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Hello

My name is Johan van Wyk, thank you for stopping by here at my own little spot on the 'net.

I was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and grew up in a small town in northern South Africa where I learned about hunting, firearms, and ballistics from a very young age. I was fortunate to hunt over the years and share my knowledge in numerous publications, including as editor of South Africa's largest hunting, shooting, and conservation magazine. Come on this journey with me as I recount some of my hunting adventures as well as interesting facts on guns and nature conservation. Contact me at johan@gunsonsafari.com with any questions or comments.

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GUNS ON

SAFARI!

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It is hard to underestimate the influence that a handful of talented British gunmakers have had on the evolution of the double-barrelled gun and rifle as we know them today. Many of the things we take for granted such as ejectors, single triggers, bolting systems, and the like only evolved after a drawn-out process of experimentation and invention into the “standard” features most often encountered on modern guns. What’s more, many of these inventions were the intellectual products of but a handful of men.

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Few cartridges have left such a deep impression on the hunting world as the venerable 9,3x62 Mauser. In Europe, it’s a firm favourite for all kinds of game, including wild boar and deer. Some years ago, a friend booked a hunt in Alaska for one of the big brown bears that roam that part of the world. Because of the extensive paperwork involved, he decided not to take one of his own rifles but rather to use one of the outfitter’s rifles. 

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In many hunting books of an older generation, especially those written by Americans, one often finds references of professional hunters shooting double rifles that fire cartridges “as big as bananas”. This kind of language almost certainly refers to that odd trio of cartridges developed when politics and propellant problems intervened in cartridge design in 1905: the .450 No 2 NE, .475 No 2 NE, and .475 No 2 NE Jeffery. 

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In many hunting books of an older generation, especially those written by Americans, one often finds references of professional hunters shooting double rifles that fire cartridges “as big as bananas”. This kind of language almost certainly refers to that odd trio of cartridges developed when politics and propellant problems intervened in cartridge design in 1905: the .450 No 2 NE, .475 No 2 NE, and .475 No 2 NE Jeffery. 

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Some years ago, I happened upon a for sale ad for a Leupold riflescope on a South African internet forum. Leupold scopes are in widespread use just about everywhere where rifles and shooting are popular, and the company’s products are rightly very highly regarded. The scope that was advertised was hardly a new one. It was a Vari-X III (the forerunner of today’s VX-3 range) 4,5-14x40 Tactical scope. Since I had never heard of any Leupold Tactical scopes at the time-I’d never seen any of them for sale in South Africa-I was intrigued.

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