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Thread: Big calibre choice?

  1. #1

    Big calibre choice?

    In your opinions what would be the best choice of a dedicated big game & boar rifle. Either bolt action, straight pull ot if i could find a realisticly priced double.

    Got an African trip planned next summer for a stag do and hopefully going to shoot a boar in this country and future years in Poland etc.

    Thought about a .300 or .375 though i do know of a Browning s/s 8x57 with scope for sensible money up North a bit.

    Or should I be more sensbile and get another bigger calibre barrel for the incoming R93?

  2. #2

  3. #3
    my choice would be a 30-06 and as you may be only offered the chance of these paticular hunts, then go for a T3 as is they never materalised then you will still hav a excellent rifle in a calibre which can cope with all species across the globe for a small price

  4. #4
    A heavy grain 308 will stop just about everything. Unless you have money to burn you may want to buy a rifle that will take down just about everything from Muntjac to Antelope. Its very nice having a larger calibre but its just taking up room in the gun safe if its not being used often enough to warrant having it IMHO.

  5. #5
    I have been having the same thoughts myself, and have read around and researched at length. Craig Boddington's Safari Rifles is well worth getting hold of and covers all the calibres.

    Fromeverything that I have read:

    1) You want to take a rifle that you shoot well with and shoot regularly.

    For us Brits that probably discounts the .375 H&H, 9.3x62, 9.3x64, which would be the obvious choice for an all round calibre, since the FLO may not let you have ammo on ticket for use in the UK. Although they do seem to be relaxing this and my FLO did say I could possibly justify for use on Red Stags if I had the land to use it on.

    2) For a short range thumper there are any number of 9.3x74R over and under doubles - starting with the Baikal, and Finn Classic, then slightly more classy Berretta's / Brownings. But they are not particularly flat shooting. Would you get permission to use it in the UK though??

    3) 30-06 is incredibly popular in Africa and is used on everything up to the size of buffalo with 220 grain bullets.

    Likewise the 300 Magnums - H&H or Winchester, but interestingly Boddington reckons that whilst they shoot a bit flatter and add 50 yds to your range - say from 200 up to 250 yds, the actual terminal effect on game is not really apparant.

    No probs with getting a 30-06 in the UK, nor getting the ammo to use it.

    But and it is a big But, the 30-06, .308 Win, .303, 7x57, 8x57, .223 and all other Military calibres are illegal in France and in some African countries.

    4) 7x64 which is very popular in Europe, or the 7mm Rem Mag - both can shoot 176 grain bullets - flat shooting with plenty of thump. Smaller bullets - 140 grain probably too fast to get pentration on big stuff at close range - bullet blows up.

    If you already have a .270 again very popular in Africa and provided you use a good tough bullet - Nosler Partition et al, then should again be fine.

    I am seriously thinking about rebarreling my Left handed Heym in .243 to 7x64 so that it is a much more all round rifle. .243 is definately on the light side.

    Another barrel for existing rifle or a double - well I would go for the double as you can never have too many toys. And the double will hold its value, whereas the extra barrel will just loose money.

    But with another Barrel on the R93 you will have the joy of using the same rifle, just that it will kick a bit more.

  6. #6
    I love big rifles but bear in mind that they are becoming increasingly inconvenient to shoot in view of the new muzzle energy regulations on MOD ranges...

  7. #7
    The 9.3x 62 is very popular here in Sweden for moose and boar shooting.
    I shoot boar with a .308 and it kills them Ok. I use 180grn Norma Oryx.
    I have thought of getting a 9.3x62 barrel in the future. At the moment I'm shooting a lot down the running moose range and .308 is quite cheap and not quite so punishing as the9.3x62.

  8. #8
    Hi SF

    Its quite simple.

    Plains game - 30-06 180 gn, avoid the .300 winmag as its too fast
    Big game - 375 H+H

    Rational is that the 375 is legal for everything and the 9.3 isnt. Its also easy to load and get ammunition for.
    For a light cartridge use 220 gn Hornady flatpoints and big stuff 300gn woodleigh.


  9. #9
    Agree with MarkH 30.06 is a great round for Africa on plains game, and a 375H&H for Dangerous game. But if I had a choice of one rifle to hunt the world it would be a 375H&H.

  10. #10


    I would agree with SM here.
    The first time I went to Africa I took an 8x68S using the 187gr copper HP bullet with a muzzle energy of about 4100 foot pounds.
    Too much gun for my skinny frame and each time I dropped an animal the rifle scope bit me on the forehead.
    After 10 days I had the bump and bruise of incompetence but my bag quota filled.
    The next time I went I took a Sako TRGS in .300 Win. cal. with Nosler Partition 180gr bullets, excellent cartridge and performance but for most plains game the .30-06 with Noslers would be a good choice.


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