2015 African Hunt, Thoughts on these rifles?

Brian G

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Hello,
This is my 1st real question after reading a LOT of what you guys have to say. I'm on a steep but enjoyable learning curve, Be kind! ;)

I am in the process of planning 2 hunts that will be predominantly plains game orientated, with opportunities for a DG hunt (WB and Lion). I have access to:

a Browning A bolt .330 win mag

and a Bruno/Cz 458 win mag (Lott)

I can get a lot of range time with these 2 weapons and am pretty comfortable with them. (I don't mind carrying them either! :) ). I just do not have any experience of using them in Africa!

My 1st question goes out to any African PH's ... would they be happy to see a client pitch up with the above rifles for the aforementioned type of hunts? ( assuming competency, of course) any constructive advice?

My second question is to any African hunting clients using similar rifles, your thoughts/advice would be most welcome.

I am aiming to bring up my rifle hunting to my bow hunting activity level, hopefully I'm heading the right way! Thanks All!
 

Diamondhitch

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Bring the .458 for DG and something in the 30-06 class is more appropriate for plainsgame. Keep in mind you may be shooting some 20lb animals as well as 800lbers. Studying African anatomy is far more important, put it in the right place and a modest caliber will be plenty, too far back and it doesn't matter what you shoot it with it will be the beginning of a bad day.
 

enysse

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Well I did all of my hunting for plains game in Africa with a Browning A Bolt in a 300 Win Mag and it works. The .458 Win is plenty for dangerous game, so you are fine.
 

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Brian G,

Mainly all Plains Game can be hunted with .270 to .375. I use a .458WM on all my DG. I you can shoot your .458, good for you...i want to see if you are competent with it! I see a lot of clients with Big Bore rifles that come to African and eventually cannot handle 'the big gun'. Eventually it is 'the first shot' that counts...
 

Brian G

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Thanks very much Gents!

Very helpful and much of what has been mentioned has been already considered by myself. The two weapons will eventually become mine, so I'm inclined to now definitely take them.
Diamondhitch..... are you of the opinion that the .300 is "overkill" with a high probability of damaging plains game meat/trophy? It is just that purchasing a weapon in the lighter calibre may not be viable option for me prior to the trips. The rifles are both getting on the range for practice, and i'm comfortably getting to grips with them from a number of firing positions.
 

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You could certainly make a case for the .300 Win Mag as overkill but if you aim ok and can hold the gun tight you will be fine. I used mine because I had a ton of 190 gr ballistic soft points that I wanted to use up. To be honest I wish I had used my 7mm Rem Mag or .270 on 3/4 of the animals I shot, I thought I didn't need all this power.
 
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Thanks very much Gents!

Very helpful and much of what has been mentioned has been already considered by myself. The two weapons will eventually become mine, so I'm inclined to now definitely take them.
Diamondhitch..... are you of the opinion that the .300 is "overkill" with a high probability of damaging plains game meat/trophy? It is just that purchasing a weapon in the lighter calibre may not be viable option for me prior to the trips. The rifles are both getting on the range for practice, and i'm comfortably getting to grips with them from a number of firing positions.

Used my 300 win mag on plenty of plains games, as far as worrying about damage to the meat, I have been told not to sweat that as your not bringing the meat home with. It's a great caliber and no use buying a new rifle because it's far from over kill.
 

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Used my 300 win mag on plenty of plains games, as far as worrying about damage to the meat, I have been told not to sweat that as your not bringing the meat home with. It's a great caliber and no use buying a new rifle because it's far from over kill.

X2. Spend lots of time with your Lott (pun not intended). It's a kicker and the sooner you acclimate the better. Waiting until a month to go to shoot it could mean a flinch at the wrong time. Work up from light loads over time to full power loads. The beauty of this is the .300WM will be like a .243 in no time.
 

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Thanks very much Gents!

Very helpful and much of what has been mentioned has been already considered by myself. The two weapons will eventually become mine, so I'm inclined to now definitely take them.
Diamondhitch..... are you of the opinion that the .300 is "overkill" with a high probability of damaging plains game meat/trophy? It is just that purchasing a weapon in the lighter calibre may not be viable option for me prior to the trips. The rifles are both getting on the range for practice, and i'm comfortably getting to grips with them from a number of firing positions.

Actually it was a typo, Your post said .330 Win Mag and I assumed .338 mag. .300 mag would be better although from a taxidermist point of view smaller is better when shooting steenbok and such and is plenty on the bigger stuff too.
 

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I think the two rifles you have will be just fine. I myself have never fired a 458 winchester. I would use a 300 mag. on lion if they would let me but 375 may be the smallest you could use. The 458 would'nt be over kill for a cape buffalo
 

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Just to clarify my reply, I have seen the 300 Win Mag kill a eland DRT, physically decleat a springbok with ease...too much, I don't think so but is I was going for a steenbok or Vaal rhebok, I could use a lot less gun or I could use TSX and aim for the lungs, and not use soft bullets.
 

