Looking for feedback from Africa hunters with experience using 6.5mm cartridges

IvW

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Minimum caliber requirements are not blanket rules everywhere. I've seen camp rifles on farms in RSA in .223 and .243 being used for plains game.

different rules/regulations apply for land owners as opposed to visiting hunters....
 

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different rules/regulations apply for land owners as opposed to visiting hunters....

Can you post those regulations, i.e. where does it state that a visiting hunter can or can not bring a firearm of a certain cartridge or caliber? This would apply to most of RSA since they are legally game farms where the farm owner owns the animals.
 

IvW

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Can you post those regulations, i.e. where does it state that a visiting hunter can or can not bring a firearm of a certain cartridge or caliber? This would apply to most of RSA since they are legally game farms where the farm owner owns the animals.

https://www.environment.gov.za/site...ces/nemba_huntingindustry_g32798gen1614_1.pdf

These are the norms and standards as gaz
zetted. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: BIODIVERISTY ACT, 2004 (ACT NO. 10 OF 2004) DRAFT NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR THE REGULATION OF THE HUNTING INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA
 

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Hogpatrol

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https://www.environment.gov.za/site...ces/nemba_huntingindustry_g32798gen1614_1.pdf

These are the norms and standards as gaz
zetted. NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: BIODIVERISTY ACT, 2004 (ACT NO. 10 OF 2004) DRAFT NORMS AND STANDARDS FOR THE REGULATION OF THE HUNTING INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA

First, What's that got to do with visiting hunters? There's nothing in there about them. Besides, that's an eleven year old draft. Where are the REGULATIONS, the ones that are written in stone and have legal weight for the ENTIRE country without differences for each province or state? I submit to you, there are ZERO country wide regs on the size or caliber of firearm, only import restrictions.

Here's an old thread beating this dead horse.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/minimum-caliber-requirement-in-eastern-cape.24006/
 
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MS 9x56

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Your gun may be a showcase piece but what good is beauty if no one sees it. Just my opinion but I hunt all my guns. Hunting is where a gun builds memories and obtains its juju. If you really like it take it out to do what it was built for and make some memories to go with that beauty. Scratches are just beauty marks with a story behind them. Good hunting.
 

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I've posted this video here before, but it's always worth a look when discussing the .264 family.

 

Newboomer

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I like my 6.5CR and have shot steel at FTW Ranch at 1000 yards consistantly. I took it to Africa on my last hunt and killed several head, my longest shot was 286 yards using Hornady 143g ELD-X. My concern for long shots is the knockdown power factor at long range. Steel and flesh are two very different mediums and I don't like the idea of not having enough power for a clean kill so I limit my shots to around 300 yards. After all, half the fun is stalking as close as possible.
 

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I like my 6.5CR and have shot steel at FTW Ranch at 1000 yards consistantly. I took it to Africa on my last hunt and killed several head, my longest shot was 286 yards using Hornady 143g ELD-X. My concern for long shots is the knockdown power factor at long range. Steel and flesh are two very different mediums and I don't like the idea of not having enough power for a clean kill so I limit my shots to around 300 yards. After all, half the fun is stalking as close as possible.

Well, the 260 can be pushed a little harder, this was a perfect shot under perfect conditions, into the neck of a cull blesbok.

He was shooting 143 ELD-X also - at my prompting, I might add. He'd been doing really well with some Berger 130s, told him what I was getting with the ELD-X in my Swede, couple months later, he's shooting Hornady, too.
 

Sika98k

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I have made several trips to Namibia in the last 7 years, missed out in 2015 and went twice in 2019. I've always gone with a group of disparate friends, with an equally disparate selection of rifles . The 6.5x55 has made a couple of trips and I’ve seen it shoot several oryx, a zebra and an impala. Ammunition used was 140gr SST’s. That wouldn’t have been my choice but it was his and as he said himself “it’s where you put the bullet that counts”.
True words indeed. 6.5x55 is pretty popular in Ireland. American loaded ammunition isn’t. Sako, Norma, S&B all offer pokier ammo.
 

