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Good Day/ Bad Day
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by James Swidryk a.k.a. jamesfromjersey     Last updated: 2009-07-07 22:35:10

I was recently in a good position to ask the manager of Pennsylvania`s Tioga Hunting Ranch if he could get me a shot at two large boar. My latest handgun purchase was a FA`s

model 83 in 475 Linebaugh and I wanted to see the difference in the terminal effect between a heavy cast versus a heavy jacketed bullet. I originally bought the gun with a 7 1/2" barrel and sent it to the factory for a 10" refit. It was off again to Mag-na-port for their Stalker conversion, however I left the barrel length at 10 inches even though a brake was installed. Yes, its a long barrel for a revolver but the more I shoot this gun and caliber the more I like it. My FA`s 454 ,when shooting 300 to 320 grain bullets, has more of a snap back in recoil when compared to the 475 when shooting 400 to 440 grain bullets with both calibers loaded to their full potential.

The .475 ammunition for this hunt was Buffalo Bore`s 440 grain extra wide nose- gas check bullet with a listed muzzle velocity of 1325FPS along with Grizzly Cartridge Company`s custom 400gr bonded core flat point by Hawk Bullets, of Salem, NJ, loaded to a MV of an even 1300FPS. I have not had a chance to chronograph these loads and the listed velocities are factory specs. An interesting point was that both rounds shot so close to the same point of aim at 50 and 100 yards that there was no need to change to scope setting.The 440gr cast gave me 3" groups at 100yds with the 400gr jacketed doing just about the same. The next morning came quick and first up would be Buffalo Bore`s 440gr

hard cast ammo.

To say everything was perfect in taking this first boar would almost be an understatement. As I was on a hilltop and could see the game slowly making his way up the trail I had time to set a small leather sand bag rest, that I always carry, on a large blow down and sit back and wait. So as not to alert the animal I pull the hammer back to the notch before full cock and keep my thumb between the hammer and frame and only when ready to shoot do I put my trigger finger in the guard. In this manner I have only the noise of the last click of the hammer to worry about. Range was 40 yards with the scope set on its lowest of 2.5X. As he slowly came into view I drew the hammer to its last stage with the boar never knowing I was there. To my amazement he stopped and streched on his front legs giving me a perfect 1/4 toward shot. I remember lowering the crosshair from a 1/3 of the way up to just above where the front leg meets the body and sloooowly squeezing the trigger. With the gun recoiling from the muzzle blast I knew it was a good shot as the boar stumbled about 5 yards to fall dead.

After gutting the boar and locating the bullets path I found that the 440gr extra wide nose had broken the top of the leg, cut a deep channel through the heart and broke a rib on its way out. As long as the bullet is put in the right place the results will almost always be the dead animal.

As the title says "Good Day/Bad Day", and I may as well let you know now that you have just read about the "Good Day". To say the rest of that day was bad would almost be an understatement. Sound familiar...This hunt was to see the effects of cast versus jacketed so the M-83 was unloaded and then reloaded with Grizzly`s 400gr bonded core flat point premium bullet running at 1300FPS from the muzzle. The day was warm and humid and we stumbled around trying to locate another large boar that we knew were bedded down in this mid-day heat. To my amazement we spotted a lone boar rooting around at the base of the hill we were on that was almost an exact copy of the animal I just shot. Again, the boar did not know we were above him but there was no time to get into a rested position like I had previously. I sat on the ground and drew up my knees using them to rest my hands that were wrapped around the micarta grips of my M-83. The boar was moving left to right as I tracked him through the 2.5X setting on my scope at no more then 30 yards. Perfect you on.

With the hammer back and my trigger finger starting that oh-so-slow squeeze, a part of me said to hold off until he stops but as I`am sure you know buy now I did not listen to that part of me that has gained many years of experience and wanted me to wait for a better shot but instead dropped that hammer in the heat of the moment. Just before the gun recoiled I distinctly remember seeing the crosshair much to far back from the vital area and for the first time in my hunting career I made the dreeded gut shot. The large boar humped up at the shot and turned and made its way down hill with this not-to-happy

shooter hot on his trail. My only saving grace that day was the fact I was using tremendously efficent caliber in a top-of-the-line bullet moving at a very fast rate of speed. I believe for this reason alone the boar slowed to a stop allowing me to again assume my sitting position and put a 400 grainer into the left shoulder as he 1/4 toward

me. Sound familiar.....

What I remember after that shot (which was about two inches above the killing shot on my first boar) was what I have read a hundred times over the years,"As long as the bullet is put in the right place the results will almost always be the dead animal".

Before you think I dropped him on the spot with that shoulder shot the son-of-a-gun ran another 25 yards before stopping allowing a third and final shot which ended my great

"Cast vs Jacketed Bullet on Big Game Experiment". Let me add that a 40 grain .22mag soild

to the brain,from my S&W J frame, finally finished off this magnificent animal and really got across another thought I should have listened too before I pulled the trigger: If the shot does not look good...don`t take it....Good Hunting.

PS- let me add that I`am not saying that cast bullets are better then jacketed or jacketed better then cast. I`am saying to make sure your first shot is in the right place regardless of what style bullet you use.+


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Recent Comments:

Poster: Western Revolver    Date: 2019-01-27    Top

Sometimes things just don?t go as planed. I have also been struggling with the cast vs jacketed argument for many years and I would have to agree with your results. Put them in the right place and they both work, put them in the wrong place and neither one works well. It?s the game we play as handgunners, nothing beats a well placed shot. Good work James!
Poster: tradmark    Date: 2010-06-10   Top

great hunts, i find the hawk bullets a bit soft especially in the .475, an xtp is definitely a harder bullet imho, in 454 i like the barnes as well as the hardcasts. that said, i did the same thing with a corbon hardcast 500 grain 50 cal out of my SW 500 and the pig ran forever cuz i hit it in the gut. dead when hit in the vitals though. they can run a long long way with a hole through the lungs, get the heart too and i've never had them last more than a few seconds. great article!!
Poster: TCTex.    Date: 2009-07-13    Top

Nice product testing James.
Poster: Rick    Date: 2009-07-11   Top

Very informative. Sound advice as well. Thanks for posting this.
Poster: Tigger    Date: 2009-07-10    Top

Sound advise James!
Poster: KRal    Date: 2009-07-08   Top

That was some great field testing...congrats.
Poster: Gary    Date: 2009-07-07    Top

Well done James...

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