Solid or Partition Bullets for African Lion

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Kenneth McMillan, May 14, 2014.

  1. Kenneth McMillan

    Kenneth McMillan New Member

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    I got into a bit of a debate with a fellow Army Cadet Force Skill at Arms Instructor over bullet choice for hunting African Lion, we both agree that the calibres used would be between .375 HandH Magnum - .450 Rigby but it is the bullet choice, he says a Solid Flat nose would be best where as I said that a Nosler Partition Bullet would be better. Which one would the members personally use?
     
  2. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Elite

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    I will definitely not go with a solid. You need something soft as cats are soft skinned and susceptible to shock.
     
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  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'd go with the Nosler Partition or Accubond or Swift A Frame.
     
  4. hunteratheart

    hunteratheart AH Member

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    Although both would do the job if properly placed, my preference would not be a solid. They are relatively thin skinned and so you would want a fairly fast expanding soft to maximize tissue damage.
     
  5. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    That would be my thought on the matter. A flat meplat will definitely do damage but it's going to zip right through. If the heart wasn't hit, and perhaps even if it was, you're now going to have a very pissed off apex predator still capable of extracting a measure of revenge.
     
  6. tarbe

    tarbe AH Elite

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    I doubt you will find anyone on this site who will say use a solid over a Partition on lion.
     
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  7. Kenneth McMillan

    Kenneth McMillan New Member

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    That's what I thought, the Nosler Partition would be the best, my cadet colleague thought a solid would be better because it was a large apex predator, I told him that you only use solids on thick skinned dangerous game such as Buffalo, Elephant, Hippo and Rhino, never on Lion or Leopard they need soft pointed or partition bullets. I just wonder what other people would use.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  8. vette447

    vette447 AH Veteran

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    Certainly a partition or expanding bullet to impart the most energy on the big cat would be my choice. A solid would go right through them and not transfer that much energy.
     
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yep, what they all said above.
     
  10. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    Conventional round nose soft.
     
  11. dsmerrills

    dsmerrills AH Member

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    Very interesting reply's, personally I would load a combination of both. First shot would be a soft and the second shot would be a solid. But let's take things a bit further, when hunting lion your first shot should if not must put the cat down otherwise you could be in some serious trouble but luckily you'll have your PH as back up if needs be!

    Use it don't use it, that's the way I have always done it!
     
  12. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Nosler Partitions on the choice given. A quick expanding soft on the cats has always done the job for us. As Pieter mentioned, they are soft, thin skinned animals and very susceptible to shock.
    Velocity also seem to do the job on them.

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen
     
  13. Kenneth McMillan

    Kenneth McMillan New Member

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    My choice now after firing them, would be the Barnes Triple Shock even though I would still prefer the Nosler Partition, would the Barnes be any good on African Lion. An Adult Officer in the Cadet Forces agrees with me.
     
  14. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Magazine full of any premium SP. Partitions absolutely would do the job. I personally would use a TSX variant or a premium bonded core, but that is only because I have gotten away from partitions over the last decade (I have become a real proponent of the TSX). Even for follow-up on a wounded cat, I would not want solids. A premium soft in the chest of an in-bound cat can turn him even if not immediately fatal. Unlike a buffalo or elephant, reaching the vitals of a pissed off feline is not the issue. Hitting him and doing max damage when you do is the goal.
     
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  15. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am definitely +1 with Code4 here on the RNSP but, of the two bullets mentioned in the original question, the NP would otherwise get my vote.

    The .375 H&H and 300 gr RNSP bullets have been the demise of many lion since before WW-I.

    I presume the original post refers to the .450 Rigby as their newer rimless magnum for repeaters and I have not fired one yet but I will bet it is a lion smasher for sure.

    Having never shot a lion my opinion is based entirely on what I have learned from others who have shot them.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
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  16. Kenneth McMillan

    Kenneth McMillan New Member

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    yes it does refer the 450 rimless but however my preference for lion would be the 416 Rigby in a bolt action or a 470 nitro express in a double rifle. I would prefer to use the double rifle as you would get two shots.
     
