What Rifle should I get for RSA Plains Game Hunt?

Personally, I have used a .338 WM on all my plainsgame, with much satisfaction, I might say.
However, a hunting companion used a .270 with excellent results, except with a Zebra, they are tough, and shot placement must be perfect.
I also would have my doubts about shooting an Eland with a .270, in the Limpopo, they can be very heavy
I have always liked a long barrel, but you can go down to 22", if you want to. The most important things is that the gun fits you, so you can hold it steady. Gun fit will be everything. For me, a long barrel is easier to hold steady and aim.
Good points. What I like about adding the .270 Win to the list is that it opens up many more options for rifles. I really want a new Winchester and they chamber just about every model they produce for the .270 Win (obviously!). This means I can not only look at the Featherweight and Extreme Weather, but the longer, heavier Sporter and Super Grade, as well.

I'm kind of unique in that I am an avid bird hunter and am used to quickly pointig and swinging a very light (just a touch over 6 lbs) 12-bore for quail and the like, which makes me very comfortable with snap-shooting and acquiring targets quickly. However, in the past I've done much better shooting a rifle from field positions when I've had a slightly heavier, longer gun. I use to run different rifles for different things (a 20" BLR for the woods, a 24" Weatherby Vanguard VGX for open country). Now I'm just wondering if I may need to split the difference for a one rifle trip or if longer and heavier will still prevail.

I've already decided that if the Featherweight fits me best that I'll probably get that in 7mm-08. It's a fairly light rifle and that cartridge loaded with 120 TSX should be a pleasure to shoot. the other three models are heavier and the .308 or .270 should be fine for me at their higher weights...especially the Super Grade!
I have carried a .270 on one safari to RSA.

It knocked over 2 zebra, wildebeest, kudu, impala, warthog, gemsbok and a few others with one bullet. My shot was a bit off on an eland so we had to do a bit of tracking.

I used 150gr bullets on everything. No doubt you can put a muzzle brake on one of these rather light rifles and make them kick like a rimfire!
That's excellent shooting, schembridan. thanks for sharing your experience...it makes me more confident that a .270 will get the job done.

I think when I go back to Africa for eland and other game, I would have a 9.3x62 by that time and would take it and the .270/7mm-08/.308, using the lighter rifle once the eland was taken.
I have 7mm Rem Mag in a Win Super Grade and it's my favorite rifle. It's a handsome gun and a tight shooter. Would buy another one in a heartbeat!
I have 7mm Rem Mag in a Win Super Grade and it's my favorite rifle. It's a handsome gun and a tight shooter. Would buy another one in a heartbeat!
Does that happen to be a newer model made in FN's South Carolina facility?
Update: it will definitely be a new Winchester Model 70 and the cartridge has been narrowed down to the .270 Win or the .308 Win. I figure I should get the increased range or the bigger hole.
The difference in hole size .30 or 270 is not really that big that the animal will "Oh Damn a .30 Caliber bullet I must die reaaly fast!"

150gr out of a 270 or 308 should have more or less the same energy.
I like the 308 very much but if you are looking at the rifle to be your first all rounder I would go 270.
Does that happen to be a newer model made in FN's South Carolina facility?

No, it's from the Conn. factory I bought a few years back, just before they moved operations to South Carolina.

I think the Winchestor quality is still good!

I would go with the 308, it is so versitile. I love the 270 Win....I have 3, in various forms but it's no 308. I think the 308 would make a good all round gun for North America and Africa.
Lots of good advice!

1. Love love love the 338 Federal I have a Sako 85 in it and felt recoil is very low. Killed my first kudu, Nyala, Eland and bushbuck with it. I had a Kimber 8400 in 338 Federal as well and it was a tack driver.

2. The only kudu I ever lost was with a Ruger Safari Express in 270 and 150gr Remington CoreLocks (I don’t like that bullet but brought it because I messed up on COL with reloads).

3. If you can handle it, gun weight cures a lot of recoil issue! A little heavier rifle helps.

4. Really the bullets do the heavy lifting, shoot premium bullets, I love Barnes TSX. Shoot the best bullet you can.

5. Winchester SS model 70 in 308 is a great choice with 165gr Barness TSX. But a 6.5 Creedmore would work fine as well. If they make it in 7mm-08 that would work as well.

6. Hunt a bushbuck!!! This should be #1 piece of advice, my all time favorite animal.
I. Bushbuck (any) I’ve shot over 70 of them and the rock!
II. African Buffalo (Cape, Savana, Western or dwarf)
III. Eland, Lord Derby is my favorite but I love them all in a good area.
I have shot warthog , mountain reedbuck ,impala, bushbuck ,nyala,kudu, gemsbok with my 3006 musgrave k98 action using 168gr pmp and tsx barnes bullets.
I'm in the early stages of planning my first safari for plains game. My primary quarry will be a good impala and a good kudu (doesn't everyone want a good kudu bull?), and perhaps a nice gemsbok. I'd also be very interested in springbok and warthog, a zebra if a good one presented itself, and maybe bushbuck.

I'm rather certain I'll end up going to South Africa for the hunt. I've identified Limpopo, Northwest Province and the Northern Cape as the most likely regions to produce what I'm after and will be looking for outfitters in those areas.

