.308 Win for SA Plains Game

Bill J H

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Gents;

I'm a lifelong North American game hunter; I have never hunted Africa, but I have a plains game safari booked for my son and I for May 2025. I believe I know the answer to my question, but at the risk of beating a "dead horse" (as I'm sure its been asked/answered a lot on this forum), I have a question regarding gun/bullet selection.

The game on our list includes: Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, Kudu, Warthog, and Blesbuck. We may also possibly hunt Red Hartbeest and Oryx. I don't believe my ranges would exceed 300 yds.

I hand load extensively and have a plethora of rifles. However, due to shoulder reconstruction and cervical fusions, I find that recoil gives me headaches and numbness in my fingers. Subsequently, I try to avoid unnecessary recoil.

My favorite rifle is a Ruger Hawkeye Hunter, .308 Win, 20" barrel, that I shoot with a suppressor (easier recoil and easy on the ears). It's topped with a Swaro 3x10. The rifle is a sub-MOA shooter and I can drive both 165gr Nosler Accubonds and 165gr Swift Scirocco II at 2,700 fps. My son also shoots a .308 Win (a Sauer), which drives the same bullets about 2,750 fps, with equal accuracy.

I can step up to my 30-06 Spr and move 180gr Accubonds and 180 Scirocco II bullets at 2700 fps; it is equally as accurate.

QUESTION: With your collective experience, looking at the ballistics of my .308 and the the game that I am planning on hunting, do you think the .308 is amply adequate for the game I am planning on hunting? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill
 
(y)(y):A Banana:(y)(y)
 
The 308 Win will work just fine for your
b1b454c9-88dd-4c93-abfa-def7d6d72233.jpeg
list of animals. Most shots will probably be 150 or less. Worked on this guy.
 
Yep, You're all set. Practice off the type of sticks your outfitter uses and success is just a trigger pull away.
 
Gents;

I'm a lifelong North American game hunter; I have never hunted Africa, but I have a plains game safari booked for my son and I for May 2025. I believe I know the answer to my question, but at the risk of beating a "dead horse" (as I'm sure its been asked/answered a lot on this forum), I have a question regarding gun/bullet selection.

The game on our list includes: Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, Kudu, Warthog, and Blesbuck. We may also possibly hunt Red Hartbeest and Oryx. I don't believe my ranges would exceed 300 yds.

I hand load extensively and have a plethora of rifles. However, due to shoulder reconstruction and cervical fusions, I find that recoil gives me headaches and numbness in my fingers. Subsequently, I try to avoid unnecessary recoil.

My favorite rifle is a Ruger Hawkeye Hunter, .308 Win, 20" barrel, that I shoot with a suppressor (easier recoil and easy on the ears). It's topped with a Swaro 3x10. The rifle is a sub-MOA shooter and I can drive both 165gr Nosler Accubonds and 165gr Swift Scirocco II at 2,700 fps. My son also shoots a .308 Win (a Sauer), which drives the same bullets about 2,750 fps, with equal accuracy.

I can step up to my 30-06 Spr and move 180gr Accubonds and 180 Scirocco II bullets at 2700 fps; it is equally as accurate.

QUESTION: With your collective experience, looking at the ballistics of my .308 and the the game that I am planning on hunting, do you think the .308 is amply adequate for the game I am planning on hunting? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Bill

Yes sir
 
I get confusing answers when I ask this same question .
i have a .270 running 150gr Norma oryx and a .308win running 150gr Norma oryx
people say a .308win 150gr need to be bumped to a 180gr , yet the .270 150gr oryx is ok .
imo what yall are running sounds great to me for what the game list is if you do your best part
 
I get confusing answers when I ask this same question .
i have a .270 running 150gr Norma oryx and a .308win running 150gr Norma oryx
people say a .308win 150gr need to be bumped to a 180gr , yet the .270 150gr oryx is ok .
imo what yall are running sounds great to me for what the game list is if you do your best part
Too much information and too many opinions is a problem sometimes. The question to ask yourself is would you use the cartridge and bullet for a shoulder shot (not behind the shoulder) on an elk in the US? If the answer is yes then it’s suitable for everything up to kudu in Africa. They aren’t any tougher than game in North America. The bullet just needs to go through more meat and bone to reach the vitals in Africa because the vitals are further forward.
 
Don't listen to the naysayers, those 308 loads will work quite well.

Personally I am partial to the .340 Weatherby but I also like overkill.

If you have any concerns at all just talk to your PH when you arrive. Let him know what range you are comfortable in shooting any of the animals on your list and then go out and enjoy your hunt.
 
All good to go. During the time when Rhodesia was under international sanctions starting from 1965, the .308 Winchester was an extremely popular caliber for plains game at the time since it was the standard service cartridge of the army.

I personally prefer the .30-06 Springfield.
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But the .308 Winchester is no handicap as long as bullet weights are kept to 180Gr or lower.

Just saying; but I would personally prefer a .30-06 Springfield & 220Gr bullets for the Kudu though. However, many Kudu have been successfully taken with 180Gr premium grade bullets (such as Swift A Frames or Wim Degol Stark Mantels, to name a few) fired from a .308 Winchester. So they can’t obviously all be flukes.
 
308 will be perfect with the right ammo. All the bullets passed through except for the Zebra. Bullet stopped under the skin of the other side, Zebra have elastic skin.
Screenshot_20240529_154723_Gallery.jpg
 
Too much information and too many opinions is a problem sometimes. The question to ask yourself is would you use the cartridge and bullet for a shoulder shot (not behind the shoulder) on an elk in the US? If the answer is yes then it’s suitable for everything up to kudu in Africa. They aren’t any tougher than game in North America. The bullet just needs to go through more meat and bone to reach the vitals in Africa because the vitals are further forward.
Bingo
I have a buddy that has used a .257 weatherby on everything up to Eland for 15+ safari.
and there is a huge 370 page post on rockslide about folks using a.223 with 77gr tmk’s for elk, bear moose
( imo a little bit lightweight for elk & bear , moose)
if people are using 140gr eldx 6.5mm in Africa then just about anything bigger With a bonded bullet should work better
 
The game on our list includes: Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, Kudu, Warthog, and Blesbuck. We may also possibly hunt Red Hartbeest and Oryx.
with the exception of the warthog, either my wife or I (in some cases both) have taken every animal on your list with a 308, shooting 168gr Barnes TTSX. It is more than enough for your list. (Both of our warthogs were taken with a 7x57)...
 
Works great! Bullet placement is always king, but a .308 works wonderfully.
 
Try though I may, I don't see a single thing wrong with your selection. Don't give it another thought. Provided that you place your bullets well (duh) and that you are not unfamiliar with shooting off sticks (again duh) an African guided plains-game hunt is as easy-peasy as it gets. Enjoy the anticipation and don't fret.
 
@Bill J H - First allow me to welcome you to AH.

Your cartridge of choice should have trophies in the salt with no problems. I suggest staying with the Swift Scirocco that you shoot so well or maybe taking a look at the Barnes TTSX in 165 grain if you haven't already.
 

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