Help me pick my next R8 caliber

Shako Badhan

AH veteran
Jan 11, 2022
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North Carolina
Last year I bought an R8 with 9.3x62 barrel from another AH member. I have been enjoying greatly ever since, it’s just hard to beat. I think the time has come to add another barrel and would appreciate some input.

My thinking is to go in one of two directions. Given I already have a medium bolt head get a less expensive to shoot but still very capable caliber such as…

Or, pick up a magnum bolt head and a 300 WM barrel. The thinking is the 9.3 and 300 would get me a pretty good one rifle two barrel battery.

As I said I would appreciate the input, what do you all think?
I am pretty happy with .300RUM as my longer distance cartridge. So, .300 WM should work well for you as well.
There's nothing wrong with those 3 classic calibers to match up with your 9.3 barrel. I just got back from a trip with a R8 in 300 win mag and that's a pretty versatile caliber. Numerous plains game were taken cleanly with 180 TTSX. Most of your shots in Africa will be well under 200 yds...many under 100. You don't need a mag bolt head but get what's most interesting to you.
I started with a 9.3x62 as well. I added a .270 and .300 Wby.
I’d either add a DG round : .375 H&H or a flat shooting round: .300 mag
300 Win Mag for the win!

The 6.5x55 obviously. It has been going strong for 132 years and will be going long after modern gimmicks like the 30-06 have faded away.

I may or may not be a tiny bit biased but that´s irrelevant.
Another vote for 30-06 to keep bolt the same.

30-06 and 168ttsx leaves me not wanting much. Good to 400 if you want.

270 if you want lighter and not be as close to 9.3

Swap barrel and go!
I appreciate all the input. I am definitely leaning in the 30-06 direction. The longest shooting I think I will be doing is on Namibian PG so it should do the trick.

I will be hunting roe deer in England next month using a client R8 in 6.5x55. That experience could shape my decision.
I’d be tempted to say .270 win to pair with a 9.3x62. But it depends on what you plan to use it for. The .308 would be an easy to feed relatively affordable option too.

Personally for my R8 I went with .22lr, 30-06, and .375 H&H. But that requires 3 bolt heads too.
Step up to the MA bolt head with a 300WM and (at least) a 375H&H. Although, once bitten by the mid-bore bug a proper big bore 416RM or 458LOTT could also be in the works. ;)
I do like the caliber and I’ve hunted (two legged) animals with it before. I think I want to go a big heavier as the smallest I’ll use it for is roe deer.
It’s weird to think about, but 223 is a great caliber for roe deer. Use a modern fragmenting bullet and you’re golden.

Also it’s just a great cheap practice round. You’ll shoot way way more. And, bc it’s an r8 it’s the exact same shouldering and feel as any other caliber
30/06 next is the practical choice of the options you listed. Talk about damning with faint praise…

It’s still what I’d go with.

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