Blaser R8 for Dangerous Game

Tra3

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@BeeMaa i see a .257 weatherby barrel in your near future for the new synthetic stock.

I am also curious if a bolt mechanism swap between rifles results in the same POI. I haven’t tried this yet and plan to on my next range trip.
has anyone else done this? (Not just the bolt face, the whole cocking slide.)
 

BeeMaa

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@BeeMaa i see a .257 weatherby barrel in your near future for the new synthetic stock.

I am also curious if a bolt mechanism swap between rifles results in the same POI. I haven’t tried this yet and plan to on my next range trip.
has anyone else done this? (Not just the bolt face, the whole cocking slide.)
I do plan on moving the entire bolt from my PH Safari to the Professional.
I really like the knurled bolt knob Mrs BeeMaa got me for my birthday.
Although, sticking with the polymer knob would make it lighter...hmmm.

I'll check it out and let you know.
Besides, I have another birthday coming up this year.
 

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The carrying of cartridges has been the topic of some debate for me.
In the past I've used a butt stock mounted synthetic pouch with elastic loops.
These pouches were not on DG rifles, but more of a "deer" rifle.
They also incorporated a cheek-pad riser to help align the eye with the scope.
They looked like this on my (now sold) Savage M16 300WSM Bear Hunter.
View attachment 386809
Something like this was not in the cards for a DG rifle.
I tried a Murray Leather buttstock shell holder with elastic loops.
Although it was a high quality product, in actual use, it's didn't work as planned.
I ended up selling this to another AH member.
View attachment 386810
What worked best for me was a belt mounted cartridge holder.
I used a Galco Safari 5 on my first safari and it worked, but not great.
I found the flap cumbersome and took it to my leathersmith for adjustments.
He trimmed off the top and bottom flap, sanded, stained and burnished it to match.
This worked great for me, mounted on the right side on my belt (I'm right handed).
View attachment 386811
Because it has worked so well, Mrs BeeMaa decided to give me a gift.
A Murray cartridge belt with leather loops showed up a couple of weeks ago.
I gave it a quick rub down with some leather conditioner and stacked it with 416RM ammo.
The fit and finish of this belt is amazing, I'm very happy with this piece of kit.
View attachment 386812
It holds 300WM, 375H&H and 416RM all with equal tension.
I'm sure it would do the same for any 375H&H based cartridge.
Cartridges are easy to pull out, but not loose at all.

The plan for the Safari 5 is for Mrs BeeMaa to use it.
I'd like her to have it on her belt, but only see her doing that on a DG hunt.
Otherwise, I can carry it for her...no big deal.
Either way, a few extra cartridges is a good thing.
And when we get in the bakkie, I can take it off and not have it sticking me in the side/back.

I was thinking of coloring in the base of my solids with a black Sharpie.
That way I'd know at a glance, which ones were softs vs. solids.
Has anyone else done something similar?
Murray leather is great and I am chuckling about you cutting the flaps off of the shell carrier. Those flaps are a terrible idea! Terrible.
I use two of Dick Murray’s shell carriers with solids on my left and softs on my right. Or at least that is what if do for elephant hunting as I don’t see the need for solids except for ele and tiny ten.
Philip
 

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There is a new addition to my R8 collection. This is an aluminum receiver, 17mm barrel, nothing extra added 375H&H. It also came with a 7mmRM barrel and a Blaser scope mount for each barrel. I plan on selling the 7mm barrel and scope mount to fund a scope for the 375. Take a look.
1614632772909.png
 

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There is a new addition to my R8 collection. This is an aluminum receiver, 17mm barrel, nothing extra added 375H&H. It also came with a 7mmRM barrel and a Blaser scope mount for each barrel. I plan on selling the 7mm barrel and scope mount to fund a scope for the 375. Take a look.
View attachment 391269
Looks nice! Those look like Hi Viz sights on both barrels as well. Those will make great back up sights for the 375 barrel especially.
 

BeeMaa

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A few have asked me where I picked this rifle up.
A few more may even recognize this particular rifle.
Same rifle, just a different kitchen table.
Truth is, it's another AH member.
We wanted to wait until it showed up before we said anything.
Inspection is complete and satisfactory.

I want to thank @TOBY458 for giving me the opportunity to purchase this rifle.
He was a pleasure to do business with.
Thank you sir.
 

Muskox

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I have 3 R8 stocks and 3 barrels. 30-06, 300 and 416 Remington. All three are R8 Pro's the one for the 416 is a Savanna with the steel receiver and mercury recoil reducer.
 

