By Stefan Fouché

What is the most important piece of equipment you will use on your African safari to determine the success of the hunt? Will it be the calibre, the rifle itself or your optical equipment? Actually none of those. According to me it is your choice of bullet for the specific application. The point where the bullet strikes the animal is of utmost importance. An inadequate bullet can turn a dream safari into an absolute nightmare. Been there, got the T-shirt! Spending days tracking a wounded animal is hardly ideal, especially not for the animal. And in the case of a dangerous animal, you will be putting your own life, as well that of your PH and tracker, at risk.
In this section of our AFRICA’S SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE we will be showing what happened, with real bullets recovered from real animals after a hunt. We will put the facts on the table, give credit where it is due and also highlight mistakes, weak points and failures. This is what it is all about – where the Metal meets the Meat …

Richard Kok from Mashambanzou Safaris in Mozambique guided a client in the Tete area on a leopard hunt. They came to within 37 yards of a leopard and the client used his .300 Win Mag. However, the leopard was wounded as the shot was way too far back. Richard, with his double rifle in .470 NE calibre shooting 500 gr Woodleigh softs, had to follow up on the wounded cat, which charged the moment he got sight of Richard. Fortunately, Richard got in a shot at the charging leopard at 10 yards and hit him in the face. The bullet was recovered in the rump underneath the skin right next to his tail. Great penetration and the bullet still held up pretty good if you take into consideration how much bone it went through. Weight retention was 80%.

Jeff Denison hunted this old buffalo with Piet Otto, professional hunter and owner of Piet Otto Safaris in South Africa. They hunted near Hoedspruit in the Limpopo Province. Jeff used a .375 H&H shooting a 300 gr Swift A-Frame bullet at 2 400 fps. The shot was taken from 100 yards and the bull only managed a few yards before going down. The shot penetrated in a straight line, destroying the vital organs, and retained 298 gr of the original 300 gr. It is one of the better bullets to use on dangerous game, for sure!

Contributions to “Where the Metal meets the Meat” are welcome.
Please send pictures of your trophy animal and recovered bullet to ASM