Two Rifle Battery in Classic Calibers?

Velo Dog

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fsrmg1

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I just had a chat with a mate of mine who's done a lot of hunting in Africa and he suggested to keep things simple and bring only one rifle. When asked what I should bring, he told me to buy a 375 and be done with it, but out of my current stock, he had two points of view.

One, take the 9.3x62mm and load it with a Barnes 250 gr TSX/TTSX , which will give me all the range and terminal performance I'm likely to need.

The other view was to take the Beretta 9.3x74R loaded with the same bullet, along with the 20 ga. barrels. He said there were lots of birds and other small stuff for the shooting and that he wished he'd done that himself on his first trip. He has a point there.
 

Viti

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The 9.3x62 makes a lot of sense. I took one rifle, my 375H&H and shot all my trophies with it. Also the 375 gave me a degree of confidence when backing up on dangerous game. Only things I'd do different are, I now have QD bases to get to the open sights and I'd throw in a few 300gr barns or a few solids in my ammo box. I used 270gr woodleighs,great on all I shot, but had their limitations in a couple of situations.
 

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Ok, I'm starting to lean towards a one rifle battery and that being a 9.3mm. Now the question is which one?

The M98 9.3x62mm given a good load of RX17 will toss a 250 gr TSX out at just over 2600 fps and has a 3-9x scope on an EAW QD system. She has classic express barrel sights with the standing zeroed dead on at 100 m.

The Beretta 9.3x74R will do about 100 fps less with the same bullet. She wears a compact 2.5-8x scope, also on an EAW QD base. Her sights are the red fiber optic type and also zeroed dead on at 100 m.

I believe the Mauser will give me a bit more range, but it is larger and more clunky. The Beretta is compact and weighs about the same with the barrels also about the same length of 24".

I naturally seem to shoot the Beretta better as well. She will shoot both barrels into a composite group of just over an inch at 100 m. The Mauser typically shoots about 1-1 1/2" groups as well. So accuracy is about the same.

Yes, the Mauser will shoot a bit further and hit a bit harder with the right loads, but does the difference really amount to anything that matters? Is it worth the trade off in handiness and versatility with the added shotgun barrels?
 

Desperatezulu

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Is it worth the trade off in handiness and versatility with the added shotgun barrels?
Yes, it's worth the trade off. If having a shotgun is such a big deal, then bring a shotgun along as your 2nd gun. Compromise upon compromise seldom makes for an ideal set-up.

Unless you know precisely the terrain and species you will be hunting and can judge the suitability of your 'x74', you run the risk of it being not well-suited to the application. You make it clear that you prefer this gun etc etc so it boils down to a classic heart vs head debate. I think you know what the best choice is here but you're struggling with your preference of gun:giggle:
 

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Yes, I am struggling between the head vs heart to some extent.

If I was to take two rifles, the first is easy, the M98 9.3x62mm for the head and my old classic 1895 .405 WCF for the heart.

On a one gun hunt, I just keep going back to the idea of taking the Beretta 9.3x74R with the shotgun barrels. Again, this is a compromise of head vs heart. My head says utility and because she fits like a part of my body, my heart is seeking a reason to take her.

Dilemmas!
 

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Yes, I am struggling between the head vs heart to some extent.

If I was to take two rifles, the first is easy, the M98 9.3x62mm for the head and my old classic 1895 .405 WCF for the heart.

On a one gun hunt, I just keep going back to the idea of taking the Beretta 9.3x74R with the shotgun barrels. Again, this is a compromise of head vs heart. My head says utility and because she fits like a part of my body, my heart is seeking a reason to take her.

Dilemmas!

Hi again fsrmg1,

If bird hunting is important to you, then while researching where to go and who to hire as your Safari Company / PH and such, be sure to ask some very pointed questions about that possible activity.

Many offer hunting of various game birds, from pass shooting geese, to doves/rock pigeons over decoys, to driven guinea fowl, to francolin (grouse) over pointing dogs, probably other ones that I don't know about.

Most if not all outfits offering bird hunting also have shotguns, just anxiously awaiting your triumphant arrival in camp.

Wanting your own shotgun to be sure of proper fit is understandable but, be sure to ask about ammunition availability and price in your gauge.

Seems like you said your spare barrels are 20 bore.

If your PH does not own a 20, it is possible that he cannot purchase ammunition in that size lawfully (depends on where he is over there).

Carrying live shotgun cartridges in any numbers at all, is not feasible with today's 11 pound international airline restrictions on transporting ammunition so, it is best to have your PH get it for you before you arrive.

Some outfits offer none of the above and so, your shotgun barrels might just be dead weight to carry through the airport anyway.

Doing research for an over-seas hunting trip is always part of the fun.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 
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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?
Well sadly as I recently discovered in another thread here in the Republic of South Africa you can't bring either lever action or semi auto rifles so that quickly limits your options to the other two.
 

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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
Well said. The first thing I discovered on my trip was that the 6.5-20x50 was way too much scope for about 80% of the shots I had and absolutely the wrong scope to have pretty much everywhere but the Eastern Cape, Karoo, and Kalihari.

The first decision I made upon coming home was to switch scopes around and put a 1-6x24 Trijicon on the .375Ruger and 4-24x50 on the 300wm.

