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Nilgai Hunt - Gun Selection

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 24,979 Senior Member
A friend put he and I in for a WMA Nilgai Hunt Draw. He drew last year and got a nice Nilgai Bull. So, asked if I wanted to put in with him this year. Well..........of course!

So, while I'm waiting for the draw results, I guess I need to think about the gun selection in case I get lucky enough to go on the hunt.

Here are my first two choices.

Remington 700 (built) in .338 Win Mag w/ Burris 3-9x FF Scope shooting 225gr Speer DeepCurl bullets.

338%20WM%20Project%2013_zpsyfgumtxy.jpg

Ruger SRH Toklat in .454 Casull w/ Leupold 2x scope shooting 350gr RNFP-GC Bullets.

Toklat%2013_zps8f5tryjy.jpg

I would love to stalk within 100 yards and shoot one with the revolver. But, if that doesn't happen, I'll have the rifle with me to seal the deal at whatever distance. Last year, my friend shot his at just under 300 yards (I think) with a custom 7mm Rem Mag.

Neither of the guns above have taken game as of yet. So, I'd like to get them some use and a Nilgai seems a fitting critter for their capability.

Other options could be...........

Rifle:
.458 Win Mag
.404 Jeffery
.35 Whelen
.300 RUM
.30-06

Handgun:
7.5" Ruger Redhawk .44 Mag (4x Scope)
10.5" Ruger SBH .44 Mag (Iron Sight)
6.5" Ruger SBH Bisley .454 Casull (Iron Sight)
7.5" Ruger SRH .454 Casull (4x Scope)

What do you guys think? Stick with the plan? Or, pick one of the others?
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,132 Senior Member
    I had to Google what a nilgai actually is. It is a 500 pound freaking antelope!!! I got a .338 Federal that needs to get bloodied that I will gladly send your way.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 7,618 Senior Member
    Two good choices there Zee
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,510 Senior Member
    An Indian antelope that's basically the size of an elk. . .

    India being a former British possession. . .

    .404 Jeffery being a British cartridge. . .

    The 1917 that rifle is built on being originally of British design. . .

    Not a hard call amigo.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 6,083 Senior Member
    I think you have made great choices.

    I am genuinely surprised to see that Burris scope on your rifle. I don't quite know how to handle the shock.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Snake was on a Nilgai hunt a year or two ago and he was saying they are hard to sneak up on and many longer range shots. The .338 is a great cartridge in in your hands I am sure you will know the drop or windage at the time of a shot. That gun should shoot pretty flat, with a 200 zero it is about 1.5 high at 100, drop at 300 is 7 inches and at 400 is about 20 inches. Looking forward to your successful report... More energy at 300 yards than a point blank .308!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,390 Senior Member
    Not a thing wrong with your choices. I remember my son and I seeing a heard of them while running an enduro race in Texas. They did not seem to be afraid of the bikes, just maintained a 175-200 yard distance between us. They are some big critters, when I first saw them out in the distance my first thought was WTH is a moose doing in the desert. Hope you and your partner get picked.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    I see no flies on either choice. Of course, the handgun would make it a special hunt if you can get in close enough.

    You're exactly like me: I look for a reason to keep a handgun close just in case it all works out.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I got a .338 Federal that needs to get bloodied that I will gladly send your way.

    Dude, my list of guns to christen is rather long as well. Can't pass the opportunity to do so with one of them.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    An Indian antelope that's basically the size of an elk. . .

    India being a former British possession. . .

    .404 Jeffery being a British cartridge. . .

    The 1917 that rifle is built on being originally of British design. . .

    Not a hard call amigo.

    I've shot the Jeffery to 300 yards and it will do it easy enough. My only concern for that gun (and the .458 WM) is the environment. It's a coastal hunt and the salt in the air concerns me for the care of the rifle. Those two are pretty much heirlooms for me and while I fully intend to use them as hunting rifles.........I don't want to endanger them or their condition in any way. Besides the wood stocks are exceptional and scratches on the hunt are likely.

    Basically, I'd love to hammer a Nilgai with the Jeffery. I'd die if I jacked up the rifle.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    I think you have made great choices.

    I am genuinely surprised to see that Burris scope on your rifle. I don't quite know how to handle the shock.

    That whole rifle is kind of an afterthought. It started with someone giving me a stainless .338 WM barrel.

    I've wanted a .338 WM again ever since I sold my last. But, I didn't want to sink a lot of money into a cartridge I wouldn't use often. So, it became a parts gun. The only thing I bought for that rifle was the donor action. Everything else, I were spare parts I grabbed off my shelf in the cave.

    Stock
    Trigger
    Base
    Rings
    Scope

    The scope is one that I bought on sale back in the early 2000s. Never really liked it, so it bounced from gun to gun and finally ended up on my .22 WMR rifle. When I built this rifle, the only scope I had available in the power and size range I wanted was the Burris.

    It ain't my favorite scope. But then, it ain't my favorite rifle. Utilitarian, if you will.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Snake was on a Nilgai hunt a year or two ago and he was saying they are hard to sneak up on and many longer range shots. The .338 is a great cartridge in in your hands I am sure you will know the drop or windage at the time of a shot. That gun should shoot pretty flat, with a 200 zero it is about 1.5 high at 100, drop at 300 is 7 inches and at 400 is about 20 inches. Looking forward to your successful report... More energy at 300 yards than a point blank .308!

