Best bullet for Cape Buffalo

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by colorado, May 13, 2013.

  1. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    So why don't you read what I wrote - As for experience, I have made the profession of arms my whole life. I have been in combat more than once to include special ops. I could be equally derisive of your vast expertise with weapons. I have no doubt you have more double experience on game. So let's both can all that bravado and try to objectively look at what I actually said.

    1) The right and left barrels of the S2 shoot TSX bullets into separate minute of angle groups. Those two groups form a 2 1/4 inch non-crossing composite group at 100 yards. I use a Zeiss Victory and sight the rifle in so that the right barrel is one inch high at 100 yards. I have no hesitation taking a right barrel shot out to 250 meters with the rifle with the scope in place. I admit I have done that on game only once with the .375 (waterbuck), but several times with the 30-06 barrels in place.

    2) At 250 yards the above regulation gives me about a 5 inch composite group. Is the second, instantly available shot as accurate as the first at that range? Of course not - but it is minute of kudu or oryx if I need that immediate follow up.

    3) That said, with the .375 barrels in place, I am not principally hunting plains game. In this case, in August, I will be hunting a buffalo. I will shoot him with the scope in place just as I would with one of my mausers. The only difference is that I can hit him with a second round far more quickly. Is there an advantage to that? I don't know, but I would think it would be just as advantageous if I were squinting over the open sights of my .500/450 at 60 yards. But unlike the .500/450, I do not have to have a second rifle along to deal with a target of opportunity should it appear.

    Should a rifle like the S2 or my use of it offend you in some way as non-traditional, I really am not likely to lose a lot of sleep over it. That strikes me as your problem - not mine. The weapon works exactly as I have described it. Perhaps you should give one a try before you deride my experiences. And should we want to compare total round count down range and under what conditions than let's do that off line. You can PM me. I am sure that I'll be impressed. You might be surprised as well.
     
  2. Bushstalker

    Bushstalker AH Member

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    That's fair enough Red leg, and thanks for your explanation. The only thing is that for me its have always been a respect to the game with philosophy that the first shot should be that one that take down the beast. With the double I do not feel comfortable to do that on 250 m... Yes, I also have a background within the military that also include activity in a West African civil war, but that do not help me much to shoot better with the double rifle !

    Its simply not made for this, and on other hand I don't think that there is many PH that will be open minded to let them clients experiment with a 5 MOA tolerance on game...

    Cheers, M
     
  3. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    :) I am going to try one more time - slowly and with simpler words.

    I am in absolute agreement with you with regard to any other double in my safe. They are maximum 80 -100 meter rifles with open sites. I have a couple of claw mounted and scoped 9.3x74's that are acurate with the scopes, but I still would not want to attempt a shot beyond 150 meters with either.

    The S2 is not like other double. In .375 guize, it shoots ONE (1) - eine/ uno/ une - Minute of Angle (MOA) groups (as in 1 inch) with each barrel at 100 meters. Think of it as two Ruger No. 1's glued together. At that same 100 meters those two 1 inch MOA groups form a 2 1/4 inch composite 4 round group. I have set convergence (adjustable on an S2) to occur at 200 meters. The 1 MOA groups are still one minute of angle whether at 100 - 200 - or 300 meters - meaning those groups are roughly 1-inch/2-inches/3-inches respectively at those ranges. Just like any other rifle. With convergence at 200 meters that means I have 2 overlapping 2-inch 1 MOA groups. Allowing for the additional 50 meters, the first shot will be within 2.5 inches of the point of aim (ONE MOA) and the second shot no more than 5 inches from the frst bullet (includes the potential max 2.5 MOA) but also no more than 2.5 inches from the point of aim.

    I sight the right barrel's 1-inch MOA group to print slightly high at 100 meters. That means I have a first shot, from that right barrel that is as accurate as any other MOA load from any other rifle on the planet. With that sight-in - with a 300 gr TSX - that means I can take that shot "point blank" out to about 250 meters without worrying about hold over. And unlike the guy using the Ruger No. 1, I have an instantly available second round should it be required that will be within 1.5 to 2 MOA of the first round at that same 250 meters.

