Category Archives: Guns & Hunting

Enjoy exciting hunting stories told by SCI members and read about the latest guns and gear they’re using in the bush.

Ruger’s Ken Jorgensen’s Choice of Guns

By Ken Jorgensen

I saw the “Just Wondering” column in the July/August issue of Safari and your request for info on what hunters are using these days. Having only hunted big game with a rifle since I came to Ruger nine years ago I don’t have a lot of history to fall back on but I have had the opportunity to pick from lots of rifles and calibers. I have used a No. 1 in .30-06 on several trips to Africa and shot plains game with it. I have shot several animals in North America with an All-Weather .270, including the blacktail I shot while we were hunting in Alaska a few years back. I have also dropped a few animals with .44 revolvers over the years and still enjoy that when I keep my skills up through regular practice.

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My last four trips to Africa have seen me use either a .375 Ruger African or a wood and blued M77 .300RCM. The .375 Ruger has taken animals ranging from Cape buffalo and sable to bushbuck while the .300RCM has accounted for gemsbok, springbok, kudu, impala and other plains game. I like both calibers quite a bit for their respective applications but if I had to choose one for all African hunting it would be the .375.

I really do like the Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 Win. While I have used it on hogs, the .308 has never been my first choice as a hunting round, and I am not sure why. My daughters success with the .308 in a 20” barrel Ruger M77 RCM style rifle in Namibia a couple years ago opened my eyes. I did acquire one of the “International” versions of the Ruger Scout with its 18” unthreaded muzzle barrel and do anticipate taking it on more serious hunting trips in the future. Maybe even using the forward mounted Scout Scope optics as I have spent considerable time shooting that way and find it very usable. The Scout rifle/optics package makes a very compact, easy to handle combo when carrying a rifle long distances and the shorter barrels doesn’t give up much with today’s ammo, especially the Superformance loads from Hornady.

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Favorite Guns of SCI Member Bill B.

In recent years I have become very fond of two rifles and their cartridges. Aside from the .45-70, it has become apparent to me that I don’t need the big guns for most of my hunting. I really like my Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 even though many of the animals I took with it could have been done just as well with my favorite .308, a Remington Model 7 Custom KS. It’s light, easy to take with, and accurate.

With the .308 I have taken all manner of African plains game, elk and deer at home; and it was perfect for my last hunt in Scotland.

My 45-70 was an engraved parting gift when my term on the AZ G&F commission ended. Though limited by trajectory, it has served me well when conditions were appropriate for it. With it I have taken muskox, elk, American bison, Argentina water buffalo, and wild boar in Argentina and the US.

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Mossberg Announces Silver Reserve II Break-Open Shotguns

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Over-Under Shotgun
Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field

Mossberg is perhaps best known for shotguns such as the pump-action Model 500 that are tough enough to last a lifetime but priced at a level that belies their quality.  In 2005, Mossberg applied that principle to a line of over-under shotguns called the Silver Reserve that was received well enough that side-by-side models followed in 2008.

Now, Mossberg has announced a new generation of the Silver Reserve line—the Silver Reserve II—that has features hunters and shooters expect on high-quality double guns. Those features include black walnut stocks and fine-line checkering. Blued barrels are complemented by silver-finished receivers sporting wrap-around classic scroll engraving. Functionally, the Silver Reserve II line offers chrome-plated chambers and bores, dual-locking lugs and tang-mounted safety/barrel selectors as standard features. There are a variety of barrel lengths and stock options available.

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Super Sport

Variants include:

Field Over-Under—Features vent rib barrels with single front bead. Changeable choke tubes mount flush, and cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full chokes are included on 12-, 20 and 28-gauge models. .410-bore guns have fixed modified and full chokes. 12-gauge models have 28-inch barrels with 3-inch chambers. Extractors are standard but ejectors are an option. 20-, 28-gauge and .410-bore guns have 26-inch barrels and extractors only. Both Bantam and Combo Field versions are available with the Bantam available only in 20-gauge and with a 13-inch length of pull to better-fit smaller shooters. Combos are 12/20 or 20/28 and come with 26-inch barrels and appropriate forends and choke tubes. Suggested retail of the Field versions ranges from $693 to $1,042.

Sporting Over-Unders—Sport and Super Sport versions feature dual beads (the front is fiber optic) and ported barrels. The Sport model has a 28-inch barrel with 10mm rib while the Super Sport’s rib is 12mm and can be had with optional 30- or 32-inch barrels. Both versions come with five extended choke tubes—skeet, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full–that are silver-finished and knurled so you can grasp them better. Ejectors are standard, with select Sport models featuring extractors. Super Sport models offer a choice of adjustable (height, slope and cast) or fixed high-comb stocks; higher profile, extra-wide 12mm ribs; and optional 30- or 32-inch barrels. Suggested retail of the Sporting versions ranges from $851 to $1,145.

Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Side-By-Side
Mossberg Silver Reserve II Field Side-By-Side

Field Side-By-Side—These versions are available in 12-, 20- or 28-gauge and extractors are standard. The 26-inch vent rib barrels have a single front bead and come with flush choke tubes and cylinder, improved cylinder, modified, improved modified and full are included. Suggested retail price is $1,005.

For more information, contact Mossberg.

John S.–Favorite Rifles

SCI Member John S.  has a favorite rifle chambered in .308 Winchester. He writes:

“I have hunted in Africa six times. On the first safari I took a Winchester Model 70 .375 and a Sako 7mm Magnum. The rifles arrived three days late, so I borrowed a Model 70 .308 Featherweight and really liked the way it fit me.

“In hindsight, I went unprepared, as I had not practiced shooting much. The 7mm Magnum just did not fit me well or something. I never could shoot it well. Later, I found a small chip at the muzzle. It shot better after that was repaired.

“However, I shot the .308 well and bought one for my next safari (hit a kudu on the run at distance).

“On safaris two through five, I took the .308 and the .375 (got two elephants, two Cape buffalo and a lion, plus much plains game). I am able to adjust the triggers easily on Model 70s and am comfortable shooting both. I don’t appear to be bothered by recoil and even use the .375 for elk (also, killed an elk with the .308).

“On safari six, I took the .308 and a Husqvarna .358 Norma Magnum. The .358’s trigger was too light and became dangerous. I stopped using it after three animals and used the .308 the remainder of the time.

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“I use the .308 on all my deer and African hunts (unless my son is along and then he uses it), and I have to say it is my favorite because it is very accurate, has a nice trigger, and I am very comfortable with it.

“The .375 would be my next choice, but there’s not too much you can hunt with it in the United States.

“I started reloading about two years ago and took all reloaded ammo with me on the last trip to Africa.

“I use 180-grain Seirras and Barnes X-Bullets for the .308, .300 Winchester Magnum, and .30-06.

“I went in a Wal-Mart many years ago and they were selling 180-grain Winchester Power Points for $6 a box. I bought all they had and went to other Wal-Marts for more. The price went down to $4 a box and I cleaned them out. So, I am a 180-grain shooter and will be for a while. (The only reason I can think of for Wal-Mart to put that ammo on sale is that Winchester was changing the style and color of the box. Doesn’t make sense.)”