Double, Bolt action or Lever Action rifle on Dangerous Game

sierraone

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Dammit! Now I want an '86 in 475 Turnbull to take to take to Australia for Buffalo.... Or maybe an 1895 in 405 Win ;)
Cody probably has one laying around somewhere!
 

BenKK

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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).

I like big bore dangerous game rifles, and sincerely believe in them for close encounters in thick stuff. But, and lots of guys don’t want to know this, we have successfully killed a lot of big buffalo with .30/30 and .22-250 - body shots. Good bullets in safe locations with a safety plan is the key. Oh, and that’s to say nothing of the .300H&H, etc.
 

IdaRam

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Dr Ray

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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.

I agree but you would not be shooting at a great distance. I prefer bolt actions that have good camming power. I have a Marlin 45/70 with a very light trigger and a fixed 4 power scope. I would not go using it however on buffalo for example unless I had my big caliber bolt actions next to me.
Biggest problem with lever actions is when under pressure you may snag or worse the cartridge won’t move into the breech because it is a fraction tight.
On the other hand a had a Browning 270 that if you left the bolt open and pulled back it would de-cock as I discovered.
The 300 grain bullet would be better suited compared to the 405 as it is driven much faster (relatively speaking) and delivers a mighty lot more energy.
 
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crs

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Action Bob,
I just happen to have an extra Miroku / Winchester in .405 WCF. It is an unfired Deluxe with which you could have all the fun of tuning to suit yourself. If you put scratches and dents in it, theyt will just be great hunting memories:
 

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crs

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#2 for Action Bob,
Check out the ballistics of a 450 grain Kodiak .458 bullet at 2150 fps.
You will see that the game will not know (or care) that this came from a Miroku/Winchester M1886 .45-90.
If you do not handload, Grizzly Cartridge can load DG ammo for you.
Or, you may just choose to shoot their .45-70 Punch bullet 400 grain loads. In our tests, the brass punch bullet penetrated as well as even the NF solids.

PS My .45-90 is NOT for sale !
 

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siutis

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My top three (3) stopping rifles for North America, including Alaska is:
1. Nosler M 48 Outfitter chambered in 458 win mag (7.5 pound package)
2. 416 Ruger Alaskan (20 inch barrel)
3. Browning model 1886 lever action

Ammunition includes heavy for caliber Nosler Partition, A-Frame, TSX, and Trophy Bonded, & North Fork bonded soft point

These combinations have never failed me
 

rookhawk

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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.

@Kenneth McMillan You ask a good question and you've got several answers already. I'll give it my impression as the topic has a lot of nuance.

1.) When your life is on the line and you have the funds to provide an exceptional quality double rifle, there is no better solution for dangerous game at close quarters. Part and parcel with this statement is that it must be: A.) Well regulated, B.) Use a magnum Rimmed double rifle caliber (.450/400, .470, .500), C.) It is a side by side. (faster loading, less jams under pressure), D.) It has double triggers. (faster follow up, a backup plan if the first shot / trigger fails, etc.)

2.) Barring the above, a claw extractor, controlled round feed magnum rifle in a suitable dangerous game caliber is a very good alternative that may also provide long-range accuracy for more utility. (.375HH, .404J, 416Rigby, .458) Again, with life on the line you must have the certainty it will load and reload in all circumstances and nothing does that like a mauser action or their reasonable copies like pre-64 style model 70 winchesters and the CZ/BRNO options.

3.) The lever action fails in most of the above categories by general rule. They are complex and prone to jam. In magnum calibers they may not extract. They are not as likely to be accurate at long ranges. They are slower to react and fire again at close ranges. They are largely uncomfortable for dealing with recoil by their stock construction. There are surely Alaskan custom lever guns that are for guides that may function, but they are a compromise that is unnecessary compared to options 1+2 above.
 

ActionBob

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Action Bob,
I just happen to have an extra Miroku / Winchester in .405 WCF. It is an unfired Deluxe with which you could have all the fun of tuning to suit yourself. If you put scratches and dents in it, theyt will just be great hunting memories:
First I've seen this @crs

Are you trying to this is for sale?
 

crs

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Yep. I have never posted it as such because that wastes too much of my time answering questions from window shoppers looking for a big bargain which it will not be unless the buyer really wants it.
If you are interested, I can PM pix and details to you.
 

IvW

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My top three (3) stopping rifles for North America, including Alaska is:
1. Nosler M 48 Outfitter chambered in 458 win mag (7.5 pound package)
2. 416 Ruger Alaskan (20 inch barrel)
3. Browning model 1886 lever action

Ammunition includes heavy for caliber Nosler Partition, A-Frame, TSX, and Trophy Bonded, & North Fork bonded soft point

These combinations have never failed me

1, May be good for NA and Alaska but leave it there when coming to Africa
2. Better choice but get a longer balanced barrel.
3. No good on DG in Africa, bring it along for warthog or bushpig.
 

Rule 303

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1, May be good for NA and Alaska but leave it there when coming to Africa
2. Better choice but get a longer balanced barrel.
3. No good on DG in Africa, bring it along for warthog or bushpig.

