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Old March 6, 2006, 02:01 AM   #1
trooper3385
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African Safari

I'm planning a hunt in South Africa next year. I never thought I would be able to afford this at this point, but I got hooked up on a really good deal. I'm not going to be doing any hunting for dangerous game. I will be able to take my choice of 3 animals. More if I want to. The question I have is what caliber would you all recommend. The animals will be like Kudu, Elland, wildebeast. I don't think I spelled that right, but you get the idea on what type of game I would be taking. Theres others in the size range that I would be able to choose from. I have a 7mm Weatherby mag that should work fine, but for a hunt like this, I would like to take another rifle for stand by, or use the 7mm as a stand by. If anything, it's a good excuse to the wife for getting another rifle. The outfitters recommends a 270 minimum up to a 375. I don't have any plans for getting a 375. I would like it to be something I can still use for hunting here when I get back. I was thinking of something like a 338 mag, 300 win mag, or possibly the new 325 win short mag. I would like to get something in a 30 caliber so that I can use heavier jacketed bullets. Also, if anyone has any experience hunting in Africa, please give me some advice.
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Old March 6, 2006, 07:57 PM   #2
iudoug
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Have fun trooper....

I have been there twice for plainsgame....shot some of the larger stuff....Eland, wildebeest, Kudu and all down the line with a 7mm mag using 160 gr Trophy Bonded.......worked just fine....it is enough gun and you would be ok with yours......if you need an excuse for a second gun I would go with the 300 win mag as you can get some long shots on some of this stuff. One thing to remember....if you ever go back.....and I would bet my life YOU will want to go back to shoot dangerous game you Have to use a 375 or larger....don't know how many guns you want to buy but just a thought....you could always get a 375 and have that for your back up this trip. Just depends if you decide you need a Cape Buff orr not. The most important thing I can tell you is I like to shoot the african stuff a little bit more foward then North american game. Aim right up the leg into the shoulder....they drop quick. Their is a book on shot placement on African animals if you are interested. One other thing...don't rush your shots or shoot if you are not ready,don't let your PH talk you into anything you arent comfy with....if you wound an animal over there you pay for it whether you find it or not. Hope this helps...more questions..let me know...I will answer if I can....Good luck and have fun, Doug
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Old March 6, 2006, 09:13 PM   #3
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I would go with a .338 mag. By the way do you need a gun bearer?
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Old March 7, 2006, 03:19 PM   #4
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Pop over to accuratereloading.com into the African or Big Bore threads and ask those guys and gals,,,, by and large if you wanted a 375H&H they will tell you hands down thats the way to go,,, short of that the 300 stuff and the 338 get alot of nods
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Old March 7, 2006, 04:41 PM   #5
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Another vote for going to Accuratereloading.com and scanning around for some information. Most recommendations over there will be that your 7mm Mag will work fine (with proper loads), and that if you want to step up to something else, then step up to something legal for Dangerous Game. This means things like the 9.3x62, the .375 H&H, or larger. A new .338 or .325 won’t give you enough more umph! to make a difference, but that .375 can be comforting if nasty stuff comes around.

I don’t know what your situation is or where you’ll be going, but quite a bit of S.A. hunting is on ranches, and many of those ranches raise or breed DG. As a friend’s father said when he went hunting on a ranch there, “Look, I promise not to shoot your rhinoceros, but I won’t die with a rifle in my hands.” YOU may only be hunting plains game, but that may have little bearing on what you can run into.

Also, you’ll probably find that the one hunt for plains game will stir up a powerful thirst to return, and chase the big stuff. If I were getting another rifle to match up to your 7mm, I’d get the .375.
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Old March 19, 2006, 01:50 AM   #6
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Weatherby Win 458 Mag Mark V DGR

If I was going to Africa and needed to take a new rifle, try out the 458 Win. Mag plenty big enough for whatever may cross your path.gun.gif
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Old March 19, 2006, 10:51 AM   #7
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Africa Plains Game. Done it thrice; going back to Zimbabwe in September.

