Is there a perfect plains game calibre?

perttime

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6.5x55? That's my favourite but assumed it would be a bit on the small side?
A great number of Moose gets taken with the Swedish 6.5mm every year, in Sweden and other countries in Northern Europe. You do need to pick the right bullet, but you need to do that anyway.
 

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The initial question was, "the perfect plains game cartridge" not any cartridge that just can do it.

I do not consider anything below 7mm perfect, because there are a lot of better cartridges.

Also a belted cartridge is not perfect, because rimless is the far better design....

A .300 RUM, a 8x68S or a 9,3x64 are hard to beat....


HWL
 
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Scott CWO

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Yes, agree with the 338 and 458Lott but the 340 is faster therefore flatter and has better momentum.
Basically what Weatherby did was attempt to “one-up” the popular calibers/cartridges of the day with higher pressures from free-bore, more powder, different case design, etc... In my opinion, some of those changes cause other undesirable issues with accuracy, recoil, lack of ammo availability, etc... A little more velocity and flatness really isn’t needed in the African environment where most shots are at reasonable ranges.
 

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Hi all.

After a lot of talk about the .458 Lott I've ordered being a fairly hopeless choice for plains game, what would most people here consider to be a good calibre for that task? I recently got rid of a .338 Win Mag as it didn't fit me well, but I still have a 7 STW.

The plan for the STW was to rebarrel in .338 at some point but I actually quite like it as it is. It's a Sako 75 synthetic stainless which is a rifle that fits me extremely well and I am familiar with. I bought the gun because it was a magnum actioned gun that I know will work for me, totally ignoring the calibre as it's easier to change that than find one in the calibre I wanted!

There are a lot of rounds in the light magnum category. 7mm of various forms, .30, 8mm (the 8mm Rem Mag that the STW is based upon looks interesting), and then of course there are the .338's and .35 calibres. I'm just wondering what the more experienced hunters here think regarding the best choice?

The perfect gun for hunting most of Africa is the .375. Able to take everything but elephant and with solids all most of the Tiny Ten. To answer your question more specifically the .300 Win is in my experience the best and most used all around PG gun. We have unlimited calibers and guns to choose from nowadays but these will always be at the top.
 

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The perfect gun for hunting most of Africa is the .375. Able to take everything but elephant and with solids all most of the Tiny Ten. To answer your question more specifically the .300 Win is in my experience the best and most used all around PG gun. We have unlimited calibers and guns to choose from nowadays but these will always be at the top.
And kills lots of elephants every year.
 

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Perfect for me is my 300 win mag sending 180 or 200 grain pills at any PG. I don't see it getting any better, probably a just as perfect secondary or tertiary option out there as well.

+1 on that
 

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"Is there a perfect plains game calibre?"

Taking the bullet out of the equation and just assume premium bullets are always used, I like the 375 H&H for plains game. It shoots flat enough to shoot further than I care to shoot, it hits with good authority, and if you run across a monster buffalo while hunting plains game a proper rifle is already in your hands. It is also an "African" rifle. Nostalgia may not be important to some, but it is to me.

If dangerous game is not a possibility a 7 by 57 is on of my favorites. It can be built in a light handy package and has been used in Africa for well over a century.

Are either perfect? There are definitely more modern rounds that shoot platter and are lot more sexy.

However, this I can attest to, both my 7 by 57 and 375 H&H have been on some perfect hunts with me.
 

dchamp

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I would think the .375H&H and .300WM would be the most common and practical choices. They both work very well and factory ammo is widely available world wide.

I see you mentioned 8mm Rem Mag. I have used the 8mm Rem Mag on Plains Game in Namibia with 200gr TSX's and it worked very well but there is not much in the way of factory ammo available for it. Being in the UK the 8x68s might make for a more practical choice.

Another very good choice, for a one rifle does all, would be the 9.3x62.

There are many choices out there and most will work well. I would get whatever floats your boat.

The reason I mention the availability of factory ammo is I think it is an important consideration when traveling with firearms or have at least a backup plan for the possibility of something being lost or damaged during travel.
 

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Many opinions are based on fantasy rather than fact.

If it is your desire to kill everything in Africa at 400 and in get a 460 Weatherby and don't cry about the recoil.

But do you really want to shoot a 40 pound critter with something that will probably make it into at least two pieces? And after all....you can't take meat home with you...

But who wants to do that?

I outfitted 6 guys in the last month with many fine weapons that no one here would turn their nose up at no matter how pretentious they may be....or appear to be.

When asked by this crew just what caliber is best for pg , I told them that many will kill them all with absolutely perfect shots, but become heavy for some game and light for others. And remember....it it all about opinions.

My opinion is that the 264 Winchester Magnum for all up to 500 pounds and the 340 Weatherby for everything else and if you're good with the iron....400 yard kill shots are possible and you won't be under gunned.

And it's simple! If you're not that good, just don't take them and don't hack on those who can.
 

