Poor Man's Double Rifle

Discussion in 'Articles' started by IvW, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    THE POOR MAN’S DOUBLE RIFLE
    upload_2019-2-3_16-33-56.png


    When I started my PH career, I just wanted to hunt DG. I jumped at any opportunity that arose and ended up hunting a lot of DG including PAC animals.

    My first two years included taking care of problem leopards and Lion’s that wreaked havoc under the foals and calves on a 35000-acre area south west of Lion’s Den. I had no rifle at the time and had to make do with what I got from the outfitter and ranch owner. These where a 308 Win and a 7x57mm. I shot 7 leopard, 5 lionesses, more buffalo than I can remember and 1 Lion. For the buffalo I was permitted to use a spare 375 H&H and on very rare occasions the outfitters 500 Jeff, but not for the rest. I ended up shooting some of the buffalo with the 7x57mm as we bumped into them while out hunting other game for the pot. I always had a tracker with me and we used horses on most of the hunts to get to where we were going. I know these are not recommended for the purpose and even back then probably illegal, but it was the way it was.

    During my first two years in between hunts where I was mostly in charge of looking after the camp while on safari, I spent many hrs checking and replenishing baits. Every now and then I would be invited to go along hunting elephant and buffalo. This was the life.

    It was a very “wild” ranch and the cattle where just as wild as the game. If the owner ran short on cash we use to go out and shoot a “mombe” bullock and take it to the Lion’s den butchery for some well needed cash.

    When we got sick of eating beef, I was sent out to shoot Impala or Sable (yes Sable!!) for a change in diet.

    All the leopard and lion I shot during this time where shot over bait. I always made my blinds inside a tree as I often had to spend the night there on my own. These cat’s where also streetwise as they were livestock killers and I was very careful with regards to shot placement and never had to follow up any wounded leopard or lion.

    After starting as a Freelance PH, I bought a 375 H&H believing I had the perfect back-up rifle. It served me well. I also bought a 500 Jeff which became my primary DG back up rifle.

    Then on one hunt, a fellow PH’s client had wounded a leopard and they needed help on the back-up. As things developed on the follow up, we ended up being very lucky. The speed and ferocity of the attack was just mind boggling, the cat launching from an ant bear hole, the other PH used a buckshot loaded shotgun. First shot had no effect and as the cat launched, he fired the second barrel hitting the neck and shoulder, the cat bounced off him after grounding him and then took off after the tracker, who had decided distance between him and the enraged leopard was the best course of action. I could not shoot as the cat was between me and the tracker. As the tracker swerved, I fired and luckily dropped the cat. It took the tracker 45 minutes to return!!

    At the skinning shed we found some pellets just under the skin, very dismal performance.

    What stuck with me though was the fact that he had been able to get off 2 shots in the split seconds of the attack.

    Having studied and read as much as I could about DG hunting and in particular following up on leopard it is mentioned that a shotgun loaded with buckshot is the way to go. You have 2 instant shots etc. etc.

    I needed a double rifle but on my meager earnings could only dream as I could not afford one.

    It needed to be light enough and short enough that if I have fired the first shot and I still had to be able to use the firearm with only my right hand to fire the second barrel if needed.

    I read about somebody who had made a “Poor man’s double” from a shotgun.

    I bought a Brno SxS shotgun with two triggers. I started experimenting with this on game mostly bush pig and warthogs. It very quickly became evident that buckshot of any size lacked penetration and was no good. I changed over to slugs in particular Brenneke slugs, wow what a difference!!!

    Then I decided to shorten the barrels to make it more user friendly in the thick stuff and also to get rid of the chokes (3/4 and full). The gunsmith chopped off 4 inches and refitted the bead.

    I continued my experiments and shot warthogs, bush pigs, impala, kudu, gemsbuck and blue wildebeest with it.

    Being very satisfied with the results, I took it back to the gunsmith and had a proper front sight fitted and also a ghost ring sight on the back.

    I now had my leopard medicine and an affordable and very effective “Poor man’s double”

    I have used it extensively ever since.

    The 4 inch section that was cut off and the front sight after it was fitted over the original bead. In the beginning I just used the bead.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-36-18.png

    The action and the ghost ring sight fitted on the back.

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    Top view of the front sight.

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    Top view of the ghost ring sight.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-38-56.png

    Brenneke slugs, original on the left, the other local fitted with Brenneke slugs, Armour brass solid brass case, that I use now for reloading and an original Brenneke slugs, good medicine for the “Poor man’s double”

    upload_2019-2-3_16-39-22.png
    Excuse the pictures as they are pictures of pictures…some animals I hunted with the “Poor man’s double” during testing.

    A warthog takes his last dip.

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    Poor man’s buffalo, the perfect platform for testing..

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    Kudu

    upload_2019-2-3_16-41-20.png

    Warthog.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-41-59.png

    Impala
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    This was the longest shot before the Ghost ring and sight was fitted, just with the bead. 87 Long walking paces. I shot the ram from the treeline in the back ground at almost last light, he dropped on the spot.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-44-15.png
    Blue wildebeest wounded by client and followed up and shot with the “Poor man’s double” and Brenneke slug.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-44-53.png

    And another..

