Solid bullets for Buffalo? Yes or No?

Next year will be my first trip to Africa and first to hunt Buffalo. My PH says Barnes TSX or Swift A-Frames for my 416 Rigby. I'll still have solids that I hope to not have to use. Years of guiding in the mountains of N. New Mexico for elk, mule deer and occasional bear or lion I learned what can go wrong will and one best prepare as best can be done. In that country I was the hunter, I have no illusions about who is the hunter when I go next year.
 
Hi, in order to not bring a mix of bullets during the stalk, what are your thoughts about using only solids for buffalo? I am talking for 375HH Mag or bigger, for example .470NE (which is already a much larger caliber).

My impression is that when stalking, is best to bring the least amount of options and gadgets (8-10 rounds + knife + binos + water + phone) . When action starts, the least things to get mixed with, the better.
I read some people is even shooting an express rifle with one bullet of each and making the decision on the go. This is probably the oposite of what I would do because is too much thinking on that precise moment.
This includes leaving at the car the backpack with all the bells and whistles (AKA hunting toys).
On my last hunt three weeks ago I used solids on a lone buffalo by herself no animals behind her. They performed fine CEB. Normally however I only take Barnes TSX and they have never let me down on buff
 
Next year will be my first trip to Africa and first to hunt Buffalo. My PH says Barnes TSX or Swift A-Frames for my 416 Rigby. I'll still have solids that I hope to not have to use. Years of guiding in the mountains of N. New Mexico for elk, mule deer and occasional bear or lion I learned what can go wrong will and one best prepare as best can be done. In that country I was the hunter, I have no illusions about who is the hunter when I go next year.
Yes, do not ignore your experience just because it is Africa. Plan for the worst just in case. I will guarantee you will not be worried about a good flat point monolithic solid shooting through and through and hitting another animal behind a charging buff that was crippled and charging from point blank range. Or conversely, the buff, if wounded, is located and takes off away through the scrub at an angle that provides only a poor, through-the-rumen-shot. Use a magazine full of A-Frames or TSXs for initial shots. Then if needing to go after the buffalo, load up with the quality solids that will penetrate in a straight line into the center of mass from any angle. Just common sense and again, don't discard your experience. This topic has been and will continue to be debated ad nauseam here. There is no reason to assume the PH will be the only allowed or effective gunner in unusual follow up situations. IMO, that seems a pretty dependent and helpless attitude designed to avoid responsibilty that many recommend and/or accept on these hunts. That mindset makes as much sense as just shooting a buff anywhere with anything then letting the PH do the clean up???
Just my two cents :)
 
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I’ve only shot buffalo with a bolt action rifle. Shot #2 is always a solid (Woodleigh Hydro). This is incase the buffalo charges or i need to make a raking shot going away to try and anchor it. First shot is a premium controlled expanding bullet like a TBBC or A-Frame. By keeping the solid as #2 it also allows me to quickly shuck the first round if I see a tiny. When I hunt with my double, there will be a solid in one barrel.

To keep things simple, I use an Els & Co culling belt. It’s loaded with softs, and I’ve added a closed top rhodes pouch (also from Els & Co) on the other side filled with solids. Helps keep them separate, and aides in my pursuit of the tinies or other game that might require a solid.
 
I am a mere novice in the big game dept, but as many have said inflicting maximum trauma on the first shot, and hopefully the second if you have time is the way to go. So I will load two softs.
Then on the followup, either the buff is down, or in the brush, so load two solids.

Buff country is also elephant country, so you had better have some solids with you in case things get hairy.
 
We all agree that nowadays it is more advisable to use SP bullets for the first shot by buffalo hunting, but which ones, should be the choice of the user. Apart from the TSX from Barnes or the A-Frame from Swift, there are other SP bullets that also work well and what bullet is used can also depend on the cartridge. Not all bullets are available for all cartridges.

As far as FMJ or Monolithic bullets are concerned, these should be included on every big and dangerous game hunting and that for the special situations that can arise when hunting buffaloes or, as @Kevin Peacocke wrote, also by problems with other wild species especially elephants.
 
Something not mentioned- mark your softs or solids. In my case I have all soft points marked on the bullet head and the cartridge base with a black marker and I seperate solids on the left and softs on the right. Lastly, you can carry both softs and solids, Ido.But load what your PH suggests. After all, he will be standing next to you not some guys from the internet.
 
Title....... Solid Bullets for Buffalo? Yes Or No?

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;

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.

What he said. 1st shot use a Barnes TSX or Swift A-Frame and for all follow up then use a Woodleigh or North Fork cup point solid. Those cup points will penetrate deeper and straighter than the round nose type of the same weight and velocity.
 
Something not mentioned- mark your softs or solids. In my case I have all soft points marked on the bullet head and the cartridge base with a black marker and I seperate solids on the left and softs on the right. Lastly, you can carry both softs and solids, Ido.But load what your PH suggests. After all, he will be standing next to you not some guys from the internet.
I have the luxury of both nickel and brass cases so for the field I load the solids in nickel and the expanding bullets in brass.
That black marker is a nice touch to distinguish between the two at a quick glance.
 
In most cases, a soft is likely all you need, but in those other fewer cases, nothing but a punch-through-everything solid will do.

I would recommend taking both and learning when and how to switch.
 
;

I sorta hate to kick the nest here again but I'm always reading members thoughts about projectiles. It's an art in itself, particularly todays modern projectiles.

What about these new generation of "so-called softs": Hammer, Raptors. on Buffalo?
Many thanks.
 
Are FMJ good on Elephants? I have a packet of Norma in 470 that I bought with my gun, but now I hear Softs generally is all you need for buffalo
 
;

I sorta hate to kick the nest here again but I'm always reading members thoughts about projectiles. It's an art in itself, particularly todays modern projectiles.

What about these new generation of "so-called softs": Hammer, Raptors. on Buffalo?
Many thanks.
I’d say the question to ask would be how much brush are you planning or willing to shoot through? I’d really like to try Hammer bullets or Cutting edge bullets on plains game, but I’ve seen written here numerous times the raptors don’t like brush. I’ve trusted the PH on these shots, but I’ve made shots with TBBCs and Swift A Frames through brush I wouldn’t expect another bullet to perform in. The shot through grass and brush may be your only opportunity on a 10 day hunt.
 
Briefly: Without a direction or particular hunt in mind, practice being the focus .. this is all I have .. tons of it ;

Woodleigh FMJ or RNSP.
Nosler's Brass Solid & Partition's
 
Has anyone tried the Sierra #3000 300 grain they designed for the .375 H&H, by toughening up the bullet... they say for "heavy, thin skinned game..." how heavy? How thin (or thick) skinned game?
 
Hunter-Habib has far more experience than I will ever have, working for Remington when the 416 Rem Mag came out that was my choice. I always started with a Swift A-Frame followed by Barnes monolithic solids. Worked well!
 
Obviously, terminal performance of bullets on cape buffalo varies with the different brands of bullets. I am familiar with some wide flat meplat solid bullets. I have used Cutting Edge Bullets # 13 solids, NorthForks Cup Point solids and Peregrine solids in .500 calibre for the first shot on cape buffalo and they kill very well. ( I get the impression that hunters who don't like solids for their first shot on buffalo have not tried these particular ones in a big bore or they have tried solid bullets in too small a calibre like .375 )

Having said that, I mostly use the above manufacturers expanding bullets for the first shot. ( The .500 calibre CEB Raptors are very impressive.)

For me, the choice between solid or soft depends on the situation, but I would never, under any conditions, use a round nose solid on cape buffalo. Brian
 

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