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Thread: Decisions, decisions.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Decisions, decisions.

    I finally drew a cow elk, mule deer combo tag for a great spot in Nevada. Woohoo!
    Of course the first thing that goes through my mind is what gun to take.
    I am pretty set on taking my Marlin 1885 guide gun in .450 Marlin. That or the contender hand gun in 45-70.
    Follow up shots if needed would be nice.
    I am planning on using cast boolits for the hunt. I have the Lee 405 gr rnfp right now.
    After my left shoulder heals up to the point where I can move it and lift some weight, I am going to cast a bunch and work up a load.
    I know it will be a hammer on deer, but does anyone have experience with it on elk?
    My alloy will be clip on ww, stick on ww, and pewter.
    I am not above buying a different mould either.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I am not speaking from experience, but think that full load under a 405 gr boolit would pass through said animal lengthwise from your 450 or 45-70 . I think Id choose a heavy boolit with a large metplat to help keep more of the energy in the animal.
    Five out of six doctors agree that Russian Roulette is completely safe.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    You didn't say which Unit(S) but after NCBS I will be headed up into there Jarbidge Mtns for a couple days. If I gather any good "intel" I will let you know. Weather permitting, of course. I think at the moment, the roads are too soft around the Sonoma's and Santa Rosa's to get to my usual camping spots.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quilbilly, nice! I love the Jarbige area. It is beautiful up there.
    We drew 161-164 which is the Monitor mountain range right in the middle of the state.
    I have never hunted there but my FIL has a bunch.
    I am going to try to run these boolits to around 13-1400 fps or so. Wherever the best accuracy is.
    I have loaded full tilt 400 gr jfp and I have no desire to do that again.....ever.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    The .445-70 with a 405 grain bullet over 70 grains of black will give 1200 +- fps and thouroughly kill any thing it hits. More velocity will merely flatten the trajectory. If you are recovering from rotator cuf or other shoulder surgery, I would seriously consider a .25-06/.257 Roberts or .250 Sav. Been there, done that and have the scar to proove it.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The nice thing about this surgery is that it is on my left shoulder. My right one was done 1 1/2 years ago, and shooting doesn't bother it any more.
    Of course if I took the contender it would be a non issue anyway.
    I am anxious to get a scope on the Marlin and start working up a load but only being ten days out I have weeks before I can even start casting boolits.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have spent a lot of time in that area too. The Monitors have become almost exclusively elk country as the elk have pushed out the deer. I once had breakfast with some of the guides that work the area out of Tonopah and they said it is much easier to find a 400 class bull in the Monitors and Toquimas that it would be to find a mature mule deer buck! On the other hand, if you are looking for a decent buck, particularly a non-typical, I would look into the Hot Creek Mtns. in the headwaters of Six Mile Creek or the high country around Tybo. There is a book out there called "Hiking the Great Basin" by John Hart and published by the Sierra Club (I know, yuk!) that is worth its weight in gold for that area if it is still being published.
    I was surprised when the guides told me that at that time they charged much less for a trophy bull elk hunt in that area than for a trophy mule deer hunt. The elk have driven out most of the deer in the areas I used to hunt over by Pioche and the same thing occurs when Roosevelt elk interact with blacktail deer.
    Maybe you should drop by NCBS in a week. I will be there and you would enjoy talking to Ammohead and Fast Asleep as well. Get up early and make a day of it. Bring your Contender at least. It will have plenty of company.
    Last edited by quilbilly; 05-26-2018 at 12:15 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Modified5,

    Personally, I prefer a larger meplat then the lee 405gr has.

    I have taken 3 elk at 100 to 161yds (lost one - totally my fault) using a 465gr Wide Flat Nose at 1650fps as well as a goodly number of deer.

    The deer were all bang flops with only one exception with a hit at about the diaphragm that ran maybe 50 - 75yds. Two elk complete penetration side to side one with a quartering shot that started with taking out the BIG heavy upper front leg bone was found after it still went about 30" after that bone. "After" weight 327.9gr

    Alloy, 50/50 clip on wheel weights/lead water quenched.

    Scope, I like the Leupold 2X7 CDS (Custom Dial System). With my bullet and load my maximum dial setting is 275yds. I find this system MUCH better then using Kentucky "guessing" system.

    Molds, ---------- One of the good custom mold makers is Accurate Molds. Tom located in Utah has a good turnaround time and a very good product. Order a 4 cavity mold.

