View Full Version : Cast Boolit Barrel

12-14-2006, 02:48 PM
If you were going to get a 17" barrel for a Contender and wanted to shoot deer out to 300 yards with cast boolits, what caliber would it be and why?

12-14-2006, 03:32 PM
If you were going to get a 17" barrel for a Contender and wanted to shoot deer out to 300 yards with cast boolits, what caliber would it be and why?

I imagine there will be some debate on this, but if it were me, there's only two calibers I would consider: .45-70 and .375 JDJ. Saying cast bullet (in my opinion) limits it somewhat in pressure (and therefore velocity), so you have to go for heavier bullet weight at more modest velocities. Therefore, large calibers only. If you choose to use jacketed bullets (which in all honesty are better suited to this project), I would use either that new 6.8 Remington or one of the 7 MMs, (7 TCU or 7-30 Waters).

grumpy one
12-14-2006, 05:24 PM
The idea of trying to hit a deer at 300 yards with cast bullets from a very short-barrelled 45-70 sounds rather like trying to hit the enemy with a WW II Japanese 2" knee-mortar. It is more a lobbing project than a shooting project.

12-14-2006, 05:57 PM
I would tend to go for the .375, but at that distance range estimation with a big or even some of the smaller calibers is paramount. Even a jacketed bullet at 2800fps is going to drop about 8 inches minimum with a 200 yrd zero. The chest area for a whitetail is about 16 inches deep, kill zone is less.
I'm not saying it can't be done just good ranging and lots of practice at different ranges. And of course make sure that the energy is going to be there at 300 if you go below .375 cal.


12-14-2006, 06:31 PM
Grumpy One .... My Dad still dislikes the Japanese and he claims that some of those guys with the knee mortars were pretty good at what they did. Once a person learns about trajectory and puts it to use it is not that difficult to deal with. It is range estimation that causes the problems. Rangeing today is not as big a problem as it was years ago.

grumpy one
12-14-2006, 07:37 PM
Nighthunter, I agree the job could be done by a skilled shooter with a 45-70 and a laser rangefinder, if the commercial ones will work over 300 yards. I've certainly been impressed by their performance at 200 and less. Most likely some of the old-time buffalo shooters worked at long range some of the time without rangefinders, just making use of talent and experience to do the job, which I guess is what those Japanese soldiers did too.

My point was that it seems to me to be doing the job the hard way. Taking deer cleanly at 300 yards needs to be done well, or the deer pays for the mistakes. If someone has taken deer successfully so many times at that distance that it has become boring, he could generate an extra challenge by trying to do it with a carbinized pistol that gives a banana-shaped trajectory, or perhaps by standing on his head and shooting one-handed, facing away from the target and holding a mirror in the other hand. It's a question of getting the sequence right: first comes the credibility, then comes the trick-shooting. Just basic respect for the game animal.

12-14-2006, 08:00 PM
I have to agree with most of the above. Practice, practice.
The Contender frame leaves somthing to be desired at that range for gameIMHO. Mostly on the trajectory. Now, if you were talking the Encore platform, that would open up a whole new area.
I have been fooling with a 45-70 14" hunter barrel contender with a comp. I was using 405's and that seemed to be to much of a good thing. I ran across the lyman 330HP mould and have yet to cast any. I am seriously thinking of a pretty soft alloy for that one.
I did a short load ramp with the 45-70/405's and by the time I got to the last few rounds it was all I wanted.
After I picked up the 330 grain mould I couldn't help but think why? I could just go to a 300 grain in the 44 mag and acomplish close to the same thing. 444 did cross my mind, but have since decided against that.
If you closed the gap up to 200 yards max would also help your options quite a bit.

12-14-2006, 08:23 PM
just my $0.02, but Contender and 300 yards and cast boolits and shooting (hunting) deer don't all go together, no matter what the caliber.
Change any one variable, especially the range or the deer part, and it sounds like fun.

12-14-2006, 10:30 PM
I would hunt to get closer. You did ask "If You" .

12-14-2006, 10:46 PM
None. I won't shoot at one over 200 yards with a rifle, nor will most of my friends. It may be because, we have all hunted for many years, know better, and have more respect for the deer, or any big game. Bad idea from the conception.

12-14-2006, 11:33 PM
.375 Winchester and move 150 yards closer.

