Caliber Pairing Help!

frog stealer

AH enthusiast
Jun 28, 2012
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Naperville, IL
Hunting reports
South Africa

I'll be going on a plains game hunt in RSA, and I'm planning on taking two rifles. At the top of my list, game wise, are Kudu and Eland. For those, I'm bringing a Win M70 in 375. Also at the top of my list for smaller species is impala, and the outfitter I've been talking to said he can off "bonus" hunts for caracal and jackels. I have the opportunity to buy a nice CZ in 7x57 for a good price. Would this be a good choice as a second rifle? Originally, I was planning on bringing a 30-06 for the smaller game, but the 7x57 is being offered at a great price. For those with experience, let me know what you think! The ballistics of the 7x57one appear to be.....lacking.
a .375 and a .7x57 would be a great pairing. the 7x57 (.275) has worked for many years and still does on african game. the next answers you get will be to do with bullet selection, as i am not too clued up on these and use what i can get i will leave that to others.:) the other thing will be people telling you, is to take your only 30-06 as it will work on all your planned animals, or only the .375 , but if you want to take 2 rifles go for it, and you will enjoy the 7x57 i promise.
Hi Frog Stealer. The .375 is a great african cartridge and will kill anything on your list. If you want a 2nd rifle then either will do. Use the .375 on the larger animals and either of the others on the smaller. In looking at some reload data you can push a 140 gr bullet to 2900 FPS. Perfect for the Impala and others. A 154 gr, which is where the 7mm shine can be pushed to 2750 FPS. Remember speed doesn't kill. It just makes it easier to by flattening out the trajectory. Most of your shots at african game are at under 250 yards. Sight the 7X57 in at 200 and your good to go to 250 w/ no elevation change in your holds.
By the way the 30-06 will work just as good. Just a little more recoil. Both have a great selection of premium bullets to use. Use what you are most comfortable with and you'll do fine. Bruce
Thanks guys for the info. While plains game hunting, is it true that you go out and look for game in a general sense? Like not targeting a specific animal? In that case, only one rifle makes sense. I was under the understanding that maybe I would have to go to a specific area for each species, and could choose which gun to bring with.
in sa i think it depends if the people you are hunting with have their own ranch as a base, in which case you will hunt the animals they have there that you have on your list, and this means you dont know what you might see/bump into. if you want something they dont have then you will go elsewhere to hunt that animal specifically .
If you want to take two rifles to Africa for PG hunts then you can not go better than a .375H&H and a .375H&H. They will work fine for all your animals.
Welcome to AH.

You mentioned "good price" twice. You know you want it. So, go buy it.

Take it along and if you happen to get "caught" bumping into something that you feel is "too big" for that caliber then you pass.
Good luck with your new rifle.
That's what I figure...maybe it makes sense to only bring a single rifle? It woukd probably be less hassle to import one instead if two...
That's what I figure...maybe it makes sense to only bring a single rifle? It woukd probably be less hassle to import one instead if two...

All the same form (add a line of info) and take a two rifle case and you'll be fine.

One well placed shot from 7x57 will be fine on your Kudu and Eland.
Optimal for Eland, maybe not, but Namibia sets 7mm as minimum for plains game.
Shoot straight with which ever combination you take.
If you want to take two rifles to Africa for PG hunts then you can not go better than a .375H&H and a .375H&H. They will work fine for all your animals.

fritz is that a typing error , a pair of .375s ? as you know you can only take one rifle per calibre into sa. frog stealer its the same for 1 rifle or 2, just the same amount of writing x2. :) and as brickburn says it sounds like you want the rifle....
.375 would be fine across the board as would the 30-06.