    Do I recommend the S2 my primary PG rifle? Of course not. However, I will take it to Moz this summer with .375 and 30-06 barrels. With the .375 barrels in place I can make as accurate scope enabled first shot as anyone else can with any other MOA shooting rifle of any type. I have a second, instantly available round that is almost as accurate. The same advantage as a traditional double, except it carries over to longer ranges. I will use it on buffalo. At that 100 yard game, I have the sighting advantages of a scoped rifle and the instant second round advantages of a traditional double.

    Interestingly, the 30-06 barrels are even more accurate than the .375. Both barrels shoot sub- MOA groups. They too converge at 200 meters providing about a 2.5 inch LRxLR at that range. I have bolt actions that won't do that. The S2 in that guize does make a pretty darn good PG rifle.

    It is not "experimentation". It is simply using a very accurate, non-traditional weapon within its capabilities. Rather than making assumptions about what is "not made for" you might consider shooting one.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  4. Bushstalker

    Bushstalker AH Member

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    Thank's R-L that you take your time and most kindly explain for us that are a bit stupid with slowly and simple words.... But you have miss something important, a big game caliber double rifle is suitable for a hunter that prefer a nice challenging stalk and within 40-70 meter take a buffalo with open sights (THIS IS WHAT THEY ARE MADE FOR) or a driven hunt, but we are in the African forum so lets stay to buffalo hunting.

    There is therefore totally wrong to counting MOA with a double rifle, if you shooting it in bench with this most exactly MOA measurements and after that think that it will be the same when you in best case take that field shot from a bit wobbly three legged shooting stick in combination with some pulse on 250 meters, it will make a 100 meter shot a bit challenging but still possible to do it safe within 10x10 cm.

    A double is made for short distance shooting, because you have a direct second shot.. right ? On 250 meter you can not use this fast 2 round because the recoil (lost target sight) and the long distance is useless, you know what I mean.

    Also sorry but I don't like that "super-duper" Blaser double rifles with that huge sliding cocking/decocking safety, because it will delay the user 2-3 seconds in a panic or charging DG hunting situation, that's the main reason I sold my Krieghoff.
     
  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Lol - ok I quit - let's agree to disagree.

    Love to take up the argument over a Mopani fire sometime somewhere. Hell, I'll bring the single malt.
     
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  6. Bushstalker

    Bushstalker AH Member

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    That's sounds like a terrific idea R-L :)
     
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  7. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    this thread has proved a fun read, lots of debating but that's what the internet is for. I will have to chime in one last time because a statement was made that was far from true.

    Barnes makes the TSX in most calibers, including DG double rifle calibers:

    470 NE: .474" (500gr)
    500 NE: .509" (570gr)
    577 NE: .583" (750gr)

    if you don't want to take my word for it, here is my source (scroll to the bottom): http://www.barnesbullets.com/products/components/rifle/tsx-bullet/

    -matt
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  8. Bushstalker

    Bushstalker AH Member

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    Yes you are right matt85, I did not know they produce them in larger cal. than .458, thanks for the information.
     
  9. K-man

    K-man AH Veteran

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    I need to paraphrase the great tony stark (iron man) who said, "the best bullet is the one you only have to use once!" I only have one experience with it but 300grn tsx in a .375 put where it belongs worked great for me. I have much respect for those of you who can consistently shoot .4o cal and up. I have shot for too many years and rounds to take that kind of punishment.
     
  10. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    a 450/400 NE 3" in a gun that fits you isnt bad in the recoil department. least not much more then a 375 H&H in my opinion.

    -matt
     
  11. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    I agree and then some.
    To me, the 450/400 feels about the same amount of recoil as a .375 H&H but perhaps not as snappy, kind of like comparing the .338 Winchester with 275 grain bullets, to the recoil of the .375 H&H / 300 grain .... "about exactly the same only the .375's recoil seems slower."
    Usually the .400 is in a double and therefore usually heavier than the typical .375 but one chap I know here has a Ruger single shot .450/.400 and I have fired it with no whiplash or retina detachments.
     
