Bargain Hunts in Africa – Click here to open page

August 27, 2013 in African Safaris, Gunroom, hunter, Hunting trophies by Hunting Legends

Hunting Legends

Thank you visiting our website, we look  forward to hosting you in Africa soon and guarantee you of an adventure of a lifetime!

We have several bargain hunts at any given stage in Africa, and can offer you a full seven day hunt for less than US$10000 all inclusive:

To qualify for our bargain hunts, please visit our contact page:

  1. Submit your info and request “bargain hunts”
  2. The moment we receive your submission, we will contact you and tailor your hunt for you, it’s that simple.
  3. Hunting in Africa is a lot cheaper and more affordable than most people would like to believe.
  4. The US$ currency is currently very strong against our own currencies and we can thus put together very affordable pakages for you. All it takes is one simple NO OBLIGATION ENQUIRY!
  5. Don’t miss out on the ‘hunting adventure’ of a life time – CONTACT US TODAY for your special deal.
  6. If you haven’t hunted Africa before, you are missing out big time – that’s a guarantee.

We look forward to hearing from you and God bless!

Hunters and Johannesburg International Airport

August 27, 2013 in African Safaris, Firearms, Gunroom, hunter, Hunting Help, Hunting trophies, Legal protection, South Africa by Hunting Legends

Johannesburg International Airport and foreign hunters: Some good news:

Ever since the implementation of the new Firearms Act on 1 July 2004, professional hunters and outfitters have been complaining bitterly about the services rendered by the police at Johannesburg International Airport. Delays varying between one to five hours reputedly occur on a regular basis. Many foreign hunters from America and Europe have indicated that they will not visit South Africa again because of these delays with firearm documentation at Johannesburg International Airport.

The South African Police Service has therefore launched a new incentive at Johannesburg International to ensure from their side that South Africa retains its position as a prime hunting destination. Working very closely with Commissioner Mawela, Superintendent Malepa, as the commander of the firearm office of this Airport, has managed to secure a new area in the main building and specifically in the terminal 1 designated area.

A spacious firearm office in the terminal 1 area has just been completed. Within this area or office special safe-keeping facilities have also been established. The basic procedure for the arrival of hunting weapons from any country will be as follows: Firearms will be removed from the aircraft by security and brought to the firearm office via a special reception section in the firearm office. There the firearms will be kept under lock and key.

The hunter on the other hand will first go through emigration, then collect his/her luggage, proceed through customs and then move on to terminal 1 and the firearm office. There the hunter will be issued with his/her firearms after a check to ensure that the serial numbers and make correlate with the personal data of the hunter. The final step is the issuing of the SAP 525 or temporary import permit.

Documents required from the hunter are: copies of his/her passport, the air ticket issued by the airline as well as any document which verifies the firearms as being the property of the hunter from his/her country of origin. The letter of invitation from the outfitter to the client prior to the hunt is also essential.

As a token of their support for the new incentive from the South African Police Service, African Outfitter has donated couches, a coffee machine as well as a DVD player and TV for this area. The sole purpose of this donation is to make the foreign hunter feel at home right at the airport.

Outfitters and professional hunters are invited to supply African Outfitter with photos and videos of hunts to enable them to compile a promotional DVD on South Africa as a hunting destination. This DVD will be played 24/7 in this new comfortable reception area.

After meetings with Commissioner Mawela, Superintendent Malepa, Inspector Mothapo, Mr Shadrack Moletsane and Captain Roeloffse, African Outfitter staff left the Johannesburg International Airport convinced that these people are totally dedicated to rendering a highly efficient service to overseas clients in future.

In fact, Superintendent Malepa vowed that no foreign hunters would ever be delayed again, which in the past has resulted in hunters missing a connecting flight.

Please leave us your comments, by clicking on the comment button below.

God bless you and your family, and we hope to host you in Africa soon!

Hunting Legends

Sport Hunting in Africa

August 27, 2013 in Firearms, Gunroom, hunter, Hunting Ethics, Hunting trophies, Sport Hunting by Hunting Legends

Hunting Legends

“Sport hunting in the Southern African Development Community”

Sport hunting in the Southern African Development Community (SADC): An Overview


Most of the countries making up the South African Development Community (SADC) are classified as ‘developing’ nations and are characterised by high population growth, limited industrial and tertiary industry, high unemployment, and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita that is well below the poverty level. These countries are, however, blessed with an abundant natural resource base, including (in most cases) a dynamic wildlife sector. In fact, wildlife- based land use and industry offers real potential throughout the region as a viable development option, especially for rural communities with few other competitive advantages in today’s globalised world.

