Bullet Choice

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Michael Dean, Feb 27, 2019.

  1. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    After 40 plus years of contemplation I've finally pulled the trigger so to speak, and booked a hunt in Africa for this fall. I'll be hunting ten different animals anywhere from a springbuck to an Eland that can weigh upwards of 1,500-2000 pounds. Over the next few months my primary objective is going to be finding the proper bullets for my 338 Federal and my 270 WSM. In short I'm trying to find the best bullet for both cartridges.

    For the 270 WSM I've focused on the Swift Aframe in 150 grains and for the 338 federal I've been working up loads using the 213 grain Hammer Hunter. So far these two respective bullets have given me the best performance and accuracy. My question is simple, are there any hunting bullets I should be trying in addition to these two? I've tried the Nosler Accubond but I'm getting better groups with the Swift Afraims. Are there any serious hunting bullets I should be testing against these two? I'm going to be shooting 600-800 rounds practicing so now is the time to develop rounds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  2. buffybr

    buffybr AH Enthusiast

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    On my first African hunt I used a 7 mm Rem mag with 140 grain Ballistic tips. They were on the light side, but I did make one shot kills on Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Gemsbok, and a few others. I wouldn't recommend those bullets.

    On my second African hunt I took two rifles: my .375 RUM with 300 grain TSX bullets and my 7 mm RM with 160 grain Accubonds. Both rifles and bullets performed very well.

    I just took my .375 RUM with 270 grain TSX bullets on my third trip, to the East Cape. Rifle and bullets again performed very well on a variety of critters from Steenbok to Eland.

    On my last 3 trips to Africa I just took my .300 Weatherby with 168 grain TTSX bullets. Both performed very well.
     

  3. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    I'll have to check to see if the TTSX bullets are available in 150 grain 270's.
     

  4. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    The Barnes bullets run too light for what I'm looking for; they have the TTSX in 110 and 130 grain but nothing in the 150 grain bullets. I need the weight for adequate penetration.
     

  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    NorthFork & Trophy Bonded Bear Claw are a couple Id add to the list. Both front weighted and known for good expansionand deep penetration. If you’re looking for monolithic, check out Peregrine. Not sure how heavy they go in 270.
    If your rifle shoots well with Swift A-frames, they should handle yor trophies well if you do your part.
    Best of luck!
     
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  6. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    I should have thought of the trophy bonded bear claws myself. Fifteen years ago I killed an elk at 500 yards with a bear claw. I got great penetration and weight retention from them.
     
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  7. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    The Barnes 130gr will act like a 169gr lead core bullet for penetration. Remember the Barnes will not loose weight but the lead core bullets do. On my trips we used Swift A-Frames 338win mag 225gr, 257R and 257W 120gr and 30-06 165gr. Also used 100gr TTSX in the 257W and 150gr TTSX in the 30-06. Shot animals from Steenbok/Duiker, to springbok(6), to impala(7), to blue and black wildebeest, Kudu(3), Warthog(9), Baboons (15), Eland, Red Hartebeest, Yellow Mongoose, Waterbuck, Gemsbuck, monkeys(too many to count) and a few other assorted animals. Never had a bullet problem with any of them. The Trophy Bonded Bear Claw are good. The 338cal 210gr Swift Sirocco is excellent also.
     

  8. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    You should be able to find 140 and 150’s in the Barnes TSX.

    I shot 160’s out of my .280 rem (yes I know 7mm and not .270) but they performed flawlessly on everything from springbok to gemsbok and kudu

    Only shot the gemsbok twice and the second wasn’t really needed but he was still standing after the first. Only recovered one bullet from the kudu
     

  9. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    Anyone have any first hand experience with the NorthFork bullets? At $71.00 for a box of fifty they are one of the most expensive bullets on the market. Just wondering if there's any advantage over the Swift A Frame which comes in at $51.oo dollars a box for the same weight bullet. THe Nosler Accubond bullet comes in at $32.00 for a box of fifty. Even the newest bullets on the market, the Hammer Hunter comes in at $56.00 for a box of fifty in the same weight class.

