View Full Version : Best bullet formula for hunting Deer
06-04-2005, 07:59 AM
Are straight wheel weight a good hunting bullet for Deer. I am casting for hunting purposes. Is it the right hardness and does it had good penetration. It will be used for my 30-30 for Buck hunting and then later on from a 44 Mag rifle for Doe (If I am successful at getting the Tag) This will be my first year using a cast bullet. My hunting friends think I am nuts to use a cast. I am getting the casting bug bad. I have until this fall to come up with the load development.
Thanks for any info you give
06-04-2005, 08:13 AM
For deer with a 30/30 and a 44 mag in my opinion there is nothing better than straight W/W.
Best formula I know of is: 1 deer + 1 wheelweight boolit in right place= meat!:-) - JDL
Ditto that for Moose, Bear, Mule Deer, Buffalo and Coyote.
06-04-2005, 11:08 AM
I've killed a pile of game with cast bullets over the years, WW's in modern firearms, and pure lead in ML's. Everything from gophers to buffalo. I know Jumptrap has killed a truck load or two of deer.
WW's will do everything you ever need for a hunting bullet. I have a friend who hunted Africa with WW bullets, and killed a pile of game with them, and those are some tough critters over there. His PH was rather unreceptive at first, until he was shown the bullets would punch through his 1/2" steel target, and kill the larger game cleanlly and quickly.
On deer, I have always had complete luck with cast, using as the lowest power rating, the 6.5X55 at about 1700 fps, with air cooled WW bullets. First shot made a golf ball size hole through the lungs, which is just about perfect. A second, unnecessary shot, made a four inch star shaped wound through the liver. The buck would have just stood there and died after the first shot, had I given it a few moments. However, I had not used that small of caliber with cast on deer before, and just added some insurance.
This past fall, I shot an elk with a 277 gr. cast from my .358 Winchester. The wound in the lungs was nearly three inches across, and the liver had about a third of it destroyed. This was a close range shot, and the energy level was higher than I would have cared for, but we take what we get for shots on elk. There are autopsy pics on the old site,
And the topic about the rifle used
I seem to recall the old time buffalo hunters also killed a buffalo or two with cast bullets.
You will get full penetration with virtually any cast bullet in game. The elk I shot last season probably didn't even slow my bullet down much. Find a bullet with a good flat meplate, and they will make a good permanent wound channel, which is what you want. The temporary wound channel modern bullets create, don't do squat.
You would probably find great interest in doing a Google search, for Facklers Wound Ballistics. He is the military researcher, that knows the what and why of bullets, and killing effect.
06-04-2005, 12:57 PM
[QUOTE=waksupi]I've killed a pile of game with cast bullets over the years, WW's in modern firearms, and pure lead in ML's. Everything from gophers to buffalo. I know Jumptrap has killed a truck load or two of deer.
Now Ric, you know that's the damnest lie you ever told! Anybody, I mean ANYBODY knows that cast bullets just bounce off critters. I wish you fellers wouldn't get on here and tell these poor lost souls that cast bullets will kill stuff!
Didn't you know that Army had to start putting jackets on bullets just so they could penetrate the enemy? Why, that's the plain truth!
I've heard....ain't ever tried it though.......that if you take your Barlow and whittle a sharp point on a cast bullet, they will sometimes penetrate cardboard at close range. A flat nose will just bounce right off.
I must make a confession: the vast majority of deer I whacked were shot with jacketed bullets. The methods and time of the year were not always according to Hoyle. Then again, I am convinced that Hoyle didn't like to eat deer flesh as much as I once did. The cast bullet deer all died like the jacketed shot ones did. But, they didn't die as quick. I enjoy cast bullets but I ain't gonna lie.......jacketed bullets work better. But cast bullets work well and you just have to understand the quirks of the bullet. I wouldn't hesitate to use a cast bullet on anything that lives, given an appropriate caliber. Lots of elephants and rhinos have died due to lead poisoning way over a hundred years ago.....you ever see a 4 bore gun? I have. No doubt, it kills on both ends. I have no doubt an elephant would succumb when whacked with that giant lead projectile. As I recall, the bullet looked like a lead 37 mm cannon bullet...roundnosed of course. The case looked like a brass shotgun shell....only about 4 inches long. That gun used to be on display at Jaquas Guns up in Ohio. Belonged to some Indian Maharajah in the 1880's. Had a twin gun in 8 bore to go with it. I think he traded it in for a Weatherby 460 after the bullets bounced off a couple buffs.....har!
