10 days buffalo and plain games with 458Lott and 375HH - how many ammo of each?


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Dec 29, 2013
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In a few months I will be in South Africa hunting buffalo and plain games. 1st Buffalo hunt. The other day, I was weighting ammunition just checking how much ammo fits in the 5kg (11lb) allowed by airline. 5 kg equals about 80 cartridges.

I will be taking my 458 Lott for buffalo and my 375HH for plain game (and as a back-up for my 458 in case something happens). Both rifles are CZ 550 with a magazine capacity of 5, both with a riflescope/red dot.
The main goal is to shoot an old buffalo and then if time/opportunity arise some plain games (Waterbuck, Gemsbok, Kudu, Elan, etc.)
I have the choice between:
For the 458Lott:
  • Barnes 500gr TSX
  • Woodleigh soft 480gr
  • Woodleigh solid 480gr
For the 375HH:
  • Federal Bearclaw 300gr
  • Federal 300 gr solid
  • Nosler E-Tip 260 gr
  • Hornady GMX 250gr
What would you take and how many of each?
The simplest would be 40/40 with the Barnes for the 458 and a few solids, and the Bear claw for the 375 with a few solids.
The more specific would be to take a few Woodleigh, in case we track a buffalo herd (Woodleigh will likely not exit so no risk of injuring other animals) and a few Hornady in case I need to shoot long range on an antilope. But looks complicated.
First time I take 2 guns, I bought the 458 especially for buff. How do you manage usually 2 guns in the field?
I’d take 20 woodleigh softs 458 Lott and 60 375 H&H Trophy bonded bear claws if I were taking both guns. I’d leave the solids at home unless your PH requests you to bring some. Some PHs advise using them and others don’t. You’ll likely put the 458 down once you have your buffalo and use your 375 for most game so I wouldn’t go 40/40 on ammo. I take more ammo than most on my hunts. I see no reason to take less than I can on most hunts, but you likely won’t shoot more than 30 rounds on your hunt.
Managing two guns in this situation sounds pretty simple to manage. Both guns will have the magazine loaded and chamber empty on gun rack on truck. Reach for the 458 for buffalo and reach for the 375 for plains game. 375 with 300 gr trophy bonded bear claws will easily handle it all though within 300 yards. I’d personally leave the 458 at home, but if it’s important to you, no problem bringing both.
I did similar with my first Buff trip. 9.3 for plains game and 458 Lott for the Buff. 80 is a lot of ammo but at least you don’t have to worry about running out.
I would do 30/50 split. Gives you plenty to spare if you have to sight in one of the rifles.
Projectile wise, either straight TSX or an even split of woodleigh soft/solid depending on which shoots better. Are you using the FMJ or Hydro?
For the 375, the GMX would be ideal for plains game with a flatter trajectory. If you really want it to be a back up for buffalo through I would go with the Bearclaws and 10 Federal solids.

Enjoy the process! It’s half the fun
If buffalo is the primary target carry the Lott, but keep the .375 in the cruiser just in case the kudu of a lifetime shows himself while driving around. Once the buff is in the salt go with the .375

I agree with IvW on ammo number. 20 rounds is plenty for buffalo and 40 is more than enough for plains game. Those are the exact same totals I took to Zim for buffalo/plains game and had several rounds of both leftover that I left with the PH. They really appreciate the extra rounds as it is much more difficult securing ammo there versus the States, especially in calibers common to PH's like the .375 H&H and .470 NE rounds I left in camp.
First time I take 2 guns, I bought the 458 especially for buff. How do you manage usually 2 guns in the field?
Easy, you carry one and a tracker carries the other. I also agree with @IvW on taking 20 .458 Woodleighs and 40 .375 TBBC's. I am curious how you were able to acquire bear claws in this market.
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Easy, you carry one and a tracker carries the other. I also agree with @IvW on taking 20 .458 Woodleighs and 40 .375 TBBC's. I am curious how you were able to acquire bear claws in this market.
Factory loaded .375 H&H 300 grain TBBC's are scarce these days in the US. Reeds Sports in MN had a few boxes of the same component bullet in stock if a member that loads their own happens to be looking for some.
THx for the answer, really appreciated. Wondering why the Woodleighs and not the Barnes?

I had the chance to buy these federal TBBC and Woodleigh ammo from a reseller that was willing to get rid of ammo that were on his shelf for too long. I was happy to help him with. THe other bullets bought them a while back (5-6 years ago) when I was starting to put in motion this buff safari.

