Cartridge for the Big 5 that is usable outside of Africa as well

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Koburn, May 4, 2018.

  1. Hearties

    Hearties AH Senior Member

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    How about a classic Anglo-German combo of 7x64 and 375H&H - would cover most bases and has heritage...
     
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  2. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    To be honest, there are very few Big 5 cartridges that are suitable for anything else all over the world.
    the smallest of the DG calibers would be the obvious choice, that being the 375, 9,3's etc.
    But they are rubbish ;):whistle::D

    Once you start looking at 458's and up in bolt or double they become more specific to certain game and certain situations.

    If you are looking at a 3 gun battery, i would choose any of the 6mm/6.5mm's as a small gun, a 300wm as a medium and a 416/458 as a DG gun.
    If you get it right, you can have all three in mauser m03.

    Where do you live? i need to come give you a smack across the ear for that one... :D

    i have a 243, 300wm and 416rigby as my regulars, the 243 will cover all animals up to lechwe size with ease, perfect medicine for crocs too.
    the 300 will do all up to lion, leopard, eland etc.
    the 416/458 will cover buff, ele, hippo and anything smaller that you happen across.

    there is very little worldwide that you couldnt shoot with those 3 calibers. you could always swap out the 416/458 for a double in 450, 470 or 500 and it would be much of the same.
    there will always be occasions when a specialty rifle may come in handy, but these three will most certainly do it.
    as a note, i would swap the 243 for a 6,5x55 personally as the heavier bullets will be advantageous.
     
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  3. Koburn

    Koburn New Member

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    How much truth is there in what I've read regarding non-rimmed cartridges in doubles? If it's just BS then .416 Rigby would make much sense as a moose/bear rifle double (and I'd be ready for Africa as well).

    I am not dead set on limiting myself to 2 rifles, I could own 3 or 4 rifles as long as they get use. Outside of Africa I just don't see any use for more than 2 centerfire rifles. That's why it'd be nice if there was sensible cartridge that is enough gun on pachyderms but not overkill on moose/bear. I think the .416 Rigby is sensible enough on CX3 game and would find use. But it seems more suitable for a bolt action than a double. 375H&H also fits the bill, but looks a bit weak on really big stuff. And, it's also non-rimmed so not sure if it's a good choice in a double.

    If I knew I'd never would hunt Africa then the choice would be easy:
    bolt action 6.5x55 or 7x57
    double rifle 9.3x74R (I don't think anything larger is needed outside of Africa, except maybe for bison or water buffalo)
    But 450/400 or 470 could work just as well. The latter should be relatively easy to find ammo for as well.
    From an ammo perspective perhaps this would make most sense:

    30-06 bolt for CXP2/3
    470 NE double for CXP3/4
    (12 gauge shotgun for CXP1+birds)
    (22LR)
     
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  4. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    koburn,
    now your list is just about perfect except I would change the 30-06 to a 300 win mag still a 30 cal but way more juice and range when you need it and can handload it any which way you want with tons of 30 cal bullet choices. I love 470NE but doubt you would shoot it much, LOL they recoil!
     

  5. BRNO zkk602

    BRNO zkk602 AH Member

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    Interesting post and some really good comments. I have a .375 H&H and shot all my dangerous game with it a lion and 4 elephant there is nothing wrong with the .375 bullet placement is everything, it does the same job as a 600NE. .375 H&H will dispatch anything that moves in Africa well the world from duiker up to elephant. That said I do also have a .458 Lott and again perfect rifle which does the job nicely and is bigger and has more stopping power but again shot placement is everything. And for practical reasons .375 and .458 Lott ammo is the most common if not the Lott then I just buy .458 win mag !! If you ever get into a sticky situation and let’s say ammo does not arrive or whatever the case is and you don’t have any ammo most out fitters in Africa have .375 , .458 Lott / win mag ammo in camp as for the 9.3’s im not to sure . In my opinion you can’t go wrong with .375 or .458 Lott. And if you get the Brno ZKK 602 then you got 6 rounds in the rifle ready to go for the .375 and 5 rounds ready to go for the .458.

    I think they have this book on amazon it is Pierre van der Walt’s book African dangerous game cartridges brilliant book and I think he is releasing a book on plains game cartridges

    http://www.pathfinder-publications.com/product.php?id_product=1
     

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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Of course I could do everything you just listed with - let's see - I know! A .300WM and a .375 (y) Just saying. And I truly don't love the .243 enough to use it to poke small holes in medium size PG - much less use it to brain or spine a croc - particularly if I am a paying client. (Though were I culling and utilizing the meat I guess I would prefer it to the .223 for head/neck shots). It does make a fine Southern whitetail round (or Roe deer) - though again not my first choice. And of course, a number of jurisdictions (maybe not Zambia?) will get grumpy with you for disturbing their lions with a .300.

