uplander01

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Hello All-

Sure there is a thread on here somewhere regarding this topic but wanted to pull some current information out of you fellas, which I'm sure have more knowledge and experience than I.

My goal is to go back to Africa and hunt buffalo, possibly 2022 when and if all this crap going on in the world gets resolved. I have been to the continent twice, once for nice rather fancy Namibia plains game experience, and once in Mozambique for buff and others,...nice but true east africa experience.

My desire is to go back and put in some time hunting Buff with a big bore. I want to do it "old school" with a rifle that is minimum .41. preferably .50 and ant get as close as possible. I don't want to walk a mile and set up sticks and shoot a buff 150 yards away with scoped rig. I know and expect this to be a difficult task. I was in the perfect situation (my exact described situation) with my buddy in Moz when it was his turn to shoot, and it didn't go as it should have,.....many reasons, none of which we need to get into.

I have a budget of 10-15k or so to spend on a rifle. I have some experience with big bores, have enjoyed shooting mind you , but not hunting with them a lot. I have had some doubles in 470, (german made) not to my liking as far as fit and finish although they were accurate. I have and am set up to hand load for many calibers, including 470, 505 gibbs, 375 HH(my pet custom mauser rifle that I have used a lot), 416 rem & rigby, had many rifles come and go over the years LOL. I have held and looked at english double rifles many times over the last 25 years and really love them but know very little about them. The regulation, accuracy , and ability to have them fixed both from a cost standpoint and where to have it done all concern me. That being said there are (with my limited knowledge) some very nice doubles out there in the US market right now for the sub 20k price tag that are very interesting ( I can stretch my budget if I really feel I want to). Here are my pointed questions:

I have some experience with safari magazine rifles, should I just get a big magazine rifle which will be familiar to me in operation and complete my dream knowing there will be a PH to back me up, or should I just go for it and invest in a double (english made, prob not a bad investment) and realize the dream using a tool that was probably used for the exact same task 100 years ago? Either way it is going to be a representative caliber from the early years.

Any and all input is appreciated.
 

Thumper Mcgee

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It depends were you're hunting and how you want to hunt them, a bolt action will be good for use at longer ranges and a double up close in the Thornbush. However a good double is a little more expensive
 

chashardy

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Sounds like you really want an excuse to buy a double and you won't get anyone on here to talk you out of it. LOL. In the price range you are talking about you can get a new Chapuis 470 NE for about 15K. If you need encouragement for that brand, look at Champlinarms.com. JJ Perrodeaux and George Caslin (sp??) recommend them highly.
As I've posted before on here, my Chapuis 375H&H double worked great hunting buffalo and nyala in Limpopo. Chapuis is a small, family owned French company that builds their rifles by hand. Now part of Beretta. (I know. I'm sounding like the poster boy for Chapuis. Wish I was getting paid.)
You might also find a Heym in that price range.
 

IvW

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Heym 470 or 500 stock to your fit but not in the 10-15k range or a bolt in 500 Jeff.
Moz in the swamps hunting buffalo a double is not ideal
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Jeff, save a bit more and buy the Heym, you will get peace of mind. The 89B is a classic.
 
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Professor Mawla

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Good evening @uplander01
As a general rule , I would recommend bolt action rifles . That is what I personally prefer . But this applies even more so , for a novice client hunter . As a client , your objective is to ensure that your first bullet is placed in a vital region . Most novice hunters of dangerous game can learn to accomplish this faster with a bolt action rifle , than they can with a double rifle ( the single sighting plane of a bolt action rifle coming into play , here ) . With a double rifle , a reasonably competent operator can usually manage accurate shots within 50 yards . For a novice , this range may a little too optimistic .

My advice would be to take the .416 Rigby on your first African Cape buffalo safari ( loaded with premium quality expanding ammunition such as Federal’s 400 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw ) . A well placed broadside double lung shot will secure you your animal in no time . A .375 Holland & Holland Magnum and 300 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claw rounds would serve you almost as well ( with the added advantage of less recoil ) . Indeed , 85 % first time client hunters shall bring a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum to Africa for their first safari . But since you would like to use a minimum calibre of .41 bore , I recommend the .416 Rigby .

After your first safari , then you will “ Become more familiar with the game “ . After that , you may opt for a double rifle if you wish . From your second safari onwards , you may take whatever you like .

