Dangerous Game Rifle Caliber for an Enthusiast

clintonius

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I always thought reducing recoil was a side effect of sleds, and the main purpose is to keep your gun absolutely steady for sighting in your glass as precisely as possible. Nothing “sissy” about wanting to make sure your bullet goes exactly where you aim it.
 

TTundra

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I've checked to verify it, but a friend told me Leupold won't warranty their scopes if you damage it with a sissy sled.
That part above is inaccurate, they and do cover that 'type' of damage should it happen.
 

EZRider

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I always thought reducing recoil was a side effect of sleds, and the main purpose is to keep your gun absolutely steady for sighting in your glass as precisely as possible. Nothing “sissy” about wanting to make sure your bullet goes exactly where you aim it.

Exactly this.
I use my sled with no weights and it holds the rifle perfectly while allowing you to fire heavier calibers repeatedly and consistently off of the bench.
Nothing sissy about it as manhood isn’t measured by overcoming tenderness whilst trying to develop a load. Keep that metric for holding steady on a charging buffalo where the led sled never comes into play.
 

Viral_SIGness

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Could you remind us?
This is the first time I hear, for such type of damage!?

Just don't load it with weight. The rifle needs to be able to move.
He said it, and he is correct. It can be a great rest for holding it steady. Just don't stick 50+ lbs of lead on it.
 

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Is the rifle going to recoil the same and have same POI after being sighted in with this contraption and the shot of shooting sticks... I cannot figure out exactly how one would get behind the rifle properly using the sled....
 

Viral_SIGness

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Exactly this.
I use my sled with no weights and it holds the rifle perfectly while allowing you to fire heavier calibers repeatedly and consistently off of the bench.
Nothing sissy about it as manhood isn’t measured by overcoming tenderness whilst trying to develop a load. Keep that metric for holding steady on a charging buffalo where the led sled never comes into play.
As Iwaters said, don't load them with weight. Yeah they are great as a steady rest, but trying to stop recoil is impossible because those forces have to go somewhere.

Helping around my friends shop and range, I've met and dealt with all types. You would not believe the amount of times someone will something with "Magnum" in the name, with no experience at all. Then they want to use the sled and lead bricks because they are terrified of shooting it. There hence, why I said "sissy" sled. I apologize if that offended you, and you use yours sensibly anyway.
 

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A friend of mine came up with the idea of using a vice to lock his rifle into for zeroing purposes. Luckily I talked him out of it after explaining that all the recoil would be absorbed by the wood and likely end up breaking his stock.
 

Viral_SIGness

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Is the rifle going to recoil the same and have same POI after being sighted in with this contraption and the shot of shooting sticks... I cannot figure out exactly how one would get behind the rifle properly using the sled....
The back of the stock is held by a very thin piece. If the bench is pretty tall, it's not too bad to lineup on, but it will never replicate field positions.
 

lwaters

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After zeroing with the sled you should check point on impact without it. It usually shoots a little high or a little low.
Is the rifle going to recoil the same and have same POI after being sighted in with this contraption and the shot of shooting sticks... I cannot figure out exactly how one would get behind the rifle properly using the sled....
 

lwaters

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You could put that contraption on top of the shooting sticks and carry some weights in a backpack.
 

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Personallly, I am divided on this item.
I never shoot rifle, even for zeroing, restrained by any device. Just normal rest allowing for recoil.
(I also never shot anything more then 375 H&H)

On the other hand, reducing a bit of recoil for heavy recoiling rifles, by this device, sounds very nice. To zero the rifle, saving the shoulder, with several shots to get preliminary zero, and after that to double check and fine tune, without it, if necessary at all.

So, I am divided in theory. Practically, I do not need it just yet.
 

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Personallly, I am divided on this item.
I never shoot rifle, even for zeroing, restrained by any device. Just normal rest allowing for recoil.
(I also never shot anything more then 375 H&H)

On the other hand, reducing a bit of recoil for heavy recoiling rifles, by this device, sounds very nice. To zero the rifle, saving the shoulder, with several shots to get preliminary zero, and after that to double check and fine tune, without it, if necessary at all.

So, I am divided in theory. Practically, I do not need it just yet.
I was divided as well...until I got one. Made sighting in my Turkey shotgun much easier. And yes, it has more recoil than my 375H&H. Once I'm dialed in with the sled (no weight) I move to sticks to verify zero and I'm only off by an inch or so. A few more clicks to finish up and done in an afternoon.
 

benchracer

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I hope this is the right section to post this thread...

