Rifles combo for Plains game and Dangerous Game Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by EDELWEISS, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Senior Member

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    Im planning my first trip to Afrika for 2012. It will be primarily Plains game but Id like to add Leopard or possibly Buffalo. I have a SxS 9.3x74R, but Im concerned it may not be appropriate for some longer shots on Plains game. As I have some time Im thinking about picking up another rifle. My first choice would be a Ruger No1 in 30-06 or perhaps a bolt action in the same caliber.

    Many many questions.....

    Do I need a longer reaching gun caliber than the SxS 9.3x74R?

    Would a scoped No1 in 9.3x74R work for the longer shots, allowing me to simplify the ammo supply?

    Is a 30-06 sufficient for Plains game? Will a single shot that I have experience and I am comfortable using be alright?

    If a bolt action is a "better" idea can I use a 20" barrel 30-06 (Ruger International)?
     
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Edelweiss

    I would take the rifles you shoot best...that said...

    Ask your PH what he would recommend...

    Your SxS 9.3x74R should work great for DG...most DG is taken with in 50 yards...however sometimes it will stretch to 100 yards...

    The country you are going to could have restrictions on what caliber you use for leopard what is it...Your SxS is not the rifle you want to use for this unless you have a scope on it...

    I have spoken in person and talked on the phone and by e mail on this question...A 30 cal in 300 Win mag, Wby mag, or H & H for the Plains game and Leopard with a great quality bullet is what they are looking for...for leopard...

    A 338 Win Mag is a step up for the 30 cal...and the PH's talked to indicated this was a good move and you will not go wrong with this round...

    Dangerous game...the thing here is shooting well and not having to track a wounded animal...at which point the bigger the better...

    A 375 (9.3 x 74R) will be at the low end and a PH would be tickled pink if you can shoot it well...

    Moving into the 40 cal bracket a 404 Jeffrey would be great...the 416 in Rigby or Remington will be good...

    Moving bigger you have the 458 Win or Lott both will do you well...

    Remember you only get to take 2 rifles in most countries and PH i talked to recommend that you go with the 338 or 375 plus a 40 cal...
     
  3. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Senior Member

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    Well my admittedly un-experienced, "Theory" was that the 9.3x74R Double would work for Leopard and maybe Buff as its my understanding that its in the same class as the 375H&H. If possible Id also prefer to use it on the Plains game. That would be my ultimate plan; but Im beginning to get concerned that an open sight Double may not have the range necessary for Plains Game.

    Perhaps Ive been watching too many videos of Plains Game hunts, which by the way really dont give a proper indication of the range of the shots taken. IF the Plains Game can be taken at 50 - 100m, I THINK I'll be OK.

    I suggested adding a scoped 30-06 for longer ranges. My thoughts for the 30-06 were that it would have greater potential for more hunting in the US and thus keeping me familiar with it. Id prefer a single shot like the Ruger No1 and as a fall back I like the looks and feel of the M77 full stock International; but Im concerned that even scoped I'll loose the benefits of the longer shooting 30-06 because of the 20inch barrel.

    Any thoughts on the 9.3x74R double rifle out to 100m? And is it a reasonable expectation to take Plains Game within 100 meters? Would a scoped single shot 9.3x74R extend my range enough to make it a good combo for the 9.3x74 double?

    Again I "THINK" I understand from other posts that a 30-06 is acceptable for most Plains Game. That being the case, do I require a barrel length longer than 20 inches on a scoped 30-06?
     
  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I am a great fan of the 9.3x74 and I love doubles but it would not be my first choice for any of the game you are anticipating on a first safari. Let's talk the cat first. If you hunt a leopard, you will likely shoot him at very last light. It will be the most precise first shot that you will have ever made in your life. Unless your double is scoped and is a true MOA rifle with that first barrel, it is a worrisome choice for such game. A MOA premium scoped 30-06, 300, 338, or 375 would be much better.

    Cape buffalo are yet another issue. The 9.3x74 is right on the lower margin for a big bull. As generations of hunters have proven, the .375 is a superb choice.

