9.3 X 62 or .416 Rem mag for buffalo

AJS

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IMO, by far the 416 Rem would be better caliber for buffalo. And I'm very uncertain about the minimum caliber and/or energy regulations for the different jurisdictions. I would imagine there is some "wink and nod ignoring of the law" that goes on, but that part is up to you, the PH and the Outfitter/Landowner.

In the May/June, 2014 issue of the African Outfitter, there is an excellent article on bullet performance by Chris Bekker. Well worth reading if you can find a copy.

Screen shot of test results of shooting various bullets out of 9.3x62 at close range into fresh elephant carcasses. Bones were intentionally avoided to help ensure consistency of the test, shot to shot. Results agree with what I've seen in my own wet pack tests and field observations with some of the bullet designs shown below.

View attachment 318448
Thank you @fourfive8 I appreciate the article you refer to and for uploading the crux of the results of Chris Bekker's article. I am reloading and use Peregrine VRG3 in 286gr and VLR4 in 230 gr which at the time of the article was unfortunately included in the tests. I do however achieve good results with the Peregrine bullets although none thus far on DG, but on Eland, Kudu I had good results.
 

AJS

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I wholeheartedly agree with Kawshik .
You are better off , using the smaller ( so to speak ) bore which you are comfortable with , than the larger bore which you might struggle to shoot accurately . Use only good quality soft point bullets of the heaviest weight possible , in your 9.3 × 62 Mauser ( which , in our time in India , we used to call the .366 Mauser ) . Avoid solid metal covered bullets at all costs for buffalo . From personal experience , l can attest that a .366 Mauser solid metal covered 286 grain bullet makes a very small hole in a water buffalo or gaur's heart and it could sometimes go up to 2 kilometers without showing any signs of slowing down , which was very challenging for us professional shikarees .
A good double lung shot , with a soft point bullet ( 286 grains is about right ) fired from a broad side position , can make short work of a gaur or Indian water buffalo .

Were l personally given a choice of rifle to use , to go after buffaloes , my personal choice would be a .450 / 400 Nitro Express using 400 grain soft point bullets .
Even though l have no experience with the .404 Jeffery calibre , an internet search indicates that it is ballistically identical to the .450 / 400 Nitro Express .
Therefore , either of these 2 would be my personal choice .
In your .416 Remington magnum calibre rifle , l do not recommend using 300 grain bullets for buffalo , because the natural weight of .416 Remington magnum calibre bullets is 400 grains . A lighter bullet in a larger bore , reduces sectional density and therefore penetration
( Though to what degree in practicality , l cannot say ).

That said , if you could handle the 400 grain bullets in your .416 Remington magnum , then l would recommend it straight away. With the .366 Mauser , shot placement is a little more critical .
All the best.

Thank you @Major Khan
You certainly understand what my dilemma was (I have sold the .416 Rem Mag in the meantime) I appreciate you confirming what other forum members has also advise me to do.
 

WAB

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I believe it was Major Kahn who made the observation earlier regarding bullet weight, if your choice is a 300 gr .416 bullet or a 286 grain 9.3 bullet, you are likely better off with the 9.3. As stated, I am getting 2450 fps with the 286 gr Swift A-Frame. Penetration is excellent.

If you were going to shoot the 400 grain .416 bullet, I would lean in that direction.
 

