- Dec 13, 2014
- Reaction score
- Tennessee, USA
- Member of
- SCI (Life), RMEF (Life), DU, NWTF, NRA (Patron Life), GOA, DSC (Life), WSF (Life), B&C Club (Sponsor Associate Member), USSA (Associate Member)
- USA (GA, TN, AR, TX, FL, UT, NM, WY, MT, AK, IL, MO, IA); Canada (NWT, BC); Africa (Tanzania)
I've been meaning to post pictures of my rifle for some time, and just haven't gotten around to it. I purchased this used Winchester Model 70 Safari Classic in 375 H&H Magnum a couple of years ago. My intention was to leave well enough alone, and use it as is, as the rifle was in pretty good shape. The bore seemed to be in decent shape, although in need of a good cleaning, and the stock was the basic wood that came with the rifle's of that vintage. The rest of the action, etc. appeared to be solid. I called Winchester, and was able to find out that this rifle was shipped from the New Haven, CT factory in 2001 to Wyoming, and then sold to a buyer in Michigan. Beyond that I know nothing about it's history. The rifle shoots pretty well, and with my hand-loads I got it shooting around an inch to a little better than an inch at 100 yds. Nothing spectacular, but for a DGR certainly acceptable.
I'm a rifle nut, and that coupled with the fact that I'm a "tinkerer", got the best of me, and so I started "upgrading" the rifle. The first thing I didn't like was the trigger. I never could get the factory trigger feel the way I liked it, so I installed a new Timney trigger, and like it a lot better. Once I got the trigger the way I liked it, I thought, "I have never been a fan of the Winchester bottom metal", so I installed a new Williams one piece blued steel bottom metal. Then I thought, "While I'm at it, I might as well get a new stock made to fit me, so I had Wes Chapman at Accurate Innovations make me a new stock out of a piece of AAA English Walnut that I got to select. I decided to get it done how I wanted it, and so had it checkered with 24 LPI, wrap around checkering and a true Fleur-De-Lis and ribbons pattern. I also had Wes install an ebony fore-end tip, steel grip cap, and inletted rear swivel sling all to my LOP. It was all finished with a hand-rubbed, oiled finish. Wes has done a few rifles for me, and I am always very pleased with his work. Even though the new stock doesn't need them due to the bedding block Accurate Innovations installs, I even convinced them to re-install the Winchester filagreed cross-bolts because I liked the look.
So, now I've invested a fair amount of money into the aesthetics of the rifle, and I figured I might as well invest in getting the action the way I want it, so.............I called Wayne at American Hunting Rifles. Wayne built me an AHR 450 Rigby that I absolutely love, so he was the first person I thought to ask because I trust him. I asked him if he'd be willing to true the action up, re-barrel the rifle with a premium 24 inch barrel, install a NECG rear and NECG front banded sight, barrel band swivel, and then finish all the metal work (action, barrel, bottom metal, sights, and Talley bases and rings) in a satin blued finish to match. He said he would, and he's also going to jewel the bolt, and nitre blue the extractor like he did on my 450 Rigby to finish it off. I'm set to ship Wayne the rifle out in the next few days.
As such, and as usual with my firearms projects, it's gotten a little out of hand, but I've always wanted an Winchester M70 in 375 H&H Mag with the "African" look, and something that I can hand down to my children as an heirloom. Hopefully it will see Africa many times before I'm done.
Anyway, I say all of this to ask opinions on the scope I should choose. I envisioned this rifle as being a "heavy" plains game rifle (Eland, zebra, etc.), as well as a cat rifle (leopard, maybe lion), as well as being there in case I wanted to do a Buff hunt with it as well. Sort of a jack-of-all trades type of rifle if you will. I really like the Leupold VX-6 scopes, and because I was thinking about it being a plains game rifle, as well as possibly serve as a DGR rifle, I was going to top it with a Leupold VX-6 2-12x42 scope with the FireDot reticle, and mounted in the Talley screw lock detachable 30mm rings. I also intended on shooting Barnes TSX 270 grain hand-loads out of it to give it a little more of a flat trajectory for possible longer plains game shots. I do realize it might be sacrilege to shoot anything but 300 grain bullets out of a 375 H&H Mag, but I figured that for dedicated buff, jumbo, hippo, etc., hunts I will carry my 450 Rigby anyway. The scope is really what I'm struggling with. I'm definitely going with a Leupold VX-6, but now I'm thinking of the 1-6x24 with the FireDot reticle like I have on my 450 Rigby, instead of a 2-12x42.
I guess my question is will the 1-6x24 have enough magnification to take shots in the 100-200 yd range if need be, and the opposite of that, will the 2X on the 2-12x42 be low enough to shoot in the thick stuff? What scope should a multi-purpose 375 H&H Mag wear?
I appreciate in advance all of your opinions.