How much ammunition for plains game hunting trip to South Africa?

Gatorhunter1313

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I take more than I need and leave the extra with the outfitter. I don't have to screw with it going back and someone else might be able to use it in a pinch.
I was thinking the same thing. My hard case I use for ammo is a bass pro hard case and I was just at bass pro this last weekend and the same case is on sale for $20. I bought 3 more just to have them. I could just “forget” the case when I leave
 

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What in the holy hell are you guys bringing 11lbs of ammo for? Unless you are shooting 75 animals. You don't need that much ammo. Even if you are shooting 10 animals which is I'd say above average. And you shoot 3 rounds per animal which I would also say is above average. That's 30 rounds. Add 2-10 for sighting in after landing. If 40 rounds is not enough for a standard 5-8 animal safari..... You may need some better glasses.

And if you are gonna say "just in case". Honestly at that point the PH should stop you from hunting if you shooting multiple animals 5-6x.

Just a few reasons for carrying 11 pounds of ammo:

How many rounds does it take to make up 11 pounds: 30-06?, 300?, 375?, 458?, 470?, 500?, etc. Not as much as some people think: light loads mean more cartridges/ heavy loads means less cartridges.

Although 11 pounds of ammunition is maximum: this doesn't always mean 11 pounds of ammunition!: Depending on who is weighing your separate ammo lock box, often this is total weight plus contents!: Depends on the airline! and SAPS officer you encounter!:

The 11 pound ammunition limit doesn't always mean ammunition only. Often more than not includes: lock box + locks + cartridge box + ammo + other packaging material (ie. foam, etc.) = 11 pounds total. 1 cartridge over weight could easily cost 1 box of ammo to be confiscated to make an ammo box at or under the 11 pounds max weight.

Since my next safaris include hunting; larger plains and dangerous game animals in Zimbabwe (10 hunting days for 3 package animals and a list for opportunity animals: a 2nd buff, hippo, croc, leopard, warthog, badger, other animals) where minimum caliber is 375, then onto South Africa (10 hunting days 3 package animals and a list of opportunity animals) for large and the smaller plains game using 375, 30-06 and 44 mag revolver. Multiple various calibers weapons, multiple types of ammunition, thereby maximum allowable ammunition by weight.

Upon arrival you should check your scope to see that it is still on. Allowing 10 rounds max.

Rifle in soft case, bouncing around in the back seat of your PH's bakki traveling on some extremely rough "farm" roads, falling off the seat, being dropped, awkwardly carrying your rifle with scope rubbing against your body, etc. can also create cause to resight your scope; (twice on 1 hunt, used 12 rounds total to resight scope).

Many times for various reasons there are those:
"damn missed!" excuses;
poor bullet excuses: should have used a: better/tougher/expanding/"solid"/ heavier/ etc. bullet;

Regardless of the "reason" for having to use 2, 3, or 4 shots to kill 1, 2, 3, animals.

Client's original package included 4 animals and 7-10 hunting days. All 4 package animals taken in 4, 5, 6, days leaving extra day(s) to hunt more animals. Or maybe the client alters their original "vacation" plans that included sightseeing days, exchanged some of the sightseeing days for more hunting days.

Then a whole new reason to bring maximum amount of ammo and to coordinate with the PH and/or outfitter to have additional ammo available for local purchase: packaged multiple specie, multiple animals, cull hunts.

The 11 pound limit is an arbitrary weight some nimrod came up with to disquish bonafide hunters from suspected paramilitary types (a.k.a. mercenaries) illegally entering/operating, transferring though, using their respective legal/ligitament company/corporation, country for "other purposes".

I do agree that: 1 client, carrying 1 firearm, on a 7 hunting day trip, for Only 3, 4 or 5 animals with zero enthusiasm for hunting additional animals of opportunity, and spend their extra time hanging around the lodge or spending time sightseeing doesn't necessarily need to pack more than 30- 40 cartridges.
 

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I was thinking the same thing. My hard case I use for ammo is a bass pro hard case and I was just at bass pro this last weekend and the same case is on sale for $20. I bought 3 more just to have them. I could just “forget” the case when I leave
Don’t “forget” your ammo. You used it all. I would recommend you return with at least most of your spent brass and a couple bullets to avoid any issues.
 

