Plains Game hunt plus rifle and bullet selection

Velo Dog

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6.5x55 is illegal for larger plains game in Zim. 7x57 is minimum caliber.

Quoting myself from 3-27-2017 here:
"That being said, I doubt that a 6.5 is unlawful in most, if not all of Africa for impala, wart hog and such."

In other words:
I totally agree with the Zimbabwe Game Department on their caliber restrictions, as they pertain to larger plains game.[/QUOTE]
That being said, I cannot think of very many cartridges as well suited to hunting impala / warthog size animals, (and N. American deer) than the 6.5x55.
 
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Velo Dog

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VeloDog, for the most part I agree 100% with your post regarding the limitations of the 6.5 x 55. In Africa I limited its' use to Impala sized game and Wart Hog. I did talk to a number of PHs about my intended use of the 6.5 prior to selecting my outfitter, none of them had any objections. My reloads using 140 Gr. NPs averaging 2775 fps are very close if not equal to factory 7 x 57 loads. I used my 35 Whelen and reloads pushing 225 Gr. NPs at 2800 fps for the larger game i.e. Gemsbok, BWB and Waterbuck. That being said, I would have been willing to take a perfectly broadside shot at one of the larger animals if one presented itself while I was carrying the 6.5 with no doubt that it would wind up in the salt.

From your many previous posts I know that you are a knowledgeable reloader. What would be your opinion of using Swift A Frames in lieu of NPs in the Swede? As a second option would you consider 130 Gr Barnes TSX or Hornady GMX at a somewhat higher velocity?

I'm a deep woods Whitetail hunter kind a guy (read 200 yd. maximum shots) and have never seen the need to use Norma's 160 Gr Orex. Have you used it on anything, if so what are your thoughts?


Hello Shootist43,

Likewise, I notice you are a fellow Rifle / Hand-Loading Enthusiast, with much experience in same.
Your .35 Whelen / 225 gr NP load should be excellent for hunting many species, ranges short to longish as well.
The original .350 Rigby Rimless Magnum, once was very popular in Africa with 225 gr spitzer.
And, the Whelen pretty much duplicates that classic old cartridge's / bullet weight / velocity and well known effectiveness on so called "plains game".
Although your 225 gr / 2800 fps load is probably a bit faster than the Rigby was.

At any rate, I think it is almost strange that, the .35 Whelen has not become commonly quite popular today in Africa.\
It appears that pretty much only rifle enthusiasts / hand loading hunters tend to favor it for Africa.
And, that is sort of a shame, because it is near perfect for pretty much everything from 2,000 pound eland on down, within the most typical African hunting conditions.

The original style Nosler Partition is one of my favorite hunting bullets, (not my #1 favorite but one of my favorites), within certain common sense guidelines, IE: caliber / bullet weight appropriate to the animal being hunted.
For longer shots at game, I cannot think of a much better bullet, due to the quite soft nose section, always expanding at distance-lowered velocity impacts.
The only deficit I personally have experienced with the NP is that now and then there is a rifle that will not shoot them into small 3 shot groups at any distance.
That being said, I have found most rifles I've tried them in do shoot them accurately.

Swift A-Frame?
This one is IMO, the very best of the best premium soft available in the world.
It is noticeably tougher than the NP and so, if one is likely to shoot game at very long range, they might consider a softer bullet.
But, for hunting in typical African bush conditions and / or much of the rest of the world's common hunting conditions, the A-Frame is my #1 suggestion.
In other words, yes I would recommend the A-Frame over the Nosler Partition, especially in smallish rifles, such as the 6.5x55 to shoot larger than impala/deer size animals.

Nope, I have not shot any critter with the Oryx bullet (in any caliber) and truth be told here, I have never shot anything except targets so far with either one of the 6.5's I've owned.
Formerly owned an unaltered Swedish Military carbine and today, as mentioned earlier, I have a CZ Model 550 FS, that I like very much.
From the small bit I have seen, watching my friend's wife shooting zebra, gemsbok and other antelopes with her 7mm-08 / 160 gr (or perhaps 156? gr) Oryx bullets, this design is probably a very fine hunting bullet.
In regards to my liking the long/heavyish 160 gr round nose Hornady soft in my little rifle, it is primarily because it shows very fine accuracy.
That coupled with the fact that I have had nothing but perfect performance from long, heavy round nose Hornady softs, in the .30-06, the .375 H&H and the .450No2NE calibers.

They're old fashioned and definitely not as tough as the A-Frame or, even the Nosler Partition but, I've never lost anything here in Alaska or over in Africa, from shooting it with dreaded "cup and core" heavy, round nose bullets from Hornady.
Likewise, I've never lost anything that I shot with a Nosler Partition either.
Again, evidently the mojo is in avoiding super-high velocity with these old-timey lead core bullets, with either guilding metal jacket or copper jacket.
Be that as it may, I will guess the A-Frame is not likely to shatter, even at quite high impact velocity.

Elsewhere within the World's Best Forum here, I have posted long, boring rants, not unlike this one, for instance, regarding my general distrust of hollow point bullets, (especially today's Obama endorsed, harder-than-lead ones), and to include today's hollow point trend of making them with a little plastic thingy stuffed in the hole.
That being said, if I was forced to use such a design, I'd want to drive it as fast as possible, hopefully reducing my bum chance of Murphy's Law raising his ugly head.
(A round nosed soft is already half-mushroomed before you even fire it and lead core spitzers / semi-spitzers are generally soft enough that they deform easily, even at lower velocities, associated with longer distances, as well as limited powder capacity cartridges.)

