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Thread: Cast VS jacketed for dangerous game

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Cast VS jacketed for dangerous game

    For years all I’ve read is for dangerous game like grizzly bear to use hard cast for reliable penetration. Well I tried hard cast last year on deer as most of you know two out of three deer ran over 100 yards with double lung shots. My hard cast boolit never expanded(but did cause a lot of internal damage from shattered ribs) and exited in a boolit size exit hole. If I were to use the jacketed bullet that would’ve been really fragile and came apart like a ballistic tip dumping most to all of its energy inside the animal IMO it would’ve not left its tracks or would’ve went ALOT less further with a soft fragile bullet/boolit. This leads me to scratching my head why I would want to use hard cast for dangerous game if I ever had to do so. I would assume if you use hard cast for this purpose you definitely need to shoot the Head, neck, or backbone to break a bone to drop the animal. I’m positive a hard cast boolit would do just fine on a head shot but what if you missed as a bear that was charging head on and your boolit entered between the neck and shoulder? Imo a bullet that would come apart to expand and dump its energy inside (like the front end of a partition) would do a lot better and dispatching quicker. Not trying to start a fight I love my cast boolits but just wanted to hear opinions. I’m guessing shot placement is key and the projectile comes second in this scenario. I know if I would’ve shot my dear in the head or the neck it would’ve dropped on the spot I decided to double lung them to see what would happen which was not the best outcome for my 15.4 BH alloy choice. It probably would’ve been a better alloy to shoot a bear in the head with.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master superior's Avatar
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    A large 460 cal doesn’t need to be hard cast. Look up lee precision’s web site and go to the .457-405-f. You’ll see a cape buff destroyed by one from a 45-70govt. A/c ww

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    On deer you don't want a "hard cast" bullet, I've always cast mine as soft as I can & still gotten good accuracy & they work great. Using a hard bullet on deer, especially through the lungs is asking for a long chase many times, not always.

    On dangerous game a hard cast makes sense because you might need to break big bones, you mentioned Grizzly. Now what you want is a tough bullet, not a brittle bullet with too much antimony so don't get carried away with hardness. A big heavy cast bullet from straight WW's, either air cooled or water quenched is going to plow through a whole lot of Grizzly if it's the correct bullet.

    Now, if you over drive that cast bullet & push it too hard, hit big bones & the bullet shatters, you bought yourself a problem. There's always a balancing act with cast, match the hardness to the speed, put in the right spot & you can kill some really big animals. If you can't do that then use a premium jacketed bullet. I've taken game all over the west and in Alaska & Africa with cast including bears, moose, elk, African plains game etc, never had a problem using big six guns or five guns, just match the alloy to the speed.

    Dick
    Last edited by sixshot; 12-08-2019 at 04:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Someone once told me it was the wound volume. A deer is small, you get a pass through under most conditions with even weak calibers. On something large, a flat pointed solid bullet will create a larger wound because it tears a decent size hole all the way through. Presumably an expanding bullet creates a large wound at first that tapers off to something tiny, and may not even exit.

    When it comes to truly dangerous game, I would think people plan for the worst, hope for the best. flat point solid bullets have less tenancy to glance. Solid handgun bullets penetrate deeper than most expanding rifle bullets. A solid rifle bullet even more.

    About the only truly dangerous game we have in the 48 states is mountain lion, and anything that works on deer is likely to work on cougar.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Cougars are wimps a 223 is like a hammer of Thor with a correct shot placement. I shot one once with a 243 and it was overkill.

  6. #6
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    Unless you wander into Yellowstone park, we don't have anything more dangerous than cougar. We don't have them period in MN and WI except for the rare wanderer. Black bear maybe in the right circumstances. I don't know that I would call 243 overkill on cougar. I've never shot one, but I know they can get over 200 pounds. I forgot about feral pigs. Again similar size to a deer, reportedly meatier with thicker skin.

  7. #7
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    I believe the hard cast suggestion is to assure penetration. If the bear is charging you and you do not hit cns or break it down, that dead bear is going to get you. Nothing handheld is going to do enough damage to get the instant STOP needed. Think of the knife wielding attacker vs armed cop situation. Personally think the hard cast is taken to an extreme, I would think those in the know would approve Lyman #2 as hard cast, vs plain lead like a ml ball. You know us Americans, is some is good the more is better!
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    traveling a 100 yards after being shot is nothing abnormal
    I shot a deer this year with a 35 cal 200 gr Jbull and that
    deer went at least a 100 yds,no blood for 85 of those yards
    luckily I watched it go out of sight and could go to that spot
    and look for blood or some sign of a hit,I did find that deer
    point is it's not only cast that when shot the deer run even
    with a heart lung shot like the one I had
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by white eagle View Post
    traveling a 100 yards after being shot is nothing abnormal
    I shot a deer this year with a 35 cal 200 gr Jbull and that
    deer went at least a 100 yds,no blood for 85 of those yards
    luckily I watched it go out of sight and could go to that spot
    and look for blood or some sign of a hit,I did find that deer
    point is it's not only cast that when shot the deer run even
    with a heart lung shot like the one I had
    Congrats! You got one! With a 35 Rem no less! I skipped muzzle loading today but have been out Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and haven't seen squat. Guess I got lucky with my 35 Rem using 180 grain Speer hot Cores I loaded up at 2350 ft./s. One I hit in the in the liver while trotting broadside that went about 40 yards and tipped over and the other one went about three steps and tipped over with a double lung shot.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 12-06-2019 at 10:40 PM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Tripplebeards, what kind of gun were you using?

