Shared pair of rifles for 2 people: PG/DG - any problem?

IronCowboy

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As a lot of you have helped me out with already, I'm working on a matched pair of rifles for my wife and I to use for PG and DG - both Ruger Hawkeye's in 338WM and 458WM...

The question that occurred to me recently - as we're hunting, especially DG, are two rifles, or rather ONE DGR and one PGR, enough for two people to share?

At the outset, I had planned that each of us would essentially be on a "one gun safari" in terms of what we'd need to carry, but we'd only have one each of a PGR and a DGR, and I'm wondering if we should at least have 2 DGR's? (My mind is thinking, if my wife is getting rolled by a buffalo, I'd want more than a 338WM in my hands, and equally, if I'm getting rolled, I'd rather my wife have a heavier hitter as well).

Should I add a 3rd or even a 3rd AND 4th rifle to the mix? I expect that the single PGR will be sufficient, but will we need, or would it be more wise to have a DGR for each of us?

I suppose in a pinch I can easily justify a "back-up set" of my old Ruger M77MkII that I'm rebarreling to 338-06 plus my wife's old Marlin 1895 Guide Gun .45-70 (loaded up to NEAR 458WM levels), but I could easily be convinced to build a 3rd Ruger Hawkeye in 416Ruger, then the two of us would have DGR's, plus a shared PGR.

What say you?
 

TokkieM

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I would stick with those two rifles only. If you or your wife are getting mauled by a buff you won't need anything bigger, shooting a buff off someone without hitting them is pretty close up work. You should have a PH that could finish it quick and cleanly before it comes to that. That being said use premium ammo in both rifles, don't skimp on that especially for the 338, it will kill a buff. The best advice I can give you is to rather spend the extra money on ammo at the range and get to know your rifles. Happy Hunting.

Tokkie
 

LIMPOPO BIG GAME SAFARIS

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In worst case scenarios I would not say you would be under gunned if you held a 338wm in you hands they are powerful at short range.
What I would do though was to trade the 458wm for a 375H&H, this all depends if you would be hunting PG 1x1 or 2x1 the 458wm might be short on breath for those longer distance shots.

1x1 hunting you are fine as you are.
2x1 well I already said it.

Happy hunting hope you have a great trip.
 

Big5

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I would stick with those two rifles only. If you or your wife are getting mauled by a buff you won't need anything bigger, shooting a buff off someone without hitting them is pretty close up work. You should have a PH that could finish it quick and cleanly before it comes to that. That being said use premium ammo in both rifles, don't skimp on that especially for the 338, it will kill a buff. The best advice I can give you is to rather spend the extra money on ammo at the range and get to know your rifles. Happy Hunting.

Tokkie

Very good advice, that's all you'll need . . . best wishes and enjoy your hunt!
 

Scott Slough

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I have never hunted DG, but I think you may be overthinking this. Your scenarios above ... "being rolled by a buffalo" have totally discounted your PH. It is the PHs job to back up the hunter and not the spouse. I assume that the non-shooting spouse will be 3rd or 4th or 5th in line so shooting through all of those people is probably more dangerous than the charging buffalo. I would certainly NOT want anyone but my PH thinking it was their job to shot a charging buffalo.

But, if you want to buy, build, or steal :)! some more cool guns to carry with you ... I don't think you will find any disagreements here!! Certainly not from me.
 

James.Grage

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Taking the 338WM & 458WM would be a great combo, provided you and your wife can shoot both rifles proficiently (that being the key).

Items to ponder:
1st - with a tuffpack you could put 3 rifles and soft cases in the case and you would be close to your 50 pounds.
2nd - both rifles permits would be in one persons name. A plus as i see it.
3rd - check with your PH if it is allowable to use the 338WM while being back up for Cape Buffalo. I know my PH and game scout would not allowed me to use my 338WM if i ran out of ammo in the bush for the 450NE i was using. I never ran out of ammo so the situation never came up.
4th - too many rifles in the ride becomes an issue as their is usually room for 3 rifles in back, unless you want to hold onto it all the time.
 

