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Oryx in New Mexico


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insanelupus

PS - I'm mostly just being ornery.

And I thought I was going to be considered the pot stirrer!!

I do think your point is well taken. This has been discussed to some extent in the firearms forum on occasion.  I think though there may be another factor here that hasn't been mentioned.  The aforementioned 300 H&H shot on the Kudu that went 4 hours before tilting over got me to thinking.  The description of WhiteRock's experience led me to wonder what happened with that 300 H&H.  Admittedly from the shot description either the presentation wasn't as good as one would have hoped for, or it something happened and the shot wasn't quite what would have been desired.

I have noticed though that there have been a few occasions I've witnessed, as well as those that I have been told about, where the folks with magnums have lost animals.  I wonder sometimes if it's not the fact that the yardage was too short and the bullet design was not made for the impact velocity at which the bullet struck the animal, thereby blowing apart.  On larger animals this could easily lead to a difficult animal to recover.  I'm just theorizing here.  

But I'm still wondering what makes the gemsbok/oryx so much more difficult to kill compared to many of our North American species.

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I had a personal experience with exploding bullets at close range with the ultramag.  When the ultramag first came out the only factory ammo I could find had the old corelok Remington bullets.  I got charged by a moose and I shot it at 35 yards.  He changed direction and took off.  Two more shots brought him down.  When we were field dressing him we found the original wound, it looked like a 3/8" diameter nick.  No penetration at all.  I understand that Remington has since redesigned that bullet but I will never buy another.

The ultramag goes to the smith in the morning for the muzzle break.  I am going to pick up a set of dies for it so I can shoot it more, $39.00 per twenty is a bit pricey for practice.  The way I see it is if all else fails I can shoot the 270 well so that is my back up plan.

Dave

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There used to be a company the made a muzzle brake that threaded on and they had a same weight non muzzle brake thingamijig that would go on to protect the treads during hunting. That would be a lot better idea if they are still made.

KDF and Vais are two good ones, in my opinion if you do have a permanent one installed you will end up hating the rifle.

If you put a screw on brake thats removeable for hunting, you may actaully keep the rifle and your hearing

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............I wonder sometimes if it's not the fact that the yardage was too short and the bullet design was not made for the impact velocity at which the bullet struck the animal, thereby blowing apart.  On larger animals this could easily lead to a difficult animal to recover.  I'm just theorizing here.  

But I'm still wondering what makes the gemsbok/oryx so much more difficult to kill compared to many of our North American species.

The latter question is a very good one that has consumed lots of pages.   First part of the reponse is that most who have hunted here and in Africa lean toward the conclusion that, pound for pound, African game is tougher, perhaps because of greater natural predation.  Most game animals in africa expire to predation; most here expire to old age.   That presumably has an effect on the gene pool.    

the issue of bullet performance is really the key.  Higher velocities increase the occurrence of post strike bullet malperformance.   And sometimes that malperformance is hailed as a good thing...."shock."  Shock works, too.   I saw a kudu dropped in it's tracks with a 243.  The hunter knew what he was doing.   He was within 50 yds (i.e. sitting in the bed of a truck), aimed well behind the shoulder, and put the bullet right on a rib, which exploded, taking out the left lung, sending a shock wave up the rib into the spine, incapacitating the animal.   That round used by that hunter was capable of doing the job in those conditions.   But move the shot placement squarely on the shoulder, put the bullet squarely on the lower shoulder blade, and you will have the same rapid bullet bullet deconstruction, only no transfer of shock to central nervous system and no lung damage = some long tracking to do with no guarantee of success.

