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Thread: 50 cal bullets for deer: solid flat point or HP?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    50 cal bullets for deer: solid flat point or HP?

    Ohio has finally legalized all straight walled cartridges 357 to 50 cal for deer hunting. This makes using an AR in 50 Beowulf now a legal possibility! If I were trying to take deer out to 300 yards with the Beowulf, would I be better suited with a heavy (350-400+ grains) wide meplat bullet moving slower, or an HP moving a little faster? My thinking is that the hard cast flat point, even at 300 yards moving about 1000 FPS, would be a better killer than a lighter HP moving about 1100 fps at the same distance. Does anyone have any experience to support or disprove that?

    Lets skip the conversation about whether I can hit a deer's vitals at that range, or what the drop is on that bullet. I practice a lot, and I'm using an AR with a good scope. Drop is only 4.5-6 mils at 300 yards, so lets assume I can hit it.

    Thanks for the input!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    170 gr 50 cal patched round ball has been dropping deer in their tracks for almost 200 years. I don't think it much matters which you use as long as the boolit is going about 850 fps or more when it arrives at the deer. That is the velocity my PRB is going at 135 yards which is about how far I can get a decent sight picture with legal (that is iron) sights. Currently I am using 130 gr. 45 cal PRBs for my deer hunting and they work just as well but I like 1000 fps terminal velocity. I just wouldn't make your boolits too hard so that they will deposit more energy on impact.
    Last edited by quilbilly; 06-28-2017 at 02:35 PM.

  3. #3
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    At .50 cal either bullet is going to let a lot of air in and a lot of blood out......

    Larry Gibson

  4. #4
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    ati5029,

    Larry Gibson pretty much says it!

    I have had such awesome results from a 45/70 with a Wide Flat Nose cast on deer and elk, that I would without reservation say FORGET THE HOLLOW POINT!

    That 50cal with a large meplat will get er done!

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
    Last edited by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot; 06-28-2017 at 03:05 PM.

  5. #5
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    All 30 calibers aspire to be a fifty!!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master tdoyka's Avatar
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    but what about the .510" calibers? like the 50bmg and the 500 linebaugh and the 500 linebaugh max....

    i don't hunt ohio, but i'm just wondering if ohio calls them a 50 cal or 51 cal?
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  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    I use a 50-70 with a .515 bullet. Since OH legalized the strait walled cartridges it was on the list of approved calibers.

    Jedman

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by atl5029 View Post
    Ohio has finally legalized all straight walled cartridges 357 to 50 cal for deer hunting. This makes using an AR in 50 Beowulf now a legal possibility!
    Umm hmm.. This sounds like a good excuse to justify another gun purchase!

    To be honest I don't know what kind of stability you will get out of either boolit in question at 300yds, don't things change once it goes subsonic?
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  9. #9
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    Big old bullet going 1000-1100 FPS is going to make a hole weather flat or HP
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

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  10. #10
    Boolit Man rosst's Avatar
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    instead of assuming . . some pictures of your setup/scope, the bullets you are going to use and some targets of your shooting out to 300yds would be appreciated.

    always willing to look at someones work that is doing something a little different . .. i assume i am not alone there

    R.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atl5029 View Post
    Ohio has finally legalized all straight walled cartridges 357 to 50 cal for deer hunting. This makes using an AR in 50 Beowulf now a legal possibility! If I were trying to take deer out to 300 yards with the Beowulf, would I be better suited with a heavy (350-400+ grains) wide meplat bullet moving slower, or an HP moving a little faster? My thinking is that the hard cast flat point, even at 300 yards moving about 1000 FPS, would be a better killer than a lighter HP moving about 1100 fps at the same distance. Does anyone have any experience to support or disprove that?

    Lets skip the conversation about whether I can hit a deer's vitals at that range, or what the drop is on that bullet. I practice a lot, and I'm using an AR with a good scope. Drop is only 4.5-6 mils at 300 yards, so lets assume I can hit it.

    Thanks for the input!
    Flat point or hollow point? Depends on how hard they are.
    If you can shoot soft boolits consider a big wide flat nose with a not too deep cup point in it. It just won't get any better if soft can give accuracy.

