Taking Lion with 470 Nitro Express /458 Win Mag?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Jaws, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws AH Senior Member

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    So I have a father & son lion combo hunt coming up in mid April with Warthog safaris.

    I'm aware that high velocity calibers (read FPS) do better on felines with their "relative sensitive nervous systems" & I also read an article of a Lioness requiring 4 shots from a 500NE to go down recently , that got me thinking about my intended use of the 470 with its relative low 2150FPS, factory Barnes Vor-TX 500grns.
    Be that as it may, I have recovered some of the Barnes from the sand backstop I use at home as a firing range & they all seem to have expanded perfectly, even though I understand it is not the perfect simulation, it is much better than the DGX Hornady's that has separated completely & has given shallow penetration in comparison.

    My father plan on using his 458WM loaded with 500grn peregrine VRG3's ,not sure of the FPS but it is definitely not a FPS monster either.
    The scoped rifle carried by my father will act as back-up swop rifle should I have to take shots at longer ranges, say anything over 50M & the need arise where visibility is limited.
    He is looking at the VRG3 380grns instead to gain some FPS, and will be doing some load development over the weekend, though I'm not 100% convinced it is the best option either to go lighter.

    We have the alternatives, 9.3x62, 450/400 & .404 Jeff. but is not really what we have in mind, since we plan a second round but an all female personal big 5 of Ele, hippo on land, Lion, Buffalo & giraffe with the .400 rifles at a later stage.
    We are both competent with placing the bullet in the right place with either of these rifles which is most crucial.

    Are we over analyzing this or would you rather suggest alternatives?
    we will appreciate any suggestions & input.
     
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  2. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    If I was hunting lion I would use my 375 Ruger with 250 grain ttsx or 260 partitions or maybe accubond. I could be all wrong. We will see what others say. Whatever kills a brown bear will kill a lion.
     
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  3. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    There are so many more "Lion-appropriate" bullets in .458 (vs .474/.475) that to me it is a no-brainer.

    You are correct to be concerned about a 500gr TSX on Lion, I think.

    Disclaimer: I have never shot a lion! But I do read threads on AH.com every day. :)
     
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  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I don't consider myself an expert by any means. But I bought into the lighter faster argument. I took a lioness a couple years ago with my .458B&M and the 260gr SOCOM bullet from Cutting Edge Bullets. 2900 fps at the muzzle. It was simply devastating. Cat save for a twitch or two of the tail never moved.

    So if it were me, I'd use your Lott and load it with something fast and furious.
     

  5. JakeH

    JakeH AH Enthusiast

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    I have never hunted lion and likely never will, HOWEVER, I have done lots of reading (especially from this website) and from what I have read you’re going to want something of .358” caliber or larger that will be moving at greater than 2200fps at the point of impact. This will provide you with both the wound channel and the hydrostatic shock you’re after.
     
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  6. Bruce

    Bruce AH Elite

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    I have taken lion with my 375H&H Magnum, 300 soft point Swift A Frame and also with my 458 Win Magnum, using Norma 500 soft point.
    Both one shot kills...my son used my same 375 also with 300 soft on his lioness and also one shot kill.
    As we know lion are soft skinned and soft points are appropriate..shot placement is the key. Study where the heart sits..lower and further back than most snimals!!
    Good luck on this great hunt to be!!
     
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  7. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    Will this be a tracking on foot or over bait hunt?

    You will very rarely have a side on shot on a tracking on foot hunt, therefore accurate shot placement is vital. Once the lion knows you are tracking it it will most probably be in some thick cover lying low to the ground looking back. It can then get up and still staying low sneak off. Doubles and open sighted rifles are not ideal for this situation. Low power scopes on an accurate bolt action is a better idea.

    Likewise over bait shot placement is key.

    A scoped(low power) 375 H&H is the classic Lion hunting gun.

    Barnes bullets perform better at higher velocities. The 470 NE, 458 WM and 450/400 NE do not give the required velocity to ensure reliable expansion on lion or lioness when using them.

    Going lighter on bullet weight is not recommended for hunting lion for lioness not so crucial.

    Rather stick with normal weight for caliber bullets as the higher SD will ensure proper penetration and when using the correct bullet that guarantees expansion quickly yet stays together and expands all its energy inside will give the best performance and knockdown power.

