Kalahari – Springbok, Hartmann’s Zebra and Black Wildebeest by Christopher Jarnvall The powerful calibers we usually call “African rifles”. I started my hunting career in Africa many years ago with a rifle caliber 9,3 x 62, a heavy bullet to force the bush in Limpopo. It’s necessary if you want to kill animals hiding in the bushes, shot in 40-50 meters distance. Normally you don’t see the full target. You are allowed to hunt even buffalos with this caliber in – e g – Zimbabwe, but not in South Africa. In RSA you need minimum .375. The 9,3 millimeter caliber transformed into inches is about a .366. Caliber .375 is a good caliber for the average African game. But when hunting buffalo and elephant and other real big game I would prefer a .458 Lott. It’s an excellent choice, a perfect buffalo rifle. Both .375 and .458 could be found in the “African PH” series, issued by Norma. Hunting in Namibia, you have to be a good long distance sniper. The landscape is open with low vegetation. Northern Namibia is a more green with higher trees, but in the rest of the country you have to expect distances of more than 150 meters. In this case I prefer the caliber .300 Winchester Magnum. It’s most convenient in the huge area from Northern Cape via southern Botswana to Namibia – the Kalahari. I early began to hunt in this part of Africa and always with the same caliber. Gladly with .300 Win Mag ”Oryx”, 13 gram. This ammo kills most of the game from the small Namibian antelope Damara Dik Dik (size like a cat) to heavy animals like Zebra, Wildebeest or Kudu. But you must avoid all kind of branches, otherwise the bullet changes direction at once. It happened to me the first time I hunted the small Steenbuck, hardly bigger than a Dik Dik. I simply couldn’t understand why I missed in a distance of less than fifty meters. After a while we checked the place more carefully and found a lot of small broken branches. Finally, I got my small antelope. My first Springbok – a Black Springbok – I shot in a distance of a bit more than a hundred meters, sitting behind a rock. I used caliber .300 WM as usually. The bullet hit the buck in its left front shoulder and went through it, coming out just under the tail. The animal fell immediately. Springbok - Photo: Res Tuta AB During a hunt in Namibia for Hartmann’s Zebra the distances were usually much longer. We followed the zebras a couple of days up and down the hills around the small town of Omaruru, before we got the animals in comfortable distance. I missed a few times, I must admit. They were a bit more than two hundred meters away, and if you shoot from uphill and down you must realize that the target distorts a bit. Finally I got my zebra. We had almost given up the idea of getting one when two animals came running towards us and passed us in some 50 meters. When they passed an opening in the bush I decided to shoot. It was like the moving target in the shooting range back home… Luckily, the bullet hit perfectly in the small triangle the stripes create on the shoulder. Hartmann's Zebra - Photo: Res Tuta AB Now, recently in the middle of November, I was back in Namibia. I decided to shoot another Black Wildebeest, an animal living in open areas in order to avoid predators. We were sneaking around in the low bush but didn’t come any closer than 180 meters. The animal heard and smelled us and began to move slowly towards the thicker bush. A short whistle, it stopped and I shot. The bullet hit the shoulder but didn’t completely penetrate the animal. Passing the lungs, the bullet was stopped by the bones of the opposite front leg. The deadly wounded animal ran away in circles and I shot another bullet from about 300 meters that finally killed it, though it hit low in the chest. Black Wildebeest - Photo: Res Tuta AB I have very good experience of caliber .300 WM during the African hunts. I prefer Norma’s “Oryx”. It’s a kind of ammo that is well known in Africa.