American Rifleman - August 2021 - 64

" It was back in 1949 that Donald Ker and I were on
safari with three clients in the Ikoma area of northwestern
Tanganyika. The safari had gone very well, and the hunting
was winding down. My client still had one more buffalo on
license, and on the last afternoon, we spotted a lone buffalo
bull out in some long grass. My client and I, together with
my gun bearers, Kidogo and Matheke, left the hunting car to
stalk the buffalo, which we collected without incident.
" There were no nearby trees where the buffalo fell, so
we laid our rifl es in the grass and began helping Matheke
with the removal of the head and cape. My rifl e was a
fi rst-grade, double .470 Rigby in mint condition, for
which I paid about $270. That seems incredible compared
to today's prices.
" As we fi nished the skinning, I heard a vehicle approaching
and assumed it was Kidogo. But it was Donald Ker. As he
drove up in his Dodge Power Wagon, it was too late-one of
his front wheels had gone right over the barrels of my .470,
bending them badly.
" I was devastated, for I was now without a heavy rifl e,
and had another three-month safari starting soon. Upon
arriving back in Nairobi, I looked for a replacement, but time
was short, and there was nothing available in the way of a
double rifl e. The only heavy rifl e I could fi nd was a magazine
rifl e at a local gun dealer. It happened to be a Rigby .416, so
with no other option, I bought it. This particular Rigby was
unusual in that it was built sometime just after the war on a
standard-length Mauser action, but I fi gured it would just be
a stopgap until I could fi nd another double.
" Once back on safari, I soon realized this rifl e and cartridge
combination was, for me, far superior to my double.
The inherent accuracy of a bolt-action was apparent from
the very fi rst shot, and the phenomenal penetration made
itself evident as time went by. I also appreciated the fourround
magazine, and, on several occasions, was glad that
those four rounds were ready and waiting. Suffi ce it to say
that, after two safaris, I would not have gone back to a
double under any circumstances. "
Legendary Mozambique PH Wally Johnson's early64
AUGUST
2021
The author's early hunts in Kenya included a Remington Model 721
rifl e chambered in .300 H&H Mag. and Remington Core-Lokt ammunition.
The Model 721's bolt used a small, but effective, extractor
mounted within the wall of its recessed face and a plunger-type ejector.
The bolt encircled the cartridge head, while the barrel's chamber
surrounded the cartridge, all of which were contained within the
receiver-the " three rings of steel " that became a major selling point
for the Model 721's successor, the Model 700.
production Winchester Model 70 rifl e in .375 H&H Mag. was
another long-serving rifl e with plenty of scars speaking to
its colorful history. Wally carried this venerable Winchester,
made in 1938, for nearly 50 years, fi rst as a professional
ivory hunter and later as a PH for backing up safari clients.
He subjected the Winchester to years of hard use, treating
it as a " working " rifl e-a tool in the fi nest sense of the
word. He carried that Model 70 from before World War II right
through to the end of his hunting career in the 1980s. During
my years on safari in Botswana, I shared many campfi res
with both Harry and Wally, and, like them, I also developed a
strong affi nity for my rifl es.
The Model 721 Goes To Africa
My family lived in Kenya back in the 1960s, when a
resident's general game license cost a mere 100 Kenyan
shillings-equivalent to U.S. $14-and included 14 species
of plains game, with a total of 30 animals that could be
hunted annually. The early mainstay of our African battery
was an ordinary, iron-sighted Remington Model 721 rifl e,
chambered in .300 H&H Mag. My father had originally
purchased the rifl e back in 1956 at the Navy Exchange
on Guam, where he was attached to a Navy photo recon
squadron. He bought the rifl e for less than $100, with the
idea of hunting wild boar in the Philippines and seladang
(a wild gaur) in Malaya. Those hunts never materialized, so
the Model 721 was relegated to the back of a closet until
our family moved to Kenya 10 years later.
AMERICAN RIFLEMAN

American Rifleman - August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - August 2021

Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover2
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 1
American Rifleman - August 2021 - Contents
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 3
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 4
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 5
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 6
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 7
American Rifleman - August 2021 - 8
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American Rifleman - August 2021 - Cover3
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