Traditionally, Africa’s natural resources were used to support the livelihoods of rural people throughout the region. Wildlife benefits accrued either directly in the form of meat and hides or, more recently, indirectly through eco-tourism ventures or photographic safaris. Unfortunately, the legacy of colonialism, which introduced socially unacceptable wildlife policy and land tenure regulations, still prevents many local people from benefiting from the natural resources around them, yet expects them to accept any negative consequences without question. Growing human populations and a host of development pressures, however, have resulted in many people resorting to methods considered illegal by the government when accessing the natural resource base around them.

Within the SADC region, governments have increasingly come to realise that without the support of local communities, conservation efforts are bound to fail. In the absence of benefits, people living in poverty are unwilling and unable to look after natural resources wisely. In some cases, governments have initiated processes to transfer ownership of wildlife, land use rights and decision-making responsibilities to local communities. The majority of such programmes have involved the integration of wildlife with other land use options, such as crop and livestock production. This strategy has allowed for multiple uses and the generation of maximum revenues. For example, the rights to utilize certain animals could firstly be ‘sold’ for photographic safaris or wildlife viewing, secondly to a hunter as a trophy or for biltong and, thirdly, its meat and/or hide could be sold or utilised by local communities. Significant successes have been achieved through such initiatives with multiplier effects, especially where sport hunting is a feature in the equation.

Sport hunting is the hunting of an animal, generally by a foreign tourist, for its trophy value. Throughout the region, such hunters typically come from the USA or Europe. As sport hunting is primarily motivated by the thrill of the hunt and the subsequent acquisition of a take-away trophy, it can be carried out on land that is less scenic than that demanded for wildlife tourism. Further, the standard of accommodation and other infrastructure offerings can usually be far more ‘rustic’ in keeping with the less intrusive requirements of a rugged ‘bush’ experience. This allows for a greater diversity of land to be set aside for wildlife-based industries.

Consequently, in 2000, southern Africa offered some 420,000 km2 of communal land, 188,000 km2 of commercial land, and 420,089 km2 of state land for sport hunting purposes. And finally, sport hunters are also less influenced by political events than other tourists, allowing for greater reliability in terms of sustaining constant revenue generation.

Although sport hunting has the potential to raise significant sums of foreign income for a country, like anything else that involves money, the industry can be subject to abuse, corruption and mismanagement. In Africa, the very low salaries paid to wildlife personnel and the lack of transparent and accountable oversight processes exacerbate this vulnerability. While individual countries strive to assume a competitive advantage and fulfil a unique niche in terms of the species on offer, competition within the industry can be intense. In fact, there are usually a large number of potential operators but a limited number of hunting concessions available. The demand for good quality trophies increases the pressure on hunting operators to secure productive hunting concessions. The methods used to secure such concessions and to hunt suitable trophy animals can go beyond what is considered ethical, for example so-called canned hunts have become common in South Africa raising concerns over the principle of fair-chase. Similarly the practice of breeding colour varieties, translocating game to areas outside of their natural distribution, and cross-breeding species is also practices by some game farm owners. On occasion, corrupt or unsustainable practices have led to the temporary or permanent closure of the industry in certain countries, for example Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia. Indeed, international and national critics of sport hunting, especially individuals or groups that are philosophically or fundamentally opposed to all forms of sport hunting, point to ethical lapses or corrupt practices to discredit the industry as a whole.

In 1999, TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa was contracted under the USAID-funded Network and Capacity Building Programme (NETCAB) to conduct an overview assessment of the sport hunting industry in the SADC region. The two- year project transpired at a time when many pressing issues were impacting on the industry, including the recent imposition of sport hunting bans in some countries, the withdrawal of predator quotas in others, experimentation with the transfer of management structures to community-based institutions, and continuing problems with monitoring, administration, quota setting and land tenure issues. The project aimed to document and assess the experiences of various countries with a view towards developing generic ‘best practice’ guidelines that could serve as a regional model to underpin and safeguard the industry in the future.

The project aims were achieved through a comprehensive assessment of the parameters, dynamics and status of the sport hunting industries in five SADC countries namely, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. These five target nations constitute the main sport hunting countries in the region, and all have long, if not unique, histories in terms of sport hunting policy and management experience. The study was underpinned by a comprehensive review of available literature and in-country field research and consultation with key stakeholders throughout the region.

