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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Cast Bullets

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450
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Loc: Melbourne,Victoria, Australia
How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting
      #344790 - 05/09/20 01:11 PM


I would like to improve the performance of 400 grain cast projectiles(commercial) in my 45-70 for hunting. I have plenty of jacketed projectiles, but would like to use cast one in my marlin for hunting sambar deer and pigs. I am currently using 405 hard cost coated which have a metplat of .275. Putting them in my small lathe I have now got a metplat of .390 with out feeding problems. Has anyone tried similar projects.


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eagle27
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344791 - 05/09/20 01:56 PM

My 404 400 gr cast bullets already have a flat meplat and I have thought of hollow pointing some to see if expansion is enhanced. Also like to try hollow pointing enough to insert one of the small plastic BBs used in airsoft guns, would look rather neat if nothing else with a red or yellow plastic tip.

How are you holding your cast bullets in your lathe? I use my RCBS bullet puller die in the lathe three jaw with a NC bolt replacing the collet handle. I can access the bolt head with a socket on the end of a T handle through the lathe centre.

I use this setup for cutting a small rebate for a gas check on the base of my plain based bullets. Can do about 120 bullets an hour with the bullet puller hold the bullets perfectly centre and snuggly without damage. Reversing the bullets in the die would present them to drill a hollow point.

The beauty of using the collet setup sees the cast bullets bottom out nose or base first in the collet at the same depth each time so whether cutting a rebate on the base or hollow pointing the nose, the tool turret can be set to give exactly the same travel each time i.e. consistent depth for rebate or hollow point.

Plain based cast bullet with gas check rebate cut.


Bullet held for hollow pointing or cutting of larger meplat.


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450
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: eagle27]
      #344794 - 05/09/20 02:53 PM


Eagle27. That is a great idea to do the gas check groove and the metplat in the collet. My lathe is very small and only for soft material. The bullet goes into the chuck to a set depth and then I face the nose of the projectile back a bit. I remove about 8 grains of bullet doing the cut. They come out with 2-3 grains variation. I do the same when I cut the groove for the gas check, although these ones I have not checked as they shoot at 1700 FPS with out a problem. The projectiles are Westcast, and they seem to be pretty good, sized .459. My Marlin has a micro groove barrel, so I have not found out how hard I can drive them yet. If the .459 sized projectiles don't work I will go .561. An America company loads hard cast 45-70 with a huge metplat for the 45-70 to about 2000 fps. Guides in Alaska seem to like for there back 45-70 rifles.

--------------------
The worst days shooting and hunting is better than the best day at work


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Hunter4752001
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344796 - 05/09/20 06:19 PM

450. Check out the Black Widow projectiles website. They're based in Melbourne. If they doesn't list what you want, have a chat to John and he might be able to make them for you.

When used in handgun hunting, wide meplat hard cast projectiles are recommend to be kept below 1400 fps. The reason is that above that velocity the nose tends to deform on impact and then you lose the wide meplat effect. Can't see any reason why it would be any different in a rifle.
The whole point of a wide meplat hard cast is to get maximum penetration in a straight line, its not designed for expansion.


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450
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Hunter4752001]
      #344799 - 05/09/20 07:33 PM


Hunter4752001. Hi hunter. I wonder if hand gun bullets are cast as hard as rifle bullets. I am not after expansion, just better lethality from a cast bullet. I have had cast bullets put a 44 or 45 calibre hole in and same size exiting. I was hoping to improve on the exit hole. I understand where you are coming from and appreciate your input. In the USA there are ammunition manufacturers that load 45-70 ammo with 400 grn hard cast projectiles with very large metplats and what I have read, they perform very well and are considered a big bear stoppers in Alaska for guides. I will do some work and find out the name of the ammo.

I have used Black Widow cast bullets in the 45-70 and they are a good product, but they are sized to small to work in my rifle with the micro groove barrel. 2 out of 5 keyhole at any velocity.

