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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 02-28-2019, 9:17 AM
Dakie Dakie is offline
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Default Dangerous Game Rifle

Hey guys, I'm looking to buy a dangerous game rifle for hunting Alaska and hopefully one day Africa. I'm leaning toward one in .375 H&H for versatility and not too high ammo prices. Having trouble choosing a rifle, as no one in the Sacramento area seems to carry any big bores. Fondled a couple in 300 Win Mag, and really liked the Browning X-Bolt. I've set a budget around 1000-1200, which I know includes several rifles, but it's really hard to stomach putting down that kind of money without holding it first. What do you guys think about the Browning, or others like the Vanguard Dangerous Game Rifle?
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2019, 9:22 AM
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Funny I was just researching this topic for fun. How about a Ruger M77 Guide, Hawkeye Alaskan or African in .375 Ruger? Theres also the Mossberg Patriot and Savage 110 Brush Hunter chambered in .375 Ruger. The Mossberg is cheap for a DG gun, $400-$500. There is a Laminate Marincote model.

A Weatherby in 375H&H should do just fine. Also check out the CZ550 Safari.

Have you been to Sportsmans warehouse or Basspro/Cabelas? They carry a bunch of hunting guns. Or try River City Gun Exchange. Also I hate to recommend them, but Guns Fisting and Stuff also has a huge selection of hunting arms.
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Last edited by California_Deplorable; 02-28-2019 at 9:37 AM..
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Old 02-28-2019, 9:43 AM
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Thanks for the reply, I have looked at the .375 Ruger, only concern is ammo availability. I've been to both Sportsman's and Bass Pro, they didn't have any in stock. I did like the look of the Mossberg, very nice stock.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:07 AM
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The only "dangerous game" you'll find in Alaska is bears. Big bears. You're probably talking at least $25k to hunt one because IIRC you need a guide if you're from out of state.

A .375 is enough gun for any brown bear in Alaska and for any dangerous game in Africa.

For moose, goats, caribou, sheep and deer you still need a big caliber rifle to protect yourself in case a bear decides it wants your kill, but you could get by with a .30-06 or a .300 win mag.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:15 AM
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Any thoughts on the .338 Win Mag?

Big game hunting is not an inexpensive hobby.

Ammo is expensive
travel is expensive
hunting license / tags are expensive
Taxidermy and flying mounts home


the only thing you wont lose money on is the rifle.....

I would search for used rifles as many big game guns have fired less than 40 rounds....
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2019, 10:35 AM
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https://grabagun.com/ruger-k1s-med-s...-ss-wd-24.html

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...str+45%2f70+24

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...185+chrome+4rd

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...-70+govt+22%22
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:41 AM
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I have a CZ550 in .375, and currently planning on having the barrel shortened to 20", a backup ghost ring rear sight and proper front sight installed, barrel band swivel stud, and a cartridge trap fitted. Optic is a Leupold 1-4X duplex with FireDot, and Talley QD rings. Sling is a Rhodesian from Andy's leather.
The rifle had a 25" barrel as shipped, however I prefer something more friendly when hiking and exiting vehicles. I plan to use it for buffalo in Africa, and likely bear in Alaska after I retire this year.
Reloading is easy, and you can get a lot of field shooting practice while using cheaper lead bullets that won't beat you up. Look for deals on FMJ premium hunting bullets as you find them; those can get expen$ive, but you won't need a whole bunch.

Last edited by splithoof; 03-03-2019 at 8:30 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:49 AM
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Ammo is not expensive with any of those guns. You won't shoot many rounds, even when practicing.

It's not like 9mm which @$0.20/rd sounds cheap, until you shoot 10K rounds per year like many of us.
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:56 AM
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Too bad your not in Texas this is a nice Sako for $800. Maybe you can contact him to see about shipping.

https://texasguntrader.com/category/.../Sako-375.html
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:08 AM
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Hmmm... Ruger just released a M77 African in 9.3x62 Mauser. Very good cartridge and most vendors sell it now.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for all the replies, I'm liking the look of that CZ, though I would prefer a synthetic stock. Is there any shops around here who would carry one? I still prefer either .375 H&H or even Ruger, as the ammo cost won't break the bank like some of the other DG cartridges. Is there anything I should be looking for, like a free-floated barrel or bedding?
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:15 PM
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One of the few situations where a controlled-feed is actually useful, look at the Winchester Model 70 Alaskan. I've seen it for $1100 in .375 H&H.

