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Old October 2, 2012, 06:53 PM   #1
Mike / Tx
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Cast - VS - Jacketed

I had the itch to try out one of my MP 640 LG HP's up against several of the top brands and recommended self defense rounds out of my 45 ACP. What I had on hand were some factory loaded 230gr Gold Dot's, some 230gr Federal Hydra Shoks,and a handloaded Star 185gr which for all practical purposes resembles the old Speer Lawman 200gr Flyin Ashtray. My boolit weighed in at 255grs and was cast from about 2# of Iso Core alloy with about 3" of 95/5 solder thrown in. I loaded them atop of 5grs even of Salut. Can't say what the velocity was, as I didn't have time between showers to set up my chrony. Just a WAG based on the Laser Cast Manual load data I used, it was somewhere in the 725-750'ish FPS range.

I set up the same bucket of sandy loam which I had shot into the last trip up, and backed up 5 good steps, or about 5yds. Figuring this might be close to an indoor encounter at the house with a bad guy, I wanted to see how my cast HP stacked up against the so called best on the market.

I fired each shot into a separate area of the bucket so as to not have any collisions or to have softer dirt on one shot verses the other. The bucket was tamped down before shooting, by raising by the handle and dropping on it's bottom from about 6-8", so the dirt was slightly packed.

After firing all four rounds I set the bucket gently on the tailgate where the grandsons and I slowly removed the dirt using a wide paint scraper so as to be able to keep the surface of the remaining dirt as flat as possible to measure the depth of penetration.

The first we came to was my cast HP which had an overall depth of 8.5", followed closely by the factory loaded Gold Dot which attained an depth of 8.75"

We gently scraped until we came to the next which was the handloaded 185gr Star JHP which had reached a depth of 9.25", and was exceeded only slightly by the Federal Hydra Shok at 9.75"

So the Hydra Shok won in the penetration dept by 1.25" over my own cast HP, and only slightly edged out the others. What surprised me however, was that none, of the jacketed HP expanded over their original diameter. In every one of them the nose was plugged with the plastic lid material, including the cast, however the cast DID expand to .710" from the initial nose diameter of around .325".

So while my boolit might not have bested the best in penetration, it surely did in expansion even WITH a big chunk of bucket lid squashed squarely into the middle of it. While I would SO VERY MUCH HATE to ever have to do so, I do feel that after this, plus other very similar test, if I were faced with the situation of having to use that particular handgun for defense of my life, I can rest assured that the cast load I shot this past weekend would surely dissuade any BG from wanting to pursue further intentions upon myself or my family.



( L-R; 230gr Gold Dot, 230gr Hydra Shok, 185gr Star JHP, 255gr MP 452 640 LGHP )



As I mentioned above, if you believe the advertising, these are the most recommended factory loads. I have no doubt that their history shows they ARE reliable, as I have used the GD for years with no issues in my 10mm in the 180gr version. The Hydra Shok is used by plenty of LE in their carry weapons for a good reason, they DO usually work, and work well. While my boolit surely doesn't qualify as anything near perfect I do believe that I will look into having at least a couple in the clip from now on.

This said, I have found that on numerous occasions the same results as above while testing one against something else. The media as well as the initial material contacted has a great deal to do with how they respond. I simply did not figure on the dismal results I got when shooting them up against my own cast when it did what I had hoped they all would do.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:20 PM   #2
chris in va
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I think this is why manufacturers are moving to a polymer tip design to initiate expansion, such as Critical Defense. Really these are just the normal XTP bullet filled with a special silicone and better copper/lead interlock.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:13 PM   #3
sidewindr
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Another good test would be to shoot them again only instead of having a plastic lid for the bullets to go through first, have several layers of cloth or jacket. It will test if the hp's plug up with a BG's clothing, and how that effects performance, unless the guy is wearing a pail as clothing

I have a NOE 230gr hp mold coming shortly and will be doing my own testing of that bullet plus my alloying abilities.

Is your cast alloy that 97-1.5-1.5 (IIRC) from previous testing?
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:26 PM   #4
jmortimer
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I assume you are over at Cast Boolits as well. The expanding cast bullets pics posted over there are fantastic, just like your cast bullet.
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Old October 6, 2012, 03:20 AM   #5
Rangefinder
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Yup--I know exactly what you mean. I'd trust my cast HP's over factory jacketed any day. This is my .40S&W fired into shredded newsprint "mush" (my technical name for a jug full of water-soaked newspaper, similar to a wet-pack).

