Ammunition for Cape Buffalo

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by ofbiro, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    Could you elaborate on your 'spike' concept? It's not clear whether you are looking at pure penetration, or penetration AND expansion?

    The plastic tips in general are to assist with BC, cartridge feeding and in some cases to initiate expansion.
    The steel plunger on the Peregrine VRG3 & 4 is also there to initiate expansion - not to hold the bullet together or aid in penetration per se. The rationale is that the plunger is more reliable than the hollow point on say a Barnes TSX when it comes to ensuring expansion every time.

    It seems that you're thinking about some tough material (spike) that holds the bullet together? I would expect that in practise, such a spike would potentially cause the bullet to shatter. Any bullet with a lead core (or any core that's different to the jacket) runs the risk of separation, due to the differential hardness and malleability of the materials. Titanium and uranium cores are military designs for armour piercing - obviously these materials are typically restricted to the military and tend to be applied in bigger calibers (20mm and the like).
    Monos are the answer if you want a bullet that sheds minimal weight and stays together - the debate then is around the design/profile of the mono.

    If it's just DG penetration you're looking at then the Peregrine VRG1 & 2, the Dzombo solids and Northfork monos may be the solution you seek. Woodleigh hydro solids are also an interesting concept that may be applicable here.
     
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  2. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    I fail to see the advantage of a full length spike bonded into a mono metal bullet either. The strength of the mono metal comes from the fact that it is formed from one metal. In my mind bonding something into it would actually weaken it and hamper expansion and quite likely reduce accuracy.
     

  3. WildRose

    WildRose AH Enthusiast

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    Sorry to be slow in getting back.

    Years ago here in the US I came across some "bear loads" in .41 magnum. They were a hard cast lead hollow point and inside of that hollow point was a titanium penetrator about the size of a 16 penny nail, pointed like the tip of a nail and it ran the full length of the bullet. These things were devastating for their penetrating ability.

    When I got to looking closely at the construction of some new bullets, namely the VRG-3 from peregrine and the new Hornady ELD-X I started thinking about instead of copper or other alloys the tips could be replaced with titanium running the full length of the bullet.

    In terms of modern non lead monolithic copper/brass allow bullets the lower density is a problem so bullets of equal size dimensionally are going to run considerably lighter than lead core bullets.

    That got me thinking of using the same principal but making the tip/spike much larger in diameter and running the full length of the bullet, essentially ending up with a titanium core with just a heavy copper alloy jacket. There are lots of easy ways to bond the two together so that separation is not a problem.

    This would give us bullets much closer to lead core bullets density wise and should give incredible penetration. I just don't know if it would be worth the expense.
     

  4. WildRose

    WildRose AH Enthusiast

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    I'm having a brain fart here guys, tungsten is the metal I'm thinking of not titanium.

    Sorry, I've been working on an airplane project with a friend the last few weeks and titanium was just stuck in my brain.
     

  5. Desperatezulu

    Desperatezulu AH Veteran

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    Why is the lower density of copper or brass a problem?

    The problem, if one exists with monos, is that they tend to show little expansion and therefore over-penetrate. Hence the designs like Barnes and Peregrine with hollow points and/or plungers to initiate expansion. There is no concern with their penetration ability.
     

  6. WildRose

    WildRose AH Enthusiast

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    Momentum for one thing. A given mass driven at a given speed only has so much momentum. Even round nosed ball ammo will over penetrate.

    A monolithic bullet in a RN design will not have the same mass or momentum of a lead core bullet of the same design and velocity.

    Bullets like the Barnes tend to lose their petals and what's left then is a smaller, lighter flat nosed bullet.

    Lots of guys here in the US have ceased using them on elk, moose, and big bears for that reason.

    I have very little experience with the Peregrine bullets but what I do have is 100% positive but even the best can be made better.
     

  7. Jono Joseph

    Jono Joseph AH Veteran

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    I agree the best can be made better and nothng is 100% Guaranteed

    Shot Shot
     

  8. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Having shot and been involved in the shooting of hundreds of animals with mono metals I can attest that adequate penetration is the least of your worries. While they will occasionally shed petals, it's rare. I can't see the point of messing with them. Sectional density has little relevance in the world of modern bullets.
     

  9. rookhawk

    rookhawk AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I've not hunted buffalo or hippo and in fact I asked this very same question of the forum and got the same excellent advice.

    What I settled on for my 375H&H for hippo based on their advice was two different products from the Federal Premium line so that ballistics would approximate one another.

    1.) Swift A-Frame 300gr Federal Premium
    2.)Woodleigh Hydrostatic Mono Solids 300gr Federal Premium

    Just as the great minds on this forum recommended, #1 for the initial shot, #2 if something goes wrong and I need to turn a charging hippo on land. I pray I have a mint and unused box of 20 of the latter to pass on to my grand children someday. :)

    If I haven't said it enough, thank you all for guiding me down the right path on bullet selection also.
     
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