First Timer Rifle

Plains Game and Dangerous Game Setup

  • Bolt and Double

  • Blaser R8 or similar with different barrels


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mikecatt13

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Starting the planning process for my first safari, still several years out, but looking for advice on rifle calibers as I'm fairly certain I want to have a custom rifle built. Actually, I'm still undecided on whether I want to have it built for my first safari, or have it built afterwards and use the first safari's memories as inspiration for the engravings selected for the gun and take it on the following trips.

Anyway, my first question is regarding configuration. I like the idea of the blaser R8 and having different caliber barrels. My question is, for dangerous game, is a double rifle a necessity? I'm a national Champion in action shooting, so target acquisition, weapon manipulation. Etc is something I am very fast and proficient with. Obviously a double is faster for 2 shots than a bolt, but a bolt would be faster for 3 shots due to the reload.

Next is calibers. So many choices. If you had to pick 2 to cover plains game and dangerous game, what would they be. I THINK I'm going to hunt buffalo first, but maybe elephant would be added or become the first priority.

I have a CZ550 in .375 H&H and a bunch of "north American" calibers. I love my 28 nosler, but want something that will be easier to get ammo in country if needed, like 300WM etc.

Thanks in advance
 

IvW

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Starting the planning process for my first safari, still several years out, but looking for advice on rifle calibers as I'm fairly certain I want to have a custom rifle built. Actually, I'm still undecided on whether I want to have it built for my first safari, or have it built afterwards and use the first safari's memories as inspiration for the engravings selected for the gun and take it on the following trips.

Anyway, my first question is regarding configuration. I like the idea of the blaser R8 and having different caliber barrels. My question is, for dangerous game, is a double rifle a necessity? I'm a national Champion in action shooting, so target acquisition, weapon manipulation. Etc is something I am very fast and proficient with. Obviously a double is faster for 2 shots than a bolt, but a bolt would be faster for 3 shots due to the reload.

Next is calibers. So many choices. If you had to pick 2 to cover plains game and dangerous game, what would they be. I THINK I'm going to hunt buffalo first, but maybe elephant would be added or become the first priority.

I have a CZ550 in .375 H&H and a bunch of "north American" calibers. I love my 28 nosler, but want something that will be easier to get ammo in country if needed, like 300WM etc.

Thanks in advance

First decide what you want, custom, bolt, factory.....

Double is not a necessity for DG......very nice to have but not needed

Obviously a double is faster for 2 shots than a bolt, but a bolt would be faster for 3 shots due to the reload.

Common mistake made....rather concentrate and being proficient in placing your first shot where it needs to go rather than being concerned about second third and fourth shots.

You have a 375H&H a something 300 WM would be a good companion.

Use the saved money for more animals.
 
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perttime

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Going for a quality double tends to be costly. What is your limit?

300 WM or 7mm Rem Mag, should be good for plains. 375H&H is clearly adequate for buffalo, with a PH. .458 Lott gets a lot of positive comments, if you want a bigger bullet.
 

Dawg2019

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I would tend to agree with IvW. .375 will handle all the plains game and the Buff, I would take the savings from buying a new $8k-$15$ rifle set up and add more game to the wish list. BUT, if you aren’t worried about the money, I’m always for adding a new piece to the gun safe. 300 win mag, .338 win mag, or a 458, 500 double since you say elephants are a want.
 

bruce moulds

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a 340wby in a non weatherby rifle, and a 416 rem mag, probably both win70.
bruce.
 

mikecatt13

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I will clarify a bit...my trophy fee budget will be #1 priority, If things get tight I wont compromise that and the custom will have to wait till later in life lol. Like most, a dream is to ultimately take (or in the case of rhino, likely dart) the big 5 (although some plains game are higher in the list than some of the 5). Who knows how realistic that is or isnt, some things in life you just cant plan or predict, but even just looking at the cost of multiple safaris for PG...its a large amount of money and a custom rifle isnt as significant of an addition to that as it would be for another budget like, for example, a single elk hunt in the states. Not that it's at all necessary or even rational, but sometimes you just want something haha
 

Art Lambart II

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I would love a double rifle in 450/400 but first I would have to by a SxS 20ga with double triggers and spend a lot of time shooting sporting clays to get use to the second trigger for my second shot. If you are worried about finding ammo in Africa pair your 375 with 7x57 or a 30-06 and spend the rest of your money of extra animals.
 

Von S.

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Mike,

I don't think that anyone here knows enough about you to actually he you out.

Are you recoil shy ? ....and I'm not talking a 458 kinda recoil shy as in my opinion that doesn't really kick and I use personal experience other than some recoil chart devised by some guy who never shot those rounds to begin with.

Your 28 Nosler will kill every pg in africa with the right bullet and hit.

There is a fella here who 1 shot killed 17 pg in a short period of time from 150 to 450 yards + and is a guide rep for Huntershill Outfitters here at AH
 

mikecatt13

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I'm not recoil shy that I'm aware. I shoot my 375 for fun every now and then, while in my opinion my browning a bolt 30-06 has a sharper recoil than the 375 (not having shot them side by side though). I own 375HH, 28N, 30-06, 338LM among others, have shot .50s, hot loaded 12 gauge slugs, and some other stuff and have never been bothered by recoil, that being said I've never shot a 458, 470, or anything like that but I dont anticipate it being a problem.

