Africa 2012 – Buffalo: The Rifle

Choosing a rifle for African Buffalo is really no more important or different than choosing one for Alabama whitetails. Any time you’re hunting you desire a reliable and accurate rifle that has enough power to cleanly take your intended quarry. Sure, from time to time, all of us might hunt with an old rifle that may not be completely reliable or extremely accurate. But, when we do, it’s often for nostalgic reasons. For my African buffalo hunt, I wanted reliability, accuracy and nostalgia.

That’s why I chose a lever gun. I was not looking for African nostalgia. I did not want to wear a pith helmet, pretend I was Teddy Roosevelt or that I was hunting with Harry Selby. No, I wanted to take my American heritage to Africa. I wanted to let that American cowboy spirit sing out in Africa. The same cowboy spirit that formed the Lafayette Escadrille during WWI, that inspired the First Army that hit the beaches during WWII and the Seals that rousted Osama in 2011.

I also didn’t want to do it with a high-end, custom lever gun but with a classic and affordable iconic American rifle chambered for an American military cartridge. That left one option; a Marlin 1895 in .45/70. It just so happens that I own a Marlin 1895SBL. It’s the same rifle I used in Alberta to take the largest black bear I’ve ever seen.

Now, I’m not really a cowboy. It’s been a long time since I worked cows or owned horses but that doesn’t really matter. Why? Maybe it’s because everyone has a little cowboy in them or maybe it’s like Sheriff Jim Wilson says, “The world is full of cowboys because everyone is from WEST OF SOMEWHERE

Next week: Scope selection

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About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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5 Responses to Africa 2012 – Buffalo: The Rifle

  1. Pingback: Africa 2012 – BUFFALO | EMPTY CASES

  2. cavcopy says:

    Thanks for the link to the Sheriff’s site. We appreciate it!

  3. rambowmikeoutdoors says:

    Now thats one sweet rifle… Wished I had one like that in my gun collection.
    -RamBowMike

  4. Bill Bouley says:

    That was our gun of choice for predator defense in AK, and still my favorite in the safe. Good choice and look forward to following your hunt on here. Just watch out for Jim and IL Ling, those two together are trouble.

  5. Pingback: » August 2012 – Richard Mann’s African Buffalo Hunt XS News and Info

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