Elephant shot placement and the SuperPenetrator

In the saison 2001/2002 I tested the SuperPenetrator on hunting elephant cows and this was simultaneously a lesson on shot placement. The SuperPenetrator, optimized for elephant headshots, performed extremely effective. The tissue pressed out the ears and trunk indicates high pressure damage inside.

Eight big mature elephant cows were hunted, 5 with tusk and 3 tuskless.

Distance was between 15 to 22 meters.

Five frontal head shots, all one shot kills under very varying angles.

One side brain shot, also an one shot kill.

Two side head shots which were not perfect and needed two respective three more shots.

White arrows indicate the bullets entrance, red lines mark the bullets path inside.

My experience from many head shots now is, that it is more likely to bring down an elephant with a frontal head shot than with a side head shot, though the brain itself is a smaller target from the front than from the side. The reason is, that a good bullet/cartridge combination after passing the brain can damage also the first vertebras of the neck. When missing the brain from the side, a quick neck shot is a very effective means to bring down the animal.

frontal head shot, head was angled down,
one shot kill


frontal head shot, angled sideways,
one shot kill
frontal head shot, downhill,
one shot kill
side head shot,
one shot kill                      
frontal head shot, uphill,
one shot kill

frontal head shot, very straight,
one shot kill
side head shot, too high,
second neck/spine shot takes it down,
third finishing shot in the chest
herd was runnig away, quick shot was too high, ele was stopped with a hip shot (1), brought down with a spine shot from behind (2) and finished with a brain shot slightly angled from behind (2). (1) in the third image is the bullets exit from the first shot.
An ele bull with a clean frontal brain shot

Cartridge: .458 Lott/Watts.
Case lenght 2.85
COL 3.64
SuperPenetrator 500 gr at 2380 f/s
Compact brass design with integral disk.

Big Game Hunting

The SuperPenetrator