What’s your ideal Dangerous Game bolt gun?

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Ryanlo, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Apart from the muzzle break (which I do not use), all else is the same (the blasted finish is a bit more coarse on the Guide Gun and the front sling swivel band a tad further up the barrel, but otherwise they're twins).
     

  2. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Well, the Guide Gun does come with a laminated stock, but I'm guessing this you already knew.
     

  3. Dewald

    Dewald AH Veteran

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    Thanks a lot. Yes. I was referring to your rifle with the replacement Hogue. I really like the green.
     

  4. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I will sheepishly confess that I shoot virtually only commercial ammo.

    I ran my own business (i.e. 60 hour-weeks; that took care of week days) and we raised 5 kids that I needed to take shooting, hunting, fly-fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, etc. (that took care of weekend days) for the last 30 years, and I simply did not have the time to reload seriously. It is just incredible the amount of time needed to seriously develop and test loads, grain by grain, and bullet type by bullet type! Just as importantly, in my mind, in the last 30 years factory loads have become so high quality, so diversified, and premium bullets so available in quasi-custom yet still commercial ammo, that I am not sure the incentive to reload is still there from an ammo quality perspective. Undoubtedly one can still save money reloading...

    In terms of shooting, I have become a creature of habit, and why-fix-it-if-it-works, and my last 30 years rule of thumb has been to hunt exclusively with Federal Premium factory ammo (these used to be unique in the market and truly the precursor of premium factory ammo, and they work) and Weatherby factory ammo, ALL loaded with Nosler Partitions (the premium bullet before "premium" bullets existed) in the heaviest weight available. This has served me well on all sorts of game, in all sorts of places, at all sorts of distances with 6 mm Rem 100 gr; .270 Win 150 gr; 7x64 160 gr; 7 mm Rem Mag 160 gr; .300 Win Mag 180 gr; .300 Wby 200 gr; .338 Win Mag 250 gr; .340 Wby 250 gr; .375 H&H 300 gr. The lone exception to the "heaviest bullet rule" has been to add the 150 gr Partition load to the .300 Wby when it finally dawned on me (duh!) that it is actually 2 guns-in-one with the 150 gr and 200 gr loads. I also purchased a decent amount of A Square Triad loads (Lion-Load, Dead-Tough and Monolithic Solid) when they became available in .458 Lott, just to be sure in case they did not offer it for long, and I still have some to shoot 25 years later. With the .416 Rigby I split duties between Hornady DGS/DGX for practice and brass-donor duty (see, I still think about reloading) and Swift A Frame - an improved and bonded partition ;-) - for hunting. I have yet to try their new "Break-Away" solid (what a counter-intuitive name for a solid !?!?!?).

    In parallel I shoot case-full of Prvi Partizan (PPU) cheap but decent quality ammo in most above calibers all year long at steel plates up to 400 yards (my self-imposed limit for shooting at live animals) from field positions with hunting guns, and up to 1,500 meters with more specialized military-type rigs. Arizona is a wonderful place for shooters: just drive 15 minutes to the desert with your plates and shoot whenever, as much, and as far as you want, without someone telling you what to do and what not to do ;-)

    I may take up reloading if I can ever finish paying my kids' student loans (that also cost me my pre-WWII Belgian Jules Bury 450 #2 !!!) and if I can ever afford to retire (?). In the mean-time, as stated above, I am 100% satisfied with the current commercial offerings now that Swift's A-Frames, Barnes' TSX, Woodleigh's Solids, etc. have joined Nosler's Partitions on the factory load shelves.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
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  5. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Here are mine...


    IMG_0779.jpg

    Top: "improved" CZ 550 .416 Rigby.
    Gentry 3 position safety; New England Custom Gun 5/32 white bead front sight; Bell & Carlson Medalist kevlar & aramid stock with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars; "slicked-up" action; Schmidt & Bender 1 1/4-4x20 30 mm tube; Alaska Arms QD mount. Iron sights regulated for 25 m/yd; scope sighted for 50 m/yd and 100 m/yd zero, -6" @ 200 m/yd. Capacity - let me share a little secret - the Bell & Carlson stock is ever so slightly deeper than the factory wood stock, and it allows the action to close comfortably on 4 rounds in the magazine, which the factory stock does not. This makes it a 4+1 gun instead of a 3+1. Buff & lion gun.