African hunters see things like that and find "small/fast" anathema to their circumstances.   First, some of their game bites back.  Second, if the bullet kisses skin enough to draw a single drop of blood, you must use your trophy tag whether or not you actually recover the animal.  Finally, there is usually a bag of animals to kill in a specific number of days and you do have to keep pushing to get it all done.  Here a 5 day elk hunt is a five day hunt for one animal.   There a 10 day plains hunt might have as many as 14-18 animals.   Tracking wounded game cuts into time needed to take other things on the bag.   So in Africa there is a premium on penetration, on making two holes and breaking bones on the way thru.   The ligher/faster bullets tend to rapidly transfer energy; that by definition means they are not retaining energy which is the prime requisite for penetration.  The penetration issue is what gives the heavier bullets the edge.   Increased penetration makes viable shot angles that are not advisable with smaller bullets.    And implicit in increased penetration is bullet integrity on a straight line.   Given the conditions of the African hunt, you need the extra angles and the reliable performance of the bullet along the angle.  

American ballistics tend to favor what we hunt.  The tendency is toward lighter bullets, which requires a compensation of greater velocity.   that velocity pushes the envelope toward bullet explosion on contact.   That's great if the explosion occurs in the chest cavity.    Not so great if it happens on a large bone or in a non-vital organ while taking a shallow angle shot from the rear, or if rapid bullet deformation results in deflection or even worse, fragmentation.  

As for me, based on what I saw growing up hunting whitetails and learned overseas, I lean toward the African way of thinking.  I won't use a 243 on a whitetail because I know from experience that the 100gr bullet at 243 velocities can malperform on bone.   And I remember an impala I shot in the Zambezi with a 300H&H 180gr bullet....it hit the spine and left an exit wound the size of my fist.    What would have happened had that same bullet struck the shoulder bone of an eland, or clipped 6" of gut on a rear angle shot?  

Then you factor in the case of the aforementioned Kudu standing up on a creek bank, looking away from the creek, unaware I was slightly beneath & behind him in the creek bottom.  He takes two steps, he's out of sight.  More likely, he'll stand there for an hour or three, since it's heat of the day and he's in the shade.   Stalking around for a better angle can be done on Buffalo, wildebeeste & some others, but not on Kudu,  They're too wary.   So you lay there on your belly and calculate what time it is, where you are relative to the truck, what day of the hunt it is, how many more chances you will have given the time & the bag, the quality of the trophy, then you look at the shot angle, the distance and factor the odds of successful execution & consequences of a 80% execution, knowing that a 50% execution will blow the afternoon on a track when you really need to be down on the river looking for impala and warthog.....and you have to make a decision..in a few seconds.    The 375 in that situtation makes the decision a whole lot easier than the 300.  

The american hunter tends to think in terms of scaling the gun to the game.  I came to appreciate the phrase "use enough gun."    That's why I carried the 375.     Caliber can never be substitute for marksmanship, but it really does make the hunter's job easier.

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insanelupus

Whiterock,

So if I understand what you are saying regarding African game vs. American game, the issue isn't so much the flesh and blood of the animal being that much more difficult to penetrate, but rather the tenacity of the animal to cling to life.  That I can understand, to a degree, and I think even here in the States that can sometimes be seen as well, each individual animal behaves differently when shot and pursued.  But the actual structure of the animal, from what I've been able to find is essentially similar.  So in THEORY only, from a purely physical point of view, provided one can get a good shot on the lungs, an orxy/gemsbok should fold up nicely, and hopefully with a caliber large enough for penetration and exit, you will have a nice blood trail, if needed.  

As to calibers, I'm not sure that the theory "use enough gun", though coined on the dark continent, can be attributed solely to the ph's across the big pond.  There are plenty of Elmer Keith students in the US, who firmly believe in larger bullets (for caliber) and medium velocities.  I think this is the reason you find the 375 works so well for you.  It's a bullet with plenty of weight, and the velocity prevents an issue, for the most part, with bullet disentigration.  

This is the same explanation of why I like to hunt with .45-70's loaded with 405 grain bullets, .44 Magnums with 300 grainers, .35 Whelen with 250 grain bullets, etc.  Even when using "traditional" bullet weights .30-06 180's and .308 150-165's, I tend to load them a bit slower.  

