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Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? #14990370 06/22/20
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I have always thought of Zero brand bullets as a target bullet, but last night I happened upon a thread talking about their 240 grain .431 jacketed soft point for 44 mag. That is an inexpensive bullet, about $138 per thousand. I ordered a thousand to try. I know several folks use it, but one thing I couldn't find in my search is if anyone has had any success with this bullet as a hunting bullet for white tail and/ or hogs, or similar size game. Just wondering what this bullet is really designed for. The lady I placed my order with was admittedly not a shooter and she couldn't tell me much of anything about the bullet other than price and weight. My plan for this bullet is to use it as a revolver and rifle bullet for 44 mag and special, and maybe in my 444 Marlin rifles.


"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.

Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #14991768 06/23/20
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Odd that you have to email them to get a username/password to browse their products.

Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #14991994 06/23/20
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I think that is their wholesale sight. Try Roze distributing.


"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #14998247 06/25/20
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Zero bullets are regarded as an inexpensive match bullet and were not developed as a hunting bullet.

That doesn't mean that they won't work in some circumstances, but I would suggest testing them for expansion and penetration and find out. .

You will be looking for good penetration. If a bullet is too soft to penetrate deeply enough or will flatten on bone it will fail as a game bullet.

Except for rugged bullets like the Hornady XTP Magnum, generally cast bullets with a large flat nose will work best in big bore revolvers.


"A note next to the one you think is bad corrects the one in front..."
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #14998404 06/25/20
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Thanks for the info.

They came in today.

[Linked Image]

I started loading a few up this evening. I have some Accurate Number 9 I need to use up so that’s the powder I’ll start with. It is an attractive bullet.

I’ll start by digging some out of the mud and seeing what they look like. Then I guess I’ll try some water jugs.

It makes a fairly attractive cartridge though.

[Linked Image]


Last edited by Joe_S; 06/25/20.

"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
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Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15000556 06/26/20
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I would be really interested in your test results with those .44s. Will you be doing comparison tests against cast lead .44s? Please post your load data and results. THANKS


"...why, land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for,... because it is the only thing that lasts."
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15000698 06/26/20
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I don’t have any commercial cast bullets to compare to.

I may possibly try some 265 gr Hornady JSP and some Ranier plated hollow points that I have.

My tests will be far from scientific though, so I don’t want to get your hopes up. smile


"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15003684 06/27/20
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Updated OP

First shot results.
Load is 20 grains of Accurate Number 9.
Fired from a 10.5” Super Blackhawk.

[Linked Image]

Distance was about 5 feet into some damp Mississippi dirt. Penetrated 6.5”.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Only lost 4 grains
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Joe_S; 06/27/20.

"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15003919 06/27/20
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Thanks for testing and documenting and posting your results, Joe S.


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15003987 06/27/20
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I’ll do more as I have time. It was sprinkling and thundering so i was afraid it was gonna rain big.


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Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15005530 06/28/20
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Today I loaded a couple up in a 444 Marlin case and performed the same “test” with my 444P. I don’t know that I’ll use this as a 444 bullet. Penetration of 3.5” and 5” as opposed to about 6.5” with a 265 Interlock that is made for the 444. Expansion was pretty good though. Lol

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Weight retention, not so much.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Compared to the 265 Interlock.
[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The two Zeros on the left and the Hornady Interlock on the right.
[Linked Image]


"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15005761 06/28/20
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Shooting deer through the front end, it seems the Zeros would do fine out of the 44 and 444. They are bit thin-jacketed if you are shooting a steep quartering shot in either, though. Seems like the thing to do is to slow them down to keep them together. Animals (for me) have been more and less forgiving than dense mud, depending on where I hit them. I don't shoot 240's in 444 above 2000 fps. They seem to come apart, regardless of the brand. I've taken to the heavier bullets in both 44 and 444. I cast a 285 HP that I can shoot as fast as the Hornady 265. It happens to be the most accurate bullet out of both the Marlin 1894 and XLR. I stick to a handgun when shooting 240's, and I don't lean on them anymore.


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15005821 06/28/20
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Good info. Thanks. Maybe I’ll revisit the 444 with some Trailboss just to see.

I’ll chronograph the 44s next to see where they are.

I bet the 4895 load would be a good varmint load in the 444.

Last edited by Joe_S; 06/28/20.

"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15005856 06/28/20
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A piece of cardboard about 4 feet (at least) behind a 1 gallon jug of water will give you an indication of what the bullet is looking like.


Some spelling errors can be corrected by a vowel movement.
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Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15005926 06/28/20
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Originally Posted by Joe_S
Good info. Thanks. Maybe I’ll revisit the 444 with some Trailboss just to see.

I’ll chronograph the 44s next to see where they are.

I bet the 4895 load would be a good varmint load in the 444.

I have no experience with Trail Boss, But I do a lot of shooting with Unique in the 444 for "lighter" loads using 200-265gr cast bullets.

I'd ABSOLUTELY use that 4895 load as a varmint load! Good times! POOF!


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15011369 06/30/20
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The 444 gives you a lot more range.

At realistic expected hunting ranges 150 yards, or even 50 yards impact velocity will be much lower and that's where a softer expanding bullet will shine.

I'd want to follow up by shooting into a few feet of wet newspaper to have a more realistic idea of what to expect, but those Zero bullets seem to be hanging in there...no bullet will make much progress when shot into dirt at point blank range...


"A note next to the one you think is bad corrects the one in front..."
Re: Zero brand .431 bullets for hunting? [Re: Joe_S] #15011514 06/30/20
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Oh yea for sure. Like I said, I am far from scientific. Ha

Hope to play with it a little more this weekend.


"An armed society is a polite society."

Joe S.

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