Your opinion on Best Caliber for plainsgame in Africa?

Best caliber for plainsgame?

  • various 7mm's

    Votes: 28 9.9%
  • 308

    Votes: 16 5.6%
  • 30-06

    Votes: 48 16.9%
  • various .300's

    Votes: 91 32.0%
  • 338 win mag

    Votes: 42 14.8%
  • 358. norma magnum

    Votes: 2 0.7%
  • 9.3 x 62

    Votes: 16 5.6%
  • 375 H&H

    Votes: 41 14.4%

  • Total voters
    284

C.W. Richter

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As said before, my experience with the .338-06 (very similar) was that range had to be limited on big PG in Africa. 'Made a perfect shot on a blue wildebeest at 275 yds and we watched it run toward Zambia! Others at 150 yds or less worked out ok (Kudu ran 500 yards, Eland 150, Zebra about the same, dainty Nyala straight down.) I upgraded to my 264 WSM on that hunt and brought the .338 A-Sq next trip! I am definitely a fan of Ruark's sage advice on Using More Gun in Africa. They are not elk or deer! Uncle Roy is made for Africa as well (in med calibers-overbore for DG calibers). I would like to have a .358 NM (or STW!) :) With them you can push heavy, highest SD bullets where they need to be, with more V and E. 'Friend wants to bring his 35W Ackley-Improved to Africa. It needs all it can get, but should work out ok! Beautiful old gun from Paul Jaeger.
 
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As said before, my experience with the .338-06 (very similar) was that range had to be limited on big PG in Africa. 'Made a perfect shot on a blue wildebeest at 275 yds and we watched it run toward Zambia! Others at 150 yds or less worked out ok (Kudu ran 500 yards, Eland 150, Zebra about the same, dainty Nyala straight down.) I upgraded to my 264 WSM on that hunt and brought the .338 A-Sq next trip! I am definitely a fan of Ruark's sage advice on Using More Gun in Africa. They are not elk or deer! Uncle Roy is made for Africa as well (in med calibers-overbore for DG calibers). I would like to have a .358 NM (or STW!) :) With them you can push heavy, highest SD bullets where they need to be, with more V and E. 'Friend wants to bring his 35W Ackley-Improved to Africa. It needs all it can get, but should work out ok! Beautiful old gun from Paul Jaeger.
@C.W. Richter
The 35 Whelen AI is just a bit better than the standard Whelen and I don't think it is worth the hassle. I do have both and both are good it's just that I am over fireforming for all my cartridges.
PROPERLY loaded the AI should be able to break the 3,000fps with 225 grains and push close to 2,800 with the 250s.
No game I shot in Namibia went more than 20 yards when hit with the Whelen from impala thru to a big Burchells zebra.
The impala was shot at around 250 yards and straight down. My black wildebeest at around 180 yards quatrtering away. 0ne shot, three step and down. Bullet existed off side shoulder from the near side back rib area.
The Whelen has plenty of punch for PG and one person in our group whist he had used my Whelen on his girrafe instead of the owners 375. Admittedly the 375 didn't have the ideal projectiles.
The Whelen and the AI loaded with the woodleigh 225 grain hydrostatic stabilized @ 2,900 to 3,000 fps would ream out a brontosauras from stem to stern and either is every bit as good as the 338 win mag but with more punch.
Bob
 
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As said before, my experience with the .338-06 (very similar) was that range had to be limited on big PG in Africa. 'Made a perfect shot on a blue wildebeest at 275 yds and we watched it run toward Zambia! Others at 150 yds or less worked out ok (Kudu ran 500 yards, Eland 150, Zebra about the same, dainty Nyala straight down.) I upgraded to my 264 WSM on that hunt and brought the .338 A-Sq next trip! I am definitely a fan of Ruark's sage advice on Using More Gun in Africa. They are not elk or deer! Uncle Roy is made for Africa as well (in med calibers-overbore for DG calibers). I would like to have a .358 NM (or STW!) :) With them you can push heavy, highest SD bullets where they need to be, with more V and E. 'Friend wants to bring his 35W Ackley-Improved to Africa. It needs all it can get, but should work out ok! Beautiful old gun from Paul Jaeger.
@C.W. Richter
This is the zebra I shot at around 120 yards with a 225 grain Woodleigh PPSP that left the muzzle a a chronoed 2,950 fps with over 4,200fpe of muzzle energy. The bullet stuck him at a bit over maximum recommend impact velocity but still performed well.
He did a mad 20 yard dash and nose dived into the ground with 2 smashed shoulders and wrecked internals.
20200125_105551.jpg
20200409_085629.jpg

You can see the bullet hole about 3 to 4 inches above the last chevron on the front leg. As you can see he is a reasonable size stallion.
Bob
 

EZRider

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I voted .375 because I shoot everything, from duiker to Eland with a 270 gr Barnes @ 2600 FPS and it has worked perfectly every single time.
If I didn’t own the .375 my vote would be .308. My son hunts all plains game with his .308 with great success with a 150 gr Barnes @ 2600.
We are both very comfortable with our rifles so that contributes to my prejudice.
 

