Advice on first Dangerous Game rifle

Scrumbag

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I like the 416 Rigby recommendation. You can buy a CZ 550 for about $1100, send it to Wayne at AHR for his CZ #1 upgrade and have him go through it to make sure it feeds/functions and is reliable and be in for about $2000.00 Another good option is a new Winchester M70 in 416 Remington. My son has a Model 70 Classic in 416 Remington and if you're not a handloader the Remington Safari Grade 416 ammo loaded with 400g A-Frames is hard to beat for a soft point. The 404 Jeffery is a lovely round, but they tend to be pricier, which may or may not matter to you.
Yes, a CZ or Zastava which has been "breathed-on" by a good 'smith seems a good option. Though I do have a thing for FN commericials so maybe speak to M. Dumoulin of Liege...
 

Scrumbag

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If I could only have 3 bolt guns it would be a 7x57, 9.3x62, and a 404Jeff. My suggestion is buy the what ever 416 Rigby or 404 Jeff that you find first and just shoot the crap out of it and share your adventures with us here on AH.
Well, have 7x64, 9.3x62...
 

Scrumbag

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Edgars have 375 ruger ammo in stock.

My 375 guide gun took a few months, but not too many.

The main downside is bullet choice unless you reload.
Oh really? Now that does surprise me!
 

Scrumbag

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You said you had a 9.3 that you liked, why not have it re-barreled or re bored into 375HH 416Rigby or that other classic 404Jeff
Now there's an idea... I must admit I have considered it as the barrel is a bit pitted (bought it that way). Is a lovely action, double round bridge FN Commercial. Only issue is not drilled and tapped. Does have a Rigby style peep on it though...
 
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I first and foremost like doubles. But have a bunch of bolt guns like I have really come to like and respect the 9.3x 62 to the point that my 375 has only been out of the safe once in the last two years. 375 has is one of my all time favourites and has proven itself world over. out of the 416 or 404 I just like the 404 best. Both will do everything you you have stated you want in a DG rifle. If I could only have 3 bolt guns it would be a 7x57, 9.3x62, and a 404Jeff. My suggestion is buy the what ever 416 Rigby or 404 Jeff that you find first and just shoot the crap out of it and share your adventures with us here on AH.
7 x 57, 9,3 x 62 and 404Jeffery are legendary calibres. You know what is good.
Witold
 

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Well, have 7x64, 9.3x62...
you have 2 great calibres there . just add a .416 Rigby or a .404 jeff depending on your desires, and you will be sorted for what your needs are. as i presume you know the Rigby folks ask Marc to see what .416 Rigbys he can find for you.
 

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Yes, a CZ or Zastava which has been "breathed-on" by a good 'smith seems a good option. Though I do have a thing for FN commericials so maybe speak to M. Dumoulin of Liege...
Hello Scrumbag,

I too am quite fond of the FN Commercial Model 98 Mauser.
If your pitted barrel 9.3x62 is shooting well enough, in spite of the less than perfect bore, I definitely would just keep it as it is.
Also, you mentioned that it was not drilled for scope bases but instead is equipped with Rigby "peep sight".
Likewise, I'd just leave the sights as they are and bring it to Africa like that.

Regarding your avaiable choices for a first dangerous game rifle, if you are only planning to use factory ammunition, I think I would select whichever suitable cartridge is commonly available where you live.
That way you can practice enough to properly prepare for an African adventure.

If you are a hand-loader, then I would probably choose the .404 Jeffery.
This is presuming that live ammunition for it is as difficult to find where you are, as it is here where I am (Alaska).
Once you acquire some brass cartridges, all that is at issue will be projectiles and presumably those are not as heavily regulated there as live ammunition is.
(Mail order the projectiles, then powder and primers from local gun shop?)

I own a .416 Rigby and am generally speaking, very happy with it.
However, admittedly I hand-load it only to Pre-War .404 ballistics, because at full speed, the Rigby cartridge has very "sporting recoil" for a soft shouldered geezer like me.

So, I am burning more powder than I would like (, just to duplicate what the .404 has always done with less.
Therefore, if I had found a .404 rifle at an affordable price, I would have a .404 Jeffery instead of my otherwise excellent .416 Rigby (it is a somewhat Gunsmith modified CZ, Model 550 Magnum).