In this instance, the "Magnum" moniker is used differently than many of the ammo companies use it today.  Today a "magnum" is a "faster" bullet, essentially, typically with standard or smaller bullet weights.  Essentially, it is leaning towards velocity freaks.  A .375 H&H bullet sailing along at 2500-2600 fps, isn't necessarily blazing speed, but it works and works well.  But there would be several other caliber considerations using this same basic theory that would suffice as well I think.

Thanks for information, it's been very educational.  Now, I need to start saving money for my African trip.  I want a lion and a kudu in the worst way!!

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In looking at the shot placement chart that insanelupus posted earlier, there looks to be ample area to double lung a gemsbok without shooting leg bone.  Why wouldn't a 270 work?  I know that Jack O'Connor killed many African animals, including gemsbok, with a 270 using proper shot placement.  I don't understand the need to make shoulder shots.   Double-lung shots are what hunters should strive to accomplish.  It is the most effective killing shot with a large target area.

Having said that, should I go to Africa someday, I will carry a 375 as part of my arsenal for many different reasons.

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In looking at the shot placement chart that insanelupus posted earlier, there looks to be ample area to double lung a gemsbok without shooting leg bone.  Why wouldn't a 270 work?  I know that Jack O'Connor killed many African animals, including gemsbok, with a 270 using proper shot placement.  I don't understand the need to make shoulder shots.   Double-lung shots are what hunters should strive to accomplish.  It is the most effective killing shot with a large target area.

Having said that, should I go to Africa someday, I will carry a 375 as part of my arsenal for many different reasons.

you are exactly right.  A 270 is enough if you get a double lung shot.  

But then a 243 might be enough too.  And you aren't likely to get an exit on a Gemsbok using a 270 unless you use a solid.  And you will have to wait for the animal to turn broadside to present both lungs.  And you will have to hope he stays broadside between the time your synapses fire until the bullet strikes him.  Most importantly, the AF theory is that there's no reason to pass up the opportunity to smash major bones enroute to the vitals.

The textbook shot on the Buff is to put the horizontal reticle on the sternum, the verticle reticle on the foreleg, then move the crosshair up 8".     That looks rediculously low, but it is the heartshot, and if taken exactly broadside such a placement with a 300gr 375 soft point will also break the near foreleg but not likely leave the chest cavity.   Takes a solid to get an exit wound on a buff.   However, the way the weight on a buffalo is distributed, the foreleg is very near the center of gravity and a buffalo simply can hardly move with a broken foreleg.....in other words, he cannot mount an effective charge.   If both are broken, he cannot stand.   If neither are broken, he will run hundreds of yards or charge the hunter no matter what vitals are hit.

Of course, most plains game won't charge.  (some will....)  But at essence you and insanelupus are perfectly American in your thinking... a very precise, shootist way of looking at the problem.   As long as everything is well calculated, well-executed and Murphy never shows up, things usually go well.    And for the hunt in question, one animal over a few days, there shouldn't be too many competing considerations.    A 300mag is enough.  

But smashing some bones with the 375 would be more better...... :love:

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This is a great thread. And, I think, only here on UJ would you find such a civilized and informative discussion on the merits of the .375 vs. .270 vs. 300.  I love this place.

I've hunted Africa twice and my wife and I are booked to return in 08.  My only advice to those of you thinking about going is to stop thinking and do it!  It is not nearly as expensive as you may think.  In most cases it is cheaper than an elk hunt in the Western US.  I was doing some figuring this morning on our ‘08 trip and figured that it will cost about $10k for my wife and I to travel to Namibia, hunt for 14 days, take 5 plains game trophy animals and a leopard.  That cost includes everything from pick up at the airport, daily laundry, all food & drinks, etc.  It will cost less if we do not take a leopard ($2,500) and even less if I use FF mile to get a free airline ticket.  Taxidermy is another story, hence my love of European mounts, which tend to be about 10% the cost of shoulder mounts. Shipping is less too.

