Big calibre choice?

New Avon Arms


Well-Known Member
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?


Well-Known Member
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


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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. :confused: 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.

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
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.


Well-Known Member
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...


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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.


Well-Known Member

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.



Site Staff
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.


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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.



Well-Known Member
been using a 30-06 for 14 yrs now, and I love it, can get ammo virtually anywhere on the planet, it works on anything it`s pointed at, thats if I do my bit,
In Africa, I fair bit of stuff. and it always worked fine,
A Baboon at 660 yds (range finder verified) was the longest shot, and actually, I`m not 100% proud of it, but, where we where working, Baboons where to be shot on site with no exceptions, and it`s stopped pigs at "single figure" yards,

Shot a few deer with it in the U.K and more than my fair share of U.K boar, and Its been cristened over here on the deer funny enough it works as well here too :D

When people start talking about the bigger calibres and start worrying about recoil, the thing I recommend after calibre choice is get a good quality rifle ! one that is built for the job, I use a 458, and it`s sweet to shoot, OK, I not exactly a small bloke, but friends of mine have shot it, and 99% of them say they are surprised at the recoil or lack of it.
One friend of mine shot a boar with the 458 in the uk and he was just gobsmacked at, as he put it, " the pig was dead before it fell over"
I shot a brno 458 last year, the owner wanted to compare to my Heym, and the Brno,although a ok rifle was an absolute pig to shoot, it just didn`t feel "nice" and I dont think it would have instilled me with as much confidence and my rifles do.
And the 458 has drawn blood over here too now, it`s shot 1 rabbit and a Possum :lol: A mate borrowed it, when I asked if it was man enough for the job, he said he wasn`t 100% sure as he didn`t find enough of the Possum to comment.
Safari Rifles is a grt book, written by a man who actually hunted with the rifles he wrote about.
I going to write a book too roughly on the same lines, so anyone want to sponser me and send me a few new rifles to try, it will take extensive testing so don`t be in a rush to get them back,and NO plastic pigs, I think I will start with Heyms, so if anyone can get me one of the new Heyms in 505, that will do for start, then we will move on to the doubles etc :lol: :lol: and the book will appear when it appears, may take a while cos i`ll be having fun ,
oh and p.s I will need places to test these rifles so, anyone with contcts in Africa, a few freebies pls :D :lol: :lol:


Well-Known Member
I have a .243, a .30-06 and a double .470 NE, the latter inherited from a relative who used it to good effect for several decades in Africa. If I had to have a two-gun set-up, I would can the the .243 and the big double, and get a .375 H&H to use alongside the .30-06.

Craig Boddington has written an article on the current Guns 'N' Ammo webpage about choice of rifles for Africa:


Well-Known Member
Right i've made up my mind.
Sold the .243 Tikka ( wont buy another) !
Got a .22-250 Remington thumbhole with nightforce scope for foxes,
already got my 6.5x55, got .30-06 on my license and and hopefully getting them to put .375H+H on it to.

Just got to decide whether to go for a nice Blaser R93 or a Sauer 202.


Well-Known Member
Hi Guys

For a trip to Africa I would not advise a Blaser or Sauer. The actions are too refined for the dust that flies around. If you can find a good Mauser action that would be great.


I do have a Sauer 202 which is excellent but I would not take it to Africa for the reason stated above before anyone thinks I dont like German rifles.



Well-Known Member
I used to use a Remmy 700 Bdl in .308 with a 180 bullet and it stops pigs in their tracks and is ideal for Reds.
I used to change 'scopes, a S&B 3-12x50 for Deer and a S&B Flash Dot 1.2-4x14 for big and Driven game but as I managed to get a few more trips in each year I got another .308, a Remington LVSF and put the Flash dot permantly mounted and that is now my dedicted Big Game/Boar gun.
So I would definately suggest a .308 as a muti-purpose calibre for use both abroad and here, no problems with ammo or using ranges.

Little Terry

Well-Known Member
SF said:
Right i've made up my mind.
Sold the .243 Tikka ( wont buy another) ......Just got to decide whether to go for a nice Blaser R93 or a Sauer 202.

I can see another debate looming!!!

"On big game hunts, when speed, safety and reliability are all-important, the R 93 is in its element. In moments of extreme tension when there is pressure to perform, competent handling, readiness to shoot and confidence in the firearm's reliability and accuracy will determine the outcome of the hunt. The R 93 is a solid foundation on which to build unforgettable experiences."

Ill get my coat! :evil:


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Hi 300wsm

What is the availability of 300wsm bullets in Africa, working on the assumption you have run out or they got stolen/confiscated?? I know I would have to special order them in Germany or even my local gun shop.

BRACES of Bristol - Dark Fox Package, Mauser M12, LIEMKE Thermal Scope, Wildcat Mod