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Best Calibre

This is a discussion on Best Calibre within the Up To .375 forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Hi My Dad and I are bowhunters.We are wanting to buy a rifle as a back up while bowhunting plainsgame.What ...

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    Dox's Avatar
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    Default Best Calibre

    Hi

    My Dad and I are bowhunters.We are wanting to buy a rifle as a back up while bowhunting plainsgame.What rifle and calibre would you suggest?My dad is small to medium built 1.65m high and +-60kg

    Thanks
    Dox

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    .300 Win Mag is my choice, but caliber in that range with a well placed shot will do. Happy hunting and good luck with your sharp sticks.

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    I agree with derekwest on the .300 - that caliber is more than enough for plains game.

    Since you have not purchased the rifle, I suggest that you email your outfitter to see what ammo is available locally. That may help your decision on the caliber.

    - browningbbr

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    How much would one of these cost?

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    Dox:

    I don't know about prices in SA.

    I just purchased a Ruger M77 in .300 Win. Mag. for US$630. It's not a top-of-the-line rifle, but is well made and has a mauser action, decent trigger & controlled round feed.

    The CZ 550 is less expensive and is a popular brand in SA. I've never owned one, so I cannot comment on the quality.

    A Kimber model 8400 in the same caliber is almost 2x as much money as the Ruger.

    - browningbbr

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    Although my first choice would have been a .375 H&H CZ-550, I ended up with a mint condition , circa 1965 Winchester Model 70 in .300 mag for $500.00. Nice wood, excellent metal. A fellow bought it in 1965 for a Canadian hunt and retired it a since then.
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    Lightbulb

    Dox, pretty much any rifle suitable for elk or mulies will do. It depends on which species you're after. Eland is different than springbok. Find one that FITS him, in a caliber that he'll shoot alot prior to leaving. With his size, a 30-06 would do for most species, a 300 allows a bit more. 338 Win Mag is highly thought of, or if you're looking more for nostalgia at a reasonable price for larger game, a CZ in .375 H&H won't break the bank .. or his shoulder.

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    ...Speedbump really summed it up very nicely! Myself I love the 30/06 as It will take care of any plains game & the other calibers speedbump refers to will do the job only better!! Being in Africa a 308 may be a better choice with purchasing ammo in mind!

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    Other good options are 338 Ruger, 338-06, 35 Wheelen.

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    Dox, I would choose the 30/06. With a good 180gr bullet it will be the best choice in my humble opinion.
    As far as what rifle. That is up to personal preference. However, after seeing what both new and used rifles go for in RSA, they are all priced about the same. That is they are priced 2 or 3 times higher than the US!!!! Only reason I know this is because I just got back from RSA, and was thumbing through a hunting magazine from there and saw the advertisements.

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    The 300 win. with 180 or 200 gr. Noslers is an excellent choice as is the 270 or 30-06...
    RAY ATKINSON

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    I took my 270 win to Africa last year and took a kudu, gemsbuck, 2 zebra, impala, warthog and an eland. I will admit I was a bit nervous when shooting that eland, even if the shot was less than 50 yards, because I didn't believe I had enough gun. That eland only went 35 yards and none of the other animals I shot went over 50 yards. I really like my 270 and can shoot it without a flinch. In fact, I was lined up on an impala and pulled the trigger but had forgot to chamber a bullet. I remember the PH commenting that I didn't flinch on the "dry fire."

    In any case, recently I have studied multiple ballistics charts recently looking for a new gun that would deliver a lot of impact wouldn't the recoil of a 300 win mag but still have the knock down power. In my opinion, you can't beat the ballistics of the 270 WSM. It has more energy at 100 and 200 yards than a 270, 30-06, and a 7mm Rem Mag. I bought one back in August. While the recoil is more than the 270 win, it is not as much as the 300 win mag. I think the delivered energy difference is not enough to make a difference between the 270 wsm and the 300 win mag. If you enjoy shooting your gun and can shoot it well, you will have success regardless of caliber. Shot placement is the most important aspect of any gun's effectiveness.

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    I have a 270 and a 338 win Mag and have used the 338 win Mag in Namibia on plains game from Kudu, oryx and eland and a few others. I loved the performance and would take it again - a little more recoil though - but a great calibre that is very popular here for elk (kudu sized) and moose (600kg).

    I would suggest to go with the 300 as enough gun for an eland comfortably. But if you father isn`t use to shooting the 270 is great for smaller game. Unfortuantely it is not all ballistics and onside energy - sectional density is really important for penetration. I don`t want to start a big debate (there has been too much of it between velocity vs heavy for calibre bullets) but my opinion is its a combination of both that is important.

    As for the 270 WSM - it definetely seems to be superior to the 270 and is growign in popularity in NA. However ballistics and energy only count if you can get ammo for it - check availability first. In Canada every store that sells ammo has 270, 308 3006 but 270 wsm not always - and I am talking about the really small towns in the remote parts of Canada.

    All in all - have your dad try some and see what he is comfortable with if possible. But I think you will find the 300 a great choice.

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    As this post is 4 months old, you have most likely already made a decision. But I am wondering if by "backup" you mean to anchor an animal when bow hunting or as protection from something that may want to stomp you into the dust?

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