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Kudu Rifle

This is a discussion on Kudu Rifle within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Sestoppleman, I think from my reading that your conclusion of the Kudu not being all that tough is precisely because ...

  1. #41
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    Sestoppleman,

    I think from my reading that your conclusion of the Kudu not being all that tough is precisely because you had the right gun! LOL!

    This said, the 7x57 Mauser has taken every animal on the continent in the past, so within that cartridge's range, and with sufficient skill as a shooter, why not? And then of course the .308 Winchester is a classic.

    When I asked him, the senior PH with Africanskyhunting said the two most popular and prolific cartridges he's seen used by hunters with their safaris are the .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield. He said they're sufficient for all the plains game, as long as the shot it good and within reasonable range.

    A friend hunted with him a couple years ago using one of the PH's rifles, in 270 WSM. He took an impala, a wildebeest, and a blesbok. He said the first two went down right away, but the blesbok had to be tracked, and shot four times, and even then he had to finish it off with a knife! He didn't tell me where the shot placement was on either. But the ranges these animals were take were from 50 to 150 yards. No long shots.

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    I used (as recently as 18 April 2011) my trusty 7x57 with 150gr PMP Pro Amm bullets to kill a big kudu bull (53" and 155kg clean carcass weight) with a shoulder shot at 38m in heavy bush. I've used the same rifle loaded with 130gr GS Custom monolithic bullets to kill many impala, about 7 or 8 blue wildebeest, various kudu and even an old eland bull. All but one were one shot kills and the case of the 130gr GS Custom bullets, they exited all the animals but for the eland.
    You hunt kudu mostly in bush and at distances in the region of or less than 100m. You need a medium to heavy, premium, moderate velocity bullet to do the job. (7x57, 308, 30-06 etc. with 150gr and heavier bullets) The 243 will kill a kudu but it is very risky using it in th bush due to the easy defelction of the light bullets by twiggs and heavy grass.
    As all recommended, use as big as you can shoot comfortable with. My favourite rifle is my CZ550 in .375H&H, loaded with 265gr GS Custom monoliyhics, and I shoot plenty of small, medium and large plains game with it. It just feel better to shoot an eland, blue wildebeest and kude with this meany!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Zeeman View Post

    As all recommended, use as big as you can shoot comfortable with. My favourite rifle is my CZ550 in .375H&H, loaded with 265gr GS Custom monoliyhics, and I shoot plenty of small, medium and large plains game with it. It just feel better to shoot an eland, blue wildebeest and kude with this meany!
    This seems to be the concensus. For the bigger stuff, like Kudu or even Gemsbok, I plan on bringing my .35 Whelen. I'm looking for my second rifle, which will likely be either a .30-06 or a .280 Remington Ackely Improved. Some PHs are calling for the .300 Win Mag, and I don't doubt they have their reasons, but I prefer something with less recoil. I'll already have the .35 Whelen, which is a 250 yard gun, and with the right ammo is good for 300 yards. I'm more comfortable with something that doesn't slam me into the next county. : )

  4. #44
    6MM
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    I'll be taking a .375 shooting 270G Barnes TSX, and a 30.06 Ackley shooting a 165G Nosler Partition. Both of these loads group inside the 10 ring at 100 yards so I am thinking I could use either rig. I'm probably more stable with the 06 but really want to use the .375 on the Kudu.

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    What to shoot a kudu with is an interesting question. For me it is:

    1) whatever gun you're comfortable with
    2) whatever gun you've put a few hundred rounds through in the last few months
    3) whatever gun you instinctively trust
    4) pick a high-quality bullet
    5) then, caliber probably matters a bit.

    For me, my big chance at a kudu bull came just before dark on the second to last day of our trip. I had been VERY close at least three other times earlier in the trip but little things kept going wrong and then all the kudu sort of disapeared. We finally came across a group of 12 big bulls all running together. They split up and the footchase was on. I ran until I was exhausted. That's when the cobra came up out of the grass and I saw my PH running sideways about two feet off the ground. I wasn't really sure what was up but decided to follow him. I looked down just in time to see the snake about 12" away from my boots. YIKES! Another 1/4 mile and we finally got in front of them. They started coming thru the trees about 250 yards away, quartering towards us.

    The first time I got on the sticks the crosshairs were all over the place. I was tempted to try it, but in one of my personal best hunting moments, I exerted a major force of will, took a 2 second breather, calmed down, got steady and made a perfect quartering shot into the forward shoulder. The caliber was probably the single least important part of the experience. The 180gr TTSX from the .300 Wby did it's job and the bull dropped immediately in its tracks. Very cool experience I'll never forget.



    Take something big enough (7mm or .300 IMO) but shoot a ton before you go. Shot placement is so much more important than the size of the hole. This guy wasn't a record, but I love the mass and spread of his 51" horns.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #46
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    What a great experience and true trophy Bryce. I'm not big on snakes myself!

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    BryceM, good to see some pictures from your trip to Africa. Nice Kudu, he will great on your wall at home.

