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Best bullet for Cape Buffalo

This is a discussion on Best bullet for Cape Buffalo within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Interested in all of your opinions in regards to the best bullet for Cape Buffalo, likes and dislikes. I've never ...

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    Default Best bullet for Cape Buffalo

    Interested in all of your opinions in regards to the best bullet for Cape Buffalo, likes and dislikes. I've never gone, but hope to someday soon.

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    That is one for great debate.


    I shy from the word "best". Invites a pissing contest.


    I think Mike just did a very good+++ post on penetration and performance of two bullets.
    You should have a look at that one.
    At least it is an opinion backed with research.
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    I haven't hunted Buff but I have read enough standard internet drivel to pass along the common responses.

    The first answer that comes to mind is "Ask your PH". From what I've seen, each PH seems to have their own favorite. The second question might be "what conditions are we talking about". Your PH might want solids for back up shots...or mono-metals all the way around.

    In general though the answer seems to be a controlled expansion bullet like an A-Frame or TSX. The TSX seems to get the nod more times from what I've seen.

    In my case, when I do get out to hunt Cape Buff I'll be packing my .375 H&H with 300gr. TSX's. Or maybe a 9.3x74r DR should I manage to lose the 15# of weight I'm after and win a bet with my wife!

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    I've always had good results with Swift A Frames followed by Woodleigh fmj Bullets but I do think the NORTH FORK soft and Cup nose bullets would also be a great Buffalo bullet option.

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    Bullet choice is certainly very important but it's not the only important factor.

    Shot placement, accuracy and calibre are also important. For example, no matter how good the bullet, a frontal chest shot (on a buff) from a .375 that's even an inch or two off of dead centre can often result in the bullet losing significant momentum on impact when it hits that big dewlap and then running around the outside of the ribs and this can VERY easily result in the loss of the buffalo.

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    I would have to say the North Fork soft and hard bullets. Followed by the TSX and Barnes solid combination.

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    BRAND; Cutting Edge Bullets.
    BULLET TYPE; Non-convention
    DESIGNATION; BBW #13
    COMPOSITION; Brass
    CONFIGURATION; Banded, flat base, "hex-head" hollow point.

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    For the .375 HH, Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 300 grs.

    Shot placement being, of course, the most important !

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    The best bullet? It is the one that kills your buffalo stone dead with one shot!!

    Seriously it depends on caliber and velocity.

    I have used North Fork bonded bullets in my 375 H&H. Shot two buffalo with that combination. One we tracked for an hour or so and finished him with my 470. Shot placement was off slightly. The other ran maybe 100 yards and died. Good shot placement and I was able to place a Cutting Edge solid in him as he ran off. IMO North Fork makes the best bonded bullet with only Swift being an equal. Any bullets recovered always looked good. They also perform well in tests. I also feel the Partition is a marginally adequate bullet in the 375 H&H. My wife did kill a buffalo cow using a Partition in my 375. I slowed it down considerably (around 2200FPS). The bullet worked fine in that case. The Woodleigh softs are good bullets when driven in their recommended velocity. North Fork will perform better in higher velocity rifles like the RUMs.

    I am not a fan of the steel jacket on the Hornady DGX. IMO they are like the Partition, an OK bullet but there are better. Any bonded bullet that sheds as much weight as the NP and DGX are more prone to fail on a buffalo. I know plenty of animals have been killed with them but there are also stories of failures.

    I have also shot two buffalo with a 416 Remington Magnum using 400 grain TSX bullets. Both died very quickly and the bullets performed as advertised.

    In my 470 Nitro I have killed several buffalo with North Fork Cup Point solids and one with Cutting Edge Non Cons. I have enjoyed a couple of DRT with these bullets.

    My favorite? In the 470/458 caliber the North Fork Cup Point Solid or maybe the CEBs. In a 375 or a 416 the North Fork bonded bullet.

    Are they the best? Who knows, but I do like them.

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    I used a Swift A-Frame (first shot) and Woodleigh FMJs (follow ups) on my buffalo hunt and they worked very well. We recovered all of the bullets and you could have taken a picture of the A-Frame and used it in a promotion for Swift: it was perfectly mushroomed, but it did not come apart and still retained most of its weight.
    Aside from the rifling marks on them, the Woodleighs looked like brand new bullets after recovery.
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    There are a couple of things to bear in mind. All bullets will deform, even the hardest solids. Sooner or later, the chosen bullet will meet a force that it cannot resist and it will change shape. With softs, this is a given because, when a soft does not deform at all, it has failed. When a soft has deformed too much, it has also failed.