To present the principal findings of this assessment and to provide a forum with which to share the management experiences of various countries, TRAFFIC organised a “Sport Hunting in the SADC Region” workshop in 2001. Attended by key stakeholders from government, industry and conservation organisations in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, a first attempt to develop ‘best practice’ guidelines for the sport hunting industry was attempted. It is worth noting that Mozambique and Zambia were not part of the TRAFFIC assessment, but both countries are now engaged in the development of sport hunting industries. This effort clearly benefited from the experiences, successes, failures and lessons learned from key players throughout the SADC region. The outputs of the workshop included:

– a summary of the main issues and constraints facing each of the seven countries with sport hunting industries;

– a discussion of key management themes such as monitoring, administration and quota setting;

– the first-cut development of “best practice” guidelines; and,

– a strategy for catalysing the implementation of country-specific action orientated solutions.

The importance of the game industry to the economies of some countries is phenomenal, particularly when non- consumptive (i.e. wildlife viewing) and consumptive (sport hunting, licensed resident hunting) are taken into account. For example, in the latter 1990s, Zimbabwe raised some USD254 million through sport hunting, followed by South Africa at USD140 million and Tanzania at USD100 million (Barnes, 1996; ZTA, 2001). In some instances, this contributed significantly to the GDP of certain countries, for example, sport hunting revenue in Zimbabwe contributed some 8% to the country’s GDP (ZCSO, 2000). In some countries, this income is expected to increase in the near future, possibly even double, even in the absence of government grants (Bond, 1997).

With annual revenues of USD29.9 million in Tanzania, USD28.4 million in South Africa, USD23.9 million in Zimbabwe, USD12.6 million in Botswana and USD11.5 million in Namibia during the late 1990s, sport hunting is responsible for a large component of economic growth. Initially, most sport hunting revenue accrued to government and private landowners, however, more recently, an increasing proportion of such revenues has been apportioned between these two sectors and local communities.

The anticipated growth of the sport hunting industry relies on several factors, namely the diversity of species on offer, the quality of trophy animals available and the quality of professional hunters and associated tourism services (Jackson, 1995). In 2001, South Africa was the only country that offered the ‘big five’ – elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard – as huntable species, but Tanzania was regarded as the most scenically beautiful destination with record-winning lion, leopard and buffalo trophies. Alternatively, Namibia offered the most cost-effective hunting of plains game and some unique endemic species, while Botswana and Zimbabwe consistently supplied the best quality elephant trophies. Accordingly, each country had something unique to market to potential hunters from around the world.

To remain lucrative, the management of the sport hunting industry should focus upon realising maximum conservation, economic and social benefits from the hunting resource, while ensuring good governance and accountability. Management protocols vary from country to country with differing emphasis on private, community and governmental management structures. The function of these structures is to ensure that standards are maintained, and that monitoring and administrative systems are robust and operative so that informed management decisions can be consistently made. The following ‘best practice’ guidelines are suggested:

1. Maintaining Quality and Standards of the Sport Hunting Industry

  • Minimum trophy quality sizes and standards determined – The lack of long-term tenure security over many hunting concessions has prompted unsustainable over-hunting of certain lucrative species, resulting in inferior trophy quality animals, especially in State and communal land concession areas. Where they do not exist, trophy quality sizes and standards need to be established.
  • Wildlife hunting regulations enacted and enforced – The ability of countries to enforce regulations developed to maintain the sustainability of hunting, and to set standards for ethical hunting, differs widely. The use of community based natural resource management (CBNRM) programs which provide incentive for community game scouts to accompany hunting safaris should be encouraged. Canned and put-and-take hunting practices should be condemned.
  • Professional hunting associations formed – Each country should ensure that a national hunting association exists and is empowered to promote ethical hunting and professional standards of hunters in a standardised manner throughout the SADC region.
  • Professional hunting training courses held – Sport hunting training courses should be a feature in each country to provide opportunities to citizen hunters to gain the experience necessary to become professional hunters and improve individual hunting skills.
  • Professional hunter standards established – Conforming to a regional minimum standard, each country should establish professional hunter standards through comprehensive programmes offering both theoretical and practical examinations. Hunters that pass these examinations and successfully serve an apprenticeship should become registered with the national hunting association and government before being allowed to conduct hunts professionally.

