The shoulder carry

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by CTDolan, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    If you want it to be comfortable and easy, stay at home, pull the lever on the recliner, tell your wife to get you a beer and watch TV.

    If you want to go hunting do this...

    What is your margin of safety? inches, feet, mm
     
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  2. Gert Odendaal

    Gert Odendaal AH Elite

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    Yes I concur with all those suggestions to carry your rifle..(y)(y)(y):LOL: When carry over my shoulder:
    The rifle is loaded, so I treat it as if it is loaded
    The muzzle is always in a safe direction, 30 degrees away from the guide in front of me..pointing to my right hand side or left hand side....never to the front ...it is a natural position when carry over the shoulder for me...
    My finger can not be on the trigger, I am holding the rifle by it`s barrel , when carrying reverse mode I hold the rifle by it`s butt...bolt halve way closed..when I have a scope on..without a scope I have a flag safety on safe...
    All above rules adhere to...(y)(y)(y)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017

  3. Edward Wright

    Edward Wright AH Senior Member

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    I have had to stifle myself reading this entire post before commenting, and I will ruffle feathers but here goes
    I have hunted deer for 38 years, using shotguns, rifles, and bows. I have hunted the thickest multiflora rose patches this side of hades, and crawled many a time as well. Keenly aware of stalking the buck I was searching for, and tense as his presentation would be sudden and explosive.
    All this was with a sling, and even the shotguns if carried much. Now I bird hunt without a sling, but carry at port arms entirely.
    I disagree completely with all premise to discredit the sling. It is no more trouble in a thicket than the rifle itself, and can be removed quickly if needed.
    I can unsling a rifle faster than an "African carry" can, and be in battery, and shoot before they can. And I have had many shots, and practice mounts to back that up.
    I don't agree that "African carry" is more ready than the sling. A sling can be pulled into action quickly, and can , and should be brought to port arms if game is close.
    Lastly, you will not walk behind me with a loaded gun , ever. A brother in law slipped on a bird hunt , leveling and firing a load of 6s at chest level behind him. By the grace of God I was off to the side, and he swore that gun was not loaded. I will never put you at risk, and I demand the same from you. African carry is dangerous . Period
     

  4. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    Well said. There was a New Zealand Forest Service culler named Rex Forrester, who was nearly killed on two occasions by new hunters walking behind him, who repeatedly sneaked a round into the chamber. On each occasion, the unlawful discharge resulted in the Lee Enfield butt stock being smashed against a tree and the offender walking back to base to buy a new rifle. Needless to say, after the second incident, Mr Forrester had no more troubles with his new hunters!
     
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  5. Edward Wright

    Edward Wright AH Senior Member

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    There was a PH a few years back that was shot thru the shoulder/arm and bled to death in the field. Story goes that the hunter was unmoved. The offending hunter got on the plane , and never looked back.
    All the zealots of "African carry" would feel different if the lead PH was carrying his rifle over the shoulder with muzzle rearward. Staring down the barrel of a 500 for three hours would be an attention getter
     
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  6. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I was reading on John Sharp's webpage yesterday...one of his requirements is that the client bring and use a sling.

    To paraphrase...I'm not going to have a client walking behind me and my trackers with their rifle pointed at us!

    When I asked him about the genesis of this policy, he simply said "too many close calls".
     
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  7. PLM

    PLM AH Enthusiast

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    When carrying a rifle or shotgun, I will use several different methods and switch to reduce fatigue in the arms. When it comes time to carry with a round chambered, I will carry at port arms or cradle the gun in the crook of my elbow and gripping the wrist of the stock with no hand near the trigger. When ducking and working your way through thick brush it is easy to lose track of where the muzzle is pointing. With the PH and tracker in front and my wife behind me, I will not allow my rifle to point in either direction, only to the side. If you slip on a loose rock, trip over a root, or get hung up on some wait a bit bush, it's easy to lose track of where your muzzle is pointing. I will not do something that could be unsafe if I can help it no matter how cool someone thinks it looks. I really don't think the PH's carry their rifles any particular way to look cool. I think it's because of the way it has been done there for many years and it's what they are used to. Bottom line, do what makes you most comfortable and don't worry about what anyone else thinks.
     

  8. Mcameron

    Mcameron New Member

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    personally ive always found a rifle slung muzzle down to be the fastest to get into position......you hold the rifles forend with your hand, and just swing it up to fire.

    not to mention having a sling allows you to keep 2 hands free if you need them.......and it allows you to sling up the rifle for a steadier shot.
     
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  9. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Reminds me of the time Capstick mentioned a client having put a .458 bullet through the collar of his shirt (while he was wearing it)!
     

