Solid bullets for Buffalo? Yes or No?

We are going off topic because it's not about the fact that you cannot shoot buffaloes with FMJ or Monolithic bullets. I have also shot several buffaloes with FMJ bullets and that with cartridges of calibers between 9,3mm and 510. The point here is that nowadays no client should be recommended to go hunting buffaloes with only solids in his pocket. Since it is also about only using one type of bullet, the question arises as to whether the client also needs to have solids with him in all cases. I would say yes, but there are certainly other point of views.
 
Hey Masai,
Wise man, gaining info before you go. Some good insights have already been mentioned. No doubt today's quality softs are great bullets for your quarry, but some thinking to consider:
1) you are hunting dangerous game,
2) things can go bad,
3) PH's get hurt/killed,
4) no help is on the way

Because of these, I might carry more ammo, including solids. Running out of bullets with a p!$$ed off buffalo trying to kill me does not sound good!

While the 375 has killed plenty of buffalo, I'd take the 470 and practice a lot.

A first aid/trauma kit would be on me, or the tracker.

Have fun! Good luck!
 
Whatever bullet you decide to use, and again I strongly recommend a quality bullet like an A-Frame or TSX, you have only one real responsibility on your hunt - put the first shot in exactly the right spot. Do that with a 300 gr .375 and everyone loads up your bull and you celebrate into the evening. Miss that exact spot with .470 or a .500 and everyone will be in for a very long day.

I have used Hydros on one of my safaris. They do kill, provided like every other bullet, you put it in the right place. But they kill very slowly compared to a quality soft. The worst case you will be faced with is either an inbound bull or one that has your PH down. I would far far rather deal with either situation with a magazine of A-Frames than any solid.
 
Great question. I have used solids as the follow up shot but have switched to Barnes TSX bullets for all shots on buffalo. Solids work, but I have found the TSX to be just as tough. I only have 6 buff to my career, but the PH's I have hunted with are all fine with TSX or A-Frames.
Best thing is hit the buff in the right spot on the first shot.
 
I'm headed to the Eastern Cape in 43 days for my first buffalo hunt, and I plan on bringing 30 softs and 10 solids for my Ruger #1 in 416 Rigby. I'll use factory loaded 410 grain Woodleigh softs and solids for this hunt, I plan on carring 5 of each during the hunt in seperate belt slides and two rounds on my wrist for faster reloading. The first round out of the rifle will be a soft and I'm leaning heavily towards soilds for my follow up shots. My question is am I bringing the right mix of softs vs solids?
 
HEH HEH............ This is so good, so appropriate............. And not all together wrong, if I were this PH, I would have to consider exactly that rule of thumb, especially based on the "Quality of Hunters" involved. Notice, I said Hunters, not Shooters...... there is one hell of a big difference. If you are offended, Oh well....... Here is the fact of the matter, I spent 20 years in the field, have been on mulitple hunts around the world, and have heard all the stories from multiple PH's and Friends about just how unprepared some visiting Client Hunters are. Some never even fired or sighted in their rifles before arriving, PH had to do so. Some have no idea what ammo they had with them, some had ammo their gunsmiths recommended, (Gunsmiths that had never heard of the place you are headed, never seen a buffalo).....Some picked up their ammo at the Walmart...... and and and and................

I was totally SHOCKED when I heard some of this in my early endeavers to the field. I found it hard to believe until I actually met some of these. I came from a world of Shooting, decided I would hunt later in that world. I came from a world where one studied the best options for bullets and ammo, and a world where shooting 500-1000 rounds a week was common. I came from world where one tested throughly the bullets and how they behave before going to the field........... I came from a world when you were getting your Big Bore rifle ready for a hunt/shoot, then you started months ahead of time, you fired easy 500 rounds through that rifle to check every single possible issue with your ammo, bullet, rifle and cartridge............... Not from a world where you don't even fire your rifle before hitting the field???????

So, Softs only For Clients....... Makes perfect sense to me, since you are not profiecient enough to understand the mission upon which you have embarked.......... Well done @Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS, I concur with you.......... Most are not able to sort out the problems.......