2. Monitoring and Administration of the Sport Hunting Industry

  • Monitoring systems developed and implemented – The information and data generated through sport hunting needs to be part of an active monitoring system. Such a system should feature routine and effective analysis of available data to ensure that subsequent management decisions are informed, as well as provide timely feedback for adaptive management purposes.
  • Data collection forms standardised – To support the monitoring systems, data reporting formats should be simple, clear and streamlined to facilitate the collection of data from key stakeholders. These forms should include financial and biological information necessary for the effective management of the sport hunting industry at the national level. If possible, where different government departments have data collection requirements, an attempt should be made to streamline everything into a single, all encompassing form. Standardisation at the SADC level is an option that should be explored thoughtfully.
  • Hunt return registers submitted – Hunt return forms are an essential component of any effective monitoring system by providing data on a range of important issues, such as effort vs. success rates, the quality of trophies and off- take rates. An effective means to ensure that hunt return information is regularly submitted is to require proof of submission as the basis for applications for trophy export permits. Similarly, compliance with hunt return regulations should form part of the requirement for renewing hunting permits and licences.

3. Quota Setting

  • Quota setting processes and procedures established – The process and procedure for establishing annual hunting quotas should be clearly delineated, transparent and accountable. There may be different policies or procedures for different species or industry stakeholders (private landowners, communal land areas or government concessions), but in all cases quota setting requirements should be established according to a set procedure and under some kind of supervisory control by central government but involving key stakeholders.
  • Compliance with CITES demonstrated – CITES is the world’s leading policy instrument for international trade in wildlife. From time to time, through collaborative discussion and agreement at its Conference of Parties, quotas are established for certain species, including specific reference to sport hunted trophies. Compliance with these, and all other CITES requirements, should be implemented at the national level.
  • Management capacity demonstrated – There is a need to ensure that viable and demonstrable management capacity exists for each hunting concession area. This requirement is especially important in instances whereby private sector concession owners are allowed to set and approve their own quotas for hunted animals and have ownership rights over their own resources.
  • Information and data collected and analysed – To set quotas effectively, there is a need to use various sources of information and data, including indices such as population size, status and trends, sex ratios, frequency of sightings, problem animal control records, catch effort and trophy quality (i.e. size). Using information and data relevant to a specified hunting block or concession is a vital part of ensuring sustainability in the long-term, and realising critical engagement and buy-in from stakeholders.
  • Information sources agreed and standardised – The type of information and information sources required for quota setting should be standardised to the extent possible. For example, aerial or ground surveys, catch effort and trophy quality data, and anecdotal information may all be used to triangulate the most reliable indication of population trends and then be used adaptively to determine the quota.
  • Monitoring systems established – Monitoring systems should collate critical data and information necessary for effective quota setting. These data should include past hunting off-take records, aerial and/or ground population census data, trophy quality, and financial and biological indicators.
  • Trophy quality data recorded and analysed – Trophy quality is an excellent indicator of population status. It should be a requirement in the quota setting process that such data is available, analysed and used proactively in the context of adaptive management practices.
  • Quota approval necessary – Once management capacity is established, the responsibility to approve quotas should be clearly established. Where land use rights devolve wildlife management responsibilities to land holders in private and communal lands, government oversight and approval procedures need to be clearly established.

4. Maximising Economic and Social Benefits from the Sport Hunting Industry

  • Transparent mechanism for allocation of hunting concessions adopted – Failure to adopt a transparent and fully accountable process for the allocation of hunting concessions in government or communal land areas inevitably invites allegations of corruption, cronyism or mismanagement. Concession tender processes should allow for a high degree of competition between safari operators and be designed to ensure maximum financial benefit to public landowners, foreclosing on any potential for ‘back door’ arrangements or deals that end up rewarding individuals rather than government and/or communal stakeholders. Open tender processes and public auctions have been used successfully in different countries in the region and should be encouraged.
  • Screening criteria for hunting operators developed and used – To ensure that potential sport hunting operators are well-qualified to finance and conduct professional hunting operations, and that they will adhere to ethical hunting practices, a series of screening criteria should be applied to all applicants who seek allocation of a concession. Application of both technical and financial criteria would necessarily make certain players ineligible for consideration from time to time. Screening practices should ensure that individuals who have violated rules and regulations in the past no longer are eligible for licenses to operate.
  • Annual reporting and accounting of revenues practised – Good governance practises should require that financial transactions, especially those involving government and communal landowners and which become part of public sector budgets, be subject to appropriate audit oversight and public scrutiny to ensure accountability.
  • Hunting packages marketed effectively – The composition of species and the duration of each hunting package is instrumental in providing a balanced hunt that maximises revenues and client satisfaction.
  • Government hunting fees revised periodically – Fees should be established according to the open market value of trophy animals and revised from time to time to ensure maximum revenue.
  • Hunting tenures set – The length of time that individual hunting concessions are held and the security associated with such tenure has a direct bearing on the amount safari operators are willing to invest in the protection of the concession and the development of CBNRM programmes. Long-term tenure commitments should be encouraged to promote maximum investment in the resource base and local communities.
  • Revenue retention – The allocation of revenues to those who own the hunting resource should be promoted with a requirement that a proportion of revenue should be banked in-country.

