rifles

New bullet designs and construction have given new life and new versatility to the venerable .45-70 Government.

By Kelly Ross

While big bore lever-actions have long been a favorite of deep woods  whitetail hunters, 21st Century reloading components and ammunition have made the .45-70 much more versatile and easily capable of taking moose and elk out to 250 yards.

 

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Getting your rifle ready for a hunt means putting in some quality range time and checking for functionality as well as accuracy.

By Craig Boddington

Over the years I have hunted with a wide assortment of rifles, and I’ve seen all kinds of bizarre problems pop up. Most are fixable, but the most important thing is you need time to fix them. So the first rule in getting ready for a “big hunt,” whatever that means to you, is to plan ahead. Make your decisions on rifles and optics early in the process, so that you have time for at least a half-dozen range sessions before the hunt date rolls around.

The exact zero you choose depends on where and what you’re hunting as well as your chosen cartridge. This .35 Whelen Ackley Improved is zeroed dead-on at 100 yards, a good choice for close-cover hunting.

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Less can be more when it comes to the right calibers and cartridges for Africa’s antelopes.

By Craig Boddington

The zebra stallion was about 125 yards away, quartering slightly toward us. Donna was steady on the sticks, and when her shot broke we heard the solid thunk of the bullet striking. So far that was according to plan, but then things got interesting. The zebra reared up on his hind legs, fell over backward—and that was it.

A big zebra can weigh 800 pounds; it is, after eland, probably the largest of what we consider “African plains game.” Zebras are also very tough. I’ve spent some long days following poorly hit zebras, and I’ve seen relatively few drop to the shot like that. PH Karl van Zyl, of course, has seen a lot more zebras shot than I have, and probably spent a lot more long days following them. We both wanted to be diplomatic, but our immediate conclusions were exactly the same: Donna must have pulled the shot a bit high and it caught the spine…or drifted left into the neck.

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Question:


I am planning to have a double rifle built for use on buffalo and elephant. I am undecided between .450 NE, .470 NE, or .500 NE. I understand that ammo is more common for .470 and .500 NE. Do you have any recommendations?

 

Answer:


An interesting question, because there are many things to consider. As you mention, one of them is ammo--and this is an aspect that concerns me.

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Question:


I just returned from my third plains-game hunt in RSA and I want to return next year for crocodile. My PH told me to hunt crocodile with whatever rifle that I am most comfortable with, but recommended solids. Kevin, what is your recommendation? My PH actually took a croc in the Limpopo River with a .22-250 Rem, but I don't want to be undergunned. I was thinking about my .300 Win Mag with Barnes solids.

 

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