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#6894790 - 09/21/17 04:29 PM Rifle Caliber for Africa
Chunky Dunk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 1276
Loc: Rockport
Ok....I am headed to South Africa next August,and we will be hunting plains game almost exclusively. The largest caliber rifle I currently own is a 280AI, and I am thinking that I would like something a little larger for the trip. What caliber would you guys that have been to Africa hunting recommend or want to have for the hunt? I was thinking of 300 WinMag, but their are so many other calibers out these days. I thought I would look for some ideas. I am not opposed to building, or buying a custom. With that said, there is also some appeal to owning an "off the shelf" rifle in a somewhat standard caliber as well.

Lets here it...whatcha got???

#6894802 - 09/21/17 04:41 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Buzzsaw Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 13764
Loc: Frisco, Texas
.280AI, most plains game

.338 Winmag, Eland

.375 H&H, all the above
"I ain't here for a long time, I'm here for a good time"
King George Strait

#6894832 - 09/21/17 05:16 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Red Cloud Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/04/09
Posts: 1947
Loc: Weatherford, Texas
The above list from Buzzsaw is excellent however for a one gun plains game safari versatility with enough power and range if needed is the criteria. .300 Win Mag, .300 Weatherby and .300 Dakota are all excellent choices if you plan to hunt animals from Impala to Eland. As with Eland, Blue or Black Wildebeest are also tough animals. I would feel confident with one of the .300s. Be sure to bring more ammo than you think you will need, regardless of caliber.

#6894843 - 09/21/17 05:28 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Chaz391 Offline

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 56
Loc: Tx
I'm going November 1st. I'm taking my 300 win mag

#6894847 - 09/21/17 05:35 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
bphillips Offline

Registered: 08/24/09
Posts: 683
Loc: San Angelo
280ai is plenty good for all plains game. If you just want something new 300wm is definitely plenty for anything short of the big boys like buffalo, elephant, rhino, and hippo

Edited by bphillips (09/21/17 05:37 PM)

#6894849 - 09/21/17 05:36 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
ChadTRG42 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 13530
Loc: Lewisville, TX
A 280 AI is plenty for plains game, with the right bullet. A good, heavy, bonded bullet, like an Accubond, or a controlled expansion bullet like the new Hornady ELD-X will work well. A lot of the PH's like the Barnes TSX for one reason= penetration. The bullet will expand to 1.5 to 1.75 times bullet diameter, you will get an exit. They like them because most hunters do not shoot that well, and you get blood flowing on both sides for easier thracking. I'm not as big of a fan, because of the lack of shock the Barnes bullets have. If you can shoot well, a good lead bullet will work fine.

I know of a shooter who posts on here, his daughter went there with a 7mm-08 ammo I loaded for him with 140 or 150 grain Barnes TSX bullets. It worked fine. A 280 AI will out do a 7-08 by several hundred fps. I also know of some who have used a 308 Win. Sure a big magnum works too, but you are not under gunned with a 280 AI.

Custom and Precision Ammunition!!
Type 01 and Type 06 FFL

#6894852 - 09/21/17 05:39 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
TX-Bear Offline

Registered: 10/18/13
Posts: 135
Loc: Austin & Young Co, TX
A buddy of mine was using some heavier grain 30-06 with a 24in barrel and he had no issues.

#6894855 - 09/21/17 05:46 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Jgraider Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 1136
Loc: West Texas
I've taken my Tikka 7mag and 160 Accubonds a few times to Namibia. It worked very well on game up through blue wildebeest and zebra. I did not shoot an eland. Those .30's mentioned will work fine too with the right bullets.

#6895021 - 09/21/17 08:38 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
kmon1 Online   content

Registered: 09/27/06
Posts: 23489
Loc: Texas
BMD's daughter did quite well with her 7mm-08 for critters up to Giraffe, zebra, kudu, gemsbok, wildebeest, and quite a few other critters. 140gr Barnes bullets.

With any of the above put a good bullet in the right location an get ready for pictures.

Something not to forget though if you shoot one and it runs put more lead in it, PHs don't really like the shoot and admire the game while watching it run off, put more lead in it. Compared to the price of the hunt ammo is CHEAP
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#6895082 - 09/21/17 09:44 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
syncerus Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 12/01/08
Posts: 2759
Loc: Dallas, TX
The .300 WM is a no-brainer. You can actually buy ammo in SA should that become necessary for some reason. Don't overthink your decision.

FWIW, it's the preferred plains game caliber for most outfitters assuming you can shoot it well.
NRA Patron & DSC Lifer

#6895088 - 09/21/17 09:52 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
HorizonFirearms Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/05/10
Posts: 1684
Loc: College Station, Texas
I have been twice. The first time I took a 6.5 Creed and a 28 nosler took the following animals
6.5 creed- Nyala 350 yards, Impala 475 yards bushbuck 350 yards
28 nosler- Black Wilderbeast 475yards/ Eland 280 yards/ kudu 780 yards

Second time I took only my 6.5 creed
Val rebuck 550/ Waterbuck 375/ common spring buck 475/ black spring buck 350/ klipspringer 380 yards/ Steenbok 450 yards

the 280 would be fine Just dont take Berger bullets IMO

#6895091 - 09/21/17 09:53 PM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Erny Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 2266
Loc: Smith County
Been 4 times.. Always used my 300 Win Mag with 180 grain Nosler partions. The 300 Win is extreamly popular with African outfitters. Also you can buy ammo for it just about anywhere. With that being said your 280 AI with work just fine for most plains game. If your comfortable with your 280 I would go with it.j

Edited by Erny (09/21/17 09:58 PM)

#6895169 - 09/22/17 12:44 AM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
505ed Offline

Registered: 10/15/14
Posts: 632
Loc: Blanco texas
I have been six safaris to the dark continent...a 280 AI is absolutely plenty for plains game. I will say if you were looking for a larger caliber, do not overlook the 338 WinMag. I have used it and was very pleased with it for a variety of game up including Eland. I used 250 grain bullet..I have taken most of my African game with the 375 ultra mag--and love what it does, but if you are not going after buffalo, hippo, elephant, and cats it is really not needed. Another not to over look is a 9.3x62--very mild and plenty of punch. Good luck on your first safari---I'm envious of you-- nothing like your first Safari

Off-the-shelf rifle that would not be bad--Winchester model 70 338 win mag stoked with 225 grain TSX or a 250 grain bullet of some ilk...

#6895227 - 09/22/17 07:33 AM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
Chunky Dunk Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 05/28/15
Posts: 1276
Loc: Rockport
Thanks for all the input. I do like the 280AI and shoot it well. My thoughts now are to take it as a primary and maybe a 300 or 338 for a second rifle. I mean I think it is a good idea to capitalize on any opportunity to add another rifle to the collection. I currently use 150 grn partitions in it and shoots well. Should I be looking to develop a load with one of the Barnes bullets?

#6895287 - 09/22/17 08:22 AM Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk]
jmm Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 03/30/15
Posts: 47
The 280AI is a great round. Don't overthink this too much. I have been to Africa several times and have taken over 200 animals so far. Most with a 30-06. My favorite bullets are the Swift Scirocco, Swift A-frame, Norma Oryx and Partition. But I have also killed a lot of wildes and zebra with Pro Hunters and Core Lokt Ultras. If giraffe and eland are on the menu, maybe a 2nd rifle in the 338 class or the classic 9.3x62. If impala sized game are on the menu, a .223 works great as a 2nd rifle.

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