Fav Cal For Africa/Rifle type


October 15, 2008, 02:35 PM
mine is a .470 NE double barrel. i also use a .375 Holland & Holland for leopard and plains game. I have used the .500 NE on elephant (ele) and Cape Bufflo (buff). the ele cow i shot with it dropped like a stone.

at a range in my neiboring state, tx, i shot a .600 NE and i wound up on my rear.

in africa, i will use nothin under a .375, cause i love big/dangerious game huntin'.

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October 16, 2008, 01:24 PM
Come on people, let me hear your opinion!!! even if you aint been to Africa, join it!!!

October 16, 2008, 01:38 PM
It doesn't sound like you need any advice from us.

But for what its worth I just got the selected works of Finn Aagaard from Rifle magazine and he was sold on the 375 H&H for most near everything. He did mention he used a 458 Winchester some but not much.

He spoke well of the 9.3x62 as a good stand in for for the 375 H&H. I guess the new Ruger 375 round would work also.

October 16, 2008, 04:03 PM
i don't much care what caliber of rifle... i'd just love to go shooting in africa someday. never been much interested in hunting in the US.

October 16, 2008, 04:19 PM
OK, so say you kill an elephant, or rhino, or buffalo. WTH do you do with it then? Can they be eaten, and do you? Or are you just after the head for a trophy?

I've never understood WHY people will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to go kill gigantic animals on the other side of the planet. You got a dead elephant, cool. Now what? Ya gotta have a crane lift the carcass onto a truck or a trailer so it can be hauled away?

I'm not trying to be a smartass, I'm serious. What is the attraction and justification for doing this? I can see hunting deer, elk, moose, etc., in a local setting for meat and a nice wall hanger. But going to Africa to kill things that could kill you first? And if you DO succeed, it looks to me like the nightmare is just starting. Not to mention the costs and other hassles involved.

I just don't get it, never have.

And if the calibers mentioned above are sufficient, then what is the .700 Nitro Express for?

Golden Hound
October 16, 2008, 04:26 PM
If I were going to Africa....I would want a FAL...and lots and lots of ammo.

And some Selous Scouts accompanying me.


October 16, 2008, 04:51 PM
The only big bore hunting rifle I've ever really wanted was a CZ Safari in .375 H&H. Unfortunately, I don't hunt and I have no idea to go about doing it, so I likely won't be buying one of those for many more years, when I will have more discretionary income (i.e., enough to go big game hunting in another country)

October 16, 2008, 04:52 PM
RonDog - I agree with you entirely and the 700 nittro. . . . . just cause. . . I guess…?

October 16, 2008, 05:05 PM
I would say that most people are best equipped with a .375 H&H. It tends to be about the largest caliber that the average shooter can tolerate without excessive flinching, and of course accurate bullet placement is the sina qua non of effective and humane hunting. Also, ammunition is much easier to obtain than for one of the exotic double rifles.

What is the attraction and justification for doing this? I can see hunting deer, elk, moose, etc., in a local setting for meat and a nice wall hanger. But going to Africa to kill things that could kill you first?You're right. There is no way to justify travelling to Africa for a hunting safari.

But then, how many of our activities can easily be justified? There's no real need to work more than the absolute minimum one needs to survive; no need to travel overseas for any non-business purpose; no need to own a television, a sportscar, or a large house with swimming pool; no need to play golf; etc. etc. And probably >95% of local deer/elk/moose hunters have no genuine economic justification. Finally - let's face it - in a civilized society the vast majority of people have no actual need to own private firearms.

As far as the attraction goes, it's a personal thing. Probably the result of a childhood (mis)spent reading books by John Taylor, John Hunter, Robert Ruark, and Peter Hathaway Capstick! :)

October 21, 2008, 02:34 PM
to robdog;
when i shoot an animal, i eat it. buff, ele, rhino, ect, though are usally given to a local village. of the 5 ele's i have shot, i have feed 7 villages for a year each. it is really somthin to see 50 or so little natives skinning an ele.

why, then do you ask? what else will keep the population in check? there are more buff now then there was 25 years ago.

why hunt somthing that can kill you first? why then should people hunt a grizzly or gator? it is sport with reason and a benefit. when i hunt buff and hippo (my last two of each), i get close enough so they can charge me. it may sound dumb, but any durn fool can shoot a dangerous from 200 yards out. i give them a charce to run or charge. if they charge, i could die. a bad primer, bad shot, out of ammo, faster animal- anything can happen. if i die, it is my fault.

call me crazy, but you have your way, i have mine. i am not saying anyone elses way is wrong.