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I have never worried about having to resight in my rifle packing my Leupold scopes. They have been bounced around by the baggage monkeys more than ones and have held zero every time. Even long horseback rides with it in the scabbard haven't caused any problems or bouncing around in open Jeeps and ATV's. I've had other problems with rifles but not the scope.

I took 60 rounds on my safari, used 4 to check zero and shot up another 16 on 10 animals and brought 40 home. On my next trip next year I plan on taking 60 again.
 

Gatorhunter1313

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I have never worried about having to resight in my rifle packing my Leupold scopes. They have been bounced around by the baggage monkeys more than ones and have held zero every time. Even long horseback rides with it in the scabbard haven't caused any problems or bouncing around in open Jeeps and ATV's. I've had other problems with rifles but not the scope.

I took 60 rounds on my safari, used 4 to check zero and shot up another 16 on 10 animals and brought 40 home. On my next trip next year I plan on taking 60 again.
i will say after traveling with different cases i now stick with my pelican case. i use nikon scopes and love them. in the pelican case i have never had issues with my rifle holding zero. i have driven through the nevada and utah deserts and mountains with the case bouncing around the bed of my pickup and my rifle was still perfect when i got out to hunt
 

mikecatt13

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What in the holy hell are you guys bringing 11lbs of ammo for? Unless you are shooting 75 animals. You don't need that much ammo. Even if you are shooting 10 animals which is I'd say above average. And you shoot 3 rounds per animal which I would also say is above average. That's 30 rounds. Add 2-10 for sighting in after landing. If 40 rounds is not enough for a standard 5-8 animal safari..... You may need some better glasses.

And if you are gonna say "just in case". Honestly at that point the PH should stop you from hunting if you shooting multiple animals 5-6x.
Again, because I'm 9000 miles from home on a trip that is very expensive.

Trust me, the what IFs have absolutely nothing to do with my (or others who also take 11lbs) shooting skill or effectiveness of my bullets, or toughness of my gear for that matter. But stuff happens, even to the best of gear installed professionally and then some.

I haven't weighed it yet, but based on my experience flying with other calibers, I'm guessing 11lbs of 375 isnt all that many rounds anyway. Especially if you play it safe and include the case and locks to avoid a debate
 

Gatorhunter1313

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Again, because I'm 9000 miles from home on a trip that is very expensive.

Trust me, the what IFs have absolutely nothing to do with my (or others who also take 11lbs) shooting skill or effectiveness of my bullets, or toughness of my gear for that matter. But stuff happens, even to the best of gear installed professionally and then some.

I haven't weighed it yet, but based on my experience flying with other calibers, I'm guessing 11lbs of 375 isnt all that many rounds anyway. Especially if you play it safe and include the case and locks to avoid a debate
Once I load up more 375 ammo I’m going to see how much it takes to hit 11 pounds including my case
 

Dennis L

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Possible dumb question: is there not any trouble carrying ammo and not the gun, like your wife carrying ammo for your gun?

I know this isnt an issue flying domestically but considering they count ammo and it must match rifle caliber etc importing into african countries, it seems like having someone else carrying ammo with no gun or ammo that doesnt match caliber would be an issue since its THEIR luggage and your ammo?
No problem so far. The caliber is for a rifle that I'm bringing and since we are married we can make the case for what hers is mine and vice versa. It's worked on 3 thrips without a single question about ammo.
 

chonk34

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I think I took 80 rounds for my PG hunt (9 animals). I shot less than a box of it. I might have gotten into the second box if my zero had been knocked off in transit.
 

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The limit is 5kg (or just over 11lbs) of AMMUNITION per passenger bringing a firearm, not ammunition plus boxes plus case plus locks. The ammunition MUST match the firearm, so be careful that your ammo headstamps match the caliber barrel marking (reloaded reformed brass or re-chambered barrels can create major problems).
Good point Ed.
 

