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This is a discussion on Water Buffalo Caliber within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Howdy all. I may have the opportunity to go back down under next year for a hunt. I'm hoping some of our ballisticians and down ...
I may have the opportunity to go back down under next year for a hunt. I'm hoping some of our ballisticians and down under mates can clue me in to the rifle I should bring. I will of course go over this with the guide that will be taking me out, but I wanted to get as many opinions as I can.
I'll be going for Water Buffalo, and possibly throw in a Wild Boar as well. I've loved the 45-70 from afar for years. Now that I'm going on a hunt that I could use that caliber I'm being told to go with a .375 H&H. Between the two calibers, shot out of a Ruger Number 1, which would you select, and why?
Thanks in advance for your help in making my decision.
I didn't see a PIC in your post. All I saw was a red "X".
This is a link to a PIC of an Asiatic Buffalo, and what I will be hunting if things go as planned.
Hunting in Australia with Hunt Australia Safaris
I don't believe in punishing oneself needlessly. I've never shot a 45-70, but hear they kick like a freakin' mule. I've shot a .375 and it's not unpleasant - more of a shove than a kick. I'd go with the .375. It'd probably be a better longer range gun if you get to hunt Alaska for bear/moose.
Biker I was using a .45-70 to hunt black bear this month.
Out of a Marlin 1895 lever action loaned to me by a friend.
No success at seeing any mammals but I spent 2 hrs. with it at the range to sight in.
A stupid fun round!
I'm partial to 45-70 as it's relatively inexpensive and packs a _wallop_ as on target.
Recoil is not bad at all...If you know how to shoot a rifle including properly shoulder it.
I ran through 28 rounds ranging from 300 gr to 32 gr. Hornady (high energy/high velocity) and through 3/4 box of 405 gr. Remington, which by far was my favorite.
I'd had no soreness what so ever and he next day no bruisning or anything either. It's like shooting a 3" Magnum with shot.
I stand 6.5' and am this week 171 lbs.
Not a huge guy by any means and I was completely fine.
Hopefully surefire7 will chime in on this. She's a veteran African game hunter along with her husband. Anxious to hear her take on calibers.
There is definitely some nostalgia for the 45-70 as it's over a hundred 140 years old.
From what I understand about that particular cartridge, unless you've been shooting it for a while and keen on it's trajectory performance and ballistics, it's kind of hard to hit game beyond 120 yards or so because of it's steep trajectory. They may have improved that with modern loadings... I'm not sure about that. I've only shot one a few times at around 80 yards or so. Definitely a fun gun!
You may get better results out of the .375 H&H, but I won't fault you for wanting the old .45-70 either.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
I've shot a bunch of Rem 405s loaded to 1800 out of my Marlin GG. It's not the most pleasant thing to shoot but if you can handle a heavy 12 ga. slug load, you'd be fine with the .45-70. Out of a No. 1 with a good pad, it's not bad and that weight can be loaded a bit hotter. 200 yard shots are my limit, very doable with a bit of practice. Past that, I let them walk because I'm not good enough with it.
I'd go with the .45-70 myself but that's just because I like it so much. I'm sure it would be easier to find ammo for the .375 in Australia if yours got lost though. Something to consider.
Sounds like a great opportunity.
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It was supposed to be a picture of a US Army Water Buffalo
The gun I'm using is a 1895G 18.5" ported 'Guide Gun'.
It is stock with hooded white dot front and a buckhorn adjustable rear.
The owner stated it was sighted in for 100 yds.
I had never shot a lever gun nor this chambering before and it is the first big bore rifle I'd ever shot and the most powerful round by far to date... with .308 being next highest as out of a rifle.
My targets were a plastic childrens halloween pumpkin and in front of that a paper Warren Tactical human face & torso target so as to obscure the pumpkin and imitate a bears body. The primary target was the pumpkin representing vitals (heart & lungs) set to a distance of just under 3' above the ground. Realistic for black bear.
My first shot was a 300 gr. Winchester Partition Gold JSP as into an ~18 mph. wind from left to right.
I hit the pumpkin as set at 50 yds. dead on. POA = POI.
I ran through four different chamberings ranging from the 300 gr. WPG JSP to 300 gr. Winchester JHP to Hornady Leverlution 325 gr. HP (solid copper) and finally 405 gr. Remington JSP.
Recoil with the Hornaday by far was greatest as felt but not at all uncontrollable. Interestingly though it was least accurate out of this specific gun and barrel. Every shot of Hornady fired had apprx. 4' of drift to the right.
