Is there a perfect plains game calibre?

Longwalker

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I have no idea what "perfect" is, but a choice that would give me full confidence is the old 9.3x62 with the classic 286 gr. bullets at 2400 fps. I'm pretty sure it will kill any plains game reliably and even though it is not fast, it will have a flat enough trajectory for most situations. I just choose not to shoot at any game that is over 300 meters away. I have experienced several light, fast bullets do enough odd and unpredictable things after striking game that I'll choose the reliable penetration and bone breaking power of a bigger, somewhat slower bullet that always hangs together and is not overly challenged by passing through a humerus bone on the way to the vitals.
 

Ridgewalker

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I think I have the answer!
Duiker 223
Impala 243
Blesbok 257 Roberts
Nyala 7mm-08
Warthog 308
Kudu 7mm RM
Black wildebeest 30-06
Blue wildebeest 300 WM
Zebra 338 WM
Eland 9.3x62
Giraffe 375 H&H

Am I getting close?:D:ROFLMAO::LOL:(n)
 

BeeMaa

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I think I have the answer!
Duiker 223
Impala 243
Blesbok 257 Roberts
Nyala 7mm-08
Warthog 308
Kudu 7mm RM
Black wildebeest 30-06
Blue wildebeest 300 WM
Zebra 338 WM
Eland 9.3x62
Giraffe 375 H&H

Am I getting close?:D:ROFLMAO::LOL:(n)
Allow me to add..Red Hartebeest 270 WIN
 

johnnyblues

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I too will vote for the 300's either standard or WSM. Just choose the right bullet for the job. Barnes TTSX comes to mind.
 

Odinsraven

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8x68s would be perfect due to the wide range of bullet weights .......have taken a 8mm rem mag moat times for culling but have built up a stock of ammo at the local gun dealer ....the old girl is coming near to new barrel time and decided 8x68s gives the flexability ............
 

Michael Dean

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The problem you have is that 99% of the plains game can be taken with your typical Elk rifle be it a 7mm mag or 7x57 until you get to the Eland. An Eland is three times the size of an elk weighing in at between 1,500-2,000 pounds. Then it's time to revisit calibers and look long and hard at the 338's. I'm fighting to exact problem right now, I've book a ten animal safari and 9 of the ten animals can be taken with my 270 WSM. For the Eland I'm going to bring along a 338 Federal. Lot's of hard choices. I just don't want to shoot an Eland with a 270WSM and watch it walk off like nothing was bothering it. The 338 Federal has enough extra oomph to get the job done. In short, there is no perfect plains game rifle; there's just too big of a difference between the small antilopes and the Eland.
 

Art Lambart II

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For the Eland I'm going to bring along a 338 Federal. Lot's of hard choices. I just don't want to shoot an Eland with a 270WSM and watch it walk off like nothing was bothering it. The 338 Federal has enough extra oomph to get the job done. In short, there is no perfect plains game rifle; there's just too big of a difference between the small antelopes and the Eland.

@Michael Dean IMO the 338 Federal is still to light for Eland depending on the shot angle offered. I know that many Eland have fallen to the 7x57 or a 30-06 but normally this only happens after the Eland has covered a great deal of ground and several hours of tracking. Personally I prefer a 35 Whelen or larger for Eland, but if your planning to take a big bodied bull then something like the 375 H&H or something that starts with a 4 and ends with Jeffery, Rigby or NE would be better provided you can shoot them well.
 

Michael Dean

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I've made up my mind, the Eland is going down with a 338 federal. I've already bought the brass, powder and bullets. The bullet is a 213 grain Hammer, and the powder is Varget. Norma brass.
 
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johnnyblues

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I think you'll be fine. Took my at 150 yards with a 300 WSM ran about 75 yards and dropped. 180 grain Barnes TSX ammo. As always shot placement is critical.
 

BeeMaa

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@Michael Dean IMO the 338 Federal is still to light for Eland depending on the shot angle offered. I know that many Eland have fallen to the 7x57 or a 30-06 but normally this only happens after the Eland has covered a great deal of ground and several hours of tracking. Personally I prefer a 35 Whelen or larger for Eland, but if your planning to take a big bodied bull then something like the 375 H&H or something that starts with a 4 and ends with Jeffery, Rigby or NE would be better provided you can shoot them well.
I agree with AL2 on the Eland.
One gun safari = 375 (H&H, Ruger, Wetherby, RUM...etc, your choice) or .400+ (again your choice Rigby, Jeff, RM...)
Use solids to take the smaller stuff to minimize hide damage, and softs on larger game.
As always, using a quality bonded soft bullet such as Swift A-Frame, Barnes TSX or Norma Oryx will make your PH very happy.
In turn, making you happy with all the game on the ground.

