Bolt Action Stopping Rifles

TOBY458

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Was wondering if I could get an opinion from the PH's on this sight, on how you feel about following up dangerous game with iron sighted bolt action rifles, as apposed to double rifles. Do you feel the double holds a significant advantage over the bolt gun, or is this largely theoretical?
 

Ole Bally

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Was wondering if I could get an opinion from the PH's on this sight, on how you feel about following up dangerous game with iron sighted bolt action rifles, as apposed to double rifles. Do you feel the double holds a significant advantage over the bolt gun, or is this largely theoretical?

99 % use Bolt guns...mostly because it's what they can afford.
Doubles take a lot of getting used to in terms of fast reloading and they're mostly very heavy calibres.
Doubles hold a significant advantage in a DG charge situation but the bolt gun is better for nearly everything else - imho!
 

TOBY458

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99 % use Bolt guns...mostly because it's what they can afford.
Doubles take a lot of getting used to in terms of fast reloading and they're mostly very heavy calibres.
Doubles hold a significant advantage in a DG charge situation but the bolt gun is better for nearly everything else - imho!
That sounds about right! It seems to me that most clients use a double out of pure nostalgia than for any practicle reason. Plus, a double just looks good propped up beside a big cape buffalo!
As for a PH, I can definitely see that it could hold an advantage when following up wounded game. Plus, a PH gets to hunt with a double enough to get used to pulling two separate triggers when a fast second shot is needed. Where as a client is typically used to shooting bolt guns on smaller animals that they normally hunt at home. It just makes sense to shoot what you're used to.
 

PaulT

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Was wondering if I could get an opinion from the PH's on this sight, on how you feel about following up dangerous game with iron sighted bolt action rifles, as apposed to double rifles. Do you feel the double holds a significant advantage over the bolt gun, or is this largely theoretical?

Toby, I contemplated this very question whilst I was guiding buffalo hunts here in Australia, and answered it, at least and if only, for myself.

I had a beautifully built .500 double that performed flawlessly and was built immaculately.
I also had a bolt gun, chambered in a wild-cat .500 that held three in the magazine plus one in the chamber.
The bolt-gun weighs 8.4 lbs and the double weighed (past tense) 10 lb 8oz.

Guess which one I carried the most on my hunts which would involve relentless miles of carry in hot dry scrub looking for vagrant bulls in the middle on no-where.

This is my opinion only, and based on the specifics of what I was hunting.

I still have my bolt-gun .500 and used it recently to take some nice bulls.

Cheers.

Paul.
 

TOBY458

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Toby, I contemplated this very question whilst I was guiding buffalo hunts here in Australia, and answered it, at least and if only, for myself.

I had a beautifully built .500 double that performed flawlessly and was built immaculately.
I also had a bolt gun, chambered in a wild-cat .500 that held three in the magazine plus one in the chamber.
The bolt-gun weighs 8.4 lbs and the double weighed (past tense) 10 lb 8oz.

Guess which one I carried the most on my hunts which would involve relentless miles of carry in hot dry scrub looking for vagrant bulls in the middle on no-where.

This is my opinion only, and based on the specifics of what I was hunting.

I still have my bolt-gun .500 and used it recently to take some nice bulls.

Cheers.

Paul.
Sounds like you've got that sorted out! How does your 500 compare to a 500 Jeffrey?
 

Mlibizi 8182

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Maybe some of you have shot doubles trap/skeet/sporting clays. No matter how good you are I think you would find a significant difference in your score between a "bolt action" shotgun and a over and under or side by side, oh did I mention a clay target will not kill you
 

IvW

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It also depends on what you regularly guide for while hunting.

For elephant in real thick stuff a double makes sense and is hard to beat. However a big enough bolt gun you can handle well is just as good.

When following up on wounded leopard a double makes sense as you do not have time to cycle the bolt if your first shot does not stop the leopard.

