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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone and Merry Christmas to start.
I need the definative answer on whether a cast bullet in a 358 Winchester can be a viable option in my new BLR for deer and elk out to 200yd ranges.
I have poured over past post in both this forum and others. I have worn Google out on this issue and can find nothing definative on whether this is a good idea. I do not cast my own but am looking to step into this new realm of reloading if it makes sense. I have looked at articles that talk about low velocity (bad trajectory I imagine) being the best you can hope for, about heat treating the bullets to soften the nose but I am not sure that under a .40+ cal there is enough meplat to make this work.
I would like the flexibility (and independence) of casting my own but I need to hear from folks if this is a practical alternative or would I be better served buying a premium jacketed round?
Thanks
 

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200 yards is a long way out.
We shoot the 200-grain RCBS gas check bullet in the 356, 358 Sav 99, 350 RM and 35 Whelen.
This bullet seems to be perfect for the 356 and 358.
A good hunting load is 44.0 grains of IMR 4064 which chronogrphs 2,150 fps from the 22” Savage.
The RCBS bullet has a BC of .243. If we sight in at 150-yards and assume a 8” target circle you have a point blank range of 192 yards- in theory.
At 200 yards you still have just over 1,000 fpe.
If I were looking at this I would ask Marshal what he has available. The LBT bullet is called for when you are considering stretching everything to the limit.
 

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I shot these groups off the back of my pickup bed from ~90 yards with a cast bullet (the flyers were probably my fault) :



Here are the loaded rounds:



I haven't tried shooting these at 200 yards. If that was my intent, I'm confident I could figure out where to hold to make them hit what I was aiming at.

I would probably elect to use the excellent Nosler 225 grain BT and my elk load if I was intending to use my .358 at that distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
nice groups

Trying to push cast seems to result in poor accuracy from what i have read but limits range. I guess the question i had may be answered in that department. I do not anticipate this being a caliber that would be shot in quantity so maybe i should develop a premium jacketed load at the 225g level and add 100 to 200 rounds per year to my inventory. Perhaps a Partition or Barnes TSX load.
Thanks for the perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I know that this makes absolutely no sense but **** i love the look of a cast bullet in a necked cartridge. It is like bullet porn for me. I wish i could make it work as a viable killer up to 200 yards or so. I had hoped the Saeco 352 would provide that kind of energy you need at extended ranges and some expansion to overcome the smaller meplat. Still holding out hope someone can contribute their experience with the heavier bullets.
 

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I would go with a 250 gr bullet, since you can still safely get 2150 fps with the heavier slug, and it will have more energy at any range.
 

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The problem I had with the big bullets is seating depth. The 280 grain Lyman 358009 seats the gas check below the shoulder. You will be using compressed loads with the big bullets so it does not matter. The big round nose Lyman bullet will penetrate into tomorrow but does not transffer much energy. 1,950 fps is possible from the 22" barrel using 42.0 grains of Winchester 748 - about all you can get in the case!

Well, I cannot attach pictures today so I'll try this;

Here are a few pictures - poor quality I’ll admit;

First a few 35 caliber bullet just to show the RCBS gas check bullet. Don’t over look the Hornady FTX bullet for use in the 358 Winchester. This is a good deer bulet and much larger game than deer have been taken with it.



The picture of the 350 Remington Magnum with the RCBS bullet reduced in size and paper patched is just to illustrate how versatile this bullet is. I have a picture of it in the 358 case but cannot find it at the moment.



Next is the wonderful Lyman 358009 bullet. This is an accurate bullet in the 350 Rem Mag, 35 Whelen and the 358 Winchester. This bullet, shot at low velocity is the only bullet to defeat our water trough and exit out the back after penetrating our safety stops. This fine bullet is easy to cast, easy to load for accuracy and has the penetration you may be looking for.



Last the dimensions of the RCBS bullet for figuring. With the limited case capacity of the 358 Winchester and you desire to shoot 200-yards at large animals I still believe you need to be looking at an LBT bullet if you want a cast bullet. I believe you may be better served with any one of several 225-grain jacketed bullet for shooting beyond 100-yards at heavy critters.

 

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I would go with a 180gr. or so cast bullet, with a bit of a tapered nose. I have been shooting the 180gr. "+p" handgun bullet from Beartooth Bullets for many years in my .35 Rem. That particular bullet has a the crimp groove in the right place for a .35 Rem and my loads run them upwards of 2,300fps with no issues. My suspicion is that the bullet will do well in the .358 depending on the throat length of your gun.

For a 200 yard bullet with no holdover, suspect you'll need to run them a bit faster, maybe 2,500fps. I doubt that will be a problem with the Beartooth offerings, the .35 Rem just runs out of powder capacity so I'll never know with my Marlin.

The lack of weight (compared to what you can run with jacketed bullets) is not a handicap because they don't slow down much going through the critters, yet the flat nose gives pretty amazing wound channels. I haven't been able to recover any at .35 Rem velocities (well, the velocities I'm getting anyway).

The RCBS 205 (?) grain cast bullet mold is a good one for those who would want to make their own bullets.

Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.
 

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I have loaded 185 gr BTB's have not done very much shooting with them. I intentionally loaded them a good bit slower than my 225 Nos Part's. They impact several inches lower than the 225's because of the velocity difference.
 

