Caliber for small plains game?

the biggest factor of choice of caliber is in which area of SA will you hunt,if you are in the Northern part which is thicker bush and less open terrain then your 375 will be your best choice for large and small PG

If you are in the Eastern Cape area with flatter more open areas then you can take a smaller rifle.

I hunt extensively in the Northern part of SA where the bush is thicker and seldom make shots of over 100 m and my favorite calibers for this type of bush is 375 and 9.3x62

when I hunt in the Karoo or eastern cape area my first choice is .270 win

if you are wanting to bring two rifles to SA my first choices would be :

375 and 6.5x55 your bases will be covered with these two great calibers.
Thanks for the responses guys. I will probably go .300 H&H like I originally planned. Just wasn't sure it was the best choice for the smaller animals I wanted to hunt but seems as long I have the right loads I will be fine.
you will have more meat damage with the 300 h&h than your 375h&h

we know the 300 h&h as the meat mincer.
Why does the 300 H&H damage more meat than a 375 H&H? Not understanding this. If same bullet is used and loaded to same velocities would the 300 H&H not inherently do less damage?
Why does the 300 H&H damage more meat than a 375 H&H? Not understanding this. If same bullet is used and loaded to same velocities would the 300 H&H not inherently do less damage?

300 win mag fires a 180g bullet at close to 3000 fps , 180 g is most probably what you would use

I use mostly 270g and 300g in my 375's with my 270g loaded at around 2550 fps and my 300g at 2400 fps

it is the speed of the bullet that does the meat damage and not the size of the bullet used.

remember that selecting a caliber for a hunt is a personal and controversial topic, you can ask most of the South Africans on this forum and I am convinced they will advise you to use slower bullets for the thicker bush here when hunting plains game.I am not referring to the longer flatter Karoo type of hunting where we take longer shots.
apologies I see that you are wanting to use a 300 h&h , I read the post earlier as a 300 win mag.

300 h&h downloaded with a 220g bullet is a great bush caliber.

you will have more meat damage with the 300 h&h than your 375h&h

we know the 300 h&h as the meat mincer.

once again "apologies" for my misunderstanding , although i posted 300 h&h I was referring to and was under the impression that you were asking about a 300 win mag :mad:
Baboon to impala? I'm going out on a limb here and say you definitely don't need a 300 magnum for <100 lb animals. Anything from a .223 on up would be more than adequate. A 243 would be perfect.

The real problem you run into is when hunting them you may bump into a nice wildebeest, hartebeest, gemsbok or kudu with a marginally effective rifle. Almost every farm I've seen in South Africa holds most of the more popular species side-by-side with the smaller critters.

Most professional hunters will tell you 3006 on up for game the size of wildebeest. When I showed up with my 280 Ackley improved last year they kind of looked at it like a pest rifle and insisted I use my 375 at first. But three safaris later after seeing what that thing could do with a 160 Accubond, including shooting clean through and dropping two tessabee essentially in their tracks with one bullet, they no longer have any problem at all with me using it on five or 600 pound trophies. It's since cleanly taken several in that class.

Another nice thing about it is that it shoots flatter than 3006. This came in very handy one day when an exceptional blesbok wouldn't let us get any closer than about three or 400 yards. I doubt I would've tried that shot with an '06 but a 7mm 160 gr Nosler at 2950 fps was just the ticket.

I'd say a 270 would do the same thing with 150 gr pills.
Why does the 300 H&H damage more meat than a 375 H&H? Not understanding this. If same bullet is used and loaded to same velocities would the 300 H&H not inherently do less damage?


My experience with both those cartridges, on two continents is:
The .375 diameter bullets available back in the day were usually (usually) designed for larger/heavier/tougher animals.
Furthermore, .375 diameter bullets usually were intended to impact such larger animals at H&H velocities.
Whereas most .30 bullets were usually (usually again) designed for deer/pronghorn and furthermore at .30-06 velocities.
But fired at magnum velocities, they can be real meat and cape wreckers.

Leap forward to this date in time:
Many if not most .375 bullets are made even tougher than the oldies were and some (but not most) .30 bullets are to the same extent "fortified" these days.
Today's heavy duty bullets shrink the gap in meat destruction between those two cartridges a bit but not completely, because many .30 bullets are still soft compared to most .375 bullets.

I am silly about both those cartridges for Africa, as well as for Alaska (my home) and have found that:
If you are to use either one of them on a mixed bag of larger and smaller game, either load 300 gr Hornady RNSP in your .375 and 220 gr same style in your .300, then don't try to jack up your velocity near the red line.
However, if you insist upon hot loads, just spend a few extra Rand and get the tougher bullets (I like Swift A-Frame).