  8. #48
    tap
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    Im gonna have to go against the grain on this one. I'm from the school of shock waves and a monolithic solid just won't produce that shockwave. Solids dump their energy into the bush on the other side of the animal.

    If you can find a pure hollow point with a fairly thick jacket and large base you can assure instant death via water hammer.

    From calculations and experiments in the field I have found that most a manufacturers building .338 caliber bullets in hollow points have the strength for such a job. The second key is to have energy around 5000 ft-lbs or greater. My first few safaris I took a 338/378 wby mag loaded with 200 grain ballistic tips traveling at about 3700 fps. I killed 4 big kudu, a giraffe bull with one metric ton of meat alone, a 30 inch water buck, a good oryx bull, a blue wildebeest bull, warthogs, monkeys, baboons, impalas etc...... And all were one shot kills. The giraffe ran 50 yards with the frontal chest shot and everything else trooped in their tracks. One kudu bull was even shot at a dead run at about 150 yards in extremely thick thorn brush. This round has even killed several large bull elk at 650, 981, and one over 1000 yards. For accuracy purposes I am now changing to a 338 lapua mag that can punch 6" groups at 1200 yards. I will be hunting eland with it and will be shooting the 250 rain scenar at 5000 ft-lbs of energy. This bullet is even more destructive on heavily muscled animals than the 338/378 wby but I wouldn't recommend using them on smaller game. I shot an impala on my first safari running away on the base of the tail and it literally cut him in half. This year I am also going to see what a full on 750 grain hollow point traveling at 3100 fps will do to a giraffe broadside on the shoulder. I'm sure gonna have fun.

  9. #49
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    Tap, I think I have you figured out. It took me a while because I am a little slow. You like to say somewhat outlandish things on purpose just to stir the pot. While your claims are certainly possible and I dont doubt that you have accomplished them, they are beyond the scope of most mortal men and is why I say outlandish. All I can say is whatever floats your boat as long as its legal. Enjoy your foot pounds.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by tap View Post
    This year I am also going to see what a full on 750 grain hollow point traveling at 3100 fps will do to a giraffe broadside on the shoulder. I'm sure gonna have fun.
    What are you planning to shoot that out of? My Barrett M82 50BMG will toss a 750g bullet, but not at 3100 fps. And it kind of sucks in the portability department, at least dismounted from a vehicle.

    Whatever you are planning to use, with 16,000 ft/lbs, it will certainly give you the edge over the girlie men totin' 460 weatherbys and other pansy varmint rifles.

  11. #51
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    Nothing like a bit of calibre creep in a Kudu thread.
    Time spent in Reconnaisance is never wasted.

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    I think it's perfectly fine for someone to hunt with a large caliber if they want too....for me I won't do it to often. Shot placement is everything. I feel more comfortable with a 7mm for most animals. I won a 325 WSM Browning A-Bolt at a SCI show a few years back and wonder how it compares to the 300 Win Mag...someday I get to find out. I know Boddington really liked the 8mm and I would like to try it out myself.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike70560 View Post
    First question: "What size rifle do you need for Kudu ?"

    Legal minimums vary country by country if you want to use that as the criteria.

    Zimbabwe:

    Class C Game
    3000 Joule
    Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
    (Leopard, Crocodile, Kudu, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Nyala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)

    I am sure more than one kudu has succombed to a 270 Winchester in Zim. Requirements vary by country.

    Under the right conditions I am sure a 243 Winchester would kill a kudu with relative ease.

    Second Question: "What would you use, just for Kudu ?"

    Kudu only? 338 Win Mag, smaller will work but I prefer more than the minimum. My 375 H&H is even better.


    I have a question, why travel over 8000 miles and use the minimum on any game? I always want something that will penetrate sufficiently under the worse conditions, bad angles on follow ups etc.
    Mike,

    We are on the same page here. No question that a 308, 7x57 or even smaller will kill a kudu but will you be presented that shot that will allow a smaller rifle to work? In most cases you'll probably be ok but why not be prepared for the worst case scenario. I killed my biggest kudu with a 30-06 quite handily but I had a broadside shot in the open. If that shot had been a going away presentation I probably would not have taken it. If I had a smaller rifle I surely would not have taken the shot. With a 338 or 375 I 'd have just driven a big bullet right up his butt.

    I recently had a discussion with a client about bringing a 308 or 280 on his first safari with eland, kudu, wildebeest, zebra as well as some of the smaller species on the menu. Once I explained what his shots might be like he quickly understood that a larger caliber might be more appropriate. Of course the caveat to that is that it would be better to show up with that 308 that he shot well rather than a 338 he did not.
    Mark H. Young

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    tap
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    The 750 grain bullet is an amax out of my mcmillan tac 50 50 bmg. I had a friend tighten up the neck tension and go over max on his load. the primer pocket shows a little gas escaping around it but there are no cracks in the neck and the primer didn't blow out. He tested 50 rounds and the average velocity was 3080 fps. Hes gonna load me up a few and send me to africa. BTW, he shoots an armalite 50 bmg.

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    Good luck to you tap, the 50 BMG is a little too much gun for me, the only gun I would really like yet is a 450/400 3" in a double.