Off topic:
Tell me about ammunition availability. In Europe it is now becoming very very difficult. Apparently US manufacturer only export about 4%-5% of their production (you guys should leave a bit for others :) ) and European manufacturer like RWS, Norma, Geco, Sako all belong to Beretta and not sure how they compete internally but not for the benefits of end customers. Looks like importers are selecting the brand where they make more margin, and it is not necessary the one you want to go with. Browning have a manufacturing site in Belgium, but it is more for rifles and guns. Blaser ammunition and component is marginal. Some people say that the the powders and raw material components are being rather routed for the war in Ukraine. Not sure what is true.
Hornady is the more active in Europe from oversea manufacturer. Nosler is arriving now. Federal not sure if they still export same for Remington.
It is even worst for the bullets for reloading. Powder is ok as we have local manufacture like Swiss Reload or vhitavori.

A few new manufacturers are emerging in France :
-Cartouche Sologne (https://www.cartouches-sologne.fr/) , doing a lot of custom loads and proprietary lead-free bullets.
-Sauvestre as well (https://www.sauvestre.com/) but difficult to find. (BTW Sauvestre make among the best slug for shotgun)
Also in Germany:
-Sax Ammo (https://www.sax-munition.de/ ) as well as
-Labor for Ballistic (https://lfb-munition.com/)
But they mainly develop lead free bullet for European games because of law that is prohibiting the use of lead bullets. Their bullets are normally very light for the caliber like 340gr for the 458.

* you might need google translate as some of the links are in French or German.
I understand the need/want for taking two rifles to Africa, but much prefer to travel light.

40 of the 375H&H 300 grain Federal TBBC and 10 Federal solids will sort you out as long as they shot to the same POI. I would not advise taking multiple bullets in different weights for the same caliber. Do your best to keep it simple. 300 grain (Swift A-Frame, Federal TBBC, Norma Oryx or Barnes TSX) are perfect medicine for everything you are hunting in Africa.

Save the 458LOTT for your upcoming elephant hunt. ;)
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THx for the answer, really appreciated. Wondering why the Woodleighs and not the Barnes?
I have seen complete pass-throughs with Barnes. Of course, if you are shooting a solitary bull then you are fine. However, if in a herd, things could get dicey.
Those are the two calibers I brought with for cape buffalo and plains game this year. I brought 40 rds of 500 gr trophy bonded bearclaw for the 458 Lott and 40 rds of the ttsx for the 375 h&h (don't remember the grains). It was plenty for the 7 animals I took.

My PH liked the 458 Lott and my accuracy with it enough that the 375 never left the case. Used the 458 with everything. Was it overkill for the plains game? Absolutely. Did we track anything? Absolutely not!

Even with sighting it in and 7 animals, still came home with an unopened box of 20, of the 40 TBBC I brought.
Also, don't take any solids. You're liable to be paying for 2 buffalos with a pass through. You're not hunting elephant. I feel like the idea you need solids is an antiquated thought process when premium bullet technology wasn't what it is today.
Depends on how much you can afford to donate to the PH when the hunt is over...a well appreciated part of a tip.
I'm old, fat and lazy, so I'd rather not drag 40 rounds of 458 Lott ammo to Africa, rather I would take 10. Then I would take 30 rounds of .375H&H and be done with it. And, I wouldn't take any solids. I've shot 12 buffalo, 11 of which were basically one shot kills, the one where I hunted with solids, way back in 1988, took 7 shots, so for me, I'll never ever use solids on buffalo again. Just this September I shot a cape buffalo with my .375H&H, 300 grain Swift, it never took one step, DRT
I’d take 25 Barnes for the Lott and take it up to weight with the 300gr Bear Claws for the .375.
I’m in agreement with the thought to take more ammo than you need and the proportions @375Fox stated. I used a 300 gr barnes on buffalo last summer, I used my pocket knife to cut the bullet out of the off side shoulder, it had broken the skin but not exited.

Ammo cost there is 2-4x the price we pay in the USA. Leaving extra ammo is a kind gesture and will be appreciated. (But not in lieu of a tip!)

You could end up using ammo for unexpected hunting. Guinea fowl head shot? A meat animal? Random opportunities come up and it is nice to have extra.
You should only "need" about ten round for each. I would take a full box of twenty for each caliber and prefer the Barnes but take what shoots the best in that gun. The only reason for solids on this trip is for maybe a tiny ten so as not to blow it up . So a total of about fifty rounds but if you want to max it out take extra .375.

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