    PS,
    Pro'bly I'll be shooting a Lee or Lyman .50 paper patched in a muzzle loader.
    Last edited by Good Cheer; 06-29-2017 at 06:45 PM.

  12. #12
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    My vote would be subsonic with a large bullet. Subsonic bullets bleed less energy over distance. Plus no sonic crack. As has been said, with proper dope and a little practice either will drive a deer into the ground like a tent stake. It doesn't take as much as people think to kill a white tail deer. Terminal ballistics on a 400 grn bullet is somewhere around 350 FPS. You'll likely have twice that even shooting it subsonic. It will look like you walked out there and hit it with a hammer.

    We toyed with all of this some years ago for suppressor applications. We were loading 450grn soft lead subsonics and had good ballistics to about 500 yards with it. It's just a dang hammer.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    The problem with a H.P. is the same as it always has been. For optimum results the velocity needs to match up with the alloy in use.

    Too much velocity or a close in shot and a soft alloy is likely to over expand.

    The reverse of lower velocity or extended range and there may well be no expansion.

    Better to simply go with a large meplat/Wide Flat Nose cast bullet with a good alloy and if expansion occurs, so be it but it is not needed.

    The meplat on a 50 caliber slug will be close to the size of a typical expanded bullet from many typical jacketed bullets.

    A growing pile of deer and 3 elk, all one shot kills and all with a WFN cast.

    Last years elk taken at 161yds. with my 45/70 - 465gr WFN leaving the muzzle at 1650fps.

    It works and the 50cal will, if possible, only be better.

    The before/after image is the 465gr found in my first elk after a quartering shot. The bullet still penetrated about 30" after taking out the big/heavy front upper leg bone. "After" weight 327.9gr.

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Just something to think about when cooking up a recipe...

    My big brother's super accurate 45-70 hunting load is 500 grains of swaged pure soft lead at 1700+FPS.
    There's no need for a flat nose or alloying or lube.

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    At 100m into wet paper, subsonic at muzzle, 80%pure, 20%ww plus tin,
    150grs HP 312-159 from MP Molds
    Shoot at 70meters, went 25m, collapsed in 2sec. 300blk

    First I set my velocity, then I adjusted my alloy to that velocity. Now I will use pure lead with tin to get even better expansion. If I move past 2000fps, I will use FP on that same bullet.

  16. #16
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    Stick with the flat nose.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamsek View Post
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    At 100m into wet paper, subsonic at muzzle, 80%pure, 20%ww plus tin,
    150grs HP 312-159 from MP Molds
    Shoot at 70meters, went 25m, collapsed in 2sec. 300blk

    First I set my velocity, then I adjusted my alloy to that velocity. Now I will use pure lead with tin to get even better expansion. If I move past 2000fps, I will use FP on that same bullet.
    In the case of a 30 caliber subsonic bullet I agree that a HP is a useful feature to give a better chance of a quick kill.

    For a 50 it really doesn't matter.
    NRA Endowment Member

    Just because a handful of people on the Internet share an opinion doesn't prove it is correct.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I don't think it matters either. A .490 patched round ball has no trouble at all making meat if it lands in the vitals.
    Use the one that shoots best & go hunting. When you're admiring your trophy I don't think you'll wonder if the other style would have killed it deader.
    Best, Thomas.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I547 using Tapatalk

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamsek View Post
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    At 100m into wet paper, subsonic at muzzle, 80%pure, 20%ww plus tin,
    150grs HP 312-159 from MP Molds
    Shoot at 70meters, went 25m, collapsed in 2sec. 300blk

    First I set my velocity, then I adjusted my alloy to that velocity. Now I will use pure lead with tin to get even better expansion. If I move past 2000fps, I will use FP on that same bullet.
    Nice roebuck.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Considering the distance, I would go with the one that is retaining the most energy. At 300 yards you will be depending on penetration more than anything else.

    Could you cast a bullet that would expand at that distance, maybe, but at close range it probably would over expand especially if you hit bone.

    Penetration and that 1/2" hole is what's going to make it happen at 300 yards.

    Motor

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