Should I take an Extra Gun

Cleathorn

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I have been posting many questions recently, ever since I booked 2 safaris to hunt the Big 5 next year. Great forum and everyone is very helpful.

My current quandry is this: I will be hunting with a very reliable, rebuilt Remington P17 Mauser that I just had rebarreled to .375 H&H Mag. My .375 is equiped with a low power 1-4x DG scope and is an Awesome gun!

But, things happen. Guns get dopped, scopes break, etc. I am wondering if I should buy and take with me an extra DG gun. I can pick up a CZ 550, a Rem 798, or several other options for functional and nice looking guns at relativly cheap prices. All of them sport open sights, which I like and my .375 does not have.

So, what do you guys who have hunted Africa on long safaris think about the clinet/hunter bringing a back up gun? Is it needed. Do PHs usually have them in camp (I am asking my own PH same question but he is out hunting for next 14 days)?

I really do not have another use for the gun and will probably go with the .458 because the muzzle energy and felt recoil is not much more in the .458 than the .416 and the .04 diameters of bullet cross section seem to out weigh about 3-4 extra pounds/sq. in of felt recoil.

So: should hunters take a back up gun on safari?
 

NUys

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Hi Cleathorn,

Your 375 H+H is more than enough gun. I will suggest that you take differant grains ammunision with you, 286gr solids higher for your big five and 300gr softs for your plains game or even lower. You can for safety sake take a extra scope with if you accidently drop your rifle. All PH's that are qualified to conduct a hunt on the Big five is forced by law to have a back up gun on the hunt and the minimum caliber is a 375 H+H. Your PH will have a back up rifle.
 

daggaboyblog

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Cleathorn, I have been to half a dozen hunting camps and there has always been a spare gun somewhere. If you're in South Africa I would guarantee that the owners of the property would have a gun you could borrow if it came to that. My .450 Ackley has open sights that are already sighted in at home and the scope is mounted in Warne QR rings and bases, so if there is a problem with the scope, just take it off.
I'd follow up the outfitter if you're that concerned. I have never in my life had to change guns on a hunt for any reason other than not enough ammo!
 

Mike70560

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First of all you can get by with one rifle it is not optimal for all game but a 375 will kill all of the big 5. I would run at least 250 rounds through it before leaving. Practice using solids and softs to make certain of absolute reliability.

There is absolutely no way I would go to Africa without iron sights on a dangerous game rifle. Without a scope and no iron sights it becomes a good club. For the small cost of having iron sights installed and Quick Release Mounts it is well worth the money.

The cost of a new rifle in comparison to two safaris for the big 5 is very small. Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, and buffalo can easily cost well in excess of $100,000. Why take a chance? I know a guy that just spent $12,000 trophy fee for a wounded elephant. Shot it with a 375. We will never know if a Lott would have dropped it but why take the chance for so little money. If it were me I would bring a 300 win for leopard, .458 Lott or larger for elephant and rhino, and a 375 for anything else.

After saying that I just came back from Zim for elephant and buffalo and brought only one rifle a 470 K-Gun and left the 375, 458, 416 etc, etc at home. Next year I am booked for ele, plainsgame, and buff and will bring the 470, 458 lott, and 7 by 57 and if I can squeeze it in my baggage a 375 but I am kind of a gun nut.
 

Calhoun

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..i never hunted DG but I would never travel that far nor depend on some one else for a back up gun! The camp I hunted in had 3 guns - a 375 the guide used, a223 & a 22 rimfire. Now for a plains game hunt if you never fired a true big bore a 375 would be nothing more than a device for flinching. Which a friend of mine found out when he went with the same outfit & used his gun because he didn't want to go through the gun hassel!
...another outfitter I ran across & saw a client using a gun that he borrowed for the same reason was so beat up & rusty ?? I couldn't imagine it shot to well!!
....If I'm spending mega bucks & putting my life on the line I sure as Hell will have piece of mind that I'm doing my PART! and not worrying about if the gun will fire or if it's grouping as good as I'd like!
 

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If the question is back up for a DG rifle, then I think I would travel with just one reliable rifle. Two big guns eat a lot of weight and space. That .375 will be hard to beat. On the other hand, if the question is two rifles for different game - for instance a DG rifle and a plains game rifle, then maybe so. The 375, particularly with 270 gr sps can handle plains game just fine, but a .300 mag might be a tad more useful - particularly if the country is open.
 

DLS

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You'll probably be fine, BUT, I've been on four safaris, and did have rifle problems on two of those hunts. The first time, I took 3 rifles (.270, .300 win mag, and .458) on a 24 day safari to Zim. While looking for a place to locate a leopard blind, I slipped off a large boulder I had climbed up on, and crashed to the ground, landing right on the pistol grip of my .270...SNAP! Fortunately, it was a Brown Precision stock, and we were able to straighten it out and tape it heavily and I used it for the rest of the safari, but I got lucky. On my third hunt, a 24 day affair in Botswana, I took only a .338 win mag and .416 hoffman, along with a shotgun for bird shooting. All three guns were in an Americase, which is a heavy aluminum case. I was in the Gaberone airport, and a porter had stood the case on end upon the luggage cart. Someone walked by and bumped into the cart and CRASH! I didn't notice any damage, but my .338 shot about a 12" group at camp. Somehow, the scope had been damaged in the fall at the airport. I ended up having to shoot my .416 for most game, along with a borrowed .300 that had a broken fore end, and which didn't shoot well at all. The .416 was fine for buffalo and lion, but I'd really have preferred to shoot plains game with something lighter. It was a bit much for springbok, reedbuck, ostrich, and warthogs.

So, I always take more than 1 rifle on safari. I can't imagine going that far, and spending that much money, and having to rely upon an unfamiliar rifle if something went wrong with mine. The one time I had to in Botswana, it was not a good thing!
 

Wanderer

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In 2011 we're either returning to Tanzania or going to Zim. I'm taking a .458 Win with a short barrel, and my old faithful .375. That way, I have a backup for the .458 and the .375 for everything else but buff. Last trip in July, I just took the .375, which did well for everything with 300 A Frames.

I would never hunt DG with no iron sights installed.
 

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