Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Share your tales (tall or otherwise) of hunting adventures.

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rdnck
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by rdnck » Wed May 25, 2011 8:15 am

Clarence--I whole heartedly agree that 500 grains at 20 or 30-1 should be the starting point as far as 45 caliber BPCR hunting bullets is concerned. If I may correct your post slightly, I have ALWAYS gotten complete pass throughs shooting a 520 grain Govt bullet or my 511 grain RN paper patch bullet--I have never recovered one from any animal. In 2009 I shot through a zebra on a diagonal with the 511 grain paper patched bullet. The failure of the 480 FN to penetrate the most recent zebra through and through on a broadside shot is the first time I have recovered a bullet of 480 grains or more on any animal, and it really opened my eyes as to what is required for maximum penetration.

I am going back in 2012 for Cape Buffalo, and will definitely be shooting one of those bullets in the 510-520 grain range, most likely at 30-1. Shoot straight, rdnck.
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by Don McDowell » Wed May 25, 2011 8:19 am

I'm a fan of this bullet from the Old West mould for hunting. It casts at .435 from 20-1, patches up quite a bit under bore diameter. If you do your home work with lubecookies/feltwads you can reload several without cleaning, but has plenty of accuracy for hunting , and penetrates very wellImage
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by 77 sharps » Thu May 26, 2011 7:32 pm

Clarance

I hunted for six years before I knew I had a problem with 20:1, 480grn. bullets. I seldom hunted animals weighing under 600 pounds. My reason for beliving his bullet alloy is giving him problems is because he is limiting his velocities to get proper penetraton. There are two ways to limit your velocity, increase the bullet weight or reduce your powder charge. I prefer to increase my penetration by hardening the bullet alloy and keep my 95grn. powder charge.

To put 360grn. bullets in proper perspective consider this, Winchester sold nearly 123 thousand 1886's. Both the .45-90 and .50-110 shot 300grn. bullets. I don't think either of these rifles were considered marginal deer rifles. Also the .40-90SBN (370grn. bullet)were fairly popular when the ranges increased due to buffalo becoming weary. I have often heard it rumored that the .44-40 has killed more deer than any other cartridge(200grn.-1190fps). I have a friend that takes a mule deer every year with his .44 Mag., I asked him what bullet he used. He said 180grn. HP. I asked him why he didn't use 240s. He gave a funny look and said "because the 180s always shoot through".

Putting the .40-90 SBN aside with its 370grn. bullets I can't see where adding 4 to 8% weight will make the 500/520grn. bullets buffalo killers when the lowly 480 is not reliable on zebra that weigh around 700 Lbs. This is the weight of a .22RF bullet. As for pistol bullets not having the weight to spare for expansion, they often range in weights from 440grn. to 500grn. and are in the velocity range of 1200 to 1500fps. We get impressed with our huge cartridges and heavy bullets while we sneer at the small revolver cartridges, but they use differant technolgy and can match our rifles in bullet weight and velocity.

I'm sure that I have given the impression that I am not in favor of heavy bullets. I have a PP 520grn. mould that is over 30 years old and GG molds that cast 550grns. and like them and the assurance of penetration that they provide, but in field conditions they will not always chamber in a fouled barrel and provide the accuracy I can get with the 480s, and I like the flatter trajectory(if you could call it flat).

To each his own. Mike

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by Don McDowell » Thu May 26, 2011 9:26 pm

You really have to compare the sectional densities of the various diameter bullets to come up to a somewhat even comparison. Nose shape plays a big role as well.
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by rdnck » Fri May 27, 2011 7:04 am

I don't think that it was the 20-1 alloy that caused the failure of the bullet to give complete pass through on the zebra. Rather, I think it is the design of the bullet that caused it to take out the blood vessels at the top of the heart, a lung, then VEER UPWARD and smash the spine and come apart. I had previously used this bullet on a 1650 pound American bison in my 45-70, and shot through and through both shoulders of this animal, with the result of a very quick one shot kill. My experience on the bison is what led me to use the bullet in Africa and carry the 45-70.

Subsequent to my trip to Africa, a friend of mine used this bullet at 30-1 in his 45-110 to take a bison cow in Wyoming. At 96 yards, on a good tight behind the shoulder hit, he knocked her down. As she was trying to get up, he shot her in the bottom of the belly between the front legs. THIS bullet went straight through, out the spine and out between her shoulders and into the Wyoming landscape. The FIRST bullet had done exactly what my bullet on the zebra had done--heart, one lung, then turn and go up into the spine.

This tells me that it is the design and weight of the bullet that causes it to give inconsistent straight line performance on larger, tougher animals. When I was younger and inexperienced, I thought that shooting through and through a deer was a big deal. It's not, as they are small and soft bodied. Actually, it's a big deal if you DON'T shoot through a deer from any angle.

