First Timer Rifle

Plains Game and Dangerous Game Setup

  • Bolt and Double

  • Blaser R8 or similar with different barrels


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perttime

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That is also true . If he is passionate about using a double barrel rifle , then so be it . His dream safari should be enjoyed with the weapon of his choice . It is just that ( as you already know ) novice client hunters on their first Safari typically need a good deal of thorough practice , to be proficient with a double barrel rifle , as opposed to a bolt operation rifle ( comparatively speaking ) .
I am not quite sure who the Original Poster is, but it seems clear that he is an experienced shooter who has learned to shoot and handle firearms with speed and precision. I believe that he knows what it takes to learn how to handle a new type of gun under pressure. Not just a level where you remember what to do, but a level where you no longer need to think about handling the weapon.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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I am not quite sure who the Original Poster is, but it seems clear that he is an experienced shooter who has learned to shoot and handle firearms with speed and precision. I believe that he knows what it takes to learn how to handle a new type of gun under pressure. Not just a level where you remember what to do, but a level where you no longer need to think about handling the weapon.
perttime
In such a case , he can go for it . I suppose l misinterpreted "first timer " as a novice . It is my mistake .
 

mikecatt13

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I am not quite sure who the Original Poster is, but it seems clear that he is an experienced shooter who has learned to shoot and handle firearms with speed and precision. I believe that he knows what it takes to learn how to handle a new type of gun under pressure. Not just a level where you remember what to do, but a level where you no longer need to think about handling the weapon.

I'm the OP, I'm not the type to talk myself up or brag but instead wanted to share my firearms experience because I think it does effect this choice significantly. I'm confident I can learn a new platform properly and make it second nature as you described, taking into account the danger associated. I understand that this doesnt apply to everyone as well, which is why I included those details

I realize now the title wasnt exactly clear, my bad everyone. I meant first time to Africa, not first time shooter or hunter, sorry for the confusion there.
 

Major Khan

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I'm the OP, I'm not the type to talk myself up or brag but instead wanted to share my firearms experience because I think it does effect this choice significantly. I'm confident I can learn a new platform properly and make it second nature as you described, taking into account the danger associated. I understand that this doesnt apply to everyone as well, which is why I included those details

I realize now the title wasnt exactly clear, my bad everyone. I meant first time to Africa, not first time shooter or hunter, sorry for the confusion there.
I just realized that l never answered your question about 2 preferred calibres . My choices are :
.300 Winchester magnum for plains game shooting.
.375 Holland and Holland magnum for dangerous game shooting .

Many of my clients used to bring such a combination and were very happy with it.
 

IvW

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3000 repetitions with the double should have the muscle memory where it should be with the double.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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I'm the OP, I'm not the type to talk myself up or brag but instead wanted to share my firearms experience because I think it does effect this choice significantly. I'm confident I can learn a new platform properly and make it second nature as you described, taking into account the danger associated. I understand that this doesnt apply to everyone as well, which is why I included those details

I realize now the title wasnt exactly clear, my bad everyone. I meant first time to Africa, not first time shooter or hunter, sorry for the confusion there.

I had understood correctly , although still no opinion expressed.

I would first shot a buffalo with my rifle caliber 375 to gain experience. A decision about choice of an custom rifle is much easier afterwards. Getting built a custom rifle for the first DG hunt is IMHO not a good idea. I saw disappointments by hunter on her first DG hunting and with her expensive rifle that was not as hoped , especially in comparison with the rifles of other hunters.

At the beginning you don't really know in which direction you want to go. Therefore , you should first hunt with the proven base tools. So i did it about 30 years ago in a time without internet and forum.
 
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mikecatt13

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3000 repetitions with the double should have the muscle memory where it should be with the double.
At least. I dont know if its common for safari practice but in competition shooting we practice using "dry fire" where you use no ammo or dummy ammo to train muscle memory of things like weapon mounting, sight acquisition, reloading. Then you use live fire to confirm you can still properly and efficiently complete the tasks when recoil is added. More dry fire, more live fire, so the cycle goes
 

perttime

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At the beginning you don't really know in which direction you want to go. Therefore , you should first hunt with the proven base tools. So i did it about 30 years ago in a time without internet and forum.
That works with many things.