    Plains game are another issue. In prepping for my first safari, I heard all the commentary about close shots. I nevertheless took a .338 with a 3x9 variable of Teutonic origin. The only shot which I took under 100 was a warthog and the typical shot was 150-225. I would take a rifle which you are very comfortable making first round hits out to 275 or so. That is almost never a double rifle.

    One final point. Other than yourself, the most important person who needs confidence in your rifle and your shooting is your PH. A good Tight three shot group after you get off the plane is the way to start that relationship. Slinging patterns with a double might not be.

    That isn't meant to say a double rifle has no place. It is a great buff rifle in the right caliber, and the perfect elephant weapon. That 9.3 SxS might be a nearly perfect lion rifle. I have a .375 SxS which I love and an Evans paradox which is a warthog slaying machine. For a first trip, I would recommend a well scoped bolt action in 300 plus for PG and leopard - or a .375 for PG and a buff.
     
  5. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    Your probably tired of hearing my advice but here it is. Take that 9.3 and shoot everything on the menu. It is on the light end for buffalo so make the first shot count. If you need an excuse buy another double .450 or bigger for the big stuff.

    I read your post again and realized you may not have a scope on the 9.3. Do you? If not your range is probably most limited by that issue, not the calibre. Except in sa and namibia most shots are inside of 150 in my experience.
     
  6. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for continuing to put up with my questions. My SxS 9.3x74R does NOT have a scope, and I THINK I want to keep it that way. Im totally willing to buy another rifle or bring along a single shot or bolt action rifle that I already have to supplement the SxS for longer shots.

    Sooooo the question is what caliber and what type of action?

    Would a scoped single shot (Ruger No1) in 9.3x74R be suitable for longer shots?

    Or would I be better served with a scoped No1 in 30-06 (300WM, 375H&H)? Im pretty comfortable with single shots (No1's in particular), when used on North American non dangerous game.

    And IF a scoped single shot is NOT appropriate, then would a bolt action with say a 20inch barrel be OK or too short if using a 30-06?
     
  7. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    A Ruger #1 in 9.3 would make a very fine rifle for a PG hunt and would be a nearly ideal choice for a leopard. You would give up a little bit on a really long shot, but while I have had many shots at 200 and a bit, I have never had to take one in Africa at 300. No matter how brilliant a shot you are, you will eventually have to put finishers in an African game animal. However, that will usually be after a follow up with plenty of time for a deliberate reload. I did shoot a Hartman on the second shot after blowing the first which I would not have been able to do with a single.

    And by all means bring your double. As I mentioned above, a light one like yours would be fun for warthog, and if you go to an area like Namibia where eland are walked down, then there is an excellent chance for a close shot in heavy cover.
     
  8. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    I was faced with this same question and I poured into the research thereof diligently. I first did a detailed analysis of the ballistics and then spoke to a number of PH's and finally requested the advice of a number of the African operators here that I have come to respect. Here is what I have determined:

    for a PG hunt, one gun trip or just a single dedicated African rifle:
    .375 Holland shooting a premium bullet in the 250 - 260 - 270 gr. on a bolt action rifle sporting a 2.5 - 8 x scope
    the nice thing about the 375 is that in a pinch you can drop to 235 gr or move up to 300 gr without a tremendous change in your sight adjust ment. If you really need to go big, there are 350 to even 380 gr pills available.

    So, versatile, flexible, flat shooting and the recoil is quite manageable

    If your intended bag includes PG but is focused on buf or something larger and you are toting two rifles then add a .416 Rigby with a 1.5 -5 X considerably more authority on the DG while still sufficiently flat shooting for any PG you might happen upon.

    The two seem to back up and compliment one another and are both proven African performers.

    My final thoughts,
    After you have made the long flight over, rattled around in the LC for what seems like a few thousand miles and then walked and stalked maybe a few thousand more you will ultimately reach the apex of your hunt where the animal is in your sights and you begin to take up the trigger. When the gun goes bang you want that moment to be the culmination of a fantastic emotional and physical experience, not the start of something entirely unexpected.

    There is some machismo I suppose is saying I shot that whatever with a .223 but reality is that having to say "I shot him in the morning with a .243 and chased him the rest of the day with a .458" does not make for a good hunting story nor a pleasurable African experience.

