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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 02-11-2020, 11:51 PM
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Default 45-70 Safari

The venerable 45-70 at work.

https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/h...m-hunt-part-i/
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2020, 12:39 AM
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Very good read- thank you!
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Old 02-12-2020, 6:40 AM
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Yeah Duece, that was a good read. Whew, 270+ yards with a .45-70, damn!

MLC

Last edited by pennstater; 02-12-2020 at 9:07 AM..
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Old 02-12-2020, 8:23 AM
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Nice article. I'm hoping to do a safari not too long from now, and appreciate the info on the logistics.
As to the use of the .45-70, a well placed shot has historically done the job very well.
One advantage I can see in using a Marlin lever is that a replacement rifle won't break the bank in the event it ends up somewhere else.
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Old 02-12-2020, 8:41 AM
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Who was it we had been talking about almost two months ago? That fella that went to S.A. with a Marlin 1895 and Garrett Hammerhead ammunition?

He was one of the first to pave the way for hunters like the man featured in the OP.

Outstanding! sirs. Love to see the cartridge loaded to it's potential (ouch! my shoulder!) and used in such versatile, light weight and handy firearms.

Great post!

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Old 02-12-2020, 9:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 200Apples View Post
Who was it we had been talking about almost two months ago? That fella that went to S.A. with a Marlin 1895 and Garrett Hammerhead ammunition?

He was one of the first to pave the way for hunters like the man featured in the OP.

Outstanding! sirs. Love to see the cartridge loaded to it's potential (ouch! my shoulder!) and used in such versatile, light weight and handy firearms.

Great post!

Chris, that would have been Brian Pierce of "Handloader" magazine.

MLC
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Old 02-12-2020, 9:13 AM
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Thanks Tom. Wasn’t Brian, though, as much as I’d wish it was. Pearce is one reason I put so much stock in heavy .44 Spl. loads in my sixguns.

It was... hang on. BRB.


It was Vince Lupo. I’m having trouble here posting links with my phone, so, go to Garrett Cartridges dot com and look for Lupo Safaris - New World Record!


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Old 02-12-2020, 9:27 AM
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Interesting read. Very cool to hear all the details and planning that goes into this type of trip.

One question, though, with so many better calibers, ballistically speaking, was it the novelty of using a levergun that was the driving factor?

I mean, for example, a light recoiling .308 would outperform in muzzle and downrange energy? Most have a 3+1 or 4+1 capacity, right?
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:00 AM
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Ahh, yes! It was the Vince Lupo article. Good call. I do like following Brian's articles too. Guy knows his stuff, no doubt.

MLC
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by MissiontoMars View Post
Interesting read. Very cool to hear all the details and planning that goes into this type of trip.

One question, though, with so many better calibers, ballistically speaking, was it the novelty of using a levergun that was the driving factor?

I mean, for example, a light recoiling .308 would outperform in muzzle and downrange energy? Most have a 3+1 or 4+1 capacity, right?

I haven’t read the particular story in the OP but to answer your question in regards to hunting dangerous game in Africa, .375 is the caliber “floor” permitted use in most countries there. .308 doesn’t often cut it (whereas the Norwegian Government allows a minimum of .308 Winchester for defense against polar bear).
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:29 AM
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Excellent article waiting for parts 2&3.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 200Apples View Post
I haven’t read the particular story in the OP but to answer your question in regards to hunting dangerous game in Africa, .375 is the caliber “floor” permitted use in most countries there. .308 doesn’t often cut it (whereas the Norwegian Government allows a minimum of .308 Winchester for defense against polar bear).
Ahh, understood, thanks!
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:49 AM
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45-70, as well as the "other" 45 and 50 cal cartridges of the era, have potential to much longer ranges. They just have a massive arc in the trajectory.

That's where those vernier and tang sights come in. As long as you know the dope on your cartridge and rifle, you just dial in your elevation.

Prime example is Tom Selleck in Quigly movie; as the guy on the horse was riding out with the bucket, he was dialing up the elevation on his back sight.

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Yeah Duece, that was a good read. Whew, 270+ yards with a .45-70, damn!

MLC
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:59 AM
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The things we learn in those “Polar bears in Svalbard” bear threads! lol.

But, seriously... ballistically, one cannot argue 540 grains of hardcast slug wearing a broad meplat and cooking along at 1550 fps... my shoulder will! but, hey. It’s a “carry all day, shoot once or twice” philosophy of recoil management ( to borrow a phrase).

