Caliber for Leopard
I'm new here... hello to evryone!! nice meeting you all!!!
I'm a Spanish who loves Africa. I have been there twice and I am already planning my next safari.
Now I have in mind to shoot leopard. I have several rifles that could be suitable for shooting a leopard.
I have 375HH, 338winmag, 30.06spr and 270win. What caliber do you recommend me to use for this hunt? what bullet should I use?
I have thought about .338 win + nosler partition 250 grains. Any other recommendations???
Thanks a lot!!!
Keep in touch.
Alcornoque. . . any of the calibers you mentioned will work just fine. I would therefore suggest using the rifle/caliber which you shoot best and feel the most confident with. My daughter and I have successfully used two of the calibers you mentioned to kill three leopards. My leopard dropped straight down with a .338/250gr nosler and on subsequent safaris my daughter has dropped two leopards straight down using a .270win/140gr Core-Lokt.
Again, use any of the calibers you mentioned and a well placed shot will kill him straight away.
I shoot well with all of them. I use them a lot along the year in Spain.
Did your daugther shoot a leopard with 270win??? love this calibre.... one of the best ever made.
I was planning to take the 338win and the 270win wit me in this safari. I was planning to use 338win for the leopard and the bigest planins game and the 270win to shoot the small plains game.
With the 270win I usually shoot RWS KS 150 grains... and works really well with the spanish stags and rea deers...
Thanks for the recommendation!!!
Alcornoque. . . yes, as stated in my previous post she has killed two leopards using a rifle chambered in .270win with 140gr Core-Lokt bullets.
Originally Posted by Alcornoque
Agree with Big 5. Any will do the job. One consideration is the bullet. You want the cat dead, but you also don't want to create a real challenge for your taxidermist. A .270 with 140 gr core-lokts would be great as would the same bullet in .180 gr 30-06. A .130 gr ballistic tip, on the other hand, from the same .270 could make a real mess of the far side of your leopard. I also used my .338 with 250 gr partitions (I think it is the best plains game load and caliber in Africa, but that is another story) and had a .338 hole on the near side, a slightly larger one on the far side and a very dead leopard. But by all means use the rifle with which you are most comfortable and which has the best glass. In some ways, I think it is more important to kill your leopard with the scope rather than the caliber.
Remember, a leopard weighs only around 150 pounds - much like a whitetail deer. Shots are normally close in range at 50 to 60 yards. Any rifle you would use for a deer would be appropriate for a leopard. Personally, I think the 375 would be too much rifle for the leopard and any of your other rifles would work just fine.
With .375 H&H you would be overgunned as leopard being a soft skinned feline, .338 with 250 Grn SNs or Ex are perfect. 180 Win. Failsafe HP in your 30.06 can get your fine leopard.
You already got some really good advice on your question. I would just like to add that you do not want to gut shot leopard with a .270 and such a light bullet... Always plan for the unexpected as well! Rather use a heavier bullet and a bigger calibre. Your 30-06 with 180grain Nosler Partition or Federal Premium bullets will work well. I have seen on lion and leopard that a Barnes X and Failsafe bullets just zing through the animal and act like a solid. That is something you don't want!
Hope alls well ? you got a practical point there the fail safes at time at closer range, does not mushroom ,crossings thru the tissue they go clean thru like solids but if the hit is on the bone the framgentation is minimal and the it flowers quite well , and the damage is tremendous with a 180 grainer .
But all said and done placing the bullet at the right spot is what really matters , as WDM Bell took nearly all his elephants with his 275 Rigby, and so did Jim Corbett who shot 3 maneating tigers in less than 20 minutes with the same caliber .275 Rigbys( 7x57.)
I will not use my 375HH because the scope I have on it is not apropiate for this kind of hunt. I have a Kahles 1.5-4x24 which is for other porpuses like Buffalo.
I think I prefer shooting the leopard with the 338win, I do not wanto to follow a wounded leopard during the night.
But I will use 338win and 270win in this safari.