    Woodleigh weld cores make great lion bullets. They expand readily at lower velocities, the high sectional density ensures sufficient penetration and the generally expand all there energy inside the lion.

    Out of your choices I would use the 9.3x62 or the 404 Jeff loaded with woodleigh's for the initial shots.

    You could take the 450/400 NE or 470 NE also loaded with Woodleigh's(I would recommend the Norma PH range) for any follow up if needed.

    A sand back stop is a very poor medium to check bullet performance.

    And yes there is a big difference on lion between 2100 fps and 2300 fps when all other factors are equal.
     
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  8. Jaws

    Jaws AH Senior Member

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    Thanks gents,

    This is exactly the information I needed to hear, though not necessarily what I wanted to hear.

    IVW, the hunt will be on foot, 1 x male 1x female.
    The 404 Jeff & 470Ne will be the order of the day depending on the circumstances.
    The old man do have some Norma, I suspect the 450grn African PH for the .404.

    Whats your take on the Swift A-frame for the 470Ne? the hand loads group quite well in my rifle.
     

  9. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Only taken one lion and that was with 400 grain 416 Ruger Hornady DGX. And yes it did take more than one shot but she wasn’t going anywhere after the first one shattered both shoulders. Initially I was indeed close enough to use a 470 NE but encouraged the lioness to open up the distance a bit. As IvW indicates I wouldn’t use lesser weight bullets but that’s an opinion not a scientific comment.
     

  10. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I hunted my lion with 416 Rigby. First shot did the trick with two extra shots for insurance.

    As others have said, shot placement is key. If you're stalking on foot, you should get pretty close. My lion was tucked into a bush at 15 paces when I shot. You'd be surprised how such a big cat can disappear into the foliage.
     
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  11. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Jaws,

    Good luck with your hunt.

    With your hunt basically a little over 2 months away and you still aren't set for the killing to come you are sitting it short.

    I have killed a few of the great cats as my own murders and a few others as to do what the shooter couldn't do himself. I have used 458 Win with jacked up 350 grain lighter rounds and 460 Weatherby with rounds going fast enough to break the gravatational binding of this planet..

    Oh my! What damage they do and kitty never purrs ever again.

    Check out what "Pheonix Phil" said. His wisdom is true and not just some copy and paste "BS" from someone looking to win a beauty contests.

    Good luck.
     
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  12. Ridge Top Ranch

    Ridge Top Ranch AH Enthusiast

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    Used .375 H&H w/235 grain Barnes Bullets loaded by Double Tap. One shot stone dead. Over 3000 FPS, just a hair over 5000 ME. Used the same gun on buffalo and elephant with not issues. It is always about bullet placement.
     
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  13. ve7poi

    ve7poi AH Enthusiast

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    Woodleigh 500 for 470 and 400 in 404j would use either with no hesitation.
    Double rife faster second shot cats are fast..
     
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  14. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    I concur Doctor Ridge!

    The "one shot kill" is what we all do or should strive for . The smaller the diameter, the slower the bullet, the less foot pounds, the greater the chance that the bullet of releasing it's destructive energy in a vital area that makes things dead....quickly.
     

  15. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    Swift A frame is a great bullet. If they group well in your 470 NE they will work very well as long as you can shoot the 470 equally well and place the shot with the iron sights.

    Hunting lion on foot is exciting. The cat will know you are there and following they will keep going away but as it heats up they will become more and more reluctant to move. When the tracker or PH finds saliva on the grass you will know action is imminent as the salivate when getting tired and the temps rise. This is when they normally make a stand.

    Good luck and it is going to be a exciting hunt.
     
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  16. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    What copy and paste "BS" are you referring to?

    I may have missed that in this thread.
     
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  17. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    416 Rigby is a great Lion caliber.
     
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  18. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    Did you use the same bullet on the buffalo as well as the elephant?
     

  19. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    jaws,

    i know s%$# from shinola regarding lions. what i do know, shot placement is the most important thing. a good bullet, is number 2. if i was gonna shoot a lion, a 300 gr wood leigh soft out of a 375 would be hard to beat ( i am a north fork fan) a nosler 300 maybe. a swift a frame, OR a 300 gr north fork percussion point (made for cats) would all work great.

    i am mildly jealous of you going on this hunt. good luck, shoot well, listen to your ph, you will have success and a great time!

    don
     
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  20. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    @Ridge Top Ranch
     

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