Yeesh. Certainly ain’t plinkin’ with that.
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Old 02-12-2020, 11:01 AM
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*argue, for example, with a 540 grain...
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Old 02-12-2020, 2:06 PM
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Stop and consider a Winchester 95 which to me is a much stronger action than most any other of the lever guns chambered in 45-70 or 45-90. The 95 can be had in .405 Win even today. TR used one in Africa "Big Medicine" if I recall correct is what he called it. A fast big bore lever gun that carries nice and points very good. If I had to choose it just might be the 95 in .405, some food for thought.
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Old 02-13-2020, 7:31 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLZcmLAMGcU

For all to enjoy! .45-70 at over 600 yards.
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Old 02-13-2020, 7:39 AM
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my 1st Africa trip was amazing....

you get A LOT for the money
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Horsewright View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLZcmLAMGcU

For all to enjoy! .45-70 at over 600 yards.

Lobbin’ lead punkins!

That was an enjoyable watch.
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Old 02-13-2020, 9:28 AM
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Lobbin’ lead punkins!

That was an enjoyable watch.
Heck of a sling shot.
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Old 02-13-2020, 2:26 PM
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I wrote all this up yesterday but hit the wrong button and dumped it all so this is the abbreviated version.

I consider the .45-70 to be a 200 yard max cartridge. I say this because I use my 1895 CB (.45-70) and 1894 CB (.44 Spec/Mag) for shooting short Range Silhouette which ranges from 50 M to 200 M which is 220 yards. I can hit targets at these ranges well. After 200 yards the trajectory increases dramatically due to the drop in velocity and the BC of the boolits we shoot in these guns and as such miscalculations in exact distance to the target must be dead on, as +/-10 yards can be the difference in a solid hit and a complete miss or worse a wounded animal.

Garrett Ammo is pretty good stuff however it is not cheap and no one is going to be able to shoot enough of it to get really good with the gun. That stuff is loaded right up to the max and Marlins are light guns so the recoil is brutal.

My 1895 CB (26" bbl) was 7 lbs on the nose, for comparison my 1894 SB 24" bbl weighed 7 lbs 6 oz? go figure.

I took my 1895 and put a Gray Coil Recoil reducer in the buttstock and a 1" thick Pachmayer Recoil Pad on the gun and it now weighs just over 8 lbs. My standard load is 325 gr boolits at 1550 fps. I can shoot 40 in one session without I'll effects. (33.0 gr 5744/ RCBS .45-300 FNGC) I basically started at 25 gr of 5744 and worked up until I got a satisfactory Trajectory for that game. 33 gr was the magic number.

This load will easily take down all but the biggest bears in N/A and most game animals in Africa as well. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on a big bear in the US if it was necessary. I just wouldn't deliberately hunt with it. I would be carrying a few rounds with 405's at 1800 fps just in case. I can shoot about 3 of those before it starts to rattle my brain.

My point here is that the .45-70 is one of the most versatile cartridges there is ,,,, AS LONG AS YOU LOAD YOUR OWN!

My other point is you need to shoot the gun alot before you Fly half way across the world and pay thousands of $ for the experience. Your PH needs to have the confidence that you can deliver with a Levergun. If you can't hit the target, it doesn't matter what you are shooting, You suck! And that's all there is too it.

Problem is that it will be much harder to hit said target with Arse Kicker Loads from Garrett that are costing you $5 a shot, cuz you won't shoot enough of them to master them!

Also Multiple Loads will definitely have different zeros so you need to have all the different trajectories sussed out and written down so you can make appropriate changes to your sights when switching ammo.

Final point: The only way to get all this down pat is to shoot alot and learn the gun.

Paco Kelly's Rule for Shooting at Distances was: 100 shots of practice for every 100 yards of distance that you intend to shoot. So if shooting at 200 yards, you needed to have shot 200 rounds at that distance in practice to be qualified to take a shot at 200 yards on a game animal.

Probably should bring the Trigger Sticks along for practice as you'll be shooting off sticks on the Continent.

I have seen some .45-70 shooting on TV and have to say I wasn't the least bit impressed with the shooters, none of which had even ran 20 rounds thru their guns before going to Africa. I really don't see how you can justify spending that kind of money to go half way around the world and then perform badly in front of Professionals and on TV to boot?

My .02 but these are the guns I'd be taking with me.