Velo Dog

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Hello IronCowboy,

At the risk of sounding like broken record here, I am +1 with the others here on your first idea of a .458 and a .338 for the two of you.
If the .338 Winchester would have been around back in the day, perhaps it would've been the minimum standard for DG in many African countries, instead of the .375 H&H, who knows?
But, it is not lawful for that in most countries and that is that.
In the extremely unlikely event that a buffalo charges you against the advise of your .458, the PH will have him brained before you can spit and holler howdy.

As Scott Slough mentioned, your wife will likely be in the middle or even trailing in the stack and therefore not very likely at all able to fire a shot into your buffalo - with the tracker, you, the PH (and maybe a video camera person) in front of her.
You can't stalk game walking side by side and expect any self respecting critter to stay put while what he would perceive is a pack of predators approaching
You must create as small of a silhouette as possible.
However, all of this is a pointless point because, no doubt you have done your homework and thereby selected a proper PH - back to the "spit and holler howdy" scenario.

That being so, I promise you the only one getting rolled during your hunt will be the buffalo, when you put an almost .46 caliber / 500 grain very tough premium bullet, spot on the mark, at close range ("Down goes Frazier !").
Incidentally, some PHs do have various rifles to rent (usually cheap or even no charge sometimes), in common calibers, large and small so, rest your mind that you will not be short of rifles on your safari.
The two you have selected are plenty.

Incidentally, my wife is a sturdy Swiss woman and yet, I sincerely believe she would not be happy at all with the recoil of a .338 Winchester.
She is not a large woman but just very strong for her size (typical Scandinavian sturdy genetics) and her recoil tolerance is down around the 7x57 level somewhere.
When she used to hunt deer here (she lived on Kodiak island for a time, in her late teens, early twenties) she had a Winchester Model 70 in .243 with a 4x Leupold on it, mostly because she does not enjoy being bruised by large caliber rifles.
She has decided that hunting is not her thing any more but if it still was, I would outfit her with either a 6.5x55 or 7x57 probably.
She however is quite the accomplished fish & game chef (as many Alaskan women are) and always jumps in to help butcher, process and wrap wild meat for our freezer so for that, I am blessed.
Your wife is exceptional if she can shoot the .338 well consistently.

That cartridge should be more popular than it is in Africa (it is immensely popular in Alaska and Canada).
Also, the .338-06 and 250 gr bullet at 2400 fps load should likewise be more popular than it is but alas, it is not.

Anywhooo, bring what you've got, use what you've brought, hit the right spot and hit it a lot.

Velocipede-Antidog.
 

IronCowboy

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So if I'm understanding correctly, the recommendation if my wife and I are going on a hunt together would be to only take two rifles between the two of us, rather than 2 each, correct?

I've intended that even if we plan on using just two rifles for our hunting, we would take a back up set of rifles even if we intended to share the same 2 rifles as "primaries". I'd be looking at taking either her 45-70 or the 458Lott that I'm building and my 338-06 as our back-ups, such that either could fail and we'd still be able to hunt without borrowing a rifle. Meaning 4 rifles for 2 people in country and only planning to use 2 of them - but having the others at hand, just in case.

I hadn't thought about the 338wm being undersized for cape LEGALLY - glad you pointed that out. I suppose that's the kinda "what am I overlooking" stuff that motivates me to ask questions here!

I know this is a regurgitation of the same question I asked a few months ago, but for 2 people and two rifles, would a 375 or 416Ruger and a 458WM be superior to a 338WM and a 458? In this particular case, the 3.6" cartridges aren't possible, simply because I'm building on Ruger Long Action's. But I'm OK with the idea of a 375Rug in place of a H&H, or 416 Rug in place of a Rigby or Remington (even though I BADLY want to have a Rigby again!). I settled on the 338WM as our PG cartridge and 458WM as our DG cartridge, but I suppose I could be convinced easily that we both need a DGR and could simply share the PGR.
 

IronCowboy

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My wife is reading over my shoulder on her/our lunch break here and has insisted that I "defend her honor," so please consider that at this point, I'm a mere proxy in this...

She insists that I'm obligated to assure you fine fellas that she's "not the average hunter/shooter's wife that tags along and gets beaten up by a rifle." She's surprisingly adept at recoil management, such that I actually never really give much thought to her size nor sex when considering a rifle for her - I consider myself to be fairly well practiced at managing heavy recoil, but I'm still confident that if I can tolerate it (as a man, familiar with big bore rifles, and 60lbs her larger), she'll clear it in street shoes...

