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Thread: Real Gel Tests: 357 Magnum Carbine

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    1 pound per gallon.
    I did the math here. I used 2.8 lbs (which equals 2 liters of gelatin of the kind I used) to 2.3 gallons of water (9 liters). That is 1.2 lbs/gallon, which is around 20% richer in gelatin than your mix. My mix is already on the softer than ideal spec (which is 8.5cm +/- 1 cm or 2.9" to 3.7"). I'd predict your gel is out of spec or nearly out of spec on the soft side. This means that properly calibrated gel would get less penetration than observed. If anything red meat is tougher than porcine (which is what the calibration is based on since porcine and human flesh are nearly identical). If I get a deer this year I will be shooting it with a 17 caliber BB to obtain an accurate deer calibration figure.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master pls1911's Avatar
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    This an interesting discussion which reflects the fascination with experimentation and results for tweaking a favorite load.
    I too have spent many hours testing and refining, only to find that a nominal #2-ish alloy, at nominal velocity, in a nominal caliber for the intended purpose kills whatever you hit ... with proper placement.
    I don't spend much time tweaking anymore, but spend a LOT more time shooting.
    Salvaging old Marlins is not a pasttime...it's a passion

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    Did you test with calibrated gelatin?

    What I am finding is that a lot of the recommendations people freely give are completely uninformed, either because they have never tested anything or their testing was not very well performed.

    A 22LR will kill a deer with good shot placement. A 17 caliber BB probably could too if you hit them right in the eye socket.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by curioushooter View Post
    Did you test with calibrated gelatin?

    What I am finding is that a lot of the recommendations people freely give are completely uninformed, either because they have never tested anything or their testing was not very well performed.

    A 22LR will kill a deer with good shot placement. A 17 caliber BB probably could too if you hit them right in the eye socket.
    You are completely correct that you need a consistent test to properly test bullets. That said, this is the cast bullet HUNTING section. I, and most others test just enough to feel confident in the killing ability of a bullet, and combine that with personal experience. The only test that is valid in this section is performance on an actual animal.

    I would move this post, maybe to the cast bullet section for more clinical testing.

  5. #25
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    IMHO its not such a good idea to bake boolits in ovens your needing for food....

    As for sizing. Just coat bake and size. I dont understand the issue? The LEE push thru sizer is flat awesome for powder coated cast. I dont use allot of GC and know that the LEE aint designed for it. I seat the few GC I need on the 450 then run them thru the lee UPSIDE DOWN. But then again most all mine have a flat wide point too. I have pulled cast GC bullets that went thru the lee. I have also recovered many done same from earth with GC attached.

    My fav in the Maximum has been a old group buy 190g WFN mold that similar to a RD but shorter wider nose. Its width is proving a problem in my latest maxi and 350 Legend. Esp with extra size added by powder coat in places that dont get sized. (Bore rider areas) Its still OK in my ol’ Colt Whitetailer sized .360 but its a snug fit and difficult to remove if not fired. I cannot use them in my Marlins even sized to 358 they are too large or need be seated so deep they “look” aweful or dont feed. I borrowed a RD 190 thats far and away better!

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    I dont understand the issue?
    This issue is that if you are going to put it through the sizer anyway, why not get the job DONE?

    When I put a bullet in a sizer, it comes out checked, lubed, sized and ready to go--without its nose messed up and cocentric, which is what you run the risk of ruining when you run a bullet through a lee sizer backwards. I've used the Lee system too--for years in fact. The RCBS/Lyman/SAECO lube-size systems are about the best way to accomplish these tasks as rapidly as possible. The advantage to the Lee system is lower start up costs (but long term it wastes time which is valuable). I still can see no advantage to paint-n-bake besides allowing for color-coding of the loads (something I can do with a sharpie in a split second).

    That said, this is the cast bullet HUNTING section. I, and most others test just enough to feel confident in the killing ability of a bullet, and combine that with personal experience.
    What section could this sort of testing possibly more relevant for? We are talking specifically of the bullets ability to achieve a good kill--not just a kill.

    Anything besides properly calibrated gelatin is never going to eliminate the variables needed to draw a rational conclusion. The test of knowledge is experimentation.

    Some of us feel it necessary to determine 1) if we are being lied to bullet manufactures and so-called "experts" 2) if a marginal cartridge can really effect a humane kill 3) if a bullet can be found that doesn't leave undesirable material in the food.

    So far I've learned an awful lot at my own personal expense and freely shared it with others. Some of it corroborating conventional wisdom and some of it refuting it. For example, simply increasing bullet velocity doesn't necessarily increase its effectiveness. Most people seem to think "the mo velocity the mo betta" and that is FLAT OUT INCORRECT. This is also a great demonstration of why rigorous testing is valuable. Sure I could have shot a bullet into gel and gotten great performance and thought to myself "good enough." It's only because I decided to test that same bullet at different velocities (and therefore isolating the variable of velocity) that I was able to draw this conclusion.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master



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    The nose of the fp bullet is unaltered. If it altered the tip it would do so to the base and THAT would be detrimental far more so than the nose... I wonder what you do to cause these issues?

