The .30-06 Springfield 168-grain boattail was my first love. When I graduated to it, my beloved whitetails would take no more than a few halting steps and go down.
I’ve only been to Africa seven times.
My favorite load there is the .338 Winchester Magnum firing 185-grain solid copper boattail bullet handloads. The only change I’ve made over time is to a lighter bullet.
A Marco Polo sheep was the longest shot I’ve made. It was more than a quarter-mile, and I shot a Dall last fall at nearly the same distance. It’s a devastating round when it hits and I like the extra horsepower when in bear country
I just love that .338 Winchester Magnum with the solid copper Barnes X-Bullet. It gives me that same old confidence I had when I started hunting with a high-powered rifle. I try to get as close as possible, but in the mountains sometimes you can’t get very close.
I use a stainless steel Ruger Model 77 rifle with a Swarovski 3-9x scope. It’s heavy, but it has never, ever let me down.
SCI Member Terry B. has been using and testing many different guns and loads since 1961. According to Terry:
“I’ve been to Africa 24 times, and this year took my 500th animal including my 107th blue wildebeest, and my 5th bush pig in daylight.
“In North America, from 1961 to 1983, I hunted all over Alaska for moose and caribou. I hunted elk in Montana, Colorado, and Idaho, and sheep and goats in B.C. In those years, I pretty well used a simple push-feed Model 70 Winchester chambered for either .30-’06 or .270 Win. with a 2×7 Redfield Widefield scope. In those calibers, I reloaded almost everything with either 180-grain Nosler Partition (the old ones) or 180-grain Hornady spire point bullets.
“In 1985, I took my first trip to Zimbabwe and brought a fiberglass-stocked FN Mauser chambered in .375 H&H using 300-grain Hornady roundnose bullets. The rifle was topped with a Burris scope. I also took a .308 Winchester using 165-grain Speer soft-points. That rifle had a Tasco 3×9 scope and yes, I still have the Tasco, but it is on my .22 for plinking.
“In 1986, I took a 7.65 Argentine Mauser firing 174-grain Hornady bullets as well as some 180-grain Sierra soft-points. The other rifle I took was my “then-new” pre-’64 Model 70 Winchester topped with a 2-7x Refield scope chambered for .338 Winchester Magnum. I used 250-grain Hornady roundnose bullets.
“Not long after that, I pretty well switched to 3-9x Var II Leupold scopes and still have most all of them in service. I’ve sent them all in to have click adjustments installed rather than the rubber friction.
“In 1989, I took two Cape buffalo using my .375 H&H and old Jack Carter 300-grain Trophy M Bonded Bear Claw bullets. I also took my .338 Winchester Magnum along for plains game and used 250-grain Bear Claws.
“About 1991-92 I got my first 7mm Remington Magnum and found that it loved only 175-grain flat-base bullets. For the next several trips, I used it almost exclusively with 175-grain Speer Mag Tip, Hornady Spire Point, or Bear Claw bullets to kill everything from impala to eland.
“In 1995, I got my first .300 Winchester Magnum–a Remington BDL stainless. I made many trips to South Africa’s Eastern Cape with it, and used various 180-grain bullets. About that time I also started using 180-grain Swift A-Frame bullets.
“In 2000, I used Barnes 200-grain X-Bullets in the .338 Winchester Magnum for the first time, and that was the beginning of a long and loving infatuation with Barnes bullets. One of the first gemsbok I killed with it really impressed my PH because he could see the bullet hit the dirt after going through the animal. Since then, I have almost always used Barnes X, TSX or TTSX bullets in my .338, and now also the new Vor TX bullets. I always take along another rifle for smaller plains game.
“I still use those Var II 3-9x Leupold scopes and even own one Var III 2.5-8x scope, and have put a Hogue over-molded stock on my Remington Model 700.
“When I went to Namibia in 2012, I took an old push-feed Winchester Model 70 in .300 H&H with a Leupold 6 x 42 scope on it shooting Barnes 168-grain TTSX bullets for longer range.”