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7mm WSM for plains game

This is a discussion on 7mm WSM for plains game within the Firearms & Ammunition forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I have a 7mm WSM that I love, and I think it would be an ideal rifle for most African ...

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    Tomsbass is offline New Member
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    Default 7mm WSM for plains game

    I have a 7mm WSM that I love, and I think it would be an ideal rifle for most African plains game hunting. It is small and easy to shoot, quite powerful, and very accurate if you use the right ammo. But there is a problem: its accuracy depends entirely on using the ammo that the gun likes, and the only bullets it seems to like are Nosler ballistic tips in 140gr. I keep reading that for African game, you should shoot heavy bullets, like at least 180gr. Also, I wonder if the ballistic tips are even legal in some countries. I would hate to have to get a different rifle for my African hunt just because I need to be able to shoot heavier soft nose bullets. I am confident that I could drop anything on the small side with my current rig - springbok, impala, etc. but I wonder about kudu, gemsbok, and the other big plains animals. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this subject?

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    gillettehunter is online now AH Enthusiast
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    I'm sure that some others with more experience will chime in. I have a 25-06 that is like your 7mm. Likes the ballistic tips. They are fine on thin skinned and smaller animals. Mine is perfect on pronghorn. I wouldn't use it on a Kudu or a Gemsbuck. Too big and tough. That bullet tends to expand rapidly and would not penetrate the shoulder if you need to shoot him there. How many different bullets have you tried? It gets pricey to try a selection of bullets, but if its the gun you want to take then I'd do it. If you have a friend w/ one that does some reloading, maybe you can swap some bullets to try. The Barnes tipped TSX work VERY well in 2 of my guns. Maybe one of the Hornady's would work. The ballist tip just doesn't penetrate well enough to use on bigger African antelope. Best of luck. At least thats my opinion and I do use them. I had some 165 gr in my .300WSM for Africa. Only used that on smaller animals. Bruce

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    Skyline is offline AH Fanatic
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    I have used the Ballistic tip a great deal and have observed a lot of kills with it. I would NOT use it for the larger plains game you mention. You do not mention what the other bullets are that you have tried that did not work in that rifle. As mentioned, the Barnes TSX or TTSX will certainly do the job as will a number of others but without knowing what does not work in your rifle, we are kind of spinning our wheels.

    You may want to consider trying the new Nosler 140 grain E-tip.

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    I got to agree, I love the ballistic tips for deer, but gemsbok and kudu are tough. I like the accubonds in heavier weights, the E-tip, Hornady Interbonds, TSX, TTSX, Swift A....something that holds together better.

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    Since a Ballistic Tip is similar in ogive dimension to an Accubond, you might start out with a 160gr Accubond. That bullet out of a 7WSM should do well. The others mentioned are go-to bullets as well.

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    Thanks for your input, guys. I did try the 160gr. accubonds, and they were terrible. In my .300 Win Mag, the 180gr. accubonds work great. Go figure. I really don't remember which other bullets I tried, since it has been a while. But I did try a few, mostly 150-170 grain weights. I will try the Barnes, and if they don't work out I may just have to take my .300.

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    I took my 300 ultra mag to Tanzania for the plains game portion of my hunt. I had always used the swift scirocco 180 grains for the rifles. They are super accurate. Everything I took was a one shot kill and resulted in most animals dropping in their place. I took nyasa wildebeest, zebra, impala, lichtenstein hartebeest, and warthog with that rifle. The biggest issue I see with the ballistic tips is that they destroy the cape at the exit wound. I have since switched over to hunting with a 375 for almost all plains game with Trophy Bonded Bear Claws and Trophy Bonded solids for the pigmy antelope as I am typically around dangerous game when hunting for plains game. It is a great feeling having a more firepower behind you if needed. For the larger stuff I use the 470 or 416 Rigby with the same Trophy Bonded bullets. Since you are shooting a 7mm which is smaller than my 300UM, the ballistics should work fine, but I would test out something more tried and true that you could shoot through brush if necessary.

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