We have a .375 load that works great for cats and makes it easy on the clients with using one gun in Africa.
Outstanding advice I've printed out your post and will read it on the plane and again every time I'm waiting to go to the leopard blind.
My leopard load is 300 grain Nosler Accubond traveling 2,600 fps out of a .375 Ruger. I've found out of my gun the 100 yard zero for the 300gr. Swift A-Frame is identical to the 300 grain Nosler Accubond. So I can hunt heavy bait animals and Mr. Chui without moving my scope.
We have a .375 load that works great for cats and makes it easy on the clients with using one gun in Africa. We find the .375 H&H to be the best all around for Africa. Most hunters can handle shooting it accurately (most important factor), ammunition is easy to find, it is a 200+ yard gun (seldom needed but once on safari it seems to come in handy for collecting a great trophy that you just cant get closer to), it is suitable for hunting buffalo cats and all PG on the same safari (bring one gun and knowing how to use it simplifies the process all around). For all PG and Buffalo I recommend the use of Swift A-frame or Barnes in a .300 grain.When most attempt to kill game that they have never even seen before the wise listen to their pH who has experience in such endeavors.
I have shot leopards in the past and have found that the biggest I've ever shot couldn't have been any more than 120 pounds, it just isn't an animal that gives up easily.
The problem is that most of these kitties are shot with a bullet that is to tough with a velocity that is too slow for them to tear up an animal that is less than a foot thick with slinky lightweight bones.
Now think to yourself what would happen to a leopard if he was hit in the chest with a lighter weight 45 caliber rifle slug that was traveling 2700 fps? It immediately ends all thoughts of eating lawers from NYC wearing funny bwanna bonets and carrying too many cameras around their necks.it explodes a hole on exit ejects a quard of blood and shredded organs that when done you can throw a football through the exit.
But don't take my word for it. Make up some loads and lung punch a deer or two and see what happens..
Best of luck.
I can relate to this as my Leopard hunt in Tanzania had a similar outcone...the STRETCHING forward to grab and pull the bait nearer alters the structure, as mentioned, but also AFTER the shot, the skin slides back and covers " the hole so blood loss is minimal and post shot tracking is almost non existent! We found my Leopard by pure chance, lying almost dead in some thick bush about 100m from the bait tree!!! Scary stuff while " looking" for the animal as no blood trail!!Leopard Hunting is a facinating subject and it is not that easy to give a definitive answer on exactly where to shoot. Most authorities observe that the heart/lung area lies further back than for most game and a broadside shot should be sighted well beind the shoulder and on the mid-line of the body. Sadly, Leopards rarely stand obligingly in a broadside position.
When I shot a Leopard this year in Zimbabwe, I was intending to follow the common guidance of picking a rosette well behind the leg upon which to focus and aim. However, my PH (the excellent Gordon Duncan) felt this was the wrong approach and explained the "stretchiness" of a Leopard, whereby their muscle structure allows a considerable latitude of movement of the outer body over the inner organs. For example, it is quite common to see a Leopard standing broadside on a branch although with the front legs stretched well forward to hold onto the bait: this has the effect of "moving" the heart/lung area well forward.
When the Leopard is in this position, the advice I received was to "shoot through" the body, focussing and aiming for the centre of the opposite leg.
I did this - the Leopard was dead 10 metres from the tree. An examination showed that the entry wound was much further back than I otherwise would have aimed had I chosen the rosette approach.
From what I understand, there more PH and hunter woundings by Leopard than by any other Dangerous Game, which must in itself mean that an awful lot of people are getting the shot placement wrong.
We have a .375 load that works great for cats and makes it easy on the clients with using one gun in Africa. We find the .375 H&H to be the best all around for Africa. Most hunters can handle shooting it accurately (most important factor), ammunition is easy to find, it is a 200+ yard gun (seldom needed but once on safari it seems to come in handy for collecting a great trophy that you just cant get closer to), it is suitable for hunting buffalo cats and all PG on the same safari (bring one gun and knowing how to use it simplifies the process all around). For all PG and Buffalo I recommend the use of Swift A-frame or Barnes in a .300 grain.
The leopard load is a 260 grain Nosler Accubond traveling 2,900 fps out of a .375 H&H (do not use this on any other African animal - it is not a good bullet or load for anything else IMO). It has a lot of hydrostatic shock and kills the cats instantly. This is great as the client can use the same gun and .375's tend to handle about any ammunition accurately. We sight the gun dead on at the exact distance of the individual bait, with this bullet and we test fire right before heading to the blind (confidence is key and the shot right before sets everyone’s mind at ease).
Thank you for the info Nathan. Can you share with us your particular Powder and amount used? Nosler is not close to the 2900 FPS with their load data.
Hi Fred, I would not use it as my first choice on a lion. It will probably work great on a perfect broadside shot, but I like a little bit harder bullet on a Lion.Is it good for Lions as well?
thank you for the interest in my opinion and the complement. we really put a lot of planning and preparation into all aspects of a cat hunt.Nathan, your reputation and expertise in this area is why i asked. I will load up a batch and chono them and get them as hot as I can until I see pressure signs on the cartridge. Thank you
Just clicked on the doubletap ammo. Heck I will just buy a box of those and see what happens.