Africa hunt

Monday, November 21, 2022, 14:53 (15 days ago)

I have been looking at an African Spiral Horned Antelope hunt for Eland, Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck and possibly adding a Cape Buffalo. I would be using a John Linebaugh Ruger Bisley Vaquero in .500 Linebaugh with a 5 inch barrel for the Cape Buffalo and a Freedom Arms 83 .454 Casull with a 2x Leupold and a 7 1/2” barrel for the plains game. The only issue is he said that it has to be scoped for entry into South Africa but it can be removed once there. So is there any type of No drill mount for a Vaquero? I was even thinking about putting one ring on the barrel and a cheap scope on it. I do not want to drill and tap the Linebaugh gun. If I can’t figure it out I have found hunts in other countries that don’t require scopes on handguns but cost a little more

You need to check your rules a bit closer

Gary Reeder
Monday, November 21, 2022, 15:37 (15 days ago) @ Pacecars

to bring a handgun into South Africa these days the barrel has to be at least 8". That has been a rule for a couple of years now. When that rule came out all the guys in our group that were planning on using a handgun had to change our barrel lengths. Two guys (not with our group) that tried to bypass that law and slip handguns into the country managed to get by as the rule was new at the time but their PH got caught and got a huge fine or 8 years in jail.
If you plan on hunting with a handgun in Africa then you need to pay attention to their rules. On our last 2 Africa hunts we have had to go by the new rules. It was written right there in the SAP (South African Police) form. I consider it a privilege to hunt Africa with my handguns as do all the guys that went with me on those hunts and consider it childish to try to bypass those laws. I have been to Africa 16 times with my handguns and hope to make one more hunt but I will absolutely stick to their rules if I can make that hunt. Also unless this is new the addition of a scope was not a law. The SAP people did check our barrel lengths but didn't say anything about a scope. I did drill and tap the top strap of my main revolver and put a scope and scope mounts in my gun case with my guns but they never checked them. I had probably $25,000 in handguns in my gun case in each of these last 2 hunts and I sure wasn't risking a handgun hunt just because I didn't want to drill and tap the topstrap of a $4000 handgun. That gun means a lot more to me now that the hunt is over and I got to use it on an African lion.

The SAP form didn't mention a scope at all in the paperwork. Our hunts were in South Africa so maybe yours are in a different country but you need to check the laws a bit closer and not just go by what a friend said who hasn't been there with a handgun. Talk to someone that books these hunts for a living and get them to get you a copy of the new laws. Anne at Air2000 can probably help you with some info. Or John Abraham at Madubula Safaris is a good one to ask. He has been African Professional Hunter of the year and has put more handgun hunters in the record book than anyone else that I can think of. The rules may have changed a bit in the year since I was over there but I sure would talk to somebody that keeps up with the rules.

I have spoken to several outfitters and PHs

Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 12:33 (14 days ago) @ Gary Reeder

So far. Only one said they had to be scoped so not sure about that one. The others have told me the barrel has to be at least 100mm. This is I. The Eastern Cape

If it is in South Africa the rules are all the same

Gary Reeder
Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 14:50 (14 days ago) @ Pacecars

I have had almost 100 hunters join me in Africa since 1992 and in the last 3 hunts we have had 10 or 12 hunters on each hunt and each went by the new rules and had great hunts. Another thing you might have a problem with is a couple more rules that are fairly new. They are no rimfires, no shotguns, no semi autos of any kind. Then the new rule that revolver barrel length have to be at least 8", and they checked our guns on that one. Also the caliber of the gun has to match the head stamp on the brass. They checked us on that one too. At one little hole in the wall in South Africa that we flew into called Upington they checked every single round of ammo we had to see if it matched the caliber of the guns.
So these guys are serious about the rules and if you try to sneak something by them they will confiscate your guns and you can pick them back up when you leave the country.

The 2 hunters that caused major problems for their PH brought in things they knew were illegal. One brought a 5" 454 Casull and the other brought in a Glock in 10mm. After their hunt when they got back into the states they wrote up the hunts in a couple of magazines and web sites and posted pictures of the game they shot with these handguns and the word got out to the people in South Africa. The PH was arrested and got either a very heavy fine or 8 years in jail.
My suggestion would be to call John Abraham, the head honcho of Madubula Safaris and ask him. He lives in Texas when he isn't on a hunt. I have hunted with John every year since 1992. Now things may have changed in the last 18 months or so. But he is one of the top professional hunters in the world and will know the answers to your questions. If he is out of country his wife lauri will know the answer to your questions. His number is 817-899-5949. Just tell him I told you to call and he will help you all he can.

Thanks. Will do

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 08:33 (13 days ago) @ Gary Reeder

I sure don’t want to end up losing expensive guns and ending up in some hell hole prison in a third world country

When you take your firearms to local customs

Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 10:24 (13 days ago) @ Pacecars

Take a couple extras, fill out 2, 4457 customs forms with a couple extra firearms
That way if conditions change where you are going, you have a couple extras to choose from. I always had 3 on my forms, but only took 2.
Supposedly now customs has a form that does not expire. So once you get them on forms, you’re set for life.

You can put as many guns on the form as you

Gary Reeder
Wednesday, November 23, 2022, 13:17 (13 days ago) @ MTM

like but you can only take 3 with you. I usually put 4 or 5 guns on there and have them registered at customs. Then if something happens to one of my guns or if I decide to hunt dangerous game I can switch guns for one that is better for Cape Buffalo or lion or elephant or a gun for longer range like you encounter down on the eastern Cape. I try to have a handgun for each of those instances on my customs form, that way if necessary I can switch guns at the last minute, as long as I have no more than 3 guns total.

One other thing concerning your ammo. You can take up to 3 guns but you are limited to 11 lbs of ammo, max. I normally take 3 guns and 25 rounds of ammo per gun. If I can't take whatever animal I am hunting with 20 rounds I should have stayed home. But ammo for large calibers will add up quick and they will weigh your ammo. If you go over they won't let you take more that the regulations allow, so they throw the rest in the trash.

On one of my recent hunts all my guns and gear were stolen in Qatar, so I had nothing but the clothes I wore on the plane when we got to camp. I ended up borrowing guns from the guys for my hunts. I borrowed a custom 454 we did for Michael Mendes and hunted a Cape Buffalo with light loaded 454. I put him down with the first shot and kept him down with the second. I took my Golden Wildebeest with a custom G-2 in my 338 GNR borrowed from Erik Stenberg. So I took both my animals with 4 rounds total. The gist of this is you don't have to take 5 lbs of ammo with each gun. If you have a good PH, he can get you to within 50 yards of the animal, even if you have to belly crawl.

I have heard that there is a permanent 4457 but I haven't seen one yet. If so that would get rid of some of the problems we have had in the past with an old form that was not allowed. But either way you have to take your guns and your 4457 form to the U.S. Customs office that is normally near your airport and have them register the guns and sign off on the form. When they get that done make a couple of copies of it and staple the original form to the back page of your passport so you will have it handy.

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