Yes, I am in a bit of a Rant.......... So what............ rediculous........... SSDD...........My Apologies if anyone is offended, ???? Hmmmm, really............
I for one think you have written a great post. As a PH my old culling belt has at least 2 to 4 solids in it. Even if I am hunting leopard. What if a elephant decides it has taken a massive dislike to our blind, it has happened.

A couple solids are cheap insurance, to be used at the correct time.

Recently a PH and maybe a client doing a leopard hunt might have had a bad ending, if he had not had a couple of spare solids for “what if”.
Lon
 
As stated already, never hurts to have some solids with you, lots of reasons. I always make sure I have loads developed for whatever rifle I'm using, softs and solids same POI. Always have Iron sights regulated for same load that I'm using through the scope. .......We can start a whole other thread on after the first shot or knowing you're going into the thick stuff after wounded DG on QR scope mounts and the thoughts behind removing your scope,....oh boy.
 
An expanding bullet for sure for the opening shot.

What you use for your second shot is negotiable. In the books, the second shot is taken at a buffalo that is running away. For that shot, a solid beats a soft because of superior penetration.

My buffalo(es) apparently did not read the book: they ran, along with the other 100+ animals in the herd, in the direction they were already facing. These experiences confirmed for me: 1) a flat-nosed solid does have excellent penetration and 2) they are quite lethal, even at significantly reduced velocity.

Unless hunting dugga boys or following up an isolated wounded animal, both my chamber and my magazine will be loaded with expanding bullets. Solids live in the open-top pouch on my belt and can be quickly accessed if needed. If that puts me at a disadvantage on an animal that is running away, I’ll console myself with the knowledge that if it is running away, it is not an immediately dangerous situation.
 
The right answer is ask your PH. Quality softs are probably the recommendation. However, depending on what cover you are likely shooting through a PH may recommend solids. I have made a few buffalo hunts in Moz with a PH that prefers solids because the shot will likely be through thick cover and they have seen many more failures with softs being deflected into non vital areas or deflected into a miss. Solids are much less likely to be deflected. No one can debate that a quality soft into vitals is better that a solid. But, sometimes that is not the only variable.
 
HEH HEH............ This is so good, so appropriate............. And not all together wrong, if I were this PH, I would have to consider exactly that rule of thumb, especially based on the "Quality of Hunters" involved. Notice, I said Hunters, not Shooters...... there is one hell of a big difference. If you are offended, Oh well....... Here is the fact of the matter, I spent 20 years in the field, have been on mulitple hunts around the world, and have heard all the stories from multiple PH's and Friends about just how unprepared some visiting Client Hunters are. Some never even fired or sighted in their rifles before arriving, PH had to do so. Some have no idea what ammo they had with them, some had ammo their gunsmiths recommended, (Gunsmiths that had never heard of the place you are headed, never seen a buffalo).....Some picked up their ammo at the Walmart...... and and and and................

I was totally SHOCKED when I heard some of this in my early endeavers to the field. I found it hard to believe until I actually met some of these. I came from a world of Shooting, decided I would hunt later in that world. I came from a world where one studied the best options for bullets and ammo, and a world where shooting 500-1000 rounds a week was common. I came from world where one tested throughly the bullets and how they behave before going to the field........... I came from a world when you were getting your Big Bore rifle ready for a hunt/shoot, then you started months ahead of time, you fired easy 500 rounds through that rifle to check every single possible issue with your ammo, bullet, rifle and cartridge............... Not from a world where you don't even fire your rifle before hitting the field???????

So, Softs only For Clients....... Makes perfect sense to me, since you are not profiecient enough to understand the mission upon which you have embarked.......... Well done @Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS, I concur with you.......... Most are not able to sort out the problems.......

Yes, I am in a bit of a Rant.......... So what............ rediculous........... SSDD...........My Apologies if anyone is offended, ???? Hmmmm, really............

SSDD.......... OMG...............

