custom rifles
African Elephants – Kilimanjaro Rifles


Kilimanjaro's Philosophy is expressed in the tag line to our logo: "When One Shot Matters". Originally coined by our founder's then 11 year old daughter Isabel, this phrase captures the essence of serious hunting and Kilimanjaro's pursuit of excellence. One shot is important to fulfill the ethical obligation to kill cleanly and quickly without wounding or suffering. It also is important for the dangerous game hunter when one shot can be the difference between life and death for the hunter. One shot also captures the stringent accuracy standards that Kilimanjaro rifles must meet, and finally, one shot is also the standard by which serious marksmen judge themselves. At Kilimanjaro, each of our rifles are unique—we never build the same one twice—and custom-tailored to its owner’s specifications and desires. All, however, are expected to uphold the "When One Shot Matters" standard.

Payment Terms

Kilimanjaro Rifles accepts personal check, cashier's check, money order, or wire transfer. A deposit of 50% is required upon order to secure a production slot and allow the ordering and procurement of all of the special components for your rifle. A second payment of 25% is due upon commencement of rough carving and action/barrel work. The final 25% is not due until your rifle is ready to ship. Because of our custom production effort, and limited production slots, deposits and progress payments are non-refundable. We do understand the uncertainties of life, however, and if health, financial or other issues prevent you from taking delivery of your rifle, we can help try to sell your rifle for you to cover any remaining amount owing and as much of your deposits as possible.

Production Schedule

Our standard production schedule for our custom wood-stocked rifles is twelve to fifteen months from date of first deposit, subject to action availability. Because of the necessary acclimation and cure periods in our production process to achieve Kilimanjaro's demanding standards, minimum production time is ten months. Each rifle goes through extensive testing, including accuracy testing, both during production and upon completion. Depending on the unique personality of each rifle, this tuning process can take a couple of weeks to several months. No rifle ships before we are satisfied it meets our standards, and this testing is the biggest factor as to when your rifle will be ready.

Safety & Ethics

  1. Enroll and complete both a firearms safety and hunter's education course. Special Safari Hunting school is also highly recommended.
  2. Whether loaded or unloaded, never allow your rifle's muzzle to point at something you don't intend to shoot, or which would inflict harm if the rifle accidentally discharged. Know where your muzzle is pointing at ALL times, and know what is in the path of its bore. This caution cannot be emphasized strongly enough, and it takes diligent practice not only at the range and when displaying your rifle to friends, but in the field on stalks, in vehicles, and while hiking. We take great care with our triggers and safeties, but the ultimate responsibility for safety rests with the hunter and this basic rule. Never, ever, depend solely upon a safety; it is a convenience and not a guaranty. Never put your finger to the trigger until the last moment when you are ready to fire.
  3. Always remember that bullets can fly farther than you can see. Do not take a shot where you cannot see and know where the bullet will finally stop. Do not take skyline shots where you cannot verify what is behind your target. Do not take a shot at game when there is other game behind it or in the path of your shot. Always know where the rest of your hunting party is, and take care to learn if anyone else may be in range.
  4. Never store your rifle with a round chambered, or even with rounds in the magazine. Never hand your rifle to someone else if a round has been chambered--always open the bolt to prove the gun is safe before handing it to another or accepting it from another. Prove it to yourself—every time.
  5. Never chamber a round until the final stages of a stalk, and then only if the noise of chambering could spook the game. Otherwise, wait until it is time to shoot before chambering a round.
  6. Never allow your muzzle to touch the ground, both to ensure integrity of the crown for accuracy, and to prevent blockage of the barrel. If your muzzle does touch the ground, inspect and clean to make sure the bore is unobstructed. In wet, snowy, icy or muddy conditions, always place electrical tape over the muzzle to prevent intrusion into the bore. The tape will not affect your rifle's accuracy, but water, ice, snow or mud in the bore will not only throw off the point of impact, but can cause a danger.
  7. Never trust or fire ammunition that you have not loaded yourself or acquired from a reputable manufacturer. If you don't know who loaded it, or what they put in it, do not fire it. Do not trust old ammunition; it has a shelf life and you don't want to determine the expiration date. If you reload, do not exceed the maximum powder loads for your particular cartridge, bullet weight and bullet type as set forth in the Nosler, Barnes, Hornady, Speer or Lyman reloading guides. The brand and type of bullet, even if of the same weight, can alter the pressures, so always check the guides for data for your particular bullet.
  8. Always keep your rifle locked up and secure not only to prevent theft, but more importantly, to prevent tragedy should a child or teenager not fully versed in gun safety be tempted to play with it.
  9. If you notice anything of question about your rife, or have any concern, contact us immediately. We will advise you and take care of it. Do not use any firearm in which you have any doubt or concern as to its function or dependability.
  10. Observe proper hunting ethics. When you attempt to take game, you have a responsibility to do so with a clean, quick kill without suffering, wounding or long chases. That is one of the reasons for our motto: When One Shot Matters. No shot at game beyond 500 yards should ever be taken under any circumstance, and shots beyond 300 yards should be attempted only by the most talented of shooters and only in proper if not pristine conditions. If you are not confident in the shot, and that you can kill quickly and cleanly, do not take it (in dangerous game situations, self-preservation may not give you this luxury, but never initiate the battle unless you are confident in the shot). Wait for a better opportunity. Do not worry about the chagrin of your friends or professional hunter, and ignore anyone urging you to shoot; if the shot is not right, or if you are not sure, don't take it. Only you can judge. When your finger is on the trigger, you are in control and you—and only you—are responsible. If anyone gives you grief for such a decision, refer them to us and we will sort them out.
  11. Finally, practice and practice more. Not just from the bench, but sitting, standing, prone, kneeling, leaning against posts or trees, on shooting sticks, bipod and with rocks or mounds as rests. Practice all of these positions until you can shoot quickly, accurately, safely and with confidence. The field will not give you time to contemplate or think; practice until all of the safety rules above are ingrained as deep as instinct.