Buffalo rifle

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Dawg2019, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Dawg2019

    Dawg2019 New Member

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    I recently returned from my first African safari. We only targeted plains game on this trip. I took advantage of using the outfitters rifle since I wasn’t keen on international gun transport. I plan to return in two years for my chance at a buffalo and would like to take a rifle to do so. I see most people using .375, 416,500. Are their any “American” cartridges you could recommend? One I could get use out of here on an Elk, moose, mule deer or other local game?
     

  2. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    your typical "American" big bores like 45-70 and 375 Winchester dont have the terminal performance to be suitable for Cape Buffalo, and in many locations are not legal for hunting dangerous game..

    My recommendation would be to go with a .375 H&H or .375 Ruger.. use 300gr or heavier projectiles for cape buff.. and then look at 235gr or 260gr ammo for elk or other large north american game (a 235gr projectile can be loaded up to shoot surprisingly fast and will shoot plenty flat enough to 300 yards to to suitable even for a long range shot on something like an elk)..

    just my .02
     

  3. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have done a fair amount of elk hunting and I personally believe the 338 WM is ideal and really the most gun you need for elk, deer, moose, etc. For cape buffalo, a 375 H&H is ideal and typically the legal minimum in several African countries. If you want an "American" cartridge, go with a 375 Ruger. :)
     
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  4. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Take a look at the 9.3x62.
     
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  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    The only “real” use for a 375 H&H or Ruger in the US, IMO, is brown bear where it is almost perfect. If you can carry a 9-10 lb rifle in the mountains for elk, it would work well.
    Personally I’ve taken 17 elk (none a real trophy) using 30-06 and 300 Win Mag. They both worked fine.
    But in Africa I only take a 375 H&H. It has worked fine from duiker to Cape buffalo, including lion, croc, sable, eland, blesbok, impala, warthog, springbuck, blue and black wildebeest, gemsbok, caracal and kudu (I’m sure I’ve missed something). But it covers all pretty well for a single rifle Safari.
    You can always download the 375 for deer, hogs, exotics, etc.
    Or, take your favorite rifle for US and rent a rifle for Africa DG hunting.

    You might as well get a rifle just for Africa. You will return once you have been.
     

  6. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    For Buff, a 350grn AFrame out of a 375. EasyEasy. Other loads for other animals.

    For a slightly more compact and totable platform, look at a 9.3X62 in the 7 to 8 pound range. Again AFrames for Buff and its legal in many places folks go for Buff.

    Bigger chambering ARE better for buff, IF you can shoot them, but they won't have that "North American Versatility" that a 375 or 9.3 have. I'm talking here about the 404Jeff, 416 Ruger, and the like.
     
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  7. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    By the way, welcome to AH Dawg2019! I’m sure since you made one trip, you now have the addiction and will be returning!:rolleyes:;)
     

  8. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Dawg2019, For a one gun battery for African game the 375H&H is the way to go. I load Barnes 235g TSX for pg and Barnes 350g for dg. You're covered out to 300 yards plus.
    Welcome to the gang. I see you have been bit by the African Hunt bug. There is no cure and the only treatment is to return and hunt again.
     
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  9. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    If you can swing it, the "one gun" can be a blaser r8. .300 win mag and .375 or .416 for Africa. not any less expensive than 2 guns but a lot easier to pack and a really nice trigger and ergonomics. Wish I had started with one years ago
     
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  10. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa AH Elite

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    Is it wrong that I now consider a 338WM a "mild mid-caliber"?

    There is nothing wrong with using a 375H&H/Ruger for North American White Tail Deer hunting...especially if you don't like tracking.
    Brown/Black Bear, Feral Pigs, Elk and Squirrel can all be taken with a 375 out to 300 yards with devastating results.
    OK, maybe a bit big for Squirrel, but you could find a crazy one out there...ya never know.

