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Do you think that the long term ecological damage caused by exterminating predators or holding them well below their natural pop

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  • #61
    Like the .358 I think the .338 Fed is a good cartridge. It does not have the velocity to carry heavier bullets over long distances as your are aware. Within its limitations I believe that it is what you say and the rifle does provide a bit of weight savings and reduced recoil. I consider a long shot to be whatever you can achieve repeatedly on targets. This ability does not directly translate to shooting at live game over extended ranges but is a close approximation providing you are a decent hunter to begin with. I really feel that the .338 Fed will probably be a commercial failure which is really too bad. Any of the barrel makers will tell you that they normally only make limited runs of barrels with diameters over .30 since the market is so limited. I still believe that a properly stocked .338 Win Mag can be carried and shot by anyone who is physically able to hunt the mountains. My kid started shooting the .338 at 14 or 15 and immediately it became his favorite rifle. I have spent a lot of time and ammunition allowing him to reach that point of comfort with larger rifles up to th .416. Again practice, practice, practice is what it takes to be proficient.

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    • #62
      I don't know how much I would have liked the .338 Win Mag when I was 14 or 15. I was pretty recoil shy when I was younger, as are many. Now I'm pretty masochistic, but I was still too chicken to try a .458 Lott last time I had the chance. I heard that they were much worse than .458 Win and that bothered me. I think if someone handed me one today I would got for it, but I doubt if I could shoot it very accurately past 50 yards or so. But that's about as far as you'll be shooting such a gun anyway. Is your idea of a properly stocked .338 an 8 pounder? How much does your .416 weigh? Remington? Or do you have a Rigby? If Remington, have you ever had problems with high pressures on hot days and stubborn extraction?

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      • #63
        Shane: First of all let me explain that my son is no superkid but by the age of 15 he had shoot everything that I owned smaller than a .338 Win Mag. This includes hundreds of varmints rifle rounds, .243s, .270s, 7mm-08s, .280s, well you see what I mean. Lots of shooting starting with thousands of .22s from about 5 or 6 years old. By the time he wanted to shoot the .338 it was just a little bigger boom and shove to him.
        My .338 and the .416 both weight almost exactly 9.5 pounds comlete with scopes and slings but empty. The .416 is a Rem Mag although I prefer the Rigby due to lower pressures I suppose, plus it has such a long and quaint history. Originally I was going to have Douglas chamber the barrel for the Rigby but wimped out at the last minute due to the high cost of brass. I have heard stories alluding to the fact that the high pressure Rem Mag can behave as you indicated. I have never personally enocuntered such misfortune while loading the case at max with Reloader 15 giving an operating pressure of about 50,000. This compares favorably with my other rifles except for the 7 Ultra which runs 60,000 or a bit more. I sometimes feel like the Ultras, long and short plus Win short mags, are pushing the envelope a bit regarding pressure but my fired brass does not indicate this to be true. Anyway for 15 years I have been very happy with the .416 Rem regarding performance especially accuracy but as you note 50-100 yards is the fartherest I ever shoot it. Sometimes longer range just to see if I can hit a small target with 400 grain Hornadys. I have two friends who both hunt Africa almost every year for cape who prefer the 416 Rem. One of these guys can buy whatever he wants as money is never a problem since he owns about 10% of Florida, 2% of New York, and 5% of Wyoming or so it seems. My other friend who travels yearly to Africa as well likes his .470 Heym better than a bolt gun at least until the stock broke. The Lott does shove you more than the .458 Win. but like any of these guns just hold it tight to your shoulder, making sure your eye is far enough from the scope if it is present, grip the forearm firmly, and let go. Heck if an old fart like me can shoot them I figure anybody can, just takes a little getting used to. I won't go on a cape hunt this year but maybe summer of 2010.

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        • #64
          Oh good. 9.5 is a nice heavy weight to take the punch out of the .338. I don't usually mind a heavy rifle, although a very light one is nice sometimes. I really do have some sort of stigma about big bore rifles. I run around bragging about how I used to shoot 3.5s out of a 5.5 lb turkey gun, but I run and hide when the Lott comes out. Even though I could look at the numbers and see that my shotgun combination was worse than most, it took a lot of convincing to get me to try anything bigger than a .375. Now all I want is big bore rifles, but more practical purchases are ahead in line. It's amazing how much experience makes all the difference in what you can handle/shoot well. I have a few friends that I view as tougher/stronger than me, but won't touch my little .30-06 ever again. These are guys that could beat on me pretty good back in HS football, but hadn't shot any more than .22s and target loads out of shotguns.