The idea of a backup rifle is a good one. Glass goes down; rifles get delayed by airlines. Were you without a rifle currently, I'd suggest a .338 WinMag. Only because it's the second most popular round (after .375H&H) among PH's there. It's as flat shooting as the 300 WinMag or 7mm Mag at ranges that are sporting and just seems to hit harder with a good 250 grainer. But you already have the 7mm Mag; unless you really want another rifle in the same class, the 300 WinMag 0r .338 WinMag make little sense.

BTW, my Eland in Tanzania was shot frontally with a 250 grain Sierra Game King. He ran 50 yards and lay down. Second shot was with a 250 grain Barnes X. On autopsy, the Sierra Game King (an excellent bullet) actually shattered on his breastbone and never penetrated the boiler room. The Barnes X did the trick. My point is that some of these animals will take a LOT of killing.

I agree with the suggestions that you go .375, .416 or .458. I will take it a step further and suggest that the "heavy" rifle be iron sighted. When you return for dangerous game (not "if" but "when" ) the iron sighted rifle will provide a heck of a lot better results if things start to hunt you back. A .416 Remington Magnum, for instance, will shoot every bit as flat as a 30-06....and there is no such thing as killing the smaller game "too dead"

Another alternative (my personal favorite for Cape Buff) is an iron sighted 45-70 or 50AK Lever Action. Few hunt those there and they always raise eyebrows when you demonstrate what they can do. Price is relatively inexpensive. Uses on the NA Continent extensive. Cool factor is off the scale, IMHO.

Enjoy the trip. Reports requested.
Rich
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Old March 19, 2006, 01:43 PM   #8
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Rich, I thoroughly enjoy FTL and appreciate all you’ve done for the community. You’ve put together a marvelous set of resources for shooters and hunters, and are to be congratulated for that. I also love what SWAT has become under your leadership.

Having said that, let’s not encourage folks to go stunt-hunting or violate game laws. The .45-70 is ILLEGAL for DG in most of Southern Africa, regardless of its suitability for Cape Buffalo (****** off ele are a different question). Will it kill buff? Of course. Is a .45-70 a cool tool when tricked out? Absolutely. Will it flat stomp on anything in NA? You betcha! Is it a good idea for a new Africa hunter to consider one as his DG rifle? Let’s not kid ourselves.
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Old March 19, 2006, 05:26 PM   #9
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FormerFlyer-
If the 45-70 is illegal for dangerous game in RSA, that is news to me, though I honestly don't doubt your word. My RSA PH (Jeff Cooper's also) carries a 45-70 as his hunter backup gun. I know they're not illegal for DG in Tanzania, because the Government Game Scout was more than a little impressed by the THREE Cape Buff I killed with a 45-70 in his presence during MY first DG hunt.

I think you may be confusing classic 45-70 loadings with what is available today. The Buffalo Bore 430 grain LFN at 1925 FPS pretty much makes it into the the Heavy Rifle Category. Randy Garrett's 420 Grain Hammerheads have been known to pass lengthwise thru a Buff and I personally placed 7 hits broadside thru one, all of which exited. Hardly what I'd call "stunt hunting".

Still, if the 45-70 is illegal for Dangerous Game in South Africa, I'd like to know about it. Where is that information provided?
Rich
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:27 PM   #10
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Rich:

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I am more than passing familiar with the current offerings in high-energy .45-70 loadings. My first hands-on exposure to them was in A.E.'s 24" octagonal bbl Marlin, plinking rocks on the Triangle. There's no doubt that they are impressive thumpers, nor that they will handily take care of buffalo. I had heard that Danie van Graan was using a Co-Pilot as a backup rifle. It's nice to hear from someone that's seen him carrying it.

As to legality, while the Game Scout MAY be a reliable source for determining legality, I have never met one that I would consider authoritative. The one I hunted with a couple of years ago could barely read. Many of those jobs are political appointments or family favors. As for my own direct knowledge, most of what I know comes under the heading of "second hand information". The only direct cite for regulations I can find at the moment is from Zimbabwe, which is below:

"The Third Schedule of the Firearms Act - This states a calibre of no less than 9.2mm in diameter with muzzle energy of 5.3 kilojoules is required for Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo.