AJS

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Between the two calibres which you have mentioned , l would personally opt for the 9.3 millimeter mauser in your case , because as you say , you cannot handle the 400 grain bullets in your .416 Remington magnum.
Speaking from personal experience , many of my continental clients used to use a 9.3 millimeter mauser bolt operation rifle to secure Gaurs . A good 286 grain soft nose bullet fired from the side , which pierced both the lungs of a Gaur and opened up nicely inside them , would guarantee a dead Gaur. A beast hit in such a manner would go eighty to ninety yards , blowing blood from it's nose and mouth , before dropping dead .
Now , a 9.3 millimeter mauser cartridge was rather a little bit on the light side to stop a charging Gaur above 1800 pounds . However , you are a client and you do not need to worry about stopping charges . Instead , you should focus on placing your first bullet in a vital region . If you can do that with a 9.3 millimeter mauser , then l can guarantee a successfully secured buffalo .
I think that you will be fine with a 9.3 millimeter mauser . It is better to shoot properly with a comparitively smaller bore , than to use a larger bore which you have trouble using comfortably .
Between the two calibres which you have mentioned , l would personally opt for the 9.3 millimeter mauser in your case , because as you say , you cannot handle the 400 grain bullets in your .416 Remington magnum.
Speaking from personal experience , many of my continental clients used to use a 9.3 millimeter mauser bolt operation rifle to secure Gaurs . A good 286 grain soft nose bullet fired from the side , which pierced both the lungs of a Gaur and opened up nicely inside them , would guarantee a dead Gaur. A beast hit in such a manner would go eighty to ninety yards , blowing blood from it's nose and mouth , before dropping dead .
Now , a 9.3 millimeter mauser cartridge was rather a little bit on the light side to stop a charging Gaur above 1800 pounds . However , you are a client and you do not need to worry about stopping charges . Instead , you should focus on placing your first bullet in a vital region . If you can do that with a 9.3 millimeter mauser , then l can guarantee a successfully secured buffalo .
I think that you will be fine with a 9.3 millimeter mauser . It is better to shoot properly with a comparitively smaller bore , than to use a larger bore which you have trouble using comfortably .

Thank you @Kwashik Rhaman

I appreciate you understanding where I was coming from. I just could not handle the recoil of a 400gr bullet in the .416 Rem mag whilst I have hunted many game with the 9.3 X 62 the biggest of which would be kudu, eland and blue wildebeest. You confirm what other advice from forum members.
Regards
 

AJS

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Has that RWS 293gr better penetration than the woodleigh 286gr, swift a frame 286gr or nosler partition 286gr?
In my country I can find these RWS at every gun store but the other bullets not.

On RWS website states that the 293gr has 1/3 stars for cape buffalo.

Thanks
Hi @CalinRO

I checked and I have used RWS "evolution in 286gr on kudu, eland and blue wildebeest. I also checked as you did on the website and they certainly put a 1 star next to buffalo and three stars next to elk and the like. I cannot comment on that.

What I know is that I reload now myself and I use what in my mind is locally produced premium bullets (Peregrine VRG3 and VLR4) with locally manufactures powder (S335) and I am very happy with the results. I have no experience using these bullets and self loaded cartridges on buffalo, but the Technical Manager of Peregrine bullets was a PH and DG hunter for many years (decades rather) and he assisted me in developing the loads.

He assured me that I would be able as a hunter to hunt buffalo successfully with my 9.3 X 62 with 286 gr VRG3 bulltes.

Regards
 

AJS

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I believe it was Major Kahn who made the observation earlier regarding bullet weight, if your choice is a 300 gr .416 bullet or a 286 grain 9.3 bullet, you are likely better off with the 9.3. As stated, I am getting 2450 fps with the 286 gr Swift A-Frame. Penetration is excellent.

If you were going to shoot the 400 grain .416 bullet, I would lean in that direction.
Thank @WAB

I appreciate your comment and advice confirming what Major Khan said. I have in the mean time sold the .416 Rem mag and I am focusing on the loads and bullets in reloading the 9.3 X 62, secondly I am and learning and making sure I know where the vitals of the various species are to use the 9.3 even better. I have hunted kudu, eland, blue wildebeest, impala (in thick bush) and blesbuck with the 9.3 X 63 all very successful. I am working towards realizing my dream of hunting a dagga boy (much like you did!) one day in the not to distant future.

Regards
 

Major Khan

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Thank @WAB

I appreciate your comment and advice confirming what Major Khan said. I have in the mean time sold the .416 Rem mag and I am focusing on the loads and bullets in reloading the 9.3 X 62, secondly I am and learning and making sure I know where the vitals of the various species are to use the 9.3 even better. I have hunted kudu, eland, blue wildebeest, impala (in thick bush) and blesbuck with the 9.3 X 63 all very successful. I am working towards realizing my dream of hunting a dagga boy (much like you did!) one day in the not to distant future.

Regards
A double lung shot fired from a broadside position is the safest target for a beginner , due to the large size of the target .
Also a buffalo hit in this manner seldom thinks of charging.
A 286 grain soft point which expands properly inside the lungs , can guarantee you a dead buffalo. All the best .
 
