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Hunting dangerous game

31497 Views 178 Replies 45 Participants Last post by  James Gates
This is a continuation of sorts of the "Why Cast Bullets" thread...

Few of us will ever have the opportunity to hunt dangerous game (save our brethren in the 49th State). I can see myself stalking a cape buffalo or perhaps a lion in Africa but that adventure will likely be a safari of the imagination.

Still, we can dream can't we. In that light...

What rifle / caliber / load combo would you use to hunt dangerous african game?

Would it be nuts to assume that a Marlin 1895CB in 45-70 shooting 400g+ hard cast bullets at 1900+ fps would be appropriate for the job?
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mainer, would you happen to know if the first shot on this moose was the paunch shot. just curious on this one. tbbc's are supposed to be some of the best. kind of surprised they did not go straight through.

i realize most moose hunters, especially when there are no grizzlys in the area, use more 30-06, and 308. experience says something does'nt it?

you may not be an expert as you say, but you haxe much more experience than i have. i have never killed a moose. but some day i will certainly change that.

i have heard of other big animals toughening up considerably, after a poor first shot.

thanks for your input. allways something new to think about here. halfbreed
Hello all,
       DOK, the larger diameter slugs surely make a greater impression on a critter, but I don't really think it has much to do with energy (within reason). Let me relate experiences that back my opinion...
    I have shot mule deer with a 7 mag from about 40 yds, behind the left shoulder and exiting the right shoulder, jellying everything in between. With no lungs to speak of and a broken shoulder that deer ran almost 100yds. My wife was beside me and a split second after I shot, she shot the 1st deer's companion with her .243. It dropped right there at the lung shot! And you would think it would have been adrenalized, or at least alarmed, by my shot and the other deer's flight. Who knows?
      Also, my formative years were spent hunting deer with a shotgun. A 12 ga. Brenneke slug doesn't have more energy than most high powered rifles, yet EVERY deer I shot with that slug dropped at the shot. The only deer I've seen run after being hit with a Brenneke was hit poorly (my hunting partner was not the best marksman bless his heart). These slugs don't expand and they all went completely through.
      I know that's not a conclusive study, but it's enough to convince me that energy can't be counted on. Big bullets seem to work pretty well though!               IDShooter

<!--EDIT|IDShooter|May 18 2002,19:19-->
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To amplify ID's point...

In this month's issue of Sports Afield Col. Craig Boddington says energy has little to do with charge stopping ability. He adds, it's all about large bullet diameters and deep penetration that destroys vital organs and breaks bones.
Stranger's reference to "Sports Afield" magazine caught my eye, as the "Accurate Rifle" magazine I just got today said: "We read with regret in yesterday's financial news of the demise of "Sports Afield" magazine effective with the June issue. That publication was 115 years old, started in 1887 in Denver by Claude King."

"Accurate Rifle" also had the following "letter to the editor" from Randy Garrett (following is an short excerpt):

"....... When the average shooter sees our .44 Magnum Hammerheads deliver nearly twice the penetration of the .375H&H with 300gr. Nosler Partitions, they are usually speechless. When they see the penetration of the .45-70 with proper castings, they become aware that there is an entirely new world of performance that can be had by putting down one's long range, high velocity rifles, and picking up a lever-gun in an ancient caliber."

Said magazine issue also had the first of a 10 installment article on Elmer Keith by a gentleman that knew him well. Tomorrow (it's 9:30 and my bed time) I'll give a couple examples of a few of Elmer's shooting that's included in the first installment.


<!--EDIT|DOK|May 18 2002,19:38-->
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Kind of off topic, but isn't Craig Boddington a Brig General now?

Mr. Garrett's loads are definitely worth considering it seems.  He is definitely leveling the playing field.
Halfbreed - I wish I could tell you which shot hit where 1st on that bull, but I can't.  Also, Maine F&W does a pretty good survey of all moose hunt permittees every year. One thing that never changes is  caliber choice - .30-06. I have always attributed that to the fact that most of them are merely using their deer rifles, since moose permits are awarded on a lottery basis. Nobody can really plan more than 4 months in advance on what's statistically a once in a lifetime permit. My hunters have used: .358 Win - 1; .300 WM - 1; .338 WM - 2; 375 H&H Mag. - 2; .458 Win. - 1; 30-378 WBY. - 1.   I was least impressed w/ the .300 WM but keep in mind that it was loaded w/ a 150 gr. Nosler Ballistic Point.  That moose was killed, but not very convincingly.

DOK - I am very sorry to hear about the demise of "Sports Afield" . I had re-subscribed to it a couple of years ago, when they went back to their old hunting and fishing stuff, versus the bicycle and kayak subject matter they had for a few years. Not that I have anything against bicycles and kayaks- as long as it's a pretty girl being the user.
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That's too bad about Sports Afield. I didn't know. It was a classy magazine. I think Mainer is correct though, for a time it did go adrift in search of a broader audience and it lost touch with its roots..
Danger Afield in Alaska, another tale...

Hand-held radio led to rescue
SAVED:Lost hunters sent mayday call; AWACS crew directed chopper.

