Going Heavy with Hornady - By Matt Selge

Upon being hit, all that big bull could do was turn 90°, he then keeled over. I put one insurance shot in the spine before we took pictures with it, but it was just that, and insurance shot. The skinned and gutted carcass weighed a shade over 900 pounds. The bullet ended up in the hide on the opposite side of the Buffalo.

I shot the buffalo on December 3rd 2019 at “Ox Ranch” near Uvalde Texas. We estimated his live weight to be somewhere between 1800 and 2000 pounds.

The bull being part of a herd with probably 5 to 7 cows and several calves, made my shooting situation quite interesting. Twice I tried on foot to get a good angle on the big bull, but to no avail. The cows did everything in their power to stay between me and the bull. We got back in the jeep and headed the herd off at a dried out riverbed.

Finally, for a split second, the two cows that had been standing in front of the bull moved out of the way. Standing broadside, 70 to 80 yards away he was facing to the right, but slightly quartering towards me by somewhere between 2.5 and 5 degrees, but no more than 5 degrees. Based on the demeanour of the cows, who were getting mighty testy at the time, I knew this was probably the only opportunity I was going to have at the bull.

 The bull went a total of 0.0 feet. No joke. When he took the bullet, it was as though he was hit by the hammer of Thor!

When you take a buff that is standing broadside, you shoot above the shoulder 1/3 of the way up. This will ensure that the bullet perforate the pulmonary artery and both lungs. That is what happened in this case. 

I have literally never seen a game animal of his stature take a hit as hard! I have never seen an animal bleed so much from the nose and mouth! It was by far the most ethical and humane kill I have ever seen.

Was it a good shot on my part? I guess so. But to be completely frank, one can probably tell that I’ve done my research on shot placement. I can’t thank Craig Boddington and Dr. Kevin Robertson enough for the information that they have conveyed to me on this topic through their writings. Also, while the shot didn’t occur at point blank range, 70/80 yards is essentially a gimme in my book. I would guess that virtually every seasoned hunter I know could have made that shot pretty much 100% of the time. I don’t want to boast about the shot I made. In my book, that’s a pretty elementary shot.

However, I do want to elaborate on the fact that the 9.3 X 62 absolutely laid down the law on the biggest buffalo I’ve ever seen.

For the record, I hold the Hornady interlock in high esteem. As to the damage; both lungs had extensive trauma. The pulmonary artery looked as though it had been exploded, there is quite an exit wound on the opposite side of it! I would say it’s roughly 2 inches in diameter.

I purchased my new Zastava Mauser last spring, and that is the rifle I used. As to ammunition, I used my own handloads which are loaded to factory specifications. So in essence, the load I used was the same as Hornady’s factory load. (286 grain interlock bullet, 57.5 grains of Varget powder, Hornady brass and federal large rifle primers.