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I could use TSX and aim for the lungs, and not use soft bullets.

Good point, TSX and TTSX tend to do far less damage than soft points.
 

Hank2211

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Don't want to hijack this thread, but not sure I understand what Diamondhitch means. I tend to use TTSX bullets if I can, and have always found that they do significant damage - that's why I use them. On smaller game, using a .300 Win Mag and 165 grain TTSX on a klippie, he was almost blown apart. If I hadn't shot him lower than I wanted to, he might well have been. If you want to do less damage on the smaller animals, I think a bigger calibre or a solid bullet will usually do the trick (if you used the Lott, you would likely do minimal damage - a 500 grain bullet would likely not even begin to open on something small). On larger game, plenty of damage is done, but that's what makes this my go-to bullet.

Back to the original question. A .300 Win Mag will, I suggest, do for just about everything in Africa except thick skinned game (Giraffe, hippo, etc.) and game where it isn't legal. If your shot placement isn't perfect, it may be that you'd want something bigger for eland, but that might be the only exception. Personally, I think the higher velocity and lighter bullet would also make more of an impact on cats than, say, a .375, but the law is the law, and so you will need the bigger rifle. Whether it needs to be a .458 Lott is up to you and your ability to practice with it. Personally, I leave those guns to my PH and stick to a .375 whenever I can, and my shoulder thanks me for it.
 

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1) Do mmnot worry about " overkill" on a cape buffalo, there's no such thing , IMHO. They are called " dangerous" game for good reason!n

2 Remember that scores of hunters take only 1 gun on their DG/ plainsgame combo safaris, the .375H&H. If you see another species that you want while carrying your Lott, shoot it! Unless its a dik-dik any good taxidermist will fix it quite nicely. Good Hunting!
 

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.300 Win Mag seems to be one of the more popular plains cartridges, I've bumped into several guys sporting them and they seem very pleased. PH's seem to like them, also.

458 Lott is a kicker, you shoot it much? I prefer to keep the range time with mine at a minimum. I wouldn't think you'd be using it much except for the Big Five, more specifically elephant and hippo. Even then my PH prefers I carry the same .375 that he's seen me nail over a dozen other animals with, including buff and giraffe.

I look at it this way, a.458 is less flexible than a .375 so you'll only get a fraction of the trigger time with it, trigger time is experience and experience is confidence. Only reason I have one is that I ordered it before I made the trip. I'll maybe tote it on a big tusker, but that's it.

On the small pigmy antelope, I've taken a klipspringer with a .280 Ackley and a steenbok with the .375. You guessed it, less damage with the 375, both were hit in the back half as suggested. Nothing on either that concerned the taxidermist even for full mounts. I will note that climbing around the Matese Gorge with the .375 wouldn't have been near as much fun as with that 8 lb .280. Feel better about longer shots on small critters with it, also.
 

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You have a very nice combination going.Nothing in Africa you can not hunt with this combo.I own both of those calibers and the .300 is my go to gun on plainsgame.
 

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I tend to think the same as you Hank2211, I think the TTSX open violently, they do a great job, but I'm thinking too much for the small antelope. A TSX shouldn't open as fast on a small antelope and act more like a solid than anything.
 

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Not to worry.

Go to a convention and talk to some PH's and if you tell them that you have a 338 Win Mag, they will just smile at you and say you will do just fine.

Bigger bullet and in and out on most game. Take the 225 gr or 250 gr. and your PH and trackers will like you. in my safaris we have only had to track 2 animals that was shot with my 338 WM. One impala did not know it was dead and went for 3/8 of a mile before falling dead in the trail. (shot through the heart) The PH had never seen this before. I would check with your PH to see if you could use your 338 WM for leopard or Lion and some PH's will let you use your 338WM for Cape Buffalo. Barnes ammo will work, however you can hand load if you want to make a super sweet load.

The 458 Will be just fine for DG, and as some have indicated make sure you can shoot it accurately. Just pick your ammo to match your DG you intend to go after.
 

Brian G

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Actually it was a typo, Your post said .330 Win Mag and I assumed .338 mag. .300 mag would be better although from a taxidermist point of view smaller is better when shooting steenbok and such and is plenty on the bigger stuff too.

Damn Typo!
 

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I am surprised you guys have had a lot of damage from the Barnes. I have shot them excusively for years and I push mine hard enough I would have thought I was experiencing as much damage as they are capable of, which is always minimal. Hide damage tiny in, and slightly bigger out with plenty of carnage in between. I could understand damage on the little guys if contacting large bone, but that can be said of any bullet.
 

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