Buffalo hunting with a .458 Win Mag

bruce moulds

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penetrating steel with hunting rifle bullets.
generally a soft point will penetrate steel better than a fmj.
the germans worked this out in ww1 shooting at british tanks with 8mm mausers.
they pulled the fmj bullets, and seated them back to front so lead in the base hit the tanks first.
speed is also handy for penetrating steel.
the 17/222mag ackley will penetrate an amazing amount of steel.
an 87 gn 25/06 bullet will penetrate more steel than a 120 gn.
and both will penetrate more than a 308 or 30/06.
how does this relate to either penetrating or killing game?
it does not.
the more I am reading about Woodleigh and similar monolithics, the more I am starting to think they are actually too much bullet for most game, to kill as well as an aframe or barnes x.
this is possibly due to penetration at the price of killing power.
elephant is a different storey.
bruce.
 

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Interesting points Bruce, I am starting to form a similar opinion. With the German tank example is that due to the base design and construction? Are they acting like a wadcutter? Not that you would use a lead wadcautter on anything but paper.

I’ve read up on the Hydros a bit and everything has its place. People originally suggested they were good for heavy game quartering away where penetration is needed.
For Elephants I’ve read they have a thick skull, interestingly Karamojo Bell used Solids or FMJ,

I’ve dispatched sick cattle in yards firing .38 special loads from a lever action with good results they dropped where they were standing and there was blood flowing from the forehead. I shot a cow in a paddock with a .308 and put a second in be satisfied.

I know a farmer who has shot sick cattle with a .204 Ruger and said if he has to do it he will back up as at close range it penetrates too quickly without causing enough damage on entry.

I read the Woodleigh bullet thread and found the testing on whales to be interesting.(using 3 different .30 cals)

Perhaps Hydros on in smaller cals where required on bigger game may help.

They have their place and in currently pondering Woodleigh Bullets for testing, shooting average size pigs to get used to my .375H&H (with lighter projectiles)

I’m following with interest as I’m pondering Woodleigh offerings including a Heavy Duty RN SN in .300gn, tougher than the RN SN or protected point

As someone said in another post they will have Hydros for back up in the hope they won’t need them.

I plan to do load development and test to see if the 300gn HD SN has a similar point of impact to the 300 Hydro,

Woodleigh make in order of softest to hardest if I’m correct
RN SN
PP SN
RN HD
Hydros

I’m interested in using Woodleigh for availability in Australia.

I may put some cut logs as back stops to see how well they split logs

Should the HD SN be used as the first projectile .org are they to hard penetrating too quickly
 

crs

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.458, thank you for your observations.

For what it is worth, I have had no problem finding competent bullets for my 1895 .405 WCF and my Simson .405 DR. The Simson removes all the "bite" from the lighter 1895 .405, even shooting 400 grain Hornady and Woodleigh bullets from the bench rest it is pleasant to shoot.

Early on, I laid in a supply of North Fork 300 grainers which work very well on large game such as water buffalo. Also a supply of the excellent Barnes TSX which works quite well on Nilgai, red deer, big hogs, etc (you get the idea). For more mundane game the 300 grain Hornady is quite sufficient.

For really heavy hitting, any 400 grain bullets for the 450/400 (.410/411) are good. I used Woodies on my Cape buff and they performed as expected- flawlessly. Then there is Hawk and other proven bullet sources.

PS, my ammo makers sources tell me the Miroku/Winchester 1895 is also good to 50,000 psi and a bit above. My 400 grain Woodies at 2076 fps MV generated an average of only 48,000 psi chamber pressure. I have since changed to N133 powder and dropped the peak pressure to below 40,000 for the same velocity.That pressure is better for my DR and it regulates both 300 and 400 grain bullets; Serendipity!

.458, to each his own!
 

crs

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New Boomer,
Yes and no problem.
Grizzly Cartridge loaded our 450 grain .458 Kodiak FMJ bullets to 2150 fps and claimed pressure under 40,000 psi . Even with the 9.5 pound 1886, the shooter knows when that load fires; from the recoil and the thwack as it knocks down a bison. (I have video of that)

Seriously, the performance on big game of the 450 grain Kodiak and North Forks convinced me that no heavier bullet is needed for this rifle/cartridge combination. My elephant rifle:


And no, I do not need to shoot pointy bullets and the curved metal butt plate does not hurt me.
 

