270gr Solid. Enough for Dangerous Game Frontal Brain in .375HH

Gareth Roriston

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Buffalobore a US based ammunition company have a product; .375H&H, brass, monolithic solid, 270gr. It’s a Lehigh bullet.


Two part question:
1. Has anyone used these before on thick skinned DG especially for a frontal brain?

2. Any reason why they would not penetrate like the more typical 300gr?

I would prefer real world experience in answers over speculation.

Many thanks all, over to you
 

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Red Leg

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I doubt that you will find many current elephant hunters who have attempted to brain an elephant with a 270 gr bullet. Quite a few succumbed to the .318 WR 250 gr solid, but it had an SD rating off the charts (.328). The same can be said for the 6.5 and 7mm heavy for caliber solids used at the turn of the last century by Bell and others. A 270 gr .375 bullet, regardless of velocity or calculated foot pounds of energy is light for caliber. It has an average SD of around .274. A 300 gr bullet comes in at .305. I would not attempt a frontal brain shot at an elephant with any bullet with an SD less than .300.
 

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Something people often don't think about when selecting guns/ammunition.

Your gun/ammunition may work fine under ideal circumstances but how about if something goes wrong. Will a 270gr solid drop an elephant with a perfect brain shot, I would assume so. Would it be the ammunition you choose as a follow up for a failed brain shot, probably not.

-matt
 

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Basically, this is a much debated topic on many forums. Essentially you are saying that a monolithic flat nose solid penetrates more than a conventional lead core jacketed round nose solid. But it also takes up more room. So pretty much all manufacturers reduce the weight of the monos to have the same powder capacity, reasoning that the better design makes up for the lower weight and sectional density.

If you search this forum, you will find quite a bit of info. Try this thread for some experimental results posted by another member. I think he has his own thread with more tests. He fired flat nose solids of numerous weights and calibres and compared them to conventional solids. He basically proved that slightly lighter, better designed bullets will beat conventional solids. https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-nose-solids-what-are-the-actual-facts.57387/
 

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Sectional Density (SD) is only one of many variables when it comes to bullet penetration, both for solids and softpoints. Actual testing of bullets, instead of just repeating the outdated paradigm of relying entirely on SD, clearly demonstrates the intricate relationship between bullet design (e.g. meplat or round nose), velocity, and penetration. There is no reason why a properly designed 270 grain .375 bullet would not out-penetrate a traditional 300 grain round nose solid.
 

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Sectional Density (SD) is only one of many variables when it comes to bullet penetration, both for solids and softpoints. Actual testing of bullets, instead of just repeating the outdated paradigm of relying entirely on SD, clearly demonstrates the intricate relationship between bullet design (e.g. meplat or round nose), velocity, and penetration. There is no reason why a properly designed 270 grain .375 bullet would not out-penetrate a traditional 300 grain round nose solid.
Blah blah blah....and a properly designed 300gr .375 bullet will out penetrate a properly designed 270gr bullet.....

Hunting elephant with a frontal brain shot is all about straight line penetration and shot placement.....it is not a game for light for caliber bullets....and yes there is a very good reason why a .30 or higher SD is regarded as minimum for hunting elephant....and this is not an outdated fact it is a well proven recipe that can be confirmed by many an experienced elephant hunter...more often than not the one who needs to sort out the paw paw after it hit the fan...

I know of no experienced elephant PH who would recommend a 270 gr solid for elephant.....then again I may be too old for this conversation.....

In 375 I recommend and have used 340gr Rhino monometal solids for my own hunting on elephant with great success for back up and other situations I use 570 gr Rhino solids from a 500 Jeff....I have no intention of testing light for caliber bullets when the heavy weights are devistatingly effective.....
 

Gareth Roriston

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Basically, this is a much debated topic on many forums. Essentially you are saying that a monolithic flat nose solid penetrates more than a conventional lead core jacketed round nose solid. But it also takes up more room. So pretty much all manufacturers reduce the weight of the monos to have the same powder capacity, reasoning that the better design makes up for the lower weight and sectional density.

