in WWI. However, it is still a crude tool for threading a bullet through dark brush or sorting the correct duga boy shoulder in a group of three in failing light. I killed my last bull, in bound (though not an all out charge) at about 25 yards in very heavy stuff. The Leica set at 2.5 allowed me to put that 300 gr A Frame on the exact wart I wanted to hit.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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I know similar systems of various combat rifles , but don't use this one on a hunting rifle. I have a Rigby-style diopter on one of my big bore rifle , but a scope too.

The ghost ring sights or the Rigby style peep sights improve in all cases the shooting with open sights , but IMHO does not replace a scope.
Kurpfalzjager
You mentioned your .460 Weatherby magnum calibre rifle which was built on a Brevex mechanism . May l ask which firm built your rifle and how many cartridges the magazine could hold ?
Also , do you use traditional metal envelope bullets or modern homogeneous metal bullets ?
 

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What sights do you have exactly?
I've been browsing the interwebs for them, and there's some quite inexpensive ones out there - and there's things like Rigby which is not inexpensive.

edit:
another question: is it possible to use ghost ring or peep sights together with traditional open sights, or do they get in each other's way?

I have a Talley, an NECG and an island mounted Williams. Which sight you need really depends on what you are mounting it on.
 

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