Is there a perfect plains game calibre?

Ragman

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Great old thread..

Ive been a pretty dyed in the wool "308 for almost everything" guy for most of my life.. Other than big bears there's nothing in the western hemisphere that it wont easily handle, not much in Europe it wont easily handle, not much in Asia it wont reasonably handle... and I've taken everything from impala to zebra (and a bunch of stuff in between) with a 308 in Africa as well..

It wouldn't be my first choice for the tiny 10 by any stretch.. and I'd probably be a little hesitant with eland when shooting my preferred load (168gr TTSX traveling at a moderate rate of speed).. but for everything else, its performed spectacularly.. whether we're talking blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, ostrich, blesbok, waterbuck, etc..etc..

All that said.. I've really started to warm up to the 30-06 lately (I know.. I know... boring...)... I can shoot my same beloved 168gr TTSX at the same speed as my 308 and do everything my 308 has proven capable of... but.. I can also boost up to a 200gr TSX or some other quality bullet at a fairly solid speed rate and feel perfectly comfortable adding eland to the list..

Ammo is easy to find all over the world (not really an advantage over the 308... but no detriment is presented by going the -06 route).. its reasonably soft on the shoulder.. and you don't have to carry a heavy brick around with you all day...

One of the greatest benefits I've found in the 308 are the lightweight platforms my wife and I shoot it in.. she has a kimber adirondak.. with an optic and loaded its right at 6lbs.. Ive been playing around with a Rem 660 in a B&C stock in 308 quite a bit lately that's maybe 7lbs loaded with optic.. both are a dream to carry in the field... I haven't found a 30-06 in the 6lb range (no optic, unloaded) that I really like yet... but there are several options out there.. Im thinking once I find one that I do like, that it might my next purchase.. and may become my primary PG rifle for future trips to Africa..
I'm right there with you on the .308 brother. It's the most overlooked cartridge out there. I THINK I'd even be OK using it on eland out to 200 yards as I have no hesitation using it on moose and elk and have with great results. However I've never hunted eland or witnessed one being shot so cant speak with experience on that particular species. All other PG species...yepper! That being said, if I'm ever fortunate enough to return to Africa I'll be using the PH's rifle, so my beloved .308 won't be making the trip.

I'm with you on the .30-06 as well, however I'm too old and too loyal to my .308 to ever make the switch now. If I'd have started with the .30-06 though I'd probably stayed with it as well. And the .30-06 is far from boring...it just oozes with the cool factor (and so do the guys who hunt with it!). The cartridges that bore me to tears are the WSMs and the European calibres.

So cheers to the .308 and .30-06 and those of us who truly appreciate just how great they are!
 

Sabattiboy

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njc
i like your posts, as you are always probing things with an open mind.
i also have an stw, and they grow on you for what they are.
i am considering an 8mm rem mag for camels with heavy swift bullets when reach is required, but a 338 on the same case is also of interest.
if the stw with 175 swift and the 8mm mag would suit, then that would have to include a big 30.
it is a bit like having to choose between a number of beautiful girls when you are a teenager, knowing that any one of them will say "yes".
the ultimate thing is to test the lot.
bruce.
Loving Spoonful song, "Did you ever have to make up your mind" :)
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Ouch Bob ………throwing the 338WM into the same basket as the 6.5 Needsmoor and the 243. . Have another drink (I’m having my morning coffee so you’re probably having scotch down under) and think about that one.
@DG870
I theq the 338WM into the same basket as out to any sensible range like 400 yards the 338 won't do anything the Whelen can't do.
A PROPERLY loaded Whelen is truly amazing. For plains game there's no flies on a 225gn Woodleigh or accubond at 2,900fps.
Bob
You can keep the scotch I prefer Bundy
Bob
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Great old thread..

Ive been a pretty dyed in the wool "308 for almost everything" guy for most of my life.. Other than big bears there's nothing in the western hemisphere that it wont easily handle, not much in Europe it wont easily handle, not much in Asia it wont reasonably handle... and I've taken everything from impala to zebra (and a bunch of stuff in between) with a 308 in Africa as well..

It wouldn't be my first choice for the tiny 10 by any stretch.. and I'd probably be a little hesitant with eland when shooting my preferred load (168gr TTSX traveling at a moderate rate of speed).. but for everything else, its performed spectacularly.. whether we're talking blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, ostrich, blesbok, waterbuck, etc..etc..

All that said.. I've really started to warm up to the 30-06 lately (I know.. I know... boring...)... I can shoot my same beloved 168gr TTSX at the same speed as my 308 and do everything my 308 has proven capable of... but.. I can also boost up to a 200gr TSX or some other quality bullet at a fairly solid speed rate and feel perfectly comfortable adding eland to the list..

Ammo is easy to find all over the world (not really an advantage over the 308... but no detriment is presented by going the -06 route).. its reasonably soft on the shoulder.. and you don't have to carry a heavy brick around with you all day...

