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Old July 13, 2020, 06:17 PM   #1
ligonierbill
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African Plains Game - Whatcha Shootin'?

My brother and I are heading for Namibia next year, central highlands just south of Windhoek for those that have been. It's high plateau with some hilly areas. The two biggest (and most expensive) animals on the menu are kudu and gemsbok, 300 kg critters. The PH says expect shots 100-200m. Almost all shooting is standing from sticks, so say 300m at the outside. In Africa, you draw blood, you owe the trophy fee, so we have to put 'em down (not to mention the Africans are watching). Everything I've read says heavy for caliber premium bullets, so here are my options:

7mm Rem Mag, 175 gr at 2,850-2,900.
8mm Rem Mag, 220 gr at 2,950 (my rifle really likes 200 TTSX at 3,040 though).
338 Win Mag, 250 gr at 2,650-2,700 (again, 210 TTSX shoots the lights out).
9.3x62, still thinking about it. I have Norma 232 Oryx (bonded) at 2,600, Nosler 250 Accubond at 2,500 (can go faster, but lose accuracy), and a whole list of 286s at about 2,450.

Oh, legal minimum is 270 Win, "300 Win Mag or bigger recommended". So, what would you be shooting? One caliber, one load.
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Old July 13, 2020, 09:57 PM   #2
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Hard to beat a 338. My buddy's PH was amazed at the killing efficiency, said he's never seen animals drop that fast before.
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Old July 14, 2020, 05:26 AM   #3
ligonierbill
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Do you know what bullet he was shooting?
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Old July 14, 2020, 06:21 AM   #4
eastbank
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on six hunting trip to africa i used a .375 H&H mag in a CZ 550 and shot over 90 precent of the animals with it, not loosing any. including eland-kudu-water buck-wildabeast blue,red,black-zebra-gemsbok along with lesser animals. i did use a 9.3x62 on a cape buffalo. was the .375 a little over gun, maybe but if you loose top dollar animal its like paying for two but only getting one.
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Old July 14, 2020, 06:49 AM   #5
ligonierbill
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How did the 9.3x62 work on the buffalo?
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Old July 14, 2020, 07:53 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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Why did you shoot the biggest animal with the smaller calibre?

A friend went twice, .300 Win Mag, then .338 but not at a buffalo.
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Old July 14, 2020, 12:37 PM   #7
eastbank
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my ph ask if i wanted to use it and i said yes, angle shot facing me. it tore the big blood vessels off the top of the heart and as it ran by i broke its back killing it. my ph backed me up with the .375 H&H mag.
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Old July 14, 2020, 01:51 PM   #8
ligonierbill
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Pretty good endorsement of the old (1905) 9.3. When shooting heavy bullets, it lines up pretty well with the 338. At 250 and lighter, the 338 has a little edge on velocity.
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Old July 14, 2020, 05:12 PM   #9
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Well, based on the list provided I would go with the 8mm Rem Mag.

Just to be different.


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Old July 14, 2020, 06:12 PM   #10
Scorch
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Quote:
Do you know what bullet he was shooting?
Not sure, but he seems to like the Barnes bulets.
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Old July 14, 2020, 06:18 PM   #11
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African creatures

If for some unforeseen reason you become separated from your ammo, which would be most plentiful where you will be hunting? My first choice would be .338 Win Mag.

As for bullets, I have yet to find one more accurate, consistent or deadly than the one you like as well; Barnes TTSX. If you do your job, they will do their job.

Good hunting!
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Old July 16, 2020, 09:13 AM   #12
ligonierbill
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I'm going with the 338. More punch than the 7 Mag, more range than the 9.3. I really like the 8 Mag, but if necessary you can find ammo in Africa for the 7 Mag, 338, and of course the 9.3. The 8 Mag, not so much. Besides, inside 300, where we'll be shooting, it's virtues are wasted.

And I'll be loading Barnes bullets, either their 210 TTSX or 225 TSX flat base. I worked up loads for these years ago with IMR-4350 that trail the equivalent weight Noslers by 100 fps. I was OK with that, but Barnes has updated their testing since. Now they are running neck-and-neck with the Noslers when loaded over, among others, Reloder-17. That is one of my favorites, and I have plenty. Given the range and potentially brushy conditions, I'll go with the 225s if they prove as accurate as my old loads.
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Old July 26, 2020, 04:39 PM   #13
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My father has been to Namibia and South Africa hunting.

Used .375 H&H in Namibia, .338 Win Mag in South Africa.
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Old July 27, 2020, 07:48 AM   #14
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I finally heard back from our PH. He recommended the 338 as his "all time favorite" for plains game in our hunting area. And he recommended the 200 Accubond, which surprised me a little. But it's all good. That was the first load I worked up 10 years ago, and it shot 2 1/4" at 200. He also reiterated that shots are 100 to 200, no mention of 300+. I guess we are hunting "bushveldt".

So, I'm into the "practice much" phase. I'll pack that rifle in deer season (PA, no go here in OH-IO). I'm sure I'll hear about that in camp! Hope I am not overthinking this. Elk size game, 200 yards max, seems like anything within reason would work. But it's a $2,500 shot on a kudu.
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Old July 27, 2020, 10:44 AM   #15
Don Fischer
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Always wanted to hunt Africa but never made it. At this point I never will! Just plain's game would seem to me a 30-06 with good 200 gr bullet's would work well. Especially if shooting ranges are 200- yds. But if I somehow got to go today I'd take my D7000 Nikon and a decent long variable lens. The urge to kill in me is no longer as strong as it was as a young man. And you don't get to keep the meat so I'm told, I was pretty much a met hunter. Have a brother that took his son and son's wife over there for three week photo safari Not counting travel it cost him over $60K. That was lodging, meals and daily trips in the safari car to shoot photo's. Nope, I'm not liable to make it! But what a treat it must be!
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Old July 27, 2020, 08:26 PM   #16
Jack O'Conner
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My neighbor for one year was a South African man who participated in a teacher exchange program. He told me that he has taken dozens of impala and many other antelope with a TIKKA in .243 chambering. They're not armor-plated.

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Old July 28, 2020, 02:17 AM   #17
FrankenMauser
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The .300+ Mags are always preferred. (Except .300 Weatherby. No one likes that.)

But I know of multiple hunters filling most or all of their tags with a .243 Win and having no complaints from the PH.
I also know of a hunter that recently took everything up to Kudu with a 6x45mm. (6mm-223). His PH was hesitant, until the first 4 animals dropped on the spot.

Know your rifle.
Know your load.
Build your load for the intended application.
The rest is a matter of putting the bullet in the right spot. (Like any other animals.)
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Old July 28, 2020, 07:20 AM   #18
ligonierbill
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An interesting book on this subject is The Perfect Shot II by Kevin Robertson. "Doctari" Robertson is new to me, but I guess he wrote for Sports Afield for some years. I bought his book at the recommendation of our safari outfit. His firearms advice is comprehensive, but he gets hung up a bit on "this animal under these conditions". It's a little confusing to someone like me seeking one rifle, one load. On the other hand, his descriptions of hunting technique and animal anatomy are great. And the photography by his wife is the best I've seen. A good book even if you do not intend to hunt Africa.
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