Plains Game calibers

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by GWH, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. GWH

    GWH AH Member

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    Interested to hear what is most commonly used on plains game over there - i would imagine the various 300 Mags would feature fairly heavily.

    What is generally regarded as the minimum calibre that is acceptable - I would think the 270s would be a reasonable minimum. When I eventually get over that way i anticipate using my 270WSM on most plains game with heavy barnes or woodleigh projies.

    thoughts?
     
  2. Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris

    Ozondjahe Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    It depends on where you are heading, most countries in Africa have their own laws regarding minimum caliber requirements. I can say that for Namibia the minimum required caliber for hunting is 7mm. The .270 is a great caliber and would definitely be reasonable for a plains game hunt in Namibia, though it might be a bit light on some species like Eland or Zebra. The most popular calibers that my clients bring for plains game and Leopard are the .300 and 30.06 by far.
     
  3. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    The 270WSM will do great on the small to medium size plains game.

    If you bring only one rifle to Africa for a hunt have a look at the biggest animal you want to hunt (excluding big game). Then decide what would be the best calibre for that animal. Like 375 H&H for Eland, Kudu, Zebra as an example. This calibre will do great on the smaller plains game as well.

    But then you also have to look at the area where you are going to hunt, will it be bush veld with thick brush where you do not expect long shots or will you be hunting area's like the Kalahari where long shots are the norm.

    This and advise from the PH you are going to hunt with will enable you to choose the best calibre for the hunt.

    My 2 kwanza
     
  4. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    My PH's advice was the biggest caliber that you can shoot well.
    I am going in sept. for Leopard, Eland ,Zebra ,Wildebeest and smaller stuff.
    I am taking my cz in 9.3x62 shooting either 285 gr norma oryx or 250gr tsx.
    Haven't decided yet.
     
  5. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    If you can shoot the 9.3x62 accurately it will do great.

    What is the speed you get out of your rifle with the different loads?
     
  6. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    In the 2 safari's I've been on I killed all my animals with a 30/06. Ranging in size from Kudu, Gemsbuck,Wildebeest, Warthog, Hartebeest, & smaller game a total of 14 animals. Excluding 1 animal the Blue Wildebeest no animal ran more than 40 yds all 1 shot kills. My Blue Wildebeest went about a 1/2 mile with a nice lung shot, a hair high but was recovered.
    I believe the whole key is what you shoot best & have great confidence in. Practice, Practice, Practice it can't be stressed enough! Reading the book the perfect shot over & over again will help also as you start to visualize the kill zones automatically! When you spend all the time planning your safari & you finally get there you need no 2nd thoughts from your gun or your equipment!
     
  7. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    Calhoun,

    That is good advice.

    What you can also do is look at hunting dvd's of African game. Start practising on every animal you see.... "Where would you have aimed for a killing shot?"

    This game will practise you to get visualise the vital triangle and to place the shot.

    The go to the range and practise with your rifle and ammunition you are going to use.
     
  8. Hunt of a Lifetime

    Hunt of a Lifetime AH Member

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    Gerhard,
    The oryx is at 2400-2450 fps and the tsx is 2650 fps. Have not shot the tsx yet.
    If I can get both to print close to same my ph said bring both. He would like to use oryx on kitty and tsx on rest. i did shoot a sub moa 5 shot group with the oryx off the bench.
    Rifle at smith getting new trigger(hated the cz set trigger) and having bedding checked etc. then on to the sticks.
     
  9. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    That sounds like an awesome combination....

    I would use it in a heart beat....

    Make sure you practise shooting in field positions....

    Dont always rely to shoot from sticks as some times there is not enough time to set it up.

    Sitting kneeling and standing shooting is very important....

    Remember you dont want to shoot sub moa from these positions if you can hit a tennis ball size target at 100 yards from the sticks, kneeling and sitting positions you are ready....

    But also practise at longer distances....

    Hope this helps
     
  10. GWH

    GWH AH Member

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    hey, thanks for the responses, interesting reading. I have a few rifle options up my sleeve that would be suitable. I like the 270WSM as it is deadly accurate and hits hard - 150Gr woodleigh projies. For the bigger stuff i have a 458 Lott and a 375H+H, both pretty versatile although the 458 is a nicer rifle (458 Lott is a Ruger RSM - the 375 is an older parker hale '98)
     
  11. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    It sounds like you have the ideal battery to hunt in Africa....

