possible new caliber for plains game

CAustin

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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.

Ok with the number one along in 7mm you will be fine!
 

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Yeah, take 'em both. If you don't like results from the 450, the 7mm RemMag will be reliable. If you don't hand load, i would take Hornady Precision Hunter ammo. My No. 1 loves that round.
 

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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.
I would question the penetration ability of said round.
 

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What I see according to your OP is that you enjoy the rifle and it is lightweight. When you get there you will have a tracker standing 2 steps away who will offer to carry your rifle for you. I can think of a hundred rifle calibers of which 99 of them will do a better job than the one you are considering. If you have other rifles take one of them or even 2. Enjoy your hunt and tell us about your experience. Thanks for joining the site!
 

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If you don't like results from the 450, the 7mm RemMag will be reliable. .

If those results involved a wounded animal due to in efficiency of the caliber/bullet it may be a costly exercise...

Yes you probably going to be doing some walking, that's hunting, April is not too hot and I ques the 7mm does not weight that much.

If you shoot the 7mm RM well, just go with that...
 

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There isn't a caliber or round on the planet that I don't like or can't find any use for, but that surely doesn't mean that all calibers and rounds are useful for everything....or even a lot of things.

If I have only one choice for pg I would take the 375H&H and be happy . I would be happy because it has range and enough power to kill efficiently.
 

Philip Glass

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Not versitle enough to me. In some situations it will be fine but Africa throws stuff at you that you never expected. When I was hunting Zim a few years ago it was April and super thick brush and I knew that. I had my.375 Ruger sighted in at 100yd and didn’t give it a second thought on longer ranges and left my range card at home. After days of hunting a bushbuck we spotted one at 380 yards! I threw a Hail Mary to no avail. I tell this story to illustrate a bit of Murphy’s Law in Hunting Africa.
You can’t very well carry two guns and if you need the other one it’s never close by. Fun gun and caliber no doubt I would not take it myself. Your 7mm will be ok on most PG.
Best of luck,
Philip
 

One Day...

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"is this caliber adequate"?
Welcome to the madhouse Terry!

As you have probably gathered by now, there are some pretty experienced hands in the africahunting.com community, and although friendly and respectful of your individuality and personal likes, they will do what you ask, which is to give you an unvarnished, candid and often expert opinion.

Here is mine...

As many inmates (@Red Leg, @Von S., @IvW, @Philip Glass, @Ridgewalker, @tarbe, @Hogpatrol, @CAustin, etc.) have already hinted more or less directly, the .450 Bushmaster is not a very practical idea.

No choice is ever a bad idea, because after all it is your time, your money, your Safari, and whatever floats your boat, and on plains game an inadequate caliber is not likely to endanger your PH, your trackers or you, so you should really take whatever you like, but I could hardly think of a more useless caliber in Africa in general, and Limpopo in particular. No, I have never shot it, but I do not need to. I can tell you with absolute certainty that -5" @ 200 yd with a 150 yd zero !?!?! is waaayyyy too much drop for African plains game. I was in Limpopo not 6 months ago so I am not speculating but relaying my experience.

Here is my thinking.
  • Maybe you are enamored with the thought of taking a "big gun" to Africa, and that puts you in a very comfortable majority. Welcome to the club! But here is the thing: just because the .450 Bushmaster has a big hole in its pipe, does not make it a big gun.
  • Maybe you think that the Limpopo bush will limit your shots to 100 yd, and there are certainly thickets where it can/will happen when after buffalo. But the reality is that your plains game shots will not be in dense bush but in open bush, clearings, etc. and it will be a rare shot indeed that you take at less than 150 yd, and you should get ready to shoot routinely at 250+ yd. Plains game hunting in Africa is not a close quarters ambush type of hunt (like eastern US deer hunting) but a drive & encounter type of open hunt.
Conversely, a 7 mm Rem Mag is about darn near ideal, especially with heavier bullets. Think 160 gr and tough bullets: Nosler Partition, Barnes TSX, Swift A Frame, etc.

My recommendation would be to take your Ruger #1 in 7 mm Rem Mag; sight it +3" at 100 yd (that will give you +3.5" @ 150 yd; +3" @ 200 yd; +1" @ 250 yd; -3" @ 300 yd); put the cross hair on the center of an 8" steel plate and ring it 100 times from 100 to 300 yd over the next few months. Say, 10 rounds per weekend over the next 10 weekends, from sticks and various field positions. This is the recipe for a happy Safari devoid of useless frustrations...
 
Last edited:

meigsbucks

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Welcome to AH Terry.
I live in Ohio and straight wall cartridges are now legal for deer. Due to this I’ve been looking in to the .450 BM. It is not a long range round and actually earned its reputation as a short range “thumper”. Out to about 150 yds on critters up to about 400# it should be good. Just know the limitations.
Now the bullets... my nephew was hunting with a friend this past fall who shot a deer three times with Hornady factory loads and the buck had to be finished off with a .44 mag. They found that the .450’s broke up.
Personally, I’d just stick with the 7 mag. But if you decide to take the .450 as well, load better bullets.
 

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How do available .452 bullets behave at Bushmaster velocities? I know that people have taken Moose with .458 SOCOM with very good results at short range - but that is with bullets made for rifle velocities.
 

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How do available .452 bullets behave at Bushmaster velocities? I know that people have taken Moose with .458 SOCOM with very good results at short range - but that is with bullets made for rifle velocities.
You have to be very selective!

