MOZAMBIQUE: Buffalo Hunting With Craig Boddington In Mozambique

Red Leg

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Fair enough. I'll accept the CZ 550 analogy. They too can be very effective rifles. Then again, more than one person in my experience had to have feed ramp, magazine or trigger work done subsequent to purchase. Like Sabatti using the Anson and Deeley action, the CZ is built basically around a model 98. They can be a very serviceable rifle, and many PH's carry them (not so many the Sabatti - but that too may change with time if the rifles prove durable.) They are, however, not the same are better than, say, a R8 or Kimber Caprivi. The CZ also has the advantage of the mechanical simplicity of the 98 design. Unlike a double, the more it is shot and used, the better the action will function (sort of like self-final fit and finishing).

My specific concerns with the Sabatti start with the wood to metal fit. It is pretty awful - particularly for a double rifle - at least on nearly all of those that I have handled. I should add, a barely visible gap constitutes "pretty awful" in a double. This matters for two reasons. The head of the stock, because of limited bearing surfaces on an Anson and Deeley action, needs to fit without gaps. If I can see externally visible gaps, however thin, then I suspect the non-visible mating to be no better. With a heavy recoiling rifle the head of the stock will eventually crack. Secondly, wood to metal fit causes me to wonder about metal on metal bearing surfaces. Improperly mated A&D actions go "off face" quicker than properly mated ones - often much quicker. One of the differences one buys in owning a Westley Richards rather than an Ithaca. Even with CNC machinery, hand fitting is required on a double - shotgun or rifle. The more perfectly it is done, the more durable the final product. As the Brits in the golden age would say, fitting to the width of smoke. I suspect, because of the cost of hand fitting, that Sabatti falls pretty far down that mechanical perfection list. In this case, only time will tell.

So again, I am all far Sabatti, and hope their product is one where it really is as good as rifles costing three times as much. Reports like yours, where they obviously work in the field, are encouraging. My personal experience with almost everything is that one typically gets what one pays for. If the Sabatti turns out to be a rifle durable enough to handle the few dozen rounds most double rifle owners actually put through their rifles and provides suitable accuracy during that period - then that is wonderful and probably nails the market they are targeting perfectly.
 

Red Leg

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My outfitter in Oz who apart from being a PH is a gun nut (man after my own heart) spoke highly about 9.3 for Water Buffalo. When I hunted with him he had several guns available for use by the clients including two Merkel doubles, one in 470N.E. and the other in 9.3x74R with a reflex sight. His wife who is also a hunter had a lovely custom 9.3x62. He also had some 375H&H and 458 rifles in the cabinet and personally carried a 500NE double but reckoned that the 9.3 did most of the buff shooting. I would illogically feel under gunned with my 9.3 against buffalo but it is clear the experienced fellas don’t mind it and prove it is perfectly adequate. I know 9.3 was quite popular in parts of Africa where Germans were present, but obviously availability was an important factor. 9.3s are quite popular in Europe and for good reason but we do not hunt buffalo here.

I am a big fan of the 9.3. I have a couple of 74R doubles and a Sako Arctos in the 9.3x62. I have never used one of mine on a buffalo. Going all that way, I inevitably grab at least the .375 and 300 gr A-Frames or TSXs. The role the 9.3 seems to fit perfectly, at least for the hunting I do, is as a bear and boar caliber. They are all light weight responsive rifles that one can carry all day and shoot very quickly. And on game like boar or bear, they hit with great authority. I've always thought that the perfect back-up rifle for a PH guiding leopard hunters would be a dependable 9.3x74R double rifle (maybe a Sabatti ;) ). The round would hit an inbound cat like a cement block, and the mild recoil makes for almost instant recovery for a second shot.
 

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