Is there a universal caliber?

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by kristian55, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. kristian55

    kristian55 AH Senior Member

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  2. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..Kristian ..you will get plenty of responses on the best caliber! I' m a 30/06 buff myself & have shot animals in range from Spring bucks to Kudu and the caliber has performed flawlessly for me! Shot placement is 95% of the game and practice is a MUST! The one thing about the 30/06 which makes it so appealing is the availability of ammunition world wide!
     
  3. fhm3006

    fhm3006 AH Enthusiast

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    Kristian,
    i agree with Calhoun - shot placement, practice practice and then some more...
    Every owner of a rifle can respond on his / hers favorite caliber to be the best all-rounder.

    What i have found during my hunts in Namibia and South Africa, and maybe this may come in handy for you too, whether you have a rifle allready or whether you are going to get one, first of all ask yourself these 2 questions:

    • "what am i going to hunt regularly?" (smallest to largest)
    • and "where am i going to hunt it?" (dense bush / plains/ mountains)

    When you have the answer to these two questions, your outfitter (or even the guys here on AH) will be able to guide you to a appropriate caliber / load

    Yes the 30-06 is a proven all-rounder. I myself have one, but i also have a 270. I have zeroed my sights with 180 gr bullets on 100 m with the 30-06 which i use exclusivelly for hunting in moderatly to densely vegetated areas, and zeroed my 270 with 130 gr bullets on 250 m for longer shots in sparsely vegetaded areas - i find these two rifles does it all for my hunting purposes locally. Having these two rifles means i do not have to switch loads and re-zero on every hunt.

    I always ask the farm owner / guide before hand (when booking) as much about the terrain as possible before i go hunting - this guides me to decide what rifle i am going to use. (pending on the size game as well)

    However, should you have only one rifle, (30-06 in your case) and you are going to hunt in dense bush-like country - get as much information about the topography and sort of vegetation at the place where you are going to hunt. Enquire from the landowner / guide about the maximum and minimum distances you will probably shoot, and zero your rifle accordingly with the appropriate bullet gr. and practice, practise, etc. Same goes when you are going to hunt in open plains - the same as above applies.

    This worked very well for me the past 28 years of hunting.

    Hope it helps you as well.
     
  4. kristian55

    kristian55 AH Senior Member

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    Exhaustive enough information for me.
    I have one of some my rifles in a caliber 30-06 and happy,that a correct choice was done.
    Now I have a desire on acquisition of rifle in a caliber . 338WM or .375 H&H.
    Thank you for answers.
     
  5. M'bogo hunter

    M'bogo hunter AH Senior Member

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    Because you already own a .30-06,and you want to own another rifle,I suggest you choose the .375 H&H.You better make use of fhm 3006's suggestions 'cause it makes sense to put into consideration the type of game & terrain you are going to hunt.Maybe the .338WM will suit your needs better after all.

    All the best.Mubarak
     
  6. kristian55

    kristian55 AH Senior Member

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    Apparently I am near to the choice of this rifle Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic in a caliber .338WM.
     
  7. Plains99

    Plains99 New Member

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    I wonder is a .338 WM is enough more rifle than the .30-06 to be worth purchasing it if you don't plan on buying a lot of rifles. I have owned .338 Win Mag, .300 Win Mag, .300 Weatherby Mag and they are all fine calibers... but I don't own them any more and I still have a .30-06 because it will do well enough and compete with these calibers at practical hunting ranges, ammunition is cheap, and commonly available. I now go from .30-06 to .375 Ruger and that is a very nice duo.
     
  8. Canuck

    Canuck New Member

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    I am a huge fan of the 338 win mag. I bought one last year (sako 75 - got a great deal on it too with the new 85's out) and used it to hunt in the bush veld in Namibia - taking oryx, eland kudu and zebra. I have found it to be an extremely accurate rifle/calibre with 225 gr Swift A frames and Barnes MRX (polymer tipped).

    Balistically it is flatter and has better down range energy retention to 375 (300gr) but the draw back is that it is not legal to hunt dangerous game with in many african countries.

    Aside from some other comments already posted ie shot placement, it is my opinion that it is wrong to try and make one gun do everything (but depending on how specialised you want to be and what range of game size you want to hunt 2-4 will take care of things.) Personally I have a 270 for deer sized game but then the 338 for moose, elk large plains game.

    When I go back to Africa to hunt plains game I can assure you the 338 would be the first thing I will reach for. The recoil is quite manageable not much different than a 3006. Otherwise if recoil is of concern you might want to look at the 300 WSM - which is suppose to perform better than the 300Win mag. - Just a though.

    Cheers
     
  9. 505ED

    505ED AH Veteran

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    I really like the 8x68s with 220 or 250 grain bullets. The 338 with 225 or 250's is pretty universal.
     
