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Until a few weeks ago I had no experience of Rhino bullets. Then I witnessed the perfect performance of a 340 gr Solid Shank from a .375 H&H on the heavy boned, heavy muscled, very thick skinned giraffe.
The 17 year old schoolboy shot it with the ranch PH's lightweight Sako Finnbear and the beast went 20 yard and died. Read the story here (which includes the crossbow kill by a young Texas girl of a very big bull giraffe the following day).
Mimosa brush prevented a heart shot so the PH whispered placement instructions on a little pattern on the skin over the scapula to the kid. He put the bullet offhand onto a dime. During skinning and quartering I followed the bullet's path - it had entered the scapula, passed through a rib, completely severed the pulmonary artery, passed through an opposite rib, broke through the scapula and came to rest against the almost 1" thick skin.
Here is the recovered solid shank bullet, having retained 99% weight:
Seeing the exactly 2x calibre expansion I was impressed by such penetration and again had to admire the pleasing ability of the .375 H&H, the old Africa DG stalwart with its low recoil - and enhanced by the weight retention of the Rhino bullet .
The selling points for the Solid Shank bullets are the following (quoted from their website):
Deep penetration. The solid rear section stops expansion at the right diameter, ensuring very deep penetration.
Lead Core. The lead core bonded to the copper jacket makes separation impossible with no bullet breakup with very deep penetration and low meat damage.
High weight retention. The bonding process gives very high weight retention in excess of 95%.
Tapered Sides. Tapered Sides give consistent expansion at close and long range at high and low velocities.
As mentioned above I certainly can attest to the benefits gained by its good penetration - the latter stemming from the advantage of high weight retention which in turn is mostly due to the good design feature of proper bonding between the lead core and frontal section jacket.
While this is a sort of hybrid partitioned bullet in the design of the old T-Mantel of RWS, and the functionality what the Nosler Partition pursued it shares none of the immediately-on-impact weight loss the latter design suffers.
The advantages and benefits of the "Tapered Sides" feature allude me and closer clarification of this has been asked of Rhino bullets.
The design of this bullet stems from the requirement by hunters (and here I include myself) who prefer less than 2x expansion to ensure the best velocity retention and stability through the animal.
Quoting from the Rhino website:
Designed for hunting and target shooting.
Made from pure copper with no lead.
Specifically designed to form a smaller mushroom which produces a smaller wound channel.
The smaller wound channel allows for deeper penetration and minimal meat damage.
You cannot produce bullets for Africa and not have a solid series in calibres of .338" and higher. Here is the Rhino offering:
Here is what is said about Rhino's solid bullets:
Specifically designed for big dangerous game. Often used by professional hunting guides in their backup guns to eliminate threats from poorly placed shot by their clients.
Made up of 95% brass and 5% lead. The lead acts as a lubricant and pressure rings are added to the bullet to lower the pressure in the barrel.
Made for extreme penetration through the toughest skinned animals on the planet.
This bullet will not even mushroom or deform.
The design principle driving the "pressure ring" feature, and its benefits and advantages will be discussed in the communications with Rhino.
Like the GS Custom bullets, the Rhino website quotes very good reviews from local as well as international users.
Here are the questions forwarded to Rhino Bullets:
1. Tell us about the history and timeline of the Rhino bullet conception and production?
2. What were the design drivers for the nose section designs of your solid shank and solid series bullets?
3. Copper surface coating to decrease bullet friction: It is known that Molybdenum Disulphide interacts with the atmosphere to form corrosive substances in the barrel. Boron Nitride and Tungsten Disulphide are other options to employ. Not asking for trade secrets but can you please share some issues and subsequent evolving of your bullet coating?
4. Due to the friction of pure, flat surface copper bullets the manufacturers of these (like Barnes) give the valid advice to seat the first contact radial of the bullet some distance away from the rifling. Please can you share your advice regarding this important issue of seating depth for reloaders?
5. My personal preference is for no more than 1.5x calibre nose expansion for a bullet - particularly for use on thick-skinned, heavy boned animals like Cape buffalo and giraffe. Tell us more about the engineering thinking behind your two designs - the Solid Shank with its 2x calibre expansion and the Penetrator with its lesser expansion.
6. Are the Penetrators as stable (maintaining the nose straight ahead) during penetration of flesh and bone as the solid shank?
7. What were the metallurgical reasons behind the alloy mix of your solids? Does the 5% lead content mitigate the brittle tendency of pure brass to fracture against bone?
No doubt US forum members unfamiliar with your design are interested in the responses.
Thank you Kobus - a "no-nonsense" bullet and "no-nonsense" answers. I am still studying the response and have one question: Unless I failed to see it on your website - where can one find loading data?
Thank you Kobus - without a doubt Rhino bullets prove themselves on a daily basis to be imminently up to the job in a no-nonsense way.
Regarding the issue of chemical bore metal attack (corrosion): My 1942 Lee Enfield .303 consumed thousands and thousands of fulminate of mercury primed cordite rounds for 60 years of its life. That bore is as bright and unblemished as it was at manufacture. It is a better than 1 MOA shooter. I only clean it with household paraffin (kerosene lamp oil in the US) and preserve it with Ballistol oil.
More bore damage is done by foam bore cleaners left for too long inside than can ever be caused by bullet deposits. Shooters must just clean their rifle bores with a bronze brush and Hoppes #9 (which is kerosene with a funny smell) soon after every shoot, no matter the ammunition used and use a good oil to protect it against moisture. Rifles need care as does any precision instrument.
Thank you Kobus.
The issue for all South African made bullets are actual measured reloading tables with popular propellants available in the USA. The loads suggested by the Quickload tables of course are helpful.
Not every reloader is as fortunate as I am to have been able to complete my Peregrines load development and sighting in with 7 rounds in my .303.