Lightweight Mono Metal Bullets For Buffalo

Discussion in '.375 & Up' started by TOBY458, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    I've been reading a lot lately about people recommending lightweight mono metal bullets for Buffalo hunting. Some even suggesting bullet weights of 200 or 235 gr bullets in a 375. Also they are pushing these lightweight bullets at 3000 fps or more.
    On a recent hunt, I witnessed some pretty dismal performance of these such bullets on game much smaller than Cape Buffalo.

    The following pictures will show, that at least in these two instances, that occured on the same hunt, these lightweight bullets came apart and failed to penetrate.

    See the blown apart 375 caliber 270 gr TSX that I pulled out of a Lioness weighing around 250lbs. Missing all it's pedals. Muzzle velocity was 2750 fps. Impact distance was approximately 40 yards. The other two bullets came from a Wildebeest at much further distance, once the bullets had slowed down.

    The next pic is the ENTRANCE hole from a 375 Caliber 235 gr TSX fired at 3000 fps. Note the bullet blew completely apart and failed to penetrate into the chest cavity of a 150lb Warthog. Impact distance was around 30 yards.
    The Warthog had to be finished off with a handgun.
    This leads me to question the validity of using these bullets on large and/or dangerous game, when pushed at high velocity.
    If you've had similar OR opposite experiences with lightweight mono bullets driven at high velocities, please chime in with pictures or stories of actual first hand experiences.
    Not trying to start an argument, but based on my limited experience, I could never recommend these bullets for dangerous game.
    20190814_171749.jpg Screenshot_20190821-195328_Video Player.jpg
     
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  2. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I believe bigger is always better on tough animals.
    During our hunt, after losing my gemsbuck to a classic heart/lung shot, I started aiming for shoulder/spine shots. I knew the risks, but the game dropped on the spot. Unfortunately this shot is a slow killer and several of my quarry had to either get a dispatching brain shot or a slit throat. Not a pretty task, but no more lost game.
    I’ll be interested in reading opinions of the classic Elmer Keith vs Jack O’Connor argument.
     
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  3. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    27807358-E366-4EF3-9F38-E636A0EEA0CE.jpeg
    I know that this is extreme but my son started using mono metal bullets in his 22-250 for whitetail deer. This is the result of a 40gr bullet at 4200fps the bullet took out a rib on the way in and traveled through about 22” of the deer.
    This bullet has taken 8 whitetail and has not failed yet 25-220 yards all bullets have passed through. I realize it’s a .224 not a 375 and whitetail are not Cape Buffalo.
    Shawn
     
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  4. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    Looking at Barnes recommendations . 375 H&H.
    235 grain, elk, Kudu size game, 2800-3000
    270 grain, elk, Moose, kudu, 2500-2800
    300 grain, Cape buffalo, velocity 2300-2550

    Going by that l think l would go with the 300 grain on dangerous game
    I have used Barnes bullets for years, one thing l have noticed you get the best results matching the bullet to the game carefully, enough here in the US
    I have not hunted in Africa, and when l do l am going with the advice of those that have. .375, 350 grain Northfork for buffalo
     
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  5. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    On that deer I did not dress it until I was at skinning shed in hopes of finding the bullet when I found hole in hide in front of hind quarter I was impressed that bullet bored a 3/4-11/4 inch hole through lung stomach intestines and left a 1/2 inch hole in the hide.
    I was a little skeptical so I was backing him up with my 375 Ruger. That pic has a metal rod going through the bullet path. The path only hit 1 lung but destroyed it.
    Shawn
     
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  6. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I concur. I personally wouldn’t use a light bullet like a 235, 250 or 270 gr on a buffalo. For me, a 300 gr or more in a .375 is the way to go. I was very surprised to see those two 270 gr TSX lose their petals and mangle the way they did. Wildebeest and a lioness are not buffalo. Velocity wasn’t excessive. 2700 fps isn’t screaming speed.
    The entrance hole the 235 gr blew in that warthog was interesting. My taxidermist used that bullet out a .375 Ruger African on a kudu, BWB, impala and bushbuck. He was disappointed with the penetration on the kudu and BWB but said the internal damage on all four was extensive.
    I’ve shot game with light Barnes TSX bullets in lighter rounds at higher velocity and never experienced those failures.
     
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  7. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    What was the damage to the lioness? Seems that had to be a lot of damage when it didn't exit and looks like that. So maybe not a bullet failure. I say that because I shot a mule deer at 150 yards with my .257 Weatherby. Bullet shattered the neck and was found in the left blackstrap a few inches behind the shoulder. It lost its pedals but l didn't see that as bullet failure.
    It's the bullet on the left

    IMG_0006.JPG
     
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  8. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    Oh it did the trick! Much damage! But, my point was, if it didn't penetrate all the way through a Lioness, without coming apart at that velocity, how would it ever be a good choice for Buffalo?
     

  9. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    I've used Barnes bullets on deer for years with great results! Trust me, a 130gr 308 bullet at 3200 fps is a deer destroyer!
    I've also had great results with 300gr. 375 TSX bullets on buffalo. Not knocking Barnes bullets at all. I just don't understand the trend of people using ultra lightweight, for caliber, bullets on Buffalo.
     