Title....... Solid Bullets for Buffalo? Yes Or No?

First line;


That is two different thought processes, not the same.

You "Experts" can do as you please, you can use slingshots loaded with Woodlieghs if you want..... I don't care.

Here is what I have always done............ For Buffalo........ 1st Shot Trauma Inflicting bullet, meaning Swift, Woodliegh, Barnes, Raptors whatever... You do understand the meaning Trauma Inflicting, correct? Then followed up by Solids, in the early days this was always a Barnes RN Solid, this is what we had, or Woodliegh FMJ, which I did not use. Then we learned about Barnes Flat Nose Solids, and this changed the game in a big way....... Later we developed the CEB #13 Solids, and had some input in the current North Fork Solids.........

But here, I am hearing you just don't need Solids for buffalo period, the Swifts, the Barnes, the Woodliegh Softs, and and and are all so good today, Solids are just not required, so say the Powers the Be.........

I suppose most of these no solid proponents do not plan on second shots, or third, or more? I suppose the No Solid Crowd all their buffalo lay down and die on the spot, they never buck up, run through the brush and trees. If you do not plan on a second shot, why are you using a Bolt Gun, or a Double..... Just take a good strong Ruger #1, since you are not going to need anymore than one shot anyway? And then there is this;


Yeah, you don't need solids, let your PH sort out your problems.............

Ok, if you do not plan to fire a second round, then you don't need solids, you don't need a bolt gun or double, you need not even have concerns, your PH will sort the problem out for you.......

What happens when you Open a Dance with Buffalo? Here is what happens, you have your first shot, Swift, Barnes, Woodliegh, Raptors, Lehighs, Hammers, whatever, you wait on the best shot possible, to put that bullet in the front end, hit vitals, and cause as much trauma as possible. It is very rare that a Buffalo will just give up and fall over at the shot, so he is going to buck up, and run away most of the time......... Now, here is your choice, you can shoot again, and again and again if possible, you opened this dance, it is your responsibility to finish the dance, that is if you are half a damn man, what tool do you think is going to be best, if you have to fire at the South End of a North Bound Bull? Do you think for a second that your big bore Swift, Barnes, Woodliegh, Raptor, Hammer or whatever can go the distance? Maybe you are so proficient in your second shot you can hit pelvis and put him down or slow him up, all while he is dodging and on the run? Why it is possible I have misjudged you in that case? What about dodging and running through brush? How is that Trauma Inflicting bullet going to do when encountering brush? Not so well I believe.

People, this is not a GDamn Game, this is serious business, if you are a serious shooter, you will realize that the best way to solve the problem you insitgated is to have the proper tools for the mission at hand, and in this case, it is a Properly Designed Solid that will hit hard up front, and drive DEEP and Straight to accomplish your mission, which is to put that Buffalo in the dirt permanently. To insure you can go the distance, to ensure you have a better chance of shooting through brush, trees, and other obstacles, only a Properly Designed Solid can accomplish this. You continue to shoot until; You no longer have any opportunity to take a shot, you are out of Ammo, or your problem is solved, and if you are a shooter, even if the problem is solved, you will pay the insurance.
Early in my endeavors, I learned that for all Dangerous Game, a good Solid was a very handy tool to have, yes, even thin skinned species, lion/bear. Everything in the field does not always work out perfectly, every shot is not perfect, and if something does not go the way you expect it to, then it is best to have a tool that can handle the heavy lifiting if needed. The last few years that I was in the field, I did not require many Trauma Inflicting Bullets, my load out woudl always be around 75% Solids, the rest Trauma Inflicting......... 1st Shot to cause Trauma, every shot thereafter to solve the Problem. A Proper Designed Solid will solve issues that arise unexpected or expected, in the field, where life is just not perfect like it is sitting behind the Key Board, or on the Range, or in your mind.



There are many good reasons to have a Proper Designed Solid in your Tool Pouch, and there is NOT ONE GOOD REASON NOT TO..............
@michael458 waking up from hibernation, when hearing anything about 375 and no solids on buffalo. LOL!
I think I need to send you a care package (bottle of scotch) to calm the nerves.