    So my question is, is anybody using the NorthForks and are they worth the premium they charge?
     

  10. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Elite

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    Sorry never tried them but my Swift A-Frames never let me down for one shot kills and no tracking.
     

  11. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    I'm going to stay with the Swift A frames, I'm not going to spend $71.00 for a box of NorthForks when I've got no idea as to how they perform.
     
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  12. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Hard to argue with a frames! I’ve never used them in anything smaller than a 338 though but I imagine they are excellent in whatever you shoot them out of.
    A bullet that I really like is the Peregine, they are an exceptional bullet and you can work your loads up with the cheaper match bullet then switch to expanding bullets with identical POI.
     

  13. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    If you can get them, try Norma Oryx.
    I've used them on my last two trips to Africa, 180gr in my 30-06.
    I've shot from Steenbok and Duiker to Zebra, Kudu and Wildebeest and everything I've hit has dropped to a single shot.
    Superbly accurate and hard hitting with fantastic weight retention.
    I have them in 300gr for my .375 and will get them for my .300WinMag and obviously my 30-06.
    I will also be switching to them in my .243 when I have used my current Norma bullets up.
    I urge you to give them a go.
     

  14. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    I've decided that I'm going with the Hammer for my 338 federal. Should I shoot the 186 grain or 213 grain? The 186 gets about 100fps more than the 213; 2600fps vs 2,700fps.

    WHat's more important, weight or velocity?
     

  15. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    The family and I have hunted with the following calibers using the North Fork bonded cores:

    7x57 - 14ogr
    .308W - 165gr
    .30-06 - 165gr
    .300WM - 200gr
    .375HH - 250gr

    Every bullet recovered had 95% weight retention or higher. They do what they're supposed to. A mushroom is created and you'll end up with a stem. The NF's only have a lead front and as such the rear end stays in shape. I'm led to believe this will stabilized the bullet as it penetrated through the animal.

    The NF's are also cut to be caliber size vs 1-2 thousandths under. Then grooves are cut in the rear half or so of the bullet. The grooves serve to reduce bearing surface area which reduces friction. Less friction, you need less powder to push to same velocity as other bullets without the grooves. Less powder means less pressure.

    The A-Frame I think is a great bullet even though I've not hunted with it. I think the design of the NF's is a little better. The question is the better measurable? I'm not sure of that, but maybe.

    The NFs are my favorite and the cost difference to me in the end is pretty negligible. I develop a load with them and then only load them for hunting. Does it cost me a bit more? Sure, but I'm not sure how much. Just my experience, but I've found them easier to find an accurate load in than other bullets. And in the end, the cost difference is pretty minor in comparison to the cost of a safari.
     
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  16. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    If the 213 Hammer will stabilize for you then use it. Talk to Steve at Hammer and he will gladly spend time helping you get what will work best.
    The TTSX will "hit" far above its weight class. Use it with confidence to do anything a standard 150 gr bullet will do. Have fun.
    Bruce
     

  17. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I think your choice of the 150 gr Swift is spot on for the .270 WSM. As for the .338 Federal, I’d go with either the 225 gr Swift or the 210 gr Barnes TTSX. Eland are tough critters and penetration is the name of the game. In fact I used the 225 Swift out of a .338 RUM on my eland and other PG with great results. The RUM and Fed aren’t the same but if the bullet will hold up at that velocity, it should do great in the Fed. Barnes should be equally adept at what you want to do. Just place it where it needs to go.
     

  18. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    How about Woodleigh Bullets??
     
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  19. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette New Member

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    The 213 Hammer is a loooong bullet. Take a look at the specs. I am looking at the 225 Sledge for my 338-06, as the 213 is just too much.

    We have been using a 150 TTSX in a 7mm Wby for years with great penetration and performance on elk. Even the 130TTSX in your 270 would be fine.
     

  20. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    You must be reading my mind. I was on the internet today looking for cheaper bullets to use for all my practice, I'll shoot between 300-400 this summer then I'll load up on my hunting bullets for Africa. No sense in spending $70.00 for a box of fifty bullets to shoot at paper when I can get practice bullets for 32.00 per hundred.
     
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