Soft or solid first?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Kevin Peacocke, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Kevin Peacocke

    Kevin Peacocke New Member

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    i am off on a buffalo hunt in early december, calibre 375H&H, 300 grain, Hornady DGX and DGS. Assuming one has a clear shot with no animal behind, is it best to go Soft or solid first, and what of the followup shot?
     

  2. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    You would be better off just using premium grade expanding bullets for all your shots.

    In any herd situation solids used for back up could lead to over penetration issues. If you are hunting a single bull or a couple of dagga boys solids could be used for follow up shots but with the quality expanding bullets available they are really not necessary.

    Full frontal shots with expanding bullets are marginal for use on buffalo unless they are heavy for caliber and are of true premium grade quality.

    Make 100% sure of the first shot placement then you need not be too concerned about the follow up shots. By all means if you can clearly see the buffalo you shot after the first shot then fire away but the most important is to make the first shot count.

    I would suggest you rather find a different make of bullet.
     

  3. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    If Hornady hasn't solved the issue of jacket separation and core fragmentation, I'd consider other bullets. If you're handloading, Midway has lots of 375 in stock, but you need to find out today or tomorrow if you need to take a different path than Hornady so you have the next few weeks to work up loads.

    "Normal" is soft first, then solids. But you need to check with your PH if you haven't already. He's the one with 1*, not me. ;) He may even have a bullet recommendation for you.

    But IvW is right - Nosler Partition, A-Frame, Weldcore PP, and TSX should all give excellent results.
     
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  4. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I see you are from Zim. Ammo may be an issue. Try and find some Norma African PH ammo loaded with 350 Woodleigh softs, they will work fine. If not 300 gr A frames or any other premium grade soft would work.

    Solids try and get Meplat brass solids or woodleigh hydros, the old round nose type solids are not a good idea, if that is all you can find rather stick with only premium softs. A couple of solids in the ammo pouch could be handy depend on where you will be hunting.
     
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  5. Kevin Peacocke

    Kevin Peacocke New Member

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    Thanks all for responses. Yes IvW i am from Zim and apart from the Hornadys i have ASquare monolithic solids, A Square Dead Tough softs all in 300 grain and then Spier points softs in 285 grain. I think i can get some Barnes X in 300 grain, but thats the choice. On loads, the Hornady’s were loaded with 72 grains of 355. Quite a punch.
     

  6. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Veteran

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    Sgt-zim hit the nail on the head. Ask your PH. Also, use a premium soft. The Hornady DGX is prone to failure. Both of the PH’s I’ve hunted with, criticized that bullet and a few others I’ve talked to had similar views of it. Hornady has tried to correct this with a bonded version but I haven’t tried or heard about it.
    As those above have said, use a premium bullet like a Barnes, Swift, Trophy Bomded or Nosler Partition. All are available in factory ammo. If you reload, the world is your oyster. You can add bullets like North Fork and Weldcore.
     

  7. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    I would go with the A Square bullets from your options.

    Be careful with the S355 some of the last batches are not so good, you may want to drop that load a little bit when loading the A squares.

    Pity about the time frame otherwise we could have made a plan to get you some Rhino 350 or 380 gr bullets, the best there is for buffalo in 375 H&H.

    Give me heads up when you ever come down south and I can help you get some Rhino bullets.

    All the best
     
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  8. James Richard Gillespie

    James Richard Gillespie New Member

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    Do not misjudge Peregine Bushmasters for the 375 H&H as well as the 458 rifles. 375 H&H 300gr and for my 458 LOT the 550gr bushmasters. Some people do not like them but I have only had good results in my big bore rifles.
     

  9. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    300gr Bushmasters followed by Hydros worked for me a couple of weeks ago, no complaints!
     
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  10. Velo Dog

    Velo Dog AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    If you can get 300 grain A-Frame, that is my recommendation for a soft.
    From what I have seen, it is the vey best soft available today.
    My personal experiences have left me to conclude that: I do not have faith in any hollow point bullet, (including the Barnes monolithic types).
    However, if you must use hollow points, they are best fired at maximum velocity.
    And pray the little hole does not plug up with hair or mud, as liquid (blood) is needed to force open the petals.
     
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  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    You have a unique ammo accessibility issue, and so I would listen closely to IvW. In a perfect world, a magazine full of A-Frames or TSX's will handle 99.9% of any hunting situation. I brought Woodeigh Hydros on a recent hunt - they penetrated through everything and anything (a couple are likely still going), but they are a solid and killed noticeably slower than an A-Frame or TSX.
     
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  12. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    As I understand it, the theory is the first shot is a well-constructed expanding round to do maximum broadside damage through the heart/lungs and the second shot is about penetration on either a butt-shot (aka, Texas heart shot) or a charging buff through the skull. That theory though is decades old and the recent trend I've seen has been to use well-constructed softs or TSX's flat across the board and let the PH handle the solids if needed.

