Rifle Calibers and their killing ability

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1 Rifle Calibers and their killing ability Information obtained from the booklet The Ability of Firearm Cartridges compiled by Mr. Fanie Combrink from Magnum Arms South Africa. Definition of the concept: Relative Killing Ability (RKA) RKA is the comparing value of the specific bullet of the most popular calibres and is calculated in the following way: MUZZLE ENERGY (ME) x SECTIONAL DENSITY (SD) x the BULLET WEIHT (BW) retained after impact of the target, calculated according to the bullet retention scale used for popular standard bullet weights of all popular hunting calibers. We cannot say what the minimum RKA value is for every animal and distance at which we hunt because it can never be predicted before. We can say that the RKA values are a way of measuring the ability of different cartridges and bullet weights at the different distances of a well placed shot. Now that the concept of RKA has been explained it will be applied to popular hunting calibers below: 1 / 15

2 SMALL BORE.22 RIMFIRE 35 grain RKA / 50m ft/sec 6.0 The.22 rim fire cartridge is a wonderful calibre for target shooting, varmint and all small plague animals such as rats and many more. It is also used for culling in boma s with a silencer and sub sonic ammunition. It is the caliber most people in Africa learn to shoot with because of the inexpensive ammunition, low sound noise and accuracy..22 WINCHESTER MAGNUM 40 grain ft/sec 15 The.22 Winchester Magnum rim fire round is bigger in diameter with a longer case than the.22 long rifles. It can be used on birds, rabbits and culling at short distance shooting head shots. It is not a hunting caliber and can only be used as a small varmint round and is useless for body shots even on small game when hunting in Africa...22 HORNET 45 grainv ft/sec 45 The Hornet is suitable for rabbits, big birds like spur winged duck and Egyptian geese and small varmint. It can also be used for culling and hunting of small game in Africa at short distances 2 / 15

3 shooting head shots because the caliber does not have enough RKA for body shots..222 REMINGTON 50 grain ft/sec 63 The.222 Remington is a true and accurate varmint calibre and is extensively used for culling in Africa. It is also suitable for small game, cats and other smallish varmint animals but because of the destructive nature of the bullet it is not ideal for body shots on small game when hunting in Africa. It is an excellent target calibre..223 REMINGTON 55 grain ft/sec 77.5 This cartridge is much more destructive than the.222 Remington and can successfully be used for head shots in culling game in Africa or varmint hunting on animals as large as monkeys REMINGTON 55 grain ft/sec 72 The is the fastest flattest shooting modern caliber. It can only be used for head shots when a part of the destroyed bullet will land in the brain and kill the animal. It is useless for body shots or as a bush or short distance hunting rifle caliber when hunting in Africa.. The is an outstanding target cartridge. 243 WINCHESTER 100 grain ft/sec / 15

4 This is a caliber that derived from the 308 Winchester case necked down to a 6mm. The velocity and bullet weight allows this caliber only to be used when hunting in Africa as a plains game hunting caliber for small game REMINGTON 120 grain ft/sec 258 This caliber is a case necked down to.257 by Remington and they created a high velocity cartridge carrying a light bullet. In Africa it is used to hunt small game over long distance and for culling. 6.5 X 55 SWEDISH MAUSER v 140 grain140 grain ft/sec 360 This is a middle of everything else cartridge with no outstanding qualities but merely a small game cartridge of average performance and killing ability. 264 WIN MAG 140 grain ft/sec 353 The 264 Win Mag is a medium small ultra high velocity cartridge that is very flat shooting. It is the ideal small game Springbuck, Blesbuck and Black Wildebeest hunting when hunting the plains of Africa. The 264 Win Mag will not be of much use in the bush of Africa as the velocity will destroy a standard bullet. 270 WINCHESTER 130 grain / 15

5 2950 ft/sec v grain ft/sec 373 The 270 Winchester is primarily a long distance cartridge for hunting of small and medium size game and is very effective in open grassland areas of Africa on Springbuck and Blesbuck. It is not popular in bushveld areas and bush hunting of Africa because of the destructive effect of the light bullet at short distance and deflection of the bullet in scrub. 7mm MAUSER (7 X 57) 150 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 439 The 7 X 57 has been around for more than a 100 years and has proven itself as an excellent military cartridge but also as a hunting caliber. Even though it has been used as a big game hunting caliber in Africa in the past it is not a true big game cartridge but very successful on small and medium game at short distances. It is not a good flat shooting long distance cartridge because it lacks the required velocity. The fairly long bullet is known for good penetration and very popular for amateur hunters and also for ladies because of the low recoil. 7 X 64 BRENEKE 150 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 459 The 7 X 64 was designed to add velocity to the 7 X 57 and it became popular in Africa hunting Springbuck. 7mm REM MAG 5 / 15

