Rifle(s) Suggestions for Plains Game Hunt in Limpopo

Mekaniks

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Welcome to AH:S Welcome:

Here is my 2c...I personally think the .338 win mag is one of the most versatile calibers available for Africa PG hunting and everything in North America as well. It will shoot 250g bullets that hit like a hammer for large critters and you will have the ability to shoot 185g bullets and ballisticlly match the 300 mags for smaller game.
A 30-06, ,308, 270, or 7-08 shooting 130-140 grain bullets would then make an excellent second gun.

All that said, it you think you ever think that you might want to hunt DG someday and/or big bears then @Buckdog recommendation is spot on in my opinion. .375 HH and 30-06 are an excellent pair and you would be covered regardless of what you do in future.
 

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IMO you should talk to your PH for his recommendation. A lot depends on what you're hunting, i.e., Impala a 243 is perfect while on eland a 243 is not adequate. JMO
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Thanks, Dave. I see you mention there is some extra paperwork involved for traveling with a minor in and out of SA. I had run across the fact that he likely couldn't import a rifle, and had planned on doing both on my permit. However, is there other paperwork he will need, beyond a passport, because he is a minor? Thanks again for all the helpful advice!

All my kids were old enough not to require all this added hassle. I'm sure there are several folks here that have brought a young son or daughter hunting in RSA that can chime in.

Here are a few links on the subject:

https://za.usembassy.gov/m_16042015/

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/sta...-african-ports-of-entry-effective-1-june-2015

https://www.flysaa.com/manage-fly/before-flying/travel-documentation
 
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Divernhunter

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My daughter took her 257Roberts. The PH was a bit unsure until she took her 1st animal with a bang flop at 135 yards then a Kudu at 175 yards. Then a Red Hartebeest at 340 yards. After that it was zebra at 140, warthogs (7)at ranges from 325 to 410 and impala(3) at longer not measured ranges. Every one was a one shot kill and no tracking.
I used a 338winmag for my animals and never used the 30-06 I brought. Mine were one shot kills on a bunch of animals.
"I" would not use a 243 except on animals such as Springbok. They do drop fast with a well placed 338 round but it is overkill.
For your son a 260Rem, or other 6.5mm cartridge as well as 7-08, 257R/25-06/257W or 308win would do well. This trip(may 2017) I will have the 338(mostly for Eland) and my 257W. Use good bullets. I used 25cal 120gr Swift A-Frames last trip and 338cal 225gr A-Frames. This trip I will have 25cal 100gr TTSX barnes and 120gr A-Frames(shooting to same point) and again 225gr A-Frames in the 338.

Some of the same cartridges I suggested for your son would work for you or you could use 30-06/300mag/338win mag/7mag/264mag. My daughter was over 21 years old so we brought 3 rifles. Since your son is younger you will probably only take 2 which is the limit per person as I understand it.

My 2 cents
 

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As long as you place your shots correctly, the .243 is an adequate caliber. I have used a .22-250 for animals up to a Tsessebe.

For yourself, as you already have a 30.06, I would choose between a .300 WM and a .338 WM, the latter being my personal choice.
 

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I've stacked 15+ PG animals with my 30.06..... ranging from Springbok to Eland. 168gr TTSX ammo.
 

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30-06 will do for any plains game. For your son 7-08, 7x57 Mauser or 308 as long as he shoots them well
 

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You didn't say if you reloaded or not? Also consider if you will be thinking about going back for bigger game at some point or moose/bear here in the states.
If you reload and just want to keep things simple and stay in the one calibre area. Get your son a 308 and yourself a 30/06 and concentrate on shot placement with premium bullets and have a blast. If you are of a traditionalist kinda thought pattern; get your son a nice 7x57 and yourself a 9.3x62 or 375H&H concentrate on shot placement with premium bullets and have a blast. What ever you decide practice allot, get comfortable shooting off sticks. Find a place where you can practice shooting in and around trees and brush, try and replicate actual hunting conditions. Most of Limpopo your shots will be in the 50-110 yard keep your scope turned down to a lower range to start with because if it is to high and you need to turn it down because the animal is close you will never have time to do that. If you on low power and need more magnification odds are you will have time to turn it up. But mostly take in all the sounds, smells and adventure of Africa.
 

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Start with the 270 and go up; stopping at the 338 WM, Choose one. MOST animals are not going to know the difference between getting hit with 180 grains of lead rather it left the muzzle at 2600 or 3200 fps.
Honestly, the difference in cartridges is more US marketing and sales than practicality or necessity.

My advice: Let your son choose his rifle first, caliber, make, model, scope, etc. then you get one similar in a complimenting caliber: 30 cal/338, 7mm/338,
Later, when (not IF but WHEN) you go after bigger and dangerous game, get a 375 (legal minimum) or a 416. If all rifles are the same make/model the transition is much more "natural".

Read Craig Boddington's Safari Rifles II, good info and research on a one gun battery, 2 gun battery, 3 gun, etc....
 

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I'd second a lot of the suggestions already. Getting a 30 cal makes a lot of sense. For Limpopo hunting (generally), you're usually shooting at fairly close range, so flat-shooting high velocity calibres are not a requirement and may be detrimental to bullet performance.

