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Thread: Performance of cast bullets on big game



  1. #21
    Site Contributor Super Moderator
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    I'm a novice regarding the study of cast versus jacketed bullets relative to effectiveness on game but here are some points that seem to keep showing up on the subject:

    1. Jacketed bullets are pointy and tend to offer flatter trajectories because of their aerodynamic shape.
    2. Pointed bullets penetrate due to their shape but need to expand to provide the necessary damage to the target.
    3. Jacketed bullets tend to be loaded faster mostly to take advantage of their flat shooting tendencies.

    4. Cast bullets tend to have flat noses. Consequently, they transfer more of their energy upon impact and don't have to rely on expansion to do the necessary damage.
    5. Because of #4, cast bullets can be loaded for less velocity and still do the same or greater damage to the target given the same bullet weight.
    6. The hardest hitting, best penetrating cast bullets for say a 45-70 tend to have a meplat (nose) nearly the same diameter as their shank. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 70-80% of bullet diameter.

    An example can be seen when comparing a 500gr postel style bullet for 45-70 long range target shooting to a Garrett bullet designed for the same caliber for buffalo hunting.

    In very simple exaggerated terms, jacketed bullets are like sticking someone with a very fast needle. Flat nose cast bullets work like hitting someone with a slow bowling ball. You can send a bowling ball faster but do you really need to?

    The performance of both styles overlap quite a bit but at their extremes they offer advantages over the other. You just need to choose which style suits your intentions best.

    My current direction is to use wide meplat heavy cast bullets in my 45-70 for shorter ranges and lighter recoil but will be just as effective. For my 30-30 I will formulate loads with jacketed bullets to get the most out of it's yardage capabilities for 200+ yard shots. For that I'll need a pointier bullet that expands easily at the lower speed it will be traveling out there at 200-225 yards.

    I hope I got that relatively right.

    Jeff
    DAG460 likes this.
    Jeff

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  2. #22
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    In my humble opinion, too much time is spent worrying about expansion.
    Your load shoots within an inch at 100 yards? That's fantastic for a meat gun.
    Your load will do the job nicely.
    Know your trajectory.
    Know your range.
    Put the bullet through the shoulder/spine "T" junction on any critter inside 150 yards and they'll drop in their track, and I promise you'll never find the bullet.
    My 165-175 grain Seaco/RanchDog/Lyman bullets are cast soft (9 BHN) heat treated hard (22-28 BHN on LBT tester), gas checked and lubed with whatever, loaded over 25-26 grains Reloader 7, and shot from ancient Marlins with open sights, or newer micro grooved 336s.
    All fully penetrate 200+ poung pigs though the shoulder, though grissle plate, shoulder blades, and spine bones.
    With this shot placement, I've never recovered a bullet, never had to shoot twice, and never had to chase or track a critter.
    You have done your homewwork and testing. No go proove it to yourself.
    Once the first trigger is pulled and the critter is pounded with authority, your confidence will replace the worry about performance.
    GIT after it! Go shoot a pig!
    DAG460 likes this.

  3. #23
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    In my humble opinion, too much time is spent worrying about expansion.
    Your load shoots within an inch at 100 yards? That's fantastic for a meat gun.
    Your load will do the job nicely.
    Know your trajectory.
    Know your range. Put the bullet through the shoulder/spine "T" junction on any critter inside 150 yards and they'll drop in their track, and I promise you'll never find the bullet.
    My 165-175 grain Seaco/RanchDog/Lyman bullets are cast soft (9 BHN) heat treated hard (22-28 BHN on LBT tester), gas checked and lubed with whatever, loaded over 25-26 grains Reloader 7, and shot from ancient Marlins with open sights, or newer micro grooved 336s. All fully penetrate 200+ poung pigs though the shoulder, though grissle plate, shoulder blades, and spine bones.
    With this shot placement, I've never recovered a bullet, never had to shoot twice, and never had to chase or track a critter.
    You have done your home work and testing. Now go proove it to yourself.
    Once the first trigger is pulled and the critter is pounded with authority, your confidence will replace the worry about performance.
    GIT after it! Go shoot a pig!
    Last edited by pls1911; 01-29-2012 at 09:50 AM. Reason: punctuation

  4. #24
    Marlin Marksman
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    My experance with cast is mainly with pistols. In rifles my .444 and 45-70 shoot cast only. All one shot kills, but remenber shot placement is more imporant than jacketed or cast. A cast 30-30 in the proper place will kill on the spot.
    DAG460 likes this.


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