Shooting

A good hunting partner or guide who can spot for you, and talk you through the shot, is invaluable.

By Craig Boddington

Sometimes the easiest part of shooting is squeezing the trigger. There’s a reason our military snipers operate in two-man teams, one in the role of shooter and the other in the role of spotter. In terms of training, both team members are equally familiar with each role. Some teams trade off spotting and shooting, just like you and your hunting buddy. Other teams come to rely on individual strengths. The two skill sets are quite different, but some people are simply better at the almost mystical art of calling wind.

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Expanding bullets made of homogenous alloys behave differently than standard lead projectiles.


By Craig Boddington


The Barnes X Bullet entered the market about a quarter-century ago. It wasn’t exactly the first of its type, but it was definitely the first unleaded, homogenous alloy expanding bullet to gain acceptance among hunters. Mind you, it wasn’t universally accepted! Some praised it, others damned it. Either way, it worked. Absent a core that could be separated, the Barnes X was bound to retain the vast majority of its weight, and it was going to penetrate. The four petals were going to peel back from the nose cavity, creating the cross, or X, that gave the bullet its name. At high velocity, and depending on what was struck, it wasn’t impossible (or even unusual) for one or more petals to break off. If they all broke off, which was unusual, then the remainder of the bullet acted like a solid and continued to penetrate. At low velocity (i.e., at long range after the bullet has slowed) the petals opened less well, and the bullet still performed like a solid.

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Life-size (and smaller) targets to help you get ready for your Cape buffalo safari.

 

If you're planning to take on dangerous game in Africa, it's very important to practice with your big-bore rifle under the most realistic conditions possible. With this life-size buffalo target, you can set up a training regimen that's as realistic as it gets. You'll need the right range setup, but if you have a place for it, this target is the ideal way to get realistic shooting practice with your dangerous-game rifle at the same distances you'll be shooting at buffalo on your safari. The target is 5 feet high and 8 feet long, and is printed on lightweight, weather-resistant, corrugated plastic board that folds up into five sections.

 

Life-size freestanding buffalo target.

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The second shot can be just as important as the first, so be ready.

By Craig Boddington

I’m pretty sure I’ve made just about every field-shooting mistake you can think of. I’ve misread wind, angles, and even range. I’ve pulled the stupid trick of looking through the scope and forgetting the barrel was a bit lower. I launched a bullet into a berm ten feet in front of me, which didn’t in the least impress the animal I was shooting at. And sometimes I’ve just plain missed. The biggest mistake I know of—I’ve done this, too—is what African professional hunters call “admiring the shot.”

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Now's the time to start practicing for those fall hunts.

By Craig Boddington

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