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#190877 - 03/22/18 06:23 PM CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?
45MAN
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Registered: 08/13/17
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Loc: brownsville, texas

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THERE HAS TO BE AN OPTIMUM VELOCITY RANGE FOR HARD CAST LEAD BULLETS FOR THE BEST COMPROMISE BETWEEN BULLET INTEGRITY (MINIMAL DEFORMATION) AND PENETRATION.

THE TOP RIGHT HAND BULLET WAS A 325gr WFN SHOT OUT OF A 5 1/2 INCH CUSTOM 45 COLT TLA REVOLVER @ APPROX, 1,325 fps INTO A LIVE WATER BUFFALO AT ABOUT 30 YARDS, AND, AS YOU CAN SEE THE BULLET NOSE WAS BEGINNING TO BE COMPROMISED, BUT, AS I RECALL, THE PENETRATION WAS ACCEPTABLE. THE LOWER BULLET WAS A 200gr FN SHOT OUT OF A 357 MAX CONTENDER @ ABOUT 1,750fps INTO THE SHOULDER OF A WHITETAIL BUCK @ 95 YARDS. THIS BULLET's INTEGRITY WAS SERIOUSLY COMPROMISED AND IT DID NOT PENETRATE STRAIGHT. I HAVE NOTICED WITH MY 45 COLT OUTDOORSMAN LOADS (A 250gr OTBC RNFP @ 1,350 fps) THAT BULLET INTEGRITY STARTS TO SUFFER (PRIMARILY SOME NOSE DEFORMATION) ON SHOTS AT 60 YARDS AND UNDER. SO MY THINKING IS THAT THE OPTIMUM VELOCITY FOR BULLET INTEGRITY AND PENETRATION MAY BE SOMEWHERE UNDER 1,300 fps.

I KNOW A LOT OF YOU GUYS OUT THERE HUNT A LOT MORE THAN I HAVE, OR DO, WITH CAST BULLETS AND ARE BOUND TO HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS. SO HOW FAST IS TOO FAST?


Edited by 45MAN (03/22/18 10:26 PM)
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#190881 - 03/22/18 08:38 PM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: 45MAN]
Coloradoyaler
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Registered: 10/27/16
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45man

Great Topic!

The buff bullet (325gr wfn), was the hit in the sholder and did it strike any large bones? Oh and what was the muzzle velocity?

Thanks
Mark

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#190884 - 03/22/18 09:59 PM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: Coloradoyaler]
Raptortrapper
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Registered: 03/31/09
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I now use speed strictly to do calculations, and to make sure my loads are consistent. I prefer accuracy, no matter what speed it's at. Granted, ya got to have enough speed to get the bullet there, but after that, there's an obvious line between gaining penetration, and gaining recoil. I saw some guys on this forum discussing that, and had to see for myself. Went to the range and figured out what they were talking about.
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#190886 - 03/22/18 10:24 PM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: Raptortrapper]
45MAN
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Registered: 08/13/17
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MARK: MV WAS, AS I RECALL, A LITTLE OVER 1,325 fps, BUT THIS WAS MANY YEARS BACK, AND MY MEMORY FAILS ME. I BELIEVE THE 1st SHOT WAS A SHOULDER SHOT AND HE RAN A SHORT DISTANCE INTO A THICKET, I THEN DROPPED HIM WITH A BULLET INTO AND/OR ALONG THE SPINE. DO NOT EVEN RECALL WHICH OF THE 2 BULLETS THIS IS. DID NOT DO MUCH OF AN AUTOPSY, IF ANY AT ALL, PROBABLY DUG THAT BULLET OUT FROM UNDER THE SKIN SOMEWHERE, AND THE VAQUEROS AT THE YO PICKED HIM UP AND TOOK HIM TO TOWN. I KEEP THOSE 2 BUFFALO BULLETS IN MY DESK DRAW AT THE OFFICE. ON THE LEAD BULLET YOU CAN TELL IT HAD STARTED TO LOSE BULLET INTEGRITY.
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"ADAPT OR DIE". I USE ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AN OLD HABIT FROM MY ARMY DAYS, PLUS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE AND READ.

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#190888 - 03/23/18 01:34 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: 45MAN]
Snyd
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Registered: 12/17/09
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...and at what weight can we then slow it down and allow the heavy bullet to do it's job at a lower velocity and still get deep penetration and not have nose deformation from too much velocity? For example:

.500L 450gr at 1350fps compared to 540gr at just under 1100.

