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Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? #14571925 02/14/20
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buttstock Online Content OP
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Anyone deer hunt with cast bullets? Interested in the details of cartridge, firearm ( rifle pistol shotgun), rifling twist, bullet ( weight and sizing diameter), load, muzzle velocity (estimates ok), accuracy, alloy, and performance (recovered bullet have any expansion, fragmented ) or pass through? Distance of shot? Where did bullet hit deer? Distance deer travelled after being shot? And any other thoughts you c an pass along.

I will be testing my JC Higgins m50 30-06 this year with a 195 grain flat point RCBS .311" sized bullet (NOE mold). It has a 1-10" twist barrel, so MV probably will be maxed out at 1600-1700 fps pending alloy. Will try both air-cooled and water-cooled wheel weights, then either add pure lead or tin, pending diameter, hardness and accuracy. Will be hunting in Maine woods, so max distance would be 75-100 yards. Powder to be tested: Blue Dot, 2400, 3031, 4895.

Curious if there are other cast bullet deer hunters here. Yes, I do visit castboolits.com.


"Behavior accepted is behavior repeated."
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Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14571958 02/14/20
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I'm interested in the responses you get because I am exactly where you are right now. I just acquired the RCBS 180 gr FP mold and the 405 RCBS mold. My Springtime project is to work up bullet/load combinations for these two bullets in several 30 cal rifles and my Marlin 1895. Alloys for ideal expansion in whitetails at about the same velocities you are gunning for is the unknown for me. I have read a lot about good alloys on the cast bullet sites but have yet to get started on my project. Good luck to both of us....

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14571985 02/14/20
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There is a thread here in the Bullet Casting forum on this very subject with several posters.
I've use three different rifles on deer with cast bullets. Way in the past I used a Win 94 Ranger with 31141gc at roughly 1900 fps to take several deer. More recently I had a Marlin 336 rebored by JES to 38-55 and have used an Accurate 38-250b with 10 Bhn PC'd alloy at 1400 and 1600 on close cover whitetail.
More to your uses, I've been working with a 1959 JC Higgins M51-L in 308 for the last couple years. The bore/throat is a bit oversized and worn, but I've had pretty good luck with it. I tried several bullets that other casters sent me and settled on the NOE clone of the Saeco #315, a 180 grain tapered bullet with a truncated cone nose that allowed me to seat it out into the rifling to bridge over the throat. I run roughly ww + tin alloy in this one, powder coated and water dropped out of the powder coat oven. Size to .311-.3115. I had success with loads up to 2450 fps with powders as slow as H4350 and H4831sc, but settled on 2150-2200 fps for a bit better accuracy and consistency.
I used it on three whitetail does this year, one broadside at 125 yards, the others nearly head on at around 100. The broadside doe ran maybe 50 yards before crashing. The first head on was at a slight angle and the bullet exited the far flank. The second had an exit through the back of the rear quarter. Both ran roughly 60-70 yards. No lack of penetration here. I dressed them all by the gutless method, so didn't open them up to see how much damage was done.
Over the summer I'm going to experiment with the same combo with out the water dropping to see if I can soften the bullet for more expansion and quicker kills.

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14572021 02/14/20
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I should add that there was a marked difference in knock down power between the 30 and 38 caliber bullets, even with the velocity difference. The two I've taken with the 38-55 have dropped within 30 yards, that big flat point makes a difference

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14572134 02/14/20
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I got scared during the Obama admin and decided to come up with cast bullet loads for my deer rifles and a few others.

I took a survey of my inventory and decided 358 would give me the most latitude. With 3 molds, I could handle:

9mm/357 Mag -- Lee 358-125-RF
357 Mag rifle -- Lee 358-158-RF
35 Whelen -- RCBS FN

All told, I had close to a dozen firearms covered. Over the next year, I got loads tested that would work for just about every purpose.

Then Trump got elected, and they've been just sitting there.

Bottom line: I've got dandy loads for my 357 Mag Marlin 1894 and my 35 W Remington 7600. The latter works best with a 200 grain powder-coated bullet fired at hot 35 Remington velocities.


Genesis 9:2-4 Ministries Lighthearted Confessions of a Cervid Serial Killer
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Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14572371 02/14/20
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Here's the cast bullet hunting thread mentioned above, on the cast bullet forum here:

https://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbt...-any-deer-hunting-with-cast#Post14367503


"Behavior accepted is behavior repeated."
Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14572723 02/14/20
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For 100% of my handgun hunting now, I cast my own bullets. In the 70s and early 80s I did kill some game with jacketed handguns bullets, but I have given up on them 100 now because I have never found a hunting task that jacketed bullet do as well as the best cast bullets, let alone better.

