Handgunning Africa? Dangerous Game?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by IronCowboy, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. IronCowboy

    IronCowboy AH Veteran

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    I'm looking for advice and wondering about complications in hunting Africa with a handgun?

    While I've hunted North American game with all manners of legal archery and firearms equipment, I've generally considered myself a rifleman above all others. However, in reviewing my track record, if I'm one more than others, it's a handgunner - I spend more time and effort afield with my revolvers, and a heck of a lot more range time.

    While I'd never consider a trip to Africa without a rifle, I'd like to at least attempt to take some game with a handgun, even if the rifle is hanging on my shoulder when I do.

    Are there complications for legal application in Africa? Cartridge requirements? Barrel length requirements? Is it more difficult to travel with handguns? Are REAL handguns allowed, aka revolvers, or are only specialty bolt action or break actions like the Encore in DG cartridges allowed? Are there any species where handguns are not allowed?

    My initial thoughts for what I'd like to use - asking for criticism or confirmation:

    I own a great number of handguns, but would only consider a few of them as potential African options, let alone DG.

    I would like to consider either a 357/44 B&D Mag 7.5" Redhawk (158grn bullet at 2,000fps, or 180grn at 1850-1900, haven't loaded any 200grn pills yet) or a 7.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk 44mag for PG, depending on the game weight I'd be targeting. I've taken american bison with the 44mag, but the speed trajectory on this 357/44 is quickly earning my favor - I'm not convinced that 158-200grn pills are ever appropriate for 500lb+ game. Would love to tag a hyena with that 357/44, as I'm a coyote caller from way back, and have built this revolver to that purpose.

    For Dangerous Game, I'd be considering cape buff primarily, possibly lion. I'm not a fan of the X-Frame Smiths, have owned and already sold a 460S&W, but would consider getting another one, or a 500. I have multiple 454Cassull's at my disposal, my favorite of which is a new 5.5" Super Redhawk "Toklat" - this would be my desired 'go-to' option. I also have 480Ruger and 475 Linebaugh Super Redhawks, but have not found the 475 to be significantly more powerful or harder hitting than the 454.

    I haven't researched handgunning in Africa much yet, so I'm starting here. Any and all advice is welcome!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014

  2. RickP

    RickP AH Veteran

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    Not sure about answers to all of your specific questions but..

    I've taken handguns on two trips to South Africa. A T/C Encore in .308 Win and a Ruger Super Redhawk in .480 Ruger. Neither time was there any hassle getting them in country. I've heard conflicting reports that the guns need to have scopes to "prove" that they are for hunting. Naturally the Encore had a scope mounted but for the revolver, the first trip I had a scope for it detached in the case, and the second trip had a red dot sight attached. Neither time did they South Africa Police (SAP) seem to be concerned with it.

    There was no caliber restrictions for plains game that I was aware of, or if there was, my choice was enough to satisfy their requirements. For dangerous games, I think that the only requirement is that the bullet caliber be larger than the minimum required, in lots of cases, that's .375 (as is normal in a .375 H&H, for example.) My next trip there will hopefully have me taking a cape buffalo with the .480.

    I highly recommend using a meet-and-greet service to help get all of the firearms paperwork squared away and meet you at the SAP office. These guys know the process and you can get you squared away quickly.

    I'm sure that doesn't answer everything (or much?) but...........
     

  3. IronCowboy

    IronCowboy AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the reply, Rick. I'm just starting down this road, so any info I can gather is good info! I've considered the "meet & greet" service even for rifles, but I haven't seen info yet on typical expense for this?

    I'm still riding the learning curve for killing performance of this 357/44, it's above the realm of the 357max, but doesn't have the raw case capacity of the 44, so it's just not quite there - just flatter shooting. Based on my early numbers, I'm expecting it'll be solid to 200yrds for whitetails.

    I expect the 454C will be my bread and butter for everything over there, even if it's a little hot for my stateside hunting over here.

    Thanks again!
     

  4. RickP

    RickP AH Veteran

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    I'm trying to remember the meet-and-greet cost and think it was around $140. There are several different folks that offer the service and some searching the forums will pop up some names. I used PHASA on my first trip and then used the Afton House on the second trip. No real reason that we changed other than we over-nighted in Joburg at the Afton House.

    I found the link for PHASA http://www.phasa.co.za/legislation/firearms/firearms-import-permits/pre-issued-permits.html and it looks like they charge $150.
     

  5. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin AH Veteran

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    I've taken a handgun on every trip to South Africa. Some African countries like Namibia don't allow them. The handgun has to be suitable for the purpose you mention in your "motivation" letter. The motivation letter simply needs to state something like, "I wish to temporarily import a handgun for the purpose of hunting." There is no caliber limitation that I'm aware of in South Africa other than what your PH considers suitable.

    As far as whether the handgun has to have a scope or not would depend on how the South African Police chose to interpret things. Mine all had scopes and were single shot so there was no question. A guy I hunted with brought a 500 S&W Magnum revolver that had a red dot sight on it with no problem. The key words are that it must be a "sporting" handgun. If you tell them that, they'll probably be happy. Also, I would recommend some type of meet and greet services; it just makes getting through customs faster and you can get pre-approved firearms permits.

    The first trip I took a T/C Contender in 357 Herrett shooting Hornady 158 gr. hollow point bullets. The biggest animal I took with that was a Black Wildebeest. I've also used a 460 S&W and a 444 Marlin both of which, with the right bullet, would be suitable for anything.
     

  6. siutis

    siutis AH Senior Member

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    A properly loaded 480 ruger will stop anything in north America. A properly loaded 500 wyoming express will stop anything in the world.
     

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