Minimum caliber for Zebra?

Philip Glass

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@ Mr 16 gauge if the 6.5 Swede will handle moose it should handle plains game with the right bullet and correct shot placement. I used the 35 Whelen with 225grain Woodleigh PPSP.
My son used humus Howa 308. Other have gone down to the 257 Roberts up to and past the 416 rem mag.
Bob
@Mr 16 gauge
Get her shooting off the sticks from the start with the 22 and others as she works her way up. Don't forget field position as well.
Bob
@phillip Glass
Shot placement, shot placement, proper bullet selection, patience for the right shot and a rifle you shoot well will trump a poorly shot big gun any day.
Good ears to listen to what your PH is telling you and confidence in self and rifle equals one zebra rug and what ever else you shoot.
I don't know why but kids can kill game with rifles we consider inadequate but us adults need the biggest we can get.
My son killed as much with his 08 as I did with the Whelen. In hindsight the 308 would have done both of us.
Bob
Respectfully, experience from many tough safaris tells me I can’t always have the perfect set up. I may be tired from climbing hills day after day. Maybe I’m dejected from not seeing game or something else can be going on making things not ideal. Or Maybe the shots are all very far. And then some of you guys shoot a zebra from the truck first day! Perfect rest on the truck, easy shot, not tired from weeks of hunting, or any other issues going on. It’s easy right! (This happens a lot)
Look guys. Those of you who are very experienced hunters and who have a checkbook to pay for wounded game that get away may do as you please.
My advice here on AH is directed to the novice African hunter. The guy planning his first or maybe second or third safari.
I can kill most anything with my .223 but is hat the right thing to do? My point is always to direct folks to the right caliber for them. This thing of trying to use he smallest gun possible is nonsense.
So here’s a zebra story: in Namibia in 2016 hunting leopard so needing bait. I take a shot at a mountain zebra off sticks at about 175 yards. All looked good and it was a hit but took a bit for him to go down. Hmmm what’s the deal..... we my 300gr Accubond hit a little twig and the bullet entered sideways thus not performing correctly. I didn’t see that the bush was in the way but that’s hunting and I’m glad I had a .375!
One more story: a close friend goes on safari with me last year to Namibia. He is an excellent shot and shoots at NRA etc and he’s a gun and gear guru. He insists on taking his 6.5 Creedmore against my advice. He even gets a little smart with me about it!
I give up knowing what will happen. It is a real hunt with ARU Safaris and no easy shots and no shooting from the truck allowed. He wounds animal after animal and thankfully he had a very good PH and tracker and all were eventually found.
Folks you can vomit: shot placement, shot placement, shot placement, all you want. It’s not a bench! It’s Africa!
 

BeeMaa

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Respectfully, experience from many tough safaris tells me I can’t always have the perfect set up. I may be tired from climbing hills day after day. Maybe I’m dejected from not seeing game or something else can be going on making things not ideal. Or Maybe the shots are all very far. And then some of you guys shoot a zebra from the truck first day! Perfect rest on the truck, easy shot, not tired from weeks of hunting, or any other issues going on. It’s easy right! (This happens a lot)
Look guys. Those of you who are very experienced hunters and who have a checkbook to pay for wounded game that get away may do as you please.
My advice here on AH is directed to the novice African hunter. The guy planning his first or maybe second or third safari.
I can kill most anything with my .223 but is hat the right thing to do? My point is always to direct folks to the right caliber for them. This thing of trying to use he smallest gun possible is nonsense.
So here’s a zebra story: in Namibia in 2016 hunting leopard so needing bait. I take a shot at a mountain zebra off sticks at about 175 yards. All looked good and it was a hit but took a bit for him to go down. Hmmm what’s the deal..... we my 300gr Accubond hit a little twig and the bullet entered sideways thus not performing correctly. I didn’t see that the bush was in the way but that’s hunting and I’m glad I had a .375!
One more story: a close friend goes on safari with me last year to Namibia. He is an excellent shot and shoots at NRA etc and he’s a gun and gear guru. He insists on taking his 6.5 Creedmore against my advice. He even gets a little smart with me about it!
I give up knowing what will happen. It is a real hunt with ARU Safaris and no easy shots and no shooting from the truck allowed. He wounds animal after animal and thankfully he had a very good PH and tracker and all were eventually found.
Folks you can vomit: shot placement, shot placement, shot placement, all you want. It’s not a bench! It’s Africa!
Can't just be good on paper...gotta have the goods in the field as well.