    270WSM - I have had a client use it on animals up to Hartebeest with great success.

    375H&H - for animals from Blue Wildebeest and bigger

    458 Lott - for the big guys....


    Ideal 3 gun set up to hunt any thing and any where in Africa....
     
  12. Karamojo Bill

    Karamojo Bill AH Senior Member

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    My rifle choices for plains game

    1st). I won a .416 Rigby at the local SCI banquet...where else should it be used than Africa? I was going take my 7mm-08 because my '06 is a semi and they are not allowed in RSA. I also thought my wife might want to shoot something.

    2nd) My PH told me that I should bring a gun that could be used for all my game should I have a failure, loss of the .416, or it's ammo and recommended that I bring my .338 WM loaded with 250 gr Nosler Particians.
     
  13. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I like the .270, .280 and 06. All are a good choice for most shooters and will cover about 70% of plains game adequately, 95% with the right bullet and someone behind it that knows what they are doing.

    I use to use a .338 Win. Mag. as the do everything.......or my .300 Wby.
    After my wife decided that she liked shooting the .338 and claimed ownership I had a .340 Wby built on a Sako action so that I did not have to mess with loads for two .338 Win. Mags, but be able to use the same bullets (I only shoot premium stuff in magnum cartrdges.)

    I would not hesitate to use either the .300 or the .340 for all plains game. Needless power for most, but will handle anything out there and both can really reach out there and touch someone.

    Lots of kick to the .340, but as my wife points out, I am rather numb and hence recoil does not bother me at all.:)
     
  14. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    338 WM with 250gr bullets is a mean combination as well.

    I have seen a couple of one shot kills upto Eland size animals.

    I shot a Kimber 338 WM light rifle but is mean kicker if you are not use to recoil...

    Make sure you hit what you aim at from field positions and the combination will do you well.
     
  15. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Gerhard..........yes it is a great combo. I have shot lots of moose and elk with it, caribou and a number of grizzlies. It is a great cartridge. The .340 is just a little more steam and same thing, it really flattens them.

    They do kick, but my 140 pound wife doesn't seem to notice it. The rifle weighs about 9 pounds with scope and she has been shooting it now for about 20 years. She is a good shot and has decked a lot of game with it. Over the years we always have had one or two guys that roll their eyes when they found out they had a woman guide, right up until they watched her shoot the .338 and ride a horse. They shut up real quick, cause most guys these days are a little on the wimpy side. ;)
     
  16. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    :D:D:D:D
     
  17. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I am of the bigger is better crowd especially if you are hunting an area with dangerous game. My first trip I brought a .338 Win for PG (ended up shooting some PG with my 416 Rem). My only long shot was on a hartebeest at 360 yards with the 338. Next trip I am bringing a .375 H&H for me and a 9.3 by 62 for the wife to hunt PG.

    As usual my 2 cents from limited experience.
     
  18. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    You will be having no problems using those calibres for plains game or in a pinch DG.
     
  19. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Need advice on rifles I'm taking

    Sorry to join this conversation late, but I need a some advice on rifles from someone who has "been there, done that" - I'll be hunting plains game in S.A. three weeks from today. I'm taking 2 rifles with good optics that have proven groups of <4" at 300yds with the following specs: .300 SAUM shooting a hand-loaded 165gn Barnes TSX going 3060 fps and a .30-06 shooting a hand-loaded 180gn Barnex TSX going 2816 fps. The species on my list are kudu, gemsbok, zebra, impala, blue wildebeest and eland. Which is the better choice as my primary rifle?

    The second question: My wife will be shooting a 7mm Rem Mag with hand-loaded 140gn Barnes TSX going 3260 fps. It also groups <4" at 300 yds. Will this be OK for her plans to shoot a springbok, warthog and baboon?

    I chose the TSX bullet and bullet wt's based strictly on the ability to group consistently and velocity standard deviation (< 9 fps) when shot through a chronograph and have NO TIME to work up new loads. Thanks!
     
  20. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    I would take the 180gr TSX in the 30 06 any day for the species you want to hunt. Remember that you would hunt and take the shot @ 99% of the time with in 200 yards or closer. All you need to make sure off is that your shot placement is in the death triangle.

    The 7mm Rem Mag will be perfect for the animals your wife wants to hunt.

    Remember to enjoy it and take a lot and I mean a lot of photos.

    Once you are back dont forget to give us a hunt report.

    All the best.
     

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