Leupold BX-4 Rangefinding Binoculars

First hand bullet performance in Africa


New member
Jun 21, 2001
Rural Wa. State/ Ellisras South Africa
One of my clients used a 300 win mag with 180 grain failsafe bullets. These bullets have a good following and have had reasonable success on
lots of big game.

However the game taken with it this past safari was left standing and un-impressed for the most part. No bullets were recovered but no exits
could be distinguished from entries.

I watched Blesbok shot through the chest run off as if un-hit. They weigh about 200-225 pounds or even more. I saw Blue and black wildebeest
stand and look at us after the shot as if unhit as well. I watched a Gemsbok take 4 shots in the chest which could be covered with a dinner plate
and it never even started to wobble. I saw a red heartabeest and a zebra run for a 1/2 mile before I finished them off with my rifle. I saw evidence
of expansion on a springbok of 65 pounds but it was more likely velocity damage not bullet expansion.

I'm sure if something solid is hit with these bullets they will crush it but I have been left pretty much unimpressed with the performance of these
bullets for the second time. I have had another client use them a year ago with un-impressive results as well.

On the other hand the standard Hornady Bullet and the Swift A frame and Trophy Bonded bullets all seemed to knock down or immobilize game
rather quickly except for the Nyala bull I shot. That was an exception in my opinion.

On this trip we recovered about a dozen bullets in total for over 60 animals and not a single X bullet or Failsafe bullet. The X bullets did leave a
heck of an exit wound on a Kudu but the others were bore diameter exits even from the 375HH using them.

I'm not anti any specific bullet just telling you what I saw and I can have several others post follow ups here confirming these findings. The man
using the Failsafe bullets will never use them again. I will tell you that right now. He was very dissapointed, We called them slightly expanding
spire point solids. I don't know what you must hit to get them to open? I do know they will not blow up on the surface because they are very hard.

I also shot a sick Impala which was previously shot or attacked because it had a dislocated and bloody left front leg. It was running on three legs
straight away from us at 80 yards. I shot it in the rump with the 375HH and a 270 grain Swift A Frame. The impala went tail over the head and
rolled to a stop at the shot. I took the perfectly mushroomed bullet out of the neck. That was hit with a very high velocity at close range and the
bullet was intact and a picture perfect mushroom. With 3 plus feet of penetration. I had an identical shot on another impala but from the front this
time between the legs and I took the 165 grain 30/06 bullet out of the large intestine 1" from exiting the natural hole under the tail. It too was a
picture perfect mushroom. The impala also fell like it was hit with a bolt of lightning.

It would be to long to continue posting all the other game I saw shot but the standard Hornady interloks, Nosler Partitions, and the bonded
technology of Swift and Trophy Bonded all worked like magic and I highly recommend them.jj
Thanx for the info on the bullets.I was considering using the Failsafes but after reading this I dont think I will be now.Thank you again for the info.BTW where bouts in Wa state you from?? :D
Right now I am living on Mt. Si east of North Bend. I'm having a hard time with the taxes here though so I'm not sure what I will do. I hate to move as I live on the edge of the some DNR land which connects to the Alpine lakes wilderness. From my house I can take my pack stock to Levenworth without crossing a road, probably 55 or more miles. With the elevations and the snow it would be a tough go, but anyplace in the lower 48 states where you have that much wildernees for you back yard is hard to give up. jj
On my hunt in RSA last year I shot 270 grain Barnes X in my 375 H&H. I recovered only 3 bullets and all were from full front or rear shots and all nearly exited on zebra, hartebeest and wildebeest. All the bullets had expanded. The shot to the zebra's rump (follow-up shot) had punched through his pelvis and shoulder before lodging under the skin. This bullet lost 3 of 4 pedals and was smashed as bad as I have ever seen for an X. These shots ranged from 20 yards to 100 yards. On all the shots that exited there was a classic "X" exit wound, but it was not very large. Although, the bullets shot well in my rifle and killed everything I hit, my PHs were not impressed with the exit wounds and blood trails and the bullets deflected from very light brush worse than any other bullet I have ever used. I would not use them again, but might try 300 grain X loads in the future. A friend I hunted with on this same trip used my Ruger RSI 308 loaded with 180 grain Federal with the Partitions and this load performed wonderfully when put in the proper spot, giving good sized exit wounds and a lot of internal damage.

I am taking 300 grain Failsafes to Zimbabwe in few days to use on buffalo and will let you know the outcome when I return.

Well JJHACK I am not too far from you then.I actually live right abouve the Monroe Fairgrounds.Keep the stories coming.My cousin has gone to S.Africa 2 times and is heading back down there next yr.
Hallo JJ, Perry & Kraven!