All the best .

Edit : I re-read your original post and I see that you actually HAVE hunted in Africa before . Nevertheless , since you are more familiar with bolt action rifles ; that is what I would still recommend .
 
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Tanks

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You should be able to find a lightly used Verney Carron or Heym in your price range. A British double is much, much more even used if in good shape.
 

IvW

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Before you buy a VC make sure to get a competent gunsmith to check out the chambers for correct size and headspace....

Heym 89B ticks all the boxes, you can even have it with a peepsight which converts to a ghost ring if you like. Superb regulation as well, done as it should never to cross but stay parallel....not the cheapest but I think the best in the price range.
 

The Engineer

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It is a matter of personal preference. I like big doubles but with modern bullets I do not believe the fifty calibers are not required. The pictured buffalo was taken with a Heym 88B in 470NE. It was shot at less than 25 yards broadside and the Barnes TSX was a full penetration and not recovered, I am not sure the hunter (Different story for the PH.) even needs solids for buffalo give the performance of the current premium expanding bullets..

That being said, the market is soft right now for DG doubles. I have two Heym 450NE doubles currently. I fell in love with the Heym 89B as it is "A British double manufactured in Germany". The 89B has pre-war British lines without the angularity of the 88B. However, the 88B is still a magnificent rifle. I don't need 2 450NEs so I will probably put my near new 88B in 450NE up for $14,000 with a couple of boxes of ammo. However, I doubt if you will find an 89B in that price range.
 

uplander01

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All really good input.

The Chapuis is a good option as you stated chashardy, they are part of Beretta, I work for Benelli USA (part of Beretta Holdings) as an independent sales rep, have for 15 years. We are now responsible for developing a much needed but narrow dealer base in the US. I haven't had a chance to look at them yet as its a rather recent development. At first glance one of the issues I have with some of the non-English brands like Merkel and others is the wrist area and the angle it puts your strong hand at during heavy recoil. The Heym less so for sure based on the photos I've seen. When you look at a rifle like most english guns, a Dakota arms for that matter, or GMA, Buehler, smithson, Bolliger, they all have long wrist with a really gradual angel. It only took hitting my middle finger on the back of the trigger guard during recoil on one of the more vertical wrist brands to know I did not want it to happen again.

I'll tell you fellas one thing. It sure is nice to be able to get input from experienced hunters on this site in a unassuming or condescending way. All this stuff is expensive nowadays and you for sure get what you pay for. I had the pleasure of owning a GMA in 505 gibbs but sold it in a moment of weakness, loved that rifle, would like to find another. However, I think components are getting difficult to find for that particular caliber, ammo not showing up when you get off the plane would be a real problem.

The one comment "know one on here will talk you out of buying a double" awesome. I guess we all suffer to some degree from the same illness. One of my other hobbies is DH mountain biking....if you told a novice off the street that the price of an average bike to do that is 5k they would think you were crazy.....but like I said, all this fun stuff is expensive. The only thing I enjoy for free is my wife who I just married last fall,....still early in the game though LMAO.
 

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With respect to banging your second finger. I have experienced the same. My Merkel 470 bruised my second finger and my Heym 88B was very uncomfortable. My Dakotas and Heym 89B do not bash my second finger. However, there is a simple solution. For the double barrel shotguns there is a rubber pad, I believe NECG carries them; that attached to the back of the trigger guard. That pad fits on double rifles as well and TOTALLY eliminates the abuse.
 

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I used to think doubles were but a piece of history. And then I got to hunt with one. And then I had to have one. And now I do. And you should too.
 

BeeMaa

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For that price you could have a beautiful custom fit Heym Martini Express in 404J.
Arguably one of the best Buffalo calibers ever.

I'd never want to talk you out of a double, but there are options out there.

Personally, if I were going with a double...Krieghoff Big 5.
450/400NE would be great or 470NE if you want bigger.
 

Rare Breed

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Hello All-

Sure there is a thread on here somewhere regarding this topic but wanted to pull some current information out of you fellas, which I'm sure have more knowledge and experience than I.

My goal is to go back to Africa and hunt buffalo, possibly 2022 when and if all this crap going on in the world gets resolved. I have been to the continent twice, once for nice rather fancy Namibia plains game experience, and once in Mozambique for buff and others,...nice but true east africa experience.