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    I am a strong believer in using "enough gun", but for my taste, 50 BMG is "too much gun".

    By the way, did you check wether it is legal to import an anti-tank weapon, wherever you plan on hunting ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H. Young View Post
    Mike,

    We are on the same page here. No question that a 308, 7x57 or even smaller will kill a kudu but will you be presented that shot that will allow a smaller rifle to work? In most cases you'll probably be ok but why not be prepared for the worst case scenario. I killed my biggest kudu with a 30-06 quite handily but I had a broadside shot in the open. If that shot had been a going away presentation I probably would not have taken it. If I had a smaller rifle I surely would not have taken the shot. With a 338 or 375 I 'd have just driven a big bullet right up his butt.

    I recently had a discussion with a client about bringing a 308 or 280 on his first safari with eland, kudu, wildebeest, zebra as well as some of the smaller species on the menu. Once I explained what his shots might be like he quickly understood that a larger caliber might be more appropriate. Of course the caveat to that is that it would be better to show up with that 308 that he shot well rather than a 338 he did not.
    I think this is where we seperate trophy shooters from hunters. Unless the trophy is the only prize and the PH is pushing for a trophy fee and not a hunting experience, ( and lets be honest, everyone has different prioritys ) a hunter will gladly give up an impossible shot or be able to wait or work for a better presentation of the animal.

    If the former is the case then the bigger cartridge one can shoot accurately, the better. I realise a lot of people have limited time these days for a safari, but how they shoot their game is their choice.
    Time spent in Reconnaisance is never wasted.

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    Regarding Kudu, I think I'll be a very easy cliente for any PH to satisfy. As I've told someone already, I saw a greater Kudu shoulder mount at a gunshop in Orange, Virginia and this thing was HUGE! When I asked if it was a Greater Kudu -- I'd never seen one before -- the guy running the shop said no, that it was a lesser Kudu. I thought it was a greater from the photos I'd seen, but wasn't sure until I got home. I confirmed my suspicions by looking them both up on the Internet and comparing pictures. I don't know why, but the guy was pulling my leg. It was not only a Greater Kudu, but it was quite a sizable one at that!

    I say this because I had initially thought "forget hunting Kudu" because I wouldn't have any place to hang the horns, let alone a complete mount, in my home. I have a townhouse, and not a mansion with vault ceilings, which is what would be needed for something like this monster.

    Then, back in April, I went to one of our local gun shows and saw a couple outfitters advertising African Safari hunts. One was advertising for Brave Heart Safaris -- the one which shot that video of a Cape Buffalo attack which injured the PH. Both tables had sample trophy mounts on display. However, it was the guy who was promoting hunts with Brave Hearts who had a Gemsbok and Greater Kudu. Now this greater Kudu wasn't anywhere near as big as the animal I'd seen at that gunshop, but honestly, it was just as beautiful a mount. Honestly, I wouldn't have any place to put such a huge trophy as the former, but the latter is perfect for my home. So, I'd be happy with a modest, but nice representative example of a Kudu.

    This said, comparing the two I was amazed at the size difference. The smaller one appeared to be a mature animal, but it just didn't have the massive bulk of the other one. That said, I'm sure the size of the animal one seeks to shoot would have a big influence on the caliber choice. I'm sure a 7x57 Mauser would be perfectly suitable for the smaller guy. But for the big one I saw, I'd be hesitant to use that cartridge at anything but close range.

    I asked the guy at the gunshop what chambering he used on that bad boy. I can't recall exactly what he said, but I remember it being a pretty heavy hitter. I can't recall exactly, but I'm thinking he said something like a .378 Weatherby Magnum. At any rate, it was a big cartridge. That said, I can certainly see why many people in this forum say a .375 H&H is not too big a gun for Kudu. I would say it's way more than necessary for the smaller Kudu mount I saw, but for the big boy, I would say that's probably about the right choice. I didn't realize there was such a difference in size of these animals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Code4 View Post
    I think this is where we seperate trophy shooters from hunters. Unless the trophy is the only prize and the PH is pushing for a trophy fee and not a hunting experience, ( and lets be honest, everyone has different prioritys ) a hunter will gladly give up an impossible shot or be able to wait or work for a better presentation.....
    So now I can hunt a remote unfenced area, spend days on foot after kudu/sable/eland/buffalo/insert your favorite, stalk one for hours after several other blown stalks, get within 80 yards, and because I can take a quartering away shot with confidence I am not a pure hunter. What utter BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Code4 View Post
    I think this is where we seperate trophy shooters from hunters. Unless the trophy is the only prize and the PH is pushing for a trophy fee and not a hunting experience, ( and lets be honest, everyone has different prioritys ) a hunter will gladly give up an impossible shot or be able to wait or work for a better presentation of the animal.

    If the former is the case then the bigger cartridge one can shoot accurately, the better. I realise a lot of people have limited time these days for a safari, but how they shoot their game is their choice.
    Unfortunately, most of us are not going to be hunting for more than 7 or 10 days, and we might not have another chance at shooting a given animal.

    I see nothing wrong in using a bigger cartridge and taking that quartering away shot.

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