OT: Rifle selection

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I've noticed a fair number of firearms enthusiasts on the forum. Within the next five years, I may try an African hunt for Cape Buffalo. My current gun case (very limited) lacks a rifle suitable for large African game. I used to own a Ruger No. 1-B chambered for a .25-06. It was a very accurate (and handsome) rifle. The Ruger No. 1-H (Tropical) comes chambered in several larger calibers including the .375 H&H Mag., the .416 Rigby, the .416 Remington Mag. & the .458 Win. Mag. Anyone with first hand experience with these rounds?

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), October 27, 1999


Now Mr. Decker,

You wouldn't be considering this for your own personal protection after the rollover now would you? :)

Nice to see you again.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 27, 1999.


I've noticed a fair number of firearms enthusiasts on the forum. Within the next five years, I may try an African hunt for Cape Buffalo

[DC residents that make it out of the city]

My current gun case (very limited)

[AR-15, 5000 rounds .223, seven shotguns, Glock 9mm, Colt 45, S&W 38]

lacks a rifle suitable

[I need an AK-47 - the .223 ain't gonna cut it]

for large African game. I used to own a Ruger No. 1-B chambered for a .25-06. It was a very accurate

[KOS, if you try anything come January, I'll be all over you]

(and handsome)

[I've actually used to sleep with this baby]

rifle. The Ruger No. 1-H (Tropical) comes chambered in several larger calibers including the .375 H&H Mag., the .416 Rigby, the .416 Remington Mag. & the .458 Win. Mag.

[It's gonna be a bitch getting parts for the autoloader after the rollover]

Anyone with first hand experience with these rounds?

[Killer, are you there?]

-- a (a@a.a), October 27, 1999.

The calibers he asks about are only usefull for defense if you have a Cape Buffalo try to break into your house. (They may ocassinally do this since they are extreemly rude animals and hardly ever prepared.)


I've owned and shot a fair number of rounds through a .375 in Alaska. Have fired a .458 on 2 or 3 ocassions and a .416 Remington once.

I have no personal experience against a buff. In 30 years of reading I've run across few hunters who would go as light as a .375. I personally like the numbers on the .416 Rigby best.

I did talk to one old Alaskan guide who had hunted the big Kodiaks for 35 years. The "common" wisdom on the street is anything in a .300 win Mag or bigger. I asked the old guide who has rooted several wounded bears out of the woods, he said "anybody who would go against a Kodiak with anything less that a .375 is a DAM fool."

Then of course there is Robert Ruark's admonision - "Use Enough Gun".

Find Jeff Coopers web site. He talks extensively about waltzing with the buff. He's been there. He knows what he's talking about and expresses it eloquently.


-- Greybear (greybear@home.com), October 27, 1999.

This thread and the one a few lines below it from eyes_open are two good reason not to rely on what people around here have to say.


Well consider what we have going on here. People who turn to perfect stangers to ask for advice. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Maybe not this thread so much but the other one is a joke. Here is a guy who is acutally asking for help OVER THE INTERNET in regards as to what he should do about his family AFTER HE DIES! (I didn't remark on it on that thread out of respect).

I mean, let's try to remain at least somehwhat connected to reality okay folks? Don't you people have any friends? Do you really think it's prudent to take gun advice from people who CLAIM they have experience, or from someone who actually does? How smart do you have to be to go to a gun shop for gun advice??? Hell, wise up and ask a cop about guns if you are really serious.

Or how insecure do you have to be to ask strangers about what to do about dying?

I swear, this place gets crazier every day.

-- (yikes@_._), October 27, 1999.


I have a Ruger No. 1-H chambered in .375 H&H Mag. I love it. Darn work of art BUT I would not recommend it without some reservations.


1. Accuracy - It is gonna cost you a pretty penny to get this rifle to be highly accurate. Due to it's design. May not be an issue for use within 100 yds. At that range this baby packs a huge punch.

2. Finish - Not made in ss. I had mine coated with Teflon and that was almost as expensive as the gun itself.

If I had to do it all over again I would have purchased the Ruger SS bolt action. I think it was the M-77(not sure on this at all). It was expensive but in the long run I think I would have been much happier. This was about 4 years ago and I think the one gun shop wanted about 1,100.00 for the GOOD bolt.

