When I wake up with the sheets smeared with excrement it is usually after a nightmare like this.
What is that cannon? Probably some ungodly monstrosity like a .416 Rigby... That tends to be as big as bolt guns typically go (I'm sure there's exceptions, but they are the exception). Often when Nigel and Niles go after Retumbo, they pack exquisite double rifles in even MORE obnoxious calibres like the 450 Nitro Express, the .577 Gibbs and the like. I think I saw a box of .577 a hundred years ago at the gun shop going for $120.00 ... for five shells. For that kind of money I can easily reload over 100 rounds of my favourite cartridge - the .308 Winchester (otherwise known as the 7.62 NATO to the squaddies).
I got magnumitis as a young shooter just as a lot of the noobs do. If it wasn't an earth shattering, ear splitting magnum gun - I didn't want it! All my heroes like Dirty Harry, and the gun writers packed magnums so I did too!
And my shooting sucked. AND blew! At the SAME TIME! One day I got sloppy with a 7mm Magnum shooting artillery shells and the recoil drove the scope hard into my eyebrow and gave me a very hurtful owwie. Some guys get stitches when they do that and it is considered a fool's wound to be ashamed of - and it is!
This is my other favourite safari nightmare... usually get that one after
drinking cheap malt liquor...
The best thing I ever did was take that powder gobbling magnum moster down to the gun shop and swap the damn thing off! I decided to go back to basics and bought a milsurp - it was a chit house K98 Mauser built by BRNO for the Germans in WW2. After the war it wound up in Isreal and was rebarrelled to the .308 round. It wasn't a collector's piece by any means, but it was unusual in that the Nazi proof marks hadn't been stamped out as was the usual case at Israeli armouries when they did a refurb. Who knows how the gun ended up in Canada? But it did - and I bought it!
My shooting improved overnight. The old warhorse recoiled with a gentle push that didn't leave me seeing stars afterward. And lord, could that thing SHOOT! Off my hind feet I got 4~5" groups at 100 yards with iron sights easily. I could make reliable hits on game out to 200 yards with ease - and that was all I needed out of it! I shot that gun for years.
I said to hell with the heavy calibres 30 years ago and haven't looked back since. The cool kids have their guns in wildcat and proprietary calibres and I just shrug. My eyes don't work like they used to and I don't hunt anymore...but I still love to shoot none the less, and that old .308 still does it for me.
Looks like crappy weather this weekend so I can't fly, or paint or cut my grass...might be a good weekend to hit the rifle range. See ya out there - and keep those score cards honest! :)