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Old December 11, 2017, 08:01 PM   #1
Stats Shooter
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Talk to Me About African Cartridges

I have an opportunity to go hunting in Africa next year in exchange for services I have already rendered for some land owners on the dark continent. The game includes some plaines game such as kudu and wildebeest. I'll use my good ol .300wm on them.

But I also have a chance to hunt the black death in Malawi (cape Buffalo) on the same trip.

So, any excuse for a new rifle is a good excuse right?

I don't want a .375HH. my brother has one and it's fine, but if I'm going big, I want 416 cal or bigger.

Anyway, I'm thinking perhaps .416 Remington or Rigby? Perhaps .458 Lott/win mag?

I'm a hand loader so ammo isn't an issue. Also, I'm not recoil sensitive.... have fired .460 Weatherby without too much discomfort (no muzzle brake).

Also, I'm not worried about North America hunting practicality as I I have plenty of other guns suitable for anything on this continent.

Thanks.
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:09 PM   #2
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Sorry I could not help this:

I would suggest a GRU-8, AP rounds for good penetration of course.

Not a lot scares me, but a Cape Buff would do it.

It would not hurt to have the gun mounted in a nice armored car.
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Old December 11, 2017, 08:42 PM   #3
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416 is kinda the next step up from a 375 H&H. This often means Rigby or Remington, sometimes Weatherby. If you want classic cartridges, the 404 Jeffreys works, or you can step up to the 458 of your choice (Win Mag, Lott, or African Express). Once you get up past 416, it's slim pickings.
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Old December 12, 2017, 12:56 AM   #4
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I'd go for a 458 Lott. Plenty of power and you can use readily available 458 Win ammo in a pinch. Be sure the headstamp on all the ammo you bring with you matches the stamping on the barrel though to improve passing through customs.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:17 AM   #5
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Thanks Natman,

It'll be my first trip to Africa. The only cost to me is the airline tickets. They told me if I wanted I could go after a lion but that one's gonna cost some serious extra $$$$$.

Besides, on my first trip, a kudu, wildebeest, springbok, and cape Buffalo will be enough.

The 458 Lott interests me though. It certainly looks the part of an African cartridge.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:30 AM   #6
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the .458 Win Mag has proven itself enough gun, in capable hands. The .458 Lott is what the .458Win was originally touted to be, but sadly fell short of in real world performance.

One thing I would suggest, no matter which round you decide on, is to send a sufficient quantity of ammo to be held for you in country, well in advance of your trip. Something that can clear customs and be waiting for you when you get there.

Take your ammo with you, sure, but HAVE a "safe" reserve supply in country in advance, just in case something separates you (and your gun) from your ammo.

Good hunting!
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Old December 12, 2017, 05:17 AM   #7
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How eccentric are you?
The 416's and 458's will get the job done for sure. But there are other options.
505 Gibbs, 500 Jeffrey.
And the really eccentric 425 Westley Richards.
There are also the UMT cartridges.
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Old December 12, 2017, 07:21 AM   #8
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I would go .45/70 gov't with Buffalo Bore ammo. Or .416 Taylor. A .416 based off of the .458 Win. Mag. Case. I have seen 2 here that were on BRNO actions with custom stocks, triggers, and with scope bases installed. Both had nearly brand new barrels on them. The stocks were nice with thick heavy recoil pads. Price tags were about $650.
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Old December 12, 2017, 07:30 AM   #9
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I have hunted in Africa five times and the .375H&H and 300 win mag would be my choice for the animals you are going for. I have shot 62 animals in several countries in Africa, cape buffalo-9.3x62, elend-.375, kudu-.375. other plains animals 300 win-mag-7mm mag. but if you are looking for another large bore rifle the ones you have named with do. good luck and have a good time. I think you will find the African people more than friendly. eastbank.
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Old December 12, 2017, 09:51 AM   #10
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I, too, have hunted Africa 5 times. First 2 times plains game the last three, dangerous game. I have a 375 H&H,A 416 Rem mag and a 458 lott. The lott is a rechambered 458 win.
My first dangerous game hunt i used the 375 h&h on buff. It was satisfactory. I then had the 458 win rechambered to 458 Lott and used that on the second trip. Put 400 to 500 rounds thru it before the hunt. On the 3rd hunt I wanted to see what a 416 would do so picked up one and used the same brand of bullets in all three. Swift A Frames as the first shot and Trohpy Bonded Sledgehammers as solids. Shot two buffs on each hunt. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a difference between the 375 and others. If I would go back again I would use the 416.I would try the Barnes 350 gr TTSX and load them to max and I believe it would be a good one gun safari.[ but I would take two]

