308 / 7x64 / 30-06 ???
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Old 10-23-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default 308 / 7x64 / 30-06 ???

Please help!
I currently own a Parker Hale 303. She is a beaut and has sentimental value. Have not hunted much with her as im so scared I damage the rose wood stock. Im looking at a 2nd caliber (hunting work horse) to use. Im gonna be hunting duiker, bushbuck, kudu, warthog and bush pig mainly. Terrain is open with lots of thickets we will be having to walk through. Im stuck between choosing a 308, 30-06 /7x64. Pro for 30-06 is the versitile loads but con is recoil. I like a 243 due to little recoil but afraid of meat damage at close ranges. Please share your experience and wisdom in helping me decide.
Ps I will be handloading mostly and looking at a Howa with synthetic stock.

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Old 10-23-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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308 is a safe bet. Lots of reasonably priced ammo for practice. If you handload 308 is very versatile as well. 243 is a good round as well but I'm not sure If I fully understand the meat damage issue. Any of the calibers you mention will do some damage at close range.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #3
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30-06 does not have that much more recoil than a 308. Outstanding cartridge. A good butt pad will help. What is readily available if you run out of ammo? What is available where you will be hunting? If recoil is that much of an issue, you might look at a 7x57 a 6.5x55 or even a 270.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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I've never heard someone that hunts Africian plains game call .308 or .30-06 by their standard caliber tag. 7.62x51 or 7.62x63, sure that is normal. But curious why the standard, not metric tag? Most people would look to cartridges availible at their location if they were taking a trip to hunt on the plains. 7x57, 8x57, 9.3x57, 9.3x62, or some other Brenneke cartridge (besides 7x64). Is the rifle going to be scoped or open sight? Is the game driven or stalked? Could you run into dangerous game?? It happens w/ drives. What Howa comes in 7x64??

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:37 PM   #5
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I weigh 117 pounds, and use a 338 win mag for work up here. So you should be able to handle a 30.06. Get a limbsaver pad and you can hang with us girls!

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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243 has a higher velocity and on impact at close ranges does more meat damage than a slower projectile would. Ammo is readily available for all above mentioned calibers. I hunt in the eastern cape of South Africa and we refer to most rifles as a 308 or 3006 unless no name is noted then referred to caliber casings. Im relatively new to hunting still. 6.5x55 is scarce in the ammo department. Some farmers might frown upon a 7x57 for Kudu depending on whos farm you hunting hence the exclusion.

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Old 10-23-2012, 10:44 PM   #7
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The old .30-06 would probably be your best bet especially since you're reloading? It is a very versatile cartridge, but either would work well.

I've shot some some .308's that kick worse than some .30-06's so I wouldn't worry too much about recoil. As all ready mentioned, just get a good recoil pad and you'll be surprised at how nice a 30-06 will shoot. You also have the option of working up some lighter loads if you wanted to.

I've never shot a Howa but they appear to be fine rifles. I really don't think you can make a bad choice with either .30-06 or .308 in a Howa.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:00 PM   #8
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for the record...308 and 30-06 are ballisticaly exact @ 100 yds.

Personally i prefer to 06...heavier bullets at longer ranges if one chooses.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
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Bell hunted w/ 7x57 and 6.5x55 along w/ 8x57 and .303. He was an elephant hunter. Farmers in SA are not going to have an issue w/ the 7x57 since it was there ancestors, the Boer,kicked the brits @sses w/ it. Kudu buck weigh about 200lb. Not a huge animal. Both 6.5x55 and 7x57 have been used in SA for over 100 years and are readily availible. If you are going there here is a list you can contact from the U.S.
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Phone: +27-16-9763394 Fax: +27-16-9763394

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Phone: +1-800-6778737 Fax: +1-605-3479392
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:58 AM   #10
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I have 2 30.06s and one 308 which has a much greater felt recoil than the 06s. I fell in love with the 308 when I held it, it just felt like it was made for me. It is light, pulls up naturaly and is easy to carry. I would try to over come the recoil by realizing that most of it is multiplied by apprehension. Shooting a lot properly usually makes recoil a non issue, at least in these smaller calibers. You may consider two guns that would widen your capabilities.

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