5.3kJ=3909ft.-lbs., which is pretty well beyond the energy claimed by either Buffalo Bore or Mr. Garrett when using suitably heavy bullets. I am not able to find any of the other southern African countries game regulations posted online, but I will see what I can scratch up. As far as I know, it is perfectly legal to use the .45-70 in RSA, but that's not where the best buffalo hunting is to be found. Most of the rest of Southern African countries have both caliber and energy restrictions for hunting dangerous game, with the minimum energy requirement in the 4000ft.-lbs. range. They have these regulations for a very simple reason; They noticed over time that as hunters used more powerful rifles they were less likely to need to be transported home in a sealed, rubberized bag.

A simple analogy may help clear up my position on the matter. If someone is asking advice about the best vehicle to buy for getting back and forth to work, with the occasional off-road excursion, there are going to be dozens of good options available. I think, though, that anyone recommending a WWII M553 Jeep would come under some scrutiny about the good sense of their recommendation. Sure, you can drive one back and forth to work, and they're cool beyond cool. They also perform well off-road and are (well, used to be anyway) pretty cheap. But if that person ever gets into an accident at anything approaching freeway speeds, they're going to be very, very dead. That vehicle simply isn't nearly as safe an option as any well made modern SUV or truck.

The same goes for D.G. calibers. There's a gentleman who is affiliated with the Zimbabwe professional hunting licensing authorities that tracks and reports on D.G. encounters and survivability (in African Hunter magazine and in other places), and he has noted that there is a strict correlation between caliber, energy and survivability. The high-energy large-bore "stopping" calibers give one the best chance to survive an encounter with dangerous animals. And, it looks like you mostly agree with me on this point. You did recommend a .375, .416 or .458 to our friend above, which recommendation I heartily second. In a similar vein, I doubt that we'll see many articles in SWAT recommending the .32 ACP as an appropriate modern duty sidearm. A .32 is certainly a lethal round, and thousands of people have been shot and incapacitated with them. .32's were even a popular police sidearm (in europe, anyway) for decades, but there's much better choices available today, and the difference in performance is so great as to place the choice of a .32 somewhere between silly and reckless.

My only quibble was in also recommending a .45-70. The next time I find myself in elephant country, I DO NOT want to look down and see a rifle that only puts out 3500ft.-lbs. of energy. I've never felt so small in my life as when I was fortunate enough to be looking at 12 elephant from 20-60 yards in thick cover, and I'll stick to my .375 or my .458 Lott for those circumstances when they roll around again. I don't know of any PH's or practiced D.G. hunters that recommend a .45-70 for those conditions.

I wish you the best in September in Zimbabwe. I'm sure you'll have a great experience. I won't be going back until probably 2007, so I'm appropriately jealous. We'll all look forward to your stories and photos.
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Old March 19, 2006, 09:45 PM   #11
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The .45-70 is not legal for use as a dangerous game rifle in Tanzania.

Garret loads:

GARRETT'S 45-70 HAMMERHEAD AMMO
$55 / 20 CTGS

420-GR SUPER-HARD-CAST GAS-CHECKED HAMMERHEAD AT 1850-FPS

THIS 45-70 AMMUNITION IS RECOMMENDED FOR USE ONLY IN MODERN WINCHESTER, BROWNING, RUGER, MARLIN, NEF, AND SHILOH SHARPS RIFLES.

ENERGY: 3200 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 51; MEPLAT: .330"; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 35,000-CUP; SECTIONAL DENSITY: .287; TRAJECTORY: +3" @ 100-YDS; ZERO @ 150-YDS; -7" @ 200-YDS

Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Ammo







Click here to enlarge photo
GARRETT'S 45-70 HAMMERHEAD AMMO
$55 / 20 CTGS

540-GR SUPER-HARD-CAST GAS-CHECKED HAMMERHEAD AT 1550-FPS

THIS 45-70 AMMUNITION IS RECOMMENDED FOR USE ONLY IN MODERN MARLIN RIFLES WITH BALLARD BARRELS.

