Parkwest SD-76 Dark Continent Rifle in 375 H&H – First Impressions

Very fine set up, in both form and function! My first safari was next-door to where your headed in MOZ, (shot a red duiker near and had lunch with Jaco's crew in his camp). So, I have an idea what you are in for. Very excited for you.

Like you spent decades thinking about it before something clicked inside and I decided it was now or never (first time I ever spent that kind of money on myself and felt pretty guilty). My rig was not quite the beauty queen that your is, but I am guessing I had similar prioritizations/ conclusions as you.

I used the same NF reticle and think their glass is more than adequate and the reticle is ideal for this type of hunt. Confidently took everything from buff to suni and loved my set up. I feel confident from 10 to past 500 yards easy
 
Very fine set up, in both form and function! My first safari was next-door to where your headed in MOZ, (shot a red duiker near and had lunch with Jaco's crew in his camp). So, I have an idea what you are in for. Very excited for you.

Like you spent decades thinking about it before something clicked inside and I decided it was now or never (first time I ever spent that kind of money on myself and felt pretty guilty). My rig was not quite the beauty queen that your is, but I am guessing I had similar prioritizations/ conclusions as you.

I used the same NF reticle and think their glass is more than adequate and the reticle is ideal for this type of hunt. Confidently took everything from buff to suni and loved my set up. I feel confident from 10 to past 500 yards easy
Confident to 500+ using an 8x and .375 HH? I'd be confident to 300 w/ a 5x and the proper (lighter) bullets using a 375, but beyond that I'd need another load entirely and a higher mag scope. But, that's just me.
 
That's a damned riot right there!!! Hilarious, thanks.

RIP dad here too. My brothers and I went by "Dammit" and "Who the Foxtrot" etc. But it was never the same attribution, situationally dependent and all. A degree of on the fly interpretation was always involved. Made life interesting. :ROFLMAO:
i cut myself off. he was a RIOT. Honest, hard-working, loyal, knowledgeable, great husband and Dad. My childhood friends would come over sometimes just to listen to him, as he was in his own working world! He did things HIS way and it worked. At a very young age, he grounded me for an entire rest of the year for getting caught with fireworks (I was probably 8, but all the neighborhood kids hung out 8-18 at that point-i had nothing-i was guilty by association-and it was a learning experience.) He did let me go to sports and I won a trophy in a homerun derby (and later 2 tix were delivered for a 1980 World Series game.) I was off "groundation" immediately on one condition....I needed a driver, anyway. LOL Stern but Fair (Corruptable??!) LOL Great guy. Correction, I was 12. There was a prior fireworks "mishap." We loved fireworks! Predecessor to smokeless powder. ;)
 
Confident to 500+ using an 8x and .375 HH? I'd be confident to 300 w/ a 5x and the proper (lighter) bullets using a 375, but beyond that I'd need another load entirely and a higher mag scope. But, that's just me.
I could not see myself making an initial shot with 375 H&H, at game, that far, but yes, I suspect I would have confidence, so long as conditions were reasonable. Glass is clear enough and reticle simplifies both close range and longer shots.

I have read and participated in similar discussions about scope magnification and agree with uplander's statement that "scopes are all personal preference and opinion". It is obvious that many others prefer more magnification, however I just don't think one really "needs" that much magnification for most shots. To me it is just a confidence booster. If they can take someone who has never shot a rifle before and in two weeks the Marines can teach them to hit a man size target at 500 yards with iron sights, then just about anyone ought to be able to hit an impala with an 8x scope, No?
 
Good luck and let us know how it works out. Q: Do you work for NF in any capacity?

CW:

I will definitely report out how things go during load development, practice, and the like prior to my safari and most definitely afield. In all sincerity if this optic / reticle doesn't work, I will absolutely be forthright about it and be the first one to detail the particulars.

And an appropriate question all things considered. I don't represent anyone but me, no relationship with any of the products used to build this rig at all - paid or otherwise. Not even gratis grade stickers for my rifle case. :giggle:

Simply stated a long term satisfied customer of NF.


