7mm-08: What is your opinion as a plains game rifle?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Jfet, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    28
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I am not accusing him for not knowing how to read a ruler, but mistakes can happen :)
    I know carpenters for 20-30 years that still misread measurements now and then :D

    Whatever the reason, there are for sure a few things in that test/report that doesn't add up.

    The results that coincides with my own experiences and observations, are the retained weight for the different bullets.
    From my experience tends the difference between retained weight for the Barnes TTSX and the other bullets to be larger if bones are hit.
     
  2. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Gentlemens,

    My experience with NP bullets, from the old/original lathe turned ones, to today's version has been that; At closer ranges, the nose usually smears away or shatters, (whatever) but the shank bores on through, rarely stay in the animal.

    Seems to make little difference if it hits a bone or only soft tissue near the beginning of it's impact.

    I have wondered if the excellent penetration is due to the remaining shank's business end jagged edges, (just above the partition) are cutting tissue and tendons, etc exactly like the tip of a drill bit cuts its way through a piece of wood, etc.

    A beautifully mushroomed bullet, like the bonded A-Frame pretty much always produces, has to push its way through.

    This of course does not explain why the test Nosler bullet penetrated farther than the A-Frame, even though the front stayed more or less intact and ended up a mushroom, similar to the A-Frame mushroomed test bullet.

    I agree with nyesse regarding bones......the tougher the bullet, the better it will do against bone.

    I like both brands but the A-Frame is the better of the two for my way of thinking.

    One chap I have known for about 30 years used to have a .375 Weatherby (Model-70 Winchester .375 H&H that had regrettably been re-chambered).

    He had loaded the newer Nosler 260 grain Partition spitzer to some insane velocity for Alaska moose and shot a good bull in the brisket at very close range (among the alders and willows).

    The entire bullet shattered like glass, leaving a gaping, relatively shallow wound, not part of the bullet entered the vitals.

    It ran like a prize race horse and eventually he was able to get more shots into softer parts of the wretched animal, and finally it went down.

    He was embarrassed and angry with himself, selling the rifle.

    His last hunt here in AK, he used a .35 Whelen / 250 Grain Swift A-Frames.

    Cheers,
    velo Dog
     
  3. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Velo Dog here again,

    PS:

    "Seems to make little difference if it hits a bone or only soft tissue near the beginning of it's impact."

    Should have been:

    Seems to make little difference if it hits a RIB bone or only soft tissue near the beginning of it's impact.

    I left out the word RIB...........(oopsie, it is my typo, no one else's)

    Also: "not part of the bullet" should have been: NO part of the bullet, blah, blah, blah.

    Out.
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  4. tiss kocovsky

    tiss kocovsky AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    Member of:
    SCI, WWA
    OK, for a totally uninterested in ballistics guy who knows nothing about velocities, coefficients and all that other stuff. What is the best caliber for kudu down to babboon under 200 yards? I have to buy a new rifle anyways, so I want to get the best caliber. DO NOT QUOTE: ballistics, moa accuracy, reloading, etc.
    I just want to know what, when used with factory ammo and punched through both lungs and possibly the heart, will do the best on a variety of game.
    Tiss
     
  5. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2014
    Messages:
    681
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Anchorage
    My Photos:
    11
    Member of:
    NRA Life Member.
    Hunted:
    Namibia (1), South Africa (3) & USA (most Western States, including AK & HI). Too bad spear fishing is not called "fish hunting" or, I could add a few extra countries (couldn't resist weaving that in somehow, sorry).
    Ask you PH.
    Most any one of those guys, generally will know more about what works on African game animals, than all the rest of us client types put together.
     
  6. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    28
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    Best all round cartridge for PG and most other animals in the world inside 200 yards with factory ammo is the 9.3x62 in my opinion.
     
    enysse likes this.
  7. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    291
    Likes Received:
    36
    get yourself a 300wsm. Use Nosler 180gr Accubond. Trust me, I've been to Africa once. I'm an expert.
    lol.
     
