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Thread: Velocity threshold for cast rifle boolits.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Velocity threshold for cast rifle boolits.

    I've been whacking stuff with handgun boolits for a while now, but just recently started hunting with cast rifle boolits. What I've noticed is that there is definately something different going on with the way the rifle boolits kill, compared to the handguns. These cast rifle boolits seem to just STOMP critters all out of proportion to the modest recoil and report I get from them. I'm pushing 30 caliber ad 35 caliber fn's to right at 2,000 FPS. Last summer in Africa, using a 35 remmy levergun, I punched a 35 caliber 190 grain ranch dog boolit through the shoulders of a BIG warthog at about 65 yards. The impact rocked him and blew the dust out of his fur. He made two forward flips as his backend tried to run, but his frontend didn't work anymore. He kicked a few times and just died. My PH was blown away by this performance. Yesterday, I made a very poor shot on a buck antelope with my 308 gunsite scout rifle. I hit him high and too far back, from about 90 yards away with the MIHEC hunting boolit. A shot like that with jacketed rifle bullets, or with my 45LC handgun would've resulted in a long drawn out chase. Instead, this buck ran in a 40 yard circle and collapsed. I'd like to hear your thoughts about hunting with rifle boolits and your experiences. How far down the velocity scale does this killing power begin to wane? What is the maximum distance I can expect to retain this kind of killing power, assuming a 2,000 fps MV? This is just very interesting stuff, and I'd like to hear what you guys think.
    Thanks,
    Dan
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    What alloy are you using? Are you heat treating or quenching?

    My experience is that flatnosed bullets such as #375449, cast of wheelweights and water dropped, loaded to about 2400 fps in the .375 H&H perform similarly to factory softpoints on warthog, waterbuck and kudu. Bullets to not expand, but do rivet slightly and stay together without fragmenting.

    My advice is to shoot as heavy a bullet as you can drive 2000 fps or more, with as large a meplat as possible.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I shoot an alloy of 50/50 WW/range scrap, water dropped.
    I'll be a nice to you as you'll let me be, or as mean as you make me be.

    Polite society started dying the day it was no longer necessary for rude men to physically defend themselves from the consquences of their actions or words.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    It seems to me the larger caliber the bullet the faster you can drive it. Some folks on here are able to do what I've tried and failed to do with smaller calibers so they will disagree. But I cant get 30 caliber and smaller boolits to shoot worth a darn over 2000fps in hunting alloys. I have had sucess with super hard alloys for paper punching but not in an expandable alloy.

    My 30-06 has a huge throat but shoots a 225g #2 alloy @ 1800fps pretty well, my T/C 357Herrett 10" shoots a 190g WNFP at 19050fps very well, my 375 H&H shoots 270-320g @ 2100 great and 2400fps OK (I'm pretty sure I can get this to work better but the 2100fps does everything I want), and my 45-70s I've shot in the 2200fps range but they arent any fun over 1900fps.

    Its all alloy in my opinion. I think hunting bullets have gotten steadily worse for the average hunting caliber with the MAGNUM caliber trend. Bullet manufactures have to increase bullet durability to work at higher impact velocities. Put a 168g designed for a .300RUM in a .308 and you will not get the performance of a generic Hornady Interlock or other "old school" bullet design. Now put a 125g NBT in that .300RUM and shoot a doe at 100y....watch the internet buzz fly about crappy NBT performance.

    This is why I started going to lead boolits in my rifle. I just need more dead critters to confirm my ideas.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master







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    Agree with you about the ratio of kills with cast at moderate vols compaired to jacketed. Speed doesn't always kill! Or at least kill well!
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Just read Waksup's tag line, it says it all. In the right spot there is nothing a jacketd slug will do that cast won't.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVScouter View Post
    It seems to me the larger caliber the bullet the faster you can drive it. Some folks on here are able to do what I've tried and failed to do with smaller calibers so they will disagree. But I cant get 30 caliber and smaller boolits to shoot worth a darn over 2000fps in hunting alloys. I have had sucess with super hard alloys for paper punching but not in an expandable alloy.