Last but not least, I also have a .458 Lott that, is likewise based on the large and robust CZ Magnum action.
And it is by all accounts, a very fine caliber for dangerous game (mine surely does kill the living daylights out of paper targets, here at my local rifle range).
As with my .416, I load this one down a bit as well.
Mine weighs about 11 pound, has a 23 inch barrel and dreaded "hog's-back" style walnut stock with Schnabel forend, aka; "Bavarian" style stock, aka: "South Africa Express" style stock, blah, blah, blah, snore.
I have fired it quite a bit with 480 and 500 grain bullet (whichever I happen to get a good price on) at just a tic over 2100 feet per second.
Recoil is stout but not brutal and accuracy is astounding on good days (when I'm not hung over - just kidding ... sort of).

Loaded with 400 grain bullet, the Lott will shoot flat enough so that hitting targets at a bit over 200 meters is not difficult in the slightest.
The cartridge is capable of 2400 fps with 400 grainers from said 23" barrel (but recoil begins to approach the "snappy" category, somewhere around the 2400 fps threshold).
Fact is, with some focused practice, one can learn even the 500 grain 2100 fps trajectory surprisingly well, for hunting antelope and swine, somewhat beyond "dangerous game distances".

Well anyway, at the end of the day, you can't go wrong if you ignore my tedious, rambling rant here and simply just do as Mr. Spike.T suggested.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

norfolk shooter

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Mate John Taylor said this about the 375 H&H

Undoubtedly one of the deadliest weapons in existence. I've had five of these rifles—two doubles and three magazines—and have fired more than 5,000 rounds of .375 Magnum ammunition at game. One of them accounted for more than 100 elephant and some 411 buffalo, besides rhino, lions and lesser game.

With the correct bullet you can take anything with this round. Now if your 9.3 has a rigby type peep sight you've got it made have the thing re-barrelled and use it the way god intended! With open sights as a 375 H&H!!
 

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Mate John Taylor said this about the 375 H&H

Undoubtedly one of the deadliest weapons in existence. I've had five of these rifles—two doubles and three magazines—and have fired more than 5,000 rounds of .375 Magnum ammunition at game. One of them accounted for more than 100 elephant and some 411 buffalo, besides rhino, lions and lesser game.

With the correct bullet you can take anything with this round. Now if your 9.3 has a rigby type peep sight you've got it made have the thing re-barrelled and use it the way god intended! With open sights as a 375 H&H!!
:E Nono:.....one must not screw up a perfectly good 9.3x62 (y) especially to make it into one of those .375 things!!.......;)
 

norfolk shooter

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:E Nono:.....one must not screw up a perfectly good 9.3x62 (y) especially to make it into one of those .375 things!!.......;)
then I recommend a 375 thing as a bolt or a double
 

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Personally, considering your list, I'd pick the .458WM, easily persuaded to change that to a Lott, or a .416 Rigby. I own or have owned most of them on your list, and right now what I call my own are a .458WM and a .416 Rigby (also a .416 Ruger and a .375 H&H grace my safes, but those are my wife's rifles).

.375 H&H – Ruled out as have a 9.3x62 and so too close. Also reading seems to suggest a “Stoppers start with a four”
Agreed here. The two are close enough, you don't NEED both. Nothing wrong with WANTING both though. I do agree, in general, even though the 375H&H handles itself a lot better than it should, there's a real difference between a big bore and a mid bore. My wife just picked up a .375 H&H, my third in the cartridge.

I've never done so myself, but if I were ever contemplating a 1 gun Safari, it would be a .375 H&H (MAYBE MAYBE a .416Rig). I could easily be persuaded to cast vote for the .375H&H as the idea lion and great bear cartridge (although the bigger calibers do have stopping power advantage, but the .375H&H has more than plenty on these game).