    But seriously...the most versatile caliber for hunting Africa is a 375.
    Practice with it every week for a year (10-15 rounds each session) and you will become intimately familiar with your rifle/scope rig.
    Then maybe you too will be considering a 338 a mild mid-caliber.
     
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  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    375 H& H or Ruger would be great. I actually think it would be great for elk, bear, moose and yes deer.
     
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  12. crs

    crs AH Fanatic

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    Dawg2019
    You asked about American calibers and guns that will take Cape Buffalo and the answer is yes!

    I personally do not care what rifle or caliber others use and see no benefit to being critical of any of them.
    Nor do I see any benefit to denying proven facts and claiming that a .45-70 can not kill a cape buffalo; it has been done and is being done with increasing frequency.
    Obviously, the .460 Weatherby is an American caliber that can take buff too, but I do not shoot one.

    My Big bore arsenal has all killed cape buff and a many other interesting animals:
    1. Model 1895 Winchester in .405 WCF has killed Cape Buff, water buffs, Nilgai, and other exotics
    2. Model 1886 Winchester .45-70 has take several Cape Buff, many bear, many hogs, many plains game
    3. Model 1886 Winchester .45-90 has taken elephant, several Cape buff, leopard, plains game, bison, etc

    Non of these rifles wears a scope either.
    There is abundant proof that these rifles with the right bullets can take dangerous game. People that deny this are either ignorant of the facts or just touting their favorite rifle, a common practice that can be done without criticizing other rifles or cartridges.

    I am not recommending any rifle or cartridge to you, just answering your question. Please have fun selecting the rifle that best suits you and your intended use.
    Good hunting.
     
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  13. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    American calibers:
    375 Ruger
    375 Weaherby Magnum
    375 RUM
    378 Weatherby Mag

    416 Ruger
    416 Remingtion magnum
     
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  14. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Fanatic

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    in 9.3x62,

    Barnes TSX 286 gr or Swift AF 300 gr should do nicely for buff.

    Barnes TTSX 250 or NAB 250 are near ballistic twins to 338 Win Mag shooting 250 gr.
     

  15. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    American , Huh ?
    Buffalo...okay , let's see.
    I would have to recommend ( under the circumstances since you specified American ) a .458 Winchester Magnum loaded with 480 gr bullets. I know that the smart , modern thing to do is to use expanding bullets , but l can Personally attest that Monolithic meplat brass Solids are good too for Buffalo ( assuming the Australian Water Buffalo which l have shot is similar to an African Cape Buffalo ) , provided you don't have to worry about over penetration ( just make sure no other animals are behind your buffalo ) . Also never try loading a .458 Win Mag with 500 gr Monolithic solids . I have personally seen my Handloading buddy load them into the cases and l was appalled by how much the ( already marginal ) case capacity is reduced. Use 450 - 480 gr Monolithic solids or expanding bullets like Swift A frames .
    I would recommend the .458 Lott over the .458 Win Mag , but then , you specified American , and Jacques Lott was French ;)
     

  16. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    I hope I’ve missed something, I’ve asked Swift for years to make a 350 gr A-Frame for the .375 but to my knowledge 300 gr is the max. Has that changed?
     
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  17. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    I almost got excited looking at this statement and checked their website. 300 gr is the max , apparently . Woodleigh and Rhino make the only bullets above 300 gr in weight , l believe :) for a .375 HH Magnum
     
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  18. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Jacques P. Lott (July 15, 1920 – August 12, 1993), best known as Jack Lott, was a big game hunter, writer, historian, and inventor of the .458 Lott.

    He was born in Maryland USA, so the .458 Lott is as American as can be....
     
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  19. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    For your needs, American or not, there is only one sensible choice, the good old 375 H&H.....
     

  20. Dawg2019

    Dawg2019 New Member

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    Maybe I shouldn’t have said “American” what I was meaning was what I consider traditional caliber. 300 win mag, .338 win mag, 7mm and so on. None the less it appears the .375 is winning the debate hands down.
     

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