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fourfive8

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Since these actions, Marlin 95 and Win 86/71 are limited in COAL to about 2.7-2.8", there is no real advantage to be gained in carts with longer than 45-70 length. The 45-90 which was also chambered in the '86 was simply an Express type cartridge (by design and definition- faster but lighter bullet). If loaded with bullets much longer than about 300 grains, in the 405 to 500 grain range, case capacity was greatly diminished. Additionally, many had slower twist rates for the faster and shorter bullets, so may not stabilize the heavier bullets well at all. Really no free lunch in any of these. Even though the Win M1895 was designed to handle slightly higher pressures, the overall limitations are still present- basically a 40 cal (411-412") 2100 fps, 300 grain bullet shooter in a somewhat cumbersome repeater platform that does not mitigate heavy recoil well at all. But, whatever floats the boat.

Here's a link with some basic info about the 450 AK. This just about pushes these older design lever guns to the limit- including the Marlin 1895 and Winchester 1886/71. If loaded up against the 44K psi safe design limit, which seems somewhat unwise anyway, loads approaching those of the 458 Win Mag in a relatively light weight lever gun, with less than ideal stock geometry for handling recoil, becomes a nasty beast to shoot and handle effectively. Again, whatever floats the boat.

http://www.gmdr.com/lever/450alaskantext.htm
 

crs

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458,
Thank you for the ancient history lesson, something that I researched years ago BEFORE buying my .411 or .458 rifles.
Sadly, you repeat the tired old belief of many .45-70 shooters that the longer 2.4 inch .458 case cannot outperform the shorter 2.1 .458 case. I refer you to the Lyman reloading manual and some others that have researched this and concluded that the extra .3 inch can make a difference of a + 200 fps. Plus the results of the experience of our bullet testing team. Why do you think we sent heavy loads in both 1886 rifles to Africa (after testing here in Texas) hint - we already knew the performance difference and wanted field tested results.

I am sooo tired of old .45-70 shooters telling me not to "hot rod" my 1886s (45-70 and 45-90) and to go buy a bolt action .458 Win Mag; what fun would that be? Anyone can do that. Some even want me to put a scope on these rifles rather than hunt in close enough for iron sights; again,what fun would that be? Anyone can do that.

Someone has to push the envelope as did my 1895 .405 WCF mentor that loaded his 1895 .405 to 2400 fps and shot prairie dogs with 300 grain mono bullets. He was not alone.
 

Forrest Halley

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Well I sure am glad I have a Ruger No. 1 in .375 H&H and .458 Lott. Heaven help me if I had to defend my caliber choices all the time...
If I had a .375 Ruger I'd have to be talking about just as good as or shorter actions and barrels.
If I had a .405 I'd have to continually mutter "Big Medicine...San Juan Hill!":Pompus:
If I had a .416 Rem I'd have pressure myths to dispell and belts to excuse while babbling about being as good as the Rigby.
If I had a .450/.400 I'd be trying to figure out what Woodleigh bullet to use while disputing the actual caliber of the gun and claiming it is so pleasant to shoot compared to X.
If I had a .404 I'd have cult members hanging out around the house chanting ".404...magic bore" and one squeaky voice protester on the street with a sign saying .423 that nobody liked.:S Dots:
If I had a .450... it'd be outlawed, unobtainable, and not as good as a .470.
If I had a .458 2.4" I'd always have someone dragging it down by calling it a .45-90 and there'd be a slew of questions about the voodoo involved with modernization of an ancient cartridge.;)
If I had a .458 Win Mag I'd be like Cool Hand Luke, constantly shakin' it in the bush to keep the powder from clumping.

Since I have the .375 H&H and the .458 Lott, I need not burden myself. My bases are covered and I can can sleep at ease knowing I have two Swiss army knife calibers. :S Support:
IMG_20191212_160327478.jpg

So if we were to return to topic...shoot it well with a .458 and 450-500 grain bullets...loaded to accuracy...keep shooting it...run after it and shoot it again. Pose for picture. Not terribly complex.
 

crs

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Forrest,
Thanks for the chuckles!

PS Nice rifles.
Shot prairie dogs once with one after a Pronghorn hunt in NM. My hunting buddy was pleased when his rifle busted a dog at 300 yards on my second shot at it. It was some hot .22 cartridge and very accurate. My first - shot miss was that I misjudged the breeze drift.
 

CTDolan

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The 480 grain bullets used in the 450 Nitro are a good choice for the 458. Woodleigh and Hornady make good bullets in solids and softs. The Hornady are tougher. Makes getting 2150 fps easier without as much concern for compressed loads.