If you search this forum, you will find quite a bit of info. Try this thread for some experimental results posted by another member. I think he has his own thread with more tests. He fired flat nose solids of numerous weights and calibres and compared them to conventional solids. He basically proved that slightly lighter, better designed bullets will beat conventional solids. https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-nose-solids-what-are-the-actual-facts.57387/
Thank you. I shall review.
 

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Sectional Density (SD) is only one of many variables when it comes to bullet penetration, both for solids and softpoints. Actual testing of bullets, instead of just repeating the outdated paradigm of relying entirely on SD, clearly demonstrates the intricate relationship between bullet design (e.g. meplat or round nose), velocity, and penetration. There is no reason why a properly designed 270 grain .375 bullet would not out-penetrate a traditional 300 grain round nose solid.
I assume that is theoretically true - even technically demonstrable - but I have no desire to try a frontal brain shot at an elephant with anything that has less than .3 SD.
Blah blah blah....and a properly designed 300gr .375 bullet will out penetrate a properly designed 270gr bullet.....

Hunting elephant with a frontal brain shot is all about straight line penetration and shot placement.....it is not a game for light for caliber bullets....and yes there is a very good reason why a .30 or higher SD is regarded as minimum for hunting elephant....and this is not an outdated fact it is a well proven recipe that can be confirmed by many an experienced elephant hunter...more often than not the one who needs to sort out the paw paw after it hit the fan...

I know of no experienced elephant PH who would recommend a 270 gr solid for elephant.....then again I may be too old for this conversation.....

In 375 I recommend and have used 340gr Rhino monometal solids for my own hunting on elephant with great success for back up and other situations I use 570 gr Rhino solids from a 500 Jeff....I have no intention of testing light for caliber bullets when the heavy weights are devistatingly effective.....
Exactly!!
 

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Blah blah blah....and a properly designed 300gr .375 bullet will out penetrate a properly designed 270gr bullet.....

Hunting elephant with a frontal brain shot is all about straight line penetration and shot placement.....it is not a game for light for caliber bullets....and yes there is a very good reason why a .30 or higher SD is regarded as minimum for hunting elephant....and this is not an outdated fact it is a well proven recipe that can be confirmed by many an experienced elephant hunter...more often than not the one who needs to sort out the paw paw after it hit the fan...

I know of no experienced elephant PH who would recommend a 270 gr solid for elephant.....then again I may be too old for this conversation.....

In 375 I recommend and have used 340gr Rhino monometal solids for my own hunting on elephant with great success for back up and other situations I use 570 gr Rhino solids from a 500 Jeff....I have no intention of testing light for caliber bullets when the heavy weights are devistatingly effective.....

Couldn’t agree more. I used my .375 with a 350 gr Woodleigh solid on a side brain shot on a big Botswana bull. I don’t think that massive skull even slowed that bullet down.

Perhaps the right question to ask is ‘why would you even consider a light for caliber bullet for elephant?’ This is not a situation that calls for experimentation!
 

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@Gareth Roriston,

I've no experience with elephant hunting so take this in that light. But if it were me and I was looking at hunting elephant with my .375HH it would be with one of these:


You'll get the best of both worlds with a proper weight and the flat meplat and nose profile that have proven in these bullets to give superior penetration in both depth and straight line.
 

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Tra3

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When standing 20 yards from an elephant that turns to you and flairs it’s ears, a .375 doesn’t feel like a big enough rifle. It felt like I was bear hunting with a .17 HMR.
I wouldn’t cut any corners on the important stuff in that situation. In 10-20 years there will be a very clear answer to this question, wrought by either good experience, or very bad.
 