06-04-2005, 04:59 PM
Mind moving those pictures, it won't let me view them.
06-04-2005, 05:47 PM
Mind moving those pictures, it won't let me view them.
06-04-2005, 06:28 PM
TCLouis---when you see the main character in the center of those picures you'll be wishing you left well enough alone.
On deer, I have always had complete luck with cast, using as the lowest
power rating, the 6.5X55 at about 1700 fps, with air cooled WW bullets. First shot made a golf ball size hole through the lungs, which is just about perfect. A second, unnecessary shot, made a four inch star shaped wound through the liver. The buck would have just stood there and died after the first shot, had I given it a few moments. However, I had not used that small of caliber with cast on deer before, and just added some insurance.
You have aroused my curiosity, what boolit were you using?-JDL
06-04-2005, 09:39 PM
I was using the Lyman, I believe 160 gr. bullet. I was bumping the noses slightly, to fill the throat for best accuracy. I've not got around to working with the Oldfeller Cruise Missile in the Swedes much yet, but will probably give them a go at deer in the future.
06-04-2005, 09:59 PM
You've only shot ONE truckload with cast. Carpetmans', to be sure, but still only one.
You are right about killing somewhat slower.
I've had some drop in thier tracks, and the others pretty much stay where they are until they get tired and decide to go to sleep. I notice with these, as long as you don't make any outrageous movement, or noise, stay put. A hit with a high power jacketed load seems to put an animal into flight many times. The ones hit with cast become lethargic, then die. Hit major bone structure, and they are down pretty much immediately. The lower report of a cast bullet load doesn't seem to panic an animal like the crack of high velocity.
I'd guess under twenty secounds for deer, and I'm not sure on the last elk I killed, as time was moving in slow motion, with so many elk standing around me at close range. I've never tracked either one over maybe thirty yards after a hit. In reality, I guess the last elk was down in thirty seconds, and dead shortly after. The one I killed a year or two ago doesn't really count for knowing killing effect, as it was probably less than five yards from me, when I shot it in the neck to drop it, before it ran over me. Spine shots are immediately fatal.
06-05-2005, 04:05 AM
You are right about killing somewhat slower.
I've had some drop in thier tracks, and the others pretty much stay where they are until they get tired and decide to go to sleep. I notice with these, as long as you don't make any outrageous movement, or noise, stay put. A hit with a high power jacketed load seems to put an animal into flight many times.
We have side stepped this statement in the passed. And if I thought there was an edge, to any one bullet or caliber, I would use it.
My experiences are very similar to Ric's. All soft cast shots on deer, irreguardless of their aderenilin state, produced a physical reaction that their ears drop immediately and a stupor is produced. Hard cast is different. Hard cast, that promotes bleed out, is far less rapid in producing death and some travel is to be expected. It takes time to bleed to death. And if strike velocity is too high with hard cast, but not high enough to drop it immediately, bleeding can actually be delayed, and travel can defy logic. My hard cast bullet experiences are far better with handguns than rifles. But I have abandoned this method alltogether because soft cast pokes the same hole and more. It just might require a little more weight for the same penetration.
When I talk to someone concerning poor killing results, the number one reason is poor shot placement. But if it is traced to the bullet, its either from someone using too heavy of a jacketed bullet for caliber or one traveling too slow that didn't expand and transfer some shock. And the same can be said from cast. If penetration and expansion are balanced, the bullet works regardless of composition. This has been my experience.
06-05-2005, 06:34 AM
My last Buck I killed was a 7X9 with felt still on the tine. Killed him with a 180 gr. Hornady SP pushed as fast as I could get it to move out of my 308. It clocked out at 2500 FPS from the little 20 inch barrel of my Ruger the last time I checked. I counted off 70 steps from where he was standing next to a tree. He went 50 yards after being hit with almost no lungs ! Makes me wonder what a cast would have done. All very good stories and information. Thanks a bunch.
06-05-2005, 06:38 AM
Are you referring to the skinned out elk, or Waksupi?
Your statement matches exactly what a friend told me about his 50 cal RB elk (with a real muzzleloader). He shot the elk at a bit under 50 yards, it flinched a little at impact and continued to stand there and graze for a minute or so and then just sank to the ground dead!
