The relationship of bhn, velocity, and expansion with cast

James W. Miner

Active Member
Interesting subject. I hunt only with revolvers and 30 years ago when I moved here where I could use them (Ohio allowed it the year I moved) I started with the .44 and 240 XTP's. results were not good. Each went over 60 yards and if I had not been able to watch them I could have lost them. Backtracking to impact showed not a single drop of blood. I recovered all 3 bullets from the first 3. Perfect shrooms against the rib cages.
I bought 320 LBT's and things changed fast, very quick kills and gallons of blood on the ground. I found the Lee 310 as good. Made my own mold, came out 330 gr and it works.
I cast from water dropped WW metal.
Got my .475 BFR and made a mold, 420 gr, WD WW and deer hit the ground instantly. Only one to make 30 yards was a heart shot. A point to make. Tested on gallon jugs of water, it blew up 4, split the fifth and penetrated 17 jugs in a straight line. One day a running buck at 76 yards was shot at, he went behind trees as the hammer fell, stopped and came around facing me on a down slope. Next shot hit below his chin, took the neck, a row of short ribs, went under the back straps to exit the ham next to the butt. I lost no meat at all, cut to the hole.
I like a tough boolit for accuracy, been to 1/2" at 100 many times for 5 shots from bags.
Got my 45-70 BFR and lost 2 deer, boolit too hard for velocity, poked a hole, no blood trails until 100 yards and then another 100 tracking. Made a WFN and it was worse. Shot the next with a 50-50 HP at 420 gr and ruined half a deer.
Bought my .500 JRH BFR and made a 440 gr mold. Poked one hole groups at 50 and 100 but it also poked holes through deer. 120 yard runs with no blood trails. 1350 fps. I got to work and cast half the nose with a mix of 3# of pure and 1# of WW. Deer drop like hit with the hammer of Thor. Then I hit a shoulder when a big doe stopped as the hammer fell. Holy smokes, would you want a HP? Also ruined the neck on exit.
I have over 180 deer with all my revolvers and each needs different except the .45 Colt, .44 and .475. The rest need alloy or nose adjustment and to get all aglow with a big HP and broken boolits or massive expansion can bite your rear FAST. I have learned what velocity, HP's, alloys, soft noses, flat noses and caliber does. Still learning, it will never end.
I really hate to see a hunter look for fast, massive expansion and a jug or 2 busted. I was there long ago myself, Then reality set in and deer don't agree with theories. 475doeheartjpg.jpg.475 heart.
Hard boolit damage.jpg. .44 neck.No HP.jpg .500 soft nose.exit.jpg .475 exit.

James W. Miner

Active Member
The .500 mess was the ENTRANCE! All the white looking things are bone chips.
I am not even beginning to figure a rifle for cast yet. Going to be harder. Smaller calibers and more velocity. I don't expect to have answers for a long time. Got a 30-30 to work with. Right now I don't know where to start and most are wrong even before they kill anything. I learned a lot with my revolvers so much should follow along.
Only what a cast does in an animal counts, not mud, sand or water. You might want to step back from the grenades.


Well-Known Member
Good point about water jugs,don't think I have ever shot one?

I have had "damage permits" issued for controlling,as best we could,Deer herds on farms here.Shooting a half dz does on any given day will see some education.

Here,in a lot of cases,a pass through can mean an unacceptable risk.We found that on smaller does that a JB hp that comes completely "unglued" doing massive lung damage,with no exit,no bloodtrail to be very efficient.

The problem with a discussion on terminal ballistics is first,shooters patience.And second is shot angle.

I've guided enough hunts to see the patience thing firsthand.It's the same old,same old.Folks talk a good talk but get them in the field,especially when big bucks are on the menu and their patience gets a workout.This is when shot angles suffer and bullets /boolits can become problematic.

On any given evening here we have close to a dz Deer standing in the yard.They aren't that hard to drop.I leave them for my boys,and others.I'd rather be shooting varmints.I do get a cpl calls a year for tracking purposes on Deer.


Well-Known Member
It says right in my original post "yes I know that means little compared to on game performance."

I didn't declare any specific goals of how many wfmj I want the bullets to penetrate or expand on.

I already shared a Heart shot with a similar bullet in another thread and thought it would be an interesting comparison. Instead of "step back from the grenades." I'll continue expanding my understanding and keep the results to myself, good day sir.

