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Looking to experiment with cast bullets in my 22" Micro Groove barrel late 80's vintage 1895.
The intended quarry are moose and elk, both weigh 5oo Kg.++. Ranges are typically around the 150 M. mark with longer shots to 200 M. not uncommon. Other examples would be Eland, Kudu, or other larger African plains game of this type so if you have taken these please feel free to contribute.
My research so far has conclusively indicated that for penetration the cast bullet has no equal. It is hydro-static shock where they seem to come up short. Pathological photos I've seen have proven this beyond a doubt, with extensive tissue damage and much wider (permanent) wound channels from SP bullets as compared to cast bullets at the same velocity in the same animals.
Here is the challenge. To drop a moose or elk quickly, especially the moose (unless the idea of retrieving it from a waist deep marsh is your idea of fun), at ranges that will sometimes be out to 200 M.
Research has indicated that Micro Groove rifling is particular about cast bullets. The one constant with this seems that velocity is your best friend in terms of accuracy when shooting cast in a Micro Groove barrel.
I am leaning toward a hard cast (BN 22-25) gas check design at about 2000 fps MV to achieve flatter trajectory and greater impact (H-static) force. This would seem to dictate a cast GC bullet of about 325-350 grs.
So there you have it.
The best advice will come from those who have actually taken these species with cast bullets and preferably in a Micro Grooved Marlin.
I await your experienced insight.
 

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2000fps is not needed in a cast boolit but I know you are also looking for the HS as well... a 22 to 25bhn boolit will pass right through with no expansion but with the 2000fps you will get the HS you are wanting... It will be brutal on your shoulder after a few shots.

If I was to shoot a 350gr boolit at 2000fps and was looking for knocking the snot out of game real quickly, I think I would go for a much softer boolit (12 to 13bhn ) but paper patched. I have not done this yet but it is on my list of things to do (as well as powder coating boolits) a paper patched boolit is a jacked boolit so it can be shot at the same or faster velocity as a jacketed bullet but with the softer lead it will expand like crazy when hitting so you would get your flatter shooting boolit, the HS you are looking for + an expanding boolit.

I wish I remembered the name of the company that sells paper patched boolits to give you just in case you wanted to try it.

Doc
 

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Longshotz; Contact "mt_sourdough" over on the 444 forum. He has done some very extensive testing with cast bullets and may be able to offer up some insight concerning your need for information.

I myself am a firm believer that a bullet not only has to penetrate, but must deliver a high level of terminal impact force.........penetration "kills" (bleeds) and terminal impact force (TKO) "stops". A balance of those two performance properties makes for a hunting bullet load that offers the best of both worlds. Bullet construction and velocity are the two contributing factors to the perfectly balanced load in this respect...........secondly, the size, weight, and physical make up of the animal you are hunting will dictate the bullet construction and velocity needed to kill and stop that game.....a deer does not require the power or bullet integrity that a moose would require.

If paper patched bullets interest you (as Doc said), I would suggest Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works.....very high quality, and speedy delivery.
 

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Longshotz,

I can't speak to the subject of Kudu and other exotic game, but the following I do have a bit of experience with.

Moose, it has been my limited experience and that of some other I know that they do not compare well with some other game as per what it takes to put one down. If you shoot one in or close to water, you may well expect to get wet. But in general, you do not need an Abrams Tank to put a moose on the ground. They are for the most part rather laid back and don't seem to have the drive to live that many other game animals have.

Then I'll speak to the 350gr cast at the 2000fps velocity.

My first cast bullet critter was taken with a 355gr Wide Flat Nose cast at just over 2300fps muzzle velocity. Poor choice!!!!!!!! In SPADES!!!!!! NEVER in the world would I have expected to see the kind of devastation that was caused by this basically non-expanding cast bullet.

The tissue and bone was not minced as might be expected is using a high velocity Jacketed bullet, the bone and tissue for the most part, simply GONE, blown out the back side leaving a huge hole. WAY OVER KILL!!!!!!!!

FORGET the WARP SPEEDS! If your 45/70 won't reach the targets your interested in, then there are better calibers for extended ranges.

WAY BETTER from my experience, is my 465gr WFN Cast at 1650fps. It rapidly puts elk on the ground and deer are simply no contest.

