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Thread: First and probably last cast bullet deer

  1. #61
    Boolit Grand Master


    jonp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtebay View Post
    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.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    Been reading his stuff for several years and it's quite interesting. Instead of a lot of range work, theoretical stuff etc he has real world tests on calibers that is good reading.

    This article on the 35 Whelen that I saved is an example of some of the writings you can find there: https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Kno...35+Whelen.html
    I am become death. The destroyer of worlds

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  2. #62
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    A former member here, 44man, swore by wfn boolits cast of wdww. He got good results and dead deer. I have shot deer with Keith boolits cast of acww and the NOE 265 rnfp of wdww. Got dead deer when I put them in the right place. I have shot deer with muzzle loaders with round balls and great plains boolits, 12 guage slugs Breneke and home cast, and .44 handguns with Keith and NOE boolits. When I placed them properly the results were pretty much the same. Deer ran 20-50 yards and fell over. High lung shots kill a bit quicker but have less blood trail. Low lung shots take a bit longer but leave a good trail. Heart shots have resulted in a huge blood trail but the deer travel the farthest. This year I made what I thought was a good shot on a big buck. Lost the trail, called in a blood hound and trailed him. Last saw him 1/4 mile away and the dog handler called off pursuit. I wrote off the $100 fee as the cost of my not placing the boolit in the right place.

    Sometimes I mess up and sometimes stuff just happens. I have killed a fair pile of deer with handguns and lost a few. I hate losing a deer and try very hard to make good shots. Sometimes stuff just happens. I still have absolute faith ina well placed. 44 boolit for putting venison in the freezer.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

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  3. #63
    Boolit Bub
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    I'll add my two cents in-


    I've killed well in excess of 100 deer. The hunt club I've belonged to for the last 15 or so years has seen an average of 20 deer killed per year (we are at 21 deer now) (4 of which are mine). I've hunted deer for 29 years (yes I really have killed an average of 3-4 deer per year!)

    I've killed deer with a compound bow, crossbow, (all fixed blades), shotgun slug (20 and 12 gauge, rifled and sabot), muzzleloader (45 and 50, round ball and sabot), centerfire rifle (.243 win, 308 win, 30-30 all jacketed).

    My point to all of this is NEVER judge a projectiles performance based on 1 kill (or loss). Big game animals will run after the shot unless the shot shuts down the central nervous system. We study every kill at the club. Shot placement, distance, projectile ballistics, distance animal ran after shot, quantity of blood on ground for trailing, organs/bones effected by shot, etc, etc, etc. You know what conclusion has been made? NOTHING is a guarantee other than the projectile must traverse both lungs. It's that simple. Place your shot in the lower lungs, put a hole in BOTH lungs and you have a dead deer. You WILL have to track the deer, but the deer will be dead. The problem lies in tracking the deer.

    I've seen blood trails a blind man could follow from a tiny (barely 1") fixed blade broadhead and yet virtually no blood from a 1.75" mechanical broadhead. Both lung shots. Horrific, b flick horror movie blood trails from a shotgun slug on one deer yet the same slug, same gun, same hunter, nearly the same shot distance and placement on the next deer nearly resulted in a lost deer and a very long tracking job. Both were lung shots. Blood on the ground for tracking is a direct result of lower chest hits, number of and size of blood vessels cut, and it's better to have 2 holes in the chest than only the entrance hole. And hopefully the holes don't plug up with fat, hair, tissue, leaves, debris, etc.

    To the OP, you could shoot your next deer with the same cast bullet load and be very happy with the results. Lots of blood and a short tracking job. Use enough gun, enough bullet and put it in the lungs and you will kill deer. Some will just require a bit more effort in finding.

  4. #64
    Boolit Master 35 Whelen's Avatar
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    Maybe I've been lucky, but in 40 years of shooting deer, I've never had to track a single one, even the ones that didn't die on the spot. Just walk in the general direction of where they ran and start looking.

    In my younger days I gut shot a couple of deer and learned that a deer that is hurting will go to the nearest thick place where he can lay down and hide. Years ago a fella on our hunting lease shot a buck out in the wide open. He was sure he hit him but couldn't find him. I was gone due to my daughter being born so didn't get back down there until a couple of weeks later when a blood trail or even tracks were long gone. I went to the spot where he'd shot the deer, then from there proceeded to the nearest cedar break where I found the dead buck, with his snout blown off by a botched head shot by the hunter.

