Lately I've been into the whole muzzleloader hobby and came across the Kodiak Express Safari Express. Wow, what a gun! This has everything a gun has that I'm looking for - a beautiful maple stock, a classic look, and best of all, a HUGE caliber! This muzzleloader is a 72 caliber and shoots 500 grain (500 gram) 0.70 inch patched round balls. Here's the description from the manufacturer Davide-Pedersoli:|
The Kodiac Express: In the 19th century the muzzle loading double barrel rifle was the gun for hunting in the wide African and India’s regions. With our Kodiak today, we keep the dream alive for many hunters. Our double express rifle has blued barrels, engraved locks, adjustable rear sight, walnut stock with cheek piece and a small German silver plate to complete with the initials. The Kodiak is used with success during the hunting sessions in Africa and in America and it is considered by the muzzle loading hunters the ideal rifle with its reliable and quick second shot. It is available in various calibers and also in the Kombo version: one rifled barrel and one smooth barrel 12 gauge. On request it can be manufactured with interchangeable 12 gauge barrels.
The Kodiac Express 'Safari Express'
:After about twenty years from its introduction, the Kodiak MK3 is now completed in its range by “Safari Express” new model, 72 caliber, with alloyed steel barrels to shoot round balls weighing 500 grs. On request it can be equipped with interchangeable 10 gauge barrels.
Here's a photo from the manufacturer's website:
Unfortunately this muzzleloader is not legal to hunt with in Colorado during the big game muzzleloader season because of the double barrels. However, I believe that it is legal during the regular rifle season. Even with the relatively high price tag of nearly $1,000, I'm seriously considering purchasing this gun. I'm going to search the internet and post reviews here and try to get a good idea of the pros and cons before I purchase. Stay tuned for more to come!
Here's Cabelas description of the 72 caliber Kodiac Express:
Handling this rifle generates images of exotic places and hunts for dangerous game. It is perfectly capable of handling tricky situations when a quick second shot is needed if your quarry is a whitetail deer or even something larger and more threatening. This high-quality double rifle has barrels regulated to point of aim at 75 yards, fully adjustable double folding rear leaf sights and ramp front, and oil-finished, select European walnut stock. Twist rates are 1 turn in 24" for the 50 and 54 caliber, 1 in 48" for the 58 caliber and 1 in 75" for the 72 caliber. Lock, top tang and trigger guard are polished and engraved.
Overall length: 45-1/4"
Weight: 9.3 lbs.
Keep in mind that this is the Kodiac Express 'Standard', not the 'Safari'. This is evident by the difference seen in the stock as it's not as fancy as the 'Safari'. Here'a a photo from Cabelas:
Here's a photo of the same gun by the manufacturer:
For me the fancy stock is what sells the gun. I wouldn't purchase this unless it was a 'Safari'.
I found this on the internet at http://www.chuckhawks.com/africa_muzzleloaders.htm, WOW is this right? 5000 pounds of energy? A typical 30-06 has about 2900 pounds of energy. OUCH:
"Bullet weight is a fine thing, but frontal diameter is also important. I do not think that having a .50 caliber bullet that is two to three diameters long is nearly as effective as having a round ball of that same weight. Figure out the Taylor knockout value for yourself, using your own ballistics. Our .72 cal rifle has been chronographed at 2,026 fps using Hodgdon Triple Seven. So, the formula goes diameter x weight x velocity divided by 7000. So .715 x 555 x 2026 = 803967.45 divided by 7000 = 114.8. This number tells you how hard the projectile hits. That is a more telling ballistic formula than merely figuring out muzzle energy. As I recall, the above scenario equates out to just short of 5,000 pounds. Pretty potent in its own right."
To compare the 72 caliber to a shotgun slug:
Shotgun Bore Diameter
10-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .775 inches
12-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .729 inches (0.69 inch slug diameter)
16-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .662 inches
20-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .615 inches
28-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .550 inches
67-Gauge = Bore Diameter of .410 inches
Keep in mind that this is not the diameter of the slug itself since it is encased in a plastic case.
Definition of the 'Gauge' scale: For example, a 10-gauge, the largest shotgun bore in common use today, would require 10 lead balls the diameter of the bore to equal one pound.