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Thread: best alloy for modern muzzle loader

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    best alloy for modern muzzle loader

    I've been casting for a year and haven't killed anything but paper. But my coworker wants to hunt deer with my bullets. I've got a Lee .452 255g swc and a Lee 300g rnfp and planning to sabbot with TC .50 cal . My question is what's a good alloy for max expansion with good weight retention. I use triple seven probably start with 100 g

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    vernb when using sabbots you can use just about any alloy you want the bullet never touches the inside of the barrel D Crockett

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    pure lead

  4. #4
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    Pure if you can do it. The only reason I can see to cast harder is if you also use that bullet style in a revolver, you might cast harder just to simplify things. That's what I did with the .44 bullets I used in an inline a few years ago. I killed two deer with it that year after many years of using a .50 caliber Hawken and big conicals.

    For what it's worth, the load I used that year was light; RCBS 225 grain SWC (designed for a gas check, I didn't use one obviously) and 70 grains of 777. I was trying to get a lower recoiling muzzle loadeer option for my son and then he lost interest. Next time, I'm going with a heavier bullet with a bigger meplat, but I doubt I'll go up on powder charge much unless necessary for good accuracy. Both deer I shot with the smaller bullet died pretty quick, but exit holes weren't real impressive.

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    "Both deer I shot with the smaller bullet died pretty quick, but exit holes weren't real impressive. "
    Key is you had exit holes .. IE plenty of power to go all the way thru with just 70 grains
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

  6. #6
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    I've shot more deer with that .50 Hawken and Lyman Plains bullet in front of 90-100 grains of Pyrodex RS than any other gun I own. I only once ever had one stay in an animal and it was because he was a very big deer and was standing in Milo so I hit him higher than I normally would have and it broke shoulders and spine penetrating a lot of muscle tissue as well. The bullet was lodged under the skin on the far side and was as text book perfect a mushroom as you'll ever see. I haven't weighed it, but doubt it lost much and it more than doubled its diameter, the thing looked like a lead half dollar.

    Soft lead at moderate velocities is very, very effective with regards to terminal performance, but that being said, I think you could cast those .44 bullets out of water quenched linotype and still kill deer pretty well assuming a flat nose with a decent sized meplat. They are pre-expanded after all.

  7. #7
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    I am going to disagree with the others on this one.

    I have shot deer with a soft lead saboted 45 boolit doing 2k+ and it is not ideal if your hit is less than picture perfect...pure lead is too soft for that impact velocity in my opinion from my experience. I would use a waterdropped 50%ww 50%Pure boolit for this application. With your stated charge of 100grains of 777......... the 300 grain lee boolit would also be what I would advise.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    I've used air cooled COWW 300 grain WFN in sabots and had good luck. Also used the hard Bear Tooth bullet boolits too. I didn't worry about expansion with the 44 and 45 cal boolits.
    Recent cast boolit hunts:
    3 pointer Ac Mold 32-170A in a model 94 Taylor KO 17.6
    Doe with a Ac molds 45-300G smokeless inline ML pushing hard with AA5744. TKO 44.5
    16 Pointer Ac Mold 32-170A Model 94 Win TKO 17.6
    Doe, Cast Performance 265 WFN Ruger Redhawk .45 Colt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmer View Post
    I've used air cooled COWW 300 grain WFN in sabots and had good luck. Also used the hard Bear Tooth bullet boolits too. I didn't worry about expansion with the 44 and 45 cal boolits.

    EXACTLY- BOOLIT INTEGRITY is far more important than expansion at muzzleloading rifle speeds.....PURE LEAD NEED NOT APPLY in my opinion.

  10. #10
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    Keep it soft!
    1Shirt!
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  11. #11
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    +1 with what 357maximum is saying. I use MaxiBalls and saboted 270 gr .44 cals out of my TC Blk Mtn Magnum. At 1570 fps with the MaxiBalls over Tripple 7 and 2100 fps over the same 3f triple 7 with the 270 gr saboted .44 slugs pure lead did not hold up accuracy wise of terminally. I ended up cast the Maxi's and 270 gr .44 bullets out of 16-1 alloy and they are very accurate, very deadly and give excellent weight retention with very good expansion.

    Larry Gibson

  12. #12
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    Larry.... I learned how to do it right by doing it wrong a few times.....pure lead and 2K+ just do not mix when the lead finds the buck.....never had serious accuracy issues with the MMP sabot, lubed felt and real BP and pure(ish) lead, but terminal performance was far from ideal...it worked but a tougher alloy just works better.

    I got a bunch of range scrap from one of Blammer's buddies years back that tests out about 16-1 and I have cast a bunch of lee reals with it....them are going to get launched into a deer from my 1/48 twist underhammer someday. I have full confidence they will do their job when the boolit hits the bone. That combo is only puttin along at 1950 of so though.

  13. #13
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    I sized the Lyman 457122 HP down to .452 and made em from pure lead. In a Knight with 150 pyro des pellets it gave over 1600. Expanded very well but held together well too. It made huge holes in rib cages and also passed clean thru. I liked the fact it was heavier than the pistol bullets many use. Extra length in a bullet generally means better penetration.

  14. #14
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    i run a 50/50 mix cww and stick on in my Encore
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    2000 fps with blackpowder or 777 in a 50 cal. ML is hard to reach. Never gotten anywhere close to that speed myself so I don't know what a soft lead ball does up there.
    Most of us get by with a lot less velocity, and soft lead works REAL well. If anyone doubts that, take a look out West and ask yourself what killed all them Buffalo.

  16. #16
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    Guido MOST of the Buffalo were killed with 45-70 and 50 70 bullets. They were NOT shot thru the heart , just punctured by a big soft bullet and left to die while the other "dead" buffs were skinned. I've SEEN deer killed with JACKETED bullets in sabots and pure lead conicals. The COWW alloy SEEMS to be the best for quick kills at reasonable ranges. The pure conicals will open very fast and MAY not penetrate as well. The jacketed pistol bullets behave erratically in the instances I've witnessed. Deer are no where near as stout as a Buffalo!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido4198 View Post
    2000 fps with blackpowder or 777 in a 50 cal. ML is hard to reach. .

    Really.....you serious or are you just effing with us? I can do that with a patched roundball or a 250 grain R.E.A.L with real BP in a "short" 26 inch 1/66 twist underhammer without sweating....and I keep annecdoting iffin ya want me to.



    REALLY?????

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    These Lee .452 300gr RF were cast from WW's, this one was recovered from the sand and shows some expansion. Fired from my TC Endevour 209x50 using various charges starting at 60grs of Triple 7 on up to 110grs (volume). Smallest group was 5".

  19. #19
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    I have had great luck with a pure lead 50 cal rb and black powder. Sabots need not apply, but mine is not modern. I think when you speed it up the bullet needs to be harder, at least ww, perhaps harder depending on the velocity.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCKYDAWG13 View Post
    i run a 50/50 mix cww and stick on in my Encore
    Is this with a MAXI or REAL boolet?

    D
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check