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Thread: Which of these two bullets would you hunt with?

  1. #1

    Which of these two bullets would you hunt with?

    First up the Lee 459-500. It's the most accurate bullet in my 45 caliber CVA. About 0.5" at 50 yards. Boolit holds enough lube to splash the crown on the way out. It shoots best with 65gr of home made screened going 976fps and making 1062ft/lbs.


    The other good boolit is the Lee 457-450F which actually weighs about 466gr with pure lead. It shoots about an inch at 50 yards with 90gr of screened going 1084fps or 1213 ft/lbs. More energy and flatter nose, but it doesn't hold enough lube and so far not as accurate. I do have plans to revisit this boolit with higher charges.


    So, does it matter which one, or is one better suited for Bambi? I've shot a lot of deer, but never with a muzzle loader and never with this combination of speed weight and softness.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I don't know the rules where you live, but where I live I THINK the length of the projectile you're shooting can't be more than twice the diameter in a true muzzleloader only season. I thought I read that somewhere in the Oregon regulations but can't find it now. Someone else can probably chime in that knows more than me. I did contact the state and verified that a single barrel muzzleloader is only allowed and my double barreled Kodiak isn't legal during a muzzleloader season. I'm going to go back through my archived emails, maybe that's where I got the length limitations in Oregon.

    Now....back on topic....I like the second one

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I think it would depend on your average shot distance. Under 100 yards, that Lee bullet looks like it would smack hard with the large meplat. Over 100 yards, the other bullet has the edge on accuracy. That being said, whitetail deer aren’t hard to kill. Shot placement in vital organs is the most important. In the past 2 years, I have shot 2 deer with my 50 caliber muzzleloader. I just use a 315 grain cup point from my mp 45 cal. Ruger only mold in a sabot. These are powdercoated and cast with 50/50 +2% tin. Neither has gone more than about 20 yards.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The flatter meplat will hit harder, BUT accuracy trumps all.
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  5. #5
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    Deer are not all that hard to kill if you put it where it needs to be. One needs two holes, entrance and exit, no matter the type of bullet. Either bullet is more than adequate, but I agree that the flat point is better for a fast kill.

    Myself, I prefer flat nosed bullets and would suggest working more with it to see if you can possibly wring out more accuracy by playing around with the load, even if you have to slow it down.

    Again, you want to be as accurate as possible and take only good killing shots, but the flat nosed bullet with 2" at 100 yards is not bad if you limit the shots to good clean kill shots at that distance. Even the most accurate loads and even the best killing bullets are not good enough if one takes "IFFY" shots.

    Good luck with your hunt.

    Edit: Practice a lot.
    Last edited by HamGunner; 12-06-2022 at 05:02 PM.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master


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    I've shot deer with the 50 caliber Hornady FPX that is shaped just like #1, zero expansion. Even as pure lead, I really doubt you are going to see any expansion at that low of a velocity with that bullet. The result is 150+ yard tracking jobs following nothing but little drips of blood. They go a LONG ways double lunged with a pin hole. They left maybe a 1/4" hole through the lungs. If it wasn't for the snow we never would have found any of them.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Hellgate's Avatar
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    O don't think accuracy trumps performance. I vote for #2 to hit harder. Best case is to break some bones (shoulder shot) and avoid the double lung situation. The slow ML bullets don't wreck much meat like a high speed jacketed bullet. Even a 4" group at 100yds is gonna put the slug in the kill zone. If you were hunting small game then the accuracy of each bullet becomes a much bigger issue but not on a deer at <100yds.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Both are good, accuracy is where it is, a hit in vitals is what it is all about, deer have been killed with a .22 rimfire, so work on your accuracy then everything else will fall in place...

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by BLAHUT View Post
    Both are good, accuracy is where it is, a hit in vitals is what it is all about, deer have been killed with a .22 rimfire, so work on your accuracy then everything else will fall in place...
    But why shoot a 500 grain bullet to get 22 LR performance? The first bullet is like shooting a field point at a deer. The second bullet will at least make a 1/2" hole, and will likely expand some doing even better. The first is not going to be a short or easy tracking job. The second the deer is likely not going to make it to 50 yards.

