View Full Version : Hard Cast Hunting Pistol Bullets.

July 21, 2010, 09:45 PM
We've all seen the term, now that I'm casting I'd like a definition, or better yet, a recipe. For general purpose pistol ammo I understand WW will do. Target boolits for my BPCR seem to want to be 20-1 or Lyman #2. Venturino seems to think BPCR hunting bullets should be 30-1 or thereabouts but I'm wondering what I should cast my 255 grain Keith-style 45 Colt bullets from (Lyman mould 452424). I mostly hunt hogs and deer, backup when hunting hogs is a 4 5/8" Blackhawk. Seems to like XTP bullets but that would be so wrong when hunting with a BPCR.

July 21, 2010, 10:05 PM
I have never purchased "hardcast" bullets, but I would assume that their BHN would be higher. Higher BHN would deform less upon impact thus having the ability to go through tough tissue/bone and cause more trauma. I personally have found that WWs work fine for me both hunting and plinking.

Now, for cast HPs, it is all about trial and error. Alloy must be matched to velocity for cast hp's to perform as they should. Lower velocity rounds need a softer alloy and vice versa. Duh, right?

For me, a 315 grn gas checked flat point made of water dropped WW's moving at 1800 FPS outta my 454 casull does the trick...on just about anything. It deforms very little and would probably go thru an engine block! :D

July 21, 2010, 10:21 PM
I wonder if hardcast is an overrated and possibly unnecessary concept for hunting bullets. A hunting bullet needs to be accurate, an accurate bullet needs to obturate and seal the bore. A too-hard bullet could be inaccurate and may even lead more. A softer bullet that expands transfers more energy than a similar "hard cast" one at a similar velocity one that doesn't expand and blows on thru.
I'm thinking WW's may be fine for my 900 fps hunting loads. I'm thinking I should start with them, see how they shoot.

July 22, 2010, 07:33 AM
I think you are correct. Most people think that the harder the bulet is, the better it is. NOT TRUE! I agree that using ww's, air-cooled, for a 900 fps load would work just fine. I actually prefer blow thru when hunting. 2 holes makes 'em bleed out faster.

July 22, 2010, 08:33 AM
Never killed anything but paper with mine, but I have shot a lot of Keith style hard cast from my Redhawk .44 mag. They were quite a bit harder than wheel weights and never leaded my barrel. I like that.
They cam from Oliver bullets, an Arkansas company. Unfortunately, Mr. Oliver died and the company closed. I still have a small supply of bullets waiting reloading.
Ole Elmer Keith claimed the SWC style was a very effective killer.

July 22, 2010, 08:44 AM
"Hard Ball" is a very good chice for casting - It is often referred the as a modern version of Lymans # 2 - 92% lead 2% tin and 6% antimony.
At 16 BHN it is hard yet ductile and will penetrate and not shatter.
Lymans # 2 is 90% 5% and 5% and 15 BHN
Depending on what you are hunting, you would want a very hard alloy - like dangerous game so a couple companies offer heat treated bullets that are 21 to 22 BHN like Beartooth Bullets. I believe the Oregon Trails Laser Cast are around 20 BHN. The alloy use by Garret Cartridge is very hard for this very reason and is used on dangerous game like Brown Bears, Cape Buffalo etc.
This article explains much http://www.lasc.us/SuperHard.htm

July 22, 2010, 09:51 AM
I load Keith's 358429 cast from wheel weights in .38 cases with a bunch of 2400 under it. Shooting it out of my mdl.-60 with barami grips I'm guessing 2300, 2800 fps (I gotta get me a shooting glove). OK, maybe 1100fps and the 2400 leaves a lot more behind than the wheel weights do.

July 22, 2010, 08:00 PM
I have some store-bought SWC HC bullets, accuracy not impressive. I too like an exit but I want some expansion on the way thru. Guess I'm being greedy, a .45 makes a pretty big hole.;) Store bought cast bullets are why I cast my own these days. Guess I'll do hardness tests on them and melt them down into something I can use.