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fourfive8

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AJS,
I assume you are in RSA? In addition to Peregrine, have you looked at or considered GS Custom or Rhino bullets? Just thinking out load and best of luck in you quest.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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A double lung shot fired from a broadside position is the safest target for a beginner , due to the large size of the target .
Also a buffalo hit in this manner seldom thinks of charging.
A 286 grain soft point which expands properly inside the lungs , can guarantee you a dead buffalo. All the best .

I shot some buffalos with cartridges caliber from 9.3mm to 50 and also accompanied several buffalo hunts. Many buffalos were killed by double-lung shots. It is an acceptable shot placement but the effect is very dependent on the caliber. A 458 caliber bullet makes larger holes in the lungs than a 375 caliber bullet respectively 9,3mm. It is not uncommon that the game has to be followed , and the smaller the caliber the longer the tracking.

In addition , the lungs are not very thick compared to the rumen and there is also a risk of a liver shot. In this case the tracking cannot end and remain unsuccessful.

I would therefore rather use a cartridge caliber 416 than 9,3mm when it comes to shots that are not the perfect ones , like the double-lung shot. If something goes wrong you are always on the better side with the bigger bores.
 

Major Khan

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I shot some buffalos with cartridges caliber from 9.3mm to 50 and also accompanied several buffalo hunts. Many buffalos were killed by double-lung shots. It is an acceptable shot placement but the effect is very dependent on the caliber. A 458 caliber bullet makes larger holes in the lungs than a 375 caliber bullet respectively 9,3mm. It is not uncommon that the game has to be followed , and the smaller the caliber the longer the tracking.

In addition , the lungs are not very thick compared to the rumen and there is also a risk of a liver shot. In this case the tracking cannot end and remain unsuccessful.

I would therefore rather use a cartridge caliber 416 than 9,3mm when it comes to shots that are not the perfect ones , like the double-lung shot. If something goes wrong you are always on the better side with the bigger bores.
Oh , don't get me started , Kurpfalzjager.
The 9.3 × 62 , with solid metal covered bullets used to make very small holes in the lungs of gaur . I had to track 1 such animal shot with such a bullet for 7 hours in Uttarakhand to find it. When we found it , it was still very much a threat .
Of course , l agree with you 100 % . A .416 Remington magnum 400 grain soft point bullet would do a greater amount of damage to the buffalo's lungs than a 9.3 ×62 Mauser 286 grain soft point bullet , and with greater authority .
Between the 2 calibres , under most normal circumstances , l would choose the .400 series in the blink of an eye .
The problem in this particular case , is that the gentleman ( original poster ) cannot use 400 grain bullets in his .416 Remington magnum calibre rifle . He wants to use 300 grain bullets in the rifle , which offers less sectional density in the .416 bore .
Taking his particular set of circumstances , into account , l recommended that ( when compared to the .416 Remington magnum and 300 grain bullets ) , he would be better served with the 9.3 × 62 Mauser and 286 grain ( or heavier ) bullets.
Personally , l would prefer to go after buffalo with a .450 / 400 Nitro Express double barreled side by side rifle and 400 grain Rhino solid shank bullets if l had a choice . I never saw a .404 Jeffery being used during my career , but based on my understanding of ballistics , it appears to be the bolt rifle version of the .450/400 Nitro Express . So , l would also look in that direction.
 

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Or 320 gr Woodleigh PP. The one issue with both of those bullets is now you're down to about 2200 fps at the muzzle.

Excuse me if this is an ignorant viewpoint as I’ve never hunted a cape buff, but if most buffs are shot well under a 100 yards, and think I read 50-70 yards is the norm, then that round isn’t losing much from the muzzle to POI. Would think a 285-320 grain 9.3x62 round running 2200-2440 FPS would do extreme damage and still be carrying the majority of its velocity and energy at those ranges. With a good bullet and decent shot placement I’d think the 9.3x62 would do well in the above situation on buff. I get the bigger is better in Africa thought process, but the 9.3x62 was a mainstay in Africa for a long time and would guess it was because it was effective. If we were talking 150-200 yard shots this would obviously be different but if buffs are hunted mostly as short range I would think the 9.3x62 would be a good option. What am I missing here?
 

