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Mar 25th, 2012
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Rifle Caliber for Africa #6894790
09/21/17 09:29 PM
09/21/17 09:29 PM
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Rockport
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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???

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894802
09/21/17 09:41 PM
09/21/17 09:41 PM
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Frisco, Texas
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Buzzsaw Offline
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.280AI, most plains game

.338 Winmag, Eland

.375 H&H, all the above


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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894832
09/21/17 10:16 PM
09/21/17 10:16 PM
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Weatherford, Texas
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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.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894843
09/21/17 10:28 PM
09/21/17 10:28 PM
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Tx
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I'm going November 1st. I'm taking my 300 win mag

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894847
09/21/17 10:35 PM
09/21/17 10:35 PM
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San Angelo
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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

Last edited by bphillips; 09/21/17 10:37 PM.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894849
09/21/17 10:36 PM
09/21/17 10:36 PM
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Lewisville, TX
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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.



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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894852
09/21/17 10:39 PM
09/21/17 10:39 PM
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Austin & Young Co, TX
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A buddy of mine was using some heavier grain 30-06 with a 24in barrel and he had no issues.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6894855
09/21/17 10:46 PM
09/21/17 10:46 PM
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West Texas
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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.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895021
09/22/17 01:38 AM
09/22/17 01:38 AM
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Texas
kmon1 Offline
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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

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895082
09/22/17 02:44 AM
09/22/17 02:44 AM
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Dallas, TX
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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.


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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895088
09/22/17 02:52 AM
09/22/17 02:52 AM
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College Station, Texas
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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

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895091
09/22/17 02:53 AM
09/22/17 02:53 AM
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Smith County
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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

Last edited by Erny; 09/22/17 02:58 AM.
Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895169
09/22/17 05:44 AM
09/22/17 05:44 AM
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Blanco texas
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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...

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895227
09/22/17 12:33 PM
09/22/17 12:33 PM
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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?

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895287
09/22/17 01:22 PM
09/22/17 01:22 PM
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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.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895402
09/22/17 03:05 PM
09/22/17 03:05 PM
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Smith County
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Originally Posted By: Chunky Dunk
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?


You will be pleased your your partions bullets. If you were thinking of buying a larger rifle caliber I would go with the 375 H&H mag or larger. This way you will have a rifle that is legal to hunt dangerous game. The 375 is also flat shooting enough that you can use it plains game. The 375 is considered the best all around caliber in most of Africa.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895410
09/22/17 03:11 PM
09/22/17 03:11 PM
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Lubbock, TX
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Take the 280 with good bullets and don't look back. If you feel the need for a second rifle, make it a significant step up and go .338.




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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Erny] #6895426
09/22/17 03:31 PM
09/22/17 03:31 PM
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Central Texas
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Originally Posted By: Erny


You will be pleased your your partions bullets. If you were thinking of buying a larger rifle caliber I would go with the 375 H&H mag or larger. This way you will have a rifle that is legal to hunt dangerous game. The 375 is also flat shooting enough that you can use it plains game. The 375 is considered the best all around caliber in most of Africa.
I've never been to Africa, but I'm a huge fan of the 375 H&H. I actually killed a Texas whitetail with one and it did surprisingly little damage. I also think the recoil is quite manageable for a big magnum.


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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895435
09/22/17 03:38 PM
09/22/17 03:38 PM
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The Dogwood Capital of Texas
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Long story short....a friend bought an African Plains Game Hunt couple years ago at SCI and paid for it on the spot as a gift for his wife...but had to postpone it the 1st year, and then again the 2nd year, then the PH sent him a message that they needed to use the Hunt the 3rd year or the deal was off.

So he invited his next door neighbors to take his 2nd spot and had already signed his wife up for the Permits and registered her rifle, a Browning Lever 7-08 for the Gun Permit...and she took a bad fall the week before departure, broke,twisted whatever something big time bad in her shooting shoulder and she was NOT gonna get a Dr's Release to even make the trip with too much airplane ride time much less do the Hunt...so they scrambled and switched the Hunt License to him, but the Gun that had the Permit already issued was the only gun he had to use, Period Paragraph Page and he was confident enough in that 7-08 Lever gun that he didn't even try to bring a back up shooter. The ammo had already been bought for the trip and I have no idea what it was, but knowing him I'm sure it was 1st class and critter appropriate...and proved to be the correct choice with the on game performace.

He took the 5-6 heads he'd paid for in the package, plus a few extra targets of opportunity without a shimmer of a problem, with one shot kills from under 50 yards to over 300 yards and a good time was had by all who made the 10 day Hunt. Easy Peasy & no sweat. FWIW 7-08 is the ballistic twin to a 7x57 Mauser that's been getting it done in Africa for well over a 100 years...Just Sayin'
Ron


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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895498
09/22/17 04:49 PM
09/22/17 04:49 PM
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Montana
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Originally Posted By: Chunky Dunk
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?



Like others have said, you'll be fine with the partitions. You'll be fine with the .280AI as well. If you want to capitalize on the opportunity to buy another rifle, this is as good an excuse as any!! laugh


Been there a number of times and shot a bunch with the 7x57...so your .280 will work!

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6895548
09/22/17 05:40 PM
09/22/17 05:40 PM
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Hen House Tx
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Id stick with the 280AI. Why not load up or have someone like Chad load you up some heavy's/ 175gr to 195gr? You have plenty of time to find a good heavy load that your gun likes?


Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6900241
09/27/17 02:49 AM
09/27/17 02:49 AM
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Bedford, TX
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You could kill most plains game with even a 30-30 if your shot placement is on. Your 280 will be fine. Shoot a good proven bullet like a partition.

The most critical part is the shooter’s skills and confidence in applying their equipment.


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Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6900333
09/27/17 05:34 AM
09/27/17 05:34 AM
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Arizona
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I took two rifles, a 6.5x284 and a 9.3x62. The only thing I used the 6.5 for was a warthog although it would have worked for most game taken.
Your 280 with good bullets heavy for caliber, I like Nosler Partition and Barnes TSX, will work fine.
I biggest recommendation is practice from real hunting positions, not from bench or prone. We did most of our shooting standing with sticks.

Re: Rifle Caliber for Africa [Re: Chunky Dunk] #6901604
09/28/17 02:03 AM
09/28/17 02:03 AM
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I have been over there many time the past few yrs. seen over 200 plains game shot. With many different calibers. The truth is a quality bullet out if a 243 will kill most with good shot placement. But I have learned bigger is better when it comes to Africa. Animals are tough many times the bush is thick and you don't always have that perfect shot. Magnums are made for Africa. My personal favorite is a 338 win throwing 225 bullets. Now with women a children that's not a option my wife shoots 165 partitions out of a 30-06. My mom shot 13 head from duiker to sable even a zebra with 240 wby with 95gr partions but it wasn't ideal. We built her a 35 Whelen for next trip. The moral of the story Africa is a once in a lifetime trip for most shoot the biggest gun you can accurate and bring everything you pay for home. That's just my 2cents.


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