    What on earth are you talking one step... You need to monitor and ad lube sticks, you need to add pressure on that lube ever few bullets and every single time you need to put a GC in place...

    If you dont like the push thru you dont like it done create non existent issues. I find it much easier. Following your thinking its HALF the work to size as ONE MOTION the bullets sixed and out... on the Lyman/RCBS/ Saeco you push it down, then loft it back out...

    Our time is our own, ours to “spend” on things we enjoy.

    Im actually a long time loader that dosent use much from
    lEE. But Im no hypocrite either if I find a useful product that makes life easier, ill use it. When that product is inexpensive whats better than that!

    Good luck in your endeavors.

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by curioushooter View Post
    This issue is that if you are going to put it through the sizer anyway, why not get the job DONE?

    When I put a bullet in a sizer, it comes out checked, lubed, sized and ready to go--without its nose messed up and cocentric, which is what you run the risk of ruining when you run a bullet through a lee sizer backwards. I've used the Lee system too--for years in fact. The RCBS/Lyman/SAECO lube-size systems are about the best way to accomplish these tasks as rapidly as possible. The advantage to the Lee system is lower start up costs (but long term it wastes time which is valuable). I still can see no advantage to paint-n-bake besides allowing for color-coding of the loads (something I can do with a sharpie in a split second).



    What section could this sort of testing possibly more relevant for? We are talking specifically of the bullets ability to achieve a good kill--not just a kill.

    Anything besides properly calibrated gelatin is never going to eliminate the variables needed to draw a rational conclusion. The test of knowledge is experimentation.

    Some of us feel it necessary to determine 1) if we are being lied to bullet manufactures and so-called "experts" 2) if a marginal cartridge can really effect a humane kill 3) if a bullet can be found that doesn't leave undesirable material in the food.

    So far I've learned an awful lot at my own personal expense and freely shared it with others. Some of it corroborating conventional wisdom and some of it refuting it. For example, simply increasing bullet velocity doesn't necessarily increase its effectiveness. Most people seem to think "the mo velocity the mo betta" and that is FLAT OUT INCORRECT. This is also a great demonstration of why rigorous testing is valuable. Sure I could have shot a bullet into gel and gotten great performance and thought to myself "good enough." It's only because I decided to test that same bullet at different velocities (and therefore isolating the variable of velocity) that I was able to draw this conclusion.
    I used a SAECO lube/sizer for 40 years, mostly with Javalina and towards the end Carnuba Red from White Label. When I switched to powder coating I was using an electro-static powder coat gun. After shake and bake (air soft bb powder coating or ASBBPC) became more standardized I switched to that. Powder coating, cooking, and sizing worked out to be faster for me due to the bulk coating of the boolits. Using Lee push through dies is fast, as you know, and you can seat the gas check when pushing through nose first. I make my own gas checks from dies from Pat Parlins, a vendor here.

    The advantage of the powder coating is zero leading, zero boolit deformation in semi automatic rifles and no need for gas checks as the PC prevents plasma or gas cutting of the boolit base. I have shot an NOE-225-62 RN to 2450 with repeatable accuracy. I only have one .309 mold that is not a gas check design but works fantastically in a 30 M1 Carbine. Well, I have another that is a boat tail design but is for subsonic 300AAC.

    ASBBPC on handgun boolits resulted in reduced groups in every handgun I have fired them through. Some years ago, I was was repeatedly hitting a 4" target at 200 yards with a Glock 23, although it did take 3 shots to figure out my elevation adjustment. The point is that was the first day I tested PC boolits. The current .223/5.56 load I am working with will cycle fine in my Mini 14, but requires a little more powder to cycle the AR15. As my powder charges increased slightly, mostly due to base deformation, but still no leading. I have a pistol length gas system on on AR and it cycles fine with 1 MOA accuracy. The alloy was a softer alloy for 9mm/.38/40 S&W/45 ACP. I will sweeten the alloy to add a little more hardness. The best part is I can tell the different loads by sight because I use different colors of PC. Using the same alloy with a 150 GC Spitzer runs 1"/100yds through a bolt .308, AR 10, and M1A Springfield at 2250 fps. I was 1.5"/100 yards with lubed boolits. Plain Based .357/41 Mag/44 Mag/45+P Colt (20" carbine) showed similar results, again using alloy typically suited for light/slower loads.

    The only thing left in the bore is burned powder residue, no lead, no PC. Heck, I had a buddy who screwed something up and leaded his 9mm. I told him to run a mag of PCd boolits and check his bore. He called back and said 'clean as a whistle.' I gave him a bunch of PCd boolits and also showed him how to PC boolits. He has not used a lube sizer since and incidentally, his wife loves purple boolits. Who knew?
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

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  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Seems original topic in mind some what derailed?

    Never shot any gel with my 357 loads.
    I have ran a pretty large amount of various designs and weights through my GP’s and Marlin rifle. I won’t include my FA as it is a one bullet gun.
    The Marlin, I ran two different designs of 180 FN through it. Seated to an OAL that would feed with no issue. Various powders, but as stated above by others I ran lil’gun mostly and H110. I will not run a faster powder chasing speed as some try to do.

