Buckshot & Leopard- Fact Or Fiction?

flatwater bill

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Most everyone that reads AH recognizes that bullet technology has changed. And is changing. No one would compare the old Western Tool and Copper 06 bullets against the Woodleigh or the Barnes TSX. But many of you are unaware that buckshot technology is also changing. And has changed. Even though it took a bit longer. I would caution against making generalizations on what buckshot will NOT do, based on limited experience or old data. Keep an open mind. If you need a stopper load, you may want to research and reconsider................FWB
 

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@flatwater bill,
I am aware only of introduction of non lead shot, which generally have lesser performance then classic lead shot.

For shotgun platforms:
Further, some of modern shotguns have back-bored barrels, allegedly giving better performance. And there are also modern back-market and factory chokes.

Is there any other advancement in shotgun ammunition technology, that we might look into?
 

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Dwight Beagle

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I believe back-bored barrels are just a marketing gimmick
 

flatwater bill

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Mark......good question. and the answer is yes. I've written an paper on modern "super buckshot" loads, and will print some of it here on AH under the Articles forum, when time permits. Most anecdotal data on buckshot applies to historic loadings which had not principally changed from 100 years ago until very recently. IdaRam points out a Ballistic Products shot that is a reasonable intermediate step. The topic is more complex than it appears at first glance, and most published and quoted data is suboptimal or just plain wrong. Even when correct, data applied to "how far can I shoot a deer" and not "how well can I stop a charge"..Until I post the article, you can go to YT and watch someone kill turkeys at 40 yards with a .410 shotgun and #9 shot to get some idea of a similar improvement for a different purpose. .......my leopard hunting days are behind me, but a potent buckshot load can still come in handy........good hunting................FW Bill
 

fourfive8

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Yes, Ballistic Products is one of the components makers along with labs at/or sponsored by Winchester and particularly Federal and possibly others who have produced some pretty impressive shot shell loads in the past years- even going back into the 1980s. Additionally, some of these new buckshot loads are not even similar to those of the fairly recent past. Looking forward to flatwater bill's buckshot data and article.
 

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"Big cats" includes lions. I was addressing leopards, which are much smaller and more lightly built. For LEOPARDS, my friend (of vast experience) recommended OO buckshot as the most effective load for close quarters encounters with wounded leopards.
 

kurpfalzjäger

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"Big cats" includes lions. I was addressing leopards, which are much smaller and more lightly built. For LEOPARDS, my friend (of vast experience) recommended OO buckshot as the most effective load for close quarters encounters with wounded leopards.

That with the buckshot 00 has already been discussed and considered by some of us to be somewhat weak for this use. I cannot say more because I have never seen a wounded leopard being shot with buckshot , 00 or something else.
 

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For leopard back up we are talking 10 to zero feet. Why on earth would anybody want to use buckshot when you can use a proven slug such as the original Brenneke?

The buckshot boys are all commenting that at such close quarters the buckshot stays together in one ball.

Makes no sense....

If you cannot hit it with a Brenneke slug at 10 feet or less buckshot ain't gonna help you, add to this the lack of penetration when compared to a solid slug, well it is a no brainer....

I have tested most types off buckshot in the field on animals and the Brenneke slug wins hands down every time....

Yes buck shot has it's place but it is not for stopping wounded leopards at close range
 

Major Khan

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I have been meaning to provide my insight on this topic for quite some time , but something or another always kept me preoccupied. I used be be a professional shikaree in Allwyn Copper Limited from 1961 to 1970 , which used to be the largest shikar outfitters in India until 1972 ( my outfitters was based in Nagpur ) . I have killed 20 leopards in my life ( which we Central Indian and South Indian shikarees know as panther . ) and seen over 60 leopards shot by my very eyes by my clients or other professional shikarees . I have also killed 1 dozen royal Bengal tigers in my career , 11 of which were wounded by clients and had charged our shikar party .
While there are many other experienced gentlemen than l , on these forums ... l feel that l can provide my insight on this matter. I am speaking only about Indian leopards . However , l hope that the information that l provide will be useful .
To start with , 1 should not make an assumption that all leopards are the same .
Even within leopards there are vast differences in size , weight and strength . In India , for example there are 2 variations of leopard :
1) Spotted Leopard ( which we know as , “ Village Panther “ )
2) Hunting Leopard ( Which we know as " Forest Panther " )