    35W
    "Only accurate rifles are interesting." -Col. Townsend Whelen.
    NRA Life Member
    Certified Texas Hunter Education Instructor

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    First, I will say I am entirely unsuprised by solid cast bullet performing rather poorly on deer. At even magnum handgun velocities, solids of an alloy hard enough to work properly simply do not expand. So you get a caliber sized hole in the animal. .430 is just not that big. If shot placement is less than ideal (like perpetrating only some of the lobes of the lung) it may be a slow death by drowning for the deer. A proper hollowpoint offers much better terminal performance by enlarging the wound volume 2-3x vs the solid of the same caliber. I routinely get over .6" of expansion from .36 caliber cast hollow point bullets and with sufficient penetration to work on typical deer.

    This said, I will give you a tip about tracking deer. I've only lost one deer in my life and that was due to a non-expanding 44 Mag slug. After I learned a bit about tracking, and got a natural tracking dog, I've never lost one and none of my friends have either.

    The most important tip is to not immediately go charging out to the kill. Shoot the deer in the "boileroom" as I call it. If you have good eyes and a scope and are working with cartridges like 44 Mag you should be able to visually confirm if you hit the deer. Just sit there and wait. The deer may present another shooting opportunity. Another deer may present itself. Remember which direction the deer went. Do not start to tack until several minutes have passed, ideally about 20-30. The reason is that if you charge out at the deer you will get its flight response charging and it will run as hard and fast as it can. If you just sit there the wound is more confusing to the animal than provocative. They didn't evolve to dodge bullets or arrows. They evolved to escape pursuing predators. Don't act like one of those predators. Once learning this chill approach to tracking, I've found even poorly hit deer that were still very much alive often just wander somewhere bleeding and bed down. I've delivered coup de grace on them with knives found this way.

    If it's really bad a beagle or other hound may naturally track the blood. My dogs smelling ability is so keen she can smell the deer on branches and and such that she passed by even if there is no blood. That said I don't like to go and get my dog if I can avoid it.

    I also don't take shots where I am uncertain if I can hit the animal in the "boileroom." This may mean a lost opportunity, but I personally feel that since I am engaging in essetially a recreational activity, that I do not desire potentially aggravating outcomes like the deer going off property, etc. I wish most hunters shared this attitude, but where I live it's more of a shoot first and frequently and sort it out later dynamic.

    Cast Hollopoints are not hard to make once you understand how. And their performance can be predicted with about $50 of homebrew ballistic gel. I have already suggested a subforum for this topic in particular, but so far it seems to have gone nowhere. Let me just say that cast hollowpoints MUST be tested IMO. Their performance is unpredictable and has a much narrower performance envelope than jacketed HPs.

    I wouldn't give up on cast bullets, just cast solids for deer with a 44 mag revolver. Most states prohibit the use of FMJs for a reason. Cast solids at normal handgun velocities have even poorer performance. There was a guy from Sweden on here a few weeks ago. Apparently there you must demonstrate the ammunition you use to hunt works as intended. Since he wanted to use cast bullets he had to prove to the authorities that they expand. Though I do not condone such intrusiveness by authorities, I do respect their due diligence. At rifle velocities (like over 1600 FPS impact velocities they do expand). My 357 max I load with 180s and go for the most velocity I can with a solid. I can get it up to 1800 FPS+ which means at the 75 yard max I am able to place a shot well, it will expand. But out of my 357 mag revolver the same bullet will drill nothing more than a 36 caliber hole.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 01-09-2020 at 01:43 PM.

  6. #66
    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.
    Like Foghorn Leghorn once said..."you're doing it all wrong son..."

    Use softer lead
    Last edited by Savvy Jack; 01-09-2020 at 02:46 PM.

  7. #67
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    Use softer lead
    Still wont matter.

    I've shot 32:1 at 1200 FPS into calibrated ballistic gelatin. It leaded the barrel and didn't expand much. Just sort of flattened the nose a little. Bullet was under 40 caliber.

    However, even at 800 FPS, the same alloy will expand beautifully as a hollow-point and not lead the barrel. It is an excellent alloy for 38 special with a bullet heavy enough (>155 grains).

