375 H&H

Dr Ray

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I am asking for some opinions on what type of factory loaded ammo (as I do not do enough shooting to warrant hand loading the 375).
I was thinking of 300 grains solid in Federal premium such as the trophy bonded bear claw or the Woodley Hydro solid for Buffalo.
I am also looking at the Sako 300 grains solid.
I was particularly interested in people's opinions as do not want a use a bullet that is too soft for buffalo and the problem is whether 300 grains solids will shoot to the same point of impact is the 300 soft nose and so forth.
 

CAustin

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I was thinking of 300 grains solid in Federal premium such as the trophy bonded bear claw
I took these and a Federal Premium topped with Swift Aframes for hippo hunt in 2017
 

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Bullthrower338

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Good evening Dr Ray,
Federal loads the Swift A-Frame in their premium line in the 300 grain. Although I get called a Fanboy of the A-Frame, it is a bullet that works. As far as factory loaded ammunition goes that would be my choice for anything short of ele. Swift is now loading what looks like a Woodie Hydro Of their own design in their line of loaded ammunition. I would worry about pass through on buff and stick to an A-Frame that you should find neatly mushroomed on the far side under the hide. Just my opinion though. I will be shooting buff in the NT this August using .475 A-Frames and do not feel the least bit worried about just bringing softs.
Cheers,
Cody
 

Dr Ray

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Good evening Dr Ray,
Federal loads the Swift A-Frame in their premium line in the 300 grain. Although I get called a Fanboy of the A-Frame, it is a bullet that works. As far as factory loaded ammunition goes that would be my choice for anything short of ele. Swift is now loading what looks like a Woodie Hydro Of their own design in their line of loaded ammunition. I would worry about pass through on buff and stick to an A-Frame that you should find neatly mushroomed on the far side under the hide. Just my opinion though. I will be shooting buff in the NT this August using .475 A-Frames and do not feel the least bit worried about just bringing softs.
Cheers,
Cody
That was my concern too although I have been advised to shoot through the shoulder(s) and then the upper heart (to destroy the blood vessels), to stop any charge. I will be hunting buff in June in the Northern Territory.
 

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Any you mention will be great, plus Barnes although I don't know it's availability in your neck of the woods?

Have you considered killing two birds with one stone and using the Woodleigh Hydro as a soft and solid combination by itself?

To my recollection @Red Leg has chosen this path.
 

Dr Ray

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Any you mention will be great, plus Barnes although I don't know it's availability in your neck of the woods?

Have you considered killing two birds with one stone and using the Woodleigh Hydro as a soft and solid combination by itself?

To my recollection @Red Leg has chosen this path.
Good point there. THanks for the info.
 

Royal27

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Good point there. THanks for the info.

Gladly!

I also agree with @Bullthrower338 and wouldn't hesitate to load a magazine full of true premium softs like the A-frame, Barnes or North Fork (of you were handloading).

With something that is likely to pass through though you definitely have to be more selective on that first shot.
 

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I just picked up 100 rounds of Barnes 300 grain TSX in 375 last week... that’s the route I’m going for both water buff in Argentina and cape buff in Africa next year..
 

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Federal Cape-Shok 300 TSX's shot the best and worked very well in my rifle but I don't think they make that anymore. Norma 300gr Oryx shoots really well as does Federal-Cape Shok 300 Hydro's. Why not give Woodleigh a call and hear what they think about using their Hydro's and over penetration. I'd be interested in their thoughts about that issue. Federal Cape-Shok 300 Trophy Bonded didn't shoot as well in my rifle.
 

Dr Ray

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Federal Cape-Shok 300 TSX's shot the best and worked very well in my rifle but I don't think they make that anymore. Norma 300gr Oryx shoots really well as does Federal-Cape Shok 300 Hydro's. Why not give Woodleigh a call and hear what they think about using their Hydro's and over penetration. I'd be interested in their thoughts about that issue. Federal Cape-Shok 300 Trophy Bonded didn't shoot as well in my rifle.

I’ll call Woodleigh - thanks
 

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Federal premium Swift A frames will do the trick!
 

Dr Ray

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Any you mention will be great, plus Barnes although I don't know it's availability in your neck of the woods?

Have you considered killing two birds with one stone and using the Woodleigh Hydro as a soft and solid combination by itself?

