A simple battery for a first go at African hunting

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Nevada Mike, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. Nevada Mike

    Nevada Mike AH Senior Member

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    i am contemplating an African trip. I would like to hunt buffalo in central Namibia and gemsbok in the
    Kalahari. I would also like to take some advantage of bird shooting as available.

    My plan for the battery is:

    - 7mm RM with Leupold 2-7 scope and use 160 gun Bitteroot bonded core bullets
    - .404 Jeffery on a Mauser action with 1.5 - 5X scope and 400 grn. Woodleigh solids and softs
    - Browning Superposed 20 gauge IC/Mod.

    Am I on the right track? Am I missing something?

    Any help appreciated.
     

  2. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome aboard. Sounds like a very good firearms selection to me. My only question would be why the 20 Ga. over a 12 Ga? If you're breaking 25 out of 25 clay birds at your local club with the 20 Ga. I withdraw my question. Do you already own the 404 Jeffery? If so what led you to buy it. Just curious, I never heard of it till joining AH four years ago. BYW I now own two of them. Buy a copy of "The Perfect Shot Mini Edition for Africa II" Most African animals are constructed slightly different from our ungulates. Have fun planning your hunt. All the info you need can be found on AH.
     
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  3. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Welcome.

    404 Jeff perfect even for large pg and the best bolt for DG especially Buffalo
    300 WM for pg with a 200 gr bullet would be more versatile than the 7mm RM, especially for Namibia(I like the 300 H&H but ammo is an issue
    12ga 2 3/4 better option for Africa than 20ga.
     
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  4. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nevada Mike, in case you are unaware of it IvW is a Professional Hunter with many years of experience. I take his comments pretty much as "Gospel." I've been to Africa twice with either one or both of my sons. On both occasions one of us brought and or used a 300 Win Mag with 200 gr. Swift A Frames per IvW's recommendation. Many have taken 7mm Remington Magnum to Africa and used them successfully, but based on IvW's comments I left mine at home. Sometimes your choice of calibers is influenced by what you already own and your budget. FYI there are lots of posts re. 404 build projects look them up, you will probably find them useful. Another thought is that Montana Rifle Company is offering 404 Jeffery in their line-up for 2019 as a standard. Check this out as well, one model is already out but there are more coming.
     
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  5. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    Nevada mike
    There is nothing walking or flying you can’t handle with your battery choices. Nice list and best of luck planning
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Curious where you are planning to hunt buffalo in central Namibia? The only non "put and take" option that I know of outside the Caprivi is the Waterberg Plateau National Park. A very unique (and expensive) destination, but an opportunity to take a monstrous bull. That outfitter would have the other classic Namibian game in the same area. The Caprivi is the more typical Namibian destination for buffalo. I can speak from personal experience that it is a fabulous hunting environment for buffalo (essentially the Okavongo ecosystem), and all those outfitter’s who operate there would be prepared to combine a buffalo with plains game further south. Jamy Traut is a good person with whom to begin a dialogue. https://jamyhunts.com/ I know he hunts the Caprivi, and I believe that he has just acquired rights to the Waterberg. I can also recommend him unreservedly.

    Nothing wrong with your battery. As others have noted, a .300 class rifle for PG is theoretically a better (and more traditional) choice, but your 7mm will easily get the job done, plus give you a bit of reach for those long shots in the desert or mountains. (Not sure why, but a lot of folks will criticize the 7mm mag, and then wax poetically about the 7x57) (n) To be fair, it is not a caliber which I personally would like to use on an eland (a classic Namibian hunt) - and a quality 175 gr load would buy you a bit more penetration.

    The .404 will do the job on buffalo with ease and style.

    In Namibia, waterhole shooting for doves and sand grouse can be a fun afternoon. Your twenty would do perfectly for that sort of shoot. I shot a pile with my 12 bore Paradox shooting 1 ounce loads which is essentially a 20 load. However, due to ammunition weight restrictions, it is hard to carry enough shotgun ammunition internationally for much shooting. Particularly with two rifles along. 12 bore is much easier to locate locally.

    My only criticism is the amount of hardware. I hate bag dragging, and over the years and trips, anything more than one rifle has become one too-many. (Though I cheat a little and use a Blaser R8 or S2 - an extra set of barrels have found their way into my gun case). A .375 would allow you to more easily drop one rifle, and it may be that your outfitter has a usable shotgun. That said, and trying to be kind, shotguns belonging to PHs tend to be an indifferent lot. :whistle:

    In any case, welcome to our group and have fun planning that expedition. I have hunted Namibia four times including buffalo and leopard, so feel free to PM me with specific questions or recommendations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019

  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Welcome Nevada Mike! You’ve already received some great info! Me, I’ll confuse it a bit with my minimal experience. With a top quality bullet, your 7mm RM should do fine for gemsbok. For the open Kalahari though I would suggest a bit more scope.

