Report on 26 Nosler for Plains Game

Hogpatrol

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I used the .26 Nosler with 130 Berger VLD hunting bullets and had excellent results. The caliber is hard on barrels though. I swapped it out for a .28 Nosler and hunted '16 with it. Barrel wear isn't as bad and accuracy came up a notch. Used Berger 168 VLD hunting bullets with it and they performed as well as the lighter ones in the other barrel. I'd say out of 40 some odd cull animals, all but a couple were DRT.
 

CAustin

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Sounds like the 26 Nosler can get the job done!
 

Scrumbag

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You know what I love about AH? Arguing about which super model is prettiest!

26 nosler. 6.5x284, 7x57, 6.5x55, 264 win, 284 win, 7x64, 280 AI, 6.5x54MS. 260 Remington. 7.08

We banter about what is best but let's be honest, we have our pets and our biases but the fact remains this forum likes what are the definitively finest, most versatile firearms in the world. There isn't a loser in the bunch and I'd offer a bourbon and a stay at my hunting camp to anyone that showed up with any of these gentleman's guns.

Those are the best depending on regional variation, action type, distance to animal and weight of gun. No losers, only winners each and every one of them!

Can I come please? Got a 7x64 (The Gentleman's 7mm) ;) - Possibly the only civilised thing about me... 26 Nosler sounds quite a performer and a great time hunting to boot
 

jrgould

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I used my Cooper 26 Nosler in New Zealand this year on Red Stag, Fallow and Tahr at ranges from 100 to 370 yards. All one shot kills, nothing moved more than 10 yards after the shot.
 

Nicholas Barcomb

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Nice job and good hunting! I was almost interested in that cartridge, the Nosler 26, but I already have a 6.5 x 55 SE, so I'll just tick with that and use Woodleigh PPRNs. Thanks for the excellent report.
 

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Cartridge Report for 26 Nosler

Because this was my first hunting trip to Africa, I asked the outfitter what rifle to bring and was advised to bring a deer rifle I was comfortable shooting. My current deer rifles are chamber in 260 and 26 Nosler. The 260 is a Desert Tech rifle (https://deserttech.com/html/product_overview.php?product_id=2&load=product_overview), which I love to shoot and is incredibly accurate. Although it a bolt action, I worried that it might attract unnecessary attention as it looks a little like an AR15. So I brought my 26 Nosler, which is a traditional-looking bolt action rifle.

Here is a report on how the 26 Nosler cartridge performed. I used Nosler 140 grain ABLR (accubond long range) bullets. [MV ≈ 3300 fps ME ≈ 2400 ft lbs] I brought 129 grain ABLRs with 100-150 fps higher MVs but didn't use them on the trip.

Shots ranged from 75 to just under 200 yards. Area hunted Limpopo near Botswana and Zimbabwe borders. Lots of bushy vegetation.

Impala 1. First animal shot. Hit in chest behind shoulder (classic America deer placement), quartering slightly away. Ran less than 50 yards. Bullet found on opposite side just under the skin.

Zebra. Shot as PH advised in shoulder at “sergeant strips.” Ran about 100 yards, circled briefly and feel over dead. Shoulders broken, lots of lung blood. No exit wound.

Waterbuck. Shot in shoulder. Animal ran 75 yards and fell. The waterbuck then struggled to its feet as the PH’s Jack Russell approached. Shot again and it immediately went down. Shoulders broken with no exit wound.

Kudu. Shot in shoulder. Ran less than 50 yards. We found it dead minutes later. Shoulder broken, lots of lung blood, no exit wound.

Impala 2. Shot in the crease behind just shoulder as the animal was moving. Ran at least 100 yards at high speed after being hit. We could observe this animal well as the area was open with trees rather than brush. Impala fell over dead at the end of the run. Small exit wound which can be seen in the photo.

Warthog. Shot just above and slightly behind shoulder. DRT, fell over immediately and didn’t even twitch. Shoulder intact but heart severely damaged. No exit wound.

The bullets we recovered retained most of their weight. I didn't get a chance to load and bring Barnes 127 grain LRX (long range version of triple shock); I suspect these would have performed well too.

Whitetails here seem to expire more quickly with this round than the African game. The PH didn't seem concerned that most of the animals ran a little bit before going down. Overall, I was happy with how the rifle and cartridge performed. The trip was great -- one of the most enjoyable hunts ever.

All of the game meat was fantastic to eat. Had to request that it be cooked rare to medium rare as the local preference seemed to be medium well or beyond.
View attachment 153842

acquired a 26 a few months ago. been to the range a couple of times with the 129 gr accubond. tight groups one trip, the other not as tight as i'd have liked. but my buddy says the 140's shoot better, so going to try them next time.

great report! was wondering how the 26 would perform on african game, and i'd say overall it was stellar on the pg hunt.
 
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rookhawk

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Thanks for your review.

Just as a compare and contrast:

Using 6.5mm bullets in the 140-160gr range I did not have nearly as much running after game. Usually DRT, longest was a Kudu that went 30 yards.

7mm 175gr worked even better.

I suspect if you went from 129gr to 160gr your shots should hold the animal a bit closer for you.
 

Hogpatrol

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acquired a 26 a few months ago. been to the range a couple of times with the 129 gr accubond. tight groups one trip, the other not as tight as i'd have liked. but my buddy says the 140's shoot better, so going to try them next time.

great report! was wondering how the 26 would perform on african game, and i'd say overall it was stellar on the pg hunt.
Are you shooting accubond factory ammo or reloads? If you reload, the new 135 grain Berger classic hunter is worth a try. I reload and use Berger VLDs exclusively in the 26 and 28 Nosler but they can be fussy with seating depths. The classic hunter should be easier to tune. One piece of advice with the 26, don't fire one round after another at the range. There's a lot of fire going through a small hole and this caliber EATS barrels when even slightly abused. Good Luck hunting.
 

James Cook

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Are you shooting accubond factory ammo or reloads? If you reload, the new 135 grain Berger classic hunter is worth a try. I reload and use Berger VLDs exclusively in the 26 and 28 Nosler but they can be fussy with seating depths. The classic hunter should be easier to tune. One piece of advice with the 26, don't fire one round after another at the range. There's a lot of fire going through a small hole and this caliber EATS barrels when even slightly abused. Good Luck hunting.

using factory ammo. thx for the advice.
 

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