A Kilimanjaro Doctari Rifle in .375?
I’m seriously considering buying the Kilimanjaro Doctari rifle. I’m planning on taking my son on safari when he graduates from high school. It will be our first trip. I’m wondering why you chose the .416 Rigby vs. .375 H&H as the smallest caliber offered for a gun with your name on it? Is it truly the caliber you would recommend to a safari client wanting to shoot Cape buffalo?
The development of Kilimanjaro Rifle’s Doctari model was very much a team effort with one goal in mind--to produce the best-looking, most functional, nicest handling, Mauser 98 bolt-actioned PH’s dangerous-game rifle possible--and heck, I think we did it!
At the time, Kilimanjaro already offered the .375 H&H in their model lineup, so it was logical to go the next step caliber-wise, hence the popular .416. For serious dangerous game work, and I’m talking here from a PH’s perspective, the .375 H&H is, I believe, only marginal for stopping and backing shots.
I am a great fan of the .375 H&H for safari clients shooting buffalo, however, because it sits, recoil-wise, at the upper limit of what I believe most safari clients can realistically handle. There is also no doubt in my mind that safari clients simply shoot better with scoped rifles and given the all-roundedness of the .375 H&H, I have long recommended that such rifles should be permanently scoped and stocked accordingly.
With modern-day 350-grain bullets, especially, the .375 H&H is a proven buffalo performer and it gets my wholehearted recommendation as a suitable rifle/caliber combination for a safari client.
Please realize that the Doctari was developed as an open sighted PH’s rifle-- but with a twist. For the odd occasion which requires it, the Doctari can quickly accommodate a scope on a mounting system whereby the scope and ghost ring rear sight are of the same height so the head’s position on the stock does not change when switching from one sighting system to the other. Few other rifles can do this, and this is what sets the Doctari apart.
So, to answer your question, the Doctari is essentially an open-sighted dangerous game rifle which will take a scope if need be. But heck, it you want one in .375 H&H, I really do not have a problem with this. In fact this is a topic I have been intending to discuss with Kilimanjaro for some time--and I say so because there are some interesting developments in the pipeline regarding the .375 H&H and factory-produced buffalo-suitable ammo.
The folks at Kilimanjaro--Eric Eike and Gene Gordner--are some of the most pleasant gun folks you'll ever meet, and I have no doubt in my mind they will rise to the challenge if requested.