DB’s Thoughts on Hunting: Calibers for Africa

by david on May 31, 2012

Anyone that has thought about hunting in Africa has probably wondered what caliber to take.  Truth is, if you hunt big game in North America, you probably have a safari rifle in your gun cabinet.  In most countries, a .270 Winchester is the minimum caliber for plains game.  While the 270, with a heavy for caliber bullet weight, will do the job, most African Professional Hunters (PHs) like to see clients show up with a well-used deer rifle such as a 30-06.  That’s right, a good old 30-06.  You do not need to go out and buy a new rifle (unless you can get away with it) for Africa; your trusty old deer rifle will do just fine.  The reason PHs like to see hunters in camp with “old Betsy” is most hunters shoot their deer rifles extremely well.  Any hunter that puts in several days each year into hunting big game, and even more days practicing for deer season, will shoot their rifle with confidence, hitting the target more often than not.  Hitting the target consistently will make your PH’s day.  To make your deer rifle a safari rifle, all you have to do is change your bullet weight and type.  Instead of shooting a 160 grain, move up to a 180 or 200 grain bullet and choose a premium bullet.  If you shoot something larger than the 30-06 and are confident in your abilities with it, then, by all means, take it.  The 7 mm and .300 magnums, along with the .338,  are all great and I heartily recommend them if Eland is on your list.  The only caveat is you must shoot them well.  A bullet with all the power in the world will not do the job if you put it in the wrong place.

See you in the veld,

David B

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