2016 African Plains Game Hunt; Which Rifle Should I Take?

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by onelastshot, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    For years I've been promising myself an African plains game hunt and I've finally decided that this is going to be the year. I want to limit myself to one rifle; the plains game will include Kudu, Waterbuck, Wildebeest, Nyala, Blesbuck and Impala. In short the largest will be comparable to an Elk with most of the others in the whitetail, mule deer class. From what I've read and been advised, most shots will be one hundred yards or less but I will prepare for 300 plus, yard shots.

    My Gun safe has several calibers to chose from including a 6.5-284, 7mm Mauser, 270 WSM, 300 Weatherby as well as a 375 H&H, all bolt actions. I'm leaning towards taking the 270 WSM; I just don't think a plains game hunt will require the stopping power of a 300 Weatherby or 375 H&H. Both the 270 WSM and the 6.5-284 have ultralight composite stocks which would make the daily walks a bit easier to manage. Lastly, I handload so any suggestions as to what bullet you'd chose would also be appreciated.

    If anyone has any experience with plains game hunts or suggestions as to a specific rifle you would chose and why, I'd appreciate any and all input.
     
  2. MClark

    MClark

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    I have been twice and took two rifles both times.
    I would recommend the 300 Weatherby and TSX or Nosler partition bullets.
    It is better to have more gun when a wounded unrecovered animal will be costing big dollars.
    The guy I went to RSA with shot everything with a 300 Weatherby and 180 gr TSX and it worked flawlessly.
    I took a 6.5-284 but for Kudu, Zebra and Wildebeest I used a 9.3x62

    Mark
     
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  3. Chuckw

    Chuckw

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    I took my boys last year and they shot quite a few animals including kudu, hartebeest, and blue wildebeest. I believe they shot everything but the wildebeest with a .270 winchester and it performed flawlessly. The PH said the wildebeest was the toughest animal around pound for pound so they used a .300 win mag. He wasnt kidding about the wildebeest being tough!!!
     
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  4. Toby Bradshaw

    Toby Bradshaw Gold $$ Contributor

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    +1

    If anyone wants to see how my .300 WM and 180gr TSX performed on a wide variety of plainsgame in Namibia last year:
    http://www.africahunting.com/threads/namibia-namibia-safari-with-kowas-beginning-to-end.11723/
     
  5. Sniper338

    Sniper338 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Im jelous. I wish i could go.
     
  6. 280man

    280man Silver $$ Contributor

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    300 Weatherby no question
     
  7. effendude

    effendude Gold $$ Contributor

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    My wife and I went for 16 days in 2014. We took a 6.5-284 and a .375 H&H. The 6.5 performed well on impalas, waterbuck, bushbuck, and baboons using the 140 VLD and a Nosler Partition on the waterbuck. I kept wanting to use the 6.5 on a Zebra at distance but never got the chance. That might have been a good thing, Zebras are tough animals. We used the .375 on 4 zebras, a huge kudu bull and a maned lion. All animals were a one shot kill, no tracking required. The bigger animals have a very thick skin, every plant in Africa has thorns- think elk or moose skin. We never got a chance on a wildebeest, but tried hard. Both gemsbok/oryx I have shot were with a .300RUM and I didn't feel overgunned in any way.

    A couple things to bear in mind: Most Africans PH's don't like the Barnes bullet, they prefer traditional jacketed bullets, I wasn't going to argue. Second, if you draw blood, they consider it a successful hunt, meaning you pay the trophy fee, whether you recover the animal or not. I was not willing to take a chance with not enough gun and I am happy with my choices. You are going on a trip of a lifetime, with expensive airfare, trophy fees and want it to be completely positive. Bring enough gun!

    Scott
     
  8. fourpower

    fourpower

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    I went in sept. this year with Two Waters Safaris and took my own gun and my own reloads with berger bullets. the outfitter had never seen bergers work on game and wasn't so sure they would work. I was using a 300rum with 210 bergers @2965fps. I got 2 large kudus-1 large blue wildebeest-1 gemsbuck- 1 zebra and a very large eland. all were from 240yds out to 360yds. all were (DIT) dead in tracks. for my money it would be a 30 cal with berger bullets as they have served me well for last 6 years. if you haven't picked a outfitter yet you should look into two waters as they treated my wife and me like gods. they have some great animals and great prices.
     
  9. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens

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    6.5x284, 280 are just about perfect
     
  10. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    300 Weatherby or the 375 H&H. Classics. It is Africa. It's not just for what you're hunting. It's for what may be hunting you! PS I hire out as a gun bearer, on the side.
     
