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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland

I am looking for a Deer bullet ,we do not have bear or moose or any dangerous critters so penatration is not essential. Has any one ever tried the Lyman 250gn hollow point bullet on game such as or white tail deer ?
Also do you think this bullet would shoot well out of a .444p Marlin ? And at what sort of speed do you think they could be pushed to ?

Would value any opinions on this bullet and it use in .444

Best regards from across the pond

ENGLANDER.
 

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ENGLANDER,

I believe this will make a tremendous deer bullet in a .44 Magnum handgun but as a rifle projectile, and certainly in the much faster 444, it would prove to be a bad choice. Serious bullet fragmentation is a virtual certainty at the 2300 fps+ you can drive 240's to from the typical Triple 4. Meat destruction would be tragic.
I would suggest a conventional 225-240 grain JHP in the 444 if deer were the game sought.

Now if we can just convince to make a .41 caliber Devastator I'd be purrin' like a kitten with a full belly!
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I second Bill's motion.  Just this morning I shot a small whitetail doe with a 280gr. WFNGC in a .44 Mag pistol.  The cast bullet left a very nice wound channel and the deer quickly went down.  I'm sure that the bullet did not expand in the slightest, so no HP necessary.

In a .444..... the performance would be mind-boggling, I would think.
 

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A very good Lyman bullet is the 429360. It drops at close to 240 grs. and has one of the biggest meplats I've seen from a stock mold bullet in the SWC design.

The only strike against it is that it is not a gas checked design so some experimentation may be needed with alloy hardness and velocity.

Regards
 

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Hi, I've shot about 250 of the Lyman 429640HP in my Winchester.

I had to seat them to 2.535" to feed through the magazine. That is they will not make the corner into the magazine from the loading gate.

I cast them soft and they weigh about 270 gr for me. They are supposed to be 250 gr.

I leave them .431" as they drop from the mold.

I use Lyman gas checks and load 22.0 gr. of Alliant 2400. This load produces about 1,720 fps. This is sheep and goat country (West Texas) and I have used them on two dogs that were running our goats. I guess because I cast them soft they did not fragment to any substantial degree. The exit wounds were large.
My limited use on animals cannot be considered conclusive.

40.0 gr of IMR 4198 gave 1,965 fps with excellent accuracy at 50 yards.

Remember that Veral Smith suggested that we use drilling jigs for the few hollow points that we needed for hunting.

NEI offers drill jigs for their bullets at a reasonable price. &#3615.00, I think.
 

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Mr. Iorg,

Thanks for the input. Your reduced load sounds like a real winner on lighter game. Fragmentation would only be a problem at the full velocity potential of the 444. But results are results and that's all that counts. Just goes to show that all-out loads aren't even required with "slow pokes" like the Triple Four.
 

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It's hard to imagine a better deer load for the .444 than Lee430310 driven by 42.0 grains of IMR4198.  Over 2000fps from my 18" 444P and accuracy that'll surprise you.  Bullets drop from most Lee430310 moulds at right around .432" in BHN 15 or harder alloy; therefore, there's no need for sizing.  This load shoots flat enough for deer to 200 yards and will deliver complete penetration at any angle through the vitals.

Based on my chronographing at the muzzle and down range, this 300 grain bullet, with a .320" meplat, sheds approximately 17% of it's velocity for every 100 yards.  Started off at just over 2000fps, it's still doing about 1680fps at 100 yards, just under 1400fps at 200 yards and doesn't go subsonic until about 300 yards.  In other words, it's like extending the range of a .44mag wheelgun by over 200 yards.

Forty Four
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello from Scotland

Thanks alot for all the input, over here im starved of info re:cast bullets and .444 are harder to find than a wild Haggis ! So i really value info from you guys particulary those with the .444p which i will have in the near future.
Willaim thanks for the load sounds interesting. Forty Four I will try the 310 gn Lee ,i have been talking to the Happy kaboomer over on Marlin he uses it too with excellant results.
Perhaps i should of mentioned that i must be able to "PROVE" to the police that any load i use for Deer can reach 2450f.p.s ! Bloody daft ! In England your 310gn are legal for Deer as the only requirement is a muzzle energy of 1700ft/lbs no muzzle requirements ! For some strange reason here in Scotland we also have this daft velocity requirement to ?
Do you guys think the 255gn Lyman could be pushed to 2450f.p.s ?? Has any one used this kind of weight cast bullet on Deer at this kind of speed ? And if so what happed ?

Best regards from across the pond

ENGLANDER.

P.S- I cant wait to get my .444p and put a few 310grain Lee bullets down the range !
 

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Fourty Four, which gas checks and what lube are you using. I am using Javalina Alox and Lyman checks.
In summer the alox can be trying to work with.

Englander, we are getting just as wild with some of our "rules". We are just a few years behind you.