You speak of "Hard Cast" bullets, which is an over used term used to such an extent that it is meaningless! Hard cast if we are speaking of a lead alloy would be something such as bullets cast of linotype and anything else is medium hard at the most, but anything but "hard Cast."

My 465gr WFN is cast of an alloy of 50/50 - Wheel Weights/lead and the penetration is looooong and the put down rapid.

Other then a direct or very close hit to the critters nervous system, brain, spine etc. there are no guarantees that a critter will drop where hit. One may and the next with nearly the same hit will run a hundred yards. Taking out both shoulders usually puts the critter down quickly while taking out one shoulder does not. Either way, a shoulder hit means a great deal of meat loss.

It is well proven and written of, that as cast bullet velocity increases much above the level of 1500 - 1700fps, penetration decreases.

The info is out there on that subject.

I feel that I'm good to go on a critter at 200+ yards even at my velocity levels, and I have found that my present combination of bullet weight and velocity is very deadly.

Micro-groove????? Well providing you do a good job of proper bullet fit, then work up from reasonable Marlin velocity levels while testing with a number of good powders, - 3031, RL7, H332, H335, 4198 IMR & H, etc., and work with a bullet of over 400gr, the micro-groove should be no deterrent to positive hunting results.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Crusty, et al: mt_sourdough tested the Safari 455 grain 50/50 lead/wheel weight air cooled bullet and water quenched bullet that I shoot out of my SG 444 at 1850 fps. The water quenched 50/50 bullet showed superb penetration and expansion and shed very little weight at 1850 fps. The air cooled 50/50 at that velocity did expand, but the expanded nose sheared off in the test. I would surmise that the air cooled bullet would be fine at 1650 fps. So, Crusty is dead on (so to speak) with that alloy for the velocities that he shoots them at. For the higher velocities (2100 to 2500 fps in the SG 444) I still prefer the water quenched WW, and it performs very well in mt_sourdoughs tests.
 

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One need look no farther than to the Garrett Cartridges web site. Many hunters have used his terrific cast bullet .45/70 ammo on large animals in North America, and somewhat surprisingly, some have used them in Africa with great success as well:

Garrett Cartridges Inc.

Garrett Cartridges Inc.

If you poke around on Garrett's site a bit you'll find stories about hunting dangerous game and other African big game by Vince Lupo, as well as some terrific articles on the use of hard-cast bullets on big game.

Regards, Guy
 

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Agree w all the above except one thing. Montana Bullet Works has been closed since 11/14/13 due to owner health. It's for sale if anyone is interested.

Penn Bullets offers a soft cast. Their 405gr specialty bullet is soft cast. I believe they said it was 98/2 lead/tin.
 

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Garrett 's are Awesome!!! I have some of the 540gr's still laying around here somewhere (dang I should have had a mold made up to mimick the 540's)


Doc
 

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Agree w all the above except one thing. Montana Bullet Works has been closed since 11/14/13 due to owner health. It's for sale if anyone is interested.

Penn Bullets offers a soft cast. Their 405gr specialty bullet is soft cast. I believe they said it was 98/2 lead/tin.
I am really sorry to hear that! The first bullets that I sent down the bore of my SG 444 were Dave's 300 grain .429's.............they were running 2500 fps! I was excited and called Dave, and he and his wife were amazed at the performance of their bullets at that velocity...excellent accuracy, and no leading! They were always great folks to deal with and their bullets were top notch. I sure hope that everything works out well for them!
 

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Best thing I can offer is this. Take the bullet info, the distance and then calculate in a ballistic calculator to see the force at the distance the animal was taken. I did this for the critter I am after and nearly every piece of advice lined up. It showed me my maximum kill window for the fps I found the best accuracy. I am no great shooter, but hitting a 8 inch plate with a 405 grain bullet at 250 yards is quite common for me and everyone I have had shoot my 18.5 Marlin. Finding something accurate and then going off this info would probably be a big help if you aren't already doing that.