One of the greatest benefits I've found in the 308 are the lightweight platforms my wife and I shoot it in.. she has a kimber adirondak.. with an optic and loaded its right at 6lbs.. Ive been playing around with a Rem 660 in a B&C stock in 308 quite a bit lately that's maybe 7lbs loaded with optic.. both are a dream to carry in the field... I haven't found a 30-06 in the 6lb range (no optic, unloaded) that I really like yet... but there are several options out there.. Im thinking once I find one that I do like, that it might my next purchase.. and may become my primary PG rifle for future trips to Africa..
@mdwest
My some used a 308 in Namibia and never found it wanting even on zebra and oryx
Bob
 

Sabattiboy

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It seems the list of adequate PG cartridges is nearly infinite.
Adequate for whom is a valid question.
Type of rifle IE bolt or DR etc
Scope or irons etc
Recoil level
Distance an accurate shot can be made by the shooter/owner.
Distance of shot the PH would feel good taking, on a particular PG animal.
Animal weight range or max.
Bullet weight, construction etc for the above.
Maybe others.

Other less concerning consideration:
replacement lost ammo. IE wildcat cartridge or uncommon round.
Might encounter a Tee Rex while hunting PG. :)
 

Jaco Zeeman

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Plains game in Africa will most probably shot at between 50 and 250 m. You do not need a bullet at 3200 fps to fell your quarry at 100m. The trajectory difference up to 200m is negligible. Any premium bullet from 150gr upwards, at around 2600 fps will drop any of the PG to offer. The most common calibers used here for PG are .308 Win, 30-06, .300 Win Mag, .270 Win, 7x57, .375 H&H, 9.3x62, and a couple of 6.5s and even the .243 Win.
I use mostly two calibers i.e.: 7x57 with 130gr monolithic bullets at 2600 fps. The largest PG species I shot with this combination was an eland bull at 202m, however all the odds were in my favor. I will not use it as the preferred caliber, but I was restricted due to the fact that I had to use a silencer and my 7x57 was prepped for one. I shot every other PG animal with it. The .375 H&H with 300gr bonded bullets at 2400 fps drops all and sundry out to 200m, but longer distances is a challenge.
My take on your question: Your 7STW with 150-170gr premium bullets will do the job. The only problem I foresee will be damage to the skins of the smaller pray if they are to be used for shoulder mounts. If you shoot it well, take it with you. If you want to change, go for any of the 300s with 180gr premium bullets.
Enjoy the journey to the answer.
 

Mtn_Infantry

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Great old thread..

Ive been a pretty dyed in the wool "308 for almost everything" guy for most of my life.. Other than big bears there's nothing in the western hemisphere that it wont easily handle, not much in Europe it wont easily handle, not much in Asia it wont reasonably handle... and I've taken everything from impala to zebra (and a bunch of stuff in between) with a 308 in Africa as well..

It wouldn't be my first choice for the tiny 10 by any stretch.. and I'd probably be a little hesitant with eland when shooting my preferred load (168gr TTSX traveling at a moderate rate of speed).. but for everything else, its performed spectacularly.. whether we're talking blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, ostrich, blesbok, waterbuck, etc..etc..

All that said.. I've really started to warm up to the 30-06 lately (I know.. I know... boring...)... I can shoot my same beloved 168gr TTSX at the same speed as my 308 and do everything my 308 has proven capable of... but.. I can also boost up to a 200gr TSX or some other quality bullet at a fairly solid speed rate and feel perfectly comfortable adding eland to the list..

Ammo is easy to find all over the world (not really an advantage over the 308... but no detriment is presented by going the -06 route).. its reasonably soft on the shoulder.. and you don't have to carry a heavy brick around with you all day...

One of the greatest benefits I've found in the 308 are the lightweight platforms my wife and I shoot it in.. she has a kimber adirondak.. with an optic and loaded its right at 6lbs.. Ive been playing around with a Rem 660 in a B&C stock in 308 quite a bit lately that's maybe 7lbs loaded with optic.. both are a dream to carry in the field... I haven't found a 30-06 in the 6lb range (no optic, unloaded) that I really like yet... but there are several options out there.. Im thinking once I find one that I do like, that it might my next purchase.. and may become my primary PG rifle for future trips to Africa..
Can’t argue with you on the .308. It was my caliber choice until my rifle got stolen and I was forced to make the switch to my back-up, a .257 Weatherby. I’m also playing with a .280 Ackley at the moment but we’ll see how I think it compares to the .257 Weatherby once I’ve got a few animals down. If I can find a nice older 70’s BDL in .308 that’ll shoot like my old one it’d likely be my go to again.
 

John458Lott

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Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. 30/06 or 300 Win? Really either with the right bullets. 5 down v 3 down, more recoil v less, over 300m v less? Or just bring 1 gun then it's the 375 H&H. But who likes vanilla ice cream all the time? That just wouldn't be fun!
 

IvW

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Perhaps a Krieghoff Optima drilling. 24 inch barrels with chokes in cyl/quarter/half/three quarter and full 12ga 3". Rifle barrel 9.3x74R and insert barrel 7x57R and then toss in a 22 Hornet insert barrel for the small tiny ten.......sorted....1 gun 1 case
 

Sabattiboy

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If all ammunition that might be considered for PG, old and new cartridges alike, was removed from everywhere in the world and replaced with modern load data and a new turned copper type bullets, solids and expanding, it wouldn't make much difference which one was used, assuming shooter competence.
However, the worlds supply of ammo being what it is one can't count on bullet types and construction always being appropriate for every animal one might take, or the shot offered.
Just my 2 cents.
From what I've read apparently there are old and new Hornady DGS & DGX bullets that are not constructed equally in 500 NE, maybe other calibers as well. Something in bonding I think.
 

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