Insanelupus mentioned a Lion.  The cheapest hunt I’ve seen recently for a male lion (not in South Africa) is about $35,000. By comparison, a non trophy Elephant hunt can be had for $6000+- .  The trophy fee for a nice Kudu in Namibia (mine was 55”) is $750 and a Gemsbok is $500.

Lions are for the rich, but Africa is for everyone, even poor civil servants with a kid in college like me.  The trade offs are older cars, no plasma or high def TV and no “high end” guns, etc, and that’s OK with me.

Bwanadave,

Sorry for the hijack.  I hope the rifle comes out good and it solves your problem.  Gemsbok tastes great!

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Whiterock,

The next trip was my wife's idea.  She is the one hunting plains game!  

African Eye candy:

Namibia

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South Africa

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Future trophies, Someday.....

(my wife took these in Etosha)

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use your 375 with 300gr solids for that leopard.  You will have a hard time finding the holes.    Mine was on the ground eating a forequarter of beef we'd wired between a couple of trees.   He was sitting like a dog, facing me, bending over eating.  When he looked up at me, I hit him in high on the center of the sternum.  The bullet went down thru the boiler room and exited right next to the spine over his kidneys.  He flopped over on his left side, let out one growl, and was still.   I couldn't find the exit wound until we got him back to the homestead, gutted him and hung him by neck & waist belly down from the rafters of the tractor shed.    I then could run my hand along the inside of his rib/spine and found where the bullet left the body cavity right where the inner tenderloins started.  I still couldn't find the exit hole in the skin & finally ran a scredriver up thru the exit channel.   It was such an odd angle, given how he was slightly crouched  & looking up that it was hard to know where to look and the spots camoflaged the hole exceedingly well.

Here he is....

IMG_0898.JPG

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Great looking mount!  Any more pics of the trophy room? Where did you take him?
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Dakota Dogman

Beautiful animals guys. . . someday...

Just some more gas on the fire ...

Last night in old G&A mag. Boddington had a picture of a Gemsbuck he took with a .25 WSM.  Said it was about top in for that caliber, but had full penetration through both shoulders, both lungs & stopped on far shoulder.... His story, not mine.

Then a few years ago Bryce T. wrote an article explaining that the reason some buf. dropped at shot & others didn't was because some were hit in such a way that the hydrolic shock hit as the heart valve was open, thus destroying the mussle...  ???  :laugh:  Yeh, prove that one!

For the record, I'm a big slow slug guy myself.  I've never used my .243 for deer.  .257 Roberts & 7x57 have been my mainstays, with the preference on the latter with 165 grainers.

God Bless,

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257 roberts is a great deer gun and a pleasure to shoot if I had to give up all my rifles but one that would be the one I would keep.
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Whiterock, let my American curiosity continue - and please take this as curiosity.  I do believe in precise shooting.  American game, for the most part, will allow a hunter the chance of a double lung shot if the shooter is a good hunter and picks his shots.  I believe a double lung shot is what a hunter should strive to accomplish.  It is the most effective killing shot with the largest target zone.  Hunters feel they have hit the bullseye with heart shots but I don't really like heart shots.  Yes, the game will die but all the animals that I have heart shot acted funny.  Some will act if they were not hit while others will run much farther than a lung shot animal.  I would bet that more heart shot animals are lost than lung shot animals.  Given the choice, I'll punch the lungs everytime.

Moving back to Oryx and BD's question.  The Oryx anatomy chart I saw showed that a shot behind the shoulder should allow the hunter to slip a bullet between the ribs (or through them) and punch the lungs.  If one was able to hit where I describe, would a double lung shot occur without breaking leg or shoulder bone on the entrance side?  Is it a reasonable target or too small due to the anatomy of a Oryx?

If I was BD, I would take the rifle I was confident that I could hit where I aimed be it a 270 or a 375.  That's 90% of killing animals.

Atticus - Namibia looks like parts of Idaho.  Hemingway wrote that Africa looked like Spain, so... Idaho must look like Spain.

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