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Thread: What caliber rifle for long shots on elk sized critters...?

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    Default What caliber rifle for long shots on elk sized critters...?

    I have a chance to take two rifles on an upcoming trip. My big bore for the main quarry, but Im in a state of confusion about my plains game rifle. It may have to serve as a backup for big stuff.....

    30-06?
    300 WM?
    300 Dak?
    338 WM?
    330 Dak?
    375 H&H?
    375 Rug?
    375 Dak?
    404 Dak?
    416 Murphy?


    (Big bore is a Thys 500 N.E. double)
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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I would take the .300 win mag.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    No 6.5x55 option Murphy? Shame.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    300 WM works for most everything.

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    Unless you're going to Africa and there's some kind of minimum caliber restriction, I'd go with the 338 or similar. I've whacked elk out to about 350 with both the 338 and the 300 Winnie, and they sure died faster with the 338. If the rifle is to be backup for heavier shooting, then any of the 375's that give 338 trajectory would get the nod.

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    I have taken the 338 mag in various configurations to Africa several times. It does a great job but would be a little light for buffalo. I could just take it anyway but wanted to take a caliber I haven't taken I guess, that would be the 330 or 375 Dakota. They are both in the M97 and just hold two rounds down, I like three. The 375 would of course be a good backup for buff. I am actually hunting elephant in Zim but will go to Zambia for sable.....if things go well.

    There are still minimum caliber restrictions but they aren't really enforced and if one of the party ( the PH) carries enough gun the laws are considered met.
    I've never taken my own double before. In the past I took two bolt guns. If hunting buffalo and such I would take a 416 with a 375 for the small stuff, which backs up a 416 nicely. Or for plains game a 338, 300 or '06 with a 375 for funzies. I have never gone without a 375 of some description......I wouldn't know what to do without a 375!!??
    With this double thing lobbing 570 grains out each barrel at 2150 fps, I'm told that's enough gun. I've never taken anything with a 500 double. I've carried a friends 470, a 450 and a 500 but never shot anything with the 500. I did shoot at a South African porcupine at about 100 yards...had the 100 yard leaf turned up but shot low. They are much larger than an Alaskan porky and standing broadside on a little mound of dry earth, he look as big as a billboard. The bullet hit low, a clean miss for sure but it launched porky about 15 feet in the air as the bullet vaporized his little mound of dirt. Lots of fun and a good laugh but I missed is spiney butt and a chance to draw blood with the 500 N.E..

    I will hunt in rather open savannah and bush veldt. The shots will likely not exceed 200 or maybe 250 yards, my bread and butter range with just about anything I shoot....except the 500 N.E. obviously, so I don't think a flat shooter is necessary. Some don't think the 375 H&H is flat enough for 250 yard shots but it does just fine with the correct sight in. Using 250 to 270 grains helps a little. I have an old SAKO I've taken several times and it shoots 260 partitions two inches higher than 300 grainers and I zero the 300 for 100 and the 260's are just about dead on at 200. That has always been so easy. But I do need to know the 300 grain 300 yard trajectory. I needed that once.

    Generally the PH's say bring a back up gun capable of doing the job of the first line heavy....Than would be the 416 or such with jumbo on the menu. FOr me if there could only be one rifle for an africa trip it would be a 416. I took the 416 Murphy last time and a Ruger African in 375 Ruger. The Ruger got little service. In Namibia, where elephant and buffalo cross the caprivi strip on their way to the Okavango delta area of the Kalahari in Botswana, there are lion and other big stuff to take and you want to be well armed. I carried the 375 Ruger a few days but mostly the 416 was in my hands. It became everything I needed out to about 250 yards.

    If I could have only one rifle for the way I like to hunt in all of Africa, it would be the 416.....my 416 It weighs about 8 3/4# with the 1.5 to 5 Leupold and will always be enough gun. A 416 is a much better buffalo gun than any 375 and can reach out some for longer shots....The best of both worlds. I have a Dakota 76 in the 404 Dakota (.423 bullets of 400 grains at 2400 fps) and it is identical to my 416 Murphy...either one will do the job, it's been there before. My 416 may make another trip....I think I can hit a sable with it.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    If I could have only one rifle for the way I like to hunt in all of Africa, it would be the 416.....my 416 It weighs about 8 3/4# with the 1.5 to 5 Leupold and will always be enough gun. A 416 is a much better buffalo gun than any 375 and can reach out some for longer shots....The best of both worlds. I have a Dakota 76 in the 404 Dakota (.423 bullets of 400 grains at 2400 fps) and it is identical to my 416 Murphy...either one will do the job, it's been there before. My 416 may make another trip....I think I can hit a sable with it.
    It's not Africa, but I just "surveyed" the half dozen long-time brown bear guides I know, three of whom are regular hunting partners. Five years ago every one carried a 375. Now it's 416's of one case or another, all citing essentially the same reasons you do. One is a "little" fellow at about 5'8" and 160#, and packs a fairly light 416 Rem. And shoots it like a 22, making offhand shots at 100 yards most of us can't manage at 25. These guys (and you!) ought to get a commission on all the 416's sold these days!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    The 375H&H has done it all but you know that.I'm sure the PH has a beater win mod 70 in 458 laying around you could use if your big boy goes tits up so take a 300wm
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Well, I hear tell that a "Lever Action" Guide Gun is the only firearm a man needs.

