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Discussion Starter #1
Do any of you know of any bonded core handgun hunting bullets? I know the Gold-dot, from what I understand, is bonded in the sense that it is a plated lead bullet. Are there any bonded core hangun bullets available?

How do you think a bonded core, heavy for caliber, handgun bullet would perform? I'm curious if you think that penetration would be adequate, at handgun velocities, taking into account the huge diameter increase that such projectiles would be capable of.

I've personally seen some jacketed handgun bullets experience core separation, which some consider a plus. I don't consider it a plus, hence the question.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Sure... and don't think I'm being a smart-alec, but all the bullets that Beartooth sells! Core & jacket are the same.... bonded if you will. They won't separate, unless maybe the gas-check comes off, which is insignificant.

If bonded-core bullets are the 'next' big thing - and it's looking that way with new rifle bullets from Nosler & Hornady - then let's just go ahead and enjoy the advantages in handguns, with bullets we already have. Usually a little more velocity, accuracy as good or better, good predictable wound channels, and reliable penetration - frankly I'm surprised that people give up those qualities and go back to jacketed for handgun hunting!

Honestly, after using some hard cast in .357, .44, and .45, I'll never go back to jacketed for hunting. There is just no advantage whatsoever to jacketed for hunting w/handguns. Only thing that comes to mind is a gas-operated semi-auto like the Desert Eagle. Even then, if I chose to hunt with one, I'd do my practicing with jacketed bullets, and figure a few hard-cast hunting loads in the field would do no harm.

I have heard good things about the Gold Dot. I guess if Speer put a thick enough jacket on them to limit expansion and keep them from coming apart, then that would be a good thing.... and lead us right back to where we started.

Well this ought to be interesting....
 

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The way I look at it, Bonded Jacketed bullets are the best for med to large animals, they stay together and (Expand)on impact, hard cast does not, if you are hunting cape buffalo or something to that size and need deep penetration, nothing compares to cast for penetration as far as I am concerned, I think Bonded jacket bullets are much better for most deer like animals ,thin skinned, I don't want the bullet to zip through with no expansion, I want the bullet to expand when it hits the animal and stay together and drive through making a good wound channel, In tern Bonded bullets are better on Deer like animals and black bears, till you get to the really big animals=browns/buffalo/water buffalo/moose etc...this is where cast shines through, The bullet has great penetration for large animals, I think to many people get confused on what type of bullet to use on what type of animal, bottom line bullet selection is very important, I have used Hornady XTP's/SST's/Interbond/Interlock / Speers Golddots/Noslers Partitions HP's and they all have no problem with separation of the jacket from the lead, I have shot various animals with these bullets, deer/bear/boars/Moose and they all performed great with no separation at all,but with great expansion over all,of course shot placement is no#1
Now I understand even 10 years ago bullets where not what they are in today standards, we have come a long way in the design of bullets. Testing both types of bullets for accuracy, I have always got better accuracy from Jacketed bullets, cast is just not as accurate as jacketed ammo, I think its barring to the surface of the rifling is different, Plus take a jacketed bullet and look at it closely, Its perfect for the most part, no ruff edges or imperfections, now take a look at various Cast bullets, there is all kinds of imperfections, this tells the story. Just my thoughts. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I think that there is a misconception, fueled by the hunting/shooting magazines, that bullet expansion (say 1.5x or 2x or whatever plus certain % of weight retention) is necessary or your animal just walks away like nothing happened. Now this makes good ad copy and makes the writer look like a real genuis, till you discover for yourself that the truth is seldom black and white as presented.

Good wound channel? - I gotta ask, not trying to be mean or a jerk, have you looked at the wound channel from a WFN or LFN in .40 cal or greater? I know it is hard to believe but lack of expansion does not mean lack of wound channel. It's all in the nose shape. Until you see the destruction it's just hard to believe it's possible, given the information we have been fed for the last few decades (or longer).

Frankly I had my doubts as welll, tried the cast handgun bullet on faith, and when the knife comes out, the truth is revealed.

I've been intending to take some photos of wound channels and post them after busting something with a handgun & the Beartooth bullets, now I guess I need to get this project on the front burner, and see if this is useful information for the forum.

It's ironic that the 'nose shape' of an expanded bullet usually looks like a round nose, which we know tends to produce the poorest wound channel of all (compared to other nose shapes at the same diameter/impact velocity, etc.). The reason it works at all is that the diameter of the new 'nose' can be several times the diameter that the bullet started at. So, our plan is to take a marginal shape for wounding, increase it to the point that it actually starts to help, and in the meantime the increase in diameter limits our bullet penetration. Hmmmm.......

Now.... we clearly need expansion on the small rifle calibers, but then they have the speed to make all of this work. I'm referring strictly to handgun velocities (say 1200-1500fps).