Whatever the case, you can rest assured that you have two of the very best of the best hunting cartridges ever dreamed up.

Hopefully this rambling speech has made my answer as clear as mud.
My young trophy wife (age 50 something) says "you old people talk too much".

Velo Dog
I appreciate all responses. I would invest in quality bullets. I have to load 100 at least this summer in class and am about to buy a reloading press of my own. I will work up several loads and test them for accuracy and of course take the most accurate on the trip. I will probably buy a mixture of swift and hornady to see which my gun shoots better.
I still think the .275 H&H is the perfect match to the .375 H&H :)
I looked into the .275 H&H and it takes slightly different bullets than a 7mm. Only a couple companies seem to make bullets of this size and I am not sure how common it is in Africa incase I lose my ammo on the trip and need to get more. I can not find any factory ammo for sale either which is a draw back right now.
I've never seen 275h&h ammo over here although I have never specifically looked for it? Out of curiosity I'll be checking the gun shops next time I'm in town.
Maybe some of the chaps in SA could chime in if it's readily available down there.
I know not many makes bullets for it, but at least Woodleigh makes two good 2 bullets(.287") for the .275 H&H.
160 and 175 grains.
It is always possible to make a modified version where you use a 7 mm barrel(.284")instead if you want a large option for bullets.

I would not bet on they having .300 H&H everywhere either.
If you are worried about losing your ammo when going to Africa, you better build a 30-06 instead.
That you will be totally sure they will have.
I believe the cartridge in question is the 275 RIGBY, not the 275 H&H. (*there is a 275 H&H out there...but that's a whole different cartridge based on the H&H case)

Further, 275 Rigby is the 7x57.

Is 7x57 Mauser found on the shelves?
The .300 did well with the smaller game? Just don't want to ruin any of the hides as I want to have them mounted.
I ended up only shooting a Civet with the FMJ load. A 150 yd shot, .30 caliber hole in and out. On a previous hunt I borrowed a .308 Win with FMJ bullets from my PH for a Cape Grysbok. Again a .30 caliber hole in and out. Both of these animals also died where they were shot.

The FMJ bullets did not shoot to the same point as my Barnes TTSX bullets in my .300 Weatherby, and the rifle was re-zeroed before I hunted with the FMJ bullets.

I intentionally shot several small animals farther back than normal with the TSX and TTSX bullets from my .375 RUM and .300 Wby to minimize damage to the capes. This worked fine for the ones that I had shoulder mounted and for the Klipspringer that will be full mounted.
I will probably stay away from the .275 H&H just dues to ammo and bullets not being widely available at all. Will be between .270 weatherby and 300 H&H. Leaning more toward H&H though.
The place I am going is in the Limpopo province if any of you all know if that is more open land or a lot of brush to shoot through.

Turns out, I have hunted 3 times in Limpopo District.

Most of it is known as "The Lowveld" which, is classic thornbush (same as most of Sub-Saharan Africa) and there is also riverine forest, here and there.

Thornbush is very similar to the Hill Country of Texas or Napa Valley, California, before the wineries took over.

The Lowveld is also spider-webbed with small rivers, here and there.

The thick woods along the various Limpopo District river banks, remind me of The Ozarks of Northern Arkansas and Southern Missouri.

For "The Lowveld" your average shot will be about 75 yds, and a long shot will be - 150 yds.

If your PH takes you to "The Highveld", your average shot will be around 150 to 200 yds, with the odd one at about 300 to 350 yds.

The Highveld is a series of Mesas, (similar to Colorado, Arizona, N. Mexico, etc,) beginning around 7,000 ft.

Up there, they are rolling "prarrie", not much for trees but plenty of grass/rocks.

Besides excellent grassland species hunting, there is good trout fishing up there (rainbows, goldens and browns).

Velo Dog.
Is the bushveld the same as lowveld? I see I will probably be hunting bushveld. I am going to assume that is brush?

From pictures I have seen it looks like there is some brush as previously mentioned. So knowing this will the 300 h&H, 270 WBY (300 WBY) or something else be the better choice. I know many say take one rifle but I have the oppurtunity to build a second rifle for the trip so I am going to take advantage of it even if it doesn't get used I would rather have it and not need it.
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Go with the 300h&h, problem solved for calibre, great round, and it would be a nice pairing with the 375h&h
If you are happy to load up heavier rounds then go for it, my 300wm does best with the standard 220gr pmp factory loads from sa, and it is more than capable for all pg.

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