Minimum caliber for Zebra?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Mr. 16 gauge, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    The 6.5x55 is a fine caliber and has put many an animal in the salt. If you hand load your in good shape, use a 140 Barnes or a Nosler Partition and you'll be fine. Work for a close range broad side shot and you'll have a short walk to a dead Zebra.

    Good luck and post pic's
     

  2. fsrmg1

    fsrmg1 AH Veteran

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    The Swede is a good caliber and has been knocking over the big bears and moose of the north for over a century now. I think you have the right idea with your load selection, so go for it and post us all a nice post hunt field report.
     

  3. elmerfudd555

    elmerfudd555 AH Senior Member

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    Take the 6.5 based on your situation. Make it a hunt, sneak into reasonable range, don't force the issue and shoot the chevron. You wont have issues with a controlled expansion bullet. I killed mine at 140 yds with a 257 weatherby and 115 nosler partition. My wife used a 270 and 130 Interbonds. Both rugs were collected. Shot placement shot placement shot placement and calm nerves. Great animal, very under-rated.
     
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  4. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Load up that 6.5X55 with 140gr Nosler Partitions or Swift A-Frame bullets and she is good to go. Even the 120gr Swift A-Frame will work fine. Have a good recoil pad such as a Limbsaver on the rifle and have her wear ear protection to help avoid flinching. Shoot off sticks for some practice using a 2nd pair to brace her elbow on as I found it greatly improved my being solid and steady when I did so.
     
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  5. Saul

    Saul AH Enthusiast

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    I am a really big fan of the .280 AI and the 6.5 Creedmoor. When I have hunted with people who are recoil sensitive, they seem to really like shooting both of these cartridges and can easily kill the game.
     

  6. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    You need a big gun for Zebra. Do not listen to the stories of people shooting them with small calibers. Sure anything can be done on occasion. But do you want to go to the other side of the Planet under gunned? If you are worried about recoil check out Edwards Recoil Reducer. Inexpensive, unique, and effective!
    Have a great Safari!
    Philip
     
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  7. Art Lambart II

    Art Lambart II AH Fanatic

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    Mr. 16 Gauge,

    As luck would have it you and my father both live in Michigan and he is a huge fan of the 6.5x55, so much so that he has given one to each of his 6 grand children. He even had a custom youth model made complete with shortened stock and a muzzle break to further reduce what little recoil the Swede has, you can find him on AH @Shootist43, you may have already spoken to him about Cruisers Safaris, we'er hunting with them this August. The 6.5x55 is his go to caliber, he had one custom made for our Safari, just send him a PM, he love talking about "The Swede".
     
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  8. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I like it.
    Witold
     

  9. billc

    billc AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Just ask yourself which is better a 140 grain bullet out of your 6.5 in the right spot because she is able to shoot it. Or a 200 grain out of a 30-06 but she pulls the shot because she is scared of he recoil and gut shoots it.

    Sometimes picking the right gun is not always bigger is better. The shooters needs come into play also.
     
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  10. Karoo Wild Safaris

    Karoo Wild Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    +1 I'm with Bill on this one
     

  11. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    +2
     

  12. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    Ah well this changes things. I know this goes against my previous post however .... getting your daughter on safari with you takes precedence. You are a lucky father.
    The .270/7mm is the recommended and often legal minimum for PG in most countries. On private land that requirement becomes flexible. Women more often than not (in my experience) are better shots than men and if this is the case with your daughter, and she trains up well, you may have different options.

    The camel in my Avatar (about three zebras in weight and size) was taken with a 6.5mm Woodleigh 140 PPSN at 3,014fps from a 264WM. Expansion was, well ... catastrophic for the camel. If she is a good shot then a 7x57 with premium 140's or 6.5x55 with 140's or the Hornady 160 RNSP maybe the way to go. These combos have less recoil in a standard weight rifle and often give a push rather than a slap like shorter cartridges. Consult your PH and choose the area you hunt carefully. Close range maybe the go.

    Where to aim. Maybe a chevron lower.

    [​IMG]

    The end result looks nice.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016

  13. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    If one can't reliably kill a zebra with a 6.5 Swede using a good bullet like a TSX, the problem isn't the choice of gun.
     
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  14. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Yes Art, I have spoken with your dad via PM.....you guys will have a GREAT time with Cruiser safaris. If he is giving 6.5 Swedes to his grandchildren, where do I go to apply?;) My Swede is a surplus M96 Mauser that has been "sporterized"....some of the work I've had done, and some I've done myself; currently I'm toying with the idea of carving a wood stock for it and junking the Ram-line stock it currently is wearing. My rifle has taken pronghorn, mule deer, whitetails, and feral hog......hoping some day it gets to go to Africa and "show it's stuff" over there!
     
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  15. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    You could always get her something along the lines of. 30-06 and have a muzzle brake and Mercury recoil reduction system installed.
     

  16. Novice Huntress

    Novice Huntress AH Member

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    Min Calibre and bullet weight for a Zebra, my view.

    To echo an earlier reply, shot placement is paramount, combined with listen to your PH with regard to shot placement and suitable calibre and bullet weight/construction applied at sensible range.

    So I will say 308 combined with a 170/180 g suitably constructed bullet, I appreciate the original post raised the 6.5x55 as suitable for his daughter with regard to recoil and no doubt in the long past the 6.5x54ms has been successfully used, but out in the field recoil is subtly different to recoil on the bench. Would there be a lot of difference between recoil of the 6.5x55 and 308 in the field?

    Perhaps a rifle fitted with a kickstop and some good practice of sticks?

    The 308 is world widely available with a very large choice of suitable ammunition with a well proven game getting track record.

    I am sure two PH’s have responded on this thread, that Zebra are tough, so you need to ensure you have something suitable.

    The 308 with 170g GECO TM performed very well last year, with our trip with EasiAfrica Safaris.



    Rgds and enjoy your trip

    Easi Africa July  2015.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2016

  17. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    Great advice from billc... lots of practice, get the shot placement right. The zebra will go down.

    As for the 270... I don't own one but have shot many animals, including Eland, with a 270.
     

  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Let that girl use the 6.5! It will do better than fine. With a heavy for caliber premium bullet it has amazing sectional density and it will drive deeper than any '06 (or .308) 180 gr bullet. Indeed, I would rather use the 6.5 than a .308 (but then I would rather use almost anything but a .308 :) - my '06 bias is showing). The wound channel won't be quite as large but it will drive in a straight line through a shoulder and reach the far side of any plains game. It wouldn't be my choice for an eland, but it has killed a lot of them. Remember our Scandinavian brothers use it as their go to moose rifle. And though no moose is as hardy as a typical zebra, that is still a lot of animal on the hoof. The 140 gr bullets usually do well, but if you can find the 156 gr bonded core Oryx by Norma (I believe Graf & Sons carries them) they hit hard and drive very deep.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2016

  19. Pondoro

    Pondoro AH Fanatic

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    No I dont...because the moose have heavy bones I use my .375H&H on them, to be able to shoot frontal shots when the animal is squaring towards me without fearing inferior bullets to break up on them bones..
     

  20. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    This one stepped forward just as I squeezed the trigger! I would have been a tad low in the chevrons....but I still got lungs. Instead of dropping him in his tracks he ran 1/4 of a mile! I shot him with a 300 win mag 180 grain Ballistic Silver Tips. If it had been the Swede I think the results would have been the same......a little bit of a track. If your daughter can shoot the rifle well go for it!

    image.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 3, 2016

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