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Thread: First and probably last cast bullet deer

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwsbull View Post
    Ruger SRH 7 1/2” straight clip on and powder coated 43-258j very accurate bullet 13.5 grains hs-6 average mv 1264. Should have softened up some in the cook for the powdercoat. Head and neck were already behind the brush, narrow shooting lane. Love the load for targets but am going to look for a hp mold and start the work up again.
    I might should have said last non hp deer instead.
    I agree with you, you should move to jacketed to hunt.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

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  2. #22
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    As long as you’re in the field and harvest the game animal cleanly, k care not what you use. I love my Hornady XTP for my revolver cartridges if I’m not using cast.

    I challenge you to find some pure lead and mix with the wheel weights around 60/40 with a HP mold, if using PC, I’d recommend an even higher pure lead percentage. Then test fire into wet news print until you find the desired alloy for your velocity.

    Confession time: I was so excited about firing my HP mold into milk jugs. Alloy was COWW. Distance was 15-20 feet. 41 Mag. The nose sheared off and the shank showed minimal expansion.......alloy too hard for intended use. Now more testing with softer alloy warranted. This is probably what happened with yours.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master

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    A lot of people who shoot and use cast boolits for hunting make the mistake of using "hard" cast, 18 BHN or over. Which makes it almost like a full metal jacketed bullet poking a hole through an animal without much damage.
    Another mistake is the belief that higher velocities (2000 fps) is better.
    I have found that a hunting boolit cast at between 10 &12 BHN and traveling at around 1800 fps kills quickly and is hard enough to handle the pressures involved.
    If you have a bad case of magnumitis, the shooting cast boolits might not be for you.
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  4. #24
    Boolit Master

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    Another thing to keep in mind when casting hunting boolits if you want good expansion even with solid points. Tin is what is needed.
    A person can get the correct hardness, say 12 BHN, with lead & antimony, but any sort expansion will suffer, may even fragmentate.
    A better boolit for hunting that expands well and holds together would be mostly lead & tin with very little or no antimony in the mix.
    The draw back on lead & tin is you can only make your boolits just so hard. With a little linotype I can bring the BHN up to 12, which I feel is perfect for velocities around 1800 fps.
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  5. #25
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    Never shot one with a handgun, but have shot several with .44 SWCs out of an inline muzzle loader and they worked fine, none traveled farther than a few yards. I've also killed quite a few with cast in rifles as small as 7mm and they drop as fast or faster in some cases than ones I've shot with full power jacketed loads in a .30-06.

    Either your experience was a fluke, as stated sometimes deer don't seem to know they're dead, or you did something wrong. This forum is full of experiences by guys who successfully deer hunt with cast in handguns. It isn't really that hard, but if you're not comfortable with figuring it out, go back to jacketed.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    I'll get the popcorn started...
    Butter AND salt, please........
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwsbull View Post
    Ruger SRH 7 1/2” straight clip on and powder coated 43-258j very accurate bullet 13.5 grains hs-6 average mv 1264. Should have softened up some in the cook for the powdercoat. Head and neck were already behind the brush, narrow shooting lane. Love the load for targets but am going to look for a hp mold and start the work up again.
    I might should have said last non hp deer instead.
    That kind of terminal performance isn't all that unusual for a solid cast bullet of that velocity on deer, especially if the bullet went midway or higher through the shoulder. I had several black tail do the same when hit there or with a behind the shoulder shot. Those shots usually only damage lung and the deer can go a long way before it dies. Also the higher lung shots don't bleed out very much because the blood collects down in the lung cavity ….the deer essentially drowns as the blood collects in the cavity which is why the deer can go a long ways after being hit.

    I learned to envision a soccer ball low in the chest cavity between the front legs. Putting a bullet through that soccer ball will usually break down one of both legs and damage the heart or the large artery/veins concentrated there. Also since the bullet holes are low the blood can drain or pump out to leave a blood trail. I also learned to use a HP cast bullet of the correct alloy.

    I first started off, in the 44 magnum, with a 429421 "Keith" bullet HP'd. Results were better but I had to use a hard alloy to maintain accuracy with top end Magnum loads in the 1300 - 1400 fps range. I then tried a 429244 GC'd HP and it was excellent, especially with a binary alloy of 20-1 or 16-1 alloy. Then I found, for me anyway, the Holy Grail of HP cast bullets for the 44 Magnum.....The Lyman "Devastator" 429640 HP. My mould, with a 16-1 alloy, produces excellent HP bullets that weigh 270 gr fully dressed. I do not PC btw but AC them, use Hornady GCs, size at .430 and use BAC lube on them. I push those right at 1400 fps with excellent accuracy out of my 6 1/2" FTBH. I use that bullet for hunting only so the cost of 1000 GC is nil as is the slower casting pace with a single cavity HP mould. I cast strictly for quality with those bullets so speed of casting is not an issue. I have I have a Lee 6 holer [TL430-240-SWC] and two Lyman 4 holers [429421 and 429360] which cast copious amounts of bullets pretty fast for general/plinking/small game loads.

