I have a very dear aunt who lives in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. Every time she sends me a text message, email or word of mouth message, her missive ends in the following words; “Please tell him that I still pray for him, every day.” She directs these sincere thoughts towards my […]
The discussion regarding the best cartridge for use on African plains game has been a century-old affair; a heated debate that certainly has no end in sight, nor a definitive correct answer. Its only competition is the evolving argument about dangerous game cartridges.
Bore diameters between 6.5mm and .375″ all have their champions, and all can be used on plains game with good effect. However, when it comes to a cartridge that is effective across a broad spectrum of game – from duikers to eland – the .30-’06 Springfield continues to hold one of the top positions.
The basic design for a Dangerous Game Rifle (DGR) was finalized by English gun makers such as Holland and Holland, Rigby, Jeffrey, et al. before the start of WWI. Drawing on the experiences of big game hunters in their African colonies and using the new smokeless propellant, Cordite, these custom gun smiths could now build relatively light weight rifles that surpassed the stopping power of the earlier 4 to 10 gauge black powder rifles.
I have a 416 Rigby built on a CZ 550 Safari rifle. I converted the bolt to a Winchester Model 70 style safety/bolt sleeve and spot polished the bolt and extractor. The magazine received a new floor plate assembly to hold another cartridge. The gun now will hold four in the magazine and one in the chamber.
A number of years ago this got me thinking and I did some “survival” hunting. This involved going out into the bush with only my bow, some basic survival tools, and a little food to start off with, for an extended period of time (5-10 days). Once my food and water ran out I would then be forced to live off what nature provided.
The 13th bull was waiting for us. As he got up, he came in one movement. Low and fast. Intention apparent. As I started falling backwards, Michael’s .375 Rigby H&H went off beside me. Rifle off my shoulder, I was pulling the trigger for first right and then left barrel before I hit the deck. The gun was not on my shoulder, but in the direction of danger. A flash of blood was all I could see from what I thought was my right barrel at the hump of our aggressor, who then turned to flee to our left. The .500 NE had turned him at three yards.