.308 Win for SA Plains Game

My 308 blew through a grizzly. Not huge but the exit hole meant there was power to spare. A friend shot one through a moose with good results. I think especially with your recoil issues I'd feel safer with a suppressored 308.
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I shoot a 30.06 (180 gr usually) and when it comes down to it, it is just a .308 with an "extended warranty". You get a little piece of mind for having 5-10% more power but you pay for it in added recoil and weight.

Your set up doesn't come close to being "under gunned" for your list at the ranges you have set. Hunt your list with confidence.
 
As for the legend of the BWB / zebra / etc... I have a theory... ;)

The animal that has adrenaline in it's bloodstream will be tougher and run further. Secondly, I believe the moment of impact is telling. If the heart has just pumped a nice dose of oxygenated blood the brain and muscles will be primed and it will have the ability to sustain that mad death dash.... or maybe it's a case of non-exploding heart shots where the heart can still pump the blood one last time to fuel the death dash.... :unsure:Just a theory.

To me, it is a possible explanation why two identical animals seem so different when shot in the same way.

Sorry OP. hope I haven't hijacked your thread.
 
If the heart has just pumped a nice dose of oxygenated blood the brain and muscles will be primed and it will have the ability to sustain that mad death dash.... or maybe it's a case of non-exploding heart shots where the heart can still pump the blood one last time to fuel the death dash.... :unsure:Just a theory.
In that case, I think the Blue Wildebeest's heart must be pumping at 300bpm. :giggle:
 
Bill J H welcome aboard a great informative forum, you are good to go with your .308 setup, as suggested practice shooting off sticks. Good luck and look forward to reading your write up. Enjoy
 
The .308 Win is an extremely popular freezer filler here in South Africa.
With the 165gr A/Bonds or Scirocco's, your 30-06 Lite will flatten all the species you're after out to 350 yards.

As mentioned, practice shooting off sticks and post photos of your trophies.
 
Your 308 is a perfect low recoil plains game getter. I am taking my 308 and a 375HH on a run to SA this year and back again in 2025 for some more fun. The only two animals on your list that I am using the 375 on is the Zebra and the Wildebeest but I would not hesitate to down them with the 308 as well. In fact on light skinned game like deer/Impala/etc, I think the 308 or 30-06 is more effective using good soft points than the 375 using heavy bonded softs like the TB Bearclaw or the AF's. Why? Those tough bullets were made to smash thru bone and muscle and to penetrate deep. They expand slower than some of the smaller, faster rounds. They are made to go deep thru larger animals. On lighter game they often expand so slowly that they sometimes just drill thru and make a small hole.

One caution: At least in my case, I was advised to use 180g bonded bullets or Barnes TSX in the 308. Both are longer than the more usual 150 or 165g slugs more common for 308's. I found that some (most) of the 180g bullets did not stabilize well in my early 60's vintage Browning 308. A-frame 180's shot great at 100y but by 200y they were going unstable and the groups opened up too much to suit me. The Barnes 180's did not shoot well at all but the Barnes 165g shot passably well. My older rifle is a 1:12 twist and it simply will not stabilize many of the 180g bullets. Here is what I ended up settling on for this hunt - The 180g Federal Fusion shoots great in my rifle out to 300y. It is a bonded core 180g bullet and is printing 3" groups off sticks at 200y and about 4-5" at 300y and much better off a more solid rest. It penetrates about 28" of ballistic gel which is enough and gel is usually tougher than flesh. I figure if I can hit a pie plate sized tgt off sticks I should be good. I am limiting my shots to 300y but prefer to keep them inside 200y most of the time. More game has been taken in Africa with the 308 and 30-06 than any other cartridge. You are good to go.

The Fusion is not as high quality as a Swift or Barnes in my opinion but for any hunting situation a well placed bullet is far better than a poorly placed premium bullet. To hunt well we need both the confidence and the performance to place our shots well. Exciting field conditions mess with us enough without using ammo that does not shoot well. I am not reloading for this trip so, was limited to factory loads. But, the factory loads of today (at least the good ones) shoot far better than the loads from 30yrs ago. Now my 375 likes the big A-Frames and the Barnes bullets so we're are GTG on it.

I spoke to Bill at Swift about the A-Frames. I know I could go lighter/faster and likely get it to stabilize fine, but he said to consider the Scirocco for plains game or North American game. I just have not had time to try them yet.
 
JG26... There is absolutely nothing wrong with Federal Fusion bullets for plains game.
I've used them in factory ammo to drop everything from warthog to blue wildebeest in my 6.5 Swede.
If they were more readily available for reloading, I'd happily use them for all my plains game hunting.

I'm a firm believer in 165/168gr lead core bullets for the .308, but if you're getting acceptable accuracy with 180's, go for it. A 150gr Barnes TTSX is another good plains game choice for the .308.
 
Some gun nuts make the rifle and ballistic part of a hunting trip into something spicy, like a good starter to a fantastic main meal.
Others have a palate cleansing plain old Sorbet before the main.

This is the .308, Vanilla.

It will work without any mess or fuss.
 
Some gun nuts make the rifle and ballistic part of a hunting trip into something spicy, like a good starter to a fantastic main meal.
Others have a palate cleansing plain old Sorbet before the main.

This is the .308, Vanilla.

It will work without any mess or fuss.
Well said Shark.
 
For North American large game such as deer, antelope, even elk, I prefer the 270 over the 308 or the 30-06, just because of its flat ballistics, and good sectional density for a given weight. I have never had a game animal walk away from a solid hit from a 270 and even in the case of a very poorly placed shot, it did the job anyway. It is just a great all rounder. I do however understand the issue with African plains game having different physiology with the vitals positioned more forward and lower between the front legs thus requiring a bullet that can smash thru bone and flesh to get to the vitals. So, bigger, heavier and better sectional density for deeper penetration is all more important than it might be on most NA large game. That is why my 270 stays home for this trip. Still, I am a firm believer that shot placement is far more important than the rifle or cartridge used as long as it meets the prerequisite of providing enough penetration for the job at hand. The old adage says, "Use enough gun". So true and if in doubt I say a little too much gun is better than a little too less gun, every time.
 
Bill, a .308 win worked great on plains game in my SA Safari. You will be fine with your choice of a .308. Have a great time.
 
308 win is just fine. My PH carried that in his truck. He had a very nice Sauer rifle in 308.

Shot placement and a good ammo is everything. I recommend something like a Barnes TSX/TTSX. If you put it right where they tell you with Barnes, nothing goes that far.
 

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