Woodleigh Bullets

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Dr Ray, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    In the next day or so I will be posting an article on the penetration rates & other data. I emailed Woodleigh & I was totally surprised to actually get a very quick response. I have also spoken with Geoff McDonald from Woodleigh & he is going to provide me with photos etc.
    If you wish to contribute now with data I and I suspect other members & readers would be grateful.
    The reason I'm so interested is that I have had some very good & very bad results from using the right or wrong bullet.

    I don't want to have problems when I go hunting Oz buffalo in June & I really hate having to shoot an animal more than once. Here's a copy of the email from Woodleigh.

    Hi Dr Ray,

    We have shot a considerable number of game with the hydro solids during field testing, and it is continuing of course.

    Initially water buffalo with 375 H&H x 300 gr , also 416 Rem x 400 gr, 450 Ackley x 480 gr, 5oo Nitro x 570 gr, 338 Win and 338/06 x 225 gr.

    The 375 cal and above delivered full body penetration, length wise on mature bulls. We have also shot 7 or more elephant bulls. Side brain shots exited, one frontal brain shot and we dissected the head. The brain box had a 2” exit hole, the bullet was found in the pelvic area. We also performed penetration shots on some of the elephants on the ground, 500 N delivered 6’ of penetration, even when bone was struck. Soft tissue damage was considerable. We have shot giraffe, camel, wild cattle, donkeys, pigs, and deer.

    The performance on soft skinned animals is similar to soft nose bullets, but with a much longer wound channel. We also deliberately shot deer and donkeys through scrub to test for deflection and the bullets went right on through and did the job. The most important consideration when shooting animals in a herd, is hitting another animal behind the intended victim. You should have excellent results with the Federal Hydro loads, provided the shot is aimed at the vitals. This is critical with all bullets of course.

    We are always interested in feed back.

    Regards,

    Geoff McDonald

    Woodleigh Bullets

    PS Geoff advised me that the hydros do NOT have an upper limit in velocity – a very important point and I understand Woodleigh is holding discussions next week with Federal.

    So members and readers here’s your invitation to provide feedback to Woodleigh.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2018

  2. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I always appreciated the candid and quick response from Woodleigh to any of my enquiries. People dismiss the bullets as soft but my limited experience is that they do their job. In Africa I loaded 270 gr at 2650 fps in my 375 H&H. My Kudu could not have been more than 30 yards when I hit it in the shoulder. The near shoulder was clearly wacked but the exit hole was a neat circle. So, I presume the bullet passed the test.

    If the hydros act like soft points then that is a great choice
     

  3. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Woodleigh hydros act best with the highest velocity.
     
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  4. John J

    John J AH Veteran

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    I emailed Woodleigh on a Sunday expecting an answer in a few days or so. I had a response in a few hours. For what it's worth they make a heavy duty .375 bullet along with the standard offerings.
     
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  5. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Yes and they are very helpful.
     
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  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I’m really anxious to see some of their photos. I have some 300 and 350 gr SS I need to work up some loads for.
    Thanks for posting the info from them!
     

  7. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    @Dr Ray this is a very timely discussion as I am interested in how the Federal Premium Ammo loaded with the hydro solid might perform on hippo. Thanks for starting the thread.
     
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  8. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    When the data are available in the next day or two I’ll be posting.
    I am interested in such topic as according to my wife, I’m a nerd. Lol
     
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  9. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    I personally think in the future Bullet manufacturers might start asking experienced hunters to help in design.
    I tend to like heavy for caliber on the bigger calibers as I feel the bullets will be more stable in penetration etc.
     
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  10. Rick Cox

    Rick Cox AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
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  11. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Wait for a few days for the data coming out of Woodleigh.
     

  12. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    As a thought I wonder what the PHs prefer and their reasons. If any PH would like to respond I think members and guests would be very interested.
     
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  13. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Interesting. I think that the newer technology, such as a CEB Raptor, is not something most hunters would dream up. But, with so many good bullets in the market we can certainly ensure that they are priced fairly! Another good thing about Woodleigh is that they are priced reasonably in Canada.
     