  10. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    well,

    i have a 16 gauge o/u shotgun i received from my dads estate when he died. i recently took my new pointer pup out for a hunt for grouse. i suspect we walked (my buddy and i) a minimum of 10 miles looking. (not a single bird flushed by the way)

    i carried the gun in the african carry, or in my hands all day. HOWEVER, i carried it broken open the whole day.when we got to a birdy looking spot, i dropped a couple shells in the chambers, but left it broken open.

    now, not too much brush, was walking a trail mostly till we bushwhacked a ways on a shortcut to another trail.

    my normal carry for a big game rifle, is on a sling hanging from the frame of my pack. in alaska, i just don't do any hunting on foot without a pack. so my rifle is slung over the vertical post on my pack, this enables very quick access, pointed in the correct direction, etc. when climbing up hill or through alders, being slung frees up my hands for climbing, etc

    sometimes i use the rifle as a walking stick (i carry with an empty chamber) i can load a round very quickly in my bolt gun. last moose season i carried my double rifle on my pack as usual. i would likely unload it though, if i am going to be using as a walking stick. guess i need a walking stick.

    in africa, i will ask the ph how he would like me to carry my double gun and do my best to follow his instruction. i will have a sling on the gun/with me.
     
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  11. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    A rifle without a sling is like a pistol without a holster. I suppose if you don't want your hands free while carrying the rifle, want your arms tired when you need to use the rifle, and think it makes sense to lean your rifle against a tree while you take a leak in dangerous game territory, it makes all the sense in the world not to learn how to properly use a sling.

    Until I received professional instruction and spent time practicing getting slung and unslug, I may have held the opinion it was slow to bring the rifle to bear. I grant slung is slower than carried in both hands at high ready, but it certainly isn't slow if you know what you are doing.

    As far as getting caught on brush, the hardest time I've ever had navigating brush was while carrying a borrowed rifle without a sling.

    So long as you learn to squat rather than bend over, a slung rifle points straight up or down, both inherently safe directions.

    Finally, in the unlikely event a sling proves to be an encumbrance, it can be easily removed. It is a lot quicker than walking to town and buying a sling once you decide you'd like one. Not that you can get your wallet out of your pocket with a rifle in your hands.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
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  12. Brandon.Gleason

    Brandon.Gleason AH Veteran

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    Walked 62km last week through mopane and all manner of pointy plants. I found the "african carry" to be quite uncomfortable for me. It really wore my trapezius muscles down on the side I was carrying (sore). I found it much more comfortable to simply hot the rifle just in front of the trigger guard (double and bolt guns). It allowed me much better muzzle control when looking left and right. When one arm got tired, I simply switched to the other hand.
     
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  13. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Check out "The Art of the Rifle" by Jeff Cooper. Lots in there about slings (not to mention carrying a rifle, at the ready)!
     
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  14. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    For the record, though, I've long detested a sling on a rifle. Don't know why (have used them, too), just do.
     

  15. Kevin Peacocke

    Kevin Peacocke AH Member

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    Exactly Pheroze, carry an empty gun any way you want, and only chamber when ready. Then carry it across your body ready to bring it to bear instantly.
     
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  16. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    That's going to work when you don't have time to load it in certain situations....... :rolleyes:
     
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  17. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    If I'm hunting dangerous game, I am going to have a round in the chamber. My last three buffalo were killed with either a Blaser R8 or S2, so I can keep the rifle uncocked until I bring it to my shoulder. But I am not going waltzing with buffalo or elephant with an unloaded rifle. And out of respect and an abundance of caution for the PH and tracker in front of me, I sure as the devil won't be carrying any rifle muzzle forward over my shoulder. I would simply reiterate, try that carry on any plantation while hunting quail and you would be tongue-lashed and sent packing instantly. I also suspect most North American guides would be none too thrilled. If my PH wants to do it, fine - that is between him and his tracker. And I would gladly challenge anyone, even at my ancient age, that I can get off a quicker, more accurate shot from a muzzle down sling from the off shoulder than any over the shoulder carry.
     
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  18. Jfet

    Jfet AH Elite

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    No such thing as an empty gun. All firearms are always treated as if they are loaded.
     

  19. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Fanatic

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    another African habit seen in photos is standing the butt on the ground with a hand over the muzzle(s).
    all guns are always loaded.
    never allow a gun to point at anything you do not wish to destroy.
    weighing up the 2 benefits, hand on muzzle vs hand round the barrel, I know which way I would go.
    bruce.
     
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  20. Ed Lally

    Ed Lally AH Member

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    So many opinions and all have merit as long as the result is a safe hunting experience. I am relatively new to African hunting and have only taken 13 PG in the last two years. I will be hunting PG again in 2019, however 2020 will be my year for DG. I have had protracted discussions with my PH relating to DG, proper rifles, safety and other issues. He is dead set against slings and shared more than a few experiences where a sling hung up on vegetation at exactly the wrong moment, requiring his shooting of his client's DG to avoid a possible disaster with unknown but possibly deadly results. Fortunately, I already hunt with a Blaser R8 which I believe is one of, if not THE, safest firearms even designed. It can be carried with a round in the chamber and uncocked. No "safety" involved. For DG, I purchased a Krieghoff 470 NE which has the same type of cocking device. It can be carried loaded but uncocked and there is no way it can fire until cocked. Thus does not replace muzzle attitude awareness, if for no other reason than making your hunting companions comfortable and to not develop a improper habit when carrying other dissimilar firearms.
     

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