When I first bought a mountain bike, I didn't really know what I wanted. So I bought a basic one, and made small changes when I discovered things that I liked and disliked. Some years later, I built a new one just like I wanted it.

When I bought my first handgun, I wasn't sure what I really really wanted. So I bought a basic one. Some years later I bought a different one that I sometimes like more than the basic one.
 

Red Leg

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If you have extensive experience with open sights and are willing to pass up marginal shots (including going home without a trophy), then take a double for buffalo or elephant. However, since relatively few people - if they are honest with themselves - fit that category, I strongly encourage a scoped rifle for a first DG hunt (I did and I have vast open sight experience). The transition from a deer or elk rifle to scoped .375 is easy, and there is nothing like a telescopic sight to find a shooting window or to separate the correct shoulder from a group of duga boys in dark cover.

With respect to the R8, I think it is the finest production rifle currently available - period. I have used mine extensively here and in Africa (to include this past weekend on a nilgai). I currently have barrels in .375, .300 Win Mag, 6.5x55. and .257 Weatherby. It is dependable, accurate, quick, and as transportable as any double. Get one - take it hunting - kill a buffalo. With those experiences, then decide whether or not to make your second safari a nostalgic one with a double.
 
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rookhawk

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The thing I don't like about the R8 the most, is the idea of relying on it for a full safari with multiple barrels. By all means, if you like the R8 buy two of them and go on safari! But what happens if you lose the wrench, if the bolts are seized, if you forgot the tool, if you lose the boltface you need for the other caliber?

We got to the refinement of the double rifle to avoid this all-eggs-in-a-basket philosophy. Two triggers. Two ejectors. Two sears. Two firing pins. Two barrels.

If you're going to use an R8...don't use just one in Africa.
 

mikecatt13

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What's everyone opinion on a PG caliber for out to 300 yards, for simplicity sake let's just compare .375HH and .300WM. .375 obviously has a bit more drop (which is not a big deal, you will have to dial your scope or know accurate hold overs either way, the numbers are just different), but also more retained energy. I'd like to be sure I can take shots to at least 300, from what I can tell shooting beyond 300 is going to be fairly rare.
 

Tra3

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Most definitely bring both!
This June I’ll bring a .375 for PG and hippo. The second gun will be for my son in a 6.5 CM or a 7 mag. Since he will be 14, his size and strength is kinda between those two. He has already successfully used a 6.5 CM for PG. I used that same rifle (kimber hunter) this year on a bull elk and a mule deer shooting 142 grain nosler ABLRs.
You can’t go wrong with a .300 WM for PG. (I would have rather had my 7 mag for that elk)
 

Von S.

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The thing I don't like about the R8 the most, is the idea of relying on it for a full safari with multiple barrels. By all means, if you like the R8 buy two of them and go on safari! But what happens if you lose the wrench, if the bolts are seized, if you forgot the tool, if you lose the boltface you need for the other caliber?

We got to the refinement of the double rifle to avoid this all-eggs-in-a-basket philosophy. Two triggers. Two ejectors. Two sears. Two firing pins. Two barrels.

If you're going to use an R8...don't use just one in Africa.

Probably the reason I like pretty much well all rifles and rounds is because I understand them and know how to use them correctly.

Yes! I have said that once I used the R8 I liked it. It is pretty ingenious, spiffy as hell rifle......but that does not mean that I necessarily agree with trusting my hunt with a take apart gun and a deep plastic bucket full of different barrels. I am 100 % not in favor of taking any gun apart when battle looms on the horizon. Its too easy to have a mishap and then you'll be scratching ass looking for a suitable weapon.