In rifles (other then muzzleloaders) I am not using them anymore because I am so busy it seems I just don't get the time to work the throats and make up the loads with cast bullets. But I have done it in the past and had excellent results. Rifles I have used with cast bullets for hunting in the past have been :

44 magnum in a Browning M92 loaded with LBT cast bullets of 270 grains. All shot on any game were excellent and not one ever took 2 shots. The gun whould shoot about 2-1/4" at 100 with the tang-peep I had on it. I used 20 grains of H110 and a rifle primer. All exited.

357 magnum from a Marlin 1894 with LBT 187 grain Gas Check Wide Flat Nose bullets. I only killed 3 antelope myself, but my friend Randy killed 33 deer and antelope and all but one was a 1 shot kill with the longest one being at 302 yards. The only one that needed more then one shot was one he hit in the gut on the 1st shot. The 357 from a rifle with this bullet has got to be seen in action to be believed, but out performed the 30-30s I have used in the past in the speed of the kills, in penetration and from our Marlins we can expect 2 MOA --- with Randy's gun shooting 1-1/4" at 100. All exited.

30-30 in a Marlin 336 with Micro Groove barrel, which was fired lapped and throated a bit to take the 180 grain bullet. The bullet was an old Seaco mold. My load was using 332 powder, but I don't remember the charge. I chronographed it at 2045 FPS. Several coyotes and 3 deer were killed with this load. One deer acted like it was not hit and walked about 20 yards, stopped and then fell down. The other 2 acted like they would with a 170 grain Jacketed load. High jumps and an attempt to run but only going about 15 to 20 yards as they stumbled and then fell. All cast bullets exited.

A 100% as-issued Lithgow SMLE in 303 using a 180 grain cast gas check bullet. I killed 6 deer with that gun and those loads and they worked as well as any jacketed bullet I ever used. Kills were very fast and 3 of them were bang-flops. This gun shot my cast loads about half again tighter then any jacketed load I ever tried in it. One of the very best cast-guns I ever owned. At 50 yards all the best cast bullets would shoot a group about the size of a dime. All shot exited.

Remington M721 in 30-06 and a few different bullets with double diameter molds. Tried various powders and 4 different bullets. No good. I could never get that gun to shoot cast bullets well. The best I got was about 7" at 100 and some were so bad they would clear the whole target) I almost throated it to use a pope style bullet, but instead I made the next rifle.

A full stocked Mauser I made up just for cast loads in 30-06 with a 19" barrel. I used an LBT mold that dropped a 206 grain bullet and a load of H870. This load was slow (about 2275 FPS)and heavily compressed, and would leave a bit of unburden powder but shot under MOA at 100 yards, and was a deadly killer. I seated the gas-check even with the bottom of the neck and I made the barrel myself, so I chambered it to allow the bullet to fit the throat with the lands touching the bullet when it was seated well out of the case. (I read Pope's writings and found he knew what he was talking about) This gun was built from the ground up as a cast shooter and did super well. 3 Deer, 1 antelope ,1 bear and one crippled horse were killed with it. All shot exited but the one that killed the horse and the one used on the bear. Both of then were quartering toward me. The bullet from the bear was against his skin on the rump. The one on the horse was not found. I really liked that rifle and would not have sold it, but a man in Nevada kept laying down money on the table until I caved in. I though "I can just make another" but I never have. I kinda-miss that rifle. I have talked to him several times in the last 30 years and he tells me it's still his favorite rifle. He's killed a lot of deer and several caribou (15 years ago he told me he had killed 14 caribou with it so I don't know what the kill-count is today) with it now. He got the mold the sizer, the dies and the hand press with it in the purchase so he also enjoys all the rifle will do with that load.

A 375H&H with an LBT bullet of 320 grains. This was the 1st barrel I had on my Mauser 375 and when I had shot out the throat I decided to try to make a throating reamer and clean up the eroded part to make a cast bullet barrel from it. it was just OK, but nothing great. I could get 2.5 to 3" groups from it and the loads I used were not fast. most of the best ones only shot at about 1500 FPS but that speed with 320 grains of bullet is still some serious power. I had plans to kill game with those loads and I thought a 3 MOA gun was fine for hunting at ranges of 150 and closer, but for what-ever reason ---I never shot an animal with it after I throated it out. Later I re-barreled the Mauser to the barrel it now has and went back to only jacketed loads.

My old M70 Winchester in 270. I got a Lyman mold (can't remember the number now) and shot loads with green Dot and Herco powders. If I ran then very slow at around 1350 I could get 1.5" at 100 yards with that gun and I did kill some coyotes and foxes with it, but nothing larger.

45-70 Marlin rifles (3 of them) used RCBS 400 and 500 grain molds with gas checks and a 450 grain LBT bullet also gas-checked and loaded of 4064, 3031, 335, unique and black powder. Loads ran from 1200 FPS to 1875 FPS and all were accurate with some being super accurate. All killed game from deer to buffalo as well as you'd expect. As a side note: A load from a 45-70 with a 500 grain bullet loaded at only about 1300 FPS WILL shoot clear through an American buffalo from ham to neck and exit. That's not a theory. I know it for a fact. All exited.

