What 30 Caliber Bullet for Bison?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by rangerman, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. rangerman

    rangerman Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2007
    I'm shooting the 300 RUM in a semi-custom Rem Model 700 Sendero with a Douglas 28" 1 in 10" twist barrel. I have a great load worked up using the 215 Berger Hybrid bullet that has allowed me to take two nice whitetail bucks the last two years - one at 586 yards and one at 634 yards both one shot DRT.
    While this bullet has performed exceptionally well on whitetail deer I realize it might not be the best bullet for larger and heavier boned game such as bison which I may have an opportunity to hunt later this year. I was thinking about working up some loads using either the 200 grain Nosler Accubond or Partition. Would these bullets be better than the Berger for bison or would you guys think the Berger would be OK? I don't expect the ranges to exceed 300 to 400 yards. Any advice is much appreciated.
    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Outlaw6.0

    Outlaw6.0 Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Interesting, I was just talking to a coworker last night who had taken a Bison last weekend with a .300win. I would recommend a heavy for caliber bullet such as the A-Frame or Barnes starting at 200grains. They can absorb a heck of a lot of lead but aren't bullet proof. The Berger might work, I have no idea i've never used them.

  3. Broz

    Broz Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Rangerman, As I stated in the other thread to your question, I have never taken a bison. But we too many elk with the 215 Berger. I don't see Bison as a hurry up deal so you should be able to put the bullet right where you want. For me that would be in the crease right behind the shoulder. Also in this below thread we took 19 big game animals with the 215 Berger. There are pics of entrances, exits and destroyed vitals. Look it over and see what you think.


  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Bison are very large animals and In my opinion need large, well constructed bullets.

    My choices would be the 200 grain Accubond or the 220 grain Partition at those distances.

    Both bullets are tough and well designed and will perform well. A big round nose bullet would
    also work well but they are getting hard to find.

    Load at or near the top pressures and they should hammer that big Buff.

    Just my opinion.

    105Coues likes this.

    BRENT ERWIN Member

    Aug 8, 2018
    We had a hunt for buffalo and there was some rules to caliber and bullet weight for our hunt. It had to a 30 cal or larger, a 180 gr bullet weight minimum. Our guide recommended Nosler partition or similar bullet construction. You had to be able to shoot a 2" 5 shot group @ 100 yards. Shots are typically under 200 yards with the majority at around 100 yards. The guide said that his preferred set up was a 338 with 225 gr or 250 gr bullets. I shot mine with a 300 win mag 190 [email protected] 125 yards. Dad used his 45-70 @ 75 yards and a 300 gr or 350 gr bullet. You have more than enough time for shot placement in our experience. I hope this helps a little. If I had any advice I would say error on the side of heavy bullets they are large animals.
  6. WildBillG

    WildBillG Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2018
    My advice would be go Barnes or Hammer. We had a large Bison bull a friend of mine got he used a 300WM and 180 Barnes MRX bullets. The range was about 150yds and the bullets stopped on the off side hide. These are thick tough creatures that bullet only hit ribs for bone. Go monolithic solids and be confident.
    RockyMtnMT likes this.
  7. Axl

    Axl Well-Known Member

    Apr 15, 2015
    Bison prob. ran away the OP was hunting... 6 years ago
  8. climb-101

    climb-101 Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    i would check on shot placement on bison. i helped my brother take one a few years ago up by gardner montana. there is a little balled patch kind of behind the front leg low in the chest, that is 1 spot. the other is down and behind the ear. that’s the one we chose. the bull dropped in its track.

    as far as the hunts go, there an easy hunt. if you can tell where there going you can just get in front of them and wait. if it’s a farm hunt that a little different.

    are you hunting a game farm or did you get a tag for some place? i have a few more tips if your interested as far as gutting them and getting the meat out.

    here is a pic of my brothers bull. it dosnt look that big in the pic on the ground but that’s camera tricks. the other pic i. the truck gives a little better idea of what the size of one can be. this bull scored around the middle of the book and it was measured about 2 years after he got it.

    Attached Files:

    slv hunter likes this.
  9. slv hunter

    slv hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2014
    I second the shot behind the ear. I have been part of 10 buffalo harvest in S.D. and the rancher always takes that shot. 215 berger will work great. He uses 300wm and 180 accubond.
  10. KamoAggie

    KamoAggie Active Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    I would NOT use the Berger. I shoot the 215 Berger out of my RUM and it works good in certain situations. Not on a Bison. I would go 220 Partition or 200 Accubond, no question.
  11. RevJim

    RevJim Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2014
    I have a buddy out here who drew a cow bison tag for the Henry Mountains, south of here. He is one tough old bird, raised in Telluride, Co and almost half mountain goat. He said the three days it ook him to get his cow was the toughest hunt of his life! Granted, these are wild as March hares, but my point, he shot his cow with his one and only rifle since 1970 (High School) a BLR .308 with 150gr corlokts ammo. He loads his own, but at factory speeds. He shot it in the crease behind the shoulder, top of the heart and he said a 1 inch thick "rope of blood" pumped right out in seconds! ha He was about 150yds from her. Myself? I'd take my 35 Whelen AI and a 200 to 250X ( I still have some 250 on hand) "maybe" my 310 Woodleighs. Don't overcook them, they are so lean they'll wear your jaw muscles out eating a steak, but its so good! :)
  12. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    FWIW - I shot a bison at 120yds with my 375Ruger and the 260gr Nosler Partition bullet. The first shot hit him behind the shoulder in the crease. The bull never even flinched and it appeared that I missed. The bull turned 180 degrees and presented the opposite broadside shot. I took careful aim and squeezed off another shot, again hitting him behind the (opposite) shoulder. The bull shuddered at impact t but just stood there. I chambered a third round but noticed that he began to wobble. He eventually fell over. I swear I thought the ground shook when the big bull hit the ground.

    Skinning the bull out revealed two perfectly placed shots, one from each side. Both bullets were recovered in the off-side hide and were perfectly mushroomed.

    Bison can soak up a significant amount of lead. My suggestion would be to use the heaviest bullet of strong construction. Bison are typically taken at short range so accuracy isn't nearly as important as bullet construction.
  13. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    duplicate post
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  14. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2011
    The Rum is certainly plenty of gun for the job but you're definitely right about the bullet.

    For myself I'd shoot the heaviest Peregrine VLR that will stabilize in your rifle next to that I'd go with probably the Swift A Frame and net the Partition.

    To make a good shot on a bison you have to get through some really tough, dirty, likely mud packed fur, an extremely tough hide and if you do hit bone it's very large and dense bone and then you still need to get to and through the vitals with substantial remaining energy.