I'm buying a new rifle soon and am hoping for some help with the selection. First, I have to say that recoil is a rather significant issue for me. I have had a couple of shoulder reconstrucions and eight bolts and a screw reside permanently in my right (shooting) shoulder. I've also had a disc removed from my neck and have two more that are herniated and will eventually need attention. Although I'm not particularly sensitve to recoil by nature, these injuries and their repairs have left me unable to shoot hard-recoiling numbers comfortably. As a result, I'm looking for a cartridge that can be reasonably expected to do the job at the lowest possible recoil. I'll simply practice more with a soft shooter than I will with somethig that hurts, and the .30-06 with 180gr loads is about the outer limits of my tolerance. This means I'd like something that hurts less than that if at all possible. I'm entirely committed to restricting the range of my shooting to be commensurate with the cartridge selected, so if I need to get closer than 250 yards to my quarry, I'll either do so or pass up the shot.

I really like the new Winchester Model 70s being built in South Carolina. My heart is nearly set on one but I'm still open for suggestions. The cartridge choices I've narrowed it down to are the 7mm-08, the .270 Win and the .308 Win. The rifle will be either the Featherweight or the Extreme Weather.

I've also concluded that I could live with a new Ruger Hawkeye All Weather in .338 Federal. The one I've shot didn't hurt very bad and I kind of like the idea of the bigger bullet. I'd much rather have the Winchester rifle, though, and they are not currently offering that cartridge in their lineup.

Truth be told, if I could get away with a .25-06, I'd take one. Next, the 7mm-08 would be great. The .270 and .308 start to get my attention and the .338 Fed is at my outer limits to be able to put 15 or 20 rounds in at a good practice session.

What would you experienced folks do if you were me? Please remember that this rifle will be used far more for deer back home than it will be in Africa, and it will need to be practiced with for many years to come.

270 for the Northern Cape and 308 for the rest. Both are very popular with the locals for plains game. 150 grains in the 270 and 165 in the 308 will get you your game. Don't forget to practise practise practise.
I used a CZ 550 in 308 caliber when I hunted SA and had no problems and the CZ had a Carbine length barrel. I also like the 7-08 I believe the 7-08 doesn't get the respect it deserves my cheapie Zastave in 7-08 groups as good as my more expensive rifles, maybe the fact that it's light recoiler has something to do with it
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Ideal would be 280 Rem.

270Win is too fast and the bullets too light
7mm-08 with aheavy premium gade bullet will do it.
308 I dont like I would rather get an 30-06 then..
On my 2021 trip we harvested 12 plains game animals ranging from Springbuck to eland and all were taken using a Savage 308 with a 20" barrel and shooting Barnes 168 ttsx. With a well placed shot the 308 is more than capable of taking any game on your list. Also, in the event you had issues with ammunition, I am confident you could find 308 in SA with ease, always something to consider.
My personal choices are european so would not fit in here.
Seattlesetters, from what you describe, a 7mm-08 would be a near-perfect choice:

1 - Ammo is available nearly anywhere
2 - Most manufacturers chamber a stainless rifle in that caliber
3 - It kicks less than a .308 while giving you better penetration (given similar bullet weights)
4 - Short action, if that matters to you.

I'll also give a shout-out to the 6.5x55, although that chambering is getting less popular. Ditto for 7x57.

Given all that you have said, I'd go for a regular-weight 7mm-08. Bottom line: you want to be confident in your shots and not worry about recoil. If recoil is your principal worry, I'd opt for a slightly heavier rifle--better to carry a few more ounces and shoot confidently, than the other way around. :)
If the goal is to keep recoil down go with either the .270 with 130 gr. TTSX bullets or the .308 with the 150 gr. version of this bullet. If the recoil bothers you have a muzzle brake and a good recoil pad installed. On my last plains game hunt I shot 3 Eland. Two with my .338 win. mag. and 225 Gr. Nosler Partitions,. The third was shot with my .270 Win. with 150 Gr. Partitions. The one shot with the .270 didn't go any further then the ones shot with my .338. None went further then 50 yds after heart/lung shots.
I have shot all the animals you have indicated on your list with exception of zebra using my 3006 musgrave k98 ; and either 168 gr pmp factory ammo or 168 gr barnes x /tsx heads reloaded .
My first trip I used a 30-06 it worked great, 180 nosler partitions and it did the job great.

Since then I won a Henry Lever action in 45-70. I can say my trip of two weeks and numerous animals, the 45-70 did a fantastic job and nothing walked or ran away 40 feet and the game was down 300 grain semi jacketed hollow points. Some Hornaday rounds the 325 polymer tip. All the shots were under 150 yards for the big stuff.

Daughter took a Ruger American in 6.5 Creedmoor. Great gun. she took a Large Gemsbok, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest and impala. Used Hornaday 129 gr, polymer tipped rounds.

I did borrow her gun for a very long range shot on a bushbok, off the sticks. It was long! Even I said wow when I thumped the BB. through both shoulders taking the heart out.

Our PH called us one shot. Not that we are good at shooting. But it does not take a cannon to take down game.

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