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Thread: Semi-auto hunting rifles

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Semi-auto hunting rifles

    Recently went to the Fred Hall fishing and Hunting Show. Big deal in So. Cal.Everything costs too much and way too many people but still fun. Was talking to people who have hunts in South Africa and New Zealand. Discussed firearms and mentioned that I would like to use my 338 Win Mag in a BAR. Everyone said NO , no semiautomatics. Has this become the rule world wide? I like my BAR, it is a little heavier and louder than it needs to be for most domestic game but it works. Have I ended up with a US only or US and Canada only gun? Bet no one wants to talk about my Remington Model 8 or my Ruger Deerslayer. I would welcome any information from people that have hunted in other countries. Are semi-autos frowned upon or banned for sportsmen? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    it can not go to Canada from my understanding, It looks a lot like the world is against semi-auto's, I will just stick with my beloved 98 Mauser in .375 H&H Mag. to go to Africa and I think it will handle Alaska too.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Since I'm sticking with hunting the USA, my autoloaders (Browning BAR, Rem 7400 & .44 Ruger Carbine) will still get used anywhere stateside, except Pennsy ( & other states ?)

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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Semi-autos were out when I went to SA in 2002.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    NZ may be ok,but taking a favorite gun is a risk,cause baggage handlers are often antis,and will run a forklift over your gun given half a chance.There is nothing in NZ needs a 338 anyway.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    They are legal up here, but are somewhat frowned upon in dangerous game territory, or at least used to be, it seems like not as bad anymore.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Rcmaveric's Avatar
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    I have no experience, but one would assume a semi-auto would be preferred for dangerous game. I built my AR specifically for hogs.
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."
    ~Theodore Roosevelt~

  8. #8
    They can be abused by spraying a target, but the big advantage in hunting or war is that they permit a second shot without the slightest movement or sound to give you away. Every bit as good as a double rifle, and both easier to scope and likely to be more accurate at long range.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    depends on what you call dangerous game I guess. Id use my beo on pigs and black bear for sure but really don't consider that dangerous game hunting. Maybe a western grizzly bear but would be nervous. I big brown or polar bear? Not without a back up. Something like a African cat, buffalo, elephant? No thanks. Yes your 338 is in a different league. Much more powerful and useful on large game but even then if I had the money to go on a once in a lifetime safari to Africa a 1000 bucks for a new rifle would be a small part of the expense. I guess if it were me even if it were legal to use id first check with my outfitter and find out what hes comfortable with. Some internet experts that have only seen African game in a zoo will have you believing that its a mauser or double rifle or stay home. Ive got a buddy whos been there three times and took his favorite rifle each time. A model 700 416 rem. Amazingly hes still alive! Also I know many here have respect for John Linebaugh. Ask him what he thinks of a 416 rem. Its one of if not his favorite rifle and round.

    Bottom line is any gun can break or fail. Be it a push feed, control round fed or even a semi auto. Your allways going to be better armed with a gun you know and have shot extensively then some new mauser you picked up a week before your trip. Give you a little example. twice at camp I had nephews short stroke long action guns (one mauser and one push feed Winchester because they weren't use to it. Id bet in the heat of shooting a dangerous animal that might eat you that is more of a problem then if you will be able to chamber a round standing on your head or laying on your back. I have a different but similar kind of a dream. Id love to go on a dangerous game hunt with a 4570 marlin using a good cast bullet pushed hard. Ive got a 520 grain ballistic cast lfngc that I can get up to about 1500 fps out of my guide gun and I think if I shot it into the ground it would come out somewhere in china. don't know how many thousand rounds ive shot through that guide gun without one single failure to feed or jam of any kind. Mauser vs push feed? Ill leave that to the know it alls in rags like guns and ammo or shooting times.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  10. #10
    Boolit Mold
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    I have several friends that have hunted Africa. One of them said his PH said no semis, because of the possible 'spray and pray' shooting.
    Don't want no one to git hurt, but if you're gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Driver man's Avatar
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    Semi Autos are fine in NZ. Just need to check they are not MSSA.
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly-and Lo! the bird is on the wing

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    There are two different elements to this question.....first is import into wherever you are going.....I have heard this is no longer possible in S Africa,and you will be using a supplied gun.Probably applies in Zim and Botswana.You use the guides gun.Import into NZ may also be problematic ,as you are not a citizen/permanent resident.....You can certainly use a semiauto........NZs self proclaimed "greatest deerstalker" uses a AR from a helicopter ,and buys ammo by the case...(his eyesight isnt the best...he says.)....but he is shooting on tribal land ,and deer are listed as vermin.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Driver man's Avatar
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    NZ has a pretty easy system of allowing you to bring approved firearms into the country and there is no hunting season or limit. Open season on deer thar chamois wallaby Wapiti etc . I don't know who is the self proclaimed greatest deerstalker but Ive known a few deer cullers who were employed govt hunters who spent years in the bush and mountains culling the huge herds of deer that used to exist. Hard men who can account for thousands of animals taken in a harsh terrain and in rough conditions. When the helicopter gunships started in 1965 it was not uncommon to recover 200 per day, this lasted till about 1970 when they started live recovery . Dear numbers fell sharply as the live recovery generated huge money and helicopter cowboys could earn a fortune. Most of these old timers can tell a story or two. Pretty much regulated these days but still a hunters paradise. Wish I was a bit younger.
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly-and Lo! the bird is on the wing

  14. #14
    Ah yes, that takes me back! I wonder if Keith Severinsen (of Upper Hutt I believe) is still alive? I can remember being sadly divided between his book and university studying.

