New Member from North Carolina

505Bruce

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Retired more than once, but still building rifles in Indiana. And yes, the commute is terrible. But it’s so much fun! Hunted around the US, some in Canada & 4 trips to Africa. Spent my retirement funds on what I love: family & Africa. No regrets. Have learned a lot by reading the threads on this site, thought I’d join & maybe contribute if I could.
 

3S SAFARIS

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Welcome to AH Bruce!
 

505Bruce

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Thanks. Enjoy this site. Hope to continue to learn & at some point maybe add to the conversations.
 

BRICKBURN

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4 trips to Africa, I'd say there are some hunt reports in the queue. :)

Welcome to AH.
 

cpr0312

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Von Gruff

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Welcome to our place Bruce, and where friendships are made over shared information and experiences.
 

cagkt3

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505Bruce

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Thanks all! Appreciate the welcome. Did most of the hunting near Middelburg, Southern Cape, RSA. Kwando Safaris, Pierre Van Vuuren, Neil & Deon Schoombee. It’s a small, family run operation. On the first trip both our sons, one daughter in law, my wife & a family friend were all along. 4 hunters, general PG & after 10 days it was like leaving family (you know, family that you actually like) when we left.
Did that again with other friends 2 years later with similar results. Up in the mountains for Klipspringer, and one of the guys went up to Northern Prov for Buffalo, 43 1/2” worth. Two years after that 2 of us went back for my Buffalo. Also Northern Prov, 41”. 6 of the best days of my life 416 Rigby, 1 Swift
A-Frame, 2 Barnes solids and down within 20 yards. Yes, I’m a huge A-Frame fan. 95 % of everything I shot in Africa was shot with a 358 Norma Mag. & Swift A-Frames.
The 4th trip was just me, in the off season, October, and I was able to stay with them for 30 days. I worked in the abattoir, culled Springbok & Blesbok and shot a couple animals for my self. I was able to live like a family member.
There’s a school on their property & we have always taken needed supplies over. And of course some kind of treats for the students. It’s so much fun to visit the school & talk with the children.
Wow! I’m really windy!! Again, thanks for the welcome!!
 

gesch

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Not windy. Just very interesting! Please write more about one of your trips. I’m interested. Thanks in advance.
 

cpr0312

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Where are you at in North Carolina? Quite a few Tar Heels on this site!
 

CAustin

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Welcome to AH sir!
 

Shootist43

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Welcome aboard. Are the rifles you build for your own use? What caliber?
 

505Bruce

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I’m in Apex, building rifles in Indiana to order. We have a couple proprietary cartridges based on the old requirement of pistol length cartridges used in rifles for deer. Initially case length was limited to 1.625”, then it was opened up to 1.800” to allow the 460 S & W. We hand formed 325 WSM brass, used the 225 gr Nosler Accubond & we get 2600 fps from the “short” and 2750 fps from the “long”. We also build any other caliber the customer would like. While we build mostly on donor rifles, most major mfg’s, we have built a few on our own receiver/bolt assembly. It’s a 3 lug, 60 degree bolt lift arrangement, short action, under continuous development at this point.

As far as hunt details, Pierre, Deon & Neil are like hunting with family at home. They knew every area we went into, there was always game to look over and they were forever positive, willing to make a plan B, or C, and in the case of the Buffalo I think we were around plan H. Having our 2 sons along on that first hunt was amazing, and Pierre & the guys made sure we spent some time hunting together even tho we were after different animals. We spent most of the boys lives chasing whitetails from preteens thru college, it would have been a shame to go to Africa & not hunted together.
Have to go now. Will get back with Buffalo story
 

Ridgewalker

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Welcome 505Bruce! Already giving us some good info! Thanks!
 

Nyati

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Hi Bruce, welcome to AH !
 

