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Thread: High velocity rifles and cast boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    High velocity rifles and cast boolits

    Hi chaps. I'm getting more keen on casting my own boolits for my .45-70 and have recently moved into the realms of gas checking. This has made me think about maybe casting for other calibres too. Could you offer your thoughts please?

    The situation I'm in is that in the UK, we need 1700ft-lbs of muzzle energy to legally shoot deer. Looking into it this means that if I were to cast for my 6.5x55 I would need 2265fps with a 150gr projectile or 2350fps with a 140gr. In my .338 Win mag and the Lee C338-220 I would need 1870fps. That sounds like a lot to ask from a cast boolit? In the 6.5x55 especially?

    There must be loads of you on here doing it, but it's very new to me. I've been casting for a while now but only plinking loads for my .45-70. I'd be very grateful for the thoughts of you more experienced guys. I don't want to waste a load of money on equipment if what I can produce won't be up to the job! I just think it would be a great feeling to take deer with boolits that I've produced myself. I can easily make the 1700ft-lbs with a checked 500gr out of my .45-70 and I'm working on that currently, but it's not the rifle that I generally reach for when I go out hunting.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Go bigger and slower.

    Laws you poor guys live under suck.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    It can and has been done. Bullet fit, bullet quality and alloy become more important. You will not achieve jacketed accuracy. Another option is paper patching.

    BTW, do your conservation officers have chronographs and scales to verify the load you are using?
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm with Ghosthawk big fat boolits stops fast animals pretty nicely. Don't give up if you do the antis win that's "JUST NOT AN OPTION" forge on under your oppression.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    It is best feasible with the 338 and that Lee bullet. Would be quite effective on deer.
    Larry Gibson

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

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy brewer12345's Avatar
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    While we are at it, is a bigger bullet with no meplat (round nose) a feasible option on deer-sized game?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    +1. The velocities you are after aren't that high, but to get there requires harder alloys or a lot of creative work with the smaller calibers. The lower velocity and bigger bullet is much easier to find an effective medium.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Oklahoma Rebel's Avatar
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    yes, I agree that 2000fps isn't that much to ask of a cast boolit, you will need a gas check and a hardness of at least 12-14bhn,( if fit and lube is good) and I think that jacketed accuracy is possible at those speeds, with some experimenting. when you get much faster than 2000fps, maybe then you would start to have more accuracy problems, and would also need a harder (15bhn+) alloy. good luck, you will figure it out fine, with the help of some of the more senior, knowledgable members, such as runfiverun,ghosthawk, and others.-Travis
    An armed man in a citizen.
    An unarmed man is a subject.
    A disarmed man is a slave.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Listen to what Larry Gibson is saying. The 338WM with a 1:10 twist will give you the required amount of muzzle energy while staying below the RPM threshold, giving you sufficient accuracy. The Swede with a 1:9 twist will be moving way too fast for consistent accuracy.

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't listen to the rpm stuff. The velocity has already been beaten in the Swede, with the 7.8 twist by the way, countless times over by we know who and others. For his achievements he's been called a liar as has Runfiveruns's daughter for her achievement with a fast twist AR15. The rpm has also been beaten with a 6.5x34MS with an 8 twist. There are loading requirements you must strictly adhere to or you won't be able to do it.

  11. #11
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    Brewer round nose bullets can be very effective on game animals.
    I personally prefer a flat meplat of about 60-65% over any other nose type.
    just filing a small flat point of the nose of the LEE would certainly help.

    in the OP's case I would definitely start with the 338.
    it will be a whole lot easier to convince to game warden your following the rules.
    35-40grs of 3031-4895-4064 and a 200-250gr bullet should give you what you want.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    Brewer round nose bullets can be very effective on game animals.
    I personally prefer a flat meplat of about 60-65% over any other nose type.
    just filing a small flat point of the nose of the LEE would certainly help.

    in the OP's case I would definitely start with the 338.
    it will be a whole lot easier to convince to game warden your following the rules.
    35-40grs of 3031-4895-4064 and a 200-250gr bullet should give you what you want.
    I couldn't agree with you more. If I had the two calibers the OP mentioned I definitely would go with the 338 as it's much easier to get the muzzle energy he has to have along with the accuracy.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Those powder coat boys are blowing it out of the water while aiming at the barn!
    A deplorable that votes!

  14. #14
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    fellows it is ok to disagree but keep it friendly and leave name calling out and recognize that each has his own theory. I don't want to come back here

  15. #15
    Boolit Master brstevns's Avatar
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    Every rifle is a law onto itself. You just have to try different things and see if it works. Some of my loads in a 308 win go over 2000 fps with a 180 gr bullet and do 3/4 at 100 yards. In my cousin's rifle the same load might hit a 6 foot circle, go figure !!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    As far as developing HUNTING bullets goes, give the late Bruce Bannister's writings on his "Bruce B Soft Point" casting process for making expanding-point bullets that WORK on critters. I have loads made up in 5 calibers, and the small amount of hunting I did this past Fall got done with these assemblies.
    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.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by njc110381 View Post
    .....
    The situation I'm in is that in the UK, we need 1700ft-lbs of muzzle energy to legally shoot deer. Looking into it this means that if I were to cast for my 6.5x55 I would need 2265fps with a 150gr projectile or 2350fps with a 140gr. In my .338 Win mag and the Lee C338-220 I would need 1870fps. That sounds like a lot to ask from a cast boolit? In the 6.5x55 especially?

    ......... I don't want to waste a load of money on equipment if what I can produce won't be up to the job! I just think it would be a great feeling to take deer with boolits that I've produced myself. ........
    Yes, that is a lot to ask of the 6.5x55.

    As mentioned by myself, Bjorn and runfiverun using the Lee C338-220 cast bullet in your 338 Win Mag is the easiest, quickest, surest way to get a very useable legal hunting load of 1870 - 1950 fps that you can consistently load and that will consistently give excellent performance. You won't need exotic equipment you probably don't already have. Regular ternary alloys easily made will do fine.

    There is no "theory" to that, it is fact, as multitudes of cast bullet shooters do the same most often w/o any problems. I suggest the use of a medium to slower burning powder in the 4895 to 4350 burning range. If you have those powders available a start load of 38 gr is suggested and then work up to 1870 + fps. In the probable 10" twist of your rifles barrel accuracy should be more than ample for hunting if not excellent up through 1950 fps or so. If you don't have those powders available then you probably have similar burning European powders available there(?). With that larger magnum case if load density is less than 80 to 85% I also suggest a Dacron filler be used.

    We'll be glad to assist with any further load development questions. A 220 gr .338 cast bullet at that velocity will be a deer thumper for sure out to 200 yards. Higher velocity is not needed with that combo.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 12-29-2017 at 02:35 PM.
    Larry Gibson

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

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I concur ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Hell, I was there!

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks all for taking the time to point me in the right direction. I'll go with the .338 mold next time I'm at the gun shop. I figure I'll need a mold, sizing die and gas checks. I can pick all of those up for about the same cost as 100 .338 bullets so it's not a big investment.

    Powder wise I probably have something here. If not the European makers offer plenty of choice so I should be able to find something close to that burn rate. I usually load my .338 with Alliant Reloder 22.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    RL 22 might work though of the RL powders RL19 may burn cleaner. Worth a try though since you already have and use it.
    Larry Gibson

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

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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