By Zaz Hollander
Anchorage Daily News

(Published: May 20, 2002)
Two bear hunters stranded by a whiteout in the foothills of the Alaska Range last month survived with help from a U.S. Air Force radar plane cruising miles above the storm.

Lost without survival gear, hunters Devon Day and Mike Thompson spent the night of April 17 away from their camp in a tiny snow cave between Capps Glacier and Beluga Lake, near Mount Spurr. The next day, they struggled to walk -- much less find their camp -- as exhaustion and hypothermia set in.

Then an E-3 Sentry AWACS crew on a training exercise heard Day's mayday call on a small hand-held radio he carried. At the same time, the Rescue Coordination Center at Fort Richardson was receiving calls from other planes that were hearing the mayday. The center dispatched an Air National Guard HH-60 helicopter to the area.

The AWACS crew relayed the hunters' position to the helicopter, which was struggling to find the men in the thick cloud cover.

The copter landed on a bench at 1,700 feet and lifted them to safety. The men were suffering the effects of hypothermia but were otherwise fine.

On Thursday, Day and his family met with the radar plane crew that helped save his life. The setting: a send-off picnic for members of the 962nd Airborne Air Control Squadron who are leaving in late May or early June for Saudi Arabia to monitor the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

Squadron members who fly in AWACS -- Airborne Warning and Control System -- jets usually don't get to see such immediate results.

AWACS crews work removed from the action, strapped into chairs in a windowless airplane at 32,000 feet, staring at computer screens, radar scopes and other high-tech communications and surveillance gear.

"We have a $300 million jet that can do a lot of sophisticated stuff, and we went out there and saved a couple lives," Sgt. Julian Joseph said after he met Day's family at the picnic. "It kind of makes my job worthwhile."

If the men hadn't been rescued that day, they probably would have died, said Lt. Col. Chuck Foster, director of the Rescue Coordination Center at Fort Richardson.

Paramedics on the helicopter that rescued Day told him his body temperature was just under 94 degrees.

Helicopter pilot Lt. Col. Riff Patton said finding the hunters without help from the E-3 would have been nearly impossible because low clouds forced him to fly below the hunters and out of radio contact.

Day, a longtime friend of Judd Lake guide Dean Hilde, is a trucking and equipment contractor who lives in Anchorage. Thompson, who helps Hilde guide bear hunts, is a machinist from Maryland who lives in a suburb of San Francisco.

Both men this week acknowledged they were ill-prepared for their emergency. Day chose not to wear snowshoes when they started to hunt, and he quickly grew tired from postholing in the snow.

Neither hunter wore gloves toward the end because both had soaked through while they dug their snow cave.

And they left camp with light packs containing no survival gear, no fire-making tools, no map and no compass.

The hunters were savvy enough to stay alive in conditions that could have killed them but made several potentially fatal mistakes, such as not carrying a way to start a fire or stay warm, said Jerry Lewanski, chief ranger for Chugach State Park.

Generally, anyone heading into the backcountry should get a detailed weather forecast and stay put if he gets lost, Lewanski said.

"If you're a mile from camp, you might as well be 100 miles if you break a leg," he said. "You have to be incredibly prepared for emergencies. I'm not going to pick on these guys, because they probably did what many people do. When you leave camp, there's this false sense of security."

Thompson and Day say that's basically what happened to them.

The weather looked good the morning of April 17. The rock face where they'd seen a bear from the air was about two hours away.

Each man carried a canteen of water and a granola bar. Thompson carried an emergency blanket. Day also carried two large heavy-duty trash bags in case they had to pack out a bear hide.

About two hours out, the snow started. Day suggested they turn around.

Ten minutes later, clouds lowered to the ground and an icy snow started blowing sideways. Visibility dropped to zero.

Day, carrying a VHF radio, tried with no luck to broadcast mayday calls to jets he heard overhead four or five times that day.

The exertion of the trek soaked a cotton shirt Day wore under layers of flannel and a Gore-Tex jacket. Chilled and drained, he told Thompson he had to stop for the night about 8 or 9 p.m.

Day dug a snow cave wide enough for both men. But Day, his muscles cramping and soaked from snow that melted in the cave, didn't want to sleep. He stayed awake pacing and trying to stave off hypothermia.

The men decided to wear the garbage bags as a wind and water barrier.

At first light, they started walking again. Thompson had left his snowshoes in camp, supporting a shelter the men built overnight. Day was dizzy and shivering.

Finally, around 10 a.m. on April 18, a Federal Express jet heard the mayday message, as did several other planes that relayed the problem to the Rescue Coordination Center.

Both hunters pledge to carry global positioning system equipment in the future so they can pinpoint their camp or their position if lost.

"When I went home, I got off the plane in San Jose. I got in at like 9 or 10," Thompson said. "At 12, I was at REI. I bought a GPS" unit.
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You would think that a generation raised with Gilligan, the Skipper, Professor, Ginger, Mary Anne and the Howells would know the dangers inherent in "The Three Hour Cruise"

Seldom is it one climactic event that puts one in danger, but a series of little and stupid mistakes. The temptation to run off half naked and take a look over that little hill is deadly!