ILCAPO

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I have made several trips to Namibia in the last 7 years, missed out in 2015 and went twice in 2019. I've always gone with a group of disparate friends, with an equally disparate selection of rifles . The 6.5x55 has made a couple of trips and I’ve seen it shoot several oryx, a zebra and an impala. Ammunition used was 140gr SST’s. That wouldn’t have been my choice but it was his and as he said himself “it’s where you put the bullet that counts”.
True words indeed. 6.5x55 is pretty popular in Ireland. American loaded ammunition isn’t. Sako, Norma, S&B all offer pokier ammo.
I found for some of the Euro rounds, which were military rounds to start, we have custom rounds available. Also, I'm starting to see hotter loads in special ammo offerings from some of the major makers, but expect to spend a good buck for them.
 

Sika98k

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I found for some of the Euro rounds, which were military rounds to start, we have custom rounds available. Also, I'm starting to see hotter loads in special ammo offerings from some of the major makers, but expect to spend a good buck for them.
You won’t go wrong using either Sako or Norma. The Norma 156gr bullet has a certain authority on impact. Likewise Sako’s Hammerhead.
 

expresshunt

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Select the most suitable 6.5 bullet for the game, and all will be great. Shot placement is always the important factor, and some people shoot more accurately with a non magnum. Ive used a 3006 on lots of game, and dont need to change that... However... a nice custom 7x57 is nearing completion, so that will have to got to Africa in 2021.
 

expresshunt

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I am not a huge fan of magnums, and will only use them if I need them. Out in Colorado, for instance. Bought a Browning A-bolt hunter in 7mm Rem Mag as my first rifle, because I was in Colorado looking to hunt mule deer and elk. Gun store recommended either a .30-06 or the 7RM, saying the latter was a flatter shooter. It was, and it worked well. Since then I bought a 300 Winchester magnum. Never have fired it. Only bought it because the price was right. Got it in the late '90s. It was a limited edition (1 of 500) Model 70 Win from Reinhart-Fajen stock maker. Its fitted to a fancy tiger stripe maple stock. I got it for long-range elk hunting, but in Africa would only bring it if I was hunting in the Kalahari or other area calling for long range shots.

I favor easier recoil, and am apparently your average shooter, as the .30-06 is about as much as I care for in terms of recoil. My .35 Whelen is heavier, but acceptable as long as I don't load with heavy rounds. I actually might consider putting a muzzle break on that one.

I have a 6mm Remington, .257 Roberts, and 6.5mm Swede, and all are a joy to shoot. Again, the only problem with my Swede is it's really a show piece, too fancy for the field. I was looking to get another 6.5mm which I wouldn't be afraid to get scratches on, and thought either another Swede or perhaps something along those lines, without going to the magnums. Again, the 264 Winchester is too similar to my 7mm Rem Mag to bother with. I would just default to the 7RM if it came to that. As discussed earlier, I was looking more at the 6.5 x 284 because it appears to provide more than the Swede but not go overboard like the magnums.

For this first hunt I'm not going to need a magnum, because it will be pretty much bushveld hunting; either in Limpopo or Mpumalanga or the northern part of Kwazulu-Natal. The outfitters I've been talking to all say that their areas will be such that most likely the longest shot I may face is 250 yards, with many being much closer. At that range, a good classic, rather than a magnum, is called for. Ergo, the .35 Whelen for the heavy stuff. Looking for this to be a lighter rifle.
I'm guessing if you like mild rifles, then you occassionally have shots with no ear protection. If you put that muzzle brake on and forget ear protection just once, you will have permanent damage, I hate muzzle brakes, so do the other shooter here, when one rolls up at practice.
 

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Small calibers or long range shooting of game works until it doesn't. Small calibers or long range shooting of game impresses others until it does't.

1st trip eh? a little shaky off the sticks, not knowing what to expect from known tougher PG like oryx, zebra or wildebeest not to mention an 1800 lb eland, with at least 2 or 3 watching.... IMO you would be better served by a good tough bullet at a reasonable range out of something like a 30-06 or 338-06 or 35 Whelen. The only experience I have reference the 6.5 in Africa is trying to find game shot and lost by a 6.5 yadayada by a self proclaimed expert marksman from Europe, don't recall the country nor does it matter. Namely a waterbuck (decomposing) that we found and an eland that was never found.
 