I can not agree with you Rook that the R8 isn't an african gun. It's accurate as Wild Bill and slicker than a bucket of greased eels have sex in a bucket of snot.
 

rookhawk

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I can not agree with you Rook that the R8 isn't an african gun. It's accurate as Wild Bill and slicker than a bucket of greased eels have sex in a bucket of snot.

You misread my quote. "If you're going to use an R8...don't use just one in Africa."
 

perttime

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You misread my quote. "If you're going to use an R8...don't use just one in Africa."
I recall a near disaster story when the hunters had 2 near identical bolt action rifles on a DG hunt, just different calibers. They let staff clean their rifles, and the bolts got swapped.
 

Jeffrey

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My proposition is to take ONLY that CZ550 375HH with a good scope, like the Leupold VX6 1-6 or something like that. Load it with 300 grain AFrames. Bring as many rounds as legally allowed in whatever country you're going to and give the leftovers to your PH. Sight it in a couple inches high at 100 and you'll be good out to 260 yards are so - PLENTY of range for 99% of Africa.

The money you'll spend on a double will pay for an entire, nice, safari. Ditto a fully set up (multiple chamberings with nice scopes) Blaser.
 

rookhawk

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My proposition is to take ONLY that CZ550 375HH with a good scope, like the Leupold VX6 1-6 or something like that. Load it with 300 grain AFrames. Bring as many rounds as legally allowed in whatever country you're going to and give the leftovers to your PH. Sight it in a couple inches high at 100 and you'll be good out to 260 yards are so - PLENTY of range for 99% of Africa.

The money you'll spend on a double will pay for an entire, nice, safari. Ditto a fully set up (multiple chamberings with nice scopes) Blaser.

As many of you know, I'm a "gun guy". I like really high-quality guns that are far less prone to breakage than many. I'm also OCD when it comes to risks, contingencies, what-ifs, backup plans, redundancy, resiliency, etc. etc. I feel pretty confident in saying that I'm more anal about contingency planning than anyone reading this because its part of my personal and professional life all day every day.

So in light of those facts, let me tell you a tale:

First trip to Africa: Guns and Ammo never made the flight and were lost for 3 days.
Second trip to Africa: One of my rifles was jostled or dropped by the crew and wouldn't hold zero.
Third trip to Africa: Missed a chip shot twice...still never know what happened there as I sold the gun in anger.
Fourth trip to Africa: A mopani twig jammed into the safety and broke it clean off of my mauser making it inoperable. Ammo was lost in J'burg and found SECONDS BEFORE my connecting flight boarded.

Everything that can go wrong WILL GO WRONG in Africa. There aren't enough belts and suspenders in the world to deal with African contingencies.

So when I read "just bring one gun" I cringe, I think that's about the worst advice I've ever heard. Every trip, "just one gun" would have spelled disaster for me. If you like Blasers or double rifles or CZ550s that's just grand, but bring two guns. Bring two different calibers so you have 2x the chance of borrowing ammo in a pinch. Make sure they both will kill 100% of your game on your list should one of the guns be unusable.

As for a double rifle critique, they are worth every penny if you value your life and you are more proficient with a double rifle than a magazine rifle for instinctive shooting. While you can save $10,000-$40,000 by not having a double rifle, you can't be made no-longer-dead for any amount of money. I believe I have a better chance of saving my own life with a double rifle during a charge than with a magazine rifle during a charge based on experience/muscle memory/less mechanical failure. Not everyone can honestly say that but for me its life insurance. Why? Because I've operated a bolt action rifle for perhaps 5,000-10,000 shots in my lifetime, 95% of that time sitting at a bench where the experience is irrelevant to a free hand shot and reload on a target instantly? On the other hand, I've operated a double trigger side by side barreled weapon perhaps 200,000+ shots in my lifetime? Go with what you know as your life is ultimately in your hands, not the PHs. (his attempts to save your life are "good faith effort" only)
 

Opposite Pole

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Go with what you know as your life is ultimately in your hands, not the PHs. (his attempts to save your life are "good faith effort" only)

Also the PH needs to be in once piece and at least partly operational. When things go wrong they can affect the PH too, not just the paying visitors.
 

