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Your calibre preferences for Africa

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Readyrod, Nov 25, 2012.

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  1. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    I'm not interested so much in the best caliber/rifle for Africa cause I know it depends but I was wondering, for those of you who hunt Africa, what calibers/rifles do you personally like for the hunts that you like to do? If you want to add some good stories of your hunts feel free, I ain't going to complain. (yea I'm fishing for hunting stories)
     
  2. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    H&Hhunter we be along soon. :D
     
  3. Boxhead

    Boxhead Member

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    Though used only on plains game, we have used the 9.3x62, 358 Win, 8x57 and 7x57 with complete satisfaction on 30 or so critters. The 9.3 was used on eland and "the rest" while the others were used on "the rest" kudu/wildebeast/gemsbuck on down. If eland were in the hunt I would still prefer the 9.3 but know the others would do if required.
     
  4. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    For locales where shots will be in the 100 to 200 yard range or less, the 375 H&H Magnum is a good choice. For longer shots I like the 300 Weatherby Magnum. The aforementioned would be for rifle hunting. For handgun hunting, I'd go with a 375 H&H Magnum, a 444 Marlin or a 460 S&W Magnum.

    Airline baggage policies being what they are now, unless one wishes to pay hundreds of dollars in excess baggage fees, one should choose wisely in what one takes and how it's packed. If only taking handguns; no problem. If taking long guns, one that breaks down into shorter pieces will save you money.

    j19ud-87.jpg

    Rifle and handgun packed in airline acceptable gun case that meets airline requirements for size and weight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  5. gbran

    gbran Member

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    I'm wondering, very small game aside, can Africa be attacked with 3 calibers?

    Dangerous game.
    Large game.
    Medium, smaller game.
     
  6. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Run a search on H&Hhunter, then settle in and enjoy the hundreds of threads and posts he has given us on this subject over the years. I know for a fact that he has used his 375H&H to take Cape Buffalo. He also carries a 470NE as well as others.
     
  7. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Easily; you just have to pick the right projectiles. In fact you can do it all with two even for the little stuff.

    1. 375 H&H Magnum for everything from Dassies to Elephant. The little stuff and the really big stuff get FMJs or solids and everything else gets expanding bullets.

    2. 12 gauge shotgun for any bird hunting you wish to do and for some of the very small and fast moving antelope.
     
  8. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    That's pretty minimal. I've been wondering for a while if, since 12 gauge is always suggested as bear defense, it would work against lions or other dangerous African animals.
     
  9. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    A 12 gauge is not uncommonly used to follow-up on a wounded Leopard and it should work for Lion. I would be worried about adequate penetration on Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Elephant and Rhino but maybe it would work.
     
  10. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    A .375H&H is always the right choice in Africa. In dangerous game country I bring a .375H&H and a heavy such as a .470NE double or a .458Lott bolt gun or depending on the hunt maybe a heavyish medium like a .404 or one of the various .416's is a very good choice for DG. In places where you are hunting Dg in more open country like the Zambezi delta of Mozambique or areas of Tanzania a scoped .400 of some kind is REALLY tough to beat. But the .375 always comes along and is never a poor choice as a back up or a primary weapon with the exception possibly of hunting elephant, cows in particular, in very thick bush. That is where an ultra heavy like a .500 of some type or even a .577 comes into it's own.

    Why not a light rifle in DG country? Because I don't like walking around in serious DG country anything less than a .375H&H. If I were to get surprised charged by a buff or an elephant I do NOT want a .30 cal rifle loaded with soft points in my hands. And YES I've been surprise charged by elephants on several occasions.

    For plains game hunting in non DG country I bring a .375H&H and a .308 or a .30-06. I generally find myself using the .375H&H anyway unless I am hunting light stuff on open country like Springbok.
     
  11. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    So what you are saying is you really like 375H&H. ;)
     
  12. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    I have never hunted in Africa but one of my employers has, and I know he used a .375 H&H Magnum before and liked it. Personally I love the .375 H&H Mag. even thought I have never used it in Africa. I have heard of people using it on Cape Buffalo before.... along with a .45-70 Gov't as well. Both great choices for anything other than mabye a Hippo, Rhino, or Elephant.
     
  13. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I haven't been hunting in there before, but my boss has. He used a 338 WM and was told it was the lightest round the guides would allow him to use for dangerous game. He killed a bunch of big thick game with that round including a lion, cape buff, and a panther.

    GS
     
  14. brnmw

    brnmw Member

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    I am beginning to notice that "Employers" go more than Employees..... Sensing a pattern coming on. ;)
     
  15. Readyrod

    Readyrod Member

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    Well that sort of says it right there. A hard argument to beat. Thanks H&H.
     
  16. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Gamestalker,

    I've always thought the .338 Wm would make a decent if not somewhat light for the job buff swatter, though it's illegal in many places to use on buffalo.

    I'm guessing your employer was hunting in South Africa?
     
  17. hq

    hq Member

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    After a couple of days in Africa with a loaner .375 (airline lost my gun), I had to get one of my own. It pretty much has made my old .460 obsolete; still adequately powerful but far less punishing recoil. If there ever was a universal caliber for the continent, that most likely is it.

