Thoughts On Bringing Vs Renting Rifles To Africa

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by ILCAPO, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    You state "The 2nd time I used Henry for gun importation and just breezed right on thru." I might have missed something, but who is HENRY? ; )
     

  2. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    I would seek to conduct a flight where my baggage would automatically transfer from one plane to another. That is, if I can't get a good flight direct. We would be flying out of Dulles International.
     

  3. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Being a former cop and retired intel officer, I am very detailed oriented. So this is good to know. However, I have also had the experience where even when you cross your "t's" and dot your "i's", some moron in a uniform who doesn't know their job can ruin your day.
     
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  4. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    "having to act sane while some US Agent is asking for the serial number on the stock- ugh!!"

    Oh, that can happen, and does, just about anywhere. Believe me, years ago (as I recall, 2004) I was going to Denver, Colorado via Reagan National Airport. Delivered my rifle case, which had locks on it, to TSA. I had unlocked the padlocks for them, noting I wanted them relocked when they were done. I was told to stand back and wait. Then, after a few minutes this young female uniformed TSA officer opened the case. It was quite clear she didn't know how to handle firearms. She pulled out my rifle (a customized Swedish Mauser in a synthetic stock) and was swinging the thing around, with the friggin barrel pointed at people standing across from her. Finally, she put it back and was trying to close the case, but couldn't get the latches to work. The numbnuts was trying to jam the case shut, and had flipped the latches in a way which would never work. I took a step forward and called out to her, "Excuse me! You're going to damage my case. Just let me come over and I'll show you how the latches work." This arrogant snot spun around and told me to STAND BACK! DO NOT COME INTO HER AREA. And she went back to trying jam the case closed. She was flagrantly disregarding the fact that what she was doing wasn't working and was going to end up damaging my case. I then said I was going to make an official complaint over her incompetence and went and called over another officer to help. By the time he got there she had closed the case, but I told him they needed their officers to be properly trained if they were going to be handling firearms, because it was clear she had no clue what she was doing, either with the case or with simply safe handling of a firearm to begin with. The fact that she had a pistol on her side worried me. Then again, being a former police officer, I can tell you there are a LOT of them out there now who have no business with a gun.

    Well, they wouldn't allow me to inspect the case, and when I got to Denver I found she had forced one of the latches closed in a way it should never have been able to. She had wound up bending the latch, and it was not really locked correctly. Only my padlock was holding the case closed properly. Otherwise, it might have popped open in transit.

    I wanted to make a formal complaint, but I'm sure they blew it off.
     

  5. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Well, leaving it up to the left, it all stops when all our guns are confiscated. That's their long-term goal. Right now it's to make gun owners lives as miserable as possible.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2019

  6. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Look to the right sidebar and you will see Rifle Permits advertisement This is Henry. riflepermits.com
     

  7. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Understand. Well, as I said, I had a rather unusual chambered gun made for me, which was primarily for Elk and Moose, but I understand would be a great for the larger plains game. This is a 35 Whelen, built on a VZ-24 Czech Mauser action and paired with a Douglas barrel. It has a solid (and pretty) Claro-walnut stock and is topped with a Burris Signature scope -- 1.75 to 6 power.

    As for handme downs, I get it. Mine, however, are actually double barreled shotguns. One is an L.C. Smith 20 gauge from my granddad. The others were things he brought back home from Germany, WWI. He was a Danish immigrant -- the only from his family to immigrate -- and joined the U.S. Army when we declared war. The story went he was going to join the Canadian Army to get involved, but his mother -- my great grandmother -- told him to wait for America to get involved. She predicted we would have to, and only then should he enlist. He served in the 15th Field Artillery with the 2nd ID (Indian Head Division). I have his medal, dog tags, helmet, etc., and several long guns he brought back. One is an extremely rare 16 gauge short shotgun from Simson Yeager. Unfortunately, he took it apart for some reason and then just left the parts in a cigar box. Never had it refurbished. I had remembered seeing the barrel, stock, and box of parts as a little kid. This came over to our home and my dad stuck it in the basement. It was only many years later as I got involve in gun collecting and had a friend in Denver who was attending the gunsmith school there that I remembered it. My friend told me to bring it and he'd look it over. On vacation, I brought it to Denver and gave everything to him. A few weeks later I got a phone call from him asking where I got it from. I told him the story, to which he said he was having a lot of problems trying to reblue the barrel. It was the hardest metal he'd ever seen. He asked for help with the staff, and they wound up calling over the school supervisor who started making phone calls to wealthy and knowledgeable gun collectors he knew. When he described it to the guy, he got VERY excited and asked its condition. He was heartbroken to find the barrels had been allowed to pit, etc. (My grandfather didn't do anything to protect it.) Turns out it was a rare hand-built 16 gauge, with a receiver not made with silver as we thought, but PLATINUM! Enscripted on it is the name Simsom Yeager Verschel. So, he opined that the gun who made the gun was named Verschel, and worked for the famed German gunsmith of the late 19th century, Simson Yeager. Anyway, occurred back in 1987. And heartbreaking as it was to hear, had it been in clean condition and good working order, he estimated it would have been worth $45,000. As it stands, unshootable, it was worth about $3K.
     