My favorite saying...
"Whew, I'm sure glad I left the 375 at home on this trip."
Said no one hunting African PG...ever.
 

CBH Australia

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@Philip Glass
Y’know Bob didn’t mean that’s last sentence about “in hindsight the .308 would have done both of us”
Nobody ever heard Bob say
"Whew, I'm sure glad I left the .35Whelen at home on this trip."
Never said Bob when hunting ever..
@BeeMaa , sorry I edited your quote.

Your point is understood, I guess the thread started with a new shooter, new hunter who at this point seems to be concerned by recoil. There is a chance @Mr. 16 gauge 16 gauge Will introduce his daughter to the .30-06

Most here are probably hunters and walk and stalk. Some hunt higher and harder than others.
I
Let’s hope the OP can teach his daughter how to handle a rifle and become a competent hunter.

Maybe we Lls missed the rel question. Is the 6.5x55 adequate?

I understand your frustration with your friend and his 6.5cm. It’s flavour of the month and was designed for target shooting, with the right pills it’s is. Step up Fromm .243 and might be PG compatible. I hired a 7mmRM but I don’t hunt with anything less than a 7mm-08. Mostly it’s the .308

Here is "the rest of the story":
Tried to get my daughter interested in hunting/shooting when she was younger (10-12); she had no desire at that time. While she was in college, she asked me to teach her how to shoot a handgun, and I willingly obliged. I even bought her a handgun (Charter arms .38 special), and a few weekends ago she asked me about teaching her how to shoot a rifle. I was curious as to why, and the answer somewhat surprised me.......she said she wants to take a zebra. I tried to get her to come along as an observer on my first trip, but she declined, and I think she regrets it. At any rate, I know she is somewhat recoil sensitive, so my intention was to start her out with my air rifle first, then the .22LR, then .22 magnum, and then the next step up in my arsenal is the 6.5x55. I do have a .30-06 and would like her to use that, but that might not be an option.......but then we will see. We have time.....

Yes, I know something "bigger" would be "better"; if it were just me, I'd use my .338 Win. mag and be done with it......but sometimes life ain't so simple.;)
 

WAB

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Sorry Phillip I disagree. I have shot zebra with a .375 and agree it is great for the job. However, the question was, what is a sensible minimum. I have proven to myself with multiple zebra, wildebeest and kudu that a well placed 175 gr A-Frame out of my 7x57 will get the job done every time. The OP is worried about recoil for his daughter. If that is the case, a well placed 7x57 or 6.5x55 trumps a poorly placed .375 caused by a flinch every time.
 

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Just guessing but assume the animals that need trailing were either shot in the front shoulder or just a plain bum shot. I tell my buddies, STOP shooting shoulder shots. Double lungers are the best way to go. They can run on three legs. They can't run if they can't breathe.
 
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Just guessing but assume the animals that need trailing were either shot in the front shoulder or just a plain bum shot. I tell my buddies, STOP shooting shoulder shots. Double lungers are the best way to go. They can run on three legs. They can't run if they can't breathe.
@Hogpatrol
I'm in a stirring mood today so don't take this personally.
I like front shoulder shots they can break down an animals locomotion.
I tried a rear shoulder shot once but had a hard time locating it so just chose a plain old shoulder.
 

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@ Bob Nelson, No worries.
e-big-grin.gif
I just seem to find myself crawling around the ground after dark looking for shoulder shots.
 