The .375 H&H Mag. is a great round. I looked at the larger calibers but the .458 really hurt. If large calibers even remotely unnerve you, stay away. You will not be able to hit squat. Although the .375 does produce a pretty good recoil, it is manageable. Loaded with solids, close range, you got a engine block buster on your hands.

I would also be concerned, espically with intentions on hunting Cape Buffalo, with the single shot nature of the No. 1's. The second shot is very difficult to get off. With lots of practice, I was able to get the second shot with little effort but it is not easy. I would hold the second round between the fingers of the trigger hand like a stogie. Made for some cold hands during bad weather and more than a few lost shells.

The falling block design of the No. 1 is the strongest action on the market today. I have always liked single shots for the simplicity and ruggedness.

Hope this helps.


-- yada (yada@yada.com), October 27, 1999.


I was just joking with you. Hope there are no hard feelings.

GB ... glad to see you again. Got Ammo?

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 27, 1999.

Book a trip that includes the use of an appropriate gun. Duh!

Wouldn't be fishing instead would you Kenny?

-- Carlos (riffraff1@cybertime.net), October 27, 1999.


You got better advice on calibur than I could give you. But one important thing is missing. You should have a back up. This means a guide who can shoot the buff' if your rifle fails. They used to make double barrel rifles for hunting dangerous game. They actually had two actions. You carried your own back in the same stock. Very exotic though. Get a good guide. I have also heard that for the largest game you want penatration in a round, and not expantion but that might be just for elephants.

The only other thing I can advise is carry a cell phone so that, if the buff hit's you with those horns you can call me. I'll drive to the East coast and try to catch you. ;-) And have a great time!


Do you know what? I consider the internet a valuble source of news and information with the caveat that I must apply my own judgement to what I read and I am responsible for verifing any information I find. See? Being responsible for myself. That's the way it used to be, youngster. ;-) The other thing is who the heck else would have ever though about this kind of thing if not the forum regulars here?

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.not), October 27, 1999.

eyes_open is right, if we aren't here to exchange ideas then. Why are we here? He is right also that there are others on this forum who face potential death already who may be able to help.

Walk in his mocassins for two moons.


-- wake up (alarmclock_2000@yahoo.com), October 27, 1999.

Ken, Go to www.dakotaarms.com and check out the African grade rifles. A special hunt deserves a special rifle. Dakotas are not cheap but they are worth every penny. Basicly an improved version of the pre-'64 Winchester, very sturdy and it has a claw extractor( controled round feeding), very important for critters that want to stomp and/or bite you. I have a Safari Grade in .375 H&H and it functions flawlesly and looks like a piece of art. It is also very accurate. If you have any questions that the web page doesn't answer feel free to e-mail me.

-- George in Ne.Pa. (grc0702@aol.com), October 27, 1999.


Thank you for the responses. In terms of advice, I'll make my own decision... but it rarely hurts to listen. I've fired some big bore rifles and have a fairly high recoil tolerance. On the other hand, I'm not a masochist (despite my continued presence on this forum.) The big bore fans tell me the .375 H&H Magnum is much more comfortable than the big "4's," though the .470 Nitro is more of a shotgun like "push" than a rifle "crack." Though I doubt there's any tangible evidence, the Weatherbys always seem to have a higher felt recoil.

For my money, the Ruger No. 1 is one of the most beautiful rifles ever made. There are also some 'smiths who do extraordinary work. The No. 1 will never be a match rifle, but the action is strong and reliable.

I had to laugh at the thought of the .375 for self defense. Given the cost of cartridges, I could hold out for about ten minutes. (laughter) On the positive side, the muzzle blast would be pretty intimidating. On the down side, with 300 gr. solids you might accidently kill a neighbor eight houses down.

Thanks again.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), October 27, 1999.

Sure... tease me with the Dakota. A family member (to remain nameless) has TWO Dakotas (.30-06 & 300 Win Mag.) Salt in the wound? He also owns a pre-64 Model 70 Winchester chambered for a (gasp!) 300 H&H Magnum.

There are definite advantages to a bolt action. (I own a Ruger Model 77-Mark II Stainless... ugly as sin, but utterly functional.) A single shot falling block is more a statement of principle (than a completely rational decision.) There is something fundamental about hunting with a single shot.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), October 27, 1999.

