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Thread: CB's Commercial Performance

  1. #1
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Northern MN

    CB's Commercial Performance

    There's and individual on another site that's into the 38-55 and has posted pictures of groups around 1" with his Marlin CB and a commercial cast bullet. He has done a lot of shooting and has used different calibers. My contention with the individual comes as he swears up and down that performance of the 38-55 actually goes down after 1500 fps because penetration lessens.

    Now those of us with any experience expect that at higher velocities the bullets start deforming more and possibly even fragmenting. We have to match the alloy with the velocity. One of the best bullets I have ever used in a 30-30 was one I cast which consisted of lead wheel weight but was water hardened and then annealed at the nose. Took several steps to do so but I could drive it at 2000fps (chronographed) and it expanded at 150 yards. Got deer with it but never recovered any bullets as it shot through them. Typical store bought bullets have a harder alloy, typically the 92-6-2 "hardcast lead-antimony-tin mixture. Likely what he was shooting.

    Has anyone hunted with these commercial bullets and what are your impressions as to their expansion at what velocities? I really don't have any experience with them in the field other than in pistols like my 45 Colt loaded to normal velocities and some 125grain bullets I bought for my 357 rifle but are loaded down a bit. Most of my bullets have been home cast Starting with round ball for a muzzle loader, tin/lead for BP cartridges and then modern rifles.
    For deer I do not like non expanding bullets.

    Last edited by northmn; 10-07-2018 at 08:31 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    I used .30 cal Lazer cast for a few Rio Grande turkeys(170gr fp). They worked well and didn't blow big holes in the birds. I loaded them to 1600 fps for this purpose, and they were hard Bullets.
    I cast my own now of 50/50 ww/pb and I will aim for breaking bones or CNS shots for deer. Expansion may happen but I'm not going to count on it. From what I've read the meplat does the work. I've also read that you can make "soft points" by annealing the noses with the boolit standing in water. This would be worth trying for you(and me)- I have some 8mm rn that might benefit from that treatment.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Northern MN
    The 30-30 bullets I used were made using 50-50 lead to WW, running through a sizing die to 309 which included using a flat nose nose punch to flatten the noses, then oven water hardening them, and for the hunting loads I would place the bases in a water pan and use a torch to anneal the noses. Only would do a few at a time as I didn't shoot that many hunting and sight in and casual shooting did not require them. They worked very well on deer. One reason I flattened the noses was that they were heavy round nose bullets that weighed 188 grains finished and the flattened nose helped them feed in the lever action Marlin I had or they would have been too long. Noslers want to work like they did. One deer was shot at 150 yards through the lungs and dropped on the spot. Blood spray all over and a old silver dollar sized exit hole. Don't do that much anymore as it was time consuming and the old 35 Remington performs as well. They were loaded to about 2000 fps on my chronograph. I have written about them before.

    Your experience on turkeys with the harder bullets sounds normal. Montana makes bullets for black powder shooting that are 1-20 tin to lead and only recommend about 1200 fps mv but they are SPG lubricated specialty bullets. Most I see available are "hard cast" . I know some hunt with them. Bhn is around 16. They probably would open up at closer range in 30-30's but wonder about their use in a slower cartridge like the 38-55. Slower being relative as some really soup up the old 38.


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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