Dear North Fork
I just returned from a wonderful safari with Roger Whittall Safaris on Humani in the Save River Conservancy in Zimbabwe on which I used North Fork bullets in Cal. 416 Rem. Mag. with excellent results. I hunted plains game and was an observer on my brother’s Elephant / Buffalo hunt. Also possible were Leopard and Lion. Being allergic to becoming a greasy spot on the dirt, prior to the hunt I spent 10 months testing gun, scopes and bullets. I tested all the better bullets. Because they are machined instead of being stamped out, North Fork bullets were the most CONSISTENT bullets. They were the most accurate. The Soft, Solid and Cup all shot to the same point of impact (making lovely little cloverleafs) with the same load. They didn’t change POI from lot to lot. They shot to the same velocity with lower pressures observable on primers and primer pocket expansion. The benefit is that one can spend much less time developing loads for the rifle, and more time tending to the myriad of other tasks required to go on safari.
I had noticed that Professional Hunters in evaluating their clients look hard at four things when you first show up. Your general physical condition and boots get a real hard look. (Can the client walk, are his boots broken in, and are they noisy?) Your rifle and ammunition get another hard look. (Will the rifle shoot, can the client shoot, and will the bullets do the job? As an aside, they are also evaluating weather they want to keep your left over ammunition for themselves or their friends, or if it would be best sent home with you, thrown in the trash, or given to someone they don’t like. )
My PH broke out in smiles when he saw my North Fork ammunition. He had recently guided a 9 cow cull with a South African fellow, and part of the exercise was to evaluate bullets. They tested five each of 9 different bullets on one carcass for penetration, and of course shot eight more Elephant. The North Fork and (another lathe-turned flat meplat monolith manufactured in South Africa) out-performed everything else by a
significant margin. He held up the soft “this will be just the ticket if we get round to the Buffalo. They don’t shed petals and swerve off into the guts.” He held up the solid. ”If your brother’s elephant takes one step after his shot, I want you to shoot and keep shooting as fast as you can until he’s down. Shoot the heart-lungs, shoot the spine, shoot the main leg bones, shoot the hip, and failing that, shoot it anywhere you can. These bullets penetrate like mad, just smash through bones and keep going straight” And so it was. My brother’s .500 N. E. was a perfectly placed frontal brain shot (not with a North Fork Bullet though), but to our absolute shock and horror, the Elephant turned and ran. Boo-Boom went his left and the PH’s shot into the heart-lung during the turn. I was covering another bull, which quickly turned and was no longer a threat so I put a solid into my brothers retreating bull next to the base of the tail. He stopped, swayed once, and down he went. I think the Bull was pretty much done for, and wouldn’t have gone far even without my shot, but we were all gratified when he stopped and went down. My bullet penetrated the hind-quarters, ran along the spine, got through the paunch, penetrated the liver, and was found in the heart-lung area.
We used the soft on the Kudu and Buffalo, both quartering one shot kills through the shoulder and heart-lung area, with the
bullet bulging the skin on the off side. Perfect.
If you look at the attached pictures, you will notice that we mixed it up quite a bit with elephant. We looked over 49 bulls, mostly at very close quarters (7 to 30 yards) before we took one. We got in mixed herds. We tracked up a bull with an injured foot, then came back and tried to dart him, so he got to chase us twice. We were charged, mock charged, run off, and almost run off several times. Instead of being terrifying, it was all huge fun. Our super competent guide, Peter Woods, let us know whether we needed to back off a few yards, stare them down, run like schoolgirls, or stand and shoot. We had absolute faith in our bullets when it was time to shoot, and that made all the difference.
Thanks for making a superior bullet. It really is a better mousetrap, and although I suspect that the entire world isn’t going to beat a path to your door, the guys that care about bullet performance will.
Sincerely Gary Glick