What do you think of my travel rifle choices?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Longwalker, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I am a somewhat obsessive hunting rifle and gun collector / shooter. So when it came to choosing my "ideal" and easily transportable travel rifle combination, I had several choices. First off, I eliminated full length models as too unwieldy in airports and in land transit. So my CZ550 AHR custom .375 is staying home this time. That left takedowns. For my upcoming hunt in the Caprivi ( Zambezi) region of Namibia in October I chose the following. What do you think? Game hunted will be buffalo and some plains game, with a good possibility of elephant.

    Merkel 140 AE .450-400 3" loaded with 400 gr. Woodleigh Hydros and Woodleigh Welcore, mounted with
    Leupold VX-R 1.25-4x20mm illuminated reticle and additional Burris Fastfire reflex sight in Recknagel QD mounts. It shoots composite groups from both barrels at 100 M that i can cover with my fist.
    - and a
    Verney-Carron Impact Plus bolt action 9.3x62, with two scopes in Picatinny QD mounts,
    Schmidt & Bender 6x42 Klassik, and Leupold 1.5-5 VXIII. Loaded with Norma Oryx 286gr. Easily a MOA combination, just not a "long range" rig.

    The whole works is carried in a Pelican "suitcase style" case in two layers. I prefer that it looks like a regular piece of luggage, not a gun case.

    I think this should have all reasonable possibilities covered, but more experienced members may have an opinion?
    IMG_0288.jpg
     

  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    What is not to like. And in the Caprivi, a longer shot is possible at a buffalo due to open marshes in many areas. That sort of accuracy at 100 meters could be a hunt saving capability with the Merkel. I shot mine there at seventy to eighty meters from one tiny island to the next. Have a great hunt.
     
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  3. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Longwalker,

    I'm impressed, but then again I pretty much like everything. I like your choice of rifles, calibets and bullets.

    You're good to go and best of luck.
     
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  4. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    Sounds like you have this pegged. Have a great hunt. We look forward to your recap and pics upon your return.
     

  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Excellent! Looking forward to your report! I foresee a highly successful adventure!

    Question: does your Merkel have auto ejectors?
     
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  6. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    yes, ejectors.
     
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  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Longwalker, the “Caprivi Strip” is one of my dream hunts!
    Very nicely set up rifles!
     

  8. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Nice, the suitcase style I clever. Sounds like you may have nice collection too.
     
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  9. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I think you are set! Very nice choices!
     
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  10. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Sounds really practical and well thought out :)
    For My Botswana 2020 mixed bag hunt , l am taking the following :
    1) My BRNO ZKK - 602 7 shot rifle in .375 HH Magnum. This will be used with 300 Grain Cutting Edge Monolithic meplat brass Solids , Swift A frames and 300 grain Kynoch Round nosed full patch solids .
    2) My Custom ZKK -602 6 shot plains game rifle in .350 Rigby Magnum . This will be used with 225 grain Kynoch Round nosed soft points and 225 grain Full metal Jacket Kynoch round nosed solids.
     
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  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Shoot straight.
     
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  12. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Very good choice.
     

  13. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Sounds neat. I would be mindful that in the Caprivi you may not be able to get close enough for the double. Do your scopes reliably zero after removing? That is my concern with taking them down. Nice case.
    Philip
     

  14. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Nice looking set up! Good luck!
     

  15. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    Philip, the Recknagel pivot mount on the Merkel is completely reliable in return to zero in all my testing, and it has earned a good reputation throughout Europe. A 90 degree twist and it's on or off. Same with the MAKlik mount for the Burris red dot reflex sight.
    I originally had Recknagel pivot mounts on the V-C 9.3mm too, but while very well built I found them too high for a proper cheek fit when shooting. Switched to Picatinny base and rings for a lower scope height and better fit. I did have some initial concern with return to zero. With older Weaver type rings it was not perfectly consistent return to zero each time when the scope was mounted. That was solved by installing much better Leupold QRW2 rings. I can't detect any significant shift after many on-off repetitions.
    Please explain your experience with "typical" buffalo shooting distances in the Caprivi. I don't think I'd choose to shoot at a buffalo more than 150 Meters away, regardless of the rifle used. I'd prefer 100M. Or closer. I feel my .450-400 double is capable of useful accuracy and reasonable hitting power within those limits. Should I be concerned?
     
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  16. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Like your choices, I took a Verney-Carron 450/400 double and a 9.3x62 custom Mauser on my last safari. My 9.3 wasn't a take down though. How do you like the Verney-Carron Impact? Have a great trip and shoot straight
     

  17. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    The Verney-Carron Impact plus takedown has been a good experience so far. It did require an adjustment to smooth out an overly stiff safety fresh out of the box. Other than that, it has been one of my most accurate rifles, smooth, and functional. It had an unusually long length of pull so I cut a cm or so off the stock and replaced the recoil pad. The only other thing worth noting is that the Federal factory loaded flat nosed Barnes banded solids are the only ammunition I've tried that does not feed reliably. The first two feed ok, but the last cartridge in the magazine will hang up on the bullet guide ribs when coming up. That particular bullet is too wide at the nose for the magazine design. I could file away a bit of the guide ribs on a spare magazine but actually have no need to use that bullet anyway. The Hornady interlock, Barnes tsx, Lapua Mega, and Norma Oryx bullets all feed perfectly and shoot accurately.
     

  18. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @Longwalker, I'm sure you have checked, but just in case, is the 9.3 legal for buffalo in Namibia?
     

  19. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    9.3x62 mm does not meet the energy requirement to be legally used for Buffalo or elephant in Namibia. If my .450-400 was somehow put out of service I would likely use my PH's loaner .416 Remington. My motivation for bringing the 9.3 is its very light weight, handiness, and accuracy for plains game.
     
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  20. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Beautiful pair of rifles, you are all set. Good decision to put a scope on the double. Sorting the right bull out in a herd and making an accurate shot is more easily done with glass. You may get a chance at a lone dugga boy in that area but you need to be prepared for a herd situation.
     

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