Another thing, I don't think that % of retained weight means all that much, but it gets a lot of press. Now my favorite cast bullets don't lose much if any weight, but my favorite rifle bullets do and I think that is OK. Partitions blow the nose core up generally, but those pieces are going somewhere and doing something. Last pig I shot, nice broadside through the ribs, the exit hole through the far ribs had bits of lead and jacket stuck in it, in a pattern several inches across. Those pieces of the nose core were making plenty of extra holes through the lungs, which in this case was a great thing.

Anyway... I will not dispute the contention that JHPs in the .44 mag and such are just fine for deer. They certainly are, our little south and central Texas deer might tip the scales at a hundred pounds dripping wet. But..... I do not see how they are more effective than the proper cast bullet - dead is dead! A deer might drop in the spot, it might run 100 yards, and for the most part this isn't predictable, no matter what the caliber, rifle, handgun, or bow. The last deer I 'knew' would drop in it's tracks was one I shot in the head with a .22-250, and that's hardly a typical hunting scenario.

Anyway I've stated in the past, the number 1 reason I just the cast bullet in handguns isn't for the little deer around here, I just want to be ready when Mr. Pig shows up. Since the cast bullet is every bit as effective as the jacketed, in my experience, I'll go with what works for every situation.

Well anyway like I said, not trying to start any fights, just want to expand (ha ha) my thoughts on the subject.

If you have all the confidence in the world that one bullet style is for you and that the others won't work as well, then by all means stick with what makes you happy. There is nothing that will drop your success in the field more than wondering about the outcome when you are squeezing the trigger.
 

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Mike its interesting you said that about taking pictures of wound channels, well I do it all the time, and butcher my own meat, This is why I know how these bullets I spoke of work, the trick is to use them and inspect the wound channel of the bullets affects to the animal, here is a picture of a wound channel of a 280 German boar shot 03/11/03, shot bye a 450 Marlin Guidegun at 45 yards, I used a 350gr Hornady Interlock bullet on top of 50gr of H4198, CCI Mag Primers. The shot was lowerneck upper shoulder. Very good wound channel, it went in like a .458 but came out like a silver dollar. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Yes, that is outstanding performance, I am going to have to try some of those in my .458, based on what you reported. Thanks for sharing. That is one of the great strengths of this forum, the ability to get first-hand information from people who are not paid to write about products for a living.

Wish I had some pictures of WFN wound channels that I have seen through deer & hogs!
 

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Rmouleart

"A pic is worth a thousand words."

Nice photo

I'd like to see some more, and I think that my digital camera has a new job. Thanks for the post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Jeez,
I didn't mean to start a war. :) The reason that I ask is that I will be ordering my new Corbin swaging dies and press in the next month. I'm tired of not being able to produce bullets during the winter here, as I cast in the outdoors or garage with the door open and a fan right behind the Pro-Melt.

I fully understand the virtues of the cast bullet, I've been making and using them for half my years. I'll admit that my years are not that many, but 15 years is 15 years. I'm looking to get into swaging for the versatility it offers.

That said, do you think a bonded core/thin jacket handgun bullet will perform well on antelope to caribou sized game at handgun ranges? I'll be making them "heavy for caliber" to promote penetration. I'll be testing them of course, but I'm looking for some opinions.
 

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This is not a war;) We all share our findings, so this way we can cut out the Bull crap that the publishers of the corps put out to build up there sales...We tell it the way it is on the forum, not trying to sell anything, just share info and learn, This cuts out waisting money and time, instead we get a heads up first hand, I have been rolling my own for 25 years and still learning all the time, just have to keep you ears tuned and be on beartooth forums to converse;) Aim small hit small. RAMbo.

P.S. this is a Hornady SST with a nice mushroom after a pass through.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well I wondered what you were doing with jacketed bullets! Was pretty sure you knew better... ha ha ha.

Anyway, seems like it should work. If the cores are hard enough then it should not matter if you have a jacket or not.

But..... to bond the cores, you need to melt them in the jackets with some flux. So, how is this going to work with the swaging press?

Here's another idea, just run the core/jacket backwards through the press. ('Backwards'... hmmm... where I have heard that before.... ?) So you end up with a full-metal-jacket & exposed lead base. With the right nose profile these should be great for hunting, and bonding shouldn't be needed. Cores could be soft too for easier swaging. Don't know if you can WFN or LFN profiles with the cor-bin dies, though.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Are you limited by how hard the bullets can be? Any idea what BNH you can go up to?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That would all depend on which press and dies you decided to purchase. The harder the material, the beefier dies and press are required, the higher the price. No real need in my case because I can make the bullets heavy enough not to exceed 12-1400fps with a base guard and a pure lead bullet.
 
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