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Thread: 308 bullet choice for plains game

  1. #1

    Question 308 bullet choice for plains game

    Can I pick a few brains please ?.
    Just thinking about a plains game trip to SA or Namibia. I use a 308 here for my stalking so it would be my first choice of rifle to take due to familiarity and confidence with it.
    My usual fodder here is 150gr SST pushed along by 46 gr RL15. However I was thinking I may need a better (?) or premium bullet ie. A frame, partition or accubond?.
    Your thoughts and comments on bullet choice etc would be most welcome.
    As a matter of interest I have not had woodland reds walk more than a few paces when hit in the engine room by a 150 SST.

    I have an slot available for a 300 mag but maybe think that for most stalking here it would be too much gun and I would not be going to Africa every year. Although a 300 H&H would be a nice addition to the collection.

  2. #2
    What you've got is perfect for plains game right up to eland.
    Good luck on your safari.

  3. #3
    I will vote against the SST for African, though I don't deny they may well be quite adequate for all the UK species.

    I found that the African antelope are tougher than our deer, I took 180 grain hornady interlocks in my 3006 to South Africa this year and although they killed everything I shot with them, up to blue wildebeest, they were retained on even moderately quartering shots.

    The 180 grain bullet at 2500 fps is not a bad idea at all for South African bush hunting and this is well within the capabilities of your 308.

    On the other hand if you are shooting in Namibia and the shots will be longer try the 168 gr boat-tailed barnes TSX at 2700-2800 for the same sort of performance and flatter trajectory. You can substitute your preferred premium for the tsx, but from what I understand A-frames, partitions and woodleighs are the kiddies.

  4. #4
    Used Barnes TSX, 150 grns in my 270, and 140 gn Accubond, and also 160 Accubonds in my 7 x 57, however the Barnes exited everytime up to and includeing wilderbeast and would be my choice again, they like to be driven fast and and are very accurate, P.H.s loved them deerwarden

  5. #5
    what about the Hornaday Interbond much similar to your sst, the interbond is a bonded bullet with a polymer tip like the sst but much stronger, the diference being the sst is more frangible and mushrooms down instantly whereas of course the interbond will mushroom. but its much better suited on tougher animals, like wild boar and possibly your african plains game, i'm sure a warthog would'nt like it!

  6. #6
    Grandhubert,

    I hunt SA twice a year with local friends, usually meat hunting. They tend to use "old family guns" with classic soft point expanding bullets. Exit holes are most unusual. Trophy hunters tend to go for big/fast magnums and the blood from the exit tends to assist in the tracking

    My son shot a bull Blue Wildebeest this April with a classic engine room shot using Norma 6.5 x 55 Nosler Partition 140 gr.

    Heart taken out, bullet bounced off far rib (broke it) and then tried to exit rearwards through the chest, only the mushroom stopping it from exiting. Instant drop. All damage was done on the way in, no real need for an exit. Once through the hide I believe a big mushroom is needed rather than making an exit.

    Stan

  7. #7
    On my 2 trips, I found that the animals were extremely tough. I used a .416 Rem Mag Sako TRG (as Dirty Harry says 'you can't have too much gun!'). I believe a 30-06 or .300 win mag should be used with 180gr bullet. The bottom line is, as always, bullet placement. Tough bullets are a must - Interbonds are good.
    Wherabouts are you off to - I went to Gras Ranch. Have a look at http://www.zingelasafaris.com/info/faq/
    Have fun there, it's a fabulous and beautiful country.
    Last edited by dodgyrog; 29-11-2010 at 22:34. Reason: Added info

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by smullery View Post
    Grandhubert,

    I hunt SA twice a year with local friends, usually meat hunting. They tend to use "old family guns" with classic soft point expanding bullets. Exit holes are most unusual. Trophy hunters tend to go for big/fast magnums and the blood from the exit tends to assist in the tracking

    My son shot a bull Blue Wildebeest this April with a classic engine room shot using Norma 6.5 x 55 Nosler Partition 140 gr.

    Heart taken out, bullet bounced off far rib (broke it) and then tried to exit rearwards through the chest, only the mushroom stopping it from exiting. Instant drop. All damage was done on the way in, no real need for an exit. Once through the hide I believe a big mushroom is needed rather than making an exit.

    Stan
    No doubt bout it mate classic cup and core bullets do as good a job in killing animals today as they ever were. I also take your slightly pointed comment about the need for a blood trail for trophy hunters... It's interesting because I didn't have many animals drop to the shot unless heavy bones in the shoulders were hit. I know what you mean about not needing a exit if sufficient internal damage is done but I think in all circumstances I prefer one anyway. It's most comforting to find blood, especially if leads to a animals piled up a few yards away.

    I used the hornadys because I could get a load for the TSX's I recommended above in time, but the 180 grain softs at a measly 2550 fps killed everything I shot with it. I did exit on broadside shots but not on quartering shots.

    Slow and heavy is a great combo but I found it did not drop animals unless heavy bone was hit.I



    Congratulations to your son on his Blue, by the way! That's some nice shooting and those long 140 grain 6.5 bullets surely did the job.

    Regards,
    Amir

  9. #9
    Thanks for all your input so far.
    One consideration is that my 308 is a standard 1 in 12 twist. This is ideal with 150 gr bullets and if I do my job will shoot sub moa. I have only used 150 gr bullets either SP or SST.
    Is a 1 in 12 twist ok with 180 gr bullets or does one need a faster twist barrel.
    regards, FB

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmboyuk View Post
    Thanks for all your input so far.
    One consideration is that my 308 is a standard 1 in 12 twist. This is ideal with 150 gr bullets and if I do my job will shoot sub moa. I have only used 150 gr bullets either SP or SST.
    Is a 1 in 12 twist ok with 180 gr bullets or does one need a faster twist barrel.
    regards, FB
    Use a boat tailed 180 and find out, it works for my .243 with 100gn against the 75-90 range they are averaged for. The contact area is reduced to replicate a lighter profile bullet so it stabilises just the same as them.
    HOW MANY HALF TRUTHS MAKE A STORY.....ALL OF THEM.....JUST NOT THE WHOLE STORY !

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