Woodleigh - what's too fast?

Pheroze

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The Woodleigh manual has suggested impact velocity listed. The text suggests you can go faster and achieve excellent results, but the impact range will give the most predictable performance. I have read stories that suggest 100 -200 more fps is still fine. But, I have also read about over expansion. Does anyone have a sense what velocity over the listed range is just too much for these bullets? Is there a reasonable margin over these listed ranges one can play with? Any direct experience?
 

Pheroze

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sgt_zim

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Wowser. You'd have to push a really light bullet out of a magnum to get one going 'too fast.'

I've always been a heavy-for-caliber kind of guy, so that's never been an issue for me.
 

Bullthrower338

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In my experience I would not use a woodleigh on heavy game again. I don’t buy into the theory that says yes you had an epic bullet failure but the (fill in animal) is dead. Seen two failures that were almost identical and that’s enough for me.
 

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In my experience I would not use a woodleigh on heavy game again. I don’t buy into the theory that says yes you had an epic bullet failure but the (fill in animal) is dead. Seen two failures that were almost identical and that’s enough for me.

As someone who shoots hundreds of buffalo with Woodleigh bullets of all shapes and sizes I respectfully disagree with your conclusion, despite breaking a 410 grain solid in half once upon a time.
 

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Frankly, I’d use them within the recommended range.

If you want to go harder, go up in weight, up in calibre or use a Hydro.

I’ve never had a failure with a Woodleigh, but others have so I’m not going to tell you they’re perfect.

That said, I’m by happy with the results I’ve had.
 

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On my first trip to Africa I used the wrong bullet - the standard 180 grain .308 instead of the magnum version, in my single-shot .300H&H. It was devastating, but I didn’t make that error again. I remember the devastation on a chital stag I shot at 110m, and how the bullet (standard version) was shattered and mangled. The stag went straight down. I don’t recommend using these standard Woodleighs in the faster cartridges, but they can work. On buffalo we had a couple of wild times, but using the magnum 180s it’s much more relaxed.
 

Pheroze

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Thanks guys. I should have clarified why I am asking. My eventually-to-be 400 H&H can push a 400gr bullet just under 2400 fps. The 400 gr Woodleigh lists the "impact velocity" at 2200 fps. So, I am qustioning whether the first 40 yards or so before the velocity drops enough will result in bullet failure. I recalled reading somewhere that Holland and Holland expected the Woodleigh to be used:unsure:
 

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BenKK, you have probably shot more buffalo with Woodleigh's than any other AH member. Could you please post a more comprehensive review of the Woodleigh bullet's performance you've experienced. If different calibers, velocities, bullet weights and types are involved, please differentiate.
 

Pheroze

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Do you have access to Swift or Barnes bullets?

Yes. But the issue is the diameter.: H&H has opted for .411. Hornady (I believe) have set a .410 standard for the 450/400 and that seems to drive the bus on this issue. e.g. A Frames are .410. I have no idea whether that .001 is significant for accuracy or barrel wear etc. Barnes has a 300 gr. CEB have a .411 but for a DG caliber I am also looking for a soft that won't full penetrate after listening to concerns raised by @KMG Hunting Safaris.

Northfork is gone.

Hawks are an option but I haven't seen any DG reviews for them.

So that leaves the .411 Woodleigh. If I cannot utilize the full potential of the 400 H&H with a soft then I guess I just download it. But, I would like to run it to its potential.
 

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Yes. But the issue is the diameter.: H&H has opted for .411. Hornady (I believe) have set a .410 standard for the 450/400 and that seems to drive the bus on this issue. e.g. A Frames are .410. I have no idea whether that .001 is significant for accuracy or barrel wear etc. Barnes has a 300 gr. CEB have a .411 but for a DG caliber I am also looking for a soft that won't full penetrate after listening to concerns raised by @KMG Hunting Safaris.

Northfork is gone.

Hawks are an option but I haven't seen any DG reviews for them.

So that leaves the .411 Woodleigh. If I cannot utilize the full potential of the 400 H&H with a soft then I guess I just download it. But, I would like to run it to its potential.
I would bet the .410 would work. Do you already have the 400 H&H ordered?
 

Bullthrower338

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As someone who shoots hundreds of buffalo with Woodleigh bullets of all shapes and sizes I respectfully disagree with your conclusion, despite breaking a 410 grain solid in half once upon a time.
Ben,
I’m glad you have good luck with them and have the opportunity to shoot hundreds of buff in OZ! Unfortunately it costs me a pile of money to shoot buffalo any where and I lost all confidence in the bullet because of bonding failure. I may have been pushing a little to hard out of the 505 Gibbs, but the second time I saw the same failure the bullet was working inside the velocity envelope.
 