    The Devastator is my preferred hunting bullet in my 44 Magnums, you might consider it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	429640HP.JPE 
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    Larry Gibson

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  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy ACC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwsbull View Post
    Was really disappointed in the results I had. They are great to practice with and I suppose if I need to shoot through a large heavy animal but for deer not so much. 30 yards in one shoulder out behind the other shoulder or a drop of blood in the 120-150 yards it ran. 5 hours of searching not any blood. Even the last few yards to its final test nada.
    I will either go j bullet or maybe try a hollow point. The swc with a .32 meplate (44 mag at 1260fps) just didn’t preform as I hoped.
    What you want is a soft boolit. 8-10 hardness at the most. They will expand for sure giving the results you and I want. That is why I am asking all the questions about mix and ratios. Anything over 10 hardness will not expand at all in my experiences. I shot a 110 pound feral hog last week with a 125 grain cast boolit out of my Ruger Blackhawk .357. I mixed my brothers mix with 10 pounds pure lead for what I believed to be about 9 hardness. Mushroomed like a factory JSP. 117 grains of boolit is what I found in the animal. Perfect mushroom. Hard boolits are nice but don't expect and expansion. Just my 2 cents worth.

    ACC

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    Don't give up on cast. Some guys like the nearly unlimited penetration a solid bullet provides. Me, I like a hollow point, they create a much larger wound.
    If ya use a solid boolit, you can eat closer to the hole...

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master
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    shot a doe this year with a 35 cal j bullet that was a perfect behind the shoulder shot
    from a stable platform shot off a bi-pod with a 358 win model 70 rifle
    deer went over a 100 yds with no blood,none,
    thought I lost that deer this kinda stuff happens
    keep after it
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  11. #31
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Those Midway XTP's are a killer deal AND free shipping over $49. Thank's, I believe I will.
    Last edited by murf205; 01-01-2020 at 09:11 PM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy Iwsbull's Avatar
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    I love the XTP mag in my 454 have not used them in my 44. I used to use Zero brand 240 jsp before I started casting and they are a really good bullet.

  13. #33
    Boolit Buddy Iwsbull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    That kind of terminal performance isn't all that unusual for a solid cast bullet of that velocity on deer, especially if the bullet went midway or higher through the shoulder. I had several black tail do the same when hit there or with a behind the shoulder shot. Those shots usually only damage lung and the deer can go a long way before it dies. Also the higher lung shots don't bleed out very much because the blood collects down in the lung cavity ….the deer essentially drowns as the blood collects in the cavity which is why the deer can go a long ways after being hit.

    I learned to envision a soccer ball low in the chest cavity between the front legs. Putting a bullet through that soccer ball will usually break down one of both legs and damage the heart or the large artery/veins concentrated there. Also since the bullet holes are low the blood can drain or pump out to leave a blood trail. I also learned to use a HP cast bullet of the correct alloy.

    I first started off, in the 44 magnum, with a 429421 "Keith" bullet HP'd. Results were better but I had to use a hard alloy to maintain accuracy with top end Magnum loads in the 1300 - 1400 fps range. I then tried a 429244 GC'd HP and it was excellent, especially with a binary alloy of 20-1 or 16-1 alloy. Then I found, for me anyway, the Holy Grail of HP cast bullets for the 44 Magnum.....The Lyman "Devastator" 429640 HP. My mould, with a 16-1 alloy, produces excellent HP bullets that weigh 270 gr fully dressed. I do not PC btw but AC them, use Hornady GCs, size at .430 and use BAC lube on them. I push those right at 1400 fps with excellent accuracy out of my 6 1/2" FTBH. I use that bullet for hunting only so the cost of 1000 GC is nil as is the slower casting pace with a single cavity HP mould. I cast strictly for quality with those bullets so speed of casting is not an issue. I have I have a Lee 6 holer [TL430-240-SWC] and two Lyman 4 holers [429421 and 429360] which cast copious amounts of bullets pretty fast for general/plinking/small game loads.

    The Devastator is my preferred hunting bullet in my 44 Magnums, you might consider it.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	429640HP.JPE 
Views:	37 
Size:	28.8 KB 
ID:	253944
    At the speed you fire them do they hold together or do they do like a Nosler Partition and grenade wreaking havoc and the base goes on continuing mission right on out the other side. I may have a skewed view in what I want to see when I open the body cavity. What I saw yesterday was not what I want to see, I don’t want to be able to eat up to the hole, my dogs would take great offense at being deprived of their treats.
    This morning I look like I had a threesome with two porcupines with all the briars and cuts and scratches along most of my ample body. I am too old to enjoy this every time I kill an animal. There has got to be a better way and I hope the hp is it.

  14. #34
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    I have never had a shoulder shot that exited a deer through the opposite shoulder go more than 10 yards. I suspect it was rear of the shoulder.
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  15. #35
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    There's a gentleman out of New Zealand named Nathan Foster that runs a company called Terminal Ballistics Research. He does extensive testing with an obscene amount of projectiles in numerous calibers and on numerous game species. I would bet that his research on his website would answer a lot of questions.

