Best two or three barrel takedown for Africa hunting

318AE

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Some take down rifles have multiple barrels (ie 25/06, 30/06, 35 Whelen etc). Generally there is a common stock and action, and often different scopes in quick release mounts.

Does anyone have, and travel with such a configuration? I know the 375 can do it all well, and has for decades; but it’s not ideal for every situation (Bob may tell me the 35 Whelen does it all best, and I won’t argue that point :). I recall Redleg said the 300’s are better choice for leopard than a 375, but may be mistaken)

The ideal two and three rifle battery has been discussed many times. I’d appreciate forum member’s thoughts on the best combination of cartridges, if the bolt face diameter, action length etc are the same. The 375 H&H and 300 H&H come to mind. Are there others?
 

yhc

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I have a few different configurations of Blaser R8. I have traveled with 458 Lott and 300 WM bbls in the past for a brown bear and deer combo hunt. Today I am traveling to Kodiak again with 375 H/H and 300 WM bbls w/ the same stock and action configuration.

I understand some people don’t like Blaser R8 but I certainly am enjoy shooting it. I recommend highly.

Regards,
 

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yhc, your 375/300 combination sounds like an excellent choice IMO!
 

One Day...

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After many years searching for this elusive grail, my personal answer is .257 Wby, .300 Wby and .375 H&H.
  • The .257 Wby 100 gr TTSX is absolutely perfect for all small & medium PG and likely the best for mountain hunting (Vaal Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Mountain Nyala, etc. as well as Himalayan Tahr, European Chamois, American Mountain Goat, etc.) and it shoots laser flat out to 400 yards with barely any recoil to notice (equivalent .270 Win) which makes it extremely easy to shoot well.
  • The .300 Wby is by a large consensus the best .300 there is when combining reach / power / ammo availability. It does everything with a 165 gr or 180 gr TTSX and hits a tremendous blow with a 200 gr AFrame. You can replace the .300 Wby with a .300 Win if you prefer; same bolt head. Either are needlessly powerful for most PG species, but shine on the larger ones (Kudu, Wildebeest, etc. as well as European or New Zealand Red Deer, American Elk, etc.).
  • The .375 H&H satisfies all minimum legal requirements for DG and has done it all for over 100 years. It is not ideal for sure climbing mountains after Vaal Rhebok, or stopping a charging Buffalo, but it can do it, and it is perfect on Lion, undisturbed Buffalo, Eland, and good on Leopard too with a quick-opening bullet like the 250 gr TTSX.
You can replace the .375 H&H with the .416 Rem if you want more punch, it has the same bolt head and cartridge length, however a lot of people are disagreeably surprised by the recoil of the .416. Many folks show up in Africa with a .416 they are afraid of and cannot shoot well, and would be much better served with a .375 H&H...

You can also replace the .375 H&H with the .458 Lott if Elephant is on the menu, it too has the same bolt head and cartridge length, but the recoil enters another dimension with full loads. To many, it is simply too much...

I have played over the last 40 years with many PG calibers, and I still currently own .24, .25, .26, .27, .28, .30, .33 PG rifles, but everything considered I have come to the conclusions that a progression of 0.05" makes sense when going to the next caliber: .25 to .30 to .35 (or .375) to .40 (or .416) to .45 (or .470) to .500. Certainly there is a strong logic for .25/06, .30/06, .35/06 (i.e. 35 Whelen) but I personally prefer a bit more reach and flatter trajectories, and the .35 fails legal caliber requirements.

My own Blaser R8 battery includes .257 Wby, .300 Wby, .375 H&H and .223 Rem barrels. I hesitated long and hard between .22 LR and .223 Rem for practice and decided to go .223. Ammo is not very much more expensive than quality .22 LR, and still dirt-cheap compared to the Wby calibers, and the .223 extends the practice range to 300 yards, which the .22 LR simply cannot do.

I have no need for .416 Rem or .458 Lott barrels - which Blaser also offers - because my Pelican 1700 hosts both a R8 with 2 barrels AND a Krieghoff double .470, in a case that weighs less than the 50lbs., and measures less than the cumulated 62" linear total, maximum airlines no-fee luggage allowance.

This flexibility is why I finally walked away from double square bridge magnum Mauser system rifles. With them I could only bring 2 calibers to Africa. Now I bring 3. Vaal Rhebok is always on the list, so the .257 Wby barrel comes; Buffalo is always on the list, and I like to hunt them up close & personal, so the .470 double comes; and depending on what else I hunt, either the .300 Wby or .375 H&H barrel comes.
 
