Is there a sweet spot in the performance/cost spectrum for safari-grade rifles

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Matt_WY, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’ll go another way as well. Were I starting all over again with the notion of a safari rifle for PG and DG, I would save a few more dollars and purchase a BLaser R8 in .375. Mine has become my favorite hunting rifle. It is supremely accurate, supremely reliable, and supremely ergonomic. It has the best trigger of any rifle I have ever used (and I own a few). It is easily scoped in it’s hand-detachable mounts. And, of course, the ability to change barrels and calibers in seconds is amazing. Oh yes, it offers the fastest second shot of any bolt action I have ever fired.

    No, it is not as cheap as a Ruger or CZ, but $3700 and change will get you a new one off of Gunbroker. It will not need any tuning of any sort, and is ready to hunt with you the rest of your life. Additional calibers can be added as bank account and whim allow.
     

  2. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    is there anything wrong with headspacing off a belt.
    while modern marketing would have you think so, it also has advantages.
    if the marketeers can convice people that the belt is bad, then they get to sell more guns.
    the long tapered case of the h&h is also positive when reliable feeding is considered.
    bruce.
     

  3. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

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    Quick question on the Blaser system. If you had one in 375 what would you need to switch out to get a 270? Just the barrel? Barrel and bolt? I've seen the system but I guess I'm a bit thick and don't know how it works.
     

  4. flat8

    flat8 AH Enthusiast

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    I’d either buy a CZ and send it to AHR for a #1 or preferably #2 as the others have suggested (I did and went with the #3), or find a Ruger RSM for 1600 to 1800 and spend $250 more to properly bed it (I’ve done that too).
     
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  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    To .300 Win Mag just mag insert and barrel. To .270 - mag insert, bolt head, and barrel.
     

  6. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Thing is do you want a 270 that weighs what a 375 should weigh or a 375 that makes you flinch just looking at it in the safe?
     

  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    "Thing is" the barrels are proportionate to the caliber - I use sporter weight barrels (there are three weight classes), and my .375 is a pound heavier than my .300 and the .300 is three-quarters of a pond heavier than the 6.5x54. I don't have a .270 barrel, but it would be perfectly proportioned to that caliber. Ingenious of those clever Teutonic designers don't you think? (y)
     
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  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    And you say engineers can’t make a decision! ;)
     
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  9. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    LOL. Now you know some designer told them what to build and some executive told them how much they could spend and when it had to be done. (y)
     
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  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    An exec without an engineering background for sure! But don’t get me started on mgmt, huh @Royal27?
     
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  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Describes me to a "T"!! Pre-law major with advanced studies in international relations. And I ran a profit and loss center for a decade (big really successful one) for a major aerospace corporation. :Angelic: Torturing engineers :V Bangin: was one of the things that gave me real joy every day!!

    With off topic apologies to the OP, the Blaser is an amazing rifle, and not that much more than a tricked out, tuned up CZ. I love mine.
     
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  12. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @Red Leg ,

    @PHOENIX PHIL doesn't always realize how much he truly needs management to get anything done. So you'll have to forgive him. :A Shades:
     
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  13. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    Since the question is about "sweet spot," there is a cost/benefit analysis involved (all engineers, managers and executives will recognize the concept LOL), therefore there is a personal judgment call, likely in this case linked to personal finances.

    Do not get me wrong, I admire the work that Wayne does at American Hunting Rifle, and I will be the first one to say: if you can afford it, get him to work on your CZ. Period. And I love the Blaser system too. Heck I still own one of the Mauser 66 that invented the concept!

    This being said, there are a lot of folks who can save slowly and painfully $,1000 to buy a CZ and who cannot afford a $795 AHR upgrade #1, never mind a $1,795 upgrade #2. Sad but true.

    One can still own a near perfect DG rifle for the cost of one CZ and a few hours of personal time with the appropriate fine grit sand paper and valve grinding compound. Heck, how do you think the 'smith' smooths your gun LOL?

    You will be positively amazed at how slick a standard CZ 550 will become for a grand expenditure of about a few pennies and a few hours. Check specifically:
    1. how the central edge of the magazine follower plate binds inside the grove for the ejector blade in the under side of the bolt (solved by rounding the central edge of the follower);
    2. how the burrs of the ejector blade grind inside the ejector grove of the bolt (solved by deburring/polishing the ejector blade);
    3. how the burrs of the lower rear bridge machining grind against the bolt (solved by deburring/polishing the machining of the lower rear bridge);
    4. how the forward edge of the extractor collar binds inside the upper rear bridge (solved by rounding the edges of the extractor collar and polishing the inside of the rear bridge);
    5. how the machining burrs on the inside and lower faces of the feeding lips grind against the feeding cartridges (solved by polishing carefully - but NOT REMOVING MATERIAL from - the feeding lips;
    6. finally, coat liberally the bolt with valve grinding compound and cycle the bolt one thousand times while watching TV...
    Again, you will be amazed at the results...

