Some questions on a plains game rifle

Velo Dog

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VD, I agree in principal and respect your Iinput a lot. But if I was restricted to that one rifle and scope, I would agree with the 375, esspecially with the new bullets and ammo available that allow it more reach than it had before.... But I would keep my VZ6 2-12 variable. With the backup iron sites so the only changes to my M70 would be to put on some QD mounts and a different sling.

In defence of Ruger. There is no way the cost of steel difference from a long to medium length action is behind their decisions. You are talking pennies in raw steel. The cost savings would likely be in tooling and standardization of the manufacturing process. And they may actually believe very strongly that they have better cartridges. I do like the shorter bolt throw.

If was to ask Ruger to do ssomething different, it would be to improve the quality and quality control of their machining. I would pay extra for the option of an Ultra Grade or something like that.

Love the silky smooth action on my Winchesters.

ActionBob,

Thanks.
One man's bread is another man's poison.
I have no earthly use for short action bolt rifles intended for dangerous game.
Fact is, even for PG cartridges like the 7x57 (which I like very much), I prefer a 30-06 length action which one could say is too long of a bolt throw for that cartridge.
Once I owned an early Ruger M77 in 7x57 on the '06 length action and I liked the fact that the magazine had plenty of room for 160 and 175 grain bullets.

Likewise, my CZ 550 in 6.5x55 appears to be built on a .30-06 length action, much to my delight, as the 160 gr RNSP in that one is very accurate.
Conversely I also had owned an old Rem Model 722 in .257 Roberts on which the magazine was so short that I had to seat 117 and 120 gr bullets very deep into the case.
This resulted in mediocre accuracy because said bullets had to jump a ways to finally hit the riflings.
Used as a single shot, I could seat bullets out where they belonged and I found it would then put 3 shots (117 gr Sierra) under an inch at 200 yds from sand bags on calm air days.

Back on track with DG rifle actions and thoughts; I see no earthly use for new cartridges which approximate the already original and already available nearly world wide - .375 H&H, short action or otherwise.
For that matter, I cannot figure out why I should have any faster one in .37 bore diameter either, makes no sense to me whatsoever.
If I cannot hit some vital mark with the H&H version, then I should not be shooting at whatever it is.
It however indeed makes perfect sense for various manufacturers to advertise puffed up claims of "new and improved" products.

If steel is not as expensive as I thought it was, OK, I stand corrected but, if Ruger and others are saving $ on "tooling & standardization" by pushing shorter cartridges and rifle actions, my point is still valid - cheaper to make and many people can be convinced that they "need" it.
I totally understand marketing strategy, even I get that.

Like yourself, I too like the Model 70s in CRF version.
Not to whip a dead horse but I always thought they should be making 4 sizes of same - small for .222 etc, - medium for .250 Savage, .243, etc., - large for 30-06, etc., - and magnum for .300 H&H through .404 Jeffery, .458 Lott, etc.

Be all of that as it may, I respect your opinion and am not trying to say you should shrug off short actioned repeaters in the latest and greatest ever DG calibers like I do.
Obviously, they are to your liking and opinions are what make horse races as someone once said.

Best regards,
velo Dog.
 

Bwanabob

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Hello Velo Dog,

It is good to know that there are others who think the same way as I do - when I read the latest shooting magazines and see some of the new rifles, cartridges and accessories that are being promoted, it is easy to believe that I am completely out of step with the rest of the shooting world.

I might mention that my favourite rifle is also a Brno ZKK602 Magnum in .375 and that this rifle has been at the centre of my hunting battery for over 38 years and if I could have only one rifle, it would be THIS rifle. Mine has had a few modifications made to it; action polished, bolt jewelled, barrel length reduced and three-position, bolt shroud safety fitted. The factory stock is very plain and I keep threatening to re-stock it, but it fits me and it damn well works. Presently I have a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x24 scope in Warne QD rings (to be replaced with a Swarovski Z6i 1-6x24 when I can afford it) and a Trijicon RMR in a QD mount of my own design, so with this setup I can hunt almost anything, anywhere on the planet.

cheers,
Bob
 

Velo Dog

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Bob,

Out of step could perhaps be my middle name so, don't feel singled out.
Bearing that in mind (and at the risk of dragging you down to my low level), I would submit that great minds think alike.