6 150 grain150 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 458 This is a good caliber for the hunting of African thin skinned plains game animals. It is not a very good caliber for the hunting of game in the African bush as too much of the bullet will be destroyed on impact a close distances WINCHESTER 170 grain ft/sec 229 This caliber was the first American small bore cartridge and was used in the model 94 lever action Winchester rifles. It is a very good caliber for the hunting of African small game at short distances. It is often used in African dense bush where short rifle with an under lever action is ideal. 308 WINCHESTER 150 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec2540 ft/sec 419 This is a hunting cartridge for hunting in Africa as well as target shooting because of its accuracy. The 150 grain spitser is a good cartridge for hunting of African plains game at medium-long distances. The 180 grain and 200 grain bullets makes a good African bushveld hunting cartridge for small and medium game SPRINGFIELD 150 grain / 15

7 2800 ft/sec grain180 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 627 The is the most popular hunting caliber in South Africa and for good reason. The RKA of the different bullet weights differ so much that it is hard to believe that it is from the same caliber. The main reason for that is the 150 grain bullet is almost useless and inaccurate while the 220 grain bullet with that the excellent sectional density is a real killer with the RKA of 647. The 150 grain bullet will usually loose much of its weight on impact while the 220 grain bullet will retain most of its original weight when hunting African game. The when shooting a 180 grain bullet is a medium African Hunting caliber but when shooting 220 grain bullets it becomes a big game African hunting caliber. The has never been a successful caliber for hunting of African plains game but is outstanding for the hunting of game in the African bushveld with the heavier bullets. 300 WIN MAG and 300 HOLLAND+HOLLAND 180 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 651 As these cartridges are so close together their calculations are regarded as the same. With the 300 Magnums we come to true African big game hunting cartridges. The 180 grain bullet is a real long distance killer of African plains game wile the 220 grain bullet is outstanding for bushveld and mountain hunting and a well placed shot will always kill quick and clean. 303 BRITISH 7 / 15

8 174 grain v ft/sec 381 The 303 British is a military cartridge and has been extensively used for hunting in Africa due to its good killing ability. It is a short distance caliber and was never really used for plains game hunting in Africa.. MEDIUM BORES 8mm MAUSER ( 8 X 57 ) 200 grain ft/sec 471 It is a very good short distance caliber and in Africa it can kill everything up to Eland with the 200 or 220 grain bullet. It has no long distance abilities on the plains of Africa. 8 X 68 S 200 grain ft/sec grain ft/sec 596 This is an outstanding cartridge for long distance and mountain hunting of big game in Africa and is a real killer with the 200 or 220 grain bullets. It is more powerful than the 300 Magnums and if you want to use the caliber for short distance hunting in Africa you will have to use a premium grade or hard bullet. 338 WIN MAG 200 grain ft/sec / 15

9 250 grain ft/sec 698 The 338 Winchester Magnum is by far the best caliber from the USA for hunting in Africa, firstly because of the wide application of the different bullet weights but also because of the outstanding sectional density. In all bullet weights it is flat shooting with outstanding penetration ability. It can be used on any soft skinned animal and the 300 bullet will be good enough for Buffalo and Elephant but because rule have no knowledge it is not allowed on the big five. 9.3 MAUSER ( 9.3 X 62 ) 286grain ft/sec X 64 BRENEKE 286 grain ft/sec H&H 300 grain 9 / 15

10 ft/sec grain ft/sec 716 The three large bore calibres are very much the same in their performance when used to hunt in Africa and are good big game cartridges. The can all be used on the big five with a risk involved because they do not have what is required from a big five caliber. Not one of them is good enough for a backup rifle when hunting dangerous game in Africa. LARGE BORES 10 / 15

11 416 RIGBY and 500 / 416 FULL METAL JACKET 410 grain ft/sec JEFFERY FULL METAL JACKET 400 grain ft/sec WESTLEY RICHARDS FULL METAL JACKET 11 / 15

12 410 grain ft/sec 1016 The large bores are meant for hunting all big game and the dangerous big five animals of Africa. The 4 large bore calibres have enough energy to kill all game but lack a little when it comes to a backup rifle needed for a charging wounded Buffalo, Elephant or any other of the dangerous game species of Africa. REAL BIG BORES 458 WIN MAG 475 grain mono / 15

13 2050 ft/sec grain ft/sec LOTT 475 grain mono ft/sec / 15

14 500 grain ft/sec NITRO EXPRESS 500 grain ft/sec NITRO EXPRESS 570 grain / 15

15 2150 ft/sec JEFFERY FULL METAL JACKET 535 grain ft/sec 1089 A big bore in 1850 was a 4 bore (4 balls to the pound of lead) with a diameter of the ball about 32mm. The problem with that was the ability to penetrate at the black powder velocity of while the large frontal area was very poor. These big bores are usually used to stop a charging animal after it being wounded while hunting in Africa. Very often the hunter of the big five in Africa has to shoot a few shots in a very short period of time in order to stay alive. In Africa with the tough game you must have the right caliber for the job or come short. Even if you have the caliber strong enough for the operation and the bullet is not well placed having a doubled barrelled rifle with a second shot, is your insurance policy. 15 / 15

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