          Speaking of further down the line, I aim to purchase a Sako 85 Safari in .375 H&H at one point or another. What do you think? Every time I see this rifle I about pee myself. To me, it's exactly what a .375 should be and look like. I can't think of a better factory rifle in .375 to buy, can you?

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          • #65
            i have nine Sakos of various configerations and age but have never owned an 85. They are much more appealing than the 75s in my view. I'm not the guy to ask about .375s as even though I have shot several I have never owned one. Two friends use their .375s on everything from antelope on up with great success here in Wyoming, Canada, and Alaska. One of them is a mannlicher stocked Sako Finnbear with a 3 x Leupold, must be late sixties vintage and looks it from use. Still a great rifle. Most of the fellows I know who hunt the big animals of Africa seem to like larger caliber rifles like .416, .458, .470. or .450/.400. One guy thinks the .375 is too large for most and not enough for the rest. That said Graham Jones who is a long time outfitter in Africa prefers the caliber for his clients although he backs them up with a larger rifle. Oddly enough Graham's first choice for shooting most plains game is the .22-.250.
            Right or wrong I always looked at the .375 as the .30-'06 of Africa. I suppose someone with more experience would be the guy to discuss this with like Petzal or Happy Myles. I just work up loads for my rifles and those of my friends and shoot rocks for fun with the big bores. If you can handle the big shotgun you can shoot the rifles for the exact reason you pointed out. Thinking it over I have always regretted not buying a nice used Sako A series some years ago in .375 just because. It was not as pretty as a Safari grade but was very utilitarian with its McMillan aftermarket stock. Kimber now makes some nice big rifles on their new long action as does Dakota and a few others. Don't worry about a used big bore if it appears to be in good condition as most have been hauled around a lot but shot very little unlike a varmint rifle or trap gun.

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            • #66
              I don't buy the fact that you need a .375, at least not for buffalo. Sure a bigger gun is a better idea. but people used to shoot capes with .375's all the time, but now, suddenly they aren't enough gun. Like you said, you're being backed up by a guide who is very good with something fierce. And honestly, Cape Buffalo are as big as the game I'm interested in get. I have minimal desire to shoot an elephant. They have little to no fear of you, they stand there, maybe they charge, but usually they are standing there and you shoot them. Not my thing. Really though, I'm not buying this gun specifically to take to Africa, even though if I had it and was going it would go too. I just want a .375. I don't care if I suddenly inherit a .404, both .416s, and a .458 Win or Lott. I want a rifle in .375 H&H period.

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              • #67
                I believe that some countries don't allow less than a .40 on the large dangerous species. Remember that Jack Lott worked up his .458 because he felt that Winchester's version was not adequate on buff. Nevertheless, the .375 is still a great choice for almost anything, has a admirable history, is easy to reload, reliable to feed, accurate, flat trajectory about like a .30-06, and lots of fun to shoot. I hope you get yours soon as you will not regret it.

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                • #68
                  See, I don't know about the .40 law. A .416 for Leopard? Leopard may be very dangerous, but they are deer sized, thin skinned, and should be shot accordingly. People talk about 500 pound lions, but they are rare. You don't need a .416 for them, either. At least not for the first shot. Your first shot should be your last shot, but for a back up rifle, there's no such thing as too big. Otherwise, I think the "romanticizers" of Africa have convinced everyone that you need to use a huge gun for everything just because thats the "romantic" African thing to do. I won't criticize Jack Lott for making his .458, but I definitely think the .458 Win is definitely adequate. If countless buffalo were killed by .375s, then I'd say the .458 Win will get the job done. Again, I'm talking about rifles to start with. Hopefully the gun you start with does the job, but otherwise, you are backed up by a PH with a very big rifle.

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                  • #69
                    The outdoors are what they are and if people wna to venture out into the wild then they should be prepared for what they may come across.

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                    • #70
                      I can't speak for anywhere else persay but as far as Alaska's concerned I believe predator control well served the mooose and caribou populations. It's always something that needs to be monitored and looked at closely to make sure healthy populations continue to thrive. A lot of Alaskans depend on the meat. I don't know however that the program is intended to keep predator populations below their normal range I understand the program to be that of keeping the predators from being too much over a "normal" amount.

                      It's not really a safety community issue in Alaska. I think Alaskans for the most part love that we live with all the big game species.

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