Most .452 bullets have light construction to go with their poor SD and BC. :(

This is why I suggested earlier in the thread to explore the 300gr Hawk bullet with the 0.035” jacket.

Better yet, choose a cartridge that has a better bullet selection!
 

RStien321

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I live in Iowa and we just opened up use of straight walled rounds in rifles a few years back. I shoot a 450 bushmaster in a bolt action, and the gun is incredibly accurate with Hornady Black ammo. I am excited to get to use it on whitetails vs shotgun slugs, and wouldn't hesitate to use it on a bear hunt over bait due to the close range.

That said, I personally would not consider it for Africa unless I wanted to intentionally handicap my shot selection. I hunted in both the Highveld and Limpopo with a .300 win mag loaded with 200 grain partitions. Took Kudu, Black Wildebeest, Gemsbuk, and Waterbuck with that setup with shots from 80 - 220 yards.

I think you'd be happy with your 7MM Rem Mag with a heavy, premium bullet like the 175 grain Swift Aframe or Nosler Partition. Heavy bullets are your friends in the bush, especially with magnums!
 

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Welcome to the madhouse Terry!

As you have probably gathered by now, there are some pretty experienced hands in the africahunting.com community, and although friendly and respectful of your individuality and personal likes, they will do what you ask, which is to give you an unvarnished, candid and often expert opinion.

Here is mine...

As many inmates (@Red Leg, @Von S., @IvW, @Philip Glass, @Ridgewalker, @tarbe, @Hogpatrol, @CAustin, etc.) have already hinted more or less directly, the .450 Bushmaster is not a very practical idea.

No choice is ever a bad idea, because after all it is your time, your money, your Safari, and whatever floats your boat, and on plains game an inadequate caliber is not likely to endanger your PH, your trackers or you, so you should really take whatever you like, but I could hardly think of a more useless caliber in Africa in general, and Limpopo in particular. No, I have never shot it, but I do not need to. I can tell you with absolute certainty that -5" @ 200 yd with a 150 yd zero !?!?! is waaayyyy too much drop for African plains game. I was in Limpopo not 6 months ago so I am not speculating but relaying my experience.

Here is my thinking.
  • Maybe you are enamored with the thought of taking a "big gun" to Africa, and that puts you in a very comfortable majority. Welcome to the club! But here is the thing: just because the .450 Bushmaster has a big hole in its pipe, does not make it a big gun.
  • Maybe you think that the Limpopo bush will limit your shots to 100 yd, and there are certainly thickets where it can/will happen when after buffalo. But the reality is that your plains game shots will not be in dense bush but in open bush, clearings, etc. and it will be a rare shot indeed that you take at less than 150 yd, and you should get ready to shoot routinely at 250+ yd. Plains game hunting in Africa is not a close quarters ambush type of hunt (like eastern US deer hunting) but a drive & encounter type of open hunt.
Conversely, a 7 mm Rem Mag is about darn near ideal, especially with heavier bullets. Think 160 gr and tough bullets: Nosler Partition, Barnes TSX, Swift A Frame, etc.

My recommendation would be to take your Ruger #1 in 7 mm Rem Mag; sight it +3" at 100 yd (that will give you +3.5" @ 150 yd; +3" @ 200 yd; +1" @ 250 yd; -3" @ 300 yd); put the cross hair on the center of an 8" steel plate and ring it 100 times from 100 to 300 yd over the next few months. Say, 10 rounds per weekend over the next 10 weekends, from sticks and various field positions. This is the recipe for a happy Safari devoid of useless frustrations...
Very well said!
 

njc110381

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If I was to hunt plains game I would take my 7mmSTW, not my .45-70. I've never been to Africa but just going by the size of the animals and the likely shot presentation, you don't want a gun with loopy trajectory which forces you to do a lot of extra thinking before the shot is taken. Just my opinion based on shooting deer in open country, which is pretty much what plains game are. When paying that much for a trip the last thing you want is to be turning down shots that you could have made with a more suitable rifle that you could have taken instead.
 

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How do available .452 bullets behave at Bushmaster velocities? I know that people have taken Moose with .458 SOCOM with very good results at short range - but that is with bullets made for rifle velocities.
I had a .450 bushmaster for all of about 6 months in the Ruger American Ranch. I got it because Ruger offered to replace my factory screwed up GP100 or something of equal value. I can't fault the rifle. For around $450 retail they are one heck of a bargain and they shoot... However, the .450 Bushmaster was designed as a.... I don't even know... somebody at bushmaster with a lot of pull said "Hey let's make a rifle cartridge that doesn't shoot flat, is limited to pistol bullets slung at speeds that blow them to bits, and has a rebated rim just to screw up the feeding characteristics!" and somebody in management said "Totally!"

It is about as useless a rifle cartridge as I could think of. The only caveat are the people who use them for deer because it is a straight walled case that meets the maximum OAL allowed by law (Like parts of Ohio or Michigan I believe). Other than that... it is pretty quickly outclassed by fairly mundane cartridges like the 7x57 Mauser, 7mm-08 and .308 Winchester. Even my 6.5x55 is far nicer in almost every way other than energy at the muzzle, which it quickly makes up for beyond 100 yards with sleek bullets. All of these true rifle cartridges are far more versatile, kick less and are much, much flatter shooting and maintain enough energy out to 300 yards to actually be useful. Needless to say, at least in a bolt action rifle... It is pointless. I would have been much happier if it were a .458 caliber, then you could sling some heavy lead with it. If I need to knockdown something big, I have a .375 H&H.
 

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