A spotted Leopard lurks around the villages does not fear human beings , and steals goats and chickens . It typically weighs anywhere from 60 pounds to 130 pounds . A hunting Leopard typically avoids human beings ( except man eaters ) , lives on cheetal deer , 4 horned buck , black buck , hog deer , swamp deer and chinkara , and can weigh up to 200 pounds . I have killed both varieties of leopards and seen both varieties killed by clients or other professional shikarees before my very eyes .
On an unsuspecting spotted leopard weighing 60 to 80 pounds which is taken over bait , a charge of copper plated LG or SG at point blank range , to the area where the neck meets the shoulder , will kill it.
On charging SPOTTED leopards weighing 60 to 80 pounds ( but not more ) , copper plated LG and SG cartridges ( but certainly no size smaller ) will kill them , but ONLY IF :
1) The shot is taken at less than 4 paces ( 7.5 feet ) and the buck shot pellets are concentrated.
2) The shot charge does not have a chance to spread more than a couple of inches apart .
3) You get the leopard in the head with the whole shot charge . Because hitting the brain of the leopard is the only way to instantly stop a charge .



On charging spotted leopards weighing over 100 pounds , or HUNTING leopards using shot of any size is an extremely irrational idea. . Hunting Leopards , in particular have a far thicker skull than spotted leopards and even copper plated LG and SG pellets will more often than not , fail to penetrate into their skull . For these , you should only use spherical ball or better yet , Brenekke Black Magic Slugs ( which weigh 602 grains ) if you are using a shot gun .
A .30 calibre rifle would be even better , like a .30-06 Springfield calibre rifle and 220 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point cartridges.
Personally , l always used my 12 calibre double barreled Belgian side by side shotgun , which has 3 inch chambers , extractors and 28 inch barrels ( Left barrel is fully choked . Right barrel is modified choke . ) loaded with 3 inch Eley Gas Tight " High Brass " cartridges. These , l hand loaded with 16 calibre lead spherical balls , so that the 16 calibre ball can easily pass through the full choked 12 calibre barrel of my shot gun easily , without harming the choke . They were extremely effective on leopards , even of the largest size , out to 30 yards. My preferred point of aim was in the region between the 2 eyes .
Here is my old Belgian shot gun and some leopards which l killed .
FB_IMG_1575727193927.jpg

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Screenshot_20191208-071335_01_01_01_01_01.png

I only used buck shot once in my life . It was in 1965 , when l attempted to shoot my very 1st leopard . I shot at it using an Eley 2.75 inch Alphamax LG cartridge ( Which held 8 pellets in the cartridge. ) When l fired at the leopard , l accidentally ended up killing the goat which l was using as live bait . 3 pellets had hit the goat , while 5 had hit the leopard. After an extremely lengthy follow up , my maternal grandfather , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan finally dispatched the leopard with his .405 Winchester calibre Model 1895 lever rifle and a 300 grain ICI Kynoch soft point cartridge .
Upon doing a post mortem of the leopard , we found the 5 LG pellets lodged in it's shoulder muscles , it's neck and it's head. Not even 1 had reached s vital organ . That was the very 1st and last time in my life that l ever used a buck shot cartridge in my shot gun . I used Triple A cartridges for Muntjac deer , 4 horned buck and black buck . For anything larger , l always used my hand loaded spherical ball cartridges .
Even on leopards weighing less than 100 pounds , l always used spherical ball cartridges and never LG cartridges.

