Best Classic Plains Game and Cat Caliber Advise

Hoss Delgado

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I would highly recommend a .350 Rigby Magnum firing the 225 grain bullet . I have one , a custom piece built on a ZKK602 action and it serves me really well. I would confidently use it for anything up to an eland .
Hoss
Note : Only Kynoch makes loaded ammunition in this caliber and you can only directly buy from them if you possess a UK rifle certificate. Or else , you will have to purchase the loading components from them and hand load ( which a lot of members here prefer to factory Ammunition anyway )
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Hoss Delgado

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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.
You're right about Kynoch. They only use Woodleigh. I am not good at handloading , so unfortunately l have to order all my .350 Rigby Magnum Ammunition from them. I also briefly experimented with a box of their 300 grain round nosed solid FMJ cartridges when l was trying to get better groupings from my .375 HH Magnum
 

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.300 WM for PG and leopard is my vote! But if only traditional calibers maybe .300 H&H or .275 Rigby
 

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Here's a suggestion for a true classic African hunting cartridge that gets no attention from English speaking countries. 7x64 Brenneke. Has been used in Africa for 100 years, can do anything the 7x57 does and offers more range and punch. A strictly sporting round with no military history. Suitable for light, trim rifles and has a flat trajectory, and mild recoil, pairs well with the .404 for versatility. Perfectly suitable for Leopard ( from what I read ) The 7x64 is well known and respected in Namibia and there is a wide selection of good factory loads.
 

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I will be taking one in June 2020.
Here's a suggestion for a true classic African hunting cartridge that gets no attention from English speaking countries. 7x64 Brenneke. Has been used in Africa for 100 years, can do anything the 7x57 does and offers more range and punch. A strictly sporting round with no military history. Suitable for light, trim rifles and has a flat trajectory, and mild recoil, pairs well with the .404 for versatility. Perfectly suitable for Leopard ( from what I read ) The 7x64 is well known and respected in Namibia and there is a wide selection of good factory loads.
 

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@Longwalker I'm going to do some research in to this caliber as I've never had the pleasure it before. I'm still very undecided I think I would like to be able to load a 180gr on PG and maybe a 220gr on the leopard but I'm very versatile as long as it has the energy to do the job once the bullet is in the correct place
 

Red Leg

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Here's a suggestion for a true classic African hunting cartridge that gets no attention from English speaking countries. 7x64 Brenneke. Has been used in Africa for 100 years, can do anything the 7x57 does and offers more range and punch. A strictly sporting round with no military history. Suitable for light, trim rifles and has a flat trajectory, and mild recoil, pairs well with the .404 for versatility. Perfectly suitable for Leopard ( from what I read ) The 7x64 is well known and respected in Namibia and there is a wide selection of good factory loads.
Great caliber - I own a couple (and a couple of 7x65R's). However, essentially duplicated by the .280 Remington. And neither is that much a step up in practical terms over the 7x57/.275. Not much new under the sun out there.
 

Red Leg

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@Longwalker I'm going to do some research in to this caliber as I've never had the pleasure it before. I'm still very undecided I think I would like to be able to load a 180gr on PG and maybe a 220gr on the leopard but I'm very versatile as long as it has the energy to do the job once the bullet is in the correct place
You do not want a Heavier bullet on leopard. A really big one is a smallish whitetail buck in weight and cat's structure. Quick opening in the lung heart area rather than a 7mm entrance wound and 7.2mm exit with a heavy bullet. 154 or 168 would be my choice as an all purpose 7mm PG bullet with a leopard thrown in.

The .300 H&H (or Win Mag), on the other hand, with a 180 gr premium load will handle everything with perfect balance.
 
