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Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? #193572 07/15/2018 7:44 PM
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I used the search function with no results, so forgive me if this is a beat'n subject.

The last few years I have been getting more involved with cast bullets and pretty much from a hunting standpoint. My recent purchase of a 445 SM barrel for my T/C Encore has really sparked my interest, so much that I'm on the verge of jumping in with both feet and purchasing a lube/sizer press, furnace pot, molds the whole sha`bang! I know that there are alot of variables to a specific bullets BHN for it's intended use, but what would you say a .44 caliber .431" 280gr. to 320gr. GC bullet traveling 1650/1750 fps for med./med. lrg. (deer/blk bear/caribou/hogs) game should come in at? All the bullets I have used in hardcast have been commercially made with a BHN of 20 to 22 and in the four cartridges I shoot them out of they zip right on through WHATEVER they come in contact with! Thankfully I have yet to loose a shot critter, so I shouldn't complain about or question the BHN of those bullets. In my extensive reading, I have found that alot of hunters feel a BHN of 20/22 is to hard for a hunting bullet in .44 to .45 caliber, that something in the neighborhood of 14 to 18 BHN is ideal for the size game I speak of. I found a formula that Missouri Bullet Company put out and it seems a bit out of whack to me. It goes like this; OPTIMUM BHN = PSI (1422X.90) or PSI / 1279.8 = BHN needed. Well, most all my cartridges that I load cast bullets to are measured in CUP and those numbers don't interchange with PSI. Now my .45ACP does list PSI numbers for a load close to mine and using this formula it suggests a bullet of 16.25 BHN! ? ! ? That seems a littl high to me for a target/self defense load. . .even +P loads. I have also read where guys are using a softer lead in the nose section of the bullet and then pouring the harder lead on top of that. How are they doing that with any consistency? It sounds pretty cool though.

For you guys that cast your own bullets for hunting med./med. lrg. game what is your BHN of your bullets and what is your recipe and method for making them?

Sorry for the long post, but I'm stuck in the house due to bad weather and I've got cabin fever. . .so I've got alot on my mind and questions to ask - LOL!

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: OFFSHORE] #193588 07/17/2018 3:51 AM
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N-Frame Offline
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You might find this interesting, particularly Ch.15.

http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: N-Frame] #193592 07/18/2018 12:07 AM
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N-Frame,

Thank you for posting that, it was a good read. I found it interesting Fryxell liked using a Keith style bullet in a hollow point form at a 10 to 12 BHN for medium game hunting.

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: OFFSHORE] #193618 07/21/2018 11:14 AM
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Gee. . .142 views and nobody has any insight or advice? ! ? !

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: OFFSHORE] #193660 07/23/2018 8:53 PM
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Snyd Offline
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 Originally Posted By: OFFSHORE
...All the bullets I have used in hardcast have been commercially made with a BHN of 20 to 22 and in the four cartridges I shoot them out of they zip right on through WHATEVER they come in contact with! Thankfully I have yet to loose a shot critter, so I shouldn't complain about or question the BHN of those bullets....


What's wrong with 2 holes and dead critters?? That's what a hardcast is supposed to do.

It's not a problem, it's a feature!

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: Snyd] #193681 07/24/2018 12:13 AM
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What's wrong with 2 holes and dead critters?? That's what a hardcast is supposed to do.

It's not a problem, it's a feature!


Well, it's kinda like this. . .I have shot hardcast bullets in a few revolvers for a number of years just for the coolness factor, not that I knew much about them - I just liked them. And was always told to shoot 22 BHN gas checked bullets as to not lead up my barrels. I've killed many critters with them as an opportunist, more so than actually handgun hunting. Recently I had a custom barrel made for my T/C Encore in 445 SM. This cartridge has exceeded my expectations in yardage and accuracy (coming from .44 and .45 revolvers) and now has my total interest in hardcast bullets. I'm wanting to learn as much about them as possible and hopefully create some of my own. Being I do not have someone to teach me or friends that shoot these bullets, I'm forced to read from good internet forums such as this with good folks with more knowledge than I. I'm not saying I had problems with the bullets I used with a BHN of 20 to 22, because I certainly didn't and yes, two holes are better than one. I just have read alot that it is not needed and I could find better performance with an alloy in the 15 to 18 BHN and still get the penetration I like. I'm wanting to experiment in order to wring out every last bit of performance that I can get from my new barrel. . .so I have questions and hopefully get answers from the experienced folks here.

