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Howdy guys, This might be a little premature of a question to ask at this stage of the process for me.Im starting to look at reload equipment. When I start buying the bullets there is plated, hard cast and full jacketed.Im looking around for info on advantages and disadvantages of these types of bullets.I probally should ask my after market barrel maker what is recommended and what works best in the 14 inch .44 mag barrel. I been seeing terms tossed around like sectional density and large meplat; never heard of that before. Which is worse for the barrel; lead fowling or copper fowling?Will cast bullets create a bigger wound channel than a jacketed bullet? Im sure the loads would have to be kept mild if using lead. Confused newbie, thanks again for the help. Steve
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What are you going to use them for?
 

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I love shooting the hard cast 240 grain bullets.
The gunsmith making the barrel may answer thinking of something other than what's important to you, so make sure he tells you why he likes what he likes.
The cast bullets shoot well, kill well and are a lot cheaper to shoot.
You are starting with a bullet that's .429 inch, so it's as large as some rifle bullets get when they make a perfect mushroom, so I wouldn't worry about that part.
I have shot thousands of cast bullets in my wheel gun but haven't killed any game with it. have shot a ton of lead bullets through the 444 though, and killed both bear and deer with it. The .429 bullet will knock the piss out of them!!
 

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Twist rate would also be a factor, if you prefer lighter bullets then you may want a slower twist rate and heavier bullets may require a faster twist to stablize. Jacketed hollow points require a certain velocity for proper expansion (speed will depend on the intended use of the bullet).
Jacketed bullets are the most expensive followed by plated bullets and last cast. There are two types of lead bullets swaged and cast. Swaged bullets are generally cheap, soft bullets for velocities under 900 fps. Cast bullets can be at several hardness levels and a gas check added to the base for high velocity use and to protect the softer base from being deformed by hot gases. Jacketed bullets are used for the highest velocity and are the hardest bullets. Plated lead bullets fall in between. As a rule the heavier and faster you can push a bullet the deeper it will penetrate.
Meplat is the diameter of the nose of the bullet. The larger (more blunt) area is to destroy more surface area in the target. This will also slow the bullet down more, limiting penetration. A wadcutter bullet is frontal area is the same as the bullets diameter. However, they are not long range bullets as the lose velocity quickly and drop quicker than a more aerodymatic bullet that will retain flatter trajory and penetration.

CD

CD
 

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i like the Lyman 429640. In either hollow point or flat point. I made the flat point pin for my mold and it cast a 280 grain bullet, checked and lubed. I shot a buck this winter with the flat point at about 45 yards running straight at me and the bullet went through the deer length wise. The bullet did not hit the heart, but it left a bruise on the heart that was bigger than a silver dollar. One lung was jelly and the liver was pretty much split in half. I am a firm believer in cast bullets now, and I have only been making them and using them for 2 years. A few years ago I shot a doe with my 460 at 100 yards, with the 240 grain xtp mag bullet. The bullet hit right in the boiler room went through and did expand, same size hole going in as going out. Jacketed bullets don't always expand like they are suppose too.
 

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Steve,

In a nutshell, the conventional copper-jacketed hollow point bullets, such as the Hornady XTP line, will be the easiest compromise when it comes to loading your own ammunition. The hard cast bullets, with gas checks, perform very well and cost less, especially if you cast your own. However, they are definitely a little more work at the reloading bench and with the 1600fps velocity range you should get from that cartridge/barrel combination, you'll almost certainly see some leading. If you are not averse to doing a little work to keep your gun clean, neither option will present much of a problem.

I have always shot the commercial cup n' core type bullets, but with the way the cost has been going up on copper, I'm taking a closer look at either buying or casting my own. Then again, I don't put a lot of rounds through either my 44/40, or 44 Mag, so I don't know that I would really be saving all that much money. Given the accuracy and performance I've gotten from jacketed bullets, I will probably avoid the problems associated with the cast, unless prices go up even more.

As for XTP bullets not expanding, below is a picture of the 200gr slug taken from the doe my daughter killed last fall. The shot was at 70 yards with a 44/40 and a muzzle velocity of ~1525. The slug entered just forward of the right hip (gut shot) and came to rest under the skin just behind the left shoulder, after breaking a rib. The liver damage was substantial and the expanded frontal area was just over .600". I think most would agree the bullet performed well.

Jason
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Cast bullets work great in the .44 mag for deer and hog hunting. Make sure they have a flat nose (meplat); "wider is better" as the commercials used to say. Bullets need to be hard enough to be pushed at full magnum velocities if you choose to load to the top end. A gas checked bullet will be more forgiving.

Check out any of the Beartooth offerings. Tab at the top of the page. Good luck!
 

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Cast bullets are easier on your barrel. Veral Smith revolutionized hard-cast bullets for hunting when he created Lead Bullet Technolgy ("LBT") which is the style of most of most of the bullets sold by by the owner of this site - Beartooth Bullets. The idea is a wide/flat "meplat" (nose) that crushes its way through the target and does not expand. You get awesome penetration with devestating results especially with "pre-expanded" large caliber bullets like the .44 mag. When LBT bullets first came out hunters were claiming that "hot" LBT handgun bullets in the .44 mag/.45 Colt range would kill on a par with .300 mag rifle. It started a debate and the high velocity expanding bullet crowd could or would not believe it. Same principle as large solids on dangerous game in Africa except with a big flat nose. Since then, the LBT bullet has proved itself without a doubt. You can shoot highest power loads in your .44 mag with gas checks and not lead-up your barrel. Even without gas checks you could shoot up to around 1,200 fps. So let's say you got some 325 grain Wide Long Nose (WLN) gas checked hard-cast bullets from Beartooth Bullets and drove them to 1,600 fps with "only" 1,700 foot pounds of "energy" you could shoot through any game animal on earth broadside and shoot end to end on a large bear. Penetration would be up to six feet. A .300 mag, or just about any expanding rifle caliber, even a .375 H&H or greater with 3,000 or 4,000 foot pounds of "energy" would provide much less penetration probably about half if the bullet expands as designed. Even at 1,200 fps your 325 grain LBT WLN will shoot through just about any critter you will ever find. I love LBT hard-cast bullets and the Beartooth bullets are as good as or better than any you can find anywhere. You can even buy LBT molds from the man, Veral Smith, and cast your own.
 
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