Two Rifle Battery in Classic Calibers?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by fsrmg1, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    Hello fellow hunters,

    I’m an avid hunter and have taken most of the big stuff on North America, Europe and Australia. My wife has now suggested that it is time to go to Africa in this next year. Though she doesn’t shoot, she loves hunting with me, God bless her.

    Being my first hunt in Africa, I plan on taking two rifles. One for close range and the other scoped for longer stuff. Out of my collection, I’ve come up with four that are worthy of taking. They’ve already served me well for a number of years and I shoot them all well. I’m not yet certain where I’ll be hunting or where, which is why I’m open for suggestions from those who have been there and done that. I’ll probably be going after game up to, but probably not including buffalo. That is unless I can get a deal I can’t refuse, in which case I most definitely will go after one.

    Below are my options to bring. As I said already, I want to limit it to only two guns. These are what I have and I’m not interested in buying, selling or trading for something else, so please limit your suggesting and choices to what I have listed below. I would say that I’m an advanced reloader, and plan to roll my own. For each I’ve already worked up optimal loads with the latest powders and projectiles, so no quoting 50-100 year old literature on what it good or not. I can tell you that modern triple based high energy powders can make these old girls roar at standard pressures.

    Here’s the choice, along with my proven loads. Out of the four, what two would you take?

    • FN Mauser M98, 9.3x62mm, w/ 3-9x variable scope w/illume dot. Two loads; 225 gr. at 2750 fps and 286 gr. at 2450 fps.
    • Beretta 689, 9.3x74R, w/ 2-7x scope w/ illume dot. Two loads; 225 gr. at 2700 and 286 gr. at 2350 fps. Also has a set of 20 ga. shotgun barrels fitted to it.
    • Winchester 1895, 405 WCF, w/ express sights. Two loads; 300 gr. RN at 2400 and 400 gr. FPGC at 2050 fps.
    • Browning 1886 SR Carbine, 45-70 Gov’t (modified for 2.8” OAL), w/ peep sight. Two loads; 405 gr. FP at 2100 fps and 465 gr. FPGC at 1950 fps.
    All are stocked for me and fitted with soft recoil pads, so are naturally good pointing guns that I can shoot well.

    So, which two would you bring and why?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  2. Ado

    Ado AH Veteran

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    Only two I would take a 30-06 and a 375 H&H.

    Classic caliber I would change to 300H&H and 375H&H.

    Ado
     
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  3. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    12x12x30-06 drilling and a 375H&H only two guns but can do anything with them. (of my guns these are my choices)

    of yours...
    The Berretta because once you see the birds you'll want the scatter gun plus the rifle will be nice. Also the 405 win because its classic and a nice heavy bullet
     

  4. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Just take your 9.3x62 Mauser and bring only the 286 grain bullet (although your hand load seems over-charged for hot weather use).

    Probably won't need your battery powered reticule either.
    But, if the scope is already on the rifle and sighted in, what the heck.
    Might as well just keep training with it and not try to "change horses in the middle of the river."

    Leave all that other stuff at home.
     
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  5. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    By the way, both the FN and Beretta 9.3mms have EAW mounts, so I can take the scope on and off at will without worrying about losing the zero. I'm not kidding when I say that I've done that a number of times and have never had to re-zero!
     
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  6. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I say take a BBB. Beretta and Browning Battery! That 45-70 is great for close in work.
     
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  7. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    9.3x62 great caliber.

    Would add either 375 or 416.
     

  8. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The 06 & 375 H&H would be my vote..... However, all of the aforementioned are great answers!
     

  9. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    9,3 x 62 never let me down in Africa, so I suggest this caliber. Also I would take 404Jeffery.
    Good luck in Africa.
    Witold
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  10. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    I'd take the Mauser and one load as already mentioned. The more I travel, the less I want to carry through the airport. Set the scope at the lowest power and don't touch it unless you have a distant shot and need the power. There is always the time to turn a scope up, not always a chance to turn one down.