    In Scotland deer unquestionably do prevent the regeneration of what used to be upland forest. You can see wooded islands on lochs surrounded by bare moorland, still referred to as a "deer forest". But there have been incidents like this one, when the vaguely governmental Deer Commission ordered an unnegotiated cull on a privately owned estate. While there may have been other incidents, I believe this was one which produced a large number of wounded and lost deer. The main qualification for a professional stalker appeared to be the willingness to say "I'm a professional stalker", and not doing anything cruel to animals like enjoying it.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3462713.stm

    It is illegal to shoot anything from any vehicle under power except a motor-boat, and nobody has yet utilised man-powered flight. The helicopters were ostensibly used only to get there. But there have been allegations of shooting from helicopters in more recent culls. I imagine them playing "The Ride of the Valkyries" like in "Apocalypse Now".

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Yea, I'm a "do not infringe" fella, but on opening morning of deer season you hear (dashes are seconds) -----boom----boom-- boom boom boom boom boom boom boom boom------------ boom boom. Then folks wonder why semi autos are frowned on for hunting even among many American hunters? Yep, I love to hear some fella 200 yards from me with an AR10 do a mag dump, change mags, and fire off a couple more rounds while he's going over the ridge, don't you?
    Don't tell me you've never heard this?

  16. #16
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    I used to sit and get frustrated at the shooting opening morning. But started paying attention. Very little of it the first hour of daylight then the shooting starts. Bored people and kids shooting sticks trees ect. Probably one out 5 shot opening day are at deer. Guys that own semi autos are no more guilty then a kid with a single shot and a pocket of shells. I guess I look at it a bit different. If some idiot a 40 away wants to start blasting trees hes probably scaring deer my way and for sure isn't depleting the buck population. Bottom line is theres state law as to what you can use and cant. In MI I can use semi auto but it cant have more then 5 rounds in it. If that's what I choose to hunt with its my business and nobody elses. I did hunt one year with my beo and got a nice buck (ONE SHOT FIRED) and hunted with my ar10 and hauled that beast through the woods all season and didn't shoot a thing and though to myself "why am I hauling around a 12 lb gun when I can do the same with an gun half the weight" I chuckle at guys that thing there cooler, more ethical or better hunters because of the gun they take out of the safe. Ethics are something in your head not your gun safe. Its no different then guys calling someone using a 300 mag a slob hunter because hes using more gun then they themselves can handle. I know MANY men that use ar15s and ar10s and have used them hunting and don't do "mag dumps" in the woods. Ethics??? Whats more ethical. Making a marginal shot on a deer and having it run off while your stuggling to load your #1 or racking the bolt on you 270. Or having an instant backup shot that you might be able to put on target before that deer runs off to suffer and die. This mentality of "what I use is right and what you use is wrong" is the footing the anti gun people use to devide is and nothing more.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Just saying why lots of folks have a bad opinion of them, use what you are allowed and want to use. I personally don't see why someone wants to haul a bolt gun with barrel the size of a sewer pipe around to fire one shot either, but what ever floats your boat.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    Not my place to sterotype or judge others on how they hunt or what they hunt with. As long as your following your states game laws your hunting ethically in that state. using a gun with a heavy barrel that might be a tad more accurate and cause less wounded game or using a gun that gives a fast accurate follow up shot if you do blow a shot. or a gun that has a bit more power then might be needed so it insure a dead right there kill a shot sure isn't in in unethical in my book. If anything the egotistical guy that thinks hes somehow superior because he uses a single shot or because he can kill deer with a round that most don't think is powerful enough are the real pushers of ethics. But ive done it all and could care less how you judge me. What I own for guns or use to hunt is my business and nobody elses. I will fight equally for the gun rights of the guy that only owns a single shot break open 3030 as I will for someone who owns a 3000 dollar custom 1000 yard competition gun, or someone that has 20 ar15s. We can either stick together and win this fight or split up into factions and let the liberals march in and take our guns. When you complain about someone who legaly owns a certain type of gun or complain about a hunter that you don't feel is ethical you do nothing but show the antis we are apes with machine guns and a bunch of unethical hunters walking around in the woods spraying bullets. Don't be so nieve to believe they don't cruse these gun forums looking for weak spots in our resolve.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #19
    The nearest I've come to an American whitetail deer is seeing Errol Flynn carrying one into Nottingham Castle. But nothing I hear is very different from the deer species I know, so probably they are much less easily alarmed by gunshots than by metallic noises, footsteps etc. You make it sound like they could be in danger of developing high-tone deafness.

    An Oregon bowmaking correspondent, who supplied bowstaves for replicas of the sixteenth century bows recovered from the warship Mary Rose", once showed me pictures of a yew-tree he had cut. It was an adolescent or young adult yew, as they have to be for that purpose, the few probably Neolithic yews we have in the UK being impressive but useless. But the rings showed it to date from the time, if not of Columbus, of Magellan. Well, bullets have to hit trees sometimes, but there is something wicked about needlessly damaging them on the scale described here. Let alone humans a mile or so off.

    I'm sure an AR can be used responsibly for anything its cartridge can - including deer, when circumstances permit. But I think the use of a .223 increases the chances that someone inexperienced and excitable will foul up. Yes, the design can be adapted to more dependable cartridges. But how many are?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Decades ago I bought and used a .338 BAR here in Alberta. I'm sure it'd still be 'legal'.
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