TOBY458

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A few have asked me where I picked this rifle up.
A few more may even recognize this particular rifle.
Same rifle, just a different kitchen table.
Truth is, it's another AH member.
We wanted to wait until it showed up before we said anything.
Inspection is complete and satisfactory.

I want to thank @TOBY458 for giving me the opportunity to purchase this rifle.
He was a pleasure to do business with.
Thank you sir.
You're welcome! I'm glad it found a home with someone who is going to put it to good use! The funds will help with paying my deductible on my recent surgery, and maybe I'll have a little left over for another toy....;)
 

BeeMaa

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I have installed two of the three stock spacers to lengthen the LOP and added a knurled steel bolt knob on the new R8. Big thanks to Top Dog Guns Global for having those items shipped out to me ASAP. Total weight is now 3500 grams (7 lbs 11 oz) without a scope. I will be taking it to the range tomorrow afternoon for a few shots using the irons at 50 yards and 300 grain PPU ammo. Full report and possibly a video to follow.
 

Tra3

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I have installed two of the three stock spacers to lengthen the LOP and added a knurled steel bolt knob on the new R8. Big thanks to Top Dog Guns Global for having those items shipped out to me ASAP. Total weight is now 3500 grams (7 lbs 11 oz) without a scope. I will be taking it to the range tomorrow afternoon for a few shots using the irons at 50 yards and 300 grain PPU ammo. Full report and possibly a video to follow.
Video!! See how quickly you can send off three rounds. I’ll guess that the recoil will feel significantly less than your .416.
 

BeeMaa

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Video!! See how quickly you can send off three rounds. I’ll guess that the recoil will feel significantly less than your .416.
From the calculation I did, the 416 and new 375 should be very close in recoil energy due to the difference in rifle weight.

The 416RM generates 42 lb-feet of energy in a 13.5# rifle with 400 grain bullets

The 375H&H generates 47 lb-ft of energy in a 7.5# rifle with 300 grain bullets.

So they are at least in the same ballpark. I’m also glad this isn’t my first step into the medium bore rifle category. Having the experience of hundreds of 375 and 416 rounds down range has its benefits. Having a stock I know is exactly like the one I’ve been shooting in 416 is also a confidence booster.

Yes, Mrs BeeMaa has signed up for video operator this afternoon.
 

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You can also shoot 300 grainers in your 416, and give 375 like recoil.
 

BeeMaa

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You can also shoot 300 grainers in your 416, and give 375 like recoil.
I get where you are going and appreciate the information, but I don’t reload.
I’ll stick with 400’s for the 416 and 300’s for the 375.
They seem to work well for me.
 

One Day...

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Not to mention that with a sectional density of 0.248, a 300 gr .416 bullet would likely have poor penetration...

For comparison, a 400 gr .416 bullet has an SD of .330. This is higher than the .305 SD of a 300 gr .375 which has long been the base-line, and this explains why the 400 gr .416 has great penetration.

Per Kevin "Doctari" Robertson, the Zimbabwean PH and veterinarian who alone has likely more buffalo experience than all of us put together, a 300 gr .416 bullet with 0.248 SD is inadequate for buff hunting:

1614800116403.png

K. Robertson. Africa's Most Dangerous, p. 98

The penetration kings remain the "super heavy" though: 350 gr .375 with 0.356 SD and 450 gr .416 with 0.371 SD. A 300 gr .375 or 400 gr .416 may or may not reach a Buffalo vitals on a going away rump shot, but a 350 gr .375 or 450 gr .416 likely will, and a 400 gr .416 might...

In my own experience, a 250 gr .338 with .313 SD failed to reach the vitals of an Eland on a going away rump shot - it stopped at the diaphragm. This may have been because it was not a solid, but I now keep a sharp eye out for Sectional Density in DG bullets. Actually, I reckon that a 300 gr .375 quality soft (TSX, AFrame, Weldcore, etc.) will kill any buff that walks the earth with a side shoulder/lungs/heart shot, but should I hunt a dagga boy away from the herd with my R8 .375 instead of my K gun .470, I would use a 350 gr Woodleigh RN SN (Weldcore round nose soft nose) first, followed by Woodleigh 350 gr FMJ. Upping the SD to 0.35+ will likely provide lengthwise penetration...
 
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TOBY458

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Not to mention that with a sectional density of 0.248, a 300 gr .416 bullet would likely have poor penetration...

For comparison, a 400 gr .416 bullet has an SD of .330. This is higher than the .305 SD of a 300 gr .375 which has long been the base-line, and this explains why the 400 gr .416 has great penetration.

