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Beartooth Regular
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2,146 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
     I'm new to this board and fairly new to cast-bullet shooting in a rifle. I've only tried thirty caliber so far (I don't have a bigger bore rifle) and I was wondering if this is a big enough bullet to use on deer. The design I'm using is a 170 gr flat nose at 1700-1800 fps. Any input is appreciated!! Thanks!
 

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Beartooth Regular
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1,116 Posts
Welcome to the board! I'm certain you will find a great deal of useful information from the many good folk who frequent this site. I personally think it is the best of its type anywhere on the Web.

Getting to your question, yes a moderately-soft cast 170 FN at the stated velocity will be a good deer load.
You can expect full penetration of the chest cavity with broadside shots under 100-125 yards. For greatest terminal effect, choose a design with the largest meplat
(nose flat) you can find. Use a gas check design and an alloy of about 15-18 BHN. That will allow for some expansion if only soft tissue is hit.  
 

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Super Moderator
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Excellent counsel from Mr. Lester!  Meplat is crucial to wound channel if bullet expansion is marginal, and a bullet of BHN 15-18 would be ideal in your application, allowing good terminal performance in terms of expansion and yet not be so rapid or wide as to adversely hinder penetration.   Also consider a heat treated bullet of BHN 19-21 with an anealled nose of BHN 10-12.   It will allow the same type of expansion of your .30 caliber bullet, but over a greater threshold of impact velocities, yet limit the extent of the expansion by having the hard shank of the bullet, thus only expanding to that point, thereby limiting the frontal expanded diameter, and facilitating efficient penetration at the same time.   Instructions for this can be found on the tips pages on this site.

<span style='color:blue'>Soft-Nosed Beartooth Bullets?</span>

We think of the 1700-1800 fps velocities you mention, and immediately most think of an underpowered load for big game... but, just remember that a number of cartridges that were considered great game harvesters operated in just such a velocity range, or lower, the .303 Savage is a good example of a well respected round in its heyday that had almost exactly these ballistic characteristics as you describe.   Yes, your 170 grain bullet, if alloyed properly will make superb venison harvesting medicine!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies! I can see I have a lot to learn about cast bullets...  I was just happy to finally get them shooting accurately!!! (The gas checks made the difference in this case) I have been reading different parts of the sight and learning a great deal.  The bullets I have are very hard, I will experiment with some softer ones next. Thanks again!  
 

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IDShooter,

Marshall didn't mention it, but get Beartooths Tech Manual to get up to speed real quick on cast. It won't substitute for experience but it'll help a bunch. It's a very good book.

BTW, some of the gents on this board have an incredible wealth of experience with cast, and some (like me) have virtually none, so everyone is represented. Many of us come to cast from jacketed bullets and are babes in the woods.
 
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