I am a rifle enthusiast and I love the history behind African exploration, big game hunting, and rifles/cartridges. I was in a gun shop in Bedford, PA (Cove Creek Outfitters) one day and I was allowed to hand a 470NE Double rifle with the lowly price tag of $36,000.00. From that day onward, it was/is my goal to get one of those rifles.

BUT

I am just a government scientist with student loan debt...Fortunately for me, my soon to be fiancé, is willing to spend $2k on an engagement present for me. I know, lucky man here. With that budget in mind, I found new production rifle choices limited to Winchester Model 70 Safari Express and the Ruger Hawkeye African or Guide Gun. I love Ruger rifles, I have the Ruger Scout and it shoots like a dream, but the action on the Winchester is much smoother ( I have tested a few at the gun store). The Winchester is also offered in more traditional and non-proprietary cartridges.

My options for caliber, in the aforementioned rifles, would be 375H&H (the classic with a ton of history), 374 Ruger, 416 Remington Mag, 416 Ruger, and the 458 Win Mag. I am leaning towards the Winchester in 458 Win Mag to get the real big bore feel (and it seems right for the Winchester Model 70 to be chambered in a Winchester Cartridge), but I understand the practical merits of the 375 and the 416 (still big bore).

I have heard many good things about the Model 70 Safari Express as a good out of the box DG rifle. Is there anything else I should know to dissuade me?
I emailed Winchester and they told me the next run of these rifles would be out in early June, so I am watching all the dealers.

Is there any reason to pick the Ruger(s) over the Winchester? I like the ebony fore end, but I could get a custom stock for the Winchester down the road. No plastic stocks in my "hunting rifle battery".

Factory ammo cost comparison and availability?

Which of these cartridge's are the most versatile in for re-loading (bullet selection, availability, price, etc.)? I am not a re-loader yet, but will be eventually due to ammo costs. I am aware of the price tag there. I read a few forum posts about the 458 having re-loading versatility.

Recoil wise, the most I have encountered was a Ruger No. 1 in 45-70 shooting the Hornady LeverEvolution 325 grains off the bench. Those pounded pretty hard from the lightweight rifle, but I could shoot 4-5 rounds in a row on the bench. How would any of these calibers compare to that? I know the Ruger African and Model 70 are heavier firearms, but the rounds they fire have moor oomph than the old 45-70. I also do not plan to scope them as they would be for fun.

In my search, I have also looked into the CZ 550 (now out of production), Montana Rifles (too expensive), and the Kimber Caprivi (also too expensive). I wish I was a rich man, because I would have a safe full of double rifles. Someday I may be able to afford something like a Sabatti Big Five!

Any tips for sighting in one of these bad boys? I know the bench is somewhere I do not want to spend alot of time...Or so I have read.

Your expert assistance will be greatly appreciated. I also hope I did not say anything ignorant in my post! I tried to do a ton of research on the matter.

Happy Hunting!
My advice is based on the idea that this rifle will be the first, but not the last, safari rifle you own. Among currently available choices in your price range, the Winchester Model 70 Safari in 375 H&H is the way to go. It will be ready to go right out of the box. A gift like this from your fiance will start you off well.

At some point, you WILL want to add good glass. Start your research and begin saving up for that.

Learn to load your own ammo. Under current circumstances, reloading equipment and components are in short supply, but so is ammo. If you are to learn to master your rifle, trigger time is needed. Loading your own ammo will be essential to that endeavor. You can gear up to load your own for about the same price as 3 or 4 boxes of safari ammo if you shop carefully and patiently.

For your follow on rifle, I recommend that you keep an eye out for a used CZ 550 or BRNO 602. They can still be had on the used market at a reasonable price if you are patient and vigilant. This will get you a base gun for a semi-custom build in whatever DG chambering you choose. Once you have the base rifle, you have the luxury of time to find a good smith and plan your project.
 

Captain Munro

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My advice is based on the idea that this rifle will be the first, but not the last, safari rifle you own. Among currently available choices in your price range, the Winchester Model 70 Safari in 375 H&H is the way to go. It will be ready to go right out of the box. A gift like this from your fiance will start you off well.