  10. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    I have also taken 1 deer with my 375 Ruger with a 200gr mono at 427 yards quartering away bullet entered just behind shoulder and exited center of the brisket destroying one lung to the point that a piece of lung the size of a slice of bread was laying on the ground at point of impact. Exit hole looked like a 6” ax wound.
    Shawn
     
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  11. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

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    I agree, it was a good choice for lion, but not buffalo
    I was considering it for buffalo but comparing it to a 300 A-Frame and a 350 Northfork l have dropped it from the choices
     
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  12. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    In the case of my sons 22-250 the 40gr is a match to the rifling twist they are actually longer than 55grn that the rifle was designed for. My 375 200s are longer than 250 cup and cores. I don’t have any 300grn monos but I bet they give 350grn bullets a run for length and are at the edge of stabilization in standard twist barrels:
     
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  13. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    Also because a mono is longer but lighter moving faster if you make them to long the possibility of bending on impact with bone is there.
    Shawn
     
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  14. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    The only lightweight monometal bullet l would be recommending is one of those 450 grain Monolithic solids from " Cutting Edge bullets " if you're using a .458 Winchester Magnum .
    I believe that Heavy Monolithic Brass Solids with a flat meplat give the best performance on thick skinned critters. My favorite are the 300 grain Brass Meplat Monolithic Solids from " Cutting Edge " bullets for my .375 HH Magnum Winchester Model 70 and my .375 HH Magnum BRNO ZKK - 602.
    As a side note , it's interesting how you mention the 200 grain Monometal bullets . WDM Karamojo Bell, in his Final Article in American Rifleman , 1954 , speculated that if he were going back to Africa for shooting Elephant , he would use a Winchester .308 Model 70 loaded with " a cartridge burning a homogeneous bronze or a monometal bullet , as is the type worked out by Kohlbacker '' . He speculated that this would work on Elephants.
    30 years later , in Kruger National Park , Don Heath and his men actually put this theory to the test . They were using .308 FN Fal Battle Rifles loaded with monometal solids to shoot cow and calf Elephants during the elephant culls. They noted that they had TOO MANY FAILURES , even for shooting cow and calf Elephants which were tranquilized. Eventually , for shooting cow and Calf Elephants , they shifted to using captured Soviet Dragunov Rifles with Armour Piercing 7 × 54 R Ammunition and M1 Garands which were loaded with 220 grain .30-06 A Square Monolithic meplat brass Solids.
    And now.... You actually posted on the forums about the inadequacy of the lighter mono metal bullets. Looks like your experience mirrors their own :)
     
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  15. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    since this thread is about my comment in another post i figure i should respond.

    i strongly advocate high velocity monometal bullets for most game! i say "most" game because sometimes you run the risk of excessive meat damage on critters intended for the dinner table.

    i use a 300gr TSX in my 416 RM, a 130gr TSX in my 308 Win, a 110gr TTSX in my 270 Win, and a 210gr TTSX in my 338 WM (went a little heavier with the 338 for longer range shooting). both the 338 WM and the 416 RM have taken plenty of game with these loads and cant begin to express how impressed i was with them.

    i know a outfitter/PH who used a 375 H&H as a camp rifle for all manner of critters including buffalo. the load he used for the rifle was a 200gr GS Custom at somewhere around 3100-3200fps. he is on this forum and i will ask him to chime in on this matter.

    -matt
     
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  16. Shawn.54

    Shawn.54 AH Fanatic

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    I myself don’t use the Barnes bullets I got burned with the original X bullet I do use the GS Customs bullets which 3 of my rifles love. I have heard of some rifles not liking them has not been the case with me. The GS Customs are designed to shed their petals at high speed and the base becomes a flat meplat solid in the case of the deer in pic above that little 22 caliber bullet shed it’s petals after hitting the rib base of the bullet traveled straight line through and on the lung which it hit is where hole was 11/4” diameter the petals formed a series of slashes around that hole in a 3.5-4” diameter each slash was cresant moon shaped and about 1” long.
    I have had several PM conversations with the PH you speak of as well as chatting with GS Customs about their bullets. I have also chatted with Cutting Edge bullets and I believe I will be trying their bullets soon. I live about 1 hour and 15 minutes away from them now and the owner used to be my forman at a machine shop I worked at many years ago.
    Shawn
     
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  17. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    This "debate" i.e.heavier bullets at slower speeds or lighter bullets at higher speeds has been going on for a long time. For PG the lighter bullets at high velocity are very practical as the "flat shooting range" is increased. On big animals & DG the heavier bullets especially the bonded ones have a better track record. Let's face it, on occasion either of these types of bullets will suffer from poor performance lending credibility to the other half of the "argument." What I think we should recognize and be guided by is the probability of a clean one shot kill. For Buffalo Dr. Robertson's recommendation is to use heavy for caliber bullets. Like 350 Gr. for the 375(s) and 450 Gr. for the 404 Jeffery. I've never hunted DG so I don't have a dog in this fight, however I do read a little.
     
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  18. TOBY458

    TOBY458 AH Elite

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    I would consider a 450 gr 458 bullet to be of adequate weight. Not really lightweight. SD is around .305 I believe. Which is within the acceptable range for DG.
     
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  19. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Okay. Let me rephrase that. Light for caliber !
     
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  20. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    bill hober told me to drive his swift bullets as hard as possible for best effect.
    I have never driven them at warp speed so cannot comment further than the advice.
    in my mind, barnesx would have been even better for being fail safe, but the above might suggest otherwise.
    barnes appears to have, despite my belief, an upper velocity limit.
    I must confess to using barnes originals in my 7mmstw for this reason, and cannot report any unexplained problems.
    they shoot well enough and I still have a few hundred, so might never get to try the newer triple shock.
    the barnes have made the stw into a gun for bigger game, and for small stuff nosler partitions are more suitable.
    bruce.
     

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