    So maybe the most sage advice I have gotten is to over-gun it a bit and practice, practice, practice
     
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The 9.3 x 74R is on the small side for big game, but will do the job if your aim is good.

    I would get a scoped 30-06 for the leopard and plains. I think the Ruger International is fine...I like bolt action rifles a lot. Second shots can be needed. Too much fumbling around with a No. 1 in a tight situation..just my honest opinion. I wouldn't worry about barrel length. The only thing that makes a difference is if you can make the shot. And that means a steady rifle and a well placed shot with a good scope that has plenty of eye relief. I would shoot 180 grain bullets in the 30-06...Swift A, Barnes Triple Shock, Nosler Partion or Accubonds.
     
  10. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Senior Member

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    Since I will be bringing the SxS in 9.3x74R, can I also bring a scoped Ruger No1 in 9.3x74R? Im hearing some countries dont allow two guns in the same caliber.

    If I cant have two guns in 9.3x74R, I suppose I'll have to get a No1 in 30-06.
     
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yes some countries do not allow you to bring 2 of the same caliber...

    To better answer your question what country will you be hunting in...
    South Africa: There is a limit of two firearms per hunter that may be imported into South Africa for trophy hunting purposes, however hunters cannot bring in more than one firearm per caliber.

    Look through this your self to determine if you are legal: ULTIMATE SAFARI PLANNING GUIDE

    Check the ammunition Guide also on number of rounds you are allowed per caliber...

     
  12. Rohan

    Rohan

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    Play it safe and get the 30-06 of your choice. What makes a good shot is the level of comfort of the shooter with his particular rifle, and obviously the appropriateness of the calibre for the game.

    Plains game ranges often exceed 100yards and I think the 30-06 is fit for such game. It can take anything from smaller game to Eland when loaded properly, and when you have practiced with it enough you can accomplish more than you think.

    The 9.3x74 double will probably not satisfy this requirement. Use the 9,3 for closer shots that do not exceed 100m on DG and the 30-06 for plains game. It is, as quite a few have said on this thread, that it (9,3) is on the smaller end for DG, but adequete if you can place a good shot. On international safari its good to have more than one rifle to meet the needs of the moment in the bush, or to just have as a back up if one decides not to listen...then you wouldnt have to use a rifle that you are not comfortable with that someone had to loan you, then pay for ammunition, rent etc. Always have a contingency plan in Africa and, in my opinion, use your own tested and proven weapons.

    I generally prefer a bolt action, and on leopard, though I have never hunted it, I would say a bolt action that carries at least 3+1 is safer in sticky situations, as opposed to a single-shot of the same calibre.

    The ph/outfitter of the concession you will hunt will give you the most sound advice, because some animals behave differently and are in some instances even more stubborn than their relatives in other regions. So, ask the ph that will guide you what, how, and why...
     
  13. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I would take a 308 or 30/06 - bolt action for plains game & a 375 H&H for dangerous game. The 375 is versatile enough you can use for anything if need be.
     
  14. BARTFRNCS

    BARTFRNCS AH Enthusiast

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    Having been in your position myself,I sugest that you take a 30 cal bolt rifle for PG. For your big game a 375H&H or larger Double if you would rather spend your money on animals Go bolt. Then practice practice practice.
     
  15. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    With BART here. From what I have read the 9.3 would be fine on the cat, but, if you step up to the plate and go with a Buff the 375H&H would be the minimum I would go with. Bolt for the DG.
     
  16. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I think the 9.3x74R is good enough on buffs if you use the right bullets as long as it is legal to use where you are going to hunt.

    Then you ask if it is suited for PG on longer shots.
    What do you consider to be long shots?
    And how accurate are your double?
    The 9.3x74R will have plenty of power and shoot flat enough out to 200-250 meters for any PG with the right bullets, but is your double accurate enough for that?

    A 30-06 is enough for PG and I would rather use a bolt rifle than a single shot.
    If the legal minimum is .375 for buffs, I would use a 375H&H or a 375Ruger bolt rifle for everything.
     
  17. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    I support Norwegianwoods on this one. The 9.3 would do fine on a buff as long its legal where you gonna hunt. And I would take a 7 mm or a .30 cal bolt rifle, with a good scope for PG.
     

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