SCI Member Dennis G. Uses Interarms/Whitworth

In response to our “Just Wondering” column in the July/August issue of Safari magazine where we asked what guns and loads are your favorite, SCI Member Dennis G. writes:

“I am a long time collector of firearms and have a complete range of rifle to choose from including modern rifles and classic rifles.  I booked a ten-day plains game hunt in South Africa during 2011 and completed the hunt in May 2012. I hunted in the Limpopo area thirty miles from Botswana. I collected nine trophies and all sere one shot heart/lung impacts.  All animals expired on the spot or within 125 yards.  The shots ranged in distance from 75 yards to in excess of 200 yards. The largest animal was a blue wildebeest and the smallest was a steenbok.

“The gun I chose for this trip is an Interarms Mark X by the Whitworth Rifle Company in Manchester, England.  It wears a 1.5-5 Leupold Vari-X III scope and has a three-leaf folding express iron sights. Chambering is .375 H&H Magnum firing a handloaded 300-grain Nosler Partition at 2,600 fps.

“I purchased this gun nearly 40 years ago and have hunted elk with the gun over several seasons.  It is very accurate and is not overweight.  The 24-inch barrel makes an easy gun for me to carry. My choice was based on my long time use of the rifle, the iron sights for reserve use, the ability to remove the scope without tools and the caliber.

“I sighted the rifle one inch high at 100 yards and when shooting on the range the impact is one to two inches low at 200 yards. On the safari, I set the scope on 2X and only one or two animals were shot with the scope at a higher setting. The only bullet retrieved was removed from the wildebeest. It had good expansion and classic Nosler performance. All other bullets exited the animals that were shot.

“I am pleased with the performance of the rifle and feel that I could not have made a better choice for large game combined with flat shooting for smaller game.”



R.B. Big Bores and Pre-’64s For Frank B.

These rifle and caliber choices come from SCI Life Member Frank B.

“Choosing a rifle for the hunt is always part of the fun and preparation.  Bigger is not always better.  The hunter (he or she) should shoot what they shoot most accurately.

“For North American and African plains game, I have favored using a pre-’64 Model 70 Winchester in either .270 Win. or .300 Win. Mag. Both are scoped rifles with fiberglass stocks.  Those calibers are very accurate and a pleasure to shoot.  The .300 Win. Mag sees most of my trips.

Frank B. uses a custom R.B. Big Bore .416 similar to this for dangerous game.

“African dangerous game requires more gun, not only by law but by shear size and tenacity of the game hunted.  My two favorites are the .416 Rigby and .505 Gibbs.  The Rigby carries a low power detachable scope.  Both guns have regulated iron sights for my handloads.  Guns were custom made for me by Ryan Breeding of the R. B. Big Bores.  They are extremely accurate and dependable, and provide plenty of stopping power.

“I custom load all my ammo, and favor Barnes and Woodleigh bullets for heavy African game, and Barnes, Nosler or Swift for North America or African plains game.  None of those bullet choices have ever failed.”

SCI, U.S. FWS Confer About Hunting Matters

As part of the organization’s hunter advocacy mission, Safari Club International officials met recently with the head of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to discuss critical hunting and wildlife policies that affect hunters around the world.

SCI works tirelessly to provide hunters the best opportunities to improve policies that affect hunting, both domestically and internationally. To be an effective hunter advocate requires specific lobbying efforts with high-level government officials.

When SCI President John Whipple, President-Elect Craig Kauffman, Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Chairman Paul Babaz, and GAC Vice-Chair Al Maki visited the Washington, D.C. office in July, they sat down with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe to discuss a variety of important issues and policies that affect hunters and hunting.

Al Maki, who also chairs the SCI Foundation Conservation Committee, asked the FWS to work collaboratively with SCI and SCI Foundation biologists to develop coordinated positions as the CITES Conference of the Parties 16 approaches next year in Bangkok, Thailand. SCI and FWS policies may differ, but developing relationships where there is common ground can help lead to better policies, such as an improved definition of a “Hunting Trophy.”

Director Ashe was invited to the SCI Foundation’s African Wildlife Consultative Forum, which is the largest annual meeting of African government delegations, professional hunter associations, and NGOs.

President Whipple and Director Ashe focused on the need for youth engagement with the outdoors, and building SCI chapter relations with regional National Wildlife Refuge managers nationwide (there are more than 500 Refuges in the U.S.). Each spoke passionately about reducing impediments to hunting and increasing hunting opportunities on the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The discussion also addressed problems with the importation of trophies. Babaz and Kauffman each shared views of how international hunters provide a vital link to conservation funding in economically struggling countries and how international hunters help to place a greater value on wildlife, thus ultimately reducing poaching. Director Ashe embraced this opportunity to discuss his vision to improve working relations with international hunters through education and concentrated outreach directly to SCI, which advocates directly to its members.

Without SCI working actively to protect hunting and advocate for changes in policy, there is little hope for the next generation. President John Whipple is committed to working directly at the highest level of government to ensure SCI remains first for hunters to protect our heritage.

Leupold Rangefinders Designed Specifically for Archers

Range estimation is critical when hunting —especially bowhunting. Leupold recently expanded its RX line of compact digital laser rangefinders for hunters and shooters with four new models: RX-800i, RX-800i TBR, RX-600i and, designed specifically for archers, RX-FullDraw.

“These new rangefinders are ideal for the serious bowhunter,” commented Pat Mundy, senior marketing manager for Leupold & Stevens, Inc.  “Their compact size and rugged construction make for easy and reliable use in the field, and they deliver the precision and accuracy necessary to make the most difficult shots considerably less daunting.”

At just over four inches in length and weighing seven ounces or less, each model fits in a shirt pocket, yet is packed with features that can help users confirm desired targets, shoot with confidence and boost their effective range.  Each model features DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy), Leupold’s exclusive next-generation rangefinder engine technology that delivers superior ranging speed and accuracy to within 1/2 yard out to 125 yards, regardless of target color.  In addition, DNA enhances ranging dependability against soft, non-reflective targets such as deer and trees.

The RX-800i, RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw also offer Trophy Scale, a feature that allows hunters to determine if the animal’s rack measures up to the desired spread size.  With Trophy Scale, users can instantly and accurately judge the width and/or height of the target after setting the preferred baseline measurement (between 10 and 60 inches).

To help ensure an accurate shot on that trophy animal, the RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw have Leupold’s proven True Ballistic Range (TBR) technology.  These units can automatically calculate the shot angle and provide the True Ballistic Range rather than the straight-line distance to the target.  With Trig, a new function of the RX-800i TBR, users can also determine the height or length of objects.

The RX-FullDraw’s TBR provides archers with accurate aiming ranges to 175 yards regardless of angle, and delivers line-of-sight readings out to 800 yards.  Its 5x magnification delivers an exceptionally wide field of view, allowing users to quickly acquire a target at closer distances.

Each of the four new models has a multicoated lens system and a new Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) that produce an image up to three times brighter than competitive rangefinders.  Other key features common to all models include actual 6x magnification (5x for FullDraw), fast-focus eyepiece with precision clicks, intuitive quick set menu, three user-selectable aiming reticles, and fold-down rubber eyecups that can accommodate users with or without eyeglasses.  Long eye relief helps make the new RX rangefinders comfortable and easy to use for eyeglass wearers.

Maximum range on reflective targets for the RX-800i, RX-800i TBR and RX-FullDraw is 800 yards. Each model is waterproof and built to withstand the rigors of extensive field use.  Rugged and weatherproof, the affordable RX-600i has a maximum range of 600 yards.


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