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Oryx in New Mexico


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steve and lupus are right on- i have a sims recoil pad for my 300WSM. i do like it and i believe it made quite a difference. i got the slip on model. this was a few years ago. they seem to make advances every year with those recoil pads. i think it might be worth looking into. couple of the guys i elk hunt with chose to hunt with a muzzle break (aka "guide busters") with their 300WSM. man those things are loud, not a big fan.
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I looked at some recoil tables and the cartriges being advised recoil more than the 300 Ultra Mag.  The Ultra Mag recoil is about double the 270.

I am going to try a muzzle brake.  I hate them due to the noise but I will just try to wear hearing protection in the field at the time of the shot as well as at the bench.  When I got the Ultra Mag I could shoot moa groups with it but I guess I'm just getting too recoil sensitive these days.

I spoke to the Dept of Game and Fish today and they said the hunt could be anytime after April first.  You get two or three days notice and it is a two day hunt.  Since these are population reduction hunts the success rate is extremely high.  Since my number is 167 I should have a fair amount of time to get the gun issues sorted out one way or another.

Dave

Dave, forget about recoil tables.  they do not factor in rifle weight, and most 375s weigh at least a pound more than the other calibered rifles you are considering.   That's partly because the bigger bore just takes more metal, and partly because the rifles are engineered to weigh a little more to attenuate the recoil.

And muzzle brakes work on 375, too.

Keep in mind, however, that most flinching is developed on the bench.  Few people notice recoil when squeezing off on an animal (thanks to adrenalin....).    I never sat down on the bench with my big bores without at least two PAST recoil pads or a good sized pillow.   Take no chances getting bit at the bench and you will be fine in the field.

and the main problem with looking at the ultra mag is you are working back toward velocity and away from bullet weight as the source of energy.    When you use velocity & lighter bullets to obtain energy, you typically transfer the energy too quickly to get good penetration....the light bullets simply cannot hold together as well at the higher velocity and rapidly deform (mushroom) or even break up on impact (most undesirable.)    On big tough stuff, you want your energy to come from heavier bullets at a given velocity, not more powder behind a smaller bullet to get more velocity.   BAD things happen when you take that latter route, hence why the 375 & larger are such good choices.    The heavier bullets at moderate velocities do not deform as well, retain post strike energy better, ergo they penetrate better.

Animals that bleed from two holes are easier to find.......

Chuck

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Sims is the manufacturer of the new recoil pad design for Remington's bigger guns.  Same thing as the limbsaver.  

I have been watching this thread with some interest.  Seems like you ought to check into what the intent of this hunt is Bwana.  In a true population reduction hunt it may not be set up to be very sporting at all.  

The discussion about the AR folks wanting these animals to be live-trapped or contraceptives used was on target IMO, however--given the damage these animals have caused, the fact that they are not native and are harming native animals--one could make the case that they ought to be eliminated entirely.  If hunters don't support that--how are we better than the AR folks?  

Just saying....

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Bill Calton

Guys, this place is almost as big as Delaware.  They do not have the animals rounded up in a pen.  They are free roaming and not very respectful of fences.  A year ago January my nephew was beginning to wonder on his second day if he was going to get a shot closer than 700 yards.  Experienced assistant and GOOD rangefinder.  Finally took one at 317 measured yards.  (He was shooting a 7 Rem mag, not big enough, but he shoots lots of coyotes and is pretty capable.  We talked about a 300 Win but he decided to go with a familiar rifle.) In most places there is not much cover for a sneak.  

Since there are no lions the population must be harvested each year.  They carefully count the number that are taken in the planned hunts and any additional over population allows for the special hunts.  In drought years additional thinning is needed.  It is also possible to draw, in a lottery, a permit for an off range hunt.  Lots of them are moving away from the range into adjacent country.

In today's world the stocking in New Mexico would not be possible.  The animals were introduced by Frank Hibben, a UNM professor, and Tom Bolack, an oil millionaire and eventual governor, who were African hunting buddies.  They also brought Ibex to NM.

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Interesting stuff.  

