Case stamps matching barrel stamp in SA


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Feb 16, 2021
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I plan to take my Browning A-Bolt in .280 Ackley Improved on plains game hunt next year to South Africa. I understand that the SAPS have a thing that the markings on the case heads need to match what it says on the rifle barrel or action.

As with any Ackley Improved, you can fire the pre-improved parent ammo in it without a problem. It will then be fireformed to the chamber. In this case, it would be .280 Remington.

I just checked the rifle. It has the original .280 Remington markings from Browning AND a secondary ".280 ACK" marking from the gunsmith who rechambered it. The rifle was bought used 10-15 years ago. I had planned to shoot some of the .280 Rem, reload to .280 Ack Improved with upgraded bullets, and use that. I know Nosler makes .280 Imp brass but I'd rather use the .280 Rem brass that was fireformed as it will be an exact fit for the chamber.

Given it still says .280 on the case head and matches at least one of the markings on the barrel, will this be an issue with the police?
I wouldn't worry about it.

In two trips my ammo has never been checked in South Africa
You can declare it is an alias. In Finland, to do an exmple, the Russian 7,62 x 54 Mosin Nagant cartridge is named 7,52x53 R. The cartridge is identical, but the measuring method is different.
I took a 300 H&H to Namibia and the officer just looked at my form, then asked what does the H&H stand for. All he really was interested in was the 300. The other rifle was a 9.3x66/370 Sako. He asked why 2 names I told him one is American the other European his comment was they make things to confusing, have a good hunt.
No need to worry. The majority of the SAPS have very little to no knowledge of more technical aspects of firearms. The .280 match is all they will look at.

For the last 14-15 years they printed the majority of our metric named calibre licenses only with the calibre diameter, and only started rectifying it now. In other words a 7x57, 7x64 etc would all say “7mm rifle” on the license.
Correct, nothing to worry about. It is in fact a 280 anyway.
4 trips to SA and one to Zim. Never checked my ammo. SA only puts caliber on my permits.

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