Reloading For Buffalo

Aussie_Hunter

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My next buffalo hunt is only 5 months or so away now so I spent the afternoon reloading for the hunt.

In my 450 Rigby I decided to go with heavy for calibre 550 grain Woodleigh Weldcore RNSN bullets on top of 103 grains of AR2209, Norma brass and LMR Federal gold medal primers, this is putting them right at an average of 2240fps out of my Rigby's 22 inch barrel. These 550 grain Woodleighs in the 458 calibre have a very high SD at 0.375 and the muzzle velocity of 2240fps should put them into the higher end of Woodleighs recommended impact velocity of 1800fps-2200fps between 25-100 yards. This load is also proving to be very accurate out of Rigby.

Who else is reloading for buffalo? And what cartridge, bullet etc have you decided to go with? I would love to hear about what everyone else is reloading for buffalo.

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1642314498884.jpeg
 

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I take a different approach for Buffalo. I load my 500 NE double rifle, light for caliber. I shoot a 475 CEB Safari Raptor (tipped) over 100.2 grains of RL 15, Fed215 primer and Jamison Brass. I get 2450 fps with this load and it flattens them. Shoots flat to 100 yards and with iron sights that's the best my eyes will do.
 

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I take a different approach for Buffalo. I load my 500 NE double rifle, light for caliber. I shoot a 475 CEB Safari Raptor (tipped) over 100.2 grains of RL 15, Fed215 primer and Jamison Brass. I get 2450 fps with this load and it flattens them. Shoots flat to 100 yards and with iron sights that's the best my eyes will do.
Interesting, and it regulates well with this load obviously? What make of rifle is it?
 

jdemocko

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Verney Carron and yes it regulates this load extremely well. It also regulates the heavier stuff. A 570 grain Woodleigh RN soft and 94 grains of RL 15 is another favorite (I have only punched paper with this load)
 

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I have loaded 500 gr Peregrine expanding bullets for buffalo in my 458 Lott. Between 2200 and 2250 fps. They are an all copper soft point with a brass wedged insert to initiate expansion. I think you have done a good thing in going for the 550 gr Woodleigh in your rigby, the 500 gr would probably have too much velocity to be reliable. I am sure it will do well on a buff.
 

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Aussie Hunter, you've obviously done your homework and your rifle likes the load. All you need now is a co-operating Buffalo. Are you thinking about "Cape" or "Asian?"
 

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.458 Lott and the standard 500 grain aframes, at 2200 fps. It's extremely accurate and I saw no need to push the speed, although I could have I think. But why ?

I'm a believer in "standard" weights for caliber, with traditional bullets at least. Something like CEB is a totally different story
 

Aussie_Hunter

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Aussie Hunter, you've obviously done your homework and your rifle likes the load. All you need now is a co-operating Buffalo. Are you thinking about "Cape" or "Asian?"
The Asiatic type is the one I'm going after
 

Aussie_Hunter

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.458 Lott and the standard 500 grain aframes, at 2200 fps. It's extremely accurate and I saw no need to push the speed, although I could have I think. But why ?

I'm a believer in "standard" weights for caliber, with traditional bullets at least. Something like CEB is a totally different story
I'm with you on the standard weights for calibre, this is the first time ever I have gone with heavy for calibre and the reasons for this is supply, I have had 458 calibre 500 grain A-frames on order for nearly 12 months and the importer of Swift in Australia is still unable to provide an ETA, the other reason is the 450 Rigby cartridge can easily push the heavier bullets at decent velocities. Anyway will see how we go, maybe heavy for calibre might become a new favourite for me.
 

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Why don't you crimp those bullets? With a 450 Rigby, setback should be a real risk in a bolt action rifle.
I noticed that when I looked at the photo, looks like there is no crimp at all, I think it's just the angle the photo is taken. They are roll crimped and I have tested them, magazine full plus one in the chamber and after firing the first 3 rounds the last round in the bottom of the mag has no set back. I always do plenty of testing with hand loads before using them for hunting, especially dangerous game.
 

