possible new caliber for plains game

terry weick

New member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
12
Location
Hopkins, Michigan
Website
www.taxidermyartist.com
Hunted
US
Hi, I am new to this site and quite amazed at the amount of information. I will be going to South Africa in April hunting plains game. Probably the largest Animal I may take will be a Kudu or Zebra. I would like to take my 450 Bushmaster because of the accuracy and its very light to handle and carry. The question would be, "is this caliber adequate"? I know I will be limited to 250 yds accurately ,just not sure on the loads that will do the job.Just interested in what this group will have to say. Good or bad. Also it would be great to hear if you have experience with the Bushmaster before we start bragging about the ideal caliber. Thank-you
 

K-man

AH elite
Joined
Apr 14, 2013
Messages
1,779
Reaction score
3,263
Media
71
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
Spain, Alaska, RSA, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, British Columbia, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming
If this is the .450 bushmaster i am familiar with using the ar style platform, you need to know that semi-automatics are not allowed into most of Africa, so not much point debating the cartridge.
 

John J

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
261
Reaction score
324
Media
53
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Use what you want and stay within the capability of the cartridge and yourself. But as I have been warned you may have to be prepared to hold off or walk away from an animal. Being new here you will most likely aquire more rifles. Since finding this place I could have paid for a safari with the rifles I bought in the last year.
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,726
Reaction score
8,023
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
JMO, but if you’re hunting the dense bush veld, you should be fine. If you’re hunting the desert areas of Namibia or Eastern Cape where shots can be across a valley, I suggest you choose a flatter shooting rifle.
Sorry I have no experience using the 450 Bushmaster, but it appears its ballistics drop off pretty quickly at longer ranges.
Maybe take two rifles just in case the situation requires a longer shot. Just a thought.
Best of luck!
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,726
Reaction score
8,023
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Oh yes and welcome to the forum!
 

wesheltonj

AH legend
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
2,425
Reaction score
2,485
Location
South Texas
Media
17
Articles
7
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
Benefactor-Life NRA, Life SCI, DSC, HSC
Hunted
USA, RSA
I will add if you are hunting the open Kalahari, I personally would find something else to shoot. Too much drop for the distance you would be shooting.
 

terry weick

New member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
12
Location
Hopkins, Michigan
Website
www.taxidermyartist.com
Hunted
US
JMO, but if you’re hunting the dense bush veld, you should be fine. If you’re hunting the desert areas of Namibia or Eastern Cape where shots can be across a valley, I suggest you choose a flatter shooting rifle.
Sorry I have no experience using the 450 Bushmaster, but it appears its ballistics drop off pretty quickly at longer ranges.
Maybe take two rifles just in case the situation requires a longer shot. Just a thought.
Best of luck!
I am planning on taking my Ruger #1 chambered in 7mm Mag just for that reason. The 450 is much lighter if there is any amount of walking or stalking.
 

tarbe

AH legend
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
4,195
Reaction score
7,045
Location
Cypress, TX and Romance, MO
Media
120
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life, Handloaders Anonymous
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe
The 300gr Hornady tops out at about 1,900 fps and with a BC of about .200, you will be pretty severely range limited.

I think the major issue with the .450 Bushmaster is the bullet selection.

If you are convinced you want to take a rifle shooting .452 bullets, you might check out the Hawk Bullets 300gr Spitzer with 0.035" jacket.
 

ActionBob

AH legend
Joined
Dec 12, 2011
Messages
3,843
Reaction score
6,218
Location
Central Minnesota
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
NRA life, DSC, SCI
Hunted
Minnesota, Texas, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, British Columbia, Argentina, Kansas, Macedonia, Austria
I am planning on taking my Ruger #1 chambered in 7mm Mag just for that reason. The 450 is much lighter if there is any amount of walking or stalking.
No experience with the caliber but I have a Ruger Scout Rifle in 308.... should be a cool gun for Limpopo:) Should be able to stay under 200 yard shots with most much closer.

What do you have on it for optics?

And that 7mm will do if the need arises for a longer shot;)
 

Hogpatrol

Silver supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
6,105
Reaction score
13,591
Location
Delaware, USA
Media
76
Articles
4
Member of
Atglen Sportsmen's Club, NRA ,SCCFSA,
Hunted
RSA, DE, NJ, PA, KS, TX, ME
Welcome aboard Terry. Regarding your Bushmaster, I would talk to your PH/Outfitter to see if the ballistics will be suitable for the areas you are hunting. It has just been legalized in Delaware, along with a few other straightwall cartridges. From what I know, the ballistics are similar to a BPS/inline muzzleloader, bullets drop like a stone after 100 yards. I have talked to deer hunters that have used this cartridge and they tell me they are a good close range cartridge. My two cents, if you are proficient with it out to 200 yards, take it. We need a report and info for the bullet performance thread.:LOL:
Fly in the ointment would be the availability of ammo in country if baggage is lost. Your second rifle being a 7RM will do everything on plains game. If you reload, a selection of different bullets would serve you well.
Have fun planning and practicing.
 

JakeH

AH enthusiast
Joined
Jul 22, 2017
Messages
405
Reaction score
475
Location
North Carolina
Media
2
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
USA
For full disclosure I have not been to Africa, do not own a .450 Bushmaster, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night!