Do you all recomend me to use Nosler Partition 250 grian bullet for this hunt? are there any other bullet you like to recomend me for this?
Here in Spain I use Nosler Accubound 180 grains bulet to shoot boars in the "Spanish Monteria" I can tell that this bullet kill cleanly any single wild boar runing in the bush,....
I think the Accubonds are great bullets, and have shot a number of deer with them from a .270 and 30-06. I wasn't so impressed during our African hunt of '08. I was using a .338 with .250 gr partitions and had exit wounds on everything. My son was using his 30-06 with accubonds and the only exit wound was his impala. His wildebeast and kudu were shot well and were dead on follow-up. However, the wildebeast went a mile and the kudu nearly half that. Niether had exit wounds and the blood trails were virtually non-existent. Thank goodness for those amazing trackers.
Bueno Dias senior !
Have you ever heard about a bullet named " Sledgehammer" produced by NGA ammunition in South Africa ? I use this bullet for all kinds of animals. HH375 Sledgehammer NGA Ammunition, 300 grains, 2750 feet/sec, and this bullet kills "them all" ! Cats, Crocodiles, Buffalo's, mouse, beaver, roe-deer, hare, fasan, Giraffe, well the only animal I didnt use,when it come to big animals, would be Elephant and frontal brain shot, otherwise, I guarantee this bullet is "magic".
But always, a good shot kills anything....
Mikehh375 I haven't heard about NGA amunition, but I have used the sledgehamer produced by Federal. But this is a solid monolithic bullets. I have used this bullet just for buffalo (but bit for the first shot) and hippo. Its a a good bullet for braing big bones and thick skin. I guess we both are talking abut the same bullet. aren't we?
Red Leg, I have been using nosler Accubound here in spain for shooting wild boars with my 338win, and that thing kills evry pig alive, but the difference is that a big wild boar in spain is around 100kg and a regular kudu is more than twice bigger... and the problem with this soft bullets in such a big animal is this bullet could break up in peaces with no excellent penetration... am I wrong?
In my experience, which is not much, I prefer using big calibers in Africa. The african antilopes are tough animals...
I think the 338 win mag with 250gr partitions would be an excellent combination for most all plains game and leopard. You want a tough bullet that will still expand and do a lot of damage. A 140gr partition in a 270 would also easily get the job done.
I am of the opinion that the Nosler partition is the best big game bullet ever invented.
My choice would be the 338 Winchester Magnum caliber with a soft tip but we have to take account of the hunting leopard is considered dangerous and in many parts of Africa the minimum allowed for these species is the 375 H & H Magnum.
My favorite caliber for Leopard is the .338 Win with a 210 gr. Nosler. but the 9.3x62 with a 230 gr. GS Customs bullet would also be ideal..
Actually a 270 or 30-06 would be more than enough with proper bullets like the 130 gr. .270 Nosler partition or the 150 Nosler in the 06..
Caliber and Leopard amount to any good deer gun with proper bullets, the cat doesn't weigh much.
In fact I shot my leopard last July with my .338 Win with a 210 gr. Nosler Partition and worked perfectly!!!!!
I would have to second the selection of 338 win mag...in 210 grain bullet...with the exception of flat nose bullets...i picked up about 100 of these from Cabelas about 30 years ago...
My brother practiced on cancer eye cows to test the round out and it was devastating...he could not believe the amount of damage it did...i just wish i had picked up more at the time and i do not remember the make.
We use That round for black bear and moose with tremendous success.
The black bears dropped in its tracks, it never moved from about 50 yards. both of the moose never took a step...they were hammered so to say...
I've never shot a Leopard nor could I afford one even if I could export them home.
Cats are small, soft skinned nervous crestures and far from phlegmatic. I thought a high speed round would be best that would fragment inside the animal. A conventional cup and core like a Sierra 130 in a .270 or 150 in a .30 cal seems ideal.
I have used Remington Swift A-Frame 225gr in .338WM for all my plainsgame hunting it works perfectly.