Matt
 
Very fine set up, in both form and function! My first safari was next-door to where your headed in MOZ, (shot a red duiker near and had lunch with Jaco's crew in his camp). So, I have an idea what you are in for. Very excited for you.

Like you spent decades thinking about it before something clicked inside and I decided it was now or never (first time I ever spent that kind of money on myself and felt pretty guilty). My rig was not quite the beauty queen that your is, but I am guessing I had similar prioritizations/ conclusions as you.

I used the same NF reticle and think their glass is more than adequate and the reticle is ideal for this type of hunt. Confidently took everything from buff to suni and loved my set up. I feel confident from 10 to past 500 yards easy
Greetings Channelkat!

Great to hear from someone with a similar background in terms of hunting experience, rifle and optics choices, and hunt locations. I met Jaco and his crew this past January at SCI Nashville. Brilliant group!

And the Parkwest is definitely presentation grade amazing. With functionality to match as observed to date. As an interesting aside, for a good part of the year one of my primary personal protection devices happens to be one of Bill Wilson's finest 1911's. Form follows function for me, no caveats there, and it runs rounds downrange on target beyond expectation. It's a great tool, and used accordingly. So as this SD-76 is upon presenation, and I firmly believe will be upon use.

If at the end of the day there are beauty marks on this rifle, all the better. It really was a one-off purchase for me, and as previously noted, a second surely to follow. A story left for later.


Matt
 
CW:

I will definitely report out how things go during load development, practice, and the like prior to my safari and most definitely afield. In all sincerity if this optic / reticle doesn't work, I will absolutely be forthright about it and be the first one to detail the particulars.

And an appropriate question all things considered. I don't represent anyone but me, no relationship with any of the products used to build this rig at all - paid or otherwise. Not even gratis grade stickers for my rifle case. :giggle:

Simply stated a long term satisfied customer of NF.


Matt
So you're out there hunting diker was it? with your .375 (assuming 270 gr SP ammo-anything heavier, more suitable for DG and it's going to take a turn for the worse) and you take your shot at 500 yds using your 8x optic (how big is that reticle at 500??) So, at 500 do you aim 3 reticles or 3 dikers (essentially 6 feet) above the POA with that scope? And, hopefully it is a diker that you're aiming at out there, as you're certainly NOT going to be taking that shot on any of the DG at 500 yds with any effect other than to tick them off! (The resulting E is marginal for anything even at 400.) I'm very familiar with that blessed case (and all of it's wonderful offshoots-all belted mags for that matter!) You could get better results using 260ish gr bullets and heavy handloads (better V, slightly better trajectory but not much as the bc dips off, causing more V loss and drop at distance) but 500 yd shots with the 375 are probably better suited for Elk in the USA (thin-skinned, larger, easier to kill targets,) and using a better scope (even a higher mag BDC or target turret NF-their 5-25x is wonderful on true long range rigs. Read up on what PHs say about the recommended range of typical DG shots (with the minimum generally accepted cartridge-the .375.) I won't spoil it. We want your stories to continue in perpetuity. We don't want them to come to an abrupt close! :p **Solids on diker or it makes a mess for the taxidermist! No charge. IF you wish to shoot PG at 500+, there are much better cartridges out there for that purpose (hot 6.5-7-30-338s.) No one has any business wounding DG at 500. Taking pot shots at a wounded one...ok, but not in a herd, it'll be in cover by then and certainly not with big slugs that are slow even at the muzzle. Let us know how it all works out, and again, Good Luck! What do you plan to hunt with the 375, BTW? I prescribe that you read both Kevin Robertson's and Art Alphin's books pertaining to this very subject, as they are based on real world performance. Shooting a target at 500 yds with a small bore rifle and hunting relatively thick-skinned/predator orientated African game (PG and DG) with a 375 at similar range are entirely different things, indeed!!!
1713138976649.png
 
