Cast bullets


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tikka-guy
January 21, 2012, 01:47 AM
I've read several recommendations on here for using cast bullets in a handgun for hunting. What is the advantage? Do they offer much expansion? How well do they stay together?

I've only had exposure to jacketed bullets in my hunting career, so I'm trying to learn a bit more about it.

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Kachok
January 21, 2012, 05:42 AM
Cast bullets usualy don't expand much if any. The advantage is penatration. They usualy make much more soft tissue damage then an fmj or RN because of their large meplet causing a substantial outward pressure wave. High SD bullets do not benifit any form cast bullets on deer sized game but low SD handgun bullets or large caliber rifle bullets (45-70, 444....etc) do.
Their wound tract is much more consistant as compared to a HP or SP bullet which tend to dump most of their energy into a smaller portion of the wound tract. Cast bullets are not usualy needed on deer but people who hunt tougher game like feral hogs tend to perfer hardcast since it won't dump energy into their tough hide.

tikka-guy
January 21, 2012, 08:56 AM
Since there is minimal expansion, cast lead is harder than the lead cores used in other hunting rounds?

A cast bullet should perform similarly to a FMJ-FN bullet? Something like this: http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=69 ?

Kachok
January 21, 2012, 10:16 AM
Yeah they use a high zinc lead alloy for cast bulllets. Remember that not alll flat points are made the same, larger meplet designes do more soft tissue damage. Genral rule is a min of 71% meplet for hunting hardcast. Hardcast bullets have superb penartation, since they do not expend any energy on deformation, through and through is the rule around here even on the feral hogs. I would personaly stick to bonded HPs for whitetail and use hardcast on anything that would require 20+" of penatration. I have seen a cast bullets tested on BG and penatrate 46" at handgun speeds.....impressive.

Cob
January 21, 2012, 11:57 AM
The details need to be addressed, and all perinent information should be analyzed before hunting with cast bullets. Here's what you want to determine:
What game species do you intend to hunt?. What pressure is safe for your selected bullet weight? How many FPS is the bullet traveling at? At what point does the lead bullet become a mass of molten lead in near liquid state charging out the end of the barrel upon firing? ( EX: you would not want shoot pure lead bullets at 3,000 FPS out of a 7mm mag for instance, though you could hunt with cast bullets of the right lead/ zinc consistency out of a 30-30 at 1000 FPS.) Do a bit of research on the caliber you intend to shoot, the velocities, and the powder load before hunting with your selected load.

Cast bullets are popular for reloaders, mainly because they are cheap. Tire weights are an example that are popular materials for relaoding, as they are made with a combination of lead and zinc that is suitable for shooting, and they are often cheap/ even free if the right source is available.

You can use a gas check with cast bullets that will assist in maximizing velocities and reaching higher velocities than cast bullets alone. I have shot cast bullets before, and recently aquired materials and equipment to produce some. When using spent brass, a proper powder load, a new primer, and cast bullets- the cost of shooting goes down. If a large number of bullets are made in a batch at one time, then the idea of hunting with them eventually arises.

Handguns shoot at lower velocities than rifles, and cast bullets are more commonly and safely utilized. Often lower powder charges are utilized here.
I'm not an expert though, but efficient.

tikka-guy
January 21, 2012, 01:37 PM
Genral rule is a min of 71% meplet for hunting hardcast

71% diameter or area?

Thanks for the info Kachok and Cob. I'm not going out hunting with a handgun tomorrow... more of just a curiosity. I do have a .44 mag lever action I've just been using LeverEvolution rounds in, but admit I hadn't put much thought into the selection beyond knowing it's suitable for whitetails. If I ever do any hog hunting with it, which I'd love to do, I'll look into cast bullets a little closer.

Jim Watson
January 21, 2012, 01:54 PM
Caution and correction:

You do not want zinc anywhere involved with lead for anything more precise than a fishing sinker, and not that if you can help it. Bullet casters go to a good deal of care to get zinc wheel weights out of their buckets of lead wheel weights, something that is getting harder to do now that we are so environmentally conscious.

Antimony is what is alloyed with lead to harden it. Tin hardens only a little but helps the casting. Commercial pistol bullets are normally 92% lead, 6% antimony, 2% tin. Old style wheel weights were said to be about 4-5% antimony, .5% tin but can be about anything now as they are cast from scrap lead. There are still decent bullets being made from straight wheel weights, though.