Based on this, for sure and certain, when I go back for Cape Buffalo, I will be shooting a 511 round nosed paper patched bullet or a 520 grain Govt. bullet at 30-1, as they have never failed to penetrate all the way through in a straight line. I haven't decided whether I will use the 45-70 or the 45-110. It is a fact that you can kill small animals with big bullets, but big animals can be hard to kill with small, light ones. Shoot straight, rdnck.
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by Kurt » Sat May 28, 2011 7:16 am

I took a Bison last fall using the .44-90 bn with a 500 grain round nose PP bullet with 1/25 alloy. The bullet past straight through both lungs and there was no blood visible from the entrance hole or the exit hole. I could not find the hole till it was skinned out. But regardless it was a quick clean one shot kill.
I dont like a hard bullet for hunting. When they hit bone they fragment, break up, even in thin skinned animals like deer.
If I was to hunt in Africa it would be using a RN 500 plus grain bullet using lead tin at 1/20. It penetrates and it will hold together if it hits bone.
This is what I used on the Buff.




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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by 77 sharps » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:43 pm

rdnck

Thanks for the information on your bullets performance. That is very useful information and something to consider. When I first decided to hunt Cape Buffalo with a black powder rifle I thought that my 550gr. would be perfect. After thinking about it for a while I realized that a 500 gr.RN out of a Sharps only has 1/4 the gyroscopic stability of a .458 Win. Mag. 500gn RN. But the factor that caused me to abandon the heavies was, no matter how hot and dry it is, the 480gr will always chamber for at least 5 shots with out failing to close the breach easily. If you are going to annoy black death, this is something to consider.

For those who have not made up their minds, read Jacketed Performance With Cast Bullets. Bullet design is very important. The .45-70 with a 500gr bullet will easily take a Bison while the .450 and .500-3 1/4 English BP express rifles would likely have been very unreliable with their hollowpoint bullets designed to expand quickly. I have had two 20:1 bullets just wrap around neck vertebra like putty and a 3rd turn to a gray paste in a leg joint. I am going to experiment with hard bullets, and plan on testing them in the field June next year. Mike

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by Jeff Bryan » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:42 pm

Redneck (Rdnk on here, I believe), has probably hunted more than anyone else on this forum with a Sharps rifle, and very successfully I might add, and he loves his 45-70's. Currently he uses a 480 gr flatnosed bullet. Kirk Bryan also uses a flatnosed bullet in his 45-110, and it is either a 450 or 480 grainer, 2 grooved/minigrooved bullet seated 1/4inch into the case of his 45-110 (26 inch barrel). He says it will smack the rams at 500m hard enough to flatten the bullet to the size of a silver dollar. His load is 99 gr of 1Fg and a grease cookie (don't know the thickness). His MV is either 1350 fps or 1387fps. He has killed 4 or 5 elk with it from 380 to 420 yds, each one benefitting from a fist sized or larger exit hole.

Lead doesn't typically expand well at the velocities we are shooting in bpcr, so the flat nose delivers the most damage when you get such a bullet that will fly well in your rifle, and there doesn't seem to be a shortage of them. Arnold Moos, a master silhouette shooter, uses a 540 (or slightly heavier) flatnose in his -70 and gets his highest scores with that rifle/bullet combo. When you switch from the Postell, you can bump up the powder charge significantly if you get a bullet that you don't have to seat in as deep as that Postell. I have the same load you are using, and with Starline brass, and the Postell is seated 638/1000's into the case. I doubt Redneck's 480 grainer is seated that deep. Dan Theodore, a long range Creedmoor shooter, recommends not going below 450 gr in 45 cal because the bullet will get kicked around by the wind too much. Sharps rifles kill by momentum/penetration, and that's another good reason to keep the weight up some. If it were me, and it isn't, I'd shoot something 480 gr to 535 gr in 45-70 as fast as I could shoot it accurately and with recoil still manageable........or is that just stating the obvious? I'd also highly recommend the large meplat....smacks em hard!! When a bullet penetrates, it energy is sent out perpendicular to the surface of a bullet, thus crushing power of the bullet is increased by going to a flatnosed design. Basic physics, it should make sense. Due to lack of expansion and lack of high velocity shock (hydrostatic shock), the flat nose will give the most devasting results with bpcr velocities and cast lead bullets.

Didn't read all the responses to this guy's questions, just a few. Hope this is of use to you. Happy hunting.

Jeff

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by squire » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:34 pm

Aaron I started hunting with black powder about 50 years ago with a .36 cal rifle I made from a kit from Dixie Gun Works. Squirrels and rabbits with an occasional head shot on a sitting bird were the targets of opportunity as with one farm on every 40 acres the deer had long since been shot out.

The only game animals I've collected with black powder in the past decade were a half dozen hogs shot with my Marlin Guide rifle loaded with about 68 grains of Goex cartridge with a 330 grain Gould style bullet lubed with SPG and a .30 fiber over powder wad.

Were I to make up a hunting rifle today it would be a light weight gun along the lines of the Thompson Seneca in .45 caliber. I would of course have the nephews along because if I shot a deer I'd have a heart attack trying to drag the thing out of the woods.

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by supersubes » Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:16 am

Gents, thank you for all the replies.

