Using Barnes XXX FB 300 Grain Bullets for Kitty Cat??

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by gxsr-sarge, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Hello There,

    I'll be doing a combo Leopard/Buffalo hunt next year and will be taking my scoped (Swarovksi Z6i 1.7 x 10) Dakota 76 in 375 H&H along with my Double K-gun in 470 NE (open sights). My plan is to take these two rifles and try to use the DR for my Cape hunt but also have the 375 as a "back-up" in the field in case I can't get close and just have to take an awesome bull at 100+ yards. I plan to use 300 grain Barnes XXX FB for the 375 (and have some solids in the mag for back up shots).

    So for Mr. Spots, I have to use the Dakota 375. I don't want to take a third rifle. I'd love to use the 300 grain Barnes XXX on the Leopard so I wouldn't have to take more ammo but mostly because the scope will already be dead-on and I don't have to sight-in with other ammo. However, I do need to make that shot count!!

    My question is: Does anyone have any feedback (actual experience would be ideal) on using Barnes XXX 300 gr. bullets on Leopard. If not, any feedback/experience with any other 375 bullet used on Leopard.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Sergio
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    No experience on this one.

    Scientific thoughts: I think you will fine as long as you hit the front shoulder or lungs (right through the middle), because you are going to put a small, precise hole through the cat.
  3. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    Leopard are very thin skinned animals. I prefer a very soft bullet on these cats . The barnes will fly through like a solid. The leopard should also be a fairly close shot either from a blind or if you are hunting with dogs. I would really look into something else. I also use Barnes bullets but in this case I prefer a soft bullet. Good luck !
  4. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    I used .375 hand-loads with 250gr Sierra Gamekings. Excellent results on all cats. It is, in fact, the only bullet I use for all my hunting. I carry some 286gr solids when in DG area's.
  5. Gerhardu

    Gerhardu New Member

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    Cats are very thin skinned,try using maybe a swift A-frame.They will work for both cat and buff.
  6. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    Sir.
    I have been using 270gr Barnes-X in my 375H&H for the past 15 years and on over 1 000 animals including culling. I will NEVER hesitate to use a Barnes on a Leopard. Shot placement is 99% of whet kills the animal. I have had clients use my rifle and bullet combo on many Leopard hunts and I can honestly not recall one that was wounded.

    I have also shot countless other animals with it that is much softer than any Leopard and many just fell dead in their tracks.

    You can over analise everything and then forget to just keep it simple by taking the rifle and putting the bullet where it can do the best work.
  7. Lure Jensen

    Lure Jensen AH Member

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    The Barnes is an excellent bullet, I agree not much expansion. I shot a large brown bear with a 338RUM, 250GR. Bullet went in the size of your index finger, broke both shoulders and came out the size of your thumb, and it was a 200 yd shot!
  8. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Fritz,

    I appreciate the "hands on" feedback on the Barnes. I will concede that I do tend to "over analyze" things a bit.

    Barnes contends that their XXX bullet expands faster than most. I understand that shot placement is everything but I do want to maximize that shot!

    Would you feel that same way about the 300 grain bullet?
  9. 6MM

    6MM AH Veteran

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    No specific experience on Leopard but lot's with Barnes in a .375 can't go wrong in my opinion. Especially if you work up your own handloads.
  10. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    I stopped using the 300gr many-many years ago. The 270gr just performed better in my opinion because of the nice flat trajectory and speed that I get - 2680fps. This makes my rifle a short and long range rifle. Shots out to 300y is a breeze.

    No Leopard - or any other animal - will ever know that I shot it with a 270gr in stead of a 300gr. I have seen many times where a 270gr opened up fully and the 300gr did not. I have also hunted many Buffalo and Giraffe using the 270gr with great penetration on body shots. About 50% of them exited on shoulder shots.

    I would never hesitate to use any Barnes-X on any Leopard, Lion, Buffalo.
  11. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Fully agree...

    My rifle loves the 300's. These two final groups (I was also sighting in the scope) were at 100 yards off of a front rest/rear bag using at 1.7x10 Swarovski Z6 scope. The second 2-shot group was after a thorough cleaning and cooling down of the barrel (i.e., to simulate a cold bore shot). My next task is to take it out to 200-300 yards and confirm ballistics. This is obviously not for purposes of the Leopard hunt but rather for shooting bait and other plains game for which I'll be using my 375.