    I haven't shot Cape Buff yet but when I do (hopefully next year) I'll be packing 300gr. Partitions, A-Frames or TSX's 5-down in my .375. What I do know is that a 286 gr. Partition at 2500 fps punched right through North American bison broadsides without bothering to stop or ask for directions.
     
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  13. Ray B

    Ray B AH Fanatic

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    this is only parallel to your question/answer, but I knew a firearms instructor a few years back when the law enforcement transitioned from 357s to 9mm. His preference (where allowed) was to train the officer to shoot twice if the perpetrator was attacking. the first shot was a solid, the second was a soft or hollow point. they were to be shot in close succession and the second to be as near to the first as possible. during Winter the climate was quite cold and people would be wearing undershirt, heavy shirt, heavy coat (at a minimum). The theory was that the solid punched a hole through the clothing and whatever else was in the way, then the second shot had a cleared path to eliminate the problem. I don't know of any cases where the system was actually used so can't relate its effectiveness, but it sounded good on paper. If a cape buffalo was substituted for the violent perpetrator, I'd prefer to do as noted above and just go with a tried and true soft point.
     

  14. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Wow. Would like to chat with that guy. That is expecting some phenomenal accuracy from a handgun shooter in a high stress situation. Most couldn't accomplish that on a range - from a rest.
     

  15. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    ummm.... I dont know where that guy picked up his firearms instructor credentials.. but..

    The FBI, NRA Law Enforcement, and every POST firearms instructor certification program I have ever seen definitely do not teach that.. and to my knowledge, never have...
     
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  16. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Correct that theory is very old and also stems from the time when premium grade expanding bullets were not available.

    With a proper expanding bullet you can take broadside, quartering or full frontal shots in an appropriate caliber.

    Lets take the average first time buffalo hunter who wants to back up on buffalo after his first shot. Most times you will be hunting in a herd. After the first shot the herd will thunder off. If you are very lucky the one shot at will be going away directly away from you(mostly it will be to the side) now you cannot take a shot if you are backing with solids, unless it is going directly away from you. With premium softs you can as long as you are sure you can hit the right buffalo.

    Where exactly should one then aim if using a solid in order to reach the vitals? Anywhere and hope for the best? From the rear aiming for the vitals on a running buffalo is no easy task.

    With a premium expander you have three visible targets you can shoot at, both hip bones and the spine, just above the root of the tail. This will drop or anchor the buffalo allowing for a finishing shot or worse case slow the buffalo down considerable.

    Again here the importance of correctly and accurately placing the first bullet is the most important.

    You do not need a solid to sort out a charging buffalo. Premium expander again is a better choice.

    When he charges the head is up with the nostrils flared. Any shot in line with the eyes all the way down to where the neck vertebrae dip at the lowest point is going to drop him. Often the aiming point is the nose. I prefer just below that.

    Only time you will need to shoot for the brain is at the very last moment when he dips his head to engage you with his horns and even then you do not need a solid to punch through to the brain. You could also shoot for the center neck shot above the horns when he dips his head.

    This is assuming a Premium grade expanding bullet in an appropriate caliber.

    A last point to consider, when using expanding bullets never ever take a quartering away shot from the left hand side as the first shot on a buffalo.

    All the best, have fun.
     

  17. rnovi

    rnovi AH Enthusiast

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    All good points. I figured the data is decades old. It's kind of like discussing sectional density between cup and cores and mono-metals.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018

  18. Chukar

    Chukar SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    Please don't take this as a personal attack as I have no intention of that, but your firearms instructor's theory is crap. So the thought is that you fire a solid projectile to "clear a path" and then shoot an expanding projectile in rapid succession through the same entry point as the first projectile? That solid isn't clearing a 4"+ area now devoid of clothing.

    I'd bet that there aren't a lot of humans out there that can run a quick double tap drill at 7 yards or under that would group under 1/4" on a stationary target, but the real life target is attacking therefore moving up and down and side to side.

    Sorry to seem so angry about this, but there is so much crap out there that folks that are "experts" just seem to make up.
     
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  19. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Agreed. I graduated the Houston Police Academy in May '92. Never heard of such thing. Standard teaching is to aim for center mass, first, last, and always. If a guy can put 2 in a quarter inch at 7 yards, he's good enough to shoot a gun/knife out of a bad guy's hand. Nobody I know of, except maybe maybe JSOC operators, could do such a thing. But where I might go to the range and shoot 200-250, they spend the day at the range and shoot 2000-2500.

    I shoot my VP9 enough I have a callus on the base knuckle of my left thumb. At 7 yards, I can keep a double-tap inside the 10-ring, and a triple-tap inside the 9. I can't put two bullets in the same hole, and I never could. Mind, I always shot high expert (590-594 out of 600 possible points) when I was a police officer - that was with a SW 686, Sig/Sauer P220, and a Browning Hi Power.
     
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  20. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Absolutely stay away from Hornady DGX.. Repeated failures from many members here. The buffalo in my avatar was taken with 300 grain Swift A frames backed by Northfork solids. Deadly combination. The results were devastating.
     

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