  12. jdemocko

    jdemocko New Member

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    Lots of good bullets out there. I've been impressed with the Cutting Edge Bullets out of my 500 NE
     
  13. spoonieduck

    spoonieduck AH Member

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    By that definition there is no such thing as a 'best' bullet. It is entirely possible to merely wound a jackrabbit with the best constructed, large caliber bullet mounted on the perfect high powder volume cartridge case. I've shot three cape buffalo, an American buffalo [bison], an elephant and several smaller animals with a .375 Winchester Magnum. The first cape buffalo was taken with the guide's rifle and the guide's ammunition and I don't remember what kind of ammunition he had. I do remember that the first round was some kind of soft-nose, expandable bullet with solid bullet followups. Following the first shot [quartered on], he went about 100 yds and stood there sick. I finished him with the next two solids.

    My other two cape buffalo were taken with 300 grain Hornady solids. One died instantly with a broken neck. The second--shot through the chest--ran, but I tripped him with a bad shot to his rear hock. He died there without the necessity of a second shot. My American buffalo was taken with a Nosler Partition to the lungs . He went maybe 50 yds and rolled over finished. My elephant was taken with a lateral brain shot--Hornady solid. The 300 grain bullet hit the brain dead center and almost exited the elephant's head.

    I'm fixing to go to Africa in about a month with my son. I'll bring a 300 Win Magnum and a 416 Weatherby Magnum [and, no, I don't like the recoil, either, so I'll make my son shoot it]. Amongst smaller game, my son wants an eland, cape buffalo and giraffe [I'm thinking about disowning him]. I'll have him shoot the .416 at these large animals. Besides, as a sometimes forensic pathologist, I want to examine wound tracts, penetration, deformation, bullet weight loss etc. Right now, I'm planning that he hunt giraffe and eland first using---probably---Barnes 350 grain or 400 grain TSX bullets. Now, if I'm satisfied with performance--especially on heavy bone--we'll use the same combination on buffalo. If I am in any way dissatisfied, however, we will switch over to Swift A-Frames or Nosler Partitions.

    Somebody here made the statement discouraging the use of Nosler Partitions on 'big' stuff. Personally, I don't know where he's coming from. I've shot a hundred or more medium sized animals with 300 Win mag 180 grain Nosler Partitions--kudu, lion, gemsbok, zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, sable etc. If I have a problem with these bullets, it's only because they rarely shoot completely through the beast. The slug is usually under the skin on the far side [I'd really like an expandable bullet that shoots clean through so that I have an exit-wound blood trail]. With one exception, in which the forward lead shed from the partition [killed the animal anyway], the Nosler bullet was always perfectly mushroomed with little if any loss of mass.

    Now, my question is for those who have experience with Barnes TSX bullets on large dangerous game. Barnes advertises that its bullet [one version of its TSX bullet?] expands on impact with the skin. If true, this sounds like a bad idea for a large, big-boned, thick bodied animal like a buffalo. If quartered on, the bullet needs to run....ohh...6 or 7 feet to reach the skin on the far side. As soon as the bullet expands [clover leafs] to twice its original caliber, it necessarily slows down quickly. If the clover-leafed bullet strikes big bone, this bullet should slow down even more dramatically.

    On the other hand, I've never seen a really large animal killed with a Barnes TSX bullet. I've never had the opportunity to open such an animal up and see what really happened. Any personal observations--not theory--would be appreciated.
     
  14. spoonieduck

    spoonieduck AH Member

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    Oh yeah, I've shot a lot of North American and Asiatic game using a 300 Win with a 180 grain Nosler Partition to include Siberian brown bear, Russian and numerous, numerous feral hogs, American black bear, argali sheep, ibex, caribou, moose, mountain goat, wolf, coyotes [100 or more], elk, red deer and numerous white tails with the occasional mule deer and black tail thrown in. In all cases the Nosler Partition bullet performed perfectly although, in the case of most medium sized animals, the bullet never exited--under the skin on the far side. I've considered the 'under the skin' phenomenon. The skin is highly elastic. The bullet is slowed by passage through the body. When it strikes the far side skin, the skin is pushed outward, like a baseball pitcher's mitt catching a ball. The bullet is 'caught' by this elastic mechanism. A solid bullet usually retains velocity to penetrate the skin on the far side. Example: I've shot a number of wild hogs with a little 220 Swift with a little 50 grain solid Barnes bullet. It is sudden death on chest shot hogs up to 300 lbs in weight [never shot one that weighs more than this]. If the animal is at right angles and hit in the chest, the bullet usually zips right through him--thick chest skin, bones and everything.

