Bullets Choices for 375 H&H Multi-Species Hunt

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by Cleathorn, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I am headed to Africa for a three (maybe 4) species Hunt. We are targeting Elephant, Leopard and Cape Buffalo in the Malapati region of southern Zim.

    I will be shooting the venerable .375 H&H mag. and I am very comfortable with the rifle. I can handle bigger bore guns but the .375 H&H is by far my favorite, I have owned it for a long time and the bigger bore guns are just not in the equation.

    My "dilema" is bullet selection. For elephant I need a solid - no question. But which one do guys like the best.

    For Leopard I need an fast expansion soft point. THe Nosler Partition is my chioce there.

    Finally, for Bufs I really need 2 bullets. A solid and an expansion bullet. I will use the same solid for Bufs as Elephant. The Nosler Partition is not the right chioce for the Buf. I have heard good things about Tropghy Bonded Bear Claws, but I am not sure you can buy the bullet - does anypne know if its just a Federal bullet that comes in factroy rounds only?

    I will load everything in 300 gr with a muzzle velocity of between 2400-2450f/s - that seems to be the gold standard for penatration and expansion.

    So in summary, I am looking for recommendations on .375 caliber bullets as follows:

    1) DG Solids

    2) DG Expansion rounds for Bufs

    3) Confirmation on the NP as a good choice for Leopard

    Thanks folks

    The 4th species will be an incedental Nyala or Sable and the NP is the obvisous choice from the .375 H&H - for me anyway.
  2. Highland

    Highland AH Member

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    What I have used on buff is the Swift A-Frame backed by Barnes flat nosed solids. Worked great.

    For my leopard I used a 300 grain Swift A-Frame. Maybe a little tougher than optimal, but it worked great.

    I would stick to those two...as a matter of fact, I plan to next year. Only in a 375 Weatherby.
  3. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I really like the .375 H&H and I have used it extensively on buffalo and everything Africa has to offer except elephant, but I would not hesitate to use it on elephant..

    My favorite solid hands down is the GS Customs flat nose monolithic solid solid and I have seen it shoot through an elephants head and through a buffalo lengthwise on more than a few ocassions.

    I would also consider the North Fork cup point to shoot buffalo with. That is what I use and with it I see no use for a soft and a solid, it does both with aplomb...

    My favorite softs for buffalo are the above North fork cup point (its a favorite solid also); the wonderful 350 gr. Woodleigh PP; The 300 gr. Northfork, the GS Customs 270 gr. HVHP, and the 300 gr. Nolser is always a good bullet..I would pick the Nosler, or North fork softs for Leopard. An Ideal Leopard bullet would be a light weight GS Customs HP...

    Depending on your rifle and how it will print different bullet together would be an elemant of making a choice..Normally most guns don't print different loads together so I would pick one solid and one soft that shot together from the above and use those two exclusively...in which case that would probably be a GS customs flat nose solid and probably a GS Customs HV HP of about 270 grs. They usually shoot together, they both penetrate and kill very well. I have shot the GS Customs HP through a buffalo sideways after breaking a shoulder and they will still work on a Leopard.

    Thats my opine on using the .375 for whatever its worth.
  4. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Guys - I will have to look more into the GS Customs. So far I buy most of my stuff from MidWay and they do not have the specialty stuff. There is a lot of it out there but tat maks it tough to choose.

    I was thinking about buying a .458 win mag., just because, but I was at the range again today and I cannot justify it. I am not a gun collector, I cannot afford a double (in which case it would already own a .458 win mag) and my focus is on hunting, not the gadgets that go inot it. Obviously you need a shoot, a lot, which I do pretty much 12 months a year, but I try and stick to the proven basics and not chase the newest/"best new product" kind of thing. But I have heard enough of the GS Customs to warrant looking further into them. Do you know an online vendor?

    As for as the caliber goes, I know there is always a debate about which gun is "right" for hunting. Everyone, or nearly everyone, has an opinion, and its usually strong. I have no problem with that, it is usually a direct correlation to the gun that person likes the best or shoots the most.

    But interestingly, I have working with 2 PHs in 2 different areas to hunt Leopard, Lion, Elephant and Bufs. When I asked them to pick the best caliber for ne to use, not telling them anything about what I already owned, could shoot, or my experience, both of them resoundingly said the .375 H&H Mag. I also saw an AH survey that came to the same conclusion.

    I thought that was interesting. Since the PHs job is to keep everyone safe, that fact that the overwhelming majority select the .375 H&H for their hunters speaks volumes. I am now well off track - thanks again for the comments, the A-Frame is on my list as well.

    Let me know about where to look for the GS Customs?

    Thanks guys
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I bought 300 grain Branded Solids from Barnes for my 375 H&H and they suppose to be very, very good for elephant. I wouldn't leave home without them in my CZ 550. Barnes also makes a excellent 300 grain Triple Shock X bullet. Cabelas is selling Barnes.

