When asked what his go-to hunting gear consists of, SCI Member Jeffrey P. responds:
“My regular hunting partner and I have been to Africa twice. Just returning on 10 June from the East Cape. We hunted plains game both times using .30-‘06. On this recent trip, we added another friend, also using a .30-‘06. The battery included one Kimber, one Ruger, and one FN-made Model 70. On our first trip I used Black Hills Gold ammunition with 180-grain Barnes Triple Shock bullets. My partner used handloads with 165-grain Barnes TTSX. Due to difficulty in finding Black Hills, I switched to Barnes VOR-TX 180-grain TTSX, while my partner stayed with his handloads. Our new guy also used VOR-TX in 180 grain.
“Performance from the .30-‘06 was excellent. All of my shots, with the exception of the blue wildebeest, were pass-throughs including a 252-yard kudu shoulder/neck shot. The wildebeest was shot on the shoulder at 90 yards and the bullet recovered on the opposite side. A number of shots on zebra, warthog, and gemsbok were angled shots with performance also being excellent.
“I took a .375 Ruger on my first trip, and a .243 Model 70 on the second trip, but ended up shooting the .30-‘06. No fault with the guns or calibers–just the way hunting goes sometimes. My Model 70 wears a Swarovski Z6 2X12, so sometimes the scope made the choice. I also shoot a custom .338 Remington that I use for elk, but like the lighter ‘06 for Africa.
“There has been a lot of press on the old standby. If I only owned one gun it would be an ‘06. I started my twin boys on deer with a Model 70 Featherweight and a Ruger Hawkeye. That Ruger was used by one of my pals on our most recent trip. The ammunition these days is so good that the use of magnums out to 300-350 yards is just unnecessary. We sight the guns in at 2 inches high at 100 yards resulting in a 200 yard zero.”