My favourite African hunting cartridges

peras

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Firstly this is not a thread about ballistics, it is just about calibers that I personally favour ,which have always impressed me whilst hunting. Most of the hunting I do is not very long range(sub 200 yards)thus none of my favourites are real longrange calibers. I must admit that I am biased to the older cartridges, but for a reason, they have prooved themselves over many years.
Shot placement and bullet construction will always be more important than caliber, but here are my favourites:

7x57

What a pleasure to shoot this little rifle, almost no recoil, perfect for women and children as well and definitely punches above its weight. The penetration is always surprising. I have no problem using this on any plainsgame and in practical experience still surprises me how well it performs on tough plainsgame like blue wildebeest and zebra.

.375 H&H

My first step up from the 7x57 is the 375, personally I do not have a need for a 30 caliber. The 375 is so versatile, I load 250 grainers for large plainsgame and go to 300 grainers for dangerous game. of course the 375 Ruger is quickly gaining ground on the H&H, and will be just as good a pick.


.404 Jeffrey

A good step up from the .375 when mostly hunting dangerous game. The Jeffrey is actually .423 diameter and has excellent performance allround, whilst having comfortable recoil for a large caliber rifle, of course there is just something nostalgic about the Jeffrey that makes it my favourite .4 cartridge.

.500 NE

For me as a PH this is the perfect caliber in difficult situations, it offers a bigger stopping effect then the .4 calibers with totally acceptable recoil, and still have enough velocity to offer better penetration than most of the bigger calibers.


The above is my personal favourite battery for hunting under the conditions I do. Calibers such as the .270, .308,.30-06 416 Rigby and 470NE also come to mind and will do the same as the above.
 

peras

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I like your choices, I have a 7x57 and a .404 Jeffery. Still have yet to shoot an animal with either yet. Hope to do something about that this year. But not an African animal unfortunately.
Good luck on the shoot!
 

cpr0312

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Thanks for sharing your experiences with these calibers
 

kudu1

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In my humble opinion,a three rifle battery and a 12gauge shotgun is all I ever needed while I lived in South Africa - they were these three then and still remain so today..

7x64 Breneke
9.3x62 Mauser
404 Jeffrey
 

bassasdaindia

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@Paw Print , nice post Pieter, I would of liked to see a 416 mentioned as well , but you have pretty much summed it up well.
 

bassasdaindia

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416 and 404 (423) are pretty close together.
 

peras

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@Paw Print , nice post Pieter, I would of liked to see a 416 mentioned as well , but you have pretty much summed it up well.
You will notice I do mention the 416 at the end of the post. I am sure no animal will notice the difference. The 404 is a personal favorite.
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

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In my humble opinion,a three rifle battery and a 12gauge shotgun is all I ever needed while I lived in South Africa - they were these three then and still remain so today..

7x64 Breneke
9.3x62 Mauser
404 Jeffrey
I see that we like the same calibres Kudu1.
Witold
 

Velo Dog

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Hello Paw Print,

Great post - I always enjoy reading what everyone has to say about rifles and cartridges but ESPECIALLY you PHs out there (that goes for all hunting / fishing related equipment actually).

Probably due to being laced with Attention Deficit Hyper Active Disorder (underline "Disorder"), my favorite cartridges are constantly changing - LOL.

This morning they are:

.300 H&H
.375 H&H
.500 Jeffery

Regarding the above three - so far I have only taken game with the .300 and the .375 and not the .500 yet ("yet" being the operative word here).
However, I have used these first two, both in Africa and Alaska as well, with nothing but perfect success (always shooting nothing fancier than dreaded "cup and core" bullets).
I promise everyone that these two cartridges are both tip-top performers in my personal experiences.
IMO there never has been any need whatsoever for any of the rest of the .300 magnum and .375 magnum cartridges "invented", after the original H&H versions, (perhaps newer ones are needed to improve our chances in the field? ......... right).

Been messing around with the .500 Jeffery a bit at our local rifle range and it is a lot of fun, as long as I don't fire more than a very few shots in one day.
Mine is one of these CZ 550 Magnums, from their so-called "Custom Shop" which, like many other ones they evidently just slapped together.
It did not feed from the magazine at all, not even once in awhile.

So, after a real Gunsmith (Andy Hawk - Anchorage, Alaska) spent some time hand filing the rails to widen them a little, and carefully re-shaping the follower, it now feeds like a pig - no thanks to CZ's "Custom" Gunsmiths who must've been blind drunk when they put it together.
At the moment, I cannot afford to return to Africa until further notice but, perhaps needless to say - I would dearly love to use the big Jeffery for what this cartridge was designed to do.

One of these days I will be back on top again and then, I plan to make my triumphant return to Africa, at least once more before I croak.
No telling which rifle / cartridge I will be enamored with at that stage but again, if I was flying out this morning, it would be one of the above three (depending on the geography of whichever specific country I booked into and exactly what species I might be after.)
Meanwhile, I sure do enjoy living vicariously through all of you fellow members, as I read the excellent posts here.

Blah, blah, blah out,
Velo Dog.
 
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Divernhunter

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I have only hunted PG so mine are for that type of game. Also all hunting has been spot and stalk at ranges of 135 to 480 yards.
My daughter used a 257Roberts with 120gr Swift A-Frames. A dozen animals all one shot little to no tracking kills.
I really liked my 338win mag with 225gr Swift A-Frames. Also excellent results.
30-06 worked as it always does for both myself and the PH's son on a free hunting day.

For my trip in 2017 I will take the 338win mag and a 264 win mag shooting 120 or 140gr Swift A-Frames............maybe my 257Weatherby with 120gr Swift A-Frames instead of the 264win mag. Have not made up my mind yet.

What matters more than the cartridge(within reason) is shot placement and bullet construction/weight. :)
 

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Code4

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Excellent post OP. Good to get a PH's comments on his experiences and choices. Thank you.

I've used a .243, ( a .303 with FMJ's during Zimbabwes early years) .308 and 9.3x62 in African for plains game. If I thought analytically (with my head and not my emotions) I wouldn't need anything else.
 

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