You know, when you just converse like a PERSON, you seem like someone still worth having a beer with at the Middleton. Or shooting buffalo with. I could be, your, uh, backup (I'll go ask Milne) .....

.... Wishing that this dog could afford a Ruger-1 OR a Dakota, but he is already maxed out with his more modest collection.

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), October 27, 1999.

Funny you should mention that, BigDog. I sometimes think that many of our "Polly/Doomer" slugfests look more like a "denominational church-split" than anything else. Full of serious, heartfelt, emotive, often well supported arguments, but in the end, both sides of the noisy disagreement look much the same to outsiders.

Saw someone over at Debunkies comment that he was considered something of a Doomer by his colleagues at work. Said one of them asked him how the bunker was coming along. Ironic, neh?

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 27, 1999.

You can't get any lower than killing for "sport".

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), October 27, 1999.

And talk about teasing:

I got to talking firearms with my neighbor and his brother, both of whom are engineers and gun owners. Brother Lee brought out a beautifully maintained M1 Garand for inspection. I decided NOT to bring up my recently-inherited little M1 Carbine.

-- Mac (sneak@lurk.hid), October 27, 1999.

Just have your checkbook ready, and enjoy the new millenium!!

-- Robert X. Cringely (i.got.my.brain@dicks.r.us), October 27, 1999.

Please be very careful about advertising your weapons and weapons prowess on a forum known to be read by various government agencies. In addition, you may become part of cpr's files, and cpr stated on 17 May that he would turn over to "FBI,Defense, Energy, FEMA, EPA, and the Public Health Service" anything he perceived to be a threat.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), October 27, 1999.

Wow Decker, a safari! That's mighty brave of you. Make sure you get a REALLY, REALLY BIG gun, I hear those beautiful Cape Buffalo can be tricky! Be sure and blow its heart to shit from at least 50 feet, you don't want to take any chances. And careful not to aim for the head, you wouldn't want blood and brain stains on the trophy head, or any unsightly JFK style "holes". Gee I hope you survive your daring encounter with your fellow mammal. Be sure and get some pictures of him pissing and shitting himself as he lies dying on the plains. Are you going to decapitate him with your Stihl chain saw? Man, sounds like such fun! You da man!

-- What a prick (@ .), October 27, 1999.

Unless you're absolutely hung-up on Ruger No 1's, the new Remington Ultra Mags are showing lots of promise. I picked up a .300 Ultra in stainless for future bear, moose and elk hunts.

A freind has a custom-built .300 Ultra match gun for 1,000 yard bench- rest competition. He's very happy with the factory load ballistics, although he is using moly-coated rounds. Best of all, there are mil- dot reticle scopes calibrated for the .300 Ultra Mag already on the market and he's got one to top-off his gun.

But what makes the .300 Ultra something I like is that the same bullets that I can load for .308 Win and 30.06 will work. I keep thinking about what a .300 Ultra slinging 147 grain AP rounds like the 30.06 used in WWII could do. Just for grins of course.

Meanwhile I know three guys who are chomping the bit for Remington to release the .338 Ultra Mag. While the .300 Ultra Mag might be just a touch small for African plains hunting, the .338 should be getting into the range of heavy game capabilities you're seeking.


-- Wildweasel (vtmldm@epix.net), October 27, 1999.

Some have blue eyes Some have brown Some have the killer instinct Some don't . . . I don't like dumb blond jokes, either. Go Ken!

-- Magnolia (magnooliaa@yahoo.com), October 27, 1999.

And here I thought Decker was unsalvageable (actually, I thought he was well spoken but unable to really see the big picture...alas, there are only a few of us). Uh hum.. Forget the .375 unless you have Ruark backing you up. Have you seen the panatella size rounds from one of those .416s? Buff have a nasty habit of requiring a face shot at about 5 yards, and this is usually after stopping enough lead to EMP-proof your 30kw Onan. Again, research the pro like your life depended on it. It might.

-- James (b@b.com), October 27, 1999.

Ken how about a Ruger 10/22, give the Cape Buffalo a sporting chance! Any cooks out there with Cape Buffalo recipes? I would hate to accuse Ken of just cutting off the head, and letting the meat go to waste.

-- Bill (y2khippo@yahoo.com), October 27, 1999.

i have hunted africa twice, i will relate to you the observations of the professional hunters that i have discussed this topic with.