ENERGY: 2880 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 55; MEPLAT: .360"; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 35,000-CUP; SECTIONAL DENSITY: .368; TRAJECTORY: +1.5" @ 50-YDS; ZERO @ 100-YDS; -6.5" @ 150-YDS
Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Ammo





Click here to enlarge photo
GARRETT'S 45-70 SUPERJACK AMMO
$65 / 20 CTGS

350-GR WOODLEIGH WELD-CORE JSP AT 2000-FPS

FOR USE ONLY IN MODERN WINCHESTER, MARLIN, KODIAK DOUBLE, BROWNING, RUGER, SHILOH SHARPS, C.SHARPS, ENCORE, & NEF RIFLES.

ENERGY: 3100 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 46; MEPLAT:.330">; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 35,000-CUP; Sectional Density: .238 TRAJECTORY:+2.1" @ 50-YDS; +3.3" @ 100-yds; ZERO @ 170-YDS, -8.3"" @ 230-YDS
Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Superjack Ammo






Click here to enlarge photo
GARRETT'S 45-70 SUPERJACK AMMO
$65 / 20 CTGS

500-GR WOODLEIGH WELD-CORE JSP AT 1600-FPS
FOR USE ONLY IN MODERN WINCHESTER, MARLIN, KODIAK DOUBLE, BROWNING, RUGER, SHILOH SHARPS, C.SHARPS, ENCORE, & NEF RIFLES.

ENERGY: 2843 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 52; MEPLAT: .330"; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 35,000-CUP; Sectional Density: .341 TRAJECTORY: 2.8" @ 50-YDS; +3.3" @ 100-yds; ZERO @ 145-YDS, -9.6"" @ 200-YDS
Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Superjack Ammo



Click here to enlarge photo
GARRETT'S 45-70 EXITER AMMO
$180 / 20 CTGS

500-GRAIN SPEER TUNGSTEN SOLID AT 1530-FPS

FOR USE ONLY IN MODERN WINCHESTER, BROWNING, AND MARLIN REPEATING RIFLES.
ENERGY: 2600 FT/LBS; TAYLOR KNOCKOUT VALUE: 50; MEPLAT: .235"; CHAMBER PRESSURE: 35,000-CUP; SMALL-PRIMER; CCI 41 MILITARY-SPEC PRIMER; CUSTOM SMALL PRIMER POCKETED NICKEL-PLATED STARLINE BRASS; TRAJECTORY: +1.5" @ 50-YDS, ZERO @ 100-YDS, -6" @ 150-YDS

Click Here to read more about the 45-70 Exiter Ammo

And from the Tanzanian Embassy:

From the embassy of Tanzania:

"Hunting Regulations and Importation of Firearms and Ammunition
Hunters are expected to bring their own firearms and ammunitions. The minimum calibre permitted for big game (Buffalo, Elephant, Lion) is 375 magnum, with a bullet weight not less than 270 grains and 3850 foot point muzzle velocity. Without such a gun, you will not be issued with a license for hunting big game! You should also bring a medium range rifle, such as 308 Winchester, 7x64, 7mm, Remington Magnum 30.06, 8x68, 338, 9, 3x64 etc. for plains game (Antelope). In order for your host Hunting Company to arrange the licensing of your guns, you are expected to send the following details of your guns when booking with them for their professional help:"


As you can clearly see the .45-70 does not make the Minimum FPE requiremnt for DG hunting in Tanzania.

I've known people who've hunted buffalo with their .338's in Tanzania. Game scouts will let you hunt with just about anyhting once you get there. They should not be considered a source of legal refrence.

Jeff Cooper prefers a .460G&A for dangerous game if I am correct. The .460G&A is bit more rifle than a .458Lott. The .45-70 should not be considered to be an adequate DG rifle asit does not make the minimum power requirement as per the regulations in most south African countries.

I believe that you can use any darn rifle you want on a private high fenced game reserve in South Africa such as the one Donnie (Rich's PH) operates.