By the way, your 300 will be a great choice for all else.
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Old December 12, 2017, 10:44 AM   #11
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If it were me I'd talk to the PH you'll be using and get his input. I'd also talk to a lot of people who have hunted Africa before about getting your hunting rifles over there and back, as well as getting your trophies back. It might be smarter and easier to travel with only one rifle, and borrow one from the PH over there for the Buff. From what I've talked to people who have hunted Africa travel and trophies are the biggest battle. You might start somewhere like Travel with Guns travel agency.
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Old December 12, 2017, 11:57 AM   #12
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With modern powders and bullets, the 458 Win Mag has overcome all previous objections. It's not difficult to get a real 2150 out of 500 gr bullets in a 24" barrel, and if you have only a 22" barrel, then just drop down to a 450 gr monolithic bullet like the CEBs and you get an easy 2250-2300 fps. As a handloader you will have a much larger variety of bullets than in .416 caliber, and in an emergency, factory ammo is much more available as well.
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Old December 12, 2017, 12:22 PM   #13
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All Good advice.

I am in contact with PH's down there. The guys I did some work for ARE the land owners and along with some other businesses run PH outfits. They told me pretty much anything .375 and up will work and is legal in all countries as some have minimum caliber restrictions.

The .458 win mag I think IS the most inexpensive option as there are lots of quality rifles in that cartridge and as a handloader of the 45-70 now, I know how easy it is to get .458 bullets.

My reservation on the .458 win mag was based upon probably dated information and the reason that Jack Lott developed the .458 Lott being that the .458 win mag just didn't perform as well has Jack though it should. I shouldn't be surprised that modern propellants have given it the performance that it was originally intended to get.

Quote:
With modern powders and bullets, the 458 Win Mag has overcome all previous objections. It's not difficult to get a real 2150 out of 500 gr bullets in a 24" barrel, and if you have only a 22" barrel, then just drop down to a 450
If i can get an honest 2150 with a 500 gr bullet, then that would be more than enough for ANYTHING on 4 legs. In fact, if the load data is correct that I am seeing, a "Lott" gains me about 50 fps give or take with a 500 gr bullet. I.e. 2150 fps with the Win Mag and 2200 with the Lott....so only about a 2% increase based upon published information (Nosler Manual, Speer Manual, and Hodgdon website).

