I just returned form
The 577 grain Woodleigh soft opened up to
the size of a golf ball and the recovered bullet was 570 grains after starting
at 577 grains. The shot was at 73 yards and it was like you dream about. The ammo for all of the rifles came from
18 August 2010
I wrote my first testimonial about
my Deluxe boxlock .470 NE rifle
to you back in July 2008. This was after my first
I have now returned from my second
The very next day was Ken’s day to be primary shooter, and the quarry was tuskless cow elephant. After a few hours of driving Chewore’s rolling hills, the trackers spotted a small herd of elephant, and the matriarch of the group was a tuskless. Once again, our PH put on a perfect stalk, and we did a large end around maneuver using the wind to our advantage. 30 yards from the elephants, Mike Payne pointed to the tuskless and said “that’s the one”. Ken replied “in the ear”? Mike said “yes”, and the next sound was Ken’s .470 putting a 500 gr Woodleigh solid into the elephant. Her back legs buckled, her trunk came up, and she was down for the count. Ken had executed a perfect side brain shot. I never even got a chance to put a follow up shot into her. Once again, the Searcy double rifle performed flawlessly. Around the mopane fire at camp that night, the PH commented that he had seen hundreds of double rifles in his professional hunting career, but he had never seen any as beautiful and accurate as our two Searcy doubles. He conceded that he was going to have to visit you while in the states this year to order one for himself. His old European (extractor) double just did not measure up any more.
This would normally be the end of
the story, but I wanted to remind you of a conversation we had when I ordered
my Searcy .470 back in 2006. I was pretty sure I had ordered the
correct caliber for buffalo, but I wondered if I would ever need something
bigger. When I asked you if I would eventually need a larger caliber
double, your response was “hell Dave, even if the dinosaurs come back, you’ll
still have enough gun”! Well Butch, as the
enclosed photo shows, this is a scenario Ken and I are
considering. And that is why I have my fourth Searcy rifle, this
one being a double in .500 NE, on order with you. I can’t wait to take
delivery of that rifle and take it to
All the Best,
Rear Admiral, USN (ret)
9 July 2008
A little over 2 years ago, I
visited your shop in Boron, Ca. to be measured for my Searcy .470NE Deluxe Grade
Double rifle. This was the beginning of fulfilling a lifelong dream –
to hunt the African Cape Buffalo with a double rifle. On the afternoon
of the third day of my
As tracking jobs go, this one
seemed to be pretty easy to me. Even I could see the spoor most of the
time. After tracking for about 45 minutes, the lead tracker froze and
pointed ahead down a small slope. There they were – a small herd of
about 15 or so
I cannot thank you enough for making such a masterpiece of a rifle for me. Even my PH, who shoots a European .470 double, marveled at the accuracy of the Searcy doubles. My 2 shots, fired offhand at 30 yards, with 2 different bullets, were within 3 inches of each other. The rifle shoots better than I ever will – and my PH is now a believer as well. You make the most accurate double rifle available today – period!
Rear Admiral, USN (ret)
We arrived November 2, 2006 at Mseguni Camp in the Selous Game Reserve to hunt with Professional Hunter Pierre Van Tonder Big Game Safaris, which we arranged with outfitter Ray Atkinson of Atkinson Hunting Adventures. The camp was very well staffed, comfortable, great equipment, and very professionally run. The food is outstanding (that little fat man can cook).
The first day we went to the rifle
range to site in our guns. I took two Searcy Double Rifles on my
safari; a 375 flange magnum (26” barrels) with a 1.5 X 5 Leupold
quick detachable scope, and the new 450-400 Classic. Both guns sited in
perfectly after the long flight from
On the hunt I had planned to take 2 cape buffalo and various plains game. On my first
day of hunting about 2 hours out the trackers spotted a small heard of zebra,
I had put my 450-400 ammo belt on in hope of encountering cape buffalo, so
when the PH said take your scoped 375 and grab a handful of shells, about 5,
and put them in my pocket thinking that would be plenty for zebra.
