Double, Bolt action or Lever Action rifle on Dangerous Game

crs

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Thank you Edward!
One of my friends took a rhino with a handgun and it was "one shot, one kill" in the video.

PS, the last I heard, the same hunter had killed 13+ leopards and had switched to a Marlin .45-70 as his leopard rifle.
To each his own and may the chips fall where they will.
 

Pondoro

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Regarding lever - guns and single shots, forget it.. Single shot Farquarson rifles in heavy calibers were used right after 1900, but they quickly faded when Mausers in heavy calibers became available..

A bolt rifle with 5 down the mag (.375H&H up..) is good advice.

The only hunt I prefer a double is on elephant... simply because you are so close up to an animal that may charge....you might need that second shot in a hurry..
 

edward

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different strokes for different folks!!!!!
 

Rule 303

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Not having hunted Lion of Leopard, take this as you may. I can not see why a 45-70 would not be enough gun for either cat. Big heavy flat nosed bullet at 1800fps or better, wold I think, lay them flat.
 

PeteG

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Not having hunted Lion of Leopard, take this as you may. I can not see why a 45-70 would not be enough gun for either cat. Big heavy flat nosed bullet at 1800fps or better, wold I think, lay them flat.
Im sure it would work, my preference for the cats would be something with a higher velocity though.
 

jand

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Dangerous game is a very wide term when talking calibers.
a 30 06 works wonders on a leopard but would fall short as a reliable Elephant caliber by a mile.
a .375 is the minimum legal caliber that will take care of all the dangerous game under normal hunting conditions. It does not make it perfect for all of them though.
Calibers aside , As far as doubles , bolt actions and others go , use the one you shoot best. I have had many hunters who are crack shots with their doubles , some of the best consistent double rifle shooting I have ever seen is from a hunter wielding his 600 NE . These hunters practice regularly and thoroughly enjoy their doubles.
 

Tam Dl

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Bolts have been the accepted basic since smokeless powder took over. Doubles are possibly the best option for the large dangerous game, and the cost may be acceptable if one simply cycles them through Gunbroker, or whatever.

I think where 45-70s and levers got off on the wrong foot is there was a brief period of excitement over the idea that the 45-70 was better than the more powerful magnums because it was capable of drilling a very deep hole, without much thought being given to the low shock effect. Some offense seemed to be taken over the attempt to bypass well known rules about what works and what doesn't. And part of the drive from the lever guys seemed to be a showoff mentality about doing things that hadn't been done before.

On the other side of the lever camp there were people who were very serious about making serious stopping guns out of levers. There really isn't any reason to believe this couldn't be done, though there are serious limits arising from the fact that making one's own lever from scratch is a complicated thing, and that none of the existing guns is perfect for the task.

As to whether there is any reason to go with a lever when a bolt is so much easier to get right for a fraction of the cost, there is only one thought that comes to my mind. Speed. I did read comments from one professional hunter to the effect that he was back with the double as the requirement to give animals every chance to back down and not shoot them till they were very close was such that only a double was fast enough. Levers are extremely fast, essentially bottomless magazines, particularly with the Winchesters. Just not built with the level of reliability in mind that the task calls for.

Another arena for speed if Youtube is anything to go by, is the free for all that occurs when the game is on. In some of these videos bullets are flying from as many as 6 guns. Reminded me of best ball golf, where anyone's ball might catch a break. If you aren't putting lead on target, fast. You might miss the whole thing.
 

IvW

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I am wondering what would be the best rifle to use for stalked Dangerous Game (Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Buffalo and sometimes Lion). I am pretty good with a Lever Action rifle as this was what I learned to shoot first but however I am thinking a double in either over and under or side by side in either.450 Nitro Express or .400/450 Nitro Express would be better for Dangerous Game on foot but one of my friends thinks the lever in 45/70 Govt would be good as it has higher capacity and my other friend thinks that a bolt action in a suitable large calibre is better as you would have more shots. What would the members use for Dangerous Game on foot.

Most clients hunting dangerous game are better off using a bolt action rifle with a low power scope fitted with QD mounts, one he/she can shoot with competence.

It takes a lot of dedication for a client to become competent with a double rifle and open sights and quite franckly very few shoot or reload them well.

Yes, once you have hunted Africa a few times and you would like to hunt DG with a double sure go for it but, new hunters to Africa shoot better with a scoped bolt action.

As for lever actions, they make great pig hunting guns but are poor DG rifles and not to be recommended for African DG.
 

Doc25

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I still remember deer hunting with my brother and he tried to unload his marlin without fully ejecting the rounds. He in effect short stroked the action and ended up crushing the round. We ended up removing it with a screwdriver and an axe having to beat the round out.

Can’t imagine if that ever happened during a dg hunt.
 

ChrisG

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It's been said before in the thread but.... bolts and doubles. Aside from the relatively (I use that word with reservation) anemic cartridges that a lever gun can fire, lever gun extraction is actually designed with the effect of REDUCING mechanical advantage when extracting a shell. Not to mention most of the extractors could be made with a paperclip and function about as well as the factory extractors. Most of the power you get from a lever gun can usually only be had from hard cast bullets. Hard cast work OK, but when a premium jacketed expanding bullet takes 2 minutes to kill a buff, hippo (on land), or Rhino(so rare and expensive most of us will never hunt one), hard cast will just punch a tiny hole and bleed out time could be excessive. Semi auto is not even going be allowed into almost any African country so that pretty rules that out.
 
