Water buffalo caliber recommendation

Quaticman

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I would like to do a water buffalo hunt in the Northern Territory in the future.
I presently own 3 rifles which I believe are suitable for the task.
Rifle # 1 is a Husqvarna Mauser bolt action chambered in 9.3 x 62 with a custom made peep sight.
Rifle # 2 is a Zastava Mauser bolt action chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum with a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x scope.
Rifle # 3 is a Merkel double chambered in .500 Nitro Express with the factory iron sights.
I shoot all of them equally well and am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that a long shot on buffalo would be around 50 meters or so. Of the 3 rifles mentioned, which one do you think is most suitable for the task?
 

Sarg

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I have been shooting & later guiding on Water Buff since 1979 & all three will do the job with the right bullets, I use the 458Win & like it the .500NE has been great to, with a bit less range as not normally scoped .

It depends where & what type of Buffalo a bit, if you have flood plans in your hunt area, there may been a chance of longer range shots, you really need to stop them before they get to a area where retrieval is very difficult or maybe impossible !
 

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I love the 45-70 lots of different loads, an grain weight to pick from. Its been a great caliber for a long long time. But I dont know much about the other to say anything good or bad about it..
 

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After hunting NT my only regret was not bringing a double! I hunted with Outback Buffalo Safaris and Aaron damn sure put Buffalo in front of us!

cheers,
Cody
 

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I second Cody on the double! We were in camp together and each shot 4 buffalo. Take your double and stalk in close. Simply move from tree to tree. They are not Cape buffalo but are even thicker skinned. Penetration is what you need so use a good heavy bonded bullet.
 

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Quanticman, any of the three firearms you list will do the job with good bullet placement using an appropriate projectile.

As Sarge points out there can be quite significant variations to hunt scenarios, and buffalo, depending on where your hunt is conducted and with who.

Personally, amongst the guns you list i would suggest the scope sighted .458, if you shoot it well, will offer the most "versatility".
If it is important to you that you get to use your double .500 then make sure you stipulate that with the outfitter you choose to hunt with.

Best of luck to you on your hunt.
 

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@Quaticman I agree with @PaulT and @Sarg. We all know the importance of that first shot and making it right. Saying that if you can shoot the 500 just as well as the 458 more gun would be better.
 

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I would take 1 and 3....
1 would be ideal...water buffalo aint exactly cape buffalo...3 is really cool and a superb caliber....
Sell 2 immediately and shoot more buffalo....
 

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My my,
All those big old guns!
I put mine down for good (DIMA - dead in mid air) with one shot from my 1895 405 . Had 4 more shots if needed,
Maybe next time I will use my .405 DR just to even the odds.

Oh by the way, the 300 grain North Fork cup point solid bullets seem to be very effective at 2250 fps.
They are rarely recovered.
 

Sarg

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I would take 1 and 3....
1 would be ideal...water buffalo aint exactly cape buffalo...3 is really cool and a superb caliber....
Sell 2 immediately and shoot more buffalo....
No Water Buff aren't Capes they are tougher & bigger in a lot of areas & can be just as dangerous, I could of made them famous to if I did stupid stalks & took wounded Bulls for granted like I have seen guys do on Capes, I have guided/hunted on both & Bantang, now there is a Dangerous Bovine just lucky he has a light weight easy to break down frame !

If there were the hundreds & hundreds of hunters hunting Water Buffalo as there was Capes & in all the different scenarios we would have similar charge rates, maybe a little less with the Bubalus as not having to fight for life so much in Australia but in India in the day worse than Capes, it is only all the hunters/Guides/Outfitters who want to come off as hero's talking up the Capes & all the African hunters talking down Bubalus so as to make them selves more .

I had many hunters coming in thinking Bubalus was a lesser hunt only to change his tune after a close call or watching them fighting .
 

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I would like to do a water buffalo hunt in the Northern Territory in the future.
I presently own 3 rifles which I believe are suitable for the task.
Rifle # 1 is a Husqvarna Mauser bolt action chambered in 9.3 x 62 with a custom made peep sight.
Rifle # 2 is a Zastava Mauser bolt action chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum with a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x scope.
Rifle # 3 is a Merkel double chambered in .500 Nitro Express with the factory iron sights.
I shoot all of them equally well and am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that a long shot on buffalo would be around 50 meters or so. Of the 3 rifles mentioned, which one do you think is most suitable for the task?