Agreed, go with the Woodleigh 480 grain bullet (just know that the crimp groove is not in the proper place for maximum loads).
 

CoElkHunter

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It has been done , Co Elk Hunter . It was never done in the state of Nagpur , where l was based , because the minimum legally acceptable calibre for foreign client shikarees to shoot water buffalo or gaur was .375 Nitro Express.
However , in other states , like Darjeeling ( where Kawshik was based ) , there were no calibre limits , placed by the law. Kawshik's shikar partner , Karim Chowdhury actually killed a female gaur with a .22 Long Rifle high velocity bullet . He was using a BRNO .22 Long Rifle calibre semi automatic rifle . He shot the gaur in the soft part behind her shoulder and the bullet pierced her lungs , while the uncovered lead head of the cartridge expanded inside the lungs of the brute . She started coughing blood from her mouth and blowing it from her nose . She was in a herd . The sight of seeing her blow blood drove the other animals in the herd mad ( including other female gaurs , calves and even the few bulls there ) . They proceeded to bull rush her and gore her to death with their horns ( the short curved horns of a gaur make them even more dangerous than the larger horns of a water buffalo ) .
She was gored to death in 9 minutes . After the herd settled down and left , we collected the carcass for the beef . This hardly comes across as humane killing , and it was a highly effective , but cruel tactic . Needless to say , l would not care to face a gaur with anything smaller than a .366 Mauser ( 9.3× 62 calibre ) .
Karim did this only once. It was technically not the bullet which killed her , but the other gaurs in her herd.
All bovines will go mad at the sight of blood very quickly . If the buffalo is a homing missile , then blood is the target .
This is why Spanish Matadors use a red silk cloth to provoke charging bulls , during bull fights . Red reminds them of blood.
“She was gored to death in 9 minutes”
My thread summary: Horns, fangs and now one suffers a slow, agonizing death because you wounded one with your .250-3000, and your PHs Winchester .405 jams (no .458WM cause it won’t work on buffalo) cause the cartridge expanded in the chamber due to the heat and high humidity and the lever won’t work.
That pretty much sums it up for me!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
Merry Christmas!
 

Major Khan

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“She was gored to death in 9 minutes”
My thread summary: Horns, fangs and now one suffers a slow, agonizing death because you wounded one with your .250-3000, and your PHs Winchester .405 jams (no .458WM cause it won’t work on buffalo) cause the cartridge expanded in the chamber due to the heat and high humidity and the lever won’t work.
That pretty much sums it up for me!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas and happy holidays , Co Elk Hunter . I have a hog deer shikar planned with Kawshik on the 27th.
 

Forrest Halley

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“She was gored to death in 9 minutes”
My thread summary: Horns, fangs and now one suffers a slow, agonizing death because you wounded one with your .250-3000, and your PHs Winchester .405 jams (no .458WM cause it won’t work on buffalo) cause the cartridge expanded in the chamber due to the heat and high humidity and the lever won’t work.
That pretty much sums it up for me!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
Merry Christmas!
You have missed the bus....
It was a .416 Remington that jammed due to the high pressure after the .405 toting hunter spooked the game whilst muttering Big Medicine. The .250-3000 shooter only wounded the buffalo because the bullet had already killed the Lion, Leopard, Rhino, and Elephant. Furthermore she couldn't possibly have taken 9 minutes to be gored to death. Nothing happens fast in Africa. If it's a fast process to start it takes forever for finish. If it's quick to finish it takes forever to start...
 

CoElkHunter

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You have missed the bus....
It was a .416 Remington that jammed due to the high pressure after the .405 toting hunter spooked the game whilst muttering Big Medicine. The .250-3000 shooter only wounded the buffalo because the bullet had already killed the Lion, Leopard, Rhino, and Elephant. Furthermore she couldn't possibly have taken 9 minutes to be gored to death. Nothing happens fast in Africa. If it's a fast process to start it takes forever for finish. If it's quick to finish it takes forever to start...
I often miss the bus. That’s why I mostly wear Trail Running shoes, unless there is six inches or more of snow on the ground like now. Anyway, thanks so much for clarifying all of this! While reading all of the great posts on this tread, it felt like my retinas were detaching so I had to stop now and again and must have lost track of many of the details! Thanks Forrest!
 

fourfive8

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Well, here you go as promised in an earlier post in this thread. I received a couple of boxes of Hornady 480 gr .458 DGX Bonded a couple of days ago. Over the last 2 weeks the weather has been iffy but managed to test two bullets. About two weeks ago I tested the 450 gr .458 TSX and today the 480 gr .458 DGX Bonded.

