Best Caliber for plainsgame in Africa ? Your opinion

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Frederik, Jun 6, 2009.

?

Best caliber for plainsgame

  1. various 7mm's

    22 vote(s)
    10.2%
  2. 308

    14 vote(s)
    6.5%
  3. 30-06

    35 vote(s)
    16.3%
  4. various .300's

    69 vote(s)
    32.1%
  5. 338 win mag

    32 vote(s)
    14.9%
  6. 358. norma magnum

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. 9.3 x 62

    12 vote(s)
    5.6%
  8. 375 H&H

    31 vote(s)
    14.4%
  1. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I think Madabula makes a great point on some bullets potentially ruining capes for mounting. Blood shot spots have to be washed out very well or a stain can permanently set in on the finished mount. I have seen it many times on gemsbok and zebra skins. You have to wash the area very well. And I do believe he is correct in stating sometimes bullets hit so hard body fluid is forced into hair particle and the cape gets ruined. When you wash and wash a cape over and over again and it doesn't clear up...this is do to extreme shock and there is nothing you can do. A great taxidermy tip.
     
  2. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    Just got back last night from a good hunt and will be picking up the next client tomorow morning early.

    Anyway another cracking combo was from the hunter who just finished his trophy and management hunt with us. The plain old 30-06 with 200 gr barnes X the original not the new TSX. Recovered only two bullets from his kudu bull and zebra. Other game shot and bullets not recovered was Blue Wildebeest cow and bull, 2 impala ewes, 2 warthogs boar and sow.

    All one shot kills and except for the zebra fell on the spot. The zebra only managed 50 yards.
    The bullets btw was running at 2350 fps closest shot was 20 yards and longest 155 yards with the zebra ranged.
     
  3. Arild Iversen

    Arild Iversen AH Member

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    I voted for the 338 Winmag, probably one of the best big game cartridges ever developed the way I see it.

    As a novice African hunter with only two plains game safaris so far, I have a limited amount of African game to base my experience on.
    But I have used it, and seen it used for many years in my native woods for both red deer and moose.

    On my first trip i brought my old faithfull M70 in 375 H&H loaded with 275 grs Swift A-Frame.
    It tok blue wildebeest, impala, steenbuck, gemsbuck, warthog, and blesbuck clean and efficent with one shot each.

    On my second trip I took a Ruger M77 in 338 Winmag loaded with 250 grs Woodleigh RN.
    It took waterbuck, 2 bushbuck , 2 warthog, duiker, steenbuck, zebra, nyala, and baboon. All one shot kills.

    On both trips ranges varied from 30 to 150 meters.

    I could not discover any difference between these two calibers, but the 375H&H kind of "flattened" the game a bit faster than the 338 Winmag.
    But again, 16 animals are nothing to make statistics of.

    Next trip I will bring my new 375 Ruger, mostly because I feel that the Ruger Hawkeye African deserve a trip to the Dark Continent ;)
    Bu also because I belive that the 375 class cartridges are one of the most versatile when size of game varies a a bit.
    I have not yet decided which bullet to use.
    (Biggest game next trip will be eland, and smallest will most likely springbuck.)

    As an old fashioned fella, I kind of stick to the reputable premium bullets and am a bit sceptical to the monometal slugs ( even it I know they work in exellent ways).
     
  4. BangFlop

    BangFlop AH Senior Member

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    I voted for the 7mm Rem Mag - because I am very comfortable shooting my Remington 700 (had it for over 14 yrs).
    If one did not have a quality hunting rifle, and was reasonably sure of hunting larger game (African plains game or moose/elk), my recommendation would be the 338 Win Mag.
     
  5. NETO35

    NETO35 New Member

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    I like this post. This is something I was looking for. I have a Sako in 270, 30-06 and 300 win mag and those calibers are much than enough for the fauna we have in Mexico and I know I can hunt different kind of antelopes using my 300 but I would like to have a larger caliber rifle I can take to Africa or anywhere else in the future. We don't have many calibers and rifle makers available in the only gunshop we have in Mexico. For the bolt action rifles, I can buy only a CZ or Sako rifle and the calibers that are available are: 338 win mag, 375 H&H, 416 rigby and the 458 win mag. My plan is to buy the Sako 375 H&H mag and the doubt I have is if this caliber is good enough for the Cape Buffalo.