Any of those calibers will do- it’s a matter if your preference
 

jdemocko

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No Water Buff aren't Capes they are tougher & bigger in a lot of areas & can be just as dangerous, I could of made them famous to if I did stupid stalks & took wounded Bulls for granted like I have seen guys do on Capes, I have guided/hunted on both & Bantang, now there is a Dangerous Bovine just lucky he has a light weight easy to break down frame !
I agree. I hunted Water Buff in the Northern Territories before I hunted Cape Buff. We got up close and personal with quite a few and the trophy Bull I took was a monster. It was there that the outfitter put the Double rifle bug in my head. He had most clients shoot a 375 H&H. In his words, " the 375 does the job, but if you really want to get their attention shoot the 500 NE".
 

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Water Buffalo are tougher than Cape buffalo. First shot with 375 went straight through heart and it still took 7 more shots. They have no fear of humans. This is a great hunt. Want to go back with my 470.
Don
 

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All three will work. However, having taken several Water Buffalo with 470NE and 375H&H, I’m of the opinion that bigger is better. There’s a noticeable difference in the animals’ reactions between these two calibres. Also, if you are confident with your double, you will regret not bringing it.
 

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I would like to do a water buffalo hunt in the Northern Territory in the future.
I presently own 3 rifles which I believe are suitable for the task.
Rifle # 1 is a Husqvarna Mauser bolt action chambered in 9.3 x 62 with a custom made peep sight.
Rifle # 2 is a Zastava Mauser bolt action chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum with a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x scope.
Rifle # 3 is a Merkel double chambered in .500 Nitro Express with the factory iron sights.
I shoot all of them equally well and am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that a long shot on buffalo would be around 50 meters or so. Of the 3 rifles mentioned, which one do you think is most suitable for the task?
I’d say use the double I mean it’s a good excuse to take it out.
 

ActionBob

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Bullet quality is probably more important than which caliber. They are very thick skined and very big. I just did not see the tenacity of the Devils Red Eyed Cattle called Cape Buffalo in Africa. Of course I've only shot 4 water buff in Australia and so far, 2 Cape Buffalo. Hope to remedy that deficiency of Cape Buffalo next month:)

As Cody said, perfect hunt for a double. I used the Outfitters rifles and the ammo he had. First a 375 with 270 grain blue box Federal. Took 7 shots on the first buffalo. The last with a 458 win mag with 510 grain Winchester ammo. Used the open sighted 458 on the other 3 too much better effect;)
 

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The guide told me that he needed to borrow my .405 as when his client saw this bull Water Buffalo, he changed his mind from medium big game to large and dangerous big game and wanted to shoot it with his 30-06.
55231_600x400.jpg

Some 30-06 shots had made the bull mad and they needed to put it down, so the PH loaded my Winchester 1895 .405 WCF with my 300 grain handloaded North Fork Flat Point Solids at 2250 fps and had the client use it. The first shot in the chest appeared to penetrate all the way back to the groin and made the bull shake and back up a step and another two quick shots put him down.
This bull made magnificent trophy mount, but using the wrong rifle almost caused some big trouble.
 
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Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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I would like to do a water buffalo hunt in the Northern Territory in the future.
I presently own 3 rifles which I believe are suitable for the task.
Rifle # 1 is a Husqvarna Mauser bolt action chambered in 9.3 x 62 with a custom made peep sight.
Rifle # 2 is a Zastava Mauser bolt action chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum with a Trijicon Accupoint 1-4x scope.
Rifle # 3 is a Merkel double chambered in .500 Nitro Express with the factory iron sights.
I shoot all of them equally well and am assuming (maybe incorrectly) that a long shot on buffalo would be around 50 meters or so. Of the 3 rifles mentioned, which one do you think is most suitable for the task?
@Quaticman
Mate any of the 3 would be more than enough. Water buff have been shot with everything from 303 up. A good mate of mine used to use a 338 Federal with 185gn Barnes tsx to good effect then switched to the 358 Mitchell Express loaded with 225gr Atomic 29 projectiles. His son who used to guide clients after buff used a 35 Whelen then switched to his dads Mitchell Express.
@Dr Ray has clobbered them with a lot of bigger calibers and I'm sure @ 264 could chime in to.
If you want you could go after Bantang while you are here and then throw in a scrubber. These are mean SOBs that have a natural hate of humanity and will charge just for the exersize.
Bob
 

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