The region’s sport hunting industry, and its ability to contribute to the development of local communities, is sensitive to a number of factors. For example, political instability, social unrest or crime can influence tourism negatively. In such situations, sport hunting suffers to a lesser extent than other forms of tourism, however, security concerns or debilitating annoyances such as chronic fuel shortages are nonetheless negative factors impacting on the industry. Events beyond the control of the region can also seriously impede the viability of sport hunting. For example, restrictive legislation in the country of residence of potential hunters can result in import bans on certain species, leading to major revenue losses in countries that offer the same species as part of managed sport hunting programme. Furthermore, adverse publicity from anti-hunting lobbies also affects the sport hunting industry and has the ability to retard the development of the industry.

In the ‘best case’ scenarios, sport hunting is an important industry that underpins the conservation of species and their habitats as viable land uses which contribute to the livelihoods of many people and the national economies of sport hunting countries. Benefits from this industry are increasingly being distributed to rural poor through CBNRM programmes and those communities are showing a greater commitment to the conservation of wildlife. On the other hand, the management of the industry is, in some cases, still poor and open to abuse and corruption. Transparency is needed in the allocation of concessions and in the setting of hunting quotas, and instances of unethical hunting practices need to be eliminated. In order to achieve effective, sustainable and lucrative hunting industries in the SADC region, considerable effort is still needed from both governmental and non-governmental stakeholders. Drawing upon the lessons from the region and implementing ‘best practice’ guidelines is an important step to ensure the long-term viability of the sport hunting industry at a time of increasing global oversight and accountability.


August 27, 2013 in African Safaris, Gunroom, hunter, Hunting Ethics, Hunting Help, Hunting trophies by Hunting Legends

Hunting Legends

This a long article, however, we believe an informative one and you should enjoy this if you are hunting fanatics like we are. Most seasoned hunters and gun fanatics may find this article as old news, however, if you are a hunter who packs out the rifles once a year, and want to improve your general knowledge, then you will find this article interesting and informative.


EFFECTS OF DESIGN ON BULLET PERFORMANCE (Extracts from Cleve Cheney’s original article on the same topic)

This article is commissioned for JOE ‘the ordinary guy’ (Yes not JOE THE PLUMBER – Joe ordinary).The purpose of this article is to give Joe ordinary guy some useful information, so that he doesn’t have to put up with the sniggers from the gunship seat warmers when he walks in and asks for a pack of 120 grain round nose soft-point bullets in ,243 calibre for his annual deer (or springbuck) hunt, only to be told that there is no bullet of that weight in ,243 calibre; even if there were, it would not not be the right bullet for shooting at long range on the plains. OK, I’ll take whatever you’ve got – “a bullet is a bullet, isn’t it?” (more sniggers).

Next time, armed with the bit of know how from this article, you will be better informed and need not fear any derisive looks or “knowing glances” as you walk into the gunship and order the right ammo for the right job. So, the experts can skip this article and read something else on their level, and Joe, you can get yourself that cup of coffee and enjoy the reading.

As professional hunters in Africa we often end up in culling/harvesting/cropping operations. It’s a job that needs to be done, and one which we like to do as humanely and quickly as possible, keep wounding down to an absolute minimum. As written by Cleve, we also very quickly in this process and operations, came to learn that two bullets of exactly the same calibre and mass (weight) can in fact perform very differently. We do a lot of culling in Namibia, of mostly springbuck and gemsbuck, and we were soon forced to learn more about ballistics and what accuracy and efficiency is all about.