Happy to share anything else that would help!

I would love to take my 28N for PG, the issue I see would be if my ammo lost or who knows what, I'm guessing that's not easy to come by over there. Thinking it best to stick with more commonly used in Africa calibers such as 300WM, 375HH, 416. 458, 470 etc. so if that situation arises I can likely purchase ammo from the PH. Hopefully never have to, but you have to plan for the worst right
 

Shootist43

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Mikecatt13, your 375 H&H paired with a good 30 cal. i.e. a 300 WM or a 30-06 would be an excellent combo for a first time PG hunt. Ammo for those calibers are readily available in Africa should the need arise. Down the road a bit, if a double is in the offing so be it. At that point it depends on what sort of DG piques your interest that would determine which caliber is right for you.
 

Samb

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My only Safari was a plains game hunt and I used a bolt action 300 WM. It was a rental. Take your own rifle and build memories.
 

BeeMaa

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Just as others have stated above.
You have all you need for a safari, 375H&H and 300WM will do you just fine.
If you want to simplify things, take just the 375 and you won't be disappointed.
Take what you shoot best with premium ammo and the salt shed will be busy.

Whatever you plan on taking, practice with it often.

If I had to do it over again...I wish I had know about the Blaser system 20+ years ago.
 

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First decide what you want, custom, bolt, factory.....

Double is not a necessity for DG......very nice to have but not needed



Common mistake made....rather concentrate and being proficient in placing your first shot w
here it needs to go rather than being concerned about second third and fourth shots.

You have a 375H&H a something 300 WM would be a good companion.

Use the saved money for more animals.

exactly what IvW said
 
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Philip Glass

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How about double gun and Blaser R8? This is my plan going forward.
 

mikecatt13

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How about double gun and Blaser R8? This is my plan going forward.

That's what I'm leaning towards actually now. I will always want a custom (maybe r8) but I've found some very nice R8s that I could go something like 300WM and 375HH and have a double, for less than an extravagant custom

This was supposed to be a long term research and browse type thing. But I MAY have a chance at this S2 and am having a hard time not jumping on it, just trying to research price (taking into account availability because I havent seen many doubles with the engraving and bluing). $17k ish...:A Bonk:
blaser-s2-470-close-under.jpg
blaser-00203-aimpoint-left.jpg
 

Ridgewalker

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Mikecatt13, I only take my 375 H&H. I do change scopes and ammo depending on what I am hunting. But if one didn’t want to do that, a 375 H&H with a 300 gr A-frame (if accurate enough) and some 300 solids for the smallest antelope, would handle anything most of us could afford to shoot.
I have taken a fairly wide range of animals including caracal, duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, kudu, crocodile, lions, buffalo, eland, impalas, blesbok, sable, warthogs, blue and black wildebeests, gems bucks, etc. So far it has worked fine. The money I’d like to spend on a fine double instead I spent on another hunt.
JMO
 

mikecatt13

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Mikecatt13, I only take my 375 H&H. I do change scopes and ammo depending on what I am hunting. But if one didn’t want to do that, a 375 H&H with a 300 gr A-frame (if accurate enough) and some 300 solids for the smallest antelope, would handle anything most of us could afford to shoot.
I have taken a fairly wide range of animals including caracal, duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, kudu, crocodile, lions, buffalo, eland, impalas, blesbok, sable, warthogs, blue and black wildebeests, gems bucks, etc. So far it has worked fine. The money I’d like to spend on a fine double instead I spent on another hunt.
JMO


Fair point, I dont intend to or want to short myself on hunting...which is why I think the very high budget custom will have to wait until who knows when. Knowing myself though, there's 0% chance I have enough self control that I dont buy a new gun (or two) for this and future trips haha
 

K E Johnson

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Mikecatt13, I only take my 375 H&H. I do change scopes and ammo depending on what I am hunting. But if one didn’t want to do that, a 375 H&H with a 300 gr A-frame (if accurate enough) and some 300 solids for the smallest antelope, would handle anything most of us could afford to shoot.
I have taken a fairly wide range of animals including caracal, duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, kudu, crocodile, lions, buffalo, eland, impalas, blesbok, sable, warthogs, blue and black wildebeests, gems bucks, etc. So far it has worked fine. The money I’d like to spend on a fine double instead I spent on another hunt.
JMO

Beware the man with one rifle, he probably knows how to use it.
In this case, doesn’t even appear to be a question.

I would love to get to hunt with a double rifle. We will see if I get to make that happen or not.

I haven’t been yet, but it will happen God willing and the creek don’t rise. The only difference in my current plan sans double, is to use my .416 Rigby for DG, with .375 H&H for back up rifle and plains game.

My custom rifle is a second hand Dakota 76 in .416 Rigby with serial # African 76. Cost about the same as what I am seeing used custom CZs.
It had a Teflon finish that I had updated to black nitride. Looking forward to becoming best friends with it if I ever get it back. (I will, I know.) The company that did the nitride coating lost the firing pin.

I have played with it enough before it went out to know that new to me on this is as good I could have asked for.
 
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