Dangerous Game rifle, thoughts please?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AJ Peacock, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    All,

    I've decided that I have a hole in my arsenal, I absolutely 'need' a dangerous game rifle. Just in case I win the lottery or meet a long lost rich uncle!

    I've been doing a bit of reading and dreaming and have 2 animals on my 'must have list', Cape Buffalo and Griz. A friend of mine is leaving after Buf in early Sept. He is using a .375 H&H 24" with 300gr TSX and Solid at 2450-2550fps.

    I've kicked around all the big calibers and think the most realistic for me would be a .375 H&H, I know it is far from the biggest/meanest out there. But I think a rifle in the 11-12lb class would be shootable enough for me to 'really' practice a bunch.

    I am very partial to the ergonomics of the Rem 700, but the 2 items seem to be lacking with regard's to using it as a dangerous game rifle ( extraction and control round feed). Don't know if both of these can be overcome sufficiently, or if another action (Win 70) would be better suited.

    I figure a 22" Heavy barrel on a heavy stock like a McMillan Lazzeroni Sporter would allow me to get around 4200 ft lbs with a 300gr solid at around 2600fps or so; and still have a manageable recoil of 30lb's or less.

    I'd have open express sites, as well as a removable 1x4 scope with a wide field of view. I'd have a second scope (probably 2.5x8) that could drop on for hunting non-dangerous game. If I ever got to Africa, I could then use it out to 175+ on the plains game.

    OK, What do you think?

    I'm afraid that the 'bigger' rifles would not get the use that the .375 would in my case.

    Thanks,
    AJ
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Aj

    I am a fan of the 416s and hear is the reason.

    The range of bullet weights (300,325,350,400 and 410grs)

    If you look at the trajectory tables and compair the 416 with
    the lighter bullets ,they are very good.

    With a heavy rifle recoil is not bad with the lighter bullets.

    Also if you plan to go to Africa some countries will not allow anything
    under .40 calibre.

    And some P H,s will not allow muzzel breaks so weight is good on a
    375 or a 416.

    I have 2 416s and have shot up to 50 rounds at one sitting before losing
    interest.One is a 416 rem in a safari grade 700 rem. and the other is a
    416 Buff based on a 375 RUM case (About 100ft/sec slower
    than a 416 weatherby) also on a 700 rem long action.

    The 300 to 350gr bullets are great for Brown bear and the 400 or 410gr
    solids are Cape Buffalo poison.

    Shooting the 416 in a lead sled is a non,event.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008

  3. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you can go wrong with a 375. If you think that is as much recoil as you can handle for extended practice, than it sounds like a good choice. I dont like recoil and I shoot a Win Mod 70 375 H&H (no brake) If you intend to shoot plains game in a thick area it's a great choice. If you plan on plains game in an open area like parts of the eastern cape, skip it and bring a 7mm or 30 cal that can reach out. For dangerous game I would shoot the bigest cal.I could shoot well, for me thats a 375. I'm not a huge 70 fan and I didn't need controlled feed, but function is everything in a true DGR rifle. If it were me and I used a 700 it would have a pinned M16 extractor. My 70 is set up to cam over if I need to throw a round in the chamber.
     
  4. specweldtom

    specweldtom Well-Known Member

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    AJ, I have never hunted dangerous game, but like you, have given it a lot of thought. The .375 is in my opinion, entry level for dangerous game. Some African countries don't even allow it though because they require minimum .40 cal. I would recommend the .416 Rem mag. It can be used like a .375 for all kinds of game; lots of bullet weights and types, can be loaded down, factory ammo is available, etc. On the extractor question, I have never seen a Remington 700 fail to extract, but I'm sure that there are controlled feed rifles available in the .416 Rem caliber. I've never seen a Mauser action fail to extract either, but have seen them jam on feeding. I doubt any of them are fool-proof though, because it appears that the double rifles are preferred by many P/H's. (No way I could afford one).

    I have a Mauser actioned .375 H&H and a Wby MK V .460. I actually enjoy shooting the .460 more than the .375, and if I ever get the chance to hunt dangerous game, will use it. I'm chicken, and would want to use the biggest, baddest rifle that I have. (see my signature). You're right, neither one gets shot much, but I enjoy both, and shoot them occasionally, when I feel like getting my a$$ kicked.

    There are guys on here that have hunted dangerous game and actually know what they're talking about. Maybe they'll jump in.

    Good hunting, Tom
     
  5. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    Are you wanting a true Dangerous game rifle thats intended on stopping a charge weather it be from cracked out Zebra to a 8000lb bull elephant? or are you looking for somthing as an all around rifle for hunting Africa?

    If I were going to Aferica I'd be bringing more than one gun , I bring a flat shooting deer/elk style rifle , a mid sized heavy game rifle like the 375 RUM or 416 Rigby , and a "Dangerous" game rifle somthing 458 Win mag at the minimum , A 460 Wby is a great round for Africa , it can be loaded down slightly with lighter bullets in the 350gr class to meet 458 win performance or stoked up to push a 500gr bullet to 2700fps ,the later is pretty punishing in a gun without a brake.

