Best Classic Plains Game and Cat Caliber Advise

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Stalker91, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    I am currently in the build of a pair of bolt action rifles, these rifles main purpose are Africa, I've got a double already and plenty of plastic rifles for common everyday abusive hunts in crappy weather and conditions. Now is time for the nice ones to joint the family!!

    One of the rifles (the DG rifle of the pair) is being chambered in 404J on a Mauser 98 action, I have already got this and the barrel and stock chosen, so its well on its way.

    So my question to all of you is what do you think would be the best PG and leopard caliber, remember only traditional African calibers please. I am very much swayed to the 318wr but am not sold yet.

    What is every ones thoughts??
     

  2. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    333 Jeff
    318 WR
     
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  3. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    9.3 x 62. Game tested and proven for over 100 years.
     

  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    .300 Win Mag - or if you want to be a traditionalist a .300 H&H. Both give you reach and plenty of penetration with a quality bullet. Both work perfectly on leopard. The 9.3 is a great cartridge as well, but more than needed on the PG (not that it doesn't work well - but so does a .375). There are parts of Namibia and South Africa where your game animal may be on the next ridge. The extra few yards of point blank range offered by a fast thirty can be a Godsend. My personal favorite pure PG (and leopard) caliber is the .338 Win Mag. However, a fast thirty is probably a more broadly useful choice. I just happen to love and trust my .338. I would also bet 2/3's of the loaner PH PG rifles in southern Africa are .300 Win Mag.

    @IvW can be a bit of a contrarian - even bomb thrower. :whistle: I have two .318 WR's. Wonderful caliber within its limitations - the main one being range. It fires a 250 gr round nose fairly sedately. That speed, bullet weight, and trajectory is lethal inside 200 meters. The Hartman Zebra stallion of your dreams may be at 325 when you finally get a shot. Also the Woodleigh 250 is a pretty tough bullet and would almost act like a solid on a leopard. But like the Jeff and my Win Mag all the .33's (the .318 is actually a .33 by American measurements) punch lethal holes right through most PG.
     
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  5. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I must agree-real good advise given here.
     
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  6. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    My proposition: 7 x 57 and 9,3 x62.
     

  7. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Depending on where you are hunting, there may be a minimum caliber/energy requirement.
    Leopard is considered "Dangerous Game".
    You should contact your outfitter or agent to inquire about this.
    We don't want you to go to the trouble and expense of buying/building a rifle you can't use for Mr Spots.

    Although, you could use the 404J on the cat and take whatever caliber you want for PG.

    My vote would be for a 375H&H, which would meet the minimum legal requirements for DG and is versatile enough for long shots.
     

  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    :);) I have never been able to resist pulling the occasional pin myself.
     

  9. Jaws

    Jaws AH Senior Member

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    300H&H gets my vote for PG.

    27 odd years ago we joined on a cull hunt with a German fellow called Robert in Namibia, a remarkable old timer, he owned a single, working rifle in 300H&H.
    Taking springbuck & Gemsbuck in the Kalahari dunes, mostly at crazy ranges sometimes on the run, shot for shot DRT. It was a pleasure to see this man in action with a rifle he truly understood.

    My favorite of the .300 calibers.
     
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  10. Lowry smith

    Lowry smith New Member

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    35 whelen is a old round with some history
     

  11. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    Thank you for your advise so far all of you. I already have a .300 win mag and love the caliber, in fact its my favourite. But I am strictly after traditional caliber suggestions for a traditional rifle build. I have hunted most animals in southern Africa now so am not looking for the most practical rifle if you know what I mean i.e. got to shoot 350m with it. I'm just after a good all round traditional caliber that would also be man enough to take a leopard in Namibia, as its one animal I'm yet to go after, which also correct me if I'm wrong only has to be pushing 2000ft/ps?? which most 7mm/.300+ calibers do easily. I've already got the .404J bolt being built and a .500ne double, I've also got a .308 and .300wm in Sauer 404 for deer stalking and hunting in the rougher areas of the world. I think I've narrowed the caliber selection down to .275Rigby .300H&H 318WR but I'm not sold 100% on any of them yet. Any more experience or advise would be gratefully received!!
     

  12. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    the 416 might do both jobs with different bullet wts.
    bruce.
     

  13. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the thought but I'm not after a one caliber does all and if I did I would just keep my .375. If I'm honest I'm not a fan of the .416 I think its kicks unnecessarily for what it is. I would rather shoot my .500 double all day long
     

  14. cmk

    cmk AH Veteran

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    As Red Leg hints at, bullet selection/availability should probably be factored in.

    While I do like the the idea of the 318WR or the 333 Jeffery, there are very few options when it comes to bullets. Woodleigh (of course), maybe Hawk(?). In 30 or 7mm there are a ton of different weights and shapes for different applications.

    Would actually be interesting to have a list of bullet manufacturers for the odd calibres.
     

  15. Stalker91

    Stalker91 AH Senior Member

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    I know that bullets for these calibers aren't the easiest to get my hands on but I would set up for loading so its not to bad.

    Also Kynoch make a small selection of bullets for all of these calibers and I can get them very easily, so for me ammunition doesn't seem to be a problem at this moment in time.
     

  16. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    416 kicks and 404 does not.
    and you reload.
    bruce.
     

  17. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Not on a std 98 action....
     

  18. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    Another (big) upvote for the 300H&H.

    If you really are not concerned with covering you bases for longer shots, the 7x57 is another African classic. And you can stretch its legs a little with a lighter bullet. I would rather have the H&H for longer shots at the bigger PG (eland, gemsbok, blue WB) than getting into marginal territory with say a 140grainer out of the x57. But a 140gr mono will work if you do your part.

    The 9.3x62 is too close to your Jeff in my view and the 318 and 333, as traditional as they may be, are really bush calibres and far from ideal for plains use. My 2c! You can make them work, it just needs a bit more ranging/compensating on taking the shot.
     

  19. cmk

    cmk AH Veteran

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    I believe that Kynoch load their cartridges (exclusively?) with Woodleigh bullets. So that does not add to variety all that much.

    Woodleigh offers only 250gr (soft and FMJ) for the 318WR. For 333 Jeffery, there are 250 and 300 grain softs, and a 300 grain FMJ.

    I seem to remember that Prvi Partizan (PPU) also make a .330 bullet in just over 200 grain. Though it is probably intended for the 8×56R cartridge, so the bullet might be a bit soft at 318WR velocity. Degol (Belgian bullet maker) has a similar bullet.

    Hawk offers a 200gr soft for 318WR, and 250 and 300gr softs for the 333 Jeffery.

    Not a huge selection for either calibre, and not the type of items you can expect to get on a short notice.
     

  20. Graham Hunter

    Graham Hunter AH Fanatic

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    7X57 300 H&H 9.3X62. I decided to buy and take a 9.3X62 to SA this year. I have fallen completely in love with this caliber. Worked wonderful and a great African Classic.
     

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