Game Guide African

Calibers for Africa

An African safari is like no other hunting adventure. The variety of game available to the big game hunter is vast, and can vary from day to day, if not hour to hour. It is also expensive, and the hunter will be charged a trophy fee for each animal from which he draws blood. As such, being under-gunned can put a hunter at a significant disadvantage. Consequently, this chart omits all .25, .270 and 284 (7mm) cartridges.

Obsolete cartridges, limited availability proprietary cartridges and those which have not gone into wide use have also been omitted. Replacement ammunition can be hard to come by in Africa, and relying on standard calibers is prudent. Each of these would work on small to medium African game, but could be inadequate on larger species. In addition, many countries have minimum caliber restrictions for dangerous game. Bullet weight and construction favor heavy-for-caliber loads with high cross-sectional densities and ballistic coefficients that work across a variety of game animals. Consideration was given to the distances at which game is typically taken, the anatomy of the trophy and the energy needed to penetrate into the vital organs to make a clean kill. Selections were made using a combination of practical experience, ballistics reference tables and published works by recognized subject matter experts.

If you have questions about what caliber and cartridge to take on your next safari, we encourage you to visit us at Griffin & Howe at Hudson Farm and talk with one of our experts.

Trophy Animal

Caliber

Bullet Weight

Bullet Type

Small Plains Game
Impala, Reedbuck, Bushbuck, Duiker, Klipspringer, Thomson's Gazelle, Springbok

Caliber

.30-06 Springfield
.308 Winchester
.300 H&H
.300 Win Mag
.300 WSM
.35 Whelan

Bullet Weight

180gr - 2000gr
150gr - 180gr
150gr - 180gr
150gr - 180gr
150gr - 180gr
200gr - 250gr

Bullet Type

Partition, BT
Partition, BT
Partition, BT
Partition, BT
Partition, BT
Partition, BT
Medium Plans Game
Kudu, Waterbuck, Oryx (Gemsbok), Black Wildebeast, Blue Wildebeast, Nyala,Sable, Roan, Tsesbee, Hartebeast, Warthog, Hyena

Caliber

.30-06 Springfield
.308 Winchester
.300 H&H
.300 Win Mag
.300 WSM
.338 Win Mag
.35 Whelan
9.3x62
9.3x74R
.375 H&H
.375 Ruger

Bullet Weight

180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
225gr -250gr
200gr - 250gr
286 gr
286gr
300gr
300 gr

Bullet Type

Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Large Plains Game
Giraffe, Eland, Zebra

Caliber

.300 H&H
.300 Win Mag
.300 WSM
.338 Win Mag
.35 Whelan
9.3x62
9.3x74R
.375 H&H
.375 Ruger

Bullet Weight

180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
225gr -250gr
200gr - 250gr
286gr
286gr
300gr
300gr

Bullet Type

Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition
Thick Skinned Dangerous Game
Elephant

Caliber

.375 H&H (min caliber)
.375 Ruger (min caliber)
.416 Remington
.416 Rigby
.458 Winchester
.458 Lott
.450 NE
.470 NE
.500 NE

Bullet Weight

300gr
300gr
400gr
400gr
500gr
500gr - 550gr
480gr
500gr
570gr

Bullet Type

RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
Cape Buffalo

Caliber

.375 H&H (min caliber)
.375 Ruger (min caliber)
.416 Remington
.416 Rigby
.458 Winchester
.458 Lott
.450 NE
.470 NE
.500 NE

Bullet Weight

300gr
300gr
400gr
400gr
500gr
500gr - 550gr
480gr
500gr
570gr

Bullet Type

RN, FN Solid or Expd
RN, FN Solid or Expd
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
Hippopotamus

Caliber

9.3x63
9.3x74
.375 H&H
.375 Ruger
.416 Remington
.416 Rigby
.458 Winchester
.458 Lott

Bullet Weight

286gr
286gr
300gr
300gr
400gr
400gr
500gr
500gr - 550gr

Bullet Type

RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
Rhinoceros

Caliber

.375 H&H (min caliber)
.375 Ruger (min caliber)
.416 Remington
.416 Rigby
.458 Winchester
.458 Lott
.450 NE
.470 NE
.500 NE

Bullet Weight

300gr
300gr
400gr
400gr
500gr
500gr - 550gr
480gr
500gr
570gr

Bullet Type

RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
RN, FN Solid
Thin Skinned Dangerous Game
Lion

Caliber

.338 Win Mag
.35 Whelan
9.3x62
9.3x74R
.375 H&H
.375 Ruger

Bullet Weight

225gr -250gr
200gr - 250gr
286 gr
286 gr
300gr
300gr

Bullet Type

Partition, RN SP
Partition, RN SP
Partition
Partition
Partition, RN SP
Partition, RN SP
Leopard

Caliber

.30-06 Springfield
.308 Winchester
.300 H&H
.300 Win Mag
.300 WSM
.338 Win Mag
.35 Whelan
9.3x62
9.3x74R
.375 H&H
.375 Ruger

Bullet Weight

180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
180gr - 200gr
225gr -250gr
200gr - 250gr
286 gr
286 gr
300gr
300gr

Bullet Type

Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition
Partition, BT
Partition, BT, RN SP
Partition, BT, RN SP
Crocodile

Caliber

.338 Win Mag
.35 Whelan
9.3x62
9.3x74R

Bullet Weight

225gr -250gr
200gr - 250gr
286gr
286gr

Bullet Type

Partition
Partition
Partition
Partition

Bullet Type Abbreviation Key

RN Round Nose

FP Flat Point

BT Ballistic Tip

HP Hollow Point

SP Soft Point

Expd Expanding

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