Your .375 sounds scary similar to mine and I too would hunt anything on earth with it if pressed to have but one rifle.
It's a bit much for small deer and small African antelopes and it's a bit light for body shots on elephant and hippo but it will work for all of these, if one is an above average shooter with it and uses proper bullets for the game hunted.

Did someone say the Mauser word?
If you have not already read the incredible book by Jon Speed - "Mauser Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles".
I think you would greatly enjoy it, if you have some spare time.

Regards,
Paul.
 
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Bwanabob

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Paul,

Yes, I have a copy of 'Mauser Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles' and I regularly refer to it for information and inspiration. Indeed, all of my centrefire bolt action rifles are Mausers or Mauser-clones and I am not interested in any other bolt actions. In my humble (and some would say twisted) opinion, Paul Mauser designed the basis of the pre-eminent bolt action rifle, the British then took that action to the next level in designing some gorgeous and functional hunting rifles around it and, today, the only rifles to come close to them are those from BRNO/CZ, Winchester (CRF models), Ruger and the like, who have incorporated the basic M98 features into their rifles - it is just a pity that they didn't incorporate the finish and quality control of their English and German predecessors.

But back to the book; I have just taken delivery of a new Zastava in 9.3x62 and my plan is to re-build this rifle into a modern day, classic English-style Mauser rifle using 'Mauser Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles' as my guide, amongst other publications. I chose the Zastava because they are good working M98 clones and they are so cheap that I couldn't buy an action and barrel for the cost of a complete Zastava. I already have a gorgeous, English-style classic, semi-inletted stock for this rifle and sights and accessories, from NECG, to complete the 'illusion'!

regards,
Bob
 

Velo Dog

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Paul,

Yes, I have a copy of 'Mauser Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles' and I regularly refer to it for information and inspiration. Indeed, all of my centrefire bolt action rifles are Mausers or Mauser-clones and I am not interested in any other bolt actions. In my humble (and some would say twisted) opinion, Paul Mauser designed the basis of the pre-eminent bolt action rifle, the British then took that action to the next level in designing some gorgeous and functional hunting rifles around it and, today, the only rifles to come close to them are those from BRNO/CZ, Winchester (CRF models), Ruger and the like, who have incorporated the basic M98 features into their rifles - it is just a pity that they didn't incorporate the finish and quality control of their English and German predecessors.

But back to the book; I have just taken delivery of a new Zastava in 9.3x62 and my plan is to re-build this rifle into a modern day, classic English-style Mauser rifle using 'Mauser Original Oberndorf Sporting Rifles' as my guide, amongst other publications. I chose the Zastava because they are good working M98 clones and they are so cheap that I couldn't buy an action and barrel for the cost of a complete Zastava. I already have a gorgeous, English-style classic, semi-inletted stock for this rifle and sights and accessories, from NECG, to complete the 'illusion'!

regards,
Bob

Bob,

All that you posted above is spot-on.
I totally agree that the original Model 98 has not seen any real improvements since 1898 (except perhaps the Model 70 Winchester 3 position safety for low scope mounts).
And I likewise have been looked at as some sort of nut because I don't get what all the fanfare is about with newer designs (yawn inspiring designs).

If that's not enough, I have the 9.3x62 you speak of.
I had mine built to the specs you described but on a 1950s FN Model 98, instead of the Zastava Model 98 (Zastavas are near impossible to find in Alaska but I like them very much).

Had it built about 6 or 7 years ago.
Okay, we could be related but, aside from my excellent wife and sons, plus one incredible uncle, I would not wish the majority of my family members on anyone.

Cheers,
Paul.

PS: You probably already know of this web site but if not, have a peep at;
www.dorleac-dorleac.com for some superb Mausers, made today in the image of the Pre-War Oberndorf Sporters, including square bridges if requested.
 
