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Sheldon Clare

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So, I have decided to start working towards an African Safari. I met an amazing PH in Germany last March and she kindled my interest in hunting the Cape Buffalo. I am saving my pennies and I have been researching suitable rifles and optics.
So far I am leaning towards the Sako Brown Bear in .416 Rigby with a lynx hunter scope.
Of course life is interfering (new roof, other toys) and it may be some time before I can get it together, but in the meantime I am looking forward to continuing my research and learning a thing or two. I have hunted lots in BC where I live, but I am feeling a pull to go to Africa. I look forward to our positive interactions.
 

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Hello and welcome!
 

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So, I have decided to start working towards an African Safari. I met an amazing PH in Germany last March and she kindled my interest in hunting the Cape Buffalo. I am saving my pennies and I have been researching suitable rifles and optics.
So far I am leaning towards the Sako Brown Bear in .416 Rigby with a lynx hunter scope.
Of course life is interfering (new roof, other toys) and it may be some time before I can get it together, but in the meantime I am looking forward to continuing my research and learning a thing or two. I have hunted lots in BC where I live, but I am feeling a pull to go to Africa. I look forward to our positive interactions.
Welcome and happy planning!
 

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Welcome to AH sir. Planning the Hunt is half the fun.
 

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Welcome aboard Sheldon. You've come to the right place to truthfully "whet your whistle" regarding anything and everything having to do with hunting in Africa. You are certainly leaning towards an excellent rifle, caliber and scope combination for Cape Buffalo. What have you hunted in the past, what rifles and calibers do you currently own?
 

Sheldon Clare

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I have hunted moose, bison, elk, and black bear, as well as upland and migratory game birds. Rifles I have hunted with range from an assortment of .22s, to Lee Enfield .303s (for years my jungle carbine was main hunting rifle), an M1 Garand, a nicely sporterized P17 in .30-'06, Remington 700s in .308 and .300 Win Mag, and my .62 cal Baker rifle. For upland game birds, a Mossberg. 410, and a few other shotguns, and for ducks and geese, my 870. For glass, I like the Leupold scopes, but prior to the mid nineties, I always just used iron sights. The eyes and glasses aren't what they once were, so now it's glass. I sometimes do the archery season with my Phoenix crossbow, but for me that tends to be more scouting than serious hunting. Because of my job for the past twenty years or so I have mainly been a weekend hunter, so I like to have things well planned.
 
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BRICKBURN

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Welcome to AH Sheldon.
 

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Welcome, you picked a great place to start your journey. Good luck
 

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I spend more time hunting with my Excalibur cross bow than I do with a rifle. The weather in my neck of the woods is generally a little better during bow season. I own quite a few rifles in lots of different calibers, but I've never owned a 303 British.
 

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Welcome to AH Sheldon!
What is the largest caliber rifle you have pulled the trigger on? Personally at 5’7” and 150+ lbs I cannot get a second shot off quickly with anything over 375 H&H. I’ve tried 416 Rigby in a Ruger RSM and a 458 Lott in a CZ, but I can quickly reload and get back on the game with my 375 H&H. I’m only telling you this because I believe you should try several of the heavy cartridges before deciding. A 375 H&H is, IMO, the quintessential single rifle caliber for an Africa adventure. It has worked for me anyway.
Oh are you going to have fun just planning your first trip! Then the second! Then all the next ones! Enjoy!
 

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So, I have decided to start working towards an African Safari. I met an amazing PH in Germany last March and she kindled my interest in hunting the Cape Buffalo. I am saving my pennies and I have been researching suitable rifles and optics.
So far I am leaning towards the Sako Brown Bear in .416 Rigby with a lynx hunter scope.
Of course life is interfering (new roof, other toys) and it may be some time before I can get it together, but in the meantime I am looking forward to continuing my research and learning a thing or two. I have hunted lots in BC where I live, but I am feeling a pull to go to Africa. I look forward to our positive interactions.
Welcome Sheldon, happy planning
 

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Hi Sheldon, welcome to AH !
 

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Welcome to AH, Sheldon!
 

One Day...

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Welcome to the madhouse Sheldon, where you are sure to receive the benefit of candid, unvarnished, and generally very experienced opinions grounded in cumulative decades if not centuries of actual African hunting experience.

A few immediate thoughts come to mind as you start your new quest...

1) Yep, a .375 H&H slug in the right place beats every time a .40, .45, .47 or .50 slug in the wrong place. But you know that already... This is worth saying though, as Ridgewalker states, that not everyone shoots happily (and accurately) the big bores. Nothing about manhood, mind you ;), just that different folks are affected differently by different levels of recoil. Nothing worse than a rifle that hurts you and that you are afraid of. There is a good reason why the .375 H&H has been recommended by Professional Hunters (PHs), and mandated by most African Game Departments, as a sensible minimum caliber for dangerous game for visiting sportsmen for a century. It is about the best compromise between lethality and shootability. European friends may prefer the 9.3x64 (if they can still find it) and the 9.3x62 is not all that far behind...

2) This being said, and as well as the .375 H&H kills Dangerous Game (DG), even its most ardent defenders, and there are plenty of them, will grudgingly admit that the .40, .45 and .47 hit them a lot harder. This is the reason, by the way, why very few PHs use it as their choice to back clients on DG. Does it make a tremendous difference for a first shot with good presentation at an undisturbed buff? Maybe not all that much. Can this be significant for a stopping shot at a wounded fleeing (or charging?) buffalo with a less than perfect angle? Likely. But only if you place the bullet in a reasonably good spot, hence only if you can shoot the dang thing... And keep in mind that your job as a client is to do everything possible to make sure their is no need for stopping a wounded buff - as in: shoot your rifle straight when you open the ball.

3) Then there is the issue of how many rifles will you take to Africa and what will you hunt? Buff only or buff/plains game combo? If the answers are: only 1 rifle and mixed bag of plains game & buff, then the .375 H&H is probably one of the best compromises. But keep in mind that the .416 Rigby (Rem etc.) and even the .458 Lott shoot about just as flat as the .375 H&H out to 200 yd, so they too can pretty much handle anything ... if you can handle the recoil... An interesting compromise (if you can find one) is the .404 Jeff. It hits definitely like a .416 (well almost, and so close that it is not worth splitting hairs) and it recoils not much more than a .375...

And so it began... Welcome to AH! For what it is worth, I have personally dropped off the .375 wagon some years back and I carry a tuned-up .416 Rigby (CZ) when I do not carry a .470 double (Kreighoff), which I do more for sentimental than practical reasons I will hasten to admit...
 
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