The next best calibre?

Shifty

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Hi All,

Currently in my safe I have .222, .243, .270 and 30-30.

Here in Australia I do all my deer hunting with the .270 and finding it does the job but….

Not including big bore for dangerous game, what would be the next best calibre to get to “fill the gap” if I say wanted to shoot heavier bullets and do a PG hunt?

Cheers,
Shifty
 

saswart

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Except for the 30-30, my vote that would fit in with the rest of your rifles and not being big bore, 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag.

Although you said no big bore I would also consider 9.3 and 375. Some consider the 375 big bore, some not…
 

mark-hunter

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300 win mag, as boosted 30.
338 win mag, longer shots, with good punch.
9.3x62 closer shots, and bush hunting
8x68 for elite.

When you get to water buffalo, 375 H&H.

Welcome to the dark side!
 

Shifty

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Except for the 30-30, my vote that would fit in with the rest of your rifles and not being big bore, 300 Win Mag, 338 Win Mag.

Although you said no big bore I would also consider 9.3 and 375. Some consider the 375 big bore, some not…
I just didn’t include big bore because I have my eye on a .375 or .458 Lott but that’s a different story :LOL:
 
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Desperatezulu

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These threads are always a bottomless pit of suggestions!

My 2c would be to try and pencil some future calibre ideas, even if vague and start to map what functions (target species, likely shooting distance, possible bullet types etc) and see where the overlap is.

I agree with many of the above ideas - a 300 mag (mine is H&H flavour but there are some interesting alternatives to the standard win mag - 308 Norma for ex). A 338 is a great all rounder and I'm a big fan - but the question you would need to ask yourself is 'what function does it fill and what is the overlap with the rest of my armoury?'
A 300 mag does great work with a 200gr bullet and there are plenty 220gr options out there. If you go for one of the more potent 300 mags like a RUM or Lapua, then you could push big monos at high speed, which would overlap with the lower half of the 338s range.

If you look at the upper range of the 338, 250-300gr, then you're into 9.3x62 and 375 territory.
So in my own journey I went 300 mag and then 9.3. For my uses the 300 mag covers all plains game at distance (sure the 338 would offer more grunt on longer shots at species like eland). And my need for heavier bullets is more close range bushveld work, hence the 9.3.

Obviously if budget and licensing are not constraints, then get em all!
 

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BeeMaa

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If you were to show up in Africa with only one rifle for a first safari, a 375 (H&H, RUGER, WBY...or whatever you decide) with Swift A-Frames would make your PH a very happy person. Throw in a handful of solids if you are looking at the Tiny 10, and you are done.

Good alternatives would be the 338WM, 35W and any of the 9.3mm cartridges.
 

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G'day shifty and welcome. Seems like you are in good company.

So if you haven't yet spoken to Bob he's our resident Whelen nut and all round nice guy.

Mark R nailed my answer. .300wm is the next logical affordable or practical choice.

I have a .300,wm, the PH in Africa said its one cartridge that would be good for all of hunting in Africa.

I also have a .280a.i. that I think is a pretty cool cartridge but just led common.

Now I know you don't want a big bore for DG suggestion but Russ aka BadBoyMelvin is a big fan of the .458,wm for his favourite hunting rifle and he hints deer.
 

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In my experience, the majority of loaner rifles available to clients in Africa for a PG hunt are a .300 of some persuasion. Usually a Win Mag. That is for a reason. They are shootable, have plenty of reach, and with a 200 gr bullet handle anything up through eland. It is also a great choice for larger game and feral targets in Australia. With a 180 gr bullet it is a worldwide choice for the Americas, Europe, and Asia. A .375 or 9.3 is somewhat limiting for that universal application - particularly Alpine game.
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Hi All,

Currently in my safe I have .222, .243, .270 and 30-30.

Here in Australia I do all my deer hunting with the .270 and finding it does the job but….

Not including big bore for dangerous game, what would be the next best calibre to get to “fill the gap” if I say wanted to shoot heavier bullets and do a PG hunt?

Cheers,
Shifty
@Shifty
It's no use asking me mate as I will say the 35 Whelen. Everything I shot in Namibia was one and done. In Australia I use it on Everything from mice to scrub bulls (next years hunt). It shoots flat, hits hard and is as good as a 338 and better than the 300 WM. There's no flies on a 225gn Woodleigh or accubond doing 2,800fps plus with a healthy dose of 2208.
Bob
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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Hi All,

Currently in my safe I have .222, .243, .270 and 30-30.

Here in Australia I do all my deer hunting with the .270 and finding it does the job but….

Not including big bore for dangerous game, what would be the next best calibre to get to “fill the gap” if I say wanted to shoot heavier bullets and do a PG hunt?

Cheers,
Shifty
@Shiffty
If you want to go big the 35 Whelen loaded with Woodleigh 310gn RNSP @2,400 plus fps and a does of 2209 will put a lot of hurt on big critters as well
 

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