First Dangerous Game Rifle - Struggling to decide

BourbonTrail

AH legend
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
2,356
Reaction score
7,400
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
USA (AZ, KY, MO, NM, VA), RSA
To beat a thoroughly beaten dead horse...

I am new here, but I have been combing this site for over a year. However, it has led to me being completely overwhelmed by the shear number of DG cartridges. So, I would like to ask for some more (in)direction.

My situation:
I am a ways out from any DG trips, and I want to get a DG caliber rifle to start practicing.
I currently shoot a 300wby and have shot a 50 BMG, but a 30# gun doesn’t really give me much of an apples to apples compare. However, I am pretty sturdy and don’t think recoil will be a big issue nor rifle weight.
Prior to being enlightened by the AH forum I only considered the 416 Rigby, but now I am torn between a 375, 416, 404, and 450/458. The 500 Jeff looks intense, but I really enjoyed the 50 BMG. (I am not looking at doubles currently).
I do think the 375 sounds versatile and like a lateral move in terms of recoil, but I don’t particularly like feeling under gunned.
I know that I want a dedicated DG rifle and to also hunt elephant at some point. Would my original choice (416 Rigby) be the best gateway dru...err I mean caliber? Or should I give something else a more serious look?

Respectfully,
BourbonTrail
 
On a serious note- I have a 375 H&H, 404 and a 458 Lott.

I’ll be taking my 404 to Africa for Buff, but that’s cause it has the most panache and is the nicest rifle in terms of looks and feel. It’s more than manageable In terms of recoil.

My 458 is a Factory CZ and feeds/functions well, I also find it tolerable to shoot in limited amounts, while standing.

My 375 is a Kimber Takletna and it kicks less than either of my 30-06 rifles, and absolute dream to shoot, so have no fear there!!!
 
I have used a M70 Winchester Safari Grade in 416 REM. Mag with great success on Buffalo and Elephant. 400 gr. Barnes Solids and 400 Swift A-Frames.
I had looked at the Rem, but other than ammo price, what would make me pick it over the Rigby? Maybe that’s enough...
 
I bought my first one a Model 70 375 H&H last year. I absolutely love it this far but have only used it on smaller non dangerous game to this point. It will be a slight step up in recoil from the 300wby but nothing hard to handle at all. For anything up to buffalo I will stay right there as I have no intentions of elephant...but if I was thinking of elephant I think I would go a little larger. I know the 375 has taken them no doubt but I would step up a little more to bigger slower solids for an animal such as that. 458 Lott on up seems like a good start to me but then again I have no experience on an animal that large either but some guys that do will be along shortly I’m sure
 
Go out and buy a CZ 550 magnum in any desirable chambering.
No longer produced so Prices are going up and they will probably hold .
You could have options to rebarrel , custom build if you want or get your money back after you have some fun.
 
I’m disappointed that the CZ 550 production ended, but there is one left in the Rigby at my local(ish) gun dealer.
 
I have a Ruger M77 416 Rigby that is pretty fun to shoot. I’m not a big guy, 5’9 and 160 lbs and the recoil isn’t bad at all. I can compare it to a 20 3 inch magnum.
I have yet to take delivery of my 404 Jeffery but I’m very excited about it.

You couldn’t go wrong with the 375 HH, 404 “if you can find one”, or 416R. Each have factory ammo choices and are more than capable of taking DG.
 
There is a nice Caprivi for sale in the classifieds section here.
Yes it is a very beautiful rifle and would definitely handle anything you ever need one for. If I were looking for one right now I’d give it a serious thought.
 
Something to think about, what does “a ways out” and “elephant at some point” really mean? If it’s 3-4 years until a buffalo hunt and 7-8 years plus until an elephant if it actually happens, you could really save a lot of money shooting a 375 up until you know you’ll go on an elephant hunt and also have a much more versatile rifle. I don’t think anyone thinks the 375 is under gunned for a client less than elephant. Also, I use 250 grain bullets with my 375 in addition to the 300 grain bullets for heavy game. With the way 250 grain bullets shoot, I see no need to ever get a 338.
Also I have zero issues with my 375 H&H but I found my recoil limit with my 416 rigby even though it is the same stock.
 
Something to think about, what does “a ways out” and “elephant at some point” really mean? If it’s 3-4 years until a buffalo hunt and 7-8 years plus until an elephant if it actually happens, you could really save a lot of money shooting a 375 up until you know you’ll go on an elephant hunt and also have a much more versatile rifle. I don’t think anyone thinks the 375 is under gunned for a client less than elephant. Also, I use 250 grain bullets with my 375 in addition to the 300 grain bullets for heavy game. With the way 250 grain bullets shoot, I see no need to ever get a 338.
Also I have zero issues with my 375 H&H but I found my recoil limit with my 416 rigby even though it is the same stock.
That’s a great point...my 375 has quickly became a favorite and replaced all my rifles .300 mag and up. It’s just plain fun to shoot and very versatile
 
THREE SEVEN FIVE
 
Go out and buy a CZ 550 magnum in any desirable chambering.
No longer produced so Prices are going up and they will probably hold .
You could have options to rebarrel , custom build if you want or get your money back after you have some fun.
They were pretty reasonably priced in the secondhand market but I think the ones I see on the popular Australian site are advertised asking more than they were last year.
I wish I had a dozen , you could make a 50-100% markup on recent prices.
That's quick cash for a hobby.
My mate was into trading antiques as a hobby. When he got a quick sale with a good markup he said you don't get interest like that in the bank
 
There is a nice Caprivi for sale in the classifieds section here.
Yes it is a very beautiful rifle and would definitely handle anything you ever need one for. If I were looking for one right now I’d give it a serious thought
I did give it a hard look, but boss said no... I think 2k is about my limit on the first DG rifle.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
55,585
Messages
1,182,428
Members
96,949
Latest member
CarlFerrar
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

cwpayton wrote on Goat416's profile.
Goat416 welcome to the forum ,youve got some great pics and Im sure trophy's
ghay wrote on professor's profile.
Hello,
Would you consider selling just the Barnes 235's and 250g TTSX's?
Hunt27 wrote on Tra3's profile.
Spain, i booked through a consultant, i book almost everything through him now and he's done me right. his contact 724 986 7206 if interested and he will have more info to share,
I hunted elephant with Luke Samaris in 2005. It was my fourth safari and I tell you he is a fine gentleman the best. I got the opportunity to meet Patty Curtis, although never hunted with him but enjoyed our conversation around our tent in the Selous. Very sad for a tough guy to leave this world the way he did. Let’s pray the murderers are caught. I hope to see Luke in Nashville.
RLP wrote on professor's profile.
Good morning. I am a Ruger fan myself. Have you sold to anyone on the site before? How old is the ammo?

RLP
 
Top