October 21, 2008, 02:43 PM
to Reid73;
you are right, there is no real need to hunt for most. i grew up dirt poor, and what my family ate had .22 holes in it. i had c's and d's in school, except in reading. when i wasnt hunting, working to hunt, and dateing, i was reading.

the result of a childhood misspent reading books by John Taylor, John Hunter, Robert Ruark, and Peter Hathaway Capstick? no, not misspent. Capstick made me want to hunt bigger stuff than deer. when i shot my first grizzly, i was hooked on big game/dangerious game hunting. its also a Irish thing. and i grew up with Cajuns. those guys could write! so can Tom Clancy, P.W. Storm, Jack Higgans, and Richard Connel.

October 21, 2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks BBM! Please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to be critical, just trying to understand the sport. And hey, if the local villagers can and will eat the animals, that's wonderful! They get food, you get your trophy and the experience, and the animal population gets some necessary culling. Win-win-win! If that's your game and you can afford it, more power to you!

I don't even hunt birds anymore, just don't have the taste for wild meat. Although I have to admit that I might like to take an elk, if the chance ever arose. But I tend to enjoy shooting them with a camera too. I'm just not physically able to tromp around the mountains anymore, don't know anybody to hunt with, or have a place to go. Probably not a wise solo activity.

I look at a beautiful animal like this, and I don't really know if I could shoot it. I'm not hungry, and don't really want its head on my wall. I don't know how to dress them, or butcher them, or even how I'd get it back to my truck. I have no moral objection to hunting, not saying I wouldn't if I had the chance, but it's just not a burning desire of mine.


It was pretty special just watching this bull with my grandson, and talking about how magnificent yet dangerous it was. This was in Estes Park, CO, where the elk just roam the streets everywhere. We were staying in a cabin on the river.


October 21, 2008, 09:07 PM
.458 Winnie, works and I can actually buy ammo if I need some. Although friends I hunt with have .416 Remingtons and Rigbys and that may just be the best all around compromise.

Rondog, if you don't like hunting then don't contribute to the thread.

Everyone has their own sport, we don't knock people that are "just" paper punchers. I do like eating them, I like hanging them on the wall (but my boss makes me keep them in my study), and in Africa absolutely nothing goes to waste, usually the local village has a big party.

Big Daddy Grim
October 21, 2008, 09:13 PM
I like my .375 Ultra Mag. and for elephant I guess a .458 I trust Winchester alot.

October 21, 2008, 09:22 PM
I bought my 20" barreled Steyr Mod. S 375 H&H for a safari that never happened. Wife and children have put that off for the foreseeable future.

October 21, 2008, 10:15 PM
undecided rifle in .416 ridgby. best inbetween caliber, IMO

October 21, 2008, 10:46 PM
When I finally make it to Africa, I plan on taking my .35 Whelen bolt-action and hopefully a .416 Rigby.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 21, 2008, 11:04 PM
I ain't been and don't have any experience, and if I go, it'll be quite awhile before it happens, but just daydreaming... planning to use my CZ 550 FS in 9.3x62 for large plains game like Zebra and Eland, and get a big boomer at some point - probably a CZ550 Safari Mag in .458 Lott/Win Mag - for big ugly mean stuff like cape buff. For smaller game, probably sporterized Swedish Mauser in 6.5x55mm.

October 22, 2008, 12:47 AM
My two gun Africa battery would be my Rem 700 CDL .30/06 with 3-9 Leupold, and my Ruger #1 .450/400 NE with 2 1/2 Leupold.


October 22, 2008, 03:42 AM
It was pretty special just watching this bull with my grandson, and talking about how magnificent yet dangerous it was. This was in Estes Park, CO, where the elk just roam the streets everywhere. We were staying in a cabin on the river.

