Round Chambered…or Not?

My perception from reading various AH posts is that PHs require the client to carry their firearm unchambered on tracks, or at least from the track outset? I’m interested in hearing how a “routine” track might progress for buff, specifically, with regard to at what point the client is instructed to load?
Each client is different. I have had clients that I new that I knew I did not have to be concerned about and at least 3 that I would prefer the tracker carried the bolt and 1 of those 3 was using a R8.

There is something special about the sound of a round being chambered when starting your approach.

Doubles a different story.
 
2 trips over... 3 different lever action rifles: 2 Marlins and a Savage 99.

Both of my PHs had me carry with an empty chamber until we were close to being in a shooting situation. I was instructed on when to chamber a round and when to clear it. It was checked by both me and the PH upon loading the rifle back on the vehicle.
So did you also unload the entire (tubular) magazine on the Marlins each time? Or did you not fully load that to begin with?
Understand that the Savage uses a different (rotary) magazine system than the Marlins.
 
No. The magazine was full. But no cartridge in the chamber. When we would get ready to get back on the vehicle I would empty the chamber and replace the round in the magazine, for both rifle types.

My PH had a friend who had an accident while in a vehicle and he was anal about making sure the rifles were on empty chambers.
 
No. The magazine was full. But no cartridge in the chamber. When we would get ready to get back on the vehicle I would empty the chamber and replace the round in the magazine, for both rifle types.

My PH had a friend who had an accident while in a vehicle and he was anal about making sure the rifles were on empty chambers.
Just curious how that works with a lever action. How do you stop shells in the tube feeding into the action while the chamber is being emptied? Do you have to empty the tube magazine one at a time first, close on an empty chamber, then reload the magazine?
 
My perception from reading various AH posts is that PHs require the client to carry their firearm unchambered on tracks, or at least from the track outset? I’m interested in hearing how a “routine” track might progress for buff, specifically, with regard to at what point the client is instructed to load?
Not me my friend if it is a DG hunt. PG is fine. When I get off the truck on a DG hunt I inform my PH I am loading up with safety on always. I would not hunt with a PH otherwise
 
Both of my DG hunts (cow buffalo and lioness), and PG in the Eastern Cape, I was instructed to chamber a cartridge before the stalk. Once the stalk was over, I would clear the chamber without the PH having to ask. He checked the chamber twice, and never again after. I guess he was happy with safe gun handling etiquette. When I hunted in Limpopo, it was completely different, I was instructed to load a cartridge in the chamber when we were getting close. Always had an empty chamber.
 
I have always had a round in the chamber. I prefer to carry the rifle slung, barrel down, trigger forward on my left shoulder. This makes for a very safe carry and is extremely quick to bring to action.

In Botswana, the PH’s I have hunted with use the Africa carry with a round in the chamber and the safety off. At first this seems alarming, however, their guns are uncocked as the bolt is pushed far enough forward to close, but not far enough to cock. On Mauser actions there is a spot where it will hold under tension in this position. When they engage a target they complete closing the bolt and they are hot. They claimed that this is an old Boer carry method. I can’t comment beyond that. I will say that the sling can be a major pain in that Kalahari thorn scrub.
 
I rarely use a sling. The rifle is always in one hand or the other. I suggest learning how to carry said rifle safely and how to switch hands without sweeping the backs of the PH and trackers in front of you.

Just one more mental and muscle memory habit that requires regular practice.
Most clients, however, do use a sling when hunting elsewhere. Because of the regular practice requirement you mention, I think it is an absolute mistake to change to not using one simply because a client is hunting Africa. Rifle management is very different without one, and at the risk of turning this thread sideways, the "African carry" is a safety abomination.

I use the left shoulder muzzle down carry described by @WAB. It is every bit as fast as port arms, and I have never had an issue in thorn brush (can't say the same about my legs). It is a carry that is also used by several PHs.
 
Wow. Carrying the rifle on the shoulder with bolt not locked down and hunting dangerous game just does NOT make sense to me. I know first hand how easily an unlocked bolt can inadvertently fall open and lose the round in the chamber, especially in heavy cover conditions.
I have always had a round in the chamber. I prefer to carry the rifle slung, barrel down, trigger forward on my left shoulder. This makes for a very safe carry and is extremely quick to bring to action.