Greg
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Old March 19, 2006, 10:21 PM   #12
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Good Lord....
Looks like me, the original bastion of "Enuff Gun", handily killed 3 Cape Buff illegally. Not a practice I advise or endorse. However, one was quite tasty.


I stand corrected, gentlemen...Seriously. Next time I promise to use More Gun.
Rich

ps: Greg-
Danie's "Engonyameni" is not "high fence surrounded" to my knowledge. Not that I hunted Buff there; mine were taken in the Selous in Tanzania. But, for RSA Plains Game, did I miss something? Were I (and Cooper) "taken"? This is of import to me since the Colonel took his Lion there and that could only get to Engonyameni from Kruger Park, a National Refuge bordering the lands. Did Simba hop a "High Fence"? Did Cooper do a "canned hunt"? What have I missed?
Rich
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Old March 19, 2006, 11:45 PM   #13
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Rich,

Wouldn't you suspect that if there wasn't a high fence between Kruger and Donnie’s property that they'd have more than just the very occasional Kruger lion on the property? What about elephant and rhino? Do they not leave Kruger onto Egonyameni because of the no trespassing signs?

Nobody but you mentioned canned hunting as 25,000 acres is plenty of land for free roaming style hunting. But there are very few if any private hunting properties in R.S.A. that are not high fenced with at least a perimeter fence.

And yes these properties do get the occasional visitor from neighboring parks. Fences get knocked down, floods and elephants are the primary culprits.

Greg
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Old March 19, 2006, 11:49 PM   #14
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Rich:

It was always my understanding that Engonyameni was a well done, highly regarded and superbly executed RSA game ranch, i.e., a large high fence operation. Bordering the game park will certianly provide animals some back and forth when the fences come down, which is pretty common. I'm told that this is how Cooper's lion came to be inside the ranch.

There's nothing wrong with hunting a high fenced property, if they're large enough to provide fair chase. That's the way of virtually all RSA hunting.

As an aside, I had heard that Danie had a Rhino on the property. If it's not fenced, how does he keep the Rhino IN?

Regarding your Tanz Buffalo experience, I'm reminded of a famous quote, "Thou shalt remember the eleventh commandment and keep it Holy." (XI. Thou shalt not get caught.)
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Old March 20, 2006, 08:04 AM   #15
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Well, my recollection is that Kruger is fenced, yes. But that side of Engonyameni is river bordered.

As to Engonyameni, and other areas of South Africa, yes, they are pretty much all enclosed at the perimeter, by fence or natural boundary. When someone speaks of "high fence hunting", most of us think "Game Ranch" wherein the lions are in 60 fenced acres of Area D and Eland in 200 fenced acres of Area B. That is hardly the hunting experience you'll have at most first class hunting ranches in RSA.

BTW, 45-70 appears to be legal for Cape Buff in South Africa as FF points out. Same for Zim, apparently. The only requirements appear to be a minimum .375 Caliber with no mention of Muzzle Energy.
http://www.cruisersafaris.com/information/firearms.htm
http://www.dksafaris.co.za/information.htm
http://www.gssafaris.com/south_africa_zuka_safaris.html

However I truly appreciate the lesson re Tanz. I'd no idea that the 45-70 reached only to 93.4% of the Tanz minimum Energy Requirement (Buffalo Bore). I'll be using the 50 AK in Zim this year, regardless.
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Old March 20, 2006, 03:56 PM   #16
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I hate to get back into this again, but . . .

Rich:

Let me be as clear as I can: Your .45-70 is ILLEGAL for buffalo in Zimbabwe under current law! See my citation above of the Zimbabwe Firearms Act. All three of the web sites you linked to are the outfitter's info page, not the game laws. They all mention minimum .375 for dangerous game, and I can assure you that the people who wrote those pages meant the .375 H&H. If you show up on a buffalo hunt with a .375Win (for example) your outfitter will throw a fit or question your sanity, or possibly both.