    My 30-06 has a huge throat but shoots a 225g #2 alloy @ 1800fps pretty well, my T/C 357Herrett 10" shoots a 190g WNFP at 19050fps very well, my 375 H&H shoots 270-320g @ 2100 great and 2400fps OK (I'm pretty sure I can get this to work better but the 2100fps does everything I want), and my 45-70s I've shot in the 2200fps range but they arent any fun over 1900fps.

    Its all alloy in my opinion. I think hunting bullets have gotten steadily worse for the average hunting caliber with the MAGNUM caliber trend. Bullet manufactures have to increase bullet durability to work at higher impact velocities. Put a 168g designed for a .300RUM in a .308 and you will not get the performance of a generic Hornady Interlock or other "old school" bullet design. Now put a 125g NBT in that .300RUM and shoot a doe at 100y....watch the internet buzz fly about crappy NBT performance.

    This is why I started going to lead boolits in my rifle. I just need more dead critters to confirm my ideas.
    It seems to me the larger caliber the bullet the faster you can drive it.

    It's because the larger calibers most often have slower twists of 12", 14", 16" and slower. The smaller calibers, especially your '06 have 10" or faster twists. My research "the RPM Threshold". You'll find my comments as to what you find is happening to accuracy above a certain RPM for the load/components in a given twist barrel. You'll also find lots of naysayers and other claims but you have discovered the truth of the matter and that should tell you something.

    BTW; I push the 200 gr RCBS 35-200-FN at 2150 fps out of my 16" twist Shilen barrel in 35 Rem on a M91 Argie action.....it is very deadly as you mention. I've also been pushing the 311041 out of 12" twist .30 cals at 2150 - 2200 fps with the same excellent terminal effect. My M70 375 H&H with the 12" twist is also quite a thumper with the 375449. And of course I also push the 45-70 with cast over 2000 fps (2300 fps actually in my Siamese Mauser) with cast bullets with truly awesome results. I also am pushing a 160 gr cast at 2600+ fps out of my 14" twist Palma rifle (27.5" barrel) with excellent accuracy but I have yet to use it on game.

    Have to agree that 2000 - 2200 fps provides and excellent muzzle velocity range for excellent performance of cast bullets on game out to 200 yards.

    Larry Gibson
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 09-24-2013 at 06:05 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I forgot to add: Grats on the nice buck!

  9. #9
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    Larry, you've got that 35 Remington cranked up pretty hot....3150 fps?
    I'm guessing your fingers hit the wrong key.

    Dick

  10. #10
    Banned 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanWalker View Post
    What is the maximum distance I can expect to retain this kind of killing power, assuming a 2,000 fps MV? This is just very interesting stuff, and I'd like to hear what you guys think.
    Thanks, Dan
    A good test is the common plastic milk jug filled with water. At what distance does it explode. When you reach the distance it just splits, then you're too far for really good killing power (works for any cast trials).

    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    BTW; I push the 200 gr RCBS 35-200-FN at 3150 out of my 16" twist Shilen barrel in 35 Rem on a M91 Argie action.....it is very deadly as you mention. Larry Gibson
    Probably bad data there......... check your chrono out.

  11. #11
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    I have done a terminal ballistics test on several calibers with soaked phone books (22" thick) with a thin piece of plywood to simulate a clipped rib about an inch in. All tests were done at 40 yards. The rifle calibers included 30, 7mm, 25, and 22 (soon will do 35 and 45). The results were 17-1/2" with the 30 cal and 160gr boolit at an MV of 1550. The 7mm got the same 17" with a 130 gr boolit at MV 1850. The 25 got 16" with a 105 gr boolit at MV 1900. The 22 got 14" with a 54 gr boolit at MV 1900. IMO the both the 30 and 7mm are adequate out to 150 yards on deer with that 17+" at 40 yards. In my 32-20 the penetration of a 120 gr FNGC penetrated double what the same weight jacketed JHP bullet did at the same velocity. You simply do not need as high a velocity with cast boolits to do the same damage. What the velocity does is flatten the trajectory at a cost of more recoil.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Djones's Avatar
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    My 45-70 deer load is a 450 grain lee rnfp at 1380 fps. Punches right through and only damages rib meat about 2" diameter around in/out holes. I don't get dead right there kills often, but they never go any farther than 30 yards.