The A. R. stuff reminds me of a story I read about Pat Schroder.  Apparently there was a real problem between the Basque sheep herders in CO and the A. R. crowd over shooting coyotes, etc.  Schroder sent an aid who in a truly Hiliaryesq manner called a town meeting between the two factions.  The lady Schroder sent knew nothing of rural life.  After both sides had been going at it for a while the aid called out that she had the solution, trap all the coyotes, etc and castrate them.  After a brief pause, one of the Basque herders stated, "Lady you don't understand, the coyotes don't want to screw the sheep they want to eat them."

On to serious stuff.  Currently I have a Pacmeyer Decelerator pad on the gun, is the Sims that much better?

I hate muzzle brakes with a passion, that is why that decision is so difficult for me.  In my mind the use of a muzzle break is equal to not being house broken.  They are outright offensive and very dangerous to the hearing.

I agree with all the comments about shooting from the bench.  Unfortunately, if I am going to really reach out and touch something I have to have confidence in my rifle and my ability to shoot it.  Once sighted in I like to practice from shooting sticks and offhand.

Does a 375 H&H really have less felt recoil?  I am not really excited about getting a new rifle since I have been drifting away from big game hunting for sometime.  If in fact going to a 375 would solve the problem then perhaps I should re-barrell the ultramag.  If you look in a reloading manual they are almost identical in all measurements except caliber.  I could go with a heavier barrel to increase gun weight a bit too.  This would be appealing to me because I have had a fair amount of work done to the gun and that value would be lost in a sale and I would just have to pay to have it done on the new gun.  Besides I have a sentimental connection to the gun.

I have done the .22 thing.  When I first started having problems with the ultramag I purchased a CZ 452 and worked on overcoming the flinch I was developing.  It helped a lot.  I also shoot a Ruger No 1 in 22-250 which is a joy.  When I purchased the Sako 75 270 I purposely did not get the Finnlite because I wanted the heavier barrell.  I shoot that gun well, 3/4" groups at 100.  I also shoot a Marlin 45/70 with a Treebone Carving stock with a metal cresent butt plate.  Off the bench it is a monster but I shoot it well off hand.  In fact a couple weeks ago I got the itch to shoot a lever gun and must have shot close to 100 rounds through it off hand with no ill effects.

In regards to the hunting at Whitesands I believe it is likely to be long shots.  It may even be like pronghorn hunting.  Whitesands is south east about forty or fifty miles from where we just purchased some land.  It is also just a few miles south of one of my quail hunting areas.  If there are mesas then it will mean alot of glassing then stalking.  Alot of that area has just enough vegetation to block your view beyond a hundred yards but not enough to cover a hunter.  I will keep trying to find someone who has firsthand experience with these hunts.

Dave

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VizslavsBird

BwanaDave

If I understand correctly the changes that have been made on the depredation hunts, you will be excorted by a WSMR Officer, like 3Crosses stated.  I believe this change has been implemented because of past infractions by hunters and the Holoman Base Commander taking tighter control for safety on the range due to the volume of unexploded ordinance.

A buddy of mine put one of the Sims pads on his 300WinMag, the difference it made was huge.  That gun feels more like a .308 or 30-06 now.

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insanelupus

Dave,

I much prefer the Sims pads, and I do think they help considerably.  Not sure if you could find someone close by that has one on a similar rifle, but you may try and shoot a round or two.  I love mine.

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Dave, if you get a 375 that weighs 8lbs+ (before scope) you shouldn't have a tremendous amount more recoil than the 300mag class which are chambered mostly at 7-7.25lbs.    I used to have a Dakota Classic in 338WinMag and I couldn't tell the difference between it and my Sako Safari Grade 375.    The reason was that the Sako outweighed the Dakota by about 3/4 pound.  

Last thing you want is a 375 in a 7-7.25lb rifle...

What we in this country value in rifles and cartridges is really tailored toward whitetail deer hunting.  When you start trying to apply what works for that game to larger, tougher African plains game, you start seeing the limitations of 7lb rifles throwing smaller bullets at max velocities.  Light & fast drives up the odds of post bullet strike inadequacy, and the larger the animal the more apparent the inadequacies of the small/fast philosophy proves to be.    And the short magnum craze really leaves me cold.    The 458 WinMag is, really, just a 50cal short mag.   It proved to be inadequate as a stopper in Africa and I think within a decade we will see the short-mags proven to have short-comings on larger plains game.....