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BeeMaa

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We have 2 Blaser R8's with 4 caliber options.
22lr, 300WM, 375H&&H and 416RM.
Each has it's own scope in a QR mount.
If I were to add one more, it would probably be 257WBY.

His & Hers...
1603502075458.png

The 416 was added because Mrs BeeMaa is thinking about Buffalo.
She normally shoots the 300WM, but is comfortable with the 375H&H.
This way we are each good for DG, even on a PG only hunt.
 

CBH Australia

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There should be plenty of support for Blaser here.

In Australia an action case and 2 barrels might be $10,000. That puts a damper on it for me. Adding quality optics will be another jump but hose who travel say it’s the way to go.

What Blaser do offer is options from .22lr up to some big bore cartridges offering the flexibility you require. There are companies making after market barrels and options.

I don’t think I have read of a Blaser in .35 Whelen yet. @Bob Nelson 35Whelen will be along shortly. He might know if it’s an option or campaign Blaser for you.
 
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There should be plenty of support for Blaser here.

In Australia an action case and 2 barrels might be $10,000. That puts a damper on it for me. Adding quality optics will be another jump but hose who travel say it’s the way to go.

What Blaser do offer is options from .22lr up to some big bore cartridges offering the flexibility you require. There are companies making after market barrels and options.

I don’t think I have read of a Blaser in .35 Whelen yet. @Bob Nelson 35Whelen will be along shortly. He might know if it’s an option or campaign Blaser for you.
@CBH
Like you mate even with just one barrel it's way above my pay grade.
My $1,100 savage Whelen will shoot just as good if not better than most and my 25 will run rings around most and that's on an old P14 action. Both can shoot better than this old fart as has been shown by a couple of benchrest boys. A 25 that can group half inch at 200 yards in benchrest boys hands will do me any day. Both rifles for less than 2 and a half grand still cheaper than the the R8.
Bob
 

Ryan

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I used a Thompson/Center Encore my first two hunts in Namibia using a 30-06 barrel. I didn't need another caliber for what I hunted but if I wanted something else they have 22 LR for small game, and centerfire barrels from 204 Ruger through 35 Whelen to make a set that would easily fit in a small case. They used to make 375 H&H barrels, though I honestly haven't seen any in a while. It's a very accurate platform, barrels are easy to change out and a heck of a lot cheaper than a Blaser.
 

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I used a Thompson/Center Encore my first two hunts in Namibia using a 30-06 barrel. I didn't need another caliber for what I hunted but if I wanted something else they have 22 LR for small game, and centerfire barrels from 204 Ruger through 35 Whelen to make a set that would easily fit in a small case. They used to make 375 H&H barrels, though I honestly haven't seen any in a while. It's a very accurate platform, barrels are easy to change out and a heck of a lot cheaper than a Blaser.
You sin by mentioning the Encore in the same thread as the R8! Horrors!

I have a .375 H&H barrel. They made two: a 26" 1-12" blued bull and a 28" 1-10" stainless fluted bull. I have the latter. Custom barrels are available from Match grade machine up to .458 Lott.

The Encore is very fast to reload and positive on extraction. I have shot multiple shots rapidly from it. SSK does some very good work and also does custom barrels. I have a .300WM long range barrel and it is marvelous at 600 yards. Well under MOA. We were shooting dirt clods the size of a fist on demand.

There is a lot to be appreciated in an Encore.
 

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@CBH Australia and @Bob Nelson 35Whelen
You are correct, the Blaser rifle system is not cheap.
But I fully believe you get what you pay for.

One of my biggest reasons for doing so is the stock fit.
It's the same for every caliber 22lr to 416RM (and beyond).
A close second is the factory trigger and the straight pull action.
Incredibly crisp 2# factory trigger and a reload faster than a hiccup.

FYI - There are a couple of companies that make aftermarket barrels.
Any caliber, contour, barrel length and twist rate...even the 35WHEELEN.
 
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@CBH Australia and @Bob Nelson 35Whelen
You are correct, the Blaser rifle system is not cheap.
But I fully believe you get what you pay for.

One of my biggest reasons for doing so is the stock fit.
It's the same for every caliber 22lr to 416RM (and beyond).
A close second is the factory trigger and the straight pull action.
Incredibly crisp 2# factory trigger and a reload faster than a hiccup.