1. in most countries it is illegal to hunt dangerous game with less than a .375 cal.

2. al five professional hunters i have talked with liked the .416 rem. mag. cal. this is what i and a friend took to tanzania on my first trip. these rifles easily outperformed the .458 win. and 470 weatherby cals. on the buffalo. we both had one shot stops on our buffalo while we had to track wounded buffs from the 458 and 470 weatherby. the guides agreed that the 458 was to be avoided if possible. the guides carried them because that was all that they could get ammo for on a regular basis. they did not like the calibers but had to make due. we mounted a 1-4X scope (leupold ) on these rifles, most shooting is done at about 40 yds or closer. i used solids in my gun with excellent results.

3. tracking a wounded buffalo through dense scrub is a very stimulating exercise.

4. most PH's dont like #3 very much.

5. once you hunt buff there is nothing else like it-- 2000lbs of mean , and somewhat bulletproof evil with razor sharp horns and hooves, they can even lick the skin off your but with their tongues . a buffalo charge will get every nerve in your body tingling.

6. you definately need a repeating rifle.

7.all the other hunters we went with were going to switch to 416 cal rifles when we returned home.

have a great time, africa really gets in your blood. it is the last wild place.... i felt at home there.

-- bwana (been @there.com), October 27, 1999.

I hear the bazooka is the weapon of choice to hunt the Cape Buffalo. Alternatively, LARS or Sidewinder missiles can be effectively employed. A more sporting option world be to use ML-457 rockets. These can be launched from a tripod and deliver quite a punch.

Be sure to approach the beast in an Armored Personnel Carrier, those Land Rovers can be a little flimsy.

-- Buffalo Soldier (kill@all.buffalo), October 27, 1999.

to wild weasel

i have hunted most african plains game with a 300 win. mag this rifle has performed very well on all sizes of these animals including a 2000 lb eland, i would not hesitate to take it again. interestingly the three professional hunters on my last trip thought that the 7mm mag was very marginal, if they had a client with a 7mm they knew they would be tracking wounded game.


-- bwana (been@there.com), October 27, 1999.


You must have a thick skin to put up with the ruder followers of this website.

But anyway, IMHO, a Barrett bolt action in .50 BMG is what I would shoot dangerous game with, if I were to ever do that.

The largest game I can ever see myself shooting at is elk. My 300 Win mag works fine for them.

Like the others, I would INSIST on having second (or third) shot capability if I was hunting something as ornery as a cape buffalo is reported to be... Plus a .50 BMG is also useful for shooting rabid armored cars that wander into your neighborhood... (snicker)

Good to see you are still around... Enjoy your hunting...

lounging on the floor...

The Dog

-- The Dog (DesertDog@-sand.com), October 27, 1999.

Some 40 land mammals, including the African Elephant, Lion and Buffalo, have proved to be incompatible with agriculture and human settlement, and are now largely confined to wildlife sanctuaries or private nature reserves.


Cape buffalo are legendary among hunters for turning and killing their tormentors, even when gravely injured. Let's hear it for the buffalo.

-- Cape (Buffalo@fan.com), October 27, 1999.


Remember that movie The 12 Monkeys? Maybe if we have TEOWAWKI you won't have to travel to the dark continent to shoot creatures such as Cape Buffalo. Ammunition of all types, especially elephant gun cartridges, is liable to be a real scarce item in the future though.

-- Ocotillo (peeling@out.===), October 27, 1999.

I love target shooting but I'm not a hunter. I don't have anything against it but it's just not something I'm interested in doing. I do have one question though, could a 12ga shotgun with a hollow point slug take down a buffalo or would it not have deep enough penetration?? Thanks.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), October 28, 1999.

...the .375 H&H. check the ballistics, pick one up. the original and still best large caliber, flat shooting and long range and heavy hitting cartridge, and you can get ammo at wally world or k-mart! That "large african game" will be quite impressed, and at quite a distance. It is signifigantly cheaper than anything that will shoot the .50 BMG, and you can actually carry a bolt or single shot rifle chambered in .375, a .50 BMG is limited to static defense, mostly, and really should be fielded by a 2-3 man crew of shooters and spotters and ammo humpers. Those other african calibers are way too short range to consider. If you are hunting a large predatory animal of the nature of say-a tyrannasaurus-at close range, check out the no paper work required black powder cannons that the re-enactors shoot at their campouts.....most interesting, and can be home made, too.......