In truth a quality 1-4x24 or 30 is more than adequate for 99% of the hunting in the Bushveld.
 

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WildRose has described very well one of the 3 "Horsemen", from the "Trilogy of Misconceptions", regarding firearms for Africa - Too Much Scope.

Just looking at some of the rifle scopes on display in the local Cabela's store is a sad illustration of where my fellow Alaskans are with this "Giant Scope Syndrome".
Such huge contraptions have even reached the point of some scopes having a notch in the front lense so it will fit over the rifle barrel - rediculous for anywhere, not only Africa.

The other two being too much velocity and bullets that are too fragile for some of the dense bones in many African animals.

Us foreign clients are doing much better with our bullet construction lately.

However, as a group, we still cling to our love affair with very high velocity.
Which, to name but one issue, causes too much meat destruction (can be disappointing for your PH, who uses game meat to feed many hungry mouths).

Seems like the last thing any client would ever want to do is repeatedly disappoint their PH.
 
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Two wise responses by Velo
 

fsrmg1

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Thanks for the info Wildrose, I didn't know about the ban on using lever guns in RSA. There are a lot of articles about hunting with them there, but they could be dated and just the same old story recycled.

I was thinking in the lines of a Namibia hunt, as most of my friends go there and could give me pointers and help set me up. The areas they hunt are mixed, you can expect both thick bush and open country. They've all told me the same thing though, as far as scopes go, you really don't need more than a compact 4x. I have a nice little Leopold 2.5-8x firedot I think I'll use.

My friends were also of the opinion to bring and sight in for one load capable of handling all likely situations I might encounter. This is why they recommend the Barnes TSX or like projectile. They reckoned that it performs very well on the longer shots and still offers serious penetration, enough so that I need to really pay attention to what is behind the target.

Looks like I'll be taking one of my 9.3's, just which one now. I'll probably make that final decision once I book, then I'll have an idea as to the hunting conditions. Until then, I can still fine tune my equipment and work up some loads.

What is more fun? The hunt or getting ready for it? :)
 

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Thanks for the info Wildrose, I didn't know about the ban on using lever guns in RSA. There are a lot of articles about hunting with them there, but they could be dated and just the same old story recycled.

I was thinking in the lines of a Namibia hunt, as most of my friends go there and could give me pointers and help set me up. The areas they hunt are mixed, you can expect both thick bush and open country. They've all told me the same thing though, as far as scopes go, you really don't need more than a compact 4x. I have a nice little Leopold 2.5-8x firedot I think I'll use.

My friends were also of the opinion to bring and sight in for one load capable of handling all likely situations I might encounter. This is why they recommend the Barnes TSX or like projectile. They reckoned that it performs very well on the longer shots and still offers serious penetration, enough so that I need to really pay attention to what is behind the target.

Looks like I'll be taking one of my 9.3's, just which one now. I'll probably make that final decision once I book, then I'll have an idea as to the hunting conditions. Until then, I can still fine tune my equipment and work up some loads.

What is more fun? The hunt or getting ready for it? :)
I was pretty brokenhearted to tell you the truth. One of my all time favorite rifles is the 1895 in 45/70. About midway through my list on the trip I decided it would have been a great choice in the bush.

Now if I'm going to shoot 45/70 in S.Africa I'll have to borrow one, buy/build one in bolt action or perhaps get get a Ruger No 1 chambered in it. I'll have to check on the latter even being legal there since the falling block is operated by a lever.

I wish you all the very best on the trip and you will certainly find that this site will be of great help in putting it together. I sincerely wish I'd found it a year before my trip as I would have been better equipped and prepared.

If you are going to Namibia by all means be sure and check the firearms reg's there with your outfitter well ahead of time. If you are planning to fly into RSA and have to go through customs there you will have to be in keeping with RSA firearms restrictions as well.

If I can help with your planning let me know, I have a few very good connections there.
 

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I'm not so sure lever guns are 'banned' here. Certainly you can buy them locally and use them for hunting as far as I know. So I do not see why you couldn't bring one in on a temporary import (i.e. the same as bringing in a bolt gun) and use it for hunting. I do not believe that lever guns are classed in the same category as semi autos.

But I stand to be corrected!

For sure Ruger No.1's and all falling-block actions are 100% ok to import and hunt with!
 

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I'm not so sure lever guns are 'banned' here. Certainly you can buy them locally and use them for hunting as far as I know. So I do not see why you couldn't bring one in on a temporary import (i.e. the same as bringing in a bolt gun) and use it for hunting. I do not believe that lever guns are classed in the same category as semi autos.

But I stand to be corrected!

For sure Ruger No.1's and all falling-block actions are 100% ok to import and hunt with!
It's not that they are "banned" but according to Flatwater Bill who posted this in another thread, they are not legal for us to bring under the restrictions applied to the temporary import permits that allow us to bring our firearms with us.

"No automatic, lever or slide action firearms allowed....." South Africa import regs.....................quote from this site............................................Based on the photos, they are not enforcing this, but with my luck, they would start by confiscating my Savage 99...................................................FWB

He is referring to another thread in which someone posted the reg.

I was indeed bummed.
 

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