The 243 might be ok but for sub-100m shots, bullet performance will be key. The risk of bullet fragmentation on the bigger species mentioned would be too high for me to gamble with it. For bushveld velocities (say <2600f/s MV) you're quite limited on choices below 7mm/284. The 7x57 is a great choice but maybe not so easy to come by in the US. Otherwise a 6.5 shooting 140gr bullets or heavier would be ideal - not a big recoiler for a teenager and enough knockdown power with a premium bullet for all the game mentioned. My preference would be for a 6.5x55 shooting a 156gr Norma Oryx - but I am hugely biased!

A 300 mag shooting a 220gr bullet would be good but in reality a 30-06 or 308 shooting 180gr will suit your purposes just fine.
 

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Hello,

Somewhat unexpectedly, I was the high bidder on a Plains Game Hunt in Limpopo, SA at a recent SCI Banquet. It is a 1X1 hunt for 2 hunters, so I'm planning to take my son, who will be 16 when we go in June 2018. Just starting to do the research, but I am expecting that our primary animals will likely be kudu, impala, blesbok, warthog and possibly a zebra. I also now realize that I won't be taking my semi-auto 30-06 and my son's bolt action .243 is likely smaller than what we will want to take.

So, I'm now trying to determine what rifle combinations I should consider purchasing to take for my son and I to use on the trip. Cost is a consideration, since I'll be buying 2 of them. I am sort of zeroing in on a 30-06 as a first choice, but then trying to determine if a .308 or .300 Win Mag would be the best second choice (we will plan to practice with both, so we could potentially switch on any particular day, depending on what each of us was hunting).

With that said, this is all new to me, so I'm completely open to suggestions. As a side note, we are both also experienced whitetail deer hunters in Wisconsin, so these would likely be rifles we would use for years to come back in the states. Thanks!
You've got a good plan with the '06 for your son and the .300 for you. You need to ask the outfitter what distances they normally shoot PG. Many times I've had much longer than average shots to take and the .300 is what you need. No matter what anyone else tells you African game take a out of killin'! Always err on the side of a bigger gun.
Have fun planning.
Philip
 
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curtism1234

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Consider renting a gun or two from the PH. Ask him about that now and then factor that into the buy or rent option.
[...]
Finally, if you bring your rifles, you will need a good airline approved rifle case.

Although the original question was asked specifically about buying, I'm a little surprised there are not more recommendations to consider renting.

As the OP said, cost is a factor.

For two entry level rifles with a decent entry level scope and steel rings (don't use aluminum), you're looking at about $1000. You're then looking at 200-300 dollars for a good rifle case. Then you'll want to pay for a meet and greet service to make sure things go smoothly and quick with the rifles. All in, you're probably over $1,500 with the rifles.

I'd ask how much it would be to rent 2 rifles with normal ammo costs. It varies from outfitter to outfitter.

Also, make sure you know what the real cost of the entire trip is going to be. Taxidermy (should you want it) and shipping on those 5 animals is over $4,000. Then you have the plane tickets to account for as well as the tip to the staff (which often goes budgeted).

You might have paid idk $3500 a piece for the hunt but all in for both hunts the grand total very well could be over $20,000. Obviously a good chunk being taxidermy.

If you can save a thousand dollars by renting a rifle, I'd probably do that and have things a bit more streamlined at the airport.
 

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My input.
1. Ask the outfitter if you can change it to 2x1 and give you a free animal to make up the difference. You will enjoy hunting together more than sepately.

2 buy your son a new rifle for you to share. If he is 6 ft already then let him shoot a 300wsm. If he likes it then get that. If not then a 30-06.

Africa, to me, is about shared experiences. Do it together even if they won't credit you an animal.


Have fun.
 

Art Lambart II

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IMO the 35 Whelen the best choice for a PG rifle in the Bushveld. At ranges under 150 yards the 35 Whelen hits harder than the 30-06 or the 300WM, without all that magnum recoil.
 

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I love these kind of questions not because I want to give my opinion but to see what others recommend it helps me realize how many rifles/cartridge I don't own and makes me feel under privileged. Picking a rifle is more than deciding what cartridge but also fit and also optics and mounts.
Standard thought is to mount a scope as low as possible to the bore and I agree but my scopes are in higher mounts because that is where it works best for me. Make your choice of caliber then start trying on different rifles once you choose a rifle don't choose a scope and have it installed try different base mounts until you find a set that fits and gives you a good field of view without moving your head back and forth. We can't all afford a custom rifle but it is easy to get the right combo to fit you better than average. Once that is done use it as often as possible to make it part of you. If that means shooting squirrel and ground hogs with a 300 mag do it I'm getting ready to hunt ground hogs with a 375 Ruger. Time spent behind a rifle will make any trip better what ever your choice use a premium bullet for your trip and have fun.
Shoot straight
Shawn
 

IA Monsterbuck

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I'm going to change the conversation completely and say buy two bows and bowhunt!
 

curtism1234

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Make your choice of caliber then start trying on different rifles once you choose a rifle don't choose a scope and have it installed try different base mounts until you find a set that fits and gives you a good field of view without moving your head back and forth.

That's why I just go straight to the Weaver one piece multi slot mounts
 

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My 14yo took a heap of game with his .243. Better a rifle he knows well than a new one. There are lots of small game and varmints it is suitable for that maybe offered when you get there. Too small for zebra but ok for a light Kudu. A .308w will do for you. Why not borrow one there and take one rifle. Use purchase money for more game.
 

brandondd24

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I've collected a lot of whitetail with my .243 in my junior years, great gun I now use a .270 for whitetail, but I believe a 243 would be fine for a lot of African game.
 

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