What Caliber Do African Professional Hunters Use

Biggdav

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From the hunts I've done they have always carried a 0.3 or up.

Regards
 

Hogpatrol

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Did a Saturday morning springbok cull hunt with my PH's family and his three offspring (two adult daughters and high school age son) used .243s. Killed eight.
 

K-man

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Or better yet, what rifle does your tracker carry for you? Bahaha, just had to throw that one in.
 

Velo Dog

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Double BC,

I'm but a simple client however, in Southern African countries, hunting season is if full swing so, maybe I can chime in until such time as the PHs get a free moment to comment.
The PH that I have hunted the most with (Hannes Swanepoel) primarily uses a Brno Mauser, model 600, .30-06 that, his father had given to him, when Hannes was a boy.
It is combined with a Zeiss Conquest 3 to 9x scope and 220 grain Hornady round nose softs, hand-loaded at 2400 feet per second.
He told me that when he was Game Warden in The Kruger Park, South Africa, he had shot very dead more than one or two problem (aggressive) lions with this combination.
He is an exceptional rifle shot and so, even larger animals such as eland, waterbok and zebra are generally one shot conclusions for him with his trusty .30-06 / 220 grainers.
When he shoots for the kitchen, this rifle is almost always what he uses.

He also has a Brno Model 602 magnum in .375 H&H, with the same scope on it, and 300 grain Hornady round nosers also at 2400 fps.
Hannes as well has as a custom built for him large bore repeater, (on a CZ Model 550 Magnum Mauser action), caliber .458 3inch Express which, he "only" loads to somewhere between 2150 to 2200 fps (to keep chamber pressure down in the hot African sun).
With 500 grain flat nose solids (Dzombo or Stewart brand?), it is his "stopping rifle", when backing clients on heavy dangerous game, (primarily elephant, buffalo and hippo these days).

I have hunted with his .30-06 and also have done some culling with it as well plus, I've hunted a little bit with his .375 and I would not hesitate to use either one again.
Both are absolute death rays, as far as my opinion goes.
As for the .458 3" Express, I've only fired it at a paper target, set in front of a termite mound and in spite of how wimpy my shoulder is, I found that cannon surprisingly controllable and also, satisfyingly quite accurate.
In fact, I liked it so much that, as soon as I could afford it, I had one just like it built to fit me.
Mine however is in caliber .458 Lott, as the Gunsmith already had a Lott chamber reamer and I was not sure I could find 3 inch brass just hanging from every tree anyway.
(I'm one of these weirdoes that goes hunting as an excuse to own decent rifles).

Well anyway, blah, blah, blah, out.
Velo Dog.
 

IvW

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Springbuck and Blesbuck in open plains-243 Win.

Bushveld hunting up to and including Blue Wildebeest 7x57mm.

Bushveld up to and including Eland and Giraffe-9.3 x 74R and 375 H&H Magnum.

Bushpig-on bait 7x65R/12ga combination fitted with scope on QD claw mounts. Slug in the 12ga tube.
Bushpig with Hounds-7x65R/12ga combination or 9.3x74R/12ga combination.

Lion and Leopard 375 H&H Magnum. Follow up on wounded lion 500 Jeff. Follow up on wounded leopard 12ga s x s Shotgun with shortened barrels(24 inch) fitted with front sight and ghost ring.(Brenneke slugs only!) or 9.3x74R/12ga O/U combination again Brenneke slug in the 12ga tube and 286 grn soft in the rifle barrel.

Hippo in the water-375 H&H Magnum. On land 500 Jeff.

Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant 500 Jeff.

Wingshooting-FN Browning, WW Greener 1905 30 inch barrels or either of the combinations.
 

Cousin Bongo

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PH Tyrone Milne (owner Chumlet Safaris) uses a couple of .30 caliber rifles - one chambered for the 30-06, the other for the 300 Win Mag (both technically .308 caliber). For DG, he uses a .458 caliber rifle chambered for the 450 Watts cartridge (forerunner to the 458 Lott, but Watts wasn't a gun writer...). PH Danie van Graan (Engonyameni Safaris) uses caliber .308 for PG (308 Winchester), and caliber .458 for DG (458 Win Mag, and 45-70 Government - Wild West Guns "Co-Pilot" lever action and his favorite for cats).

CB
 
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BenH2016

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I'm not a PH, but I live in Zambia and hunt for meat. I use a 30 06, mine is a CZ ZKK 600. I've used this calibre right up to Zebra, which it dropped with one shot.

A few PH friends of mine recommended a 300 win mag over the 30 06, for the extra reach, but being as I prefer open sighted hunting I'm happy to stick with the 30 06.

I went after Buffalo last year and a PH I know asked what rifle I had, I had my friends 375 which my PH friend said was probably a bit light. My first shot was good and I found my buff down and unable to get up a few 100 mtrs from where I shot him. I put in a few finishing shots to end things. I have seen buffalo killed with one shot with a 9.3x62 (shoulder) and a 30 06 (head), but do tend to think that more is better for buff, particularly as I don't have a PH backing me up. I have now got my own 416 Rigby for buff, and hopefully hippo.
 

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Hi. Big plains game I use a 300 win mag and small game like .243 the only time I hunt for myself is when I meat hunt.
 

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I have seen .375 HH, 450 Waters, 458 Lott, 470 NE, 505 Gibbs.

But also .223, .243, and 30.06.
 

fourfive8

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Here are the cals I've seen PHs carry: 458 Express (aka 458 3"), 375 HH, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem, 450 Watts, 450 Ackley, 458 Win Mag, 458 Lott, 500 NE and supressed 6.5x55 (for jackals and & antelope meat/cull shooting)
 

Desert Dog

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The PHs we have seen use 30-06 for plains game for meat and bait, and as a loaner rifle for clients.
 

CAustin

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I have seen Professional Hunters carry the following
Blazer 500 NE double barrel
Merkel 470 NE double barrel
FN Browning 458 Lott bolt action
Unknown 505 Gibbs
Unknown 375 H&H bolt action
Unknown 243 bolt action
 

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I have seen Professional Hunters carry the following
Blazer 500 NE double barrel
Merkel 470 NE double barrel
FN Browning 458 Lott bolt action
Unknown 505 Gibbs
Unknown 375 H&H bolt action
Unknown 243 bolt action
People actually mess with those Blasers and Merkels?
 

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I am a PH and Outfitter. We live on the farm permanently and when we shoot staff rashions or meat for ourselves my first weapon of choice is always my 30.06
But if a client hunts plains game with me I usually give them the 300 H&H mag and with dangerous game the trusty 458 winmag. I personally use a 470 nitro as back up on dangerous game.
 

WRudman

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Registered Outfitter and PH as well, use a .222 for small animals ie duiker, steenbok grysbok .243 for the likes of springbok, impala, blesbok and a 30-06 for wildebeest kudu zebra etc. Both ,243 and 30-06 are made by Musgrave. Even use a much underestimated 303.
 

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