Drilling or Combo gun as an alternative to a Double for Plains Game?

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by bls72bmw, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. bls72bmw

    bls72bmw AH Member

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    Though I'd love to go out and pick up a nice used double to use on Plains Game as a sentimental act- it's not in the cards financially right now. Like most, I too grew up reading the adventures of many of the great hunter/writers who used a Big Ole' Double Rifle on their Dangerous Game, and it would just be a great sentiment to hunt a Zebra, Warthog, or heck, any Plains game with a nice double.

    But lately I've been very interested in the idea of using a 3 Barrel "Drilling" (2 Shotgun Bbls, 1 Rifle Bbl) or better yet a classic "Combo" gun (12 or 16g a top Bbl, Rifle Cal bottom Bbl).

    Many of these guns are available in the US at reasonable prices with say, a Krieghoff Ultra 12ga/.308 Over/Under style with a scope mount for under $3000. These guns are gaining in popularity and I could easily take one on a Plains Hunt, use it, and if bought well, sell it for what a person has bought it for. Most of the Rifle Barrels on these guns are in calibers like 8x57R, 7x57R, 30-06, 9.3x74R, .308 Win, etc.

    Has anyone experience with doing this?
    Thoughts, concerns? IS this a good idea, and if not, why not?

    Here's a couple examples:
    Champlin Firearms - Gun Vault - Quality Firearms

    Krieghoff Ultra - Drilling & Combination Guns

    Champlin Firearms - Gun Vault - Quality Firearms
     

  2. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher AH Veteran

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  3. A.Sharpe

    A.Sharpe AH Veteran

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    Just my opinion . You can pick up a used Sabatti double rifle in .470 for about $3000.00 US. Then pick up a Savage in .338 WM . For around $500. US. For $3500.00 you will have a good classic double for dangerous game and a good bolt gun for Plains game, where the ranges can be much greater than you'd want to shoot with a double. I remember reading that some countries in Africa are weird about guns in military calibers. IE .308 and 30-06. You can probably do better than the prices I listed if you shop around.
    On another note I have my eye on a Cape rifle S/S . 12ga left barrel 9.3X 74R right barrel. But we're still haggling money. I enjoy unusual rifles.
     
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  4. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    I see everyone here is a fan of drillings as well. I just bought a JP sauer 3000 in 12X12 2 3/4 and 30-06. I'm currently putting a quick detach 1-4 trijicon on it.

    But along with the usual sites like champlin I think you gentlemen would like this one as well


    http://www.stevebarnettfineguns.com/frm_inventory1.htm
     

  5. Peter Larsson

    Peter Larsson AH Enthusiast

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    On the first day of my SA hunt I said:
    Shit I should have brought my drilling instead.
    Saw allot of francolin and guinea fowl and a jackal
    at close range.
    With 7 or 8 mm and US1 and a brenneke. I think you
    are well armed fore most plains game.
    If it is allowed,I don't know.
     

  6. 8 x 60

    8 x 60 AH Veteran

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    Drillings are great. I have a 16 gauge sxs over 6,5 x 58r Sauer (originally made in 9.3 x 72 but re-lined at some point)

    I love it and the short barrels with the spot of extra weight of the rifle barrel make it handy yet well balanced shotgun that has that "bit extra" should the opportunity for something bigger arise (and vice versa)

    Drillings are wrongly been described (probably by gun writers who have never used one) as "Jack of all trades , Master of none" guns, or the "Swiss Army knife of Guns" i.e lots of tools but none of them any good.

    Observations based on ignorance ..

    Surely a dose of 8 x 57r (a classic drilling calibre) with 2 barrels of buckshot as back-up would be pretty handy should you have the opportunity for a baited leopard. If if you need to follow-upn( Sh*t happens whatever calibre/rifle) you will most likely have refreshed the rifle barrel and have the buckshot (x 2) as back-up. Wasn't Capstick a big believer in a shotgun for Leopard follow-up?

    What do our PH members think?

    Oh , and plains game? Spot on. A classic single shot rifle with the possibility of putting Francolin / Guinea Fowl etc on the Braii. Absolutely

    What could be better?
     
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  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I had and sold, bad move, a Merkel K96 12x12 over 243. What fun it was to be out pheasant hunting and have a coyote sit up 75-100yds out and stare at me. He never knew what hit him.

    I would love to have another in 12x12 over 9.3x72R. I think that might work in the bushveld for everything from eland down to the tiniest antelopes.

