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Bullet styles that work...first hand experience

August 31 2011 at 1:50 PM
Quackenbush  (Login DAQ)
from IP address

I'm a contrarion because I haven't gone for heavy bullets. I've had good success with a 300gr. flat point .458 bullet. A 300gr. bullet has enough mass to carry through coyote & deer and the flat point increases its effectiveness rather than just burrowing through. The 300gr. bullet has a flatter trajectory than a 500gr. which helps for minor mistakes in range estimation.
[linked image]

What has been your experience?

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Robert Vogel
(Login archer280)

Dennis I must agree, lighter shoots flatter .

August 31 2011, 2:57 PM 

I am handicapped since I have never had the chance to shoot any farther than 50 yards.

These some of my light to mid weight hps

Here is a 360 grain from a DAQ 457 after passing thru the heart of a Muley

Here is the Heart

I have too many photos to post so I will stop before it turns into a slide show.



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(Login melloroadman)

Re: Dennis I must agree, lighter shoots flatter .

August 31 2011, 6:11 PM 

I have always gone with the lighter , flatter bullet . And as far as the nose goes . I leave that up to which bullet will give me the best consistant accuracy . Shot placement is the most important aspect . Seen lots of pictures of both sides of this argument . A hole in the heart or lung is going to do the job either way IMO .Marvin

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(Login wishbone0492)

Lovin that 230 grn HP

August 31 2011, 7:18 PM 

My 909S loves that 230 grain HP from Mr Hollow Point. They really opened up in my rubber mulch target test. Hope to get some first hand experience on Coyotes in two weeks. For Yotes and Deer I agree the lighter stuff is a good choice for the flatter trajectory. For Big Hogs and Big Black Bear I want it close with heavy solids like Seth's WFNs though.


This message has been edited by wishbone0492 from IP address on Sep 2, 2011 10:03 AM

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LI Bob
(Login 909bob)


September 1 2011, 2:54 AM 

Been shooting Lightfield Alpha Gold .50cal muzzleloader bullets without the sabot. Its a .452 300gr. boat tail hollow point soft lead bullet. I get 1 1/2 to 2 inch 5 shot groups @ 90 yards all day long.

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(Login melloroadman)

LI Bob

September 1 2011, 10:12 AM 

I know you like to try different bullets from time to time . I have this mold and the bullets are very accurate in my Gargoyle . This man is well liked on the casting forum and will use the alloy asked for . He has some interesting bullets from molds of the past that have been well proven over the years .Marvin

This message has been edited by melloroadman from IP address on Sep 1, 2011 10:14 AM

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(Login unrepentantsinner)

I am mainly an elk hunter

September 1 2011, 2:40 PM 

I kiled this bull 700 yards from my front door and 25 yards from my muzzle.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

The lightest cast bullet I have used in the 45 bore to kill and elk has been the NEI 458 bullet that comes out at 430 grains cast from 20-1 in a 45/100 over 83 grains of Swiss #2. The big flat metplate and the weight ensures deep penetration at any angle.

Hollow points are fine for lighter animals like deer and hogs, but I personally want thru and thru penetration even on raking shots.

I have shot elk with both round nose and flat nosed bullets in the 45/100 and 45/70's, the difference in tissue damage and shock is notable.

For my 45 Ranger I choose this bullet in a design I had Accurate molds make for me, it was the closest thing that I could find to the NEI mold that I foolishly sold a few years back.

[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

TO each his own, what makes you feel comforatable is probably your best choice, however for me and after 5 elk with naked bullets, I will stick with the heavier SWC design.

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(Login Butcherr)

Meplats, and BigBore Airgun Killing Power (revisited)

September 2 2011, 2:27 AM 

A meplat is either the frontal flat surface of a flat nosed slug, or the frontal area of a hollowpoint slug after it has expanded. Hollowpoints seek to create the biggest meplats of them all when they don't fragment (soft lead isn't prone to fragment) exposing and maintaining a large frontal face.

Those BuffaloBore guys know their stuff, and judging from their firearm ammo offerings, they subcscribe to the exact same philosophy on meplats that I lean towards.

Though their application of the same philosophy is very different, as they are using it to evaluate the slugs performance in FIREARMS. With airguns the same DV principles hold true, though we have the added factors of our use of soft lead, and lower velocities to consider, and contend with.

Their handgun hunting loads all appear to be using the same killing power formula that I also feel is proving to be very accurate, and they score right where the originator of the DV (Displacement Velocity) Formula recommends they should for best performance on big game animals (around 105-130). His name is Veral Smith, and he came up with the formula after killing around 800 North American big game animals, about half of those with revolvers using all sorts of different bullet designs, and also bases it on the hundreds of reports he receives on the performance of his cast bullet designs.