  17. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Hi Kenneth McMillan,

    The .416 Rigby was not mentioned in your original post/question but, it also enjoys an awesome reputation on lion, by means of the Rigby designed 410 grain Round Nose Soft Point, beginning well before WW-I (introduced in 1911 I think).
    John "Pondoro" Taylor spoke very highly of the .416, describing it as the very best caliber for stopping a lion's charge.

    You mentioned Nosler Partitions in .375 so, it is worth saying that the NP is also available in .416 diameter (400 grain) and I will guess most PH's would happily guide you to a lion with such a combination.
    Woodleigh makes the 410 gr RNSP if you wanted to be totally nostalgic (I have that tendency most of the time).

    Be all of that that as it may, according to his own words, Taylor mostly used a Farquarson single shot in .375 H&H with 300 grain RNSP for lion.
    As he put it; "with plenty of lead exposed at the front" (or words to that affect).
    Since it was chambered in a single shot of those times, I presume it was the "flanged" version AKA: rimmed version.

    The flanged ammunition with 300 gr bullets was loaded to "only" 2400 fps, for use in doubles (weaker breach than the Mauser).
    Coincidentally, that is my favorite load in bolt action .375s as well, for hunting in conditions typical to most of Africa, what we would call "woods hunting conditions" or "brush hunting conditions", here in N. America.
    Once I did own a double in .375 H&H (rimless-belted) by Merkel and paid Champlin Arms to re-regulate it to that load as well.

    With same I hunted in Africa for my 2nd safari, taking 9 animals.
    It was a plains game only hunt but I felt confident that if some grumpy lion tried to clobber me or anyone present that, I was not under-gunned at all.

    As for using a .470 double on lion, I do not need to say it is plenty of gun.
    There is just something about stalking game at close range while carrying a classic double rifle.
    I sacked the buffalo in my avatar with an English double in .450No2 Nitro and I would not trade that memory for anything.

    However, for my safari dollar (if I could afford a lion in the first place and if a frog had wings), personally I would likely choose a Mauser that I already own.
    It's a Brno 602 magnum in .375 H&H, with 4x Zeiss scope in Alaska lever rings / open express sights as my backup plan, large white front bead, wide shallow V rear sight.

    Blah, blah, blah,
    (Help, I'm typing and I can't stop).
    Velo Dog.
     
  18. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    You are a good man Velo - still laughing - gin and tonic probably has something to do with it.

    Like you, I am not planning to underwrite the remaining lion hunting industry anytime soon, but if I were so inclined, I'd take my lightly scoped .404 with that white bead thing going on as well and a magazine full of SPs. This rifle likes the TSX, but the partition would be fine.
     
  19. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Thanks Red Leg and since you own a .404 Jeffery, you automatically measure up to the title of "good man" as well.

    Once having fired a .404, I then made a solemn oath to one day possess one.

    I have brass, dies and bullets but no rifle as of yet.

    Too many other projects at the moment but I do have a decent .416 Rigby, and that shall have to do until further notice, in the approximately .40 caliber department (would not turn my nose up at a 10.75x68 either for that matter).

    Seems to me that besides being one of the world's greatest DG cartridges that, the .404 would also be a very fun rifle to hunt PG with, using a 300 gr bullet, similar to the original Pre-War 300 gr "Plains Game Load", only with today's tougher bullets.

    Hawk makes a 300 grainer in .423 diameter and offers more than one jacket thickness as well.

    Yes, the Vitamin-G Factor (known as The Gin Factor in some circles), not only helps greatly with the typing skills but, must somehow be linked to the Fountain of Youth, I cannot prove that but, I am quite sure of it nonetheless.

    Out,
    Velo Dog.
     
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  20. Red Leg

    Red Leg SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    And the tonic keeps malaria away - sort'a. Almost did that this summer, though out to 200 or so, suspect the 400s would work for most PG scenarios. You would like this rifle. CZ action, Krieger barrel, and all the appropriate beads, sights and barrel band.
     

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