Gun choice for Tiny 10 and small night cats

Green Chile

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I'm going to be doing more tiny 10 and night cats in the next few years. I've thought about adding a barrel to my Blaser R8 or K95. I have two R8's and one K95 and could always setup one gun for little stuff and have the tracker carry it in case we run into something. My mind keeps going to the 22 Hornet. I've got a 257 Wby barrel but that's too fast for the fragile stuff. I could always shoot solids from my big game rifles and usually have some solids when hunting other things in case something pops up. That's a good practice in general as you never know what the Bush will offer each day.

If you were going to take a dedicated gun/caliber for the little stuff, what would you take?
 
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I’m eager to hear the recommendations as I plan on more tiny hunts. I feel like there has to be a better alternative than lugging around my 375. I was kind of thinking 30-06 because I had found solids available. Thanks for posting the question
 
PG rifle with solids would be really practical of course. That's probably the smart answer. I tend to take the 375 for PG as you never know if you might need the horsepower on a big eland, etc. I like the little trim rifles for small game though and they are easy to carry and fun to shoot.
 
Not a solid per se but I used a TSX 300 grain .375 on my honey badger with no big mess at about 40 yards.

IMG_2151.jpeg


Used a Oryx 7mm on this huge duiker at 20 yards...thankfully behind the shoulder and didn't blow it up. This is the offside with just a pencil hole through it. Both small beasts were in excellent shape for full mounts but I could have blown them up with a shoulder hit. That's why I'm looking at smaller calibers for these little dudes.

IMG_0560.jpeg
 
.308, .223. .243 (all with proper bullets) or .22 Hornet or even .17 HMR (if legal) would get the job done cleanly. 20 gr. in .17 HMR are around 2350 fps from memory and are deadly and generally don't exit.
 
130 CEB R8, Creedmoor
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A cape gun is another good option. I have a neat Ferlach O/U hammer gun (only hammer O/U I've seen) in 16 ga and 22 Hi-Power with claw mounts for a 30mm scope.
 
I should clarify that my current R8 barrels are 22 LR, 257 Wby, 300 win mag, 375 H&H and 416 Rem mag. My only K95 barrel is 308 Win.
 
Following. Anyone have positive or negative experiences using 375 solids on the small stuff?

I used my 375H&H, loaded with a 300 grain soft point, meant for a warthog, on a yellow tail mongoose at about 25 feet.

Because it was such a close shot the damage was minimal to ripping out half the exit (right) side rib cage and total upper half of the exit (right) side leg.

The entrance hole is the left shoulder bone.

PH wanted to take a good photo.
20210520_092733.jpg
 
Yea those shoulder shots on little guys can be a mess.
 
That’s part of the problem…you might have a long shot at a klippie or a short one at a duiker. That’s why a cape gun is one option of dealing with it.
 
I know Peter Flack (who had a lot to do with popularizing the Tiny 10) used solids in his 375 but he was often taking little duikers on a bongo hunt, etc in tight cover where you have one gun to cover all options.
 
Following with interest.

I've heard of hunters using a 22 mag, others a .223Rem downloaded and using fmj bullets of 55 grains or heavier. The sweet spot might be a 22 Hornet with a 55 grain fmj, but with it's slow 1-16 twist, these might not stabilize.

My plan is to find a batch of the FMJBT 62 grain bullets and load them for my .223 at 2200 to 2500 fps. There are powders like lil gun that can do the job of keeping these projectiles at those slower speeds, while keeping load density high.

Such a load, IF it is accurate, should be deadly on the Tiny Ten, while keeping damage to a minimum.
 
Those are good points. I’m hoping someone posts a really smart solution that solves everything…maybe.
 
A PH I hunted with a few times in Namibia and with whom I shot a few of the tiny 10 recommends a 308 with 150 gr solids. That was the rifle he provided to his hunters if they did not have a "proper rifle" for the tiny 10. It worked well for me..... two small holes with limited damage to the hides.
 

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