Q: I just lucked onto a good buy, a Remington Model 700 in as-new condition fitted with a Leupold Vari-XIII scope. The owner bought it back in the 1970s, found that he couldn’t handle its recoil, and stored it in the back of his gun cabinet intending to have it rebarreled to some other calibre at a later date. He never got around to it and sold it to me for a bargain price. I plan to take it on a safari to Namibia later this year. I know you had an identical outfit that you not only used in Zimbabwe but all over the world. Can you suggest one good load for everything from impala to eland? Incidently, what was the biggest animal you ever shot with the 8mm Rem. Mag?
A: I am sorry that I ever parted with that Model 700 of mine in 8mm Rem. Mag. because I used it all manner of game including trophy water buffaloes with great success. The biggest animal I shot with it in Africa was a big “stinkbull” giraffe that a Boer meat hunter wanted for making biltong. You need a strongly structured bullet for this cartridge to guarantee dependable one- shot kills on all large African game. My choice would be Barnes 200gn TSX BT which can be driven at 3000fps ahead of 79gn of Re- 19 or 80gn of AR2213SC. These days I am using the .325 WSM which ain’t no slouch either pardner – it uses 66gn of W-760 to get the Barnes 200-grainer out at 2960fps and deliver two tonnes of energy. For all practical purposes there’s little difference between the two rounds unless you go to the 220gn bullet which is limited to about 2850fps in the .325.