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Took the Bushbuck .451 on a Hog Hunt!!

Posted by on February 8, 2015
I was out in Texas on a hog hunt over the weekend, and had my share of action. I took a couple of big pigs with the new AOA Bushbuck, one was 205 lb and the other 160 lb, both taken at about 65 yards.

I was out in Texas on a hog hunt over the weekend, and had my share of action. I took a couple of big pigs with the new AOA Bushbuck, one was 205 lb and the other 160 lb, both taken at about 65 yards.

If you read my posts or saw the videos from the SHOT Show, you know two of the areas generating a lot of interest were the new big bores and the new bullpups. I like bullpups and think they serve a purpose, though truth be told I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to my hunting guns. But the abundance of new mid and big bores, now there is something that gets me excited! BY the way, I’, going to return to the topic of mid bores at the end of this post…. And a big bore I got really excited about was the AOA  .45 Bushbuck, which is the most powerful production big bore on the market, but to hijack (and modify) an old saying, only accurate airguns are interesting. So I could not wait to get my hands on this gun.

One of the reasons I was looking forward to this gun, was that the driving force behind it is my good friend and AOA’s resident hunting expert Kip Perow. Kips one of the best airgun hunters around, he is a professional hunting guide, he is an airgunning expert, and he owns and shoots many of the big bores on the market. So when a guy likes this says he is going to focus on developing a big bore hunting gun, it warrants attention! I got a chance to shoot this gun when I was down in Arizona after the EBR, and though we only had it on the indoor range, I was able to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the gun, note the nice trigger, smoothness of the action and firing cycle, and was impressed with the ergonomics and the fit of the gun. I also appreciated the stability and the light rearward recoil on a gun generating a whopping 600 fpe.

AOA had quietly informed a select group of customers about the gun, and the first production run sold out before the gun was released to market. I reserved one last year when they started development, at that time based only on Kips involvement. Like I said, the involvement of a serious hunter and airgun expert, was all I needed to have my interest piqued! Through a fluke AOA could not put the gun out on display at their booth at SHOT, as a ruling had come through that only British built products could be shown …. which is a shame because this rifle would have been a major draw! Now here’s a bit of back story, the gun at the SHOT show was my gun and was going to be shipped to me afterwards. So when I’d passed by the AOA booth and saw somebody holding my gun a saying how beautiful it was, I wanted to yell “hands off, that’s my gun”!

The 445 grain bullet has a large metplat, and penetrated the broadside shot from side to side, coming to rest on the offside under the skin. The side armor  on this pig was incredible and the bullet performed very well. The MTC scope was set so that the crosshair was dead on at 50 yards, the first dot down at 75 and the second at 100. This gun was dialed in and a serious tack hammer!

The 445 grain bullet has a large metplat, and penetrated the broadside shot from side to side, coming to rest on the offside under the skin. The side armor on this pig was incredible and the bullet performed very well. The MTC scope was set so that the crosshair was dead on at 50 yards, the first dot down at 75 and the second at 100. This gun was dialed in and a serious tack hammer!

At any rate, I was heading off on a hog hunt in Texas and had the gun shipped down and waiting for me. Kip had hand casted two .451 bullets for; me a 405 and 420 grain solid bullet with a large metplate. He had mounted an MTC 5-20x scope and sighted the gun in, and everything was shipped in and waiting. I am writing this trip up for an upcoming article in Fur-Fish-Game so won’t go through every detail here; but will mention a few things I noted while hunting the gun. I hunted from a brush blind in the morning and evening, but where I had my success was still hunting the very heavy brush in the mid day, where I saw more hogs, and bigger ones, than anybody else at the ranch. This meant I carried the gun a lot, and it is a big rifle that could be a challenge in the tight vegetation coming in from every side and top and bottom. At one point I shot a 205 lb boar and it was one of the more adrenaline inducing hog hunts I’ve had. We stalked the pig for well over an hour, but at one point thought we had lost him, until I spotted him partially hidden behind some bushes. I found a spot at about 65 yards where I could sit with my pack on a dirt mound, and get lined up for a broadside. When I shot, it knocked the pig back, he wobbled, then ran on a beeline directly at me. I will tell you that sitting on the ground at eye level with a hog that big, with tusk you could see and sharpness you can imagine, Is a motivation to take action. Almost immediately after my shot I started to reload and pulled the gun up and shot him in the head at about 25 yards dumping him on the spot. When we dressed this pig we found the fist bullet had passed side to side coming to rest just under the skin line on the off shoulder. The shields on this pig were an inch thick and as hard as rock. The second shot had taken him right between the eyes. The cool thing ……. we got this all on film. The sow I hit on the run, she was moving towards me but unlike the boar didn’t know I was there. I don’t know where she was heading or why, but she didn’t seem interested in stopping. It was a front quartering shot that broke the left front shoulder, traveled transversely all the way through and broke the rear right hip. She went down and didn’t get back up.

