My only experience Leopard hunting has occurred at night while I was sleeping, only to wake up greatly disappointed. :lookaround:
I do however hope to someday hunt them. On my safari last year my wife and I got a close up look at the leopard they have at the Moholoholo Rehab Centre in the Limpopo. While a formidable animal for sure, they don't strike me as particularly huge and that a fast expanding bullet as some have said in this thread makes sense to me.
My favorite rifle all time for the animals I've hunted in the U.S. is my Winchester M70 in 7mm magnum. This rifle is now pretty much relegated to hunting Coues deer in Arizona. My deer hunting buddy here recommended a load that uses 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips. I have to say this was a great recommendation. The deer I've killed with this round have all dropped dead in their tracks with not so much as a twitch. One of the deer I shot was at 300 yards and was a heart shot. The only thing left of the heart was a small section from the bottom.
So, I'm wondering if this bullet type (not necessarily 140 grain 7mm mag) would not be a good choice for leopard?
I've heard the ballistic tip criticized for being hard on the hide, but I've not seen the hide damage to be any worse on the deer I've killed with it versus other bullets.
I know gun fanantics love to talk about premium bullets and hand loads but I would think that a .375 shooting factory Winchester Power Point or Remington Core-Lok bullets in 270 grain would be fine Leopord medicine as they tend to mushroom without much resistance but are not exactly "fragile"?
Has anyone ever used factory ammo and standard bullets on leopords? I don't think their hide/body would be tougher than a whitetail deer in reality.
Obviously the danger presented after a bad shot is way worse with a cat but I really don't think that they are that "tough" of an animal to kill with a good shot and don't see why Win Power Points or Rem Core-Loks which have killed millions of deer would fail to kill a Leopord or would "fail" to perform on them in appropriate cartridge chamberings.
Maybe I am wrong???
I mean, in the end, I think where you put the first shot is way more important than which ammo is used on thin skinned game unless you are using completely innappropriate ammo that is not expanding at all like solids.
And I mentioned the .375 but I really meant any appropriate caliber including 7mm Mag. I love the Nosler Ballistic Tips at ranges over 100 yards but one time when I had a deer come in unexpectedly close to my stand I hit it with the BT at bow range and it is the only deer I have shot and not recovered...and it was a good shot. I would be concerned about the high velocity of a 7mm Rem Mag and the 140 grain BT (which is the same bullet I shoot in my 7mm-08) at closer ranges experienced in Lepord hunting.
I still think a standard bullet or Nosler Partion that opens quick yet stays together would be perfect
I believe any good deer caliber withing reason is a good Leopard gun..I like the 06 and the 7x57 with good bullets. I also like the 338, 9.3x62 and 375, even my .416 Rem or 404.
If I had to follow one up which isn't likely but always a possibility, then the big bores would be my choice.
I suppose my choice today, and that can change any minute :) would be the .338 with 210 gr. Noslers or 250 gr. Sierra bullets as they expand well. A good taxidermist can repair the skin damage, but in most cases its not severe.