You must not get out much. "Dangerous"

Al Thompson
October 22, 2008, 07:29 AM
Rondog, meat does not go to waste in Africa. :) All of it gets eaten - locals or vultures and hyenas. When I was in Botswana, the locals ate everything we let them and my PH make biltong out of the buffs.

As for calibers, if dangerous game is not an option, any good medium (.270 to .35 Whelen) will work. Biggest thing (IMHO) would be to have GOOD tough bullets for the caliber. I'd also take two scopes - scopes have a rough life there - in rings and previously mounted/sighted in.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 22, 2008, 12:52 PM
You must not get out much. "Dangerous"

Well if a whitetail can do this:


I'd imagine that an elk could do you one better if so inclined, especially during the rut.

October 22, 2008, 01:23 PM
You must not get out much. "Dangerous"

Well, from the looks of those six huge spikes facing forward, and the fact he weighs several hundred pounds, I just assume that if he was pissed off he could easily spear a human and cause serious bodily injury and death. I would call that "dangerous".

That's why my grandson is standing on "this" side of the flower garden, I was cautioning him that we don't want to get too close and make that feller feel threatened in any way. He also had several cows and calves with him, and we stayed far away from them too.

I guess I'm just not as manly as you, I consider anything that's unpredictable and can kill me as dangerous.

I'd still like to know what the .700 Nitro Express is used for. There's a gun shop here that has them in stock, and the rifles too. Must be for T-Rex's that escape off the island.

October 22, 2008, 01:42 PM
The 700 Nitro Express came about when a customer of Holland & Holland wanted to purchase a 600 Nitro Express double rifle, but H&H had sold the "last one". Undaunted, the customer pushed the project ahead and H&H built a 700 N.E. double rifle for him. Currently H&H, Watson Bros. and Searcy Enterprises offer double rifles in 700 N.E. Hambrusch Hunting Weapons of Ferlach, Austria offers a bolt-action repeater in 700 N.E. as well. Standard ballistics indicate a 1000 bullet at 2000 f.p.s. However, there has been some discussion of penetration problems with the cartridge and talk of increasing the bullet weight to 1200 grains while keeping velocity at 2000 f.p.s. to improve penetration. Rifles for this caliber weigh in the 16-20 pound range and only the fittest of men can carry such a burden for 20 miles on an elephant track in the hot African sun.

A 700 Nitro Express was taken on a recent elephant hunt in Botswana with Safaris Botswana Bound, and the following report was provided by Graeme Pollock.

"The gun was too heavy for the hunter to walk the long distances sometimes required in Elephant hunting…. The first shot on the Elephant was a frontal shot which did not hit the brain and did not knock the Elephant down. The shot was apparently high due to a hang fire. The second shot was lung heart and the elephant again did not go straight down but it did not move much either before going down. The 1000g bullet seems to have not much more noticeable knockdown power than the .500 NE or .470 NE 500g round."

Similarly, professional hunter Mark Sullivan who has hunted with a 16 pound Watson Brother's 700 Nitro Express, finds it a bit too heavy to get onto charging buffalo as quickly as he would like. When considering the cost of a rifle in 700 Nitro Express, the weight and difficulty of carrying one, and the savage recoil, the performance on game is 'rather disappointing.'

October 22, 2008, 05:12 PM
The stories of Capstick always conjured up visions of a 2000 lb. Cape Buffalo charging out of the bush at 30 yds and sliding dead at your feet from a well placed brain shot.
I do not hunt anymore, just punch paper, but that excitement and oneness with nature are memories that I'll forever hold special, and that was hunting whitetails, not dangerous game. Those who are fortunate enough to be able to plan hunts in other states or countries need to treasure those moments for the rocking chair.
As far as rifles for Africa, I would think a 30-06 or a 300 Magnum would suffice for most non-dangerous game. For dangerous game there's a lot of choices, but I've always had a penchant for the 460 Weatherby. :)


October 22, 2008, 08:35 PM
ah, yes, Peater H. Capstick. read death in the long grass when i was a kid.

on my first safari, i used only a .300 Win Mag ( i didnt hunt any truly large game). but, i quickly decided that next time i would come, i was gonna use a .375 H&H w/ softnosed bullets cause i would shoot a Eland or a Kudu in the heart/lungs, and they would run for a mile till they die. so, when time 2 came round, i did spine shots with a .375 H&H, dropping them like stones.