    I also like the 285 grain Grand Slam bullets, 300 grain Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer Solids, and 300 grain Trophy Bonded Bear Claws by Speer. Natchez Shooters Supplies sells Speer at Natchez Shooters Supplies

    I think the above bullets I mentioned are great bullets. Unfortunely, I haven't had the chance to hunt the Big 5....but I would not be afraid to use the 375 H&H.
  6. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Cleathorn,
    GS Customs can be contacted at:
    gscustoms@wol.co.za
    Tel: 011-27-84-300-3006
    Fax: 011-27-86-653-8432

    GS Customs
    PO Box 10678
    Linton Grange
    Port Elizabeth, 6015, RSA

    Try the 250 and 270 gr. bullets in your .375..they both will out penetrate most 300 gr. bullets.

    I used the 375 for a number of years, shot a lot of buffalo with it, have seen it used on elephant with perfect success, and its ideal for Lion, Leopard and all plainsgame..

    I do believe the .416 Rem is a better hammer for Dangerous Game and is as good an all around caliber as the .375 with a 300 or 350 gr. bullet at 2700 FPS and a 400 gr. bullet at 2400 FPS its hard to beat..It also has a bit more recoil..I have been shooting the 40 calibers for the last 10 years..Its a good alternative but only for someone that goes to African often, otherwise the .375 is the better choice..

    Good luck and have a great safari...
  7. Wanderer

    Wanderer New Member

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    In my limited buff hunting experience, I've used the .375 H&H. After my last hunt, I bought a .458 Win. The recoil is not noticeably greater than the .375, and I'd like a 450 grain A Frame moving at 2150 better than a 300 grain moving at 2500. But that's just me, and I don't have a lot of experience to draw from.

    I've had very good luck with the Swift A Frame in a couple of calibers, both on buff and PG. Only been on two buff hunts, so, as I said, I'm speaking from limited experience, but neither PH wanted me to load solids, particularly for herd hunting because of the possibility of over penetration.

    The solid I use is the now out-of-manufacture Speer African tugnsten-cored solid. I bought up a bunch while they were still around. They penetrate like no other solid. I shot one through an inch and a half plate of tempered steel. They are available through Larry at Superior Ammunition in Sturgis, although from a different company. Speer dropped them when Federal bought Speer. Federal did not want the competition from a better solid than the Sledgehammer, and the tungsten cored bullet was very expensive to manufacture with a very limited market. Contact Larry if you want to connect with the current manufacturer. They sell for five bucks apiece, about the same as North Forks.

    BTW, in my humble opinion, Federal African caliber loads are highly overpriced. Hornady must be giving them fits with their new soft and solid, which seem to be performing very well in the field, at about half the price.
  8. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    You've gotten some great advice on bullets from these guys, but don't think for a minute that 300 grain Nosler Partitions won't work for buffalo. They're fine to shoot buffalo with, about like a Swift A frame, and while different than a TBB Bear Claw, just as good.

    I get the impression that you're over complicating this whole deal. Choose from the bullets everyone has recommended and find a solid and soft that shoot to the same point of impact, or nearly so. Then, go have some fun in Africa!
  9. Pirumedic

    Pirumedic New Member

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  10. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    DLS is rite. For buffalo the Nosler or TBB are good bullets. I would say either one kills better "faster" than the Barnes. There is nothing wrong with the Barnes either except you need to be realy careful of what is behind the bull you shoot since they dont slow down much on their way threw. The fastest two kills I recall making on buffalo were with Noslers and Bear Claws. I dont think buffalo are all that tuff if you get a side on shot. Frontal shots can be a different story though. There are lots of guys with more experince than me but after 6 buffalo that is what I figure.
  11. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I field tested the first North Fork bullets in Tanzania on buffalo..I can heartedly recommend the Northfork softs and their flat nose solids...they also make a cup point that it basically half soft and half solid and it does the job of both...today when I pack my 416 or 404 to Africa, I take one bullet and that will be a North fork cup point. I have shot about everything in Africa with it in my .416 except elephant and if I had an emergency situation on an elephant I am positive it would do the job. Haveing just one bullet for everything is a very good idea, and most PHs appreciate it..this may not be for everyone, and certainly not ideal for Leopard, but for everything else it suits me just fine..I have not used it on Leopard, I just think I would prefer a little more expansion and a little faster expansion on those little cats. Any way Northforks are fantastic bullets.

    There are so many good bullets today that it makes choosing almost dramatic! :) My favorites are GS Customs, Northfork, Noslers, and Woodleighs. and it no particular order..
  12. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    I have to agree with Ray, there are many excellent bullet choices available today, and most will do a great job. I've taken african game with Hornady, Woodleigh, Trophy Bonded, Nosler, A Square, Barnes and never had a problem with any of them performing just fine.