Nevada Mike

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300 Yards is a long shot for 90% of shooters. Under field conditions (without a good rest and accurate ranging) it is very challenging. As the trajectory really begins to drop off beyond 300 yards, shots beyond 300 - 350 yards become very iffy without specialized equipment and bullets.

I shoot a 7mm Remington Magnum and have owned the rifle since the 1970s. But the longest shot I have attempted was about 325 yards paced off. This was a large mule deer and the shot was successful. This with my 6.5 X 55. Since that time I have gotten older and wiser.

YMMV
 

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Your STW is more than sufficient.

As said earlier in this thread - it’s more about the bullet than the cartridge. Just use a quality bonded or mono of appropriate weight, shoot straight and they will all fall down.
 

Von S.

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300 Yards is a long shot for 90% of shooters. Under field conditions (without a good rest and accurate ranging) it is very challenging. As the trajectory really begins to drop off beyond 300 yards, shots beyond 300 - 350 yards become very iffy without specialized equipment and bullets.

I shoot a 7mm Remington Magnum and have owned the rifle since the 1970s. But the longest shot I have attempted was about 325 yards paced off. This was a large mule deer and the shot was successful. This with my 6.5 X 55. Since that time I have gotten older and wiser.

YMMV

Nevada Mike,

I will not only agree with you , I will go even farther and state that it has been my experience that a 200 yard shot is too much for 90% of all hunters in a blood letting situation.

Some people actually practice making kill shots at 300 yards plus.....others have never practiced at a distance longer than 100 yards with most never getting their fat ass off the bench to free hand or shoot from sticks.

And when at 50 yards they can't drop baldy wtd dead in its tracks the scope and or bullet gets blamed for that magnificent gut shot that sent that animal away at light speed.

There are some good shots out there.
 

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300 Yards is a long shot for 90% of shooters. ...
Then, there's those who take the time to get good at range estimation and/or spend the money to get a good pair of laser range finding binoculars. And learn the art and science of wind estimation. And learn to apply the results to their trajectories. And get the appropriate hold-overs or scope adjustments for the distant targets. And know how well they can hold the rifle in whatever shooting position is available....
... I'm not there. I haven't put in the practice with a rifle.
 

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And kills lots of elephants every year.
So True - yep if I was a one gun man - I am working towards that retiring one hunting rifle a year - Blessed I will be in my 121st year when I will be down to one rimfire one centre fire Rifle !
 

njc110381

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300 Yards is a long shot for 90% of shooters. Under field conditions (without a good rest and accurate ranging) it is very challenging. As the trajectory really begins to drop off beyond 300 yards, shots beyond 300 - 350 yards become very iffy without specialized equipment and bullets.

I've shot a few foxes at 300+. Always resting on quad sticks and always knowing my range within a reasonable margin either by my experience on that piece of ground or my shooting partner ranging it for me before the shot. It's not something I enjoy but if a problem animal is eating livestock and I can't get any closer then they get shot from further away. It's not sporting and given the choice I like my shots to be inside 100m. If I'm hobby hunting I get more satisfaction from the stalk than the shot, but sometimes needs must.
 

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I just re-read this thread.
The best advice; Red Leg................many PH's have a 300 Win.....................good choice, always get ammo...
Brick: shoot what you shoot best............the best advice
Turtle: If you are going to use something small, put it in the right place......................referring to rifles, I believe......FWB
 
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Nevada Mike

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Then, there's those who take the time to get good at range estimation and/or spend the money to get a good pair of laser range finding binoculars. And learn the art and science of wind estimation. And learn to apply the results to their trajectories. And get the appropriate hold-overs or scope adjustments for the distant targets. And know how well they can hold the rifle in whatever shooting position is available....
... I'm not there. I haven't put in the practice with a rifle.

Well, that is the 10% who can confidently shoot at these extended ranges. There is also a significant component - the terminal performance of the bullet at extended ranges. MPBR on even the most effective calibers (with a 6" to 8" drop at 300 yards plus) is subject to accurate ranging. One MOA at ranges beyond 300 yards describes a 6" or greater circle - and this makes accurate ranging even more critical. I am reasonably confident up to a known range of 300 yards... more is dependent on target size, conditions, angle, bullet, etc.
 

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Well, that is the 10% who can confidently shoot at these extended ranges. There is also a significant component - the terminal performance of the bullet at extended ranges. MPBR on even the most effective calibers (with a 6" to 8" drop at 300 yards plus) is subject to accurate ranging. One MOA at ranges beyond 300 yards describes a 6" or greater circle - and this makes accurate ranging even more critical. I am reasonably confident up to a known range of 300 yards... more is dependent on target size, conditions, angle, bullet, etc.
Time of flight and the animal moves 300 is a fair range imho on the Karoo .........but closer is always better .....mind you a buddy of mine got hit by a deer he got too close too so there are limits
 

njc110381

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Time of flight and the animal moves 300 is a fair range imho on the Karoo .........but closer is always better .....mind you a buddy of mine got hit by a deer he got too close too so there are limits

I couldn't agree more. Especially with the slower calibres. My .22-250 covers 300 yards faster than my .45-70 can manage 100
 

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