  10. #10
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    Go with the flat nose. I shot a deer with the other profile, had a long tracking job. I finally sat down, and waited to see the birds finding it.
    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.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    Go with the flat nose. I shot a deer with the other profile, had a long tracking job. I finally sat down, and waited to see the birds finding it.
    Off topic, sorry.......Usually, you can rely on the crows and ravens. They've found bow kills for me that I probably wouldn't have found. Now, about the boolits, #2 gets the nod, make as big a hole as you can. A friend once told me "There's no substitute for cubic inches....". He was talking about stereo speakers, but it applies to some other things also.
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    At 100 yards. I don't think one or the other bullets differ that much in performance. Both are heavy weight bullets and likely to lumber on thru the animals cavity leaving a small amount of blood shot tissue in either bullets wake but no doubt such bullets will create a large non plugging exit hole for the animals ultimate hemorrhaging. Especially so if the projectiles are of 8-BHN and no harder.

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer

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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Off topic, sorry.......Usually, you can rely on the crows and ravens. They've found bow kills for me that I probably wouldn't have found.
    The magpies and camp robbers are usually the first to the party in this area.
    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!


  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    It's been my experience that soft flatpoints will generally still require about 1300fps or so for expansion, but even so, the flatpoint will produce a larger permanent wound channel. I vote for #2. Have you considered shortening the more accurate #1 by 3/8 or so to make it a flat point? Done cosistently, they may still be as accurate.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master omgb's Avatar
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    I vote #2 Flat meplat is a sure knock down round. MOD (minute of deer) is what, 12-14" at 100 yards. Either bullet will hit the target but number 2 should hit harder. But honestly, you poke a .45 caliber hole through a deer and if it's in the heat/lung cavity, it's gonna croak PDQ
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  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Super Sneaky Steve View Post
    First up the Lee 459-500. It's the most accurate bullet in my 45 caliber CVA. About 0.5" at 50 yards. Boolit holds enough lube to splash the crown on the way out. It shoots best with 65gr of home made screened going 976fps and making 1062ft/lbs.
    ..
    No doubt, Lee 459-500 has way better designed lube grooves, and consequently better lubrication and better accuracy.

    I checked price on Lee website, it is just $44.98, so if you play with it and something goes wrong, it wouldn't cost you arm and leg.

    Anyhow, I will mill the bottom of the mold (pour lead first and leave it there) to take out something like .300-,350" from tip of the bullet cavity. Next thing is to make a single plate that will plug the hole, attaching it to one of blocks. That will shorten a bullet, and make bit lighter, but you will have a nice, big lube grooves and a nice meplat, best of both worlds. In addition, bullets with meplat go straight, while those pointed ones have tendency to tumble ones they hit the animal.

    Just an idea...

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    A difference of 0.5" at 50 yard or even a couple inches at 100 yards is not relevant for hunting big game. I would definitely use the bullet with the flat meplat because it has greater wounding potential.

    Also, even if the pointier bullet carries more lube, how many shots do you think you'll be firing while hunting deer with a muzzleloader? If you need to swab between shots it's simple to carry a few cleaning patches and a small bottle of rubbing alcohol or windshield wiper fluid.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Punching a .45 inch diameter hole in a thin skinned deer at a vital spot is not survivable no matter what shape the nose is,
    or how much it expands.

    I'd go for the one that is the most accurate.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    It’s interesting that so many are concerned about that “less accurate load” using an obviously superior hunting bullet. 2” at 100 yards is meat all day long. For quite a few years my favorite deer (sometimes elk) rifle was my 94 Winchester treinta treinta… it wears a Redfield peep and bead front sight and would sometimes put five into 2 MOA. Day to day it could be counted on to do 3 MOA and pile up deer like nobodies business.
    You have modern optical sights and very good hunting accuracy with either projectile. Use the hardest hitting bullet.

    WRT lube, it doesn’t need to splash the muzzle. It’s purposes are to prevent leading and soften the fouling. If it does both of those things now you have enough lube. Too much lube can lead to inaccuracy as easily as not enough.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    More lube is not “better”… just saying. Really no need to keep trying to pick the fly **** out of the pepper.

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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