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And they recoil less, which may drop the point of impact. What powder were you using? I'd try bumping the velocity up a little at a time and see what sort of results you get.
 

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I need the definative answer on whether a cast bullet in a 358 Winchester can be a viable option in my new BLR for deer and elk out to 200yd ranges.
A "definative answer" might be hard to locate, but the .358 certainly has enough horsepower to shoot through an elk at 200yds with a good cast bullet. Even the heavier bullets could be driven fast enough so that a 200yd shot wouldn't need a range finder.

I can get 2200fps from the BTB 210's in my Whelen, with BL-C2. It happens to be the accuracy sweet spot in my 7600. At that level it's like a top end .35 Remington load.
 

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For a 200 yard bullet with no holdover, suspect you'll need to run them a bit faster, maybe 2,500fps. I doubt that will be a problem with the Beartooth offerings, the .35 Rem just runs out of powder capacity so I'll never know with my Marlin.
MiikeG, playing with the 210's in my 7600 Whelen this summer, I used a 3" high at 100yds to get a 4" low at 200yds. I was using a load that was a bit over 2200fps, which was where it shot the best groups in that rifle. Easily minute of elk out to 200yds with a lung shot hold. The same rifle shoots the 250's best at about the same velocity. For whatever reason.

I would imagine either would do the trick.
 

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That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
 

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I guess I'd have to ask why? I certainly understand shooting cast bullets for economy in high volume reloading and I also appreciate the challenge of trying to get one hole accuracy with home cast bullets. But to me, hunting with cast bullets seems more of a "stunt" than a practical idea. There is no doubt cast bullets have taken all sorts of game so there is no need to "prove it can be done" but there is also no doubt that a good jacketed bullet will prove at least as accurate and probably more reliable in terminal effect on game. My own .358 is most often loaded with the Speer 220 grain flat point loaded to about 2300 fps, which I find accurate and reliable. For game shooting I'll take proven performance over experimentation every time.
 

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I've killed antelope and elk with cast bullets. They are reliable killers if used within the range limitations of the cartridge. If I choose to hunt with cast bullets, I try to get within at least 100 yards; not that they won't kill beyond that range. It's just a distance at which I feel confident. The rifles I use (444 Marlin and 35 Remington) are at least as accurate with cast as with jacketed bullets.
 

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I guess I'd have to ask why?
Got a laugh outa' that one. :D

I use a lot of cast bullets for my handguns. Lower cost and easier on the hardware. I use cast bullets in my lever guns for the same reason. Over Trail Boss or Unique you can hardly work the lever fast enough to get the barrel hot. For my other rifles, I still carry a couple reduced load cast bullets for finishing rounds.

For hunts I wait all year for, usually travel many miles to get to, and anticipate a single shot at the right critter, I load up with a quality jacketed bullet. Premium bullets not so much, as I think they are at their best in extending the flexibility of a generalist round, like a .270/.30-06, for the one gun hunter. When I need more power, I use a bigger hole in the barrel and more powder.

But the cast guys seem to float their boat in different water. Until the EPA and the Democrats get their way, they will be slinging lead.
 

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Joe, I have to say I am astonished. There is nothing experimental about cast bullets for hunting.
Whether we are using hard alloy bullets (I refuse to use the term “hard cast”) for penetration. Softer alloy hollow points, two part soft nose, or very soft paper patch bullets all have their use in the hunting fields.
Jacketed bullets have their place and the performance from today’s jacketed bullets is astonishing when they are properly used. Cast bullets still have their place and the 35 Remington, 356 and 358 Winchester, 375 Winchester 38-55, 444 Marlin and 45-70 are examples of cartridge were the performance of cast bullets is equal to or superior to the results provided by jacketed bullets.
 

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Joe,

Cast bullets can work great and in some instances much better than jacketed. Give 'em a try...... ;)
 

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OK, educate me. I believe that to obtain accuracy at 358 Winchester velocities of 2300+ fps requires only the very hardest alloys, bullets which will certainly not expand and hold together but will sometimes shatter into bits and more often bore straight through like an FMJ. I have never doubted that cast bullets can be reliable killers in big calibers like .44 Mag and .45/70 where bullet expansion is really not required but I think .35 caliber is a bit small for reliable results with a non-expanding bullet. I am not a great tracker and I hate to lose a crippled animal so I prefer to stick with know reliable expanding bullets. I skimp by on a very limited budget but for the number of bullets I fire from a hunting rifle I can afford the best and I believe that in .358 Winchester that means a jacketed bullet. I do not believe experience with big bore low velocity loads translates at all into results with .358 Winchester full velocity loads.
 

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FWIW, "hard alloy" is not necessarily the answer. First of all, slug your bore, then obtain boolits .001-.002" over bore size. If you plan on buying boolits I suggest talking with Marshall at Beartooth, I imagine he will suggest the 200 or the 250gr for that cartridge. He turns out a darn good product. If you do cast, I would suggest the RD359190 if you can find one, it is a LNFP design. Based on my experience the wide meplat delivers as much or more shock effect and punches sufficient hole to make a good blood trail, which is a moot point when the boolit goes where it should. It is merely my humble opinion that these modern super performance bullets launched at hypervelocity are so much hype. Our forefathers brought home a lot of game before these super bullets were developed. Well, guess I've stepped on enough toes for one post, I'll shut up. Goat
 
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