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Old 02-13-2020, 4:38 PM
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One of the reasons there are no dangerous game in Tennessee is Hickok45. Here he is shooting the 1877 Sharps repo on safari in Cheatham County, TN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKJe_x3MrLo
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Old 02-13-2020, 4:38 PM
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^^^^^^Very well said Randy.
I think what we commonly see on T.V. and videos tends to focus on, and show, the successful use of a given product, rather than include EVERYTHING that was done, as that might steer others away into a different direction. I think your comments about practicing with the actual recoil/ballistic performance of what you intend to hunt with are spot on. It would be like me going out to practice with a .44 Magnum revolver prior to a hunt, but only using .44 Specials. It might help with developing presentation, trigger, and movement skill sets, but would be a total fail with regards to rapid recovery during recoil, quick follow-up shots, etc.
With all that said, there is no doubt that some folks have been successful with little amounts of practice, and what practice they did was done while using underpowered ammunition; I have witnessed that more than once. I also however have witnessed a number make bad shots, outright misses, and worse yet, wounding an animal and never recovering it. And it matters not what platform or caliber they used.
As to the .45-70, we all know it has been successfully used to drop everything in the world, and in many cases is more than adequate for the quarry. However you are very sound in limiting its use to within 200 yards, as the rate of missing moving game targets due to poor exterior midrange ballistics is something that most don't engage in adequate practice to overcome. With very light platforms, getting the necessary practice was covered above.
While I like the idea of a .45-70 hunting rifle, and someday hope to have one, that caliber likely won't be in my African hunting plans.
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Old 02-13-2020, 5:02 PM
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Years back, J&G Gunsmithing in Roseville, Ca took a Side-by-Side shotgun, and made some 45-70 inserts. They got them set up so they converged at 100 yards.

Reminded me of the H&H rifle cartridge Side-by-Sides.
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Old 02-13-2020, 7:29 PM
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I watched an African safari on tv where they tried to use the 45/70 on big game like cape buffalo and it sucked. The whole show was trying to hype it up and they couldn’t make it look effective. I’d pick a better round. Flatter for plains game and stouter for big game.
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Old 02-13-2020, 7:43 PM
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I used to shoot at feral pigs at 500 yards with my TC Contender 45/70.
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:12 PM
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I used to shoot at feral pigs at 500 yards with my TC Contender 45/70.
Shoot at or shoot? That’s not even close to a ethical shot. Is that like a 35’ hold over?
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:26 PM
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Shoot at or shoot? That’s not even close to a ethical shot. Is that like a 35’ hold over?
Don’t know I miss every time.









It was a joke.
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DueceMcGurk View Post
One of the reasons there are no dangerous game in Tennessee is Hickok45. Here he is shooting the 1877 Sharps repo on safari in Cheatham County, TN.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKJe_x3MrLo
He kilt all the polar barr?
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckhandmike View Post
Shoot at or shoot? That’s not even close to a ethical shot. Is that like a 35’ hold over?
Is "ethical" even a consideration with feral pigs? Aren't they basically rodents in many places of the country?
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Old 02-13-2020, 8:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 200Apples View Post
...
But, seriously... ballistically, one cannot argue 540 grains of hardcast slug wearing a broad meplat and cooking along at 1550 fps... my shoulder will! but, hey. It’s a “carry all day, shoot once or twice” philosophy of recoil management ( to borrow a phrase).

Yeesh. Certainly ain’t plinkin’ with that.
Actually, that is a "mild load" compared to modern DG cartridges. My .500 caliber shoots a 550 grain solid at 2250 fps. Though on my last Safari I used 500 grainers at 2,370 fps for a couple of elephants. With modern stocks recoil is not that bad as long as one is not shooting prone.
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Old 02-13-2020, 9:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanks View Post
Actually, that is a "mild load" compared to modern DG cartridges. My .500 caliber shoots a 550 grain solid at 2250 fps. Though on my last Safari I used 500 grainers at 2,370 fps for a couple of elephants. With modern stocks recoil is not that bad as long as one is not shooting prone.
Last year over at school I had a chance to send some .470 NE rounds from a nice Merkle double rifle down range and did well enough on paper to try some other "cigars" later at my club. The recoil was indeed stout, but didn't seem any appreciable different from a .458 Lott or .416 Rigby that I had occasion to experiment with. As I recall Tanks, you had some beautiful rifles that were basically hand-held artillery, and sent very heavy bullets at respectable speeds.
I'm curious as to your practice regimen prior to a hunt, or do you undergo practice on a more regular basis, and if so, what field positions do you include in addition to shooting off sticks?
Lastly, how close were those elephants, and did they go down with a single shot prior to "insurance"?
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:01 AM
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tanks! Nice to see you.