  8. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Interesting. In my admittedly limited queries thus far, Karoo Wild Safaris is among those I like from what I've read.
     

  9. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    "I have always brought my own. I have a 30-06 I have absolute confidence in, including being able to snap shoot a baboon at 300 yards.
    For me, personally, the shots I mess up are the ones I overthink, so having a rifle that I never have to think about, just flip the safety and shoot is a huge help for me. "

    Yeah, I love my current 30-06, but its' not legal there, being a pump action. My Remington 760 Gamemaster is extremely handy. I did a trade for it years ago, stripped off the beat up stock, had it reblued in matt finish, had a laminate camouflage (green, brown, grey) stock made for it with Monte Carlo buttstock, and a good recoil pad. Topped it off with a Pentax 2 - 7 scope and I have loved it ever since. I have a 7mm Mag and a 300 Win Mag, but they tend to be harsh on recoil. I honestly don't like being beaten up by my gun. That, and the Win Mag is polished finished, stock and all, so it's more of a range rifle and show piece than practical hunting gun. Bought it years ago and then wondered why being I didn't want to scratch it.

    That said, I'll admit it. I'm a whimp when it comes to recoil. Like most people, I find the 30-06 being my limit before starting to have to deal with flinching. I can overcome it, but I must do a lot of practice. I like knowing my gun, how it handles, what I can do with it. Odd as it seemed to me, I've found different guns handle differently, even if chambered the same. For example, my Gamemaster likes 165 grain rounds, and REALLY likes the 185s, but load it with 150 grain rounds and it becomes a dog; starts flinging them all over the paper. With Winchester silvertips in the heavier weights, I find it will hold 1-1/2 inch groups at 100 yards. Go to 150 grains, and I'm anywhere from 3 to 5 inches. That's not even a group. It's a disaster.

    And I've read a lot about needing to practice shooting from sticks. That will be a whole other activity, which will be tricky being I have no ranges anywhere near me which will allow this. Will have to see about having a friend help me out in using his family farm, which is on the other side of Virginia.
     

  10. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    On my first three trips to SA, I had a direct flight and brought my own gun, cleared SAPS myself, no problems.

    Fourth trip, I had to go through Zurich and change planes, same company. Way in fine, way back, lost rifle case and suitcase.

    Following two trips, I rented.

    Next trip, I will also rent, I have to make two connections and will risk rifle being lost somewhere.
     

  11. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have only been on two trips 2018 and 2019. On both trips I took my own rifles. I flew Delta, Houston-Atlanta-Johannesburg and had no internal flights inside South Africa
    PH picked me up at OR Tambo. I used Henry with Riflepermits for pre approval and meet and greet. It was a breeze getting thru customs and SAPs. The only negative with taking my own was at Atlanta on way back. Its kinda pain getting them and rechecking them. I am planning trip 3 for 2020 now and will be taking my own guns again. I want to shoot a rifle that I have practiced with and am comfortable with and make memories with. Also if I was to trip or fall ( like happened on first trip) its my gun hitting the ground and rocks, not a rented or loaned one from PH. If it breaks its no big deal, its my rifle. I don’t want to have to replace or repair someone else’s rifle and them be without it while it’s getting repaired.
     
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  12. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Fanatic

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    Hiring someone for the pre approved SAPS is the easy part, and advisable IMO. Any number of people do that over there. Making sure each airline you use, each country, airport, etc various rules and regs are not so easy to keep up with. A good Africa travel service helps with that though.

    The easiest part of not taking your rifle is that the trip can likely be made with a large carry-on bag and that's it. I don't wear camo, so you can pretty much wear one set of clothes and have two other sets in your carry on, along with binos, toiletries, etc. All of it fits easily into my Red Oxx ruck pack. Talk about a breeze....no bags to worry about, no guns........
     