WAB

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I have taken a lot of plainsgame with the 7x57, however I would not use it on eland, so it has its limits. Inside 300 or 350, I would go with the 9.3x62. If I thought the range might stretch a bit, I’d lug a few extra pounds and take my .375.
 

Scrumbag

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I have taken a lot of plainsgame with the 7x57, however I would not use it on eland, so it has its limits. Inside 300 or 350, I would go with the 9.3x62. If I thought the range might stretch a bit, I’d lug a few extra pounds and take my .375.

I hear you there my friend. Just wish my 9.3x62 was drilled and tapped for scope mounts :(
 

WAB

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I hear you there my friend. Just wish my 9.3x62 was drilled and tapped for scope mounts :(

Well one can own two rifles in the same caliber!
 

BeeMaa

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On my two trips to Africa, the 375 H&H has performed admirably on all the PG I've shot. Everything from Impala to Eland.
Long live the KING.
 

Nature Boy

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I know there is hundreds of very good caliber combination out there but between the ones on the pole which I think is the more common ones. Which one would you take if you could only take one and bag all the plains game found in Africa.

Because you have only one rifle you are able to reload for it to find a perfect load for your quarry.

After choosing please state why ?
30.06 is good choice, not too fast and can use a heavy bullet. Not taking long shots usually. .300 next up. Only thing you could possibly want more for is Eland imo. Anything bigger is a waste and waste of $ for ammo too.
 

Nature Boy

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30.06 is good choice, not too fast and can use a heavy bullet. Not taking long shots usually. .300 next up. Only thing you could possibly want more for is Eland imo. Anything bigger is a waste and waste of $ for ammo too.
After reading these comments I am laughing. Anything will work for plains game but as a CHOICE caliber? NEVER would I chose a .375, .338, etc. lmao
 

Newboomer

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That is a tough one for me. I used a 7RM with Barnes 160gr TSXs and collected black and blue wildebeest, waterbuck, blesbuck, springbok, zebra, nyala, and impala. All one shot kills out to 268 yds. I found that combination to be most effective. African game may be tough but with the right setup and good bullet placement one does not need a shoulder fired howitzer. A good deer rifle is plenty sufficient.
On my next two hunts I used my 375HH with 235gr Barnes TSXs for pg and Barnes 350gr TSXs for dg and eland. Again, one shot kills out to 200 yds. They accounted for buff, eland, sable and springbok.
If I had to choose just one it would be 375HH hands down. With the right bullet it will take anything that walks, crawls or flies within reasonable distances. I call mine my go to rig for anything out to 300 yds. I won't take a longer shot. I like to stalk closer--a lot closer.
 

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I went through this conundrum last year for a PG rifle for Tanzania. Capable of taking a 400 yard shot if needed when there is no cover on that trophy bull etc.. I decided to build a .300 RUM. I ordered the action and it is sitting on a shelf as Covid pushed everything back a year or more.
 

fourfive8

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I too have gone through an evolution of thinking over the years and through various experiences. 20-30 years ago and before I would have said 30-06 or 300 WM or some comparable caliber like that. No doubt they have worked, do work and will continue to work well for many for all PG.

But I'm done with minimalist thinking when it comes to big game- it's a personal thing. If I can handle the recoil I would much rather go overkill. So I voted for the 375 HH. I have felt very comfortable using a 375 HH with good tough bullets like TSXs or TBBCs for everything from impala to wildebeest, zebra and eland. Not once did I feel over-gunned or out of sync with reality. I've even taken a 416 Rem with good tough 400 grainers for a one gun trip for impala through buffalo and also did not felt over-gunned or out sync for any of them. Worked perfectly for the impala with minimal meat damage. The only way I would change that view of the 375 or even the 416 is if eland was absolutely off the table. Add the eland and it changes the "rules of the game" for me for hunting PG.

In a perfect, world where I could easily take a three gun battery, choose the game of the day to exclusively hunt, take a 30 day PG safari... then yes, maybe a longer range speciality caliber like a 7mm Mag for the small, open ground antelope, especially if they were spooky. A medium caliber, like my favorite the 338-06, for the kudu, wildebeest, oryx size category. And finally a large-medium caliber like the 375 HH or 416 Rem for eland.

A bullet like the 250, 270 or 300 gr TSX, TTSX or LRX in the 375 HH is easily capable of longer range shooting if so inclined. I simply can't imagine a 250-300 yard capable caliber as a handicap to success for PG. I've been out the last two days shooting a BRNO 602 in 375 HH I just added a single stage trigger and 3 position safety to. Off the bench, its accuracy is a pleasant surprise with consistent 100 yard 1" groups with both 270 and 300 gr bullets to nearly identical POIs. All with the 1.5-5 scope set at 3X. Just no way this rifle/caliber is a handicap for longer shots on PG- not in my world where I limit those shots to max of about 275 yards from a good rest.
 

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