My Favourite African Hunting Cartridges

CAustin

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Thanks for sharing Pieter! Having fired your 500 NE I can say the recoil was all I wanted to deal with!
As one might imagine my favorites are the 300 win mag and the 416 Ruger. These two have done the job for me.
However, you and I may hunt Cape buffalo one day with the 458 Lott Bryson walked around with last year.
 

Lee M

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I've never pulled the trigger on anything bigger then a .300 win Mag. I have a .338 win mag but never had a reason to use it yet. Bought it used from a friends family upon his passing. I may have to try out one of Pieters big boys this year during my hunt. Maybe take a warthog with a double ! Go big or go home :)
 

AZDAVE

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That is a great combo, like hearing what people who make their living as a PH use. The 7x57, (9.3x62 or 375HH), and a 404 will take care of everything you need. But being lucky enough to collect since I was young have a few others. I like my 404 Jeff more than the 416 rigby. Velo Dog please remember that your 500 is good for all things from cotton tail bunny’s to Elephants:cool: Have shot a 500NE a good bit but never had the chance to shoot a 500Jeff or 505 Gibbs. (I know a gap in my education). Now if we just get them to start cloneing wolly mammoths and saber tooth cats:rolleyes: Thank you for starting this post, be safe and have a great 2016 safari season!
 

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vette447

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Nice thread. My current three favorites for Africa are
275 Rigby (7x57)
416 Rigby
500 NE

However, I am a sucker for Rigbys and my three in these calipers happen to be three of my favorite rifles right now. Of course, a 375 H&H always has a place on a list like this too and I would very much like to try out the 404 Jeff.
 

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While I will probably never get to Africa now, a 7x57 and 4o4 Jeffery would have taken care of things when I had them a few years ago. Fortunately I still have the 7x57 and the 404 is in the hands of someone who will undoubtedly take it into its natural habbitat one day in the not to distant future. The 318WR and the 9.3x62 have been two others that have always had a niggling presence in the back of my mind as well, with constant poking at me to build one or both of them. Next on the adgenda though is a 6.5x57.
 

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My take is:

* 6,5x54MS, very good for lesser game, penetrates like crazy, for the pot
*.375H&H, for all the reasons mentioned above
*.458Win.Mag, its cheap and kills ele no matter what the naysayers think
*.475 NE, a 2150fps/5000 foot-pound round, because I happen to own one
*.600 NE, because it is the ultimate stopping rifle on elephant.Period.

If doubles are omitted I would opt for a .500 Jeffery built on a ZKK 602 action, poor mans stopping rifle but indeed well proven..
 

IvW

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I keep going back and forth and love rifles.
If I could it would be O/U 450/400 NE/450/400 NE second barrel set 9.3x74R/7×57R and then 7x65R/12ga
 

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I'd like to think that I have accumulated a rather nice set of calibres myself that would cover most hunting, almost anywhere in the world. Given the (mostly low-powered) optics they have, and that I've hitherto subscribed to the 'heavy for calibre' philosophy, I would say that 150-200 meters would be my preferred limit, though. So those 'across the valley' shots are not for me.
  • 6.5x55
  • 30-06
  • 9.3x62
  • 404 J
All of them in bolt action, left-hand Sako's. Sadly there are not many 98 actions available for lefties.

They are however (perhaps) overlapping a bit too much. A 30-06 is as much as I would need for anything domestic, and the 404 would be for bigger stuff elsewere, if that should happen. So if one would have to go, it would be the 9.3. Then maybe rebarrel the 30-06 to 318WR or 333 Jeff. But that is probably more nostalgia/romanticism than is practical. Brass and bullet availability is not very good in either. And I suspect the animals would not know the difference from a 200 or 220 grain .30.

I have yet to travel to Africa for hunting - unfortunately my first African trip came to a grinding halt two weeks before lift-off (beginning of April last year) thanks to the Corona virus. Bleh. Being new to the safari thing I'd planned to take some typical plainsgame in Namibia with the 30-06. As things look right now, it might not happen this year either (unless vaccinations really start picking up speed). Anyway, in the meantime one can always daydream and practice. And it will also give the gunsmith time to finish the new stock for the 30-06.

