Leopard bullet choice

johnnyblues

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Ok guy's I'd like some opinions on bullet choice for my up coming leopard hunt. I am bringing my 300 WSM and most likely use 180 grain Nosler Partions in it as it groups very well with them and I also have the Barnes TTSX. I ve heard opinions that I should not use the Barnes as it is too fast and will not open quickly enough on the thin skinned animal. My other thought was to bring my 375 Ruger shooting 300 grain Swift A frames, opinion?
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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No expert by any means JB. But a bullet on the light and fast side always seems to be the recommendation for leopard. It's really a small animal all things considered. So that would exclude the 300gr A-Frame though I'm sure it would get it done. Were I using that caliber, I'd be looking at a 250/260gr bullet. You of course know my affinity for North Fork bullets. My H&H loves their 250gr bonded core and it is designed to open a bit quicker, i.e. it's for PG use.

I would think the 180gr Partition in the .300WSM would be a good choice if it's the version with the exposed lead tip to allow quick expansion. Have you tried the Accubonds in this weight? I've not hunted with the ABs yet, but have found them very accurate and easy to find a load for. And I'd think that would be a great leopard bullet too.
 

johnnyblues

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Hey Phil, I think I have a box of accu bonds at home in 180 grain. Going to the range next month and try them out if I have them. I ve always had good luck with Noslers so that would be my fall back bullet.
 

BRICKBURN

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These guys did a test of sorts to compare bullets. (I have no idea if they have a agenda)
Food for thought.


Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 06.22.41.png


Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 06.22.12.png


http://www.huntingwithnonlead.org/bullet_performance.html
 
Last edited:

Red Leg

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Other than a very few PH's, there are few people who are "experts" at shooting leopards. But my one cat, shot with a 250 gr partition from a .338, while spending a lot of time on a cruiser and in a leopard blind with one of those real experts, Nick Nolte, has given me an opinion. (y) In a fast .300 any relatively quick opening 180 gr bullet would be ideal. I say relatively, because too fast a bullet of too light construction can create a meaningful challenge for your taxidermist on a very expensive piece of hide. I think the 180 gr partition would be an excellent choice - and a far better option than the .375 - particularly with the 300 gr bullet. On my cat, that big partition from the .338 may still be going, so there was no recovered bullet to stare at meaningfully. However, the exit wound indicated that it had expanded a bit and likely acted like a normal SP rather than shedding its front end. That was typical on most of the antelope I took with it as well.

So were I going back for a second one, I would take my .300 WM loaded with 180 gr Accubonds, Partitions, are something similar.
 

jacques smith

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Morning Johnny
U should shoot what u t most comfortable with. I fully agree with your first choice of 300 win mag with 180 grains sifts That combo has worked on leapards for me in the past with no follow up necessary. Try closing your eyes and visualizing the leapard in every imaginable angle and think shot placement regardless of angle. Remember the boiler room is a freckle further back than u might expect. You may not have much time and this shot maybe one of the most important of your life best of luck on round two and relax, you got this
When do u leave? Jacques
 

375 Ruger Fan

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@johnnyblues you've received some great advice on bullets. Just curious about the scopes on your two rifle options. It would seem low light performance is critical for a leopard hunt.

From the graphic posted by @BRICKBURN it looks like the good old Remington CoreLokt isn't a bad option.
 

BRICKBURN

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..................

From the graphic posted by @BRICKBURN it looks like the good old Remington CoreLokt isn't a bad option.

If you knew your shot was going to be broadside without any type of branches in the way I'd say yes.
 

johnnyblues

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Other than a very few PH's, there are few people who are "experts" at shooting leopards. But my one cat, shot with a 250 gr partition from a .338, while spending a lot of time on a cruiser and in a leopard blind with one of those real experts, Nick Nolte, has given me an opinion. (y) In a fast .300 any relatively quick opening 180 gr bullet would be ideal. I say relatively, because too fast a bullet of too light construction can create a meaningful challenge for your taxidermist on a very expensive piece of hide. I think the 180 gr partition would be an excellent choice - and a far better option than the .375 - particularly with the 300 gr bullet. On my cat, that big partition from the .338 may still be going, so there was no recovered bullet to stare at meaningfully. However, the exit wound indicated that it had expanded a bit and likely acted like a normal SP rather than shedding its front end. That was typical on most of the antelope I took with it as well.