So you're out there hunting diker was it? with your .375 (assuming 270 gr SP ammo-anything heavier, more suitable for DG and it's going to take a turn for the worse) and you take your shot at 500 yds using your 8x optic (how big is that reticle at 500??) So, at 500 do you aim 3 reticles or 3 dikers (essentially 6 feet) above the POA with that scope? And, hopefully it is a diker that you're aiming at out there, as you're certainly NOT going to be taking that shot on any of the DG at 500 yds with any effect other than to tick them off! (The resulting E is marginal for anything even at 400.) I'm very familiar with that blessed case (and all of it's wonderful offshoots-all belted mags for that matter!) You could get better results using 260ish gr bullets and heavy handloads (better V, slightly better trajectory but not much as the bc dips off, causing more V loss and drop at distance) but 500 yd shots with the 375 are probably better suited for Elk in the USA (thin-skinned, larger, easier to kill targets,) and using a better scope (even a higher mag BDC or target turret NF-their 5-25x is wonderful on true long range rigs. Read up on what PHs say about the recommended range of typical DG shots (with the minimum generally accepted cartridge-the .375.) I won't spoil it. We want your stories to continue in perpetuity. We don't want them to come to an abrupt close! :p **Solids on diker or it makes a mess for the taxidermist! No charge. IF you wish to shoot PG at 500+, there are much better cartridges out there for that purpose (hot 6.5-7-30-338s.) No one has any business wounding DG at 500. Taking pot shots at a wounded one...ok, but not in a herd, it'll be in cover by then and certainly not with big slugs that are slow even at the muzzle. Let us know how it all works out, and again, Good Luck! What do you plan to hunt with the 375, BTW? I prescribe that you read both Kevin Robertson's and Art Alphin's books pertaining to this very subject, as they are based on real world performance. Shooting a target at 500 yds with a small bore rifle and hunting relatively thick-skinned/predator orientated African game (PG and DG) with a 375 at similar range are entirely different things, indeed!!! View attachment 599437
There you go with those aggravating Newtonian laws with respect gravity and the indisputability of ballistics. I have been shooting one type of .375 or another for twenty plus years, and it is not what I would reach for if the target was at 500 yards. Six feet of Holdover turns a rifle into an indirect fire system. Frankly, I wouldn't reach for anything for a 500 yard shot at game but that is a different conversation.
 
1,800 fps is the avg suggested minumum E for a bullet to perform on live targets in Africa (not the 2-legged variety that often fall to 55 gr 0.150 SD solids!) LOL The preferred min is >2,000 (both fps and ft/lbs! and that puts you at around 300 yds on the Dark Continent-that's do-able on PG. Either a 72" kudu standing broadside or the 2nd finishing shot at 300. Your 8x would be perfectly suited for that!!) Again, on thin-skinned American game (even the biggest bears) 2,000 fps and 1,000 ft/lbs will get it done if you do your part. I've witnessed well-hit impala, springbok and wildebeest run for the hills at <100 yd impact...they are TOUGH. I know the term Magnum adds pizazz, but many with that name don't really achieve magnum status (i.e. 375 is akin to a 3006 velocity, but shooting a slug 2x as heavy-it's impressive, energy-wise; it works within reasonable distance. 458 Win Mag (a shorter case/capacity mag, especially considering the huge slug that eats up precious powder capacity-the reason people prefer the full length case in the Lott/Wyatt/Ackley form. 7mm STW just skips right over the Mag status (although it uses the same case with a much lighter, higher SD ballistic going consideralby faster and shedding less V per unit distance) but that would be better suited for what you're after (to 2-3x that distance) with more scope! Of course, a 7RM or WSM (and many others 6.5-338s) would also get the job done better.
 