October 22, 2008, 08:43 PM
Well, since it's highly doubtful I ever get there, anyone looking for a 375 H&H, I've got a Steyr Mod. S with a 20" "carbine" bbl. I understand it was one of five made.

October 22, 2008, 09:07 PM
I enjoy reading the posts, believe it or not most African animals have been taken with either 3006 or a 303 british though probably not of late. During colonial times the 303 slaughter a few hundered thousand large animals. Don't underestimate the old calibers the 303 is still used plenty in Canada for killing moose and brown bear. They are consider thick skinned and dangerous. Though personally I would probably settle for a 470 or 375 holland

October 22, 2008, 09:08 PM
Before I die I plan to take the big 5, even if it means I live out of a card board box.

October 22, 2008, 09:19 PM
I haven't made it over there yet, but when I do, I'll be taking my 700 BDL in .375 Ultra and my 700 BDL .25-06 for the little stuff. Cape Buffalo will likely be the only dangerous game I go after.

October 22, 2008, 09:22 PM
Didn't someone of fame take an elephant with a 7x57?

October 22, 2008, 09:56 PM
Didn't someone of fame take an elephant with a 7x57?

Elephants have been downed with all sorts of old military cartridges, including 6.5 Carcano and 6.5 Mannlicher-Schoenauer. It can be done, but I wouldn't want a deer-class cartridge to be the only thing between me and 5 tons of pissed-off bull elephant.

October 22, 2008, 10:06 PM
While I believe you can hunt whatever it is you want, I see no real sport in hunting an elephant. It's one thing to spot a brown deer 200-400 yards out against the brown background, It's another to spot a giant gray animal on the plains with the help of half a tribe herding them so you can shoot it. Plus, aren't elephants, African and Asian endangered?

October 22, 2008, 10:08 PM
Didn't someone of fame take an elephant with a 7x57?

Karamojo Bell used it in Africa as a elephant killer, he turned the bullets around backwards to make them a solid. That's the story anyways. :scrutiny:


October 22, 2008, 10:24 PM
While I believe you can hunt whatever it is you want, I see no real sport in hunting an elephant. It's one thing to spot a brown deer 200-400 yards out against the brown background, It's another to spot a giant gray animal on the plains with the help of half a tribe herding them so you can shoot it. Plus, aren't elephants, African and Asian endangered?

Elephants have a tiny brain which makes a clean kill very hard. 5 tons of charging death with a target the size of an apple you need to hit. It seems a bit nerve racking to me. Its not like sitting in a tree stand out of the way waiting for an elephant to walk by. Also in many parts of Africa elephants are well populated. From what I hear they basically do a population count and determine how many can be hunted and give the tags for that number out. To some hitting a 6x6 stationary target at 400 yards is very little more than range practice. It all depends on what gets your blood pumping.

October 23, 2008, 04:06 PM
Mr. Scott;
African ele's are NOT endangered (the Asian are). i am a member of the Safari Club International (SCI- scifirstforhunters.com) does not allow herding ele's to you. shoot, if they did, members would be trampled. and that dont mean you will find the Big One.

now about the famious guy who hunted ele with 7mm... a 7mm is a .274 cal, which is what he used. one time, he shot an ele in the head (it is not possible to shoot an ele in the heart with a gun smaller than a .338) and the ele fell down a hill, killing two other ele's.

an ele had a tiny brain, and i have seen my uncle (not the PH one) kill an ele with a side brain shot with a .300 Win Mag. it dropped like a stone, brain shot, which very hard due to the small size (of the bullet and brain).

October 23, 2008, 04:10 PM
bout the .460 Weatherby. it is in the range of .577 NE, .585 Nayati, .600 NE in the kicking leage. the .460 has the same balistics, speed, and penetration as a.470. and Capstick used it. cant beat that.

