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Thread: Cast boolits in a sabot?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    3,751
    I've found power belts to be accurate and easy to work with. Hunting with them has always been very disappointing. Have taken a couple of deer with them, but never again. No expansion. Fast or slow at impact, and I've never got any good expansion. I'll never use them again. Shock Waves work better for me. Back to the OP, sabots with soft lead cast are a good way to go.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Minnesota
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    2,162
    I've been asking myself about shot placement recently as well. There's really only 4 good ways to shoot a deer broadside (slightly toward or away is ok), three frontal, and facing away is just not a great bet. For a broad side you have a double lung, heart, shoulder, or neck shot. I don't even consider a brain shot, as it is just not a good idea. For the frontal you can go for the neck or chest, the chest being dead center, or if a bow hunter, slightly off to go between the breast bones. Ultimately the goal in a frontal chest shot is a heart shot. Facing a way is tough with many variables. Straight away from a stand, and firearm hunting, you can shoot through the spine and hit the heart. On the ground, facing straight away is really only viable if you are shooting a handgun with solid hard cast bullets, or a good shotgun slug like a Brenneke. I wouldn't even trust a rifled slug, and most smaller bore rifles like 30 caliber have a tendency to veer too much for that kind of shot. I just avoid it all together.

    Most guys hope for a broadside shot, and either put one just behind the leg and double lung them, or shoot the shoulder. I have always preferred a heart shot, which is about 1/3rd up the body, and about centered with the shoulder. 1/2 the time I get the heart, 1/2 the time I get the lungs. Most anatomy pictures have the heart in the wrong spot, it is about centered with the leg. For some dumb reason this year, with my handgun, I went for the bowhunter shot just behind the shoulder. I'm 100% sure that deer is dead close by, but between 4 of us we could not find him. I started pouring rain 20 minutes after the shot, the ground was frozen, and we couldn't tell where he went. We spent too much time looking in a corn field in the direction he ran, but looking back, I think he cut around down wind, and bedded down in the swamp. He's coyote food now, S happens.

    Now I'm not sure a heart shot would have helped, but it sure would not have hurt. Shoulder shots scare me though. If you miss low, sure you get the lungs. Otherwise you have about a 2" window to either take the shoulders out, possibly spine, or wound it. That's not a lot of margin for error. A deer's heart is bigger, and it is encased in the lungs which are huge. I've only taken a few neck shots, and all of them were instantly disabling. Not all got the spine either. The biggest buck I ever shot stopped behind a downed tree and looked right at me at 15 yards. I shot him dead center in the neck with a rifled shotgun slug and he died instantly. When butchering, we found the slug had only glanced off of the spine. but did not break it. I'm sure you could shoot over the spine and wound one, but I don't think that animal will suffer too bad compared to many injuries. Anything from the spine to the adams apple is lethal, they wont recover if you puncture their throat. I still won't take that shot on purpose, but it is effective. It makes a lot more sense if you shoot something like a 6mm that doesn't penetrate well, but shoots very accurate, and causes meat to turn to mush.

    The most effective shot I've seen isn't even legal around here. Large buckshot from a shotgun, placed at the base of the neck. You can take out the neck, spine, shoulder, and lungs all in one shot.


    Anyway, I've found even heart shots are often a 30-50 yard run. Some just fall over, I've never had one make it over 50 yards.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Apr 2017
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    Yes I agree that most people that shoot deer in the neck were aiming center mass of the deer and their boolit/bullet veered off and hit the spine or the neck....they weren’t aiming for it. I guess if I shot my 2 1/4 inch group cast load and flinch a little bit I probably have a good chance for a spine and neck shot to. Lol

    I’ve always aim center mass or a little lower for the heart right behind the front shoulder and my bullet has been accurate enough to land where I aim most times so the chance of myself back boning a deer is slim and none unless I’m aiming for it which I won’t. The only way I guess I would aim for it is if the deer was directly below me out of my tree stand but a broadside shot it’s not gonna happen. Center mass shot broadside moving up and down a couple inches is still gonna put me in the heart of the lungs if I flinch or hit a branch. A couple inches aiming for a spine either way is going to go over the deer for a complete miss or just shooting through the back straps. No offense... but I think most people that shoot deer in the back bone flinched, hit a branch, or just need to work on their marksmanship a little better. Everyone here talks about saving so much meat and eating to the hole with cast bullets but a backbone/spine shot is wrecking your back strap meat or a chunk of your neck. A broad side shot through the ribs wrecks nothing except for the internals no matter how violently the bullet expands and comes apart. I just read on another person here shooting cast boolits and back boning a deer. Great job!...And I don’t mean to take away from it but they weren’t aiming for the back bone...the bullet just landed there. I wish I had a pair of x-ray glasses so I can see through a deer to shoot the back bone every time and I would hit it because I know I’m a good enough marksman but I still wouldn’t aim for it because I’d also be throwing away a lot of meat. Both deer I shot with J words this year I lost zero meat (as usual)with broadside shots. I did lose a liver on one though because I hit a little far back when it was on a trot. I can remember throwing away a lot of meat with some back bone shots in years past literally blowing apart the back straps. Just not my cup of tea. IMO 99.9% of the people don’t aim for the back bone and by pure dumb luck their bullet just ends up there.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 12-04-2019 at 12:24 PM.

