Shoulder Injury and Hunting in Africa, can anyone offer advice?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Iloutdoorsman, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Iloutdoorsman

    Iloutdoorsman AH Member

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    So you all haven't seen my name on here for quite some time, I had a hunt planned in Zim but before the hunt I almost lost my life in an auto accident. I never even finished my rifle, was having a 404 Jeff built but had to cxl my smith order due to being out of work and having other priorities.
    Well, been a long road and alot of physical therapy but my mind is starting to consider this hunt again. But without the long story I guess the short of it is that my right shoulder was injured and I now have a partial rotator cuff tear. We have rehabbed range of motion and most of the strength but it still hurts. Docs all agreed it would be best to not cut through good stuff to get to the partial tear and to deal with it.
    Question is..... Anyone shoot big bores with a torn rotator cuff? I've considered dropping my love affair with the 404 and sticking with 375 h&h. 416 remington probably a bit more stiff than the 404 but I like it too..
    I know most PH's hate seeing a client show up with a muzzle break and I can't imagine how loud that would be with a 404 or 416..
    Just need some advice.. 375 be ok? 416 with a break? Anyone else been here and care to share experience?

    Thanks Guys!
     
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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Glad you're mending and working on your safari again.
    Good luck.
     
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  3. MT Griz

    MT Griz AH Veteran

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    With good shot placement the 375 H&H will take down any animal in Africa. So you should be good to go there. I hope your shoulder continues to get better. Good luck on your hunt.
     
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  4. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    My Father @Shootist43 has had a broken right shoulder for many years and is able to shoot a 404J by wearing a PAST recoil shield. In fact he wears the recoil shield when ever he uses a high powered rifle. I don't know your level of pain in your shoulder but using the recoil shield has enabled my dad to use big bore rifles into his 70's. Dad turns 75 this August and in 20 days we are heading to Pawprint Safaris where he plans to put the 404 to good use on a bull Eland. Hopefully this will help you with your decision.
     
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  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’d explain the situation to your potential PH. Some aren’t bothered by muzzlebrakes or they would at least accept it just to get you as a client.

    I blew out all four tendons in my right rotator. They are not attached like original, but at near 71 I can do 3 sets of 20 push-ups. I attribute this to religiously following my PT’s advice. And I still work out 3 days a week. It gets harder every year, but I have to stay in the best shape I can to follow my hunting and fishing passion.

    If you are motivated enough, follow your PY’s advise and want to hunt Africa enough, you’ll do fine! Getting old is not an easy thing!
    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
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  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Just get an aftermarket recoil pad like limbsaver etc. I believe you will be fine. I had a torn labrum and 2 bone spurs in my shoulder a few years back and shot a few deer that year before surgery with a .300. I really think with a pad you will be just fine with .404 or .375
     
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  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Last year I went to Africa with pain in my shoulder, nothing torn, but stretched. Came back without any pain :LOL:

    As for you, I would say take no chances, .375 + Past recoil shield + muzzlebreak, your PH will surely understand.
     
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  8. Peter Larsson

    Peter Larsson AH Veteran

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    I have a neck wound and have put a suppressor on my 375. It takes out allot of recoil!
     
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  9. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Enthusiast

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    I had a total shoulder replacement. I asked my surgeon what rifles I would be able to shoot and he said anything you want, I said even very hard recoiling rifles? And he said anything you want. But I do wear a past recoil vest which helps a lot. I think the 375 and wearing a vest you would be OK. If you handload start out with light loads and work your way up to the heavier stuff, I think you would be OK.
     
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  10. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    lloutdoorsman, I explained my need to use a muzzlebrake to the outfitter on my first Safari. I offered foam ear plugs to my PH and driver. They both refused and simply "plugged " their ears with their fingers when I touched off a shot. As my son said the Past Magnum Recoil shield is my constant companion whenever I use a centerfire rifle. It just saves wear and tare on my shoulder.
     
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  11. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    I think that, honestly, you can do it. If you want to, if you research, etc. etc. Let me give you a specific recommendation, if I may. I'd go for a CZ550 .375 H&H. Why this rifle? Because I own one, my 80lb wife has shot it with no problems. My brother, who has had an issue with his arms since childhood and can't straighten them out anymore has shot it with no problems. Random folks at the range who ask "what on earth is that?" and who have no experience past a .223 have shot it with no problems. I haven't added a thing to it, not even a limbsaver, and it is a real, honest to goodness, dream to shoot. My PH out in Africa wanted to try it, and I wanted to try his with a silencer (or suppressor, can't really "silence" these guys). After the shoot we both agreed that mine with no modifications was better. I'm sure a ton of other rifles would be similar but I can't speak to them. This one I can personally talk about and it's great. I know that if you look at my post history you will see that I have a 404J that I just acquired as well and while that one is great the .375 is one I'm going to be shooting till I'm old and gray whereas the 404J will probably only last as long as my health does. One last piece, as an example. I used to have a 300 Win Mag. I could not handle that things recoil at all and ended up selling it. The 375 doesn't come close to that things bite.
     
