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Will a .308 Kill a Buffalo Humanely?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by twoblink, Jun 26, 2004.

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  1. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    Will a .308 Kill a Buffalo Humanely? Errr... That's pretty much the question..

    Or do I really really need a 45-70?
     
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    A heavy .308 has more than enough power, and consider that a SP load will expand out. Just make sure you don't use a light bullet. 160+ grain would be good.
     
  3. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Bison or buffalo? What kind of buffalo?

    John
     
  4. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    I'm not very clear on my Bison vs Buffalo... Care to share?
     
  5. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

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    Africa, Asia or America? Buffalo in Africa, Water Buff (+ others) in Asia, bison in the US.
     
  6. Glamdring

    Glamdring Member

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    With a fail safe and my 308 I would feel comfortable hunting buff.

    For stopping I would prefer something a bit bigger and solids.
     
  7. 444

    444 Member

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    I have no experience in the matter, but of course I do have an opinion.
    No matter which species you are talking about, I would consider the .308 to be on the light side for an animal of that size. There is no doubt what so ever in my mind that a .308 is capable of killing a buffalo, bison, or water buffalo; and killing it humanely. However, the problem we run into is, what if you don't have a picture perfect shot ? Picture perfect meaning, the animal standing broadside to you and not moving where you need the least amount of penetration and have the maximum chance of placing the bullet precisely where it needs to go. If the bullet hits a heavy bone, or the animal is angled away from you .................................. it may not be up to the task.
    If you are talking African Cape Buffalo, then no, the .308 Winchester is not adequte and I dont' think it is even legal. With large dangerous game animals your goal is to "break the animal down". A bullet hitting the animal anywhere but in the CNS will take some amount of time to kill it. It may be very quick, but it will take some amount of time. So, you shoot to try to break major bones that would incapacitate the animal so he can not "get you" while he is dying. An example might be a shot through both front shoulders. I wouldn't want to count on a .308 to accomplish that. I wouldn't trust expanding bullets for that and I don't even know if I would trust a .45/70 for that although I would be much happier with a .45/70 than I would a .308,
    Disclaimer: This is all based on stuff I have read and may be total BS.
     
  8. HankB

    HankB Member

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    A .308 WILL kill any buffalo - including African Cape buffalo - cleanly. BUT you will have to place your bullet with surgical precision. I've used a .375 H&H to take a couple of Cape buffalo, and believe me, I would not feel at all comfortable using a .308.

    Still, cropping officers in Zimbabwe often used FAL rifles with military ammo to kill elephants - and the 7.62mm ammo they used is basically a .308 with a military FMJ bullet. (Though I understand it didn't work very well on mature bull elephants.) But of course, these guys got a lot of practice on game.
     
  9. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    What Hank said is correct..

    The problem with using a sub caliber weapon on large game is the precision needed precludes any off angles and you have no room for error. A heavier caliber allows for off angle penetration.

    I've killed about a dozen bison with a .308win. All head shots and never under hunting conditions. But here is a wake up call for you. a 150gr corelokt at under 20 feet will not exit on a bisons head from a side or front angle.

    I was reading an article the other day about elephant croping. This ranger stated that he required all of his game rangers to use a .458 win until they could prove that they could place a bullet into an elephants brain from any angle then and only then did he allow them to use their FAL for elephant croping.
     
  10. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    Will a 300WSM do the job a bit better, or do you really need to step up to the really big loads like a 375H&H or .416Rigby?
     
  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    First off lets define the buffalo. On cape buffalo the minmum caliber that may be used legally for sport hunting is .375H&H or in some countries the 9.3MMs.

    On American bison you can shoot them with whatever you please.

    But to answer your question a .300mag of any type really doesn't give you a "kill" or penetration advantage over a .308win. They only make it easier to hit at longer ranges due to the flater tajectory.

    If you want more kill you need more diameter and weight.
     
  12. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    H&H, so what you are saying is, I need a .416 Rigby right?

    :evil:
     
  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    :D Yes Twoblink you most definatley need a .416Rigby!!!!....

    no doubt about it........
     
  14. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Any excuse to buy a new rifle is a good excuse.

    You get many Bison in Taiwan?

    :D
     
  15. twoblink

    twoblink Member

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    All we have here are Water Ox..

    Naw. I just need an excuse for a big caliber..

    Things like .22LR's are easy to justify "The ammo's cheap!"

    Things like 308's are easy to justify "Hey, it's versatile and a NATO round!"

    But big caliber guns need big excuses..

    "Honey, I saw in the National Geographics, a story about a guy who was run over by a Bison. So I'm just trying to protect us is all..."

    You think it'll work?
     
  16. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Twoblink,

    Now your on the right track..

    The "We could all die if I don't get this rifle is always a good starting point."

    Go for it...:cool:
     
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