    Bottom: Mauser 66 .458 Lott.
    Docter III red dot sight; EAW QD mount; New England Custom Gun 5/32 white bead front sight; "slicked-up" action. Iron sights regulated for 25 m/yd; red dot sighted for 50 m/yd and 100 m/yd zero. Capacity 3+1. Ele gun.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
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  6. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Since the safe is open, might as well...
    IMG_0780.jpg

    Top: Weatherby Mark V .340 Wby
    Stainless (true stainless earlier model, not the current silver coated Weathermark); 26"; stainless steel bottom; Bell & Carlson Medalist kevlar & aramid stock with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars; Zeiss Diavari Z 2.5-10x48 30 mm tube; drilled & tapped for 8x40 base screws; Talley bases and rings. Large plains game gun with 250 gr. Nosler Partition. Sighted +4" @ 100 yd; +5" @ 200 yd (horizontal cross hair on belly line between 0 and 200 yd); zero @ 300 yd; -11" @ 400 yd (horizontal cross hair on shoulder line a 400 yd).

    Bottom: Winchester 70 Classic Stainless, New Haven-made .300 Wby
    Stainless; 26"; Bell & Carlson Medalist kevlar & aramid stock with full length aluminum bedding block and pillars; Schmidt & Bender 1.5-6x42 30 mm tube; Warne bases and rings. Small plains game gun with 150 gr. Nosler Partition. Medium plains game / universal gun with 200 gr. Nosler Partition. Sighted ~ +3" @ 100 yd; ~ +4" @ 200 yd (horizontal cross hair on belly line between 0 and 200 yd); zero @ 300 yd; ~ -9" @ 400 yd (horizontal cross hair on shoulder line a 400 yd) with either 150 gr. or 200 gr. load.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  7. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Fanatic

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    Ask Doctari QED
     

  8. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Fanatic

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    Blaser ....i look to the military who fought wars none bettered the mauser or Enfield actions ...

    Ask a PH a question ? Do any of you carry Blasers ? Not heard of one yet ....

    Anyhow 375 hh 416 rigby in 602 Brno works for me and if the gods allow a 505 Gibbs same format ........all seem to work and are cheap ...one of my favourite culling hunts the PH remarks on my rifle selection ....cheap but works .....same with the Brandy Klippie ....if you meet me in Barneys and would like.to buy me a drink .......
     

  9. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    I wouldn't want to suggest that anything could improve what PHs have been doing in Africa for 100 years, though IPSC, originally, and CASS improved what pros had been doing in those fields for a long time. Is there any competition in DG shooting on targets? I sure couldn't afford the money, or the shoulders to do that. But there would be some who could.

    Don Heath made an interesting comment relative to doubles, saying that while he had at one time preferred bolts, that the distances one tended to allow belligerent animals to approach, particularly for photo safaris, was now so close, it was back to doubles, and the only thing that would provide better than a single shot.

    What they learned is CASS and the other speed sports is that huge amounts of time are saved in transitions, and gun handling. It isn't just the shooting (though the recoil in CASS is trivial). It is fun to watch the CASS guys race the shotguns that under the rules can only be fired as two shooters for 4 shots, starting with the gun empty. Probably not much that is transferable, but the way these guys work through the moves is pretty interesting.

    I think this 10 year old could get off a few shots in 6 seconds, and Doubles are bottomless.



