Advise on my upcoming trip to Zimbabwe

Ed Hawkins

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Hey guys, I'm looking for some advise regarding my upcoming trip.

I'll be hitting the ground in Zimbabwe for the first time on August 25th, and heading to Deka for 10 days. Buffalo is the primary target on this trip, and if I have time, I would like to do a little plains game hunting. I think I've packed, unpacked and repacked for this trip a dozen time and I'm more then a little excited. The guns I picked for my trip are my Model 70 Winchester Safari Grade, chambered on 416 rem, topped with a Leupold VX-6 1-6, and a Model 700 Remington, in 35 Whelen, also topped with a Leupold VX-6 2-12. So far so good, or so I believe.

My wife and I went to the DSC show to wrap up some details for my upcoming trip. Talked with my outfitter, book my flight, purchased travel insurance, and got some electronic hearing protection. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself with the entire experience, and my wife is humoring my African hunting obsession the entire time. I visited the Heym, and VC booths, and look at their marvelous double rifles. I then stopped by the IFG booth and talk with Larry Pancake, the IFG sales rep about the Sabatti. As I'm talking with Larry my wife steps up and says, "I'll pay for it, buy it", then turns to Larry and say's "He'll take it". I'm standing there astonished, feeling like I just won the superbowl, my wife is buying me a double rifle. I certainly couldn't tell her no... Although, upon further reflection, I believe she just may have been mitigating the damage she believed I was going to inflict upon our bank account the next time I passed by the VC booth. Regardless, I now have my first double on the way.

So, to the question. Do I take the Sabatti 470NE, or my Winchester 416? I have plenty of time to get in a lot of practice with either, I'm only 10 minutes from BLM land and a makeshift shooting range, and ammo will not be an issue as I do reload. I'm leaning towards the 470, but having never been to the Deka/Matetsi area, I don't know which gun is best suited for that area. Thoughts?
 

Luvthunt

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Do not know which PG you may be hunting, but I have been in the Matetsi area so will go out there and say: “take both” .. As you reload , use the 416 wth lighter bullets, 300-350 gr will do nicely and for my money you can go too small but not too big. Plus now you have a back up.
My 340 or 375 both have 1x6 scopes and backed up my 458 Lott. The scopes did all I asked.

Have a great trip!!!!
 

VonJager

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Ya, she definitely heard the prices and decided to minimize the damage, LOL!
 

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You are obviously an experienced hunter, but I would never advise anyone, regardless of experience, to use a double on their first buffalo. It is advice that I gave myself and followed. It may be that you grew up on iron sights and are totally familiar with them, but most people today didn't and aren't. Unless you have been in a platoon action, that first shot at a buffalo likely will be the most critical shot you will have taken in your life. Get it right, and everyone goes home happy. Get it wrong, and the least of your worries will be a long recovery or lost animal. Getting someone hurt cleaning up my mess is something I would rather not live with. The surest way to get that first buff down cleanly is with an accurate, scoped rifle shooting a quality bullet. Get the feel for that sort of hunting, then, assuming it shoots, bring that SxS along.

There is also a very real practical consideration. In some areas, you may get only one or two chances at a quality buffalo. A scoped rifle will greatly increase the odds that you can successfully take advantage of that opportunity. Odd angles, narrow shot windows, confusing shadows, or multiple animals are the rule rather than the exception. An accurate scoped rifle is simple insurance. When you go back for your second, then take the double.

I would have lingered longer at the VC booth. ;)
 

375 Ruger Fan

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I then stopped by the IFG booth and talk with Larry Pancake, the IFG sales rep about the Sabatti. As I'm talking with Larry my wife steps up and says, "I'll pay for it, buy it", then turns to Larry and say's "He'll take it".

From the sounds of things, your wife didn't waffle around with Mr. Pancake on that gun purchase. :whistle:
 

Jfet

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Do I take the Sabatti 470NE, or my Winchester 416? I have plenty of time to get in a lot of practice with either, I'm only 10 minutes from BLM land and a makeshif

You and I are in the same boat after the DSC Convention. I am going on a cape buffalo hunt in Namibia and now how have to choose between the double rifle or the 416 rem.:A Banana:
 

Ed Hawkins

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You are obviously an experienced hunter, but I would never advise anyone, regardless of experience, to use a double on their first buffalo. It is advice that I gave myself and followed. It may be that you grew up on iron sights and are totally familiar with them, but most people today didn't and aren't. Unless you have been in a platoon action, that first shot at a buffalo likely will be the most critical shot you will have taken in your life. Get it right, and everyone goes home happy. Get it wrong, and the least of your worries will be a long recovery or lost animal. Getting someone hurt cleaning up my mess is something I would rather not live with. The surest way to get that first buff down cleanly is with an accurate, scoped rifle shooting a quality bullet. Get the feel for that sort of hunting, then, assuming it shoots, bring that SxS along.

There is also a very real practical consideration. In some areas, you may get only one or two chances at a quality buffalo. A scoped rifle will greatly increase the odds that you can successfully take advantage of that opportunity. Odd angles, narrow shot windows, confusing shadows, or multiple animals are the rule rather than the exception. An accurate scoped rifle is simple insurance. When you go back for your second, then take the double.

