What is the Perfect Plains Game rifle? and what is too much?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Grady, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    Excellent choice. With premium bullets, from 150 to 220gr, even 250gr if needed, you can take any PG on earth. Here is an article you may enjoy..

    .300 Holland & Holland Magnum
     
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great article.
     
  3. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    If I was to recommend one PG cartridge to do it all for others, where Eland and Giraffe is included, I would recommend the 9.3x62.
    It will do the job on buffs too.
    Very moderate recoil with the right stock and great shot effect on the animals.

    Of the guns I own, I would use my 375 Ruger. Specially because Giraffe is included.
    If Giraffe and Eland was not on the list, I would use my 6.5-06.
    I would use my 6.5-06 on Eland too, but would have to take much more care when choosing my shot.
     
  4. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    A+ 100% Bushwack!

    I have killed over 30 PG with my .300 Win. Mag and 150 gr. Speer Sp, Federal Power Shok, the upgraded version of The old Federal Classic that used Sierra Pro Hunter Sp. Some of these 30 fell to this bullet also early on.

    It is "PLACEMENT", "PLACEMENT"," PLACEMENT."

    There is no "PERFECT" rifle or "BULLET" in my eyes.


    "A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."
     
  5. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    DOC-404,

    Thank you for the article on the .300 H&H, it is a great read, I appreciated it.

    Here, we are blessed to be able to own all the rifles we can afford to buy.

    But even in Alaska (my home) big game is scarce compared to many parts of Africa.

    At any rate, if I was regulated to only one rifle for Alaska / N. America, I would have to agonize over the .300 H&H and the .375 H&H.

    If I never wanted to set foot in Alaska / Canada (grumpy bears and very large moose), it would be the .300 for sure.

    If two was my legal limit, it would be those two.

    If Africa was part of my plans (about every 3 or 4 years now so far and planning 2015-tuskless olifant as we speak) and ownership only one rifle allowed, sadly I would not choose the .300, unless of course I planned to hunt so called "plains game" only and never again heavy/dangerous game, then the .300 H&H would be it, as already said.

    If 3 rifles were all I could legally own, with Africa in the mix, it'd be the .300, .375 and .458 Lott.

    I'm getting away from the thread of the one perfect PG rifle.

    All the other .300 magnums in the world, not to mention, ultra-magnums, super-galactic death star magnums or whatever, make me yawn.

    If a hunter would just settle down and practice, he should be able to hit a typical dinner plate at 400 yds / meters, from prone, using his day pack or a folding bipod with a .30-06 and 180 grain spitzers around 2700 FPS, much less the .300 H&H @ 2850 to 2875 fps / most factory loaded 180 gr speed.

    I do not endorse shooting that far at regal/worthy game animals as a matter of regular hunting practices but, if we are honest, most of us have done it now and then and it's comforting to know you have the rifle and the skill to manage it if you need to.

    Point being, there really was no need for the other .300 magnums to be invented, except to make their inventers rich (and I have no quarrel with it, I wish I was that clever, money is fun).

    I have shot the .300 Winchester and .300 Weatherby (none of the latest ones though, as none of my friends have those), and I could not hit anything with either of them that I could not also hit with my H&H version, out to 500 yds (on a marked / organized rifle range).

    The .300 H&H / 180 spitzer is a fine one for PG, short range with today's stout bullets and for long range with low-drag spitzers.

    Best Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
  6. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hello RogerHeintzman,

    Have you had much luck driving 150 grain Speer brand or Sierra brand 150 grain spitzers through a giraffe's brisket or an eland's shoulder bone at .300 Winchester speeds?

    I am willing to listen and learn.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I assume Rodger is aiming for the lungs and if he does, it should work just fine.
     
  8. tarbe

    tarbe AH Elite

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    Well, we all know what they say about opinions....

    I hope after June '15 I will be able to show you at least 10 pictures as back-up to make my case for the outfit pictured below: Ruger No 1 Boddington Kudu with Leupold 2.5 - 8x in Talley QD rings. Neck reamed .200" to seat the 220gr Nosler Partition to 3.80" OAL, allowing for a load of 71gr of IMR 7828 SSC and giving a chronographed velocity of a bit over 2,800 fps.
     

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  9. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Velo Dog,

    I have yet to shoot a Giraffe, if I should use the .300 it would be a neck vertebra shot. Other wise the .375 H&H will be used.