And you do have to plan for a contingency....like if your ammo doesn't make it, Win Mag ammo will probably be really easy to come by.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:02 PM   #14
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"...only cost to me is..." All African countries have trophy fees on every beast. That Kudu for example, in South Africa will cost you $2850US up to 54". $12500US for a buffalo. Not seeing numbers for Malawi. Locals apparently have been hunting vampires there though.
Plus the cost of getting the thing home. There are buckets of forms to be filled in to import a rifle too. All of it varies according to the country, of course.
Like taylorce1 says, talk to the outfitter.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Locals apparently have been hunting vampires there though.
So are you suggesting I bring holy water and a cross bow with oak bolts too?
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:19 PM   #16
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I'd go with a Marlin 1895, 22" barrel, 400grain Barnes Busters at 2100fps.
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
I would go .45/70 gov't with Buffalo Bore ammo. Or .416 Taylor. A .416 based off of the .458 Win. Mag. Case. I have seen 2 here that were on BRNO actions with custom stocks, triggers, and with scope bases installed. Both had nearly brand new barrels on them. The stocks were nice with thick heavy recoil pads. Price tags were about $650.
Wow! Where is “here”?
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Old December 12, 2017, 01:39 PM   #18
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I hunted private ranch-farms and the land owner set the fee,s for the animals shot.and they were a lot less then the high-end do every thing for you hunts. my friend shot a 55" kudu last july on our hunt and it was a lot less than2800 usd,s. as a matter of fact it was 15,000 rand and the ex rate was close to 13 to 1 as I had shot 6 on earlier trips I passed it up. I did shoot a very big blue wildebeest for 5000 rand as I had shoot two blue and one black wildebeest on earier hunts but I wanted a bigger one and found one. that was in the vryburg district- north west. eastbank.
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:00 PM   #19
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The 458 Lott is capable of more then a 50 fpm increase. I have no problem getting 150 feet and 2300 fpm with my hand loaded Lott. That in fact was more like 300 fpm over the 458 win 20 years ago. What has been lost not only was the Win round short on powder capacity but the ball powder being used had a tendency to ball thus giving radical burn rates
The best opinion on big bores for Africa is the book the Perfect Shot by Robertson. A must for all first time African hunters.
As written above, dont get hung up on cartridges, anything from 375 up will get the job done. Properly place the first bullet and it will not become a rodeo.
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:50 PM   #20
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A good friend has hunted in South Africa every year for the past ten years. He has used various calibers, but the most versatile of all common African "big game" calibers according to him, and his PH is the 375 H&H. On his first hunt he took Kudu, Eland, Waterbuck, and a Cape Buffalo. Since then he has taken zebra, giraffe, and a few more with it. Although his lion was taken with a bow! Yes, he's nuts!!! His rifle has been used by a certain Rock & Roll guitarist he hunted with to take an elephant. He mentions my friend, the rifle, and the smith from Northern Missouri that did the custom work on the 700 Remington in his video about the elephant hunt.
As a side, he told me his PH absolutely hates to see people bring a 300 WM. He says that caliber has resulted in more lost game than any other.
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Old December 12, 2017, 02:57 PM   #21
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Are you going to buy, build it yourself or have it built?

Building yourself is an option that is good and can get you the rifle in time for you to have some months to practice.

Buying now is good for the same reason.

Having it built may not be a good way to go in this case because a lot of gunsmiths who are good at the work will have back-logs too long to work for you.

I am not taking on any more work now, so this is not a solicitation, but I have been making such guns for a very long time, and I may have some good insights for you that might be helpful.
PM me and I'll give you my number if you want to call.
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Old December 12, 2017, 03:16 PM   #22
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Just curious but does the PH have a suitable rifle you could rent? If going to Africa is going to be a regular thing for you I could see buying a special rifle. But a once only trip I would be seeing about using one of their guns.

In the reading I have done written by Finn Aagaard renting a rifle is a common practice. Or at least it used to be. Did you ever read the article by Brian Pearce of his hunt in Africa using a 45-70? It caused a bit of discussion when it came out. He shot one Cape Buffalo and when the bullet passed through he killed a second unseen Buff standing behind it. It was a good read. You could propably find a back issue from Rifle Magazine on their website.

A CZ in about any caliber you could ask for.

http://cz-usa.com/product/cz-550-ame...-rd-fixed-mag/
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Old December 12, 2017, 03:26 PM   #23
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I am going to buy the rifle. I know I could rent one, but like I said, any excuse for me to buy a new gun and develop a load and I will do it!

As for the 45-70. I have a 45-70 Marlin GBL....Its a fine rifle and I like it, and it would probably take a buffalo with a 525 gr pile driver pushed to around 1550 fps.

As far as a custom rifle, I was thinking about just buying a Model 70 safari, CZ 550, or something in that $1,300- $1,500 price range.
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Old December 12, 2017, 03:30 PM   #24
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Hey Mississippi I updated my post while you were posting. I thought Howa used to offer a reasonable priced 375 but I couldn't find it on their website. I did post a link to the CZ rifles. I wish I had an excuse to buy one. What nice looking rifles.
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Old December 12, 2017, 04:25 PM   #25
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the 300 win mag with the right bullets will do for 90 percent of the plains game animals, hit them right and they will die. the 55" kudu my friend killed was with a 180gr corlock rem bullet from a howa 3006 at 50 yards walking towards him, the bullet took his heart apart and ended up in its guts. the kudu made about 40-50 yards stumbleing before going down for good. eastbank.
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