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  14. blacks

    blacks AH Enthusiast

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    Long time fan of Woodleigh here. I've used the Weldcore version in many cals on almost everything in Australia and a good bag of Namibian plains game. They work best when driven at moderate velocities or when used on the heavy for calibre side. There's no point trying to wring extra velocity out of them. The RN version will open slightly faster then the PP version and the latter feed better from many magazines. I've found them super reliable with deep penetration (mostly exits on medium game) good expansion and 90% plus weight retention as the norm. I can't argue with that.The Hydros however I have little experience with.

    I use/d

    6.5x55 140gn PP
    7x57 & 7 RM 140 & 160gn PP
    .30/06 150 & 180gn PP
    .350 Rem Mag 225 & 250gn PP
    .375 H&H 270gn PP & RN
    .458 Win Mag 480gn RN

    @Dr Ray one thing I will add though, from your earlier post. Regardless of the bullet used, I wouldn't go to the NT expecting your buffalo to fall over after one shot. Even if the first shot is perfect and ultimately fatal, they'll often take a while to go down and multiple quick follow-ups are the norm. As they say, bullets are cheap and there's no point dying wondering ;)

    Cheers
    Tim
     

  15. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Thanks. I was thinking about a shot through the scapula to immobilize and then a shot through the upper heart to rupture the blood vessels.
     

  16. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    I pretty much only shoot Woodleigh, all kinds. Happy with them all. The Hydros are magnificent. We have used them to kill dozens of big buffalo with .30-30, .300H&H, .375H&H and .416 Rigby. I’ve also loaded a few for guys to try in .308 and .300WM. They are sensational. We use traditional, conventional velocities. I used a 300 grain Hydro for my giraffe bull. The only Hydros that have not exited bull buffalos were from the .30-30, but they put the (two) bulls down in ten and four metres. The moral is that Hydros work magnificently.
     

  17. BenKK

    BenKK AH Fanatic

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    Yes, like Tim says, while they’re on their feet keep shooting. And then shoot some more. Things can suddenly get intense if you make a careless approach. They can launch real quick.
     
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  18. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    Great choice!
     

  19. IvW

    IvW AH Elite

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    My main concern with the Hydro's(and any other solid for that matter) when used on Cape buffalo is they work too well and over penetration is a big problem. This is when hunting herds and not individual animals.

    I have on more than one occasion had instances where a second buffalo(on one occasion two additional! buffalo) have been wounded when clients used solids for back-up, after being advised not to do so! You now have the situation where you have to deal with two and in some cases three wounded buffalo!

    Very dangerous and costly indeed.

    We were hunting in Matetsi, my client had completed his wish list and he had gotten what he wanted in his buffalo. He was after the oldest, meanest looking worn buffalo I could find. He was a great client and was only interested in the experience of the hunt and finding the oldest buff with no regard for measurements or record books. This we had done by finding a lone bull, with well worn down horns, half a tail and old lion scars that had healed. He was in some bad terrain when we found him and had a temper to match his age which was estimated at about 12 years. We got a charge from 25 yards and luckily my client had listened to my advise beforehand and made a excellent shot with his 375 H&H using TBBC bullets, hitting the neck vertebrae just below the raised nose. The bulls momentum kept him coming forward but his head dropped and my shot entered the neck between his bosses and shoulders again shattering the vertebrae. We had a hell of a time setting up this old war horse for pictures with a completely shattered neck.

    The "Leader" of this group of hunters was hunting with another PH and had turned down various excellent bulls making for a frustrating hunt for the poor PH. He had asked me regarding bullet choice around the bar (more in a manner to start an argument than to really want to have my opinion) and I had advised him to use only softs as we were mainly hunting big herds and that the lone bull we had found was the exception to the rule in this area. He insisted that he had it on good authority that he was only to use solids for backup. He was quite confrontational and not wanting to get into an argument which always has the effect of changing the dynamics in camp, especially with him being the main man and having a large group in camp. I just mentioned that he could use what he liked but that he would be responsible to pay for any other buffalo wounded or shot as a result.