It's sure nice to see how your Afrikaans is picking up Perry! I've always been impressed with JJ's comand of the language, but he might soon have some competition. Just a small tip "jag" is hunt, while "jaag" means to rush or chase something.

How have you been doing Kraven? I've just received a .375 H&H from Matt that he worked on for me. I'm leaving on safari in the morning, so the new rifle may see it's first "African action" in the next few days. A local firm is now producing 380gr 375 bullets, and I can't wait to use them. Give my regards to Matt & Marie
Riaan, so glad to see you here also, funny I sent Perry(pwn) an email telling him the same thing almost exactly!

I'm glad to see another knowledgable South African here, The Africa site at Hunt America is getting more and more difficult to deal with. The guy who owns it is nit picking constantly and has some issues I guess? I don't go there to listen to all that crap I go there to vist some friends and have fun.

To bad, not much fun when you have a guy like that running the place. Some of the best people on the net regarding Africa visit that site and have to put up with him, however from my feedback they are fed up as well. To many other places to visit that are still fun to share your time with others.

Every time I posted about the use of Warne rings on that site he would post right after me with a tally post and how much better they were and how poor the warne rings were in comparision. Well guess what,... he is a dealer for Tally! You can't say a word about anything that competes with one of his "products" without his nagging BS to follow in the next post.

Enough of that, It's his game and he can play it by his rules. I might do the same in his shoes? I'm glad you can be found on this site too! I am going to diversify my business in the coming year, I think we will have to visit when I am there again to sort out some details.

lekker dag
Riaan,,,, SURE.. TEll "THOSE" guys hi but not me :D :D J/K

I didn't know that everybody from Africa knew each other.... When I lived in switzerland people said.. You live in Idaho/.... I have a friend "BOB in new Mexico.. You know him ?~?~~? Well Seems like I could ask that about Africa and you ALL do

Anayways, I would spout off a Cool Africa phrase but I have enuf of a time writing English :eek: :eek:

Please pardon my negligence and downright bad manners for not extending a howdy to you! It was not on purpose, but I’m guilty all the same. How have you been doing? I’m mid in the safari season, and have not had much time to visit the forum. I’m leaving to hunt again in about 6 hours. We’re going for gemsbok, blue wildebeest, warthog, blesbok, impala, and eland.


I might be on your side of the pond before you return to the adventurous shores of Africa. I plan on doing Puyallup Sportsman Show again in 2002, and that’s right on your current doorstep. I’ll be glad to do a sit down with a straight talking & shooting guy like you.

Have you had any word about the new .375 H&H 380 gr South African made Rhino bullet? I’ve not yet been able to lay my hands on some of these (and probably won’t be able to until somewhere in October), but man do they look impressive! I can just see them penetrating forever, and then with a good sized wound channel as well.

Well, I’ve got to catch some shut-eye now. I’ll be back somewhere during the early part of next month.

Have a super time!
Riaan it sure is great to see you here again.I will sure teel Matt and Marie hi for you.I was bye Matts house today scoutinfg for deer and elk lots of deer but no elk today.Well goodluck to you on the hunt and enjoy the .375 HH.Take care of yourself and family.
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Ja ek ook wil jag vir kos meneer pwn. Jou Afrikaans 'n bietjie beter nou boet!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I am completely speechless... both JJ & Perry will easily be seen as Boertjies. I suppose you're familiar with the term "kak skoot" as well. (pardon my french)
Riaan, I've been doing fine... Just Messing with ya BUD :D :D Just glad to SEE ya.. Seems like you will be "AFIELD" a bunch here lately..... Post a picture or two !!!!!


While bird hunting with my PH during his visit to the states this past winter, I got to describe his miserable attempts to kill pheasant in just such terms. :) He tried to blame his feeble attmpts on not being accustom to 27 degree F weather and piles of clothing I wrapped him in.

Ek is en uitstekend skoot! ;D


<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>He tried to blame his feeble attmpts on not being accustom to 27 degree F weather and piles of clothing I wrapped him in.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Your PH most certainly has my sympathy. Have a hart.... I am convinced that i myself would not even be able to hit the broadside of a barn in such conditions.

Actually, both the guys visiting did pretty well considering the conditions and the shock that the weather had to be to their systems, but I wasn't about to tell them that. I posted the above in the same humor I teased these great guys with while they were in the states. I don't think I have ever met anyone I made faster friends with than those two boers. But, I did enjoy the discomfort of those two "white hunters" a little as revenge for the jokes I sufered while I was hunting with them. How do you think I gained familiarity with the terms-"kak skeit" and "Bwana wie geskeits bietjie rooibok" ;)


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 29 June 2001 11:47: Message edited by: pwn ]</font>
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