Nice set of dentures on this guy, they said some of the biggest they've seen at the ranch. Out of eight guys hunting, seven with bigbore forearms, the airgun got the most and the biggest!!

Nice set of dentures on this guy, they said some of the biggest they’ve seen at the ranch. Out of eight guys hunting, seven with bigbore forearms, the airgun got the most and the biggest!!

I can’t imagine how this gun could have served me any better; it was dead accurate, very powerful, very shootable. The trigger was fine by my hunting standards; heavy enough that even with gloves it had a good tactile response, but light enough that it facilitated accurate shooting. If i was going to change anything, I’d go for a carbine version even at the cost of some power and a lower shot count….. but that seems to be the first thing I say with every new big bore I shoot! This gun has the potential of becoming my favorite big game big bore to date!

What I wanted to mention about the mid bores; while taping a recent Round Table at the SHOT Show, my friend and airgun guru Tom Gaylord and I had a difference of opinion. I said that I differentiate big bores (.40 and up) from mid bores (the .30’s) because in my application I think of the mid bores as predator guns and big bores as big game. The complicating factor is some mid bores start to cross over into big bore performance. Here is my rationale; most of the .30’s are in the 90-120 fpe range, and I believe the relatively low power and small caliber make it suboptimal for larger quarry (but perfect for coyote sized game). On the other hand, my preference for big game is a gun doing at least 250 fpe and with a larger (.40) caliber because a bigger bullet produces a larger wound channel and a) better killing power and b) produces a better blood trail when tracking is necessary. If you don’t seperate these guns out and classify them all as big bores, a guy with a 90 fpe .30 may be lead to believe they have a viable deer gun. Where I gets murky is that Sam Yang and Benjamin produce .35’s that are pushing up against the lower levels of power for big game hunting, so grouping them as mid bore with the associated understanding that this is a lower power predator gun may do them a disservice. I have no doubt that a .30 can take deer and hogs, I have done so along with impala, springbuck, and warthogs, but think the majority of guns in this caliber are not the right choice, and those guns that are, are more of an experts gun. Having said this, I still believe that differentiating the mid bores and big bores makes sense from a hunters perspective, and as these guns are built for hunting not paper punching, this is the perspective that matters.

22 Responses to Took the Bushbuck .451 on a Hog Hunt!!

  1. Mike

    Hi Jim,
    I have been following your expertise and want to thank you for your contributions to airgunning. I recently purchased a Sam Yang 909 in December and am looking to purchase a BushBuck. Any intel on when they will be available?
    They look like awesome guns. Also hard to tell from the videos… how loud is the report?
    Mahalo for your time!

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Mike;
      I think they are back ordered already but starting to ship. Give Kip a call to get details on the gun and shipping….. this one is his baby. You planning on planting those HI porkers??
      Regards,
      Jim

  2. RidgeRunner

    Mr. Chapman,

    Thank you so much for sharing this Bushbuck with us! I have been waiting impatiently for your to tell us more about it and hope you will give us more detailed information in the near future.

    I only recently discovered this blog and welcome your sharing of your knowledge and experiences.

    I too prefer a more traditional looking arm, but also have been of the opinion that form should follow function. I look forward to detailed specifications and price and availability.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi there, I am awaiting my gun to come back from Texas (I shipped it along with my CF tank), but will work up several loads and fill pressures as soon as I can and post the results. A very cool gun though, I shoot a lot of big bores and was impressed with this one from the start!
      Jim

  3. Seantheaussie

    You must be justifiably proud of stopping a charge by compact dangerous game with just an airgun.
    Where will we be seeing the video? American Airgunner?
    Sean

    • Jim Chapman

      Not so much proud as relieved 🙂 It will be on next season.

