Rifle for Africa Plains Game

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by bigsk, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. bigsk

    bigsk Member

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    I've been invited by a co-worker to spend a couple of weeks at his home in S. Africa this summer and do a little hunting. I typically hunt with a 7x57 or .308 and was thinking of getting a .300 WM since my friend and the others on the hunt all use one. Thoughts? WM or WSM? Light Mountain Rifle / Featherweight or Medium Weight?
     
  2. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter Well-Known Member

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    I realize that this is a long range hunting forum. Most animals in RSA are shot at less than 350 yards from what I can tell. I've only been there one time and don't profess to know it all. Both of your current rifles will do the job with good bullets and optics out past 600 yards if you do your part. If you want a new rifle then any you listed will do just fine. More a matter of personal preference. Good luck. Bruce
     

  3. Elkwonder

    Elkwonder Well-Known Member

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    for what you are doing at 350 and less, you cant beat the old 35 Whelen
     
  4. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    I agree with gillettehunter, I have been out there many times and the two rifles you listed would be fine, unless Eland is on your list at over 350+ yards. Most animals are taken well within 200 yards.

    Now, if you wanted to get another rifle, I would get the same caliber that your friends in SA are shooting. There have been times that I have seen rifles and no bullets arrive, or the other way around, sometimes both are missing. However, if you get one or the other, you can still hunt.

    Just my two cents
     
  5. inmate

    inmate Member

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    before you get excited and pack the rifle, check with customs. I know several customers tell you must register firearm with serl # long before a hunt. Make sure you have time. Make sure ammo is in factory box for the head stamp of the chamber. Airline made customer get factory ammo box and not the plastic 20 rd he had.



     
  6. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    inmate is correct! Make sure you have all your paper work completed with Customs and everything is as it's suppose to be. Contact the airlines for instructions as well, as some are different for the transporting of weapons and ammo. Make sure you check with your friends about transporting the weapons to SA also.

    Africa is a great place to hunt and once bitten, you're hooked!
     
  7. mbundy

    mbundy Well-Known Member

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    I took a 300 Win Mag (Sako AV) and a 375 H&H (Winchester Model 70 Safari) on my plains game hunt. The 300 was shooting 200g Partitions and I used it on everything from impala to wildebeest to kudu. Average shot was probably 100 yards, longest was 240. Performance was exceptional.

    You will do a lot of walking so I would bring a rifle you don't mind carrying around all day.

    If you've never shot off of shooting sticks while standing, I strongly recommend you get or make a set and practice. It will make a huge difference.


    (I did use the 375 (270g Swift A-Frames) for zebra, gemsbok, eland.)
     
  8. bigsk

    bigsk Member

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    Thanks for all the great information. I've started work on the necessary paperwork for the FAs, etc., plus have some info from a couple of airlines. MORE to do though.
     
  9. Jurgens

    Jurgens Active Member

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    Hi Bigsk
    I live here in SA and am willing to assist if you have any questions or need help.
    What animals are you going to hunt an where in SA?
    For most game here the 7X57 ( my choice ) or the .308 will work.
    Premium bullets and good shot placement is the key.
    Regards
    Jurgens
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I've been to Africa a few times. My first time back in the 80's included cape buffalo so I brought a 375H&H. Shot plains game from impala up out to 300 yards with 270 Winchester power points, Cape Buffalo with 300 gr solids. The 375 worked great and I didn't feel over gunned on the plains game. It was an advantage on a few angled shots at longer ranges. On subsequent trips I continued to use it because I also hunted dangerous game. If I were going for just plains game and gemsbok, sable, eland, or kudu were on the list I'd bring a 7mm or 30 cal magnum minimum to handle longer shots which are very possible in South Africa. Your rifles would work fine with careful shot placement at the closer ranges. The bigger species are pretty tough, like elk.
     
  11. bigsk

    bigsk Member

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    I will be hunting in the Central Karoo area near Beaufort West. My wish list of game would include smaller game like Impala, Blesbok, Bonte Bok, Black Springbuck and hopefully a couple larger game animals e.g. Kudu and Blue Wildebeest. Haven't decided on whether Eland and Gemsbok are on the list. What ever opportunities present themselves works for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  12. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    The 7x57 is more than capable of taking any of the plains game out to about 600yds.

    You need to check the regulations where you are going and with the outfitter you are using to make sure what they'll allow though.

    I have a very good friend in SA who's building a 6.5x284 right now for this exact purpose and he's been shooting plains game for at least 3 decades.
     
  13. Jurgens

    Jurgens Active Member

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    Bigsk
    Wildrose and Greyfox are both on the spot for caliber choice.
    According to the new laws the minimum bullet weight needed is 150gr for the animals on your list up to the Kudu and 175gr for Eland. For some reason our minister only used bullet weight to determine the standards and neglected to take all the other factors in considerations that contributes to killing power. On our local forum there was a nice debate on how idiotic that is.
    I would loud the 7X57 with 150gr TTSX bullets for where you are going and the species on your list.
    There are very long shots to be had where you are going to hunt as it is open and the wind can be very stiff in the Karoo. The animals will go down with a well placed shot. A bad shot will keep you tracking for a very long time. If you hunt the Blue wildebeest make very sure of your shat placement as they are know as the poor mans buffalo as they are very tuff and can take a lot of punishment as well as the Eland.
    The small game on your wish list I hunt with my .243Win with 90gr E-Tips and the rest with my .30-06 with 180gr TTSX. My dad has a 7X57 with 140gr TTSX, 7mmRemMag with 160gr TSX and a 9.3X62mm with 286gr TSX bullets.
    If you are a very confident shot with your rifles bring the 7X57. If you have are not 100% satisfied buy a new rifle and come over gunned. There has been one or two occasions that I had wished that I used a bigger caliber but that was in the Bushveld where tracking can be very difficult.
    The most imported part in my opinion is to have 200% faith in your caliber and shooting abilities. Most of the complaints that PH's has is that the clients comes with calibers that they cant shoot as they flinch and wound game and that end in a long day of tracking.
    The animals here are not that tuff, if you take in to account the 7X57 an .303 have been used to hunt all the non dangerous game in SA for more than a 100 years. A have a 1919 .303 in its original condition that comes from my great grandfather that I still use if the opportunity arises.
    All of the above is my personal experience and opinions so if it is useful use it or don’t if it is not.
    Regards
    Jurgens
     
  14. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    You can't ask for better advice than from someone that lives in the Country you'll be hunting!!!

    Jurgen, the SA PH group does not seem all that big, do you know Farnie Stynn from Thabo Mmoyo?

    Thanks Jurgen for your advice!