    The one thing I didn't like was the tight chokes...full and modified. You can get that these days from an improved and modified just by the shotshell you use.

    Oh to dream of just the "perfect" gun!
     
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  8. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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  9. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    Everyone :cool:?!?!?!? Not sure this one had even heard of a drillings before this thread!
     

  10. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    its called context
     

  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Oh be still my heart!!! It doth yerneth for that Merkel K96 12x12 over 9.3x74R!
    "Earth to ridgewalker...come in!" "Do you want to go back to Africa next year, or increase your gun collection?"
    Ok, Ok I want another trip to Africa. Can't I sell my Tacoma and do both?
    Decisions, decisions!
     
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  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I love combination guns and currently have guild 16x16x8x57r; 16x16x7x57r; and a double rifle drilling in 9.3x74r x 9.3x74r x 20. The typical drilling will be the same as taking any other single shot stalking rifle on a PG safari. You will also have the advantage of having a SxS shotgun for an afternoon of wing shooting over a water hole. Just remember, a lot of these were chambered for 65mm (2.5 inch) shot shells rather than 70mm (2.75 inch) and none should be fed 1 1/4 ounce loads. Also, 16 bore shells can be tricky for your PH to find in country. I also would never use a 9.3x62r on anything beyond 125 yards or larger than a medium size antelope. It is essentially in the 30-30 class. The 9.3x74r, on the other hand, is a very serious round.

    I have seen numerous German hunters checking guns into Namibia and several were using drillings.
     
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  13. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Drillings are heavy.
     

  14. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    A lot are,but a lot are lighter than you would think.
     

  15. Ryan

    Ryan AH Fanatic

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    If you really like one, by all means research them and get a good one. But
    Heres my take.
    They are intriguing guns. Part of me really likes them but to me they are a niche gun. A very finite group of people may be interested in taking one off your hands if you want to sell it. Maybe you can find that buyer, maybe not.

    For obvious reasons they aren't any cheaper than the doubles mentioned, two to three barrels to regulate requires a lot of quality work, which isn't cheap. Then add the less than common rifle cartridges (at least in the US) since they usually go with rimmed rifle cartridges for better ejection. If you are in the the US be prepared to reload for those cartridges. And then there's reality of history. Safari guns rarely involved drillings. Drillings were created more for European driven hunts on estates where anything from birds and hare to deer may pass in front of a hunter on a given drive. African hunts typically focus on a specific species or type of game so usually plains game involved bolt action or single shot 'stalking' rifles, doubles for dangerous game, with shotguns brought out for birds on occasions.
     
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  16. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I would like to own a drilling someday but not sure I would ever used it for its intended purpose. But right now it's far down the hunt/gun list! From a collector point of view, it might be a necessary possession!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

  17. Excessexpress

    Excessexpress AH Senior Member

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    Not all of them.......
     

  18. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Enthusiast

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    If you want a Drilling--buy a Drilling.

    If you hunt where you can hunt small and medium game at the same time, then a SxS Shotgun over a single rifle barrel Drilling can be good.

    If you insist on a Drilling for DANGEROUS GAME, then buy a SxS RIFLE over a single shotgun barrel.



    My perfect North American Drilling would be SxS 20ga over a 30-06--with regulated shotgun barrels so slugs could be used. (My fantasy North American WOODS gun is a SxS REGULATED/RIFLED 12ga...)

    For Afrika Id want TWO 9.3x74R over a single 20 gauge. If youre serious about Dangerous Game, keep in mind RSA requires a minimum of 375H&H, so I think Id look at two 450-400 over 20 ga.

    Why 20ga? SIMPLE its lighter and slimmer and still has plenty of power and shot.
     

  19. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    That is not my experience. My 7x57 weighs 6.5 lbs without the scope and the 8x57 weighs an ounce over 7 in the same configuration. The 9.3x74 double rifle drilling barely makes it to eight. All have steel actions. A friend has a magnificent old Krieghoff with a dural action in 7mm which is less than 6lbs.
     

  20. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A drilling has three barrels . . . a double barrelled shotgun - other things being equal - is heavier than a single barrel shotgun. Three barrels - again, other things being equal - will weigh more than one barrel. Same with a vierling - four barrels will typically weigh more than three.

    I understand that modern drillings can be made out of lighter materials, but you can't overcome the physics of the thing without some compromise . . . in my opinion!

    Did I also mention I didn't like the looks of them?

    Seriously, to each their own, but I'd rather have three rifles than one. Which is why the Blaser with interchangeable barrels is of no interest to me.
     

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