06-05-2005, 10:39 AM
TCLouis----Well urr uhhh yea that skinned out elk looks great---something to look at.
06-05-2005, 10:52 AM
I'd posted this on the old board, but up it comes again. Here's my buddy with a four bore flint elephant gun. He has two. Shouldn't everybody?
06-05-2005, 05:52 PM
use Wheel Weights for RB or bullets for your front stuffing Black Powder guns?
06-05-2005, 06:58 PM
Only for thirty-some odd years.
06-06-2005, 07:03 PM
Other than wiping out the innumerable buffalo and all the eastern elk and deer, I can't think of any instance where cast have been useful for hunting.
I've poked a couple truck loads of deer myself, including cast & shotgun slugs. They typically run about 50 yards and die, just like would if they'd been hit with a nosler partition from an 06 IMHO. The only difference seems to be the amount of bloodshot meat.
As for deer reacting to the shot, it almost seems random to me. Back when they first came out, I smoked a doe through both lungs with a 165 grain nosler ballistic tip @ 100 yards with my 06. I could have put my fist in the exit wound and she still ran 200 yards before piling up. I punched my best buck lengthwise from his front left shoulder blade through his right ham with a 1 oz. 12 gauge slug and he went 50 yards uphill with 2 working legs. On the other hand I've shot deer with straight through lung shots with a .41 magnum 410459 that did about 1" diameter damage in and out, and they've dropped in their tracks. Hell, I shot an alert doe (I already nailed her 2 companions and she couldn't figure out where I was shooting from) at exactly 25' that fell so fast, the light powder under her billowed out in a cloud that completely camoflaged her body once it settled.
I don't get it, so I long ago decided a good exit wound was a must. I can find them even in the rain.
06-06-2005, 07:50 PM
All the BSing aside, I suppose I may have killed 20 deer with cast projectiles.....rifle bullets or balls. I killed a deer a couple or three seasons ago with my 45-70 using a pure lead RCBS 405. That deer was an 8 point buck, maybe 60 yards away. I'm well into bifocals and just could not see the 3 inch sapling in front of the deer. Needless to say, the bullet centered the tree before hitting the deer. That deer ran maybe another 60 yards around the rudge before piling up. There was a hole about 5 inches across through it's ribs, no exit and no bullet...the wound was full of lead metalflakes and nothing else.
I have shot lots of WW balls and they mostly poke a hole in both sides (.50 and .54). I pole axed a small buck once with my .54 using a ball. Shot it high in the shoulder at maybe 50 yards and that deer hit the ground like a bolt of lightning hit it. I killed a small buck once with a .45 rifle using a ball, head shot it..instant death. I killed a few with my .36 squirrel rifle....about like shooting them with a .38 special on steriods......but maybe not a .357! I whacked a big doe last fall with my 375 winchester using a WW 375296(?), heard the bullet hit, seen the dirt fly where it hit the ground. Deer took off and went 200 yards before piling up. The very first cast bullet deer I shot with a 30-30 was hit just to the right of it's anal orfice :) it ran maybe 50 yards, stood there got jello legs and fell over. That bullet was a 150 grain Lee and I found it in the brisket.
I only shot AT one cow elk witha .50 ML'er. It was a borrowed rifle and I never even checked the sight in before going. Big mistake. But maybe it wasn't. How the hell I would have ever got that critter cut up and packed out of where I was is beyond me. Shank's Mare and 500 pounds of cow on the ground isn't a good combination at 11,000 feet and many miles from camp.
I burned myself out on deer meat....venison if you like that name, enjoy the thrill of turkey hunting but don't like to eat them either. I've made the circle back to enjoying fried rabbit and squirrel, a pan of fresh fish and above all quail.....an extinct species around here nowadays. The memories I have of the vittles my granny would make for Sunday dinner....those little quail piled on a platter or young gray squirrels broiled with sweet 'taters and gravey or fried rabbit and biscuits. Those days are long gone, it's been 30-35 years since she made the last, been dead for 26 years. That old woman would be 114 had she lived. The first deer rifle I ever carried belonged to her brother...it was a '92 Winchester riflein 38-40. He bought it after coming home from the Great War......probably used when he got it. He carried it to Polson, Montana when he went to visit his sister about 1920 and I doubt it was ever shot again until I used it 30-32 years ago. Some bastard stole it while my uncle was a corpse....or i'd have it now.