FYI - There are a couple of companies that make aftermarket barrels.
Any caliber, contour, barrel length and twist rate...even the 35WHEELEN.
#BeeMaa
You make some very valid points for the R8 but all my rifles are set with 2 pound triggers and the stocks have been modified for a pretty near perfect fit. The real advantage of the R8 is the ability to carry multiple barrels not multiple rifles. Speed of of operation is secondary to m e as I try and make my first shot count using the mental thought of I only have one shot to do this so don't stuff it up. Works most times.
Bob
 

BeeMaa

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#BeeMaa
You make some very valid points for the R8 but all my rifles are set with 2 pound triggers and the stocks have been modified for a pretty near perfect fit. The real advantage of the R8 is the ability to carry multiple barrels not multiple rifles. Speed of of operation is secondary to m e as I try and make my first shot count using the mental thought of I only have one shot to do this so don't stuff it up. Works most times.
Bob
This is kinda my point...
The awesome trigger and perfectly fitting stock...from the factory.
No extra cost to do so...or added time if you do this yourself.
The extra cost in a Blaser is right up front in the rifle purchase.
Call it the "convenience" tax for not having to deal with it later.

But as you have stated...portability for travel is a big plus.
 

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I have hunted with my Blaser S2 with both 30-06 and .375 barrels and took PG and a buffalo. Shots were from 50 to 200 yards and a bit. I have not taken multiple barrels on subsequent trips to Moz and SA with the R8 simply because the .375 is so versatile. However, were I going to hunt Namibia and parts of the Eastern Cape, I would absolutely take along the .257 Wby or .300 Win Mag barrel as well. I do not much like carrying multiple rifles, but a second barrel adds almost nothing.
 

Ravensview

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We have 2 Blaser R8's with 4 caliber options.
22lr, 300WM, 375H&&H and 416RM.
Each has it's own scope in a QR mount.
If I were to add one more, it would probably be 257WBY.

His & Hers...
View attachment 372919
The 416 was added because Mrs BeeMaa is thinking about Buffalo.
She normally shoots the 300WM, but is comfortable with the 375H&H.
This way we are each good for DG, even on a PG only hunt.
those are a nice looking setup
 

Philip Glass

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Some take down rifles have multiple barrels (ie 25/06, 30/06, 35 Whelen etc). Generally there is a common stock and action, and often different scopes in quick release mounts.

Does anyone have, and travel with such a configuration? I know the 375 can do it all well, and has for decades; but it’s not ideal for every situation (Bob may tell me the 35 Whelen does it all best, and I won’t argue that point :). I recall Redleg said the 300’s are better choice for leopard than a 375, but may be mistaken)

The ideal two and three rifle battery has been discussed many times. I’d appreciate forum member’s thoughts on the best combination of cartridges, if the bolt face diameter, action length etc are the same. The 375 H&H and 300 H&H come to mind. Are there others?
One popular configuration you’ll see on the Blaser R8 is .375 and .300Win Mag. This would be great for Africa.
 

BeeMaa

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One popular configuration you’ll see on the Blaser R8 is .375 and .300Win Mag. This would be great for Africa.
This combo was available directly from Blaser in the PH version.
It came with the steel receiver, kickstop, 300WM/375H&H and Pelican case.
Sadly, it's no longer available as a combination set from the factory.

The Blaser I originally bought was this very thing, except was missing the 375 barrel.
We picked up the 375 barrel and some other stuff to round out our kit.
Only added the 416RM because Mrs BeeMaa is thinking about Buff.
She gets the 375 and I'll use the 416.
 

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My proposition is a Blaser R-8 . I personally used to completely eschew push feed action rifles , until I used one of these ( a .338 Winchester Magnum ) to take down my largest Himalayan ibex .

My preferred three barrel setup would have to be :
A ) A 7 mm Remington Magnum
B ) A .338 Winchester Magnum
C ) A .458 Lott

Some may care to substitute the .338 Winchester Magnum with a .300 Winchester Magnum and the .458 Lott with a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum .
 

Forrest Halley

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I personally like the idea of a dedicated .375 rifle. When I am shooting that and above I want to know that something didn't get assembled loosely or incorrectly. All of my .375's are dedicated platforms. If I want or need one, I sure don't want to be pulling a barrel and a screwdriver out to get it.

The thing that has always bugged me about Encores ( I have three) and other barrel kit rifles is that they aren't really three different rifles. You can't pick up the .375 and shoot it and then move to the .300WM or the .30-06 barrel. It takes time. Not a lot, but some time. Also you cannot arm another person with it. Once you find a particular pet caliber, the other barrels do a lot of sitting around. You would do well to have Warne bases on every barrel and use QD rings so as not to have dormant optics on the barrels. There is not a whole lot of resale value there either.
 

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