Keep It Simple

It's best to keep it simple when hunting Cape Buffalo. Sheriff Jim WilsonWe often think of the KISS Principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) as applying to personal defense. Obviously, it has a far wider ranging effect than that. It is really good advice concerning most things in our life. But I assure you that it applies when it comes to hunting rifles.

Suppose you are about to purchase a rifle for dangerous game. You will quickly realize that this sort of rifle ammunition is really expensive. In addition, you will find that those big calibers tend to have a lot of felt recoil and extended shooting of these guns may just give you the kind of flinch that will ruin all of your rifle hunting.

What you need is an understudy rifle. And there is no better choice that the medium-power rifle that you hunt your deer, pronghorn, and elk with. Yep, that .270, .308, .30/06, or whatever, can be the beginning place for youIt's best to Keep it Simple when hunting Aoudad. Sheriff Jim Wilson to start tuning up for your dangerous game hunt.

When selecting rifles, it is best that they be of the same type and from the same manufacturer. You don’t want to be switching from a tang safety to a 3-position bolt safety. And you don’t want to be going back and forth between a push-feed action and a controlled-feed action.

In my case, I like to hunt with the Ruger #1 rifles. My medium-power rifle is a #1A in 7x57mm with a Leupold 1.5×5 scope. My dangerous game rifle is the Ruger #1H, in .375 H&H, with an identical Leupold scope mounted. Both rifles have tang safeties, very similar trigger pulls, stock design, and stock dimensions.

On a recent practice day, getting ready for a cape buffalo hunt, I ran about 40 rounds through my 7×57 in general comfort. I worked on position, sight picture, trigger squeeze, all the basics. Then I switched over to the .375 and finished my session with about 10 rounds of the 300 gr ammo that I’ll be using in Africa. No discomfort, no flinching, and, yet, it was a very productive shooting session.

So if a dangerous-game rifle is about to become part of your personal battery, give some thought to matching it with a good understudy piece. Keep it as simple as you can, you won’t regret it.

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11 Responses to Keep It Simple

  1. I too am a Ruger No 1 fan. I own three, a 22 Hornet 45/70 and the very best of all; a 357 Mag, a special order number that was used by the California Highway Patrol as prises. Not many were made, but it is a joy to shoot and from a rifle the .357 mag shoot pretty hard. It is fun to shoot and plink with and for small game it’s right on.

    • Certainly we can agree that “making things more complex” is problematic. As for KISS concerning hunting rifles? I’ve removed the scopes from my rifles except for my 257 Rbts.

  2. Pingback: » The Understudy

  3. I like hunting with a single shot rifle. The KISS principal added to the Ruger No 1 also means “make the first shot count”.
    The 7×57 is a great round. So is the 257 Rbts. If shooting with a scope you won’t get hit between the eyes when shooting them.

  4. I never shoot many rounds through a hard shooting rifle/pistol. I practice with lighter rounds. I shoot .38’s in a 357 Mag, then if I shoot a max loaded round it’s no problem.

  5. Pingback: Classic Cartridges: The .30/06 Springfield | Sheriff Jim Wilson

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