Pheroze

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I would bet the .410 would work. Do you already have the 400 H&H ordered?
I have all the bits, a Brno ZKK action, reamer, Douglas barrel, wood for a stock, dies, brass etc.. I stopped production, but I am making plans to pull it all together.
 

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Yes. But the issue is the diameter.: H&H has opted for .411. Hornady (I believe) have set a .410 standard for the 450/400 and that seems to drive the bus on this issue. e.g. A Frames are .410. I have no idea whether that .001 is significant for accuracy or barrel wear etc. Barnes has a 300 gr. CEB have a .411 but for a DG caliber I am also looking for a soft that won't full penetrate after listening to concerns raised by @KMG Hunting Safaris.

Northfork is gone.

Hawks are an option but I haven't seen any DG reviews for them.

So that leaves the .411 Woodleigh. If I cannot utilize the full potential of the 400 H&H with a soft then I guess I just download it. But, I would like to run it to its potential.

Just remember that you get Woodleigh in a SP and a PP. The SP, obviously standing for Soft Point, and the PP standing for Protected Point, which means the copper jacket comes around more, leaving less lead exposed for a more controlled expansion, and I suppose better penetration. Personally I shoot the normal SP's out of my 500 N.E, for a faster expansion on the cats. I have heard mentions of the SP's being too soft, but this has certainly not been my experience. They are perfectly capable of breaking the near shoulder on a Buff and sitting under the skin on the opposite side. I have experienced this on multiple Buff, and have never found them "too soft."
Certainly can't go wrong with the Swift A Frames if they will work in your rifle.
 

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Just remember that you get Woodleigh in a SP and a PP. The SP, obviously standing for Soft Point, and the PP standing for Protected Point, which means the copper jacket comes around more, leaving less lead exposed for a more controlled expansion, and I suppose better penetration. Personally I shoot the normal SP's out of my 500 N.E, for a faster expansion on the cats. I have heard mentions of the SP's being too soft, but this has certainly not been my experience. They are perfectly capable of breaking the near shoulder on a Buff and sitting under the skin on the opposite side. I have experienced this on multiple Buff, and have never found them "too soft."
Certainly can't go wrong with the Swift A Frames if they will work in your rifle.

I can agree 100% to this. I have had great success with the Woodleigh's out of my 470NE
The moderately low 2050-2200FPS in the NE allows for perfect expansion especially in the larger cal.
Recovered bullets from a lion(18M) & (+/- 80M) buff which looked near identical to the example on the box. Same for the.404 Jeffery (Norma African PH loaded with Woodleigh's 450grn at the advertised 2150FPS) gave the same results, bullet recovered from a giraffe had near identical expansion to the others.

Personally I like them, but can imagine they might not perform perfectly over 2250FPS, IMO is above the ideal, id rather go with the Swift A frames at 2400fps.
 

BenKK

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Ben,
I’m glad you have good luck with them and have the opportunity to shoot hundreds of buff in OZ! Unfortunately it costs me a pile of money to shoot buffalo any where and I lost all confidence in the bullet because of bonding failure. I may have been pushing a little to hard out of the 505 Gibbs, but the second time I saw the same failure the bullet was working inside the velocity envelope.

What projectile were you using, out of interest? I was corresponding with Kevin Robertson about some sick buffalo, and we digressed onto bullets. I was using 600 grain Woodleigh PPSNs to incredible effect from my .500J, but only travelling at 2138fps (another one of my sordid secrets, I rarely push a bullet fast). He hates the big Woodleigh for his .500G, busting many of them in a displeasing manner (I don’t know the velocity). But for me, at that velocity, those big 600s were the absolute soul-shaking kiss-of-death to naughty buffalos.
 

Bullthrower338

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What projectile were you using, out of interest? I was corresponding with Kevin Robertson about some sick buffalo, and we digressed onto bullets. I was using 600 grain Woodleigh PPSNs to incredible effect from my .500J, but only travelling at 2138fps (another one of my sordid secrets, I rarely push a bullet fast). He hates the big Woodleigh for his .500G, busting many of them in a displeasing manner (I don’t know the velocity). But for me, at that velocity, those big 600s were the absolute soul-shaking kiss-of-death to naughty buffalos.
I will look when I get back to Houston which I was using in the 505 and let you know.
 

bruce moulds

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funny you never hear this debate about swift.
on a different note, I have seen a Woodleigh 270 gn pp 375 bullet stay in a camels head when shot from behind with a max h&h load at close range.
ben kk explained how Woodleigh has a tougher version of the 300 gn in this calibre.
when the proverbial happens it will be at very close range with nowhere to run & nowhere to hide, and no time to do it.
a bullet that will do that might be too much bullet at long range, behaving like a solid.
bruce.
 
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