Needing a dangerous game rifle .404 or .375?

Desert Dog

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If a Lioness is the biggest DG you intend hunting, buy a 375 H&H.
If you plan on hunting larger DG(Tuskless elephant and Buff), buy a 404 JEFF.

Stick to heavy for caliber bullets when hunting in Africa(eg. 300gr and up to 380gr in .375 and 400gr and up to 450gr in .404) and you will be just fine. Too many folks want to shoot lighter bullets at faster speeds which is not what these calibres where designed to do. 2200 to 2400 ftps is more than enough for optimum performance with heavy for calibre bullets.
But, this totally ignores the fact that some of the lighter for caliber bullets, like the Barnes, hit with more energy, penetrate deeper, and shoot flatter than A-frames and partitions; all with less recoil.

For instance, in 416 rem mag: My 400gr A-frame load vs my 350gr TSX load = the 350gr TSX hits with 300 ft/lbs more energy @ 200 yds than the A-Frame, and unlike the A-frame, retains 98-100% of its weight.

Why go with a heavier A-Frame when it is ballistically and terminally inferior to a lighter bullet of different construction?
 

Rule 303

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Desert Dog, the heavier bullet maintains momentum more so than the lighter bullets. Also with Barnes, you hit serious bone and you lose the petals, end up with a solid and lack of weight so momentum drops even more. Now the soft nose may well break up on serious bone but the chances are there will be bone splinters flying everywhere in the body and the bone will be broken. Though I would think a frontal shot on a Buff where the bullet may strikes the ribs, the Barnes/mono metals would be the better choice.

With Barnes you also have to have a rifle that shoots the bastard things and not spread them like a shotgun pattern. Yep you can tell I am not keen on them. Other mono metals I have not had a problem with as far as grouping or performance goes. Not saying the Barnes wont do the job just I have no faith in Barnes. I do in other mono metals and like them.
 

Desert Dog

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I have had the exact opposite experience of your assessment with the Barnes TSX, TTSX, and LRX. The original "X-bullet" That was phased out a decade ago did have issues, but in using the modern constructed Barnes bullets over the last 7 years, I have never seen one fail. I live in a state where you are forced to use non-lead, see see many animals shot every year with them. We stopped caring about the lead ban on rifle ammo because we like the performance of the monos so much more. Also After scrubbing a bore clean with Boretec Eliminator to start with a fresh fouling cycle, almost every gun I have ever shot loves the Barnes bullets. My 1/4" 5-shot groups (and 1000 yard sub MOA groups with my 6.5) are hardly "throwing lead like a shotgun" downrange.

Funny thing is, my last trip to Alaska, Africa, NZ, and Canada - the guides all recommended that we use Barnes bullets before the hunt! The A-frame is probably the best of the lead hunting bullets, but has been easily been overtaken by the performance of the modern monos IMHO.
 

rookhawk

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I have had the exact opposite experience of your assessment with the Barnes TSX, TTSX, and LRX. The original "X-bullet" That was phased out a decade ago did have issues, but in using the modern constructed Barnes bullets over the last 7 years, I have never seen one fail. I live in a state where you are forced to use non-lead, see see many animals shot every year with them. We stopped caring about the lead ban on rifle ammo because we like the performance of the monos so much more. Also After scrubbing a bore clean with Boretec Eliminator to start with a fresh fouling cycle, almost every gun I have ever shot loves the Barnes bullets. My 1/4" 5-shot groups (and 1000 yard sub MOA groups with my 6.5) are hardly "throwing lead like a shotgun" downrange.

Funny thing is, my last trip to Alaska, Africa, NZ, and Canada - the guides all recommended that we use Barnes bullets before the hunt! The A-frame is probably the best of the lead hunting bullets, but has been easily been overtaken by the performance of the modern monos IMHO.

@Desert Dog i learned a lot from your thread. I've not yet used Barnes as I've had excellent results with premium heavy for caliber bullets. What I will add is I was helping a friend with Barnes and they shot marginally compared to the usual characters in a VERY accurate rifle. What we found was a note from Barnes online stating that the Barnes needed a different offset from the lands to harness their accuracy. If you can find that notice it would be worth mentioning. Bottom line, the Barnes improved a lot when loaded to a different seating depth than conventional bullets.
 

rookhawk

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Found it:

3. Where do I seat the Triple-Shock, Tipped TSX and LRX bullets?
Answer. We recommend seating these bullets .050″ off the lands {rifling} of your rifle. This length can be determined by using a “Stoney Point Gauge” or other methods. You do not have to seat the bullet at, or on one of the cannelure rings.
 