12-15-2006, 12:18 AM
If I wanted to shoot at something big and live at 300 yards and be sure of killing it cleanly, I wouldn't be shooting at it with anything available for the Contender. Get real. :roll: You aren't talking about target shooting here, you're talking about living, breathing deer. Please have enough respect for the animals to use an adequate cartridge for the job. Varmints, though.... :-D With an Encore frame, however, there are a lot of good options.

12-15-2006, 01:14 AM
with the right set up, killing deer at 300yds is reasonable. But we're not talkin daddies '06 thats gets taken out of the rack and shot 4 times in a year, 3 for sight in and 1 to drop bambi. You need to be intimately familar with your gear and practice regularly. If I was to plan on shooting deer at 300yds, I would practice at 300yds If you can;t with out a doubt hit a paper plate, all the time, every time with a cold barrel shot, then you're not ready yet.

12-15-2006, 10:05 AM
Alot of good replies, and my thanks to each. I am just starting to work with cast bollits and thought I'd throw out this question. After spending the last fifteen years running deer with dogs and shooting them at long range(when stand hunting), I feel that a change would be good since every and anybody that can buy a rifle is shooting at deer around here these days, there is no shortage here in eastern NC, way to many, almost like rats but this new breed of hunters leave something to be desired as far as I'm concerned and therefore I'm giving up my memebership in our club and will be hunting on my own in the swamp. These new guys won't leave their truck too far so at least it won't be crowded. I've never seen a place were a 300 yard shot could happen in the swamp but being a long range fan I wanted to know what the average cast shooter thought was long range. I have what I think is the neatest small rifle I've ever had, a Contender in 308x444 and it does quite well on deer with 130 Speer HPs out to about 150 yards, that and a back up pistol either 44Mag, 45LC, or 10mm will be my arsonal next year but was thinking of going all cast with them, maybe I can find a good boolit that the Contender will like and most likely 100 yards will be all I need. Thanks again.

12-15-2006, 11:24 AM
Now you're talking!
For 100 yards and cast there are lots of good choices,
.357 Remington Maximum
.375 Win
.41 Mag
.44 Mag
.444 Marlin
.45 Colt
and a bunch of wildcats

12-15-2006, 12:44 PM
I imagine the the territory there is similar to here, right brush and confier swamps, longest shot would be about 200yds down a power line easement.

I couldn't find any info on that .308x444:confused:

12-15-2006, 01:29 PM
I imagine the the territory there is similar to here, right brush and confier swamps, longest shot would be about 200yds down a power line easement.

I couldn't find any info on that .308x444:confused:

That is a wildcat cartridge designed by J D Jones of SSK Industries. It is more commonly called the .309 JDJ and here is some information on it: http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/may97bench.html

12-15-2006, 03:54 PM
Now that we're talking reasonable ranges, don't leave out the .30-30, but you've already got more than it can deliver in the .309JDJ. My Contender Carbine in .30-30 is a tack driver @ 100yds, but haven't tested at longer ranges as I can't see much beyond that with the peep sight that's on it.

12-15-2006, 07:12 PM
If you have one of the 308x444 woldcats you are good to go out to 200 even in a pistol mode. I will leave bullet design to those here that know them way better than I.

"That is a wildcat cartridge designed by J D Jones of SSK Industries. It is more commonly called the .309 JDJ"

Pretty much a true stament for the most part. Designed, I doubt it. PO Ackley had it way before JD. JD may have promoted it and got a patent of sorts on it. There are several 308x444's out there, from what I have seen there is not 10 cents worth of difference in them on the full length 444.
That was where I was headed on my comments on the Encore platform, just the plain old 308 for starters.

12-18-2006, 09:05 AM
I was thinking something in the 170 to 190 range for the 308x444 would give good performance out to 100 yards and after reading some, think the tumble lube route maybe the way to go. Like I said I'm just starting with cast boolits, thinking it will add a little more fun to the game.

12-21-2006, 12:17 AM
:coffee: ---A friend of mine shot a bear with a contender in 45-70---He hit the bear and the bear kept coming--he loaded another round and struck the bear in the shoulder spinning him around and down---He loaded a third round and walked over to where the bear had fallen----The bear got up all blooded ---face covered with blood and pissed off----My friend fired a third shot point blank and turned an ran---never looked back to see what happened---3 hits from a 45-70 and still going----I think this 300 yrd. thing be better left alone for the deer sake if nothing else.---Just My opinion----Maybe I'm just getting old---Mag----:castmine: