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Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by rodwha, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    What kind of expansion do you generally get from your conicals or even heavier bullets in sabots from sidelocks?

    And what of your PRB's?

    I've wondered if a PRB does great, how much better would a cheap lead Hornady .44 cal 240 grn LSWC/.45 255 grn LFN bullet do? It ought to penetrate better, as well as buck the wind better. I would have thought this was too soft of lead, but being that pure lead is used in RB's...
  2. 72coupe

    72coupe Well-Known Member

    If you are shooting a 50 or 54 cal sidelock you really don't need any expansion and penetration will be adequate unless you are shooting 500 yards.

    Like someone (Elmer Kieth I think) said 45 caliber doesn't get smaller.
  3. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    I've only recovered a couple PRB's both in .54 and they did flatten significantly, I'll take look at them over the weekend but I'm guessing they expanded to .60 or so. I've never recovered a bullet from my .45 or .54 I shoot a 285gr flat point from the .45 and 460 gr buffalo bullet from the .54, both are pure lead, both have blown through elk like paper bags and judging by the exit wounds they do expand.
  4. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    With a scoped (PC) .50 cal I may try for 175 yds or so with an aerodynamic bullet (SST or something) possibly. But not more than 200 yds.

    I'm not so much concerned with needing expansion. I'm just curious how much people are generally getting from their lead projectiles.

    A lead bullet wouldn't be recommended for hunting with yet a lead RB is...
  5. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    It truly amazes me that people use RB's to hunt with and claim passthroughs when the RB is very light for its caliber without much sectional density, as is lead, which ought to expand quite large, which would reduce it's ability to penetrate deeply I'd have thought. I suppose because a RB loses it's speed quickly it's not going so fast as to make it expand as large as one would think.

    I'm gonna give it a go using RB's though. Our deer are tiny down here anyway.
  6. kwhi43@kc.rr.com

    kwhi43@kc.rr.com Well-Known Member

    You would think that at 50 yds they are going so slow a animal should be able to step out of the way of one. In my 58 the round ball only starts out about 1300 fps so the mystery is how come it will go complete thru a elk at 50 yds?? You should be able to catch it in your hands!! Truth is the round ball has no equal in killing power. It has dropped every animal in North America.
  7. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    RB's will work fine. I've recovered mine from elk usually after hitting shoulder blades and one or two ribs they'll come to rest under the skin... it seems to be enough to do the job... ;)

    If I hunted deer exclusively I doubt I'd ever use anything but PRB's. Simple, easy to load, no plastic or lead fouling to mess with, effective as all get out, what's not to like? If you need more range than the PRB can give you maybe black powder isn't the right fit for you. My two cents for what they're worth.:cool:

    BTW, for yellow lab sized critters like you're shooting (with gawdawful sized racks... wierd) a .45 with PRB would be just fine out to 100 yards... I'll bet that .50 sends those pills right through 'em.
  8. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    For our typical little deer I wouldn't feel under gunned using RB's from my Old Army! But we do have axis, which are much bigger! Like a large mule deer I'd guess. And 400+ lb hogs aren't unheard of.

    The ranges can be quite short or long. And on a lease I've hunted walking around is frowned on unless I go to certain areas far away from the others.

    And this is why I started off with a .50 cal Deerstalker. It covers more opportunity. I can stalk or still hunt out to 75-100 yds, which is a typical distance. I've not shot anything beyond 80 yds.

    Something with a scope attached is nice, but not as warranted. I still want one though.
  9. woodnbow

    woodnbow Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean wrt the ranges. I bowhunted a ranch near Sabinal once and it was sure true there, some places you could see a long way off, others you couldn't see fifteen feet. Hogs seemed to like that stuff, snakes too! :eek:

    I should get back there, thoroughly enjoyed that trip..
  10. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Well-Known Member

    In answering your question about using an all lead, handgun bullet, (I assume as a sabot round) instead of a patched, round ball, the handgun alloy is not as soft as the PRB, and yes it would do fine, probably penetrate much better as it's harder, and finally not shed as much energy beyond the 100 yard mark as a sphere. All lead rifle, conical bullets have been used quite successfully in the past. The only problem you might have is the twist rate of the rifle may or may not stabilize that modern bullet.

    Something to consider, some of the warnings about using all lead or lead alloy, may be due to the large amount of leading that might occur when launching the bullet from a cartridge. You are avoiding that when using a sabot.