My interpretation and response to the original question was aimed more at the initial shot, and not the follow up. I definitely agree that a solid would be preferred for a going away shot on an outbound buffalo. I put in an insurance shot on my last buffalo with the 450 grain CEB 458 solids and they whistled through both shoulders like a hot knife through butter. So no question at all that they would be preferred for reaching the vitals from any angle on a follow up shot.

I know it’s probably getting hot there on the coast of S Carolina, so try to stay calm and well hydrated. LOL!


IMG_5670.jpeg
 
FMJ or round nosed solids are the worst bullets you can use for buffalo....good only for the tiny ten.....
 
SSDD.......... OMG...............

Title....... Solid Bullets for Buffalo? Yes Or No?

First line;


That is two different thought processes, not the same.

You "Experts" can do as you please, you can use slingshots loaded with Woodlieghs if you want..... I don't care.

Here is what I have always done............ For Buffalo........ 1st Shot Trauma Inflicting bullet, meaning Swift, Woodliegh, Barnes, Raptors whatever... You do understand the meaning Trauma Inflicting, correct? Then followed up by Solids, in the early days this was always a Barnes RN Solid, this is what we had, or Woodliegh FMJ, which I did not use. Then we learned about Barnes Flat Nose Solids, and this changed the game in a big way....... Later we developed the CEB #13 Solids, and had some input in the current North Fork Solids.........

But here, I am hearing you just don't need Solids for buffalo period, the Swifts, the Barnes, the Woodliegh Softs, and and and are all so good today, Solids are just not required, so say the Powers the Be.........

I suppose most of these no solid proponents do not plan on second shots, or third, or more? I suppose the No Solid Crowd all their buffalo lay down and die on the spot, they never buck up, run through the brush and trees. If you do not plan on a second shot, why are you using a Bolt Gun, or a Double..... Just take a good strong Ruger #1, since you are not going to need anymore than one shot anyway? And then there is this;


Yeah, you don't need solids, let your PH sort out your problems.............

Ok, if you do not plan to fire a second round, then you don't need solids, you don't need a bolt gun or double, you need not even have concerns, your PH will sort the problem out for you.......

What happens when you Open a Dance with Buffalo? Here is what happens, you have your first shot, Swift, Barnes, Woodliegh, Raptors, Lehighs, Hammers, whatever, you wait on the best shot possible, to put that bullet in the front end, hit vitals, and cause as much trauma as possible. It is very rare that a Buffalo will just give up and fall over at the shot, so he is going to buck up, and run away most of the time......... Now, here is your choice, you can shoot again, and again and again if possible, you opened this dance, it is your responsibility to finish the dance, that is if you are half a damn man, what tool do you think is going to be best, if you have to fire at the South End of a North Bound Bull? Do you think for a second that your big bore Swift, Barnes, Woodliegh, Raptor, Hammer or whatever can go the distance? Maybe you are so proficient in your second shot you can hit pelvis and put him down or slow him up, all while he is dodging and on the run? Why it is possible I have misjudged you in that case? What about dodging and running through brush? How is that Trauma Inflicting bullet going to do when encountering brush? Not so well I believe.

People, this is not a GDamn Game, this is serious business, if you are a serious shooter, you will realize that the best way to solve the problem you insitgated is to have the proper tools for the mission at hand, and in this case, it is a Properly Designed Solid that will hit hard up front, and drive DEEP and Straight to accomplish your mission, which is to put that Buffalo in the dirt permanently. To insure you can go the distance, to ensure you have a better chance of shooting through brush, trees, and other obstacles, only a Properly Designed Solid can accomplish this. You continue to shoot until; You no longer have any opportunity to take a shot, you are out of Ammo, or your problem is solved, and if you are a shooter, even if the problem is solved, you will pay the insurance.
Early in my endeavors, I learned that for all Dangerous Game, a good Solid was a very handy tool to have, yes, even thin skinned species, lion/bear. Everything in the field does not always work out perfectly, every shot is not perfect, and if something does not go the way you expect it to, then it is best to have a tool that can handle the heavy lifiting if needed. The last few years that I was in the field, I did not require many Trauma Inflicting Bullets, my load out woudl always be around 75% Solids, the rest Trauma Inflicting......... 1st Shot to cause Trauma, every shot thereafter to solve the Problem. A Proper Designed Solid will solve issues that arise unexpected or expected, in the field, where life is just not perfect like it is sitting behind the Key Board, or on the Range, or in your mind.