At some point, you WILL want to add good glass. Start your research and begin saving up for that.

Learn to load your own ammo. Under current circumstances, reloading equipment and components are in short supply, but so is ammo. If you are to learn to master your rifle, trigger time is needed. Loading your own ammo will be essential to that endeavor. You can gear up to load your own for about the same price as 3 or 4 boxes of safari ammo if you shop carefully and patiently.

For your follow on rifle, I recommend that you keep an eye out for a used CZ 550 or BRNO 602. They can still be had on the used market at a reasonable price if you are patient and vigilant. This will get you a base gun for a semi-custom build in whatever DG chambering you choose. Once you have the base rifle, you have the luxury of time to find a good smith and plan your project.
This sounds like a good plan. I was also looking at spending a little more on a Kimber Caprivi, but they are 8 to 10 months out from being in stock. I have a reloading press, scale, calipers, powder measures, etc. I was preparing to reload 308 and some other calibers before I moved south. Will just need bullets, cases, dies, powder....
 

Viral_SIGness

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Will just need bullets, cases, dies, powder....
So you just need a handful of pink diamonds, a Tuffed of frog hair, some hens teeth, and a unicorn lol my fellow reloaders will understand:)
 

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I use a sled for load development work and sighting in. I have never had a problem with one causing damage. I think they are great tools.
 

Viral_SIGness

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I use a sled for load development work and sighting in. I have never had a problem with one causing damage. I think they are great tools.
They aren't. Give it time. If you used it, you've already caused damage. Just isn't noticeable yet. How many rifles have you used on it? What was the cartridge? How many shots per each rifle?

Here was my first reply on here about it.
Screenshot_20210414-150225_Samsung Internet.jpg


I'm officially retiring from trying to save people from sled damage. People that use them, will always defend them to the death. Even if they broken something, they rarely admit it, and that's sad. Sad because it misleads newer shooters into thinking they are safe to use. Basic physics tell you that it isn't safe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Those forces get transfered to something. Folks don't really think about it, that it is no different than sitting the stock against a tree and firing it.
 
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WAB

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They aren't. Give it time. If you used it, you've already caused damage. Just isn't noticeable yet. How many rifles have you used on it? What was the cartridge? How many shots per each rifle?

Here was my first reply on here about it.
View attachment 397721

I'm officially retiring from trying to save people from sled damage. People that use them, will always defend them to the death. Even if they broken something, they rarely admit it, and that's sad. Sad because it misleads newer shooters into thinking they are safe to use. Basic physics tell you that it isn't safe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Those forces get transfered to something. Folks don't really think about it, that it is no different than sitting the stock against a tree and firing it.

I’ve seen your replies and I believe that you are wrong. The heaviest rifle I have used it on is a .458 Lott, without issue. With no weight the sled is no different than sandbags. Are you opposed to them as well? With 50 pounds of weight it is the equivalent of adding 50 pounds to my upper body weight in opposition to recoil. Is it unsafe for someone with 50 pounds more upper body weight than me to fire a rifle from the bench? Of course it isn’t. You are acting like we are bolting these things to the bench.
 

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I've written about this before. They break stocks, and ruin scopes. I've checked to verify it, but a friend told me Leupold won't warranty their scopes if you damage it with a sissy sled.
That is the opposite of my experience. I have used one for years - not because I am a "sissy", but because I want to verify the most accurate load and sight setting for my rifles. I have used one on every rifle I own up through .404 with never an issue with a stock, scope, or shoulder. I even use it with my Blaser S2 in testing new loads in .375 or 500-416 - though I will admit the Blaser is different than other doubles in that regard. In any case, that amounts to thousands of rounds that I have personally fired. I should note, when I actually practice it is off the sticks or from field positions.

I should add, I rarely find any meaningful difference between the sight-in group from the sled and the impact point from any field position. Again, that is based upon many thousands of rounds from many different rifles.

I admit you have me on the Simmons scope - I have never owned one. But my Leica, Swaro, Zeiss, and Leupold scopes have never had an issue. Not once.

A very good friend is in the reloading and load development business and shoots tens of thousands of rounds annually working up loads for client's rifles. He uses a lead sled on everything but doubles. He too has never had a damaged stock or scope. Something that would be decidedly bad for business.

I am sure you "verified" the damage they cause. I simply offer the observations of someone with a decade plus of extensive experience actually using one.
 
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