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  • African Ramblings African

    Six weeks is too long for 80 plus year old man to gypsy around Africa. Countless airplanes, almost impossible roads and missing family and dogs made it tough.. I hunted nothing I had not hunted before and visited no places I had not previously seen in the past. Still it was probably my last Dark Continent sojourn and I wanted to make the most of it.
    I took a 6.5 x 284 and a 416 Remington Magnum. I had the 6.5 made up on a whim after reading a David Petzal article on that cartridge and had never used it hunting. I felt I had never given the Remington 416 a fair chance because of my fondness for the 416 Rigby. Both cartridges performed fine but did nothing to alter my belief in the 300 Win Mag, the 338 Win Mag and the 416 Rigby as my favorite African rifles.
    As an experiment, I used two 6.5 bullets, the Berger Long Range and the Swift A Frame, both 140 grain. I took four animals with each at ranges from 80 out to 200 yards. All were one shot kills except for a Sable the first shot took it on the point of the shoulder where I had aimed while the animal faced me at an angle. The bullet blew up but the damage was fatal. The second round was broadside going all the way through the heart, range 200 yards. I recovered only the portion of one Berger round, all others sailed through the various animals. I give the nod to the Swift bullets with better terminal ballistics, more damage and larger exit wounds. Just seemed to hit with more authority.
    The 6.5 just does not provide the flexibility needed for African hunting where you may be seeking a smaller animal and run into a larger species you want to collect. A 30 caliber 180 0r 200 grain bullet just provides for more contingencies and strikes with mor power without ruining much more meat. As mentioned before also like the 338.
    The 416 Remington killed four buffalo with four shots, plus insurance shots on the downed animals. My Remington, though custom made, is just not as high quality as either of my 416 Rigby, nor is it’s scope mount up to the harsh recoil.
    I shot straight for an old man, the results were fine, but this old codger will stick with 300 Win Mags and 416 Rigby when prowling around Africa.. Kindest Regards.
    Last edited by Happy Myles; 10-30-2019, 03:11 PM.

  • #2
    So, 1 question. Your opinion. If elk and deer are both on the menu, 6.5 off in favor of a 300 or is your observation concerning size of game discrepancies confined to the plains of Africa? Welcome home by the way, glad you are safe and well.

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    • #3
      dewman, over many decades I have taken 35 bull elk five points or better up and down the Rocky Mountain States, plus Alberta and British Columbia. Have successfully used many calibers and cartridges. My favorite by far is the 300 Win Mag using 180 TSX or 200 grain Nosler Partition. a 300 Weatherby would be fine too. I used a 300 Remington Ultra Mag, found the recoil too vicious and more fuss to handload so sold it and have not missed it. Deer on the other hand anything works depending on the range as long as accurate.

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      • #4
        I should add a couple comments. I hunt a lot compared to most folks and spent a lot of time at the range. I do not play golf or tennis.. I have become accustomed to heavy recoil, do not like it but can cope with it. If recoil worries you stick with an 06. Nothing wrong with that! As a kid, I loved Jack O’Connor and used a 270. As an old man I give the edge to to 06. Just one man’s opinion. Best to all

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        • #5
          Mr. HM: If someone has taken 35 mature bull elk then I'd call their thoughts way more than "opinion". There's more fact in your observations than a hundred pages of "paper expertise". I'd even go as far as saying I'd put more weight in your words than any gunwriter as your motives for using and endorsing any equipment are much more pure and your only motivation, success. Sincerely. My kindest regards.

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          • #6
            Happy, Glad to hear you are back safe. From your experience how do you compare shooting bull elk vs. bull moose (lower 48 or Alaska). Some say moose are tough but a friend goes to Ontario and gets his with a .270 yet elk hunters swear by nothing less than a .338 (maybe for the bears after the fact). BTW, I hunt the Adirondacks and the moose are moving back in from Maine and Vermont. In the 19th and early 20th Century moose is all there was and no deer. Now there are deer but they will eventually die off due to the parasite the moose carry that kills the deer. They can not co-exist for long. About 3,000 moose last I heard.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
              Happy, Glad to hear you are back safe. From your experience how do you compare shooting bull elk vs. bull moose (lower 48 or Alaska). Some say moose are tough but a friend goes to Ontario and gets his with a .270 yet elk hunters swear by nothing less than a .338 (maybe for the bears after the fact). BTW, I hunt the Adirondacks and the moose are moving back in from Maine and Vermont. In the 19th and early 20th Century moose is all there was and no deer. Now there are deer but they will eventually die off due to the parasite the moose carry that kills the deer. They can not co-exist for long. About 3,000 moose last I heard.
              Got that backwards. Deer kill off the moose with a parasite. Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Jimbo, I have far more experience hunting elk than moose, having taken only two Alaskan, and one each of Canadian and Shiras moose. The way I have hunted elk, being in good physical condition and good shoes are as important as rifle type. Wapiti are sharp of senses and can cover lots of ground. Moose on the other hand are more phlegmatic, easier to approach for closer shots, sometimes do not seem to realize they are hard hit. However a heart shot is a kill shot, Alaskan muskeg is hard to traverse, especially in waders. Elk may go down in tough country, but butchering a moose in a swamp, then transferring it to civilization is a task long remembered. An 06 is fine for moose, but down on the Alaskan peninsula there are lots of brown bear, seldom hunted, who may argue who the dead moose belongs to, take a 338 if you have one
                Last edited by Happy Myles; 10-30-2019, 06:24 PM.

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                • #9
                  jimbo, the Alaska moose is much larger than its cousins found in the lower 48. I had taken the smaller ones before the Alaskan variety and was startled at the size difference.

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                  • #10
                    Welcome home Happy. Time for more stories.

                    The best part of returning from overseas after a ling miserable flight was the immigration officer checking your passport and saying "Welcome Home". Made me glad to be an American.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you Rocky. Mentioning flights, a couple thoughts. Third World flights are unpredictable at times. Make sure your carry on backpack has necessities for a couple days. Flights more likely to be canceled or baggage not show. Air Kenya decided not load any baggage on one flight and it was up to me to find out how and when to get it, three days later. Flights may leave early or late. However at LAX no one welcomed me home, for a change clearing my rifles was not a problem. Most African countries seem to have new airports these days.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dewman View Post

                        Got that backwards. Deer kill off the moose with a parasite. Click image for larger version

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                        Right you are. My mistake.

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                        • #13
                          I am often asked how much ammunition to take on Safari. I was there for six weeks and took two boxes (20 rounds per box} for each rifle. I came home with most of it

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                          • #14
                            Happy, What make and power scopes, mounts do you favor for your African safari's ?

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                            • #15
                              Welcome home, H. Myles!
                              Good to know all's well and you've returned safely!
                              Looking forward to reading more stories at your leisure!

                              p.s. - take your time but hurry up! LOL!

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