  8. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    4
    My Photos:
    10
    Member of:
    NRA, SCI, DSC
    Hunted:
    South Africa (Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal)
    If you stick a properly constructed bullet thru both lungs or the heart of any animals, it is going to die. The issue with African animals is the placement of the heart and lungs behind the front shoulders. Therefore, to get to them you either need to take quartering away shots, or shoot thru the shoulders. This will require a properly constructed premium bullet.

    My favorite is the Barnes TTSX bullets. I would likely start with the 12o gr Barnes Vor-tx TTSX from factory ammo. If those didn't work for me, I'd start looking at 140 gr Nosler Partitions, 140 gr Swift A-frames or 140 gr Federal Trophy Bonded Tip.

    Whatever you do, please do not use a common cup and core bullet. It'll save you some sleepless nights and anxiety. If seen them first hand in Africa, not a good combination, and this was using a 243 Win and a 308 Win.

    Good luck!!
     
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    6,999
    Likes Received:
    144
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    You are screwed and soon as you say "BEST". Every last article and discussion will come up with a list. A definitive ONE caliber "BEST" answer will not happen.

    As graybird said: "well constructed premium bullet".
    Use one of the bullets he suggested. Again, figure out which one your rifle shoots well.

    Personal preference rules the day.

    PH responses:
    KMG
    The preferred calibres to bring with you are7x57 (153g0 - 7mm (170g0 - 30/06 (1809r) or 300Wn Mag. (180gr). This is what we recommend but it does not mean; you are not allowed to use any other calibre, everybody has his own personal preference. We do however not allow any calibre less than 6.5mm to be used on the Safari.

    HARTZVIEW
    When hunting normal plains game, anything from a .30-06 will be more than enough gun for most of the small, medium and large sized antelopes.
    The best bullets we have seen are Premium type ammunition loaded with Barnes X, Swift A Frame or Nosler Partition bullets.
    We recommend you shot a 150-180 grain bullet, whichever your rifle shoots most accurately

    OZONDJAHE
    We encourage you to bring your own rifle which you are the most comfortable and proficient using.
    Any caliber .270 or higher may be used for most plains game hunting but we strongly recommend a rifle well suited for African antelope such as a .300 Winchester Magnum, 338, 7mm, 30-06 or similar caliber rifle or higher with premium soft nose ammunition. Ammunition choice of bullet should be swift-A Frame, Woodleigh, Barnes X, Nosler partition or Hornady soft nose.

    WINTERSHOEK
    As recommended for all plains game species, calibres such as .300 Win mag, 338, 7mm, 30-06 and similar are best suited for African antelope.
    Ammunition: Choice of bullet should be swift-A Frame, Woodleigh, Barnes X, Nosler partition or Hornady soft- nose.

    TOOTABI VALLEY SAFARIS
    270 WIN and up are adequate for all your plains game animals. For dangerous game, 375 H+H and bigger is recommended.

    LEEUKOP SAFARIS
    Rifles available to rent. These are in calibres .375H&H, 30.06 and .243 (this for small game).

    I also checked three or four other AH Outfitter sites and they had no suggestions posted on the their sites.
     
  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    tiss,

    Yeah as Brickburn said, when you say "best" it opens a can of worms. Bigger isn't always better, but it's certainly better to be over gunned than under at least at the animal end. Bigger is sometimes worse however at the shooter's end.

    I don't know your shooting experience. If you have a fair amount with some of the magnum calibers particularly if with lighter rifles, then a heavier .375H&H should be no problem. Flinching on recoil is a funny thing. I was at a safari shoot a few years ago where there was a fellow with his friends who was shooting a .375. On one of the shooting scenarios I was watching him. During one firing he clearly winced and turned his head away from the rifle as the rifle went click, not bang, click as he had failed to cycle the bolt on the previous round correctly. Clearly he was anticipating the shot and wanted no part of it.