Anyway, hopefully I have muddied the waters sufficiently and so, I will finally shut my pie hole for a bit here.

Kind regards,
V. Dog.
 
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stug

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I had a 6.5x55 about 30 years ago. I accidently bought a box of 156gr Norma one day (thought I was buying 139gr PPC). I shot a goat with them one day, I didn't notice the 3-4" tree about 5 metres in front of the goat. The 156gr went straight through the tree and killed the goat cleanly.
I would imagine the 160gr Oryx would give similar performance.
 
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Hello Shootist43,

Likewise, I notice you are a fellow Rifle / Hand-Loading Enthusiast, with much experience in same.
Your .35 Whelen / 225 gr NP load should be excellent for hunting many species, ranges short to longish as well.
The original .350 Rigby Rimless Magnum, once was very popular in Africa with 225 gr spitzer.
And, the Whelen pretty much duplicates that classic old cartridge's / bullet weight / velocity and well known effectiveness on so called "plains game".
Although your 225 gr / 2800 fps load is probably a bit faster than the Rigby was.

At any rate, I think it is almost strange that, the .35 Whelen has not become commonly quite popular today in Africa.\
It appears that pretty much only rifle enthusiasts / hand loading hunters tend to favor it for Africa.
And, that is sort of a shame, because it is near perfect for pretty much everything from 2,000 pound eland on down, within the most typical African hunting conditions.

The original style Nosler Partition is one of my favorite hunting bullets, (not my #1 favorite but one of my favorites), within certain common sense guidelines, IE: caliber / bullet weight appropriate to the animal being hunted.
For longer shots at game, I cannot think of a much better bullet, due to the quite soft nose section, always expanding at distance-lowered velocity impacts.
The only deficit I personally have experienced with the NP is that now and then there is a rifle that will not shoot them into small 3 shot groups at any distance.
That being said, I have found most rifles I've tried them in do shoot them accurately.

Swift A-Frame?
This one is IMO, the very best of the best premium soft available in the world.
It is noticeably tougher than the NP and so, if one is likely to shoot game at very long range, they might consider a softer bullet.
But, for hunting in typical African bush conditions and / or much of the rest of the world's common hunting conditions, the A-Frame is my #1 suggestion.
In other words, yes I would recommend the A-Frame over the Nosler Partition, especially in smallish rifles, such as the 6.5x55 to shoot larger than impala/deer size animals.

Nope, I have not shot any critter with the Oryx bullet (in any caliber) and truth be told here, I have never shot anything except targets so far with either one of the 6.5's I've owned.
Formerly owned an unaltered Swedish Military carbine and today, as mentioned earlier, I have a CZ Model 550 FS, that I like very much.
From the small bit I have seen, watching my friend's wife shooting zebra, gemsbok and other antelopes with her 7mm-08 / 160 gr (or perhaps 156? gr) Oryx bullets, this design is probably a very fine hunting bullet.
In regards to my liking the long/heavyish 160 gr round nose Hornady soft in my little rifle, it is primarily because it shows very fine accuracy.
That coupled with the fact that I have had nothing but perfect performance from long, heavy round nose Hornady softs, in the .30-06, the .375 H&H and the .450No2NE calibers.

They're old fashioned and definitely not as tough as the A-Frame or, even the Nosler Partition but, I've never lost anything here in Alaska or over in Africa, from shooting it with dreaded "cup and core" heavy, round nose bullets from Hornady.
Likewise, I've never lost anything that I shot with a Nosler Partition either.
Again, evidently the mojo is in avoiding super-high velocity with these old-timey lead core bullets, with either guilding metal jacket or copper jacket.
Be that as it may, I will guess the A-Frame is not likely to shatter, even at quite high impact velocity.

Elsewhere within the World's Best Forum here, I have posted long, boring rants, not unlike this one, for instance, regarding my general distrust of hollow point bullets, (especially today's Obama endorsed, harder-than-lead ones), and to include today's hollow point trend of making them with a little plastic thingy stuffed in the hole.
That being said, if I was forced to use such a design, I'd want to drive it as fast as possible, hopefully reducing my bum chance of Murphy's Law raising his ugly head.
(A round nosed soft is already half-mushroomed before you even fire it and lead core spitzers / semi-spitzers are generally soft enough that they deform easily, even at lower velocities, associated with longer distances, as well as limited powder capacity cartridges.)

Anyway, hopefully I have muddied the waters sufficiently and so, I will finally shut my pie hole for a bit here.

Kind regards,
V. Dog.
@Velo Dog
I to find it strange that the Whelen isn't more popular than it is. As you said good for impala to Eland.
It didn't tear up the little impala like the 308 and 300 win mag did. 35 cal hole on both sides short run and fall down. Range around 220 yards with a 225 grain Woodleigh PPSP at 2,950fps.
The 250 grain Hornaday roundnose at 2,700fps left a golf ball size hole out the other side of an Oryx at 120 yards.
Unfortunately people don't see the Whelen as any more than a woods cartridge. Loaded properly it makes a fine 400 yard game cartridge.
Just my biased ramblings.
Bob
 

V.Veritas

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@sgt_zim - I know this is a 3 year old thread, but I’m wondering: have end up taking your 6.5x55SE to Africa, what have you used it for and how did it performed?
 

archer36

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Before you go looking into "exotic" calibers, keep in mind just about anyone in South Africa and else where will have .308 rounds laying around in case you need them. I used a .308 with 180 gr Nosler Partitions. Killed 6 animals, 1 shot each.
 

RayAtkinson

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Its your hunt and your dollars, do whatever blows yer skirt up! :giggle: and the swede will take care of all else..
 

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