My calibers for hunting in Africa

308W

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Hi guys
during my decades-long career as a hunter and shooter I bought about fifty weapons, most of which rifles.
Many of these I sold them because I made the wrong purchases and I was not happy, only 5-6 were perfect purchases for my needs.
I learned from my mistakes...

I have never hunted dangerous game and I am a lover of small calibers, in fact I bought several 22lr and some 22WM, 222R, 223R, 6PPC, 243W and 308 Win, the last of these is the most powerful caliber I have had and I never felt the need for something more powerful.
From my point of view the 308 Win. is more than enough for all European game, just use it well.

Can my calibers be enough to hunt antelopes in Africa, or do you think they are not?

Thinking of a single rifle, which caliber handyman would you recommend?
Better bolt action or duble rifle?
Is it possible to rent a gun there?
 

Ryan

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Of your rifles the 308 in a bolt action rifle will take all the plains game antelope with the right bullet and proper shot placement within reasonable range. It and the 30-06 are very commonly used calibers for plains game. I have personally used my own 30-06 without any issue. The 308 would be considered light for eland, but not out of it's capabilities. Lots of discussion about those two calibers here.

It is also possible to rent a rifle and pretty common as travel with firearms becomes more and more complicated. I recently rented a 300 Win Mag and 308 on a hunt.
 

308W

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You can take most game on earth with a 375 H&H.

Start there.
I'm sure you are right.

Is it necessary to use so much power in all the cases where could be enough other calibers like 223, 243 or 308?
 

mark-hunter

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From my point of view the 308 Win. is more than enough for all European game, just use it well.

Can my calibers be enough to hunt antelopes in Africa, or do you think they are not?

Thinking of a single rifle, which caliber handyman would you recommend?
Better bolt action or duble rifle?
Is it possible to rent a gun there?

For 308 on european grounds, you are right.
For hunting in Africa I would consider somthing more powerfull.

For plains game (PG), you may easily be in situation to shoot longer distances, thus bolt action is preferable.

In my experience, of two hunts in Africa on PG, I would always choose a caliber with better punch, rather then less.
Calibers of better punch would be 300 win mag, 338 win mag, 375 HH, etc

Double rifle is best used for close range hunting, and mostly for dangerous game.
Generally they are more expensive then bolt, I am not sure the cost approves ordinary PG hunt, regardless of possible issues with barrel regulation on longer distances.

Exception that I would have in mind is classic european combination gun:
for example 9.3x74r plus smooth barrel 20 or 12 ga... 9.3 for PG, and bird shot for guinea fawl and snakes.

Antelopes stretch in size from smallest steenbock (10kg or less), till big eland (600 kg and up), so choose something that can be ok with everything.

Regarding renting rifles: yes, it is possible.
No problems, there will be camp rifles available.
But ammuntion will probably be whatever is available in local gun shops, very frequently cheaper PPU, or PMP maker.
 

Von S.

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I'm sure you are right.

Is it necessary to use so much power in all the cases where could be enough other calibers like 223, 243 or 308?

To me it really doesn't what anyone uses to kil anything, or wherever you decide to shoot him at.

A fella not too long ago said that people should pour the coal to that animal until it can't get up. As he put it it isn't like you can take the meat home with you.

I am absolutely dead set against chasing wounded animals about and most assureidly against chasing ones who might want my skin as a trophy.

But no matter what, use a rifle and round that you can hit with without question.

A brick in the brain beats an anvil in the ass any day of the week.
 

308W

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Of your rifles the 308 in a bolt action rifle will take all the plains game antelope with the right bullet and proper shot placement within reasonable range. It and the 30-06 are very commonly used calibers for plains game. I have personally used my own 30-06 without any issue. The 308 would be considered light for eland, but not out of it's capabilities. Lots of discussion about those two calibers here.

It is also possible to rent a rifle and pretty common as travel with firearms becomes more and more complicated. I recently rented a 300 Win Mag and 308 on a hunt.

What do you mean reasonable range for 308?
On my point of view could be until 500 meters on games less then 200 kg

I will check other discussiona about this caliber.

Very good have the possibility to rent rifles before to buy.
 

308W

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For plains game (PG), you may easily be in situation to shoot longer distances, thus bolt action is preferable.
(...)
In my experience, of two hunts in Africa on PG, I would always choose a caliber with better punch, rather then less.
Calibers of better punch would be 300 win mag, 338 win mag, 375 HH, etc
(...)
Antelopes stretch in size from smallest steenbock (10kg or less), till big eland (600 kg and up), so choose something that can be ok with everything.
What the law say about long distances shots? How is considered 500 meters?

Until 20 kg I think 223R or 243W,
from 20 to 200 kg 308 can works good until 500 mt.
for other big games from 200-500 kg I don't have enough experience.
 

Von S.

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308,

Wow!

500 meters? Oh my!

Hey! If you can take a kill shot at that far it means that you have one heck of a lot of distance experience and I tip my hat to you.

What is it you want o shoot exactly?
 

BeeMaa

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My opinion alone for PG.
270WIN or 30-06 would be the minimum.
300WM better.
338WM even better and can still reach out and anchor something at 200-300 yards if you do your job.
375H&H is by far the best choice and gives you the option of hunting DG if the opportunity presents itself.
375Ruger a close second to the H&H based only on ammo availability.
Of course you can always go larger...