To my recollection @Red Leg has chosen this path.
I have just emailed Woodleigh for data on penetration depths etc.
 

elmerfudd555

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In 2013 I used Federal's Safari Cape shok 375 H&H 300 grain Barnes TSX for Buffalo and an unexpected Lion hunt that developed mid safari. Buffalo at 55 yards and lion at 45. All I can say is I fired twice. Two of the big 5 down. Dead right there. Enough said.
 

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This is why I am a fan of the Barnes TSX. One shot kill with 300 grn .375. I especially like the picture of my buffalo on the right with the herd looking on trying to decide what to do with me. I have only recovered 2 bullets in my hunts. You will get great results from the other bullets you have asked about, a lot depends on what shoots well in your rifle and what is available. It may be difficult to get same point of impact with different brands and bullets, like @Royal27 said, try same brand soft and solid. Good luck with your search!

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Dr Ray

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View attachment 214108 View attachment 214109 View attachment 214106 View attachment 214107

This is why I am a fan of the Barnes TSX. One shot kill with 300 grn .375. I especially like the picture of my buffalo on the right with the herd looking on trying to decide what to do with me. I have only recovered 2 bullets in my hunts. You will get great results from the other bullets you have asked about, a lot depends on what shoots well in your rifle and what is available. It may be difficult to get same point of impact with different brands and bullets, like @Royal27 said, try same brand soft and solid. Good luck with your search!

Thank you for your advice. I greatly appreciate such.
 

Bert the Turtle

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That was my concern too although I have been advised to shoot through the shoulder(s) and then the upper heart (to destroy the blood vessels), to stop any charge. I will be hunting buff in June in the Northern Territory.


Taking off the top of the heart and associated plumbing is an absolutely fantastic killing shot. It is my preferred first shot in most circumstances and I have taken it many times on many species. It is unquestionably lethal, and does not take long to drop an animal. It also has the advantage of a wide margin of error such that a shot within a reasonable distance of the intended target whether high, low, forward, or aft will hit something lethal.

HOWEVER, is absolutely NOT a charge stopping shot. In the time it takes to drop a buffalo (or any animal really) with a top of the heart shot, it can cover significant distance and in the case of a buffalo, it can do lethal damage (or worse- there are plenty of injuries worse than dying) to you. It is cold comfort to watch the buffalo die after it has eviscerated you and stomped your testicles into silly putty.

Taking out the great vessels will kill the animal quickly, but if it has launched a charge only central nervous system shots can be relied upon to stop a charge quickly enough to matter. Hit the brain or the cervical spine to stop a charge.
 

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Federal Loaded with Swift A frames, when using these you will not need solids, you are also good to go for any other plains game.

The other option seeing you are from Woodleigh country is to try and find Norma African PH ammo, loaded with 350 gr Woodies and throw a pack of FMJ solids in if you really have to.

I am not a fan of Woodleighs at higher velocities in real powerful cartridges such as the 500 Jeff, however the 350 gr bullets in 375 H&H work very well. They are also loaded to the ideal DG velocity of 2300 fps. The high sectional density increases momentum and penetration.

To be quite honest, you do not need solids for back-up shots on Cape Buffalo as a client with the excellent quality of modern expanding bullets.

Hydros and solids will put you at a disadvantage if used as the first bullet as you will be limiting your shot taking ability. If any buffalo are behind the one you target you will not be able to take the shot due to risk of wounding another due to over penetration. Same problem with the TSX. When they work they work well, however too many times they exit, sometimes the do not expand as designed and sometimes they loose petals.

You do not always have the "Perfect Shot" presentation and using the wrong bullets could cost you your dream buffalo or have you paying for a second unwanted one.

I would suggest the Federal loaded with 300 gr Swifts or the Norma African PH loaded with 350 gr Woodies.

Practice and make your first shot count that is all you need. If you accomplish that then no need to be concerned about a charge situation. If you cannot then don't take the shot.

Charges do not occur as often as we would like to imagine.

If the first shot does not kill the buffalo and follow up shots are needed, a client is better off using a premium soft point bullet. Again, over penetration is the main reason. Most buffalo are hunted either from bachelor groups or breeding herds and very rarely hunted as single animals. They 99% of the time run off after the first shot.

I always ask the question, if you as the client cannot place the first shot from an hopefully undisturbed buffalo into the vitals, where will you aim for your backup shot on a fast departing buffalo when using solids in order to stop the buffalo and not hit another in the process? For a client it is better to use expanding bullets and aim at something he can see, which in the case of a buffalo running away would be either of the hip joints or the spine just above the tail. Using a premium expanding bullet this will shatter either the hip joint or the spine, anchoring the buffalo and allowing for a finishing shot, without the risk of over penetration should the shot not go where intended. Both these targets are just under the skin so the greater penetration ability of a solid is not needed.