06-06-2005, 08:25 PM
Where I hunt, the deer and elk have seen very few, if any, people during thier lives. Definitely very light, to zero, hunting pressure, other than me. I imagine where most others hunt, the animals have come to recognise man as a threat, and react somewhat differently. So, where they may hang around here in remote areas and die peacefully, those in a more settled regions would probably have a more highly developed flight instinct. I imagine a deer shot in an eastern river bottom drive, would most likely put on the wings until it died. From what I have seen from using both jacketed and cast, they die pretty much the same, and I see no advantage to jacketed in my hunting conditions. I guess if you are in a drive situation, or where the deer have been greatly disturbed, shooting for bone would be the ticket to put one down pretty much in it's tracks. I usually avoid those shots, as I'm after meat, and shoot for the lungs. It has been mentioned of the lack of bloodshot meat. Absolutely. The onl yjacketed round I have used that would give as clean of killing wound, was my old .338 Win.Mag., with 250 gr. Sierra BT. They were over weight for the game, so didn't over expand. Once I started shooting cast exclusively, I found I could duplicate the wound charecteristics to good effect. Which made me wonder why I had ever used jacketed, in the first place?
06-06-2005, 09:32 PM
Let me tell you waksupi, eastern driving is hellaciously effective if you do it right (it's not everyone's cup of tea). If you do can do the drive properly you want them to slink around slowly, feeling pressured, not all out fleeing. That kind of shot isn't any different than shooting a deer ambling through a doe bedding area or feeding under an oak.
If they're all out running, well, that kind of shooting is tough on the ego, so we try to avoid it.
06-07-2005, 06:10 AM
I can only remember doing one or two here in the past twenty five years, as hunting styles are different. Most here don't understand the concept, it seems, and try to go way too fast. So, they walk right past bedded deer.
The last time I was in Iowa in the fall, I went with my brother to my nephews' father in laws' place. Excellent whitetail habitat along the Skunk River, with some huge antlered bucks.
Not having a license, I sat in the pickup on the ridge, and watched the progress as the group did a drive through about twenty acres in a river neck. They moved slowly, keeping thier eyes open, and in the one drive they killed three nice bucks. My brother got a B&C, his third with a muzzleloader from the same area. I believe the new world's record was killed in this area last year.
From my vantage point, I was able to see deer filtering back through the drive line, and I doubt they were seen by the drivers. However, they used two guys spread out about a hundred yards + behind, to catch these sneakers. That's how my brother scores on the big bucks, as they seem to hold pretty tight, and then sneak away. The rear guard seems to get the biggest bucks, and the blockers up front seldom do. And many don't want to be in the rear, afraid they may miss the chance at a shot.
Up in the F-I-L's shop, there were a dozen bucks hanging, shot by various hunters. All had good racks, but I noticed the bodies are considerably smaller than the bucks here.
So, I am familiar with driven deer, and it still seems from my memory, there were more that would bolt, than would not, when shot at or spooked at close range. I'm sure the reactions vary from area to area, however.
06-07-2005, 06:17 AM
Here's a picture of my brother, with one of his bucks.
06-25-2005, 03:57 PM
Where can you be hunting that the critters seldom see hunters?
Must be private land!
Round here they see and hear folks almost every day and yet still get antsy bout hunting season time
06-25-2005, 06:27 PM
There is a lot of territory around here, and even on public land, there are a lot of critters I'm sure die of old age, without ever seeing a man. Just got to get out of the truck, and away from the roads.
07-07-2005, 09:02 AM
This is my only, cast bullet kill! 2003 season, I shot this guy at about 80 yds, through the chest, down he went, I reloaded and he decided to get up. Bang, through the sholders this time. Down he goes, again! I reload and start my approch and he's tring to craw away. The finial shot to the head ended it.
Now, I've never used cast bullets on deer before, so I didn't know what to expect. I was using 180 LEE rn out of my 30-40 Krag @ about 1800fps. This is a very accurate load in my Ruger#3. When I opened him up, his lungs were pretty much gone and I don't think he would have gotten very far after the first shot, but again, I didn't know what to expect!
Yes, 30 cal cast bullets will do it, ..... but IMHO there is a better bullet. I have no experience with any bigger, and I'm sure a 45 cal ( or so ) would be much better!
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