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#196346 - 12/01/18 03:00 PM Hardcast
hfischer
newbie


Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 29
Loc: Michigan

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Seems like hardcast is very popular. I have no experience with hardcast. Have always used hollowpoint. Always figure bigger hole is better and figured without expansion bullet won?t kill as well or do as much damage. Have notice last couple deer shot haven?t gotten pass thru and no blood trail. Both shoulder shots. Have been considering hard cast for bloodtrail but still leery about no expansion. Will be getting 480 shortly for bigger hole and seems like most ammo available is hardcast. Guess looking for opinions from people with experience with hardcast bullets and 480 ruger.

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#196352 - 12/01/18 04:33 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: hfischer]
racksmasher1
veteran


Registered: 05/22/13
Posts: 1358
Loc: New York

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You will get some good ideas here, I use the Lee,325 grain mold in my 480, just bought the 400 grain mold, i?ll play with that this winter.

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#196354 - 12/01/18 05:16 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: racksmasher1]
45MAN
old hand


Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 911
Loc: brownsville, texas

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"HARD CAST" IS USED AS IF IT MEANS SOME MYTHICAL FAILSAFE CAST BULLET. "HARD CAST" IS AN UMBRELLA TERM FOR AN INFINITE VARIETY OF LEAD ALLOYS, SOME OF WHICH WORK BETTER THAN OTHERS. OTBC MAKES SOME PRETTY GOOD "HARD CAST" BULLETS, AS DO OTHER COMMERCIAL CASTERS. ONCE YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT VELOCITY YOU WANT THEN YOU CAN SEEK ADVICE ON THE BETTER HARDCAST BULLETS FOR THAT VELOCITY. THERE WAS AN EARLIER THREAD ON "CAST BULLETS: HOW FAST IS TOO FAST". GENERALLY, I BELIEVE ONCE YOU GET TO 1,300 fps YOU ARE GOING TOO FAST FOR CAST BULLETS. THERE ARE GUYS HERE WHO KNOW WAY MORE THAN I DO ABOUT CAST BULLETS, HOPEFULLY SIXSHOT WILL GET ON AND PROVIDE YOU WITH A TUTORIAL.
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"ADAPT OR DIE". I USE ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AN OLD HABIT FROM MY ARMY DAYS, PLUS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE AND READ.

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#196363 - 12/01/18 11:13 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: 45MAN]
Bob Roach
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Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 829
Loc: Missouri Ozarks

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I have a Lee 325 grain Mold and also a Lee 400 grain mold. The Lee 400 works pretty well on deer. I have not worked with the 325 much at all. I did not have time to cast bullets one season and bought some 375 GC I believe Oregon Trail bullets. They worked just as well as my home cast ones.
I got a custom 375 grain Gas Check mold and that has been making my go to bullets the last few years.
I normally try and shoot my deer broadside behind the shoulder to minimize meat damage. I have always gotten complete pass throughs. The 480 Ruger does a very good job with cast bullets. Always a good blood trail.

Bob R
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#196365 - 12/02/18 12:27 AM Re: Hardcast [Re: Bob Roach]
sixshot
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Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 613

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Elmer Keith was probably the most to blame for the term "hard cast" because he was perhaps the most well known writer of the day, along with Phil Sharpe & a host of others although they did less writing.
The problem is, what Elmer was calling hard cast wasn't really hard at all compared to what many of us shoot today. His bullets most times were around 9-11 BHN using a lead/ tin mix, usually 16-1 or 20-1.
And so it goes, people call a bullet a hard cast & it can be anywhere from 9 up to 22 BHN or even harder if you decide to heat treat them in the oven, etc. Here you can exceed 30 BHN.
As Rey mentioned, and I happen to agree with, once you exceed around 1300 fps all you're buying is recoil. If you're using the correct bullet/alloy a cast bullet will pass through "almost" any animal you shoot with it, except for the megatron animals that some shoot from time to time.
In that case a better mouse trap (bullet) is needed, not a harder bullet, trust me. If you shoot a heavy for caliber bullet that's made out of the proper alloy for the game at hand you will seldom ever recover a cast bullet. Not saying it won't happen, just saying it's rare.
In over 50 years of shooting game up to the size of elk (many) moose & African plains game I've recovered maybe 4-5 bullets & these have been HP's. My solids have always exited, a few have went through big mule deer length ways.
My suggestion for HP's on deer if shooting for the shoulder would be to shoot a small HP at 3/4 throttle, say 1000-1200 fps in the 41, 44 or 45. Pushing a big HP faster just turns them inside out without the needed penetration & if you make a harder bullet you can upset the balance of hardness vs velocity.
The best way to over come this (my opinion) is 2 things. First is a gas check & the second is powder coating. This allows you to shoot a soft bullet faster than normal without leading but still, trying to use HP's on game bigger than deer or antelope size game is a slippery slope.
One exception is the big Miha 385 gr HP's running at 1000-1150 fps. Using the correct alloy at this speed, this bullet has taken some really big game like elk, moose & bison with complete pass throughs. Taking the next step up to the megatrons requires the high dollar bullets, so use them.
Another very good HP if using the medium HP pins in 45 caliber is that Miha 275 gr bullet like I sent to 45man, that bullet will handle game up to elk size.