Only one caveat -this is provided you can accurately shoot a 375 and up.
If you are best with a 338 (or smaller like 270WSM) caliber, you may want to wait to get closer or for a "perfect broadside" shot.
 

Art Lambart II

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I'm sure the 338 Federal will work, just remember to have your boots laced on tight and a flashlight in your pack with plenty of extra batteries.

Hammers need a long handle to be efficient. Your 213 grain bullet is a light weight hammer for a .338 and that 308 case is definitely a short handle but hit a big nail enough time with a light hammer and you'll still get the job done.
 
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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?
@njc110381
The rifle you are confident with is the ideal plains game rifle if it has sufficient power and accuracy for the job. I used a 35 Whelen and my son used a 308 and found neither lacking.
I feel the 7mmSTW loaded with a good bullet like the 175 grain swift Aframe or a 150 or heavier Barnes would be more than enough. The 7x57 works so the STW will be even better as it fits you and you are comfortable with it. Just get plenty of practice off sticks.
Bob
 
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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.
@TTundra
I can see it getting a lot better with a 225 grain accubond, Woodleigh or Barnes launched at up to 2,900 fps out of a 35 Whelen. They will do everything the 300 and 338 will do and then some . One shot no tracking what more do you want.
Bob
 

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As Doctari has stated - any bullet travelling at 2400 FPS muzzle will work - his book the "Perfect Shot II" will tell you everything you need to know about calibre selection

WDM Bell on the other hand was unique !
 
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Their is a perfect PG round and it's the 35 Whelen. A 35 Whelen moves a 225 grain bullet at 2700 fps, 2700 fps is a standard 180 grain bullet for the 06 and a 200 grain bullet for the 300 WM. The Whelen uses a heavier bullet with a larger frontal diameter at the same velocity as the 06 and the 300 WM equals more energy on target and a greater killing effect. Out to 300 yards the Whelen is the best PG round you can use.
@Art Lambert II
Put some more coal on the fire mate the Whelen will do 200 fps better with the 225s. Dang man the 250s will do 2,700 fps without raising a sweat.
Bob
 

Red Leg

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@Michael Dean IMO the 338 Federal is still to light for Eland depending on the shot angle offered. I know that many Eland have fallen to the 7x57 or a 30-06 but normally this only happens after the Eland has covered a great deal of ground and several hours of tracking. Personally I prefer a 35 Whelen or larger for Eland, but if your planning to take a big bodied bull then something like the 375 H&H or something that starts with a 4 and ends with Jeffery, Rigby or NE would be better provided you can shoot them well.
I'll respectfully disagree. An eland has far more in common with a moose than a cape buffalo. A forty is absolutely not necessary. One reason the 33's (or the Whelen) make such a good choice with 220 to 250 gr bullets is they'll handle everything from up close to as far as a PH is likely to let a client attempt a shot. In fact, in traditional walk down of an eland, a forty would be an absolute handicap both due to weight and potential range limitations. And yes, I will definitely take a longer shot with my .338 Win Mag than my .404.

I personally have used a .375 on Cape and Livingstone eland, but that was because I was hunting Cape buffalo on the same safari (and no I don't recommend a forty as particularly needed on cape buffalo either). Where a long day of hiking is likely, I much prefer a rifle that totes more like a 30-06 than a M-60.

Were I going on a PG hunt tomorrow where eland would be featured, my rifle would be one of my .300's or a .338.
 

Red Leg

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I've made up my mind, the Eland is going down with a 338 federal. I've already bought the brass, powder and bullets. The bullet is a 213 grain Hammer, and the powder is Varget. Norma brass.
Truth in lending Michael, I do not much care for the .338 Federal. It takes all the bad attributes of the .308 and magnifies them - negatively. You are forced to use a relatively light for caliber bullet with marginal SD and it is still moving 300 fps slower than the Win Mag with a 220. I personally would much rather use a 200 gr bullet from a .300 Win Mag on an eland - maybe even a 175 from my .275.
 

mdwest

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One reason the 33's (or the Whelen) make such a good choice with 220 to 250 gr bullets is they'll handle everything from up close to as far as a PH is likely to let a client attempt a shot.

Completely agree...

Eland is on the menu this summer.. A .35 Whelen with 225gr TTSX loaded to about 2600 fps is being used.. I think it will be nearly perfect eland medicine..
 

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