All of the other ammo though, dead on.
Below are two pics of my targets...
.45-70 @ 50 yds.
Headshots at 50 yds.
Note: I took the headshots with POA being the middle of the 'face' square using two .405 gr. Remington.
I had been firing standing and off hand for 80% of my shooting. I had no bench rest nor bags.
For these two shots I made them seated from a bench using a close/compacted hold and using my to elbows as a rest on to the bench.
Very good accuracy with a dead on hold. At 100 yds. again it would be just over a 1" drop. Very much acceptable for purpose of hunting.
With all but the Hornady I could tag the pumpkin (I went through two) as often as I wanted.
With the 405 gr. Remington in specific I was most accurate and best able to fire quick follow up shots. That is what I wound up choosing to run with toward my hunt as for those reasons; accuracy and quick follow up shot capability.
Honestly if I had not run out of light nd low on ammo, I'd still be there right now.
In fact I'll be back at the range Sunday to train some more with it just because it's that much fun to shoot. Also I need to pattern a pair of shotguns for upcoming deer season too.
I'd read all over the internet about how recoil with this cartridge out of this specific gun was high and possibly even the highest felt recoil by math figures of anything out there conventional for hunting purposes.
Oppositely though I'd also read a lot of folks could shoot this well and have no ill effects physically. Camp seemed to be firmly one or the other.
As it turned out I am of the other.
I'd videotaped myself shooting this as well focused not on the target but on my body so as to monitor how I was handling the recoil.
Bottom line, no problems and with ease. As well I didn't even have recoil induced blinking which is optimal for accuracy purpose (not blinking).
I did though let a guy in the next lane to me shoot it as he asked for a try. I'd warned him before hand that the recoil is stout. He replied that he's been shootin' since he was a kid (looked ot be mid 20s) and that he normally shoots large caliber hunting rifles. Even as he did to start refer to this gun as being a 'cowboy gun', which it very much is not even as it is lever action rather than bolt.
So anyway I give him the least stout round being a 300 gr. JHP and he fires it completely missing the target at 50 yds. by over a foot high and left. As well he had poor shouldering and bad foot placement & balance. The recoil pushed him back 2.5 steps. He put the gun down and walked off to not ask anything further. His buddies snickered.
That wasn't fair though as he clearly just didn't know how to shoot a rifle. They went back to shooting the .223 ARs they had brought along.
I'm convinced that the woe is me sore shoulder reporting about recoil on this gun are due to folks just simply not knowing how to properly shoulder and handle a rifle. With lesser chamberings you can get away with poorness to a greater degree. But with this I could see how a person would be punished badly if they didn't do things correctly.
I like this gun so much I've decided it will be my next acquisition and become my multi-purpose do it all hunting rifle.
Throguhout New England/Northeast it's all 100 yd. shots anyway and the ballistics for this aside from the Hornady with ballistic tip really put the effective and fair chase range at 200 yds. maximum. At that range it's got over 34" of drop per ballistics tables. Sighted in at 50 yds. it's got just over 1" of drop at 100. This is not a .308. But it's not intended for long distance hunting. Nor is the .375 H&H.
For long distance hunting at equal power levels on target one would be looking at 7MM Magnum or something in that area. A completely different purposed firearm.
The .45-70 out of a lever gun in specific is a dangerous game gun. Sights come up really easy and quick. Tag the trigger and BOOOOM! Thunder struck.
Corbon makes a DPX JHP round for this as well as others including a guy in Montana producing 500 gr. projectiles that folk are using on elephant and hippo, in Africa, with humane one shot kills to brains and vitals.
Being in Aussie land though as mentioned by KPW find out now before you go how plentiful .45-70 AND .375 H&H are there, before you make any further thoughts on a purchase.
Bringing ammo out of the US and into a foreign country might not pan out for ya otherwise.
Here is the specific model I am now angling to locate.
Perfect for me as the 1895G lever is too small for my hands (I have to use two fingers) and the SBL being full stainless rather than blued steel makes it perfect for all conditions use. As well the top mount scout rail with iron backups is pretty much exactly how I would have rigged up an 1895G anyway. So being the factory does it for ya it's to my mind a perfect choice for use in spitting out these rounds that are the size of lugnuts and leave dime sized holes in stuff through and through.
Did I mention it is fun as heck to shoot!!
