Lifetime bronze benefactor
You said elephant so you have to go with .416 or bigger IMO. If you can somehow leave ele out then by all means you will have a lifetime of success with a .375 on everything from NA game, PG, and everything else but ele and rhino.Good evening,
I’ve read quite a few posts regarding the usual “which caliber is best”, but obviously that’s an extremely hard, if not impossible, question to answer with opinions.
Now, obviously I know that there are an infinite number of calibers to choose from for any type of hunting. However, I’m torn between the Winchester model 70 Safari Express in either .375 h&h, .416 rem mag, or .458 win mag.
Between these three, which would be a good option if I was looking for a primarily dangerous game (Cape and possibly Elephant) cartridge with the flexibility to do some plains game and North American hunting? I’m waiting until after I finish my Bachelor’s to go to Africa (I’ve already got all the arrangements made), but in the meantime I’m looking into some black bear, grizzly, and moose hunts. The only thing I’m having trouble with is choosing what caliber. I want a single caliber (a large expectation) that is flexible enough for anything from large North American game up to a charging Cape. I plan on dipping my feet into some PG hunting when I take my trip to Africa. I realize perhaps the most popular caliber would be .375 h&h with its rather flat trajectory and ability to reach out further, but I don’t really want to find out what 2000 pounds feels like when it hits you at 30mph (I know, an unlikely scenario since a PH would accompany me on an African hunt) if the .375 fails to perform.
I’ve read quite a bit on the flexibility of the .458 Winchester Magnum cartridge, but I feel like it just lacks the ability to reach out past 200 yards effectively. Would a .416 Remington Magnum be the most flexible cartridge for my needs? I’ve read up on it’s ballistics, and it seems as though it’s relatively flat shooting out to around 250 yards, but packs enough wallop to be a suitable rifle for cape buffalo and the like. Would the .416 Remington Magnum be a good pick for what I want it to do? I don’t plan on hunting past 250 yards (I know very few hunters that have even taken shots past 200).
Now, I know that shot placement is the key to dropping any animal dead (or almost) in its tracks, but unless conditions are perfect, perfect shot placement can often allude a hunter. Therefore, I’d prefer having more kinetic energy to fall back on should I need it.
Also, recoil is not an issue. I started shooting at the age of 9, with a .30-30 Winchester 94 and a Winchester 12 gauge being the guns I was trained on. I’ve since moved up a bit, commonly shooting hot .45-70 loads and 3 inch magnum shot shells on a regular basis. I’ve also had some time behind a .458 Lott, and frankly don’t see where the hype regarding recoil comes from, so neither of these three cartridges should be a hassle, at least for myself.
In short, .375 h&h, .416 rem mag, or .458 win mag for dangerous game and lesser game/PG within 200?
If you have not been to Africa yet then I will say you should buy and get good with a .375. If the bigger DG became a reality then buy another gun! That’s what we all do