Dick


Edited by sixshot (12/02/18 12:41 AM)

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#196398 - 12/03/18 03:46 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: sixshot]
Paul_H
stranger


Registered: 11/29/18
Posts: 15
Loc: Alaska

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I have a few thoughts and theories on handgun bullets, and my handguns I mean straighwall cased rounds pushing bullets of sd's from .18-.25 at 1200-1500 fps. Unlike centerfire rifle rounds, in most cases with such rounds you can either have sufficient penetration to get consistant exits from all shot angles, or you can get bullets that expand. In general you can't have both.

So the question is, what is better, more internal damage with no exit, or an entrance or exit wound? The answer with all things is, it depends. In some situations a shallower more dramatic would will result in the animal dropping at the spot, or only covering a small stetch before expiring. In other cases the animal covers a fair bit of ground and the entrance and exit provides a better blood trail for tracking. I'm in the camp that prefers deeper penetration as IMHO I'll trade off the bullet that requires everything to go right, for the bullet that is more likely to work when some things go wrong.

The followup is, if you choose to go with a cast bullet for deeper penetration, what designs are the most effective killers? Nearly a century of use seems to show that a cast bullet with a meplat of 70-80% of bullet diameter provides both good penetration and a reasonably large permanent wound channel. As far as caliber and bullet weight, it seems that on the low end a 44 or 45 with a 240-250 gr @ 1000 fps is that point where more good things happen than bad things. Size does matter, and if you can handle the recoil, bigger is better.

I've found the 480 to have the perfect balance of power and recoil. I've lost track of how many rounds I've fired from my 480 but I'm sure it's well over 5000. All cast handloads. As much as I like the 480, I can't imagine having one and not handloading. It is the most accurate revolver I've ever owned and very easy to load for. My target loads of 310 gr cast over 9.7 gr of Unique clock right at 1000 fps and are more accurate than I can shoot, likely moa as I've shot a 1 1/2" 100 yd group with them. More than likely such a load would easily take any deer. My working load is a 400 gr cast over 21.0 gr of H-110 lit off with a CCI 350 for 1200 fps. I've tried that powder charge over 1/2 dozen different cast bullet designs and every one has grouped five shots into 1" at 50 yds. The Lee 400 gr shoots just as well as custom molds from LBT, Ballisticast, Mountain Molds, NEI, RCBS and MP.

As far as "hardcast" I've found straight wheel weight alloy or equivalent either air cooled or water quenched seems to be the ideal hardness to hold the engraving forces of the rifling and resist leading and yet be maleable enough not to shatter when hitting bone.

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#196400 - 12/03/18 05:13 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: Paul_H]
adbhowler
stranger


Registered: 10/03/18
Posts: 22
Loc: Colorado

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Agree with Paul_H.

I run 400gr lead hard ball gas checked through my Ruger 480. I run H110 behind them and the are very accurate and will make 2 holes when they hit something ( so far LOL). Getting 1150 and 1200FPS with these loads.
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#196401 - 12/03/18 06:47 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: adbhowler]
MS Hitman
enthusiast


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 249
Loc: MS

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With a .476' diameter bullet, I'd go with penetration because your bullet is "expanded" prior to pulling the trigger. For the most part, I'd stick to 1,000 to 1,200 fps loads in the larger calibers as increasing the velocity over this gets you mostly just more recoil and noise. I do have a .38-44 load using the Lyman 358429 that is getting right at 1,400 fps and I haven't shot a deer big enough yet to hold that bullet.

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#196415 - 12/03/18 10:51 PM Re: Hardcast [Re: MS Hitman]
sw282
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Registered: 09/01/12
Posts: 413
Loc: CSRA of GA/SC

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Sellers push ''HARD CAST'' because they fare better with the

handling shippers subject them to.. l prefer a bit softer bullet

mostly... Softer fits rifling better and also expands a bit after

hitting meat... l have recovered some cast bullets that were so

hard they could reloaded and fired again


Edited by sw282 (12/03/18 10:52 PM)

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#196423 - 12/04/18 10:51 AM Re: Hardcast [Re: hfischer]
TCScout
member


Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 176
Loc: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

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Some if not all of the previous commenters have likely forgotten more than I know on this subject but I agree with what has been stated based on my personal experiences. I hunt primarily with 357 and 44.

I like the cast bullets with gas checks for a couple of reasons:

The increased velocity and energy gives me much more confidence at the outer limits of my effective range (100 yards).

Also, as previously stated I don?t have any qualms if I don?t have a perfect broad side shot angle.

I have never recovered a cast bullet from a deer, hog, or the one elk my son shot.

I have also observed that a blood trail may be slower in coming with cast bullets. That said, I have never had a tracking job over 75 yards. I simply prefer the flatter trajectory with the heavy for caliber cast bullets and the through and through penetration.

I reload but I don?t cast my own bullets. There are some high quality store bought cast bullets available that answer the how hard is too hard question for you.

My 0.02.
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