how much worse than a .30-06? I am thinking of an x bolt, so the weight should be around 6.5 pounds. Should I heavy it up a bit with lead in the butt? I did that with a synthetic 06 and it helped. What would ideal weight be? 8 lb?Several of the other guys will have more detailed answers and more science but I went through this same decision process a little over a year ago.
I was really concerned about the 375 recoil but heck other guys shoot much larger guns so I figured I could learn to shoot it. And I wanted one! The 375 H & H is the quintessential African caliber. You can look up the foot pounds of recoil, but the answer to the "felt" recoil is "it depends". The first 375 I came across was a synthetic stocked Browning A bolt that weighed about 6.5 pounds. That one scared me and I wanted controlled round feed (I would not argue too hard that you must have CRF, but I wanted it). The recoil from a CZ 550 with a scope and full mag is not going to feel anything like that light weight A bolt.
What I was told and now with some experience, I would concur... A 375 H & H is more of a hard push than say a 300 Win Mag which is more of a punch. The 375 does not feel as "snappy". But it is noticeably more than a 30-06. I had the same prior experience you mention, 30-06 and 12 gauge, before I bought my 375.
It does seem like it makes a difference if I shoot 300 grains vs. 270 grain bullets... I want to try the new Hornady 250 grain GMX boat tail bullets loaded with Superformance powder (when I find them). I am hopeful they will make really great all around plains game bullets with great ballistics.
Was your 338-06 a factory rifle or a Custom Build,,I'm in the middle of a 338-06 build on a savage action and wondering as I don't see a lot of offering for that cartridge fro Major manufacturesI've used the 7-08 on plains game. Was not happy with Accubond 140s. I like NPs Would use it again with NPs and shots under 200 yds on anything up to but not including zebra and eland. Just my take. The bigger stuff as mentioned needs perfect shot placement. Frankly I'm a big fan of the 30-06 w/ 180 NPs over there. Also have a 338/06 that I have used there a really like.
Did you use the 7mm-08 and how did it perform?We are going on a plains game hunt in Namibia. My wife normally shoots a Browning .243 with a small stock when hunting whitetail deer in Texas. However, she is struggling with shooting a large stock 30-06 at the gun range. We have a 7mm-08 rifle in a small (youth) stock that our sons used when they were young. We have been discussing potentially using the 7mm-08 in Namibia. We know it is a good rifle for hunting deer here in Texas but will it be capable for plains game in Africa? (kudu, zebra, wildebeest, warthog)
As always thanks for your input and help.
Did you use the 7mm-08 and how did it perform?
Since I started this thread here are the results of our decision. My wife used a Browning A-Bolt Youth Stock 7mm-08 Federal 150grain Core-Lokt bullets. We found 8 boxes of these bullets for sale at Cabelas in Allen, TX. I chose the size of bullet based on statements from some of the ballistic guys on this thread. (Thank You Ballistic Guys!) We bought this ammunition in March. I have never seen that specific combination of calibre and bullet size for sale in Cabelas ever again. In Africa, except for checking the rifle's zero my wife fired it 3 times. She killed a zebra, oryx, and a blue wildebeest. This does not make it the perfect bullet. The rifle, bullet, and shooting sticks (we brought the bog-pods she had been practicing on at home.) formed the best shooting system for her.
Well placed well constructed bullets are the best bullets. Also, if you are not hand loading then choose a calibre and bullet size that is easy to find in your nearby hunting store. By the time we got to Africa my wife had 60 rounds left. She had shot a 100 rounds in practice and we both wished she could have shot more.
The smaller stock of the rifle was also a key ingredient. Normally, my wife's deer rifle is a youth stocked 243, however, we did not feel that calibre was adequate for plains game in Namibia. So, the original plan was that I would shoot the 375 H&H and she would shoot my 30-06. We quickly determined that she was very uncomfortable with how the 30-06 rifle fit her. Fortunately, we already owned the 7mm-08. It was the "big rifle" that both my sons learned to shoot after the 22's. So you can see it was the best system for her.
Developing a Shooting System
1. Find a rifle that fits you
2. Many calibres are good for Africa
3. Make sure your ammunition is easy to find in stores. You will want to practice!
4. Practice on sticks at home and bring them with you to Africa
5. Breath in. Breathe Out. Squeeze the Trigger