Nick took this record-class tahr with a .284 Winchester from around 250 yards

Which rifle for tahr, Kimber in 7mm-08 or Browning in 26 Nosler?

Q: I’ve booked a hunt in New Zealand for tahr and chamois and can’t decide which rifle to take, my Kimber Adirondack in 7mm-08 or my Browning X-Bolt Hells Canyon in 26 Nosler?

I bought the X-Bolt in 26 Nosler after I read that you bought the rifle you tested.

I know you have hunted in New Zealand and other mountainous areas around the world, so I would appreciate your advice.

Martin Lindsay

A: There are a number of decisions as to whether to use your 7mm-08 or 26 Nosler. The 7mm-08 is adequate as far as killing power goes, but lacks the flat trajectory of the 26 Nosler. This could make the difference between failure and success if the only shot you get is at long range with no chance of stalking closer.

The individual accuracy of the two rifles with various loads is a factor, as is how well you can shoot the lightweight Kimber while breathing heavily after a hard climb.

You may also have to consider rifle weight when climbing for hours in steep country.

My personal preference would go to the X-Bolt in 26 Nosler, which is accurate and its slightly heavier weight (3.6kg or 8lb against 3kg or 6½lb) offers no great disadvantage.

If you use the 26 Nosler, my suggestion would be to use the Nosler 142gn ABLR. The weight will give the flattest trajectory possible and the design will ensure deep penetration if you have to shoot a bull tahr in a poor position.

My load uses 81gn of AR2218 to drive the 142gn ABLR at 3280fps. Sighted in 3” high at 100yd (76mm at 91m), it zeros at 315yd (288m) and drops about 7” at 400 (18cm at 366m). That should cover any serious stretch-out shot you are likely to encounter.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.