    My Eland was high lung shot, it slowed him down so fast we walked past him in the bush. Second shot was angled forward behind the ribs and may not have been needed.

    I have recovered bullets behind the skin opposite side. The Speer holds together better and better penetration. I am comfortable with my gun and ammo and the gun shoots it very well.

    I have yet to lose a animal.

    "PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT, PLACEMENT."


    "A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."
     
  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hi again RogerHeintzman,

    The Speer brand 150 grain spitzer vs eland does surprise me but, I learn something new every day, (whether I want to or not sometimes).

    I totally agree with you on placement being nearly everything.

    For the past 40 or so years, I have clung to the saying:

    "Power is usually fine but accuracy is usually final."

    Thanks for the bullet/cartridge lesson.

    Always open to hear how other hunters have fared with various cartridges/projectiles, heck how they've fared with about any aspect of hunting gear generally speaking.

    I find ballistics as they pertain to hunting game animals very interesting.

    Happy Travels and Safe Hunting,
    Velo Dog.
     
  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    PSS:

    I forgot to address "what is too much", in regards to the original thread question.

    Not sure there is such a thing as too much gun / overkill, etc., but if there is, I would suppose it is at the threshold of how much recoil the individual hunter can stand and still shoot accurately.

    I am not much on detailed taxidermy (most of my critters end up as bleached sculls, setting on the mantle/book shelves, etc.) but, for those hunters who like highly detailed / stuffed animals, I suppose "too much" would begin about where whatever caliber they were using was badly ruining their animal skins / capes, such as on Klipspringer and the like.

    Super high velocity combined with soft/light for caliber bullets seem to be the worst hide / cape and edible meat destroyers.

    Regards,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  12. graybird

    graybird AH Veteran

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    I think the 300 WM with 180 gr premium bullets is about perfect. Personally, I shoot 180 gr TSX bullets out of mine.

    For PG only, I don't see a reason to go over 338 caliber.
     
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Legend

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    I agree with this Velo.. :) we are always going for the wiz boom bang swish speed calibres...

    With a 270gr. A frame and a 375 350 - 400 yard shots are no major feat when one knows the rifle, same with the 30 - 06 270 or anything else we can think of...

    It just boils down to the one you like to shoot or that feels right, or the one that you as a hunter can afford.

    So if it shoulders well
    Trigger breaks nicely
    Ammo is readily available...

    Buy it! :) and remember most fire arms shoot far better than their owners.. :)

    My best always
     
  14. drew416

    drew416 AH Veteran

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    I'll throw in the curve ball- 8mm Rem Mag!

    Some say too big on recoil, but if you have just shot your 416, 450, 470 or 500 at a DG then it is not that bad a push. Granted it is loud and gives a spectacular muzzle bast at dawn and dusk.

    Loaded with RWS 225gn Cone Points it is flat shooter, with plenty of wallop. Same action size as your 375H&H.
    I don't have to change point of aim from 25 to 250m plenty of punch for anything from Impala to Wildebeest sized game. Word of warning with these bullets, if you are hunting for the pot choose something like the 170gn Woodleigh Hydrostatic Solid or some other pure copper monolithic. The RWS cone points do exit but leave very big holes.

    For bigger sized pg I load the 250gn Woodleigh RN. These have a very high BC compared to similar 338 projectiles. I am yet to recover one inside a carcass, or use an insurance shot and hold up to Magnum velocities very well even when hunting in bush.

    Ammo is a problem, but not so if you are a hand-loader. Cases easily formed from 375H&H. There are now plenty of projectiles that can hold the Magnum velocities and now slower burning powders, like AR2217 AR2225 RETUMBO and Reloader 25, which now allow the hand-loader to maximize the full potential of this cartridge.

    A truly often overlooked versatile cartridge, not limited to just Africa. The Red Deer here in my part of Australia are no match for the Big 8 when he's wearing a 6.5-20 Leupold. Anything out in the open out to 400m gets put in the esky at the end of the day.
     
  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    To also be a bit of a contrarian, I am a huge fan of the .338WM. It does anything any .300 does at normal ranges (I'll exclude alpine hunting), yet does it with real authority. It can be built more carry friendly than any .375, and yet in its 250 gr guize will drop an eland with authority. And should you trip over something mean and angry, one still has a real rifle.
     