    If your going to bring only one gun then I'd look at the 416 Rigby or Weatherby realy hard and they would be at the bottom of the energy scale as a charge stopper
     
  6. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing at all wrong with a properly loaded 375 H&H. I don't know of any country that will not allow it's use and many even allow the 9.3X62 as well. I personally know people that took thier Cape Buffalos (with one shot each) a 300 Win Mag. Allen Day took 2 with his 300 Win. with one shot each

    If you can't kill it cleanly with a 375 H&H then you are either use a very bad bullet or you ain't putting the bullet in the correct location
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  7. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    It happens, my 700 extractor failed one month before Africa. My 2nd failed extractor came 7 years later. With recoil being a consideration I shoot a 375. I would rather shoot a 416 Rigby. Not needed for Buff. As for the Elephant, my friend dropped his tusker at 20" went home sold his Rigby and now has a 500 Jefrey. Whole different story.
     
  8. Rimfire

    Rimfire Well-Known Member

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    John
    I agree but I would never tell someone to use a smaller gun for DG if they can handlle a big bore. 303 killed as many Elephant as all the rest, but not for me. Like you said many buff fell to a 338 Win allso with good results. It's always the charges that will change your thinking. My friend shoots Leopard with a 7mm rem with a NBT after a Med bore punched through without expanding and nearly got him killed. NBTopen fast and drop em.
     
  9. Ian M

    Ian M Well-Known Member

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    I hunted Cape Buffalo this summer and like my experience with the big brown bears of Alaska, I came away with the feeling that the .375 will do the job but it does not do as well as the bigger bores. John is correct, use the best bullet and place it into a lethal area and most any decently powerful rifle will kill some pretty big beasts. I have used the .416 on a brown bear and a big Alaskan moose, and the .458 Win on one Cape Buff. Not a lot of experience there but doing those hunts let me talk to several great guides and I learned from them as far as calibers go. After a charging brown bear took four .375 Trophy Bonded bullets in the chest one guide said, "That's it, I am going to shoot my .416 Remington from now on."

    I am patiently waiting for Winchester to re-introduce the wonderful African rifles, hopefully then a .375 or .416 will find its way to my gun safe. I prefer the .416, in a Rigby if possible but there is something about a good .375 that we should all experience.

    My .458 Win. is pretty tough to shoot, particularly from the bench. It is a powerful brute tho, granted there are more powerful and better cartridge designs but the .458 is about all I want to handle.
     
  10. blipelt

    blipelt Well-Known Member

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    375 h&h

    Remington makes a 375 H&H special edition(500made). It is blued with a syn. stock and is only $650. Recoil isn't bad at all with the factory loaded 270gr. I sighted the sights for 50 yards and have around 75 rounds through it. Haven't decided on a scope. It's a cheap way to find out if you want one and if not it is a collector. Just my 2 cents


    Brent
     
  11. sidepass

    sidepass Member

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    I shoot a TC Encore in 375 H&H mag, wanted to try one and a barrell is pretty cheap compared to a whole rifle.Though Winchester, Remington and CZ's are not that expensive. Recoil is not that bad and boy is it a shooter. Will make a great Elk, Big Bear or Moose gun. Would love to add a new Kimber in 375 H&H in my safe. If I ever do my dream trip to the Dark Continent it would go along with a 416 Rigby or Rem.

    sidepass
     
  12. philny1

    philny1 Well-Known Member

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    Agree with you on the 375H&H. Been aroung all this time for a reson. I have a Sako AV that will just tear a hole in the paper at 100 yds. I've successfully taken game out to 300 yds with it. Loves the 270 gr TSX. No exciting tales to tell, but everything shot with it has tipped over.
    Something special about the 375 H&H, just looking at it makes me think of exciting faraway places.
    I have two of the Rem special edition 375 H&H. Would be willing to part with one if anyone is interested
    Phil.
     
  13. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    AJ

    I agree with the statment that a 338 will kill anything but its not the
    killing that's the issue, It's how fast and when things go bad that the big
    bores make the difference.

    There was a P H named Bell that killed many many Elephant with a 7/57
    Mauser (but he had a gun bearer that backed him up with a big double
    rifle).

    The word "Dangerous" is the clue, this means that they can and will kill you
    if given the chance.

    If recoil is the issue then reduce it any way you can to make it shootable
    even use a break that is removable so when practicing recoil is minimized
    and can be removed if the PH wont allow its use when hunting.

    Weight is another recoil tamer .

    Most PH's consider the 375 h&h to be the minimum for dangerous game because
    of there experiences so I would have to go with there thinking that when things
    go bad BIG is Better.

    I have loaded rifle cartriges down for youths and let them practice and did not
    tell them they were reduced loads and when they fired fullhouse loads at game
    they never knew the difference.

    On my big bores I load lighter bullets for practice and sight in with the hunting loads.

    Better to be safe than sorry

    Just an opinion
    J E CUSTOM
     
  14. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I've been thinking more and more about this. Since I reload, I could easily download a .458 and practice all I wanted. I'm really not recoil sensitive, but I don't enjoy it!

    I wonder how much the larger frontal area has to do with stopping power? Assume a .375 and .458, both loaded to the same KE (4500lbs or so), Same weight bullet. How much difference does the frontal area make?

    I saw a .custom .458 Lott for sale locally (Mauser action and low power scope for $1100). Now THATS a lot of KE!

    AJ