    Over the years I've come to believe that expansion should never be needed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    Tripplebeards, what kind of gun were you using?

    Over the years I've come to believe that expansion should never be needed.
    Even on the 22's, 6mm, 6.5 mm, et al calibers that are the most popular hunting cartridges today? Even 35 caliber is not all that big without expansion.

  12. #12
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    I haven't kept up much with non cast bullets in the last 30 years. I use a relatively hard bullet in those revolvers I carry afield in Alaska. A 150 pound deer is not a several hundred pound, mad as hell, grizzly. It will take either a hard cast bullet or a monolithic solid, like a punch bullet, to penetrate far enough through a bear to do the damage needed to stop their behavior. I'm not aware of any jacket bullet capable of the job. But like I said, I haven't kept up on jacket handgun bullets.

    I carry pretty much all the time when I'm afield in Alaska. I've had a few close encounters with bears and while they all were resolved in a friendly manner, it was a comfort to know I had a good, hard bullet of fair diameter, backed by enough go juice to handle the job. If needed. Like Sixshot said, it doesn't have to be super hard, but it does have to be tough. I either water drop my WW bullets or mix range scrap with linotype 50/50.
    Only left handed guns are interesting!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    Tripplebeards, what kind of gun were you using?

    Over the years I've come to believe that expansion should never be needed.

    Ruger 77/44 at 1750 FPS. Here’s my post from last year with pics...

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...my-devastators!!!


    I’m using the same boolit next week for our anterless only hunt with a softer alloy that has a 7.5 BH cruising around 1575/1600fps out of the muzzle. I hopefully will find a test subject to try it out on.

    IMO I think the reason most refer a hard cast for dangerous game is to crack skulls at point-blank range and and keep penetrating not deflecting off. But if you miss the skull all bets are off because you’re just poking a hole in and out like an arrow with zero expansion unless bone is hit and fragments. It makes complete sense with hard cast in pistols because they’re less power vs a rifle so you’ve got a hard bullet for a good reliable penetration.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 12-06-2019 at 10:44 PM.

  14. #14
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    Dangerous game usually means heavy bones. Dumping energy means nothing if it's on the surface. Id want something that could penetrate deep and destroy bone if needed. I carry 205gr wfn heat treated hard cast in my 10mm when I'm in the mountains switching to a hollow point/expanding would be better if I was worried about two legged dangerous game.....that's why I keep a 12 gauge handy
    Doug
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Tripplebeards,
    My take on cast boolit hunting loads...
    Expansion happens but is not to be relied upon. Hunting loads need to work even when expansion doesn't happen and should also provide the needed penetration when expansion does happen. There's different ways to make it all work, avoiding extremes generally the best policy and usually trade offs to be made as you tailor a load to the circumstances you expect to encounter.

  16. #16
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    Expansion is less important than penetration on BIG game. I knew a retired USDA Depredation officer (aka "gopher choker") that killed 3 bison (one big old one) with 3 shots from a 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser and surplus FMJ bullets. Little holes in (between eye and ear), little holes out so no damage to the head mount, and a destroyed brain.
    A few years ago, a man from MN asked if Buffalo Bore 45-70 would be adequate for really big MN black bear. The first answer to his question in 24hourcampfire.com was from Alaska. The Alaskan claimed he had stopped a 600 # coastal grizzly with a single shot to the chest. As he stated, in the chest, out the other end; dropped in its tracks. MN thanked him for the info. That was the shortest thread I ever saw on 24hourcampfire.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    Congrats! You got one! With a 35 Rem no less! I skipped muzzle loading today but have been out Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and haven't seen squat. Guess I got lucky with my 35 Rem using 180 grain Speer hot Cores I loaded up at 2350 ft./s. One I hit in the in the liver while trotting broadside that went about 40 yards and tipped over and the other one went about three steps and tipped over with a double lung shot.
    actually it was a 358 win
    this was the second deer with that rifle and 1 elk so far
    the first deer went over a hundred yards as well shot with
    a cast boolit a 260 gr boolit
    elk was the best went 25 yds 2 shots through the heart
    with a 250 gr Hornady spire point
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    The only thing that will assure a drop dead shot is to hit something that makes it impossible for the animal not to move.

    I have seen many deer run a hundred yards that had their hearts or lungs completely destroyed. I saw 2, this season alone. So forget about trying to find something that will drop them in their tracts. It's not the bullet or boolit it's where they are hit.

    The problem is the shots that do put then down in their tracks are spine or head shots unless you manage to break both front or hind legs at the same time. None of these are high percentage shots and the leg / shoulder hit destroy too much meat.

    Therefor the the best place to shoot especially a deer type animal is in the heart / lung area where running a hundred yards or sometimes even more is a possibility.

    Motor

  19. #19
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    I'm puzzled you have deer go 100 yards with lung shots. I've killed a lot of deer and elk with cast, and have never had one go even half that distance.
    As for cast vs. jacketed, I'm #5 on the food chain here, and trust cast more than jacketed.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  20. #20
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Well from what I gather hard cast is going to be excellent for a perfect shot scenario in the brain and keep going for maximum penetration and keep breaking bones but in a less than perfect shot scenario I’m guessing an expanding bullet would have the advantage to drop an animal quicker because of the kinetic energy transfer. I guess that’s why you hear a lot of people shooting charging animals and still get nailed by them because when an animal is bum rushing you most people aren’t going to make cool, calm, and collective perfect brain shots. If I was carrying a pistol I definitely would take hard cast over jacketed for dangerous game protection. In a rifle I’ll rather have a premium jacketed.

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