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Geoclarkclark

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Bob,

All that you posted above is spot-on.
I totally agree that the original Model 98 has not seen any real improvements since 1898 (except perhaps the Model 70 Winchester 3 position safety for low scope mounts).
And I likewise have been looked at as some sort of nut because I don't get what all the fanfare is about with newer designs (yawn inspiring designs).

If that's not enough, I have the 9.3x62 you speak of.
I had mine built to the specs you described but on a 1950s FN Model 98, instead of the Zastava Model 98 (Zastavas are near impossible to find in Alaska but I like them very much).

Had it built about 6 or 7 years ago.
Okay, we could be related but, aside from my excellent wife and sons, plus one incredible uncle, I would not wish the majority of my family members on anyone.

Cheers,
Paul.

PS: You probably already know of this web site but if not, have a peep at;
www.dorleac-dorleac.com for some superb Mausers, made today in the image of the Pre-War Oberndorf Sporters, including square bridges if requested.
 

Geoclarkclark

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Just returned from a hunt in Africa, consisting of plains and dangerous game. I used my Ruger Hawkeye African in .375 Ruger, with the Barnes 250 gr. TTSX, on plains game, including Springbok, Sable, and Black Wildebeest, with great success. The Hawkeye comes with open sights, and I have a Leupold VX3 2.5-8x scope mounted in Ruger rings up top. Rifle wears a McMillan McWoody magnum fill stock, and the trigger has been lightened to a crisp 3 lb. With all Barnes bullets, from the 250 gr. to the 300 gr. TSX, accuracy is superb.
This was my third trip to Africa, and my first with the .375. I would say, from my experience, that if you have a .375, shoot it well, and are after the larger antelopes (Sable, Wildebeest, Eland, Roan, plus Zebra), you could certainly do worse!
 

Velo Dog

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Just returned from a hunt in Africa, consisting of plains and dangerous game. I used my Ruger Hawkeye African in .375 Ruger, with the Barnes 250 gr. TTSX, on plains game, including Springbok, Sable, and Black Wildebeest, with great success. The Hawkeye comes with open sights, and I have a Leupold VX3 2.5-8x scope mounted in Ruger rings up top. Rifle wears a McMillan McWoody magnum fill stock, and the trigger has been lightened to a crisp 3 lb. With all Barnes bullets, from the 250 gr. to the 300 gr. TSX, accuracy is superb.
This was my third trip to Africa, and my first with the .375. I would say, from my experience, that if you have a .375, shoot it well, and are after the larger antelopes (Sable, Wildebeest, Eland, Roan, plus Zebra), you could certainly do worse!

For single stage triggers, I also enjoy a 3 lb pull weight.
 

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Just wanted to follow up and let everyone know my choice. I ended up going with the Tikka T3 Lite in .308. Unfortunately they didn't have the caliber/finish I wanted in stock so I'll have to wait another week. I mostly just picked that because I liked the feel of it the best mounted on my shoulder. Plus I know that the Tikka's are well made. It's very light weight like the name implies, with out the scope I thought I was holding an air rifle. As for the scope I tried a few and I am thinking about the Leupold vx-2 in 3-9x33. It was raining and place was busy so I am hoping when I pick it up I can try some scopes outside. I still was impressed even at 3x I could read the fine print on an ammo case across the dimly lit store!
 

tarbe

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Honestly, I would rather compare scopes in crappy light.

Most of them look fine in good light. It is the crappy light that separates them.

Just my $0.02!

Nice rifle. I am sure you will be happy with it!


Tim
 

enysse

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Got to agree with Tim, looking in dim light is the best way to evaluate any scope(y).
 

ActionBob

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Consider a vx3
 

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Just wanted to follow up and let everyone know my choice. I ended up going with the Tikka T3 Lite in .308. Unfortunately they didn't have the caliber/finish I wanted in stock so I'll have to wait another week. I mostly just picked that because I liked the feel of it the best mounted on my shoulder. Plus I know that the Tikka's are well made. It's very light weight like the name implies, with out the scope I thought I was holding an air rifle. As for the scope I tried a few and I am thinking about the Leupold vx-2 in 3-9x33. It was raining and place was busy so I am hoping when I pick it up I can try some scopes outside. I still was impressed even at 3x I could read the fine print on an ammo case across the dimly lit store!