Kimbers are also controlled feed but I think their big calibers are very expensive.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:15 PM
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Wait until Frank or Doug reply as they both hunt Africa.
I don't know the rules but they have caliber restrictions on some animals or countries so you don't want to buy the wrong gun and ruin your hunt before it happens.
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Old 02-28-2019, 12:38 PM
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I would grab that Sako listed in Texas and have it shipped in. Sako Rifles are among the best out there. I recently almost bought a Ruger M77 Safari in .416 Rigby at a local gun show. The gun was perfect as most guns in this class would be, as seldom do they get shot very much due to the recoil and cost of factory ammo. The guy wanted $1200 for it and he got it shortly after I left.

I already have a Marlin 1895CB 45.70 so I don't really need a large bolt gun.

As far as ammo is concerned you need to reload or you'll never get enough practice to get good with the gun. You actually need to "Know how" and actually be able to "Run" that gun to gain the confidence and respect of any reputable guide.

Reloading is the key to attaining the shooting skills needed to hunt dangerous game. You can start out light with Cast Boolits and work your way up to full house loads while mastering the gun handling skills you'll need in the field.

Lots more to this than just showing up with a big gun. All those used guns with only 40 rounds thru them were sold because the guys couldn't master them.

Your hunting experience will be much more rewarding and you'll get more Bang for your Safari Buck if you can actually shoot!

Randy
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Old 02-28-2019, 1:50 PM
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What really matters here is the key word "dangerous game," and if you truly intend to use the rifle for Africa. .375 H&H is the minimum caliber allowed for dangerous game in Africa. Most recommend something that has a '4' in front of the caliber.
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Old 02-28-2019, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdr_11 View Post
Too bad your not in Texas this is a nice Sako for $800. Maybe you can contact him to see about shipping.

https://texasguntrader.com/category/.../Sako-375.html
Dang. Isnt that a $2000 gun? Buy it and ship it in, still come out way ahead.
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Old 02-28-2019, 2:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnJr View Post
Wait until Frank or Doug reply as they both hunt Africa.
I don't know the rules but they have caliber restrictions on some animals or countries so you don't want to buy the wrong gun and ruin your hunt before it happens.
I sort of assumed .375 H&H was appropriate, since he's been looking into Africa. I doubt he's going after Dumbo.
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Old 02-28-2019, 2:47 PM
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Another possibility is an Inter Arms/Whitworth in 375H&H. They're built on an FN mauser commercial action in England. Very nice rifles. They generally sell used in the $650 range in nice condition. I own 3 of them. 4 if I see another... :-)
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigstroker View Post
I sort of assumed .375 H&H was appropriate, since he's been looking into Africa. I doubt he's going after Dumbo.
Sig
I looked into shooting Dumbo and you need to be inside the country for 22 days before you would be allowed to pull the trigger. On something like Africa it is best to hear from someone who has been there so you don't screw up.
A friend of mine went and when the plane lands they walk down the aisle and spray the passengers.
Strange place.
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:13 PM
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TRy big game rifle. Lots of people injured and killed by Moose as well. Dangerous game sounds like a Frank Buck novella. FYI I think fjold is an old africa hand
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:24 PM
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I don't pretend to know squat about DG hunting, but, that Sako would be worth a look. As mentioned earlier, also wait to make sure it is indeed enough gun for all areas. Sako do look nice, tho.
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:33 PM
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I ended up contacting the seller of the Sako to see if he'll ship, haven't heard back yet. Went on Armslist and Gunbroker, upsetting to see that some sellers won't ship to CA due to politics
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:38 PM
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I have the Winchester Model 70 in .375 H&H, it's a great gun I purchased it used from a close friend.
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Old 02-28-2019, 3:49 PM
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I liked shooting my Winchester Model 70 Super Express in .375 H&H.
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Old 02-28-2019, 5:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnJr View Post
Sig
I looked into shooting Dumbo and you need to be inside the country for 22 days before you would be allowed to pull the trigger. On something like Africa it is best to hear from someone who has been there so you don't screw up.
A friend of mine went and when the plane lands they walk down the aisle and spray the passengers.
Strange place.
If it turns out he DOES want to go after Dumbo, the Model 70 in .458 Win Mag is still under $1200. The .458 isn't a world beater, but the ammo is fairly common in Africa from what I've heard.