-Craig
 

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I have hunted African plains game having been on a safari in Namibia in 2009. I can tell you from personal experience that you will often have to make a shot of more than 150 meters depending on the terrain you are hunting. There is no question whatsoever that a 45/70 with heavy bullets @ 2,000 fps will kill African game deader than dead. Nothing against the 45/70 but it's just not a flat enough shooting cartridge for some of the shots you may have to make. My suggestion would be to use a good bolt action rifle chambered in .375 H & H magnum with a good quality scope. It has far more reach than any 45/70 load basically duplicating the trajectory of the 30.06 with almost twice the horsepower at any range. I used 300 grain Swift A-Frames @ 2,650 fps and took a Kudu, Gemsbok, Warthog, Mountain Zebra and a Springbok. All except the Kudu were one shot kills. The Springbok was shot at 280 meters. That would be a difficult shot with the rainbow trajectory of the 45/70.
 

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.............if talking an "all around" rifle for "all" African game, under any conditions, the 375 H&H Magnum, 450-400 Nitro Express, .404 Jefferey. and at the top end the .416 Rigby all make the grade. The performance of each is proven.... historically documented......over a long period of time and many head of game. You cannot find a better combination of power, trajectory, portability, and control ability than the above mentioned.
 

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It appears as if we have taken a rabbit trail to Africa, where the original poster seems to be referring to the larger grass eaters found in North American.

For those, his Marlin 45/70 Micro-groove will do just fine, of course within reasonable range and with proper shot placement AND providing he has done a proper job in developing a good cast bullet load for his rifle.

Just use a good cast bullet of over 400gr which has a large meplat and is properly sized for his rifles barrel and he will be good to go for anything North American has to offer, and forget about warp speeds.

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 

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Crusty; Rabbit trails? Well, for the smaller grass eaters...rabbits....I would suggest no more than 12 ga or 22 lr. I know some here will disagree and opt for a larger or more powerful arm (10 ga...30-06), but really, all you need is the 12 or 22...................................(sorry, I just couldnt help myself !!!! :biggrin:) We did get off course, so, thanks for the correction!

My huntin and shooting buddy Joe is a real fan of the 45-70, and according to him the 405 grain bullet at modern firearm velocities (Marlin) is the most perfectly balance load for the 45-70. It offers all the power needed plus a very good trajectory to the limits of that power, and will take anything in N.A. with ease..
 

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Crusty; I use three bullets exclusively for my Safari Grade modified Marlins....on the left in the photo is the SG 35, Safari 260 grain, designed by myself for that purpose (a 310 grain bullet is in the works).....I push the 260 along about 2400 fps (2455 fps tops) in my Marlin 336 XLR. The next bullet is the Safari 410, designed by Marshall up at Beartooth Bullets expressly for my SG 444. This is the "standard" bullet for my modified 444 XLR which I push at 2160 fps (2200 fps tops)....and the bullet on the right is the Safari 445 (or, 455 depending on the alloy used) designed by forum member "mt_sourdough".....I push this bullet at 1850 fps up to 2100 fps (2125 fps tops). They are nice and accurate and the wide flat meplat sure delivers good punch and deep penetration.

I use all of these for smaller rabbits.....for the larger rabbits like you have out west I would use my 495 A Square......or 505 Gibbs!:biggrin:
 

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Flat Top...."If paper patched bullets interest you (as Doc said), I would suggest Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works.....very high quality, and speedy delivery."

I too was sad when Dave went out of business due to health and that he and his wife went separate ways also.

His business is for sale and I looked longingly at purchasing it, but decided not to for personal reasons (too old and lazy to start over). His business, as evidenced by a professional business analysis that Dave can furnish you, is easily worth what he is asking for it. He has extensive equipment, dies, lots of lead, and an unbelievable inventory of bullets. The value of his bullet inventory alone just about covers his asking price.

I would love to see someone of Dave's character and knowledge buy the business and start supplying us again.
 
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Look at beartooth bullets or Jae Bok young bullets, both high quality, a 400 + grain bullet at moderate speed, 1500, to 1900fps will hammer most anything your looking to hunt. The key is to find a bullet with a wide nose as to create a large permanent wound channel, and stays straight while passing thru the animal. Good luck
 

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Seabass says it!

As a years old "J" bullet shooter and loader, I needed to have a bit of faith that a basically non-expanding bullet would do what all the adherents claimed. But the reports of just how good a Wide Flat Nose cast bullet is on game were true in spades!

At least, that is what a number of deer and a couple of elk indicate to me with the 465gr at 1650fps.

The one deer shot with a 355gr WFN at just over 2300fps muzzle velocity quickly showed me I don't want any more of that. Waaaaay over kill and huge hole!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 
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