Even on a charging buffalo a client is better of with said premium grade expanding bullets. A buffalo will charge with his head up, nose pointed forward and will only at the last moment drop his head to engage with his horns. A now very nervous client who has not faced this before will find it very difficult to try and hit the brain if using solids as the head will be bobbing while the buffalo is advancing. Best shot for the client would be below the raised nose, in line with the neck(which dips quite low) and not lower than the two shoulder joints. Placed correctly this shot will pole axe the buff. Placed too low will still hit the centre of the heart slowing the buff and allowing for additional shot. Too high will still hit the neck vertebrae or brain. A premium expanding bullet will deliver more shock and shatter the bone/vertebrae more effectively than a solid.

Brain shot is only advised at the very last moment when the buffalo drops his head to engage you with his horns. Again a premium grade expanding bullet will easily reach the brain if the shot is correctly placed just below or between the bosses, depending on how close and how low the buff has dropped his head.

Stick with a premium grade expanding bullet and make your first shot count, that is all you will need.

Good luck on your hunt.
 

Dr Ray

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Federal Loaded with Swift A frames, when using these you will not need solids, you are also good to go for any other plains game.

The other option seeing you are from Woodleigh country is to try and find Norma African PH ammo, loaded with 350 gr Woodies and throw a pack of FMJ solids in if you really have to.

I am not a fan of Woodleighs at higher velocities in real powerful cartridges such as the 500 Jeff, however the 350 gr bullets in 375 H&H work very well. They are also loaded to the ideal DG velocity of 2300 fps. The high sectional density increases momentum and penetration.

To be quite honest, you do not need solids for back-up shots on Cape Buffalo as a client with the excellent quality of modern expanding bullets.

Hydros and solids will put you at a disadvantage if used as the first bullet as you will be limiting your shot taking ability. If any buffalo are behind the one you target you will not be able to take the shot due to risk of wounding another due to over penetration. Same problem with the TSX. When they work they work well, however too many times they exit, sometimes the do not expand as designed and sometimes they loose petals.

You do not always have the "Perfect Shot" presentation and using the wrong bullets could cost you your dream buffalo or have you paying for a second unwanted one.

I would suggest the Federal loaded with 300 gr Swifts or the Norma African PH loaded with 350 gr Woodies.

Practice and make your first shot count that is all you need. If you accomplish that then no need to be concerned about a charge situation. If you cannot then don't take the shot.

Charges do not occur as often as we would like to imagine.

If the first shot does not kill the buffalo and follow up shots are needed, a client is better off using a premium soft point bullet. Again, over penetration is the main reason. Most buffalo are hunted either from bachelor groups or breeding herds and very rarely hunted as single animals. They 99% of the time run off after the first shot.

I always ask the question, if you as the client cannot place the first shot from an hopefully undisturbed buffalo into the vitals, where will you aim for your backup shot on a fast departing buffalo when using solids in order to stop the buffalo and not hit another in the process? For a client it is better to use expanding bullets and aim at something he can see, which in the case of a buffalo running away would be either of the hip joints or the spine just above the tail. Using a premium expanding bullet this will shatter either the hip joint or the spine, anchoring the buffalo and allowing for a finishing shot, without the risk of over penetration should the shot not go where intended. Both these targets are just under the skin so the greater penetration ability of a solid is not needed.

Even on a charging buffalo a client is better of with said premium grade expanding bullets. A buffalo will charge with his head up, nose pointed forward and will only at the last moment drop his head to engage with his horns. A now very nervous client who has not faced this before will find it very difficult to try and hit the brain if using solids as the head will be bobbing while the buffalo is advancing. Best shot for the client would be below the raised nose, in line with the neck(which dips quite low) and not lower than the two shoulder joints. Placed correctly this shot will pole axe the buff. Placed too low will still hit the centre of the heart slowing the buff and allowing for additional shot. Too high will still hit the neck vertebrae or brain. A premium expanding bullet will deliver more shock and shatter the bone/vertebrae more effectively than a solid.

Brain shot is only advised at the very last moment when the buffalo drops his head to engage you with his horns. Again a premium grade expanding bullet will easily reach the brain if the shot is correctly placed just below or between the bosses, depending on how close and how low the buff has dropped his head.

Stick with a premium grade expanding bullet and make your first shot count, that is all you will need.

Good luck on your hunt.

Excellent advice. Thank you very much.
 

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