    I would have to dig some to find what speed the 6” GP and the Marlin 18” were giving.

    I will agree to a point of folks chasing hard bullets. That was shoved down my throat for many years. There is a point of toughness,elasticity or what ever you may want to call it.

    The carbine loads I used I shot three deer �� be year. Ranges from 100-185ish and never recovered a bullet. Shots were taken at such an angle I wanted trying to keep a bullet under the hide. Never happened.
    Performance was over the top of any jacketed I ever used. Internal damage was surprising.

    6”GP. Shots were kept under 125, with 100 being most comfortable with the red dot. I have not recovered a bullet with this either. That includes my one and only with a 358156, sorry just not a fan. The 170-180 puts a 357 into another class imho.

    The FA and TC guns will run over a 180 grain CB easily. With either of these, I see little need in searching out a 357 maximum chambering.

    I still run traditional lube practice. I tried the lipstick bullets. Just never saw any improvement. And it has made a few of my CB rigs perform differently than with my traditional, note I did not say better.
    Jeff

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the lee clone of rcbs 35 200 fn
    Pure lead out of rifle,
    Muzzle velocity is somewhere around 1350, dont exactly remember.
    Penetrated 18.5 inches of my gel.
    Last year this load took a 6 pointer broadside, broke ribs on both sides and got trapped just beneath skin.

    Seeing a comparison with a prooven load, I agree that my handgun hollow point would not be adequate for deer.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  11. #31
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    Pure lead is the explanation for that performance, but of course you give no info on calibration... every time I shoot a block I check the calibration. It's supposed to be 3-3.5" at ~570-590 FPS 17 cal steel BB. A daisy 880 manages this task beautifully with 5 pumps.

    The problem with pure lead is that it doesn't cast well, accuracy sucks with most designs, and it fouls barrels. That gas check is doing some heavy lifting.

    I am going to test some low alloy (32:1) big hollowpoints at 38 snub velocities.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    Had no clue it was supposed to be checked every time. I had assumed the main interest in calibrating gel was to have a more realistic idea of how performance in gel would transfer to game. I believe the info i provided does that, the inference being that if 18.5 inches of gel penetration equates to an almost passthrough of deer, that 14 inches definitly would not pass through. My guess would be that it stops somewhere around the heart or second lung.

    My other guess would be that 20 inches or more of my gel would be a complete passthrough, but this is just my guess.

    Ive never used a gas check for 357, i powdercoat and in my opinion, the benefits of gas checks are severely reduced. Case in point, i tested some pure lead 200 grain boolits out of my 30-06 a few years ago into water jugs, didnt recover any of them, but also didnt have any leading whatsoever in the barrel.
    I will agree casting with pure lead sucks.

    I will admit that i am not an expert on any of this. Also, i understand the idea behind calibrating gel to 3-3.5 inches with a bb at a set speed. Its so that my gel is the same as your gel, so we can directly compare our boolits performance. But we dont really care about performance on gel do we? You even stated that you were interested in calibrating to deer at one point.

    Side note, i have always agreed with your original premise, that hollow points are not required, given a proper alloy and adequate velocity.
    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    The reason why you calibrate is that the whole principle of using gel is to duplicate the physical qualities (density, water content, resistance) of mammalian tissue. You don't know if you are doing that UNLESS you check. Many of the recipes I've found are not good with the gelatin I have (which is porcine, unflavored, and bought in bulk). The recipe that works for me is 9:2 water to gel BY VOLUME. You put the water in a pot, turn on the heat, and then stir and dissolve the gel into it until it just starts to boil. Then you pour into a mold that you've checked can take the heat (but testing with boiling water). After the initial cast you don't need get it up to a boil, only hot enough to melt it and dissolve any gel powder if you add it. This occurs much faster and at a lower temp. I also put a few drops of peppermint oil in it which makes it smell a whole lot nicer. Keep it in the fridge.

    The early ballistic testers found that human and porcine flesh is nearly identical in its physical qualities. I am sort off assuming deer are similar, and I think they are after slaughtering and butchering dozens of them. I do plan on shooting a freshly killed deer with my BB gun this season to verify. But here is a picture I took of the verification I did on pig I recently slaughtered. It actually penetrated to ~4" which is 20% more than the FBI says it should. I suspect it was because this pig was young and had eaten a diet a little too rich in corn and poor in protein. It may also be because I hit a vein of fat.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Every time I've melt down and re-cast my blocks I think you need to check the calibration because it can change. When you chill them condensate forms inside the mold and that water can weaken the mixture. I also think re-heating weakens the mixture. So I add about 2-3 tablespoons of gelatin whenever it starts to calibrate on the soft side. I've found that it gets softer never harder with time and use. This way I have been able to recast now about 10 times and it still calibrates as it should. I did need to strain out denim and other particles that accumulated once.

    All told the gelatin cost me about $25. And the other stuff involved is basically free or reusable (a plastic file cabinet drawer, a cookie sheet, a frosting spatula, a stock pot, water, scraps of denim).

    I really don't understand all the arguing, conjecturing, guessing. For less that a box or two of AMMO you can be TESTING. It's as much of an eye-opener as when I bought my chrony.

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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