-- zog (zzoggy@yahoo.com), October 28, 1999.

BIG BORE RIFLE CARTRIDGES discusses the .416 (in Rigby and Remington Mag) and the Marlin 444 lever-action.

I had a Marlin 444 at one time. Delivers quite a whack at short ranges -- beyond 50 yds. the ft/lbs drop off considerably. Shoots well through heavy brush. Eventually I traded it off for two plucked dulcimers (one to give away.)

On http://www.innocence.com/fengshui/worldbook/modern-guns- ii.html I found this note on the 444:

A nice, sleek- looking cowboy style rifle that just happens to be powerful enough to shoot through an armored limousine. Is there anything wrong with that? (Vietnam Fun Fact: The Green Berets and SOCOM during Vietnam used the Marlin .444 to make huge holes in Vietnam commanders a third of a mile away as a means of demoralizing the Viet Cong.

Water buffalo are another matter.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), October 28, 1999.


When was the last time YOU had a coherent conversation with a gun shop owner who actually had ever seen, much less HELD or FIRED a gun of the calibers under discussion. NOT in MY neck o the woods.

I think I'll just kind of slink away after considering what my Aunt's 45-90 did to my shoulder....


-- Chuck, a night driver (rienzoo@en.com), October 28, 1999.

You guys aren't REALLY serious when you advise Mr. Decker to bring a .50 BMG. (Are you?) Any rifle he brings he will need to be able to swing on to target rather quickly. I can't see that happening with a Barret M-82. I think they actual did make a cut down version for the special forces to try that was designed to be shoulder fired like a bazooka. But I think that was based on the bolt action model and I don't know if they went ahead with it.

Keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.not), October 28, 1999.

Is anyone here other than Ken expressing the expectation that in the future there will be safaris to Africa???!!! Or is he really talking about his fears of the Urban Jungle near him?

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 28, 1999.

Recipe for Cape Buffalo Stew

First cube one Buffalo...

-- Alice B. (Toklas@cookbooks.com), October 28, 1999.

An interesting round of responses. First, I am a lifelong hunter. Over the years, I've found debating "non-hunters" rather tedious. As one with libertarian leanings, I generally suggest those so inclined enjoy their right to vegan living. Please do not interfere with my right to hunt.

I am not a "trophy" hunter, but a "meat" hunter. My home is not decorated in the "dead animal" motif, but I do enjoy dining on wild game. (Email for recipes.) I always wonder about those who chastize me for eating game taken with my own hand while munching on a piece of factory-raised meat. Visit a large poultry operation, and then we'll have lunch.

To other matters, the suggestion of using a Ruger No. 1 for "home defense" is laughable. Anyone making this suggestion has either an odd sense of humor or a profound lack of knowledged regarding firearms.

Thanks for the information.

-- Ken Decker (kcdecker@worldnet.att.net), October 28, 1999.

please to come to my place and take out some whitetail for practice. it's rutting season, and they're losing what rodent sense they had.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), October 28, 1999.


Where are you at? I only have one in the freezer at the moment, and would LOVE to have another. Deer sausage is the best in the world. Reminds me to make some deer jerky.

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 28, 1999.

Central Texas, hill country. Hey, if you just want the meat, I'll run a couple over and fedex them to ya.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), October 28, 1999.


I'm sitting on top of you, so to speak, in the state of Oklahoma. Sure, run one over for me, process it, and FedEx it on up! But that kind of takes away the fun of the hunt. Do you know the cost of an out of state license?

-- (cannot-say@this.time), October 28, 1999.

Au Contraire, it is much more satisfying to run one over than blast one. At least they see the truck coming, and know what hit 'em.

Have a garden destroyed by deer and they're not so cute anymore.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), October 28, 1999.

If you buy a .458 Win. Mag. make sure it's heavy.The one I fired had a recoil like a mule.I felt it deep all day.

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), October 28, 1999.

Ken, since we have the same taste in rifles, I just wanted to tempt you a little more. On Friday I am picking up a Ruger 50th Anniver. No.1 in .45-70 .Check out one of these for Safari. By the way this safari talk made me go out and buy another Capstick novel.

-- George in Ne.Pa. (grc0702@aol.com), November 03, 1999.

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