    D


    Currently, it is zeroed 2" high at 100yrds with the 225gr DeepCurl running 2,843 fps. I think it'll do 300 alright. Not needing too much holdover.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Diver43 wrote: »
    Not a thing wrong with your choices. I remember my son and I seeing a heard of them while running an enduro race in Texas. They did not seem to be afraid of the bikes, just maintained a 175-200 yard distance between us. They are some big critters, when I first saw them out in the distance my first thought was WTH is a moose doing in the desert. Hope you and your partner get picked.


    I've always wanted to shoot one. But, there was no way I was going to pay for a guided hunt on a high fence ranch. This hunt is CONSIDERABLY cheaper and self guided. Not a 100% success and something one has to work at.

    Win!!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    I see no flies on either choice. Of course, the handgun would make it a special hunt if you can get in close enough.

    You're exactly like me: I look for a reason to keep a handgun close just in case it all works out.


    I thought about carrying a bigger handgun with me so I could reach out further. But, that just adds weight and bulk. So, I figure the Toklat would be compact enough to not get in the way. Easy to stalk with. Then, provide enough umph should I actually be fortunate enough to get sneaky and close to one of these suckers.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Snake couldn't sneak up on a turtle.


    Ha!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,684 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »

    What do you guys think? Stick with the plan? Or, pick one of the others?
    I vote "Stick with the plan". Nothing wrong with either of them IMO
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • Johnny rebJohnny reb Member Posts: 675 Senior Member
    They are a lot tougher animal than a lot of people think. The 404 would be fitting and you really wouldn't be over gunned. Good luck 9in is a good length on horns and they are extremely good eating.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 2,151 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    I've shot the Jeffery to 300 yards and it will do it easy enough. My only concern for that gun (and the .458 WM) is the environment. It's a coastal hunt and the salt in the air concerns me for the care of the rifle. Those two are pretty much heirlooms for me and while I fully intend to use them as hunting rifles.........I don't want to endanger them or their condition in any way. Besides the wood stocks are exceptional and scratches on the hunt are likely.

    Basically, I'd love to hammer a Nilgai with the Jeffery. I'd die if I jacked up the rifle.

    I like your choices of guns. I know folks who have hunted in the south pacific and were concerned about the salt air. They put a coat of car wax on the metal parts to protect if from the salt air. Guess you could do the same the wood stock to protect it's finish, though it won't do anything for scratches. Just a thought.
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,208 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Snake couldn't sneak up on a turtle.

    Careful, Chris. I think he's standing behind you ready to smack you upside the head.

    As for the initial question, all I know about Nilgai is that they are very tough critters. I'd rather over-do than under-do.

    As an aside, would the tag be for Nilgals as well?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,798 Senior Member
    My BIL spent several months doing survey work on the King Ranch, and made several observations. He said that despite the fact that they fed all the game animals on the roads, every day, the Nilgai were still very wild. Once they start running, they keep going for a long way. He said the only hunting strategy he could imagine would be to set up over one of their poop piles. They seem to return to them on a regular basis.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,339 Senior Member
    I completely unduerstand the desire to protect the .404.....But really....the critter and the rifle are made for each other ballistically and historically....and that's all I have to say about that. Somewhere in my lizard brain, I though you had a Gibbs?????????
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,562 Senior Member
    I don't know if you've used the .35 Whelen on anything yet, but I'm sure I haven't seen the results of the Whelen's performance, so it gets my vote.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    bobbyrlf3 wrote: »
    I don't know if you've used the .35 Whelen on anything yet, but I'm sure I haven't seen the results of the Whelen's performance, so it gets my vote.


    Only thing I've taken with it was this boar. Many moons ago. Back when it was first built.

    19852_100240540010848_7717209_n%20-%20Copy_zpsqu5jdsxm.jpg
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    I completely unduerstand the desire to protect the .404.....But really....the critter and the rifle are made for each other ballistically and historically....and that's all I have to say about that. Somewhere in my lizard brain, I though you had a Gibbs?????????


    You guys are tempting me now.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »

    As an aside, would the tag be for Nilgals as well?

    :rimshot:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    The .404 has a .315 BC and travels about 2300 FPS. It is good to 200 yards but bleeds off energy pretty quickly, and has a less energy at 300 yards than the .338, plus with a 200 yard zero it drops 14 plus inches at 300, and 42 inches at 400. The .404 is superior under 100 yards, but the .338 gives you more reach. I would pick the .338.

    Of all my reloading manuals, only the Hornady lists a .404 Jeffries load. Speer, Lee, Sierra and Lyman do not.

    IMHO

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Those two pictured should do the job.

    Good luck on the draw.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    ........... Somewhere in my lizard brain, I though you had a Gibbs?????????

    That was the make of the tyre iron.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,979 Senior Member
    Here is my buddy with his Nilgai from last year.

    IMG_3962%20-%20Copy_zpsu06v57qf.jpg

    Looks like pretty open country. At least in that particular spot.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Tall grass too.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,208 Senior Member
    Did he have any trouble putting it down with his 7 mag?
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
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