Red Leg

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The thing I don't like about the R8 the most, is the idea of relying on it for a full safari with multiple barrels. By all means, if you like the R8 buy two of them and go on safari! But what happens if you lose the wrench, if the bolts are seized, if you forgot the tool, if you lose the boltface you need for the other caliber?
As many of you know, I'm a "gun guy". I like really high-quality guns that are far less prone to breakage than many. I'm also OCD when it comes to risks, contingencies, what-ifs, backup plans, redundancy, resiliency, etc. etc. I feel pretty confident in saying that I'm more anal about contingency planning than anyone reading this because its part of my personal and professional life all day every day.

So in light of those facts, let me tell you a tale:

First trip to Africa: Guns and Ammo never made the flight and were lost for 3 days.
Second trip to Africa: One of my rifles was jostled or dropped by the crew and wouldn't hold zero.
Third trip to Africa: Missed a chip shot twice...still never know what happened there as I sold the gun in anger.
Fourth trip to Africa: A mopani twig jammed into the safety and broke it clean off of my mauser making it inoperable. Ammo was lost in J'burg and found SECONDS BEFORE my connecting flight boarded.

Everything that can go wrong WILL GO WRONG in Africa. There aren't enough belts and suspenders in the world to deal with African contingencies.

So when I read "just bring one gun" I cringe, I think that's about the worst advice I've ever heard. Every trip, "just one gun" would have spelled disaster for me. If you like Blasers or double rifles or CZ550s that's just grand, but bring two guns. Bring two different calibers so you have 2x the chance of borrowing ammo in a pinch. Make sure they both will kill 100% of your game on your list should one of the guns be unusable.

As for a double rifle critique, they are worth every penny if you value your life and you are more proficient with a double rifle than a magazine rifle for instinctive shooting. While you can save $10,000-$40,000 by not having a double rifle, you can't be made no-longer-dead for any amount of money. I believe I have a better chance of saving my own life with a double rifle during a charge than with a magazine rifle during a charge based on experience/muscle memory/less mechanical failure. Not everyone can honestly say that but for me its life insurance. Why? Because I've operated a bolt action rifle for perhaps 5,000-10,000 shots in my lifetime, 95% of that time sitting at a bench where the experience is irrelevant to a free hand shot and reload on a target instantly? On the other hand, I've operated a double trigger side by side barreled weapon perhaps 200,000+ shots in my lifetime? Go with what you know as your life is ultimately in your hands, not the PHs. (his attempts to save your life are "good faith effort" only)

We got to the refinement of the double rifle to avoid this all-eggs-in-a-basket philosophy. Two triggers. Two ejectors. Two sears. Two firing pins. Two barrels.

If you're going to use an R8...don't use just one in Africa.

I always use just one rifle when I go to Africa. Always. Hate dragging two. Did it once and won't ever do it again. I also never bring two rifles to Canada, Europe or Asia (nor do 99 % of other hunters going to those destinations). Why should Africa be different than say the Kamchatka Peninsula or the Pamirs? With respect to the R8, with a .375 and .300, only the barrel changes and you will not lose the wrench. Only issue that I have ever had is ammo not showing up - along with my main bag and minor things like clothes and boots. Borrowed ammo - borrowed clothes - and had a great safari. Stuff showed up on day five.

If you are going to Africa to stop charges - sure bring a double. If you are going to Africa to put the first shot precisely in the right spot, bring a scoped rifle and eliminate the likelihood of a follow-up. And if you want a bolt gun that can serve both purposes get an R8. The scope is instantly dismountable for a planned follow-up and my doubles - single trigger or two - may or may not be faster for a second shot (and I too have shot tens of thousands of double-gun rounds) and the R8 is significantly faster for number three. With a low power scope in place, it is still extraordinarily lethal for an unplanned engagement.
 

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