    I've only seen one animal shot with my .416 Weatherby. My friend shot an elephant in Ethiopia with a 400 grain solid. It's a long story but in order to see the animal, my friend had to climb into a tree. According to him, the elephant was feeding in 10-12 foot elephant grass [bamboo] and all he could see was the top of its head and the top of its back. Unwisely he decided to estimate the location of the elephant's chest and shoot THROUGH the bamboo. Boommb!! The elephant ran off. At dusk we found one smear of watery blood. Gut shot. We trailed the elephant the next morning for two miles. The animal was stone dead shot directly through the guts. Our guide [Negussie Eschete] said he couldn't believe it. He'd never seen an elephant die from such a wound. Testimony, I'm sure, to the lethality of the .416 Weatherby Magnum. How my friend avoided falling from the tree is a real mystery.
     
  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I attached this photo to another string but this is a 300 gr .375 TSX I recovered from the far side of a buffalo after it penetrated both shoulders. Lots of good bullets out there, but I am personally sold on the TSX for medium bores. I too have used the partition a lot - and almost always with great success. That said, virtually all I have recovered from anything north of 400 lbs was essentially just a shank having shed the front end. Obviously they worked or I wouldn't have recovered them. The TSX drives just as deep, but does so while continuing to make a meaningful wound channel. In .30's I have become a real fan of the North Fork SP. Again not because other rounds won't work, but because my little .300 H&H loves them.
    http://www.africahunting.com/huntin...al-tsx-performance-cape-buf-at-80-yds&cat=519
     
  16. CAustin

    CAustin AH Fanatic

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    Great debate and sharing of information
     
  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH Fanatic

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    Hello Spoonieduck,

    Be cautious of "one time tests" with your favorite rifle/caliber.

    I was not there to dig around in the elephant but I suspect the liver or a major artery within the abdomen was lacerated, pure and simple good luck for the hunter that time.

    Most people who've guided multiple elephant hunts and/or have culled elephants, will tell you that, usually an elephant gut shot is an elephant lost, no matter what caliber was used.

    Once I saw a coyote quartering toward us, shot with a 7 mm Remington Magnum.

    It knocked him off his feet but he was up and gone in a flash, before the shooter could chamber a second round.

    We found hair, some blood and a very small chip of bone with a scrap of meat attached.

    Never found him in the sea of sage brush / steep canyon area of Northern Nevada.

    That particular one time test seems to indicate that the 7 Millimeter Magnum is not enough gun for 25 pound coyotes.

    I know of a case in Colusa California where two men decided to fight in The Alamo Bar.

    As they swiftly closed with each other, one activated a large switchblade knife, as the other was whipping out his 1911 .45 Autopistol (military surplus ball ammunition / 230 grain FMJ).

    They both "let fly" simultaneously, with two bullets striking the knife man, one on each side of his belly button and exiting either side of his lower back, just as he rammed his blade clear to the handle into the gun man's throat, killing him pretty much instantly.

    The knife wielding man eventually healed up from his two .45 caliber holes with perfect powder burns (and was still on his feet when Police and Medics arrived).

    From that one time test, a person might get the notion they should stop carrying a .45 and instead go to carrying a cheaply made switch blade knife, as self protection.

    I could ramble-on all day about animals / criminals behaving oddly when shot with this caliber or that, in one body part or another.

    I suggest your friend was just lucky in the accidental placement of that bullet, and any well penetrating large caliber/heavy bullet would have done exactly the same in place of the one he fired.

    We do agree that shooting through bamboo at an unwounded animal is nonsense.

    Respectfully,
    Velo Dog.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014

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