View Full Version : .458 hog, bear bullet

March 14, 2001, 08:06 AM
I am looking for suggestions on a semi or fully-jacketed bullet in the 300-360 grain range, for use on deer, hog, and black bear. This will be fired from an 18" bl .45-70. Some expansion is okay, but deep penetration (for those big hogs) is vital. Round will be loaded fairly hot, but not max. Expected usage would be out to 140 yards or so.

Since my discretionary budget is a bit strained (all those new gun projects, don't ya know :)), cheaper is better.

Thanks in advance!

[Edited by Spectre on 03-14-2001 at 09:53 AM]

Al Thompson
March 14, 2001, 09:50 AM
What cartridge are you going to use? I have good luck with my .458 Win Mag using 400 grain X bullets. I "think" there is a 350 and a 300 grain X bullet if you rifle will shoot them well. For a conventional bullet, Speer makes a 350 grain Hot-Cor that looks good.

A good friend killed a bison with a .45-70 using Remington 405s. Not much expansion, but good penetration. (14 - 18 inches)


March 14, 2001, 09:56 AM
Sorry, cartridge is .45-70, fired from 1895G. :)

I want a lot of penetration, but would still like something fairly flat, at least at short ranges.

March 14, 2001, 10:41 AM
Are you going to handload finally?

What about a hardcast LBT bullet?
Some links for bullet molds or already cast bullets:

Also you might get more feedback on 45-70 loads by talking to Paco or the other guys over at sixguns.com
Some of the guys there would probably cast bullets for you for a modest price.

Or are you looking for jacketed bullets only?

March 14, 2001, 12:36 PM
I think I'd prefer jacketed bullets, but Spartacus says that the melting point of copper isn't that high, so he might make an all-copper bullet.

Keith Rogan
March 14, 2001, 01:40 PM
I'm not sure why you want to use a jacketed bullet? The .45/70 is really at its best with hard cast bullets with large meplats. There's a couple of reasons for this - first and foremost, most of these rifles are made with cut (Ballard?) rifling that will give you far better accuracy with cast bullets.
Secondly, the velocities of the cartridge are not such that expension is a sure thing - you're much better off with a large flat-nosed cast bullet than a hollow-point that doesn't open.
The earliest version of the Guide Gun had their polygonal rifling designed for jacketed bullets but they soon realized their mistake and discontinued that. I don't think there's many of those rifles out there but if that is what you have, I'd look for a round in a traditional soft-point, with a large blunt face.

Also, although you probably don't need it on hogs, this caliber is at its best with the heaviest weights - the damage and penetration from a 500 grain round is an awesome thing to behold and at the ranges you are talking about (-140 yards), that extra weight will not change your trajectory enough to matter.

March 14, 2001, 02:08 PM
Thanks, Keith.

I was a bit worried about leading in the barrel, but I guess that's not an issue? Any particular brands you'd like to recommend?

Paul B.
March 14, 2001, 03:22 PM
Keith has it pretty well down here on the skinny. A 500 gr. bullet at 1550 FPS is a very good killer, on both ends.
I would think that a 400 gr. bullet cast from wheel weight metal should work very well at about 17-1800 FPS. RCBS makes such a mold. My 400 gr. bullet mold has too long a nose to be used in the lever actions, as does my current 500 gr. mold. I did load the 500 gr. bullet into a 45-70 Marlin by deep seating it, but the crimp was God-awfully deep to reach the nose. Velocity was 1550 FPS. I loaned the rifle to a buddy that went elk hunting in black timber. Shot an elk up the rear end and the bullet stopped, leaving a bulge in the skin at the chest. Bull elk stopped immediately, if not sooner. Very little meat damage. Bullet was made from wheel weights. I'm not sure who makes a 350 gr. cast bullet mold, but that should be more than sufficient for use on deer and hogs in a 45-70. A good bullet is Lyman's #457122, a 330 gr. hollow point. Would work fine on everything but hogs, and might even work fine on them. That is the most accurate bullet in my Marlin.
Randy garrett makes a hot cast bullet load for the 45-70. from what I've heard, they work real good, but they ain't cheap.
Paul B.

March 14, 2001, 04:04 PM
Thanks for the info, Paul. If- should I say when ;)- I hunt Cape Buff, I plan on using Garrett's ammo. Unfortunately, I can't afford enough of it to practice with at this point, and Spartacus and I want to shoot enough to get the most from this cartridge and platform (Marlin 1895G).

Keith Rogan
March 14, 2001, 05:56 PM
Yeah, what Paul said!<G>.

I can't really brief you much on factory ammo, because I reload my own. I keep some Garrett's around for bear protection, but agree they are too spendy for every day use.

If you're buying factory rolled, I'd just say to look for the cast bullet with the biggest, bluntest face and greatest weight. The standard factory weight is the 405 grainer and that should do on very well on hogs indeed. The leading will not be a problem at .45/70 velocities - especially in the heavier weights.

If you're going to roll your own then the absolute best cast bullets you can buy are the LBT "truncated cone" style as mentioned above. The noses on these are not as big as Garretts, but they approach that.
LBT was out of business for a while, but I assume they're back as Paul referenced them.

March 14, 2001, 10:49 PM
Spectre: Check the cast performance link I posted, they cover the question of leading [or non leading with their bullets].

Rule of thumb for most jacked soft point bullets is ~2000 fps impact velocity to get some expansion.

I would pick the Nosler partition if you insist on a 300 grain jacketed bullet. You could always use a cheaper 300 jacket for most of your practice, the trajectories will be close enough not to matter with this cartridge.

March 15, 2001, 08:40 AM
Thanks again to everyone for the input.

GD, I used the GA Arms 300 grain SJHP on a li'l buck last year. I'm fairly sure the bullet expanded (even though probably doing about 1600 fps)- hit that guy on the shoulder, and the wound channel looked considerably larger than just .45".

March 15, 2001, 11:20 AM
Spec: I said jacketed soft points, HP's will mushroom more and at lower speeds. You said you were wanting "deep penetration". So I assumed you would use a soft point if you went jacketed, unless you used a partition or such.

I think a LBT bullet would be the best bet, if you want a "high" speed light bullet you might try a WFN style [Wide Flat Nose] LBT in the weight range you mentioned. Or as close to the WFN as would feed thru your marlin. Ross Seyfried uses a 300 grain .452" LBT WFN @ 1300 from his Bisley Vaquero...he says it has enough "slap" for coyotes and enough penetration for Elk. So a 360 or so grain .458 bullet of similar style @ 1800+ fps would probably work very well on bear & hogs.

Paul B.
March 16, 2001, 01:53 AM
As far as I know, LBT is still kaput. One of the bullet casting companies does make LBT style bullets as they have some of the LBT molds. RCBS makes three molds and maybe four, for the marlin rifles. I know there are 300, 400 and 500 gr. bullets, but I've heard rumors of a 350 gr. as well. I've thought about getting one of each, but just have not gotten around to it.
It's too bad about LBT, because I have one of their .44 cal. molds and it is the most accurate on my .44's.
Paul B.

March 16, 2001, 10:24 AM
As far as I know Veral Smith is still out of the business thanks to the IRS.

But Robert Applegate, Box 58, Yoncalla OR 97499 makes at least some of the LBT style molds.

March 16, 2001, 04:16 PM
Anyone ever used Myer's? They have a 350-grain FP cast bullet that looks good...