  4. Blake

    Hi Jim,

    Any idea when this gun will be available to the “normal” public 🙂

    • Jim Chapman

      There taking orders and shipping now …. don’t know the lead time. Whatever it is… it’s worth it. I love this gun!

  5. Mike

    Thanks Jim,
    Yes, planning on taking some porkers, but primarily Axis Deer.
    Just contacted Kip today and will be saving my cash! Sounds like an awesome gun. Thanks for the lead!
    Best regards,
    Mike

  6. grizz

    is this a true production model, or a semi custom made in small batches?

    • Jim Chapman

      They are production guns, with a scheduled production run. Every month a certain number of guns will role out, whether it is limited production is somewhat dependent on demand.

  7. Tim Aman

    Jim, Whats your idea about this bushbuck in a carbine length & how much of a power loss
    would you expect. And can they offer that.

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Tim,
      they are working on a carbine now. Kip is cutting back the barrel and measuring output looking for the right balance, I would be willing to give up 100 fpe to knock as few inches off, but would want to keep the shot count at 2/4. Might be possible to achieve this, we’ll see. Be one great bush gun if they can!

  8. lucas

    Helloo wich is the velocity with 405 / 420grains?¡Thanks

    • Jim Chapman

      With the 420 grain bullet, a little over 800 fps for about 600 fpe….. screaming fast and hits hard!

  9. Marcus Franklin

    How does one order the AOA Bushbuck .451? I’m not able to find any retail source for this gun on the internet.

    • Jim Chapman

      Marcus; Call AOA and talk to Chip, he can help you out. This is an AOA product and they are the only source for this VERY cool gun.

  10. Gil yost

    Hi Jim –love these big bores but just wondering about the up coming American air arms high power bull pups? What do you think
    About the bull dog? I guess I weigh price and
    Performance –ideas?

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Gil;
      Haven’t seen the American Air Arms so can’t comment there. The bullpup is a solid 200 fpe hunting rifle, that I have to say is (to my eye) an ugly duckling. As far as bullpups go its chunky yet fairly lightweight, but if you want an available production bullpup, it’s the most powerful you’ll find. I’m getting 50 yard 1″ groups all day long with it, so it gives you what you need for deer hunting (in States where a .357 is legal). My all around favorite big bore rifles are probably my 275 fpe Quackenbush .451 bush gun with a 20″ barrel, my AOA Bushbuck .452 (a 600 fpe sledge hammer), and my 130 fpe Rainstorm .357 for a lower powered predator gun.

  11. Chacho

    Hello Mr. Chapman, I also love the big boys! Purchased an Extreme .457 from Brent Houg and several Mr. HP 280gr bullets. I’m very interested in the Bush Buck I spoke with Kip a few weeks back and will be purchasing one. I have turned to airgun predator hunting also. The challenge is worth the reward my predator gun is a Will Piatt tuned Career Ultra WOW!!! Great gun and very accurate. Just wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and knowledge on hunting with airguns! Looking forward on your post on the Texan, I have that gun on my wish list too. Best of luck on all your hunts,
    Chacho

    • Jim Chapman

      Hi Chaco,
      Sounds like you’ve got quite the collection going! I love the Bushbuck, one of my favorite big bores. Piatts tunes are first class, and like that Extreme as well! How are you doing on the predators?
      Jim

  12. Chacho

    Thank you for your response Jim. Predators taken at this point are mainly fox, and coons with one coyote. When our weather cools here in West Tx, I’ll work at getting my first airgun bobcat!!!! My big bore collection at this point consists of Career Ultra .357, Fire 201s .357 heading to Mr Piatt, DAQ .308, Extreme .308 and .457 I really enjoy the spot and stalk which is so rewarding when it all comes together. November I’ll be hunting Axis and Fallow Deer with my Extreme .457, after speaking with Kip he is putting together an African airgun hunt at Hanslow Safaris in South Africa. If all goes as planned I should be heading there! Super excited, that would be the ultimate airgun hunt. Kip is planning this in July of 2016, once again thank you for sharing your knowledge and hunting experience with airguns.
    Chacho

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