Which rifle for lion?

KWALATA SAFARIS

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you never know until you are confronted with a charge, :) and then you will have to see what happens on the next one.. :)

I do firmly believe that the best chance anyone has is to have a professional hunter, calm, relaxed with him,the Rambo syndrome PH's often blow up and instil fear into their clients with stories and often long tales of charges and their heroic actions, to me this is the absolute wrong approach.

I do brief my clients but before we commence any dangerous game hunt. or follow up, I keep it short and simple and to the point, I often put my right hand between the hunters shoulder blades (or grab a hold of his bino bra), were possible, this keeps him moving forward :) and also gives him some reassurance, This is not always possible as sometimes you have to move in front of your client.... which in itself is not the most ideal...

As far as possible I prefer to walk next to my hunting bud.

My best always.
 

siml

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Jaco, I totally agree with you, stay calm and relaxed as possible, Rambo belongs in the film studio in Hollywood!! Most clients want a charge, me as the guide, am as happy as a pig in .... when that buff, elephant drops with the first shot. I have been hit full frontal by a wounded buff, was no joke and was lucky to walk away with a few scratches.
 

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OK, so it sounds like the consensus is a bolt action 375 H&H with a good quality, low power scope (1.5 or 2x - ?x).

Now here is another twist on it... I have a Winchester Model 70 338 Win Mag which, with a brake, is unpleasant to shoot. Without a brake it is painful to shoot. However, I have hunted with a couple of other 338 Win Mags and didn't mind their recoil at all. I have other Winchester Model 70s and they aren't a problem.

How do I avoid repeating the problem that I have with the 338 when I buy a 375 H&H?
 

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I have a Remington 700 in a 338 Win with 3.5x10 50mm Leupold on it and it's a light gun, no brake. Not the most pleasant gun to shoot for more than 10+ times in an hour. I have CZ in a 375 H&H and that is a lot heavier and I swear it's easier on the shoulder. It also has a good recoil pad on it. Buy a 375 H&H with a good recoil pad, a mercury reducer might help you too. Also bring the gun up to shoulder and make sure it fits you well, the CZ fits me darn near perfect where the 338 Win in that Remington 700 doesn't.
 

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OK, so it sounds like the consensus is a bolt action 375 H&H with a good quality, low power scope (1.5 or 2x - ?x).

Now here is another twist on it... I have a Winchester Model 70 338 Win Mag which, with a brake, is unpleasant to shoot. Without a brake it is painful to shoot. However, I have hunted with a couple of other 338 Win Mags and didn't mind their recoil at all. I have other Winchester Model 70s and they aren't a problem.

How do I avoid repeating the problem that I have with the 338 when I buy a 375 H&H?

If you buy a M70 Safari Express and give it some time to break yourself in, I don't think you'll have a problem. It's a heavy gun and if you're shooting light for cal bullets it's not much to get used to in my opinion. Also the M70 is balanced with the weight forward, this lends itself to reducing muzzle jump which reduce the felt recoil in my opinion. The M70 comes with a Pachmayr Decelerator, so no issue there.

One of the things I've started doing lately in shooting my .458B&M is using the sling during shooting. Being right handed shooter, I put my left elbow "into" the sling to create tension and I also wrap my left hand around the front part of the sling. This kind of creates a belt effect at my wrist. This little trick that's been around forever but until recently I never tried, greatly reduces felt recoil. Combine this with a solid grip with your shooting hand and you'll learn to master this caliber's recoil. Also, don't be too proud to not buy a PAST pad and use it at the range.

I don't consider myself to be particularly recoil sensitive but I also don't like being beat up by a rifle. It's a 20 plus mile one way trip to the range that I shoot at. When I go to shoot, I have no intention of firing 5 or 6 shots and going home, it's not worth the gas money. I'm planning at least 12 (4 three shot groups) and usually more than that and in multiple rifles.

Yesterday for example I was there and shot 12 rounds in my .300H&H and 12 rounds in my .375H&H with 300gr pills. Do I have a sore shoulder today? Nope, I implemented the suggestions above in my .375. My previous trip with the .458B&M, I shot somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 rounds, half of those being the heavy weight DG type bullets. This along with a bunch of .300H&H. I must confess my shoulder did feel that later that night. But I wasn't all black and blue.
 

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I have a Remington 700 in a 338 Win with 3.5x10 50mm Leupold on it and it's a light gun, no brake. Not the most pleasant gun to shoot for more than 10+ times in an hour. I have CZ in a 375 H&H and that is a lot heavier and I swear it's easier on the shoulder. It also has a good recoil pad on it. Buy a 375 H&H with a good recoil pad, a mercury reducer might help you too. Also bring the gun up to shoulder and make sure it fits you well, the CZ fits me darn near perfect where the 338 Win in that Remington 700 doesn't.