I have to ask what is wrong with No1 for DG. Why a longer barrel on No2.
Alaska can be just as if not more unforgiving then Africa re climate and environmental factors.
 

IvW

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I have to ask what is wrong with No1 for DG. Why a longer barrel on No2.
Alaska can be just as if not more unforgiving then Africa re climate and environmental factors.

1. Push feed and spring-loaded extractor and a plunger-type ejector. 458 WM in 7.5 lb rifle? Excessive recoil, muzzle flip, muzzle blast and increased recovery time for the second shot.
2. Too short a barrel always upsets a rifles balance. And again, Excessive recoil, muzzle flip, muzzle blast and increased recovery time for the second shot.

We are not talking about the weather but rather about an appropriate DG rifle for Africa. The above mat pass as a client rifle but is no good as a PH back up rifle.
 

Rule 303

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1. Push feed and spring-loaded extractor and a plunger-type ejector. 458 WM in 7.5 lb rifle? Excessive recoil, muzzle flip, muzzle blast and increased recovery time for the second shot.
2. Too short a barrel always upsets a rifles balance. And again, Excessive recoil, muzzle flip, muzzle blast and increased recovery time for the second shot.

We are not talking about the weather but rather about an appropriate DG rifle for Africa. The above mat pass as a client rifle but is no good as a PH back up rifle.


1)Spare me about push feed Vs Control round feed. I wouldn't use a CRF for the first 20 years of hunting as I saw too many of them fuck up including double feeding. Push feed is the preferred option for hunting the most dangerous animal going. Agree on the recovery time between shots. Conversely it can be said at the end of a long day lugging the rifle the lighter weight rifle is faster into action. Yes I know that a properly tuned CRF is recognized as the best system for DG along with a Double Rifle, just pointing out they are not the holy grail most believe them to be.

2) Those Rugers with the short barrel in 416 and 375 balance and handle very well and from what I have seen do not seem to take longer than any other big bore to get back into action. Mind you I have not seen this tested side by side.

I wasn't talking solely about weather either. There is some bloody thick bush in Alaska and a bear from 30mts gives between 2 and 3 seconds to get the shot on. However a bear can (and they have been) killed with a 9X19. Would not be my choice.
 

IvW

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1)Spare me about push feed Vs Control round feed. I wouldn't use a CRF for the first 20 years of hunting as I saw too many of them fuck up including double feeding. Push feed is the preferred option for hunting the most dangerous animal going. Agree on the recovery time between shots. Conversely it can be said at the end of a long day lugging the rifle the lighter weight rifle is faster into action. Yes I know that a properly tuned CRF is recognized as the best system for DG along with a Double Rifle, just pointing out they are not the holy grail most believe them to be.

2) Those Rugers with the short barrel in 416 and 375 balance and handle very well and from what I have seen do not seem to take longer than any other big bore to get back into action. Mind you I have not seen this tested side by side.

I wasn't talking solely about weather either. There is some bloody thick bush in Alaska and a bear from 30mts gives between 2 and 3 seconds to get the shot on. However a bear can (and they have been) killed with a 9X19. Would not be my choice.

1. I personally do not know a DG PH who uses or recommends a push feed action for a DG rifle. All use either, mauser, mauser type(CZ, ZKK Brno) or double rifles.

The biggest problem with push feed actions is the extraction and ejection(especially with unfired rounds) rather than the actual feeding.

If a CRF action double feeds there are some serious issues with that rifle. This is near impossible with a CRF action. The shell is kept flush with the bolt face by the big extractor claw(full length) until the front of the empty case(case mouth) clears the front of the action at which time the case is ejected. The bolt face can only pick up the next round from the magazine once the empty case has left the bolt face. To double stack it could only be due to a broken extractor or some other serious issue with the action(probably some poor workmanship).

2. Full power loads in a 20 inch barreled 416 are going to be unpleasant to shoot(muzzle blast, increased recoil). With short barrel they need to be lighter than normal in order to try and balance them. For me a proper fitting and balanced 24 inch barreled DG rifle is the best way to go.

30 meters is a long way off to stop a charge. As an example, if you were conducting a foot safari as a DG guide and an elephant charges you, you would be in serious trouble from the authorities if you shot that elephant at 30 meters. You have to first determine that it is in fact a full blown charge and not a mock charge. The norm would be about 10 yards, once you have determined that the charge is going to be pushed through and you have no other option but to shoot the elephant to protect yourself as well as the rest of the group.

A well trained and experienced PH would be able to get off 3 shots with a proper fitting bolt gun from that distance and at least 2 from a double.

If the charging animal is a wounded one you would obviously try to stop the charge as soon as possible and distance is not considered.

If you cannot stop whatever it is that is intent on getting hold of you from 30 meters away you should probably not be a PH guiding on DG safaris.

Whatever rifle, caliber or action type is chosen, it has to be thoroughly tested and used to ensure 100% reliability each and every time, especially when used by a Guide or PH. All action types, including doubles, can be problematic, however a proper CRF action will prove to be the most reliable bolt action to use.
 