    While I'm leaning towards doing is experimenting with some 260 grain Nosler Accubonds as a "back up". I'll have the proper sight adjustments for the field. I'll go to Zim with the mindset that I'll be using the 300's in the blind unless the PH strenuously objects - in which case I'll have a handful of the Noslers.

    Thanks again for all of your collective input.

    Attached Files:

  12. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    If your rifle loves the 300gr then stay with them.
    I seriously doubt that any PH would frown on you for using something like a Barnes.

    I would not worry to much about having to many different load when going hunting. Chose one and stick with it. Less calculations and you learn how it flies.

    Good luck with your hunt.
  13. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    Fritz is exactly right. A handful of accubonds for "back up" will somehow end up in your rifle as if by magic just before you go to shoot your leopard. Then, despite perfect aim and hold, you will end up shooting him in the wrong place and your follow-up shot will be equally flawed.

    A 300g Barnes, or any other bullet placed in the right spot will absolutely kill a leopard without difficulty. The challenge in leopard hunting does not lie in bullet selection. Will it open as dramatically as a varmint bullet? No. Does it have to? No.
  14. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    :thumb::agree:
  15. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Really agree. The great joy of a .375 is the possibility of having a rifle that will do it all with a single bullet. Don't over think this. Your rifle loves one of the three finest big game bullets on the planet. I used the .300s on everything from eland at 50 yards and buf at 80 to waterbuck at 220 and impala at 150. It will perform splendidly on a leopard (truth in lending, I killed my leopard on another trip with a .338, but neither the cat or I would have known the difference). I don't have the time or interest to mess with handloading, so assumining those are factory loads, I'd buy up every box of that lot I could lay my hands on. I also wouldn't worry about the solids unless your PH insists. Those deep driving 300's will work almost like a solid on a follow-up.

    A final thought on your cat. That will be one of your trophies where your taxidermist will appreciate not dealing with a jigsaw puzzle on the off shoulder. The .300 or .270 will give you a .375 hole going in and a .400 going out with no explosive destruction.
  16. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    I appreciate all of your collective thoughts and input. OK, I'm sold! I'll use the 300 grainers on Kitty. Dead is dead and no matter what size hole through its heart and lungs (aside from perhaps a broken spine) - it should be a matter of "dead under the tree" or finding it a few yards away (fingers crossed!).

    I was also thinking that I'm already taking 4 types of ammo (375 H&H 300 gr. soft and solids, and .470 NE 500 gr soft and solids). The thought of taking yet a fifth is really not appealing. In addition, since these are relatively large rounds, I'll be pretty close to the 11# limit as it is.
  17. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    I don't have a lot of time to reload either. I do reload ('cause I have to) for skeet (28 & 410) and some of my competitive shooting.

    I was planning on handloading the 375's for the trip but since the factory loads work so well, I'll just use those instead. I have 6 20-round boxes from two different lots. I'll shoot one box from the other lot and see how they perform. I'll take 2-3 boxes on the hunt from the "winning lot"....

    Thanks
  18. gxsr-sarge

    gxsr-sarge AH Veteran

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    Yep, the Barnes 300 grain softs worked!

    Attached Files:

  19. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Hard bullet but its still a diameter of 9.5mm even if it does not open up. Without hitting the CNS, the cat will likely not die as quick as like with a softer soft and if you miss the vitals altogether (heaven forbid) you might have some excitement on your hands. My choice is the Woodleigh round nose soft which is also great for the bait. Carry a hand full of X bullets (or in my case Swift A Frames) for the Buff.


    Quote
    "A 300g Barnes, or any other bullet placed in the right spot will absolutely kill a leopard without difficulty. The challenge in leopard hunting does not lie in bullet selection. Will it open as dramatically as a varmint bullet? No. Does it have to? No."

    Like a boy Scout, I like to be prepared for the worst. Say it moves or you have a defection est, and the shot is not as "true" as one would prefer, wouldn't a softer bullet be a better choice for such an expensive and potentially dangerous Trophy?
  20. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    congrats , and the buff?

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