375 Win lead free options: Lehigh Defense, Cutting Edge, Vollmer
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Thread: 375 Win lead free options: Lehigh Defense, Cutting Edge, Vollmer



  1. #1
    Tenderfoot
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    375 Win lead free options: Lehigh Defense, Cutting Edge, Vollmer

    Provided below are some 375 win lead free bullet options. Some of these bullets are suitable for lever actions, other bullets are only suitable for single shots. Of note, most .375 dia. lead free bullets are over 250gr and designed for high impact velocities suitable for 375 Ruger, 375 H&H, etc.

    Three companies offer readily available lead free bullets on the internet suitable for the 375 win: Cutting Edge Bullets, Lehigh Defense, and Vollmer bullets. (Note: As of Oct19, the Nosler, Barnes, and Hdy .375 dia. lead free bullets are unsuitable due to weight, terminal performance velocity, and/or length for use in typical 375 win applications.)

    1. Cutting Edge Bullets:
    -- 175 gr Maximus bullet (lead free). Single shot rifles and handguns, impact velocities of 1400 or higher, twist 1:18 or faster. Due to pointed design only suitable for single shots or single loading in lever guns. Light weight for caliber allows a bit extra velocity and downrange impact performance. Cutting Edge reports the front of the bullet is specifically designed to shed pedals while the core penetrates. Appears a very suitable small and medium game, deer and black bear bullet.
    -- 200 gr handgun Raptor bullet (lead free). This bullet is a hand gun bullet with some applicability to rifles if impact velocities are below 2000fps. While designed for 375 handguns, given the modest velocities of 20” barrel 375 leverguns, a handgun bullet may perform very well if impact velocities are managed below 2000fps. The bullet has deep cuts in the hollow point, is designed to open-up quickly, while the copper cylinder penetrates. The bullet’s blunt hollow point design is suitable for tubular magazines and bullet length allows for cycling in lever guns. Caution: per Cutting Edge tech support, impact velocities are 800fps to 2000fps and the bullet performs poorly over 2000fps impact velocity.
    -- 220 gr handgun solid bullet (lead free). Suitable for lever actions and this bullet provides a 220 gr monolithic solid option for 375 win handguns, lever actions, and single shot rifles.
    -- 250 gr Maximus bullet (lead free). This bullet is pointed (unsuited for tube magazines) and too long to properly cycle in lever actions. At typical 375 win velocities, the 250 gr Maximus quickly drops below the minimum recommended impact velocity of 1400fps and limits hunting distances. Minimum twist is 1:15 or faster.
    -- 230gr Raptor bullet (brass—not lead free). The 230gr .375 dia Raptor brass bullet has a nice blunt end and is suitable for lever guns, but has a touch of lead and is not lead free. Perhaps a suitable short/intermediate range hunting bullet for lead friendly areas. Minimum impact velocity is 1500fps and twist 1:12 or faster.
    -- Cutting Edge offers other brass and copper .375 dia. bullets that are either not lead free or unsuitable for typical .375 win applications.

    2. Lehigh Defense.
    -- 185gr Controlled Fracture bullet (lead free). Single shot rifles and handguns, impact velocities of 1400 or higher, minimum twist 1:15. Due to pointed design only suitable for single shots or single loading in lever guns. Light weight for caliber allows a bit extra velocity and downrange impact performance. Lehigh Defense reports the front of the bullet is specifically designed to fracture while the core penetrates. Appears a very suitable small and medium game, deer and black bear bullet.
    -- Lehigh Defense offers other 175gr brass, 250gr brass, and 270gr copper .375 dia bullets that are either not lead free or unsuitable for typical 375 win applications.

    3. Vollmer bullets.
    -- 200 gr jacketed bismuth bullet (lead free). Vollmer offers the most traditional lead free bullet. Vollmer replaces the lead in a copper bullet jacket with a lead free mix of bismuth. The Vollmer bullet is listed on the State of CA lead free bullet compliant list. The shape and weight of the Vollmer 200gr bismuth bullet matches other lead core jacked bullets. Load data is the same as other jacked bullets. Vollmer provides limited terminal performance details and warns do not expect the same performance from the bismuth bullet as from lead core bullets.

