One and Only One Bullet manufacturer for Dangerous Game

If you could only use one brand of bullet for Dangerous Game what would it be?

  • Barnes

  • Hornady

  • North Fork

  • Peregrine

  • Swift

  • Woodleigh

  • Other


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SJN

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based on my older than dirt experience,punch bullets for straight walled cartridges,woodleigh hydro static stabilized solids for bottle neck cartridges.just my opinion and ill stake my life on it.to each his or her own.
My experience from 60 years hunting in Africa is that the principle of “horses for courses” can also be applied to bullets. For general plains game hunting, with non magnum rifles, on the Africa open plain, where shots are often in excess of 200m, a well constructed bullet with a good BC is a favorite. Such as the Sierra Game King SPBT, Hornady, PMP etc. They give minimum drop and will perform satisfactory if shot placement is within the vital triangle. These bullets are relative cheap, hence the hunter can practice often to ensure that his shot placement is on target.

For close bushveld hunting where shots are seldom take further than 150 meter stronger constructed bullets are required, especially when magnum calibers are used. As far as I am concerned any of the premium grade bullets will do the job in these circumstances.

When it comes to the bigger soft skin animals such as Eland, Moose, Elk, Brown Bear, Lion, etc. larger calibers are preferred such as 9,3 x 62; 375 H&H and many more. Any well constructed “standard’ soft nose bullet in these calibers will do the job.

The tough thick skin animals such as Hippo, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, etc. requires premium bullets in adequate calibers from .375H&H upwards. Although all of these have been taken with smaller calibers such as .30 it is not to be tried by the novice. The argument which is best soft or solid is a topic without conclusion. However, as far as I am concerned the expanding solid bullets such as Barnes X or TSX and others solves this problem. I stick to Barnes X, albeit with one warning, ensure that the punch hole in the bullet tip does not get clogged up.!!
 

Timbo

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Woodleighs all the way!! (y)
 

SJN

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Hi Bruce. Not punch bullet but punch hole. That’s my understanding of the way the hole in the tip of Barnes X bullets are made.
 

Michael Dean

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Shouldn't there be some basic form of disqualifiier for voting such as limiting actual votes to those who have actually fired a DG round. It seems disinguous to vote on something where you've never participated an have no actual real life knowledge.
 

BRICKBURN

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............. It seems disinguous to vote on something where you've never participated an have no actual real life knowledge.

Perhaps, but that has never stopped an election yet!
 

SJN

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Shouldn't there be some basic form of disqualifiier for voting such as limiting actual votes to those who have actually fired a DG round. It seems disinguous to vote on something where you've never participated an have no actual real life knowledge.
Amen!
 

Ed Lally

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Hi, I read this thread with interest. I have not shot any DG and only 13 head of PG but will double that number by the bend of 2019. Adding DG in 2020. I'm 73 and just discovered Africa two years ago, so I have a slightly compressed time-line as none of us know the number of our days. When I asked my PH what bullets should I use for PG, he said "Don't bring anything but Barnes TSX and TTSX". The performance was exceptional with 13 animals taken with 14 shots. When I asked the same question about loads in 416 & 470 for DG, he said the same. I just purchased 8 boxes (80 rounds) of Nosler Safari 500 gr .470 NE solids on Gunbroker for $216 plus $shipping and will shoot through these for practice and then reload the cases with Barnes, though I believe that these are more than sufficient for Cape Buffalo. One concern, they were made in 2013 and 2014 and I am unsure of how they were stored, though I was told they were in a gentleman's safe and ended up in his estate. Should I be concerned about the age/conditions of these bullets? Thanks in advance for your studied opinion. Ed
 

Michael Dean

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As we get older our toys age as we do. THe simple solution is to use the ammunition for practice and reload the rounds you're going to use for actual hunting. If stored properly ammunition will last for 40-50 years and longer. The problem is you don't know how the ammunition was stored. You've got too much invested in a DG hunt to take chances. Play it conservatively and use the ammo for practice.
 

TTundra

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Hi, I read this thread with interest. I have not shot any DG and only 13 head of PG but will double that number by the bend of 2019. Adding DG in 2020. I'm 73 and just discovered Africa two years ago, so I have a slightly compressed time-line as none of us know the number of our days. When I asked my PH what bullets should I use for PG, he said "Don't bring anything but Barnes TSX and TTSX". The performance was exceptional with 13 animals taken with 14 shots. When I asked the same question about loads in 416 & 470 for DG, he said the same. I just purchased 8 boxes (80 rounds) of Nosler Safari 500 gr .470 NE solids on Gunbroker for $216 plus $shipping and will shoot through these for practice and then reload the cases with Barnes, though I believe that these are more than sufficient for Cape Buffalo. One concern, they were made in 2013 and 2014 and I am unsure of how they were stored, though I was told they were in a gentleman's safe and ended up in his estate. Should I be concerned about the age/conditions of these bullets? Thanks in advance for your studied opinion. Ed

Ed, With your recent purchase, you will want to look into what load your rifle was regulated for. That will also help determine where you need to start in terms components for accuracy. By all means use the cartridges for practice so you become a poster child of muscle memory operating that kgun! (y)
 

SJN

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Hi Ed

Your PH gave you good advice regarding the bullets to use and so did Michael. I can add very little to Michael’s sound advice other than, that at 74, buffalo hunting in Africa is not going to be a walk in the park, especially if you want to do it the walk-and-stalk way. You MUST get as fit as you can. It is difficult to place a good shot if you are out of breath to the point of collapse. Most likely you will find yourself in dense bush with bad light. Placing an accurate shot on a target which is basically pitch black and more often than not half hidden behind leaves and branches is not easy, even with a scoped rifle. To do it with open sights and fading eyesight will be more luck than good marksmanship. You are most probably set on using the 470 however I would strongly recommend that you rather use the 416 with a 1.5 - 5 x 20mm scope such as the Leupold VX-3i on GOOD quality quick detachable swing off mounts such as EAW sighted dead on at 120 yards. Practice to shoot off hand such that you can hid a 6x6 inch target at 25 yards without difficulty.