I don't remember the specifics on penetration depth, but Gold Dot and Hydro-Shok didn't expand for schtick compared to these...

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Old October 6, 2012, 09:17 AM   #6
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
Another good test would be to shoot them again only instead of having a plastic lid for the bullets to go through first, have several layers of cloth or jacket. It will test if the hp's plug up with a BG's clothing, and how that effects performance, unless the guy is wearing a pail as clothing

I have a NOE 230gr hp mold coming shortly and will be doing my own testing of that bullet plus my alloying abilities.

Is your cast alloy that 97-1.5-1.5 (IIRC) from previous testing?
Yep I have thought of using the denim and such, but I usually don't think of it when I am heading to the country to do some shooting. Most of my loads are simply hunting loads, this one is the exception. I was actually more curious as to how the bullet would function through my 1911 than anything as compared to the others. Well it has passed the function test with colors. As for the BG, your probably right not too many of them with a plastic bucket lid under their shirts. This said, I have fired the others into plenty of different mediums and found similar results in different calibers. This by no means determines that they won't stop a BG, but after knowing what they do it don't leave me with a fuzzy feeling about them either.

NOE builds a great mold and I doubt you will be disappointed in it what so ever. As for your alloy, if you haven't done so already I highly suggest you download the spreadsheet calculator from CB's to help you plan it out. It might not be exact, but if hits VERY close to the final result when you use it. Much better than just a WAG on what your going to have when finished.


That particular bullet was actually straight Isotope core I had poured up a while back and not had a chance to shoot. This was simply a function test more than anything and I ended up throwing in the others just to see how they compared. I have since loaded up some of the 1.5/1.5/97 but haven't gotten a chance to try them out just yet in the 1911. I figure that they should be a touch more expanded, but after seeing how these did on penetration, I might not want more expansion.

Quote:
I assume you are over at Cast Boolits as well. The expanding cast bullets pics posted over there are fantastic, just like your cast bullet.
Yep I am over at CB's also. I posted up a pic or two from expansion testing I did with my 45 Colt just a few weeks ago. I only had two of these from that alloy that I loaded and brought with me figuring they would probably be a bit soft for the load I was running. I missed the bucket with the first and recovered the second, expanded all the way to within about 1/16' of an inch of the base.

I have since blended up some 1.75/1.75/96.5, or therabouts. I have the bullets poured up and sized but haven't had time to load and shoot any of them just yet. I am hopeful that I can hit something that will give me good expansion with the 45 Colt loads, as well as a touch more but not too much more with my 41 and 44 loads. Then I can simply blend up one alloy for them all and go on happily about my business. As long as I have an alloy which is easily repeatable I am set and not worried about running out anytime soon. These are for hunting feral hogs and I want some expansion to deliver a greater energy dump with some of the close ranged shots we make on them. I want to be sure when I drop the hammer on a charging boar at 3-5 steps it sets him back on his heals and don't just make him that much more mad. Been there done that, and am getting too old for fancy dancin and acrobatics.

I set out to get some "wetpack" but quickly found that I needed a source of paper. Since we do not receive the local paper and I am not spending money to pick up the big one for other reasons, I am at a loss for collecting it up into a pile big enough to even mess with. My hunting pardner and I both agreed that with the sand I'm using it's time for sure to put them on the hogs. I had 13 of them come out on me Thursday evening while I sat a bow stand up at the property. Problem was they were 250yds away at the closest they came, and no way for me to close the gap. I had my bow and my 45 Colt and was looking strictly for hogs, and I needed my 25-06 AI to reach out and touch them. It's only a matter of time though, and I will drop the hammer on the big sow leader of that pack or the 250'ish pound boar which is running the rest of the smaller boars into a scared little cluster.
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Old October 6, 2012, 01:17 PM   #7
dahermit
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Mike, have been enjoying your cast bullet posts. Envy your seemingly unlimited supply of Ferrel hogs in Texas. Here we have rumors (DNR insists that there are enough to cause problems and want them shot, but I have not seen any evidence yet.), of Ferrel hogs and I would like nothing more than the opportunity to pop one with a handgun/cast bullet to taste one.
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