    If the way the bullet changes is not planned for, bad changes could take place. If the changes are anticipated and planned for, such changes could be managed to favor the factors that promote good features instead of working against them.

    The best bullets are much better now than the best we had twenty or thirty years ago. The main strides were made in reliability and predictable terminal performance. After reliability one must be concerned with factors such as cleaning the rifle after shooting and how kind the components are to your (sometimes expensive) pride and joy.

    This is one place where we should be thinking objectively and logically instead of being subjectively brand loyal.
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    All good replys. You just have to decide yourself between all of these possibilities and shoot the one that your rifle likes the best. I am a BIG fan of Barnes Triple Shock. Performance has always been perfect for me and, in my rifles, the solids shoot in the same hole as the TSX and extremely accurate. Good luck! Finding the perfect load fills in the time between safaris!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buff-Buster View Post
    All good replys. You just have to decide yourself between all of these possibilities and shoot the one that your rifle likes the best. I am a BIG fan of Barnes Triple Shock. Performance has always been perfect for me and, in my rifles, the solids shoot in the same hole as the TSX and extremely accurate. Good luck! Finding the perfect load fills in the time between safaris!
    AGREED!!!!!! I have hunted with most of them the one projectile IMO and experience that CONSTANTLY performs the best is the Barnes...triple and TSX.
    Consistency is the key I believe.

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    The best bullet for a Cape Buffalo would have to be, the one that bounces off of it with NO tissue damage at all...................... Sorry, I had to be THE wise ass..................

    Seriously though, a lot of good info out there for the Barnes, Hornady, A-frame, etc. etc. I would contact your PH and see what he recomends. Hey, PH's like Jaco...
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    Default best bullet for cape buffalo

    Several caveats. First, what functions 100 % in your magazine rifle when working the bolt as hard and as fast as you can?

    Second, what shoots to the point of aim best from a cold barrel in your magazine rifle or regulates well in your double?

    Third, Please take into account that both your softs and solids should both shoot to the same point of aim from either a magazine rifle or a double.

    Assuming those three criteria have been met, a soft up and solids down is my recommendation based upon my hunts. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. If you stick with Swift A-frame, Barnes TSX or Northforks, you'll do fine for the first shot. Woodleigh softs may be a bit too soft, but their solid work well. Barnes and Northfork solids are also very good.

    Avoid Federal Trophy Bonded Sledgehammers and Hornadys. Avoid Nosler Partitions for Cape Buff.

    I hear good things about some bullets made in South Africa, but have no personal experience with them.

    Last, providing that you can shoot it well, you are better off with a .4XX rifle than anything smaller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .416 Rigby View Post

    Avoid Federal Trophy Bonded Sledgehammers and Hornadys. Avoid Nosler Partitions for Cape Buff.
    .



    I suspect this buff we shot a couple of weeks ago will agree with you. 480gr soft through the heart from a .450NE double and after 10 yards he realized he was sick... Bullet recovered from the opposite shoulder was perfectly mushroomed with over 90% weight retention.

    Shot placement is more important than bullet type in my view.

    BTW I am a fan of Barness but it is hard to get hold of them over here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by .416 Rigby View Post
    Avoid Federal Trophy Bonded Sledgehammers and Hornadys. Avoid Nosler Partitions for Cape Buff.
    i was wondering why you say avoid sledgehammers, i used them years ago and they worked great in my .416 rigby . the only loaded ammo in those days that we could get was BELL ammunition and they used the TB sledgehammer and bearclaw, both of which worked very well. and as i am thinking of using hornadys in my .470 ,what are the issues that have cropped up with them?

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    [QUOTE=spike.t;90951]
    Quote Originally Posted by .416 Rigby View Post
    Avoid Federal Trophy Bonded Sledgehammers and Hornadys. Avoid Nosler Partitions for Cape Buff.

    i was wondering why you say avoid sledgehammers, i used them years ago and they worked great in my .416 rigby . the only loaded ammo in those days that we could get was BELL ammunition and they used the TB sledgehammer and bearclaw, both of which worked very well. and as i am thinking of using hornadys in my .470 ,what are the issues that have cropped up with them?
    I have no experience with the Hornady's, but have read numerous poor reports on the DGX (Dangerous Game Expanding) bullets. As I recall the bullets come apart and don't hold their weight thus poor penetration. I've read way too many reports to trust those. The DGS (Dangerous Game Solid) bullet is a solid and I don't think I've read anything poor on those.
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    ok thanks phil, i had read a couple of not great things about the DGX, bit was wondering if the DGS are fine.

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    In my humble opinion, as far as concerns the .375 H&H, and given the correct shot placement, there is no finer bullet for use on Cape Buffalo than the 380 gr Rhino.

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