  11. Patocazador

    Patocazador Well-Known Member

    I use very high lead % - almost pure - in a cast 255 gr. flat point (Lee) with a sabot in my sidelock. It has a 1/24" twist so all is fine. I have never recovered a bullet from a deer but they generally just fall over dead with a body shot. When shooting into an oak log, the bullet flattens out to about 2 1/2 x the diameter and penetrates about 2-3". Since it's in a sabot, I don't have problems with leading or fragmentation.
  12. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the .45ACP guys have that saying, .30 cal might expand, but .50 will never shrink.
  13. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    "Something to consider, some of the warnings about using all lead or lead alloy, may be due to the large amount of leading that might occur when launching the bullet from a cartridge. You are avoiding that when using a sabot."

    Actually part of my question is due to hearing of people loading lead 45 Colt bullets in their Old Army. I like the idea of multipurpose stuff. I could then take my rifle and pistol hunting and take my 1 flask with 1 type of powder, 1 capper with 1 size of cap, and 1 type of bullet that all will work between the two.

    My rifle has a 1:48" twist, and so I won't know how it'll work. The trade Rifle barrel that I'd be more inclined to use it in would have the same twist, though I've been looking into if/where I could buy a barrel that would drop into my Deerstalker stock that has a faster twist.

    For a scoped rifle with the intentions of it shooting well to 150+ yds I'd likely just buy Hornady 300 grn SST's or 265 FTX (444 Marlin). Although I have been looking at lead spire point bullets intended for paper patching. I'm more concerned with aerodynamics to combat wind drift. That's the hardest to figure in...
  14. rodwha

    rodwha Well-Known Member

    "...the handgun alloy is not as soft as the PRB."

    The bullets I've been using, Kaido's 240 grn variant, is said to be 7-11 BH. They work fine in my ROA. Any idea what the cowboy lead is for pistol bullets?
  15. rifle

    rifle Well-Known Member

    I've used lead slugs in muzzlleloaders with the fast twist. In the Pedersoli Rolling Block rifle muzzleloader the Lee improved minnies and the Hornady Great Plains bullets and the Lee Engraved at loading conicals ect.ect.ect. the lead was pure lead and they didn't lead the barrels at all.
    Without the reamed muzzle likeThompson Center calls the QLA ( I was one of the people that recommended to TC to funnel the muzzle to support the bullet at loading to go in straight) I could load the bullets straight so they shot straight by sizing them to .502 inch so they went in straight and were made more round and at .502 in. they stayed in the bores while walking ect.ect.ect.
    Anyway.......they shoot good out of the Pedersoli Rolling Block muzzleloader and there's no leading.
    A lead bullet too tight will lead....one too loose will lead and one going too fast will lead. I guess loading the conicals sized to .502 in. and being relatively loose must expand into the rifling(it's rather shallow like a cartridge rifle is at about .004 or .005 inch deep rifling) and get tight enough so they don't lead the barrel.
    Using 80gr. of FFg Goex the lead bullets function well and are accurate and.....if not swiped out after every coupla shots the velosity goes down ad the bore is restricted with fouling and the rifle stays naccurate even after 4-5 shots but hits lower and lower as the barrel gets dirtier and dirtier. Bst to swipe after each shot.
    I get no leading using a good lube on the bullets and starting with a clean barrel and lubing the bore in front of the first bullet with the same lube on the bullets so the first shot doesn't lead the barrel.
    With the Hawken and the 500gr. bullet I;ve got expansion when a bullet was recovered from adeershot head on in the chest and the bullet was found at the deers hip joint at the rear of the animal. It was expanded to at least 50 cal. at the nose.
    I've recovered a 500gr. bullet shot from the Hawken that I shot at a big buck white tail at 35 paces directly into the front of the neck into the neck bones. The bullet was fired with 75 gr. FFg powder and was 500gr. and the bucks neck stopped the bullet. (the bullet has to be going at least 1,200FPS) The powder fired normally too. No squib load.
    The bones of the bucks neck exploded into sharp shards of small pieces and cut the bullet into pieces and I found several larger pieces surrounded with very small pieces of lead. I figured the bullet would get deformed some but shoot clean thru but it stopped right where it broke up in with the broke up bones. Like the bullet exploded with the bones.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  16. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Well-Known Member


    I've been using MB's,have to since my rifles are 1-28 in 50,and 1-32 in 54cal.I cast my own,learned not to use alloy[try it and you'll know why];and have always had good accuracy.A HB Minnie will work in slow twist[designed for]but will over stabilize in 1-28 in .50. 75 gr of black will drive a MB end for end in a black tail deer.
    The best money I ever spent was for Maxi - ball molds,I should have got all the calibers available at the time. I think a .32 w Maxi's would be a good small game set up,could we go .25?? In this time frame my 25-20 is looking good for economy.
  17. whosyrdaddy

    whosyrdaddy Well-Known Member

    225 grain hp saboted from buffalo bullet company
    shot over 80 grains 777 from 50 cal. cva bobcat
    recovered from whitetail's shoulder after shattering her neck.

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