Doubles are very expensive. Doubles are temperamental with what you feed them. The regulation determines the load and often the bullet you can use. Competent reloading takes a lot of practice and commitment.

Big bolt guns can be loaded with any bullets and easily sighted to match the load.

I could never afford a double when I started hunting and my mentor used a 500 Jeff. I at the time had a 375 H&H that I used and must admit that it seemed awfully small compared to the big 500. After seeing the devastating effectiveness of he 500 Jeff, I acquired one on a ZKK 602 action. It was a decision I have never regretted and it has been used on many DG with the same devastating results many times. I still own and use the 375 H&H though.

After a close encounter with a wounded leopard, I felt the need again for a medium double rifle, I would have prefered one in 9.3x74R, 375 H&H Mag flanged or 450-400(a big heavy double is not so suited for this work), however I still could not afford one. I decided to settle for a poor man's double. I bought a sxs brno sidelock shotgun, had the barrels shortened to 24 inches, fitted a front sight and a rear ghost ring. Using Brenneke slugs I shot many plains game while testing it and this ended up being my leopard backup double. Light in weight, very easy to swing and aim, even if the first shot did not stop the cat you could feed it your left arm and give it the second barrel using only the right hand and arm.(Luckily I never had to do this). Very effective and I still use it to this day.

When hunting DG and travelling I just grab the big 500 Jeff and the poor man's double and I am ready for any eventuality.

I still yearn for a big double with 2 sets of barrels but the 500 Jeff bolt gun has works so well and has been so devastatingly effective on everything that I have had to use it on that I could not justify leaving it behind in favour of a double.

In the end for a PH it boils down to what he is competent with and what he has confidence in. If a particular rifle or cartridge combination let's you down you will not trust it again.

If however, like my 500 Jeff has done on many occasions, the rifle cartridge combination gets the job done effectively, you will come to trust it and your confidence in the weapon will be such that you will trust it and it's ability with your own and your clients life, because it works, each and every time.
 

Mlibizi 8182

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In a recent article in African Outfitter there is a interview with Zimbabwe PH John Sharp (in my humble opinion) why he switched to a double .470 and has never regretted it. Never could I ever make as fast a second stopping shot with my .416 that I can with my .470
 

IvW

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In a recent article in African Outfitter there is a interview with Zimbabwe PH John Sharp (in my humble opinion) why he switched to a double .470 and has never regretted it. Never could I ever make as fast a second stopping shot with my .416 that I can with my .470

John is a great guy and PH.

That is true but only marginally so when compared to a competent bolt action user.
A second stopping shot is not needed if the first one hits where it should.
If the second one fails well, that's when things can get interesting.
If the stick is big enough you should not need more than the second shot anyway.
 

TOBY458

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It also depends on what you regularly guide for while hunting.

For elephant in real thick stuff a double makes sense and is hard to beat. However a big enough bolt gun you can handle well is just as good.

When following up on wounded leopard a double makes sense as you do not have time to cycle the bolt if your first shot does not stop the leopard.

Doubles are very expensive. Doubles are temperamental with what you feed them. The regulation determines the load and often the bullet you can use. Competent reloading takes a lot of practice and commitment.

Big bolt guns can be loaded with any bullets and easily sighted to match the load.

I could never afford a double when I started hunting and my mentor used a 500 Jeff. I at the time had a 375 H&H that I used and must admit that it seemed awfully small compared to the big 500. After seeing the devastating effectiveness of he 500 Jeff, I acquired one on a ZKK 602 action. It was a decision I have never regretted and it has been used on many DG with the same devastating results many times. I still own and use the 375 H&H though.

After a close encounter with a wounded leopard, I felt the need again for a medium double rifle, I would have prefered one in 9.3x74R, 375 H&H Mag flanged or 450-400(a big heavy double is not so suited for this work), however I still could not afford one. I decided to settle for a poor man's double. I bought a sxs brno sidelock shotgun, had the barrels shortened to 24 inches, fitted a front sight and a rear ghost ring. Using Brenneke slugs I shot many plains game while testing it and this ended up being my leopard backup double. Light in weight, very easy to swing and aim, even if the first shot did not stop the cat you could feed it your left arm and give it the second barrel using only the right hand and arm.(Luckily I never had to do this). Very effective and I still use it to this day.