My desire is to go back and put in some time hunting Buff with a big bore. I want to do it "old school" with a rifle that is minimum .41. preferably .50 and ant get as close as possible. I don't want to walk a mile and set up sticks and shoot a buff 150 yards away with scoped rig. I know and expect this to be a difficult task. I was in the perfect situation (my exact described situation) with my buddy in Moz when it was his turn to shoot, and it didn't go as it should have,.....many reasons, none of which we need to get into.

I have a budget of 10-15k or so to spend on a rifle. I have some experience with big bores, have enjoyed shooting mind you , but not hunting with them a lot. I have had some doubles in 470, (german made) not to my liking as far as fit and finish although they were accurate. I have and am set up to hand load for many calibers, including 470, 505 gibbs, 375 HH(my pet custom mauser rifle that I have used a lot), 416 rem & rigby, had many rifles come and go over the years LOL. I have held and looked at english double rifles many times over the last 25 years and really love them but know very little about them. The regulation, accuracy , and ability to have them fixed both from a cost standpoint and where to have it done all concern me. That being said there are (with my limited knowledge) some very nice doubles out there in the US market right now for the sub 20k price tag that are very interesting ( I can stretch my budget if I really feel I want to). Here are my pointed questions:

I have some experience with safari magazine rifles, should I just get a big magazine rifle which will be familiar to me in operation and complete my dream knowing there will be a PH to back me up, or should I just go for it and invest in a double (english made, prob not a bad investment) and realize the dream using a tool that was probably used for the exact same task 100 years ago? Either way it is going to be a representative caliber from the early years.

Any and all input is appreciated.
For $10,000 you can buy a new Rizzini DR in either 470 or 500 Nitro I love my 470, shoots good and love big 5 engraving as well
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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I did my first Buff with a bolt rifle, Winchester 70 416 Rem Mag. Now for the next one I have bought a double. I want to get up close and personal this trip.
 

Tanks

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...

Personally, if I were going with a double...Krieghoff Big 5.
450/400NE would be great or 470NE if you want bigger.

No need to argue about calibers, but I would not pick Krieghoff due to its funky combi-cocking device manual of arms. Now, some think it is a desirable feature. However, it is so different than other firearms with safeties that in my view it is a bug. My shotguns and other double rifles work same way with their safeties and I do not have to think much. Just push the safety to fire position as I bring the gun up to fire and go.
 

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Tanks, I do not follow you there, I use and have used pre-war british doubles and shotguns...I have a Krieghoff in .470 and I am very pleased with it...the cock-decock feature is a big plus safetywise in the bush...wether I push a traditional safety or the cock/decock button makes no difference to me..same move... The Krieghoff is also very well made and mine shoots more or less equal with Norma/Federal/Hornady factory..
 

BeeMaa

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No need to argue about calibers, but I would not pick Krieghoff due to its funky combi-cocking device manual of arms. Now, some think it is a desirable feature. However, it is so different than other firearms with safeties that in my view it is a bug. My shotguns and other double rifles work same way with their safeties and I do not have to think much. Just push the safety to fire position as I bring the gun up to fire and go.
My view is not quite the same. The Combi-Cocking system is one of the primary reasons I'd get it. Allowing for the completely safe carry while the rifle is loaded. For those that have rifles with similar systems like the Blaser R8 or Merkel Helix, I'd think it would be perfect. Not to mention the incredible craftsmanship and beauty of a Continental double with fine oak leaf engravings. Add in some upgraded wood with a custom fit and I'd be in heaven.

In the same vein, the OP could consider a Blaser R8 for a Buffalo rifle. The Kilombero or Selous models have incredible wood along with the interchangeable barrel system.

One thing I do agree with you about is not arguing calibers. Enough good ones out there to get the job done.
 

Frederik

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Buyers market at the moment but bear in mind if you are hunting hard after buff lets say Zambezi valley heat is up and long walks up and down you will wish you only had one pipe to carry. So be pratcival about it 450 NE double will be lighter and more user friendly cheaper on the wallet also as everyone wants the big pipes and 450 NE is plenty enough for buff.

Keep it light and simple you will get much more use out of a fine light carrying and shooting 450 NE than a 500 NE.
 

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