Tons of choices, which caliber do I choose?
So many times, our clients ask us what caliber to bring with on safari. This is a challenging but essential question to answer, as there are so many variables in choosing the right caliber. Any .30 caliber will be sufficient to bring on a plains game safari.
When Choosing a caliber consider the following:
Shooting distances may vary between 50 and 150 yards as such some calibers are certainly more appropriate than others for use on plains game in this area. Instead of thinking in terms of “the right caliber”. Think in terms of the correct ballistics for the game that is on your bucket list. As well as the area you are going to hunt them in. Plains game with dense bones like Eland, Kudu, and Blue Wildebeest will require a heavier, better-constructed bullet than smaller animals.
A bullet is worthless if it can not withstand its high velocity and break upon impact, failing to reach the vitals. At these short shooting distances, most fast shooting cartridges do not have time to slow down before impact. At high velocities, lightweight and poorly constructed bullets tend to expand too rapidly and disintegrate in the animal. So, there is more to it than choosing a caliber.
Perfect conditions seldom occur in the bush. If we could have it our way our quarry will stand broadside with a wide-open field of view. But, inevitably, they will face you straight on or you will have to squeeze the bullet through the tightest opening in the brush. Also, it will be just before sunset, and then you have to smash through heave shoulder bone or the abdomen to reach the vitals. So, in reality, better to prepare for situations like these. No hunter wants to spend a day or two tracking a wounded animal, especially not because of bullet failure.
What caliber is best for Africa?
With the above in mind, I will recommend the .308 as the minimum caliber with a minimum of 180gr controlled-expansion bullets. If your weapon of choice is one of the .300 magnums, I recommend the use of 220gr and only controlled expansion (premium) bullets because of the short shooting distances. Here are some top of the line bullets to bring to Africa. Nosler Partition, Barnes TTSX, Hornady GMX, Federals Trophy Bonded Tip, and Swift A-Frame and Scirocco