505Bruce

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And thanks again for the welcomes from everyone. I’ll have to figure out how to get some pics on here as well. So about the Buffalo. Northern Prov. of RSA, near Brits. 1st day stuff, check rifle zero, 416 Rigby, 400 gr A-Frame & Barnes Banded Solids. All good & cruise to find tracks. Tracked up the hills, lotsa rocks, found Buffalo but they were moving when we found them. Didn’t get much of a look but smelled that barnyard smell & saw the dust as they left. Down the hill by dark & back to camp. Day 2, back up the hill. Found the Buffalo, but were pinned down by a troop of baboons for nearly an hour. Watched a baboon & a bull play tag for about 1/2 hour. Baboon up the tree, screaming, bull butting tree. Bull walks away, baboon comes down, bull chases him back up. Hard not to laugh out loud. Finally got up to heard, them leapfrogged until we got ahead of them & watched them walk by at 40 yds. About 40/50 animals. After they got by we wanted a closer look so started to follow. One of the bigger bulls came back to meet us. We were nose to nose at 20 yds. He was plenty wide but boss was green. Then a 2nd bull stepped up next to him. I was on the sticks, the PH had his 460 up, and a 3rd bull stepped up with the others! I didn’t look at the PH, very quietly whispered, we’re out numbered, now what? He said, back up very slowly, and don’t fall down. We obviously made it out, but it was dark, and getting of that hill in the African dark was not any fun. Lost our flashlights during the earlier stalk. Day 3 was a lot of tracking, not much Buffalo. But there was so much other game to look at, & make plans for. Day 4 we go down along the river. Ahh, sand, no rocks. Easier walking & we’re seeing lotsa game. There are funny drag marks in the sand along the river so while I worry about the answer I ask the PH what they are. Mamba tracks he says. Makes me appreciate the rocks a little more. Out across the grass before we cut back to the river we come to a small patch of trees & jump the Buffalo!! I didn’t see anything but the rump disappear & the game scout coming back past me with eyes WIDE open. On the track we went, thru the bush, and across the river. I swore I’d never wade a river in Africa, but there I was, way deeper than I wanted to be. We stayed on the track until we found where he had stopped a 2nd time & tore the ground up. He was not happy we were there & after a team meeting we decided it would be good to let him go so we didn’t drive him away or provoke a charge. Day 5, supposedly our last day in concession, went back to the bigger herd to see what we could find. Long day, lots of exercise, bulls. Really want the River bull so negotiate 2 more days Day 6 is walking For waterbuck for my partner in crime. Saw rhino, nyala giraffe, reedbuck, no waterbuck. But trackers found track of Buffalo. On track about 15 minutes & he jumps out of the proverbial clump of grass the wouldn’t hide a rabbit & thank God ran away & not toward us. We follow slowly & an hour into it we find blood on the track. He’s injured! No wonder he’s cranky, and we’re pushing him. So, one Indiana whitetail trick, give us 30 minutes to circle him, then very slowly follow him. An hour later I’m standing on a sandy two track & we hear him coming. The 416 is up, what looks like a small car rolls out across the two track & he catches that Swift A-Frame. He’s bucking, I’m cranking the bolt & I send the Barnes Solid into his neck, albeit too high. But it really makes him mad, and he figures out where we are. While I’m running the bolt again he’s turning to come at us. The 3rd shot,another Solid is into the front of his right shoulder & he drops to the ground. There is considerable dancing going on by the tracker & the game scout & the PH is pretty happy too. We paid the insurance before I walked up to him, and they gave me some time alone with my bull.
 

johnvdw

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Retired more than once, but still building rifles in Indiana. And yes, the commute is terrible. But it’s so much fun! Hunted around the US, some in Canada & 4 trips to Africa. Spent my retirement funds on what I love: family & Africa. No regrets. Have learned a lot by reading the threads on this site, thought I’d join & maybe contribute if I could.
Welcome Bruce - we appreciate your contributions. Have you ever considered exploring Namibia?
 

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