Choice of caliber

Dr Ray

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Why not 375? Then you’d be covered for anything. 338 is a great round, but 375 can do a little more.
I agree but for PLAINS game, I think the 338 is fine. Okay so the 375 will do better but it's definitely a matter of choice. I really like my Sako 338 Win & my Winchester in 375 H &H. But, the 338, I believe is very good and I feel more suited to the plains game.
 

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I only take a 375 H&H to Africa. It has taken all my game from duiker and caracal on the small side to Cape buffalo a eland on the large side.
JMO&E but it’s all one needs in Africa.
Best of luck in your decision!
 

Areaonereal

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I have used a 30 06 on duiker, steinbok, impala, hartebeast, baboon, oryx, black and blue wildebeast, eland, giraffe, and warthog..kudu also...180 gr Nosler accubond, 200 nosler partition , 220 partition....on over a combined total of 130 animals. No problems with any of them...... Bullets to the heart or double lungs. Dead.
 

Standard Velocity

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Per comment of OP he don’t want a 375. I agree that a 375 is pretty versatile but the 338 Win Mag is better if you want to hunt large non-dangerous game at slightly longer ranges. The trajectory of heavy 338 bullets is flatter, high sectional density and still lots of energy past 150 yards.

It also sounds as if he lives in a country with some restrictions I’m unfamiliar with. Perhaps he can expound upon the restrictions he is operating under.
 

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My point with 9.3 and 375 is that at normal hunting distances there is not that much 338 mag can do that 30-06 won't do. Sure it offers a lot more energy and larger frontal area but it will not kill PG or Deer any deader. Now, if one was to consider the rifle's stopping power for bear country than it would be a different story, but for PG/deer for me personally it would not be different enough to add it to the battery, while going 9.3 - 375 route does give one a more versatile set up. I mean, how likely are you to go out in the field with both 30-06 and 338 mag available? Why not just take the 338 and leave 30-06 at the lodge? For me the competencies of these two rifles overlap too much.

You could also got the opposite route and get a 223Rem, that would complement your 30-06 well too.
 

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Thanks again for all the input.

A few people mentioned a combination of 7x57 and something bigger. I have a 6.5x55 that I use for all my deer stalking, I shoot this rifle well and confidently. The 6.5x55 and a .338 or 9.3 might be a better combination. I do love shooting the 6.5x55 and with the 140gr partitions I load for it I reckon it would be great for a lot of the PG.
 

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If you plan on buying a .458 Lott for DG in the future, I would likely go with a 9.3x62. Although I’m a huge fan of both the 7x57 and .375 H&H, the 7x57 will limit you’re shot selection on eland, and the .375 is unnecessarily heavy to cart around all day if DG is not in the mix. I’m not sure which rifle you are looking at but there are some nice options out there in 9.3x62.
 

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Thanks for all the input guys.

I cant see me doing any DG hunting any time soon but when I do I would love to do it with a 458 lott, that's why I was thinking on something bigger than 30-06 but not as big as 375 H&H

IMHO "...bigger than 30-06 but not as big as 375" just screams 9.3x62!! Last June I couldn't get ammo for my 458, but located some 9.3x62 instead. So I didn't have much choice in the matter for buffalo hunting.

But a right frontal quartering shot at 50yds did all that was necessary!! The straight line penetration through the shoulder muscles, lungs, blood vessels and heart was superb!! The projectile was recovered just under the skin by the rearmost rib. Upon impact, my buffalo sagged, walked 10yds, wobbled, and then rolled over. Job done!!