There are many good reasons to have a Proper Designed Solid in your Tool Pouch, and there is NOT ONE GOOD REASON NOT TO..............
I have no doubt you have more experience with bullets with anyone on this forum by a large margin, but the tone of your posts doesn’t help your message. Do you go around lecturing the PHs who recommend you only carry premium softs for buffalo? There are less and less PHs every year that recommend loading solids for buffalo. The initial post was written asking about bringing only solids.
 
Do you go around lecturing the PHs who recommend you only carry premium softs for buffalo?
I have never in my life had a PH give me "Advice"................ or ever make recommendations to me. And, in fact, I have been asked many many times, by every single PH I ever hunted with, and there have been many, and to a man, they have asked the questions, and I have given the the lecture, the class, the instructions........ I am a Shooter, its what I do. The PH is the Hunter, its what they Do. They are expert hunters, I am not. When it comes to Hunting, I listen, when it comes to Shooting, they listen...............I have hunted with some extremely talented, and intelligent PH's over the years, and call all of them Friend. Many have been here to visit with me, and do some shooting, and get some lessons on bullet tech...............

As for my "Tone"...... I am so sick of SSDD some days I had enough........... if you do not like, do not read..........

@TOBY458 Excellent my friend, you don't need solids anyway, you shoot most of yours in the head... LOL............ I am rolling around in the floor from your post, thank you..... HEH HEH........... :ROFLMAO:
 
Solids have their place, but IMO, if you only want one bullet, use a well-constructed expanding bullet.

A solid will, usually, completely penetrate a buffalo and come out the other side, risking injuring another buffalo.
 
My DG PH wants a client to use combination of expanding bullets and solids.

Do what your PH prefers you do.
 
I have never in my life had a PH give me "Advice"................ or ever make recommendations to me. And, in fact, I have been asked many many times, by every single PH I ever hunted with, and there have been many, and to a man, they have asked the questions, and I have given the the lecture, the class, the instructions........ I am a Shooter, its what I do. The PH is the Hunter, its what they Do. They are expert hunters, I am not. When it comes to Hunting, I listen, when it comes to Shooting, they listen...............I have hunted with some extremely talented, and intelligent PH's over the years, and call all of them Friend. Many have been here to visit with me, and do some shooting, and get some lessons on bullet tech...............

As for my "Tone"...... I am so sick of SSDD some days I had enough........... if you do not like, do not read..........

@TOBY458 Excellent my friend, you don't need solids anyway, you shoot most of yours in the head... LOL............ I am rolling around in the floor from your post, thank you..... HEH HEH........... :ROFLMAO:

The question of the TS is entirely justified. Not all of us have shot enough buffaloes to have experience as to know what to use for this hunting or not. Anyone who hunts with a PH, meant under the guidance of a professional hunter, has to follow their recommendations or hunt alone, what is unfortunately not possible in the areas of Southeast and South Africa where the majority of us hunt. As many have already written, it is recommended for many reasons to have solids with you, but it is advisable to take the first shot at a buffalo with a premium SP bullet. There are cases where you should, because of the cartridge, use a Solid either that a SP bullet for the first shot, but that is a completely different topic and belongs in the category of hunting big game with older marginal cartridges for big game hunting.
 
I never leave the truck without a solid in elephant country. I hunt with a double and there is almost always a solid in at least one barrel.

For buff I prefer the first shot with a premium expanding and then solids for follow ups. Solids will really shine on any going away shots.
 

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