I would have lingered longer at the VC booth. ;)

Thanks for the advise Red Leg. I actually do a lot of hunting with iron sites. The mule deer in my avatar was taken in Idaho with a traditional black powder rifle with iron sites, which is my weapon of choice here. But your points are well taken, it may not be the best choice for the first buffalo. I certainly won't be hunting the sagebrush country I'm accustom too. I think I'll reach out to my PH on this issue also. I'm also going to put a reflex site on the 470 whether I take it or not. As for the VC, my wonderful wife was only delaying the inevitable..... :D
 

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Congrats on the new double sir! As others have indicated your with is a smart lady when it comes to finance. She is indeed a keeper. You say you have time to practice. Well let that be your guide as to taking the double. If you can put a hundred rounds down the tubes and get very comfortable at a given yardage why not? The key is can you really shoulder that rifle and hit what you aim for at 50-75 yards.
 

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Personally I would take both. If you don’t want to take two gun cases leave the .35 home and use the .416 for plains game. It will work fine. Ask your PH what he thinks.
 

Jfet

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You say you have time to practice.

Scheduling practice time (Note I am actually writing this to my self)
Goal: Shoot a 100rounds from your new DG rifle
1. How many rounds in a training session: Right now not more than 10. Five might be better.
2. On practice day do you shoot both the .416rem and the 470NE. I think not
3. First shot at practice is the most important.
4. How much recovery time between practice sessions. If I am 18 and this is football practice, 24 hours. I am 54. I might need 48 hours between practice. In reality I am not going to be able to shoot that often. I will probably only be able to shoot on the weekends.
5. 5 rounds per practice session once a week. That gives me 20 weeks to practice at the range. I need to incorporate small caliber fire at the practice session for more practice on shooting mechanics
6. Must incorporate dry fire practice daily.
7. I depart July 15.

Time to go to work!
 

meigsbucks

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Your wife needs to give lessons to most of our wives. Congrats on the double.
My first safari was to Zim, the first two weeks of September in 2013. Buffalo was my numero uno target. I took a .416 Ruger and a .375 H&H. I shot the buff in my avatar at about 90 yds with the .416. IMO, such a shot would be a little tougher with a double.
Additionally, that late in the year, a lot of the foliage was down which opened up the brush.
 

sestoppelman

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"advice", let me offer you some advice.. "advise", I would advise you to do this.... We don't ask for advise, but rather advice. :rolleyes::D:D We advise others for guidance. Lesson for the day. LOL.o_O:D :A Outta:
 

Ed Hawkins

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"advice", let me offer you some advice.. "advise", I would advise you to do this.... We don't ask for advise, but rather advice. :rolleyes::D:D We advise others for guidance. Lesson for the day. LOL.o_O:D :A Outta:

I stand corrected sir
 

sestoppelman

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LOL, no worries. Just yankin'.
 

Ed Hawkins

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Scheduling practice time (Note I am actually writing this to my self)
Goal: Shoot a 100rounds from your new DG rifle
1. How many rounds in a training session: Right now not more than 10. Five might be better.
2. On practice day do you shoot both the .416rem and the 470NE. I think not
3. First shot at practice is the most important.
4. How much recovery time between practice sessions. If I am 18 and this is football practice, 24 hours. I am 54. I might need 48 hours between practice. In reality I am not going to be able to shoot that often. I will probably only be able to shoot on the weekends.
5. 5 rounds per practice session once a week. That gives me 20 weeks to practice at the range. I need to incorporate small caliber fire at the practice session for more practice on shooting mechanics
6. Must incorporate dry fire practice daily.
7. I depart July 15.

Time to go to work!

I like your plan.
 

Ed Hawkins

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Don't just practise on targets, get some photos/pictures of buffalo and practise on those too. I'd be heading to that school in Texas for some realistic practise.
I think this is them http://www.safarishootingschool.com/

I’m shooting 6 inch steel plates, plus I have a life size buff target I bought from Safari Press. I would love to attend one of the shooting schools, but I don’t think I can get it’s going to happen this year.

I do wonder how the steel plates will hold up. Lol
 

Ed Hawkins

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Your wife needs to give lessons to most of our wives. Congrats on the double.
My first safari was to Zim, the first two weeks of September in 2013. Buffalo was my numero uno target. I took a .416 Ruger and a .375 H&H. I shot the buff in my avatar at about 90 yds with the .416. IMO, such a shot would be a little tougher with a double.
Additionally, that late in the year, a lot of the foliage was down which opened up the brush.

That’s a good looking buffalo, which area were you hunting.
 

curtism1234

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Similar to you, I have killed more game with my sidelock muzzleloader than I have centerfire rifles.

If I had a scoped 416 and somehow ended up with a that double, I know which one I would take as long as you reflect good and hard about safety and the possibility of not being able to shoot one that you could possibly of with a scope.

But your life, your conscience, and your money
 

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