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Red Leg

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I would highly recommend a .350 Rigby Magnum firing the 225 grain bullet . I have one , a custom piece built on a ZKK602 action and it serves me really well. I would confidently use it for anything up to an eland .
Hoss
Note : Only Kynoch makes loaded ammunition in this caliber and you can only directly buy from them if you possess a UK rifle certificate. Or else , you will have to purchase the loading components from them and hand load ( which a lot of members here prefer to factory Ammunition anyway )View attachment 295216
Unless you are really into reloading arcane calibers neither the .350 or .318 makes a lot of sense. And as I noted, I own two .318's and have used them a bit. I do not reload, and my carefully hoarded supply of .318 solids and softs are probably enough to see me through. And whatever goes for the .318 goes double for the .350.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Unless you are really into reloading arcane calibers neither the .350 or .318 makes a lot of sense. And as I noted, I own two .318's and have used them a bit. I do not reload, and my carefully hoarded supply of .318 solids and softs are probably enough to see me through. And whatever goes for the .318 goes double for the .350.
Then , l would recommend the old American classic , .30-06
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

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Great caliber - I own a couple (and a couple of 7x65R's). However, essentially duplicated by the .280 Remington. And neither is that much a step up in practical terms over the 7x57/.275. Not much new under the sun out there.
I agree with Red Leg.
 

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@Longwalker I'm going to do some research in to this caliber as I've never had the pleasure it before. I'm still very undecided I think I would like to be able to load a 180gr on PG and maybe a 220gr on the leopard but I'm very versatile as long as it has the energy to do the job once the bullet is in the correct place
While doing your research it may be helpful to read some of Finn Aagaard's writings on the 7x64. It was his primary "light" rifle choice for many years as a PH and he held the cartridge in high regard. He took many leopards, and all the plains game species with it. As did many other hunters, but Finn wrote about it. You won't need a bullet heaver than 175-176 grains for hoofed game. And if I was using a 7x64 for leopard, I'd choose a faster 160 gr Nosler partition or RWS H-mantel or similar quick opening bullet that has a rear portion that hangs together to penetrate deeply. It is my understanding that leopards are particularly susceptible to shock from a fast bullet, and so faster ( within reason) is more suitable than heavier bullets for them. Someone with real experience and not book learning please correct my presumption if that is not correct. For what it's worth, I took the heaviest elk I've ever shot (bigger than a typical Oryx or Kudu I suppose) with a 7x64 and 160 gr. RWS Ideal Classic bullet.
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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.
Jaws
I agree with your choice I would go the 300 H&H.
Cheers mate Bob
 

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Here's a suggestion for a true classic African hunting cartridge that gets no attention from English speaking countries. 7x64 Brenneke. Has been used in Africa for 100 years, can do anything the 7x57 does and offers more range and punch. A strictly sporting round with no military history. Suitable for light, trim rifles and has a flat trajectory, and mild recoil, pairs well with the .404 for versatility. Perfectly suitable for Leopard ( from what I read ) The 7x64 is well known and respected in Namibia and there is a wide selection of good factory loads.

Great caliber - I own a couple (and a couple of 7x65R's). However, essentially duplicated by the .280 Remington. And neither is that much a step up in practical terms over the 7x57/.275. Not much new under the sun out there.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but 7x64, 7x65, .275 Rigby, 7mm RM, and .280 rem are all basically the same +/- a few hundred FPS depending on how loaded. All work well but need a well made bullet, fairly heavy to stay together
 

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I vote for the 7x57 or 7x64 with a 140 grain bonded bullet. Leopard are small.
 

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.300 Win Mag is your easy answer. It is ideal for most PG and leopard and a great all around caliber. Some of the calibers mentioned will not have the range of the Win Mag and you are after a really good PG gun so please keep that in mind. Most people underestimate the distances in hunting PG. They hear reports of some who had them all within 150yd. Well I can tell you from much experience if you really want to be prepared for Africa you should be able to easily make a 300yd shot.
Best of luck with the builds!
Philip
 

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You do not want a Heavier bullet on leopard. A really big one is a smallish whitetail buck in weight and cat's structure. Quick opening in the lung heart area rather than a 7mm entrance wound and 7.2mm exit with a heavy bullet. 154 or 168 would be my choice as an all purpose 7mm PG bullet with a leopard thrown in.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

Precision is more important here than thump, and that's probably easier to achieve in one of the 7mm or 30 cals than anything else.

It is assumed you'll be in a blind, maybe 50-100 yards, with a clear LOS, from bait. A rifle in a caliber that I can consistently shoot a 5-shot, single ragged hole from 100 yards would be my choice. Put it through the lungs and the pumper, you shouldn't have much of a tracking job to do.
 

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