October 23, 2008, 04:23 PM
i cant get a picture of my head like this cause my camera is broke. mone looks like this but with the bullet hole an inch lower and 1.5 inchs to the right. this is Mark Sullivan's

oh, and mine was bigger.;)

October 23, 2008, 04:28 PM
Why don't you make it more interesting and use a .45-70?Loaded with something like Barrett ammo.

October 23, 2008, 04:38 PM
Loaded with something like Barrett ammo.
:confused: barrett doesn't make 45/70 ammo. If you are talking about M82 maker barrett.

October 23, 2008, 04:41 PM
Sorry about that. I meant Garrett.

October 23, 2008, 05:24 PM
BigBuckMaster, I've heard that most of the African game such as Eland or Kudu have their heart/lungs more forward in the body compared to whitetails and such. I also heard that shoulder shots are recommended to break the shoulder and penetrate the vitals and to anchor the game. Do you find that this is the case with the thin skin species?


October 23, 2008, 08:13 PM
in some larger species, yes. now for smaller stuff (ie dukier, springbok, ect) i shoot bout the same place as a whitetail, but then again, i used nothing smaller than a .308 in africa, even for the little dukier. but also such a large bullet (comparitivly) would take out the lungs/heart even if it was two inches off cause of the bullet damage.

now if 'thin skin species' is small stuff, i dont know. but if 'thin skin' can be large (ie- impala and other bovines) you need to aim forward. let me know if that dont make sence.

hitting a 6x6' stationary target? you gotta be kidding me!

December 3, 2008, 07:37 PM
Karamojo Bell used a .267 with no solids. You are mistaking the whole turn-the-bullet-around-so-it-is-a-solid theory which was put out by Peater Capstick. He did that with a .270.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 3, 2008, 07:40 PM
Is that .470 NE also a Remington model Seven like your .270?

On page one it was nothing smaller than a .375, now it's nothing smaller than a .308. This just keeps on gettin better and better!



December 3, 2008, 07:57 PM
Is responding to this thread now considered hunting over bait? ;)

Cmdr. Gravez0r
December 3, 2008, 09:01 PM
Seeing as most hunting these days is on the Most Dangerous Game, I'd definitely opt for the FAL. With many cans of ammo.

"I've always thought," said Rainsford, "that the Cape buffalo is the most dangerous of all big game."

For a moment the general did not reply; he was smiling his curious red-lipped smile. Then he said slowly, "No. You are wrong, sir. The Cape buffalo is not the most dangerous big game." He sipped his wine. "Here in my preserve on this island," he said in the same slow tone, "I hunt more dangerous game."

Rainsford expressed his surprise. "Is there big game on this island?"

The general nodded. "The biggest."

See Also: Richard Connell, Darfur, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Angola, Chad, Somalia.

December 3, 2008, 09:21 PM
cmdr you sir are an educated man i can see

i love that story

i dont hunt in africa or much plan to but if i had to id take a .375h&H or .416 rigby and a .30-06 for the smaller stuff

December 3, 2008, 09:31 PM
Has anyone said .223 yet?

December 3, 2008, 09:36 PM
Rhino, Hippo and Elephant do not interest me, but for all thin-skinned game including cheetah and leopard I use the Hornady 95gr. SST. For lions I use the Hornady 100gr. Round Nose, and for Cape Buffalo I use, (what else) the 105gr. BuffaloBore (which is the only .243 ammo they produce as of this writing.)



Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 3, 2008, 10:21 PM
No, no, you don't understand - they call it "buffalobore" ammo because it merely bores the animal when you hit it, since it doesn't really feel anything. Being bored, the buffalo proceeds to trample you to death, since it has nothing better to do. So you'd better step up to a .250-3000 for cape buff, I think. They call it .250-3000 because the one shot can kill 3,000 cape buff if you line them all up just right. Or maybe go with one of those lever actions in .404 Gibbs (or was it .505 Jeffrey?). And you need a .40-60 for cheetah, because the round goes 60 mph in a left-to-right vector, in addition to its forward momentum, in order to keep pace with the cheetah and hit it, so you just point and shoot at a cheetah on the run (no lead needed). If it's running right to left, you shoot the gun upside down (there's an extra set of sights on the bottom). And you have to have a M41 pulse rifle, a Magpul Masada, or some other vaporware to hit the extinct species like the Tanzanian Dodo, Namibian Unicorn, and such.