Thanks to authors such as Cleve Cheney, we can all sigh a sigh of relief and get back into those gun shops, talk the talk and get the right stuff for the right job. In order to do that, we need to learn a bit of the technical jargon used in the expert circles.

Firstly, a bullet is not a cartridge and a cartridge is not a bullet. Huh? OK, let’s put an end to the confusion. A bullet is the projectile that flies out of the end of the barrel (muzzle) when a shot goes off. A cartridge consists of four basic components: the bullet (the part we have just spoken of), the case (usually made of brass), propellant or powder (no it’s not “gunpowder”), which burns (no it does not “explode”) to produce the gas, which forces the bullet down the bore, and a primer (which does explode), used to ignite the propellant. Cool, now that we know what we are talking about let’s carry on.

When a bullet leaves the muzzle of a firearm two things happen. It starts dropping (due to the effects of gravity) and it starts slowing down (due to the effects of air resistance and because the thrust supplied by the gas of the burning propellant in the barrel of the firearm dissipates once the bullet leaves the muzzle).

The way in which the bullet now travels towards the intended target (exterior ballistic performance) and the way it reacts when it hits the target (terminal ballistic performance) are determined to a significant degree by the design features engineered into the bullet shape, material and construction. We will now examine two of these design parameters – ballistic coefficient and sectional density. Now, don’t stop reading! This is not just about some useless, intellectual good-for-nothing know-how; it has some very practical application when you grasp the concepts.


Let’s start with ballistic coefficient. Ballistic coefficient (BC) is basically a measure of how streamlined a bullet is, which determines how well (or poorly) it flies through the air. Air acts like water and the way it flows around a bullet determines how easily the bullet flies through the air. The airflow can be smooth or turbulent. Turbulence is caused by airflow separation and the creation of vortices. Airflow turbulence causes a phenomenon called “drag”, which works in the opposite direction to the bullet’s line of motion and tends to hold the bullet back. It’s like something holding onto your shirt while you are attempting to run away from them. Bullets are thus designed for different purposes and have different shapes.

The shape or profile, therefore, determines a bullet’s aerodynamic efficiency. The more dynamic the shape of the bullet, the lower the drag factor. A lower drag factor translates into a flatter trajectory. The larger the ballistic coefficient, the more efficient the bullet’s performance in the air. The ballistic coefficient increases as one moves from the flat nose to round nose to spire point to boat-tailed spitzers.

Now you might well ask: If bullets with a higher ballistic coefficient have flatter trajectories, why are all bullets not designed this way? Good question; we will answer it a little later on.

For the technically inclined the mathematical formula for a bullet’s ballistic coefficient can be expressed as the ratio of its sectional density to its coefficient of form, where sectional density is the weight (mass) of the bullet divided by the square of its diameter. It can be written as follows: Sectional density (SD) = Sectional density (SD) / (divided by) Coefficient of form (i) = Weight of the bullet (in pounds) / (divided by) Diameter of bullet (inches squared (2)).

Coefficient of form, or form factor, is a mathematical number that relates to a bullet’s shape, smoothness and shape at the base. The form factor compares the shape of a bullet being tested to the shape of a standard bullet used in a particular ballistic table. Ouch. This is getting a bit complicated. Don’t panic there is good news.

Near the turn of the last century, many tests were done by the Krupp Company in Germany to determine the bullet drop characteristics of so-called standard bullets. Soon after the Krupp data had been published a Russian colonel named Mayevski constructed a mathematical model for the drag deceleration of a standard bullet. The standard bullet was one inch in diameter, weighed one pound and had a ogive head of 8 calibres radius. Colonel James M Ingalss of the US army later used the Mayevski’s mathematical model to compute his now famous ballistics table.

The standard Krupp bullet proved to be such a good model for use in calculating ballistics of most bullets used in sporting firearms, that today most of the major bullet companies use the Ingalls or similar tables together with test firings of production bullets to compute ballistics’s coefficients for their bullets. These coefficients are published in most of the major reloading manuals. Some ammunition manufacturers publish the ballistic coefficient of their bullets, most instead include ballistic charts in their sales literature and catalogues that show drop and remaining down range velocity for bullets used in each cartridge that they manufacture. So, you don’t have to do the maths.

Now, back to the question you asked earlier on. If bullets with a higher ballistics’ coefficient have flatter trajectories why are all bullets not designed this way?