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  12. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I put off rotator cuff surgery before my hunt last month. I am not dealing with the extent of injuries you are, but I do have a partial tear. I used my 375 H&H and Caldwell super pad, there was a still sting with each shot, but it wasn't anything I couldn't live with.
     
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  13. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    In 2017 I hunted with a 375ruger made by nosler. I do not notice the kick at all
    It fits well.

    Less than 2 weeks after coming home I had shoulder surgery that had been scheduled. I was able to shoot it with no problems.

    Granted some rifles of same caliber kick worse.
     
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  14. Iloutdoorsman

    Iloutdoorsman AH Member

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    Wow, guys thanks for all the replies. I read my post and could have kept it shorter in just asking if anyone ever successfully shot 375, 404 or 416 with a torn rotator cuff without making it worse.. haha
    I realize 375 will kill a buffalo but I'm not a fan of minimums, still adjusting to the idea that perhaps things have changed this year. I refuse to let accident take much from me but at same time have to work to hunt so gotta keep from getting any worse. So I appreciate the experiences.. I am 100% gonna look into the Past Recoil Shield. My biggest concern isn't shooting while hunting, rather hundreds of possible shots while practicing and breaking in a new rifle. I'll talk to the PH about a muzzle break, maybe try a shot without it when I get to that point. Be good to find a couple big bores locally and do some test shooting. You guys were all really helpful. Any other ideas or experiences feel free to post.
    Thanks!
     

  15. ack

    ack AH Enthusiast

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    If some PH doesn't like a break on your gun then the hell with 'em..We've been twice and never had one complaint on our breaks...When I pay a fortune to knock over a couple animals I will shoot what is comfortable for me.. ...Remember who pays their living..I have two torn rotators and am 70..
     
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  16. Dewald

    Dewald AH Senior Member

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    Iloutdoorsman, I see you are currently 38. Given that your rotator cuff injury was traumatic, and not degenerative it should heal well and not cause you any trouble shooting the big bores. I’ve seen many patients return to full functionality post rotator cuff surgery, and the key to this (as with most orthopedic surgery) is almost always good rehabilitation and strengthening via your physiotherapist.

    A local surgeon who had a rotator cuff tear repaired by a college a year ago regularly shoots a .505 Gibbs and a .470 NE with no discomfort. My wife treated him for as his physiotherapist, and the only time he has discomfort is after a day on the clay range, which has more to do with muscle fatigue from lifting the gun for a few hundred shots than the actual recoil.
     
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  17. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Sir,
    I have the same injury as you. Happened at my deer camp many years ago. PT got my range of motion back just as you have done. At th etime the biggest rifl ei had was the 45-70. I have worked up to 470 NE now hitting the458 Lott, 416 Ruger and 375 H&H alongbthe way. I slightly altered the positioning of the stock on my shoulder and I keep it firmly seated when ready to fire. I don’t even think about it now!
     
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  18. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    I am no expert and everyone heals differently but... 8 months prior to my first safari I had my rotator cuff repaired and thought I was done and would have to cancel the safari. After 6 months of intensive physio I was back at the range shooting my new .375 H&H which I took on that first safari. The range time beat me up some but I learned to know when enough was enough and not to over do it. It has been 6 years and 3 safaris now and the surgeon tells me I may need to go for another surgery but that didn't stop me from buying a RSM in .416 Rigby. I would rather deal with the pain than miss out on hunting in Africa. Good luck on your recovery and that trip to Africa.
     
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  19. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    If I wanted a 404 or 416 I would get it

    If I had to put mercury in the stock, a removable/replaceable muzzle brake on it, a better recoil pad, and a padded shooting shirt then that is what I would do!

    Life is short. As a preacher most regrets that dying people have shared with me were about the things they did not do rather than the things they did.

    I live my life and pay the doctors to keep patching me back up. Worked so far.
     
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  20. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I know some PHs might not like a break, but you are also dealing with a special situation. Your ability to hunt successfully and comfortably might depend on it, if that is what it takes to get you to the hunt, I wouldn't worry about using one.
     
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