MCgunner
January 21, 2012, 02:57 PM
+1 on Kachok's post. I've shot multiple hogs and several deer with hard cast gas checked Lee SWCs of the Keith style. They work quite well. I load a 180 XTP to 1400 fps in my Blackhawk, but I've not shot anything with it. Hard to figure how it'd work any better and I cast my own SWCs.

And, too bad they don't print with Linotype anymore. I have a part time job at a news paper. Bummer. LOL

Kachok
January 21, 2012, 09:45 PM
71% diameter or area?

Thanks for the info Kachok and Cob. I'm not going out hunting with a handgun tomorrow... more of just a curiosity. I do have a .44 mag lever action I've just been using LeverEvolution rounds in, but admit I hadn't put much thought into the selection beyond knowing it's suitable for whitetails. If I ever do any hog hunting with it, which I'd love to do, I'll look into cast bullets a little closer.
71% of the frontal area. Most FN FMJs don't have that much. There have been a few really good studies on hardcast bullets and their terminal effects.

RevGeo
January 24, 2012, 12:15 PM
Hunting with cast bullets will show you how much velocity you don't need.

George

buck460XVR
January 24, 2012, 01:51 PM
I've read several recommendations on here for using cast bullets in a handgun for hunting.


Hunting what and with what caliber? Deer size and smaller animals, including Black Bear, I prefer a JSP or JHP in my handguns. For hogs, elk and dangerous game, I'd rather use hard cast.

grubbylabs
January 26, 2012, 10:50 PM
You should really visit castboolits.gunloads.com for some more advise. As I understand it, I have only been casting a short time. But zinc is a major no no in casting your bullets.

My straight wheel weights weather water dropped or air cooled are still pretty hard and deform very little when shooting odd targets like pine logs and the such.

Lloyd Smale
January 27, 2012, 06:28 AM
I dont know of anyone that casts a bullet with high zinc content. Ive played with it a bit myself and its real touch to get a pure zinc bullet to cast well and an lead/zinc alloy is even harder to deal with.

Kachok
January 27, 2012, 11:52 PM
No not significant amounts of zinc, though it exists is trace amounts of casting lead. I did mix up guilding metal with casting lead, zinc is added to copper to make guilding metal, harder then regular copper to reduce fouling and preserve structural integrety on impact.

dprice3844444
January 28, 2012, 12:07 AM
http://www.theantimonyman.com/furnace.htm

Certaindeaf
January 28, 2012, 01:20 AM
Search "From Ingot to Target: A Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners" and read it.
It can be saved also. It's a pdf.

35 Whelen
January 28, 2012, 12:08 PM
Yeah they use a high zinc lead alloy for cast bulllets.

No, no, no. Zinc is bad stuff in bullets. Even a little will wreck mould fillout.

I process WW's in bulk in a cast iron pot on a large burner. To keep the zinc out, I keep the alloy temp at about 725 which is a good 50 lower than the melting point of zinc (787 F). The zinc simply floats to the top where I scoop it out after fluxing.

Regarding bullet types for hunting, you have to remember that there are sacrifices with any bullet type. An expanding bullet will typically make a larger wound channel, but penetrates less than a flat point bullet. Conversely, the flat point bullet, while creating a smaller wound channel, penetrates much more deeply.

Personally, I'll take pentration over a wide wound channel any day because a hole through the lungs, is a hole through the lungs, be it 1/2" in diameter or 3/4" in diameter.

35W

Alexeyneu
February 20, 2012, 08:07 PM
The details need to be addressed, and all perinent information should be analyzed before hunting with cast bullets. Here's what you want to determine:
What game species do you intend to hunt?. What pressure is safe for your selected bullet weight? How many FPS is the bullet traveling at? At what point does the lead bullet become a mass of molten lead in near liquid state charging out the end of the barrel upon firing? ( EX: you would not want shoot pure lead bullets at 3,000 FPS out of a 7mm mag for instance, though you could hunt with cast bullets of the right lead/ zinc consistency out of a 30-30 at 1000 FPS.) Do a bit of research on the caliber you intend to shoot, the velocities, and the powder load before hunting with your selected load.

Cast bullets are popular for reloaders, mainly because they are cheap. Tire weights are an example that are popular materials for relaoding, as they are made with a combination of lead and zinc that is suitable for shooting, and they are often cheap/ even free if the right source is available.

