Adventures in SA this past season.


New member
Jun 21, 2001
Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
This was the shorter trip of the two hunting seasons I spent in Africa this year. It was suppose to be the relaxing one too! I had 7 hunters and more PH's to help then I needed, so I should have had some time to myself. Well that was not to be, I actually had a fair amount of work with some of the things that came up. I also had so much excitement packed into 3 and a half weeks I don't know where to begin! We were charged by a cow elephant in the Kruger park, and had a huge male lion actually make contact with the passanger side window of the little volkswagon bus we used for our tour. The growl he let out when we disturbed his relentless mating with a female would make your hair stand up! I'm sure I can get the video when the guy who took it has his videos sorted out. It may be of the head liner of the VW bus as the occupants of the VW hit the other side of the bus much harder then the lion hit the passanger door and window!

Two of the hunters had never even shot a rifle in their lives and wanted to shoot quite a lot of animals. I spent a few days getting them comfortable with the gun and getting on target as quickly as they could. They were both sharing my magic wand of a 30/06 with new pac-nor barrel installed by John Ricks. The load was the new Hornady 165 grain interbond. I loaded them with 58 grains of 4350, federal 210's and chrono'd them at 2900fps or a bit more. Even the novice shooters managed 1 to 1.5" groups at 100 yards.

This little adventure with these two guys was a research project as well. What better way to test bullets then with somebody else shooting so you can watch the results? I have used quite a few different bullets in my 30/06. For many years I used the 165 grain Aframe as my primary choice. I have no compaints with the Aframes except cost. They are a bit on the stiff side for a slow rifle like a 30/06 and I feel they do work a bit better in the faster 300 magnums.

These new interbonds and the new Swift Scriccaco or how ever you spell that silly word, First rule of marketing, pick a freaking name people can use for goodness sakes!

Anyhow, We shot about a dozen animals from a huge caracal cat to A couple huge Kudus with these 165 interbonds and nothing is still alive or missing so they worked as well as I could have hoped for. They are also quite a lot softer and easier to make expand then the Aframes. For slower 30 caliber rifles(30/06-308 etc.) that may be a bit of an advantage. The interesting thing about them is the lack of recovered bullets. We only found one with all the big animals shot! With the Aframes I have about a 25% recovery rate of bullets, with these Interbonds I recovered only one and that was with a bit of luck as I will explain.

We had bullets exit 2 huge Kudu from just about 125 yards after breaking a shoulder. I have rarely seen a 30/06 do this except with the X bullets. Same penetration for Wildebeast and Zebra too.

I'll explain about the recovered bullet. The fellow shooting was at about 130 yards in fairly thick bush. I asked countless times if he could see the gemsbok and he said no. After stalking about an hour or more and covering around a mile he finally saw them standing in the bush but had no clear shot. I told him he had no clear shot, he thought it was a good chance! Remember this fellow's first hunting experience in his entire life at 52 years old was on this trip!

We milled around the bush waiting for the gemsbok to move or shift position to give us an open shot. We squatted down, stood on the tips of our toes, leaned and stretched and did everything possible to find a clear shooting lane. He was standing about 10 feet away from me while I'm constantly sorting out the group for bulls, cows, and trophy quality. When he has an open shot it's not a good bull, when we see a good bull there is no open shot. A few times we see the bull in the open and another Gemsbok walks in front or behind him while grazing.

The anticipation of this is dragging out and often tends to cause poor judgement from impatience. I realize this from many poor judgement calls in my past. I must fight the urge to have him shoot, and use my best judgment not to let him talk me into a poor shot. Then he says: I see him clearly and it's the big bull. I squat down holding my leica's on my knees to steady them. I see it perfectly and assume he can as well. He asks if he can shoot and I say if there is no brush in the way take the shot aiming at his last rib. The bull was quartering away slightly.

At the shot looking through my glasses I see a limb from a tree fall over and the gemsbok bucks like a horse while running away. Hmmm there was brush in the way and I'm sweating this out now! I know it was hit but how bad? As I run ahead I chamber the 458 Lott for some possibility of needed help. I see the Gemsbok standing in very thick bush but he is really bad off. I suggest the hunter give him one more. He shoots him in the chest from 60 yards or so and the game is over. A nice big Bull for his troubles. Looking back at this, few hunts have so much anticipation, making this one knda nice.

When I look at the bull after pulling him out of the sickle bush he has a 4" long gash in his side with intestines hanging out. That tumbling bullet still hit the mark and ripped this guy a hella big wound! We recovered the bullet backwards and bent in the skin of the front shoulder. To see this bullet without knowng the story it would appear as a total failure. However knowing this was a bush wacker on it's way to the target makes me feel all is right with them. Especially considering all the others so far exited with impressive results. I'll post a couple photos here so you can see.

This Gemsbok Photo is from another Bull shot quartering away at about 150 yards. the bullet went in behind the shoulder and exited the neck. Anyone with Knowlege or experience with Gemsbok knows how thick and tough the skin is. It's much like the skin over the ribs of wild boar. To see this exit was impressive to me. I have recovered plenty of 270 grain A frames from Gemsbok, Wildebeast and Zebra. However I had 100% exits from the 30/06 with this load(exception of the bushwacker). It's also important to realize that they are expanding as the size of this hole will show!


This big bull had a through and through penetration from the 165 grain interbond. The bull's score was 53-7/8"

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 07-28-2003 15:38: Message edited by: JJHACK ]</font>

Calif. Hunter

Active member
Dec 13, 2000
Apple Valley, CA, USA
Thanks for the report! I've loaded up some of the Interbonds in 130 gr for my .270. I plan to use it on mule deer this year, unless I go with my trusty ol' .30-06.


New member
Jun 2, 2003
so. Utah
nice bull kjack I just returned myself, & was that ever fun, I got a kudu as well, plus a wildabeest,warthog,blesbuck,hartebeest,impala,duiker, it should be a long time before I can finace to go there again, after I get my taxidermy paid for, I sure had fun seeing & shooting such a variety of critters.
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