  16. jduckhunter

    jduckhunter AH Enthusiast

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    If your a contrarian then so am I. I love my .338WM for plains game and just about anything else including alpine hunting. I have used it on sheep and goat hunts with 210gr bullets. It's the gun I have taken to Alaska several times to hunt deer, moose and caribou. Don't really need all that gun for deer but it feels good in my hands when I'm on Kodiak or Afognak island. I used a .338 WM 2 years ago on a PG hunt and took 11 critters with 11 bullets, anything from jackal to eland. The eland fell on the shot, I always liked my .338 but since that hunt I have fallen in love with it.
     
  17. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    When I think of an ideal hunting rifle my first thought is about having to carry that thing all day. I used a pre-64 m70 .300 H&H 26" bbl for my first trip to SA for plains game. With four down and one up, a scope, sling and a nice Bastogne stock that rifle tipped 10.25#.

    It was accurate and with a 180 tsx at 2950 I felt comfortable shooting any PG up to and including Eland. My largest game on that hunt was Kudu.

    10.25# and a 26" bbl. that was the big issue for me. It was heavy and awkward punching through the acacia. I won't be doing that again.

    This year I'm going with a Merkel K1 in 7mm RMag. Scoped and slinged it tips 6.5#. As a single shot with a 24" bbl it's light and super handy. Sure, it's one shot but I've found most critters don't stick around for a second shot.

    Another part of the discussion is availability of ammo should ammo get lost. Good luck finding 300 H&H...but you can find .270, '06, 7mmRM and and the like in Africa.
     
  18. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hello All,

    Jaco Strauss,
    Thanks for that, spoken by a respected PH such as yourself, I take your agreement with me, as a huge compliment.

    drew416,
    I get the impression that the 8mm Remington Magnum is about like a .300 Weatherby, perhaps could've been called the .323 Weatherby, if Roy had radiused the shoulder and marketed it, instead of Reminton.
    But I have no experience with the cartridge.
    Here in Alaska it had a flash-in-the-pan coming out party but, I do not recall ever seeing much ammo for it on sporting good store shelves so, evidently, it was never a smash hit.
    I did see one rifle so chambered for it once, a Remington Model 700 (BDL I believe).
    Whatever the "BIG-8" was in Alaska back then, these days it may as well be a wildcat.
    Boddington digs it though, and on paper it looks like a fine long range round for PG.
    Might smack the gizzard out of a lion (with the right bullet), as well.

    Red Leg,
    The .338 Winchester is a fine cartridge and extremely popular here in Alaska, likewise many Alaskans use it in Africa for PG, with huge success.
    All sorts of bullets are popular in it but possibly the most popular here is the .250 gr Nosler Partition.
    The X-Type bullets and Swift A-Frames are also getting popular for it.
    Like all good pilgrims just arriving in AK, I simply had to have one (32 years ago).
    Bought a Ruger M77 used but like new for $250.US bucks.
    I used it for a couple years in AK and pretended it was not knocking my fillings loose with every shot (Hornady 250 gr RNSP and Speer 275 gr semi-spitzer SP).
    (When it finally split it's stock from recoil, I sold it as-is and bought a Ruger#1 in .375 H&H, eventually going through 4 or 5 rifles in .375, until now, settling for the moment, on a Brno 602 / Zeiss scope / Alaska lever rings).
    At the end of the day, I really like the cartridge and totally agree with you that it'd make (it is) an excellent PG cartridge.
    However, I would not one any lighter than my .375 H&H (if I ever get another .338, probably won't).

    rnovi,
    I'm with you, in that I do not care for 26" barrels on bolt action rifles either.
    24" is fine for a .300 H&H (I had a custom Mauser with a 25" one and it also was a tic too long for general thornbush hunting).
    Regarding ammo availability in Africa, I have had the opposite experience in both Namibia (near Ketmanshoop, or however you spell it) and in Limpopo District S.A.
    More than one PH I have discussed rifles and cartridges with has had one, plus a supply of components/ live factory ammunition for theirs that, they would part with for a reasonable amount of money, in a pinch.
    Conversely, I did not run across a single .270 Winchester owner or ammunition, except another client (friend of mine).

    At any rate,
    Thank you all for putting up with my rant here,
    Velo Dog.




    .
     
  19. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'd take that long barreled 300 H&H off your hands...lol
     
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That's because no one ever leaves the best rifles caliber behind, they take them home. :)
     

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