Per Kevin "Doctari" Robertson, the Zimbabwean PH and veterinarian who alone has likely more buffalo experience than all of us put together, a 300 gr .416 bullet with 0.248 SD is inadequate for buff hunting:

View attachment 391597
K. Robertson. Africa's Most Dangerous, p. 98

The penetration kings remain the "super heavy" though: 350 gr .375 with 0.356 SD and 450 gr .416 with 0.371 SD. A 300 gr .375 or 400 gr .416 may or may not reach a Buffalo vitals on a going away rump shot, but a 350 gr .375 or 450 gr .416 likely will, and a 400 gr .416 might...

In my own experience, a 250 gr .338 with .313 SD failed to reach the vitals of an Eland on a going away rump shot - it stopped at the diaphragm. This may have been because it was not a solid, but I now keep a sharp eye out for Sectional Density in DG bullets. Actually, I reckon that a 300 gr .375 quality soft (TSX, AFrame, Weldcore, etc.) will kill any buff that walks the earth with a side shoulder/lungs/heart shot, but should I hunt a dagga boy away from the herd with my R8 .375 instead of my K gun .470, I would use a 350 gr Woodleigh RN SN (Weldcore round nose soft nose) first, followed by Woodleigh 350 gr FMJ. Upping the SD to 0.35+ will likely provide lengthwise penetration...
I just wonder will a 350gr Woodleigh RNSP actually out penetrate a 300gr TSX on game? With the softer construction of the Woodleigh, vs the monometal construction of the TSX, it would be something I'd be interested to see.
 

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One Day...

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I just wonder will a 350gr Woodleigh RNSP actually out penetrate a 300gr TSX on game? With the softer construction of the Woodleigh, vs the monometal construction of the TSX, it would be something I'd be interested to see.

Me too :)

I do not have that experience yet, but the physics of momentum say it should, assuming all other factors are more or less equivalent...

To continue with "Doctari" Robertson, he captures this in the following table:
1614818408020.png

K. Robertson. Africa's Most Dangerous, p. 135

The Woodleigh Weldcore RNSN (round nose soft nose) is a high quality bonded bullet with fairly thick jacket, not just a glued together cup & core like so many "bonded" bullets nowadays, so, like the AFrame, it has very high weight retention. Assuming that the RNSN and TSX both expand to about the same diameter and they both retain about the same weight percentage, and assuming they are both sent at typical speed for the weight, the 350 gr will out penetrate the 300 gr because of its significantly higher SD and higher momentum.

This being said, let us be clear: any quality 300 gr .375 H&H bullet (TSX, AFrame, Weldcore, etc.) has not only enough penetration for a shoulder/lungs/heart side shot on buff, but possibly too much. The discussion really is more relevant to follow up solids on run away rump shots.

1614820438789.png

K. Robertson. Africa's Most Dangerous, p. 126

And of course, we could not omit the famous conclusion:

1614818496713.png

K. Robertson. Africa's Most Dangerous, p. 136

Actually, the .375 H&H is even more of a one-rifle-safari rifle if you consider using two bullet weights and two scopes (to avoid confusion).

My own semi-weight .375 H&H R8 barrel wears:

--- one Leica ER i 2.5-10x42 with BDC ring custom engraved to the 300 gr TSX clocked in my barrel, and sighted with 300 gr TSX for any PG out to any reasonable hunting distance, and buffalo in herds. It also shoots very well faster-opening 300 gr Partition for cats;

--- one Leica Magnus i 1-6x24 sighted with 350 gr Woodleigh FMJ solid for elephant and hippo, and 350 gr Woodleigh RN SN (round-nose soft-nose) for hippo body shots - the RN SN and FMJ shoot to the same point of aim.

I am taking this second configuration as a backup to my K gun .470 for my trophy elephant hunt in Zim this coming August (in case a dream 60 pounders walks across an opening we cannot approach to less than 50 yards - yeah, I know, one can dream...). This would also be my first shot / follow up shots combination for dagga boy outside of a herd, should I not use the K gun.
 
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Ridgewalker

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I also use a two scope setup as suggested by “Doctari” in “The Perfect Shot”, but for a bit different uses.
Thick skinned DG is a 1-6x Leupold VX-6 shooting tough 300 grain bullets (Barnes TSX, Swift A-frame, or Federal TBBC).
PG is a 2-12x Leupold VX-6 shooting a 250 grained soft point (Barnes TTSX).
If/when I focus on elephant and/or hippo, I have been testing 350 grain Northfork solids and softs. At that time the 1-6x will be used for the 350s and elephant, cape buffalo, and hippo.
So far the methodology has worked well on my adventures.
 

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