    Most of us who worry about bullets would be better served to spend more time improving our shooting skills, as poor shooter performance causes way more problems in Africa than poor bullet performance ever will.
  13. Pancho

    Pancho AH Member

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    TBBC is the bullet for buffalo [period] end of discussion.
    I think it will work on leopard also but you might consider the softer Sierra 300gr.
    I shoot the Hornady solid with good results so far. Never recovered a TBBC or Hornady solid on buffalo broadside shots. Never fired very many solids because the TBBC has dropped them on the spot {drt}.
  14. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    TBBC is the bullet for buffalo [period] end of discussion.

    I am glad this issue was finally resolved. I guess Woodliegh, Northfork, Barnes, Swift, and others can now close up shop.
  15. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    TBBC Bullets

    TBBC are good bullets. But I have a few in my collection that didnt make it threw. The last one was just a few months ago. Perfect broad side shot. The bullet was imbeded in the off side rib so hard that we had to pound it out with a axe. The bullet was still a absolutly perfect mushroom in shape just the way it should be. The buffalo of course was dead at this point so I aint complain'n. I could probably post a picture of it if anyone cares to see it.
  16. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    TBBC Bullet

    I attached the picture of the TBBC bullet. I think?

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  17. Wildcat

    Wildcat AH Member

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    I bought a 375 H & H this last summer, so I could use it this fall and then take it to Namibia next august. I loaded it with 300 gr barnes triple shocks.
    I shot a bull elk with it a hair under 300 yards.
    It was pretty poor perfomence they didnt expand.
    The first bullet in pic went thru both lungs at a slight angle taking out 2 ribs on entrance and 2 going out and broke the off shoulder and bullet was recovered about 2 inches short of exiting. The bull took two steps back and laid down right there. So the next bullet in pic went thru the lungs and angled back to the flank on off side and stopped just under skin. The other is a new bullet never fired.
    Will these bullets perform better on African like kudu, gemsbox and other plains game.
    I wont be shooting elk with them again I dont think. They did the job but, if I hadnt shattered his off shoulder Im thinking he would have made it along ways. When I got up to the animal it was still trying to suck wind and its lungs were not that bad small holes.
    Your feed back would help.

    [​IMG]

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  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Wildcat, I don't think you are going to be happy. I think these bullet will zip right through most plains game, but the kudu, zebra and eland are similiar to the elk. I wish there was more expansion in the bullet like the TBBC. Maybe, if the bullet was plastic tipped, there would have been more expansion. But that is my opinion. Other than hunting elephant or buffalo, I would like a mushrooming bullet.
  19. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I saw the same thing in Mozambique in 2004 on Buffalo but I thought or at least read that the first bullets were to tuff and Barnes had made changes. It seems like maybe not. If I can find the only bullet recovered I will send a picture. In any event they were just like solids end to end on a buffalo. I used some borrowed barnes 3006 ammo later on a plains game hunt and it worked OK though, no bullets recovered but the animals died in short order.
  20. Cleathorn

    Cleathorn AH Senior Member

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    I have actualy had discussions with a former employee (performanace tester to be specific) for Barnes and discussed this very subject with him. I am not kidding - I would give his name but I do not have his permission to do so.

    I asked the same question about expansion with him regarding the Barnes T-X Bullets. He fully agreed with the expected outcome. That is not to say that he was denigrating the bullet - very much the opposite, he was explaining its virtues to me.

    It is desgined to be a single bullet option for heavy skinned or boned DG animals like Buffs, Elephant, for heavy boned PG like Eland, Giraff and the dangerous bears like the browns, grizzly, polar bears and other dangerous game. The Barnes are suppossed to replace the need for a 1 - 2 punch with an expanding bullet and a back-up solid.

    You got the performance from the bullet that is was designed for. This is not meant to insult you, but far too many people think Elk are tough animals. By North American standards that is true but in reality, they are fairly easy to kill. THey are light skinned and their bone structure is not that dense. Kudu, Eland, Zebra (especially Zebra) and the like will be much tougher and the Barbes will perform better but still not expand like the TBBC, Partitions or other bonded expanding bullets.

    Barbes T-X's are very good bullets, for the right aplication. Elk and most plains game not the intended use.

    To drive the point home (at risk or overdoing it) many an elk and a whole lot of PG have been shot with the .30 06, using good quality bonded bullets. In fact, its probably the ideal caliber for any shot under .300 yards. It is relativly flat, good sectional density, velocity and momentum and its widely availible and cheap. Its also very good for the recoil sensative. I like the .300 Win Mag. because I like really flat trajectories for the occasional 400-500 yards shots (which I like to take only becuase I practice at those distances and can shoot those distances very well. Its something to talk about at camp. But the point is, if the 30 06 performs so well, what does the .375 add - its actually too much gun unless you use hand loads designed for the application.

    The .375 is probably a fun gun to use but not required and the Barnes bullet coupled with the .375 at 2400+fps muzzle veolcity kicks hard but performs lousy.

    I would think that if you used that same gun with a lighter bullet like a 225 gn expanding bullet like a TBBC or Partition at 2500fps you would love the performance - that elk would drop like a stone and impress even the most expierienced western guides and outfitters. Try it and report on the results.

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