Best rifle companies and calibers for dangerous game?

Fastrig

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I used to believe that until my 300grain TBBC fired from 375H&H failed to break scapula of a cow Water Buffalo.

I was certain of the shot, it was as easy a shot as one can hope for when hunting. Stationery, undisturbed animal, short distance, solid rest against a tree and plenty of time. I knew I hit it well and was stupid enough to trust the one shot. I didn’t follow up being certain I’d find the animal dead within short distance inside the paperbark forrest. The guy who was with me watched the impact and confirmed the shot was true. We were both rather surprised to find but a few tiny droplets of blood instead of the dead buffalo.

I hit it the animal square on the side from about 50m away. The projectile failed to penetrate the bone, ricocheted approximately 90degrees and ended up in the gut cavity. I caught up with the animal the next day, killed it and simply could not believe my eyes when I started searching for the projectile to understand what had happened.

I’d suspect a poor projectile over the caliber in what you are describing. Not saying a heavier caliber isn’t going to do more than a lesser caliber, however for a client I don’t see the need 99% of the time, a PH is a different story.
 

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I used to believe that until my 300grain TBBC fired from 375H&H failed to break scapula of a cow Water Buffalo.

I was certain of the shot, it was as easy a shot as one can hope for when hunting. Stationery, undisturbed animal, short distance, solid rest against a tree and plenty of time. I knew I hit it well and was stupid enough to trust the one shot. I didn’t follow up being certain I’d find the animal dead within short distance inside the paperbark forrest. The guy who was with me watched the impact and confirmed the shot was true. We were both rather surprised to find but a few tiny droplets of blood instead of the dead buffalo.

I hit it the animal square on the side from about 50m away. The projectile failed to penetrate the bone, ricocheted approximately 90degrees and ended up in the gut cavity. I caught up with the animal the next day, killed it and simply could not believe my eyes when I started searching for the projectile to understand what had happened.
I’d suspect a poor projectile over the caliber in what you are describing. Not saying a heavier caliber isn’t going to do more than a lesser caliber, however for a client I don’t see the need 99% of the time, a PH is a different story.
I would have to say that there are exceptions to every rule.
@Opposite Pole may have found an exception with the TBBC.
To my knowledge the TBBC is an excellent bullet with a good reputation.
I would certainly trust it to do the job and given the same circumstances...I'd have taken that shot.

At the same time, there is no replacement for displacement.
Larger bullets will tip the odds in the hunters favor.
This is of course is assuming all other things are equal...like shot placement.

The best bullet you can buy and preferably a "premium" bullet.
In a caliber at or above 375 that you can shoot comfortably.
Placing an accurate shot on game from a hunting position.
 

Fastrig

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I would have to say that there are exceptions to every rule.
@Opposite Pole may have found an exception with the TBBC.
To my knowledge the TBBC is an excellent bullet with a good reputation.
I would certainly trust it to do the job and given the same circumstances...I'd have taken that shot.

At the same time, there is no replacement for displacement.
Larger bullets will tip the odds in the hunters favor.
This is of course is assuming all other things are equal...like shot placement.

The best bullet you can buy and preferably a "premium" bullet.
In a caliber at or above 375 that you can shoot comfortably.
Placing an accurate shot on game from a hunting position.

Agree, but even premium ammo can have a faulty round once in a while....based on the description of the placement, setup, etc. that 375 TBBC should have done the job without issue. Sure the account is very accurate, just saying that, like in many things, sometimes there is something else to the equation that may not be known, observed, etc. At 50 yards, that 375 had almost full energy, velocity, etc. so something is amiss if it didn't drop that buff in its tracks or shortly thereafter. Sounds like Opp Pole did everything right from his end of the equation.
 

Opposite Pole

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I’d suspect a poor projectile over the caliber in what you are describing. Not saying a heavier caliber isn’t going to do more than a lesser caliber, however for a client I don’t see the need 99% of the time, a PH is a different story.

No doubt it was a projectile not calibre failure and I have killed several Water Buffalo with 375H&H just fine. All I am saying is that there are times when a premium projectile of sufficient weight (I believe 300gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw to be such) fired from 375 rifle may not be sufficient.

I’m a big fan of 375 and if I was to only have one rifle to hunt the world it’d be 375. But, although it packs a serious punch, on a big animal a (correctly placed) projectile from larger calibre does put the animal down with more authority.

I’m not criticising 375 or advising against it for as I said I’m a big fan of it. I’m just saying 375 is a calibre not a magic spell and does have some limitations.
 

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Agree, but even premium ammo can have a faulty round once in a while....based on the description of the placement, setup, etc. that 375 TBBC should have done the job without issue. Sure the account is very accurate, just saying that, like in many things, sometimes there is something else to the equation that may not be known, observed, etc. At 50 yards, that 375 had almost full energy, velocity, etc. so something is amiss if it didn't drop that buff in its tracks or shortly thereafter. Sounds like Opp Pole did everything right from his end of the equation.

Actually, every time I think about that day there’s one thing that I keep wondering about. Was the velocity perhaps too high for the projectile? The ammunition I was using was the “High Energy” version of Federal Cape Shok with advertised muzzle velocity of 2600fps. This version has since been discontinued and now Federal only offers standard version with 2400fps muzzle velocity. At the distance I shot the bullet had barely had the time to start slowing down. Maybe this was a factor? I really wanted to recover the projectile but wasn’t ready to go through the beast’s intestines to find it.
 