Desert Dog

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Found it:

3. Where do I seat the Triple-Shock, Tipped TSX and LRX bullets?
Answer. We recommend seating these bullets .050″ off the lands {rifling} of your rifle. This length can be determined by using a “Stoney Point Gauge” or other methods. You do not have to seat the bullet at, or on one of the cannelure rings.
Yep. I always do accuracy node testing to fine-tune my seating depth once I find the right velocity. All of my accurate Barnes loads are seated .030-.070 off the lands. They like jump, which is great because the bullets are so long anyway. The Hornady OAL gauge coupled with the Hornady bullet comparitor are mandatory.

Be mindful that some seating dies are not fit to seat long/skinny bullets, and seat off the tip of the bullet rather than the ogive. This will cause seating problems.

Also, you will see HUGE improvements in consistency is you totally scrub the barrel and remove EVERY trace of the old fouling before you start working with Barnes bullets, then refoul the barrel with the TTSX. Barnes recomends this and I have found it to be very true. The pure copper bullet doesn't play well with the alloy fouling from other bullets. I use Boretec Eliminator for this job because it is imperative that you get it all out.

The only disadvantage to the Barnes bullets, is that the barrel fouls out faster than conventional bullets (which isn't a big deal for a hunting rifle). I have some barrels where accuracy will start to drop at 30 rounds, and others that will go hundreds of rounds before accuracy drops; so keep that in mind when putting in range time doing your load development. You will need a good copper cleaner, Sweets doesn't cut it. So although these are great hunting bullets, they would not be good for plinking or for shooting all day in a comp.
 

1dirthawker

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For instance, in 416 rem mag: My 400gr A-frame load vs my 350gr TSX load = the 350gr TSX hits with 300 ft/lbs more energy @ 200 yds than the A-Frame, and unlike the A-frame, retains 98-100% of its weight.

desert dog,

i have used barnes bullets in my 338 win for years (225 gr) and liked em. that said, the extra 300 ft/lbs at 200 yards does not mean much to larger animals. too many people get hung up on ft/lbs. ft/lbs DOES NOT kill stuff! plus, shooting DG at 200 yards is generally a bad idea.

good bullets that stay together AND penetrate in vitals kill stuff. most experienced guys like shooting heavy for caliber bullets on dangerous or heavy game. penetration will make sure the bullet gets to the vitals.

don't want to get in a pissing contest with anyone about their bullet 350gr /400 grain or my bullet, etc. i just wanted to highlight the fact that large animals most generally are NOT respecters of ft/lbs.

this season, a friend of mine shot 250 gr berger bullets out of a .338 lapua ackley improved,into a moose 3 times. once on shoulder, once in spine, again on shoulder. it absorbed more than 15,000 ft/lbs!!! the last shot killed it. bullet did fragment a bit. one 30-06 bullet to the shoulder (less than 3000 ft/lbs) barnes 180 gr, has killed multiple moose in front of me. ft/lbs is just a measure of how relatively powerful the rifle is.

my 2 cents
 

Rule 303

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As I said, I like mono metals, just not Barnes. To me they are too finiky and not reliable enough in my experience with them After spending $500+ on then trying to find some thing that worked in one of me rifles and only finding one that did. Well I just don't like them and probably never will. Other mono metals I have used are not as finiky as to seating depth or cleaning and perform better than the Barnes IMHO.

Funny thing is I have never had a guide ask me if I am using Barnes or recommended them. Just because Barnes sink my boat does not mean they will sink yours. If they float your boat then that is good.(y)
 

colorado

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But, this totally ignores the fact that some of the lighter for caliber bullets, like the Barnes, hit with more energy, penetrate deeper, and shoot flatter than A-frames and partitions; all with less recoil.

For instance, in 416 rem mag: My 400gr A-frame load vs my 350gr TSX load = the 350gr TSX hits with 300 ft/lbs more energy @ 200 yds than the A-Frame, and unlike the A-frame, retains 98-100% of its weight.

Why go with a heavier A-Frame when it is ballistically and terminally inferior to a lighter bullet of different construction?


This 300g A-Frame hit a 900 lb brown bear in the right front shoulder at 13 yards, penetrated the bear diagonally and ended up in the hide in the left thigh doing massive damage. The recovered bullet weighs 299.5 grains. Hard to fault it.



 

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Gert Odendaal

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That is a huge trophy, incredible big bodied animal....do you do a full mount Colorado? What parts of the bear do you use/process?
 

colorado

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That is a huge trophy, incredible big bodied animal....do you do a full mount Colorado? What parts of the bear do you use/process?

Thank you! I should've done a full mount, but the time I realized my wife would ok it, I had a nice rug made.

