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Why are hard cast bullets so great and FMJ so bad?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Macchina, Nov 18, 2014.

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  1. 5.7Man

    5.7Man Member

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    Typically FMJ ammo is prohibited for use whlie hunting(it is in NH). However a hardcast lead bullet will perform much the same as an FMJ while getting pass for use while hunting.

    Other states may have different rules regarding FMJs and hunting.
     
  2. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    I vote this as best "cut to the chase" answer... at least in my humble opinion

    Now hard cast and solids, thats another debate too
     
  3. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Uh no, it won't. Read the other responses.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    IMO those 2 posts sum it up pretty well. The sharp shoulder and flat meplat of a well made SWC bullet does all the work for you.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Those people have never shot a Black Bear or see a Black Bear shot close up. A lot of posts on the Internet forums are regurgitated over and over to agree with everyone else and to sound smart. (not aimed at anyone here, just in general and I hate having to say that just to keep from hurting anyone's feelings!!!)
     
  6. short barrel

    short barrel Member

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    I'm no ballistic expert, but I can testify that the deer I've shot with a 4 5/8 inch 45Colt using medium velocity hard cast flat points are done for immediately; not so with jhp's.
     
  7. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Ok I'll bite,

    If you take your version of how easily it is to make up the exact same type shape and profile of either they will do about the same things. That said though, in order to get the same velocity from the jacketed as you do from the lead bullet, your going to have increased pressure, which also results in more recoil and muzzle blast. To some this is not an issue to others it is a deal breaker. After that you DO get copper fouling with each and every shot fired using copper jacketed bullet, there is simply no way around it. There are ways to minimize it, with coatings, but you will still get fouling.

    With lead you also get fouling, the difference is it is softer and when the fit is proper for the bore it is going down the next bullet usually will strip the first bit away resulting in less actual build up. However if the fit is not proper for the bore then you bet you can foul up a bore really quick.

    Now in order to get a true Keith or WFN type jacketed bullet, your will have to have special dies and draw, and press the jackets carefully to avoid ruining them. These extra steps also impart work hardening to the copper used which would have to first be annealed in order to keep it from getting brittle. It might even have to be done more than once, depending on the operations involved to get them into the final shape. Each extra step adds cost which is passed on to the purchaser.

    You mention in your example that the jacketed cost equal to or possibly even cheaper than the cast do. That is in one configuration only, not in the hundreds of different configurations in which cast can be had. With the jacketed you get what is mass produced, and the only reason they can compete with cast is that they sell tens of thousands more of one specific type. They have the tooling set up, and when they make a run of them it is in the lines of 50K or more at a time. When they pour up cast they do them in runs of 2-3K at a time, so mass produced verses more or less custom made will always be cheaper. Why some cost more is the advertising, and extra testing they had to do in order to get X brand and type of jacketed bullet to preform as it was designed. With cast, you get the same performance time and time again when using the tried and tested age old alloys.

    As for the hardness of the jacketed verses cast, yep your correct, the jacketed are harder, and they are harder on your barrel, and it is harder to get out once it is deposited in the bore. As for smoke, yep some combinations of lube smoke worse than others, and some smoke with some powders worse than they do with other powders, but I'm like some of the others, I have a closet full of jacketed that are being less and less looked upon as I gradually work up loads for my cast. If I had started out handloading with cast bullets 40 something years ago, I probably would never have used a jacketed bullet in anything.
     
  8. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    FMJ justt slips thru tissue

    FMJ's whether RN or FN TC = flat nose truncated cone have any kinda l
    edge where the bullet's shank - that rear part of the bullet full diameter.
    The classic 'Keith' Style Semi-Wadcutter flat nose, truncated cone but
    where the bullet seats there's a ledge, because the TC doesn't go full dia.
    Elmer Keith style SWC also have certain grooves for lube along the shank
    but Elmer called that 'ledge' the cutting edge of the bullet

    Also the inside of a fmj is soft lead,

    I've got .45 ACP & .45 Auto RIm Leadhead hardcast
    200 gr. SWC @ 1,000 FPS bullets were only 8 cents ea.

    R-
     
  9. allin

    allin Member

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    After reading through all of this I am staying away from attacking bears. I might attack beers! I will continue supporting my right keep and arm bears, but not with beers.
     
