Which Rifle for Plains Game?

Question:


I have both a .300 Win Mag and .375 H&H. What bullet weight and bullet type would you recommend for each for plains game? For a plains-game hunt only, which rifle would you take?

 

Answer:


Which rifle to choose for a plains-game hunt, between a .300 Win Mag and a .375 H&H, depends very much on what species the bag or trophy list will contain and where the hunt will actually take place. I say this because if eland (or giraffe) are on th menu, then your .375 H&H is the obvious choice for these huge antelope.

Africa is also a huge continent, with vastly contrasting terrain and shooting conditions. In bushveld areas, 100 paces can be a long shot, while in others, like the Karoo or the Kalahari for example, shots in excess of 200 can sometimes be the norm. In such conditions, your .300 Win Mag could be a better option.

Another aspect to consider is which of your two rifles you are most comfortable with, because at the end of the day, correct first shot placement is always the best caliber!   

In reality, both of these calibers are perfectly adequate so your decision should be based on which of the two you like shooting the most, which you shoot the best, and which of the two you find the recoil easiest to tolerate.

If you choose your .375 H&H, then my recommendation for an all-round plains game bullet would be the 260-grain Nosler Accubond. At velocities in the region of 2,700 fps and when sighted in appropriately, this combination will handle all African antelope up to and including eland (but not giraffe--they have very thick skin and this makes solids necessary for body shots) at distances all the way out to 300.

I like 200-grainers in the .300 Win Mag, especially for tough species like zebra, and there are many in this caliber from which to choose. The good quality ones from North Fork, Barnes, or Swift all seem to work equally well, so choose whichever your rifle likes most.

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