Rifle Options - 375H&H / 416 Rigby

Alistair

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A question for you all.

I spent the last weekend participating in a Dangerous Game training course here in the UK.

I had a lot of fun, learn a load of useful stuff and got the chance to have a play with many interesting large calibre rifles in 'hunting' situations (closer ranges, reloading drills, lots of positional shooting, time pressure, moving targets etc).

This last item, as it turns out was a big mistake financially and brings us onto the topic of ths post.

I went along with my .270, just to learn the skills, meet some people, have some fun and get to know my rifle a bit better. Unsurprisingly though, that set up isn't really suitable for the type of stuff I was doing due to the single stack mag, relatively high power scope and teeny tiny little cartridge.

I intend to do a bit more of this type of shooting along with some driven boar over the coming 5 years or so as a substitute for actual Safaris, which are slightly out of reach at the moment financially, and I'm toying with the idea of investing in a proper rifle for the job.

That being the case, what do the AH massive recommend? I'm thinking .375H&H or possibly 416Rigby, double stack magazine for easy top loading, factory iron sights and with the facility to mount a small scope (1-6x maybe). Controlled round feed is a 'nice to have' but not a requirement as are express style sights.

I think my preference is probably more 375 due to it being easier to get conditioned for Boar at home, but I did very much enjoy my little fling with a .416 on Sunday, and it does seem more 'proper' in some respects. Other rounds would be considered as long as they're classic and british, but bear in mind that with the firearms licensing in the UK, I'd be pushing my luck going as big as the Rigby as it is.

My budget is tight, so I'd probably be thinking second hand, but I could stretch to maybe £2,500 for the right rifle (excluding scope).

I think a Sako 85 might be an option, as might a CZ or a Winchester Mod 70, but are there any other contenders I should consider? No interest whatsoever in straight pulls however suitable they may be for the application and I don't think a double is on the cards at this price point.

I'm in no rush on this, I need to finalise the decision re. calibre and I expect the variation will take a couple months to come back from the fuzz anyway, even if they aren't difficult about the whole thing, but I'd welcome your thoughts.

Cheers!
Al.
 

brettp

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IMHO....

Either the Sako or Winchester in 375 is probably perfect for what you're describing. Good, solid rifles which are likely to function well out of the box and won't break the bank.

Caliber wise, the 375 is more versatile, more appropriate (though still well over-gunned) for boar and significantly cheaper to shoot (ammo wise).
 

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IMHO....

Either the Sako or Winchester in 375 is probably perfect for what you're describing. Good, solid rifles which are likely to function well out of the box and won't break the bank.

Caliber wise, the 375 is more versatile, more appropriate (though still well over-gunned) for boar and significantly cheaper to shoot (ammo wise).

+1, or a CZ
 

brettp

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+1, or a CZ
I did not note CZ intentionally. It's not that they aren't good, I have a few that I really like. It's that they very often need significant work to function reliably and it doesn't sound like Allistair has the inclination or need to do so.
 

Alistair

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I did not note CZ intentionally. It's not that they aren't good, I have a few that I really like. It's that they very often need significant work to function reliably and it doesn't sound like Allistair has the inclination or need to do so.

Probably a fair assumption this. I tend to buy rifles to keep, and some fettling isn't completely out of the question if need be, but realistically this is a rifle I'll shoot 20-40 rounds a month max, mostly at the range, possibly with a week on the continent doing some driven boar on an annual basis. It's not going to be a regular tool, it's not going to see as much use as my .270 or even my .44 lever gun and I'm not really inclined to spend months getting it right before I can even crack on with load development, unless of course the end product is a significantly better rifle at the price point than say the Sako.
 

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I think for what you describe, a .375 is the perfect choice. With a 270 gr bullet, it will be decisive on driven boar, and fun to shoot at various "big-bore" target shoots. Then, when finances allow, you will have the perfect rifle for a PG or PG/buffalo hunt in Africa.

You have set aside a reasonable budget. I would urge you to look at the Blaser R8 as well. It is a bit more, but in the "Professional" livery not that much more. I have a wall full of mauser-based rifles and love them all, but it is the R8 that now accompanies me everywhere. They are incredibly accurate, ergonomics are superb, and nothing but a double rifle offers a quicker aimed second shot - a consideration with driven boar. And with that chassis, it is very easy to add a second caliber.

Like some of the others, I would not mess with a CZ with their current production standards.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Personally, I would put the CZ above the sako. Sako isn't a true control feed and seen a few guys having issues with the sako in large bores. Winchester or even Mauser.
 

Alexandro Faria

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Hmmm, apparently CZ are also having issues... Perhaps stick with Winchester and Mauser.
 

Alistair

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I would urge you to look at the Blaser R8 as well.

I don't disagree about the Blasers, they're very effective rifles and undeniably quicker. I had a play with one and a merkel helix on the course.