Your PH will be aware of your caliber and will not be asking you to make a 500 yard shot on eland with a 6mmPPC.
They want you to recover the game, so you have a good time, so you come back and do it again.
Your job is to be competent with what you bring.
 

Ryan

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What do you mean reasonable range for 308?
On my point of view could be until 500 meters on games less then 200 kg

I will check other discussiona about this caliber.

Very good have the possibility to rent rifles before to buy.
Reasonable range is more you than the cartridge. How accurate are you under hunting conditions? If you can accurately shoot to 500 meters then I'd agree with you for the smaller antelope. My opinion would be 250 meter tops for kudu/wildebeest/zebra and probably 200 for eland to have enough remaining velocity for the bullet to work well. That's my opinion. Since most shots are taken under 150 meters, I think you'll be fine.

Here's a good discussion on the 308

https://www.africahunting.com/index.php?threads/39728/

308 Winchester caliber opinions...
 
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Nyati

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As an example, I have used a .22-250 to shoot a Tsessebe which is around 250 kg. just needed one shot at about 100 meters. I have also used a .243 on a variety of plains game.

I have seen a friend shoot an Eland, around 800 kg, with a .25-06, one shot.

Proper shot placement is the key while hunting plains game, you don´t need large calibers.

On the other hand I shot a Springbok with a .375HH, but that´s what I was carrying, as we were hunting lion :D
 

308W

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308,

Wow!

500 meters? Oh my!

Hey! If you can take a kill shot at that far it means that you have one heck of a lot of distance experience and I tip my hat to you.

What is it you want o shoot exactly?
Try to shot with a good gun and cartriges, good rest and see what you can do at 500 meters.
Don't forgt I mentioned games no more then 200 kg. ;-)

About my experience is more then 40 years of shooting.
 

308W

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My opinion alone for PG.
270WIN or 30-06 would be the minimum.
(...)
Your PH will be aware of your caliber and will not be asking you to make a 500 yard shot on eland with a 6mmPPC.
They want you to recover the game, so you have a good time, so you come back and do it again.
Your job is to be competent with what you bring.

Do you think 270 and 30-06 are so much different then 308?

The 308 on a game of 200 kg has got nothing to do with an eland and 6PPC.

I'm not competent about hunting in Africa, but I know enough my guns and calibers I've used. ;-)
 

HWL

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Hi guys
during my decades-long career as a hunter and shooter I bought about fifty weapons, most of which rifles.
Many of these I sold them because I made the wrong purchases and I was not happy, only 5-6 were perfect purchases for my needs.
I learned from my mistakes...

I have never hunted dangerous game and I am a lover of small calibers, in fact I bought several 22lr and some 22WM, 222R, 223R, 6PPC, 243W and 308 Win, the last of these is the most powerful caliber I have had and I never felt the need for something more powerful.
From my point of view the 308 Win. is more than enough for all European game, just use it well.

Can my calibers be enough to hunt antelopes in Africa, or do you think they are not?

Thinking of a single rifle, which caliber handyman would you recommend?
Better bolt action or duble rifle?
Is it possible to rent a gun there?

There are a lot of small to medium size antelopes in Africa, you can hunt with .243 Win and .308 Win.

Not everywhere it is legal to do so.

My advice is, .....forget them all....!!!

A good .375 Holland & Holland will do the job, and you and your PH will be happy...


HWL
HWL

HWL
 

308W

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Reasonable range is more you than the cartridge. How accurate are you under hunting conditions? If you can accurately shoot to 500 meters then I'd agree with you for the smaller antelope. My opinion would be 250 meter tops for kudu/wildebeest/zebra and probably 200 for eland to have enough remaining velocity for the bullet to work well. That's my opinion. Since most shots are taken under 150 meters, I think you'll be fine.

Here's a good discussion on the 308

https://www.africahunting.com/index.php?threads/39728/

308 Winchester caliber opinions...
Is difficoult to be very accurate under hunting conditions, but sometime can happend, a tree or a car can be the rest. Not only 500 meter can be difficoult or impossible, but even 250.
Dont forget I was speaking about games les then 200 kg. no zebra no eland.

Thank you for your link ;.)
 

BeeMaa

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Do you think 270 and 30-06 are so much different then 308?

The 308 on a game of 200 kg has got nothing to do with an eland and 6PPC.

I'm not competent about hunting in Africa, but I know enough my guns and calibers I've used. ;-)
Yes I do, that's why I listed them as better...it's my opinion.
My advice is, .....forget them all....!!!

A good .375 Holland & Holland will do the job, and you and your PH will be happy...
+1
Bring enough gun and you will bring home trophies.
If you are insisting on using a 308WIN, then do so and stop asking for validation.
 

308W

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Yes I do, that's why I listed them as better...it's my opinion.

+1
Bring enough gun and you will bring home trophies.
If you are insisting on using a 308WIN, then do so and stop asking for validation.
Thank you for your list and opinion.

I think there is a misuntertanding, I was talking about small antilopes but often you think and talk about calibers for big antilopes or more big games.
 
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