The answer is that bullets are designed for different applications. Bullets with a high BC work well when shooting animals at long ranges. The trajectory remains reasonably flat and by the time the bullet arrives at the intended target it will still be in the kill zone. When trajectory becomes pronounced, accuracy (at long range) becomes more difficult. Bullets of identical weight, calibre and sectional density (see later) will have decidedly different trajectories. Bench rest shooters who shoot at long range generally prefer flat shooting boat-tail spitzers as opposed to round-nose bullets for example. Hunters shooting on open plains, where it is difficult to get closer than 300 yards from their quarry, would also go for spitzers, spire points or boat-tailed bullets. But bullets with a high BC do have a disadvantage and that is in their “brush busting” capabilities. They are easily deflected by vegetation and this is where round-nose bullets come into their own. So, if you are hunting in areas of dense bush where you will be shooting at much closer distances (in many cases under 100 yards) where range and bullet drop are not as critical and you might have have to shoot through vegetation, then a round-nose bullet would be a better option. Some firearms, such as those with tube magazines, also require the use of round-nose bullets.

Handgun bullets use mostly round-nosed, flat-point, hollow-point, semi wadcutter or wadcutter configurations, again because their application is mostly close range.

The BC is however, not based on the nose shape alone. It is based on nose shape plus sectional density. The reason is that a short bullet with a sharp nose will drop faster than long bullet with the same nose. The BC therefore describes the performance of a bullet as a whole. The higher the BC, the flatter a given bullet will shoot.


Sectional density is the ratio of a bullet’s weight (mass) to its core diameter expressed as a number. For a given calibre the lighter (and shorter) the bullet, the lower the SD, the heavier (and longer) the bullet, the higher it’s SD. The SD gives a basic idea of a given bullet’s performance characteristics, because a long bullet retains velocity, while a shorter bullet sheds velocity.

Because sectional density relates strictly to weight, not shape, it means that the most blunt-nosed bullet has the exact same SD as the most streamline bullet of that same weight and calibre.

SD is important because it has a significant effect on penetration. All other variables being equal (like impact velocity, bullet design and material, etc) the higher the SD number, the better the bullet’s penetration. In other words, a small diameter bullet of a given weight tends to penetrate better than a large diameter bullet of the same weight, because it concentrates the same force on a smaller area of the target. Penetration is important because the bullet must get well inside an animal to disrupt the functioning of it’s vital organs.

Bullets for medium sized game should have sectional densities ranging from .216 to .250 with a mean of about .237. For big game, bullets with higher sectional densities should be should be selected in a range from .271. to .287 with a mean of about .279.

So, let’s wrap this up and summarize the effects that ballistic coefficient and sectional density could have on bullet performance.


  • A heavy bullet (one with a higher SD) would drop less than a light bullet (of low SD) over a given range if both bullets were fired at the same muzzle velocity. In other words, a heavy bullet retains more velocity (and energy) than a light one and drops less on it’s way to the target.
  • Long, streamlined bullets have high BCs and shed velocity slowly. Short stubby bullets with low BCs lose velocity rapidly.
  • Long, heavy bullets with a high BC require a relatively fast twist to spin the bullets’ greater mass at the proper speed for stabilization. If the twist is much too slow, the bullet may require as mush as 100 yards to stabilize.
  • Penetration is dependent on the force of the bullet being able to overcome resistance. Its momentum must therefore be sufficiently high to displace the mass of opposing material. Penetration is best achieved by improvements to sectional density rather than velocity. By increasing sectional density, using a heavier bullet in the range available for any one calibre, the momentum of the bullet is increased. In other words, a bullet with greater SD will better penetrate into an animal.
  • The higher a bullet’s BC the flatter it will shoot.
  • Round-nosed bullets (a lower BC) are less deflected by brush than bullets with a high BC.

Now, just when we Joe ordinary guys were beginning to get a hold on things, some experts throw us a curve ball, saying that sectional density theory is only applicable to a restricted range of bullet weights. Ah, well, we will leave it to the guys with the white lab coats to sort out.

In the mean time, happy hunting and God bless.

Please contact us at:

Hunters and Firearms South Africa – Hunting Safari Help

August 27, 2013 in Conservation, Firearms, hunter, Hunting Ethics, Hunting Help, Hunting trophies by Hunting Legends

Domestic (within and from the Republic of South Africa)

Departure (Inclusive of International departures)
Firearms may NOT be packed inside checked luggage and must therefore be packed in an appropriate lockable firearm container or case, separate from checked luggage.