    Description of shotgun technique, there are also levers and pumps from the period in question:



    There is a lot of stuff like this on handgun technique online. Maybe not for much longer. The principles of how you figure out what is costing you time are pretty universal, and even though there are closer to video games than real world, there is a lot of interesting stuff:



     

  10. Tam Dl

    Tam Dl AH Senior Member

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    Can't argue with that! I do think that at least for the serious non-plinking ammo, there is an alternative to the drill you mention. It is possible to make better ammo than you can buy, but all the micro testing is mostly directed towards doing things the guns were not intended to do: Like shoot at bench rest performance levels, which is a total redo of every aspect of shooting; or shoot at higher velocities than are sensible for a given cartridge. It doesn't take long to reload, and carefully select components, and assembly procedures etc... Guarantees a higher level of quality and accuracy and all that jazz without the need to test a million components. It does save a lot of money, particularly for the big stuff. So a small example would be you could save time by not going for max loads in a given rifle, on the idea it isn't good to have that kind of ammo in the heat of Africa, or Arizona. Right off the bat you didn't have to try a zillion .1 grain load increments to get something you didn't need. I think once fired brass is more reliable than out of the box. Depends where you go from there, but it helps eliminate the occasional cull. Again no time or money cost to that, you are going to be shooting anyway. There is time and cost, just getting ammo, and opening boxes and all that stuff. I have established preferences in base components and with reloading I can combine them in one round, which I can't do in factory. I used dies that are as fast as any die and a lot more accurate. That gives me an edge I don't have to pay for. I buy them off Ebay to keep cost down. etc...

    Not trying to convince anyone, I just think that a lot of ammo these days is being designed to do things that don't appeal to serious hunters. For instance produce massive volumes of comp ammo, of base quality. If rather than going with the trend, you figure out what works for you and keep it simple. You can win across the board. It has been very interesting to learn what makes for exceptional performance, but some of this stuff is like trying to use a 30X scope on a DG rifle. That may not work, but a more balanced scope option can.
     
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  11. Ernie Shipman

    Ernie Shipman AH Veteran

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    Low budget: Sako 85 Kodiak in .375 H&H - handy length, GREAT open sights, rock solid optics mounting system, boringly accurate. We have sold alot & I love shooting them. Top it off with a Leupold VX6 1-6 scope...
    High budget: Blaser R8 Professional Success with a Blaser scope....
     
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  12. siutis

    siutis AH Senior Member

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    Nothing beats my Nosler M 48 Outfitter chambered in 458 win mag. It weighs 7.5 pounds and has a 22 inch barrel. I added an xs ghost sight and a hooded fiber optic front sight.
     

  13. Daga Boy

    Daga Boy AH Veteran

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    The Nosler is a nice package; however most people are anti push feed on DG rifles.
    What sort of velocities do you get out of the 22" barrel?
     

  14. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    For African DG push feed actioned rifles are a no no. 458 WM is marginal for African DG. 7.5 pound rifle is not a good idea. 22 inch barrel for especially 458 WM is also not a good idea.

    Overall a poor choice as an African DG game rifle and combination.
     
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  15. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Late to the party but I have a custom M-70 in .458 Lott with a 22" barrel that I have a high degree of confidence with. I mount my scope (Leupold VX6, 1-6x) in the Leupold weaver style QRW mounts to make for an easy conversion to iron sights. I'm playing around with a NECG ghost ring that can mount in the bases when the scope is removed. The jury is out as to whether that will replace the express rear sight.
     

  16. geoff rath

    geoff rath AH Enthusiast

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    Another thought: if only I could get one of the Ruger RSMs in 450 Rigby, instead of "just" the 416, maybe have the original barrel rebored and rifled ... I love the fact that the original barrels have the rib and front barrel band machined all as one item... No scope, just a good (NECG?) ghost ring peep... Real D/G shooting is CLOSE, real close...
     

  17. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    My experience is that most folks who talk about how their whatever is "just as good" as a Blaser have never owned a Blaser. It is usually the same logic that says a Sabatti is just as good as a Krieghoff - or to be fair, saying a Blaser is just as good as a Hartmann and Weiss. All (well some with a bit of after market work) will get the job done. I don't mind paying the premium for both the engineering and ergonomics of my R8. And no bolt rifle is faster with an aimed second shot. But that doesn't mean everyone needs to own one or should.