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I use a .458 Lott on buffalo but we selected a 9.3x62 for my wife’s buffalo hunt. The primary drivers were weight and recoil. We recognized that we would have to be careful in shot selection but when is that not true? She used 286 gr Swift A-Frames. I would have to check but I believe muzzle velocity was 2450 fps. It was a one shot kill smashing the on-side shoulder, destroying the high heart/lung area and lodging somewhere in the off side shoulder. The bull ran less than 100 yards before expiring. It was the right solution for her.
 

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A double lung shot fired from a broadside position is the safest target for a beginner , due to the large size of the target .
Also a buffalo hit in this manner seldom thinks of charging.
A 286 grain soft point which expands properly inside the lungs , can guarantee you a dead buffalo. All the best .
This is a shot that gets many North American hunters in trouble. A buffalo is not built like either a whitetail or mule deer. They also almost never offer a perfect 90 degree angle. All too often the cross hairs get placed relatively high behind the shoulder (perfect rear lung for a deer), a little angle is introduced, and the bullet cuts one lung, tears the diaphragm, and everyone is in for a very long and very dangerous day.

I think the best shot placement on a cape buffalo, by far, is one third of the way up from the brisket on or just off the lower shoulder depending on the angle of the animal. A little low and you center the heart; a little high and you take out the plumbing and the lower lung. Do that and every buffalo you shoot will be recovered inside of fifty-yards - likely inside twenty-five.
 

Major Khan

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This is a shot that gets many North American hunters in trouble. A buffalo is not built like either a whitetail or mule deer. They also almost never offer a perfect 90 degree angle. All too often the cross hairs get placed relatively high behind the shoulder (perfect rear lung for a deer), a little angle is introduced, and the bullet cuts one lung, tears the diaphragm, and everyone is in for a very long and very dangerous day.

I think the best shot placement on a cape buffalo, by far, is one third of the way up from the brisket on or just off the lower shoulder depending on the angle of the animal. A little low and you center the heart; a little high and you take out the plumbing and the lower lung. Do that and every buffalo you shoot will be recovered inside of fifty-yards - likely inside twenty-five.
Your advice is more sound than mine , Red Leg . A good soft point bullet which manages to open up while damaging both the heart and the lungs will lead to a quicker death for a buffalo ( or a gaur which l am familiar with ) than just the lungs in isolation .
Taking into account that this gentleman ( original poster ) may be a beginner , l advised the double lung shot , because it presents a larger target on the animal . When l used to guide clients for gaur or water buffalo shikar , l would make most of the first timers opt for the double lung shot , after l would get them into a suitable broadside position . Back then ( 1961 to 1970 ) , the best bullet available for a double lung shot used to be the 300 grain Winchester Silvertip in .375 Holland & Holland magnum . If fired from a perfect broadside position , it would open up splendidly inside the lungs of the gaur and it would go perhaps 100 yards , coughing blood from it's nose and mouth before expiring .
However , like you say - if the angle was not perfectly broadside , then problems would occur .
I would always advise my more experienced clients to opt for the heart lung shot , behind the shoulder . It led to quicker results .
 

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The_Wanderer

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AJS, out of curiosity , did the 416 Rem fit you correctly? Also what was your shooting position? Was it off a bench or off hand? I have a 416 rigby but have shot a light weight 300WSM and i found that kicked more!

The other option is find someone with a 505 gibbs, have 2 shot of that then shoot your 416 rem with 400g, bet it will feel like a pussy cat in comparison! :p:D
 

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AJS,
Nothing to add , EXCEPT:
1. Do study the anatomy so you know where to shoot from any angle.
2. Do use buffalo print targets and practice all aspects of gun mounting including shooting from sticks.
3. Do have solids in the magazine in case needed.
4. Be prepared to take any good killing shot offered.
5. Get as close as possible before firing (more fun and you get better shots).

Good luck and have fun!
 

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I was going to suggest that if you can't handle the .416 with 400gr bullets then there's little point in having it. Then I read that you sold it. I think you made a good choice. Far better to shoot accurately with a smaller rifle than be all macho and muck up the shot with a rifle that's too big for you.

I don't have any experience of Africa but there's no shortage of reports of people having perfectly good hunts with 9.3's and .375's. I'm sure your experience won't be any different when you get there.
 

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