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Thread: 400gr .45 @ 1500 best alloy/bhn for deer?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    400gr .45 @ 1500 best alloy/bhn for deer?

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    Will be using this boolit for whitetail out to 100-150 yards

    Current load is gas checked COWW @1500 fps with good accuracy.

    In order to avoid sorting wws and to ensure a consistent alloy will be purchasing from Rotometals etc.

    What would be a good BHN to be shooting for in this application? I hear "soft as possible without losing accuracy and agree I don't need a super hard alloy but would like somewhere to start.

    Lyman #2?

    Something softer, harder?
    Last edited by mattri; 06-20-2020 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Doesn't matter. Hard or soft, or in between, they will kill like lightning. You'll probably bring home less bloodshot meat if they are hard though.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    So for simplicity's sake may just stick with Lyman #2, that won't be too hard?

    What if we moved up to elk? Not planning to but at this point just curious.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Weight,caliber,and meplat on that bullet kinda make expansion academic one would think. I would happily use COWW or #2 and shoot through their shoulders to stop them.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Having muzzleloader hunted for 30 years for deer with 45 caliber PRB, a 130 gr PRB has worksed great for quick kills. That looks like a wonderful elk hunting boolit at that velocity with reasonably soft lead. Using that boolit for any deer, you probably don't need a terminal velocity more than 900 fps at the farthest distance you intend to shoot so you don't have to put up with too much recoil until you are ready for elk hunting.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Good Morning
    To put things in perspective 6 million Bison were slaughtered with far less than what you already have as an accurate load.
    And still today Bison are dropped with 45-70 and 45-90s regular using black powder loads that are less than what you already have as an accurate load.
    So put in some good practice each week varying your shooting range from standing position and sitting and kneeling and go forth with confidence.
    Me I will be using sticks and strings and long skinny steel tipped projectiles at under 15yards to slay some more corn crunchers if Peru decides we can get up there.
    Mike in LLama Land
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  7. #7
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    A boolit that size and that design will kill the daylights out of anything on the North American continent in any alloy or hardness. COWW is plenty hard for shooting through a 24" thick standing pine and killing the animal standing behind it.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Howdy Doug
    Now you must have wanted that critter real bad !!
    I was in fog out with our Zuoave 58 one morning near 30 years ago in November. It got real foggy just as the sun was coming up.
    I could hear some deer down in the bottoms walking my way so I leaned up against a tree and waited at the top. In a couple minutes I could make out a doe standing broadside now up where I was so decided to not wait any longer.. So I leveled the .58 at her about 25 yards away and touched it off. At the shot she collapsed (backbone shattered) and slid down into the bottoms. Then I saw the doe which had been standing broad side also on the far side of #1 jump spin and head down hill. She took the expanding ball through the ribs, lungs and piled up down in the bottoms.
    That double corn cruncher shot changed my whole thinking about bean eaters and over penetration.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattri View Post
    So for simplicity's sake may just stick with Lyman #2, that won't be too hard?

    What if we moved up to elk? Not planning to but at this point just curious.
    Put one of those where they live and you'll be putting elk meat in the freezer. It wont matter how hard or soft it is.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I like my 45 WFN 405 grain boolits, very much like yours, to be softer than #2, personally. It doesn't have to be dead soft, but some malleability is preferred. I am not a fan of rock hard projectiles. A strong disruption on the vitals gives better blood trails if they don't fall upon impact. Lyman #2 does permit some expansion, but it needs resistance to do so, in my limited experience on game with it. Having Mzlder hunted with pure lead leaves me to believe that a bit of mushrooming is a good thing.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    The buffalo talked about earlier were shot with pure lead bullets back in the day, if I was using your bullet for DEER I'd go with 20-1 mix of lead to tin.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I wouldn't buy Lyman #2 at that price. I buy 20-1, but at those speeds, I do not think you will see any significant expansion unless you went with an alloy that was likely too soft. 20-1 should work for you, but I don't think it offers anything more than your COWW alloy. A better source might be here. https://www.gtbullets.com/index.php?...products_id=75 I don't know what shipping will be. If you buy at least $99 from Rotometals, shipping is free.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for all the good replies, appreciate the information!

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Tom_in_AZ's Avatar
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    Straight COWW in a WFN. Add a little pewter to make it flow if you have to. I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot just about anything with this.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    May have found a source for a fair amount of pure lead.

    If it pans out will be experimenting with a mixture of pure lead and coww.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    This is a 405 grain Lee boolit after striking a number of water filled milk jugs at 1625 fps. I cast it from about half wheel weights and half lead pipe and there was a bit of leading associated with that load, but it wasn't real severe in my Marlin 45-70. I shot 2 deer with that load and both were taken at about 50 yards. I don't think the boolit expanded much in them before exiting. However they were DRT. Click image for larger version. 

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    Maineboy

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    Maineboy, I shoot that same boolit out of my 1895 CB but at only 1,100 fps. Those are the only hard cast boolits I cast, as they are designated for water jug shooting up to 100 yards. Excellent for beginners to learn to shoot the 45/70. I had to hone out that Lee mold as it was too small to begin with. Even with hardcast as this velocity I still need to push out the leading with a few patches.

    For hunting purposes I use an Accurate WFN of same weight, softer lead at 1,620 fps. I am sure the Lee boolit would work with a softer alloy, but I like more thump. The difference between what the water jugs look like at 100 yards between the two of those loads are no comparison.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    16-1 alloy will serve you well at that velocity. It's what i use in my 45-70 [and other cartridges] with cast bullets used for hunting in the 1300 - 1600 fps range.
    Larry Gibson

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

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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