Four Paces from Death (part 2)

by david on November 27, 2012

“O dark-thirty” came quicker than it should have and after a quick breakfast, we made way to the range to confirm my scope had maintained its zero.  While Leonard, our tracker set up a target Phil went over shot placement and a few other items with me.  The Cape buffalo is an extremely tough critter and can absorb an incredible amount of lead before succumbing to its affect.  It was important both ethically and for my safety to make absolutely sure the first bullet goes exactly where it needs to go.  If it does not there are only three possible outcomes.  First and most tragic is the buffalo gets away never to be seen again and suffers miserably.  The second option is I finally get the buffalo but only after a forced march and covering many miles.  Lastly the buffalo gets extremely agitated at the source of his displeasure and decides to make me into something soft, squishy and completely unrecognizable.  Knowing this I was determined to make the first shot count.  I was shooting my CZ Safari Classic chambered in .416 Rigby.  I had loaded my own cartridges, so I knew the rifle shot 1-¾” high at 100 yards, dead-on at 200 yards, and about 10” low at three hundred.  Phil informed me that I would probably shoot at 50 yards and he wanted to see where the point of impact was at 50 yards.  The rifle shot perfectly.  At 50 yards, the bullet was still rising and was only about a half inch high, just below the top of the bullseye.  The three-shot group punched a perfect cloverleaf.  I was using Barnes’ TSX and Solids, and they both shot to the same place.  With both of us convinced all was in order, it was time to pick up our Park Ranger guide and escort.  Then we could start our hunt.

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