    In my experience, I would argue that a client's rifle and a PH's rifle reflect two very different sets of requirements - particularly hunting dangerous game. A client's primary responsibility in keeping everyone safe is to put that first bullet in exactly the right place. Unless the client has vast experience with iron sights, the worst choice he can make to start that process is to not use optics. Another bad choice is a bolt action with very different balance and "shootability" characteristics than rifles with which he is familiar. Bobbed barrels can be a good start in creating such a problem rifle. Too heavy a caliber is another.

    The PH, on the other hand, has to be prepared to sort out our mistakes without letting them become disasters - often at very close range. A quick, almost instinctive stopping shot, creates a different set of requirements than the deliberate shot placement that opened the dance.

    Of course we all operate in the real world. Most PHs use what they can afford and make it work. The Brno/CZ is popular because of those characteristics. The more successful operators often graduate to a specially designed bolt gun or a double. It makes little sense for one of them to graduate to a better built "client's rifle" such as the R8. (I do know two who are very happy with their S2 Blasers).

    I remain convinced that the best possible client rifle - particularly on a first or only DG hunt - is a quality scoped .375 or perhaps .416 firing a premium 300 or 400 gr bullet. It is an easy and instinctive transition from a "deer rifle". It will give the client the greatest possible opportunity window to get a shot in the first place and to place that shot in exactly the right spot.
     
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  18. Daga Boy

    Daga Boy AH Veteran

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    Red Leg's points are all sound, save that I have no experience of Blasers (which are pricey) and and stick to Rugers and CZs when it comes to heavier calibres.
    Basically the client's "job" is to place the first shot (and maybe a quick follow up) correctly. Depending on the terrain this may be a relatively long shot (by DG standards). Scoped bolt actions work well for this application.
    The PH's job, on the other hand, may include stopping a charge at short range. For that application you can't really beat a big bore double (like a .470). Such weapons are pricey and they need to fit correctly if they are going to work as intended - basically point and shoot. For those of us who cant afford or justify the cost of a double, a bolt action in .458 and upwards works well as a close range "defence" weapon provided the rifle is fairly compact and the shooter can handle it well (this may require some customisation); However a standard .458 is not a good all round hunting weapon. (a .450 Rigby is, but it belts!)
    All in all I don't think you can beat .416 bolt action as a client gun. (My preference is for the Rem or Ruger because they are more compact than the Rigby but any one of them will do). The rifle needs to have some weight and a decent stock - preferably straight comb. Scope should ideally be in the 1.5-6 range with an illuminated reticle being a distinct advantage in certain circumstances. Q/D mounts are also a good idea - not so much because one would deliberately take the scope off but rather because scopes can get damaged.
     
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  19. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Not trying to rip on your Blaser, Redleg, but knowing your love of fine guns and some of the shooting irons you possess, I have to ask "why". Blasers are so less elegant or "crafted" than so many of your guns that you bought at the same pricepoint.

    Isn't the "ideal DG rifle" more likely to be a mauser-esque magazine rifle or a high quality double?

    My experience with Blaser was only to the extent of a .375 with a plastic stock and a tinny magazine. It held two cartridges in the mag and topping off a third was a nightmare that dented cases. I think my friend paid $3800 for that rifle without mount or optics and that was the cheapest base model they made. Aren't you getting fairly close to your London best rifles at such a pricepoint?

    Just throwing down the gauntlet because I'd like to be informed by you as to your opinion on a rare point of disagreement between us.
     
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  20. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    My three dangerous game rifle favorites:

    1.) My Dakota 10 single shot in 7x57 with a 23" barrel, 1-6x Swaro scope, and a 175gr solids or softs. A surgeon's rifle for plains game, hyenas, crocs, and anything else that doesn't demand a .375HH as a minimum.

    2.) My Cogswell & Harrison .375H&H mauser with a 25" barrel, a griffin & howe side mount, a 1-6x Swaro scope, and 300gr softs or solids as a do-all rifle whether scoped or unscoped.

    3.) My Auguste Francotte mauser .416 Rigby with 27" barrel, iron sights, and 400gr solids or softs as a dedicated dangerous game rifle that will still kill large plains game easily with irons out to 150 yards straight away.

    Those three rifles are perfect for a two gun battery, either #1 & #2 or #2 & #3 depending on the hunt.
     
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