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So you're out there hunting diker was it? with your .375 (assuming 270 gr SP ammo-anything heavier, more suitable for DG and it's going to take a turn for the worse) and you take your shot at 500 yds using your 8x optic (how big is that reticle at 500??) So, at 500 do you aim 3 reticles or 3 dikers (essentially 6 feet) above the POA with that scope? And, hopefully it is a diker that you're aiming at out there, as you're certainly NOT going to be taking that shot on any of the DG at 500 yds with any effect other than to tick them off! (The resulting E is marginal for anything even at 400.) I'm very familiar with that blessed case (and all of it's wonderful offshoots-all belted mags for that matter!) You could get better results using 260ish gr bullets and heavy handloads (better V, slightly better trajectory but not much as the bc dips off, causing more V loss and drop at distance) but 500 yd shots with the 375 are probably better suited for Elk in the USA (thin-skinned, larger, easier to kill targets,) and using a better scope (even a higher mag BDC or target turret NF-their 5-25x is wonderful on true long range rigs. Read up on what PHs say about the recommended range of typical DG shots (with the minimum generally accepted cartridge-the .375.) I won't spoil it. We want your stories to continue in perpetuity. We don't want them to come to an abrupt close! :p **Solids on diker or it makes a mess for the taxidermist! No charge. IF you wish to shoot PG at 500+, there are much better cartridges out there for that purpose (hot 6.5-7-30-338s.) No one has any business wounding DG at 500. Taking pot shots at a wounded one...ok, but not in a herd, it'll be in cover by then and certainly not with big slugs that are slow even at the muzzle. Let us know how it all works out, and again, Good Luck! What do you plan to hunt with the 375, BTW? I prescribe that you read both Kevin Robertson's and Art Alphin's books pertaining to this very subject, as they are based on real world performance. Shooting a target at 500 yds with a small bore rifle and hunting relatively thick-skinned/predator orientated African game (PG and DG) with a 375 at similar range are entirely different things, indeed!!! View attachment 599437
CW:

Didn't quite follow the flow of subject here. No diker's on my list?

Have read, and continue to reread Robertson's works amongst others, certainly a good call there. I'm looking at quick target acquisition inside of 50 yards on nasty stuff, and let's say a kudu sized target at ~ 150 yards for my forthcoming safari.

I wouldn't be bashful about taking this on an elk hunt out to say 300 yards, but I have much more application specific set-ups than this particular rifle for that. And I would definitely load a different round up for that type of range and critter. In a two rifle battery DG / PG hunt, and this is an off the cuff style point for purposes of discussion, I'd either go with my 300 RUM or one of various 338's in the locker. With different glass.

I concur on all points above, you've been very helpful with your comments and questions, and certainly welcome them! Just didn't quite grasp the diker reference.

A lot of self-professed "new guy" stuff to experience in the next few months and heading on safari.



Matt
 
1st time i ever saw the words Nasty and Kudu together. "I never met a nasty Kudu." -E.H. LOL 375 excellent on Kudu inside 300 with your chosen setup. Nasty <insert your fav Dangerous 7 species> I've heard!!! lol I wasn't certain what you intended to shoot at 500 yds with your 375....that's "all." Enjoy that gorgeous rifle and keep it out of the "Jess bush!" Have the trackers/gun bearers cut everything down in your path with machetes to maintain its innocence!!! :p Really nice. We Like it! I think it belongs in Tanzania where you may have options around "wait-a-bit" type bush! You will soon know all of this and more...
 
1st time i ever saw the words Nasty and Kudu together. "I never met a nasty Kudu." -E.H. LOL 375 excellent on Kudu inside 300 with your chosen setup. Nasty <insert your fav Dangerous 7 species> I've heard!!! lol I wasn't certain what you intended to shoot at 500 yds with your 375....that's "all." Enjoy that gorgeous rifle and keep it out of the "Jess bush!" Have the trackers/gun bearers cut everything down in your path with machetes to maintain its innocence!!! :p Really nice. We Like it! I think it belongs in Tanzania where you may have options around "wait-a-bit" type bush! You will soon know all of this and more...
I'm from Kentucky, and take certain liberty's with the English language!! Nasty and Kudu together, upon second read, maybe in mating season. hahahaha!
 
i get it (i've worked in the industrial/city armpits of society)-Janet Jackson "Nasty." lol So, you are also familiar with Kentucky windage necessary to shoot that 375 at 500! (just like me shooting at woodchucks beyond 150 as a kid-but woodchucks and an unsupervised kid!) lol KY is a beautiful state. Been through many times and friends worked in the coal/chemical/teaching industries.
 
CW:

Yes sir! Kentucky windage a good skill to attain and maintain!

