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Thread: Do cast bullets blow up when they hit bone - freind asked me this

  1. #1

    Do cast bullets blow up when they hit bone - freind asked me this

    I know cast bullets do not explode or I have never had one do that but I do not know where he got this into his head I have never heard of this happening have you or if you can tell me that they do not explode so I can pass it on to him so that its just not me saying so thanks...

    180 grain in 30-06 thats what I am using and no problems and that is what he would like to do also but again just has this exploding cast bullet thing stuck in his brain...

  2. #2
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    Push your "delete" button.

    It's a unique concern to YOU.

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    Boolit Master
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    Depends on the alloy and impact velocity.

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    2ndAmendmentNut's Avatar
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    Do cast bullets blow up when they hit bone - freind asked me this

    I’ve had HPs come apart if the alloy is too hard, but in general cast boolits are the least fragmentary rounds (in my experience). Most flatten/expand nicely and und up just under the hide on the opposite side.


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    Boolit Master
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    the lead cores with copper wrapped around them will do it too.
    striking velocity and alloy/jacket make-up are what determines the outcome.
    if I had to poke bone with one or the other I'd take a flat nosed slow moving heavy projectile.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    the lead cores with copper wrapped around them will do it too.
    striking velocity and alloy/jacket make-up are what determines the outcome.
    if I had to poke bone with one or the other I'd take a flat nosed slow moving heavy projectile.
    I was thinking along the same lines...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I’ve had HPs come apart if the alloy is too hard, but in general cast boolits are the least fragmentary rounds (in my experience). Most flatten/expand nicely and end up just under the hide on the opposite side.
    THIS pretty much reflects MY experience. I DID get some 210gr. .452" SWCs that wouldn't expand in any amount of wet newsprint, and tended to come apart when hitting things much harder than pine wood. I never got one analyzed, but I suspected that there was WAY more antimony in it than any reasonable alloy would require.

    I would GUESS that, by the time a cast projectile is made so hard that it will fragment when hitting bone, it has also been made so hard that reliable obturation in barrel will no longer be present, and accuracy would likely suffer greatly.
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
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    Boolit Master 5Shot's Avatar
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    If they are too hard they will...hardened some that would shatter when hit with a hammer. Otherwise, I doubt it.
    If you live on the razor's edge and slip, you will die in two pieces

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    skeettx's Avatar
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    Explode NO, shatter if the bullet is too brittle YES
    The best alloy I have found for hunting is wheel weights with some added pure lead
    Nice and will penetrate and not shatter
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundarstick View Post
    Depends on the alloy and impact velocity.
    That is the basic answer. Cast bullets of .30 caliber with antimony and little tin such as straight COWWs are susceptible to nose fracturing and sloughing off of the fractured pieces. Higher antimony content compared to tin content such as linotype bullets can fracture completed if the bone is big and hard enough. A cast .30 caliber bullet of proper alloy having a good balance of sufficient antimony and tin will be malleable enough to not shatter at 30-06 cast bullet velocities; generally in the 1850 - 2000 fps range if accuracy is to be maintained. If more expansion is desired then a softer malleable alloy can be used with HPing benefitting expansion.
    Larry Gibson

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    Also depends on the angle the bullet hits the bone.

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    Boolit Master
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    bullets are made of lead, and inert metal with no reactive properties of their own, so no they won't explode.

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    Boolit Master elk hunter's Avatar
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    I've had mixed results from cast bullets depending on the hardness of the lead, the animal and what the bullet hit. On grey squirrels I've had soft lead 30 caliber round balls flatten so they looked like a dime when propelled by 15 grains of FFF. I had one 400 grain 45-70 bullet cast from wheel weights shatter when it hit the upper leg bone of a big mule deer buck at 20 yards. The bucks lungs looked like he had been shot with a shotgun loaded with bird shot. On the other hand I had bullets cast from Linotype for my 577 that deformed slightly and only lost a few grains in weight when shooting a Cape Buffalo at 20 yards, one in the front of the chest and two through the shoulders. So it can be somewhat hard to predict exactly what a cast bullet will do.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  14. #14
    OK Since it was brought up would the hammer test work/be a good indicator to see if they would shatter and brake up or soft enough that they do not shatter but flatten?

    Since starting this post I am thinking of getting some lead from a company that's local that smelts scrap lead I am a bit leary though as who knows what is melted in with it being scrap what ever... all my lead in the past has been tire weights..

  15. #15
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Not with an 8# maul swung as hard as I could.
    Whatever!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Comes down to your alloy in your gun with your load.

    Want to know, test it.

    Water jugs, wet newspaper, ballistic gel. Find a way to test yours. Then adjust if needed.

    When in doubt I prefer softer and slower as a general rule. But what do I know. YMMV

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndAmendmentNut View Post
    I’ve had HPs come apart if the alloy is too hard, but in general cast boolits are the least fragmentary rounds (in my experience). Most flatten/expand nicely and und up just under the hide on the opposite side.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Same here,they kinda roll up almost as a Round Ball loads. I'll know more on Saturday, I'm using 150gr. 06 for opening day.
    I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    If you are generalising, I'd say "no, cast bullets do not blow-up on hitting bone".

    As already stated, there are many variables which, in the wrong combination, can cause a cast bullet to break up.

    My experience is limited, however I have only had one instance where I found evidence of my 460gr Mjöllnir (BHN 11-12, 18:1 lead:monotype, 45-70 1800fps at muzzle, deer at approx 100yds) boolit shedding lead. My shot placement on a fallow buck was forward of intended point, hitting sternum and humerus. It made a mess of the deer (secondary bone missiles) but I only found two small pieces of lead, as shown:

    Sternum


    Shoulder blade, humerus and bone fragments:


    Lead fragments in deer:


    Same Lead fragments on blade:
    Last edited by Bangbangman; 11-05-2017 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Predictive text! GPS=fps

  19. #19
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    skeettx's Avatar
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    Why a monotype alloy? Better accuracy?
    What 45-70? Might shoot good in my P-14 Enfield Bolt 45-70
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    Why a monotype alloy? Better accuracy?
    What 45-70? Might shoot good in my P-14 Enfield Bolt 45-70
    Mike
    Ruger No.1
    Only monotype because I had a ready supply.

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