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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In an effort to be prepared for a very unlikely situation, I am trying to get some info on what would be the best 12ga slug for rhino and elephant etc. I am a police officer that works latewatch, and my division includes the city zoo. In the unlikely event an animal would escape and present an immediate threat, I would like to have a better option than what I already carry. The slugs the department issues are reduced recoil and I doubt they hold together well. I already regularly carry a 12ga smooth bore (and AR-15, but I assume it is no contest that the shotgun is my better option). I'm sure there are much better options out there, but carrying another long gun for such an unlikely scenario is not really feasible. But I figure carrying a few boxes of a high-powered slug that will penetrate well is no inconvenience at all. And in case anyone is wondering, we do have protocols in place if a potentially dangerous animal were to escape. But in my experience of working latewatch for 8+ years, most protocols for rare events are written for business hours. It always takes longer for people on call (i.e. SWAT) to arrive during the night. So any suggestions on a good 12ga slug for a smooth bore (Remington 870, 18 inch, up to 3" shells) to put down anything up to a crazed elephant would be appreciated. Thank you
 

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I seriously doubt the slug would penetrate that tough hide of either animal to the degree necessary to completely stop one from charging.
And welcome from Florida!
 

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Elephant and other large African game have been dispatched with much smaller firearms than a 12 ga slug.

Shot placement is the key in everything from rhino, elephant, and buffalo on down to whitetail deer.

How long have you been a police officer? I am kind of leaning toward this being either a troll/joke or a boot thing.

I am sure you have bigger things to worry about than a large animal escaping from a zoo. If not then I need to find a house in your neighborhood. Must be a safe place to raise kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Obviously not anywhere near the biggest thing I have to worry about. A very unlikely situation as my initial post stated. Just figured there is a much better option than the reduced recoil slugs we are issued if such an unlikely situation were to occur. Leaning toward Brenneke Black Magic based on Google searches (when searching for most powerful 12ga slug for smooth bore). But am hoping to get input from people that have knowledge of ballistics that exceeds mine (which is pretty limited).
 

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I have hunted in Africa (1970s) at a time when rhinos and elephants were acceptable and expected trophies. There is no way I would want to face them or water buffalo, or hippos down with any 12 gauge.

I'm no expert on ballistics, but I am experienced in hunting these animals. What I do know is that .375 H&H Magnum is the legally smallest caliber that can be used to hunt these animals with in most, if not all, of Africa. Part of the reason is the thickness and toughness of the hides of these animals.

My hunting experience was a long-time ago and I was lucky enough to be on the trip with some very wealthy people. We were all using double rifles, and the one I used (loaned) was a .500 Nitro Express. The bolt actions were for smaller and thinner skinned game and most of those guns were chambered in .458 Winchester Magnum.

12 gauge? I wouldn't choose an 8 gauge for what you are proposing.
 
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You're overthinking it, officer.

If you have a contingency plan for everything except a crazed heffalump terrorizing the empty city streets at 0300, you should be running the Operations or Patrol Division instead of warming the seat in a patrol unit.

Relax and go home safe at the end of every shift. Crazed elephants are best handled on a 'monitor and report' basis.
 

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The Brennekes are likely the best choice given a 12 ga. The common foster slugs dont penetrate well, usually breaking up into 3 pieces on people and staying inside them, according to those that have used them.

Brennekes have had a long and generally good reputation of use in Africa, mostly on thinner skinned game, but about anything designed for deer hunting and intended to expand is defeating the purpose of what you want them for.

Id suggest asking on pistol-forum.com, theres several guys there that have hunted Africa, one of them (GJM) lives in Alaska part time, he uses Brennekes in his and his wifes shotguns for off season walk-around use. He may have some related info of interest.

Hunting rifles are different than what you ware doing, stopping rifles for stopping large animals at very close distance after annoying them is also a different job. Vast numbers of elephants have been killed with AKs and various military rifles calibers, and Bell killed many with a 7mm Mauser and some with a 30-40 Krag rifle, the main issue being very close, shooting them when they didnt know he was there or a threat, and being a very good shot and understanding elephant anatomy very well. Round nose full jacket or all solid copper bullets help with penetration, pointy full jacket bullets dont track as straight in animals.

If a large animal escape happened, the zoo may be the best people to deal with it, they may have tranquilizer guns, and probably have heavy caliber rifles. Its possible the animal may not be hostile, just confused and lost.

There was an instance years ago of a circus elephant that went rogue and squished a couple people then bolted out into the streets, I believe it was killed by a police officer with a pistol and some citizen with a 30-30 rifle.
 

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Advice on killing very large animals...

Here is a link to 24 HourCampfire's section on Africa.

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/forums/20/1/africa

Go there, read a lot of the threads, get registered and ask questions. The collective wisdom there is worth the effort. Off the top of my head I would offer this advice. You need to have the round penetrate to where it will kill. You want straight line penetration. Long for caliber parallel sided heavy constructed solids will do it. Placement is up to you. You need to know where to place your shot to have the bullet get to where it needs to be. That takes some study and practice at the range. The PH will say he does not care you can shoot one inch groups at 100 yards, he wants to know if you can do it quickly at 15 feet, each and every time.

I do not know, and would worry about a Brenneke or similar slug penetrating an elephant's skull. Maybe it would. A sabot type shotgun slug with a heavy constructed solid would come close to duplicating many of the turn of the century old British cartridges. I guess if I was walking the beat in your shoes I would elect to having a spare magazine for the AR-15 filled with armor piercing ammo. You might need a few shots, but you would have a high probability of some getting to where they need to be. If anyone makes a rather blunt nosed solid, that would be the best. And practice with them making sure you can get the to ht where you want them to.
 

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If a large animal escape happened, the zoo may be the best people to deal with it, they may have tranquilizer guns, and probably have heavy caliber rifles. Its possible the animal may not be hostile, just confused and lost.
Especially on the late shift, when there is likely to be little to no threat to human life and there is time to consider the situation, evaluate potential strategies and arrive at a reasonable course of action.
 

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I would be more worried about using unauthorized ammo -- none issued Ammo can get you in more trouble than getting run over by a rhino. They give you that reduced recoil for a reason.
 

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If you're absolutely determined, DDuplek steel slugs come to mind.

Years ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was an LEO in a small Southern town. One night around 2300HRS, a spotted a lone steer standing in the parking lot of the local state university extension campus. Normally I carried either a Benelli M1 Super90 or a Beretta 1201FP, with 00 buckshot and Brenneke slugs. Normally. On this night I had my Bushmaster loaded with W-W 40gr HPs. 🙄 The ONLY 'suitable' takedown shot would have been a shot through the eye socketor ear canal, and hopefully into the brain. Fortunately, after several hours chasing this steer through town, a local vet was able to herd it into a trailer. I never carried the Bushmaster after that.
 
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