To tell you the truth, Veral Smith, the originator of the meplat/velocity based DV Formula that I refer to so much, and also owner of Lead Bullet Technologies (LBT) also invented the exact bullet on almost (save one or two) every single cast bullet the above linked offers for big game hunting, and those slugs are loaded to velocities in accordance with his recommendations. All the LBT/LFN/WFN ones.

The formula is meplat size times velocity divided by 4, and the resulting number best for North American big game is around 105-125. Airguns have a hard time getting there or even close but they can and have done it.

There are obvious factors to be considered when comparing the performance of a slug in airguns as opposed to it's performance in firearms. The firearms guys can lose performance with excessive velocity and/or meplat size in both accuracy and killing power, as there is a fine line between optimum killing power, and "to much destruction").
They are taking shots on game with firearms at much longer distances than the distance most of my shots on game will be with an air rifle. There are several other examples of the differences between them that I won't go into here.

It states in Buffalobore's article, that very large meplats CAN(read "not necessarily") reduce accuracy at short range: short range is generally accepted in firearms terms to be about 50-100 yards. The benefits of the LFN are both 1)achieve higher accuracy than the larger meplat WFN design out past 50-100 yards, and 2)to reduce excessive killing power in very hot loads.

Unlike firearms, for a bigbore airgun excellent accuracy at 50 yards is a plenty good-enough test for a hunting load, as that is towards the long-end of my "extended bow range" (as people often call it) for hunting.

Airguns don't have the velocity to spare that many firearms do to tailor the DV. They struggle to obtain the velocity necessary to make a slug effective as it is, so reducing the velocity is detrimental.

To increase the DV of an airgun slug, the only options are 1)higher velocity with a certain size of meplat, or 2)a bigger meplat at any given velocity.

With a firearm you can tailor the DV of the slug by reducing/increasing velocity, or meplat size to avoid any overkill effect on game, and maintain accuracy.

Considering a big game airgun used to hunt within around a 50-65 yard maximum, should a WFN be as accurate as a LFN within 50 yards, the larger meplat of the WFN is the better slug for hunting.

Thus far, I have noticed big differences at airgun velocities between the terminal affects of a .32 meplat (a pretty decent sized meplat, about what a LFN is in .45) and a .36 meplat (BIG meplat, about what a .45 WFN meplat measures). Especially when comparing them to very small meplats such as the MaxiBall.

Testing done on a fresh goat carcass to determine wound channel and likleiness to produce a blood trail (best test I have found to date) showed the big .36 meplat to perform noticeably better than the still acceptable .32.

The tiny meplat of the MaxiBall penciled thru the game, enabling the entry and exit wounds to close up on themselves. It was determined the .36 meplat made for a much higher probability of a bloodtrail, as the holes were larger and cleaner. In this particular test gun (300+fpe) with these two slug designs, the accuracy advantage of the .32 meplat slug was determined to be enough of a factor to continue using it in lieu of the .36 meplat.

This is why I replied to the question above, that I wanted the biggest meplats that can be shot accurately for hunting big game. If I want to shoot paper or silhouettes at longer ranges I would just load the most accurate slug at long ranges and disregard meplat altogether. Meplat won't serve much purpose when doing that type of shooting other than possibly reducing any risk of ricochet, and punching very neat, easily measured holes in paper.

Airguns are also dealing with very low velocities with the same wight projectile when compared to the centerfire rifles. It seems more difficult to drastically deform the lead of a flat nosed slug/round nose slug at these low velocities we see. If it isn't a HP design, and doesn't hit heavy bone (I don't aim for heavy bone save a hog skull), it may be less likely to change course to the degree a slug going 1250-1350fps would.....who knows?

if you can get a .457 260grain WFN (the meplat of the WFN profile is caliber minus.09......45-.09=.36 Meplat) to shoot accurately at 900-950fps you have a very respectable DV of about 80 or 85. That's solidly in the territory of the original .45Colt round.

With the modded 2tube 909 I have, I struggle to achieve a DV of 60-70 using 205grain slugs that are a little lighter than I'd like to consider of a standard weight for "all" big game, but big enough for any deer within 50 yards if I get my heart/lung shot. I expect them to run some.

This is what Veral has to say about the DV scoring....

