Rifle and Cal choices........

bandit

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I have been searching for a bigbore rifle and got it down to a few choices. I love this process of "sifting" through the good and bad criteria and then choosing a new toy or tool.

Firstly I have to say that I am not a PH, but love the idea of a big bore rifle and would like to use it for its intended purpose, to get something big. If I could have it my way I would also like to use it in general too.

I would appreciate your input / discussions on the following.

I have been looking at the following:
375 Ruger African / Alaskan
416 Ruger Alaskan
375 H&H various rifles
416 Rigby CZ
416 Rem Winchester
458 Zastava

Initially I was taking cost too seriously, but relaxed a little as I realized that this is a rifle I would like to be proud of, but still not too expensive thus going for "cheapy" I may regret later. I set my limit to R20 000 / $2750. One criteri is that it had to be a controlled feed action (personnal choice).

I like the Ruger cal and rifles although my first choice would be the Alaskan, but I can not find any (VLT Arms is waiting.......) VLT does have a 375 Ruger African in stock which I liked very much, and at around R12000 / $1700 the price is just right. I quite like the synthetic stock idea and compactness of the Alaskan

The 375 H&H is such a good cal and the Rifles I saw were very nice but were either out of my price range or did not have controlled feed.

The 458 I saw was a Zastava but I was not too impressed with the stock (bit rough) and to spend more money to get it as I want it would not be my first choice, but at
R10500 / $1500............

Then I had a look at a CZ550 Lux in 416 Rigby for R16500 / $2300. This was a really nice rifle and like it really a lot. The only issue is the cost of ammo at R2000 / $285 for twenty it is a bit rough for me.... I do re-load does it get much cheaper?

Then I saw an add for a Winchester Safari Express in 416 Remington........ for R16500 / $2300. From what I have read this is a nice rifle. How does it stack up to the CZ? Cost of ammo?

What do you all think? Should I wait an check the Alaskan out? Should I consider the CZ above the Winchester? any ideas?

Choices choices :)
 

Frederik

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I'm also looking very hard at that 416 Ruger Alaskan the price is right much cheaper than the CZ and I must be honest I hate the 550 action nothing wrong with it I just dont like the look of it.

If I'm going to spend that kind of dough I want something I like to look at. Plus the CZ's needs to be taken to a gunsmith to smooth a couple of things.

And I have heard and read the Ruger alaskan is ready to go out of the box.

And yes reloading is the way to go with big bores after buying cases and getting everything you need you can shoot or I do shoot my 375 H&H for just over R7 per shot with cheap bullets.
 

enysse

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I would go for the CZ in the 416 Rigby. I love the CZ look and feel to it....have one in a 375 H&H and would get another one in a 416 Rigby without hesitation.

I like Ruger rifles...most of my guns are Rugers, they function well, shoot great...but they have little for looks.

Winchestor Safari Express....what not to love....love Winchestors...416 Rem is a great caliber.
 

sestoppelman

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I own 2 CZ's, a 9.3x62 and the Safari Classic in .404 Jeff. Both are great rifles. I used the 9.3 in Namibia with total satisfaction but have yet to blood the .404 yet. I personally think the CZ's are very handsome rifles but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I see that Ruger will soon have its Hawkeye African in 9.3x62 and I think it will sell well due to increased interest in this great round. If I didnt already have the CZ I would buy the Ruger when released. As to bandits choice list, I wouldnt be afraid of any of them, all good rifles and calibers.
 

classicsafari

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A 416Ruger in the African would be a good choice when they bring it out.
A Winchester in 416Rem is another good option, as is the CZ in 404.
Warning; All these rifles will require bedding and flawless feeding must be confirmed prior to use.
 

sestoppelman

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The one rifle used on my first 3 safaris two of which included buffalo, was an Interarms Mark X Whitworth Express .375 H&H and I always felt I had the right gun in my hands no matter what cropped up. Planning for my fourth trip I decided to go with something different. I had planned to take a .338-06 I had had built up but about 4 months before departure the CZ 9.3 I mentioned earlier came up for sale on the net so I bought it and took it instead and plan to use it this June in Zim as well (unless I change my mind again!). I used a .338 Win mag in RSA in '09 and it too worked just fine. None of these are DGR's except the .375 of course which I still have though doubt it will make it back to Africa again. There are just too many other choices to try out on the few trips I likely have left to go back. If and when I go for buff again I will use the .404. If I could go every year I would.
 

Double D

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I think all the rifles on your list are likely just fine. You metioned wanting something versatile. The .375 HH is prity hard to beat and as far as the rifle goes a model 70 or a CZ are prity darn dependable. I have never heard of a model 70 or CZ in .375 that didnt feed or eject. Next would be any .416. CZ's are very popular with PH's and they earn their living trust their lives on them. One more thing the rifle in the picture with me and the buff is a Safari Express in .375.
 

35bore

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I like the CZ's, had one in 416 Rigby, using factory ammo, had solids and softs touching at 100yrds. I did have it bedded and two crossbolts installed. I know you like the CRF but, (for what it's worth) I had a Remington 700 in 375 H&H that would do the same thing as the CZ without the bedding, and I just picked up a Rem custom shop 458 win, haven't shot it yet.
 
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TerryR

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I also have a CZ safari classic in 404 Jeffery. I used it to take a Botswana buffalo and recommend it highly. The only down side is the relatively few options for factory ammo. Hand loading is a solution though.
 

messmate

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I took a 375 Ruger Alaskan with a 2.5x8 leupold to SA in 2010 for plainsgame hunting. Performed really well with factory 270 grns and I'm more than happy with it. It is not a handsome rifle I guess but is ultra reliable and handles beautifully with the 20" barrel. Everything you listed is good...comes down to whether you like a nice piece of wood...or an ugly stick.
 

Grumpy Griz

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I've used 375 H & H now for just about everything now for quite some time. Use full power loads for things that bite back and reduced loads for whitetail deer.
 

bandit

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Thanks for all the replies. I have now narrowed it down..........to 375........... I decided on synthetic stock topped with stainless steel barrel and reciever. In other words, an ugly stick, hahahahaha. Came accross a very nice Kimber Taleetna in 375 H&H. This means the choice is now between the 375 Ruger Alaskan and the 375 H&H Kimber....... Only thing is now the cost.... the Kimber is around ZAR5000 more expensive, but man.... that action is sooooo smooth and looks pretty good. It has a 24" barrel and this is where I prefer the Alaskan with its 20". There is currently no stock of the Alaskans, but there is of the Kimber.............
Choices choices......
 

enysse

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Buy the Kimber, sure it's more money, but that is one heck of a gun. The 4" will not be noticed too much.

I love Rugers, but Kimbers are just a step above the them.
 

505ED

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All will work well, The best one out of the box I'd say would be the Winchester M70 in a 416 rem. The fit and finish of the new guns is quite good. Next I'd say I like the CZ, but I have found that most CZ need a little cleaning up to make them perfect--fill the bolt handle in so its not sharp around the edges, make sure it is beded proper--ect. ect. I have discussed this before. The ruger guns are good and servicable too. I'm just not real hip on there metal finish--but most of them shoot good enough!

Have fun picking it out!!!

Ed
 

bandit

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Wooooooohooooo !! So I just closed my eyes and got the Kimber Talkeetna in 375 H&H. I feel like a kid in a toy store !!
Now for the licence..........and the wait begins.
 

enysse

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Congradulations bandit! I hope you have a lot of fun with the new gun!
 

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