The CZ's are good rifles. Very reliable and generally they handle recoil very well (my 14 year old shoots the .458 ) . I own 3 of them in various calibres. Never had a single spot of problems and all shoot great.
 

KWALATA SAFARIS

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Regular pachmeyer pad will make a hell of a difference I believe that your 338 might have more felt recoil than a factory CZ in 375?!??!??? :)

My best always
 

A.Sharpe

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Recoil is a product of any heavy rifle. Proper shooting stance ,recoil pad ,and a muzzle brake will all help to reduce felt recoil. I personally like a good recoil, not painful but enough for me to mentally feel that there is some power going down range. Felt recoil is different depending on shooting position. Most likely you will be shooting from a standing position off sticks. Practice from this position, little things like how your feet are placed will change recoil. Shoot as often as you can, learn to accept and enjoy that feeling not fear it. Load a dummy round (no powder or primer) . Have a friend load your rifle. That way you don't know where the dummy is. Then have your friend film you while you shoot. This will tell you if you are flinching or pre reacting to recoil. I have had people pull the rifle off the rest ,reacting to a recoil that doesn't exist . It's part of the sport. Embrace it.
 

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Regular pachmeyer pad will make a hell of a difference I believe that your 338 might have more felt recoil than a factory CZ in 375?!??!??? :)

My best always

I would not doubt it Jaco! It's not much of a stretch, with a poorer recoil pad, light gun, maybe not perfect fit.
 

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Old thread, I know ... but,
I own a 9.3x62 and a .416RM, no pb, but I wish to know if for cats a Marlin 1895 45-70 will do the job , shot(s) at 50/60 yds ?
 

Tanks

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Interesting topic. One I discussed with my PH on a recent elephant hunt as I will be hunting lion with him next Spring. On this trip I had a .500 that I used for two elephants (15m, and 55m shots offhand), and a .416 I used on two zebras.
I asked him what I should use for the lion. He said seeing that I shoot the .500 pretty well offhand I should bring it with the 450gr CEB Raptors. My suggestion is to bring the biggest gun you can shoot well.
 

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OKay... .416RM ...
Hum ... not too "heavy shot" for a cat ... and for you .500 ...with 450gr ... pfiuu ...! Exploded the cat !!! No ?
 

enysse

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Old thread, I know ... but,
I own a 9.3x62 and a .416RM, no pb, but I wish to know if for cats a Marlin 1895 45-70 will do the job , shot(s) at 50/60 yds ?

Honestly all 3 should work, you would just have to look at legalities and regulations for whatever area you hunt.
 

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OK, you're quite right.
Future : Africa Hunts : a PH, a Lawyer , a ..., a .. and maybe a hunter and games ...maybe :LOL:
 

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I realize that I am probably going to regret start this thread, but here goes...

I am getting serious about booking a lion hunt. If I do, it will be for a captive bred animal in RSA. (Can we please skip the debate about hunting captive bred animals?)

My understanding is that in that case, it will be a stalk, with a good chance of it ending with a charge. With that as the premise, I'd like your opinions about what kind of gun would be good enough for this situation. Note - I said "good enough" not "best". The debate over best would be pointless and endless.

Is double rifle better than a bolt action? What kind of optics - if any?

is this question really so important by the druged lions in RSA (or frozen lepards-no joke)
But I admire your courage to make this hunt public.
Foxi
 

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My personal favorite for a client is a .375 calibre with a low magnification scope,using soft quick expanding bullets.A bolt action will be just fine.

Pieter nails it . Cats are realitively soft, a 30-06 300 win mag will do the job just fine. But to stop a charge the 375 is the legal requirement.

I've shot lion with the 280gr and 300 gr Hornady softs, but any quality soft nose will be 100%

ENJOY YOUR HUNT, TRACKING A LION ON FOOT IS A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE
 

Tanks

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Getting back to the OP. I don't really think one needs to worry about a charge. The lion would have been released to the hunting area about 96 hours prior, and would still have the drugs in its system. All one needs to do is to make that first shot count regardless of the caliber. So, I'd pick a rifle of legal caliber and make sure you can shoot it accurately at 50 meters with or without sticks.
 

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My short experience: a lioness in the Kalahari, last june. Tracking as you want to do yours.
Hunted with a 375 bolt action with small magnification scope. Distance, less than 25 yards. 300 gr. soft bullet PMP. Fortunately, only one shot was enough!
If I had to repeat, I would take my 375.
My PH carried a 470 double rifle.
 

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