    Thanks and any response will be really appreciated.

    Neto
     
  6. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I guess that I have shot over 30 or 40 buffalo with the .375 and have never felt it lacking...I have seen it used on elephant many times and again it never failed to perform..You have not problems there IMO..

    My preference is the 40 caliber such as the 416 Rem, 404 Jefferys, or the 450-400-3" in a double rifle, but I have no particular reason for that choice.
     
  7. ribbok

    ribbok New Member

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    270

    Hi Guys - my first post on this forum.
    I find it strange that no one mentions the 270 as a potent non-dangerous plains game rifle. :confused: It will drop anything using a 130gr premium at 3000fps - no questions! It is the second best selling caliber in the US and in the top 5 in SA. The only rifle i would choose above it would be the 7 x 64 with a 160gr premium - perhaps an Interbond.
     
  8. unclewhit

    unclewhit New Member

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    7mm rem. mag.

    I voted for 7mm rem. mag. Dik Dik to Kudu, put the bullet in the right spot and PRESTO! meat on the ground.
    Now, if the question was "if you could only have one rifle in Africa, what would it be? My vote would have to go to the .338 win. mag. or the .375 h&h. My thoughts on this are, more firepower more better.
     
  9. BETO

    BETO AH Senior Member

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    338 lapua magnum

    I use a rifle CZ 550 in 338 Lapua Magnum with bullets of 250 and 300gr, and I am very pleased with the size in animals from 80 to 800 pounds, and the range of 1600 meters can be very good in deserts or mountains, not the recoil is greater than a 416 rigby!


    this caliber is perfect! :thumb:

    I also use;

    375 H&H
    458Lott :wub:
    338 winchester mag

    I also hunt with handguns, small game 357mag, plains game 454casull, dangerous game 500 S&W.
     
  10. MarkR.

    MarkR. AH Member

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    325 WSM

    I've harvested 17 head of various animals since last October from Eland on down with a .325WSM using 200 grain Accubonds starting out at around 2850fps.
    I only recovered 2 bullets out of the 17 and they weighted 150 and 151 grains.
    Zebra size animals on down - dead in their tracks the larger/tougher ones went 80-120 yards then dropped, left large blood trails.
    Wildebeest ran with heart completely blowed apart then dropped.

    Can't say that about what I shot with my 7x64 or my son's .270.

    The .325WSM does such a good job I put my beloved 7X64 into retirement.
     
  11. Vetaikaran

    Vetaikaran AH Member

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    I have no experience in Africa & this just pure dream & desire. I chose the 9.3X62 because I want to use my Simson (pre 1912 rifle) on my first safari. I do not feel totally confident with my 7mms for Eland. I would use 250 gr TSX for most game and carry some 285gr Lapuas as well as some 320 gr Woodleighs. The Lapuas shoo at same point of impact at 100 meters & are 2 inches lower than the TSX at 200 meters. The 320s hit 6 inches lower at 100 meters - all three bullets are in the same vertical line!! I would feel confident with the 320 gr Woodleigh on Buffalo as long as it is not a charge situation.

    By the way I used the Simson 9.3 at the local cub shoot up to 300 meters & did better than many others. I guess I could do almost as well as my 7mms with more practice and defenitely equal the 7mms up to 200 meters. I would not use the 9.3X62 beyond 250 meters on game.
     
  12. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    I voted for the 375 H&H, but for a different reason than most here I suspect! I believe it all depends on what, and how you hunt Africa!

    In my case I never hunt Africa that dangerous game is not on the menu, so with that in mind my light rifle is always legal for dangerous game, so that no matter which rifle is in my hands at any given time I’m legal for what ever comes my way.

    In most cases, today, my pair of rifles for Africa is a pair of double rifles! The light rifle is a S/S 9.3X74R, and the heavy rifle is a S/S 470NE. The little 9.3 is plenty accurate for all the plains game I hunt, and is a fine back-up for my heavy if that is what is in my hands when a good buff shows himself!