She already runs a 45-70 with "Marlin only" loads - 405grn LRNFP at an even 1900fps, good for 3,200ft.lbs. in a 7.5lb loaded rifle, a 7mm Rem Mag elk rifle weighing in at 8lbs glassed and loaded, and an 8.5lb Savage "bear hunter" in 338WM. In the 6yrs that we've been hunting and shooting together, she's ran a couple thousand rounds in cartridges between 3,000-3,500ft.lbs.. Also, by design, the 458WM that I'm putting together will top 11lbs and the new 338WM will be just under 10lbs, such that we'll actually have less recoil energy than she's already used to in her 338 and the 458 will have less than her 45-70, plus the addition of a 1" Pachy Decellerator to make up for summer clothing vs. our standard winter hunting garb (1/2" extra pull in the stock as well).
 

PeteG

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I personally would not take more than 2 rifles. Talk to your ph, if you feel you'd like to have a 3rd handy then i am sure he could organize it.
The extra baggage, ammo and anything else that goes with carrying an extra 2 rifles across the pond should be considered.
you will probably only want 2 rifles on the vehicle at any time anyway.

it is always nice to take the toys, maybe build up a nice 416 rigby and that could be your go to gun for everything... then you can take the 338 and 458 as backups:S Joke:... hows that for throwing a spanner in the works!!:D
 

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Hi again IronCowboy (and IronCowgirl evidently),

Bring one rifle each.
Keep it as you originally planned: Your exceptional wife the .338 and yourself the .458.
At the end of your hunt, the two of you will have wanted for nothing else.

Your first plan of the .338 and the .458 is a very sound plan.
On that same note, even the .338-06 you mentioned would do perfect for PG.
Likewise, it seems somehow worth mentioning while we're at it that, I personally would not hesitate to use a .458 for PG, in typical African thornbush conditions.
For buffalo, I would only use a premium JSP for that first shot.
And there's nothing wrong with using premium bullets in your .458 on PG, even small species.
However, any brand of 500 gr JSP would bash the gizzard out of any antelope ever to jump and breathe, including Lord Derby eland (aka "giant eland").

This is not to say that a .458 would be a good choice for most of Namibian PG hunting conditions or out in the South African Eastern Cape.
However, most of the rest of those two countries, as well as the other Southern African countries, where hunting is common, generally all have something which we N. Americans call "woods hunting" or "brush hunting" conditions.
Therefore, the odds are better than good that your shooting will be at relatively close range (the huge popularity of archery there is pretty much proof positive of this).

OK, I'm done rambling now.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

CAustin

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The two rifles you have selected are more than enough.
 

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Reading through all of this, I assume you are sharing the same PH? If that is the case the two rifles you suggested originally are perfect and I wouldn't bring a third - much less a fourth.
 

flatwater bill

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Ironman.................................I would rather be rolled by a buffalo than to watch my wife shoot a .458WM. Especially if I were in close proximity to the buffalo that was being aimed at. As dogrevolver said, your wife is exceptional if she can handle a 338WM (or the 338-06 for that matter). Taking four rifles for two people can be a problem. Even with two double rifle cases, it leaves one checked bag each.
I have seen large Australian water buffalo bulls killed with Marlin lever guns in both 45-70 and a 444 Marlin. Sounds like you have a lot of options. Good hunting.................................Flatwater Bill
 

IronCowboy

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Sounds like you have a lot of options.

Haha, yeah, that's part of my problem! I have more than one "right answer" for any given "question" in regards to hunting. A 300wm or 338-06 instead of a 338wm for PG, 45-70 or 458 Lott or 458WM for DG - or even a 375 or 416 Ruger, take a 454Casull revolver along, and I haven't even thrown in my Mathews Monster or Bowtech Destroyer that I have worked over to handle 750-1000grn arrows specifically thinking of heavy DG (planning that for the SECOND trip over, or maybe buffalo in South America if I can pull off a revisit there).

So lots of options, more than one right answer to choose from... I suppose it's a good problem to have, and not REALLY a problem, but it does give me too much to chew on as I'm getting everything else ready to get on the plane.
 

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458 and 375HH or 375 Ruger.
 

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