Caliber for small plains game?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Parsons, May 5, 2014.

  1. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Parsons,

    The Lowveld is a general loation, like in Montana you might say you're going hunting in The Bitter Root Valley.
    And The Lowveld hunting conditions are bushveld, something like we might say in N. America "hardwood forest and brushy" conditions.

    So, yes it is brush (and plenty of thorn trees that look a bit like small oaks), but there are so many animals there that they have made trails criss-crossing everywhere.
    If you are half way careful, you can walk all day on these trails, in short pants and not get scratched up much if at all.
    If there is a river where you're going, it will be almost jungle (not quite but thick) along the banks.

    Unusual to shoot very far in The Lowveld, average for my 3 times there have been about 75 yds.
    Longest Lowveld shot for me was 200 yds, across a canyon for a Klipspringer that was standing on a boulder (.375 H&H and 300 gr bullet @ 2400 fps).
    Next longest was a warthog at 150, across a dry pan (dry pond), same caliber/load.
    However, those were unusual circumstances for there and they were on the same safari.
    Hasn't happened in two other safaris in the Lowveld.
    Fact is, 200 yds is my longest shot in The Highveld as well (very open grassland, AKA "prairie" conditions.)

    So, screeching velocity and small caliber pointy/boat tail bullets are the last thing I would want there.
    In your .375 I would not go under 270 grain and in your .30 I would not go under 180 grain.

    And I prefer heavier in both those but that is just me and how I think, not from any law or rule book.

    Your PH is really the one to listen to, not necessarily some worn out old geezer who is suspicious of new fangled products until they've been around a few years to prove themselves (or not) plenty well.

    I will say it again...You're gonna flip when you see Africa.

    Cheerio,
    Velo Dog
  2. Parsons

    Parsons AH Senior Member

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    Alright thanks for that information. I will plan for heavier slower bullets. probably end up going 300 H&H since I will be shooting at closer range no need for the faster Weatherby
  3. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello again Parsons,

    I agree that there is no need for the .300 Weatherby where you will be hunting.
    I feel the Wby is one that pretty much crosses the threshold of velocity, to the point that lighter weight and/or lighter constructed bullets are at risk to shatter on large animals at close range, thereby you risk not getting into the vitals.
    If I had one, I would either load it down a bit and/or only hunt with very tough bullets, not the typical "old fashioned" ones that I use in my .30-06, etc.

    The .300 H&H and .30-06 both can even over tax conventional 150 gr and 165 gr bullets, if loaded to the gills and fired into heavy boned animals at close range sometimes.
    And I guarantee you that you will have some very exciting close range encounters with African animals in The Lowveld.

    I know you are going to have the time of your life.
    Upon returning home from my first safari, I immediately sold most of my gun collection so I could begin saving for a return trip.

    Out,
    Velo Dog.
  4. Parsons

    Parsons AH Senior Member

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    I am already excited to go. My parents are going with me I believe as a family vacation and for them to sight see and maybe hunt a day or two. I am hoping to be able to go every other year but we will see how that works out. Now just comes another rifle build and the year and a half wait to get there for the first time.
  5. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    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).
    Perfect, we all will live vicariously through your rifle building and pending adventure, until we ourselves can get back over there one day.

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