What is the Perfect Plains Game rifle? and what is too much?

drew416

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Very nice rifle indeed. Please tell more about it.

Bullet selection for me, being in Australia, is limited due to supply and demand. However I have only ever found the need to use what is commercially available here, namely the Woodleigh 220gn Protected Point, 250gn Round Nose and 170gn Hydrostatically Stabilized Solid. These solids are particularly good for shooting for the table.

The 220gn is said to be able to handle 3000fps velocities, but I drive them out at 2800fps on average, I just get smaller groups at that speed.

I have also had spectacular results with RWS 224gn Cone Points.
 

Johnny reb

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Thanks for the comments guys the rifle is built off of a model 70 action. It's got a 27 in barrel setting In an accurate innovations stock that's bedded and barrel is free floating I'm going too get some ceb's too try and north forks also. I've used 180gn Nosler ballistic tip spitzers and I can push them right at 3250 with no pressure signs and keep 5 shots within a inch.it can also push220gn Sierra game kings at 3000fps and keep 5 in about 1.5 inches I'm still tinkering with those. I've used 200gn Nosler hpbt and it will shoot 5 in about an inch.I' m still messing around with it some people would of done quit but I think that I can do better. Going too try and shoot this weekend. I would be interested in what others are using also
 

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I have followed AH for quite some time and have read many opinions on rifle selection. So here is the question, what is the perfect Plains Game rifle? Is it a 25-06, 30-06, 300 Win Mag, one of the 375 family or a different one? You decide, and tell us why... Additionally, is there something that is too much for PG? I am only limited this to plains game (up to and including Eland) and NOT dangerous game.

I know there will be MANY passionate opinions, but please do not berate or belittle someone else for their opinion, because it is just that...opinion. The basis for this question is not only stopping ability, but minimal meat damage and hide preservation. Additionally, let us all consider that the rifles are using the "mythical" perfect plains game bullet so that we do not get into the discussion of bullet selection.

I did do a quick search, but do not turn up anything that specifically asks this question. If I missed a post, please let me know.

My opinion is the 300 Win Mag is a very good all-around PG rifle. It has the ability to reach out and drop something if necessary, and shoots a larger enough bullet (200gr to 220gr) to put the hurt on the larger animal but can be down loaded for the smaller ones. While the 375 H&H is the quintessential "African Caliber" I think it is one the large side for most PG animal. Your thoughts?
338 win mag. Shoots flat and hits hsrd
 

BWH

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30.06.... 168gr Barnes TTSX.
 

CAustin

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For plains game I'm very partial to my Ruger Model #1 in 300 win mag.
I've taken 14 plains game with it to date! 180 grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertips!
image.jpg
 

BWH

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MarkCZ

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30-06 for me, my mate uses 270, same results. I would add that a good bonded bullet is most important.
Markcz
 

billc

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for me it is the one in my hand at the time. I would like it to be a 300 mag but anything from a 257 wbthy mag up to 300 will do. After that it is overkill for me and I dont shoot them near as well. Must guys can not handle a 338 mag or bigger.
 

Art Lambart II

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I don't think hide preservation is an issue on a PG hunt, if it were we would all be taking neck shots with a 6.5x55 or a similar mild recoiling cartridge. Bullet placement is the key to hunting success in any situation, in the field it's the hunter’s ability to shoot accurately that is tested not the accuracy of your rifle. Our goal as ethical hunter is the "Dead Right Their" shot (DRT), no tracking just smiles and high fives. In order to accomplish this feat a hunter should be able to place his/her bullet into a 2" diameter circle, this level of field accuracy is what should set a hunters distance limit for taking an ethical shoot. That being said there are very few of us myself included that should take a shot over 200 yards and truthfully a 100 yards would be a better maximum distance. The lion and the leopard get as close as they can before the final charge, why should we behave differently just because we use a rifle? The skill in hunting is getting as close as possible before you engage your target, the skill in shooting is shot placement over a distance, they are two totally different skill sets. Now that long range shooting is eliminated from the equation I can finally answer the question what is the best PG caliber, simple the 35 Whelen.