  10. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    That's probably the most logical post in this thread. :D
     
  11. allin

    allin Member

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    Thanks 41 Mag
    I always try to do my part in helping. Been shooting for a few years, not much problem with bears here is NW Ohio but I having been having a battle with a groundhog for 3 years. Think I'm going to call in air next.
    Semper Ho & Gung Fi
     
  12. farm23

    farm23 Member

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    I like beers but my bees do not like bears. For years I have use only revolvers to hunt and the SWC has been the most effective of anything I have used. I am sure SWC would be equally effective in other situations if the need should arise.
     
  13. 336A

    336A Member

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  14. jhb

    jhb Member

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    Not sure I'm understanding what y'all are saying on the effectiveness of fmj and tmj jacketed bullets? Maybe I'm missing the obvious, but I'm reading y'all think that they don't work well in animal for penetration and bone busting.
     
  15. CraigC
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    CraigC Sixgun Nut

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    Correct, read posts #2 and #3.
     
  16. 2 Wild Dueces

    2 Wild Dueces Member

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    I've struggled to understand some of the benefits and shortcommings of different pistol-style bullets.

    Besides low-cost plinking rounds at steel......I use my wheel guns of interest for general bear protection and pest control around my property. (also for SD - a different topic.)

    MY ISSUE: I've wanted a 357 load that will be effective for coyotes, deer and black bears (sometimes we got some big 'un's hanging around) and be INTERCHANGEABLE, both with my revolvers.....and also work in my Marlin 357 Mountie, and Rossi Carbine - both with 18" bbl.

    I felt the hard cast bullets may not stand up to max velocities in the carbines and could easily foul the bore (?). Kinda assumed I'd need at least gas checks.....but always figured half-jacketed 158 grain bullets with soft tips / flat nose to be the best of both worlds for these guns. (not hollow points)

    Is this faulty logic? I need to get pointed in the right direction for that hunting bullet.
     
  17. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    If I were carrying one of my 357's for hunting, woods SD, etc. I would not use any type expanding bullet. Rather I personally would want either a Keith type SWC or one of the varieties of the WFN in the 170 - 180.gr. range. It's my understanding some of the Rossi's are cantankerous about feeding SWC'S but my wife's feeds handloaded Lyman 358429's (173 gr. ) without a hitch. "Small" bullets such as 357's are going to be limited in their penetrative capabilities as it is, but if you start using expanding bullets you're really going to stifle penetration. (Read the first part of Post #8)

    As far as leading is concerned it's not as huge of an issue as some make it out to be. Yes, some higher velocity lead bullets may lead the bore a bit. So what's the big deal if your SD load requires you to clean your rifle or handgun every couple dozen rounds? Most of us aren't going to shoot out SD loads by the dozens anyway, right? I run the above mentioned 173 gr. SWC at around 1700 fps with no earth shattering amounts of leading but if I was concerned about it I'd either cast or buy the same bullet with a gas check?

    Hope this made at least some sense!

    35W
     
  18. anothernewb

    anothernewb Member

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    forgive my ignorance, but I thought some of the jacketed bullet design was due to war rules about a bullet design. (geneva convention?) Something about not making bullets that smash up bones and internal organs making certain types of war wounds less common. I'm failing on the actual verbage, but I thought what's why we only use certain bullet types in military ammo. IE (and I may be way off here) that FMJ bullets were designed to "humanely" incapacitate an opponent, not turn them into hamburger like the old lead balls did in the civil war era

    While hunting ammo is designed to drop the game. it's designed to smash bones and organs, in order to put the animal down as fast as possible? That there's no real need for a copper jacket except to provide a little bit of gliding surface so avoid leading?

    my .02
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  19. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    My 2% of a buck.

    In the woods...where your adversary may be big enough and strong enough to kill you and wants you dead just because you're alive...the best thing that a bullet can do is penetrate. It's more important than the size of the permanent wound channel or any silliness like "Energy Dump" or coefficients of friction.

    In these instances, you want penetration and the ability to break heavy bone and keep going...hopefully in a straight line...to cut blood vessels and disrupt major organs.