That said... they just don't do it for me. I appreciate the engineering, the ergonomics, the price even, but I just don't love them. I'd much rather a classically styled turn bolt. Just the romantic in me I guess.

Plus, they have too much plastic and it's too much for a spare magazine for my tastes.
 

Alistair

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Hmmm, apparently CZ are also having issues... Perhaps stick with Winchester and Mauser.

What's the starting price on the bigger bore Mausers? If I can get one of the 98 actioned ones in budget, that'd certainly be one to consider...
 

sierraone

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What's the starting price on the bigger bore Mausers? If I can get one of the 98 actioned ones in budget, that'd certainly be one to consider...
A new M98 Mauser will start around $12,000 in the U.S. You can't compare buying one of these to buying a M70 or Sako. New M98s are rough equivalent of buying a new base model Rigby Big Game.
 

Alistair

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A new M98 Mauser will start around $12,000 in the U.S. You can't compare buying one of these to buying a M70 or Sako. New M98s are rough equivalent of buying a new base model Rigby Big Game.


As I'd expected.

I would like one very much, but that price puts it firmly out of scope for the foreseeable. Honestly, for that kinda money I'd be looking for a double I think.
 

IvW

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For what you mention and between these two I would get the 375 H&H.

Another to consider would be the great 9.3 x 62mm...
 

sierraone

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A new M98 Mauser will start around $12,000 in the U.S. You can't compare buying one of these to buying a M70 or Sako. New M98s are rough equivalent of buying a new base model Rigby Big Game.
Recently many members of this forum have mistakenly related Mauser model 12s and 18s with the high end M98s. IMO, at least some of these members should do their research on these rifles. They are only related to the M98 in name only. They are much closer to our Winchester and Remington rifles. Which is not bad in itself, if you are looking for a $1500-$2000 deer/elk rifle.
 

sierraone

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@Alistair , IMO, a model 70, .375 HH Safari Express takes care of all your future needs at a price that won't break the bank!
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

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A new M98 Mauser will start around $12,000 in the U.S. You can't compare buying one of these to buying a M70 or Sako. New M98s are rough equivalent of buying a new base model Rigby Big Game.
The cost of building my rifle Mauser M98 in 404Jeffery is 3,000$.
 

njc110381

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My experience of getting a big bore in the UK is that it's a challenge, but possible. My force (Gloucestershire) flatly refused me a .458 Lott when I asked for it early this year, but after masses of emails back and forth with my licensing department they steered me towards a .416. I opted for the Rigby and was granted it for use abroad, deer and any lawful quarry. I've since bought a CZ550 Safari Aramid and I love it. It's a beast, but I'm working on taming it.

If you want a rifle you can just pick up and shoot, the .375H&H is a nice round. It'll kill pretty much anything and I didn't find it to be much of a challenge to shoot well. I had an old Brno 602 with the pop up receiver sight - it was a lovely rifle and didn't give me any bother. I literally bought it, made some ammo and started banging 1" groups down range pretty much from the off.The Rigby on the other hand is a pig - I'm having to really put some work into shooting it and my groups are slowly pulling in, but it's no walk in the park I can tell you! It also costs a fair bit to feed, especially with factory ammunition. .375H&H can be had from Kranks (Prvi) for around £200 per 100 loaded rounds. .416 Rigby, well the cheapest I've found so far is Hornady at £120 per 20!

To sum it up, if you want a nice easy to shoot rifle that will do the job for sensible money, buy a .375H&H. If you want a monster that will hit hard at both ends and cost a small fortune to feed, buy a .416 Rigby. I believe the .416 Rem Mag is a little cheaper to feed but not by much. Maybe that could be worth a look? I wanted a calibre that started with a 4 - not sure why as 99% of my shooting will be in the UK and Europe. I just couldn't help myself!
 

Opposite Pole

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I’ll put my vote towards M70 Safari as well, fits the price range and no straight pull condition. I do like my M70 Safari Express though in my opinion my Blaser R8 is the better rifle.
 

Alistair

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It also costs a fair bit to feed, especially with factory ammunition. .375H&H can be had from Kranks (Prvi) for around £200 per 100 loaded rounds. .416 Rigby, well the cheapest I've found so far is Hornady at £120 per 20!

Expensive that. Happily I home load, so I should think £1.80 or so a plinking/ target round should be doable in .375 having had a look at the online prices. Maybe £5/ shot for the hunting stuff. The Rigby, well, I suppose it might be creeping up towards £3.00 a plinking round, but you know what? I can deal with that for the volumes I'd shoot.

My main struggle with the 416 is justification for it, both for myself and for the FLO. Objectively, a 375 better meets my requirements and would be more palatable for the fuzz, but I do kinda like the idea of a 416. Hmm...

The 416 Rem Mag is not the one by the way. Classic and British calibres only.
 

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