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Rifle hunting safari

Rifle hunting is certainly the most popular method employed on hunting safaris in southern Africa. The question of which caliber is best and which rifle to bring on safari can be a topic of endless discussion. Experienced hunters and Professional Hunters alike will surely have their favorites and are more than willing to discuss the subject. The right rifle will, in many instances, largely depend on the bag of trophies you are interested in taking. The “old timers” are still “locking horns” over the pros and cons of the .375 H&H versus the 9.3 X 62 and that debate is sure to go on until the last Impala is in the salt. One bottom line here; if it is dangerous game that you are after, the .375 caliber is the minimum prescribed by law in most African countries. For the average hunter coming to Africa for plains game, bring a rifle that you are completely familiar with and comfortable shooting. In other words, your favorite “white tail deer” rifle with the right bullets will (within reason) be adequate for most anything on the plains.

As a guide, while lesser calibers will suffice on the smaller antelope, the .270 Win should be considered the minimum for most medium-sized plains game species. With the proper premium grade bullets and good shot placement, the .270 is fully capable of taking many of the larger plains dwellers. In addition to the .270, the rifle calibers most often brought to Africa by our clients include (in no particular order): the various 7mm’s to include the 7mm Mag, 7mm Ultra Mag, and even the 7 X 57 Mauser; the 30-06 Springfield is extremely popular and has long been a favorite of hunters around the globe; the 300 Win Mag is an excellent all-round choice, especially if your safari will take you to areas where long shots may be necessary. The above-mentioned calibers are merely examples and should in no way be considered as recommendations. BRING A RIFLE THAT YOU SHOOT WELL AND ARE COMFORTABLE WITH !

Your Professional Hunter will guide you on this matter. Trust his judgment and do your best to put your shot where he recommends. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with the shot, do not take it. You can stack the odds in your favor here by doing a bit of homework. It details shot placement on just about every species of African game that you might encounter. And by all means, go to the rifle range and practice. Sight your rifle in at the desired distance, usually between 100 and 150 yards using a solid bench rest. Once your rifle is “on target”, get off the bench and shoot from the shooting sticks, off hand, sitting, kneeling and the various other positions, which might be presented during the hunt. Even the most experienced shooter needs to hone his skills with the rifle. Ammunition is cheap compared to the cost of the safari, so practice, practice, practice!

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