In Botswana, the PH’s I have hunted with use the Africa carry with a round in the chamber and the safety off. At first this seems alarming, however, their guns are uncocked as the bolt is pushed far enough forward to close, but not far enough to cock. On Mauser actions there is a spot where it will hold under tension in this position. When they engage a target they complete closing the bolt and they are hot. They claimed that this is an old Boer carry method. I can’t comment beyond that. I will say that the sling can be a major pain in that Kalahari thorn scrub.
 
On my recent hunt driving around, mag loaded and bolt back. Once on the ground and on a stalk, round chambered with bolt up. My PH could see the rifle was safe with just glancing at the rifle this way.
 
Round chambered off the truck and unloaded before getting back on the truck, but of course if the PH wanted it different I would comply. Just a habit but I always drop the firing pin when closing the bolt on an empty gun.
On my first safari, I dropped the pin on an empty chamber. My PH said he’s never seen anyone do that before and he was an older guy.
As to the question: Whatever the PH wants me to do. On both hunts, it was empty chamber on the truck and loaded when off.
 
Wow. Carrying the rifle on the shoulder with bolt not locked down and hunting dangerous game just does NOT make sense to me. I know first hand how easily an unlocked bolt can inadvertently fall open and lose the round in the chamber, especially in heavy cover conditions.
I had a PH in Mozambique that carried his rifle with the bolt up and this did happen, we had a false charge from a hippo and we scattered like quail, when we regrouped the PH said we had to find the round that had fallen out of his CZ .375 H&H. We spent about an hour and finally found it. He explained he was responsible for every round he had and there would be a lot of questions if he had “lost” a round.
 
Normally no, I do not have a round chambered. When I take my Blaser, then , yes I have a round chambered because of the safety system. It is seriously good.
 
Also, I struggle with the debate as all of the double gun shooters have "2" rounds chambered at all times with a simple tang safety....
 
Wow. Carrying the rifle on the shoulder with bolt not locked down and hunting dangerous game just does NOT make sense to me. I know first hand how easily an unlocked bolt can inadvertently fall open and lose the round in the chamber, especially in heavy cover conditions.

Well we are talking about some of the most experienced elephant hunters in Africa. I can’t comment beyond that.
 
4 trips over, I don't remember having a discussion about it any of those times. I always hunted with a round in the chamber, or with rounds in the chamber of the double. Everything is unloaded or unchambered before it goes in the soft gun case.

My last two trips were after elephant. My PH told me in whispers when up close to elephant that we might want to shoot, to "watch your barrel." It kinda freaked me out the first time, I worried that I wasn't being safe, and I try very hard to be safe. But I THINK he was telling me to watch movement and the barrel of course is shiny and would move more than anything. But maybe he was just worried about me with the adrenaline flowing. I hope it was the movement and I wasn't causing him fear. But it only came up a couple times when closing on a bull that we might shoot

We had rifles ready on a couple of other occasions around cows and young bulls, and I was never warned about the barrel. So I hope it was just a movement issue and not a safety issue
 
Been on 2 safaris and both were the same with regards to the PH and safety protocols. They would watch for general gun handling, muzzle control, proficiency / shooting skills, get to know you a bit then it was one in the chamber at all times while hunting. Clear chamber before getting into a vehicle.
My brother is a hunting guide in Colorado and I sometimes help out. The extremely unsafe hunters I have seen makes my skin crawl…. Muzzle sweeping your guide/PH, friends/family is never ok. These are adults doing it too - their lack of situational awareness is disturbing. I totally understand why a PH would ask that some hunters go out with an empty chamber. If they don’t know you, I wouldn’t take offense - they will quickly assess you and your habits and determine if they are likely to catch a round in the back.
 
Been on 2 safaris and both were the same with regards to the PH and safety protocols. They would watch for general gun handling, muzzle control, proficiency / shooting skills, get to know you a bit then it was one in the chamber at all times while hunting. Clear chamber before getting into a vehicle.
My brother is a hunting guide in Colorado and I sometimes help out. The extremely unsafe hunters I have seen makes my skin crawl…. Muzzle sweeping your guide/PH, friends/family is never ok. These are adults doing it too - their lack of situational awareness is disturbing. I totally understand why a PH would ask that some hunters go out with an empty chamber. If they don’t know you, I wouldn’t take offense - they will quickly assess you and your habits and determine if they are likely to catch a round in the back.
I think this is why I am not comfortable having a loaded chamber when hunting with my PH and tracker. I have a lifetime of extensive experience hunting ... alone. There is a big difference. Don't recall sweeping or pointing the gun inadvertently at anyone nor has it ever been called to my attention. But that doesn't mean it hasn't happened or won't happen. Be courteous.
 

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