The game laws of Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and most of Southern Africa specifically require BOTH a minimum caliber AND a minimum energy. Neither a .300 RUM (which has enough energy) nor your .45-70 (which has enough diameter) are legal for DG in Zimbabwe or Tanzania. Your DG cartridge needs to have BOTH THE MINIMUM ENERGY AND THE MINIMUM DIAMETER!

A .45-70 shooting Garrett Hammerheads, if it achieves full published velocity, will be 16.9% short of the required energy for Tanzania and 18.1% short of legal for Zimbabwe. This is about the same energy difference that you will find between the .22-250 and the .243. Both are capable of taking deer under most circumstances, but the .243 is legal almost everywhere, while the .22-250 is not. The good news is your .50 Alaskan seems to fit the bill legally with several loads, so your next Cape Buffalo hunt will likely be legal.

Frankly, this isn't even my fight. I think the .45-70 ought to be legal for DG. Hell, I think hunters ought to be able to hunt DG with anything they feel they like, sharpened sticks and baseball bats included. It's no skin off my nose if hunters come home in pieces, if they do so after taking a rational look at the dangers and deciding to roll the dice. You seem to be above the age of consent and I have no interest in standing in the way of an adult's entertainment, even if I think that he's just looking for a creative and interesting way to assume room temperature.

I am, though, surprised to see "the original bastion of 'Enuff Gun'" playing silly-buggers with the bottom end of the minimums on something that can kill him, and I think it's irresponsible to recommend the same game to a novice that's looking for info on getting into the sport.

Just my two cents worth.
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Old March 22, 2006, 08:02 AM   #17
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FF-
Thanks. I think I made it clear that I'm NOW aware the 45-70 doesn't make power in Tanz. The Buffalo Bore offerings (which, if you read my post on the Buff Hunt) are preferred by me; alas, they fall (not 18% short) 6% short of the magic energy number. Zim also? OK.

I think I also made it clear that the 50 AK is more suitable to the purpose.

I would hope that, when I mention the .375 for Buff, it's understood that I'm referring to the .375 H&H.

Finally, I think I made it clear that I stand corrected. Where's the beef?

As to my choice being off-the-chart "irresponsible", I remind you that the .338 Win Mag, loaded with 250 gainers makes the Muzzle Energy cutoff for Tanz; yet, even if legal for caliber, none of us would choose to hunt Cape Buff with it. The "muzzle energy" game has been played from hunting to IPSC. It's a guide, I agree. But, it's hardly God's Last Spoken word when it comes to ballistic efficiency.

Am I recommending breaking the laws of a foreign country? Absolutely not. Would I consider myself undergunned for Buff with a quality 45-70 and the right loads, if legal. Absolutely not. Why? Cause I've seen me do it and I've seen the result....and I am hardly Robert Ruark.
Rich



Attached Images
File Type: jpg Buff1.jpg (42.8 KB, 319 views)
File Type: jpg BuffHeart.jpg (33.0 KB, 317 views)
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Old March 22, 2006, 08:58 AM   #18
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Back to the original question... :)

I think the new rifle question has been answered and I'm with the .338 folks. However, I do love my .375 and it whacks whitetails just fine.

Two biggest things I'd recommend is a second scope with rings that you've already zero'ed. Scopes (IMHO) tend to be fragile. Second, get with your guide on the first day and work on him talking you on to various objects. My guide had superb "game eyes" and could spot critters much better than I. We used a clock and distance method and it worked well. He'd say "3 o'clock, 75 meters" and I could then know where to look. 12 o'clock was always where I was looking, so 3 o'clock would be to my right, 6 o'clock behind me, etc., etc.

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Old March 22, 2006, 12:11 PM   #19
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Rich,Trooper...

No matter the caliber I'm sure you'll both have a wonderfull time on your respective hunts. Goog luck, and good hunting.

P.S.

Nice looking knife Rich. Where'd you find it!

Greg
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Old March 23, 2006, 02:04 PM   #20
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I'm jelous! How much does a hunt like that run? Also I have heard wildebeast are hard to take down. You might want to go to a larger caliber for that one.
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