During the hunting season here at home I've mostly carried the 404, even though it was perhaps a bit 'too much gun' for the the two roe deer that fell to it. Passthroughs every time, and neither tracking nor follow-up shots were needed. :) In fact, the roes I've shot with the 6.5 have taken about as many (or few) steps after being hit.
 

John Havard

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Th
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.
Thank you for the mention of Andy Hawk.
He is my go to guy as well. He has my 458 now and will be building my 404 this year.
 

Velo Dog

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Th

Thank you for the mention of Andy Hawk.
He is my go to guy as well. He has my 458 now and will be building my 404 this year.
John,

You are welcome.
Andy is better at his profession than many.
Plus he has a pleasant outlook and always seems happy, despite things around the world not being especially wonderful these days.
His employee, named “Ernie” is also a talented Gunsmith.
Just like Andy, likewise Ernie always seems happy, despite plenty of reasons in the USA and around the world not to be.

I only visit their shop when I have business there.
Despite always learning something new, every time I go there, I feel that they are swamped with their work.
And, they don’t need some rifle nerd like me, distracting them just chit-chatting about guns and hunting all the time.

Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing your .404 when it is finished.

Cheers,
Paul.
 

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Hey guys,

It's still my dream to hunt Africa one day... and when/ if I do here are the 3 I'd take...

1.) .303 British... because I just love the old girl!

2.) .338 WM... this round is just so versatile and the longer I own now the more I like it.

3.) .458WM... all the bugs have been sorted out now with it and it's my favourite cartridge.

Cheers,

Russ
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Hey guys,

It's still my dream to hunt Africa one day... and when/ if I do here are the 3 I'd take...

1.) .303 British... because I just love the old girl!

2.) .338 WM... this round is just so versatile and the longer I own now the more I like it.

3.) .458WM... all the bugs have been sorted out now with it and it's my favourite cartridge.

Cheers,

Russ
@Badboymelvin
Russ just do it mate or you will regret it and die wondering what it would have been like.
The old 303 would handle plains game well. My son's 308 acquitted itself well but just doesn't have the nostalgia.
Leave the 338 at home and take a properly loaded Whelen. It will do all the 338 will but with a bit more class.
The old 458 without the bugs will be perfect for everything else.
Take a month off mate and go destress when we open up to travelling again.
You will NEVER regret it.
Bob
 

Happy Myles

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Have successfully used a wide variety over the decades. I guess for normal safari work these days prefer a 300 Win Mag with 180 or 200 grain bullets and a 416 Rigby with 400 grain TSX. If after elephant my 450 Ackley with 500 grain solids and I usually take along my 416 Rigby with 400 grain solids for whatever and leave the 300 home. When after elephant that is my focus and do not usually shoot anything else.
 

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6.5CR with Hornady 143gr ELD-X for pg.
7RM with Barnes 160grTSX for pg.
Win 70 375HH with Barnes 235gr TSX for pg, and Barnes 350gr TSX for large pg and dg.
 

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NTH wrote on JimT's profile.
Hey Jim, I read that you’re from Dequincey and just returned from Africa. I’m from Lake Charles and went there in April. What outfitter did you use and would you share your experience and pics? I won our trip to Kuche through DU.
gprippers wrote on SAFARIKIDD's profile.
Hello! Nice rifle! I have IDENTICAL rifle in 375 H&H so i was wondering what gunsmith did the work on it? Appreciate it and if you decide there is anything you are willing to take in partial trade, let me know. I have quite a few pistols, long guns and sxs & o/u shotguns as well.

Let me know if you are looking for anything in particular.

Thanks,
Rob
Bearhunter46 wrote on Philip Glass's profile.
Philip, do you still have the 416 for sale?
NTH wrote on Rick HOlbert's profile.
Nice “meeting” you Rick. I made my first trip to S. Africa this year through Kuche Safaris. We had an incredible time. What outfitter do you use? Neal
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