    FMJ bullets don't do that as well as a SWC or one of the new "Sledge Hammer" designs with wide meplats.

    In short, you want a heavy, solid projectile that cuts tissue along its path...and you want it punch all the way though and out the other side if possible. Two holes bleeds faster than one. Two holes let more air in than one. Solid, heavy SWCs are more efficient killers than one would suspect by looking at the paper ballistics.
     
  20. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    Bear Loads seems the thread theme

    S&W 625 5" bbl.
    Barnes XPB Xtreme Penetration Bullet
    .45 Auto Rim 225 gr.HP @ 940 FPS
    all copper bullet retains 100% weightt
    Note: the bullet can't be used in .45 ACP
    because it's not as dense as a lead/copper jacket
    Barnes also offers 185 gr.TAC XP
    CorBon DPX uses the same Barens HP in 185 gr & 165 gr.

    I've also got a bunch of .45 ACP & .45 AR with
    Leadhead hardcasst 200 gr. SWC @ 1,000 fps 5" bbl.
    probably mentioned that in a prior post but it works


    Marlin 1894 .45 Colt 20" Octagonal Bbl.
    Only ammo in stock is:
    Barnes Vortec all copper said to expand 2x over bore size
    200 g.r @ 1,000 FPS not a +P velocity is from a 5.5" Bbl.
    so outta the Marlin it's going avove the speed of sound
    & a 50 rd box of Cowboy 255 gr. FN/RN Lead @ 800 ? FPS
    However my shooting buddy has a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt
    and he's worked up some loads using hornady XTPs 300 gr. @ 1,300
    outta his Blackhawk. I shot two of those and had a sore shoulder
    for the first tiime in decades. XTP's expand 1.5X of bore dia.
    and have a 'rep' for penentration

    R-
     
  21. Edcnh
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    Edcnh Contributing Member

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    I use 170g Keith style bullets in my 357 magnum as a "woods" load. It is pretty accurate and leading is not bad. I usually shoot no more than 20 or 25 rounds at a time when practicing with this load.
     
  22. Blueduck

    Blueduck Member

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    This was one of those "Aha!, now I get it." moments for me many years ago. This and to lesser extent the ability to use a bit heavier bullets, at just a bit higher velocity at same pressure due to the leads lower friction, is pretty much the answer
     
  23. olafhardtB

    olafhardtB Member

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    Macchina, you aren't supposed to ask questions like that! Look, just turn off your brain and quit thinking before you get into real trouble. You have a series of conflicting replies which means somebody is lying whether they know it or not. It is also not allowed to say Elmer Kieth and Jeff Cooper were blowhards. One thing I like to think about is that bipeds are generally shot in the front while quadrapeds are shot from the side or rear. Self defense and hunting are two different things with different goals. For instance, every thing I ever shot with a 22 lr either dropped or ran off. This is perfect performance for self defense while being absolute proof that 22's are lousy for hog hunting. Things I try to determine in these discussions are whether the speakers have actually used the bullets in question in many encounters and if they are honest. There is little value in the advice of the inexperienced or dishonest. Unfortunately they are rampant on the internet including me occasionally.
     
  24. 35 Whelen
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    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    As far as I can tell, Macchinas questions were answered for the most part based on experience.
    What are your credentials? Did you know Keith and Cooper personally and can therefore refute their experience and writings?

    35W
     
  25. olafhardtB

    olafhardtB Member

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    35 Whelen, For years I have read every Gun Digest I could lay my hands on. In one EK dissed the 30-06 as an elk rifle and also told how he put down 3 bull elk with one clip out of a Springfield. He said he used his special "root of the tail" aiming point. I find myself thinking that those two commentaries don't go together. In another issue of GD Col. Cooper talks about the brilliant future he for sees for the Bren 10. Both these guys set off red flags of doubt in their prose. Of course they aren't the only ones. If putting words on paper pays the rent you pull them out of somewhere. In all the answers given in this thread I am sure some are correct. I cast boolits. I read a lot about casting boolits. I reload with cast boolits. I shoot cast boolits. I love cast boolits. I am going to think and analyze what I hear and read and if it trips my baloney alarm, that's that. Townsen Whelen also had writings that seemed to come from Oscar Mayer.
     
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