So were I going back for a second one, I would take my .300 WM loaded with 180 gr Accubonds, Partitions, are something similar.
Thank you sir. Seems like I ll be using on of them.
 

johnnyblues

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Morning Johnny
U should shoot what u t most comfortable with. I fully agree with your first choice of 300 win mag with 180 grains sifts That combo has worked on leapards for me in the past with no follow up necessary. Try closing your eyes and visualizing the leapard in every imaginable angle and think shot placement regardless of angle. Remember the boiler room is a freckle further back than u might expect. You may not have much time and this shot maybe one of the most important of your life best of luck on round two and relax, you got this
When do u leave? Jacques
Leave May 27 th. I m told to split the body in half than just behind the leg as an ideal shot.
 

johnnyblues

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@johnnyblues you've received some great advice on bullets. Just curious about the scopes on your two rifle options. It would seem low light performance is critical for a leopard hunt.

From the graphic posted by @BRICKBURN it looks like the good old Remington CoreLokt isn't a bad option.
My 300 has a Trijcon on it with the green post. Bought that the last time I booked my hunt just for the leopard hunt. Honestly I am was going to bring my 270 WSM also and not the 375 because I am planning on hunting some little guys too. It has a leupold 3.5 -10 with a lighted reticle. Shooting 140 grain accu bonds. Tack driver! Thoughts on that for the cat?
 

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John, all this got me thinking about the Caracal I took in the Eastern Cape.
Talk about thin skinned and small.

I used a projectile that had zero expansion.


Unknown.jpeg


Shot placement was key. The Dog Handler does not like bow hunters because a miss drops the pissed off cat into his dogs laps.

From under ten yards, one through the heart and he dropped dead out of the tree instantly. Literally.

You are starting to play the mental game with Leopard hunting. Do not psych yourself out.
Shoot straight. Don't rush, Don't take a crap shot.
Any bullet through the heart and the cat is done. Zero follow up.

Good luck.
 

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I've thought about this a lot. Zero leopard experience here, just throwing in my two cents.

Have you thought of a round nose bullet? Round nosed bullets dump energy quickly, their only downside is a loss of accuracy at great distance. Cats are shot close. A round nosed bonded bullet like the Woodleigh Weldcore will dump energy into whatever it hits like all round nosed bullets, and hold together to boot. A cheaper, more readily available option would be a round nosed Corelockt. The 130grn 270 round nosed Corelockt is devastating on whitetail. I agree with Red Leg that very few are experts on this subject, and also agree with his concerns about destroying offside hide. However your primary concern should be a dead tom with one clean shot. Red Leg's choice of a 250 grain Partition out of a 338 Win Mag sounds damn near perfect.

RE: shot placement. Put the bullet wherever your PH suggests. They'll know the anatomy of the toms in their area better than anyone. And they'll be the ones ultimately responsible if something goes wrong.
 

Red Leg

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My 300 has a Trijcon on it with the green post. Bought that the last time I booked my hunt just for the leopard hunt. Honestly I am was going to bring my 270 WSM also and not the 375 because I am planning on hunting some little guys too. It has a leupold 3.5 -10 with a lighted reticle. Shooting 140 grain accu bonds. Tack driver! Thoughts on that for the cat?
That .270 with a 140 would also be a great choice. As you well know, all about where you hit him. And either scope sounds like a fine option.
 

johnnyblues

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Thanks that's what I thought too. Bullet placement as always crucial. Now to just get a big male on bait;)
 

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MMAL

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Johnny, I know see you actually saw that thread. Sorry.
 

johnnyblues

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Johnny, Its funny you bring this up today as i was on a different thread and looking at the bullet type for leopard. See the attached thread where Nathan from bullet safaris suggests Accubond bullets running hot at 2,900 fps. You can read the thread here, the bullet talk starts on page 3

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/hunting-leopard.227/page-3#post-518256
Yes I was on there as you can see. This is why I started this thread. I m going with my original plan to bring both the 300 and 270 WSM for the leopard hunt. My only trepidation is I know how well the trijicon is in low light I ll see what the leupold looks like with the illuminated reticle at low light.
 

johnnyblues

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On another note anyone know how many rounds I can bring in? 100 I think.
 
 

 

 

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