    Additional thoughts. Some of these bullets are interesting 375 win options in either lead free or lead friendly zones. The CE 200gr HG Raptor bullet appears a nice option for close range hunting, using low/intermediate recoil/velocities, with handguns, lever guns, or single shot rifles, while managing impact velocity between 800fps and 2000fps. The CE 175gr Maximus and LD 185gr CF bullets may provide an option for higher velocity, flatter shooting, and good terminal performance at .375 win velocities. The 175gr and 185gr copper bullets appear to have the classic advantage of light for caliber copper bullets, with good wounding/penetration, while watching a need to keep impact velocities high. Unfortunately, while the 175gr and 185gr bullets may cycle in lever guns, the pointed designed for the Maximus and CF bullet precludes stacking in a tubular magazine. The 220gr CE monolithic solid is a nice bullet for solid applications and lever gun friendly. Vollmer bismuth bullet, lever gun friendly, allow for a straight forward swap of jacketed bullet loading, load data, and velocity, with some change in terminal performance. Unfortunately, across all these bullet options, terminal performance and actual hunting performance information is limited or not available. Hunters recommend providing lead free bullet performance feedback to the respective companies and post hunting results for others as this lead free bullet voyage of discovery continues.

  2. #2
    Marlin Marksman
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    vollmer bullets is making 375 win lead free at reasonable cost
    lever30 likes this.

  3. #3
    Tenderfoot
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    A fourth .375 lead free option: Marker Bullets (https://makerbullets.com). Marker bullets makes 14 different .375 dia. bullets from 190gr to 325gr.

    It looks like their bullet designs are for the 375 SOCOM. The 375 SOCOM ballistics in a typical 16" AR barrel platform is similar to 375 Win performance. The Marker 375 bullets may perform at 375 Win hunting range terminal velocities. Not sure if any of the Marker Bullets are lever gun friendly. Marker does make a 200gr bullet specifically for the 35 Rem Levergun, so there is levergun expertise at the company. Also, they discuss the need to match bullets and terminal velocity performance. Also, they list twist rates of 1:7 and 1:8 which seem oddly fast for lighter weight copper .375 bullets.

    California lead free compliant. Marker Bullets are not listed on the CA lead free (https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/...tion/Certified) bullet list. (Note - Lehigh Defense, Cutting Edge, and Vollmer bullets are on the CA compliant bullet list).

    Marker Bullets' .375 dia lead free copper bullets are worth exploring.
    lever30 likes this.

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  5. #4
    Wrangler
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    Have a box of the Makers .375" 175gr T-REX bullets on my desk waiting for some brass to free up. They'll reportedly work with you and can change the design slightly if needed. I'm using them in a rimless wildcat that's pretty close to 375Win and don't want the crimp groove so I'll have them delete it next time. Initial test seems like they'll be decent at least at the 2300fps impact velocity I tested them at. Much more than that and I'd expect them to start losing petals at least in water. Supposed to open up down to 1400-1500 according to Makers. Might be worth a call to see if they'd change the profile of one of their 375 bullets to make it more levergun friendly.
    lever30 likes this.
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  6. #5
    Tenderfoot
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    Oops. I got their name incorrect Maker Bullets (Not Marker). The link is correct.

    A low end performance velocity of 1400-1500fps sounds pretty good for typical 20" 375 Win velocities--my sense is 1200fps low end may be better. A 200gr 375 lever/tube mag friendly copper medium game hunting bullet would be nice.
    lever30 likes this.

  7. #6
    Marlin Marksman
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    I suppose I should be thankful that lead free bullets aren't required around here.
    Although I guess I could turn some solid soft copper ones on the lathe and then hollow point them if that day ever arrives in Ga.
    lever30 and Travlin like this.
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  8. #7
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    Somebody gave my Bro some copper solids. We haven't shot any yet but Bro was going to cut some off to get a lighter bullet. That copper is soft and tough. Only practical way to cut them is to part them on lathe. Dremil cut off wheels fill up and snap before you get quarter way through them.
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