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Higher velocity rifles in 6.5 with a suitable bullet design and weight, such as the .264 Win Mag, 6.5 Remington Mag and 26 Nosler all have more than enough power for PG, eland included.
 

IvW

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Higher velocity rifles in 6.5 with a suitable bullet design and weight, such as the .264 Win Mag, 6.5 Remington Mag and 26 Nosler all have more than enough power for PG, eland included.
Very reckless statement to make especially regarding eland.
 

Hogpatrol

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Very reckless statement to make especially regarding eland.
And I bet you never killed an animal with a Berger. If I couldn't drop an eland with a 26 Nosler shooting a Berger, I'd give up ALL hunting. It's the Indian, not the arrow. Truth be known, 90% are overgunned. We're not shooting Tyrannosaurus Rex here.
 

expresshunt

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Just my opinion... If I hunt eland again, I will use a 375H&H, again, or a 338 or 35 Whelan. Ive only hunted them in quite open country, 1st time the wildebeest nearby were on alert and the eland shot was about 175yds slightly away through the heart. The second time a similar distance but it took off, my second shot dropped it, and the 375 with grand slam's was perfect. Both times the bull Eland were massive, almost the same weight and possibly heavier in the chest than a cape buffalo. I'm sure a 300WM (etc) and tough 180 grainer is great for most shots on Eland, and if we are talking Lord Derby with a bigger price tag then I would prefer use a 340WM or 9.3x62, or 375H&H, because with a heavy bullet there are more chances to take the shot, with brush and angle factors.. and a long way to fly back again.
This thread started about the 6.5x55, and yes I would confidently use it on small to medium game to 200 yards, and even upto Kudu or Waterbuck at 150yds. However I personally would prefer a 3006 and 180 pill for Zebra or Wildebeest... and for the Kudu or Waterbuck.... and a 300mag if I wanted to go 200-300yds.
A long time ago a lot of PHs trembled when visitors arrived with 270Weatherby Magnums and 264WMs.. either a good hit side on on medium game, or a disaster... and long shots would have had a few nightmares. Luckily people stuck to 300s, 338s, 9.3x62mm for the tougher game. But everything goes in cycles, and we are on the smaller, faster and foot pound cycle again, to sell more guns in USA, so we think we can shoot further with less recoil.?? Luckily we have fantastic bullets available now... as a bullet that what drops a deer or blesbuck at 400, may not drop a wildebeest or zebra at 400.
My resposibility as a shooter is to kill with one shot, however things will occassionally go wrong and shots are sometimes off a bit, and that second shot will actually become the kill shot, and will have to be aimed, taken faster and better placed, and 99% chance its a raking shot. Thats where a 180 grainer from 06 or 300 comes into being. Not many African PHs are going to relax much when a 6.5 Super boomer, monster scope and muzzle brake gets layed on the sand for a 490yd shot. If the shot wounds, its a long way to catch up, and a long day ahead.
 

IvW

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And I bet you never killed an animal with a Berger. If I couldn't drop an eland with a 26 Nosler shooting a Berger, I'd give up ALL hunting. It's the Indian, not the arrow. Truth be known, 90% are overgunned. We're not shooting Tyrannosaurus Rex here.
Correct I do not regard Berger bullets as premium grade hunting bullets, especially not in a small caliber such as 6.5mm Nosler which shoots 120gr bullets @ close to 3400 fps and 140gr bullets @ 3300 fps or in any of the DG calibers for that matter.

Yes shot placement is the most important but common sense and experience should prevail.....you should know that....

Find me one Outfitter or PH on this forum who would recommend bringing a 26 Nosler loaded with Berger bullets to hunt either Cape, Livingstone or Giant eland...if you are bringing it for springbuck or bles buck in the wide open spaces it may be a different story but not for eland....not in my book anyway....

How many old eland bulls have you killed with this combination?
 

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