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Thread: Expanding cast bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Expanding cast bullets

    When using cast bullets for whitetail deer I would like to try some that will expand. Previously, I used WFNGC with good results but would like to experiment with softer expanding cast in 44mag and 45 colt. I believe I need a gas check and a bullet hardness in the 16 to 1 range. [94% lead and 6% tin] The fps range will be 1000 fps-1300 fps. Is this the right way to approach getting proper expansion? [I am talking about not hitting major bones] Can you tell me any of the pros and cons?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master contender1's Avatar
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    I'm going to share a bit of info stolen from a well known friend who frequents here.
    Cast the softest bullet you can that won't lead the bbl & give you the accuracy you need. It takes a bit of experimenting, to figure it out. That way, your bullets won't be brittle, and can expand some.
    But if you truly want a bullet to expand some,,, yet penetrate deeply,,, cast a dual alloy bullet. A nose of pure lead, backed by your normal alloy.
    A properly mated bullet to your gun in the 1000-1200 fps range in general won't need a gas check either.

    Now,,, a good cast bullet that is mated to your gun, w/o a gas check, and used only on deer, doesn't really need a lot of expansion. As long as it gives you 2 holes,, one in & one out,, placed in the vitals,, you will get your deer. A deer isn't like tougher game at all.

  3. #3
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    rintinglen's Avatar
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    20-1 and a gas check should deliver what you want. I like the MP 432-640 with the big HP for this sort of service, but NOE also offers such a boolit.
    _________________________________________________It's not that I can't spell: it is that I can't type.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rintinglen View Post
    20-1 and a gas check should deliver what you want. I like the MP 432-640 with the big HP for this sort of service, but NOE also offers such a boolit.
    Concur with the 20-1 alloy for your velocity range. I use 16-1 for velocities above 1350 fps. The Lyman 429640HP "Devastator" is what I use in the 44 Magnum. The NOE HP is similar and excellent also. I use a Lyman 452490 (no longer available) GC'd SWC that I HP myself with the Forster HP tool. There are similar available from NOE.

    If you cast your own WFNGC'd bullets you might consider the Forster HP tool and a counter sink to HP the few you'll actually use for hunting(?).

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    Larry Gibson

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master Groo's Avatar
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    Groo here
    Go to Matt's bullets.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Groo View Post
    Groo here
    Go to Matt's bullets.
    Actually, I am going to talk with Matt's Bullets seeing as I don't cast my own. I am not well schooled on metallurgy pertaining to bullets. One of the reasons I am asking the guys that cast bullets is to find out what mix of alloys work best. I have seen pictures of Matt;s bullets with a 20-1 alloy and they seem to have maxed out expansion at 1100 fps. I think 20-1 mix is a BHN of 10 so I just thought maybe a 16-1 would be a little better [BHN 11.5-12] for 1000-1300 fps.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Many years ago Lyman sold a mold kit. It was a two part molds It made the half the front bullet. So you can use almost pure lead. The bottom half hard cast lead. Then you glue bother together.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhom View Post
    Actually, I am going to talk with Matt's Bullets seeing as I don't cast my own. I am not well schooled on metallurgy pertaining to bullets. One of the reasons I am asking the guys that cast bullets is to find out what mix of alloys work best. I have seen pictures of Matt;s bullets with a 20-1 alloy and they seem to have maxed out expansion at 1100 fps. I think 20-1 mix is a BHN of 10 so I just thought maybe a 16-1 would be a little better [BHN 11.5-12] for 1000-1300 fps.
    16-1 would indeed be better for .44 speeds. As to expansion, consider what the velocity will be AT IMPACT. If Matt's testing is done with a Jell-O block at ten feet from the muzzle, this may not be quite the same result as you would see at 75 yards. That right there is reason enough for the LFN/WFN/Keith in my opinion - there isn't any mystery to 'em. Short range and fast; they cut a big hole and penetrate a lot. Long range and slow; they cut a big hole and penetrate a lot. Plus, you can load to solve just the accuracy problem and be done. 20-1 expands beautifully, but when the pressures go up, my accuracy goes down (keep in mind I'm shooting plain base). 16-1 was Elmer Keith's alloy of choice, but how much he used it in HP I do not recall.

    My thought on the matter is that any .40+ caliber hole in the right spot is going to drop a deer quickly. Something that penetrates a lot will give you more options for angles you can engage from, and a harder, non-expanding bullet will distill the problem down to one of just dealing with what the gun wants. Certainly, if you're not pouring your own, it's a more trouble and worry-free way to deal with the problem. If you want mushrooms, shoot Hornady XTP's
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  9. #9
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    BruceB soft Points. Time-consuming to cast, but you only need a few. I my range tests with the BBSPs vs. homogenous alloy bullets of same design, there is no discernable difference in targeting downrange between the two. 5 rifle and 3 handgun calibers, so far. They expand and penetrate fully on critters to 60#; 30 caliber bullets #311041/soft point have 1/2" entry and 1-1/2" exit, solids have 1/2" entry and 3/4" exit. Repeatably, from jackrabbits to big coyotes. I believe in them. Most of these have been run from 1500-1800 FPS at critters, ranges from 35 to 115 yards.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I talked to Matt yesterday and decided to try his 315 gr RFNGC [.452] with a 20-1 alloy. I will be shooting them out of a 5 1/2" and 7 1/2' SBH's with the cylinders throated .4525. They will be loaded from 950-1200 fps range. I normally shoot gallon jugs with water and hope to catch the bullets. Hopefully, I won't get any leading with the GC. I also have an FA83 .454, but I won't run bullets that soft at high speeds.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhom View Post
    They will be loaded from 950-1200 fps range. I normally shoot gallon jugs with water and hope to catch the bullets. Hopefully, I won't get any leading with the GC.
    Leading at that velocity is caused by either poorly sized or poorly lubed bullets. Gas Checks are a totally unnecessary expense.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

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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