    You've got a long list of calibers above to choose from. If you decide to go with one of the larger harder hitters that you may not be accustomed to, then I'd recommend getting it soon, start off with limited time at the range and give yourself time to get used to it.

    Whatever you decide, do so with confidence, use one of the more durable bullets and practice, practice, practice.
     
  11. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    98
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    Tiss, I'm also a one Safari expert but also wanted a simple answer without all the specs, just like you are asking. But of course it "depends"... But I will stick my neck out and say the 30-06 is the answer you are asking for..... Or a .375 H & H. I would have thrown in .300 Win Mag but you specified under 200 yards so I think the 06 trumps the Win Mag under that range. (less recoil, less cost, very close lethality under 200 yards. )

    Being from the USA and with the difficulty of finding ammo and the (slim, but potentially devastating) possibility of not having your ammo show up in Africa. Go with caliber that is common on both continents. So probably leave out the 7x57 and any of the newer short mag type stuff. If you are on a one gun budget and intend to go for dangerous game some day, simply get a 375 H & H and you can do everything under 200 yards and with the right load stretch to 300.

    But assuming you want something smaller than that (and cheaper ammo!)... It is hard to beat a 30-06 for popularity, availability in most guns you might be considering, ease of finding ammo anywhere in the World, probably the widest array of factory ammo of any caliber, mild enough recoil, and the list goes on..... So for the most versatility on things that are not likely to circle back and kill you, the old 30-06 is hard to beat. You should be ok from Duiker to Eland.

    Now if you don't mind a little extra recoil and ammo cost AND want to be able to reach out a little farther and hit a little harder, other very common calibers in Africa would have to be a 300 Win Mag, with possibly 7 mm Rem Mag and 338 Win Mag for a little smaller and bigger,... Nothing against a 338, in fact it might a top pick for everything except where you need a 375 minimum, but if you don't already own on and planning for Africa, why not just go to a 375 if you are that close anyway? I doubt you will feel more recoil and all those big magnums are expensive to feed,

    As mentioned over and over; Shooting ability is MOST important... I really think most PH's would prefer you to have a little smaller gun that you shoot well verses a bigger one that makes you flinch. Another consideration is how much weight you want to lug around, A 30-06 will likely be a couple pounds lighter than a big magnum.

    I bought 2 Winchester model 70's, one in 30-06 and one in 375 H & H. I wanted a "pair" so I would be used to the same feel and mechanics. If I wanted a 3rd it would likely be 300 Win Mag. Ended up with Winchesters but many other brands would be great as well.

    Bob
     
    enysse likes this.
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    99
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    Shot placement usually trumps everything.
     
  13. Jfet

    Jfet AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    21
    My Photos:
    4
    Member of:
    NRA, DSC
    Hunted:
    Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and now Namibia
    Since I started this thread here are the results of our decision. My wife used a Browning A-Bolt Youth Stock 7mm-08 Federal 150grain Core-Lokt bullets. We found 8 boxes of these bullets for sale at Cabelas in Allen, TX. I chose the size of bullet based on statements from some of the ballistic guys on this thread. (Thank You Ballistic Guys!) We bought this ammunition in March. I have never seen that specific combination of calibre and bullet size for sale in Cabelas ever again. In Africa, except for checking the rifle's zero my wife fired it 3 times. She killed a zebra, oryx, and a blue wildebeest. This does not make it the perfect bullet. The rifle, bullet, and shooting sticks (we brought the bog-pods she had been practicing on at home.) formed the best shooting system for her.

    Well placed well constructed bullets are the best bullets. Also, if you are not hand loading then choose a calibre and bullet size that is easy to find in your nearby hunting store. By the time we got to Africa my wife had 60 rounds left. She had shot a 100 rounds in practice and we both wished she could have shot more.