Your range fees seem a little high. Yours is a privately owned property so your taxes are probbaly pretty high. In some places over here shooting can get pretty expensive. Our club does not have much interaction between members, except at matches.
 

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Englander,

In response to your load question, yes I believe you could get a 250 grain cast bullet up to 2450 fps in your .444 with careful handloading.  The Speer manual lists a load with H335 (I believe, I don't have it in front of me right now.) that clocks at 2200 fps with a jacketed 300 gr bullet.  A cast bullet will give you a little more velocity in and of itself, and with the lighter weight I'm guessing that mark can be reached.  I will digress at this point, as I haven't actually done it myself, but hopefully someone with hands on experience will chime in.
As far as terminal performance?  With this load, you have factory .44 mag revolver power at 300 yds, so any closer and I can imagine that it's sufficient for just about whatever you point it at.  Within reason, of course.
 

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Englander,

I wanted to ask about the deer stalking...

I have Fremantle's Book of the rifle and have looked at his stalking pictures many times.
Our terrain is brushy and visibility is rather short.
Are your hunting areas open?
We hunt three ways here. 1st. over bait. 2cnd. down powerline, gasline and fence line cuts, these are wide open and present as long a shot as you desire. 3rd. is to just walk them up like quail.
Everything in Texas bites, scratches or claws, you dont get down on the ground and crawl here.
I assume you have plenty of rocks and other sgarp objects on the ground to make stalking interesting.

I have been up close with deer over bait, but not in the open. In the open the deer are in the "getting the heck out of here" mode and the shooting is fast. I am curious about stalking.

I have allways been impressed by Sir Samuel Baker running down a deer and killing it with a knife!
 

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William,
I was using Javelina until I found it unacceptable during the summer months down here in Southern California while pushing Lee430310 much past 1800fps.  Since about '99 I have been using a homemade lube, but similar results may be obtained with a commercial higher temp lube.  I don't think I've ever used a Lyman gas check in the 30 odd years I've been shooting my cast bullets... they're all Hornady checks.

Regarding the use of Lee430310... it does need to be "tuned up" a trifle before it becomes a lean, mean bullet making machine.  I unassemble all Lee moulds, polish the block top on a glass surface with 1500 grit paper and the underside of the sprue plate with 600 grit paper making sure to eliminate all sharp edges and burs.  I've found the biggest problem with Lee moulds is the factory "torques" their sprue plates down.  What I do is install a 6 or 8-32 set screw through the side of the block to secure the backed off pivot screw such that the sprue plate is just barely held in place under its own weight.  Don't worry if you can see a tiny bit of light under the sprue plate.  When you apply pressure to the sprue plate via the lead dipper, the air space will be eliminated and if your temperatures are correct, you'll cut nice bases.   I also apply a liberal coat of Moly lube to the underside of the sprue plate and the block top (specifically Brownells Action Magic) for lubrication purposes.  The last thing you may need to do is lap the gas check shank out a tiny bit to get a good tight grip on the gas checks.  I started out applying a dab of "Seal-All to the bullet's base to keep the gas checks from rotating after they were crimped in place; however, I soon tired of that procedure even though it cut down on the occasional flyer.  Lee moulds are very soft and even with all the care I've outlined above, galling can occur across the block top.  If you do gall your mold slightly, don't panic, because it seems the galling works to one's advantage as vent lines.  You do need to remove the sprue plate and polish lightly again with the 1500 grit on a piece of glass.  Just remove the rough edges or burs... don't attempt to remove the galling/vent lines ;)

With all that said and done, apply a light coat of soot from a butane lighter to the mould cavities, maintain your melt at 750 to 780F, don't let your mould over heat and you'll cast bullets from a &#3620.00 mould that take a back seat to no one's.  BTW, you'll know if your mould is getting too hot when the bullets require more that a couple mild raps on the hinge rivet to release.  When you get to this point use one of many techniques (including the addition of another mould in your casting session) to allow your mould to cool down slightly.  

44
 

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Englander,

I got to thinking about your velocity/engery requirements last night. This interests me because I have given some thought to the barrel length enrgy trade-off in my Winchester.

I have chronographed the 210 Hornady XTP at 2436 fps ahead of 49.0 gr of IMR 4198. This was not a maximum load.

Published loads that meet your requirement in the 18.5" barrel are not plentiful.
Pt. 2 of the .444 article gives several loads with the BB 280 gr. WFN ahead of Reloader 7.

The fastest I have pushed the 310 gr. Lee in the 17.75" Winchester barrel is 2041 fps ahead of 56.0 gr og Hodgdon 335. This load is compressed.

Shooting Times in the Oct '99 issue lists the 250 Nosler Partition with 53.0 gr of V.V. N130 at 2399 fps in the 18.5" Outfitter.