Normally you head out targeting a specific species as they all prefer a little different type of area but it is Africa so anything can show up at any time. I have killed Nyala, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Kudu, 3x Springbok, Vaal Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck, Black and Blue Wildebeest, Zebra, Eland, Steinbok and Blesbok while they were our target species. I have had opportunity to kill all of them incidentally as well as Nyala (hunting Blue Wildebeest), Bushbuck (hunting Warthog), Impala (hunting Gemsbok), Warthog (hunting Waterbuck), Hartebeest (hunting Steinbok), Mountain Reedbuck (hunting Vaal Rhebok), Steinbok (hunting Kudu) all of which were taken incidentaly while hunting the animal in brackets.
Well, if it's the same form...not a big deal I guess. As far as caliber, I've heard some stories online of people having long tracking times when shooting eland with smaller calibers, even when the shot is placed correctly. The only reason for the smaller caliber is for the additional range for some of the smaller buggers. But again, I'm going on what I read online. I have no actual experience in this!
Frog Stealer,

I am by no means an expert, but I just returned from my first safari for plains game. As for taking two guns, all the PH's I spoke with on my hunt saw no purpose for two guns during a plains game hunt. I personally took a Win .308 and used a 180gr hornady interbond with great success. My 10yr old son took an Impala, my 14yr old daughter took a Red Hartebeest, and I took a Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok, Nayala, Waterbuck, and Warthog. All would have died with the first shot, however, not wanting to lose an amazing trophy it took 3 shots each for the Kudu and Gemsbok. Both were hit and had front shoulders broken, but my PH didn't like an animal to suffer so it took two more to put them down (the Gemsbok had both front shoulders broken and still tried to run, so they are tough). The only trophy I lost was a huge Warthog, that I hit too far back due to trying to shoot through too much brush and the bullet hitting a branch and deflecting. It broke the back hip but didn't cause enough damage to wear him out and after tracking him for an hour we called it quits. As for taking Jackel or Caracal, they are normally hunted at night (as are Bushpigs), and you'll have to get real lucky to see one during the day. Getting the guns back into the US wasn't a problem as long as you have the documents. Just takes a little time at customs. Hope this helps.

Thanks for the info. Based on your response, I'm thinking a single rifle is probably the way to go. I already own an M70 in .375 (my only centerfire rifle), and it can be loaded up or down. I can duplicate the power of a .308, and also bring full power loads for eland. Kinda heavy, but with a sling, I don't think it would be bad.
I have a number of rifles in different calibers, all gathering dust because I don't use them anymore. All I use, for all my PG hunting, is my .375 with 250gr Sierra Gameking handloads. Simply put, it does the job. When I'm in the bush I carry some 286gr factory solids and my 250gr handloads. Long shots, over 250 meters, are rare and your'e covered for any PG you could wish for. Just keep it simple and enjoy yourself.

That's what I like to hear! I'd rather use the money saved from buying a new rifle towards another trophy fee. Do you run the Sierra's at full bore, or reduce them a bit?
I have used the pairing of a 7mm rem mag/ and 338 win mag in my blaser R8 on a hunt or 2 and been very pleased. I have used a 30-06/9.3x62 and a 308 win/9.3x62 and been pleased too. 7x57 is a great round, I have seen game the size of eland drop with a neatly placed 7-08-/ 7x57. The 140 grain and 170 grain bullets do wonders. One for ranging one for bigger stuff. Louis van Bergen uses a little musgrave on his ranch and watched him drop eland, impala, and gemsbok with no problem with the little rifle.

I would absolutely hate being on foot, with only a 7x57, when Mr. Huge Eland decides to make an unscheduled appearance. If DG is possible, I'd want something in my hands big enough to deal with it. If eland is a possiblity, I'd want no less than a 30-06 with good bullets. If you're in an area where the species have well-established areas and there aren't too many surprises (like many high-fence ranches) then the smaller rifle would be OK. If you're hunting unfenced area or bigger properties, anything can happen. It would be a crying shame to miss a nice trophy because you were carrying the wrong rifle at the time.

Your PH is probably the best one to ask since he knows the style of hunting best.

Personally, on a PG hunt, I feel pretty comfortable with my .300. It's small enough to shoot all day long but large enough to use on eland and kudu without any hesitation at all. With well-constructed bullets, small animals like impala and duiker die with a small through-and-through hole. It is the smallest caliber I'd be comfortable with on eland, wildebeest, or zebra though. Kudu aren't all that tough. For the nasties, you are never wrong to be holding a .375.
Take the .375 and you're covered from A-Z in Africa.:wink2:
Yes bullet choice does play a role, but in my humble opinion - proper / accurate shot-placement is 99% of your hunt success. If you know exactly where your .375 shoots at 80 - 220 yards - i'd say you're definitely on the money with this one caliber for your bush and plains game African safari.

Enjoy your hunt:thumb:

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