  10. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Kristian,

    Go in for the EMPEROR of all calibers .the .375 H&H, and you can buy a fine Weatherby Mark V deluxe chambered for this caliber.
    You would never be undergunned and can bring down from a Duiker to a Elephant with usage of right grainage. from 235 to 300 STs and there are lots of cast bullets in different grains to suit your hunt requirement. if you prefer reloading.
    Happy Buying this fine caliber............

    Monish
     
  11. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    The 30-06 is among the best one rifle hunter in most places and for most game! However to be a most valuable chambering for the world the cartridge must not only be legal for all animals in the world in most places where they are hunted, and ammo be available in those same places.

    The chambering that comes to mind to me is the old 1912 375 H&H. Ammo is available anyplace where large animals are legally hunted, as well as where smaller animals as well. The cartridge is capable of downing anything that walks, crawl, or flys on planet Earth, yet will shoot flat enough to shoot long range on things like deer, and elk, with pleanty of power for the job.

    The 375 H&H, one rifle for the world, and all it has to offer! Just my two pennies!
     
  12. Hillbilly

    Hillbilly New Member

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    I've been hunting with my Sako Finbear Delux 30-06 for the past 20 years, using it for anything from Duiker and Springbok to Gemsbok (Orix) and Eland; up to ranges of 300m on the smaler plains game. In that 20 yrs I've only had one runner; a Kudu bull that I shot at 280m, we found him 2hrs later about 2.5km from where I shot him (I admit I shouldn't have taken that shot). My point is: If you choose your shot carefully and responsibly, you are familiar and proficiant with your rifle, take care with your shot placement and use the right amunition, there is very little that you cannot do with your 30-06.
     
  13. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    Hi kristian 55

    Well this is just my opinion on rifles. A rifle is as good as the man behind it. A thing that I like to tell my clients is that a small hole in the hart is better than a big hole anywhere else.

    You should consider the following before purchasing a rifle.

    1. What areas would I be hunting in? ( Long shots open savannas or dense bush short distances)
    2. What kind of animals will I be hunting? (Small animals, medium sized animals or big game)
    3. The minimum calibre for dangerous game in South Africa is 375H+H.
    4. The availability and the price of ammo.

    Owning a 30.06 already I will definitely go for the 375H+H if I were you. I totally agree with DUGABOY and Monish with there opinions on a choice.
     
  14. kristian55

    kristian55 AH Senior Member

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    Hi.
    For the mountains and long distances, I prefer 300WM.
    The African-hunting in my opinion the data cover all calibers-.375H&H and .416 Rigby.
    I really like 9,3 x62 but in many African countries there are difficulties with this caliber.
    My love is based on access to the free sale of ammunition in my country.
    P.S.
    INSTANT DEATH animal - .505 Gibbs.
     
  15. oscar1975

    oscar1975 AH Veteran

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    My opinion: 375 H&H Magnum.

    Oscar.
     
  16. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    I'll throw my two cents in alongside Dugaboy's. I completely agree with his above post and would also recommend the tried and true .375 H&H as the single best choice for a 'universal caliber'.
     
  17. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I agree totally with Dugaboy and Big 5. The .375 H&H is the one rifle for doing everything and this has never been more true with the abundance of quality bullets and powders that we have these days.
     
  18. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I cant agree more. If you are hunting north america your 06 is fine for averything (maybe short of the big Bears). As far as the rest of the world and especialy africa goes then .375 H+H just makes way to much sense. So two rifles to hunt the world with, 30-06 and .375 H+H. If its only one rifle then it has to be the .375. On 8 trips to africa I have carried 4 different calibers, 7x57, 30-06, .375 and .500 NE. By far the most miles walked and animals collected came carrying the .375 H+H. But the 06 was #2.
     
  19. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    I'll add one thing to this thread that has NOT been discussed, but I think cannot be discounted. What is your tolerance for recoil?

    That said, if you're going for DG, then you really have no choice but to go with at least the .375 H&H, although I understand in at least Zimbabwe, a 9.3x62mm Mauser is acceptable for Cape Buffalo.

    I haven't fired either, but have read and heard that both of these calibers, while not "mild" in recoil, are tolerable. They're supposedly more of the big PUSH rather than a jolt. That said, be aware that the .338 Winchester Magnum has a reputation for having a nasty, sharp recoil. A lot of it has to do with the stock design and recoil pad, and of course there's always the possibility of adding a.... "muzzle break."

    OOOOPS! There, I did it again! Just watch the fur fly now! <I'm ducking in anticipation of the avalanche of criticism for having uttered the words!> :nofeed:
     
  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The recoil of my 9.3x62 CZ 550 American is quite tolerable. The same goes for my Ruger 77 .338 Win. My Interarms Whitworth .375 is considerably more than either of those. All weigh about the same. The CZ has the best pad, the Ruger the worst, its just thin. My old Whitworth's pad is just stiff from age. If I could only keep one of those guns, no question, the .375.
     

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