December 3, 2008, 10:53 PM
I use a plain old .458 winny.

December 3, 2008, 11:10 PM

That must indeed be some Premium Sauce you've been into !

"Vaporware to hit the extinct species" :what:

:D Now that's Funny right there I don't care who Ya are !


December 4, 2008, 12:25 AM
im not caling bs just yet, but the few people i have known who hunted elephants and owned expensive doubles didn't feel a need to brag over the internet, just putting that out there

December 15, 2008, 06:13 PM
Capstick recommended the 375 H&H over the .458 in his book Safari.

Cmdr. Gravez0r
December 15, 2008, 06:19 PM
I once read an article about a Kenyan poacher who took elephant with...wait for it...22 LR. I don't even want to post how he did it because it's very risky and highly illegal. PM me if you're dying to know.

December 15, 2008, 06:49 PM
.416rem or 458wm for the big scary stuff and 338wm for the plains.

December 15, 2008, 06:51 PM
Seeing as most hunting these days is on the Most Dangerous Game, I'd definitely opt for the FAL. With many cans of ammo.

I've often thought that people would be among the dumbest and easiest animals to hunt. It would really be more like a slaughter than a hunt. Worldwide, there are only a few that are armed, a few that are clever and extremely few that are both. Now that small group of people would indeed be very dangerous to hunt, but I doubt that the rest would be.

December 15, 2008, 11:03 PM
Well, Peter Capstick did say that clients were some of the most dangerous animals he ran into in Africa!

Growing up reading Capstick I always wantyed to go hunt in Africa but it hasn't worked out. With the health and political climates there now I'd say it's unlikely. If I did go, the smallest thing I'd take would be a .375 H&H (for leopard and lion) and the largest would be a .416 Rigby (buff, elephant, hippo.) The antelope really don't interest me because I can hunt antelope or deer here.

December 16, 2008, 09:27 AM
Found my FOS boots.

Looks like someone got a big game rifle book.

December 16, 2008, 10:30 AM
I can't afford anything bigger than eland these days, so I tke a .270 WSM and a .375H&H. When I could in the 70s the .300 Weatherby and a .458 Winchester worked well.

Grand Dad
February 21, 2009, 05:07 PM
I killed a Cape Buffalo with a .500 Nitro, however it was so close (7 Meters) the Professional Hunter joined in with his .470 Nitro & the Buffalo still turned & ran 70+ feet. My point is on such game where you place the bullet & having backup for such hardy game is essential.

In 1999 when I hunted there I fell in love with what I experienced, however it appears their Dictator Robert Mugabe has ruined hunting there. Thank goodness I went when I did.

In 1999 the exchange rate was 39.4 Zim $ to 1 US$

Today its 1,000,000,000+ Zim $ to 1 US $

February 22, 2009, 05:01 AM
I can't afford to hunt africa just yet but some day when I can I will take the cz 375 I won last summer and prob my old ruger 30-06 just cause I have used it so much and I am very confident with it. As for the reason to hunt I think everyone has their own. I grew up doing it and can't imagine ever not hunting. I hunt deer because its good practice for elk hunting and makes good jerky. Elk taste great to me and every time I pull a pack out of the freezer I remember where I was and who I was with when I shot it. And in my head I thank who ever helped me pack it out. I did shoot one black bear that pretty much taste like hell but my dog liked it so it didn't go to waste. I know lots of people who shoot but don't hunt and I even know a few hunters who can't shoot but what ever floats your boat.

February 22, 2009, 08:12 AM
Never been, but have been dreaming & rationalizing. I think I'd take a .30-06 & a .375.

The .375 seems to be plenty enough gun for everything on earth with the right bullet & placement, and with enough practice, supposedly most can become proficient with it.

I rationalized with the thought that if I ever made it to Alaska, it would be perfect for Grizzly/Brown/Polar Bear, and good enough for everything in North America: Bison, Moose & Nilgai. You could even pinch hit with it on deer & elk.

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