Guns & Ammo shows the 240 Hornady JHP as developing 2400 fps ahead of 39.5 gr of IMR 4227. Sept 2001 issue.

The problem with "marginal" loads is that you may be asked to "prove it".
Fortunatly you are just chasing pretty thin skinned deer type animals. At least you have 3/4" more barrel than I do!

My favorite lever guns are the .307 and .356 Winchester. Both of these will have trouble "proving up" with my favorite loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hello from Scotland

Well William Bait ? I take it you mean a scented lure of some sort? This type for shootng for Deer would be "frowned" apon (unsporting) and possible illegal not to sure, do not know any one who his done it. It is exceptable to call Red fox in to shot light (Lamping) and shoot as many as possible in one night 1,4,7 what ever you can get as they are classed as pests.

Deer  are only ever shot from "high seats" over looking a young plantation or looking down a grass ride/narrow clearing. Deer are also stalking in woodland ,basicaly a slow walk in the woods with a rifle and normally a long stick to aid shooting whilst standing up.

On the open hills of England but more so Scotland the Red deer have evolved/been forced to live on heather moorland. Normally Red deer are a woodland species, those that live in rich wood land in southern England grow huge when compared to Scotish Red deer (same species) habitat and diet play a massive role.
Whilst woodland Red deer are big strong beasts the lighter hill Red deer are respected for they are hard to approch (stalk) over heather on open moorland NO COVER TO HIDE BEHIND you must use the shape of the hills to shelter your form often crawling on your belly getting very wet,smelly and sore and get to 200-250 yards for a shot. Shots over 250 yards are again frowned apon as the chance of wounding in increased, and Deer are held in respect.

It is illegal to shoot Deer from a vehicle. At night with a spot light, or drive them to waiting guns, are also illegal.

As for bird hunting pigeon shooting over decoy is very popular bags of 100+ pigeon are common, they are my favourite quarry. Pheasant partridge are walked-up also driven by beaters to waiting guns perhaps 6-8 guns. Lots of pheasants are bred and released for shootng which helps take the pressure off the few wild breeding pheasants.

Hope that answers some of your questions William ?

Best wishes from across the pond

ENGLANDER
 

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Englander,

Baiting with food is illegal in most states, but allowed in a few including Texas where I live.  It is a pretty lazy way to hunt deer, but a lot of people do it.  Many things which are legal in TX would get you thrown in jail in other states!

We too have pests, one of the worst is feral hogs (wild boars, etc.).  They are quite a problem in TX and many southern states, due to their high birthrate, ability to eat nearly anything, and few natural predators.  You can hunt pigs in TX pretty much 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by any means you choose.

The various states have different regulations for such animals as coyotes (basically a large fox or small wolf although that is not really an accurate description, you get the idea), fox, wolves, bobcats, mountain lions, and other such predators.  In TX coyotes are pretty much vermin and shot on sight, in other states they may have closed seasons or more regulations.

Back to the baiting issue... it is one of the more effective ways to control the hog population and if we could not do it for hogs, we would be overrun by them.

I've spotlighted quite a few hogs, one of the few other decent ways to keep them in check.  Spotlighting other game animals such as deer is illegal everywhere that I now of, as it should be.

I have hunted in Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado for deer, Kansas for wild pheasants, and turkey in Missouri.  None of those states allow baiting.

Migratory game birds (doves, all waterfowl, etc.) are covered by Federal regulations, so at least the rules are consistent all over the country.

Well.... any other questions?  I'm enjoying hearing about your hunting in Scotland.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hello from Scotland

Mike if do you have "professional" hog shooters ? guys that make a living culling hogs numbers ? Do you eat the hogs ? I have heard that wild type pigs can carry lots of worms, is this true ?

If you are a lover of Deer check out www.deer-uk.com
Britain is blessed with six species of Deer, only two are native Red & Roe, thanks to our rich landowners of the victorian era who loved hunting and travel the world doing so, they brought back and introduce Deer species from all over from the world.

We dont have any bears,bobcats,wild boar,lynx,wolves,moose, BUT- we do have species that can not be found any where else in europe, such as Muntjac Deer- crazy little fellas.

My favourite native British Deer is the Roe Deer and of the introduce species while i love the little Muntjac the Sika Deer are extremely difficult to stalk in thier wood land habitat.Hope you enjoy www.deer-uk.com

Best regards from across the pond

ENGLANDER
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Englander, there are in fact professional hog shooters who get called in when the populations get out of hand.  In the areas where I live, the terrain and vegetation is probably not too different from you, so the pros often run them with hounds.  This sounds like fun to me.

In the southern part of the state, everything has thorns and it is very dense nasty brush.  The preferred method there is to use a helicopter and shotguns with buckshot (no kidding!).  Would also like to try this!