About 10 minutes into our zebra stock one of the trackers came running over
say Mbogo (Cape Buffalo) so we went off about 200
yards and sure enough there were 7 nice old bulls (Daga
Boys). Pierre, the tracker, Twiga, and I
worked our way to a large bush.
All of a sudden the rest of the heard came running at us, when they saw the other Professional Hunter, Clinton Van Tonder, and my wife. The herd changed direction and ran about 30 feet in front of me, I had already reloaded the empty barrel from my first buffalo. Then my PH spotted an exceptional buffalo in the back of the herd. He pointed him out to me and said “shoot him, shoot him up the butt”. I took aim and fired the 375 again and hit the buffalo in the spine near the base of his tail, at the shot his rear legs started to go down. The PH shot once hitting the bull in the lung and I shot three more times, finally finishing the second buffalo.
So here I was, my first day and 2 hours into my hunt and I took both of my buffalos in about 45 seconds, both are great bulls, with the second one being exceptional.
The rest of my hunt was for plains game. I took 1 zebra, 2 Lichtenstein Hartebeest and 1 Impala. All of the plain games were taken at ranges varying from 120 to 170 yards; we could not get any closer due to the fact that most of the game had babies at this time of year and were very skittish.
All the game I shot on this hunt except for one buffalo dropped with a single shot and all were shot with my 375 flanged. I was very impressed at how accurate my Searcy Double Rifle worked at distance up to 170 yards.
I guess I’ll have to go back and try to get a buffalo with my Searcy Double 450-400 or the new 470 Nitro Express Butch is currently making for me.
We were extremely pleased with the arrangements made by Atkinson Hunting Adventures and Pierre Van Tonder Big Game Safaris in meeting us at the airport, arranging and managing our firearms through customs, and all ground transportation and flights to and from camp. It could not have been any easier.
William O. Morrison
10 July 2008
On 2 July 2008, it was
my day to be the primary shooter on a two-on-one hunt for Cape buffalo.
At approximately 0755 local
What surprised me about this hunt was everyone told me how quickly the events that lead up to pulling the trigger on a buffalo are. Not so, with my buffalo. My situation was agonizingly long, deliberate, but amazingly calm. It was far from slow motion once my breathing finally became regulated after double timing to the front of the herd. The “end around them” maneuver won us a favorable wind. The PH had positioned us ahead of the herd and within 15 yards of its edge. Shortly we saw the lead bull walk out in front. His horns were strikingly massive, but the boss was soft. Being the 8th day of a 10 day hunt, the PH told me to wait for a shot on that bull. As I raised my rifle, instinctively wrapping the leather sling taunt against the outside of my elbow, I held my double in place for what seemed to be eternality. As the time slowly passed with no shot to be had, I was grateful a small cow stepped in front the bull fully denying me a shot. At that moment, I could lower my rifle just a bit to not attract attention from a black sea of wondering eyes. Suddenly a humongous cow stopped in her tracks and looked straight towards me. Her head was raised, ears down and her nose pointing right to the center of my chest. Damn, I was going to get busted by a cow. She fixed her stare on me and why she did not spook watching the sweat pour down my face and snot drip over my lip I will never know. I could see the PH from the corner of my eye, and he was frozen solid, rifle not raised. My buddy Dave, I could not see, but could hear him breathing, so I knew he too was close and frozen in place. That cow would not take her eyes off of me. She did not blink and we did not move. When a small bull passed in front of her, I was able to catch the slight finger movement of Mike, the PH, pointing to the right. Hoping my nemesis would not see my eyes turning in that direction, I saw my dagga boy, head down, slowly walking directly towards me.
