Hi Scott, Gee it sounds like youre setting you're self up for a major headache.
Ive got a standard Tikka t3 lite 7mm08 that pushes a 140gn Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2850 fps with 22 inch barrel and groups .75 inch at 100yds, The last deer I shot with it was a 12 point red at 280yds the bullet was found perfectly mushroomed just under the skin on the opposite side of the shoulder, so I cant fault the performance, The 150gn Nosler BT as I understand it was designed with 7mm Rem Mag Velocities so they may not expand as well.
Im not sure what species you will be hunting but I would not consider the 7mm08 a suitable calibre for Africa by any stretch of the imagination.
Personaly I would not consider taking any wildcat cartridge, I wouldnt want to be within earshot of you when you discover that your ammo has been ''misplaced'' along the way, so if I were you I would use a calibre which has ammo readily available anywhere.
Why go for a custom built rifle on this trip, even If all goes to plan and its finished on time I feel that you will still be using a rifle that you are largely unfamiliar with.
You would have a lot more options if you didnt restrict youself to a short action.
What gun would I take? Well for a variety of smaller game then it would be a 3006 on a Brno 601 action, I Know it sounds a little boring especially for this site, But hey are you going over there to shoot stuff or just to show someone your gun.
Sorry if this sounds rather negative, but its just my humble opinion, and yes I do wish I was going with you.
Point well taken on the possibility of the ammo not getting there, and we're taking a standard .260, factory chambered, as well - my kids gun. That being said, I'm doubtful that either .260 or 7mm-08 rounds will be readily available in Africa though I could be wrong... 30-06, 338 Mag of a variety or two, 375 H&H and the like, sure, but I'm guessing neither the .260 or 7mm-08 would be an easy find... if at all. Still, the guide has assured me that he has a full selection of calibers on hand for just such a situation Since he comes highly recommended by a friend, I believe him. But in any case we have a "fall back" gun or two going along if needed.
Taking something different of my own creation along would be just for the satisfaction of using something I created - I could really not care less about "showing someone my gun" - that's ridiculous in my estimation. What do I care about whether a guide who I may never see again in my lifetime is impressed with my firearm? I am a little suprised though about you thinking the 7mm-08 and similar rounds are not suitable for African game -especially since you don't know what we're huntin, nor what bullet's we're using as far as construction/type. As an aside, my friend who is a very experienced African safari veteran has taken everything up through Eland often with just a .243 and good bullets with good shot placement. I'm not saying that's optimal, but since the majority of our game range from pygmy antelope like steensbok, up through springbok, impala, bontebok, etc. I'm not concerned at all really with our 6.5 caliber rifles. That's not to mention the fact that the stories abound of yesteryear when hunters took all sorts of non-dangerous game (and some including elephant that were dangerous) with the lowly 7mm Mauser. The 7mm-08 loaded hot easily bests the Mauser. So I guess to each his own. I have some neck injuries that preclude shooting heavier calibers, and rely on good shot placement and well constructed bullets. But those 2 items are just table stakes anyway. To each his own.
Last edited by firstname.lastname@example.org; 05-29-2008 at 02:17 AM.
Hi I would still look at the Rem SAUM'S as a base you can load it with a mild load of Retumbo and will have no problems with pressures even in extreem pressure variations.
As for cases you can get Norma 300 SAUM cases from Sinclair intl.
the rem cases are verry well suited to 24" barrels.
if you look at a 260AI your pressures may go through the roof in the heat get a larger case run a moderate pressure and slow temperature stable powder and you will be better off.
Thanks Bill, I'll go take a look at Sinclair now - I'd forgotten about them, it had been so long since I ordered items for a new cartridge. Very good thought on Retumbo too, thanks! The wild cat I came up with holds about 7 grains more powder than the .260 and a few grains under the 6.5x.284 if that info helps. Thanks and cheers!
Last edited by email@example.com; 03-16-2008 at 01:05 AM.
Reason: (corrected "cartridge" for "caliber")
My gun smith and I made the forming dies and did all the initial brass forming using Winchester brand .270 WSM cases this past Memorial day weekend. The whole effort turned out to be very simple, albeit a bit labor-intensive.
We ended up turning out 4 dies to push the shoulder back the approximate .300 we were after, with each one coming in on the diameter about 1/4 of the way. So during the transition the case essentially had 2 shoulders. Note: The cases did not to my suprise require any annealing during that process. Howver by the time the (now very long) neck had been formed, the neck was very hard and after trimming, did require annealing before opening it up slightly with the K&M form die, which was followed by the K&M carbide cutter (to remove any doughnut effect, very slight) and now I'm in the process of turning all necks down to slightly over .012 thick.
So the process was very straight forward, in fact once we got the full set of form dies done, I didn't lose a single case out of 300 when pushing the shoulders back.
I have done some preliminary measurements of the final (unfired and slightly undersized at the shoulder) new case. When loaded with the same bullet, both cartridges loaded to an overall length of 2.8 inches, and then compared to a neck-sized only standard .260 Rem loaded with a 140 gr. Partition (I didn't have any Bergers yet), it looks like we are right on the money. The loaded case holds about 8.5 grains more powder when both rounds are kept to 2.8 inches long (1 of my design requirements) and both are loaded with the same 140-gr bullet. Incidentally I got that measurement from loading both cases to the 2.8" overall length, but with no primer - then turning the cases upside down and filling them with a fine-grained W760 powder through the primer hole. Then I emptied the case back into the loading pan and measured each amount of powder from the 2 cases. 48.3 grains for the .260 and 56.6 for the new 6.5 round. Once fired it should (if I am estimating correctly) gain another .75 grains of capacity also.
Rifle should be ready this weekend - will let you know how it goes. So far, so good!
Re: My .260 died - need to pick a new 6.5 for Africa!
Scott, first let me congratulate you on your upcoming safari, is it your first? First and foremost before you decide on a cartridge have you consulted SAPS about the firearms import forms or are you using one of the import services for this? It has been 2 years since I have been through SA with guns but at that time the head stamp on your ammunition had to match the chambering stamped on your barrel. That means NO wildcats, and if the law still the same they WILL look at your ammo and rifle and compare stamps, they are VERY thurough. like I said it has been 2 years and the law could have changed but most african countries have a law like this. It might be prudent to check on this before deciding on a chambering.
Secondly what animals do you plan on taking on this hunt? There may be a few animals that the 6.5 is borderline inadequate for, Zebra especially Burchells, depending on where you hunt in SA there may also be the Hartmans or mountain Zebra which are a little smaller but just as tough and Eland are two. If these two are not on the menu then no worries. I am not trying to tell anyone their business just offering advice.