Just for the record, if your HP's are blowing up, you can shorten the HP pin (as Ben demonstrates so well above), OR you can stick with the "standard" HP pin and just slow your loads down a bit. I have had good luck with .338 cast HPs (with "normal" HP cavities) at 1500-1600 fps muzzle velocity on mule deer and hogs -- with silver dollar sized exits (no obvious fragmentation, but I can't completely rule it out).
I agree with the advice about keeping things heavy for caliber, but keep it in the context of whatever sized game one is hunting. I will be hunting with a .30-30 Contender this weekend, loaded with a 170 grain 311041 HP. If I were hunting mule deer (150-200 lbs around here) I would be using a heavier 190 grain NOE HP, but I am going over to the Olympic Peninsula to hunt with a retired buddy of mine, and the coastal blacktails over there are lucky to 100 lbs on the hoof (and some of the tastiest venison I have ever tasted!), so the lighter bullet should be more than adequate.
I tend to favor a balanced alloy or a near balanced alloy also.
they just seem to work better over a broad speed spectrum.
hunting with hollow points is something I have just stayed away from, tried it once-twice seen nuthin there for me and went back to trusting flat points and 2 holes.
now a small shallow HP or cup point I can somewhat see an advantage in, I do like to see a bullet get bigger if possible.
but I would prefer 2 holes every time.
unfortunately antimony is not a big help in the two hole thing unless the tin is very, very low, and vice versa also works.
Thanks Glen, The only cast HP's I have messed with is the plain based pistol. On G/C rifle I have only used round nosed and flat nosed. In north Georgia, our whitetails are of the medium sized, they grow up on grass and browse no cornfields or bean fields up here. Not hard to harvest with cast at all, just want to do it the quickest way. Out to 120 yds is a long shot for us on a food plot, most are inside 60. The 311041 does fine at 14 brinell the RCBS 35- 200 flat, same alloy does a little better. I am not as happy with the 314299 in the ought six(again same alloy) too pointed I think.
In my thinking the cup point with a more malleable alloy in the 30-30 on any good bore rider like the like the 311291 or 299 or a heavy bearing surface bullet like the 315 should equal or better the 35 rem with no expansion. I'm not looking for a complete mushroom just some flattening of the nose with enough speed for an exit. I don't think it will be hard to get there, just haven't messed with HP rifle bullets yet and looking for the best design to start with.
Fiver, Your vice versa comment caught my attention. Are you saying I can violate the low tin/high antimony rule, by increasing the tin to a higher % than the antimony. I have heard of alloy's for HP's using 3 to 4 % tin and 1 to 1.5% antimony. I never wanted to risk that much tin just to see if it worked.
well sort of.
you'd want the antimony percentage down below 1% to try and pull it off.
tin is kind of an anomaly.
it's pretty okay with lead but it wants to hang on to the antimony, if you got a long strand of it hanging on it will break away and try to bond with the lead but not until it's too late.
having the antimony below 1% antimony in the alloy gives it the chance to get away and bond in making the new alloy.
just a little more like 2% antimony and 4% tin doesn't really work.
now a straight antimony and 1/2% tin or less alloy will work and flow without breaking if the total antimony is a reasonable amount like 3%.
it will actually allow the lead to flow easier and smoother by breaking down the crystals under pressure letting the lead glide and flow.
that's why antimony alone is used in extruded lead products like window came and pipe.
I like to think about tin as having an I type shape and antimony as having an * shape this allows me to see what it does under pressure.
....and jacketed bullet cores, and .22 rimfire, and so on.
Regarding the killing power of the TC-style nose, reference military/LE pistol ammunition lethality tests and the resulting FMJ/TC handgun ammunition that's been produced. Next best thing when Geneva won't let you use hollow point bullets.
Fiver, I did some playing on the alloy calc. What I came up with with my premeasured superhard an tin is .6 tin and 3.25 antimony. So If I cast and air cool would this alloy be a possibility for either flat nosed or cup point 30's. and do think it would be a little higher brinell than 50/50 +2 air cooled.
This is the bullet mould that I use a lot in my Custom Ruger # 1, 358 Winchester rifle. A real killer !
Notice that I've shortened the HP pin on this one also.
One cavity produces a solid, one a HP.
This takes us back to my " 15 - 20 % rule of HP length " .
This one works just fine.
No blow ups, a good exit hole ( large ) and a quick killer on White Tails.
I’m one who has to see things for myself. After I get my buck tag filled I’m going to shoot some does with the NOE 460-425HP running about 1400fps.
Also plan to shoot one with the newly squirt Springfield 840 30-30 using the MP 308 hunting hp bullet running 2400fps. The 308 hunting bullets were cast from 50/50 coww/soww and heat treated at 400deg for an hour and water quenched.
I have to second Bens choices: However I'm stricly into target shooting So I do look for a longer HP pin.
I have found for instance; The Lyman 311290 HP moulds ( actually one of Ben's) with a 2/3rds Length HP pin is the cat's Meow when it comes to a super accurate target bullet for my .30-30 bolt action! Now I would not try to shoot a critter with it ( unless I want to paint the landscape red!) & recovered bullets from a sand and fly ash berm, show 1/3 of the nose gone with a few super mushrooms!
The key for me with with hollow point shooting ( target) is bullet balance! .... now for mushroom ; If I use a 1/3 deep tapered HP pin with this 311290, I dig out some super mushrooms with alloy made from 1/2 Jacketed range pick up lead and 1/2 Commerercial cast range lead pick up.
I do not know how that would translate to deer flesh But I don't think I would hesitate a shot at a PA whitetail with that bullet
I tend to agree with you Ben on those deep HP pins. I'm shooting the 165 RD in DP and it worked well last season. I cast a few with the Deep Hp pin and shot some nuisance beaver with them. The results were pretty ugly. Can't image shooting one at a deer I intended to eat, nor a coyote intended for the fur market. My rifles seem to prefer the DP's also.
It was running 1700 or so. Huge, gaping HP that was deep enough to go to the crimp groove. Blow the nose off and you have a bullet wide than it is long, not too good for penetrating. Alloy was too hard for the velocity/HP combination and that made it worse.
I hit the deer from above and at a slight angle. Bullet hit shoulder blade and blew up, I found the shank in the neck. A longer bullet would have penetrated thee shoulder blade and destroyed the lungs.
I hit a black bear with a 420 solid at 1650 and it went 30 yards. Near shoulder was destroyed, bullet went clean thru.