  11. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've hunted plains game three times. Here's my advice. As in any hunt, shot placement is THE priority so take the rifle with which you are the most proficient and has enough power to quickly dispatch your game. I've shot springbok out to 700 with a 6.5x47, zebra over 250 with a 6.5-284 and wildebeest over 300 with the 6.5x47, all Berger VLDs, one shot going no more than 25 yds & flop. Yes, the wildebeests are tough customers, two to three shots being the norm if you don't get a good first hit. Also, big boomers are no substitute for accurately placed shots. On my last trip, there were two guys from Hungary with multi thousand $ .300WMs and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at 50 yds. One of them missed a Kudu at 150, moved closer, missed at 100, moved closer, missed at 75. The kudu was long gone after that. Their PH told me it was a "recoil" issue. :-X Having said all that, rifle selection can get complicated. If you are hunting South Africa, and need to take an in country flight, your ammo will need to be shipped separately. If it gets lost, the question is, can your ammo be acquired at a local gun shop.? 6.5-284, 270 WSM?, maybe. 7mm Mauser? Probably a better chance. Not saying factory ammo acquired there is going to shoot as well as one's reloads but it's something to be considered. It's best to ask your PH (not the U.S. rep) what would be a good selection. For plains game, my PHs like .308, 30-06, .243, .270W. Though I am not, they were fans of the Barnes. Any good mushrooming bullet will work, SHOT PLACEMENT!! ;D My PH, a reloader, said he buys whatever bullet is the cheapest. (He's shot over 5000 springbok and will tell you where you hit by the sound made) If you haven't already checked out africahunting.com, I would advise taking a look. There is a tremendous amount of info on it and I'd be surprised if every question you have wasn't already answered there. Good Luck, Good Hunting and plan on going back (hardly anyone goes just once). ;D

    Edit: Take TWO rifles. 10,000+ miles, baggage handlers, multiple flights, and bouncing around in the back of a pickup can ruin your trip in short order. Take the MAXIMUM amount weight in ammo also, 11 lbs exclusive of carrier/boxes, etc.
     
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  12. Jaybo

    Jaybo

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    300 Weatherby first choice with a good bonded bullet like Nosler Partition are barns X and I would take the 375 H&H with a good bonded bullet they are big animals with big bones. I seen a guy shoot kudu 3 times with a 7mag with a good bullet to get him down. But if i could only take one gun it would be something in the 338 family. Good luck
     
  13. savagedasher

    savagedasher Gold $$ Contributor

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    You have two perfect guns 300 WBY and 375 HH. Its not the caliber or the case size that makes the kill..
    You need to shoot 40 rounds plus with each gun. Standing and Keeling. Bench time means nothing it not how good the gun shoots it how good the shooter can shoot it. Most of the shots you will be doing is standing or kneeling. Bonded bullet or Barnes are as good as it gets. It don't mean much to have a gun that shoot 1'' and the shooter can only shoot 8''. Get off the bench is the advice I would make. Larry
     
  14. nawahine

    nawahine Gold $$ Contributor

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    10 PLUS what HOGPATROL said. SHOT placement!!!!! Take what you're MOST COMFORTABIE SHOOTING. I made a trip to RSA and shot the animals you're intending to harvest. DO take 2 rifles; the .270WSM and the .300 Weatherby would be good choices. A damaged scope or malfunctioning rifle can really put a damper on a trip of one's lifetime.

    I used a .300 WSM and a .300 Weatherby (RSA trip) using Barnes 165/168 gr.TSX and TTSX and ws very satisfied with them. Clean one shot kills. Put the tracking jack russel out of a tracking job.
    Check with the PH there may be additional larger animals available at a discounted fee. Buffalo? Elan? That being the case the .375 in place of the .300 Weatherby.

    I also made a trip to both North and South New Zealand and used both the .270 WSM and the .300 WSM to take 2 red stags, tahr, sika deer, chamois, and a fallow deer. I used my hadloads using Barnes TTSX in 130 gr. (.270) and 165 gr. (.300). I ws very satisfied with the Barnes.

    Have a great trip......
     
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  15. michaeljdean

    michaeljdean

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    Anyone who was kind enough to send me an email, I'm sorry to say that they were deleted when they updated the damn site!, so I don't know who to respond to.
     
  16. Capt. Oblivious

    Capt. Oblivious

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    Ive been hunting here since I could walk and have hunted all the animals on your list with anything from 243 to the magnums and a proper bullet in the vitals will stop all off them, they cant run for long without lungs/hart.Take the most accurate rifle that your comfortable with but i doubt your shots will be out far. The blesbok and the blue might be the only 2 animals where you will need to shoot further than 100y, the others are really more bushveld game where you stalk up to 50-100y. The 375 would be/is a good all round caliber for Africa and the 270 will make a nice 2nd rifle....pitty you dont have a 30.06 :) . Enjou your trip, its very dry and hot currently but we know and believe the rain is coming.
     
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  17. areaone

    areaone

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    Been to Africa the last two years, planning on going agin in 2016. My son and I each used a 30 06 with 168tsx or 180 accubond, both deadly on up to wildebeast, kudu, zebra and smaller. Just a word of caution, if your checked baggage gets misplaced and it will have your ammo in, try finding an exotic ammo in South Africa....308, 30 06 375 h h are always available, most ph use a 308 or 30 06 for a rental, so they always have ammo...try finding 6.5 x284 or 280 or the Like. Not so easy. And as we all know a rifle without ammo becomes nothing more than a club. Enjoy the hunt , a great experience.
     
  18. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Gold $$ Contributor

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    When you go, if these are available, try for one of these guys. They make a great mount. Got this guy with a .17 Fireball, 30gr Kindler gold, 75 yds. IMAG0716.jpg
     
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  19. onelastshot

    onelastshot Gold $$ Contributor

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    After much consideration I've decided to go with the numerous suggestions that taking two rifles is the best course of action; the 300 Weatherby and the 270 WSM will be the two rifles. Thanks for everyone's input and suggestions. Lastly, Hogpatrol will be happy to know that a Warthog is one of the animals on the list.
     
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  20. wapiti25

    wapiti25

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    The Oryx I killed had a hide that was twice as thick as any elk I have seen. I used a 338 Win Mag, just right for they are tough.
     

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