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.338-06 and Africa

This is a discussion on .338-06 and Africa within the Up To .375 forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; Have any of you had experience with the .338-06 in Africa? If I get to hunt there I plan to ...

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    Scott Spencer's Avatar
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    Default .338-06 and Africa

    Have any of you had experience with the .338-06 in Africa? If I get to hunt there I plan to use it with a 210gr and 250gr Partition, depending on the animal. I don't plan on hunting anything larger than a Kudu so I presume my rifle will be more than sufficient. If you only had one choice on bullet, would it be the 210 or 250 Partition? The 210 would be flatter shooting and would still pack a punch in that .338 bullet.

    Thanks!

    Scott

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    Scott, a 338-06 would be a good choice but there are a couple of potential problems. Your cartridge cases must match what is stamped on your rifle. In other words you cannot use 30-06 cases that have been necked up. The other problem is that if your ammo does not arrive with your baggage it may be difficult or impossible to find any. As far as bullet weight it would depend on where you plan to hunt. Some places are wide open like Woming prairies and some places are as thick as the south Texas brush country. You can decide on bullet weight after you decide what area or country you will hunt. Good luck.

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    Scott Spencer's Avatar
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    Funny you mentioned the headstamp...I actually have Weatherby brass stamped 338-06. Your other point about availability is the one I would be most concerned with. I have been considering purchasing a Ruger M77 African in .375 Ruger. That may be more practical and shipping my ammo ahead of schedule could be an option (presuming that is permissable). The .375 Ruger is something I can use here in north America as well.

    Thank you for taking the time to reply and offer your thoughts! With your background and experience I value your comments.

    Scott

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    Well, I finally got my rifle back from PacNor!! I'm very pleased with it and will begin breaking in the barrel tomorrow. I'm taking a couple of days vacation so I can go out and see what she'll do. I'll start out with just some 225gr SST's to break in the barrel and then move to a 225 Accubond and 210 Partition. I may even play around with the 250gr Hornady round nose!

    Specs:
    Ruger M77 Hawkeye .270 rebarreled to 338-06 A Square
    23" PacNor super match grade stainless barrel
    1:9 twist
    Leupold 2.5-8x36





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    Hey Scott

    Firstly it is a beautifull gun! We also own a 338-06 and I have hunted many African game with the calibre and 210grain bullets. It will work perfectly for the game you have in mind. Oh and come and hunt with Hartzview and you will not have any problems with availability as we have a whole reloading setup right here at the lodge. ;-) .375 is also a great all rounder for Africa if you may have some bigger animals in mind for the future.

    Enjoy planning your trip and feel free to send questions our way at any time.

    Best regards,
    Hartzview Hunting Safaris - South Africa
    Jacques Spamer - js@hvsafaris.com
    Website - www.hvsafaris.com
    Skype - jacques.spamer[/B][/I]


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    For a plains game only hunt, I would not feel any need to deal with all the fuss and bother of a .375. The .375 comes into its own when you are combining buff or a cat with plains game. I am a huge fan of .338s, and though I like the versatility of the Winmag better, the 338-06 is a fine caliber. In it, I would stick with 210's rather than 250s.
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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions fellas! I see that Nosler has announced 338-06 A Square brass for 2011 so no more issues with properly headstamped brass (although Norma/Weatherby offers it).

    The 250RN is just something I'd like to try and see what happens. I suppose it is just the curiosity of a handloader more than any real practical use for it. I actually think a 200gr or 210gr bullet at 2700-2800 fps would be excellent in the 338-06!

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    The gun is beautiful, can't wait to hear how she shoots. I have always liked the Ruger rifles and Leupold scopes....a winning combination!

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    Scott, Just getting around to having time to chime in all be it late in the game.
    I have used a 338/06 on 2 of my 3 trips to Africa for plains game. I found the 225 Partition was the best in my rifle at about 2500 fps. Tried many many different bullets and loads. Mine is a reworked Rem 700 that I rebarreled on my own lathe. No, I'm not a professional gunsmith or machinist. Just a hobbyist that works very carefully. I have taken several dozen animals with it and never had a problem. My huge Eland was almost a pass through with the bullet recovered perfectly formed under the skin on the exit side after going through both shoulders. Off the sand bags it will hold under an inch at 100 yds. I have just ordered Norma brass for it for my upcoming 4th trip, this time to the Limpopo district in SA. I used 30-06 brass on the previous trips but now think it is better to have the correct headstamp. BTW, on my first trip (Zimbabwe) I used a $49 Scopechief scope just to prove a theory I have that the cheap scopes today are as good if not better than the expensive scopes of yesterday. Never changed point of impact, never had any problem. I did bring an old "gold ring" scope along just in case :-). You'll have a great time working up loads and won't be wanting for anything when you get over "there". Just remember what I say here, If you go once-YOU WILL GO AGAIN!

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    Don't forget to load up some 210gr TSX!!!!!

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    Given that the .338/06 is ballistically identical (for all purposes) to the sainted .318 Westley Richards and that caliber made its legendary name with 250 gr. round nose, my feeling is that the Hornady round nose at 2400 will work just fine. After all, the animals haven't changed in the last hundred years so if something works, don't fix it!

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