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Thread: What BHN Lead bullet to use for hunting

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    What BHN Lead bullet to use for hunting

    Looking to deer, hog and black bear hunt this year using a lead bullet. My ? is how hard do i need the lead to be .I've been shooting a 200 gr wide flat point bullet with a BHN of 22. This bullet seems to be over kill for penetration. I have shot them in a 55 gal barrel of water with no mushrooming and dug some out of hard wood trees with little expanding. Should i be using some thing that expands more or stay with what I'am shooting? Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I'm using a BH of 7.5 in a devastator hollow point out of my 44 mag rifle loaded around 1100fps for black bear this year.

    It depends how fast your pushing your boolit I have been finding out.

    Thought I needed a BH like yours till I saw some posts with COWW AC that were optimal on hogs. The BH in my same boolit is 13.4. That's what I'll use for full throttle rifle loads so I get expansion.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    white eagle's Avatar
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    not hard fast rule for this
    if you are getting accuracy to your standards continue to use them
    there are way to much put on hardness of boolit when other things like
    boolit bore fit and cylinder fit
    sometimes bhn gets in the way
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    If 10 people reply you will probably get 10 different answers! I've been taking big game for over 50 years & here's what I do, other's will do it different. I shoot them as soft as I can & still get accuracy. If accuracy starts to slip & I need more speed then I go up in hardness. This has never let me down & I've taken game in most of the western states including Alaska & Africa.
    I just took a muley doe in Utah monday & will go back tomorrow for an antelope. The deer was taken with a Ruger 357 Maximum with a 200 gr LBT bullet just under 1600 fps with a BHN of 11. The bullet was gas checked & powder coated & yes I got some expansion & the bullet took out both lungs at 90 yds. She was down & out in 5-6 seconds. I've also taken bear, elk, moose & African plains game using the same formula, shooting as soft as I can as long as I get good accuracy, others will do it different & I won't disagree.

    Dick

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    white eagle accuracy is there but boolit seem to go through everything and go an go an go .

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    six shot Will have to ask if i can buy hard cast in a 10 or 11 bhn

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    can you mix some pure lead in with it? are you using WW's now, or what alloy are you using? I think you could go softer, a bit at a time, until accuracy starts to decline, then take one step back. or you could try reading about bruceB's softpoint technique.it is a sticky in either cast boolits or lead and alloys. basically you melt a little bit of pure lead in your mold, using a pistol shell or something as a measure, let it harden, pour you hard alloy on top, let it harden, then put your mold partially into your pot until it all melts once more, set it on an even surface until you are sure its all hardened, then cut the sprue and drop them. this will create a homogenous boolit that can go fast, but will still musroom. I know it sounds slow, but how many boolits do you actually need for THE shot. and they will shoot plenty close to your regular boolits of the same type so you wont have to use up the softpoints for practice. good luck!-Travis
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    that is the beauty of cast lead boolits they just aint no stoppin them
    I think you will be fine with what you have
    don't try and rush things palying with alloys if you have a hunt coming quick
    nother thing you can do is if you go softer use a gas check if your mold is cut for one
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here is how I do it. Step one, dig bullets from range berm,step 2 smelt into ingots, step 3 cast bullets, step 4 hunt. That is how much thought I give to hardness and so far the results are dead deer. We have a tendency to over think these things sometimes. Now if you are looking to get max velocity or expansion from a hollow point bullet, I can see a need to mess with hardness. For me range scrap works well for moderate cast loads of 44 caliber.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    for a revolver, definetly! but is he talking about a revolver or a rifle,?
    Norinco SKS
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  11. #11
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    Yes, hangun? Rifle? Caliber? Cartridge? Velocity?
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Also buying, as one post implied, or casting? If buying, alloy and hardness may be fixed, as very few commercial casters offer multiple choices -- maybe this is the excuse you need to start casting.
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  13. #13
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    200grs and wfp sounds like a handgun.
    either way 22 bhn IMO is overkill.

    11-12 is usually about where I am also.
    I might water-drop that and get to 18 or so in my rifle loads but I still have the softer 1/3/96 alloy when it gets to the target.
    if I were stoking my 445 or 375 super mag Revolvers with 30grs of powder then a 15 bhn of 4-5% tin and 5-6% antimony would be my choice.
    if I'm running the 44 mag in my lever gun then I opt for something like a 1% tin and 2.5% antimony alloy and keep it loafing along at about 1350 fps.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    I have found that 99% of my hunting boolit needs can be accomplished with lead BHN'ing between 8-12. No need to waste good alloy on super hard boolits.
    Besides, BHN over 7 is considered 'hardcast'.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I was actually reading through the Kansas hunting regulations and noticed when it describes what bullets are legal for taking game, it lists "hard cast" and I just have to chuckle. What does that mean? I know that KDWP basically says anything that isn't an FMJ or employs some kind of poison is good to go, but I've never seen a real definition of what "hard cast" means.

    Seems to me like with .44 or .45 handguns, nose shape would be a lot more important than alloy and expansion wouldn't really be necessary, but I've never killed one with a handgun. The fairly hard SWCs I've used in sabots in an inline muzzle loader seemed to work fine though.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by useabow View Post
    six shot Will have to ask if i can buy hard cast in a 10 or 11 bhn
    "Hard cast" and bhn 10-11 in the same sentence is a bit of an oxymoron. Do you cast your own or are you purchasing over the counter?
    I have danced with the Devil. She had excellent attorneys.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    BHN whatever it is is meaningless if you can't hit what you aim at
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Here is a 55 gal drum I shot through last week. It was 50 yards away. The top four holes were from a 44 mag devistator with a BH of 13.4 with a max load of 24g of W296. It was fired from a Ruger 77/44 so I'm guessing velocity was close to 1800fps? Poked a nice hole in and out with no expansion.

    The bottom two holes and the single hole pic was the same boolit with a BH of 7.5 using 7.5g of trail boss. I'm guessing around 1100 fps mark? The entry holes were 2 to 3 times larger as well. Looks like after they expanded the mushroom was causing the can to peel back. Deffinitley expanding compared to the harder lead.

  19. #19
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    DougGuy's Avatar
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    It sounds as if the OP is using commercial cast mail order boolits. WFN is a step in the right direction, as a generalized rule if you have a meplat of at least 60% then you really don't need a hp or much expansion so in effect, his boolits would be good to hunt with if accuracy is there.

    OTOH, I personally prefer the WFN style, in 50/50+2% with soft lube and a gas check, pushed out the muzzle right at 1175 ~ 1200fps. It just works. Soft enough I can scratch it with a thumbnail, won't go to pieces if it hits bone, moderate expansion, accurate, and leaves the bore with just a little lube and powder residue left behind, perfect for the next shot whether it's a quick follow up shot or opening day of the next year's hunting season. I will say again, it just works.
    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/

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Triple could have something to do with the velocity difference?
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

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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