Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Guest, Feb 24, 2003.

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    AGunguy
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    Posts: 170
    (8/21/01 9:29:22 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals
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    I read with interest KimberRugers topic about using .44 mag bullets on game, and that he expected to be shooting from 10 to 25 yards range. He was also concerned about bullet expansion of the hollow point.

    I've been experimenting by fashioning some .38 special 148 grain bullets with gaschecks on their heads. It is hoped they will expand to the size of a half dollar. If this all works, no reason it couldn't be done to the .44 magnum or anyother other pistol or revolver caliber.

    The .38 special 148 grain HBWC are fashioned with a gascheck on the head of the HBWC soft bullet, in this case a Hornady product. The bullet is then seated in the cartridge case backward with its hollow base pointed forward. This huge soft cavity bullet should open up like a spring flower on impact with an animal...man or beast.

    The best part of all this close in shooting is you don't have to load too hot on the velocity trip. I'm hoping test results will show good bullet expansion with only 900 to 1,000 fps velocity. Certainly withen .38 special firearms with at least a four to five inch barrel. Thus, some of the slower burning powders can be utilized.

    I made my gaschecks on a Lyman 450 bullet press lube/sizer. Using a .44 caliber gascheck it is placed in the Lyman press with an O-ring to center it atop the .358 sizer lube die. The Lyman press has a #429 top punch that is just the right size to transform the .44 gascheck into .38 special .358 gascheck. The top punch only has to punch about 1/8 of inch into the die to do this. The resulting gascheck is deeper in its cup and I think I like that better.

    The gascheck is then placed atop of the bullet head and gently tapped onto it with a plastic hammer to seat it. It is then put back in the Lyman 450 press die to swage the gascheck to the soft lead bullet. Bullet is inserted into the .358 die hollow base cavity down. The #429 punch will push the gaschecked bullet into the press die full length swaging the entire bullet.

    All that remains now is to load and shoot and see what we get as to results.

    I do not recomend trying the above, it is something that I alone are experimenting with and thought it migh be of interest to all of you.

    Any thoughts on this theory.

    Gunguy




    kdubaz
    Moderator
    Posts: 534
    (8/21/01 2:34:10 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals
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    Well, Gunguy -

    This sounds like a workable deal for the .38 Spl/.357 Mag cartridges. Don't know where you'd get HBWC's for the .44 Mag, tho.

    The skirt is awfully thin at the leading edge of that reversed wadcutter - if pushed down the barrel with too much ummph, I wonder if it will hold up the the engraving without collapsing? 'Course, you can always increase the hardness of the bullet to withstand that and yet peel back upon impact. Regarding a slower powder, what is the bullet seating depth - will you have enough case capacity left after seating to allow for a larger quantity of slow burning powder? Although a little dirty, I always got best results using Unique for the HNWC's in my .38 Spl target loads.

    I've never taken any large (deer, etc.) game with a handgun, so can't really speak of what is a good load for one. I know the 240 gr FN's I used in my .44 Mag Ruger carbine worked well with a hot load of 2400 powder and a mag pistol primer.
    Keep below the ridgeline!

    AGunguy
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 172
    (8/21/01 7:12:57 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals
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    Thanks for your interest, Kdubaz.

    You are right about the .44 caliber not being available in HBWC fashion. I checked all my catalogs which don't show any. Perhaps one could order a custom .44 caliber mould if one were really into this project if it proves good on the .38/357. I know moulds don't come cheap, 10 years ago I had three custom moulds made up in lower than normal bullet weights, as they were for a auto pistol round I had invented and patend.

    You say the skin is awfully thin at the leading edge of the big open cavity of hollow base, and you are so correct. However, my little swaging operation tends to compress the bullet somewhat and thus making it a tad thicker on the lips. I have hopes it will function at the velocities I mentioned but only testing will tell. I intend to back off on the velocity until I find out where it stops mushrooming, thus, trying to find a happy level of performance.

    The slower burning powder I had in mind is my old friend HS6 by Hodgdon. My tables show 6.5 should boost this 154.5 grain Hornady with the gascheck to about 933 fps, maybe a little higher than that figure. Its hard to believe that the gascheck added 6.5 grains to the bullets weight but it did.

    I've always seated HBWC bullets in brass to an OL of 1198 inches, this only leaves about .30 of an inch sticking out of the brass. Now that the bullet is being reversed in the brass case with its gascheck perhaps it would be OK to let it hang out a little further. I know 7.5 grains of HS6 behind a 125 grain half jacketed bullet is OK.

    I've never taken any big game with a handgun either, and don't expect to. My age and health preclude me ever going hunting again. So, I just continue to tinker, shoot and reload...its my thing.

    Gunguy



    kdubaz
    Moderator
    Posts: 538
    (8/21/01 10:33:03 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals
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    Sure sounds like something to look into, Gunguy.

    Was wondering what you were gonna use for a crimping groove on the reverse seating - if bullet projection isn't too much of a problem (and, seating closer to the chamber opening would be desired to lessen the jump from cylinder to forcing cone!), perhaps the bottom lubrication groove will work.

    Don't think the 950+/- fps will be any particular problem for the WC - lots of old pure lead roundnose factory loads near equaled that for the .357. They leaded the bore pretty well back in those days, but if you find some coated WC's you don't have to squeeze thru a sizer, you could eliminate this problem. Maybe molycoat (hate the stuff!) the bullets after sizing?

    Look forward to your evaluative report on this project!
    Keep below the ridgeline!

    AGunguy
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 175
    (8/21/01 11:16:11 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Getting your HP lead bullets to open up on live animals
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    Think you're right about the bullet needs to be hanging out a little further, closer to the forcing cone is better. But on these Hornady HBWC bullets there ain't no grooves, they're sort of smooth and coated with something gray. These were bought in 250 bulk boxes for less than $10.00, first time I've ever used them.

    Wish I had some with grooves.

    The one thing about these Hornadys I really think their gonna mushroom nicely. This ought to make a mighty fine anything stopper.

    Let you know what comes of it.

    Gunguy

    Edited by: AGunguy at: 8/22/01 9:30:24 am
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