"My displacement velocity formula is: Velocity times meplat width in thousandths of an inch divided by 4. Ideal DV range for big game is 100 to 125, 130 at the very max for fastest kills. At 100, wound diameter will average about 1 inch, at 125 it will be around 1 1/4 inch. If the wound diameter is 1 1/2 inch or larger in diameter the animal will normally run like it's tail is afire for 50 to 150 yards before expiring, though the shot is centered in the vitals. Yes even with a 4 inch diameter exit wound on a deer. Many will drop instantly with large wounds, if nerve shock anchors them, but many will run violently because blood flow is slowed by too large a wound.
If wound diameter is 3/4 inch, about 85 DV, kills can be instant if well placed but some run can be expected. With a 70 DV, wounds will be about 1/2 to 5/8 inch. VERY deadly if well placed in the vitals, but some run is quite certain." Veral Smith

I want to add to this an explanation of why to high a DV score lowers killing power: This brings into play the principles of the bodies clotting reaction in response to wounding.

When suffering a slice from a razorblade, there is profuse and constant bleeding, as the body considers keeping the wound clean, and free of infection the top priority.
When a large portion of a limb is damaged by, say, a shark attack, the body shuts down blood circulation to that area. In this case, the body clearly knows that blood loss at that scale is the immediate threat to life.

The DV principle sees the best way of achieving a large permanent wound channel is to score about 105-125 which is the "sweet spot" or "fine line" that enables the permanent wound channel to bleed profusely without clotting.

Wound channels much larger than this will activate what are called "platelets" in the bodies system, which are the blood clotting agents. So the reasoning is that any part of the wound that is too large is risking the activation of these platelets.

Flat nose slugs penetrate very well while maintaining a straight path (stability), producing long consistent wound channels that make a nice leak going both directions fairly quickly, and they do so very reliably.

Got Rasp? Butcher's Game Calls: Home of the Excruciator...the Original Borosilicate Game Call

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BlackHogDown (Seth R)
(Login BlackHogDown)

I can't pick just one bullet.

September 3 2011, 8:01 PM 

It's like a nice set of kitchen knives.
Different tools for different tasks.

I do like a flat nose bullet and the 300-360 grain range in a Quackenbush .458 covers a lot of ground.
The 330 cup point and 325 ballistic tip is looking real good too.
6th and 7th picture down

The cup point is probably misunderstood.
It's not a traditional hollow point.
It dosen't expand like a hollow.
That's Roberts specialty and I recommend his for that.
The "very very" shallow cup expands but I wouldn't say it mushrooms.
It smears back and enlarges just a small portion of the nose then carries on as a solid.

Plenty of WFN's listed as wide flat nose on my site as well for the .457/.458 and the 909.
Molds were cut by Veral Smith and it is a excellent design.
Penetration tests with them are amazing as well as the wound channel.
They might appear to be a unexciting wad cutter but the nose profile makes it much more.

When deciding on a bullet I consider a list of things.

1.The kind of game I'm hunting.
Heavy boned or not so much.
Size of the kill zone.

2.The max. intended range.
When a far shot becomes to far for me to feel comfortable.
What the most likely range possible due to terrain will be.
If I'm setting up for or can only see 30 yards it makes a difference.

3.Desired wound channel.
What I'm asking the bullet to do.
Smash through heavy bone and exit.
Just sliding the bullet between the ribs.
Deep penetration on thick game.
What I'm looking for in the way of expansion and do I think I have the energy to spare.

4.Which gun and what it's capable of.
Energy,trajectory,group size......that all kinda goes with the above.

One of the reasons I don't have a buy it now button on my site.
I encourage folks to email me with detail's on what they are after and what they are shooting.
If you know exactly which bullet you want that's fine too.

Group size may be key but when hunting for table fair or trophy's recovery is paramount.
Paper dosen't run but game does.
There usually isn't a bench around and there are no do overs.
I wouldn't discount a more affective bullet design if it was shooting say cloverleaf's rather than single hole groups.
Kill zones are usually more generous.
If accuracy was paramount we could all buy a .223 and use full metal jackets on everything from Aardvark to Zebra.

Bone smashing power and a healthy blood trail on both sides of the trail appeals to me.
Anyone that has had to trail a nice animal in the thick by flashlight will understand that.
We all hope we never have to do it but stuff happens.

Like eating potato chips I can't just have one happy.gif

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(Login melloroadman)

Re: I can't pick just one bullet.

September 3 2011, 9:07 PM 

And there are so may bullets to chose from as well . Here is another link I have seen on XP and DAQ sites as well . Looks like he has several nose types to choose from as well as different alloys. It is nice to have so many choices .Marvin

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Line 32 last 3 words he got a clue .

September 4 2011, 6:47 PM 

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