    The other PH asked me and my client(as we had finished hunting) if we would mind notifying them if we spotted any good buffalo as we where basically killing time by site seeing in the concession the next day. No problem.

    Next morning we found a large herd grazing towards a small river which although flanked by schrub Mopani, had some short grass along the banks. We called them on the radio and when they arrived pointed out the herd that was still a long way off.

    Long story short I was asked to accompany them on the stalk. We selected a great bull on the fringe of the herd. The initial shot at 35 yards was good, a touch high, over the hart but through both lungs. This is when things started going wrong. This was a big herd of about 250 buffalo. At the shot they all thundered off in a cloud of dust, the client reloaded and threw the rifle back to his shoulder, I shouted "Wait, don't shoot!" to no avail as he let fly! The bullet hit the rear of the bull that was quartering away on the edge of the herd entered and exited both buttocks going on to hit an old cow in her left hip. She took evasive action cutting to the right of the herd into the scrub Mopani!

    The client took off running after the herd and kept banging away, despite our warning shouts to STOP and watch for the cow! The clients PH fearing for his clients life had no option but to follow him. The Zim scout and trackers new full well that this was now a dangerous situation and no tracking required with the chaos going on wisely stayed back.This all took place within seconds. I followed my PH friend shouting to watch for the cow that had been wounded.

    When he got opposite the spot where the cow had entered the shrub Mopani, she came charging out straight at him. He was running at the time trying to keep up with the client and had no time to swing to his right and take a shot, so took evasive action to his left. I was close behind him but had luckily anticipated the actions of the wounded cow and luckily the clients solid bullet had hit the left hip not causing much damage but this had slowed her a touch. She was so close I did not need to lead my shot to compensate and aimed at the junction of her neck where it meets the shoulder, as she was charging from my right to left and the 570 gr Rhino controlled expansion bullet from my 500 Jeff dropped her in her tracks as it smashed the neck vertebrae at a mere 7 yards!

    When we reached the client and the now down but not dead bull, he was shouting for more bullets! We killed the bull and the first thing he said was "who was shooting behind me!" Without saying a word we went back to the cow with the client. The rest of the crew had now arrived and where not happy. The client looked a bit puzzled and started looking around foolishly. I pointed to the 375 H&H bullet hole on the cows hip and said you where using solids for back-up and I asked him what he would like the skinners to do with his cow-a full mount or a shoulder mount? Not waiting for a reply I turned around and walked off to have a cigarette in the shade of a Mopani as the adrenaline started wearing off and hoping that his actions would sink in and he would realise how close we had come to tragedy because of his foolish actions.

    I don't want to bore you with this account, but the moral of the story is had the client listened and used soft nose bullets for back-up we would not have ended in a life threatening situation, that fortunately for us ended up positively bar for the client who had to pay for the cow.

    Hunting water buffalo in terrain that is more open may be a different scenario completely and Hydro's or solids may be ideal, I cannot comment on that as I have never had the privilege to hunt them.

    For hunting Cape Buffalo in Africa I still feel that the use of good quality expanding bullets in an appropriate caliber, for the initial shot, is the best option for a client to use. If you decide to use Hydro's or solids for back-up, please make very sure what is going on behind what you are shooting at! This is much more difficult to do once the first shot has been taken and in the excitement, adrenaline rush and action that takes place shortly after the first shot is sometimes impossible for a client to do.

    I prefer a client to only use premium expanding bullets when hunting Cape Buffalo. Spend more time making the first shot count and less time worrying about back-up or second and third shots and you will be just fine.

    The main factor to a successful and safe Cape buffalo hunt, is the placement of that first shot.

    I look forward to the results of this thread and I hope I have not bored you with my opinion but it is one I feel strongly about when it comes to Cape Buffalo hunting.
     
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  20. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    What an excellent post. Thank you very much for this and I’m sure other members will greatly appreciate the detailed information. I know I do.
     
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