Rifle Options - 375H&H / 416 Rigby

CoElkHunter

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Your allowed in the UK to own the semi-auto rifle in your photo? If so, now I’m really confused with the gun laws there?
 

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Sure, no problem. This was the first trial run for this course I think, but I think it went pretty well and they're planning to continue offering them every year for the foreseeable.

The course is run by a chap who is ex-Game Warden from Zimbabwe. I think he was doing that full time around 20 years ago, but has maintained connections in the country and the industry. As such, the course is based loosely around the training and testing that the current wardens undergo, with a few tweaks to better suit the recreational hunter, as opposed to a PH type role.

The course itself is run down in Cornwall and lasts 2 days. It's a fairly even split between general rifle skills and practical shooting with the drills and skill set fairly heavily biased towards a mauser type bolt gun (although a few guys quite happily adapted a lot of it to double rifles and I muddled through with my Tikka, despite not being able to top load). Attendance was 12 on the first day, 9 on the second.

On the general skills side of things we covered off safe misfire drill for a Safari type situation (ie how to cycle the bolt safely with a round which may cook off when you don't have the time to wait the customary 30 seconds), general considerations for safe but rapid deployment of the rifle, ammo storage and it's influence on actually topping up the mag, kit, what the 'accepted' procedure for a warden or PH in a charge type situation would be (mostly so as a client you know what to expect and how to act so as not to get in the way), safe ways to carry a rifle in field conditions such as underloading etc, a few drills to familiarise yourself with the rifle under pressure such as timed loading and blindfolded manipulation, stuff like that.

The shooting side of things basically aimed to practise the training items under field conditions and was entriely done under a degree of time pressure. We covered static target shooting in field positions, which also included stuff like a hang-fire situation with snap caps, deploying the rifle from a sling and making ready under time stress, reloading against the clock, fire and movement type stuff. Basically all the things you may need to do in the course of general hunting, and potentially need to do sharpish under stress if you end up injuring an animal and needing a fast follow up, especially for DG species.

An example stage, and one I particularly enjoyed was to start with 3 rounds loaded, 2 live, 1 snap (mag loaded by the RO so you didn't know when in the sequence it comes). On the command you have 10 seconds to shoot 3 targets at 25, 20, 15m, but you also have to perform the misfire drill when the snap cap fails to fire, and load an additional round into the rifle to complete the stage. The target had a 2" bull, and then a 5" and 10" roundel for lower scoring hits. Was certainly interesting to see which of the guys with the big bores had a bit of a flinch on that one as well...

We also practised some moving target stuff, so procedure for a charging lion, anchoring shots on the rear end of a hippo type target (running away from the shooter) and all the usual stuff like aim points and drills for a charging buff. We also did a few practice runs on the lion target where you start with an unloaded rifle and have 4 seconds to move a couple meters to the firing point, load 3 rounds, cycle the bolt and assume a kneeling position before it charges, at which point you have roughly 3-4 seconds to get 2 shots off into the kill zone before it 'gets' you (I would have been eaten twice on this round, to my shame).

The Buffalo was probably my favourite round. You start standing with 3 rounds loaded, 2 live over the top of a snap cap. You get 5 seconds to shoot into the heart area at roughly 50m and then on report the buffalo charges you and again you have roughly 2-3 seconds to put the second live round into the head kill zone. The timer then stops once the shooter has taken two shots and cycled the bolt to load the snap cap.

On the whole, I can't directly comment on how applicable the drills would be to a safari or DG hunt, having not done one, but the chap seemed to know his stuff and I had a good time. There were also a few bits and pieces I hadn't really considered as a UK stalker, some good practice for varous drills and even really mundance stuff like how to rapidly cycle the bolt that you wouldn't ordinarily practice for stalking. The 4 or 5 attendees who had done some African hunting before, both DG and PG seemed happy enough with the instruction as well, so I guess it is at least a little applicable for the real thing.

Plus the shooting aspects were good fun and I hadn't used one of the 'charge box' systems before, so shooting targets coming either towards you or directly away from the shooter was novel.


That sounds like a practical, well rounded practice and education! It also sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing
 

Adrian

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Your allowed in the UK to own the semi-auto rifle in your photo? If so, now I’m really confused with the gun laws there?
It's a .22lr, we can own semi auto rimfires such as the AR type in the photo but if I wanted an AR style centrefire it has to be single shot bolt action or straight pull.