Ammunition must be separated from weapons and may be packed within checked luggage, but must be properly secured in an ammunition case or solid box. No ammunition may be packed loosely in checked baggage or within the same case as firearms.

We strongly recommend that ammunition be packed in lockable cases, which can be handed in as loose items at the firearm counters to avoid possible delays during checked baggage screening.
All firearms and ammunition must be declared to the airline check-in agent at the time of check-in. Undeclared firearms and ammunition within checked luggage will result in such baggage being rejected during mandatory checked baggage screening, and will result in the passenger being required to open such baggage for further inspection and safe handling, or the confiscation of such items for further processing and forwarding on a subsequent flight.

Check-in agents will issue the relevant baggage tags and will then direct firearm owners to the appropriate firearm desk for inspection and processing of firearms and ammunition for secure handling to the aircraft.

During the acceptance process at the appropriate firearm desk, the following will be conducted:

  • The owner of the firearm will be required to produce a valid license or temporary import permit for the firearm(s) and ammunition.
  • The owner of the firearm(s) will be required to make and declare the firearm(s) safe and unloaded for carriage.
  • Security staff will request the firearm owner to open his/her checked luggage to verify that ammunition is securely packed and that the total weight of ammunition per license holder does not exceed 5kg’s in weight.
  • The owner of the firearm will be required to complete a firearm register for handover to security staff, who will ensure the secure loading of such items.
  • The staff at the firearm desk will send a pre-advise notification message to the receiving station, advising them of details and loading positions of firearms.
  • Checked baggage containing ammunition will be affixed with a special tag, indicating that such bag was already subjected to inspection, to avoid screening authorities from delaying or confiscating such bag for further security controls.

Handguns (Pistols, revolvers, etc)A R100 handling fee is raised for the carriage of handguns. Payment will only be accepted in the form of credit cards or cash at the firearm desk or allocated firearms acceptance area. These firearms will be processed at the firearm desk for safe carriage in the hold of the aircraft. There will be no charge for handguns carried with hunting equipment if packed in the same case as hunting rifles.

Rifles (in gun case / rifle bags)
Rifles must be processed via the firearm desk for safe carriage and may form part of your free baggage allowance. Thereafter the excess baggage allowance will be raised as applicable

Ammunition A maximum of 5kg securely boxed ammunition per passenger will be permitted for carriage either as a separate piece of baggage or within checked baggage in the hold of the aircraft. Screening authorities may however delay baggage containing ammunition, if such ammunition was not declared at check-in and is therefore not marked with an appropriate tag indicating that such ammunition was already security inspected.

ArrivalUpon arrival, passengers are required to proceed to the allocated firearm desk to collect firearms. Checked baggage containing ammunition may be collected at the normal airport baggage carousel. Ammunition handed in separately may be collected at the firearm desk.

International (All SAA flights departing from outside the Republic of South Africa, arriving in South Africa)

Standard legislation pertaining to the carriage of weapons and ammunition for each destination will apply. It is therefore the traveller’s responsibility to verify and ensure compliance with local laws on the possession and carriage of weapons.

DeparturesPassengers should not pack any firearms within checked baggage. Firearms must be packed in suitable lockable firearm cases or bags.

Where possible, declare firearms and request the airline to place a firearm identification tag on such items, as this will assist in the correct loading and delivery handling on SAA flights arriving in South Africa.

Where passengers originate their journey on South African Airways, we request that you declare the firearms and any checked baggage containing ammunition to check-in staff for appropriate handling and labelling.

Ammunition may be carried within checked luggage, provided that it is securely packed in a lockable or secure container, and that the total weight does not exceed 5kg’s of ammunition per passenger carrying a firearm. (In general, most airlines allow the carriage of ammunition in terms of the dictums of ICAO Dangerous Goods Standards and associated airline processes followed in terms of IATA requirements/guidance).

DO NOT pack ammunition loosely in checked baggage.

Arrivals Upon arrival in South Africa, all declared or identified firearms may be collected directly from the firearm office just after immigration. Any firearms either not declared upon departure, or not identified by an appropriate label will be delivered to the normal baggage carousal for collection.
After collection of checked baggage containing ammunition, you are required to proceed to the SA Police Firearm Office, where all necessary import permits and other documentation will be finalised.