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Cast bullet bragging #15379491 11/04/20
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HuntnShoot Offline OP
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I decided this year to take a measured risk to test the effectiveness of cast bullets on deer this year, but using a different set of standards than the usual cast bullet hunting I hear about.

The rifle is a 243 in an M700 with the factory 24" barrel. The bullet is the RCBS 95gr (right at 100gr cast and gas-checked) cast out of ww with 2.5% tin added, then water-dropped I'd say the bullets run 18-20 Brinell. I cast them several years ago, and wondered if they maintained their "hardness", but they put 3 into well under an inch at 100 yards at velocities from 2150-2300fps. I had more of the 2150 fps load using 25gr of 3031, so that's what what I took hunting. I planned for closer shots, to keep the impact velocity close to 2000fps, and it worked out that my son got about a 25 yard shot at a huge buck (about 240-250 lbs) in an old burn after we'd been able to sneak close. One shot and done, high lung, that busted the onside rib, went through some bone at the bottom of the spine, busted the offside rib, and made a hole in but didn't make it out of the hide. The widely-expanded bullet and gas check were exactly 50 grains. The buck dropped at the shot and didn't get back up. There was extensive damage to the lungs, with a huge hole through two lobes and smaller damage from bullet and bone fragments.

Later that day, I used the same load to shoot a mature doe at about 75-80 yards. It wasn't the best shooting, as I misjudged how quartered she was, and my hits were farther back than I wanted. I shot her twice, with both bullets entering and exiting within 1.5" of each other. At least one hit a lung and both hit the liver. She made it about 20 yards altogether and was dead when I got to her. The bullets both did extensive internal damage, and obviously expanded well.

Obviously, there are limitations to consider when hunting with this setup, but I was willing to work within them. I think I will step them up the next time I hunt with them at 2300 fps using 22gr of 4227. That load shot just as well, but I didn't have enough of them to sight in and hunt with. It would likely still work well at closer range but still work well out to a couple hundred yards.

I had guessed that they would perform similar to a Partition, with the nose fragmenting on impact, and the rest of the bullet riveting to wider-than-caliber and penetrating on through. The doe seemed to have damage on par with that exactly. The buck was at least 100lb heavier, and the close-range impact caused a bit more dramatic expansion.

Anyone else hunting with near-spitzers cast hard and pushed hard?


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
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Re: Cast bullet bragging [Re: HuntnShoot] #15379526 11/04/20
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Thanks for the report. I wouldn't have had the courage to attempt a kill with such a hard small bullet but your report is food for thought. Hmmm.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
"Always certain, often right." Keith McCafferty
Re: Cast bullet bragging [Re: HuntnShoot] #15379589 11/04/20
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I've tested several calibers and versions of bullets at various speeds in water and dirt, and I've only seen good things. The alloy matters more than the hardness. Air-cooled alloy at 18-20 Brinell behaves distinctly differently than heat-treated or water dropped alloy that tests the same hardness. WW with added tin doesn't like to shatter, even at impacts close to 2500 fps. It will lose some weight though, in fragments, but as I calculated, this in moderation ends up a lot like a jacketed bullet.


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
Re: Cast bullet bragging [Re: HuntnShoot] #15385714 11/06/20
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Very interesting report. I have hunted with cast since the mid 70's but, .30 cal is as small as I was comfortable and a heavy flat point bullet. Maybe, with a little more encouragement, I will try my 7x57 with Lyman 287308. Even if I have to form a flat point on it or even better, cast a soft nose

Re: Cast bullet bragging [Re: HuntnShoot] #15386209 11/06/20
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In 8mm, I played with 50/50 lead/tin noses, completing the pour with lino for the shank...using a very hot preheated mould for a while, tested only in wet sawdust, pretty good results. But I lost patience with many weight caused rejects and just went with around an 18 bhn bullet with a gas check which was satisfactory and a heck of a lot simpler.


Well this is a fine pickle we're in, should'a listened to Joe McCarthy and George Orwell I guess.
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Re: Cast bullet bragging [Re: HuntnShoot] #15400771 11/10/20
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I've got the same RCBS bullet type in 270 that casts at 155gr with gas check and same alloy. I have not chronographed my loads for them, but they are also very accurate. I am going to try to push them to whatever velocity I can get, around or above 2200fps and use them for all my hunting next year. I'll need to find a maximum effective range where the bullet suitably deforms.


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.

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