It's my fun gun. I was zeroing the .375 and in between shot groups while I was waiting for the barrel to cool I did a bit of plinking with the .22.

I agree the laws are a bit daft sometimes.
I have 30 and 20 round magazines for my 22 and can shoot off fifty rounds as fast as I can pull the trigger yet I can't own a shotgun that hold more than three rounds.

In most cases when you get your firearms licence you have a closed certificate and mentoring condition applied to it.
This means you can only use your firearm on the land stated on your licence and under supervision of a mentor who you name upon application. This usually lasts indefinitely unless you apply for an open certificate, in most cases when you renew your licence.

When you have an open licence you can use your firearm unsupervised and on any land that has been approved and when you have the land owners permission.
 

njc110381

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When you have an open licence you can use your firearm unsupervised and on any land that has been approved and when you have the land owners permission.

No need for land approval with an open FAC. Depending on wording of course. Mine states "may be used over land which the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". In the early days it stated "may be used over land which is cleared by the chief of police and the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". That condition was a right pain and it took me around a year to get it sorted!

Which version does yours have? Or perhaps another wording all together? It's not unusual for wording and opinions of their meaning to vary between forces.
 

Adrian

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No need for land approval with an open FAC. Depending on wording of course. Mine states "may be used over land which the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". In the early days it stated "may be used over land which is cleared by the chief of police and the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". That condition was a right pain and it took me around a year to get it sorted!

Which version does yours have? Or perhaps another wording all together? It's not unusual for wording and opinions of their meaning to vary between forces.
Yes, mine says the same as yours, I couldn't remember the exact wording.
 

njc110381

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Yes, mine says the same as yours, I couldn't remember the exact wording.

Ace. In that case, no need for land checks. You can shoot anywhere you have permission. The whole point of that wording is so they don't have to chase around checking loads of land for experienced shooters who are perfectly capable of making a safe judgement themselves. If I had to do that I'd be dragging them out every other week!
 

CoElkHunter

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It's a .22lr, we can own semi auto rimfires such as the AR type in the photo but if I wanted an AR style centrefire it has to be single shot bolt action or straight pull.

It's my fun gun. I was zeroing the .375 and in between shot groups while I was waiting for the barrel to cool I did a bit of plinking with the .22.

I agree the laws are a bit daft sometimes.
I have 30 and 20 round magazines for my 22 and can shoot off fifty rounds as fast as I can pull the trigger yet I can't own a shotgun that hold more than three rounds.

In most cases when you get your firearms licence you have a closed certificate and mentoring condition applied to it.
This means you can only use your firearm on the land stated on your licence and under supervision of a mentor who you name upon application. This usually lasts indefinitely unless you apply for an open certificate, in most cases when you renew your licence.

When you have an open licence you can use your firearm unsupervised and on any land that has been approved and when you have the land owners permission.
Thanks so much for your response and explaining this. That .22 semi-auto looks fun to shoot! I’m thinking again (dangerous), but it seems to me if you have a five year renewable license with all the background and medical checks that goes with it, one would at LEAST be able to purchase/own ANY bolt action hunting rifle, regardless of caliber? I guess I’m just thinking of a “utopian” hunting world, where hunters can use the weapon of THEIR choice to pursue the game they want to hunt? I guess I’m just too old an maybe naive? Thanks!
 

CoElkHunter

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No need for land approval with an open FAC. Depending on wording of course. Mine states "may be used over land which the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". In the early days it stated "may be used over land which is cleared by the chief of police and the certificate holder has lawful authority to shoot". That condition was a right pain and it took me around a year to get it sorted!

Which version does yours have? Or perhaps another wording all together? It's not unusual for wording and opinions of their meaning to vary between forces.
Yes, but what if you want to purchase/own a hunting rifle for hunting in another European country or North America or Africa, etc ? We ALL dream of hunting somewhere else, but just haven’t got there yet? Surely (maybe not) the authorities understand the rifle you purchase must be practiced with long before you actually plan/book a hunt somewhere? It could be several years running!
 

njc110381

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Yes, but what if you want to purchase/own a hunting rifle for hunting in another European country or North America or Africa, etc ? We ALL dream of hunting somewhere else, but just haven’t got there yet? Surely (maybe not) the authorities understand the rifle you purchase must be practiced with long before you actually plan/book a hunt somewhere? It could be several years running!

That's possible. Our laws do allow for us to have firearms outside of the spec of what we should have for quarry here. We need to show that we intend to actually go - an invoice for a booked hunt or in my case an invitation to hunt from a citizen of a suitable country. They are also fairly relaxed in the understanding that these things may not get used regularly.
 

