Bill C. wrote in with an impressive list of rifles he uses, but if he had to narrow it down to just one as his “go-to” gun, it would be his Remington Model 700 LH LSS in .300 RUM. Bill writes:
“That rifle has never failed to deliver what I asked it to do. If I were a better rifleman, I would, perhaps, step up to a Model 700 in .300 Win. Mag. My Remington Model 700 in .300 RUM has demonstrated for me accuracy and killing ability out to ranges of 350 yards. I would not feel as confident with a .30-’06 at that range with a 180-grain bullet. I am sure there are riflemen who could far exceed my capabilities with the .30-’06 at those ranges, but the .300 RUM gives me the confidence of a clean kill vs. a long search for wounded game and a possible loss of a wounded animal.
“If I were to choose one bullet, it would be the Barnes Triple-Shock, or one of the improved tipped X-type bullets. If I needed less penetration, the Nosler AccuBond or Partition would be my choice.
“Leupold makes the best reasonably priced scopes. Ammunition makers are all good so long as they are made in the USA and they use new brass. Norma, RWS and Sellier & Bellot approach or exceed the US standards, though I have had problems extracting Sellier & Bellot .308 Win. cartridges due to case over-expansion after firing.”
SCI’s Record Book and World Hunting Awards are a great way to document your hunting heritage and help fight poaching at the same time. Conservation and anti-poaching funds from the Record Book and World Hunting Awards Department support successful anti-poaching projects. One project that the SCI Foundation Conservation Committee and the SCI Record Book Committee helps to underwrite is a Microlight operating in Maswa. The Microlight provides an “eye in the sky” to help locate poaching and direct ground crews. From the air, pilots have observed poacher camps, snare lines and wildlife concentrations.
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.”
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.
“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.”