308 Win or 9.3x62 Mauser for Plains Game Hunt

Shootist43

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Fastrig, on another AH thread Phillip Glass is looking into getting custom barrels for his Blazer R8. One of the guys asked if the custom barrel maker Phil is working with makes 404 Jeffery barrels. Phil said he would ask. You might want to keep an eye out for his reply.
 

Fastrig

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My .404 is a beautiful thing - and it is supremely accurate.


It is also, compared to my Blaser, a beast to carry around. As noted above, I prefer having a single rifle along that will handle any and all comers. A .404 will do that within limitations, but such a rifle should also be fun to carry - all day, every day for miles and miles. My R8 in .375 with sporter weight barrel, classic sporter stock, full magazine and scope barely exceeds nine pounds. It is like carrying a 30-06. And because of its amazing ergonomics, recoil is a non-issue. Like all R8's, it breaks down into a very small package for easy international travel.


I have a professional stock that fits it for bad weather destinations. It works out to just shy of ten pounds wearing the molded package. I'll be on the Kamchatka in April in the snow for brown bear with it wearing that livery.

If you want a .404, then by all means get one. Heck, I also have a .470 and 500/416 Krieghoff. But the more I do this, the more simplifying logistics appeals to me. And the transition from something like your .308 to a scoped .375 is simplicity itself - tending to insure your first shot at a dangerous game animal is exactly where you want to stick it.

Thanks again!! I don't like carrying around a really heavy rifle in the field either, don't want to fight terrain AND my rifle. My Mauser fully loaded up is on par with your R8 weight wise and it's a dream to carry. Think I'll reconsider the 404J and look more at one of the Blaser R8 Success models in 375 H&H. Like the idea of having the extra synthetic stalk for places like Alaska. Really appreciate your insights as it's going to be a chunk of coin for this next rifle and I'm only planning on having one big bore rifle so want to get it just the right one.
 

Fastrig

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Fastrig, on another AH thread Phillip Glass is looking into getting custom barrels for his Blazer R8. One of the guys asked if the custom barrel maker Phil is working with makes 404 Jeffery barrels. Phil said he would ask. You might want to keep an eye out for his reply.

Thank you very much. I sent an email to a dealer to see if Blaser would do a custom chambering in 404J, haven't gotten an answer back yet.
 

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So...how is this panning out? Any news yet?
I agree with Red Leg on his comments, especially about 2 rifles and if one is a 9.3 and the other .308 with 180gr bullets. No real advantage to the 308 so just take the 9.3. 300Wm, 375H&H and 404 Jeff are a bite different but in any case I'd then pick one of 9.3/.357/.404 AND the .300 for a tw rifle battery or just the .300 with 180gr bullets (in .300 WM the do make sense) and be down to one rifle that can shoot close or far without much thinking about hold-overs.
 

Fastrig

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So...how is this panning out? Any news yet?
I agree with Red Leg on his comments, especially about 2 rifles and if one is a 9.3 and the other .308 with 180gr bullets. No real advantage to the 308 so just take the 9.3. 300Wm, 375H&H and 404 Jeff are a bite different but in any case I'd then pick one of 9.3/.357/.404 AND the .300 for a tw rifle battery or just the .300 with 180gr bullets (in .300 WM the do make sense) and be down to one rifle that can shoot close or far without much thinking about hold-overs.

Taking the 9.3x62 Mauser M12 Max and calling it a day.....has quickly become my favorite rifle.
 

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On a PG hunt the last thing you need to do is worry about two different weights of bullets. Like the rifle scenario above, you will be guaranteed to have the wrong magazine in the rifle at the wrong time. If you want to empress your PH, get an accurate shot off quickly - don't fiddle around with ammo. And unless you are going on a PG hunt in Zim, the Caprivi or Mozambique you are very unlikely to be dodging bigger critters. In most PG scenarios, your PH will likely be carrying nothing more lethal than shooting sticks when he leaves the truck. Just saying. Besides, if your 9.3 likes the classic .286 you are fine for anything you will encounter even in a DG area anyway.
Right. I was in Eastern Cape for PG, no lions, elephants, etc. where we hunted, but buffalo were there. Going after Wildebeast, walking in the field with bush to one side, suddenly a herd of 20 buffalo sensed us, and stampeded toward us...well they probably smelled my buddy way in the back or something, otherwise why toward us right? In any case, tracker unarmed, PH unarmed, all running back at breakneck speed, my buddy way, way back and there I am alone with a 9.3, nowhere to hide or climb and 20 buff rushing. Luckily they rushed across my path about 50m (felt like 20) ahead of me from one side to the other and kept going. I have to admit that even then, knowing it would have made no difference, I wished for .458 Lott or bigger, rather than the puny 9.3. :D
 

Fastrig

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Right. I was in Eastern Cape for PG, no lions, elephants, etc. where we hunted, but buffalo were there. Going after Wildebeast, walking in the field with bush to one side, suddenly a herd of 20 buffalo sensed us, and stampeded toward us...well they probably smelled my buddy way in the back or something, otherwise why toward us right? In any case, tracker unarmed, PH unarmed, all running back at breakneck speed, my buddy way, way back and there I am alone with a 9.3 and 20 buff rushing. Luckily they rushed across my path about 50m (felt like 20) ahead of me from one side to the other and kept going. I have to admit that even then knowing it would make no difference. I wished for .458 Lott or bigger, rather than the puny 9.3. :D