https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...WinMag+24+3%2B
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Old 02-28-2019, 5:42 PM
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I got my .460 Weatherby Mag Mark 5 for $1200 years ago. Love it. With Handloads, it does a lot. Would by another in a heartbeat.
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Old 02-28-2019, 6:33 PM
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If I only had one DG rifle it would be the 375 H&H. That and the 416 Remington are probably most well rounded chamberings for a one gun hunt. The 375 has the advantage of being easier to get used to the recoil of and most big bore shooters learn on their 375s to build their recoil tolerance. If you become a good shot with it, you can take any animal in the world. Using the 300 and 350 grain solids the 375 H&H has taken a lot of elephants. Until they get a lot of experience and make a lot of money, very many younger African Professional Hunters are carrying 375 H&H and 458 Win Mag rifles.

A couple of good, commonly found rifles to start with in 375 H&H are:
Winchester Model 70
Mauser (Interarms Mark X, Zastava)
Montana Rifle Co.
Sako
Browning
The Weatherby's are also good but I don't like them chambered in the Weatherby cartridges. The ammunition is hard to find, very expensive and their habit of long throating their barrels to reduce peak pressures is sometimes detrimental to accuracy. The old 375 Weatherby was a great cartridge because it would shoot the 375 H&H cartridge (it's basically a 375 H&H Ackley Improved)

Don't discount the Rugers in 375 Ruger, I see more and more in Africa every year.
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Old 02-28-2019, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesa Defense View Post
I got my .460 Weatherby Mag Mark 5 for $1200 years ago. Love it. With Handloads, it does a lot. Would by another in a heartbeat.
That is one very powerful rifle. Certainly enough gun for Jumbo, rhino, hippopotamus, etc. I've got an old H&H double in .416, and firing it reminds me a slight bit of your Mk5, but the .460 will do more, so I'm told.
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Old 02-28-2019, 6:40 PM
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Frank, you might answer this: How easy (or what is involved) is it to re-chamber the .458 to the Lott?....is it simply a matter of using a proper reamer, or does the increased length necessitate a longer action?
I know that with the Lott one can fire the .458, but what is the actual, practical field difference?
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Old 02-28-2019, 6:44 PM
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My 2 cents, 300 Win Mag with a good hunting bullet or a 7mm Rem Mag or 8mm Rem Mag will take down just about anything with a single shot.

My first thought was 300 Win Mag in something like a Browning BAR.

Also, if you're really concerned about close quarters, look at a Magnum Research BFR pistol in 45-70. It has more energy than a 30-06 at point blank range out to more than 100 yards.

What about a lever action in 45-70? Sheet. Chris Pratt (sp) used it to bring down huge dinosaurs.
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Old 02-28-2019, 6:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Any thoughts on the .338 Win Mag?

Big game hunting is not an inexpensive hobby.

Ammo is expensive
travel is expensive
hunting license / tags are expensive
Taxidermy and flying mounts home


the only thing you wont lose money on is the rifle.....

I would search for used rifles as many big game guns have fired less than 40 rounds....

My friend has a kimber for sale.
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Old 03-01-2019, 8:00 AM
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I have a really nice custom 375 H&H on a interarms Action. If I did it again, I would do a Kimber 375 H&H.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:15 AM
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Over 2 grand, tho.
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Old 03-01-2019, 10:53 AM
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Yeah, a little out of my price range, though I do realize that I'm talking about a dangerous game rifle here. The three I'm looking at are

https://www.browning.com/products/fi...en-sights.html
https://ruger.com/products/guideGun/models.html
https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...oducts_id/3648
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:52 AM
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For the USA - The 375 H&H is hard to beat. Ammo available everywhere. With proper barrel porting and a thin butt pad, it will shoot similar to a 30-06 with a 180 grain projectile. Very easy to tame.
The 375 H&H can take anything that is currently living on land BUT I would prefer a larger caliber if I were seriously considering going to Africa.
I have never been to Africa. My friend hunts Big / Dangerous game with a bow - SORRY - not me. I'm a pssy and I gave up hunting several years ago.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splithoof View Post
Frank, you might answer this: How easy (or what is involved) is it to re-chamber the .458 to the Lott?....is it simply a matter of using a proper reamer, or does the increased length necessitate a longer action?
I know that with the Lott one can fire the .458, but what is the actual, practical field difference?
On a normal magnum sized rifle, the Lott will require you to lengthen the stroke of the bolt. Depending on what gun you are working on, this involves machining the bolt stop and/or the rear of the action. Many actions will also require the front of the action at the feed ramp lengthened but this weakens the lower locking lug recess in the action. You will also have to lengthen the magazine box and change the spring and follower. Many guns will need the feed rails adjusted to allow the longer cartridge to load and the ejection port will have to be machined longer to eject loaded rounds.