.404 Jeffrey – Really like the sound of this one. Enough power but perhaps not as heavy recoil as the .416 Rigby and also in a standard length action. (Not recoil shy but I think practice is good and shouldn’t be too unpleasant and I’m concerned about the availability of ammo both for practice and if the ammo box gets lost).
I haven't owned one, but I've shot one a bit. Fine cartridge, and seems to have a lot of popularity right now (retro revival?). The benefit of a "standard length action" might be over-hyped. Some makers will drop it into a magnum length action any way (same issue with .458WM too), and in honesty, the extra weight and size of a magnum action is pretty welcomed (by me at least) in DGR's to help tame the recoil. The balancing between a magnum and a standard long action isn't as different as it is for a long vs. a short either - given similar stocks and barrels, of course.

.416 Rigby – Seems very popular and seemingly with good reason but quite punchy
Like many, the Rigby is a personal favorite. Some classify the .416's as "mid-bores," in their minds starting 'big bore' as anything over 45caliber. I might love the idea of 500grns as a tipping point, and LOVE seeing big calibers at the beginning of cartridges, but considering it's capabilities and recoil, the .416 Rigby is a contender among any peers. I have taken 3 bison and an Argentine water buffalo with a .416Rig, have yet to recover a bullet, and have yet to have received argument from game hit with it.

.458 WM – Have read some horror stories about ammunition with the .458WM. Are these true or over exaggerated? Is modern ammunition just better? I read the hunting Blackbeards of Botswana and it seems those guys put down lots of beasts with a 458WM
As others mentioned, the horror stories were true, but they ARE also exaggerated, and with modern smokeless powders, they're irrelevant. I think the .458WM loses the popularity contests in many circles because of it's designed intent - it's a "poor man's .470NE." I could agree with the argument some might make to say the .458wm "ruined" safari hunting - Dangerous Game rifles before the .458wm, and African Safari's as a whole, were very different - namely, they were largely Eurpoean, and very expensive. The .458WM could effectively hunt the same game, but in a much less expensive package, and a lot of folks didn't care to see "budget Safari's" become so mainstream - if everyone can do it, then it's not as elite or exotic as it once was.

My first DGR was a .458wm. Buying into all of the hype, and especially trusting the advice of a hunter I had known to have been across a handful of times which said - "the .458wm is a great lion rifle, but for the heavy game, it's just not enough." So I had my 458wm reamed to .458Lott. Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed with the gains. Given the chance again, I would not do the same. I later purchased another .458Lott, then had difficulties feeding it, so I sold it off. I'm now back to a .458WM (although I do have an action for .458Lott project rifle on my shelf).

.458 Lott – Sounds good and like the idea of being able to run 458WM but seems to run at higher pressures, ammo seems quite uncommon and also worry about feeding 458WM in it
If you run a .458win mag at .458Lott pressure (which you CAN do), it ends up within a hundred to two hundred feet per second of the Lott with the same bullet. As I mentioned above, I regret having my first .458WM reamed to accept the Lott - it was a solution where a problem didn't exist. I now own a .458WM, and have a .458Lott project sitting on my bench. Between the two, I don't bat an eye at the difference - no game animal will be able to tell the difference if either bullet is placed well.

500J and 505 Gibbs – Seem to be very large, very heavy, very punchy and out of my price range.
I WILL build myself a .505 Gibbs someday. Probably be 2018, based on my current projects, but I WILL build one. Probably a CZ when I do. I've yet to have a DGR which starts with a 5...

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I was facing the same decision as you a while back, looking for a DG rifle and I already had a nice 9,3x62 that I really like. I decided to take a realistic look at what I thought I needed for the animals I plan to hunt. Unless I have a cash windfall or it gets much less expensive I will probably never hunt elephant so the cape buffalo is most likely the largest critter I will shoot. I took a long hard look at the .404 and may still get one at some point but not right now. I decided on the .375 H&H as my 9,3 isn't legal everywhere for dangerous game but the .375 is legal anywhere. Since I started shooting the .375 I have not regretted the choice and feel it pairs well with my 9,3. both are great shooting rifles. Ammo was not really a factor in my decision since there is none in this area for any of the big bores, or the 9,3x62 either for that matter. I'm a handloader so I only have to get brass and bullets and I'm in business and there isn't much difference in the cost of hand loaded ammo . Bsst of luck with your decision!
 

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Interesting opinions on converting (or not) the 9.3x62 ;)
 

Scrumbag

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Jimbob, in the beginning, God created Paul Mauser and he came up with the ultimate repeating rifle...
 
 

 

 

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