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: OFFSHORE] #193687 07/24/2018 6:04 AM
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Snyd Offline
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Define "performance".

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: OFFSHORE] #193840 08/05/2018 10:54 AM
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jwp475 Offline
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 Originally Posted By: OFFSHORE
What's wrong with 2 holes and dead critters?? That's what a hardcast is supposed to do.

It's not a problem, it's a feature!


Well, it's kinda like this. . .I have shot hardcast bullets in a few revolvers for a number of years just for the coolness factor, not that I knew much about them - I just liked them. And was always told to shoot 22 BHN gas checked bullets as to not lead up my barrels. I've killed many critters with them as an opportunist, more so than actually handgun hunting. Recently I had a custom barrel made for my T/C Encore in 445 SM. This cartridge has exceeded my expectations in yardage and accuracy (coming from .44 and .45 revolvers) and now has my total interest in hardcast bullets. I'm wanting to learn as much about them as possible and hopefully create some of my own. Being I do not have someone to teach me or friends that shoot these bullets, I'm forced to read from good internet forums such as this with good folks with more knowledge than I. I'm not saying I had problems with the bullets I used with a BHN of 20 to 22, because I certainly didn't and yes, two holes are better than one. I just have read alot that it is not needed and I could find better performance with an alloy in the 15 to 18 BHN and still get the penetration I like. I'm wanting to experiment in order to wring out every last bit of performance that I can get from my new barrel. . .so I have questions and hopefully get answers from the experienced folks here.



I like and use 22 to 24 BNH in my hard cast. The faster you shoot them you?ll notice that you?re 20 to 22 BNH bullets will be more accurate. The 15 to 18 hardness will be fine on deer but truly large game will not penetrate as deep as the 20 to 22 hardness bullets.
A nice wide flat point will produce large wound channels as well as good penetration.

Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: jwp475] #193866 08/09/2018 5:46 AM
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Bob Roach Offline
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I cast all of my revolver hunting bullets for deer. I do not have a hardness tester. I have lots of wheel weight lead that I sweeten up with a little extra Tin. I suspect that my bullets are softer than 20, as I recovered one of my 310 grain 44 Magnum bullets from a deer showing quite a bit of expansion. I was totally shocked that the bullet stayed in the deer.
My main consideration is that the bullets do not lead the barrel.

I prefer a broad side shot through the ribs behind the shoulders to minimize meat damage on White Tail Deer. Where I hunt I normally do not need to drop the deer in its tracks to prevent it from running down hill into a canyon. With a broadside rib shot I doubt I will ever get much expansion from my cast bullets.

My brother hunts with the 44 Magnum. I cast and load his ammunition. His recovered 310 grain bullet was in the shoulder.

My revolver is a 480 Ruger. I have never had a deer go over 40 yards from where I shot it on a broadside rib shot with my cast bullets.

My advice would be to keep the bullets hard enough that they do not lead the barrel. If you get expansion on a shoulder shot, consider it a bonus, and not a requirement. Also get a Gas Check bullet mold with at least a 70% Meplat. Big Flat Nose Bullets hit hard.

I got an old Lyman Lube Sizer in a trade a while back. PM me if interested.

Bob R


See You At The Range
Re: Optimum Brinell hardness for hunting? [Re: Bob Roach] #194272 09/08/2018 1:19 AM
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sw282 Offline
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Most commercial boolits are cast HARD to keep damage to a minimum during shipment... l prefer my home cast to be as soft as possible without leading the barrel.. My lead source is 90% wheel weights.. Clip-on weights are harder than the stick-on.
l prefer to use the stick-ons for hunting... Adding a pinch of tin to hep the mold fill out better when poured.. the clip-ons are great for targets... Esp IHMSA steel silhouettes.
People have been killing with lead 500 years.. 0nly maybe the last hund hrs have JKTD boolits appeared... Soft lead still kills as good as it did the first 400


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