Gareth Roriston

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@Gareth Roriston,

I've no experience with elephant hunting so take this in that light. But if it were me and I was looking at hunting elephant with my .375HH it would be with one of these:


You'll get the best of both worlds with a proper weight and the flat meplat and nose profile that have proven in these bullets to give superior penetration in both depth and straight line

I saw these would be ideal, the situation I’m in is that I’d like fully ready ammo for purchase.
 

Gareth Roriston

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Gentlemen,

Some excellent feedback and interesting points on all sides to consider. I thank you nashkuru.

Allow me to furnish all with some more context.

I specialise as a Trails Guide in an African nation where very few people are given firearms permits. My wife is American and I have residency status there too. I’m importing my SAKO Brown Bear chambered in .375hh from the USA. Presently there is a huge ammo shortage in the US. In the past I’ve put my faith in Hornady DGS, but finding any available currently is impossible, hence my consideration of claims made about the Buffalobore 270gr.
Work will resume in June, 22 I have till then to source appropriate ammo.

In my capacity as a trails guide I will only discharge my rifle in the event of a critical situation (charge), to this extent I basically need my .375HH to function as a backup rifle for a PH.

The Question:

Given the above context what would you recommend good Sirs regarding the 270gr solids?

Also for those recommending 300gr and above any pointers on where to purchase ready made ammo in the USA would be much appreciated.


Thank you in advance.


P.s. I sincerely appreciate the time anyone spends in reply. However to get from point A-B let’s compartmentalise and keep the advice about ammunition only and say the most elements of competent weapon handling, shot placement for DG and knowledge/experience of DG behaviour are for good reasons assumed in this case.
 

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I assume that is theoretically true - even technically demonstrable - but I have no desire to try a frontal brain shot at an elephant with anything that has less than .3 SD.

@Red Leg : When something is theoretically true and technically demonstrable, would you not consider it a fact?

@Gareth Roriston : I would never think of using a bullet of any kind or caliber for elephant hunting if it was not thoroughly tested. Apparently not much real world experience from AH forum members on these bullets from BuffaloBore in 375.

There are many good threads here on AfricaHunting with actual testing of solids intended for dangerous game, instead of quoting the standard SD>0.3. I believe the summary below from @michael458 pretty much summarizes state-of-the-art regarding solids and penetration.

There are 8 Absolute Known Factors for Solid Penetration and are as follows in Order of Importance.....

#1 Meplat Percentage of Caliber


Meplats that attain 65% Meplat of Caliber are terminally stable.... Above 70% Meplat bullets remain stable, however depth of penetration begins to decrease with every step up in meplat size. 70% Meplat or larger does increase trauma to, and destruction of tissue. 70% Meplats start to get difficult to feed, even in Winchester M70s...... From 65% Meplat to 68% Meplat is OPTIMUM for Stability, destruction of tissues, and feed and function in most quality rifles..........

#2 Nose Profile

There are many and varied Nose Profiles of solids on the market today, from the angled Nose Profiles of CEB and North Fork, to the straight nose profile of the older North Forks and GSC, the Barnes/Hornady Profiles (like a RN cut off at the top) to many more... Not all of these are created equal, and some are better performers than others. In recent tests in comparison between the old North Fork Profiles and the Newer North Fork Profiles I was getting 20% deeper penetration with the Newer North Forks than the older, with the same bullet, just difference in Nose Profile is all.... John at North Fork agrees, and in their work there they were getting more along the lines of 25% deeper penetration. One major thing that I noticed here, the stability at the end of penetration was 100% better. In most all tests here the last 2 inches of penetration of the old style North Forks would be unstable. Now this is and was of no consequence at the very end of penetration. The depth of penetration of these older nose profile bullets was always so deep that it had long accomplished its mission before loss of stability right at the very end. This new NOSE PROFILE of North Forks remains DEAD STRAIGHT to the very last of penetration, and always found NOSE FORWARD........