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Tam Dl

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Basically, they stopped innovating lever guns about the same year the Mauser came out, and there is probably a connection there. I don't know if the Krieghoff pump is any good, but I do wonder if the relatively short list of problems that the lever has couldn't have been sorted out at Blaser or Krieghoff if they had a mind to. The lever has the advantage of providing the highest possible rate of carefully aimed fire, short of a semi; and a large magazine capacity. The Browning BLR model that seems on the way out, has a rotating bolt, and could handle magnum rounds.

As far as dangerous game is concerned, levers were used on the frontier, and today to kill grizzlies, and the 1886 can handle rounds like the 470 turnbull. Levers also saw limited military use, from which they were quickly swept aside. But they worked at one time for these things, and it seems unreasonable to assume they could not still serve today. There are indeed many who use them as carbines in policing to this day. These models never run dry because they can be stoked on the fly more easily than almost any rifle.

The Win. 1895 is one I have never handled, but apparently it has controlled feed of some description, a box magazine and will deal with 20th century pressures.

There just isn't sufficient interest to push out new designs, with a few exceptions. Even among those currently available, I am not sure that something like a well attended to Marlin in 50 Alaskan, or an 1886 in 470 is a lessor gun that a Mossberg in .375. But even if the levers meet the baseline of performance, they are likely to cost 10 times as much as the Mossberg.
 

CTDolan

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For leopard (and even lion) the 45-70 is, in my opinion, suited to the task. For anything larger? No way. Sure, it could do the job (just like a heavy revolver), but so could (and has) a 7x57.
 
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BenKK

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My only dangerous game animals are pretty much just water buffalo and wild cattle. I’ve killed them with double rifle, bolt-action, lever-action, falling block single-shot, percussion cap muzzleloader, flintlock muzzleloader and longbow.

Pick your favourite and enjoy the adventure!
 

Dr Ray

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I am wondering what would be the best rifle to use for stalked Dangerous Game (Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Buffalo and sometimes Lion). I am pretty good with a Lever Action rifle as this was what I learned to shoot first but however I am thinking a double in either over and under or side by side in either.450 Nitro Express or .400/450 Nitro Express would be better for Dangerous Game on foot but one of my friends thinks the lever in 45/70 Govt would be good as it has higher capacity and my other friend thinks that a bolt action in a suitable large calibre is better as you would have more shots. What would the members use for Dangerous Game on foot.

I suggest a good bolt action. It provides good camming power to eject fires cases. Lever actions don’t have that camming power and may fail on trying to extract.
Doubles are fine but expensive to acquire. Sure you can get a second shot away quickly but so can both the bolt and lever actions.
With dangerous game you may have to fire more than 3 shots and I feel the bolt action is the best for dangerous game.
 
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Tam Dl

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On the lever extraction thing, does anyone have any idea how it compares to the Ruger NO.1? That seems to be a respected oddity when it comes to DG. Maybe because the PH knows you won't get in his way after your first shot? But people are quick to condemn lever leverage. How does it compare to the Ruger. Of course you can't mess up a Ruger short shucking it.

Bonus question. There are a lot of Ruger NO.1 s in NOS or probably low mileage condition out there, in chamberings like the 458 Lott. Anyone know what they weight. I kinda like the Number one, but my suspicion is they are all so light that you would take a lot of unnecessary punishment from them. I don't know what the right number is but even though it is a single shot and "handy", I think I would prefer to have it weigh in at nearly the same weight as a fully loaded bolt.
 

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On the lever extraction thing, does anyone have any idea how it compares to the Ruger NO.1? That seems to be a respected oddity when it comes to DG. Maybe because the PH knows you won't get in his way after your first shot? But people are quick to condemn lever leverage. How does it compare to the Ruger. Of course you can't mess up a Ruger short shucking it.

Bonus question. There are a lot of Ruger NO.1 s in NOS or probably low mileage condition out there, in chamberings like the 458 Lott. Anyone know what they weight. I kinda like the Number one, but my suspicion is they are all so light that you would take a lot of unnecessary punishment from them. I don't know what the right number is but even though it is a single shot and "handy", I think I would prefer to have it weigh in at nearly the same weight as a fully loaded bolt.

Tam I have a No 1 in 458 Lott and mine weighs about 8 pounds. It is indeed a thumper but I put a slip on Pachmyer recoil reducer on there and it is quite tolerable. The thing is that 458 Lott has great takedown power.
 

crs

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BenKK,
An Aussie friend of mine near Port McQuarrie spent 3 weeks in your side/top of Australia and his group took a bunch of water buff and bantang. He used his 1895 Winchester .405 with factory Hornady bullets (which everyone on AH knows are too fragile for big cattle) and shot his share of the big stuff. They had a big load of meat to take home.
The Big Horn levers are big and pretty and expensive, but you just do not need them to harvest most game (even tho they will do the job).
 

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My only dangerous game animals are pretty much just water buffalo and wild cattle. I’ve killed them with double rifle, bolt-action, lever-action, falling block single-shot, percussion cap muzzleloader, flintlock muzzleloader and longbow.

Pick your favourite and enjoy the adventure!
Dammit! Now I want an '86 in 475 Turnbull to take to take to Australia for Buffalo.... Or maybe an 1895 in 405 Win ;)
 

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