    Personally I’m still a 30 caliber guy myself. That said, I have only been taking a 375 H&H for everything from duiker to Cape buffalo. Using the proper bullet for the game, it seems to be working for all...except my nemesis, jackal!

    Shotgun: A 20ga would have taken anything but ducks where I have been especially if you are hunting behind pointers or from a blind over a water hole. Depending on how long your Safari is, you may be trying to squeeze to much into one trip. You will be returning trust me!

    As Redlegs suggested, eland are tough and expensive! I would suggest you use your 404 Jef on it. JMO

    Best of luck in your decisions and have a grand adventure!
     

  8. Nevada Mike

    Nevada Mike AH Senior Member

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    Wow!

    Much helpful information offered and much appreciated. About the choices I am considering... the 7 mm RM is a rifle that I have used for many years on elk and I know how it performs. I like the 160 grn. bullets because the rifle doesn’t like 175s. I have a number of one shot kills on elk with 160 grn. Noslers and Bitteroots. I have a S&B 2-10x I could mount to replace the old (and reliable) Leupold 2-7x scope.

    The decision to go with a .404 Jeffery was made based on the research I did on availability of ammo & quality bullets, relatively low recoil, and the reputation the round has earned in Africa. And I am kind of ‘old school’.

    I could easily be talked out of taking a shotgun. I hate flying, flying with luggage is even worse!

    As for PH, Jamy Traut has been recommended to me. He has the Waterberg Park concession where, I understand, the best trophy buff are available. He also hunts the Kalahari. I would be having this conversation with him at first hand at SCI in Reno, but I picked up a nasty cold and have been avoiding public contact the past few days.

    I am very grateful for the advice you all have offered. There is nothing better than advice based on personal experience.
     
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  9. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    With that said, definitely take the 7mm!

    Agree 12 gauge much better shotgun choice, and likely mostly 2 3/4" shells available if needed. I suggest low end over under that you can shoot well and functions good as it will get scratched up. And yea, 3 gun case or just take 2 guns. If one rifle just take the 404 and shoot everything with that, or better yet a 375 H&H. Two gun cases are a big PIA. Check into borrowing the shotgun as it sounds like you really want to take those two rifles and they should serve you very well with proper bullets and that you shoot them well and trust them.

    I would mount the 2-10 and make sure you like it, perhaps take the 2-7 as a backup. And good binos. 10x42 or a real good set of 8x30 or 10x30. And a comfortable and easy to use harness or get used to the shoulder stap carry. ;)
     

  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hello Nevada Mike,

    And welcome to the best forum in the world.

    Nothing wrong with your intended battery except as Redleg and others have mentioned ..... that’s a heavy pile of equipment to lug half way around the world.
    That said, your .404 is a classic, you won’t regret using it for buffalo.
    Back in the old days, there was available a “plains game load” / 300 grain at 2600 fps.
    Since you hand load, I’d say just bring the .404 with such ammunition (Hawk makes a 300 grain .423 diameter).
    Use it for all but buffalo and eland.
    One rifle for everything.
    For those two heavy animals, I’d bring buffalo appropriate 400 grainers.
    Again, I like A-Frames but Woodleighs have a good reputation at Jeffery speeds.
    Furthermore, Woodleigh offers an excellent 450 grainer in your caliber, if you’re so inclined.
    Having to re-zero your rifle in camp for the heavier bullets will be a nuisance but doable.

    If you do bring your 7 mm Remington magnum / 160 grain, Bitteroot Bonded (I didn’t know Bitteroot was still in business) they will work just fine for most antelope / zebra / warthog.
    Being as I’m a strange old man, I’d recommend 175 grain Swift A-Frame but that’s just me.
    However, the Kalahari also has eland (exceptional bulls can sometimes approach 2,000 pounds) and the 7mm / 160 gr is a tad light for these.

    Birds?
    The outfit I work for (Khomas Highland Hunting Safaris) has shotguns, as do most all other safari companies.
    But again as Redleg said, some can be an indifferent lot.
    Khomas however offers decent shotguns, including Miroku O/U in 12 bore, (2.5” drop at the heel).
    I also agree that your 20 bore will work but carrying enough cartridges for it can put you over weight.
    The 12 is easy because cartridges for it will be waiting for you in the bush if you request them of your PH in advance.
    (Khomas Highland Safaris enjoys excellent bird hunting, including grouse, guinea fowl and Egyptian geese, among other species).

