The top hunting rifles to own in South Africa

Top hunting riles to add to your collection:

Joseph Stalin once said, “The only real power comes from a long rifle.” While the former Soviet leader was rather callous when it came to human life, a lot of gun enthusiasts might agree with this sentiment. Especially when it comes to hunting.

With South Africa home to scores of wildlife and game to hunt, owning the ideal rifle it instrumental. Not only does the perfect rifle allow you to enjoy a great experience in the bush, it also ensures the correct rile is used for the intended game as you would not want to go rabbit hunting with a 30-06 Springfield.

When it comes to buying the ideal hunting rifle, which firearm should you purchase…first?

Here are 10 of the top rifles in South Africa:


  • .243 Winchester

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This is an excellent rifle for amateur hunters. It is ideal for hunting springbuck or smaller game, especially at far distance from 200 metres and more. Shooting an animal at a closer range will cause extensive meat damage.

  • 7×57 Mauser

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This rifle is a favourite among many South African hunters, mostly because of its link to the Boer War. The rifle packs a great bushveld cartridge and pushes a 170g bullet at 2500fps. Thus, making it a deadly force with anything up to a blue wildebeest.

  • .308 Winchester

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This is considered a general-purpose rifle, ideal for first time hunters and short-range bushveld hunting. While considered fundamentally accurate by some, it is not deemed fast enough to produce its best work on open terrain, where long shots are necessary. However, it is ideal for taking down eland.

  • 30-06 Springfield

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This rifle is popular in both South African and the United States. Not only does it work faster than the .308 but can push bullets heavier than 180g at a useful velocity. This is something the .308 cannot do. The 30-06 rifle is an outstanding rifle in bushveld conditions, especially with 220g bullets. Furthermore, while not exactly ideal for open spaces, it can be made to work with correctly adjusting the scope, load selection and having knowledge of trajectory.

  • Weatherby Vanguard .300 Winchester Magnum

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This rifle is ideal for long range shooting. In fact, the Vanguard comes out with the standard Weatherby Sub-Minute of Arc (sub-MOA) accuracy. Meaning, that your shot is virtually guaranteed to hit its target. This rifle is ideal for Springbuck and Gemsbok.

  • CZ 550 .375 H&H


Looking for a rifle to stop game in its steps? This is the rifle that you want to acquire. The CZ 550 375 H&H is popular among those hunting game in the plains or buffalo.

  • 7mm Remington Magnum

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When it comes to hunting thin skinned game, this is the rifle to own. Fairly accurate and reliable, it is ideal for first time hunters. While a good rifle to own, it is not designed to take down large game.

  • .22 Hornet

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This is the ideal rifle for those wishing to hunt small game, such as ducks or rabbits. However, because it is a small calibre firearm, when hunting with this rifle, it is encouraged to get headshots, rather than body shots,

  • Mauser M98 Magnum .416 Rigby


Featuring controlled feed action, this rifle is ideal for hunting dangerous game and for those who want something more potent than the CZ .375 H&H.

  • 264 Winchester Magnum

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This rifle delivers a medium to small ultra high velocity cartridge. While ideal for game such as Springbuck, Blesbuck and Black Wildebeest, it is not useful in the bush for larger animals or game with thicker skin.

Always choose the correct tool for the job to ensure a clean kill and an enjoyable hunt. Remember to practice gun safety at all time and never use a firearm when under the influence of alcohol.

(Pictures may differ from the original product. They are for illustration purposes only)

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