Philip Glass

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I see no reason to travel that far and spend that much money on a trip to not take WAY too much ammo. I've had weird gun issues over the years that have burned up a box or two to get found and back zeroed. They're odd, rare, and usually related to platforms/calibers not common for safari but what if one happens in Africa and you bring 40 or 60 rounds?

I'll be taking my 11lbs or the max allowed (I believe Namibia is 80 rounds per gun off the top of my head?) And see no reason not to.
I agree. Whats the problem with taking 5 boxes? I pack light as we all should so there is plenty of room for a little more ammo.
 

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You should really consider a more heavily constructed bonded bullet designed for penetration instead of an SST. Remember African game has vitals further forward so you are aiming on the shoulder not behind the shoulder like in North America. If you hit a zebra or kudu on shoulder with SST results may not be as good as you would like. Myself and a lot of others on here really like Barnes and Swift A frames, but there are a lot of other good choices.
Good advice from my perspective!
 

Philip Glass

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I’m really surprised everyone is recommending 40 instead of 80 rounds/11 lbs. I didn’t think we would be the exceptions. I’d rather have too much like you, you just take it home at the end, it didn’t cost anymore to bring it home.
I ONLY too 40 rounds to Kyrgyzstan as that was all that was legal. Made me very nervous! 80 rounds would work but less I’m it sure why.
Philip
 

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As to 1 vs 2 rifles: I dont see why 2 is so burdensome unless maybe the extra weight of ammo causes an oversized bag fee or if your rifles are similar in performance.

If you have a 30-06 and 300 win mag for instance, I can see just picking 1 bc they are similar.

A 7 pound 308 is probably easier to carry than a 9 pound 338, but you may want the 338 for eland - kill your eland and then downsize.

And of course we have the 375hh. Imo if you have not shot an African animal with a 375 and you own a 375 already, you are obligated to take it for at least 1 animal :A Hi Five:
What PH’s will tell you is that the guy with 2 guns always has the wrong one for what you run across. I did take 2 guns on my last safari but I was specifically hunting a rhino with my .470 and then all small cats and small antelopes with my Ruger 5.56. For the average guy on most safaris one gun is a far better choice. I believe it’s a meatier of overthinking it.
 

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Philip Glass

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Vortex PST Gen 2. 5 x 25 FFP. Best bang for the buck in my opinion. Unless your ponying up to like Schmidt & Bender you are really not getting anymore value. Nightforce, higher end Leuopolds all IMO don't offer anything more.

And yes its high zoom, probably too high for some. I prefer it that way, just how I was trained on them. I imagine guys doing DG would not exactly want this scope lol.
Bang for buck maybe but good glass costs money. No way around it. Sad but true.
 

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Philip Glass

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How much or how many? I guess it depends on how many animals you plan on. I've never gone wild shooting everything available and kept every hunt to less than 5. I usually take 20-30 rounds. Averaging well under the 11 lb limit.

I simply re-purposed a pistol case. Took out the dividers and added foam top and bottom to securely hold 2, slip top ammo boxes. I put small holes in the slide latches for small padlocks. I take two sets of keys and add a copy of my Passport photo page and list the contents and place inside the box on top of the ammo. I do the same with by checked firearm, adding a copy of both my passport photo page and the 4457.

Sometimes SAA, depending on airport in RSA, has demanded the box be checked separately- sometimes not. No rhyme nor reason. I've had to re-insert the ammo box into checked bags when changing to US bound flight to avoid extra bag charge. Be prepared for that eventuality. Be sure the ammo box is up to the rough handling like any other checked bag in case the regional carrier requires it be checked separately. Usually, no problem with ammo and most times not even inspected. A couple of times the inspectors actually looked and counted ammo. Once IIRC in Mozambique, I think just for the little extra money they charge per round. The RSA internal flights seem to be the most problematic, while regional International flights between other countries and JNB have not been- go figure?

Pic of lockable, re-purposed pistol box. Open w/ 2 plastic slip top ammo boxes. And closed- I use two small cheapo locks- one on each latch

View attachment 384091View attachment 384092
Sorry but I wouldn’t trust that case on an airline. Why not spring for a decent pelican case?
 

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