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot

  9. #9
    Boolit Master




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    I killed 3 deer with that bullet out of a NEF Handi Rifle. My load was 15gr. Unique. Each bullet passed right on through without slowing down. COWWs was my alloy.
    You can miss fast & you can miss a lot, but only hits count.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quilbilly, what is the NCBS and where is it at? I'm not familiar with the acronym.
    It would be fun meeting members in person.

    Crusty, the meplat was a little bit of a concern for me and kind of why I asked about it.
    Does the one from accurate feed well in a lever gun?
    I will have to take a peek at it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Tom at Accurate molds can answer that question and modify as needed.

    I think a friend fed some of mine through his Marlin.

    CDOC

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    It is the Nevada Cast Boolit Shoot in Winnemucca at the Humboldt County range next weekend. Look under the "Get Togethers" thread in the "Our Town" section on this site. If memory serves, this will be the 15th annual and my 8th. It is more fun than you should be allowed to have for the whole family. There will be meal gatherings on Friday with the shoot and BBQ on Saturday. On Sunday shoots continue until about noonish followed by the closing banquet at a local fine Basque restaurant. Check out the pictures from previous years shoots farther down on the thread. Others have likened it to a family get-together where everyone likes everyone else. I will be staying at Scott's Shady Court (not fancy and quite retro but comfortable with a nice pool). I will be arriving Wednesday for some adventuring and rockhounding on my own Thursday including beer and a burger at the Paradise Valley Saloon. Sadly, my wife is crushed that she can't be there this year because she loves the event as well plus rockhounding.
    Last edited by quilbilly; 05-27-2018 at 12:20 PM.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty Deary Ol'Coot View Post
    Modified5,

    Personally, I prefer a larger meplat then the lee 405gr has.

    I have taken 3 elk at 100 to 161yds (lost one - totally my fault) using a 465gr Wide Flat Nose at 1650fps as well as a goodly number of deer.

    Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
    Agreed. I prefer a simple old RECBS 405 grain at 1500 fps. Kilt a whole bunch of big ol' Roosevelt elk with it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I cast about 100 of the Lee 405 the other night. Got seven decent looking boolits. I don’t have a thermometer but the lead ran like hot maple syrup.
    I had heated the mold on a hot plate, just like I always do. I dipped pour and get great boolits in .357, .44 and .308.
    Most boolits were heavily frosted and were “layered” almost like the lead was pouring too slow into the mould. Also they came out at .457-.457.5 which is what the mould is listed as.
    I may have to run a jacketed bullet for this year. Right now I can’t afford a new mould.
    I have been drooling over one of the accurate modules with a really wide meplat. It is .460 diameter. I do have some time until October though.
    I just wasn’t happy with how the Lee poured, may just be my technique though.
    I figure also, I would have to pc them to get them to seal well.
    My Virgin Valley 45-70 barrel for the contender is .458 on the money. Not sure what the .450 Marlin is though.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    My rule of thumb for a Marlin/Remlin is to use a .460 boolit.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master tinhorn97062's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXGunNut View Post
    My rule of thumb for a Marlin/Remlin is to use a .460 boolit.
    I shoot a .460 MINIMUM in my marlin big lever. I’ve shot up to .463 with nothing but good accuracy.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXGunNut View Post
    My rule of thumb for a Marlin/Remlin is to use a .460 boolit.
    This is what I am thinking also. It is a first year guide gun in .450 Marlin. Like I said, I haven’t slugged it yet, but everything I keep reading is that .460 is a pretty good number to feed these beasts.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I am fan of all guns 458 and have several. The Winchester 450 Marlin and Henry 45-70 and even my 458 SOCOM are different but very much the same. My favorite bullet to run in all those are a Accurate 460 Grain hammer at slower end speeds and most versitile is the 355 a Grain WFN GC at anywhere from moderate to full house velocity. Although the later is rare as beating myself up with recoil I no longer pleasurable. But even moderate velocity with that 355 will run an elk lengthwise when cast from certain alloys.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    For my muzzle loader that I was have problems with in the past and some on here help me with it.I use the Lee 405gr. for a 45-70 with a TC sabot for my 50 cal. with 80grs. of 777 FFG and I took a deer this past season with it and it drop in its tracks. Hope this help.I first try out the bullets that my gunsmith gave me to try that was for his 45-70 and then he let me use his mold to cast some for myself and I also gave him what he gave to use and some extra. Then I had him get me that same mold later.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I use that Lee mold likes to be run hot and pour fast then it casts beautiful boolits ,had the same problem when I first started to use it .

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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