#3 Construction & Material

Construction of a solid is a major part of its ability to penetrate. To deny this is foolish to say the least. Some of our solids out there, lead core, are very very weak in construction and absolutely do not have the ability to bust through heavy bone and reach their intended targets. I have seen and have in hand failures of these bullets from the field..... A shame as well, as some of these bullets are promoted as Dangerous Game Solids, and some of them flatten out like pancakes when hitting heavy dense material. Some FMJ Have steel inserts, while this solves a problem in one area, it creates problems in other areas.... Brass is harder than Copper... No surprise there, but I have busted elephant heads with both copper and brass, and never had one distort, but, these solids were of a very STRONG NOSE PROFILE as well........ So you see, combinations of different factors work together to strengthen or weaken other factors..... A good strong Nose Profile, can overcome some material deficiencies and in the case of copper solids this is extremely important.

#4 Nose Projection

Nose Projection above the top bands was the last factor discovered. There may be more factors, but currently they remain undiscovered at this point in time.... We found that nose projection above the top of the bands of current CNC monolithic bullets is very important to depth of penetration. Some bullets designed to work through lever actin riflers require a SHORT NOSE PROJECTION in front of the bands so that they can be loaded deep enough to work through the actions of these guns... Nose Projection of these same bullets for bolt guns, single shots, and double rifles are longer, from .600 to .700 in front of the top band. The LONGER NOSE PROJECTION solids will penetrate on average 25% deeper than the shorter nose projection. Now, these bullets already have all the other required factors for stability, nose profile, construction and radius, so it is ONLY DEPTH Of penetration that is effected with properly designed bullets.

#5 Radius Edge of Meplat

We found that the radius edge of the meplat made a difference, small, but a difference none the less. A nicely radius edge penetrates about 5% deeper, and has more stability at the end than a sharp edged radius.... No more to go into here, thats it.......

All the Above Factors Deal with Bullet Design........

#6 Velocity

Velocity is a factor, but it also goes hand in hand with Nose Profile and Construction/Material. If we assume that the Meplat is optimum, the nose projection is optimum, and the bullet has a nice radius then velocity becomes a factor in combination with nose profile and construction/materials. Different Nose Profiles react differently with velocity. Some nose profiles at very low velocity cannot maintain stability, but this would be in the extreme, and other factors may come into play with some of this. In essence with some Nose Profiles, added velocity will equate to added depth of penetration, and of course trauma and destruction of tissue. Some nose profiles react better than others, but if properly designed, then all will get some gain from added velocity, UNTIL you reach the point that you get distortion of the meplat by TOO MUCH VELOCITY. Once you begin to distort that meplat, then all sorts of strange things begin to occur. One is depth of penetration will decrease, stability will decrease as well....... Normally you will only get this at extreme velocities at 2700-2800 fps or more, which in our big bore rifles is somewhat extreme.......... Lead core bullets will be effected in a serious manner at extreme velocities, followed by copper, and then brass........ Nose Profile and Construction & Material are very important for Factor #6.........

#7 Barrel Twist Rate

Barrel twist rate really only becomes a factor when Factor #1 is DEFICIENT....... If the meplat of caliber is undersized, less than 65%, then faster twist rates WILL INCREASE the depth of penetration by increasing the stability of terminal penetration. A 65% Meplat of Caliber can stabilize in slower twist rates of 1:18, or even slower...... I have seen 65% Meplat of Caliber stabilize with ZERO TWIST....... I have seen 50% Meplat of Caliber stability increase with faster twist rates, and have documentation to prove it, several times...... If you are using a properly designed Solid, then twist rate becomes less important, and more important if you are not using a proper designed solid. Fast Twist Rates can also increase stability of even RN Solids of decent design, hardly anything can increase stability of a more pointy RN FMJ.......