--------------------
The worst days shooting and hunting is better than the best day at work


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Daryl_SModerator
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344805 - 06/09/20 02:07 AM

450, my own thoughts on cast bullet meplats run towards the .390" as being quite good (perhaps a bit larger than necessary for cavitation to happen, which is the reason for them. I see a flat meplat as necessary to prevent detonation in the magazine as well as to produce a more grievous wound.

That is what is needed in my opinion for large game when using bullets that are hard enough to shoot at higher speeds accurately. I would certainly call 1,700fps to 2,000fps are higher speeds.

I have heard .460" hard cast bullets shoot better in micro-groove barrels. Seems to me the late Paul Mathews used larger cast bullets in his micro-groove as a general practice and found the undersized bullets that were paper patched would obturate at lower speeds to shoot well with smokeless, but only with exceptionally fast burning smokeless like 4198.IIRC

I just checked the meplat on the Bullet Barn cast 450gr. bullets I have loaded up for my Pedersoli 1886/71 lever gun and they run .300". I see that as being sufficient for deer, elk and moose. Your .390" meplats are considerably larger than that. My velocities are also in the 1,850fps range with a bevel-based, hard cast bullet. I do not expect poor penetration, but actually shooting something with them will show that.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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eagle27
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Daryl_S]
      #344811 - 06/09/20 06:57 AM

The few 404J 400gr cast bullets I have bothered to dig out from a sand backstop at the range have shown some expansion. These are cast from Lyman #2 alloy and shot at 1800fps MV, down range distance 50m. Unless hitting big bone I wouldn't expect much expansion in an animal and the few deer and feral goats I have shot with the 404 have been pass throughs with no visible sign at exit of any great expansion. I've shoulder or head shot the animals with the 404J so pretty much died from organ trauma without expansion. Then again I've done the same thing on same game at close range with a 455 Webley revolver and cast 250gr bullets at a little over 600fps. The 455 bullets were round nose with a small flat meplat.

I think a hollow point would help with expansion in the 1800fps MV range.


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Rule303
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: eagle27]
      #344812 - 06/09/20 08:01 AM

Metplat size apparently does have a considerable bearing on effect in leathiality and penetration. Google, Michael of Oregon I think it is. he has done very extensive experimentation on this. His bullets -they are solids and jacketed - are shown to penetrate as good or better then the Woodleigh Hydros. He found, as well, that the metplat can be too big.

I just know from personnel use the flat nose 30-30 pills kill above their weight and noticed a wider metplat was more effective then the smaller metplats.

Interesting reading on peoples experience with cast bullets and having them expand.


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Hunter4752001
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Rule303]
      #344815 - 06/09/20 08:29 AM

450. Sizing was one of the reasons I suggested contacting John. He often has bullet moulds for producing non-standard diameters, but doesn't list them on the website. At the least it would be worth a call or email to see if he can do .459 or .460. If he doesn't have them, nothing lost.

As to hardness, that's where we come up against competing properties of the lead alloy. The alloy must be hard enough to take the rifling and to hold its shape when penetrating the target. At the same time it must be malleable enough to obturate in the bore. It must also hold together and not shatter on impact. Typically lead alloys for use in bullets are a mix of lead and tin. The tin gives the hardness. Too much tin creates a brittle bullet which will shatter on impact. An alloy that also contains 4-6% antimony can allow for a harder yet malleable bullet IF you also do a heat treating process. Trace amounts of arsenic can also help. But all of this involves getting into custom alloys, casting yourself and a lot more work.


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450
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Hunter4752001]
      #344821 - 06/09/20 05:25 PM


Daryl, your comments back up what my purpose was when I started looking at the Metplat on these cast bullets. .390 was just a diameter that the first one came out of the lathe at and cycled through the rifle with out a problem. It has to be reliable and accurate and hold together. I cant get to test them at the moment as we in stage 4 lockdown with this covid Virus and it looks like we are going. I have also gas checked to help them stabelize through the Micro groove barrel.

