as i reload, my choice would be a 300 wby. you can load from a 30 carbine to a tusk stopper load if needed. that is if I was limited to only a few firearms as some countries do.
Love this post especially last sentence all very trueHello gatekeeper,
As you mentioned "particularly given the shorter distances", directly equates to the .30-06 being a very fine antelope, zebra and piggy caliber.
If however, you are one of these 500 yard guys, the .300 then shows a definite advantage.
I've used both the .30-06 and a .300 H&H in Africa, with nothing but perfect results.
My recommendation is to avoid light for caliber bullets, especially at dreaded magnum velocities.
Likewise, my recommendation is to use at least 180 grainers as your minimum for Africa (Alaska as well), in either cartridge.
I've shot many critters with 220 grain round nose bullets in the Limpopo District of South Africa and here in Alaska as well, from the .30-06.
It is amazing to me how many people do not use that combination.
It is extremely effective (especially on large animals like wildebeest, zebra, waterbuck, moose, bear and such) but yet does not splatter edible meat all over the bush like lighter bullets often do.
Last but not least, if you decide to buy yourself a bit more gun than the .30-06, just get a .375 H&H and be done with it.
Participating in this forum will cause you to want one anyway so, start saving now.
The right deal will come along when you least expect it.
Recoil is about twice that of the .30-06 so, mortal men can learn to shoot it very accurately.
Trajectory is happily so similar to the '06 so as to be impossible to tell any difference when using one or the other.
All that being said, if it were me, I'd either rent a rifle from the PH (I generally do that these days) or, I'd take that .30-06 to Africa and save my .300 magnum money to pay for something like a kudu permit.
You can shop for a .375 after your Taxidermy bill is paid off hahahaha.
The 30-06 is a more versatile round and will be easier to shoot for a wider variety of shooters. No argument there.
Having said that, you can't argue with results, and the 300 mags ALWAYS give great results. ANY guide on an elk hunt or African safari will be absolutely 100% happy when their client shows up with a 300 mag and can put bullets where they need to be. Any rifle that can sling a 180 grain projectile at 3000 fps is going to deliver more energy to the target and shoot flatter than a 30-06.
So while the 30-06 has versatility and comfort on its side, the 300 mags have physics on their side.
I've owned two 300wm and now have a 30-06. I've found all animals have died just as dead out to 550m with the 06
I think people get caught up in the technical data of energy and velocity. In real world i haven't noticed any difference.
100% agree on those comments regarding practicing at distance.I use 300 yards as the benchmark for a couple reasons. Most hunters do not have the skill to go beyond 300 yards, and the difference in holdover past 300 yards starts to become remarkable, even when one has the skill to make the shot, ie - the long shot is easier with a 300 WM (note that's not "easy," just "easier than").
If one isn't routinely practicing at 300+, one has no business attempting to kill an animal at that distance, either; magnum or no magnum.
I should clarify in that case i don't do holdover personally. All my shooting that requires adjustment is done by ranging and adjusting elevation. The accessibility of ballistic programs these days has in my opinion made the difference between the 06 and 300 become all but nothing.
My point is, there are times when the magnum is a better tool for the job.
I have never seen the North Fork bullets in Canada, but the photos I have seen of their performance is very impressive.I've got the .30's fairly well covered in my arsenal. With .308 Win, .30-06, .300WM and .300H&H rifles. I haven't hunted yet with the .300H&H. Only own it because I just wanted one in a pre-64 M70.
I love my .300WM. It's accurate and I've got loads in 165, 180 and 200gr projectiles. I'll never sell this rifle and look forward to hunting with it again.
But, if there's any real advantage to it, it's that it can push a 200gr bullet that much faster. This in turn stabilizes the bullet better and with that shoot it more accurately. This isn't to say it can't be done with a .30-06, just more likely to be accurate with any give 200gr bullet.
I believe with the advent of today's so called premium bullets, the differences between calibers have to an extent been muted. My personal favorite bullet is the North Fork bonded cores. It has lead up front like a traditional bullet, but is bonded to the copper jacket. Recovered bullets have all had 95% or greater weight retention.
So let's say you stick with your .30-06 and shoot a 165gr North Fork. And after a shot your bullet weighs some 157gr or more. That will be more than a 200gr Nosler Partition that will be typically more in the 100-120gr or 50-60% retention.
My overall point is that these bullets have essentially in my opinion made lesser calibers shoot more like their larger cased cousins in same bullet diameter using traditional bullets. In other words you get .300WM performance using traditional bullets from a .30-06 using high weight retention bullets.
I say this as I've witnessed my younger son take a zebra with one shot from his 7x57 using a 140gr North Fork on a frontal quartering shot. I've witnessed my older son take an eland with his .308Win using 165gr NF's. My wife shot a number of animals with her .30-06 using the same 165gr NF's. All of hers that were shot well resulted in animals dropping on the spot. So if the goal is to keep recoil down, stick with your .30-06 and use 165gr North Fork bonded cores, Swift A-Frames, Peregrine Plains Masters or Barnes TTSX.
If you're not a hand loader, you'll not find factory offerings in North Fork or Peregrines. If you don't find factory in the A-Frames or Barnes that shoot accurately, then take some of the money you saved on not buying a new rifle/scope and have one of the custom ammo loaders develop a load for you. I think you'll be happy with that money spent.
Nice collection of trophies you got yourself.Here could be another 2Cents on the subject. I was new to this forum in 2014 a year before my first SA trip. I went to the SCI convention in Vegas. I won a great hunt at an auction for 6 plains game animals.
I could not make up my mind on which rifle how to get it there which ammo ugg spoke to everyone I could that had traveled and hunted there. After long dicussions and looking around the internet world including the PH I decided on taking my Cooper Arms 30-06. A nice bolt acton and very accurate. I took all 6 animals the list goes like this : 1 zebra, 1 kudu,1 gemsbok,1 impala,1 bushbuck,1 black wildebeest. All animals taken and ranged form 85 yards to 275 yards longest shot on the Black wildebeest. All animals where 1 shot kills except the 275 yard shot at the Wildebeest which took 2 well placed shots most likely fatal and a 3rd running leg hit. Upon inspection 2 rounds entered behind the shoulder 3 inches apart and would have done the job. Drum role lol the ammuniton I took since I do not reload was the Barnes 168 Vortex Blue tipped ammo. It states on box equal to 180 gr. at a 168 gr weight. The rounds grouped well before leaving home about 1 and 1/4 inch and better a 3 shot string at 3/4". Like I said lots of research for a non reloader first time Africa hunter in Limpopo. My next trip will be with the same listed above. I know others may have better info and same stories about what they used but the 30-06 is a fantastic proven round with the correct bullet.
Best advice pick what you like don't sweat the small stuff and best of all enjoy your hunt of a lifetime.