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    Another one horned Impala.




    upload_2019-2-3_16-45-59.png

    Using the “Poor man’s double” as back up on a Gemsbuck hunt. And no, the barrels are not pointed at his head I am sitting behind him.

    upload_2019-2-3_16-47-5.png

    I hope this has given some insight into a cheap alternative to anybody who has ever thought about doing the same. Used within its limitations it is a wonderfully effective tool and I have had a lot of success and fun with this combination.
     

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  2. postoak

    postoak BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Wow, thanks for sharing your life experiences with us! Would the slugs go all the way through a buffalo?
     

  3. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    No they do not. A good friend of mine shot a buffalo at close range just behind the front leg as he moved it forward. The buffalo was unaware of his presence and at the shot hunched up gave some steps backwards and fell over. Slug under the skin opposite side. I shot some into dead buffalo and they did not exit, however they gave very good penetration.

    The Brenneke slugs do exit at closer range on bush pigs. For this reason when hunting bush pig's over a pack of hounds we use Spanish slugs that are also rifled but the have a different shape and they do not exit on the bush pigs, this makes it safer for the hounds.
     
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  4. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks for posting. It's evident you have a great passion for your chosen career.:) Is a double trigger SxS shotgun a reasonable training platform for a double if one is planning to by a double eventually?
     
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  5. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Yes to a certain extent. Better to use solid brass hulls.

    You often read people referring to carrying two spare cartridges between the fingers of the non shooting hand for reloading. I have always found this uncomfortable and having them point out actually slows down the reload. They are pointed away from the hand and it is all awkward to get them into the barrels.

    Try carrying two in the palm of the hand and when reloading, you just slide both in at the same time with your palm slipping over the two barrels. If correctly done they just slip in.
     
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  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Thanks for the history lesson and SxS info IvW! Very interesting!
    I have a 20ga Fox SxS with the barrels cut short of the chokes making them straight cylinder choked. Excellent for fast running shots on rabbits. I’ll have to get some slugs to try out.
     
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  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Thanks very much. What you created is really not that very different than a Paradox. Young British officers took down all sorts of beasts with them all across the pre-WWI empire. A friend of mine has taken probably half a dozen buffalo with his H&H and Explora over the last few years. With less courage, I have only rolled a couple of bait warthog with my Evans. You were probably fortunate to stumble upon a BRNO that regulated available slugs so well, but Continental makers always paid attention to that. In this country, Connecticut Shotgun has been marketing their “Professional” for some time - a scoped 20 bore SxS designed for boar and deer. I can’t imagine anything better for an in bound leopard. Thanks again!
     
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  8. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    I love the reading, but I'm sure the pictures really add something to the mix.
     
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  9. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I have to add that I am planning on hunting a buffalo with my 12ga/9.3x74R combination. I will be using a Brenneke slug loaded into a solid brass hull and in process of regulating 320 gr Rhino bullet for the 9.3 x 74R.

    I have been on one attempt but seeing that I was hunting a specific animal on a huge area, I did not get the opportunity. Yet...
     

  10. Rock375

    Rock375 AH Senior Member

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    Great reading and thanks for posting
     
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  11. jeanes

    jeanes AH Veteran

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    Excellent post. Thank you.
     
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  12. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Great post and a fine example of form and function to meet a need.
     
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  13. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    Neat post IvW Thanks jacques
     
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  14. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    Great read IvW! This would definitely be a neat project to mess with. There are many less expensive double shotguns on the market that this would work on.
    BTW, how do you feel about the 9.3x74 for buffalo and Lion?
     
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  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Couldn't see the photos either, but assumed it was one of the seventies era BRNO's. Those are great old guns. The model was something like the ZP49? I had one as my only SxS shotgun as a young Lieutenant in Germany way back in the day. They were a true sidelock and yet were extremely inexpensive. They were sold through Waffen Frankonia in Wurzburg, and poor Lieutenants could buy them via the Rod & Gun. Mine was choked tight and tighter, but would still shoot a slug well enough for the odd boar on a drive hunt. Very neat and very practical project.
     
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  16. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    With the right bullet the 9.3 x 74R can take any lion or buffalo. Place the shot where it needs to go and it is a done deal. The lower recoil compared to the bigger NE cartridges makes it a great choice and invariably leads to more accurate shooting.

    Would be a bit light when any follow up is needed but obviously not necessary if the first shot goes where it is needed.

    It is a truly great caliber, pity it is not legal everywhere for DG.
     
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  17. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    It's also a little strange that all DG is lumped into the same category. There seems to be a huge difference between a Lion and an Elephant as far as what caliber would be adequate!
     
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  18. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    As a boy in rural Georgia the dream of owning any kind of rifle was just that....a dream. We hunted everything with a shotgun! I have taken down deer with a slug from a 20g Sears single shot. When at 14 I was given a 12g Browning semi auto I though I had gone to heaven. The load order was slug, 00buckshot and 00buckshot. If the first shot was a good one the follow ups were not needed.
    Your poor man’s double reminds me of those days so long ago when the shotgun was it! Your points show clearly that a good shotgun in the right hands is indeed usable on African game!
    Thanks for sharing!
     

  19. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    IvW, I may have missed it in your OP. What Ga. shotgun did you convert to your Poor Man's Double?
     

  20. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    12ga 2 3/4 inch
     
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