Shooting Editor John B. Snow takes the light-kicking, flat-shooting 6.5 Creedmoor on an African safari.
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Every safari in Africa includes this ritual. After the hunters have had a chance to settle into camp and stow their gear, they meet their guides and together they go to a makeshift range to sight-in rifles off a bench that’s less steady than a newborn giraffe’s legs.
What happens next is critical. The guides soak up every detail—how the hunters handle their guns, whether they seem comfortable shooting from an unsteady rest (the slipshod construction of the bench is no accident), and just as important, whether they brought enough gun.
As I remove a cartridge from my ammo box, I see my guide squint at the undersized brass case. “What’s that?” he says, not bothering to mask his skeptical tone. “It’s new. A six-five,” I reply, and I can tell by his look that he thinks I’ve failed this test before I’ve even taken my first shot—never mind that the 6.5 has a storied history on the Dark Continent.