    If, however, I was hunting plains game only, and there were no dangerous game in the area, then My choice would most likely be a nice CRF bolt rifle chambered for 338 Win Mag. Eland, and giraffe take some killing, and the 338 Win Mag is up to the task and is only a little light for the giraffe, but flat shooting enough for all plains game.
    ............................................... :thumb:
     
  13. Harry3

    Harry3 New Member

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    7.62/.308

    Going over in November and taking a .308 for plains game and a .375 in case we get the chance for larger. First time Ive taken my weapons with me, but hard for me to imagine that [up to 150kilo] a .308 wont do.
     
  14. Harry3

    Harry3 New Member

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    Thanks for the website link! Just getting back into shooting sports after many years and looking or a double. Hard to find [Southern US], but fun looking.
     
  15. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    The best calibre - the one that kills...lol

    Plains game - .300WM, 7MM AND .375
     
  16. safricatexas

    safricatexas New Member

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    7mm Rem Mag is the ticket

    While a lot depends on where you are hunting in Africa and what you can handle. I think for the typical plainsgame hunt you can not go wrong with the 7mm rem mag. With a Nosler 170 gr Sp you can take anything from a Kudu on down. Eland if within 200 yards, but I like to make a bigger hole on those boys.
     
  17. daggaboyblog

    daggaboyblog AH Veteran

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    There's quite a bit of support for the .30/06 and the .270. Yes, they are all capable of taking all of the plains game, but on the larger species, I would say only in the most ideal of situations with very precise shot placement. The truth is when you're out in the bush, you shoot off sticks, or offhand, or over a shoulder, through light bush,quartering, frontal shots, etc.
    I have hunted with a .270 Winchester, .300 Weatherby Mag and .450 Ackley Mag. I have taken eland with both the .270 and the .450. With the .270, we spent 1 1/2 days tracking. The shot was more than acceptable, but would have been better if it was spinal! The entry wound sealed over with fat and the bullet did not exit; there was no blood to help us track, just enough to know he was hit. Couple of years later, I hit an eland with the .450 in about the same spot. The animal was hammered to the ground and got up for short run. Neat exit, massive haemorrhaging with a resultant blood trail a blind man could follow. I say biggest is not essential, but as long as you can handle it, I'd rather be heavy handed!
    No way would I shoot a giraffe with anything other than a big stick! A brain or high spinal shot under the skull is not so demanding and would suit a .30/06 just fine.
     
  18. ribbok

    ribbok New Member

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    Eland with 270

    What bullet did you shoot it with and what was the wound path? A Well placed 270 150gr premium at about 3000fps is enough to kill an Eland quickly if you place it in the head or the gearbox - it happens all the time but the people who do it could not be bothered arguing with those who will not believe them!
     
  19. buffybr

    buffybr AH Veteran

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    +1

    I have always felt that shot placement and bullet construction is more important than bullet diameter and grains of powder.

    That said, I voted for "one of the various .300's" although I shot all but one of my PG animals with either a 7mm Rem mag or my .375 RUM. (I borrowed a .308 Win with FMJ bullets to minimize hide damage on my Cape Grysbok.) I have shot enough Elk and Moose with a .300 magnum and 180 gr NP's to feel confident with them on that size animals.

    The next rifle that I will take to Africa will be my newly completed .300 Weatherby with either 180 gr TSX or Accubond bullets.
     
  20. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

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    My personal vote is the 338 win Mag - I have limited african experience but with admitedly poor shot placement on an eland that was quite far 250yds it performed beautifully. I personally prefer the 225 gr bullets - I don't think the 250gr get you anything more - but arent' as flat and my gun doesn't like them as much (5 inches at 200) versus 1.5 inches with 225 swift A frames. The new barnes MRX's are even better 3/8 at 100 yrds. The 225's are also flatter shooting.

    I shot a nice Kudu bull throught the heart broadside at 80 yds and was able to retrieve the bullet still - 98% retention.

    but you have to be able to handle the recoil - I don't think it is much more than a 3006 or 7mm Mag but you have to be able to shoot it well or it doesn't matter.

    I also own a 270 which I think I would prefer for smaller plains game especially if shots get long 300+. But 2 guns are not always practical. So for me its the 338 hands down.
     

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