Boddington on African Rifles by Craig Boddington
While entire books have been written on rifle and cartridge selection as they pertain to the African safari, no film or DVD has seriously tackled the subject until now. Craig Boddington’s safaris have spanned the entire continent during his three-decade-long love affair with Africa. Few hunters can match Boddington’s African hunting experience, and no gunwriter, past or present, has used and field-tested the vast array of rifles and cartridges as has Craig. Over the course of his career, Boddington has tackled the full spectrum of African game with every caliber from the .22 long rifle to the largest and massive of Nitro Expresses.
Boddington on African Rifles is a full-length feature DVD that will be of keen interest to the safari veteran, the sportsman planning his first safari, or the serious rifle enthusiast and collector. While the subject of the perfect rifle and caliber size for various hunting situations and species will always leave room for debate, Boddington breaks the subject matter down into four separate chapters giving the viewer an in-depth look at the topics.
In the “African Cartridge” section, the cartridges are divided into four categories and each major cartridge is discussed in each category. This very interesting and fast-paced section gives an excellent overview of the better caliber choices for African game. Craig covers a huge array of cartridges and spends just enough time on each for the viewer to get a good feel for what the Africa-bound hunter should consider.
In the “Safari Rifles” chapter, Craig discusses over-push feed vs. controlled feed, doubles vs. bolts, and single-shot rifles. His views on the merits of push vs. controlled-feed actions will surprise many hunters. He interviews renowned PHs who stand on either side of the aisle of the debate on bolts vs. double rifles, and you get to learn their views. In short, we get an excellent primer on what rifle choices to consider when going to Africa.
In the “Guns for Game” section of the film, Boddington draws on his thirty-plus years of personal hunting to help the viewer select the right rifle setup for specific game and shooting conditions. He discusses the practicability of double rifles and bolt actions, and he looks at iron sights vs. a low-power scope for both types of gun.
Finally, in the “African Battery Section,” Craig discusses how to assemble the right combination of rifles for the African safari, whether it is for a basic one-gun, plains-game safari or a full-bag safari that may require multiple rifles and calibers. He points out airline restrictions as well as importation regulations while giving us good practical advice that helps us from making overlapping choices or considering too many guns on one trip. The options he offers are particularly good, for they help us focus on our goals when planning a trip.
This DVD is superbly supported with brilliantly filmed field footage in which game gets shot with everything from a .17 HMR to a .700 Nitro Express. The quality of the footage and the hunting sequences bring each discussion to life. Also included is recent footage of historic rifles once belonging to legendary hunters like John Taylor (a .450 double rifle) and Fletcher Jamison (a .500 Jeffrey). The current owners of these rifles take elephant and buffalo on camera. Boddington on African Rifles is the most complete film of its kind ever produced.