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Thread: Store Bought vs Homemade

  1. #1
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Store Bought vs Homemade

    I am trying to get some input concerning store bought boolit performance. I mostly have cast my own but occasionally buy store bought, like for my 357 where the 125 grain cast were about as cheap as buying a mold. Also they gave me a chance to try that weight and design. 200 bullets go a long ways in that rifle for my shooting. Also an individual on another site had used commercial bullets and was getting excellent accuracy with his 38-55. However as I read his tests I see the limitations of the typical "hard cast" store bought boolit. Velocity kept around 14-1500 fps or leading starts. Also the claim is made that the anything over 1500 fps is inferior due to lack of penetration for hunting.


    Most of the folks on this site likely cast their own, but I have been trying to get input about the hunting performance of the typical store bought cast bullet on larger game like deer. I am quite happy with them in my 357 as I am using a load more aimed at smaller critters. For deer I would pour my own. Typical commercial bullet is the 92-9-2 lead-antimony-tin alloy. Big bores like the 45-70 probably can use them quite well and its possible that they might give some expansion out of rifles like the 30-30 tht push them fast enough. I think 1500 fps might be close to a threshold of expansion for that type of bullet.


    DP

  2. #2
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    So far about all I have seen is in the Midway reviews. Looking at a few 30 cal cast bullets, one person mentioned that Laser Cast worked OK for deer. All others seem to be buying this type of bullet for paper shooting or CB shooting. Kind of wonder if they are not used much for hunting.

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Expansion on game with cast bullets is something I never strive for or give any consideration. A bullet heavy for caliber, suitable to the twist, with a nice meplat will do anything that needs done. At least that combination has worked exceedingly well for me over the last 25 years as in no lost game and everything has fallen within very few feet of where they were shot, if they moved at all. Rarely do my smokeless loads exceed 1800 fps and most run closer to 1600-1700, depending on the cartridge. With my BP loads, 1300 fps would be fast.
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    I bought a bunch of 41 mag 215gr LSWCBB ones off a member here a few years ago. Sized .411 and reportedly lubed with carnauba red commercial, they’re just as accurate as my home made ones. I’m gonna be sad once I deplete this stock.

    I think with most things in life, the answer is, it depends.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't understand the quote (anything over 1500 fps is inferior due to lack of penetration for hunting). My 311041 30 cal out of a 308 at 1800 will go right through a whitetail and drop him in 30 paces if I do my part. If i am off and hit the front shoulder the boolit will still exit the deer. Where I live the usual shot is from 50 to 180 yds. As I get older I have migrated to 358 or 35 Whelen as the molds from NOE and ACCURATE give me great choices with a large meplat that kills quick and without the massive meat destruction of the new super bullets

  6. #6
    https://bullshop.weebly.com/bullets.html

    you can choose pure lead or 22bhn. i use 12+/-bhn in my 30-40 krag and 444 marlin.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oily View Post
    I don't understand the quote (anything over 1500 fps is inferior due to lack of penetration for hunting). My 311041 30 cal out of a 308 at 1800 will go right through a whitetail and drop him in 30 paces if I do my part. If i am off and hit the front shoulder the boolit will still exit the deer. Where I live the usual shot is from 50 to 180 yds. As I get older I have migrated to 358 or 35 Whelen as the molds from NOE and ACCURATE give me great choices with a large meplat that kills quick and without the massive meat destruction of the new super bullets
    That was that individuals belief, not mine, and was based on penetration for a brand of cast bullet. Penetration will increase at times if there is no bullet deformation. I use hard cast in my 45 Colt revolver because in theory, I want it to penetrate as much as possible and it is a large bore. Sharps4590 did not mention the calibers he was using, but many that use larger bores like the 45's don't much care if there is any expansion. LBT uses that theory and claims that their pistol ammo is more effective than any hollow point. They sue tempered bullets. On a 30 cal rifle or my 38-55 and on deer I prefer expanding bullets and don't feel any meplat on a 30 cal can replace expansion. However I am willing to bet that a bullet traveling at 1800 at the muzzle with a suitable meplat will have some expansion.

    I used cast in both a 303 Brit and a 30-30 that were around 1900-2000 fps and I was very satisfied with them. I used to shoot cast a lot out of old military rifles I collected with mixed results. Never found any in the animal to examine. Many have reported excellent luck like you have which is why I wanted to check. Maybe I am over concerned about something I don't need to care about? I also have taken a few deer with a 35 Remington and appreciate your move to the 35's.


    DEP
    Last edited by northmn; 10-10-2018 at 08:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    94-6-2 lead-antimony-tin (hard ball) alloy -- negligible expansion under 1800 fps and sometimes frags when hitting hard. Lasercast are actually good (as is MBC) if they fit your gun ( I hated their lube and PCd mine). Get a mould that fits and you can make whatever good 2x is about the same as lasercast 30/30 box. Probably a complete pass thru on deer unless a big bone is hit. Soft alloy @ 1500 fps gut shot a (120#) pig carcass, 30 in ~40 out. Shoulder shot didn't exit. 40sw hard alloy (~950) went stern to stem on 150# pig. I just watch the deer.
    edit: I got a box of lasercast, MBC and Carolina cast (all hardball) in various versions of RD (041) design to wring out my marlin 30/30. Most got recycled with pure when I bought a Lee RD 6 hole mould. They kinda worked, lube was terrible. I started using peanut butter, then just the mazzola oil (real messy) that worked great. Finally melted them down and made my own. Will they work on deer? Are they accurate? yes. Unfortunately the large doe showed up after sundown.
    Last edited by popper; 10-17-2018 at 11:39 AM.
    Whatever!