At this point, my rifle was no longer heavy for pain was replaced by adrenalin. A sense of clam overtook me as I searched and found my windows through the brush that would allow a brain shot. I had put 142 rounds through my Searcy up to this point and I knew without question I could put a bullet in that beast’s brain. The safety made no sound as it slid forward. I carefully moved my finger from the right barrel’s trigger chambered with a Woodleigh soft nose to the back trigger chambered for a Barnes Triple Shock. I still had my rifle raised and pointed in the direction of the forgotten herd bull as I waited for my target to clear a small tree that would clearly expose his skull. However, he turned slightly, and presented a perfect heart and lung shot. Instinctively, my finger moved back to the original front trigger. The motion to obtain sight alignment and aim was quick. The individual squeeze of the front and then rear trigger was near instantaneously. As my two shells ejected, I reloaded and while reacquiring the target, the sound of Dave’s Searcy roared and two more rounds found their way into the lung cavity of this magnificent animal. The single shot from the PH, was heard, but by then the bull was stone dead.
I have never felt as alive as I did the day I faced a dagga boy at 11 paces. Knowing that within one to two seconds was all it would have taken for him to have killed me, if not for my Searcy double, will last me the rest of days. My PH wrote in my journal afterwards, “To stand steady at eleven paces takes a Madoda.”
Butch, you make the finest and most accurate double rifle period!! The inherent accuracy of my Searcy double instills confidence that no amount of money can buy. Facing a dangerous game animal at such close range makes a man very grateful to have ejectors. Thank you for making such a treasured masterpiece of form, function, and art for me.
Major, USMC Ret.
Why a Double?
I grew up using bolt guns for
everything from rabbits on up, so on my first trip to
The next day we approached another herd of buffalo as they were feeding. The PH, 2 trackers and I huddled on an anthill watching the herd feed and looking for a good bull. In time the buffalo moved until they had nearly circled us, and the closest one was a cow only 15 feet away. Once again I realized that my bolt gun would only be a single shot if that buffalo came for us.
Upon my return from that hunt, I ordered a Searcy double in .500 nitro express. When the rifle was ready, I booked another hunt and went after elephant. Over the course of time I took 9 elephant and 3 cape buffalo with my Searcy. The best thing about carrying a double on a dangerous game hunt is having the confidence to approach the game as closely as possible with the confidence that a second shot will be instantly available if needed.
The first elephant that I took with my Searcy double presented a side brain shot at 18 yards. I fired and the elephant seemed to momentarily freeze before dropping straight down. As the elephant dropped, I fired a second shot which went through the lungs. There is no way I could have gotten a second shot off that quickly with a bolt gun.
The second elephant I shot with my Searcy double had gotten our scent and was fidgeting back and forth, compromising a brain shot. So I took a heart shot and immediately the elephant began to run. On the elephant’s third stride I took a high shoulder/spine shot and the elephant dropped. Once again, the double had allowed me to quickly place a second bullet in the animal.
The third elephant I shot with my Searcy was walking broadside and covering some ground, again not an appropriate situation for a brain shot. So I took a lung shot and immediately the elephant turned to face me and in that moment I took the frontal brain shot that was presented. All of this happened before I could have worked a bolt and fired a second round.
The second cape buffalo that I took with my Searcy double was a very old scrum cap bull with half of his horns worn off. He offered a spread of only 21 inches, in contrast with 40 inches or better that most hunters desire. After following the bull for two to three miles, I got a broadside shot at him and put the bullet through the heart. The bull stood straight up into the air on his hind legs and spun 90 degrees to face me before dropping to the ground. Just as his front legs hit the ground, I placed a second shot through his withers which put him down for good. Once more I had a chance to get a second shot into the animal because of the speed a double offers.
When hunting dangerous game, I get a thrill from following tracks and from approaching the game as closely as possible. For someone who wants to get close to dangerous game and have the confidence that a second shot will be instantly available, a double is the answer.
Written by Dan McCarthy
Allen Johnson’s Elephant
David Kot’s Buff.
Josh Gaffen and his Father
Wade Bale and Ride
Rob and John Young with Elephant
Joseph Peterson, Buff. Taken with 375 H&H Flanged
Aaron Searcy’s Elephant with Dad and Johan Calitz
Tom Tenseth Hunt as seen on Tracks
John Turner’s Classic 450-400-3”