Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"Real Men Shoot Them In The White"...

Or "How to Stop Worrying and Love the .375 H&H".

I've always had a soft spot for the .375 H&H.  It is just one of those cartridges that performs.   Adequate power for most anything on Earth with the proper bullets.  Excellent accuracy.  Mild recoil. No muss, no fuss.  So I was a happy camper when one of our clients ordered up a Legend sporter chambered in this grand old cartridge.

Upon completion of the required metal work and stock bedding, Matt and I proceeded to take our creation down to the range for its maiden test firing, barrel break-in and load development.

The results were adequate for most purposes, don't you think?

These were the results with two different powder charges of R15 and H4895 and the 300 gr. Barnes TSX.  The group on the left measures .566".  The group on the right measures .166".  The scope was our trusty Leupold MK-4 16x test scope.

Brian Bingham
D'Arcy Echols & Co.

Friday, June 15, 2012

African Dangerous Game Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt

Recently a good friend of mine called to say he was sending me a book with a modern look at African rifles and cartridges that he felt I would enjoy. I thanked him profusely and politely tried to get him the cancel the order as I had not read a book on this subject in years that wasn't a re-hash of the same old tired themes. He said it was to late to cancel as the book was in route.

The book arrived in due course and I have not been able to put it down, it is that good. My favorite time to read or re-read a chapter is at dawn with a fresh cup of coffee. Some pages are already becoming dog eared.

To say Pierre van der Walts book African Dangerous Game Cartridges is "refreshing" is like seeing Victoria Falls for the first time and saying, gee that's nice. The work and effort that went into the text is extensive to say the least. The opening chapters on rifles, optics and related equipment is worth the cost of the book alone. The following chapters on cartridges and the load data comprised for each cartridge is a treasure trove of information.

I cannot recommend this book enough for those interested in African hunting, rifles and caliber selection in general.

You can contact author directly by e-mail at

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2 more Legends head for home

Karl D and his lovely wife drove 12 hours on Tuesday to pick up another pair of Legends. One was chambered for 270 Winchester and the other for 300 Winchester. Both are in out standard sporter configuration. We spent some time at the range shooting these at 200 and 300 yards. As the session came to a close and they were facing the long drive home Karl wanted to shoot a 458 Lott we had and try and compare it to the recoil of his Legend chambered for 416 Rem. He has another Elephant coming up the this fall and just needed to see for himself if this caliber was a real man killer in the recoil dept.

So we set up his shooting sticks about 35 yards from the target frame and he fired 3 shots in very rapid succession as one might be required on such a hunt. He wanted to see what the recovery time was like  from shot to shot. As the third case hit the ground he turned and smiled and said, "Hell that's not bad !"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bucks & Bulls in Cold Bay Alaska

Travis Adams and I have known one another for some time. Both of us guide for Bucks & Bulls Guides and Outfitters and together have had the pleasure of working with this team of true professionals for many years. Travis just returned from Cold Bay Alaska with a Bear we just had to include on this blog. While it was not killed with one of our rifles the hunt deserves attention and a shout out for a job well done. As this may be a spring bear season that most will try and forget I think Travis will always consider the hardships and bad weather a necessary price to pay for such a great experience. Travis had booked a 16 day hunt and took this Bear as the sun was going down on the 14th day.

The bear taped 10' 2" with a  27 & 7/16" green skull. He may not "best" this first bear in a lifetime of  trips back to Cold Bay. He and his guide from R&R stalked the bear until they ran out of cover and spent hour's laying in the snow waiting for the lounging bear to present a favorable shot. As the sun began to set the thermals shifted and blew their scent right at the bear. Having caught their wind the bear came out of the snow as if launched by springs and ran directly away from them. At 376 yards the bear slowed to a stop and turned broadside. Years of guiding under pressure for trophy Mule Deer and Elk was now about to pay off as Travis told the guide he was definitely taking the shot.

I imagine the guide was wondering how he was going to explain to his boss why he let anyone even consider such a shot when the 375 bellowed. The bear took the first round in the center of the rib cage, spun 180 degree's and Travis handed him another one placed in the same spot only this time from the other side.

The bear began to loose his footing and tumbled down the hill with Travis firing whenever a vital spot  rolled into view. He fired 7 times and hit the bear 7 times. The dream of a life time had just come to fruition. I have no doubt the next several hours were filled with a lot work compared to an elk but I'd be willing to guess Travis can't remember the sweat required to get the bear to camp.

110% effort to the end, typical performance from a Bucks & Bulls guide. I would have expected nothing less.