You can use a gas check with cast bullets that will assist in maximizing velocities and reaching higher velocities than cast bullets alone. I have shot cast bullets before, and recently aquired materials and equipment to produce some. When using spent brass, a proper powder load, a new primer, and cast bullets- the cost of shooting goes down. If a large number of bullets are made in a batch at one time, then the idea of hunting with them eventually arises.

Handguns shoot at lower velocities than rifles, and cast bullets are more commonly and safely utilized. Often lower powder charges are utilized here.
I'm not an expert though, but efficient.
To cast something from combination of lead and zinc)

grubbylabs
February 21, 2012, 01:14 AM
Every one that I have ever talked to takes a lot of precaution to make sure they do not get zinc in their alloy. That is why we flux it when smelting down wheel weights.

35whelen is spot on for every thing I have ever read. Again http://castboolits.gunloads.com/ web site is a wealth of good information on casting. When I started casting this place was all but a necessity, and they still provide tons of useful tips to the art of casting.

Art Eatman
February 21, 2012, 07:29 AM
I guess that it was maybe 25 years ago that Ross Seyfried wrote of hunting Australian water buffalo with lead bullets in his .454 Casull. 300 grains? Something like that. Cross-body shot, one-shot kill and I believe an exit wound. As I recall, he mentioned "large meplat" in the bullet design.

kanook
February 21, 2012, 09:31 AM
A simple question,

How many of these posters that are stating to use zinc as part of the casting process have actually done it?

It comes out like oatmeal, and does not fill the mold properly. My friend didn't believe me about the effect of it and ruined a 20lb pot of lead with it.

So instead of saying "I read it on the interent", go try it and find out for yourself.

And if you are using a mix of lead and zinc and it works with no problem, lets us know the mixture, heat temp, hardness, and show some examples of your success.

grubbylabs
February 21, 2012, 05:22 PM
As I recall, he mentioned "large meplat" in the bullet design.

Since cast boolits do not expand well the large meplat is very important when using them for hunting.

zdc1775
February 22, 2012, 07:11 AM
This question is more the sake of curiosity than for actual use (read as I do not hunt using a handgun).

Everyone seems to be suggesting to use a SWC, but then say how it needs a large meplate. They then suggest a semi wadcutter. Why wouldn’t you want a full wadcutter (if that’s the proper term)? Wouldn’t it have a 100% meplate?

Again just curious

Certaindeaf
February 22, 2012, 09:27 AM
A full wadcutter is only stable to about 100 yards and won't track well through game. The best balance of both is one with a large meplat.

azwizard
February 29, 2012, 08:15 PM
For large game a Keith type SWC bullet with a wide meplat is the cat's meow for Deer/Elk/Bear because of the Mild upset and deep penetration but the cast bullet works well for small game too. Turkeys and rabbits etc..punches a decent hole but don't get blown up from HP or even SP bullets. I use both but really like the Cast bullets in .357/.45 handgun calibers.

CraigC
March 1, 2012, 08:51 AM
Hunting with cast bullets will show you how much velocity you don't need.
Very well stated!


I guess that it was maybe 25 years ago that Ross Seyfried wrote of hunting Australian water buffalo with lead bullets in his .454 Casull. 300 grains? Something like that. Cross-body shot, one-shot kill and I believe an exit wound. As I recall, he mentioned "large meplat" in the bullet design.
Seyfried never cared for the .454. He ended up taking after Cape buffalo with his custom .45Colt El Dorado. Using heavy handloads and 360gr cast bullets at 1400fps. The penetration of these heavyweight cast bullets is nothing short of amazing.

http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/article.cfm?tocid=321&magid=24

Cob
March 1, 2012, 01:24 PM
I will clarify a bit...Some commonly available lead sources (such as old tire balancing weights) use lead as the primary source of metal, and contain tin & antimony within the alloy as secondary "hardening agents". some wheel weights are made of zinc or steel so that the weights are more durable once attached to the tire... Discard these if casting your own.

You should be aware of the lead content of the medium used to make your cast bullets. Old Wheel Weights are generally 75 -85% lead,( if memory is correct). In my first post, i said zinc, i meant tin or antimony. reading the previous post messed me up a bit

Some shooters actually shoot Zinc bullets, they are lighter and harder than lead, although riccochet shots are much more common- Dillon was a.Mfr that offered them. Copper, Bismuth, and other bullet alloys are sometimes used as well- Heck if after werewolves, Silver is the casting medium of choice.

Commercially available sources of metals specifically for cast bullets from Midway ($3.50 to over $20/lb)
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?&newcategorydimensionid=5702

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