Chuck

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Dakota Dogman

Then, Just to play the devil's advocate... however what was it that what's his name used on them big things again?  Oh yeh, Elephants.  Oh right Kilimenjaro Bell.  That's what it was, a... 7x57????

I know African animals are suppose to be tougher than all get out.  However, with decent bullets, that are a little heavy for caliber (150 for you 270; 165 for the 7x57, etc.) most things die from decent shot placement.  I'm not sure that you need a bigger rifle personally.  

God Bless,

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I spoke to a respected smith today and he confirmed that the recoil of a 375 feels different but he didn't think that would solve my problem.  He claims that their muzzle brake will make the 300 rum feel like a 25-06.  I could live with that.  I tend to trust his advise because he would have made a lot more money off me either re-barrelling my 300 or setting up a new gun.  I am planning to drop the gun off on Thursday and he claims a 4 day turn around on muzzle brakes so I will give it a try.  I will also try to find someone with a 375 so I can try one out.  

Thanks for all the help with this.

Dave

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David J. Drew

I have to agree with Whiterock, the .375 H&H is a wonderfully efficient, extremely versatile, and eminently manageable round from the right rifle.  I have a very light Model 70 featherweight .30-06 that I sighted in for the 180 grain bullet.  It is brutal to squeeze off a round from that rifle at the bench.  I used to have a fairly light weight .338 Win Mag that kicked like a zebra.  The .375 H&H is pleasant to shoot.

Bell didn't shoot a 7x57, he shot a .275 Rigby (which is exactly the same as a 7x57).  The Brits couldn't bring themselves to call it a 7x57.

I think that muzzle brakes are rifle placebos, they don't really do anything (except spread deafness). Just my opinion.

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Then, Just to play the devil's advocate... however what was it that what's his name used on them big things again?  Oh yeh, Elephants.  Oh right Kilimenjaro Bell.  That's what it was, a... 7x57????

I know African animals are suppose to be tougher than all get out.  However, with decent bullets, that are a little heavy for caliber (150 for you 270; 165 for the 7x57, etc.) most things die from decent shot placement.  I'm not sure that you need a bigger rifle personally.  

God Bless,

Karamojo Bell also killed 7 elephant in a day with his 6.5mm Mannlicher.   So why not try it with a 243?    :D

Seriously, though, Bell's experience is not really applicable.  He was a crack shot, thoroughly knowledgable on elephant anatomy, a big-time small bore enthusiast and, most importantly, used only solid bullets.    Most resident hunters in Africa still tend to think of soft-nosed bullets as risky, role specific kinds of toys.   I shot a buffalo at about 100 yds with my 375 one day and when it ran off with the herd, my Rhodie-Zim companions asked in passing, "you did use a solid, didn't you...."   Shoulda seen the look on their face when I advised them that I used a hand-loaded Nosler Partition.   300yds later we found the buff piled up in the middle of a river bed with what utlimately proved to be a .375 hole bored thru the heart.   (think about that for a minute....it ran 300 yds with a .375 hole in the heart)    I didn't get a malperformance on a Nosler Partition until a year later, on an eland.  Shot it at 50 yds, dead on center shoulder shot well executed, 0830 in the morning.....we finally got it in the truck 20+ kilometers away the next morning at 1100.   The partition separated and went in two different directions.   Eland weigh more  than buffalo.

So you are certainly right that shot placement is everything.   You just have more and better angles available with the 375 than with any of the higher velocity magnums shooting lighter bullets.   I can tell you from experience, a 300 H&H fired from 50 yds at a slightly upward angle clipping stomach, traversing liver, bruising about 10% of right lung and stopping between ribs will allow even a Kudu to travel for 4 hours before keeling over dead.  And Kudu are notoriously soft compared to other things they run with.  Instead, we spent a half day of a 10 day camp looking for something that should have been piled up in 50 yds on what was a well calculated and well executed shot, only I didn't have enough gun to hold up its end of the bargain.   A half day is a big percentage of available time on a 10 day safari when there are more game than days in the bag.  That was the day I decided it didn't make sense to leave the 375 in camp in favor of something lighter.  