    The smaller stock of the rifle was also a key ingredient. Normally, my wife's deer rifle is a youth stocked 243, however, we did not feel that calibre was adequate for plains game in Namibia. So, the original plan was that I would shoot the 375 H&H and she would shoot my 30-06. We quickly determined that she was very uncomfortable with how the 30-06 rifle fit her. Fortunately, we already owned the 7mm-08. It was the "big rifle" that both my sons learned to shoot after the 22's. So you can see it was the best system for her.

    Developing a Shooting System
    1. Find a rifle that fits you
    2. Many calibres are good for Africa
    3. Make sure your ammunition is easy to find in stores. You will want to practice!
    4. Practice on sticks at home and bring them with you to Africa
    5. Breath in. Breathe Out. Squeeze the Trigger

    Have fun!(y)
     
  14. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    You're really not going to leave us hanging like that are you? I'd really like to know what bullet and weight. I've pretty well settled the load for my sons 7x57 which is similar to the 7-08, but I'm still interested in knowing.
     
  15. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    98
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    Hey sorry for contributing to somewhat pirating this thread. I did not even notice that it was started long enough ago to have the hunt completed!

    Taking the gun you have is always a great idea! (as long as it fits within reasonable parameters) and that it worked so well is the icing on the top!

    My wife also had real issues trying to get a gun to fit her. She ened up with a Ruger Guide gun in 30-06 (I think smallest caliber available in that gun) and then taking all the spacers out of the stock. But we did not have any bolt guns so had to go shopping..
     
  16. tiss kocovsky

    tiss kocovsky AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    Member of:
    SCI, WWA
    OK. Wow, not what I hoped for. I think it was my fault- too broad a selection. So question #2 as 3 of the outfitters I am looking at REALLY like the versatility of the .375, what is the recoil like? ( I have shot 3.5 inch 12 gauge slugs and .30-06 180 grain) Thank you
    Tiss
     
  17. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    5,905
    Likes Received:
    99
    My Photos:
    32
    Member of:
    Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
    375 H&H is no worse than a 12 gauge shotgun.
     
  18. tiss kocovsky

    tiss kocovsky AH Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2014
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Milwaukee WI
    Member of:
    SCI, WWA
    loaded with? 2 3/4? 3? 3.5?
     
  19. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    98
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    Several of the other guys will have more detailed answers and more science but I went through this same decision process a little over a year ago.

    I was really concerned about the 375 recoil but heck other guys shoot much larger guns so I figured I could learn to shoot it. And I wanted one! The 375 H & H is the quintessential African caliber. You can look up the foot pounds of recoil, but the answer to the "felt" recoil is "it depends". The first 375 I came across was a synthetic stocked Browning A bolt that weighed about 6.5 pounds. That one scared me and I wanted controlled round feed (I would not argue too hard that you must have CRF, but I wanted it). The recoil from a CZ 550 with a scope and full mag is not going to feel anything like that light weight A bolt.

    What I was told and now with some experience, I would concur... A 375 H & H is more of a hard push than say a 300 Win Mag which is more of a punch. The 375 does not feel as "snappy". But it is noticeably more than a 30-06. I had the same prior experience you mention, 30-06 and 12 gauge, before I bought my 375.

    It does seem like it makes a difference if I shoot 300 grains vs. 270 grain bullets... I want to try the new Hornady 250 grain GMX boat tail bullets loaded with Superformance powder (when I find them). I am hopeful they will make really great all around plains game bullets with great ballistics.

    Bob
     
  20. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Messages:
    2,272
    Likes Received:
    51
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI
    Hunted:
    USA, S. Africa
    If you're accustomed to 3.5 12 gauge slugs, I don't think you'll have an issue shooting a .375. It will be more than shooting a .30-06 shooting 180gr bullets but not terribly so. To put it in perspective, forgive the ballistics discussion for a moment, I can throw 250gr bullets out of my .375 at 2850fps. A .30-06 is going to throw 180gr bullets at a bit below 2800fps on average. Thus the heavier bullet going a bit faster in the .375 will generate more recoil. Felt recoil however if in a bit heavier rifle like my M70 will probably be about the same.
     

Share This Page