Ask Doctari

Question:

I read your comment about scoping a heavy-caliber double rifle with much interest. What's your take on adding 1x or low power red dot or holographic type sights to doubles? They're designed for rapid acquisition of close-range targets. It seems reasonable to assume that they would stand up to the pounding of a heavy-caliber double since most if not all are frequently employed on large-caliber shotguns.


Answer:

Let me start off by stating that I'm very much a traditionalist when it comes to double dangerous game rifles and I'm now getting too darned old to change my views and opinions about such things! But I hear what you say and I believe that with a proviso, the rules can be bent a bit.

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Question:

If someone had the intention of only taking one rifle to Africa to shoot mostly plains game, but would also like to hunt buffalo, elephant, and lion, would you say that the best all-round affordable caliber is the .375? The .375 was recommended to me for both distance and capability to kill (understanding that the PH would be able to “stop” an elephant or buffalo with his rifle), but I would love your input on the matter.


Answer:

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Question:

Is there anything in Africa I couldn’t hunt with a 9.3x74R 12/12 drilling as a one-gun hunter?


Answer:

The 9.3x74R 12/12 drilling is suitable for the whole bang-shoot!

In Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and some of the provinces in South Africa, the mild-mannered 9.3x74R (and its rimless brother, the 9.3x62 mm) is legal for all the thick-skinned dangerous game species.

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Question:

What do you think of scopes on heavy-caliber double rifles? Do they defeat the purpose of carrying a double?


Answer:

Just the thought of scoping a double rifle sends shivers down my spine!

Heavy-caliber double rifles are essentially a short-range, mount-, point-, and shoot quickly type of weapon. They are relatively short and well balanced and this is where their beauty and functionality lies. They are usually also stocked to fit the user perfectly. The open V express type sights which adorn good quality doubles are low-mounted affairs. This allows the rifle to be used almost shotgun-like if need be, for quick, snap-type shotgun-type shooting, and nothing beats a well-fitting large caliber double in a charge situation for this very reason.

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Question:

I will be hunting in Namibia for leopard and plains game, including eland. I bought a Ruger Model 77 in .416 Rigby and plan to use it on the eland with 400-grain Nosler Partitions. My light rifle is a Colt Sauer in .300 Weatherby using 180-grain Nosler Partitions and I will use this on the leopard over dogs as well as on other plains game. What are your comments on my choices?

—T.M.

Answer:

Much of Namibia is vast and open, and the shots there tend to be long. With this in mind, I recommend you go down to good-quality 350-grain expanding bullets in your .416 Rigby for eland. This will flatten the trajectory out somewhat and still give you all the bullet weight you'll need for these enormous antelope. Be sure to sight the Ruger in for the expected shooting distance. I'd say 200 or maybe even 250, but be sure to check what its doing at 100 and 300 as well, just in case.

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