Open sighted .450/400 for a 1 gun Safari?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Certus, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Certus

    Certus AH Senior Member

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    Greetings!

    Now if I recall reading correctly - this cartridge was regarded as a great “all-rounder” for Africa, before the 375 H&H took its place.

    If ones hunt (daydreaming here) were to include elephant and plains game, would a .450/400 be alright for both (with opens)?

    I know it’s got adequate power for both. It’s more the plains game side of things (involving range) that has me a bit hesistant (not that I’m going anyways).

    Cheers,
    Troy.
     

  2. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Fanatic

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    Are you talking double rifle or single shot rifle?

    It would also based on above answer, also come down to how well do you shoot irons? (Example I am comfortable with a shot of up to 125 yards on plains game with my double but with my #1 and a peep that distance is 175yards) on larger plains game vs tiny 10 the ranger would drop on the little guys in half). I shoot irons a lot and am very comfortable with limiting my shots and concentrating on stalking close enough for a good shot.

    What plains game is on your wish list? ( example Nayala through cape eland VS Dik Dik through Impala)

    Where would you be hunting? ( Example hunting the thicker bush in Limpopo vs wide open free state in south Africa) or Caparivi strip vs Kalahari in Namibia.
     

  3. Certus

    Certus AH Senior Member

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    Hmm, good questions that I haven’t really thought of..

    I was just thinking of how people use the 375 H&H for a one gun Safari, was curious if the .450/400 would be as versatile since it used to be the cartridge of a similar role.

    So basically - practice practice practice.

    Plains game: hmm.. I don’t know many. Impala on up? Zebra? Hyena?

    If I did a safari I’d rather it be in thicker country than the plains. A swamp would be neat (Okavango?)

    Cheers.
     
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  4. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Fanatic

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    It is a great caliber and can do all you want it to. My double is just wonderful and in thick stuff just makes me smile!

    I haven't hunted with my Ruger #1 yet, but is has a nice white bead up front and a NECG peep on the rear and shoots anything I have shot through it. It is fun to take them to the local range and ring the 200 yard steel with open sights just to see all the AR guys stop and see what just slammed the target.
     
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  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    So taking only an open-sighted double for a first African hunt is rather like taking an open sighted slug gun (not quality of experience I hasten to add - but with respect to shot opportunity envelope.) It will do the job so long as you are willing to be very, very picky about your shots. There will be opportunities that are too far and opportunity windows that will be too small - all easily serviced by a scope-sighted rifle.

    As a practice device, stick a full-size deer target up at the range and see how much of the animal is covered at 100 meters by the front sight. At the same time, remember that a drop of blood costs the same as an animal in the skinning shed.

    It is very easy to say on this side of the Atlantic, that you will limit yourself to open seventy-yard or less shots. It is a bit frustrating standing there with an open sighted double on that side of the pond watching the kudu of a lifetime drift away at 150.

    Another option is a scoped double. My Blaser S2 has taken buffalo at seventy-yards and plains game out to nearly 200. The scope is instantly dismountable for an open-sighted follow-up. The rifle shoots MOA from each barrel and composite 4-shot groups are around 2-inches at 100 meters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018

  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Certus, it sounds to me like you may want to rethink your options. Even in Limpopo I had to take shots around 270 yards. You got some excellent responses from some well experienced guys. I can’t blame you for wanting to take a step back in time to have the adventure as similar as possible to the past. I have read lots of accounts of those days and they are quite exciting.
    Best of luck in your pursuit!
     
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  7. Certus

    Certus AH Senior Member

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    Yeah that’s the issue I was thinking - it would be great to do things the original, classic way, but it’s really kneecapping oneself, right?

    I guess another option would be to have a friend go at the same time, and assuming he’d have a scoped gun if the chance isn’t right for the opens just swap and use the scope? Wouldn’t get to do everything with opens but would make for probably a more successful compromise.

    @Red Leg sent you a PM by the way ;)

    To be honest I don’t actually know any of the hunting grounds or what they are like by name in Africa.

    Cheers guys,
    Thanks for the wisdom :)
     

  8. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Certus, great caliber the 450/400 but as has been said the open sights might kniee cap you on some opertunities. But when ever the opertunity present it will be great to take it the old fashion way. As an alternative bring another scoped rifle with or talk to the outfitter about a rental gun to have as backup just incase that monster kudu is walking on the opposite hill from where you are;)
     
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  9. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    Go do it and have fun.....but go with the realization as has been said that you will have to forgo a lot of shots. ..but if you are fine with that then just do it.....it will probably be frustrating but very memorable
     

  10. HWL

    HWL AH Enthusiast

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    I am just think about something similar.... a Ruger #1 in .450/400 3" NE with iron sights AND a Ruger #1 in .300 Holland & Holland with a small but nice scope.

    In my language, we call it an emergency brake....

    Ok, it's not a one gun battery... but it gives me a much better feeling.

    :sneaky:

    HWL
     
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  11. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Fanatic

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    @Red Leg is very much correct on taking a iron sighted rifle as your only rifle you will limit yourself. That kinda hunt takes a great deal of self discipline on only taking shots that are in the range your are COMPLETELY sure you can make. We owe it to the animals to cleanly harvest them. You would have to be able to let the kudu or ?? of a lifetime walk if it is to long a shot. Several years ago I was hunting elk with a traditional 54Cal round ball hawkens and my max range was 100 yards. I had a 380 class 7x7 at 135 that I let walk. I can still close my eyes and see that bull.

    You might really consider a scope on a Ruger #1 with Quick detach rings. Take only open sight after you have been on several safari's. The other option is take the open sighted rifle. Borrow a scoped rifle from the outfitter so that you can have that option if you don't have the self discipline to walk away from a shot.

    You will also have to talk to your PH in depth about a iron sight short range hunt, so he can give you a realistic expatiation for success based on your requirment as that puts more pressure on your PH and outfitter.
     

  12. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Enthusiast

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    I have heard of PH cringing when a client arrives with an open sighted double, that they subsequently can't shoot.
    Let the mystique of Africa embrace you, not overtake you.
    QD rings are your friend, use them with quality optics and whichever firearm you choose.
    Best of both worlds.
     

  13. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH Elite

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    For a one gun safari that is for elephant and plains game, you want a .375H&H built on a mauser with a quick-detach, return-to-zero high quality scope. Your life is in your hands. You also need long range accuracy. I'm aware of no other "all rounder" that will cover your menu of species under so many varied circumstances.
     

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