Rifle for Plains Game and Dangerous Game

Rule 303

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
711
Reaction score
670
Location
Brisbane
Media
6
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe & Namibia
Caliber 9,3x62 was used by the legendary PH Don Heath " Ganyana ".
He believed that there was no difference between 9,3x62 and 375H&H magnum.
And Bell used a 7mm that does not make it right for every body. Going after DG with the minimum is risky. There is a big difference between the 9.3X62 and 375H&H in energy, if that is any yard stick.
 

Rule 303

AH fanatic
Joined
Oct 6, 2015
Messages
711
Reaction score
670
Location
Brisbane
Media
6
Hunted
Australia, New Zealand, Zimbabwe & Namibia
Glad you got the 375H&H. I would have gone the 416Rem simply because I like that calibre and it is a step up on the H&H. For solids it is hard to go past the Woodleigh Hydrostatics. Not exactly a flat nose but behaves more like a flat nose than a round nose and I have yet to hear of one not holding a true course no matter what they hit. Just another one to look at. Both my El's and a cape Buff fell to the Hydro out of a 416Rigby.

As has been said using different weights of projectile in the one rifle can be a failure. If the different weights do not throw to the same point of impact I would not use them. If they do they need to be readily distinguishable from the DG ammo (just my belief). This is where the 416Rem and 375H&H out do the 458Win for plains game. A 400grain pill in the 416 is still flat enough to use out to 300mts.
 

John Telford

AH veteran
Joined
Apr 25, 2020
Messages
182
Reaction score
265
Location
Pretoria/Maun/Sacramento
Media
9
Member of
Phasa ,SA Wingshooters, Botswana Tourism (HATAB), Pretoria Arms and Ammunition Association PAAA.
Hunted
South Africa , Botswana,
To summarize, it is actually quite simple:
  • 100% PG = .300
  • 80% PG + 20% DG = .375
  • 20% PG + 80% DG = .416
  • 100% DG = .458
  • Anything that presents itself = 1 Blaser R8 and 3 barrels...
:)

This being said, four thoughts come to mind:

1) For PG there is nothing that a well placed and well constructed bullet from .25 caliber and up will not kill with a double lung shot from a perfect angle... Bigger & heavier bullets allow you to take shots from more difficult angles... Faster bullets give you a bit flater trajectory to not worry about ballistics between 0 and 300 yards...

2) For mixed PG and DG, on one end the 9.3x62 has always been in the run, but it lacks a bit of power and a bit of reach compared to the .375. On the other end, beware that the .416 hits noticeably harder ... on both ends! Too many people show up in Africa with a .416 they are afraid of and cannot shoot well, when they would have been perfectly well served, and much happier with a .375...

3) By the time you go for elephant, which is ultra specialized, you will likely have the desire and the "African bug" for a "stopper" caliber of .45+, but there is nothing that the .375 will not do with a good monolithic solid or a good TSX or AFrame...

4) By the time you have 3 or 4 Win 70 Safari Express in the safe, but can only take two at a time to Africa, you will have spent about the same money you would on a R8 Pro and 3 or 4 barrels and you will have nowhere near the flexibility. Many of us have been there and done that... Ask Red Leg, Philip Glass, dchamp, BeeMaa, Opposite Pole, and many others ... and yes, me too... If you want the ability to take 3 calibers in one TSA max size & weight compliant rifle case, there is simply no other option...
This is a very good summary... and it should not only apply to this hunt but all future hunts. I’d go 375 - your ph will have enough gun as a back up on DG.
 

RayAtkinson

AH fanatic
Joined
Mar 17, 2009
Messages
655
Reaction score
491
Location
Filer,
Media
25
Articles
1
Member of
SCI Dallas
Hunted
RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.
For me I found the 416 REm the best of both worlds..It shoots flatter n a flitter with a 300 or even a 350 gr. bullet for distance but its real purpose lies in the 400 or better yet the 450 woodleigh on DG of any kind..

