308 Win or 9.3x62 Mauser for Plains Game Hunt

Discussion in 'Up To .375' started by Fastrig, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Well sorry about that, our first trip to africa was in the eastern cape and my wife shot her first animal ever, (Impala) and was hooked, and she has shot more the last two safari's than me. Our next safari she is hunting Buffalo. The other option is to take the firing ping out of the 308 so when you buy your 404 she can only use the 308 as a club.:P Judge:
     
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  2. Milan

    Milan AH Enthusiast

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    LOL....how did the screenshots get attached. They did not show when I posted and I did not take screenshots AFAIK.
     

  3. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    dont get me wrong.. I LOVE the .308.. I have 2x of them.. and my wife has a couple... we have used them to take everything from whitetail to zebra.. and a whole lot of other stuff in between..

    but if we're talking Africa plains game exclusively.. for me at least.. the 9.3 would win every time..

    its going to shoot plenty flat for the vast majority of shot opportunities on most of the continent..

    and its got a whole lot more versatility and capability when it comes to the bigger/tougher PG...

    if something like a roan or sable is on the receiving end of the shot.. thats a whole lot of money to be betting on a round will lessor ballistics.. (although I know countless roan and sable have been taken with non magnum 30's.. I dont think anyone would argue whether the 9.3 is going to deliver better terminal performance at reasonable shot distances)..

    and if we're stepping up into the world of the big boys like giraffe and eland.. the 308 is really going to be limited.. where the 9.3 would likely be considered optimum by most PH's I know..
     
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  4. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    milan makes a good point re relative trajectories.
    set them up for +/- 3" and what is the difference?
    a good hard 250 gn bullet in the 9.3 might well come close to the 308 with 180s.
    bruce.
     

  5. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    I am going to say the 9.3 because I really hate the .308
    It gives up a lot to the 30-06 in terms of power and the ability to handle heavy bullets.
    It gives up a lot to the Swedish 6.5 and 6.5 Creedmor in terms of long range precision and wind resistance.

    It just didn’t do anything well, including being a gen purpose cartridge.

    The 9.3 at least hits a lot harder, and has acceptable ballistics. If you are hunting in an area that the 9.3 falls short ballistically, the you should skip the .308 and go to a 6.5.
     
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  6. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    or the 340 weatherby
    bruce.
     
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  7. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    I see it exactly the opposite..

    I find the 308 to be good at a lot of things.. but not great at anything..

    which makes it a wonderful general purpose cartridge.. but rarely the best single choice for anything..

    Thats why I use it so extensively.. with my little 16" barreled "shorty" 308 I can effectively hunt anything the size of a coyote up to the size of an elk out to 300 yards effectively (one of the nice things about a 308 is its efficiency in shorter length barrels).. and since I am not a "long range" hunter... and prefer to get in closer to game.. this is WAY more than satisfactory to me..

    Would a 22-250 be better for coyote? and maybe a 7mm mag be better for elk?.. depending on the circumstances.. yes..

    but the 308 will certainly get the job done on both of those animals, and everything in between at "normal" hunting distances.. with reasonably low recoil.. solid accuracy.. and excellent terminal performance with the right bullet..

    There is a reason the 308 was the cartridge of choice for snipers in the USMC and US Army for almost 40 years for shots out to 600 yards... and its not just because its a standard NATO round... when combined with a well built rifle and a decently loaded (mass produced) cartridge (lake city, federal GMM, etc) it easily will do .25 MOA or better at those distances..

    I've owned a couple of .2 - .25 MOA .308's...

    A reasonable hunting rifle in 308 will do .5 to 1 MOA all day long with a good hunting load out to several hundred yards..

    6.5 creed it is not.. nor is it a .300 win mag...

    but a solid "general purpose" rifle I think it more than qualifies to be..
     
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  8. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    250 grain 9.3x6 and 180 grain 308 rounds were the first I ran through my rifles...they loved the rounds. 250 grain gave me the best groups out to 225 with the 9.3x62 but past that it really couldn’t match the 308 with the 180 grain rounds. The 308 is very accurate as far out as I’ve been able to shoot it, 375 yards, which is about as far as i’d care to take a shot hunting. Shot the 286 and 232 grain rounds in the 9.3x62 and they did fine, but the 250 grain shined IMO. Will have to give kudos to the prvi 286 grain rounds, cheapest I could get and did pretty darn well at 200 yards.
     