Grew up in central Kentucky, Franklin County. In grade school, typically during the second week of October, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers taught hunting and firearms safety to us going in to the fall season. No kidding!

And every morning we started out with a reading from the King James’ bible, recitation of The Lord’s Prayer, and the pledge of allegiance from a standing position of respect, right hand over heart. Wouldn’t change a bit of that upbringing.

Certainly sounds like from previous posts above our Dads were cut from the same cloth!

Damn I enjoy this site. :cool:


Matt
 
CW:

Yes sir! Kentucky windage a good skill to attain and maintain!

Grew up in central Kentucky, Franklin County. In grade school, typically during the second week of October, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officers taught hunting and firearms safety to us going in to the fall season. No kidding!

And every morning we started out with a reading from the King James’ bible, recitation of The Lord’s Prayer, and the pledge of allegiance from a standing position of respect, right hand over heart. Wouldn’t change a bit of that upbringing.

Certainly sounds like from previous posts above our Dads were cut from the same cloth!

Damn I enjoy this site. :cool:


Matt
they call it KY windage and the KY rifle, but the guy (D. Boone) shooting long rifles was actually from PA! ;) LOL Same mountains, same farms, coal...only they had to import the booze from KY! :p Strange as it's the same Scots/Irish/Welsh/English up here? I read that every farm up here had a small orchard (true)...my fav variety is this old english green apple (the golden grimes) that was later crossed with others forming the golden delicious. Only i read they planted those trees (really late blooming fruit-you could pick the apples in Nov/Dec if desired.) And the reason was so that they'd have alcohol (hard cider) to survive the harsh winters! LOL Custom, traditional and long-range muzzleloaders are a big deal up here. I prefer the stainless Rem 700 EML w/ unloaded, primed brass ignition. It is actually good to 500 yds on say deer or black bear w/ 240-270 gr bullets (i have a compact, Burris 4-12x BDC dialed in for it). I'd LOVE to use it in Africa, but there are some challenges getting it (loading components) in...Iwould like to take my G. Grandfather's (and his father's) .44 percussion plains rifle for one deer hunt, at home, on their old farm in the future. I've pulled the trigger on flintlocks only to have the pan flash and nothing happen (high humidity, rain, etc.) when lined up on deer-i've given up on it. I did laugh most times it occurred, teaching people to stalk, etc. lol but when you do it on a nice buck in the snow and it's 0F out, it's not funny at the time!
 
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Now you can’t go taking claim to D. Boone!! lol

Could actually see the cemetery he’s buried in from my parents’ old house there. We read quite a bit about him and his era in our Kentucky History class back in 5th grade. Immensely enjoyed that.

As for the bourbon, we had 5 distilleries within smelling distance where we were. I love the smell of sour mash in the morning! Hahaha
 
Drove through Boonesboro MD yesterday, so that in-between land makes it even more perplexing. That guy got around!!! They sell this red wine up here (buck shack LOL) it's winning awards and gaining a following. It's finished in oak barrels from your neighbors after they're done w/ em. lol it's ok.
 
He and Mr. Crockett O' TN were The Men!!! IF i recall correctly, Boone's first assignment was to survey land, including that where you reside. IF you let him touch your 375, He'd NEVER give it back!!! LOL
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And now, the companion rifle to yours for the smaller stuff... https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/101392506
CW:

As mentioned I am well into the thinking process of Parkwest #2. Looking for a 450 something or another. Building out purpose built rifles for major outings just seems flat appropriate to me. It’s part of the experience. Interesting to see that Parkwest in a Rigby cartridge at Cabela’s.

Really happy to see Dakota has weathered the times in terms of their people and their skills. Now Parkwest, and while at the SCI Convention in Nashville, I spent a good time at their booth checking out the examples they brought with them. Obviously as show quality, you’d expect the best, and they were.

FWIW, my skills when interacting with wood typically starts with a chainsaw and ends with a wood splitter. That said, I can really appreciate fine woodwork. The stocks are crazy awesome, and the checkering…..:oops:

What are you using for your DG go to rifle if I may?


Matt
 

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