IvW

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I quote from a much more experienced man than myself:

"Then we come to one that surprises me. Ruger. The early Ruger M77's with the non rotating claw extractors but still a push feed mechanism, in .458 Win could be relied upon to jam if the bolt was worked quickly. In the 1980's the National Parks culling teams found this out the hard way and the new Rugers were quickly disposed of or issued to stations where a heavy rifle was seldom required. The new MkII Ruger with a proper controlled feed seemed to be a vast improvement and were reputed to work a whole lot better and of course come at a top dollar price. I learned differently. All but one out of seven I've seen or handled this year (6 in .416 Rigby and one .458 Win) would not eject if the bolt was opened vigorously. Slow down just a fraction and they throw the empty case half way into the next province. For a client coming out to Africa this may be acceptable. Any really fast fancy shooting is going to be the PH's.

For the Professional Hunter or Guide though, a rifle that is guaranteed not to eject when worked at speed is a death sentence waiting to happen. The fault lies with the sprung loaded ejector that springs into place as the bolt is withdrawn. Work the bolt at a moderate speed and the ejector is in place to cleanly throw the case clear. Work the bolt fast and the ejector is still on its way up when the case passes over it. A few will work provided the ejector is scrupulously clean and well oiled but many will not do even that (and how do you keep it clean AND oiled in the usual dusty conditions?). A much stronger spring and a little polishing of the raceway that it fits into may cure the problem, but they are not safe as they come from the factory. A local gun shop tells me that they have sent two new rifles back this year because of this problem, and our local top gunsmith tells me that while most can be made to work perfectly, some cannot. Ruger needs to wake up, their No.1, single shot rifle is a far safer and more dependable weapon than their bolt action."
 

IvW

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So agreed, bad quality CRF action is not a good idea either.
 

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You talk a lot of sense...lvW....if the americans here still wanna play around with their non-CRF toy guns, well thats their choice..

All I know is that a Mauser or Brno 602 will fead and yank spent cartridges out no matter the conditions, temperatures and so forth...rifles you thrust your life upon....and that goes for proper built double too..
 

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1. I personally do not know a DG PH who uses or recommends a push feed action for a DG rifle. All use either, mauser, mauser type(CZ, ZKK Brno) or double rifles.

The biggest problem with push feed actions is the extraction and ejection(especially with unfired rounds) rather than the actual feeding.

If a CRF action double feeds there are some serious issues with that rifle. This is near impossible with a CRF action. The shell is kept flush with the bolt face by the big extractor claw(full length) until the front of the empty case(case mouth) clears the front of the action at which time the case is ejected. The bolt face can only pick up the next round from the magazine once the empty case has left the bolt face. To double stack it could only be due to a broken extractor or some other serious issue with the action(probably some poor workmanship).

2. Full power loads in a 20 inch barreled 416 are going to be unpleasant to shoot(muzzle blast, increased recoil). With short barrel they need to be lighter than normal in order to try and balance them. For me a proper fitting and balanced 24 inch barreled DG rifle is the best way to go.

30 meters is a long way off to stop a charge. As an example, if you were conducting a foot safari as a DG guide and an elephant charges you, you would be in serious trouble from the authorities if you shot that elephant at 30 meters. You have to first determine that it is in fact a full blown charge and not a mock charge. The norm would be about 10 yards, once you have determined that the charge is going to be pushed through and you have no other option but to shoot the elephant to protect yourself as well as the rest of the group.

A well trained and experienced PH would be able to get off 3 shots with a proper fitting bolt gun from that distance and at least 2 from a double.

If the charging animal is a wounded one you would obviously try to stop the charge as soon as possible and distance is not considered.

If you cannot stop whatever it is that is intent on getting hold of you from 30 meters away you should probably not be a PH guiding on DG safaris.

Whatever rifle, caliber or action type is chosen, it has to be thoroughly tested and used to ensure 100% reliability each and every time, especially when used by a Guide or PH. All action types, including doubles, can be problematic, however a proper CRF action will prove to be the most reliable bolt action to use.

I tend to agree with most of what you say. The double feed were due to poor timing, both on K98's. Case slips out from under the extractor claw, as far as I could tell. Plenty of other problems with the 98's that are common with push feeds to. There big advantage is that massive extractor claw.

I use the bear at 30mts example as no PH will get 3 rounds at a bear at full pace when only 30 meters. To put it in perspective if the average person had a sidearm in a holster they would be lucky to draw, aim and fire one round in that time. We are not talking about stationary paper targets. From 20mts with a rifle in hand you may get one aimed shot off, less than 20, you are normally out of luck unless a good hip shot. Not my experiences just gleaned from reading and talking to some who have hunted bear. I would think a lion in a full charge could be just as quick, but do not know.

I have had fail to feed, extract, fire on few types of actions actions. The only one I have not had a problem with was the SMLE. Does this mean they are faultless, not by a long shot, just that I have not experienced a problem. Yep I know they are not suited to high pressure rounds. I do like the ZKK's and CZ's
 

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