I personally do not believe that modern developments in buck shot has really made them any more suitable for the heavier leopards than they used to be during the time when l was a professional shikaree .
Here is a hunting associate of @Captain Nwz , who was injured during the hunt for a man eating leopard in 2017 . Captain Newaz was killed 81 Indian leopards in his life till now ( 69 of which were killed in the Syedabaad tea gardens in Siliguri , India from 1963 to 1970 . He has also killed 12 man eating leopards irregularly in Bangladesh since 1972 which occasionally attack locals living in villages near the Sundarban forest . )
FB_IMG_1533763075215.jpg


The gentleman you see in the photograph is a local hunter who was part of @Captain Nwz 's shikar party in 2017 when they went after a man eating hunting leopard in an area known as " Nizzura Deap " . He was armed with a 12 calibre Browning A 5 semi automatic shot gun with multi chokes and a 3.5 inch chamber . The shot gun was loaded with Winchester copper plated 3.5 inch SG cartridges ( otherwise known as 00 buck shot to you American gentlemen .) Each cartridge held 18 pellets of copper plated SG . When they went after the leopard into the thickets , the leopard charged the shikar party and the man fired at it's head at a distance of less than 10 feet . Despite being hit , the leopard pounced on him . Fortunately , the leopard was only able to maul him for 3-4 seconds , before Newaz shot it off the man , by using his .338 Winchester magnum calibre FN Mauser action custom bolt rifle and a 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft point bullet .
The man eventually recovered . However , a post mortem of the leopard showed that no less than 13 copper plated SG pellets had lodged themselves against the leopard's skull , but not even 1 had reached the brain . The leopard weighed 196 pounds .
 
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mark-hunter

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1) Spotted Leopard ( which we know as , “ Village Panther “ )
2) Hunting Leopard ( Which we know as " Forest Panther " )

Dear Sir, Major Khan
I have one question.

This distinction of two subspecies of leopard reminds me also on open subject of the two species or subspecies of african elephant (forest elephant, Loxodonta cyclotis = smaller, and savanna elephant, loxodonta africana = bigger)

Question is this:
Appart from different sizes, habits and habitat of the two types of leopard in India, is there any other difference like, different spot pattern, color or similar?
Is there any scientific, biological info on these two, like different latin names, some research on species etc?

Thank you!
 

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Hi Mark, have a look at the Tungsten Matrix that people like Hevi-Shot are producing. It's incredible stuff.
 

Philip Glass

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Several of my PH’s, including the most experienced with DG, prefer 12ga auto for leopard follow ups.
 

Major Khan

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Dear Sir, Major Khan
I have one question.

This distinction of two subspecies of leopard reminds me also on open subject of the two species or subspecies of african elephant (forest elephant, Loxodonta cyclotis = smaller, and savanna elephant, loxodonta africana = bigger)

Question is this:
Appart from different sizes, habits and habitat of the two types of leopard in India, is there any other difference like, different spot pattern, color or similar?
Is there any scientific, biological info on these two, like different latin names, some research on species etc?

Thank you!
You asked a very sensible question which several people often ask me , Mark Hunter . To the best of my knowledge , both the Spotted Leopard / Village panther and the Hunting Leopard / forest panther are widely both labelled under 1 general species , the " Indian Leopard " by international scholars . However , local people living in India and especially us, retired professional shikarees always tend to categorize them as 2 different species.

Allow me to elaborate.
The smaller variety is known in central India ( Such as Nagpur , where l am originally from ) and south India as " village panther " . In North India and West Bengal ( Such as Darjeeling and Siliguri , where Kawshik and Captain Newaz are originally from , respectfully . ) these are referred to , as " spotted leopard " . They weigh anywhere from 60 pounds to 130 pounds . They lurk around villages and are not shy of being around human presence . They steal goats and chickens from villages for food . Here is a spotted leopard / village panther which l had killed .
Screenshot_20191208-071335_01_01_01_01_01.png


The larger variety is known in Central and South India , as " Forest Panther " . In North India and West Bengal , the exact same species is referred to , as " Hunting Leopard " . These creatures are typically shy of human beings ( except of course , for man eaters ) . They live deep in the forests and will weigh up to 200 pounds. These animals feed on cheetal deer , muntjac deer , black buck , 4 horned buck and Chinkara . Occasionally , they will attack immature wild boars as well . However , generally they do not attack mature wild boars , because the wild boars can hold their own against them , with their tusks.
Here are 2 Hunting Leopards / Forest Panthers which l have shot.
Screenshot_20191220-003933_01_01_01_01_01_01.png
Screenshot_20191208-071341_01_01_01_01_01_01.png



As an additional piece of information , check your Inbox . I am sending you an article which l have come across recently which makes reference to both Village Panthers and Forest Panthers .
 

