308 Win or 9.3x62 Mauser for Plains Game Hunt

Fastrig

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Have two excellent rifles, a 308 win and a 9.3x62 Mauser. Both have the exact same 3.5-10x42 Sig Sauer scope, the Mauser does have iron sights as well where the 308 doesn’t, both carry five round mags, both are very accurate, the 9.3x62 is two pounds lighter than the 308, 20” barrel on the 308 and 22” on the 9.3x62.....on a strict plains game hunt, if only taking one of the two, which do you take? I’m leaning towards the 9.3x62 but it’s more of a 200-250 yard or less gun where the 308 is good quite a bit further out than that. Trophy level ammo in each, 168 or 180 grain in the 308 and 250 grain in the 9.3x62....not sure if I should go with the punch of the 9.3x62 or the longer reach of the 308 win.....
 

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Depends on the game hunted really. Remember too that while the .308 may shoot slightly flatter, it arrives with less energy and a smaller lighter bullet. If hunting anything larger than kudu, for sure the 9.3, hands down. All plains game is not equal. Unless you are really well acquainted with your rifles, shooting much beyond 200 yards is stretching it anyway. Most good PH's will try to get you much closer.
 

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Many places in South Africa will not likely give you more than 250-300 yd shots. The Eastern Cape does allow for longer shots due to the mountain terrain. But most shots in the Northwest Province and Limpopo will be much less. I have been twice with the longest shot being 90 yards. .375 HH the first time and .404 Jeffery the second time. Once you know where you will hunt, ask your PH's opinion of the likely distances you may engage an animal.
 

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Depends on the game hunted really. Remember too that while the .308 may shoot slightly flatter, it arrives with less energy and a smaller lighter bullet. If hunting anything larger than kudu, for sure the 9.3, hands down. All plains game is not equal. Unless you are really well acquainted with your rifles, shooting much beyond 200 yards is stretching it anyway. Most good PH's will try to get you much closer.
What Ses said!
 

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fastrig,

if i was hunting impala/warthog sized stuff, 308 but...if hunting larger plains game, the 9.3 would get the nod.

the 308 is adequate for almost all plains game, i always prefer a bit more than adequate when i am hunting. regardless of which you pick, spend time practicing off of sticks have good bullets, you will do fine.
 

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Take both!

Even though I'm a 9.3 fan (and have one, and don't have a 308 Win) I would suggest that unless you're actually hunting in the bushveld, the 308 is probably the better option for general plains game. Yes the 9.3 is more classic and more fun but it may get 'old' quickly chasing springbok or black WB in the open plains unless you've really mastered the trajectory. On the other hand the 308 with 180 grainers can happily do the close range bushveld thing if it has to.

A little off the point, I don't quite get the 250gr in the 9.3? It doesn't give you a whole lot more speed (or therefore better trajectory) vs the conventional 286gr and arguably the heavier bullet packs more punch. I accept that the difference probably isn't material... If you're going the mono route, then I'd think a 230gr bullet is the way to go.
 

Fastrig

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Many places in South Africa will not likely give you more than 250-300 yd shots. The Eastern Cape does allow for longer shots due to the mountain terrain. But most shots in the Northwest Province and Limpopo will be much less. I have been twice with the longest shot being 90 yards. .375 HH the first time and .404 Jeffery the second time. Once you know where you will hunt, ask your PH's opinion of the likely distances you may engage an animal.

You have my dream gun, 404 Jeffrey.... hunting the Eastern Cape.
 

Fastrig

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1. Which one do you shoot the best?
2. Ask your PH.

How about a pelican double gun case for approx $200 and problem solved, bring both! It seems no more complicated to bring two guns.

Out to 200 I shoot both equally well, out to 300 and beyond I shoot the 308 hands down better than the 9.3x62. Probably should just take both, but was thinking taking more than one would be a bigger hassle, thought taking more than one would be a hassle which is what prompted me thinking to only take one of the two.
 

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Fastrig, due to your chosen location, I agree with those that said take both. At most it may cost you a new two gun case. Pelican seems to be the preferred brand. Now on the other hand, there may be time for you to purchase a new 404 Jeffery from MRC. That trio of rifles would have you set up for your upcoming and all future African hunts. You can put more than one rifle on a 4457 and the 5Kg Weight limit on ammo is enough for both calibers.
 

Fastrig

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Take both!