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Also a Fan of the performance of CEB bullets.. and they are very kind to older double rifles
Last Cape Buff I shot was with my Gibbs 450NE shooting 480gr Solids at 2150 and 450gr Raptors at 2200fps
A previous Cape was shot using my 400H&H and CEB bullets 4500gr Solid at 2400fps and their 370gr Raptor at 2480
Partook in a Buffalo Cull hunt in Australia's Northern Territories using a 458 Lott shooting both Barnes 450's and CEB 450's The CEB's performance was noticeably better than the Barnes but the with a greater BC was the goto bullet for shots longer than 200yards
I'm heading to Zim this August with a 505 Gibbs loaded with CEB 525gr Solids and 485gr Raptors
 

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My next buffalo hunt is only 5 months or so away now so I spent the afternoon reloading for the hunt.

In my 450 Rigby I decided to go with heavy for calibre 550 grain Woodleigh Weldcore RNSN bullets on top of 103 grains of AR2209, Norma brass and LMR Federal gold medal primers, this is putting them right at an average of 2240fps out of my Rigby's 22 inch barrel. These 550 grain Woodleighs in the 458 calibre have a very high SD at 0.375 and the muzzle velocity of 2240fps should put them into the higher end of Woodleighs recommended impact velocity of 1800fps-2200fps between 25-100 yards. This load is also proving to be very accurate out of Rigby.

Who else is reloading for buffalo? And what cartridge, bullet etc have you decided to go with? I would love to hear about what everyone else is reloading for buffalo.

View attachment 446764
View attachment 446765
I shot a buffalo in 2019 using a .450 Rigby. Used a Barnes TSX @ either 2300 or 2350 FPS. One frontal chest shot at 110 yards - bullet mushroomed perfectly, photos of the bullet below, hard to argue with those kind of results!

.450 C.jpg
.450 B.jpg
.450 A.jpg
 
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Frederik

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For me Woodleigh for both my 375 H&H and 458 lott luckily I have quite a bit of supply still and only use them to hunt with. (unless I win a big lotto :LOL: )

375 H&H Musgrave built on a opened standard action and I need to keep the overal length to 90mm for proper feeding out of my magazine.

67gr of Norma203B powder with Fed 215 primers and RWS cases.
Gives me good accuarcy and a speed of 2470fps

The 458 lott I recently changed over from the 480gr RN to the 500gr protected point.
81gr of Norma203B powder with Hornady cases and giving me a speed of 2180fps

Have not shot anything with the 500gr bullet yet but if they perform anything or better than the 480gr softs RN I would be very happy.

I might just get a chance in 2 weeks time backing up on a buffalo bull hunt.
 

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I am starting load development for both my .404 Jeffery and my .375 H&H.

For the Jeffery I have both Swift AF and Woodleigh RN softs (400 gr.), and Woodleigh and Barnes banded solids.

For the .375 I have Woodleigh 300 gr. PPSN, Norma Oryx 300 gr., and Nosler PT (260 gr.) softs, and Woodleigh (300 gr.) FMJ solids.

I think I will start development with both Hybrid 100V and N-150 for the .404 and IMR 4350 and H380 for the .375.

My PH stopped by last week and we had opportunity to discuss at some length.
 

Frederik

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Forgot to add that I use the 300gr Woodleigh HD bullets in my 375 H&H.
500 Jeff 570gr Rhino 2300fps is the sweet spot
Come join us at BASA again 12 Feb will be nice to see you again.
 

IvW

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Would be nice but I will be in Zim.......
 

Berettaco

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Just finished loading for the 404J, 400 gr. A-Frames at 2350 fps. Will be hunting cape buff this spring. taking my Bauska Mauser in 404J and Kimber 84L in 270 win - between those two I should be set for PG and DG.
 

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I'm with you on the standard weights for calibre, this is the first time ever I have gone with heavy for calibre and the reasons for this is supply, I have had 458 calibre 500 grain A-frames on order for nearly 12 months and the importer of Swift in Australia is still unable to provide an ETA, the other reason is the 450 Rigby cartridge can easily push the heavier bullets at decent velocities. Anyway will see how we go, maybe heavy for calibre might become a new favourite for me.
I agree, the 450 rigby is very capable of pushing those 550 gr bullets, in fact it is a bit of a waste not using the cavernous case to load something that is just more of a good thing, either 550 gr Woodleighs or 515 gr Peregrine monometals. The Lott can also do it but not quite as comfortably, and definitely not to the same velocity. Recoil is probably the limiting factor, not the cartridge. I would favor the extra 10 % weight over 10% increase in velocity any day. Weight of the bullet is more reliable both with the bullet expansion and with penetration as long as you sit in that 2150-2300 fps.
 

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