Remember that the Mauser actions (and their clones) were designed for the mid length 8mm Mauser round and not for magnum cartridges so it takes a lot more work by a very experienced smith to make a Lott fit in those.

The Montana Rifle Company long action (over sized Model 70 type action) requires very little work to fit the Lott and their PH action is actually a bit bigger than the Lott requires.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakie View Post
Yeah, a little out of my price range, though I do realize that I'm talking about a dangerous game rifle here. The three I'm looking at are

https://www.browning.com/products/fi...en-sights.html
https://ruger.com/products/guideGun/models.html
https://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/...oducts_id/3648
Two push feeds and an investment cast receiver?
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Old 03-01-2019, 6:29 PM
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I bought a sauer 100 in 9.3x62. it is a proven big game killer. hand load 250gr accubond has ballistic drop of 180 grain out of 06.
The hawkeye in 375 would be something I'd look at well.
I dont know where I read it, but i thought it said that 375 ruger is becoming popular or proving it self in africa.
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Old 03-01-2019, 6:37 PM
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Only $250,000...
https://youtu.be/EsTKFnThh6Q
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Old 03-02-2019, 8:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjold View Post
If I only had one DG rifle it would be the 375 H&H. That and the 416 Remington are probably most well rounded chamberings for a one gun hunt. The 375 has the advantage of being easier to get used to the recoil of and most big bore shooters learn on their 375s to build their recoil tolerance. If you become a good shot with it, you can take any animal in the world. Using the 300 and 350 grain solids the 375 H&H has taken a lot of elephants. Until they get a lot of experience make a lot of money, very many younger African Professional Hunters are carrying 375 H&H and 458 Win Mag rifles.

A couple of good, commonly found rifles to start with in 375 H&H are:
Winchester Model 70
Mauser (Interarms Mark X, Zastava)
Montana Rifle Co.
Sako
Browning
The Weatherby's are also good but I don't like them chambered in the Weatherby cartridges. The ammunition is hard to find, very expensive and their habit of long throating their barrels to reduce peak pressures is sometimes detrimental to accuracy. The old 375 Weatherby was a great cartridge because it would shoot the 375 H&H cartridge (it's basically a 375 H&H Ackley Improved)

Don't discount the Rugers in 375 Ruger, I see more and more in Africa every year.



This is good advice. Agree that the 375 & 416 Rugers would be great rifles for Africa.


My advice would be to keep a good look our for a used rifle in the caliber you really want. A lot of rifles in these larger calibers don't get shot very much and can be in really good condition.


If you go new, you should really save up and increase your budget to $2,000. If you really want to hunt Africa/Alaska, an extra $1,000 invested in the right rifle is nothing compared to the expense of hunting in those places.


My suggestion would be the Sako or Ruger at a sub $2,000 price point.

https://www.eurooptic.com/sako-85-ko...g-jrs1w37.aspx
https://www.ruger.com/products/Hawke...an/models.html

If you practice more and shoot better with a 375, it will serve you well in Africa. Much better than getting a larger caliber that you don't shoot as much or are less proficient with.

I took a 375H&H and a .458 Win Mag on my first safari. Every time we tracked buffalo, I would carry the .458 Win Mag. On the 4th day we came across tracks and got out of the truck with my 375 and ended up coming across a nice old 41" bull. Put him down with a few well placed shots of the 375 H&H no problem. Shot quite a few other animals from small (grysbok, warthog, klipspringer, etc.) to larger (cape buffalo, kudu, waterbuck, etc.) and the 375H&H performed perfectly. I was shooting 300 grain Swift Aframes. For the buffalo, my first shot was a soft (A-Frame) followed up by Barnes solids, all at 2,500 FPS.


To me, so much of the fun of hunting is the time leading up to the trip. Shooting different rifles, loads, and getting your equipment in order.


Calguns is great, but you may want to check out the forums at www.accuraterealoding.com for a lot of info on hunting Africa.


Good luck and have fun!
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