#8 Sectional Density

Sectional Density will ONLY BE A FACTOR with two bullets that are exactly the same in every other Factor or aspect. Factors #1 and #2 far outweigh Sectional Density in the terminal performance of Solids. We can take a properly designed 458 caliber 325 gr Solid and far out penetrate in depth and stability a poorly designed 550 gr 458 caliber bullet....... My son recently shot a medium sized elephant at 10 yards, perfectly executed side brain shot, with a 350 gr .474 caliber properly designed solid at 2200 fps. This bullet exited the head on the far side and still may be going for all I know. A 350 gr .474 caliber bullet has a sectional density of .223, and I personally would choose this little 350 gr bullet over the Woodleigh 500 gr RN FMJ at .4725 (ones I have here) any and every day for any mission............

These are undeniable facts, and can be proven over and over and over again in all test work, and these factors have been exercised in the field and have proven themselves in the field, many many times over...... These are the 8 Known Factors of Terminal Penetration of Solid Bullets.................
 
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Red Leg

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@Red Leg : When something is theoretically true and technically demonstrable, would you not consider it a fact?

@Gareth Roriston : I would never think of using a bullet of any kind or caliber for elephant hunting if it was not thoroughly tested. Apparently not much real world experience from AH forum members on these bullets from BuffaloBore in 375.

There are many good threads here on AfricaHunting with actual testing of solids intended for dangerous game, instead of quoting the standard SD>0.3. I believe the summary below from @michael458 pretty much summarizes state-of-the-art regarding solids and penetration.
Not until it has been demonstrated to consistently work in the field for the purpose intended. Fortunately, such penetration field data exists in abundance for bullets with a SD exceeding .3.
 

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Not until it has been demonstrated to consistently work in the field for the purpose intended. Fortunately, such penetration field data exists in abundance for bullets with a SD exceeding .3.
I think you miss my point, perhaps unintended. My point is that SD is one of many factors contributing to straight line penetration, recent testing including new design solids clearly illustrates that SD is of much smaller importance than bullet design. SD is only a factor for bullets with the same shape and material. In this case, the 270 grain bullet from Buffalobore (apparently a flat nose bullet) cannot be directly compared with a traditional solids as a round nose 300 grain Woodleigh FMJ. Not claiming that the Buffalobore-bullet is better than the Woodie.
 

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When standing 20 yards from an elephant that turns to you and flairs it’s ears, a .375 doesn’t feel like a big enough rifle. It felt like I was bear hunting with a .17 HMR.
I wouldn’t cut any corners on the important stuff in that situation. In 10-20 years there will be a very clear answer to this question, wrought by either good experience, or very bad.
@Red Leg : When something is theoretically true and technically demonstrable, would you not consider it a fact?

@Gareth Roriston : I would never think of using a bullet of any kind or caliber for elephant hunting if it was not thoroughly tested. Apparently not much real world experience from AH forum members on these bullets from BuffaloBore in 375.

There are many good threads here on AfricaHunting with actual testing of solids intended for dangerous game, instead of quoting the standard SD>0.3. I believe the summary below from @michael458 pretty much summarizes state-of-the-art regarding solids and penetration.
Thank you I’m reading through it.
 

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Basically, this is a much debated topic on many forums. Essentially you are saying that a monolithic flat nose solid penetrates more than a conventional lead core jacketed round nose solid. But it also takes up more room. So pretty much all manufacturers reduce the weight of the monos to have the same powder capacity, reasoning that the better design makes up for the lower weight and sectional density.

If you search this forum, you will find quite a bit of info. Try this thread for some experimental results posted by another member. I think he has his own thread with more tests. He fired flat nose solids of numerous weights and calibres and compared them to conventional solids. He basically proved that slightly lighter, better designed bullets will beat conventional solids. https://www.africahunting.com/threa...-nose-solids-what-are-the-actual-facts.57387/
But none were with a "rat caliber" like a .375. ;)
 

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But none were with a "rat caliber" like a .375. ;)
He did a whole lot of tests-probably not posted in that thread. I think he even tried mosquito calibres like the 30-06 ! (I would like to see the farmers face after you shot a few rats in his barn with a 375 and monolithic solids :eek: )
 

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