I would check with the PH before you show up with Bergers,they tend to prefer clients shoot A-frames,Barnes,Bitterroot,and other premium HUNTING BULLETS.IF blood is drawn you pay the trophy fee whether or not the animal is recovered.
Fergus, I've been using Berger 168VLD's for the last year. I started using them for long rang stuff. I shot my antilope at 240, my deer at 180, and my elk at 200. Not exactly long range, but I couldn't be happier with the results. I practise shooting out to 600 yds. but I've been happy with the results inside of that.
Good luck, Tim G
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If you dont have it, see if you can get a copy of the perfect shot Africa.
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Got it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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I take it you are hunting the Kalahari?
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Yes. Its new territory for me, so I'm really looking forward to it!
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Then you know where to stick that Berger [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
FB a few years ago I got a bunch off sh#* from a friend when I told him I was going to use my 300 win with 165 NBT's in SA. He tried and tried to talk me out of it, and succeeded in talking me out of bringing my Roberts as a second gun. I have kicked myself many times. I took 8 animals with as many rounds. African animals die just like any other animal when an adequate bullet is put in the right spot. My friend took a .338 win with 225 partitions which I agree was more suited to the area he was hunting. He lost a 56" Kudu that was found a week later BAD HIT [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
There is just so much BS about bonded bullets and tough animals in Africa. I agree in certain areas I would bring my 375 with heavy bullets for thick cover area and the largest of plains game ie Eland. Most PH's hunting Plains Game want to see a mid cal deer rifle that you can shoot well. And as for you draw blood you pay for it I LIKE that any animal you draw blood on should be RECOVERED. Next time I go back I know better now. It will be the eastern cape and the SMK's will be there. It's a bitch to have Baboons barking at you from 1k and the wrong set up!!!
2Scoops posted elsewhere about our experience this year with Sierra Matchkings. I loaded up with 210gr Bergers in my 300 WM - MV 2800 fps.
I used that combination to shoot:
Several springbok - stone dead - no surprise there (230-275m)
1 Red hartebeest - about 280lbs. 250m and the shot went high in the shoulder almost a miss, took out the spine entirely - the bull dropped at the shot and didn't get up (but wasn't dead; spine was smashed, bullet wasn't recovered)
1 Eland bull (+/- 950-1000lbs) range was +/- 10-15 yards as it was another hunter's wounded animal found after dark. I shot it low in the shoulder and the big bull went down and was dead in seconds. I may have been lucky, but if you have ever seen the forequarters on an eland you will know that this requires quite some penetration. The bullet - or enough of it - must have reached the heart, or the large vessels nearby. Based on that I don't think a Berger will necessarily "break up" on a houlder, but had a hit really heavy bone the story may have read differently. THe animal was gutted in the dark to ferry down the mountain and the bullet was not recovered.
No a J4 jacket is not my first choice for an Eland. Neither is a .30.
I'm hunting gemsbuck later this year and will probably be shooting the Bergers again and may even back off the load a little to around 2750. After my experiences I'm confident on the gemsbuck.
That's just my (very limited) experience with the Bergers here in SA. I hope it helps some.
wanted Wim to reply before I put in my 2 cents worth. I've shot plenty springbuck. A 190gr VLD will easily do the trick. The Gemsbuck takes a little more gun. I've shot my Gemsbuck with SMK's with no problem. having seen the results from Wim's Bergers I would have no hesitation using Bergers on Gemsbuck.
keep in mind that the Gemsbuck lungs are pretty small for an animal that size. Don't shoot to far back. Enjoy the hunt in a beautiful country.
Your question regarding Elk is what got me onto Eland, but your comment of area makes me think more along the lines of Gemsbuck, Wildebeest and Kudu. Although Eland are hunted often in Namibia.
I'd use a Berger for any of those. Kudu aren't as tough as Gemsbuck or Blue Wildebeest IMHO. Eland I'd be cautious with a .30 match bullet. Springbuck kill easily - I've shot them (and Blesbuck too) with A-Max 178's with devastating effect.
Scoops uses Sierra's and I used his .308 with 168gr Match King on a Black Wildebeest (not blue) on the shoulder at 80m shot was through and through.
Bear in mind that Sierra .30 cal jackets are quite substantially thicker than the Berger's J4.
Bergers may be less likely to exit larger animals and if you think you need a through and through for a blood trail to track, then they may not be for you. In open country tracking is generally not a problem, but in heavier bush a lung shot with a bullet that has a devatating effect may mean a very dead animal lost due to difficulty in tracking.
Where I have hunted in Namibia I'd be comfortable with my .300 WM and Bergers (save for Eland where I'd prefer a bondeed, or monolithic of some sort based on my extremely limited experience).
I've never shot Zebra (that striped meat puts me off [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]) , but they can apparently be very hardy, many PH's suggesting some very large calibres for hunting them.
Having seen Zebra I'd take them on with my Bergers as well.