Hunter4752001 I will give John a try. I would like to get some at .460 or .461 to test for accuracy. We will see how they go.

--------------------
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Daryl_SModerator
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344830 - 07/09/20 05:45 AM

450 - IF they shoot accurately, I would use them.
Too, a .275" meplat is not that terribly small to be ineffective and does help the BC considerably, compared to the larger, .390".
That said, the .30/30 and .35 Remington Flat noses have considerably harder SLAP than-do the same weight pointed soft noses,
even at a couple hundred fps higher speeds. Their meplats are very small, in comparison, yet are still effective.
With a non-expanding bullet of course, the larger meplat the better.

I just did a search and found this - quite interesting.
https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/The+Effects+Of+The+Meplat+On+Terminal+Ballistics.html

"As most will guess, the shape of the meplat (tip) has a great effect on external ballistics (how the projectile flies through the air). The shape can also have an effect on terminal ballistics and performance with regard to projectile energy transfer on game, projectile expansion and stress to the projectile during this rapid change in medium. Put simply, a wide flat meplat projectile has far greater potential to transfer its energy immediately upon impact than a sleek pointed projectile when bullet construction of both designs is equal."

In thinking this over, I recall a slightly louder SLAP of a blunt (round nosed) bullet striking moose, than the more pointed soft point spitzers - same and different calibres as well. Of course, that is subjective to conditions, but the 'feeling' of larger/heavier (being noticeable) impact sound, was there.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Rhodes
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Daryl_S]
      #344839 - 07/09/20 03:07 PM

450

Have you tried reading Paco Kelly's articles. He had some interesting results with cast bullets in big bore lever guns.


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450
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Rhodes]
      #344852 - 07/09/20 04:58 PM


Darryl s, that link was a very interesting read. I don't think I have to worry about effecting external ballistics much as 150 yards will be a long shot. I also believe that there is more more impact sound with the flat nose projectiles. I have notice this when using the 44 mag with flat nosed cast projectiles on pigs.

Rhodes, I have not seen Paco Kelly's article but I will be looking it up. Thanks for that. All I need is a chance to get out and test them, they are loaded and ready to go.

--------------------
The worst days shooting and hunting is better than the best day at work


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Rhodes
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344877 - 08/09/20 06:16 AM

Here is a site with a few of his articles that may be of interest to you.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/Default.htm

from memory he liked hard cast bullets and would anneal the nose to soften them for better expansion on impact.


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450
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: Rhodes]
      #344882 - 08/09/20 12:32 PM


Thanks for That Rhodes. I found his site on the web and then just read some of the Leverguns articles. Excellent reading. The ammo I was talking about with the very hard cast 405 grain projectiles is made by Grizzley. They use Cast Precision projectiles with BH of 18-21 which is very hard with a large metplat. Velocity is advertised as 2050 fps. From an 18.5 inch barrelled Marlin Guide Gun they acheived and ave velocity of 1933 Fps and 3357 Ft pounds of energy. Normal hard cast projectiles are generally BH 16. In some of the Utube articles firing the Grizzley load, they are still trying to recover a projectiles. Interesting watch.

--------------------
The worst days shooting and hunting is better than the best day at work


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Daryl_SModerator
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Re: How important is a metplat on cast bullets for hunting [Re: 450]
      #344895 - 09/09/20 02:28 AM

18-21 brinel bullets are VERY hard. That makes me think they might be hardened, then tempered, even though with some alloys, like linotype at 21 brinel and monotype at 24 brinel are available, or were at one time.
Those harder "type" alloys tend to be brittle though, while an alloy crimp-on WW bullet can be hardened all the way up to about BH 34. They can then be tempered back down to whatever hardness you wish, through heating and cooling.
A ductile bullet of brinel 18 would to 21 would indeed be fairly non-deforming and give very deep penetration.
The larger the bullet diameter, the softer it can be at higher speeds. Thus, a brinel 18 .45 cal. bullet can be driven faster than a .30 cal. bullet of the same brinel.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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