  9. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    Have to agree. Really like my 308 and don’t think I’d have any problems dropping game up to an elk or kudu in size at 350 yards....past that, I'm probably not pulling the trigger anyway.
     

  10. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    I have shot allot more game with 9.3's than 308's. I took my Kudu at 310yards with a 250gr accubon at 2510fps in my 9.3x74R TC Encore back in 2013. It shoots flat enough out to 300. Have also shot on steel out to 600 with the x62 If you know the exact distance, dope the wind correctly and what the drop is for the round it is a matter of the shooter doing their part. The Black powder long range guys shoot so impressive groups at 1000 with open sights and bullets going MUCH slower than the 308 or 9.3. That being said I limit my max shots on game to 350, but prefer to stalk to under 100 and use open sights on my double.

    Like many have mentioned if you are looking at shooting the bigger plains game the 9.3 just hits much harder. Any of the animals with a properly placed shot will go down. So take with ever one you shoot best and know its limitations and make proper shots.
     

  11. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    This^^^^

    There isn't a hair's worth of difference in ballistic arc between 9.3x62 shooting 250s and 308W shooting 180s, at least not with good hunting ammo. You could get a bit flatter with ELD-X 178 or Berger VLDH 175, but I wouldn't use either one of those to hunt Africa. Some folks, might, I just wouldn't.

    Matter of fact, velocity between those two bullets is going to be the same, practically speaking: about 2500-2600 fps. 250 gr TTSX has a BC of .44. Nosler Partition 180 has a BC of .474, and Scirocco II is .52. A-Frame is in the high .3 area, IIRC; which is where most of the good 180 gr 308 bullets are - high .3s to low .4s. And unless you're hunting impala or smaller, I wouldn't use 308W past maybe 200-225, *maybe* 250. With *ideal* shooting conditions, 300-325. But how often do you get ideal shooting conditions?

    Now, if TSHTF and I have to turn to hunting 2-legged vermin, sure, 800-900 yds is certainly on the table. But other than that...
     
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  12. Fastrig

    Fastrig AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the input! I bought the 9.3x62 specifically for Africa, the 308 for deer, antelope, elk, etc in the States. My particular 308 is a precision rifle, convertible to 6.5 cred for real long range shooting, and shoots so good out to 375 with the 180 grain rounds, very little drop, figured it would work well on PG, Kudu and under. I hadn’t even considered taking it Africa until I read folks were taking shots on PG out to 300-350, where I was expecting 200 and under, which is what prompted this post/question. The 9.3x62 has been fantastic out to 225-250, past that it’s starts to drop pretty good, and I don’t care for “lobbing” shells at game if I can avoid it. When I hunt I’m normally stalking to less than 200, preferably 100 or less, before taking a shot. First time to Africa, so reading the posts here to learn as much as possible. If I don’t need to go past 250 on a shot, I’m only taking the 9.3x62. I’ll probably take quality 232, 250, and 286 grain rounds, which I can’t imagine wouldn’t cover most bases. Have four mags and planned on loading/carrying two with 250 grain rounds, one with 232’s, and one with 286’s. Haven’t shot the 232 grain rounds, but those might shoot out to 300 or so without a ton of drop.

    This article and a similar one on 30-06 vs 308 win is why I chose the 308...it’s a good all-a-rounder for hunting. Sold my 30-06 a number of years ago, another great all purpose gun.

    https://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/65-creedmoor-vs-308-winchester/
     
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  13. Milan

    Milan AH Enthusiast

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    @sgt_zim...While I like heavy for caliber rounds, I also believe in some combinations being more optimum (sometimes just by coincidence rather than by design). So, say with monolithic bullets like TSX or TTSX in .30 caliber and for longer ranges, I'd say the 150/155 gr for 308, 165/168 gr for 30-06 and 180 gr for .300 WM and push them fast. Then you have fast, hard hitting and penetrating rounds for any normal hunting distance, including the longer ranges past 300 yards. When I see people pushing 180s in 308 (in target shooting they now go over 200 gr), I know they fly well, hit hard enough but ballistically do not buy you much over heavier bullet in bigger caliber. In that case I'd prefer the bigger caliber then. And then if you go a bit lighter in bigger caliber, you still get heavier bullet but now have the flatter trajectory too. But hey, there is definitely nothing wrong with heavy bullets in any caliber. I still like 175 gr in 7x57, yet I have to admit the 139 gr SST just works and it definitely shoots flatter. The thing is there are so many variables and choices these days one can make almost anything work or have at least couple of rounds in any given caliber (slower and heavy hitting with lighter, faster, flatter shooting) for any hunt. It depends on what you plan to hunt, how and where. I also tend to stick with only 1 or two bullet weights in any given caliber as I believe in "less is more". I know I can get 110 or 125 gr bullets in .30 caliber for my 30-06 but why. If I wanted to shoot that weight of a bullet, I'd step down in caliber. So, for me at least, I try to keep it simpler and use say 270 and 300 in .375, 250 and 286 in 9.3, 180 and 200 gr in .300 WM, 165 and 180 in 30-06, 150 and 165 in 308, 139 and 162/175 in 7x57, etc., etc. And now looking at this list even that sounds like too many choices. Oh what horrible world we live in. :D :D