    I've also considered .338 Lapua Magnum, which is among the most notorious long range calibers currently on market, but it doesn't quite have the punch of .375. And hunting ammo may be difficult to come by, in case of another airline baggage mishap. That's always a consideration, especially if you forget to "tip" "helpful" airline and customs officials at the airport. In some african countries $50 goes a long way finding your baggage in record time, should something happen.
     
  18. gbran

    gbran Member

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  19. The Big Game Hunter

    The Big Game Hunter Member

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    I'm personally a big fan of the 9.3x62mm. This caliber has a wide range of applications with the right bullets and shot placement. I've shot and cleanly killed animals ranging in size from white tailed deer to elephant with it. If you use the right bullets, it does not obliterate smaller game like Steenbok or Dik-dik. At the same time, it has adequate penetration and power to take even the biggest dangerous game like cape buffalo and elephant when using controlled expansion soft points and solids.

    Yes, the .375 H&H is slightly more powerful. However, the difference is pretty small. If you can't do it with a 9.3x62, you probably can't do it with a .375 H&H either. With both of these rounds, you have a much smaller margin of error when dealing with dangerous game compared to something like a .416 Rigby or a .458 Winchester, especially in a charge situation. Yes, there are better cartridges for dangerous game than the 9.3x62. However, if you want one cartridge to cleanly, ethically, and legally hunt virtually every animal in the world, the 9.3x62mm will fit that bill.

    Please understand that I'm not trying to bash the .375 H&H. If .375 H&H weren't a great caliber, it wouldn't be so popular in Africa. I'm merely trying to bring attention to a lesser known and in my opinion, greatly underrated caliber.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  20. hq

    hq Member

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    9.3x62 has the advantage of being about 10mm/.40" shorter than .375H&H so magnum-length action isn't needed. This fact offers some very interesting possibilities, my favorite being rechambering guns like Winchester 1895 in it. I'd love a Valmet Hunter/Petra in 9.3 for overseas hunting but legislation in some african countries prohibits the use of semiautomatic rifles and in many situations a classy lever action is a very nice alternative to a double rifle. A variation of Roosevelt's "medicine gun", one might say.
     
  21. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    See, I'm just a broke Texas redneck, never been to Africa, so I ain't gonna weigh in on caliber. I'm having a good time reading an informative thread, though.

    I was wondering, though, hg, about the 1895. Lever guns tend to be a lot more complicated than bolt guns or double rifles and, therefore, a lot more can go wrong with 'em. I'm not familiar with the 1895 action, though, but would seem to me that the KISS principle would be a good thing for dangerous game. Asking more than opining. :D
     
  22. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Member

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    I'm planning for my first safari next summer--I'm going to either the Eastern Cape in South Africa or to Namibia. It's going to be a plains-game-only proposition, but since I've been dreaming of going for years, I'm more than ecstatic.

    Here's what I'll be taking:

    IMG_5897.jpg

    Ruger No. 1 in 450/400 Nitro Express, topped by a Leupold 4x; and Mauser 8x57, with open sights (or peep sights if I can find one that fits). I know that the 450/400 is probably too much gun for kudu & company, but going to Africa without it seems wrong. In all likelihood, though, I'll be using the Mauser most of the time.

    Two classic choices that will make me enjoy Africa all the more.

    P.S. I too am a big fan of the 9.3x62, and I concur with the accolades that it has received on this thread. I do not yet possess a rifle in that fine caliber, but it's only a matter of time until I do.
     
  23. The Big Game Hunter

    The Big Game Hunter Member

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    MCgunner: There is nothing wrong with taking a lever action to Africa. On my first safari I took a Marlin M1895 chambered in .45-70 and a vintage Martini-Henry rifle chambered in .577/.450. My father has hunted plains game with a Winchester Hi-Wall and a M1886. All are great lever actions and did very well on plains game.

    You do make a valid point about using a lever action on dangerous game though. I would agree with you, but more due to the fact that it is pretty difficult to find lever action rifles chambered in a round that is powerful enough to ethically and legally kill dangerous game. People have done it with .45-70, but it's not legal in most places and even if it were, I personally wouldn't try it. If you had a M1886 chambered in .475 Turnbull though, that's a different story.
     
  24. hq

    hq Member

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    Like The Big Game Hunter noted, lever guns are few and far between in calibers powerful enough for big or dangerous game. I've hunted in Africa with a Marlin 1895XLR, which is borderline as far as sheer power is concerned. Good handloads with heavy solids are a necessity if you want to hunt anything really big with it and even with them I wouldn't go after an elephant, hippo or rhino.

    Lever guns admittedly are a bit complicated mechanically, but usually very reliable as long as the shooter knows what he's doing and has familiarized himself with them.

    Winchester 1895 and 9.3x62 is a very interesting combination of box magazine feeding (allows the use of spitzer bullets), respectable power and ability to shoot several rounds very quickly when the need arises. A double rifle is great for one follow-up shot and with some practise, quick reload too, but personally I've found that by the time I have inserted the spare rounds from between my fingers, I've already fired five aimed shots with a lever gun.
     
  25. Husker_Fan

    Husker_Fan Member

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    I've not been to Africa, but have two friends who have. Both have hunted plains game on more than one occasion and have taken plains game from diker up to kudu and zebra. This was done in South Africa in areas with little to no risk of running into dangerous game. They used .30-06 and 7mm Rem Mag which performed well with Nosler Partitions.
     
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