Last June as some may remember, I had a Swift A Frame bullet disintegrate on the head of a Cape buffalo without hitting anything other than skin. This was hunting with Pawprint Safaris. Here is the follow up from that (very rare) incident.
The short story is that I took a shot at a Cape Buffalo at a range of 30 - 35 yards, in light that was fading. I am not sure what happened as I felt calm and confident. I aimed at the lower middle of the chest and pulled the trigger. The bull staggered backwards but ran off. We found him the next day and finished him off.
Upon examination it was evident that the bullet had hit him in the side of the face behind the mouth and cut a gash in the skin, then penetrated about 2" into the cheek muscle. It did not hit bone or teeth. A shard of the bullet was found at 2" of penetration.
This bullet and the bullet that killed the buffalo were sent off to Swift for analysis. Their response is below.
- Terminal Grain Weight- 127.2
- Percent Weight Retention- 45%
- Terminal Diameter- .375
All of our bullets strength is engineered to the front of the projectile. The frame or cross member stops the backwards eruption on impact and controls expansion. This bullet somehow got turned sideways, either before it entered the animal or in the wound channel. This is not an uncommon occurrence. When this happens though three things take place.
1) Kills/Stops penetration
2) Flattens the bullet out on the side of the shank
3) Breaks off the front part of the bullet at the frame
In this case for Bullet #1 all three things took place. How this happened I cannot tell you, but I have no doubt whatsoever this bullet got turned sideways. I have seen this before, but it is a very rare occasion.
- Terminal Grain Weight- 261.0
- Percent Weight Retention- 87%
- Terminal Diameter- 7.60
This bullet performed as designed. While it is canted, due most likely from a quartering entry or ended up on bone. These is absolutely nothing wrong with the performance of this projectile.
- Terminal Grain Weight- 275.1
- Percent Weight Retention- 92%
- Terminal Diameter- 7.15
This bullet is classic A-Frame is a fully developed projectile. Most of our bullets look just like this, but we get a lot that will look like bullet #2. There is nothing wrong with either one.
This is common to hunting as each animal is different, bullet placement isn’t always the same, skin thickness, and size of bone varies dramatically. Our bullets work better than other projectiles do and are very very dependable. We have manufactured for 34 years, but when a bullet gets turned the strength and integrity is diminished.
I’ve attempted to answer your question in a frank and honest manner and I thank you for using our products. I hope you will continue to use them in the future.
William D. Hober │ President
Swift Bullet Company
PO Box 27 │ 201 Main Street Quinter, KS 67752
Phone: 785-754-3959 │ Fax: 785-754-2359
Rick Cox <email>
Wed, Oct 10, 1:59 PM
Thanks for your reply.
Just to be clear, I did not feel there was an issue with either #2 or #3. #2 hit a giraffe neck (@75m) dead centre about 2' under the chin pulverizing the spinal column. #3 was the bullet that actually killed the wounded buffalo (@ about 35m), going diagonally through the left shoulder, both lungs and the top of the heart, the far ribs, stopping under the hide. I simply included them as they were from the same batch of bullets, and I felt that you may find the comparison interesting.
Thanks for your concern in this matter. I am convinced I must have hit a branch. There was a 1" green sapling in the vicinity of where the buffalo was standing that was sheared cleanly off but I felt it was a few feet too far to the left of where I felt the buffalo was standing. This would also explain the fact I did not hit where I was aiming- low centre of chest. I was calm, confident and focused. But the light was fading and he was in shadow. We'll never know for sure.
I would not hesitate to use A Frames in the future or recommend them to others.
Regards, Rick Cox.
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