Test media is 100% water saturated phone book bundles in a trough about 4 ft long with a 2" wood plank placed between bundle 1 and 2 to simulate bone.

Reduced loads in the 450 Watts to about 2050 fps with these bullets to simulate an average distance impact velocity.

Results:
The bullet channel track shape and depth of penetration through the media was nearly identical for both the 450 gr TSX and the 480 gr DGX Bonded. The TSX track was curved likely because of the loss of two petals. (Note I performed an identical test on a 480 gr DGX non-bonded a couple of years ago that showed a complete failure of that bullet in my test media- fragmenting and shucking the short remaining base of the jacket with a total penetration of the largest lead fragment of only 10" +/-)

The TSX lost two petals during or just after encountering the wood plank but continued to penetrate to about 24". After losing the petals, the track showed a definite curve but did not exit the trough and was found sideways toward the edge of a phone book bundle at the 24" mark. The irregular frontal surface probably accounted for the curved track. The irregular front diameter was approximately .7" at widest. The 450 gr. TSX retained about 93% weight at 420 gr.

The DGX Bonded performed as Hornady advertises with the petals separating at internally skived lines around the nose- 8 equal petals. The nose expansion appeared to be very even with the frontal surface nearly perfectly circular so, as expected, the bullet track through the media was straight and the bullet was found point forward at its terminus after penetrating to 21". The 480 gr. DGX Bonded retained about 94% weight at 453 gr. and with a "mushroom" diameter of approximately .75".

For both bullets, the maximum diameter displacement channel was typically enlarged and pear shaped from about 2" after initial impact to about the 12" mark. From there to the terminus, the channel for both bullets gradually reduced to a diameter slightly larger than the expanded bullet.

Pics show the process and results.

The last pic is typical of the maximum displacement channel for most all these types of expanding bullets at about the 5-10" penetration mark in the bundles immediately past the wood plank. This pic was taken today of the 480 gr DGX Bonded test.

And I just thought of one caution about the old and new DGX bullets. They are identical in appearance so could get mixed up for reloading. IMO, the old DGX is a poor DG bullet and the new Bonded DGX appears to be a pretty good DG bullet.

bullet test trough.png
450 TSX test.png
480 DGX bonded test.png
450 TSX 480 DGX B.png
Screen Shot 2019-12-19 at 5.16.13 PM.png


480 DGX in wet pack.JPG
 
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crs

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458,
Thank you for your test results. They sound like good news for the new Hornady bonded DGX, the hunting community, and Hornady Corporation.
Now some of the Hornady critics can stop complaining and go hunting!
 

Timbo

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If you owned a bolt action rifle chambered in .458 Win Mag and wanted to handload the perfect load for a cape buffalo hunt, what bullet would you use?
Hi,
Just back from a long absence from AH. FYI the load I use are 500gr Woodleigh RNSN or FMJs pushed by 72gr of AR2206H. In my Interarms 458 it's a very accurate load, giving cloverleaf groups a half inch apart at 75yds for each projectile. All recovered projectiles have given deep straight line penetration with superb mushrooming of the softs - and all the DG I've taken so far haven't complained.

This projectile was recovered from a buffalo taken broadside through the shoulder at 40yds. (y)
20190419_105337.jpg
 
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crs

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Just what hunters have come to expect from Woodleigh! Nice picture.

I bet my Woodie 400 grain .411 Weldcore would have looked like that if it had not shot through nearly 40 inches of the buff and disappeared into the woods (The bullet, not the buff).
 

Alistair

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CEH,
Well, maybe that "south of the equator" rule does not apply to hunters Down Under?
If it does, my friend down there has mislead me about all the game he shot in Africa and Australia with his scoped 1895 .405. I know the game he shot here in Texas with that rifle was legit because I was there and he used one of my 300 grain North Fork cartridges on some big critter.

The big problem with down under is with push feed rifles. What with you lot being upside down, its obvious that with a push feed, the rounds will inevitably fall out of the ejection port, leading to the inevitable messy death of the user.

Gotta have them CRF actions for anything south of about 10 degrees North. Even the South Africans are dicing with death frankly.

Just logic, innit?
 
 

 

 

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