458 Winchester mag. 500 grain RCBS and 450 grain LBT bullets. Cast very hard with the alloy I used when I ran Cast Performance co. These did all the best factory loads ever did and in most cases did a bit better then factory loads. These loads were used by several of us at Cast Performance co to kill game and also I used to lend that rifle to those going to Africa and Australia to hunt so they would be our "testers" in various places and on many kinds of game. 100% of them told me the same thing. The bullets did as well as the best jacketed bullets on any game and out penetrated even several solids available from factory loads. Most exeted but I did get 4 sent to me by hunters who killed hippos and elephants and they were in out collection at the factory for a while on display.

50-140 Sharps. Farmingdale sharps with a compressed of 3F black and a Federal 215 magnum primer. I had LBT make a custom mold and it dropped a 477 grain bullet. This rifle was REAL finicky. Hard to get it to shoot, but after about 1-1/2 years of screwing around with it I did find a load it did ok with. I had to cast the bullet very hard (24 Bn ) and used a set of wads under it, and 1 grain of Red-Dot on the bottom of the shell with the black powder on top, but with that load it would give me 2 MOA. I killed a few domestic bulls, 3 horses and 3 deer with this rifle. I took it after elk one time but never got a shot with it, so other then farm animals and those 3 deer I didn't kill much with it. Bet you are not surprised when I say the bullets exited.

Last edited by szihn; 02/14/20.
Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14607336 02/25/20
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Hesp Offline
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I have been using the Lyman 330 HP cast in my 45-70 for many years in my Marlin levers. This bullet made from straight wheel weights cast out at about 350gr due to the higher lead content of WW. My 45-70 is scoped & uses the old style Weaver pivot mount so iron sites can be used if needed. Also have my Marlin Cowboy 38-55 I bought back around 1999 or 2000 uses a custom LBT 200gr with gas check. Also scoped & uses the old Weaver pivot mount. Either of these rifles perform flawlessly out to about 150 yds. The 45-70 with a Saeco 350gr GC mold # 17 which comes closer to 370grs when cast from WW & works perfect on elk within 100yd. All my bullets are made from scrape wheel weights. My scrape WW have a Bhn of about 10.5. They perform quite well up to 1800 fps. I can heat treat them to be harder which will allow them to shoot accurately to about 2200 fps. But at this velocity recoil from the 45-70 becomes obnoxious for me. I also cast for my 25-35 but have never used it on big game. My 25-20 & 32-20 are used strictly for small game. All use cast bullets. Also have a Win 44 mag lever 24" Bbl that shoots the Saeco #432 265gr at about 1800 fps, but have never used it on anything but rocks on my hillside. No doubt it would work well for deer. They are all fun.

Last edited by Hesp; 02/25/20.
Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14622017 03/01/20
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blammer Offline
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311284 cast bullet ww alloy air cooled 225gr sized .311 , vel about 1800 fps, dead nuts accurate for me, forget the powder charge at the moment.

rem 700 30-06 std brl.

140 yds I recall, could be closer or farther, forget now. pass through both legs and the heart.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

my other fav rifle for cast bullet hunting is 35 whelen custom shileen (sp?) 1/14 twist, 20 some inches I think. rcbs 35-200 clone mold sized to .358, 210 gr
these are ww alloy water dropped, getting 2500 fps good accuracy, dropped a hog one shot quartering away at 160 yds. No recovery of bullet.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
dropped a nice 8pt at 10 yds shoulder down through lungs and heart, complete penetration, could eat up to the hole so to speak

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Last edited by blammer; 03/01/20.

Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

PAYPAL, sucks and I will never use them again. I recommend you do the same.
Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14622034 03/01/20
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blammer Offline
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oh yea, went 'noisy game' hunting with my 30-06 and the 311284 bullets once... scored these.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Whatever you are willing to put up with, is exactly what you will have.

When your ship comes in. ... make sure you are willing to unload it.

PAYPAL, sucks and I will never use them again. I recommend you do the same.
IC-B

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14622631 03/01/20
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I use the 200 gr. rcbs in a 35 Remington Marlin lever action. They work well , iron sights and all.

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: buttstock] #14623097 03/01/20
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Jevyod Offline
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Blammer what lube were you using to push that rcbs 35 200 that fast?

Re: Any cast bullet deer hunters? What are you using? [Re: Jevyod] #14623140 03/01/20
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I use 2500+ from white label lubes.

It really works.

I shoot 325 grain cast in my 45-70,forget what the speed was but hogs don't like them.

So far no deer.

I cast my bullets for rifles with ww and lino for a little more toughness.

They are gas checked.
Slower get plain base.

I got tired of changing lube between pistols and rifles so i use it for everything.


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