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  16. #36
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwsbull View Post
    This morning I look like I had a threesome with two porcupines with all the briars and cuts and scratches along most of my ample body.
    Hilarious. Just had to say it.

    FWIW, I think you had too hard of a bullet and it is possible that the hit was slightly off (tough to tell from your description). Funny things also do happen when the metal hits the meat. If you just want to go to jacketed you certainly can, but the fact that you are talking about another try suggests this is not the case. After all, if you really wanted the greatest efficiency in harvesting meat you would use a rifle or similar. IMO, your bullet was too hard. I shot a doe with a muzzleloader this fall. It was a 50 yard shot with a round ball and I would guess that the impact velocity wasn't significantly higher than your bullet was. I had a little more bore size going for me (.530 ball), but that didn't matter because the entry and exit wounds both showed expansion materially greater than projectile diameter. The big difference is that my ball was cast from SOWW with a BHN of 5 or 6 while your bullet was a lot harder.

    I think a 16-1 or 20-1 wide meplat or hollow point would be a great choice at your velocities. Wet newspaper ballistic testing would be in order. I have to fool around with my 35 Rem after making rookie reloading mistakes with it, but I am planning to try 16-1 in my MP hollow point mold because I find the rifle has a definite speed limit over which accuracy disappears. If I were you, I would cast with your wide meplat mold and a hollow point mold (devastator) with 20-1 or 16-1 and do some testing.
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwsbull View Post
    At the speed you fire them do they hold together or do they do like a Nosler Partition and grenade wreaking havoc and the base goes on continuing mission right on out the other side. I may have a skewed view in what I want to see when I open the body cavity. What I saw yesterday was not what I want to see, I don’t want to be able to eat up to the hole, my dogs would take great offense at being deprived of their treats.
    This morning I look like I had a threesome with two porcupines with all the briars and cuts and scratches along most of my ample body. I am too old to enjoy this every time I kill an animal. There has got to be a better way and I hope the hp is it.
    I found with COWW + 2% tin then mixed 50/50 with lead I got minimal expansion with minimal petal loss at 44 magnum top end revolver velocities. Still, for me anyway, that alloy mix gave a bit too much of the "do like a Nosler Partition"] you mention which most often happens with just COWW alloy. Straight COWW alloy has too much antimony and not enough tin. Adding the 2% tin balances the antimony out in forming the sub-metal SbSn which stays in solution better in the lead. Adding the 50% lead then softens the alloy further allowing more controlled expansion with minimal petal loss. Using 16-1 [what I generally now use if the MV is 1250 to 1600 or 20-1 alloy with MVs of 1100 to 1250 fps] gives a very malleable or ductile alloy that lacking antimony expands better and holds together nicely. I've found it gives excellent terminal results much to your liking.....mine too.

    Have to say I've only recovered one Devastator from a deer as that was with a frontal quartering shot. All the shoulder shots have been through and through with the longest deer travel of maybe 40 yards with a massive blood trail to follow. Have to admit that shot wasn't my best as it hit the rear part of the leg, smashed through a rib going in, traveled back through just lungs to smash another rib on the way out just above the sternum. Blood trail looked like someone was splashing a 5 gallon can of red paint back and forth. The deer was stone dead when I got to it.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 12-31-2019 at 04:06 PM.
    Larry Gibson

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  18. #38
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    So do you think that a similar bullet design would also be good to go in a 454? Or do you or anyone have a suggestion for a 454. Of course I guess velocity is velocity as long as it is kept to 1600 or so FPS. I could use my coww supply for practice rounds and change and use 16-1 for hunting.
    I do like the thought of running the higher velocities that you use instead of holding the speed down to less than 1300 as most people seem to suggest.
    Last edited by Iwsbull; 12-31-2019 at 04:59 PM.

  19. #39
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    I got away from the XTP in the 44 because I was finding jacket and lead fragments all in the meat. They were shedding the jackets. 300gr XTP in 45 Colt over 22.5gr W296 killed deer two with one shot and stayed together, flattened all the way to the cannelure but still fragmented all the lead in front of that.

    I use a Lee C430-300-RF in 44, cast soft enough that it scratches easily with a thumbnail, I use Felix lube or other real soft lube, and I do favor the gas checks that this boolit uses. Really don't need a hp if your wide meplat RNFP boolit is soft enough. Gas checks are a hunting gun's best friend if you want to use soft alloy and soft lube, it's a good combo and works really well. 50/50+2% air cooled works nicely.
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  20. #40
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    If it was hit high in the lungs, it probably wouldn't matter very much what it was shot with, the result would be the same.
    A deer's heart is lower in its body than most people think.

    Of the ones I've hit and knocked off a chunk of their heart, all with 170 gr. .30 hard cast RN, at 70- 100 yards,
    none took more than one or two steps.
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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