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Cast bullet for Deer Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by TommyD45, Jun 30, 2013.

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  1. TommyD45

    TommyD45 Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Cast bullet for Deer Hunting

    I am developing cast bullet loads for my 308 Winchester using the RCBS 30-180-FN. This mold casts out at 192 grains with my alloy and has one of the larger meplats in it's class.

    I was wondering how fast I have to drive this bullet to be an effective whitetail load.

    Up to now I have only used jacketed hunting bullets such as the 150 grain Sierra GameKing or the Barnes TTSX.

    I realize that with cast bullets I will probably be limited to less than 30-30 velocities. So far my two most accurate loads are going 1390 and 1558 fps. How much faster do I need to push it?

    Or should I just remember "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and stick with my jacketed loads for hunting and pursue the accuracy load for cast bullet plinking and target shooting?

  2. flipajig

    flipajig Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Gods coununtry. IDAHO.
    Are you useing a gas check? If your alloy is soft enough it might be good enough depending on your shot distance. I'm guessing a 100 yard shot would be your max. With a gas check you can push it harder I'm pushing a 135 grain cast Boolit out of my 7 TCU right at 2000 fps with great accuracy.
    Check out Cast Boolit web sight lots of great folks and lots of info on cast Boolits.

    351 WINCHESTER Member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I always go with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Makes life easier imho.
  4. critter

    critter Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    southeast AR
    I've taken deer with a .45 Colt load at just under 900 fps. Your 30 caliber bullet at the speeds you have will certainly punch through a deer at reasonable ranges.

    Just be aware that they won't mushroom but poke holes, so shot placement is paramount and tracking may be necessary.

    There have been TONS of deer killed with 30 caliber bullets at relatively low speeds beginning in blackpowder times.
  5. dragon813gt

    dragon813gt Member

    Jun 30, 2011
    You can push a 30 cal bullet a lot faster than what you listed. 2000+ is easily doable w/ a gas check and proper alloy. Same thing for expansion. Get the alloy right and it will mushroom like it should. But there is nothing wrong w/ a heavy for caliber cast bullet moving at a slower speed.

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  6. dogrunner

    dogrunner Member

    Dec 13, 2006
    E/Cntrl Fla.
    If you paper patch that bullet you can easily achieve jacketed bullet velocity and accuracy.

    I've done 'em both ways, killed a couple of deer with hard cast Lyman 311041 in a .30/30...gas checked with 30 grs of 3031..........no expansion but devastating bone shattering on front shoulder....If you use the paper patch method you can substantially lessen the bullet hardness and gain the expansion you need.

    Suggest you check the castboolit site on paper patching for more info.

    By the way, I've also used those paper patched bullets over 46 grs of 4895 in my Garand with no leading and full function. The accuracy issue needs some work but it really is a doable proposition.

    Meant to add that the .30/30 load chrono'd around 2100 in my old SRC Winchester.
  7. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

    Dec 3, 2005
    The end of the road between Sodom and Gomorrah Tex
    Around 2000 fps, maybe a little more with a hard alloy, and even a gas checked lead bullet is going to lead up the bore. I experimented with paper patching in 8x57 patching a .308 diameter 200 grain lead bullet to .323". Can't remember all the details on the weight of the paper I used and such, but it didn't work too well in the small bore. I think paper patching is best left to the big bore stuff like .45/70, personally.

    I wouldn't hunt with a lead .308" bullet, anyway. I would not expect such a bullet to work too well and I would expect to wound and lose a lot of game, not an option for me. When I have killed deer with cast lead bullets, it's been in .357 magnum or .50 caliber Hornady 385 grain Great Plains Minie ball that my CVA Wolf particularly likes. It also shoots the 360 grain Lee REAL bullet. See, .50 caliber is pre-expanded. It doesn't need expansion to work. Neither does a .357" or larger Keith style SWC with a large, flat point. My .357 carbine pushes a 165 grain gas checked Keith style bullet to over 1800 fps. It's death on whitetail up to 100 yards. My .308 gets fed 150 Nosler BTs.

  8. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

    Feb 10, 2008
    North Texas
    Heck no don't go back to jacketed!

    My oldest daughter and I have killed a few deer with cast out of one of my 308's. I use a Lyman 311291 HP mould. I cast the bullet from WW's softened slightly by the addition of lead ( 7 to 1 ratio). It drops from the mould @ 172 grs and loaded over 22 grs. of AL2400 does a little over 1850 fps.

    The very first deer we took with it was when my daughter was 11 years old some 12 years ago. The doe was a hair over 100 yds. away.


    She went on to kill a couple more with the same load and rifle.

    I too have killed a half dozen or so with this rifle and load. A few years ago I had a spike hanging out a couple hundred yards behind the house and took him with this rig and load. As always, the bullet did great:





    In my experience, cast bullets kill differently than jacketed, that is a bit more slowly.

    If I were you I'd run the bullet a bit faster with as soft an alloy as possible. Don't worry about a little leading because outside of range work/load development, you shouldn't fire more than a handful of shots at a time.

    My personal limit with said load is 100 yds.

    Good luck!
  9. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 20, 2002
    You've been given some good advice. How soft your alloy is will make a big difference. If it's fairly hard, I'd expect you to need shoulder shots to
    quickly down deer.
    Can you post a picture of one of your bullets?

  10. 40-82

    40-82 Member

    Jun 28, 2013
    I shoot an RCBS 180 grain gas checked bullet out of my 32 Winchester Special at 2100 fps with excellent accuracy. For this rifle I use air cooled wheel weights. Anything I can do with the 32 Winchester Special you should be able to meet or exceed with the 308, although you might have to experiment with your loads. I like the expansion I get from this bullet much better than what I see from jacketed bullets.

    It's characteristic of jacketed bullets that you can pull a random load out of a manuel and have a useable hunting load. With cast bullets you can go from wildly innaccurate to extremely accurate with no more difference than using a different powder.
  11. loose noose

    loose noose Member

    Feb 22, 2012
    Southern Nevada
    I prefer the gas check on all my rifle bullets, from .308-45-70, I've shot several muleys, and an elk, with the 45-70, very little tracking done on any of 'em at 2000 fps on the .45-70 and 2300-2400 fps on the .308. Note I've shot quite a few muleys using the .308 with the gas check most but not all were one shot kills.
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