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Thread: More 357 Magnum Gel Testing J-words vs Cast

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    More 357 Magnum Gel Testing J-words vs Cast

    A general pattern is emerging. While cast boolits are capable of outstanding terminal performance, they seem to be capable of this performance only in a narrow velocity range, which somewhat limits their utility for rifles.

    As I showed before the 359 Mihec hammer bullet with flat point pin expands magnificently and penetrates to a respectable depth at 1800 FPS. At 1200 FPS it is an icepick.

    The 180 Grain Hornady XTP is not capable of quite the performance, clocking just under 1700 FPS in my Marlin with a charge of 16 grains of 300MP. At this velocity though that bullet nearly breaks apart, expanding to almost 3/4" of an inch and penetrates only 13". 80% retained weight. At a lower velocity (same load out of my 5" 686) of 1200 FPS this bullet still performs respectably, getting .58" of expansion and going deeper with 97% retained weight. So this could be a potential one load for two guns situation.

    I did some more testing with moderate 357 loads. 13.5 grains of 2400 gets the 162 grain Hammer bullet with the small hollowpoint cavity going to nearly 1250 FPS in my 686. This load expanded beautifully to .635" and retained 100% of its weight. Same load out of my marlin and it blew up, shedding the entire hollowpoint section which broke into two parts and the core traveling to a greater depth. Not even 60% of the weight was retained in the three remaining fragments. It went 1600 FPS out of the marlin.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I dont really consider it a disadvantage since by nature cast are made as needed and alloys per application. A jacketed needs to work in who knows what out of who knows what gun, so a required advantage basically. Im happy just getting something good for my single application,

    i increased tin for best expansion in my 30-06 based on your recomendation.
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ID:	249980 i went from 1.5% to 3% and got it to keep its petals at 1800 impact into paper mush, got 220 gr 30 cal to .817" which for some reason is bigger than any 44 cast ive tested lol.

    Below is 250gr 44 rifle testing comparing just air coww to a soft point where front 80gr is 1% tin 99% pure back is 50/50 heat treated. Air coww made a nice .75" mushroom while soft point kinda just smooshed the soft bit over the hard bit and is .65" and not as nice looking and barely kept full weight. But it would also work at lower speeds where only pure expands but wont be the best for any particular speed.

    So thats sort of a way around your problem but id rather just optimize for 1 task.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    More 357 Magnum Gel Testing J-words vs Cast

    If a deer or even a wild hog were three feet across, then 13” of penetration from that 180-grain XTP might not be enough. Also, fragmentation is not a bad thing if a projectile is designed to dump its energy into a soft target like deer or pigs.
    Finding a cast equivalent for penetration + expansion is a fun endeavor, I understand that. From what I’ve read and researched, there really is no “one” right answer. One would think the perfect alloy for 3-gun or steel or hunting would have been widely published by the year 2020. Also consider that jackets were added precisely because they were necessary to achieve the performance no alloy could match.
    R/Griff

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    I've found, at the velocities your using in the rifle, if the bullet is GC'd then a binary lead/tin alloy works much better than any alloy with antimony in it. I use a 16-1 alloy at 1400 - 1800 fps with excellent terminal expansion effect.

    I concur with dangitgriff that 13" of penetration is certainly sufficicient for deer and most hogs. Three plus feet of penetration are not needed unless one is partial to Texas heart shoots.......
    Larry Gibson

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

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    Have you ever tried a 140 FTX in these tests?

    Im finding myself “stuck” using it as it simply shoots lights out for me. Thing is its going 2350 fps, and I fear it a bomb.

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

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangitgriff View Post
    If a deer or even a wild hog were three feet across, then 13” of penetration from that 180-grain XTP might not be enough. Also, fragmentation is not a bad thing if a projectile is designed to dump its energy into a soft target like deer or pigs.
    Finding a cast equivalent for penetration + expansion is a fun endeavor, I understand that. From what I’ve read and researched, there really is no “one” right answer. One would think the perfect alloy for 3-gun or steel or hunting would have been widely published by the year 2020. Also consider that jackets were added precisely because they were necessary to achieve the performance no alloy could match.
    R/Griff
    A 3 foot wide deer?! We get some big deer around here, pushing 250 pound+, but the chest is closer to 12" (plus fur), maybe 16" on some big barrel chested brutes.

    Besides that, curioushooter is using calibrated ballistics gel. It's a great, consistent test bed for COMPARATIVE purposes. 13" of penetration does not mean 13" of penetration in an animal. I've personally gutted 2 deer shot with the 180 grain XTP from a 357 magnum Ruger blackhawk at an estimated 1300 fps, as well as a 180 grain XTP from 10 mm auto, also at 1300 fps. All three were complete pass through. Two were great broadside shots, one (from 357 magnum) was down a hill, and at an angle. It passed through a good 16" of deer. I know you won't get 36" of straight line penetration from this load, but it is perfect for medium size game if you take good shots, and that doesn't mean you can't take shoulder, or frontal shots either.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    More 357 Magnum Gel Testing J-words vs Cast

    I appreciate your insight and will file it into memory for future reference.
    I only have two questions, and that is, were you using the HP XTP’s, and, what the Sam-hill is ballistics gel supposed to emulate, in a relative manner, if not soft tissue?

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I'm only seeing one type of 180 grain XTP for each the 38 and 40 calibers. It is a hollow point, and I saw no evidence to believe that all three bullets did not expand. Damage to the organs was plenty. I forgot to mention, ranges were short. Around the 20 yard mark for all three.

    As for ballistics gel, that's a great question. I'll leave that to more knowledgeable people, but it's supposed to be a "body simulant". That includes skin, muscle, bone, organs, etc. Even the experts don't really know. What ballistics gel really offers is a consistent test bed that is recognized by everybody. It's for comparison purposes to other calibers/bullets, not be a 100% accurate representation of anything living.

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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