Coming up with the perfect "kit" that will cover every thing yet be small enough to go everywhere is a real science (and I have yet to master it&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo--> that needs constant attention. An "Alaska Specific" kit takes on a bit of bulk when you consider the weather extreams that we encounter. How it can be hot as heck one day and snowing the next amazes me.

I bet those guys wish that Ginger and Mary Anne were bear hunters! (a bonus would be if they liked to carry heavy packs up mountains)

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The Marlin web site has two threads going: "Big Bore Penetration Test. And the Winner is..." with 106 responses so far, and "Cast Bullets/Lever Action For Buffalo/Elephant" with 14 responses so far. The Cast Bullets/Lever Action for .... is a transplant of our thread over on the AccurateReloading site.

The Marlin address for the Big Bore Rifle option that contains both threads is:

Ross Seyfreid has an excellent article about cast bullet penetration and use in Africa in the current edition of Handloading.  Anyone that has been interested in this thread should pick up a copy.  He also covers some of the prejudicies against lever guns in Africa.
Didn't get my issue yet. What were the levergun prejudices?
Ross had none, but explained that during the golden age of African hunting most PH's were of British nationality and the levergun being an symbol of the American "Wild West" was viewed as uncivilized or not proper for the elite class of Brits that hunted Africa (no offense intended to our fine brethern here on the forum from across the pond).  Of course during those times, most levergun cartridges lacked proper loadings and those prejudicies have carried over to this day.

I guess one of the main reason folks go to Africa to hunt, is not meat, but more for the experience created in the books that were written by the British, in which the double rifles and nitro loadings were explicitly detailed.  Just as a lever gun or Remington or Winchester would serve Prince William perfectly, his stature in British (and world) society deemed it more appropriate for him to have a $40,000 243.  <!--emo&???--><img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt='???'><!--endemo-->

<!--EDIT|alyeska338|May 24 2002,16:04-->
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I am fortunate to have a choice between a 458 Win O/U double, a 416 Rem Mag, a 375 RUM and a 338 RUM. If I had to use CAST bullets, the 458 is the obvious choice. However, I shoot the 3 bolt action rifles better. The 338 RUM would work and has the lowest recoil, but is not really a stopper.

The 375 RUM and 416 Rem Mag basically tie in stopping power and handling, so its a choice between a 400 gr 416 at 2450 fps and a 350 gr 375 at 2650 fps. The 375 is the only rifle I own that is too powerful for my indoor ballistics lab, as it regularly blows up my 150 lb sand traps...from a confidence perspective I might go with the 375 RUM
I can't imagine firing one of those large calibers in an indoor environment! Yikes!!! :eek:
Well, is a BARN with strategically stacked bales of hay for noise supression. Bench works seated or standing. Good hearing protection. Way FUN!!
Well Now!.....This is an interesting run! Dangerous game comes in many shapes and sizes. A 300+ pound boar hog is just as dangerous as a rhino.....if both can kill you dead!
So......I suppose this thread is really about African size dangerous game. If so.......Let's look at history. African and Indian dangerous game was being knocked on its butt long before these mentioned "modern" cartridges were even thought of. Dangerous game is only dangerous if it is closing rather fast onto your bod. Then you can forget about long range potential.......period!
Records show that a Paradox gun, 12 bore and larger, was a favorite last ditch firearm. In the 12 bore.....a 730 gr very hard .729" bullet at 1000'/" (blackpowder load) worked well.
Followed by a Cordite load......same weight, but upped to 1200'/"
My Terminator slug/bullet load in 12 gauge pushes a 745 gr .729" bullet at 1200'/" from a 12 bore rifled barrel.
So......if the original worked, why would not my Terminator?
Think about it.......Best Regards, James
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So I guess the .458 winnie, loaded with the 465 gn Saeco hardcast gc at about 2350fps, is just pert near perfect?

Yeee ha

Hold on tight and squeeze
47-70 Safari Rifle

Why would you assume you might be nuts to think a 400/+ gr. h/c 45 caliber bullet moving at 1900 fps wouldn't be enough power for anything in Africa/any safari? When in actuality EVERYTHING in Africa(and most other parts of the world for that matter) had been dropped cleanly & efficiently with the "now-lowly" .44 magnum(yes, i LOVE the 44 mag too & wouldn't dream of not owning a few at any given time) in handgun form by the time the Disco was becoming an acceped form of dancing.
I personally would hunt Godzilla with nothing more than my 5" .454 Casull SRH & not feel i was "undergunned" Also let us not forget that a GIANT Grizzly which held the world's record for 40 some-odd years was dropped like a rabbit hit with a Cadillac with nothing more than a single round of .22 SHORT cleanly deposited in it's ear! Whether your safari becomes reality or just spends eternity in your dreams the only regret you'll have is if you DON'T use that 45-70!!!
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Depends on wheter you want to shoot everything a few yards away...OK and probably fun if you are a great hunter and like adrenalin. You loose 300 fps and 30% of your energy in just 100 yards with big bore casts if they have enough meplat to be effective on dangerous game.

Head shots work on the Big Bears, but not Buff, Rhino and big cats.
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