  13. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    For Africa I would highly recommend using a Permitting and Meet and Greet service through a travel agent who knows Africa and hunters. Like Gracy Travel or Rifle Permits (Henry). Sooner or later the relatively small money saved by DIY will get expensive both in dollars and stress.

    Africa is Africa, so patience and smiles always pay and really I've had very little real trouble traveling with guns/ammo to, from and within Arica. Within the US and returning to US is where I've noticed a trend of increasing and silly and serious "bumps in the road". Several years ago I had a brief but heated discussion with an agent in the Fairbanks AK airport ( of all places!) regarding tagging of my rifle case. Obviously she had just been assigned there and had a real anti-gun, anti-hunter attitude problem. The other location that shows great potential for problems is the return through Atlanta. It is a very busy hunter hub and, odds are, sooner or later one will encounter a clueless agent with an attitude. Interestingly, my dealings through Dulles have been without issue.

    I will never forget the entry and exit "procedures" through Tete Mozambique airport. Where respect, patience and smiles can really pay off. (Actually this type demeanor applies to all airports and entry points in Africa). The hand written notice scribbled outside the tiny VISA office in the airport clearly stated, "VISA Fee 75.00 USD" but upon entry into the office the fee had just gone up to 85.00 USD. So a 100 dollar bill was given and the 15.00 change made from the purse of the VISA agent! Then upon exit, the Mozambique "TSA" equivalent guy kept running my bag (not the gun case) back and forth through the scanner pointing to my binocs! I can do OK with Spanish but Portuguese not so much. I really couldn't understand what he was asking. I kept my cool, kept smiling as did he. Finally, I opened my wallet for an added ID and voila! he sees a ten, his smile broadened and I finally I could make out he had a party to go to that night!

    Seems every encounter is a little different and each year a little different even at the same locations. Patience, showing respect and friendly smiles seem to be a common denominator for successful travel, especially with guns, most everywhere in and to the common hunting destination countries in Africa.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019

  14. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My thoughts are that if you are combining being a tourist (whether in Africa or Europe) with an African hunt, don't even consider carrying a rifle. Just rent.
     
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  15. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I have only had trouble traveling with my guns once. Delta got two rifles to Me a day late in South Africa. I prefer to use my own rifle to hunt with but that is just a personal choice. I would not rule out using an outfitters rifle and know people who have done so while enjoying a tremendous hunt.
     

  16. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    May have missed it in the thread but for those who want to take their own firearms but have side trips, Gracy Travel can set up storage at Joburg airport while you go about your travels. I did it twice and it was very easy. When I got back to Tambo for my departure back to the states, Gracy's representative had my rifles and I was good to go.
     
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  17. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    If after a lifetime of collecting firearms, loading ammo, tweaking them to the pinnacle of accuracy to just leave them home when going hunting seems to not make a whole lot of sense to me.
     
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  18. barbells.and.arrows

    barbells.and.arrows AH Senior Member

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    We opted to take our bows, and rent a rifle for when we chose to rifle hunt.
    I have absolutely no complaints about renting other than my dumba$$ wasn't used to the safety on the rented rifle, and pulled the trigger on safe on a MONSTER 58"+ Kudu, and before I realized what the hell stupidity I had pulled he disappeared into the brush. Pretty sure I'm lucky I'm a girl otherwise I think I would have gotten to ride in the back of the bakkie on the way back to camp.
    Plains game - rent a rifle it's so dang easy.
     
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  19. IA diver

    IA diver SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I think the right answer is individualistic. I myself take off-the-shelf weapons for the most part when I travel with a gun. Mentally I have accepted the potential that they may not even leave the U.S. for any number of reasons, may get lost or damaged in transit, or am requested to surrender these in country. Thus using a loaner (not rental as noted earlier) is no big deal and most outfitters offer good equipment such as Sako, Blaser, Zeiss, Swaro, etc. Others invest heavily, have customized and/or have heirlooms which they would not be without. It's both personal as well as a choice of convenience. IMHO
     
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  20. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with Von.s
    WTF are your guns good for and why do we practice with them, take care of them, develop loads for them, etc. etc IF WE ARENT GOING TO USE THEM WHEN IT COUNTS!
    my babies go where I go and they have been a lot of places and yes there are hassles sometimes and issues BUT when it counts I don't even have to think about the shot because its my gun hits my shoulder like it has a million times locks on done deal. No fumbling around with a different kind of safety, scope mounted at wrong distance or height, etc.
    Take your guns deal with the life of hassles and insure them.
     

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