As per your quote, and for what it's worth, I'd go with the 9.3x62 - with 286gr projectiles, it was the "do-all" rifle in Africa, that took every species up to the Big 5 before the 375HH came along. Though it's not ideal for DG in dicey situations, PH Dr Kevin Robertson stated in his book that his 9.3x62 has taken over 600 buffalo (many of these by his recoil conscious clients). It's reputation speaks for itself in effectively taking everything up to eland and giraffe. It's also heavy enough - as a low-recoiling "client" rifle - against relaxed buffalo: just as long as you put that first round precisely where it has to go, with your PH is backing you up with his charge stopper, if the said buffalo takes objection to the proceedings. (y)
 
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Shootist43

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James Adamson, I too use and reload for a 6.5 x 55 Swedish Mauser pushing 140 Gr. NP(s) at 2775 FPS.. I paired it with a 35 Whelen on my first safari. The 35 Whelen and the 9.3 x 62 are kissing cousins ballistically. That combination makes a very viable pairing wherein with a little planning you are neither over or under gunned. If by chance a larger animal shows up when you are using the 6.5 X 55 you just need to wait for the perfect broadside shot opportunity. I carried both rifles with me on the truck and then chose which one to use for any given stalk.
 

curtism1234

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My point with 9.3 and 375 is that at normal hunting distances there is not that much 338 mag can do that 30-06 won't do. Sure it offers a lot more energy and larger frontal area but it will not kill PG or Deer any deader. Now, if one was to consider the rifle's stopping power for bear country than it would be a different story, but for PG/deer for me personally it would not be different enough to add it to the battery, while going 9.3 - 375 route does give one a more versatile set up. I mean, how likely are you to go out in the field with both 30-06 and 338 mag available? Why not just take the 338 and leave 30-06 at the lodge? For me the competencies of these two rifles overlap too much.

I agree the 3006 and 338winmag overlap in the fact that both are sufficient in killing the same size large game. I agree the 3006 would likely end up staying at home.

I do think the 338 offers substantially more stopping power. While this important in a dangerous situation, I would argue it can be equally important on large game where you need them down as quickly as possible. Rain, ravines, tall grass, darkness, etc can make finding an animal or retrieving an animal extremely difficult
 

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I agree the 3006 and 338winmag overlap in the fact that both are sufficient in killing the same size large game. I agree the 3006 would likely end up staying at home.

I do think the 338 offers substantially more stopping power. While this important in a dangerous situation, I would argue it can be equally important on large game where you need them down as quickly as possible. Rain, ravines, tall grass, darkness, etc can make finding an animal or retrieving an animal extremely difficult

Precisely why I don’t go after boar with 308Win anymore. We mostly shoot them at night, hit with 30 cal. oftentimes they’ll run about 50m straight into thick bushes before expiring. Off course when you’re getting in there to retrieve them you can’t be sure if they’re dead or waiting to “discuss” the situation. 9.3 or 375 keeps things simpler and safer.
 

Standard Velocity

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I agree the 3006 and 338winmag overlap in the fact that both are sufficient in killing the same size large game. I agree the 3006 would likely end up staying at home.

I do think the 338 offers substantially more stopping power. While this important in a dangerous situation, I would argue it can be equally important on large game where you need them down as quickly as possible. Rain, ravines, tall grass, darkness, etc can make finding an animal or retrieving an animal extremely difficult

This is why I have started going bigger than necessary. Depending on where I’m hunting I know if I don’t put the animal down in its tracks there is going to be a long briar poked search in the dark before a long drag back to the truck.

Balancing meat saver shots with the desire not to spend all night searching for an animal has definitely lead to bigger heavier bullets. Still find that Partitions give a good compromise between expansion and penetration regardless of caliber on thin skinned game.
 

Rick Cox

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I own a 30-06 and a .375, but I've never shot a .338 WM. How does it compare in recoil? Relatively speaking...
 

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With everything from a .22LR to a .450 Rigby in the safe, if I had to choose one rifle I would never part with, it would be my .375 H&H. Hands down. You won’t regret that purchase.
 

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With everything from a .22LR to a .450 Rigby in the safe, if I had to choose one rifle I would never part with, it would be my .375 H&H. Hands down. You won’t regret that purchase.

Same here although in my case instead of 450 Rigby it’s my beloved 470NE double. If I had to have one rifle only it’d be 375. I’ve shot all sorts of animals with it - from Buffalos to Rabbits. With Rabbits you have to go for head shots unless you like your meat preminced. Watch out for ricochets too, a bunny doesn’t really slow 375 projectiles down.
 

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