    Oh yeah, this is not to say there isn't that exceptional 180 gr load for .308 at all...I just kind of generalized how I look at things in order to hopefully explain where I'm coming from.
     
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  14. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Well, the one thing you give up in lighter 30 cal bullets is BC, so that even though they start off faster, generally by about 300 yards, the heavier bullet is faster. A heavier bullet with more V means more momentum. Granted, that's an edge case for most people.

    If you sight in your rifle for MPBR, what you'll discover is that almost all modern cartridges are "flat" inside of about 250-300 yards for deer/pig sized targets, irrespective of bullet weight, and so long as MV is maybe 2400-2500+. That does depend on MV and vital zone size - the bigger the vital zone/faster the MV, the further out your MPBR is going to be.
     
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  15. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Don't get me wrong - I'm a 308 fan boi, but they do have their limits. But if I could only bring one gun to Africa for large-ish antelope, I'd bring my 9.3x62 without a doubt, even though I can shoot these kinds of groups (handloads for my sons, both shooting .308 Savage 10 and 16 ). That's 4 shots in the center @100 yds, and the flier was because my shooting bench got bumped as I pulled the trigger. Not bad for "cheap" Speer Grand Slam 180s. And this is off sandbags, not a gun vice. I'm pretty patient when I work up loads and will tweak until I get this kind of precision out of my small bores.

    43.7 gr varget.jpg

    If I were going after impala and smaller, I'd bring my 308 or my 6.5x55.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2019
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  16. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    zim and others make this point.
    if b.c. is similar, and velocity is similar, trajectory (and wind deflection) will be similar.
    if you take similar bullets, say nosler accubond, this is pretty much (real world) the case with 9.3x62 vs 308.
    if the game is small, the 308 is the obvious choice, but when it gets bigger the 9.3 usurps that role.
    small game might well suit the 308 using 150 gn bullets better than the 180, shooting flatter and more suitable terminal performance.
    for long range sniper rifles, remember that the ruskies use 9.3mm with about 250 gn bullets where we use the 338 lapua.
    however sniping is not hunting, and different type rifles suit different jobs.
    sniping type rifles limit hunting options in a big way.
    bruce.
     
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  17. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    Nosler Accubond, 308W-180gr vs 9.3x62-250gr, assuming MV of 2550 fps for both, which is certainly do-able and safe for both loads.

    Courtesy of Hornady ballistics calculator
    308NAB.JPG 9.3NAB.JPG
     
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  18. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    308W on the top, 9.3 on the bottom.
    using a 200 yard zero, out to 400 yards, there's a 0.2" difference in trajectory between the 308 and the 9.3x62, with the ever-so-slight ballistic arc advantage to .308W.

    But pay attention to the difference in energy. It isn't a trivial difference.

    Not included, but the reader should note - 9.3x62 with 250 gr NAB or 250 gr TSX is just south of 338 WM in velocity, energy, and trajectory shooting the same 250 gr bullets.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
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  19. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    308 may be good for pg but what if a big bad boy shows up? I'd say take the 9.3 x 62 then you're covered for everything up to and including buf. Most of your pg shots are going to be 200 or less so your 9.3 is plenty adequate. After all, it's just a small step below 375HH. Take both 308 and 9.3. 2 is 1 and 1 is none. Always have a backup.
     
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  20. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    Between the two the 9.3 is superior especially when you get into larger/tougher plains game like zebra, wildebeest and of course eland. For eland the 375 HH or even 416 are not overkill. Forget the long range stuff, that is for testosterone youtube junk.
     

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