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Respectfully, experience from many tough safaris tells me I can’t always have the perfect set up. I may be tired from climbing hills day after day. Maybe I’m dejected from not seeing game or something else can be going on making things not ideal. Or Maybe the shots are all very far. And then some of you guys shoot a zebra from the truck first day! Perfect rest on the truck, easy shot, not tired from weeks of hunting, or any other issues going on. It’s easy right! (This happens a lot)
Look guys. Those of you who are very experienced hunters and who have a checkbook to pay for wounded game that get away may do as you please.
My advice here on AH is directed to the novice African hunter. The guy planning his first or maybe second or third safari.
I can kill most anything with my .223 but is hat the right thing to do? My point is always to direct folks to the right caliber for them. This thing of trying to use he smallest gun possible is nonsense.
So here’s a zebra story: in Namibia in 2016 hunting leopard so needing bait. I take a shot at a mountain zebra off sticks at about 175 yards. All looked good and it was a hit but took a bit for him to go down. Hmmm what’s the deal..... we my 300gr Accubond hit a little twig and the bullet entered sideways thus not performing correctly. I didn’t see that the bush was in the way but that’s hunting and I’m glad I had a .375!
One more story: a close friend goes on safari with me last year to Namibia. He is an excellent shot and shoots at NRA etc and he’s a gun and gear guru. He insists on taking his 6.5 Creedmore against my advice. He even gets a little smart with me about it!
I give up knowing what will happen. It is a real hunt with ARU Safaris and no easy shots and no shooting from the truck allowed. He wounds animal after animal and thankfully he had a very good PH and tracker and all were eventually found.
Folks you can vomit: shot placement, shot placement, shot placement, all you want. It’s not a bench! It’s Africa!
I really agree with this advice for most individuals. Take the largest gun you can shoot confidently that is suited to the task. For the original post, that gun may be a 6.5, but for most people it is a 300+
Attached is a photo of my largest body zebra, a hartman’s stallion from Namibia
BAD2D66E-FB54-44C8-8749-45311F898246.jpeg
 
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neckdeep

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Zebra are tough, just heard a story today. 375 right through the boiler room, search for the Zebra, no blood found, move on and bump the same herd, get out and kill one, load him up, look over and see the first one dead!! I killed a nice stallion in Zim, hit him hard quartering on and he still went 30 yards (375, 300 gr NF) All that being said i would get her shooting the 6.5 off the sticks and go hunting. Take a premium bullet and pass on any long, rushed, or pressured shots. Wait for the next opportunity, that's half the fun.
 

Philip Glass

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I really agree with this advice for most individuals. Take the largest gun you can shoot confidently that is suited to the task. For the original post, that gun may be a 6.5, but for most people it is a 300+
Attached is a photo of my largest body zebra, a hartman’s stallion from Namibia
View attachment 373054
Thanks!
 

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Probably not going to win any friends with this post but here it is anyway... And yes, my opinion counts for as much as you paid for it :LOL:

Shot placement... paramount
Correct bullet... paramount

As for calibre... Sorry to say but if you can't shoot a rifle properly because it's too big or can't handle the recoil then don't shoot an animal that size.

Add recoil pad, practice, add a suppressor (sorry PHs and trackers) and practice some more. Shooting a marginal calibre just because you can't handle the right calibre is not on.

In my opinion minimum cal should be in the region of 30.06 / 7x57

Sorry to those offended but I don't think we should be advising people to use less than optional cal on any animal.

Putting away my soapbox now.;)
 

Foxi

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the 6,5x55 was the Swedish military calibre that every farmer had in his cupboard and a farmer has never spent a lot of money on things when you could get them cheap.
The trend in Sweden has long been towards stronger calibres.
In Germany they usually refuse any shooter who, although legal, comes in with a 6.5 for driven hunt and we don't have any moose.
Why arrive with B category, when there is so much A available?
 
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