View Full Version : What gun/caliber/load have you seen Guides or PH's using?

January 4, 2001, 12:28 PM
I am just curious what working guides and PH's use. If you could mention if this was Africa, Alaska, Lower 48 or where else and what type of game was expected, or feared as the case may be.

January 4, 2001, 12:40 PM
I have several friends who are waterfowl guides in Southeast Texas, and all of them carry 10 gauge shotguns. Mostly Browning BPS with 24 - 26" bbls, with a few Remington autos thrown in. They use the big 10 to bat cleanup after the customers finish blasting/missing.

January 4, 2001, 06:40 PM
On an elk hunt in Wyoming, when we had grizzly bears to worry about, the guides all carried .44 Magnum revolvers.

The outfitter himself carried a 12 gauge loaded with OO Buckshot. Turns out he had killed a charging grizzly with it a few years earlier. It was a medium-sized sow which charged him while he was field-dressing an elk. He hit it in the shoulder the first shot, doing great damage and knocking it down, but it got up and charged again. He shot it in the head at close range, killing it. Ruled justifiable self-defense by the powers that be.

OO buck wouldn't be my choice for bear defense, but this guy had results you just couldn't argue with.
Good Shooting, CoyDog

Jay Baker
January 5, 2001, 12:51 AM
I've been fortunate enough to have been on seven guided hunts for elk/deer, in four states of the West; Idaho, Colo., Wyom., and Mont. I've seen quite a variety of guns used by the outfitters, the guides, the wranglers, and the cooks (yep, you'd better believe the cooks keep guns in the cook tents!)

Generally, I've seen more .30-06s, .308s, and .270s. A few .300 Mag and 7mm Mags. I hunted with an outfitter in Colo., who'd carried a Savage 99 in .243 for many years, and he always got an elk after the dudes went home.

The handguns were mainly .44 Mags and .41 Mags. A few .357s and a couple of .45 L.C. with heavy loads. The handguns were always packed around camp in griz country, which was in Wyom., and Idaho.

In northern Idaho, I hunted with an outfitter who had a young woman who was his supplies and meat packer, and she carried a Ruger Security Six .357 in a shoulder holster and a Marlin .30-30 in a saddle scabbard.

My guide on the hunt in Idaho carried a lightweight Rem. 650(?) in .350 Rem. Mag., and a .357 Mag in a shoulder holster.

Mainly, the guns were fairly eclectic.


Hot Core
January 5, 2001, 01:18 PM
Hey Glamdring, This is certainly the right way to find out the information you are seeking. I used to speak occasionally with a guy over in New Guinea who worked for their Government to reduce the Game population. But he is no longer with us. He typically took 600-1000 critters during a year.

He did use a whole lot of Nosler Partitions, because normally he had to take whatever shot was available.

When he hunted on his own, he used a good many types of bullets though just to see what they would do. Not real sure he ever expressed having a "Favorite" bullet.

Her is another site I frequent where a good many Guides and Big Game hunters hang out. It even has both a Big Game and an African Board. http://www.huntamerica.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&BypassCookie=true

Doing a search through either Board will find similar discussions fairly quickly.

Good hunting and clean 1-shot kills, Hot Core

January 5, 2001, 05:01 PM
Have been fortunate to hunt in Alaska for Dall Sheep, which was also black bear country. My guide carried a .270 as his rifle, in part because I carried a .338. He carried a .375 when going after just bear, both black and grizzly.

In Africa on a plains game safari, my PH also carried a .338. My brothers PH's carried a .338, while my dad's carried .375.


January 5, 2001, 10:22 PM
I've been on a few guided hunts out west, once to Colorado and twice to Montana.
Most had .300 Winchester mags. One elk guide had a .338, and prefered that his clients use that round if they could handle it.

Craig Boddington has a couple of books: "American Hunting Rifles" and "African Hunting Rifles". In each, he polled a lot of guides for their choice in calibre, optics etc.

Leupold scopes were far and away the first choice.
In calibres, personal choice for an all around use was the 300 mag, with the 7 mag and the 30'06 tieing for second.
The Nosler Partition was the favorite choice for bullet.

January 7, 2001, 09:56 AM
Had a good friend that was a PH in Kenya years ago. He did buffalo, leopard, Kudu nd a mix of other game. His main arm was a great "Obndf" Mauser in 416 Rig. If he needed to go after a wounded cat it was 12 ga shotguns loaded with the meanest stuff I have ever seen. 00 buck strung together on piano wire. These loads were made by Kyoch or some other English Co.

I shot a hedge fence post with it once and cut the damn thig off at 30 yds...

He had a bank of 458's and several 375's but those were for his clients. His gun of choice was the 416.

An Alaskan guide I have kowledge of carried a cut down 458 mod 70 when in the bush. Another, a BAR in 338 loaded with some kind of half jacket soft point like I have never seen before or since.

A good friend who runs a service and lodge in CO carries a 300 win mag with 180 gr Fail Safe and I must say he is one of the the best "in a pinch back up shots" that I have seen.

Texas private camps are somethig else. Deer guides may have anything from 243's to 300 win mags.

Bruce A. Hering
"Single shot shooters only shoot once"