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Did John Burger get a mention in this thread? I’m reading his book “Horned Death” and he seems to like the effects of a shotgun on lions.

I have no idea / experience / opinion on the matter.
 

Major Khan

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Did John Burger get a mention in this thread? I’m reading his book “Horned Death” and he seems to like the effects of a shotgun on lions.

I have no idea / experience / opinion on the matter.
Upon reading your insightful comment , I actually purchased " Horned Death " on Amazon.com as an e book last week , Benkk . I was genuinely intrigued , as to how a shot gun might be used with success against African lions ( which can weigh up to 500 pounds or thereabouts) . I finished reading the entire book yesterday and my observations are as follows :
Mr. John F Burger DOES recommend using a double barreled 12 Bore shot gun , loaded with SSG cartridges ( which is equivalent to the American # 1 buck shot and holds 16 pellets in a 2.75 inch cartridge ) when pursuing wounded African lions in to the thickets .
HOWEVER
There are only 2 documented instances of Mr. Burger ACTUALLY killing a lion with a shot gun mentioned throughout the entire book .
In both scenarios , someone else shot the lion immediately after he shot it with a shot gun .
In Incident # 1 , he was trying to contend with a problem causing lion . He was hiding inside a tin shed with his native assistants and the lion stuck it's head through a hole in the wall ( merely inches away from Mr. Burger's face ) . Mr. Burger then aimed his 12 Bore double barreled shot gun from just a couple of inches away from the lion's head and fired both barrels at it's head . Right at that moment , 1 of his native assistants shot the lion in the head simultaneously with both barrels of a .450/400 Nitro Express calibre double barreled rifle . Yet another of his native assistants fired another shot in to the lion's head with a .318 Westley Richards calibre bolt rifle from a distance of less than 6 feet at the same time.
When Mr. Burger examined the lion's head ... It had been reduced to a pulp.
In Incident # 2 , Mr. Burger had to contend with a lioness . He was using his 12 Bore double barreled shot gun , loaded with AAA cartridges ( Which held 44 pellets in a 2.75 inch cartridge ) . When the lioness charged at Mr. Burger , he let her get within 5 yards of him and then discharged both barrels in to her head at point blank range . This sent the lioness reeling back and before the lioness could recover , Mr. Burger's native assistant shot it twice with a .450/400 Nitro Express calibre double barreled rifle .
Thus , as you can see ... in both the incidents when Mr. Burger ACTUALLY had to contend with a lion by being armed with a shot gun , loaded with buck shot , it was infact someone else who finished off the wounded lion(ess) after it had been initially shot by Mr. Burger .

He does mention quite a few instances of picking up his shot gun ( loaded with SSG cartridges ) and going after a lion in to the thickets with the INTENTION of killing it , throughout the entire book .
However , when it ACTUALLY comes to killing said lion ... he always some how ends up either dispatching it with a heavy calibre bolt rifle ( like a .404 Jeffery or a .425 Westley Richards calibre rifle ) or letting the lion escape . I consider Mr. Burger to be extremely fortunate that he never actually had to use his shot gun to try and kill a lion . Attempting to use an SSG cartridge ( let alone an AAA cartridge ! ) on a 500 pound lion would have ( no doubt ) been a 1 way ticket in to the after life for Mr. Burger .

Thus , I strongly believe ( based on my readings ) that Mr. Burger is merely SPECULATING about the effects of shot guns against African lions , when he recommends using a 12 Bore double barreled shot gun ( loaded with SSG cartridges ) for following up African lions in to the thickets .
PS : I really must thank you for indirectly getting me to read this book . " Horned Death " was most interesting , and you have very good taste , Benkk ! I hope to commence reading Mr. Burger's other book , " 40 Years In Africa " from tomorrow night .
 
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Major Khan

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AAA cartridges have been a bit of a favourite of mine over the years .Most things shot in th ehead at such close range will not survive.
You will love the Lyavale Express 36 gram AAA 2.75 inch cartridges then , sambarhunter . Marvellous things , they are. I use mine for Greylag Geese and driven hunts for Kakar deer .
What brand do you use ?
 

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