Good choice on the rifle! I think that is going to be my next rifle. I want something lighter than my Model 70 for mountain hunting.

Put as much money into the scope as you can. You won't regret it. Tarbe and Enysse are dead right. The low light capabilities are the difference. I put a vx1 on my model 70. Great scope, until low light.
 

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Consider a vx3

Will do. The salesman didn't show me that so I'll ask next time. So a question, there's a big bump in price to go to the VX3, what does that give you? I ask because I never spent over $50 for an optic for my plinkers so this is new territory for me.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Just wanted to follow up and let everyone know my choice. I ended up going with the Tikka T3 Lite in .308. Unfortunately they didn't have the caliber/finish I wanted in stock so I'll have to wait another week. I mostly just picked that because I liked the feel of it the best mounted on my shoulder. Plus I know that the Tikka's are well made. It's very light weight like the name implies, with out the scope I thought I was holding an air rifle. As for the scope I tried a few and I am thinking about the Leupold vx-2 in 3-9x33. It was raining and place was busy so I am hoping when I pick it up I can try some scopes outside. I still was impressed even at 3x I could read the fine print on an ammo case across the dimly lit store!

Great rifle choice. I bought one for my son, routinely shoots one holers, including on it's first trip to the range. The VX2 will get it done if you don't want to spring for the VX3. Are you a hand loader? If so, I can recommend a number of loads, just let me know.
 

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Will do. The salesman didn't show me that so I'll ask next time. So a question, there's a big bump in price to go to the VX3, what does that give you? I ask because I never spent over $50 for an optic for my plinkers so this is new territory for me.
It buys you a better and clearer picture in low light conditions. If this is going to be your go to rifle it might be worth the extra money. Who knows you might end up hunting nocturnal animals?
 

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Brushmore,
I've been nack 2 months, I took my SAKO 7mm Rem Mag, Leupold VX-3, my son took a TIKKA T-3 Lite 270, Leupold VX-1 3X9,
I handload both rifles and shot over a chronograph, no REAL difference between the set ups, All animals were one shot kills excpet my Blesbok which I hit too far back and required a second shot.
TIKKA are fantastic, Leupolds are fantastic, Save the money to spend on your next safari!!!
No real difference between a 270 and 308 unless you're shooting way too far.
My 7 Mag has a shorter barrel so it is in that class also,
Most of the various calibers (cartridges) are marketing.
In my opinion, a standard deer rifle set up (308/270/280/30.05/7 mag/300 mag) andn a good scope and good mounts, and you're set,
My 375 will go on my next safari becasue I have one and want to use it in Africa!!
Good Luck!
 

Royal27

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Will do. The salesman didn't show me that so I'll ask next time. So a question, there's a big bump in price to go to the VX3, what does that give you? I ask because I never spent over $50 for an optic for my plinkers so this is new territory for me.

There is a difference in light gathering capability, but is it a $200 difference? That, is the debate! I personally think you can't go wrong with either. If the vx 3 is within budget then consider it. If it isnt, use the vx2 proudly!

I also just looked at opticsplanet.com and the vx2 is $299 with free shipping. I've bought scopes and binos from that place and they are great, including customer service.
 

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It buys you a better and clearer picture in low light conditions. If this is going to be your go to rifle it might be worth the extra money. Who knows you might end up hunting nocturnal animals?

Loodt does have bush pigs... just sayin....
 

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My first 3 safaris had me with one rifle, a Whitworth Express .375 mag. Worked perfect on everything I hit, not so much on the things I missed:rolleyes: Since that time I have taken a .9.3x62 twice, a .338 Win mag and a .405 Win in a lever gun. For PG only I would not take a .375 now, there are much easier shooting calibers that will do the job.
 

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