With that being said, I can’t imagine many things that can take a 250gr slug moving 2200fps to the boiler room and living to tell about it. As a brush cartridge, a short-range thumper, I’m sure it will serve you well. And paired with a 7RM? Sounds good to me.
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,216
Reaction score
17,244
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
271
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
Welcome Terry. To be fair, I am a bit of a Luddite when it comes to most modern reinventions of ammunition, particularly much of the nonsense created for the AR platform (should get a rise from someone :whistle:). I truly believe most of it is designed to bag new shooters rather than game. I think the .450 Bushmaster is pretty much the head of that class. To my mind, it is a pretty poor choice for most hunting situations - either side of the pond. It was designed to give the impression of a big powerful round from an AR platform. A look at the ballistics and it is little more than glorified pistol round with the BC of an ashtray (barely over 200 in its 250 gr guise and a SD of .175?). If you can get a wildebeest to allow you to put the muzzle against his chest, you will get 2k fps, but few do that. I think it would be just the ticket for single lung shots at broadside animals. An expensive introduction to the value of penetration. It is much, much less than a 45/70.

And the problem with two rifles when "walking and stalking" is that you inevitably will have the wrong rifle in hand. You bail off the truck to wack a warthog with your trusty Bushmaster only to find the kudu of your dreams staring at you at 250 meters on the other ridge with no possible approach. I personally never carry anything that won't deal with everything.
 
Last edited:

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
3,310
Reaction score
6,264
Location
South Africa
Media
62
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
Hi Terry,

Welcome aboard and for me, it would be no.

At best it's a 100 yard white tail round.

Absolutely, there is your short answer.

Rather go with the 7mm RM loaded with premium heavy bullets of about 170 gr, you would be good for everything you may encounter in Limpopo.
 

Bushpig4Ever

AH enthusiast
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
455
Reaction score
725
Media
46
Hunted
Germany, Slovenia, Sardinia, England, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa
Leave your Bushmaster at home and bring a .30-06. That‘s what I used in Limpopo when employed with the forestry department. Did a lot of culling operations, the .30-06 is a great caliber.
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,216
Reaction score
17,244
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
271
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
And as IvW suggests, that 7mm, with premium bullets, will easily handle anything you will be hunting. Have a great Safari.
 

Velo Dog

Silver supporter
AH legend
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
Messages
3,464
Reaction score
5,155
Location
Anchorage
Media
58
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
1
Member of
NRA Life Member.
Hunted
Africa 5 times, USA - most western states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Hi Terry,

And welcome to the greatest forum in the world.
Much of the Limpopo District is swarming with game.
As long as you have chosen your safari company well, you will be amazed at the quantity and diversity of wildlife there.

I’ve only been to Africa a relatively few times so, my opinion is not intended as the gospel.
That said, my experiences hunting that part of Africa has left me with the impression that the perfect rifle for hunting eland to duiker in Limpopo conditions would be a bolt action or single shot, with a sturdy 4x scope, (or a low powered variable scope, if you are not a clumsy oaf who can’t remember to turn it down in heavy cover, like I most certainly am).
Such a rifle would serve you extremely well there in any of the following calibers, not necessarily in this order:

.30-06 / 220 grain.
8x57 Mauser / 196 grain.
.338-06 / 250 grain.
.338 Winchester / 250 grain.
.35 Whelen / 250 grain.
9.3x62 Mauser / 286 grain.
9.3x74R / 286 grain.

There are of course others (you can never go wrong with a .375 H&H) but these listed above seem as if they’d be perfect “in the thorns”.
Incidentally, I do not prefer hollow point bullets of any sort (erratic performers) and definitely I do prefer old timey lead core JSP bullets in the weights shown above for their respective calibers (and with plenty of lead showing at the business end of said bullet.)
Furthermore, in such “woodsy” conditions, I also prefer blunt shaped bullets - round nose or flat nose.

Be all of that as it may, your 7 millimeter magnum would however work well enough with 175 grain A-Frame bullets, if not a bit rough on meat and skins (for taxidermy).
I seriously doubt that you’ll fire any shot over about 200 paces, if that far.
And very likely you’ll be getting shots at critters often around 25 to 75 paces.

Anyway, if your PH recommends you bring your .450 bushmaster, then bring it.
But if he or she seems doubtful, and you don’t want to buy another rifle, then I’d have a look at either using that 7mm of yours or just renting a rifle from the PH, if possible.
Africa is all the excuse I’ve ever needed to own some cool rifles.
So, if you’re of a mind to, do have a look at some of the ones I listed above.
gunsinternational.com is a great place to find a wide selection of such rifles.

Either way, you’re going to turn a double back flip when you see Africa.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,635
Messages
694,053
Members
64,149
Latest member
MelbaThibo
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Rifle57 wrote on Rimshot's profile.
I bought some bullets from Rimshot and he is good to trade with!
Greetings all! I've been a hunter for 50 years, but only now planning a trip to Africa. I was fortunate and successfully bid on a couple hunts for plains game in SA later this year and next. Also a rare Native Texas (5th generation) and USMC Vet. Hunt safe y'all!
uujm wrote on trg's profile.
I am looking for a Safari Express. Was yours made in New Haven or South Carolina? Any other details you can give me? I am very motivated to buy.
pimes wrote on flatwater bill's profile.
Hello Bill - can you tell me that landowner/ranch/outfitter - Thank you!
Pete0905 wrote on damundsen87's profile.
Hello
Is the Khales 1-6 still for sale?
Thanks
Josh
 
Top