I meant strictly from a 7.5 lb Marlin 1895 GS... one of the guns Vince Lupo used.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
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Actually, that is a "mild load" compared to modern DG cartridges. My .500 caliber shoots a 550 grain solid at 2250 fps. Though on my last Safari I used 500 grainers at 2,370 fps for a couple of elephants. With modern stocks recoil is not that bad as long as one is not shooting prone.
Yup, lightweight stuff compared to a .460 Weatherby, 500 grainers at 2600. I shot one in a Ruger #1 once. Once.
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Old 02-14-2020, 1:45 PM
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Yeah man, that was a cool article Mac. I know it's mostly a trophy hunt. Do these guys just donate the meat to the locals ? It's probably a huge cost to bring.

The 45-70 round has been in production for 147 years and still going strong..
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Old 02-14-2020, 6:15 PM
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I though the 45-70 was not allowed in South Africa because they dont allow military cartridges and the 45-70 was once a military cartridge. That was one reason the 450 Marlin was popular for African hunts.

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Old 02-15-2020, 7:36 AM
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Boys, boys, boys, ya know what us cowboys say: "If you're gonna be a bear, might as well be a grizzly!"

A .700 H&H built by my friend Butch Searcy of The All American Double Rifle Co.



Both knives are about 9" in overall length to give ya an idea of the size of the empty case near the end of the tusk. The rifle weighs 25 lbs which should dampen recoil a hair. I was holding it when I asked Butch what it was worth. When he told me I handed it back to him, didn't want to hold it no more! My understanding is there have only been 19 .700s ever made and Butch made 12 of them. He is unique among double rifle makers as he's like 1 of only 2 guys on the planet that can make the whole rifle. Even the best British rifle makers employ a team of specialists to make the rifle. Butch does it all. He considers anything under .500 as a "small" rifle suitable for the jackrabbits there around Boron where he lives. He had invited me to go shooting with him, I have declined said offer as I'm enjoying my golden years and the right shoulder is one part that don't ache already. I checked the H&H website to see what ammo for this behemoth goes for, yeah, 2K a box!

Anyhoo I've never been to Africa but I have made many knives that have. This is the latest. A father bought this for his daughter for Christmas as he's taking her on a Safari for her 17th birthday this spring:





Anyhoo I hear back from lots of these customers and the meat does generally go to the locals and is an important source of food for many. The safaris them selves provide many with employment.

Everything I've ever shot with my .45-70 has been kilt, thats for sure.
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Old 02-15-2020, 2:35 PM
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Fjold Fjold is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanks View Post
Actually, that is a "mild load" compared to modern DG cartridges. My .500 caliber shoots a 550 grain solid at 2250 fps. Though on my last Safari I used 500 grainers at 2,370 fps for a couple of elephants. With modern stocks recoil is not that bad as long as one is not shooting prone.
My 45 shoots 450 grain bullet at 2250 fps and I consider it barely adequate.

Tanks,

How did the last hunt go?
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:35 AM
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My 45 shoots 450 grain bullet at 2250 fps and I consider it barely adequate.

Tanks,

How did the last hunt go?
If you mean the one I was asking you for loads for a .375 H&H, that is coming up in August. Leopard, Buffalo, Kudu, Zebra, Waterbuck, Spotted Hyena and a variety of bait animals on the menu for the 17 days of hunting.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:49 AM
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I'm curious as to your practice regimen prior to a hunt, or do you undergo practice on a more regular basis, and if so, what field positions do you include in addition to shooting off sticks?
Lastly, how close were those elephants, and did they go down with a single shot prior to "insurance"?
Practice regimen is weekly dry fire. Few hundred rounds a month with my .22LR Anschutz in a variety of positions.

Some months prior to the hunt I start practicing with my .308 and add 5-10 rounds a session from sticks on the big bores.

All sighting in is done with a Caldwell Lead sled.

On a new big bore I go visit a friend that has his private indoor 50 yard range at his place and we work out loads and usually burn through a few hundred rounds over the course of a weekend.

The elephants were from 15 to 50 meters. One shot brought them down.
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