 

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Rule 303

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Colorado, that is one big bruin and a very nice bear rug. Can't fault that A Frames performance.(y)

Not to detract from your bear but just a side thought brought on by the picture of the A Frame. I would like to see a comparison between the various mono metals and various premium soft nosed bullets in regards to their expanded diameters.
 

colorado

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I've seen a lot of tests done on another forum with .375 caliber bullets. Of all the 350g Woodleigh penetrated best, followed by the 300g TSX, Northfork softpoint and A-Frame all three of them about tied. The test was water jugs separated by 1/2" plywood. I think the Woodleigh made it into the 7th jug. I think the TSX's are one hell of a bullet but I worry (probably needlessly) about them expanding everytime.
 

1dirthawker

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swift A frames are great bullets. i am using north fork bullets, but i think a frames are right there as a soft.
 

IvW

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Picked up a cz in 404j. Thing is a blast to shoot. Puts a smile on your face every time. Got a great deal on it

Well done great choice!
 

IvW

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But, this totally ignores the fact that some of the lighter for caliber bullets, like the Barnes, hit with more energy, penetrate deeper, and shoot flatter than A-frames and partitions; all with less recoil.

For instance, in 416 rem mag: My 400gr A-frame load vs my 350gr TSX load = the 350gr TSX hits with 300 ft/lbs more energy @ 200 yds than the A-Frame, and unlike the A-frame, retains 98-100% of its weight.

Why go with a heavier A-Frame when it is ballistically and terminally inferior to a lighter bullet of different construction?

This does not ignore any facts.
Barnes do not always open up.
Barnes lose petals when the encounter heavy bone.
You do not need flatter trajectory when hunting DG, especially in thick bush.
Lighter bullets even when traveling faster to start with, loose speed and penetration much faster than heavier slower bullets on hard tough DG such as buffalo.
Barnes are too hard of a bullet to use on lion or lioness, especially in a charge situation.

300 ft/lbs @ 200 yards has absolutely no relevance to DG hunting, ft/lbs in any case does not kill, well constructed bullets that give reliable expansion and have a high momentum/penetration value kill much better.
Light high speed bullets will much easier be deflected when shooting through brush etc. than a heavy slower bullet.

Unlike the barnes the A-frame is the one that retains near 100% retention.

I only use Rhino solid shank bullets for Buffalo but always recommend, Trophy bonded bear claw, Swift A-frame etc. as they are so reliable.

I have hunted and backed up DG since 1991 and many more experienced such as Doctari will recommend the same, premium grade heavy for caliber bullets, because they work every time.

The all American need for speed is not the way to go for DG.

To each his own, I will only use heavy for caliber premium grade bullets on DG, period.
 

Desert Dog

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This does not ignore any facts.
Barnes do not always open up.
Barnes lose petals when the encounter heavy bone.

GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Awesome anecdotals.

The world according to science = a bullet delivering more energy, while retaining the highest percentage of mass through the process, in any given caliber will do more damage.

The world according to a statistician = a 300 grain cup and core bullet in the .375 H&H is the deadliest combination in the history of African hunting, the 357 magnum wadcutter is the most effective handgun round, and the 7.62x39 is the most effective human killer of all time.

World according to anecdotal evidence = my bullet performs the best because it worked for me. I have a friend of a friend who says the other bullets fail.

In a nutshell, of course.
 

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This does not ignore any facts.
Barnes do not always open up.
Barnes lose petals when the encounter heavy bone.
You do not need flatter trajectory when hunting DG, especially in thick bush.
Lighter bullets even when traveling faster to start with, loose speed and penetration much faster than heavier slower bullets on hard tough DG such as buffalo.
Barnes are too hard of a bullet to use on lion or lioness, especially in a charge situation.

300 ft/lbs @ 200 yards has absolutely no relevance to DG hunting, ft/lbs in any case does not kill, well constructed bullets that give reliable expansion and have a high momentum/penetration value kill much better.
Light high speed bullets will much easier be deflected when shooting through brush etc. than a heavy slower bullet.

Unlike the barnes the A-frame is the one that retains near 100% retention.

I only use Rhino solid shank bullets for Buffalo but always recommend, Trophy bonded bear claw, Swift A-frame etc. as they are so reliable.

I have hunted and backed up DG since 1991 and many more experienced such as Doctari will recommend the same, premium grade heavy for caliber bullets, because they work every time.

The all American need for speed is not the way to go for DG.

To each his own, I will only use heavy for caliber premium grade bullets on DG, period.
Good points well said. Hunters need to get over the "need for speed". It's not always the best scenario.
 

Rule 303

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Desert Dog, not sure what statistician you are talking about but I will point out they are dead wrong-pun intended- about the most effective human killer of all time. That hat still sits firmly on the 45-70 Govt. head:)

The world according to a statistician = a 300 grain cup and core bullet in the .375 H&H is the deadliest combination in the history of African hunting, the 357 magnum wadcutter is the most effective handgun round, and the 7.62x39 is the most effective human killer of all time.
 

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