When hunting DG and travelling I just grab the big 500 Jeff and the poor man's double and I am ready for any eventuality.

I still yearn for a big double with 2 sets of barrels but the 500 Jeff bolt gun has works so well and has been so devastatingly effective on everything that I have had to use it on that I could not justify leaving it behind in favour of a double.

In the end for a PH it boils down to what he is competent with and what he has confidence in. If a particular rifle or cartridge combination let's you down you will not trust it again.

If however, like my 500 Jeff has done on many occasions, the rifle cartridge combination gets the job done effectively, you will come to trust it and your confidence in the weapon will be such that you will trust it and it's ability with your own and your clients life, because it works, each and every time.
Well said! Kind of mirrors my thoughts. Stick with what you know best. If someone was able to afford a double and shot it enough to be proficient with it , I would say it's probably the best tool for the job. But, like you say, once you're used to a certain gun, it's hard not to use it.
 

PaulT

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Sounds like you've got that sorted out! How does your 500 compare to a 500 Jeffrey?

My .500 MDM Ultra mag is somewhere between 2.5 and 3.5lbs lighter than most .500 Jeff rifles, shorter and much handier.

It shoots 450gn brass projectiles at 2400+ fps for well over 5000ftlbs of energy generated.
Recoil is about the same as a standard .458 Lott.

I have stopped buffalo in charge situations as well as stopping previously wounded buff from getting away.
The projectiles I use in this rifle give exceptional penetration.
 

Mlibizi 8182

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I do use two different rifle. .470 george gibbs in dense areas. .416 Rigby in more open areas and when doing croc hippo hunts. Since reloading is not a option I always use Federal Premium with woodleigh. As to cost bought mine used over 40 yrs ago and have never regretted it.
 

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I think this is Nissan Safari and Toyota Landcruiser. If you have one and it has proven itself you stick to it. 6 of the one half dozen of the other.
 

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Toby, I contemplated this very question whilst I was guiding buffalo hunts here in Australia, and answered it, at least and if only, for myself.

I had a beautifully built .500 double that performed flawlessly and was built immaculately.
I also had a bolt gun, chambered in a wild-cat .500 that held three in the magazine plus one in the chamber.
The bolt-gun weighs 8.4 lbs and the double weighed (past tense) 10 lb 8oz.

Guess which one I carried the most on my hunts which would involve relentless miles of carry in hot dry scrub looking for vagrant bulls in the middle on no-where.

This is my opinion only, and based on the specifics of what I was hunting.

I still have my bolt-gun .500 and used it recently to take some nice bulls.

Cheers.

Paul.

We guessed - bolt action which is lighter. Genius deduction here I must say - lol
 

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.500 Jeffery with 600 grain Woodleigh PPSNs makes for a good stopper.

Nothing wrong at all with the 570 grain / .500NE combo, very effective.

Just that the .500J / 600 grain combo seems to “shudder” them more.
 

Bruce

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I think this is Nissan Safari and Toyota Landcruiser. If you have one and it has proven itself you stick to it. 6 of the one half dozen of the other.
NOTHING beats a CRUISER in our bush!!!
 

BenKK

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NOTHING beats a CRUISER in our bush!!!

I was rushing to meet an ambulance at midnight once, and a buffalo bull streaked out of the long grass and collided with the back of the Landcruiser Troopy, shuddering us but we held true on the road and met the ambulance two minutes later. We were doing 70km/hr at the hit.
 

spekieries

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I am a cruiser man myself but I know a few that swears by the Safari.

If you watch the way these guys in the video
work a bolt my ZKK with 5 in the belly and one in the spout will work fine.
 

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