I get invited to hunt a lot because people find out I know how to hunt hogs, and will do it just for the entertainment value.  So it works out well for me.

They are good to eat, in my opinion.  Leaner than domestic pork but a milder tasting meat than a deer.  I've come to prefer them to all other big game.

They can have parasites, so cook the meat thoroughly (which is the same precaution as domestic pork).  

Everything in TX has ticks and fleas.  Some kinds of internal parasites are spread through those types of insects, so even with deer and such a person should cook the meat well.  

I combine deer and wild hog and a little domestic pork fat which makes a very tasty sausage.
 

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Englander,

MikeG again summed it up very well.

I have not seen scented lures in use but I have heard of them.

There are a lot of deer feeders in use, all over the state. We have had several years of drought. Some areas hit worse than others. I think the feeders have helped preserve the game numbers. Many of us feed year round. This is good for deer, hogs, quail and all the little varmints that prey on them.

Some of us make a considerable portion of our yearly income through pay by the day hunting. I am not one.

"Lamping" is legal for varmints in Texas.
We also use high stands for deer shooting. I cannot adequatly describe some of the terrain in Texas. South and West from Corpus Christi is an unbelivable forest of prickly-pear catus and thorn trees. The catus grows in clumps spaced very close together with much of it over head hieght. The trees grow right up through the cactus clumps. There is no visibility.
Other parts of South Texas are wide open, with good visability.

Your description of your hunting area sounds like Fremantles pictures in The Book of the Rifle. Wide open, rocky and rolling hills. Very little cover for stalking. It makes Sir Samuel Bakers achievemnt all the more impressive.

This open ground stalking must be fun in the rain!

We have a number of people regularly shooting deer at 400+ yards. They are set up with special rifles. I do not have the skill or money for such shooting. This also requires assistance in spotting.

It is legal to shoot from a vehicle in Texas on your own land.

When you speak of pigeon, do you mean wood pigeon, similar to our Doves?

Our hog hunting is fast and exciting. The meat is very good. While we do have proffesional hunters and guides, you could not make a very good living just hunting hogs. In other words we do not have the meat and hide hunters such as the Kangaroo hunters in the "Land of Oz".
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hello from Scotland

I really like the sound of this kind of hog hunting with dogs, i know Auzzies  and New Zealanders who hunt in the same manner thay use very powerful bullmastiff cross breds with special neck protection-damm ! sounds fun!
Sadly Britain has/ is becoming a nation of ignornant "townies" or cityslickers you might say never hunted, never fished, never cultivated fowl. Most think milk comes from cartons,and meat from plastic trays!

This ignorant majority has most of the political power and at present it looks like possible this year it will become illegal to hunt animals with dogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Only gun dogs to pick up shot game will be allowed ! I love working terrriers to fox and the "bond" that every mans feels when hunting with dogs, so natural.

To be honest our current labour party and prime minister are very anti-gun-anti-hunting, so much so that i have been thinking of moving to New Zealand or Oz were there is more room. Britain has 60 million people living in a small island, the "individual" has no room or space to move.

If i did move i would truely miss our Wood pigeon, No not dove like the woodie is a big bugger  about the size of an American giant homer pigeon. Wood pigeons are my favourite British bird very smart (you need good cammo) taste excellant ! 1lb + in weight and the most amazing markings blue/grey body white patch on each side of neck and a white strip across each wing mat the elbow dispite the white when they land on tree or ground they are almost invisible ! In winter they gather in flocks of 1000's and strip whole fields of there crops.
They fly with the skill and control of a falcon and are extremely challenging and very rewarding to shoot. I rate them above pheasant/partridge/duck/grouse/snipe/ well they are the best !

As for stalking open ground in the rain, i have stalked in perthshire hills and in the space of 30 minutes stalking into a group of Red hinds (females) it rained,sleet,hail,zero vis mist,bright sunshine,and snow ! and then back to rain ! But it was fun & dispite losing the feeling in parts of your body you forgot you had !

Well i have ramble enough.

Best regards nfrom acroos the pond

ENGLANDER  
 

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Foutyfour

Good advice on tuning the Lee molds.
I have looked over my 429310 mold. It has cast a little over three hundred bullets so far. The mold shows radial lines along the opening curve on the underside of the sprue plate.
I think it would be a good idea to loosen the bolt and true the sprue plate.

I had not thought of adding a set screw to keep the same tension on the sprue plate bolt.

I have had some overheating trouble. Easily solved with a damp sponge.

My Lyman gas checks seem to fit the bullet shank tightly. I have glued the checks to other bullets as you suggested.

We should move over to reloading equipment and talk a little about tuning molds.

Over on the Cast Bullet List ( Yahoo CB-L) the designer of this mold for Lee is having a discussion of the mold and its qualities.

I am glad to meet another dip caster. Most of my friends are "bottom feeders."
 
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