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    ...............If you're using a "Big Bore" like 375" or more (like .458") 45-70 etc, a FN design cast 1-10 or pure lead paper patched will do all you want to considerable ranges. You just have to do your homework (ie: ranges) to be an ethical hunter.

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I've been down both trails. I used commercially cast bullets before I started casting my own. When it comes to commercially cast bullets they fall into two categories : Adequate and horrible.

    The title "commercially cast" encompasses a lot. Swaged hollow based wadcutters aren't really "cast" but they aren't jacketed bullets either. Hard cast bullets come in varying levels of "hard" and then you run into the sizing and lube problems associated with commercial cast bullets. There's just a lot of variables when you're talking about cast projectiles.

    That being said, I had some luck with some commercial cast bullets and while I'll probably never go back down that trail again, it wasn't all bad.

    While I understand the desire to buy 100 or so cast bullets to avoid the cost of a mold that you may not use very often, I tend to look at molds as a life time purchase. My advice would be to find a bullet weight and profile that you like and then experiment with alloys until you find what you want. Commercially cast bullets may help in that process as a means to narrow down on a bullet weight and shape and therefore help guide you towards a specific mold to purchase.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 10-14-2018 at 09:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    If i have to buy bullets they will be jacketed. And that is very seldom. 99% of my boolits are cast.....by me.
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  12. #12
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    osteodoc08 - LSWCBB - Not getting the BB part, probably the late hour!

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Sheesh View Post
    osteodoc08 - LSWCBB - Not getting the BB part, probably the late hour!
    bevel base

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minuteshaver View Post
    molds are expensive. very expensive. IF you have to go buy 10-30 just to find the bullet weight the rifle likes, then another 10 to get the rifles favorite profile.... your ending up in the poor house.

    just finally getting into cast for rifles....... but if the Oregon trail bullet works... I know what to look for.

    And someone smarter then me explained.... If I can buy a case of 1,000 158 grain semi wad cutters from Remington, that my revolver LOVES in their commercial 38 special loading... for say 80$... why cast my own?
    Because I will burn through 1000 of those in about 5 weeks and need to buy more. I have been shooting thousands over the last few years. By not having to purchase those bullets, it has cost me much less than the same bullets would have cost by purchasing.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master northmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Because I will burn through 1000 of those in about 5 weeks and need to buy more. I have been shooting thousands over the last few years. By not having to purchase those bullets, it has cost me much less than the same bullets would have cost by purchasing.
    Very good reason. Also agree with the comment about commercial bullets being either adequate or horrible. I have done a bit of experimentation to get the bullets that perform like I like. Unfortunately, I am also running out of wheel weights. I have some birdshot I can melt down now as I don't shoot shotgun all that much anymore. I have already made some good bullets from that . Cost of casting will be going up for me however as I have problems finding lead. In the good old days one could get free lead. Now its not so easy. Just cast some boolits for my 38-55 and have them ready to go. But these are not really casual shooting type boolits.


    DEP

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
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    Cast bullet accuracy and performance are dependant on two thing: 1. Bullet alloy. Is it hard enough to withstand the pressure of the particular load. 2. Bullet fit. In a revolver the bullet must be larger than the cylinder throat, and the cylinder throat larger than the barrel. In a rifle the bullets need to be larger than or at least the same size as the throat of the barrel. Bullet expansion is a moot point in grease groove bullets, as they are usually too hard to expand. If you want expansion go to paper patched bullets where you can shoot even pure lead with accuracy. Brodie

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I want the satisfaction of shooting my own boolits etc .that's my reasoning anyway .

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I shoot my own cast in all my handguns except a Ruger SBH & Brn Hp target model. The rest of my handguns are target guns that are all under 1000fps. I shoot WCs and cast them as soft as I can get
    away with. I killed a deer with a 242gr 45cal WC that was 10:1 lead/tin at 800fps. At 30yds it shot clear through.

    Rifle bullets I only use cast in Lv calibres. 25/20, 32/20, 32/40, 38/55 & 45/70. For these I use 1:1
    WW/lead with 1/2lb tin in 10lb batch. I poured 100 pure tin 85gr HPs for 25/20 but I haven't had a
    chance to use them yet. I have a nice original 1894 Marlin that will not shoot jackets because of dia
    of factory bullets. I think I can drive pure tin to jacket velocities. The question will be if I can keep
    accuracy doing this. Presently shooting same bullet at 1500fps.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I was given a 500 ct box of LazerCast 170 gr .307" bullets. They did not shoot well from my 94 Win.- I assume because they were undersize. So I melted them and they became .358", .410", .459", and some proper .309" boolits. I didn't get into casting to BUY bullets, but I see the wisdom of getting some to test before splurging on a mould.
    That's where our generous members come in! God bless em!

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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