James W. Miner

Active Member
A lot depends on the country, here a deer is out of sight in a bound and you can't see through the woods and brush.
Then if you are in a place you need to worry about where a bullet is going to wind up can alter your view. No question everyone has different needs but here, without a blood trail, deer will be lost.
A neighbors is so thick with fallen trees, I can't walk through, I don't know why so many trees just die. I worked my way through one day and found 12 dead deer and only covered a small section.
I hunt shrooms in the spring in a small area and have found 10 rotten deer. There are massive amounts of deer lost here every season and I don't find that acceptable. On the property I spend most of the season on, I find many dead deer shot all around that make it there and never seen a single hunter tracking because they CAN'T.
Once the trigger is pulled, hunting should stop and all effort expended to find it but when no blood is found, they hunt more and do it over and over again.
So understand why I want what I make work. I won't bash your views either.
I have a friend that hunts where the woods are full of orange and a deer that runs off will be being gutted by someone else or go over the mountain so he uses Ballistic Tips but never has to contend with damage because he takes his to a processor.
Now water jugs can teach you something. I showed what the .475 does to a heart and lungs. We shot gallon jugs with my boolit and it blew up 4, split number 5 and exited 17. It showed the distance range energy was transmitted.
I watch a video on TV where a guy hung water balloons, shot with a .44 mag and caught the bullet in number 4 or 5. That is not good enough.
If you blow one jug and catch the bullet fast, it might not perform on deer.
You might not want the penetration I get but I hunt mostly from ladder stands or where a boolit just can't get through so boolits go into the ground or are stopped. I also have the benefit of being the only one allowed on this property but can bring any friend or friends with me.
Patience was mentioned and it is true. Most deer I have killed were with archery, best teacher there is.
I also get a knock on the door to help find a deer. I know the deer enough around here to know where they are going, found one huge buck with no trail after a mile. Shot with a 7mm mag. Guy had an idea he could shoot through the brush. Deer had a hole you could stick your head in. Now he is a good, church going man but does not know his gun. One evening I shot a deer with my 45-70 BFR, wrong boolit as I explained, it dropped and got up, I hit it again and it headed up the hill. I was tracking and it was getting dark, heard a shot at the top, then he called my name. He seen it going by and shot it. I tried to give it to him but he would not take it. That is a gentleman.


Well-Known Member
James,given really good shot angles,thin skinned Deer aren't that hard to bring down.

But please,keep up the stories.Folks looking for data want quick answers and quick results.Which is,when discussing terminal ballistics a problem.

It takes time.

James W. Miner

Active Member
There are no easy answers because even with perfect hits and angles, things can go wrong.
I shot 3 deer in gun season with 6" of arrows and broad heads healed in the chest cavities and they were good shots but the light arrows stopped too soon. I am afraid to stick my hands in deer anymore unless I can see.
I did too much reading long ago and was enamored with blown up jugs and mushrooms and every time I said "WOW" what would that do to deer? We tested all the time but could not hunt deer except with a shotgun or ML. Back then deer were VERY hard to get and the average to kill a deer with a bow was 17 years. I shot 3 the first year, Ohio, PA and MI.
One day we found a bank of blue clay at Rocky river, dug out buckets of it. I figured to make like modeling clay to shoot at. I had to go to work and my friend could not wait so he mixed with water to make soup. He shot at it in his basement.
Ever see an entire basement covered in blue goo, hanging from all the joists?

Rally Hess

Well-Known Member
I'd like to also see the general weight of deer shot, when bullet type and alloy are discussed, for reference. Most often when discussions like these take shape, rarely are the physical weights discussed. My thinking is that a Virginia whitetail and a Mn. whitetail, physical size are not anywhere close. I've shot does in Mn. that were as heavy as 165 and I'm not sure I saw over 3 deer in Va. that were over 100 lbs. Selecting a bullet or alloy for each would be different in my mind.
Did your friend just spread that out on the walls and floor joists with a paint brush or use a pressure washer to clean it up. LOL

James W. Miner

Active Member
There are now some very large deer in VA, depends on where. Here in WV I have shot several does over 200# and a few very heavy bucks well over. Pretty much farm country and I don't remember any that were not full of corn or soybean. Lot of alfalfa around too.
But I am originally from Ohio so won't mention some I have seen or shot.