Marlin Model 1895M in 450 Marlin
Marlin Firearms - Press
Marlin?s Newest .45-70: The Model 1895SBL
YouTube - Gunblast.com - Marlin 1895 SBL .45-70 Lever Action Rifle
With more time to train and get more familiar with the round as related to distance and wind condition results, I'd be in a day or two able to hit the center ring exclusively shot after shot as again just using notably cruddy iron sights alone.
The SBL models ironsights are from XS and superior in design never mind running a red dot or scope on this. A combination that would be deadly within a practical range/arc of 200 yds. or less.
Wow! Neat trip. Glad you have the opportunity to go. Although it's been several years since I've been able to hunt, I'd go with the 45-70 out of the lever gun. Single shots are great, and the Ruger #1 is a masterpiece. I used several of them for many years, but not on dangerous game. I want the availability of multiple shots if necessary. I know the guide is there with a back up, but the unforseen does happen. i like to depend on myself.
Whatever you choose, have a great trip. You deserve it!
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I don't know anything about shooting/hunting water buffaloes or any other Australian/African game.
I do have a Marlin guide gun in 45-70, the recoil is not punishing at all, it's about like shooting a shotgun. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'd want to shoot a water buffalo with my guide gun, there are probably much more appropriate calibers/rifles out there.
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The .375 will have a flatter trajectory, due to their bullet design over traditional .45-70, but these new Hornady LeveRevolution, might just need you to test them out:
Last edited by zacii; November 14th, 2009 at 08:04 AM. Reason: added link
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I vote for 45-70. If you are looking for some hotter loads look into the Buffalo Bore or Garrett loads.
I'd definitely talk with your outfitter/guide and ask them. I'm a big 45/70 fan (have 3 of them) but the 375 H&H makes at least 1000 more ft. lbs. of energy than a 45/70.
If I were going, and the 45/70 was enough cartridge, I'd love to do a hunt like this with my Shiloh-Sharps:
If I were looking for maximum firepower, I'd use my 1895 Cowboy with it's 9+1 capacity:
Or, for a shorter, quicker handling gun, my 1895 SS:
The only Ruger #1 I own is in a varmint caliber but it is a fantastic gun. If you want a single shot, the Ruger #1 would be an excellent choice, though they are not known for pin-point accuracy.
Good luck and have fun.
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That is exactly what I would do.
Take a look at these figures as reported during testing in the Guns & Ammo Magazine article link I'd posted prior...
Also agreed the Leverlution reportedly shoot flatter thanks to their being high velocity and low weight with better ballistics, resulting in quicker/lower time of flight and higher energy as on target at a given range of distance.Shootng The New Marlin 1895SBL .45-70
Factory load Velocity (fps) Standard Deviation (fps) 100-Yard
Federal 300-gr. Speer HCSP 1702 31 2.50
Winchester 300-gr. JHP 1665 36 2.00
Winchester 300-gr. Partition Gold 1799 15 1.68
Hornady 325-gr. FTX 1817 31 1.38
Black Hills 405-gr. FPL 1184 10 2.45
Remington 405-gr. SP 1219 58 2.50
Garrett 420-gr. SHC/HH 1738 12 2.25
Buffalo Bore 430-gr. LFN/GC 1834 7 2.38
Garrett 540-gr. SHC/HH 1492 8 1.88
Source - http://www.shootingtimes.com/longgun...03/index1.html
BTW I forgot to add last night below is an image of the target rig as setup in my backyard.
I was using this during dry fire practice prior to going to live fire at the range. Distance is just under 50 yds.
Note the target area focus is _far_ smaller than that of a water buffalo. And again I'm using iron sights that are relatively cruddy.
If with that I can take center of mass/vitals as within a 7" circle at 50 yds.
Then scoring a hit to vitals on a water buffalo at 100 or even 150 yds. would be cake....As long as you're a half way decent shot with a rifle, or better yet a slug shotgun which this is most akin to in recoil and shooting style.
Key is to do your homework and select the correct projectile type & weight.Wildebeast, among others taken with a .45-70 Marlin 1895S
Austin Watts and the Blue Wildebeest he killed with the 400 grain Buster fired from an 1895 Marlin topped with a 2.5x Leupold scope. The Buster bullet broke both front shoulders and exited, anchoring the animal on the spot. Austin stated that his PH, Willem von Royen of Chris Troskie Safaris, was skeptical of his “cowboy gun.” However, he was impressed with the results and now plans to get one.
Source - New Barnes Buster? | Barnes Bullets
Also to go to the range and get proficient as within and just beyond practical distance for your hunt.
But then this should be done for any arm as toward any type game.