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That's possible. Our laws do allow for us to have firearms outside of the spec of what we should have for quarry here. We need to show that we intend to actually go - an invoice for a booked hunt or in my case an invitation to hunt from a citizen of a suitable country. They are also fairly relaxed in the understanding that these things may not get used regularly.
Thanks for your reply. What about visiting hunters in the UK? Would they be able to use another’s rifle, or would they have to bring their own crossbow? Ha! Ha! Ha!
 

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Thanks for your reply. What about visiting hunters in the UK? Would they be able to use another’s rifle, or would they have to bring their own crossbow? Ha! Ha! Ha!
Hunting with any type of bow is illegal in the UK.
I have no idea how easy it is to bring a firearm to the UK for hunting but you can obviously be loaned one by the person you're hunting with while hunting.
 

CoElkHunter

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Hunting with any type of bow is illegal in the UK.
I have no idea how easy it is to bring a firearm to the UK for hunting but you can obviously be loaned one by the person you're hunting with while hunting.
No bows? Interesting? I would have thought they would be considered less of a “threat” by the authorities to the masses than a firearm? I’m thinking again! I need to quit that! Ha! Ha!
 

Adrian

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No bows? Interesting? I would have thought they would be considered less of a “threat” by the authorities to the masses than a firearm? I’m thinking again! I need to quit that! Ha! Ha!
You're allowed to own a crossbow, longbow, recurve, compound etc....

You just can't hunt with them.
 

bruce moulds

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Hunting with any type of bow is illegal in the UK.
I have no idea how easy it is to bring a firearm to the UK for hunting but you can obviously be loaned one by the person you're hunting with while hunting.

the ruling classes still have memories of robin hood:cautious:
he poached deer from the king's forest.
up until king henrey 8th it was mandatory to practise the longbow after church every sunday (which was also mandatory).
remember the power of the longbow at crecy and Agincourt.
bruce.
 

CoElkHunter

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the ruling classes still have memories of robin hood:cautious:
he poached deer from the king's forest.
up until king henrey 8th it was mandatory to practise the longbow after church every sunday (which was also mandatory).
remember the power of the longbow at crecy and Agincourt.
bruce.
Bruce, I see Dr Ray with a CZ .505 Gibbs on a recent thread. Looks like a LOT of rifle, but very nice! Anyway, in Australia, are you required to show “good reason” to buy/own a larger caliber, bolt action hunting rifle like they are required to do in the UK? I find the various gun laws (especially related to hunting) in other countries very interesting and sometimes mind boggling! Thanks!
CoElkHunter
 

njc110381

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I too find firearms law interesting. Most countries have quirky rules of one sort or another. The UK has a big issue with semi auto firearms and handguns but moderators are pretty much a given for a hunting rifle. You simply have to ask and it will be granted. The US on the other hand is fine with assault rifles and handguns, but say the word suppressor and it's like the holy grail! Baffling really as it has such a blame culture and folk are getting sued left, right and centre. Surely the government is responsible for hearing loss due to a lack of protection in a hunting environment? Then there's the whole open carry vs concealed - some places want it plain to see and others expect it covered (the UK likes firearms hidden to the best of our ability).

It's an interesting subject. Every government seems to have a different idea of what's dangerous and what isn't!
 

CoElkHunter

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I too find firearms law interesting. Most countries have quirky rules of one sort or another. The UK has a big issue with semi auto firearms and handguns but moderators are pretty much a given for a hunting rifle. You simply have to ask and it will be granted. The US on the other hand is fine with assault rifles and handguns, but say the word suppressor and it's like the holy grail! Baffling really as it has such a blame culture and folk are getting sued left, right and centre. Surely the government is responsible for hearing loss due to a lack of protection in a hunting environment? Then there's the whole open carry vs concealed - some places want it plain to see and others expect it covered (the UK likes firearms hidden to the best of our ability).

It's an interesting subject. Every government seems to have a different idea of what's dangerous and what isn't!
Yes, I wish I had access to suppressed firearms in the US when I started shooting/hunting in the early ‘70s. Not many people wore hearing protection back then even on the rifle/pistol range or trapshooting. I, like so many others, are now paying the price with varying degrees of hearing loss. I wear the “ear valve” style even while hunting now, and it doesn’t affect my ability to hear low pitched sounds whatsoever.
 

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