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#190890 - 03/23/18 02:40 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: Snyd]
sixshot
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Registered: 11/20/09
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I don't think there's a definite answer, just too many variables in hunting to nail it down other than a ball park figure, even then things can happen that none of us can explain.
Again, I can only go off my own experience but the problem I've seen most times with cast is when a guy messes up & loses an animal he goes home & makes his ammo hotter. To me, this is going the wrong way, a big heavy cast bullet, no matter how tough can only stand so much strain & then it's going to fail but if you let it work in the 1000-1300 fps range where most alloys are in their comfort zone you will have a successful out come, my experience.
Before chronographs, I always started out by shooting a mild, book load & increasing until it started to get nice & tight, then when it started to open back up I stopped & called it good.
Later on when I got my first chronograph I found out that most of those loads with heavy bullets were almost always in the 1100-1200 fps range.
Two things were happening here, one was, that seemed to be the "sweet" spot for many of the heavy cast bullets & it also seemed to be my "recoil" sweet spot. I could & did shoot many loads much hotter in the early years but my 1100-1200 fps loads were zipping through deer, elk, bears, antelope, lions, moose, hogs. Why punish myself with more recoil in a short range, iron sighted gun that was killing everything with ease by going up the scale, made no sense!
I've probably taken somewhere around 20 head of game with jacketed handgun bullets, not many, but back in the day there weren't many good six gun bullets to pick from & cast were so much easier to make & shoot by the thousands.
Since recoil goes up about 3-1 compared to velocity why punish yourself & your gun to make a 50 yd or under shot on a 200 lb deer? These are just my thoughts, agree or disagree. Like I said earlier, that's why they make chocolate & vanilla.
I always think it's best to go up in caliber & bullet rather than stress a smaller one. Heavy bullets, reasonable velocity & great accuracy will get you there, again just my thoughts.

Dick

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#190899 - 03/23/18 09:32 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: sixshot]
45MAN
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DICK: IF YOU CAN, PLEASE PROVIDE INFO ON THE TYPE OF CAST BULLETS YOU USED AND/OR THAT YOU THINK THE SWEET SPOT FOR IS IN THE 1,100 - 1,200 fps RANGE, e.g. 240 SWC's IN THE 44 MAG, OR 300 WFN's IN THE 45 COLT, OR WHAT? MY 2 LOW END 45 COLT LOADS DO AROUND 925 fps AND 1,350 fps IN 5 1/2 INCH BISLEYS WITH 250gr OTBC RNFP's, BUT I AM THINKING I MAY NEED TO DEVELOP A LOAD IN THE 1,100 - 1,200 fps RANGE.
_________________________
"ADAPT OR DIE". I USE ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AN OLD HABIT FROM MY ARMY DAYS, PLUS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE AND READ.

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#190903 - 03/23/18 10:39 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: 45MAN]
Raptortrapper
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Registered: 03/31/09
Posts: 3461
Loc: Colorado

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As Dick said, my 45 Colt shooting 335gr hardcast came in to a sweet spot at 1075 fps. I went about it by starting just above the lowest load listed, and went up, 5 shots at a time, from there. I got to where my groups were great, and again as Dick stated, pressing them further made the group start to open up. I went back to the last "best group" and called it good. I THEN ran it through my Ohler to see what my average was, and also my standard deviation.
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#190904 - 03/23/18 11:23 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: Raptortrapper]
MrMcPorkchop
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Registered: 08/03/13
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Loc: CA

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The sweet spot I found for my cast bullet loads for my 45 Colt was right at 1,150 with a 320 grain LBT style with a very wide meplat cast out of wheel weights and quenched in water. Out of my 7-1/2? Blackhawk they create 6 shot groups at 25 yards that touch when I do my part. I?ve always gotten straight line penetration with them and have had no problem sending them through both shoulders on hogs and they make nice round 45 cal holes going in and coming out. I have not been able to recover any to determine if the bullet is deforming much, but at those speeds and looking at the evidence during the autopsy I don?t think I am having any significant deformation. I wouldn?t be afraid to send them through an elk at that speed, but would need further testing before I sent them through anything large and nasty that could do me harm.


Eric
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#190906 - 03/23/18 11:34 AM Re: CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST? [Re: MrMcPorkchop]
SGalan
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Registered: 09/03/16
Posts: 89

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This is a great topic. I think I'll defer to those with much more experience than I. One such man is Marshall over at Beartooth bullets. I've used his bullets in my .357 and .44 and I love them. He seems to agree that somewhere close to 1100 fps is ideal. See the below link for a very comprehensive article on the subject.

http://beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/61


"Putting aside game outside the lower 48 states, and looking at strictly deer, pronghorn and average black bear sized critters, an effective hunting load need not be over 1100-1200 fps with careful bullet selection. In fact, both my experience, those of hunting partners, and countless customers attests to the fact that cast bullet loads with muzzle velocities in the 1000 to 1100 fps category are truly amazing in their terminal performance!" Marshall Stanton

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