I love my 375 but prefer it for elk in Idaho or Colorado, and bear in Alaska..but its decent as an all around according to all the gun scribes that borrow advise from each other it seems, and I agree the 375 is an all around caliber but the .416 is oh so much better unless recoil is a problem.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
2,361
Reaction score
3,429
Location
Eastern US
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
As @One Day... already said, one Blaser R8 with multiple barrels.
Want to take extra calibers?
Get your wife into hunting and you will end up with this.
His & Her's in 300WM, 375H&H and 416RM.
1603019309880.png
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
5,070
Reaction score
2,718
Location
Trzebiatów - Poland
Media
15
Hunting reports
Europe
1
Member of
1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe
Is to be avoided, the others in the thread are good to go........... Sorry couldn't resist as you say nothing about what it is "only" for. :) Talk about a 9.3X64 and we have for all intensive purposes a 375H&H.
I think that 9,3x62Mauser is a great caliber for PG and DG.
 

IvW

AH legend
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
2,816
Reaction score
5,188
Location
South Africa
Media
61
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
BASA, CHASA
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
I think that 9,3x62Mauser is a great caliber for PG and DG.
Correct the 9.3x62 or 9.3x74R are great calibers, only issue against DG is countries where they are not legal, anybody who doubts the calibers effectiveness has never used them before....
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
5,070
Reaction score
2,718
Location
Trzebiatów - Poland
Media
15
Hunting reports
Europe
1
Member of
1977; Polish Hunting Assotiation
Hunted
Namibia, Zimbabwe
Correct the 9.3x62 or 9.3x74R are great calibers, only issue against DG is countries where they are not legal, anybody who doubts the calibers effectiveness has never used them before....
I think the same as you IvW.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IvW

John Tanuwidjaja

New member
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
8
Reaction score
8
Location
Sydney, Australia
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?
Drive By Guy I only did my first African Safari in 2019 so don't profess to know much. Like you I did a lot of reading etc. I only wanted to take 1 gun to keep things simple. I ended up taking my custom M70 in 375 H&H. Booked with Marius of Kruger Hunting Safaris and my main target specie was Cape Buffalo. After 20km of walking on the 2nd day of my Safari got my Cape Buffalo. Was about 70m away slight quartering towards me shot it in the shoulder with my 375 H&H using handloads with 300gr Woodleigh PP (I'm from Australia so what else would I use? They performed brilliantly btw). Went about 40m and down he went then we heard that much anticipated death bellow! I'd always read how the 375 was marginal on Buffalo and maybe it is but its on the right side of the margin. Use good bullets and the 375 will be more than adequate. But above all its that first shot that counts as you already know. When I had that buffalo's shoulder in my scope as you can imagine I was pretty hyped up so I regrouped took a deep breath and then composed my shot again before I took it. I knew it was a hit but you never know how good the shot was. Thank goodness I did not stuff up!

With that 375 I also shot a Sable, Oryx, Waterbuck, Blue Wilderbeest and an Eland. It just performed wonderfully! All 1 shot except the Waterbuck - apparently only 1 lung hit good blood trail but had to shoot it 1 more time. I came away with an even greater appreciation of the 375 H&H. It is more powerful than I gave it credit for and very effective without killing you with recoil on the other end. Another consideration most scopes will survive a 375 but maybe not a 458 Lott. A scope in my opinion is essential for making that 1st shot so much more effective.

Mind you I could have brought my M98 404 Jeffery but really I didn't want to bring a second rifle for my first trip. The recoil of the 404J is considerably more as well & I just don't buy that slow push argument. Next trip once this Covid thing is over I'll bring the 404J only because it needs to be taken to Africa but then I'll have to bring a 2nd rifle! That's OK but added complication - 2 rifles & 3 lots of ammo - a solid; a soft plus a load for the smaller calibre.

I really like your choice of an M70 as well. In a hunting situation you'll really appreciate that 3 position safety locking the firing pin and not just the trigger cause once you follow a track you'll have 1 up the spout. No better safety for a hunting rifle IMHO.

For 1 gun choose the 375 H&H and you wont look back!
 
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

I’ll never hunt Africa, but give me please a Jack O’Connor hunt up high in the Canadian Rockies!
Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
Justbryan wrote on Rafter JK's profile.
Get Crazy Larry yet? Wishing I had shot Alpine Ibex too!
 
Top