Even though I'm a 9.3 fan (and have one, and don't have a 308 Win) I would suggest that unless you're actually hunting in the bushveld, the 308 is probably the better option for general plains game. Yes the 9.3 is more classic and more fun but it may get 'old' quickly chasing springbok or black WB in the open plains unless you've really mastered the trajectory. On the other hand the 308 with 180 grainers can happily do the close range bushveld thing if it has to.

A little off the point, I don't quite get the 250gr in the 9.3? It doesn't give you a whole lot more speed (or therefore better trajectory) vs the conventional 286gr and arguably the heavier bullet packs more punch. I accept that the difference probably isn't material... If you're going the mono route, then I'd think a 230gr bullet is the way to go.

LOL, okay looks like I'm taking both as it doesn't appear taking two guns is that big a hassle where I thought it would be.

The 250 grain 9.3x62 shot really well out to 250 yard in my Mauser. Not that the 232 or 286 grain shells didn't shoot well, but that 250 grain just seemed to shine and was getting the tightest groupings with it. The inexpensive PRVI soft tips in 286 grain did a really good job out to about 225, was pleasantly surprised about that.
 

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fastrig,

if i was hunting impala/warthog sized stuff, 308 but...if hunting larger plains game, the 9.3 would get the nod.

the 308 is adequate for almost all plains game, i always prefer a bit more than adequate when i am hunting. regardless of which you pick, spend time practicing off of sticks have good bullets, you will do fine.

Thanks, got a set of sticks on order so I can spend a good six months practicing with them....
 

Fastrig

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Fastrig, due to your chosen location, I agree with those that said take both. At most it may cost you a new two gun case. Pelican seems to be the preferred brand. Now on the other hand, there may be time for you to purchase a new 404 Jeffery from MRC. That trio of rifles would have you set up for your upcoming and all future African hunts. You can put more than one rifle on a 4457 and the 5Kg Weight limit on ammo is enough for both calibers.

Thank you, sounds like multiple rifles is what I should do, and will. Would love to get the 404 Jeffrey but it's going to have to wait till the second trip in 2021. If I buy another rifle right now my wife is likely to use it on me since I've bought several firearms in the last six months already and had to promise the 308 would be the last for a while....LOL
 

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Well I am a 9.3 fan so that would be my first choice. However since it is easy to take 2 rifles, you have decided on both so go and have fun.

For your new rifle problem, get the 308 fit to your wife and tell her it is her new rifle and get your 404. Let her shoot a impala and she will be hooked.
 

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Well I am a 9.3 fan so that would be my first choice. However since it is easy to take 2 rifles, you have decided on both so go and have fun.

For your new rifle problem, get the 308 fit to your wife and tell her it is her new rifle and get your 404. Let her shoot a impala and she will be hooked.
+1
 

Fastrig

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Well I am a 9.3 fan so that would be my first choice. However since it is easy to take 2 rifles, you have decided on both so go and have fun.

For your new rifle problem, get the 308 fit to your wife and tell her it is her new rifle and get your 404. Let her shoot a impala and she will be hooked.

Good Lord, I wish it was that easy....the wife is staying at a resort in Port Elizabeth to go dolphin/penguin/whale watching (yuk!) and do the "spa" thing while I'm out hunting....tried to talk her into going out for the hunt, but that went about as far as I could throw my truck and I got the wife's "Really?!" look :(
 

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Many places in South Africa will not likely give you more than 250-300 yd shots. The Eastern Cape does allow for longer shots due to the mountain terrain. But most shots in the Northwest Province and Limpopo will be much less. I have been twice with the longest shot being 90 yards. .375 HH the first time and .404 Jeffery the second time. Once you know where you will hunt, ask your PH's opinion of the likely distances you may engage an animal.

Very sound advice with regards to the rifle selection
 

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Well, I agree with what has been said. In reality a .308 with 180 gr bullet may not buy you that much in flatter trajectory over 9.3 with 285 gr bullet.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en/Our-Products/Hunting/308-Winchester/Oryx/
https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en/Our-Products/Hunting/93x62/Norma-Oryx-285-gr/

So I would take the 9.3. Wait a minute...I did. Did it give me issues at longer shots due to its ballistics? Sort of. But only because I was not overly familiar with it at the time (new to me caliber). I also think that mostly my issues were caused by the "again new to me" shooting off sticks rather than ballistics....until one of my follow up shots needed to be in the 400+ range. Luckily my friend had a 7mm Mag on hand and I used that for the long shot. Hunted Eastern Cape and all first shots were around 140-170 yards.
 

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