    3x is more than I'd want up close (I like 1x) but with your mounts, you can take off the scope if you may need to work close in so you are set.
     

  11. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    From what you list the 9.3x62 is the most adaptable and I would only take it.
    Most of your combos are more short range thumpers. Two similar rifles is duplication and cuts into your airline weight restriction. Any of yours will do in thick sickle bush or lowveldt.
    Plains game up to but not including Buff ! It really comes down to what type of terrain you will be hunting in and the max ranges involved.
    If your list stops at Zebra and Wildebeest in size/weight then the 9.3/225 combo would be near perfect.
    If you add Eland, just take the 286 load for everything (I have).
     
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  12. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    Whatever you do, take only one load for the rifle. You will magically end up with the wrong load in it otherwise.
     
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  13. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    I imagine that I'll be hunting in mixed terrain up to wildebeest sized animals, but wouldn't pass up an eland given the opportunity. I also enjoy the hunt and like a good stalk whether it pays off or not. Typically I don't stretch things and keep my shots inside about 250 m. I'm the type that likes to be sure of things before pulling the trigger.

    I have the iron sights dead on at 100 m, with the scopes set for 200 m with the heavier bullet loads. This gives me a point blank range of +/- 3" out to a bit over 250 m or so with the scoped guns. Perfect
     

  14. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    I am a big double fan so take the 9.3x74 for you up close work , (Since there isn't any DG on your list for this hunt) and 9.3x62 for the longer shots.
    On your next safari if you include dangerous game start looking for a 404 Jeffery.
     

  15. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    Tally so far is:

    1st - FN M98 9.3x62mm
    2nd - Beretta 9.3x74R
    3rd - Winchester 1895 405 and Browning 1886 45-70 tied

    Out of that lineup, I probably naturally shoot the Beretta and Browning the best, but I can see the merits of the others as well.
     

  16. Hearties

    Hearties AH Veteran

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    I wouldn't bother taking anything other than the 9.3x62 - lot to be said for keeping things simple.
     

  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi again fsrmg1,

    If you plan to hunt in typical thornbush (80% of Southern Africa's Countries, where hunting is common), your PH will be very likely to strongly suggest you zero your scope to 100 yards/meters and train mightily with same.

    Namibia (other than the Caprivi Strip), the Kalahari, South Africa's Eastern Cape / Karoo are noted exceptions.
    However as African Safaris usually go, the odds are around 80% that you will be in moderately thick thorn forest and probably at times, in extremely thick riverine forest (bushbuck and nyala to name just two, especially love the thickest foliage they can find).

    The majority of your shots are likely to be under 75 yards for all species, and more than one or two will be what seems so close as to feel almost like bayonet distance.

    No one will blame you for disregarding some grumpy old man (me) who has only been there a relatively few times but, whatever you do, listen carefully to your PH about these things.

    He or she likely grew up in whatever area they became a PH in and, with a rifle in their hands from early childhood.

    They know what does and does not work, there where they have hunted all their life.

    Cheers,
    Velo Dog
     

  18. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree with Paul.
    Witold
     
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  19. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    The 9.3x62 is the only rifle on your list that you can be confident of sourcing replacement ammo locally in the event of an airline mishap with your ammo.
    I don't think the two lever-action calibres can do anything that the 9.3 can't do better, so unless you have personal/novelty reasons for using one of them, just keep it simple and stick with the German.

    A small/medium plains rifle would be a useful 2nd gun in your battery if you end up chasing plains game on the plains. The 9.3 will do the business on everything in the bush.
     

  20. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    My initial question was what are you planning to hunt and where are you planning to hunt it? From your follow- up, it sounds like a traditional PG safari. That leaves only where. That said, your 9.3x62 is really the only general purpose caliber that you have listed which is in a configuration useful for every potential shot. I have a 9.3x74r scoped double which I dearly love, but would hate to try to drop a Hartman's on the next ridge or springbuck way out there with it. The .405 and 45/70 have similar limitations. Your 9.3 will serve admirably for anything you encounter.
     

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