    Regrettably, the CZ does not offer a true safety, i.e. a safety that blocks the firing pin. Instead, they offer a sear blocking safety which cannot prevent the pin from firing the gun should the sear slip for whatever reason (e.g. the gun falling, or a defective trigger "tuning"). This is the one truly needed upgrade to the CZ (and, of course, it is part of the AHR upgrade #1).

    Aftermarket firing-pin blocking safeties are widely available for the CZ (Lapour, Gentry, AHR, etc.) and the machining to install one is mostly limited to drilling one small hole in the bolt handle with a carbide bit and fine-tuning the engagement of the camming surfaces, which is a little tricky. If you do not know what I am referring to, do not even attempt it. Get a pro to do it. These are the only $250 you really need to spend.

    So, if every $ counts, a $1,000 CZ + $250 firing pin locking safety + 4 hours of your time with sand paper and valve grinding compound will get you, oh, say, 95% of what you get in a $5,000 "custom rifle," cosmetics excluded.

    As for caliber, my vote is .416 Rigby: flies almost as flat as .375 H&H but hits noticeably harder and can triple-duty nicely on either side of the power band with .375 H&H on one end and .458 Lott on the other end.

    So, I will submit to Mr. and Mrs of the Jury that the cost conscious sweet spot is $1,250 with a CZ: 95% of the functions for 25% of the costs.

    PS: let's keep in mind that the Rigby of London themselves used ZKK/CZ actions for decades before Mauser recently restarted the production of magnum length actions. If they were good enough for Rigby, I guess they are good enough for me... And CZ barrels pretty dang good too...

    If money is not issue, there is a long list of other spots that can be pretty sweet...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

  14. John J

    John J AH Veteran

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    If for some reason I can't have my 500 MDM, (it needs looked at by a smith) in time for a hunt I will be using...............a box stock CZ 416 Rigby. It feeds and functions just fine. Not a super smooth action but I trade off with my son cycling the bolt every now and again. A #2 from AHR would have been nice but not neccessary. Its on my to do list one day
     

  15. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    I see...and I get it, one rifle action for all your calibers.
    Thing is I like taking a different rifle out of the safe for different hunts.
    Hard to explain...
    May want to move it up the list.
    The difference is night and day.
    You won't believe how you lived without it.
     
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  16. John J

    John J AH Veteran

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    I spent the money on the 500. Its shorter and alittle lighter and handy. But now its reliability is in question till its looked at. So I'm full circle to the CZ with a Legendary Arms 375 H&H as a back up.
     

  17. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    And good for you. I have one or two others as well. I hunt them all. I offered my recommendation to the OP as a best value investment. It may or may not be right for him. I simply noted, were it me starting Africa all over again, I would buy an R8 and never look back.
     
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  18. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Sorry Art,

    And whereas I may not be a great speaker I do feel more than qualified to speak for myself and my fellow chickens here when I say, " We's be scared Art".

    A single shot dangerous game rifle? Not me old buddy.

    I have some.....some damned nice ones to boot, but as nimble as I am anymore if I didn't kill on the first shot , I'd be screaming ," Hep me, Hep me Mister Benny" just like Rodchester as something stomped over and smooshed me as I was fumbling with anew round to shove in that little hole without my cheaters on.
     

  19. One Day...

    One Day... AH Fanatic

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    There was a time, long ago in Europe, when I so wanted a Mauser 66 with 4 barrels: 6.5x68, 7x64, 8x68 and 9.3x64. Could never afford it in my youth...

    I ended buying one in the US with a .458 barrel (that I had reamed to .458 Lott) and a .375 H&H barrel, but in a moment of folly I sold the .375 H&H barrel "because the .458 Lott could do it all" (yeah it can, but what a stupid decision I made..........)

    A R8 with (to reduce bolt face logistics) a set of .257 Wby / .300 Wby / .375 H&H / .458 Lott barrels, hmmm, let me think... may want to ream that .375 H&H chamber to .375 Wby... (but shhh tell nobody, avoid the Wby stigma, just show up in camp with "a Blaser in .300 and .375" and hope that the .257 will grudgingly tolerated ;-)

    My wife may have a real issue with you Red Leg or maybe I could send her tour Europe with Mrs Red Leg while you and I go switch barrels somewhere deep in Tanzania LOL.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  20. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    Rigby has had a few owners, some not quite so quality minded as others. I can think of one that comes to mind, (hum. . . I wonder who that could be.)

    I agree, but please don't tell my wife one gun can do it all. I like my all my SAKO's. Now, if SAKO came out with the same system as Blaser, I would be having a big sale.
     
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