The 1st shot is the one that counts and a well placed shot with a 30-06 is by far more effective than a bad shot with a 470 or any other big bore. Remember, the PH is there to back you up and the odds are good that he would be using a 375 H&H or 416 himself.


Trust this is of value
 

CBH Australia

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Woodleigh, made in Australia. I hope we will always have availability for one.
Secondly they do soft, solids and hydros also considered a mono metal I think.

Now as for DG experience it’s actually, Nil! But hey if someone can get me onto some cull Buff in Oz I’m keen. I have a .458 wm, 3 types of Woodleigh projectiles and we can do our own testing. I have done a lot of reading.
I also have a Woodleigh reloading manual.

I will be trying some Woodleigh in my .308 on pigs but they are only average pigs that I find.

If I trade my .458wm on a .375H&H I will probably start with Woodleigh for scratch until I find a reason not to. Practicing with a .375 on pigs will make me me more competent when I get onto the big stuff.

For now it’s reading and saving for that first African Safari I booked.
 

drew416

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Woodleigh all the way for me too!
Available, accurate, tried, tested and priced in the "affordable" range. Biased being Australian, I know but speaking from experience not from "the heart".
A good Zimbabwe PH I know get's the shit's with me and my friends as we always show up with those "bloody stupid round nosed Aussie things"! He would prefer we used Barnes TSX or Trophy Bonded Bear Claws. These however are not so readily available in Australia let alone in regional areas. Besides none of the animals that myself and my mates have hit have been able to complain about the projectile that just sent them to sleep in a quick and effective manner!
20180701_165430.jpg

Although not African dangerous game these two sows were both shot with the same Woodleigh 160gn protected point projectile out of the venerable 6.5X55 swede. Range was about 80m. Both fell where they stood, both through and through shoulder hits. It is amazing how you can line up perfect shots on game when they have no idea that you are in the area.
 

SJN

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drew 416 :
Regard yourself lucky to know such a wise PH "A good Zimbabwe PH I know get's the shit's with me and my friends as we always show up with those "bloody stupid round nosed Aussie things"! He would prefer we used Barnes TSX or Trophy Bonded Bear Claws."
 

drew416

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Yeah. IF I could buy them here without losing a trophy fee for another animal, I would! However all my Woodleigh shot animals are now hanging on the wall , being walked over as rugs or being treated at the sewage treatment plant!!
 
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SJN

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Haha. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Woodleigh bullets. My son swear by them in his 8x68S. However, I never had any use for them. I hunt Africa’s thin skin game with “ordinary” bullets and have standardized many moons ago on Sierra Game King in calibers such as .308; 30-06; 7x64; 7mm Rem Mag.; 6.5 x 54 Mannlicher Schoenauer; 6,5x68 Mannlicher Schoenauer; etc. etc. In fact, the only “of the shelf” calibers in which I use bullets other than Sierra are, 460 Wby Mag – Barnes X; 458 Mag – Barnes X; .375 H&H – Barnes X; 9,3x62 – PMP;

However this blog is about DG bullets, hence my stance on Barnes X in preference to Woodleigh on DG. The cost is also not a consideration taking into account the few shots fired during a DG hunt and is insignificant compared to the total cost of such a hunt.
 

drew416

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Cost of a projectile is the most overlooked part of the safari when you are paying +$10000 USD to watch the animal run over the horizon!

The availability of the "top of the line" US made projectiles here in regional Australia is like finding rocking horse droppings!

The Woodleighs are more or less readily available and much cheaper, unless a big foreign order has to be filled ( bugger me! why do Federal, Kynoch and Norma want so many Woodleigh projectiles?), are in my hands within a week of placing the order.
I have an electronic set of scales I use for measuring powder charges. Woodleigh projectiles weighed are spot on their advertised rate with a Standard Deviation of 1.5 over a pack of 50.
I have only bettered this with Sierra matchkings.

I'm sorry but I can't match their accuracy, performance, availability and price with anything else on the market regardless of availability.
Time may come when we won't be allowed to shoot projectiles with lead alloys( shit don't tell the tree hugger's about lead contamination) but I'm sure that Woodleigh are working on that should the need arise?
 

Brent James

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Question for you Barnes shooters, I tried their early bullets in half a dozen rifles and got horrible accuracy. I’m talking about sub moa rifles going to 3” or 4” groups. I gave up on them. Do the newer bullets provide better accuracy? Is there some secret to reloading these bullets I’m missing?
When the triple shocks first came out they were rather underside, this was to keep pressure down , due to their extra length. Most of them only shot 2.5 - 3 Mia. This is certainly not the case these days as they have alleviated a lot of pressure problems with use of multiple drive bands.
 

Witold Krzyżanowski

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I've been meaning to post this poll for a while now, mainly as a result of the below thread.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/why-avoid-hornady-dg-bullets-and-ammunition.39124/

Question is simple. If you could use any bullet for DG with no issue of availability and no difference in cost, what would you use? And to PHs I guess the question is the same. What bullet do you want your client using based on your experience.

I get that some may chose a different soft than solid, or a different soft for buffalo than for lion, but if you could only choose one bullet manufacturer who would it be?
My choice is Woodleigh.
 

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