Fastrig

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Actually, every time I think about that day there’s one thing that I keep wondering about. Was the velocity perhaps too high for the projectile? The ammunition I was using was the “High Energy” version of Federal Cape Shok with advertised muzzle velocity of 2600fps. This version has since been discontinued and now Federal only offers standard version with 2400fps muzzle velocity. At the distance I shot the bullet had barely had the time to start slowing down. Maybe this was a factor? I really wanted to recover the projectile but wasn’t ready to go through the beast’s intestines to find it.

Great question. Based on your observations, I was thinking the bullet may have fragmented on impact, i.e. a faulty round, and not penetrated to the vitals properly. Too bad we'll never know as it would have been interesting to see what actually happened with that bullet. Don't know if the higher energy version could have been the culprit or not, I'll half to defer to others here that are much more knowledgeable about such things than me. I'm a outdoors man/hunter, not really a ballistics guru. Love this site as there are so many folks here that are and I've learned a lot.
 

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Based on your observations, I was thinking the bullet may have fragmented on impact, i.e. a faulty round, and not penetrated to the vitals properly.
We didn't find any pieces of the projectile. We followed the wound channel, it hit the bone (scapula) and delfected, leaving easy to follow wound channel all the way to the gut cavity.
 

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Good day gents,

Having shot a lot less critters than many fellows here, especially buffaloes, my 2 pennies worth is only a guess, with no scientific evidence to back it up.
Anyway, I’m wondering if the semi-spitzer shape of the Bear Claw bullet may have caused this abrupt change in direction, upon striking the heavy bone, especially if perhaps not quite centered on the bone itself ?

It is possible that the bullet had begun to “mushroom” a little, from striking leather, muscle and tendons, just before encountering the solid bone.
If so, my negative thoughts on spitzer and semi-spitzer bullet shapes are useless here.
If however, the bullet remained rather “pointy” until that fateful moment, this might have been the cause of it suddenly changing course from the obstacle.

I base my guess on noticing that, the above scenario, although not common, seems to happen with spitzer shaped bullets, usually if not exclusively.
Conversely, I’ve not heard of this happening with heavy for caliber, blunt shaped projectiles such as, round nosed, meplat or flat nosed bullets.
If my guess is wrong on this topic, I will happily listen to a more conclusive answer to this “riddle of the willy-nilly bullet”.

By reputation, the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet is one of the best available in the world today.
I would rate it the same as Swift A-Frame, in excellent performance.
Sadly, the TBBC bullet is not as common on gun store shelves here in Alaska, where I live.
The A-Frame is very commonly sold here.
(However, both these otherwise excellent bullets could do with round nose versions in all calibers-IMO).

Hopefully a PH or two will post their thoughts, particularly those who indeed have shot or seen shot, literally hundreds of heavy boned animals.

Parting Shot, as it were:
In regards to the 300 grain .375 load, Dr. Kevin Robertson has written that he believes this excellent cartridge to be a better performer when loading it down from the factory standard velocity of 2550 fps, to about 2400 fps.
In my limited experiences with this 2400 fps load, I do agree.

Kind regards,
Velo Dog.
 

Fastrig

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We didn't find any pieces of the projectile. We followed the wound channel, it hit the bone (scapula) and delfected, leaving easy to follow wound channel all the way to the gut cavity.

Well then is sounds like it didn't fragment. Hmm, wouldn't expect that round, at that distance, to do that. Interesting.
 

Opposite Pole

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Well then is sounds like it didn't fragment. Hmm, wouldn't expect that round, at that distance, to do that. Interesting.
Imagine my surprise!
 

Neil Molendyk

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I would recommend finding a copy of Kevin Robertson's excellent book "Africas Most Dangerous ". It will give you answers to so many questions regarding hunting Cape Buffalo from equipment to hunting tactics and what to expect on the hunt. Bought it and read it cover to cover numerous times before acquiring my DG rifle. I found it an invaluable resource. Good luck and great hunting.
 

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Winchester Model 70 Safari Express in 375 H&H. A classic, will do everything you need, easy to shoot, hits hard on the far end.

 

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Hunter-Habib

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I’m purely sticking to companies which are CURRENTLY manufacturing dangerous game rifles :

Commercial Production ( Rifles )

Winchester Model 70 Safari Express ( the only control round feed one out of the three )
Blaser
Sako

Made To Order ( Rifles )

- Holland & Holland
- Westley Richards
- James Purdey & Co.
- John Rigby & Co.
- George Gibbs
- Dorleac & Dorleac
- Heym
- Lebeau Courally ( only double rifles , as their Marquis line of bolt action rifles aren’t offered in calibers larger than .338 Lapua Magnum )
- AyA ( only double rifles )
- Ignacio Zubillaga ( only double rifles in a few calibers up to .470 Nitro Express caliber )
- Grulla Armas ( only their C95 line of bolt action rifles )

My choice would be ( among commercially manufactured rifles ) a Blaser R8 in .375 Holland & Holland Magnum . Among made to order rifles , I’d go for a Grulla Armas C95 in .375 Holland & Holland Magnum .

In all of my African Safaris ( so far ) , my favorite combination has always been a ( now unfortunately discontinued ) BRNO ZKK602 in .375 Holland & Holland Magnum . Loaded with either Federal 300 Gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw soft points or Nosler 300 Gr monometal Safari Solids .
 

pjaln

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CZ is the best choice ,a bit crude yes but definetly reliable claw extractor
and built as a magnum length action
 

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Good afternoon, please send me a list of pricing for 2022. jlcatron105@gmail.com
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