    All of which leads me to the conclusion that this is a fairly silly discussion. For all of my hunting I could likely get by with three calibers (have to throw in a .22 for harassing the squirrels in our pecans). But I gladly gave up "minimalism" when I was promoted from being a starving Lieutenant.

    Haven't counted, but I have something more than three rifles. I am much happier going afield with the perfect rifle, sights, and caliber for specific game than I am an adequate combination. But good luck on your quest.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2018

  7. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    There you go talking sense again...

    We’ve had a few of these 2gun and 3gun battery questions before.
    There’s no real right answer or wrong answer, just my answer and yours.

    Oddly enough on the 243, I’ve heard a lot of people question it, I’ve had complete pass through on puku, warthog, impala, bushbuck, duiker, female kudu cull and feel it is more than suitable.
    And it’s my favorite for croc control.
    In all fairness, I would be happy to swap it out for a 6,5x55 though, not necessary, but I would do.
     
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  8. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    Am I missing something? .243 would be considered overkill where I live for red or grey foxes. .22LR is what is used most often. Are the foxes bigger where you live, or are shots just taken much further away?
     

  9. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    As we age Guns are like woman were to us in our teens. We would love to see more, touch them all, try them out, be able to afford them, etc. And we likely talk about them more than we actually get to experience them. Do you want a practical one or a sexy one? The sexy one will cost you more but won’t do the job any better. Am I talking about woman or guns??? Can’t remember. Sometimes sexy turns into practical... I’m enjoying this thread.
     

  10. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH Koburn.

    In my country as in most of Europe, you don´t really own your guns, you are just allowed to keep them as long as the government decides to renew your gun license.

    You will then understand that I am not very keen on spending too much on what is not really mine. So I also go the minimalist route and just have two guns in my safe, a .243 and a .338WM.

    These two calibers will cover most hunting anywhere in the world, when I have needed anything bigger, I have just borrowed a rifle from a friend.
     
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  11. Koburn

    Koburn New Member

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    I was a bit unclear. It's legal to hunt the following big game here with a smaller caliber than 6.5mm w/ 139g: roe deer, lynx and wolf. Everything above that requires a min. of 6.5mm.
    Foxes are legal with anything that is not a rim-fire, .22 LR is not legal with other words for some reason, which I find strange since it's legal to hunt raccoon dog with a rimfire.
    The post was not meant to imply that a .243 is necessary for fox.
     

  12. John J

    John J AH Veteran

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    The mixed bag of Africa can put a fly into the mix. I have not been there yet. However I believe in overkill not just adequate. Shot placement, bullet construction and familiarity with your rifle come into play. Sticking with a "normal" battery is fine, that was where I started according to gun magazines. I have since moved up and down the cartridge list in my time hunting. When you have your animal on the ground elk as an example. When you start field dressing it, seeing how thick the hide is and the meat on the ribbs the bullet had to penetrate before it reached the vitals. How far the animal ran after being hit well, come into the thought process when you prepare for the next hunt. One of my main big game rifles is a Marlin 45 70 with iron sights and cast bullets. I hunt in the mountains and on the plaines with it. Use enough gun and enjoy the experience.
     

  13. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Fanatic

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    A quick read of Doctari Perfect Shot II and the development of heavy for calibre bullets the 375 HH has moved up a notch ......have over the years shot everything from foxes to roe and red deer with it and taken everything from soringbok to eland in Africa ....Last year dropped a giraffe with a 300 win 180 gr pmp pro am ....why it was the only gun to hand ......

    So a 375 HH and a 7x64 would cover everything ....the Blonde dropped one hell of a lot of animals last year and the year before with one bullet weight 139 to 175 from springbok by the dozen to Zebra blue and black wildebeest etc.

    Would a 7x57 worked in the same situation ?

    I can only think it would have ...

    I recently purchased and re sold 3 Dakota m76 rifles ...the owner who left it too late for Africa had 22.250 7mm rem mag and 375 HH ...to be honest if I had not purchased to sell ....a lot of my collection would be out the door and they would be resting in my safe ....Along with the 416 Rigby but that rifle settled the score with a fox after 2 years of trying ............ Buy what you wish but when all is said and done another few days hunting is more precious than a safe full of rifles .......
     
