Plains Game rifle choice... Am I crazy???

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by MT_Fin, Feb 28, 2019.

  1. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    If you want to use a .375 Ruger... Go for it! It sounds like the “classic “ looking African model is your rifle. I have a .416 Ruger Alaskan, which is basically the Guide Gun. I prefer the short barrel. In fact I took all of the animals you listed, except the blesbok, with it.
    The .375 would be great for all the animals you describe and when you go back for your DG hunt, you’re all set.
    Just keep in mind the .375 kicks twice as hard as a .30/06 and the ‘06 will easily take all of the game you list. Just put a good bullet in the right place.
    Me... I’d go with my gut and take my dream rifle.
     

  2. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    That's a totally different situation when you add DG. The minute you do that you have to add a 375 at a minimum.
     
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  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’d take my first trip with the a 30 caliber, 308, 30-06, 300 WM, what ever you’ve got. Use only premium bullets appropriate for the game hunted. Then after you return and start planning your 2nd, 3rd, etc trips, you will know more about what you want to step up to. It will help a lot trying different calibers just to learn what you are comfortable with. At least that is basically what I did and learned I cannot handle the 416s and 458s. Spend your money on another animal rather than learning how to become good with a heavy rifle for your first trip.
    Just my suggestion.
    Personally I take a 375 H&H to Africa with appropriate bullets for the game. I have taken from duiker and caracal on the small end to Cape buffalo and crocodile on the large and difficult shot with it.
    Best of luck in your decision and I’m sure you’re going to have an awesome adventure!
     

  4. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I would make my first trip with a 30-06 class rifle as there are hundreds of good plains game rifles available. I bought a 375 Ruger and have never used it. When I hunted buffalo the PH had an identical rifle in 416 Ruger and I left my rifle at home and used his. The 375 really is a soft skin dangerous game rifle and it nich is lions tigers and bears. When you move up to cape buffalo 40 Calibers are better. So I think awhile about that 375.
     
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  5. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    If you already have a .308, what is the point of buying a .30-06? I’d step up to the .375, and of the .375’s available, go with tradition and get the H&H. As an aside, it is a great elk and bear caliber, and a nice step up from the .308 for a MT based hunter. My taste runs to CRF and good walnut.
     

  6. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin AH Senior Member

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    I wasn’t considering a 30-06, I also don’t see the point.
     
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  7. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    What other calibers do you have besides the 308?
     
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  8. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I re-read the OP, my mistake, I thought you had an '06.
     
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  9. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    375 (H&H or Ruger) is merely a stepping stone to the addiction you are acquiring.
    Soon you will be debating 416 Rigby vs 416 RM vs 404 Jeff for your DG gun.
    Then it will be "I think I need a 458 or maybe even 470..."
    Give in to the Dark Side and embrace your destiny...AFRICA.
     
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  10. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Or one of the 9.3’s
     

  11. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin AH Senior Member

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    Everything else I have is smaller than 30cal.
     

  12. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    There are 50 different calibers/cartridges/rifles that will work.

    Use the one you want to, that is within the realm of reasonable.

    The 375 Ruger is certainly reasonable when Zebra and Wildebeest are on the menu...they are tough critters.

    But bottom line, hunt with what gets you excited. It's your trip, you should try to enjoy every aspect of it - including (maybe especially!) the rifle/cartridge.

    My $0.02 as always!
     

  13. JakeH

    JakeH AH Enthusiast

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    Take what you want, as long as you can shoot it well and it’s enough fun for what you’re trying to take. There’s no such thing as “too dead”.
     

  14. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin AH Senior Member

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    That is good advice also. My 308 is boringly efficient.....in a good way. Spending more on animals instead or replacing guns is a better way to go.
     

  15. JDMonson

    JDMonson AH Member

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    The wife and I are headed there this year I will be bringing the 06 with a 180 grain pill and the wife a .260 rem with 140s impala, springbok slam and a wildebeest are on the list
     
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  16. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Enthusiast

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    You are eventually going to go back for something that requires a .375 so buy that anyway. It is not like they are more expensive.

    Buy the 23” barrel. It is free velocity, less recoil, and less muzzle blast.
    Mine has a 20” barrel because I picked it up for $700 used. Otherwise I would have gotten the 23” barrel.

    Excellent rifles. Hornady factory loads are great for PG. I handload my DG cartridges.
     
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  17. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    I used a 375 on buffalo and plainsgame including a grey duiker no regrets from me.
     

  18. MikeNC

    MikeNC AH Veteran

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    I did my first trip over in July and I took a .375H&H and a 30.06. I shot Buffalo and plains game with the .375 H&H expect for my hartebeest and that’s only because I wanted to use the 30.06 because that caliber holds a soft spot for many reasons and I wanted to use it in Africa.I just enjoyed shooting the .375H&H so much I couldn’t put it down. The important thing is as others have stated shoot what you are comfortable with and practice off the sticks! You also can’t kill em to dead.
     
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  19. Huntlow90

    Huntlow90 New Member

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    All good points definitely rifle you are comfortable with 300 win my best option for PG knocks the socks off most things, but so does a .308 if bullet goes where it is supposed to! What you shoot well is best. No point hitting the back shoulder with a 500 nitro as surprisingly that does not slow things down too much. African game is TOUGH!
     
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  20. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I always think an upcoming trip is a great reason to buy a new rifle or two. I took a 375 H&H and a 280ai to Namibia, I used the 375 almost the entire time. My next trip will be a 375 only, there is really no reason, for me, to take a different caliber.
     
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