    Buffalo in the Caprivi Strip (lately called the “Zambezi Region”) is very doable.
    It’s green and wonderful there, with plentiful free roaming buffalo, no game fence.
    Use the search box to find our recent new videos on buffalo hunting in the Zambezi Region.
    For 2019, we’ve been allotted 12 Buffalo permits (plus 2 exportable bull elephant as well as two leopard).
    You mentioned gemsbok.
    Our main camp is located up in the Khomas Hochland Highlands Wildlife Conservancy and many species of game are present there, including a gemsbok migration each year.

    Sales pitch over.
    If you don’t book with us, do book with someone in Africa.
    Once you’ve hunted free range Africa, you’ll lay awake at night, planning your piggy bank strategy, just so you can go back.

    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
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  11. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    Welcome Nevada Mike. Sounds like a good battery. The 7mag should be good for all your plains game, but I would use the .404 for eland.
    As Red Leg suggested , rather than taking your shotgun, check in advance with your PH to see if he has a shotgun you can rent / borrow. Unless you have an absolute need to hunt birds, the four legged critters will give you plenty to do. And as Ridgewalker stated, you will be going back.
    I hunted PG with Jamy Traut at his Panorama camp this past July. Class guy and has a great group of PH’s working for him. I had Jamy and Emile as my PH’s, but I’ve also met two of his other PH’s and I’d be excited to hunt with any of them.
    Jamy is excited about his new Waterburg Concession. Should be great for BIG buffalo.
     
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  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good enough for me.
     
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  13. Nevada Mike

    Nevada Mike AH Senior Member

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    Excellent! You have all helped me a great deal and I now have plenty to think about.

    Paul... thanks especially for your detailed response. I would, of course, take along my Zeiss 10 X 40 glasses. I have used them on many hunts and I would feel naked without them.

    Thanks again, everyone, I will keep checking back for any additional comments.

    Mike
     
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  14. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Nevada Mike, dittos on using the 404 Jeffery on Eland. Currently they are not on your list but you never know what the "Bush" will offer. I used one on mine and he never took a step.
     
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  15. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    Your good with the 7mm and the .404. Don’t change a thing, especially as you said you have used it for years and know it well. A gun, scope and bullet that you successfully take elk with will take any plains game you want. Plus as your go to rig, no surprises or things to get used to. Bull Elk are big, tough critters and in my opinion can take a hit better than most plains game.
     

  16. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Mike your battery sounds fine to me! Have fun planning the trip.
     

  17. Dewald

    Dewald AH Veteran

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    Welcome to AH Mike.

    You are on the right track with you 7mm that is well known to you and in which you have faith. Every year i put a number of wildebeest, kudu, zebra and other large plains game in the salt with 160gr Nosler Partitions from a 7x57, and likewise for my clients, as it is one of my loaner rifles. Ditto for my other 7x57 and 175gr Woodleighs. There are no plainsgame walking around in Namibia or SA for that matter that can’t be taken with a good quality 7mm bullet. I would also recommend 175gr A-frames, but if you can’t get them to work no animal is going to question the 15gr difference.

    The .404 is perfect for your buffalo. Cant choose a better rifle if you shoot it well. I’d be interested to hear more about it - custom build, what action, etc etc.

    I’ll take a 16 or 20 every single day over a 12 for sandgrouse, but living here I have the luxury to buy my ammo, even load if there is a shortage, and cart it off to the shoot. Unless you can pre-purchase a case or three 20Ga ammo from one of the Windhoek stores and confirm they have stock, or even have your PH collect it, 12Ga definitely carries much less risk ito not getting ammunition.
     

  18. Kevin Peacocke

    Kevin Peacocke AH Member

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    Nevada Mike, why not a double, maybe a 450/400? I cant begin to add to all the technical advice you have received, but an African hunt is all about the feel, history, nostalgia, doing it justice. I recently shot my first buff with my 375H&H, it was great, make no mistake. But when i consider all of the prepping, day dreaming, visit to the outfitters and blogs, i somehow wish i had held out a little longer until a double came my way.
    There will be others, but there is only one first.
     
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  19. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Welcome Nevada Mike.
    7mm RM and 404Jeffery is very good choice but my suggestion: 9,3 x 62 and 404Jeffery.
     
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  20. Kevin Peacocke

    Kevin Peacocke AH Member

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    Just as an aside, is the 450/400 legal for buffalo in South Africa and Zimbabwe?
     

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