  4. #44
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    A couple of posters asked me for update how the 300 grain shockwave worked with damage pics. Today was the last day of muzzleloader season where I could use y unused gun buck tag. I went out earlier in the week and the only thing I saw was a small doe. I watched it for over an hour and took a shot through the brush while it was standing around 75 yards or a little further. I should’ve waited till I had a clear shot. The deer ran like it wasn’t hit and went out of sight. I also knew I flinched when I shot. I went to look for blood,hair, and the deer but didn’t find anything. I figured it was a clean miss. Well today it was 2 out and it was the last day. I headed out to my stand when warmed up to 7. I built a A hunting shack for my pops and figured I would have fun and sit in that thing. I also left my Mr. buddy heater in it from last year so I figured once I got in it I’d fire it up. I walked up to the blind as I was just getting in the woods and noticed a deer standing broadside with its head and front shoulder behind a tree at a little over 75 yards from me. It looked as if it was perfectly broadside but I found out it wasn’t after shooting it. I couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe, if it was big, or if it was small. All I knew was it was cold and I had five doe tags yet to fill and one buck tag. I quickly and quietly side stepped three steps to the nearest tree to lean my muzzle loader against for a solid shot. All I could see was the deer’s ribs and a rear end while it was still standing broadside with its head and front shoulder hiding behind a large hickory tree. When I put my scope up on it I could see several rib indentations so I knew I could forward enough to make a lung shot. I cocked it and let the hammer fly. The smoke cleared and I could see the deer tilted over a little from the shot and disappeared behind a few trees. It Immediately appeared and ran a good 20 to 30 yards directly down hill, hooked right, and leaped directly towards my direction within 15 yards. It was leaping with its tail up look as healthy as an ox like it wasn’t shot and running right past me. I continue to watch it go about 30 yards behind me and stop behind a cedar tree. I saw his tail wiggle a couple of times and heard a couple of twigs breaking. I figured if that was the same deer it must’ve been a complete miss. But then I thought to myself maybe there were two deer there and when the deer I shot at went out of sight it might have went over the hill away from me and there could’ve been another one with it that jumped up at the shot and ran past me. So I went into the woods where I originally shot at the deer instead of walking in where I last saw the deer by the cedar to check for blood and hair. I figured if that was a different deer I didn’t want to push it across the road and if it was and wounded I don’t want to push it. I found zero blood and zero hair where it was standing when I shot so I figured it must’ve been a complete miss just like the other day and maybe my muzzleloader was off. I then figured I would go into the direction where I saw the deer ran past me. I followed the tracks that went right past me with zero blood. The last 15 to 20 yards before the cedar tree where I saw it stop I found two or three drops of blood half the diameter of a pencil eraser on the ground and then every couple of feet there were more drops. I walked another 10 feet and kept looking through the brush thinking I must not of hit it very well since there was hardly any blood and maybe I’ll get lucky and It would be bedded down where I last saw it so I could try and finish it off before it crossed the road onto someone else’s property. It basically was heading right towards where I parked my truck and it was maybe 20 yards away from the road where I found it. It dropped right where I last saw it. It wasn’t a perfect shot by any means but it did a lot of damage. It just never bled externally till the last 15 to 20 yards which were just a few drops of blood here and there. I took out one lung and the liver look like a grenade went off on it. Apparently it was not broadside and facing me at an angle as the bullet exited the second of the last rib on the other side and low. It unfortunately hit the stomach as well which must’ve clogged the exit hole. Good thing I watched the direction of that deer I remembered where I saw it last. Just like you guys say some deer die on the spot and some have a will to live. The lung that I took was probably the last 4 to 5 inches of it. It wasn’t completely gone like my high-powered rifles would’ve done. I could feel chunks of it when I pulled it out. It amazes me how tough animals are and how far they can go the inside of that deer was disgusting.

    The entry hole...







    And the exit...




    With all the blood on the deer were it laid you would’ve thought it was pouring out of it the whole way!


    Oh...and when I got home and skinned it tonight to my surprise I found a fresh wound at the top of his shoulder blades! That’s where I aimed at the other deer when I pulled the trigger the other day. I aimed right for its front shoulder and knew I flinched. I have the gun sighted in 2 inches high at 100 yards so it should hit dead at 150. I Musta gave it a haircut. There was a fresh scab on the meat that I cut right off and it had a good size hole in the Hyde from the bullet grazing it. The scab was shallow and fresh enough that it didn’t hit the back straps so I got lucky. When I shot this deer today it actually was 10 yards away from the exact spot the other one was bedding the other day than I took a shot at. I’m pretty sure it was the same deer.





    Luckily it was shallow enough that it didn’t get into the back straps or shoulder.


    Well it’s at home now in the garage aging... No it’s probably already frozen solid. I did already cut out the tenderloins, back straps, and save the heart. I took them in the house and put them in a cooler with ice to try and age them as well.


    So long story short the bullet hit where I aimed, it killed the deer, the blood trail sucked again, and it went farther than I thought it would. I’m Definitely going to switch bullets next year.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; Yesterday at 11:33 PM.

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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