The 30-06 is the most popular choice for PG hunting and has a very solid reputation for PG. The truth is every 06 wants to grow up to be a 35 Whelen, it’s just as accurate over practical shooting distances, shoots a heavier bullet and hits much harder.

The 35 Whelen has a mild recoil for its caliber (slightly more than the 06 but less than the 300WM), a large diameter bullet at non-magnum velocities (2500 fps) resulting in greater weight retention, penetration and knockdown power. With quality factory ammo ranging from 180 to 310 grains, what more could ask for in a PG rifle?
 

35bore

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Hey, I like the way he thinks....
 

Philip Glass

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I have followed AH for quite some time and have read many opinions on rifle selection. So here is the question, what is the perfect Plains Game rifle? Is it a 25-06, 30-06, 300 Win Mag, one of the 375 family or a different one? You decide, and tell us why... Additionally, is there something that is too much for PG? I am only limited this to plains game (up to and including Eland) and NOT dangerous game.

I know there will be MANY passionate opinions, but please do not berate or belittle someone else for their opinion, because it is just that...opinion. The basis for this question is not only stopping ability, but minimal meat damage and hide preservation. Additionally, let us all consider that the rifles are using the "mythical" perfect plains game bullet so that we do not get into the discussion of bullet selection.

I did do a quick search, but do not turn up anything that specifically asks this question. If I missed a post, please let me know.

My opinion is the 300 Win Mag is a very good all-around PG rifle. It has the ability to reach out and drop something if necessary, and shoots a larger enough bullet (200gr to 220gr) to put the hurt on the larger animal but can be down loaded for the smaller ones. While the 375 H&H is the quintessential "African Caliber" I think it is one the large side for most PG animal. Your thoughts?
You are totally correct with .300 win mag
You will hear of those who hunt with .270's etc but keep in mind you are going to Africa and into the unknown. If you are like me and on 2 Safaris had difficult hunts where at 300 yards the PH says shoot! Time and time again difficult long shots at game that are simply best described as evil in as far as how much lead they can take! Forget about meat and hide damage, it is of little concern. Don't be like my friend with the .270 whose Gemsbok got away.
I have .300 RUM, .375 Ruger, &.416 Ruger.
Regards,
Philip
 

rookhawk

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A lot of good answers already. Two camps:

Does speed kill?

If yes: weatherby and 300winmag and 338s and the new 7mm ultra whatever's

If "hang time" kills at moderate speed, with heavy for caliber bullets at impacts of 1900-2300fps, then the answers are 6.5x55 and 7x57 and .318WR and 35whelen.

Me personally, I find 7x57 to be the finest caliber ever devised.
 

JimP

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Before I left on my safari last May I asked my outfitter if it would be better to bring 2 rifles. One for light skinned game and one for the bigger animals. He told me that most of his hunts are hunts of opportunity and that I wouldn't want my light rifle in my hands when a shot came along that the bigger rifle would be better for.

Now if I was just going for the lighter skinned animal my .25-06 would get the nod. It is deadly out to 600 yards and while it would be a little light on kudu and gemsboks it would do the job if needed and the range was right. However I was packing my .340 Weatherby and used in on all my animals from spring buck to kudu. It was a little heavy for the spring buck but worked nicely on the kudu.

So in the long run I agree with some of the above posters, the best rifle and cartridge is the one that I have in my hands at the time.
 

Gert Odendaal

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I stand with Mannlicher, the 8x68S caliber rifle is according to my opinion the perfect plains game rifle..although not many hunters know this caliber it have been with us for a long time...and it is a German design....belt- less brass, although it is not always easy to find brass ( only negative aspect, since there are no parent case) but still if you need only one plains game rifle ...this is the one you take ....(y)
 

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I took everything from duiker to eland with my 300 wsm
 

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