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  14. JakeH

    JakeH AH Enthusiast

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    I’m building my own rifle hunting battery based off of this article from Chuck Hawks: https://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_battery.htm

    From that it’ll leave me pretty well rounded to take anything I’m likely to hunt. Add a .22LR and a 12ga and you’ll have seven hunting guns for any situation that may occur. And yes, 7 > 2, but think of it as a good excuse to spend money!
     

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  15. Fritz2611

    Fritz2611 AH Member

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    Hey guy's,
    I'm new here after reading a couple of interesting discussions here I also joined. I#m not a native English speaker so please forgive me if any of my expressions and writing lacks a bit from time to time.
    I do not want to step into a caliber discussion as all the privious posters said the bullet and shot placement is doing the job.
    I read something that Blaser Sauer and Mauser was recomended by a couple of guys. I just want to share my experience, all of this makers belong to one company and they are quite expensive in my opinion.
    I don't know how it is in the rest of the world because I'm buying guns at home, but in the Blaser Mauser Sauer homeland they are quite pricy compared to other vendors.
    I can recomend Heym and Sako/Tikka if you can get an old Sauer also Sauer when you decide to take an european vendor, But there are many other good gunmaker around the world. I'm a left hander so all of this vendor have at least one left handed bolt action without an extra price. (Blaser Sauer and Mauser are also available lefthanded for an extra price of around 800 US$)
    In regards of the 375 H&H I use it for hunting wild boar it works great but the 300WSM,3006,7x57 works also great so in my opinion calibers are not crucial as long as they are legal.
    One additional thing maybe in regards of Sauer Blaser and Mauser, their productlines are focused on their products for example you can only attach an expensive Blaser Sauer Mauser Bipod on this guns not an odinary one like Harris for example, same applies for some scopemounts, Nevertheless these guns are quite common in my area and a lot of guys I know are quite lucky with their choice of kit. By the way Rigby belongs now also to the same group as Blaser and the other.

    Cheers
     

  16. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Fanatic

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    Koburn,

    It sounds like you at least have an idea of what you would like to have in your battery.
    One of the best things you can do is shoot these calibers to see if you really like them.
    See if friends have them and would let you shoot a few rounds.
    Some gun clubs offer rentals, although I'm not sure about finding anything like 458WM or 470NE.
    Take them for a "test drive" see what YOU think and how you feel after shooting them.

    IMO - a three gun rifle battery would be the minimum.
    My choices 270WIN, 300WM and 375H&H.
    The 300WM and 375H&H would be my safari choices to take to Africa.

    Good luck on your journey.
     

  17. siutis

    siutis GOLD SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    The 416 will take care of all your needs. It can be loaded down for Plains game and maxed out for the animals that want to bite back and stomp you.
     

  18. WAB

    WAB AH Fanatic

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    Going back to your original question, if you are going to hunt Cape Buffalo, you will find that in most countries the .375 H&H is the minimum legal caliber, ruling out your 9.3. This is not a knock on the 9.3, just the law. Having shot both, I must say that there is absolutely no similarity between bison and cape buffalo from a vitality and attitude POV. The bison goes down very easily and is unlikely to come looking for revenge. I consider the .375 a logical minimum on buffalo and personally, after shooting a couple with one, I now use a .458 Lott. I would be very comfortable shooting a bison with a .30-06.

    My go to guns are 7x57, .375 H&H and .458 Lott. There's a lot of other cool stuff in the safe, but those are the guns that I will never part with. I think you are on the right track with the .22 and 6.5x55 or 7x57. I personally would step the 3rd rifle up to a .375 H&H. One really cool thing about the .375 H&H is that they tend to be very accurate (I have 4 handloads that will shoot 1/2" groups in mine), and in my experience, tend to throw different loads to the same point of impact. I have no idea why this is and perhaps others have had different experiences with the caliber, but in my opinion it cannot be improved upon in the medium cartridge category.

    By the way, those of you who like the Blaser, do you have any trouble getting used to it? After tens of thousands of rounds through bolt guns, when I've tried to shoot a Blaser I bind it up trying to rack it like a conventional bolt gun. Just old and stupid I guess! :)
     
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  19. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Every “African” cartridge is quite suitable for Australia’s Northern Territory.
     
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  20. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    Well if I was starting over from scratch, it would be either a Blaser or Merkel in 375 H&H & 308 Win barrels. I think the Merkel looks nicer then the Blaser. That said, I am a SAKO fan, and own four of those in various calibers, 7mm-08 Rem, 308 Win, 300 WM and 375 H&H, but the idea of one gun is very tempting.
     

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