Is the .338 Federal OK for plains game?
I'm in the early stages of planning my first safari, and am wondering if a new rifle needs to be part of those plans. The hunt will most likely be in Namibia for gemsbok, kudu, impala, springbok and warthog with zebra a good possibility. Maybe another small antelope or two, as well.
I have a Sako 85 in .338 Federal and I just love. It shoots everything well (all factory ammo) and the one handload a buddy did was accurate, too.
The factory loads are 180gr Accubond, 185gr TSX, 200gr Fusion, TBBC Tip, Speer Hot Cor, and the 210gr Partition. The rifle shoots all these iinto 1" groups or a bit less, and it also shot a buddy's handloaded 210gr TSX the same way. Velocities run from about 2800 fps to 2500 fps. It's plenty accurate out to 300 yards and would seem to me to be a very nice solution for the game mentioned above.
What would those with more experience recommend? Which loading and bullet would be best? Should I get a different rifle....perhaps something bigger or flatter-shooting?
I've heard good things about the performance of lighter weight TSX bullets. Would the 185gr TSX be preferable to the 200gr Trophy Bonded Tip or the 210gr Partition?
One thing: I'm recoil-sensitive due to a heavily reconstructed right shoulder that contains quite a bit of permanent hardware. So, just buying a .375 H&H and quickly getting up to speed with it would be a chore for me. I got the .338 Fed for something that throws a big bullet but doesn't kick too hard....and I seem to be able to handle its recoil rather well. I don't have any other rifle purchases planned between now and the hunt other than either a .25-06 or a .270 Win.
All help will be appreciated.