  13. #13
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    My alloy is retaining 75% weight or so and expanding very well at 1200-1900 impact velocities. Without expansion and penitration you will not have good hunting performance. I use all my cast for hunting so they are tailored as such.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Larry I've read that thread a few times. I'm still not sure if I believe its RPM over pressure shearing. I do come to many of the same results just havent figured out the why. If its RPM then lead sheer would always start later in the barrel and pressure shearing starts at the spike and can correct if it has enough time in barrel.

    The tale is all in the barrel, and add rough spots, different lube, etc. its kind of a mess. I'm creating shortcuts and knowns in my reloads. I'll leave the why for after hunting season! Sorry I dont want to hijack the actual hunting portion of the thread.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by sixshot View Post
    Larry, you've got that 35 Remington cranked up pretty hot....3150 fps?
    I'm guessing your fingers hit the wrong key.

    Dick
    Thanks for the catch Dick, sure did hit the wrong key.......

    Larry Gibson

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I agree there is just something different about cast and moderate velocity
    case in point last year I dumped a whitetail at aprox.80 yds. with my muzzleloader
    the r.e.a.l boolit was cast from 16-1 alloy and dropped from one of Toms molds it weighs is @ a mere 360 gr
    the velocity was almost pedestrian compared to some rifles @ 1433 fps
    I did however have a huge meplat and cal.going for me (54)
    the deer after the shot made a semi circle run at a 45°cant traveled all of 35 yds.
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    NVScouter

    Call it what you want but the fact is with the .308W using regular cast bullets you'll start losing accuracy around 1650 - 2000 fps with a 10" twist barrel, around 1950 - 2350 fps with a 12" twist and around 2450 - 2700 fps with a 14" twist barrel. The same holds true with 10, 12 and 14" twist .223 Remingtons. It's not the psi because as the velocity increases so does the pressure. What do all those different velocity ranges have in common? The RPM is between 120,00 and 140,00 with all of them. Consider also that the inaccuracy is caused in flight as the centrifugal force acts upon the imbalances of the bullet above the threshold within those RPM ranges. The higher the RPM is above the RPM threshold the greater the inaccuracy caused by centrifugal force will be.

    If it is pressure as you suggest(?) then ask yourself; how is it we can shoot a 311359 at 40,000 psi out of an M1 Carbine with excellent accuracy equal to jacketed bullets yet when we load that same bullet to the same 40,000 psi in a 30-06 accuracy will be so poor as we may not even keep the bullets "on target" at 100 yards let along shoot a "group"?

    Now before 45 2.1 goes into a nut role again let me say the RPM threshold is not a "limit". With the correct cast bullet design for the cartridge used, the correct alloy, the correct fit, the correct lube, the correct powder, the correct loading technique, etc. ad nauseum, the RPM threshold can be raised by keeping the cast bullet as balanced as possible during casting, loading and the internal ballistic phase. Conversely the RPM threshold can easily be lowered by with the "wrong" of anything mentioned and further unbalancing the bullet. However, as the OP has found the RPM threshold with regular cast bullets will most often be between 120,000 and 140,000 RPM with normal care in casting and loading.

    Larry Gibson

  18. #18
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Larry I did get a 6 shot string < 1 MOA @ 100 from a 1:10 308 carbine, twice, @ >2200 fps.
    Whatever!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Lead Fred's Avatar
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    Because I had to know. Ive pushed the Ranch Dog 30-30 mold & the Lee soup can 170 past 2500 with no ill effect.
    After about 2640 they destabilize and are all over the target.
    Using water dropped WW with some Lino thrown in (2 lb to 8 WW)
    Lube is white lubes Carndauba Red, after using their 2500 lube to 2400fps.
    Then I mixed the two together, but havent used it since.

    Forgot to mention this was done with a 1948 mauser chambered in 30-06.
    Not a 30-30
    Last edited by Lead Fred; 09-25-2013 at 12:38 AM.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Larry I did get a 6 shot string < 1 MOA @ 100 from a 1:10 308 carbine, twice, @ >2200 fps.
    Done it twice? How about all the time?

    As I said the threshold can be pushed up but it has to be done right.

    Larry Gibson

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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
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GC Gas Check