I have been out of town for a few weeks but will be shooting bullets from my new Brooks mould today. It is a 512 gr(20:1) flat nose(.300 meplat), with four grease grooves. I will also be trying KIK powder for the first time. I'll report the results when I get a chance.

Teaser photo next to a postel
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Not such a bad day

Post by supersubes » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:43 pm

Just got back from the range a few minutes ago. Went pretty well for the first trip with a new powder and bullet. The rifle is a 28" Saddle rifle with a standard octagon. I have a penny front sight and standard semi-buckhorn rear sight. All groups were at 100 yards.

Here is the bullet. It weights 512 grains and the bands are .458". The nose diameter is .445". All but two of them fell into the chamber with a fouled bore. I was able to push the stiff ones in without too much effort. The bullets were lubed in a .459 lubrisizer since I didnt have a .458 yet. I have been having some issues with the cabin tree mould handles i'm using and I think the two which chambered hard were probably out of round. That didnt occur to me until after, so i didnt test it.
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The first ten shots from a cold clean bore. The load is 66gr of 2f KIK, a .030" wad with .2" compression. Starline brass and 215M primers. This is the only load where my chrono worked, but I only got two shots. Cold clean bore was 1151 fps. Nearly identical speed to my 66gr swiss 1.5f load.
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Same load fired from cold clean bore. The first shot is that high one. 5 shots
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66grains of 1.5f KIK, all else was the same, cold clean bore included. Bad group but it strung in the same fashion as the first 10 shot group so Ill chalk that up to me. I was fiddling with my hold on the rifle throughout the group.
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same 1.5 f load, cold clean bore included. The first three shots went into the cluster on top.
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same 1.5f load. barrel was foulded from the previos group. 5 shots.
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All in all not bad. It wants to shoot but the sights just dont allow for very consistent sight picture. I had been having very good results with this sight setup. I may break down and put the target sights back on soon. I'm going back out tomorrow with some papaer patch ammo, i'll report back on that too.

Aaron

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by deerhuntsheatmeup » Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:02 pm

Aaron, nice shooting! Some of those groups will really work well.

You probably already know this, but let me remind you. The first shot out of a cold clean barrel MUST do the job. Groups are great to learn the quality of your rounds of ammo. BUT, on the first shop out of a clean barrel you must know where it will hit.

The one high shot out of a clean barrel as pictured in one off your last photos, may be enough for you to miss the top of the lungs, and have a long blood trail, at best. At worst, not be able to recover the game.

FWIW, i practice with my hunting rifle and loads 3 shots per day in dusk dark conditions on a piece of brown cardboard cut into the shape of a deer. When I know, I mean KNOW, that I can grab three rounds, a cleaning rod, a few patches, and my rifle, and go fire three shots off a fence post at 100 yards wiping between shots, and all three go exactly where they are supposed to. I am ready to hunt. This regime works for me, I am fortunate that I can do this at my house in my pasture.

The flat nose looks really good, it will do the trick on deer, elk, and hogs.

Good luck gatherin' meat!

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Success and failure!

Post by supersubes » Sun Jul 24, 2011 3:43 pm

I hear ya Barvid. Normally I don't have much issue with a first round deviation. That is at 100 yards though, and im sure greater distance would certainly magnify the effect. Before the hunt starts, I'll be sure of my cold bore zero.


Well, I shot my first and only paper patch group today. I have been itching to drop the hammer on some papaer patch loads for a while now. I bought some BACO 500 gr .444" cup base bullets(pure lead) and some BACO paper. I wrapped wet and dry in both right and left hand directions. I thought i might have an issue with my starline brass length, and that is exactly what happened. It looks like I was shearing the base of the paper off, which was filling the gap between chamber and case mouth. I got some leading which required a full clean between shots. Cant argue with the accuracy though! I'm going to post this in the load section to hopefully get some tips.

I was expecting a buckshot group. Pleasantly surprised! I put the MVA target sights back on and took two shots to get on paper. These are shots 3-7. The groups is 1" X 1.4". I aborted any further shooting because I need to address the papaer cutting issue.
Image

Here is the paper ring,
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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by Jeff Bryan » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:13 pm

Goodlooking groups with both bullets Supersubes. And that flatnose bullet sure looks like a stopper - stopping big game that is. I'd be curious as to what you are going to do to address the paper ring issue? I shoot Starline in my Shiloh -70 and think I might encounter the same problem with it when I go to shoot PP, (1) because you are and (2) I get a lip of grease in the same spot you are getting a paper ring when I shoot my Postell bullets (GG). It appears Starline brass is too short. Why on earth do they cut it short. Do they not know it will work better cut to 2.1"?

Jeff

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Re: Some hunting Q's for you experienced guys

Post by supersubes » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:50 pm

My solution is to get longer brass, or cut down basic cases I guess. I have read of the stretching device but I'm not sure I want to get into that.

I stated above I thought the paper at the base was shearing but after re-thinking it, its the portion of the paper right at the case mouth. Overall I'm more than happy with the accuracy, i'll figure out the brass at some point.

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