A Frame failure

Rick Cox

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I am currently in South Africa hunting with Pawprint Safaris, and experienced a rather unsettling occurrence hunting buffalo. I plan on writing a full report after I get home, but thought I would throw out this tid bit just because....
I had a 300 gr. Swift A Frame from a .375 H+H disintegrate on the side of the face of a buffalo. Penetration of what was left: 2". Shrapnel raked the side of the head. the only thing the bullet contacted was skin. The bull staggered and almost seemed like he was going down, but ran off. We found and finished him the next day. The second bullet performed as reputation says it should.
I have contacted Swift but have not had an answer yet, and don't expect to till next week.
Report to follow.
 

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Very interresting. Did it perhaps hit some of the molar teath? I had a similar situation with a 350gr .416 A-frame at 2400fps disintegrating on a warthog face 2 weeks ago. I wonder if there was a problem with the bonding for s while?
IMG_3845.JPG

IMG_3848.JPG


The path of the bullet more or less
IMG_3846.JPG
 

Hank2211

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I’ve never had an issue with A-Frames, and never really heard of any, so this is surprising. And more than a little disconcerting when hunting dangerous game.

Good for you and your PH for finding the buffalo. No one wants to spend two days in the slow work of tracking a wounded animal, but it has to be done.

I will look forward with interest to what Swift may have to say about this.
 

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I have taken numerous head of game, including 2 buffalo, with Swift A-Frame. All rounds performed magnificently. Only round that I had to come apart on a buffalo was a Hornady, 300 g. , solid. You never know!
 

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That is unsettling. Am taking A-Frames with me tomorrow. It and the TSX have always performed exactly as advertised. We'll see how the next couple of weeks go.

Great job finding that guy.
 

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Plus 1 for finding your Buff Rick. Bullet failure is never good
 

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I am currently in South Africa hunting with Pawprint Safaris, and experienced a rather unsettling occurrence hunting buffalo. I plan on writing a full report after I get home, but thought I would throw out this tid bit just because....
I had a 300 gr. Swift A Frame from a .375 H+H disintegrate on the side of the face of a buffalo. Penetration of what was left: 2". Shrapnel raked the side of the head. the only thing the bullet contacted was skin. The bull staggered and almost seemed like he was going down, but ran off. We found and finished him the next day. The second bullet performed as reputation says it should.
I have contacted Swift but have not had an answer yet, and don't expect to till next week.
Report to follow.
What distance? Sometimes, close range, hard surface, high velocity results in disintegration.
 

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Wow! So many questions but I will wait for the rest of the story. I was just about to purchase some A frames for my soon to be complete 35 whelen, but I think I will wait....
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Good on you for following up and getting the buff. Got wind of this thread this morning as I was ironically working up a load for a friends .375HH using 300gr A-Frames. This is rather disconcerting.
 

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Quote from @Ridgewalker from the Bullet Performance Database thread.
JMO, but every bullet can fail if given the wrong situation. Our job is to be prepared for that potential with a backup shot. Also the task of a PH on DG.

Hmmm...If I had a $1.00 for this insightful epiphany, I'd buy a beer(n).
In response to a Barnes TSX bullet that failed to open properly on a Kudu. Incidentally I worked up an A-frame load for my next hunt because of it.
Great work following up and collecting your buff. Looking forward to the report.
 

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Yes it can happen even with the best bullets and for some reason that hit in the face/head is one that really tests a bullet. I've seen same thing happen on a wildebeest with another bonded bullet where the teeth are hit completely fragmenting the bullet and deflecting the pieces. Teeth are hard material and obviously the angles involved can significantly deflect even the larger bullets. I doubt there is an issue with the A Frame - it's just the nature of bullets hitting hard material at odd angles. After all it is still a soft point- not a solid and the teeth are not exactly the best bullet placement. That's why it's always good to plan for the worst scenario when choosing hunting bullets, not the best or ideal scenario.
 

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I have used AFrames in Africa during six safaris, and they have always performed flawlessly, but never hit a hard bone surface with them. I don´t think they are designed for it.
 

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I'm headed for Namibia in a few days. My .338 RUM will be loaded with A Frames. I've never had an issue with AF's in anything. Hopefully PG won't be an issue. Also taking a .30/06 with Barnes TSX. Never an issue with this either. Will report results.
I think any bullet design can have an occasional failure. Just try to find the ones that have the lowest chance of failure.
 

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Rick please keep us posted on anything from Swift.
 

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Any bullet can fail under the right (wrong?) circumstances. There are so many variables at play with bullet performance - angle, bullet impact velocity, did the animal move, heavy bones hit etc. Very few of us have enough experience personally to be able to give any statisically relevant verdict for a particular bullet. I certainly don't claim to have.

Where I live, the (probably) most popular bullet is the Norma Oryx, as Norma is a domestic brand and there is factory ammo in almost all commonly used calibres/cartridges. And you hear some hunters saying that it's a bad bullet because they/their uncle/someone they know had a bad experience of some sort. (too soft/ too hard/ angled away after impact etc).

There is a similar distrust, in some circles, against Blaser rifles because "they can blow up in your face".

There HAVE been a few reported incidents in the last couple of years, but Blaser is a very popular brand, and many people have a Blaser rifle.

Freak accidents/random stuff just happen sometimes - and the most commonly used components are likely to be involved more often.

Of course, you could be unlucky, having gotten a bad batch of bullets. But I would rather think that Swift AF is probably a rather solid performer based on the fact that one seldom hears of failures - despite it being a popular bullet.
 

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Interesting and I look forward to your full report especially the reply from Swift.
 

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I was planning on loading up some .416 Rigby with 400gr bullets A frames will be interesting to see how this plays out.
 

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I am currently in South Africa hunting with Pawprint Safaris, and experienced a rather unsettling occurrence hunting buffalo. I plan on writing a full report after I get home, but thought I would throw out this tid bit just because....
I had a 300 gr. Swift A Frame from a .375 H+H disintegrate on the side of the face of a buffalo. Penetration of what was left: 2". Shrapnel raked the side of the head. the only thing the bullet contacted was skin. The bull staggered and almost seemed like he was going down, but ran off. We found and finished him the next day. The second bullet performed as reputation says it should.
I have contacted Swift but have not had an answer yet, and don't expect to till next week.
Report to follow.

Let me make sure I understand this sir. The failed bullet was a Swift A Frame. It wasn’t a mixup on your part.....you know you put a Hornady round in the rifle. I can’t get imagine an A Frame failing......no way.
Just kidding you about your bullet selection.:whistle::whistle::whistle:
By the way you got an amazing buff bull sir.
 

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