Think I would have preferred a 50 cal machine gun in that situation :)
 

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This is the 50 cal I'd want for that scene

 
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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.....
Fastrig
My son took all his PG with a 308 loaded it with 150gn accubonds including a big Hartman zebra and Oryx.
I used a 35 Whelen loaded with 225grain accubonds and woodleigh projectiles.
Every thing hit with them stayed hit no tracking.
Depending where you shoot your PH will get you in less than 200 yards
Either on will get the job done. How's the recoil in that light 9.3.
Cheers mate Bob
20200125_105551.jpg
Hartman zebra with the Whelen
20191031_214413.jpg
son's gemsbuck/ Oryx with 308
 
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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.
Eric Anderson
The 08 does let the side down with heavy bullets compared to the 06 but it will handle everything shy of eland with a bonded bullet like the accubonds or woodleigh. Give it a north forks, Sirroco Aframe or Barnes and it will handle eland. I wouldn't use it on giraffe.
You don't need the long range ability of the 6.5 as most shots are well less than 200yards.
A lot of people don't like the 08 and I was one of them but after seeing what my 15 year old son did and does I changed my mind.
My personal favorite is the 35 Whelen with 225 or 250 grain projectiles but in hid sight the 08 would have been fine for my black wildebeest at 180 yards. I just like putting big holes in things to make sure
Cheers mate Bob.
 
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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/
Fastrig
I to had my 35Whelen built for Namibia. If I was you I would stick with 1 good load, saves remembering different sight settings.
If nosler does a good 250 or 286 accubond I would just load that. The 250 grain would be fine to 300+ yards. If you can get Woodleigh projectiles they are excellent as well.
Cheers mate Bob
 
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If I ever go on a plains game safari, personally I plan to take two rifles. One 9.3X62mm Zastava M70 with 22" barrel and 1.5-5X20mm scope (came with the rifle) I recently acquired with the scond rifle choice either a .270 Winchester 20" barrel Mannlicher style Whitworth Interarms Mark X or a custom 7X57mm custom Mannlicher style rifle built around a FN Mauser action. I plan on using a Sig Sauer 2-7X33 mm scope with whichever second rifle I decide on.

The biggest change for me will be shooting off sticks vs offhand with a sling which is how I learned to shoot rifle back in my Jr. High days in the NRA Youth program. Using sticks will be a completely different method for me and I'll need months of practice with that method if that's required. Shooting off a bench is different enough to throw me a bit, and especially as rifle recoil increases as using my non-dominant hand to snug the rifle into my body leaving my dominant hand to concentrate on trigger pull is what I've done for over 4 decades, rightly or wrongly.
Mr Zorg
I applaud your choice of weapons but that 270 with a short barrel would bark like a bitch.
I taught my son to shoot off sticks using a 22lr to start with. A lot cheaper. Use reactive targets of various sizes at various distances. You can easily and cheaply do a 200 round session and your skills will be acquired very quickly. After a couple of months he could regularly hit a 6 inch gong off sticks at 200yads.
Just my 2 cents worth.
20191101_150700.jpg

My son with his mother and his impala taken at 200 yards off sticks
 

Major Khan

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My personal experience with both the 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser calibre and the .308 Winchester calibre tells me that both are exceptional calibres ; each with a decided advantage over the other.
I doubt either will disappoint you , so it will largely be a matter of personal preference.
The .308 Winchester has a flatter trajectory out to longer ranges ( like African plains )
The 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser utilizes a heavier bullet ( 286 grains for traditional weight bullets ) and has a flat enough trajectory . I believe the .308 Winchester will suit all your needs adequately. However , if you have 1 of those big elands on the menu , then I would highly endorse the 9.3 × 62 mm Mauser ( although the .308 Winchester will , in all probability be fine with critical shot placement . )
 

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Eric Anderson
The 08 does let the side down with heavy bullets compared to the 06 but it will handle everything shy of eland with a bonded bullet like the accubonds or woodleigh. Give it a north forks, Sirroco Aframe or Barnes and it will handle eland. I wouldn't use it on giraffe.
You don't need the long range ability of the 6.5 as most shots are well less than 200yards.
A lot of people don't like the 08 and I was one of them but after seeing what my 15 year old son did and does I changed my mind.
My personal favorite is the 35 Whelen with 225 or 250 grain projectiles but in hid sight the 08 would have been fine for my black wildebeest at 180 yards. I just like putting big holes in things to make sure
Cheers mate Bob.
I am not arguing with you because at this point we are really splitting hairs. My personal preference for a .30 cal non magnum cartridge is the 30-06 over the .308
Even though the .308 does have an accuracy advantage over the 30-06. I am not shooting at 500 yards at camp perry with a hunting rifle though. In my opinion, for my use, the versatility of the 30-06 over the .308 outweighs the slight accuracy advantage of the .308 s the 30-06.
That is such a personnel preference though, dictated by what and how you hunt, where, what time of year, ect. I do believe there is a best answer for a person, but not for people in general.
You could also just get both, I own 3 rifles chambered in 30-06, and one in .308....
 

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