Solid bullets like Bell used are a different thing.  They will penetrate feet of bone.   Add in the fact that all you have to do is pierce the brain to cause total neurological cessation, bore diameter & power is not terribly relevant.   Internal organs are more resilient than brain (see buffalo example above.)   And Bell hunted in a time & place when losing wounded game was merely an inconvenience.  Today, one drop of blood and you've just bought your trophy.  

Shot angles get a lot simpler when you know penetration & power is there.  The smaller/faster bullet philosophy of American ballistics only bring problems into the equation when you are talking about large plains game.    The energy tables don't tell you that a 375 Dead Tough solid will traverse a 12" mopane tree and still exit a Kudu, and that none of the 180gr Mags are capable of doing that.

Sorry to get carried away with this.  I've only done birds for the last decade and this thread has been a fun bit of nostalgia..... :blush:

Chuck

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Very good read Chuck, well said.

The .375 is not only a historic and classic hunting cartridge, but it is incredibly versatile! Isn't that part of what hunting is all about, part of the flavor? Hunting with a round that’s been around for a hundred years helps make the connection to the "old masters"?  Think of how many of us on UJ hunt with an LC, Fox, Parker, Ithaca, etc.

I used the .375 I borrowed from my PH (a beautiful custom Mauser with ziess optics, weighed 10 pounds) on my aforementioned Gemsbok, but also on a Hartebeest, Caracal, and Kudu.  I have been looking around for a nice .375 of my own for a leopard hunt I have scheduled for next year in Namibia.  

Bwanadave,

Enjoy your hunt and the planning.  As many have said, shot placement is the most important thing; practice, practice, practice.  I'm looking forward to your report!

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insanelupus

Okay, I'm not trying to quarrel, but I do have a question.  I am not by any means an authority on African game and this has been a very informative thread.  I wanted to wait until Dave kind of got a decision hashed out before I hijacked his thread, and I hope he doesn't mind.  But I do have a question.

I see a lot of talk on the 375 H&H and undoubtedly it is a fine cartridge.  One of the things Dave was worried about was the distance he may have to shoot.  Considering long distances, using a 375 H&H from all that I've read (I know, I know, it may not all be true) but the 375 wouldn't be what most would consider a long distance round.  

But that aside, I'm starting to get the feeling that the Gemsbock's anatomy is significantly different in some way (aside from simple location of the lungs between the shoulders instead of slightly behind) in make up, perhaps muscle, gristle or bone.  The Rocky Mountain Elk has been taken with the .270 for many decades now and bulls can average 700 pounds, cows about 500.  Granted these are averages, but size wise they are on par with the gemsbok I believe.  The elk has always been known to be tenacious, but .270s have performed admirably in the past.  Shiras moose can be similar in size, and the larger species again can reach 1200-1600 pounds, again the .270 has been used with great effect.  Even Brown Bear have been taken with the .270, and while it wouldn't be my first choice, it has done the job.  

So I'm just wondering what I'm missing that makes the gemsbok that much different from other animals that have been taken with the 270.  With elk, moose and brown bear having been taken with the 270 (typically with the heavier 150 grain bullets, though not always) I may be missing something and I'm just curious what makes the gemsbok so much more difficult to put down than these species.  I'm not trying to argue at all, I'm just trying to expand my knowledge.

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Dakota Dogman
Bell didn't shoot a 7x57, he shot a .275 Rigby (which is exactly the same as a 7x57).  The Brits couldn't bring themselves to call it a 7x57.

Sure, but I ain't a Brit.  We left that country one step ahead of the law over 100 years ago & haven't looked back since.   :D   If they want to call it something weird, their pleasure, to me it will always be the 7mm, 7x57 for those who don't know the Mauser...  :)

Insainlupus - Not to long ago there was a record recoverd from Alaska, Brown bears killed over something like 10 seasons.  Findings?  Those shot with a 7 Mag (any variety) were as likely to be one shot stops as the "big bores".  Reason given?  Shot placement.  To many people were blowing the shot with guns they hadn't practiced with enough.  

Once upon a time 6.5's were considered great (European) moose guns & the 30-30 was a high power capible of taking any North American game.  Once upon a time the .357 was a wrist cracking big bore and killed elk, moose, brown & polar bears.  Now days it is "marginal as a man stopper".  I guess either the cartridges are getting weaker or everything else is getting bigger & stronger.   Or else big sells.  

God Bless,

PS - I'm mostly just being ornery.

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