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.375 Ruger African and Hornady bullets

This is a discussion on .375 Ruger African and Hornady bullets within the .375 & Up forums, part of the HUNTING EQUIPMENT, FIREARMS & AMMUNITION category; I have just returned from two months of hunting with clients in Zimbabwe. Just prior to my leaving I purchased ...

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    Default .375 Ruger African and Hornady bullets

    I have just returned from two months of hunting with clients in Zimbabwe. Just prior to my leaving I purchased a .375 Ruger Hawkeye. I have not shot factory ammo in any rifle for over twenty years but did not have time to get dies, bullets etc. so purhcased some DGX .300 gr. solids from Hornady. I let a client use this rifle on buffalo, kudu, and giraffe with flawless results. Penetration on the buff and giraffe was great. Now the problem. One of my clients showed up to hunt buffalo, sable plains game etc. with a new .375 Ruger Hawkeye. He had reloads with .300 grain Hornady DGX Softs and solids. I do not know his reload recipe other than he used Winchester powder. His first trophy was a 40 inch buffalo. His first two shots were broadside at forty to fifty yards. Both shots were softs and hit squarely on the shoulder. The buffalo headed away and his third shot was with a solid up the arse. This last shot planted the buffalo. Upon skinning it we found both softs had failed to penetrated the shoulder, completely disintegrating upon hitting the bone. The bullets did shatter the bone but never penetrated into the chest at all. The third shot being a solid travelled through the buffalo nicking the spine before exiting and putting the buff down. Without this last shot I doubt we would have found this buff. I cannot explain total bullet failure twice in a row but is raises concerns to say the least. The solids used worked perfectly and the one recovered was completely intact and undamaged. Simply wanted to throw this out there for discussion.

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    Did the reloader say anything about loading to max/min somewhere in between?
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    He stated the load was provided to him by Hornady but did not know the velocity. My first thought was that the load was to hot and the bullet could not handle the velocity. But I still think that a complete failure, even at higher velocities raises concerns.

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    No doubt, that was a situation that could have ended quite badly. I'd be surprised if Hornady gave him an exceptionally hot load and expose themselves to that liability. After reading this I think I'll stay with my A-Frames in my 375H&H.
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    I have a tendency to agree regarding the load provided by Hornady. I also have difficulty believing that a bullet marketed as a "dangerous game" bullet would be that suceptible to a complete catastrophic failure. I have used A-Frames and Trophy Bonded for years without a problem and will probabley stick with them. I am just curious to see if anyone else has had issues with the Hornady bullet.

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    Tim, you appeared to have no problems with your 375. Did you recover any projectiles and if so how did they compare to your clients reloads?
    I used the 375 R on plains game with the 270 Gn. Killed everything stone dead so I've no complaints but the amount of disintegration was a little surprising. I thought they would hold together better.
    Am heading over to hunt buffalo next year so may look to the Woodleighs or Barnes'.

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    I was able to recover only one of my bullets as they were all solids and most passed through. A client borrowed my rifle and used it on giraffe, buffalo and kudu. The giraffe was shot twice on the shoulder and both solids passed through and out the other shoulder. The buffalo was shot face on in the chest and we recovered one solid from back near the hind quarters. The bullet was undamamged and penetrated well. The problem was only with the softs which I did not have the opportunity to use from my gun.

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    My Hawkeye African is a tack driver, but the softpoints are for plains game, nothing more. I had a 270 grain RP Hornady factory load blow up on a mountain zebra. I spined the animal, so it died right there, but I would expect an exit wound from that caliber. I love the rifle, but if I ever hunt thick skinned game with it I won't use factory softpoints.

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    I don't think velocity would be a problem with the 416 Ruger as from my experimenting with various loads I doubt that you can get enough poweder into the case to get beyond 2400 fps without serious pressure problems. I have tried W760 and 80 grains gets you about 2250 fps. Even the factory ammo only chronographed 2330 fps in my rifle.

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    Do you still have the bullet fragments?

    It would be interesting to get a hold of Hornady and see if you could mail it to them for analysis..I'm sure they'd like to see it as well.

    Was it a factory load or a handload?

    The .375 is on my wish list..just unsure of Ruger or Holland!

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    These were reloads done by the client. Yes, we have the pieces and have already talked to Hornady. We also took pictures of the buff after skinning demonstrating where the bullets failed to penetrate. Hornady is anxious to get the photos and fragments for the reason mentioned by desertloper. I want to reiterate I have no problem with the .375 Ruger. I bought one of my own and I shot buff, giraffe, kudu and sable without a problem. The topic of this thread is the Hornady DGX series bullet.

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    Tim, I'm quite surprised by your report.

    I have used both D.G.X and D.G.S's, factory loads from Hornaday, in my 458 Lott for the last 4 seasons and have taken about 40 buffalo without any issues from these bullets at all.
    In fact I've been quite impressed with the performance, penetration, transfer of energy etc and have recovered enough spent projectiles to put my mind at ease and have confidence in their use.

    My only suggestion would be a batch of projectiles that has somehow escaped quality assurance tolerances during manufacture ?

    I too would be very interested in seeing a response/explanation from Hornaday.
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    Did we ever get a response from Hornaday on this subject?

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    Hornady also makes a 300 grain round nose bullet in 375. I wonder if he loaded thead by mistake instead of theDGX bullet.

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    As I mentioned on another thread, for my .375 Ruger Alaskan with 20 inch tube loaded with 260 Accubonds to 2700 f/s, this combination was used by my brother on kudu, zebra and other plains game to perfection. One zebra was shot at an angle greater than quartering away. I guess it penetrated 3 feet or so including through the paunch, diaphram, lungs, other vitals and found in the off-side shoulder. I don't believe that the Accubond is recommended, however, for cape buffalo. I would like to know if anyone has done so.

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    No one will recommend the Accubond for cape buffalo hunting, it's too soft. I'm sure it kill one, but there are better choices. The Hornady DGS and DGX are fine.

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