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    Professor, I was laughing at your thread starter (a derivative of the omni-present favorite "best cartridge for brown bear"), so I had to read it knowing there was more. Your trip sounds like the apex of an extremely full hunting career...this is your first elephant isn't it? Answering your question...I'd go full circle and take that wonderful 375H&H Sako as the traveling companion to your double.

    I'm heading to Africa next June for my first time (Namibia). It's already booked. One of my hunting partners and I have decided that both turning sixty next year is scary old so we have to do something to off-set that nasty mile-stone. I can't even begin to imagine taking an elephant, let alone adding a Sable on the same trip (wow!)...you are living the dream my friend and of course you have certainly earned it.

    Chuck

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I guess if it might have to zap jumbo I'd take a .416....but wow that's so much more than you need for anything else. I think Amigo is onto something. Take the double for tuskers and the .300 for everything else (unless you're looking for lion or buff too!, but $wow$). In off chance your double goes down you could borrow a camp gun.

    I know I'd hate to bet an elephant hunt on a camp gun but chances are its been there before.

    You better be bringing back plenty of pictures.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I think the 300wm with good 200 grain bullets would be a very solid "second" gun, you are too good of a shot to need more. The 375 would be tempting though Hmmm what a great delima to be in!
    Good luck on your trip!
    Randy
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Besides everything you mentioned, my favorite is the 300WM, I do all my plains game hunting with the 300WM when over there.
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    300 Win. Mag. and 168-grain Barnes TTSX bullets.

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    Murphy, what happened to your 358 Nakaxxxxxx (I forgot how you spelled that danged Alaska word) that you developed some time back? Seams like the .358 in a 280 grain Swift A-Frame would be fairly appropriate for that terrible situation you have found yourself in,,,, (I mean you having to actually choose rifles for a dream safari and all).... 358 Norma Mag might be a well thought out option too.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    Murphy, what happened to your 358 Nakaxxxxxx (I forgot how you spelled that danged Alaska word) that you developed some time back? Seams like the .358 in a 280 grain Swift A-Frame would be fairly appropriate for that terrible situation you have found yourself in,,,, (I mean you having to actually choose rifles for a dream safari and all).... 358 Norma Mag might be a well thought out option too.
    Well I never actually owned a rifle in 358 Nukalpiaq.....I just designed the reamer, had dies made to order, formed the brass, developed the loads for it and shipped it all to the guy who named it.

    I've done lots of them that way.

    I actually sold a bunch of my guns to but this double gun and this trip so I am not as well laden with them nowadays. I sold forty one SAKO rifles and a bunch of others..including the 358 Norma mag. No doubt it or the 358 Nuk would be a great choice.

    I don't have a 6.5x55 anymore or several other good calibers but have more than enough to choose from, thus my predicament.

    I just like carrying a good 375 H&H in Africa...or Alaska and since it is a dainty light weight it might just go again. It seems an appropriate caliber to accompany a 500 nitro express.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    OK, I'll bite. What's a 416 Murphy? I remember reading about the 358 Nuk., but what is that, as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    OK, I'll bite. What's a 416 Murphy? I remember reading about the 358 Nuk., but what is that, as well?
    <br>
    <br>
    My 416....Based on the 404 Jeffery case, original dimensions, cut to 2.570" and necked with 30 degree shoulder. 2.0 grains more capacity than a 416 Remington, 30-06 length and beltless. 400 grains at 2400 fps, 5000 ME. Original 416 Rigby ballistics in a 30-06 length cartridge. A buffalo cartridge in an 8# package. Absolutely the finest 416 cartridge ever made.
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    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Took this guy with it.
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    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Great rifleman can make those nice running shots
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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