    16:1 and 20:1 alloy are often recommended for Cast HPs with magnums. I've had a little leading with both. Elmer Keith recommended these alloys but even admitted to expect a little leading. They do work, but you better have a Lewis lead remover and not expect it to go for long practice sessions without your accuracy falling apart. Such alloys are also very expensive because tin is very expensive.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 01-14-2020 at 02:15 PM.

  8. #68
    Boolit Bub sgms18's Avatar
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    If you shoot em in the neck it dosen't seem to matter much what you use. The last 8 deer I shot I shot in the neck & they all droped like a rock. Doubt I'll ever shoot another one through the chest unless it's a long long way off.

  9. #69
    Well, then junk the over rated 44 magnum and pick up a 44-40.

    Never took a step...in at the scapula, right turn at Albuquerque...down the spinal cord and lodged in the hind quarter. But then again, it is a little baby deer.
    65 yards, 1,300fps
    Hornady 240gr lead hollow point

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    Last edited by Savvy Jack; 01-09-2020 at 03:06 PM.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master

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    Being in an area for bow only as a young man I got good at tracking deer. A good shot, lung or/and liver and they can make some distance. Sometimes the leave a massive blood tail sometimes the blood trail doesnít start showing up heavy until you almost find the deer in a few more yards.

    Hell I blasted my first deer with a 12 gage in the shotgun area. I thought I lost it and was scratching my head how with a 30 yard shot with a rifle sighted 12 gage. My dad and I tracked it by foot prints (among other deer), A hundred yards before we saw blood, then gallons of it for ten yards where the deer circled back and keeled over.

    No guarantees.

    I have yet to hunt with or take game with my .38-55 high wall. I have 20:1 for loads now but it sounds like even softer might be smart,

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mebudman63 View Post
    Well I hog hunt here in Texas about twice a month.
    I shoot a 450 Bushmaster with a RCBS 45-300-FN sized down to .452 on WW`s.
    Sorry for the thread drift here.
    Hello mebudman63 , I Hog hunt here in southern Arkansas a little. This year I got 2 with a muzzle loader, one with a 6.5x55, 3 with a 300 Win Mag. Also caught 4 in a trap and a buddy gave me one, so the freezer is packed and we shared with friends...
    I don't have a good cast load for my Ruger AR in 450 Bushmaster, would you be willing to share any details of your 450 Bushmaster loads? ... Bolt action, AR or ??? Water dropped, or Air Cooled WW? Powder Coated? COAL, seated touching or into the lands? Feeds from mags at what length?
    Sorry for all the questions, feel free to start a seperate thread if there's a lot of details. Or you could just PM me to keep the thread on topic.
    Thanks a bunch
    Glenn.

  12. #72
    Boolit Mold The Old Man'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 didnít preform as I hoped.

    You might try adjusting your shot placement a bit. I'm certain this isn't your first rodeo, but since I had similar trouble more yeasrs back than I care to remember, this seems like a pay it forward moment.

    I was told to follow the front leg to the body, then continue half way into the body, and pull the trigger. Puts a hole into lungs and/or heart while at the same time causing problems with moving the legs.....they generally go straight down when you do it correctly. I used to place the shot centering the lungs, but they always ran, and not always with decent blood either. Hope I wasn't too forward, and that this helps. You'll be amazed how many hunters don't do it'

  13. #73
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Man View Post
    You might try adjusting your shot placement a bit. I'm certain this isn't your first rodeo, but since I had similar trouble more yeasrs back than I care to remember, this seems like a pay it forward moment.

    I was told to follow the front leg to the body, then continue half way into the body, and pull the trigger. Puts a hole into lungs and/or heart while at the same time causing problems with moving the legs.....they generally go straight down when you do it correctly. I used to place the shot centering the lungs, but they always ran, and not always with decent blood either. Hope I wasn't too forward, and that this helps. You'll be amazed how many hunters don't do it'


    Everybody has their own logic.

    Mechanical breakdown ie shoot the leg bone on the way to the lungs.
    Save the meat of the front shoulder and shoot behind the shoulder or the neck
    Aim for brown.....


    This year my 260 mangled the front shoulders, a diagonal shot,

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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