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Thread: 30-30 Bear Protection bullet, CAST or JACKETED?

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    Default 30-30 Bear Protection bullet, CAST or JACKETED?

    Iím planning hiking/scouting trips for Caribou, and what-not, early in the year, this spring, and Iím planning to carry my 30-30 along for bear protection.

    Which of the following 2, loads is best for that purpose? My choice is between 170 grain Hornady FN bullets designed for the 30-30,,,,

    OR, 173 grain FN GC bullets, also for 30-30,,,

    Both loads are Full Power Loads. Using the SAME CHARGE of the SAME powder.

    Conventional Wisdom (seems to be) that Penetration is very important, when youíre using handgun for bears, and that a Hard Cast Bullet, is superior to most Jacketed bullets in terms of Penetration.

    But what about a 30-30 RIFLE? Does this theory hold for a .30 Cal. Bullet at close to 2,000 fps?

    Thanks, for your thoughts.

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    Penetration is king....without that there is no point in shooting something if the slug won't make it to the vitals. I'd vote for hard lead anytime over the FN Hornady.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Penetration is king....without that there is no point in shooting something if the slug won't make it to the vitals. I'd vote for hard lead anytime over the FN Hornady.
    Thanks.

    Yeah, it's expansion versus penetration, if ASSUMING that the cast WILL penetrate better, than the jacketed bullet.

    I don't KNOW that to be true.

    Also, there are the questions in my mind, as to, IF the 170 grain Hornady FN could be expected to penetrate enuff, to reach the "vitals", and would the expansion from that same bullet be a factor that would cause it to kill better, than the cast?

    I know this is largely theoretical, since no, two or several, shots are alike.

    At this point, like you, I'm inclined to go with the Cast

    Smitty of the North
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    Hard cast will probably penetrate better but it probably won't give the tissue damage of the Hornady. The problem with "hard cast" is that one hard cast can be a lot different than the next "hard cast". If it's too hard or brittle it may break into two or three pieces when it hits and not penetrate well at all. If it's not hard enough it may not shoot well at 2000 or it may mushroom too much. If the mix of lead, tin, antimony is correct and the tempering is correct a cast boolit can work very well, possibly better that the Hornady. So the problem is, Will the hard cast you are shooting work better or worse than a Hornady? Without some testing on heavy boned animals it's pretty hard to say. Cast boolits work pretty well up to about 1800/2000 fps. After that the composition and tempering of the boolit becomes more critical. The theory works about the same in 30 cal as in 44 until you get impact velocities too high.

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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    In 30-30 I like jacketed flat points myself and that 170g Hornady is a goodun. I want a 30 caliber to expand, .308Ē is kinda skinny hole for me so I want expansion. They penetrate well from a 30-30, Iíve been sittin them (or the Sierra 170FN) on 32g of H4895 about all my life . . . gives 2200fps from a model 94 and kills critters dead as a 338, I wouldnĎt want to be the bear shot with it.

    Cast works too but when you get over 2000fps cast gets tricky, comes apart or expands too much or donít expand at all and so on. Cast will work but Iíd go with the jacket any time Iíll be wanting a 30-30 to be all it can be because they are less problematic at the higher velocities, which is why they got invented anywho.

    By the way, as a bear stopper I think your little 357 lever runs neck and neck with 30-30. I get 180g hard cast to around 1700fps from my Rossi 92s and with the .357Ē hole, for my money I put that right with 30-30 for power at bear fightin range.
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    OK, so you're saying that the cast bullets MAY be IFFY as to penetration,,,,

    And, the 170 Grain Hornady FN 30-30 bullet is a a good choice.

    I've not done any penetration tests with the cast bullets I'm using now, but I tested some in the past, that crumbled. They penetrated ABOUT the same distance, as the Hornadys, but there was less left.

    I've not shot anything but cast bullets in my 30-30s for some time now, but I have a stash of already loaded rounds, 3 different powders, etc. I reckon, I'll test and chrono them and see which one I like best, and go with that.

    Thanks for the kind of info I was lookin for.

    Smitty of the North
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    Cast boolits are very predictable up to about 1800/2000 fps. After that you just about have to cast your own and know what to put in and how much temper on which part of the bullet. Even then as velocity goes up predictability goes down. So, I would go with the hornady or any other 170+gr jacketed bullet that has shown good results at 30/30 velocities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    OK, so you're saying that the cast bullets MAY be IFFY as to penetration,,,,


    Smitty of the North
    Yup they sure can be when your whistling them right along, you can get wounds that look like birdshot even. In hunting they usually have time to slow down a bit before impact but in bear defense heís right off the muzzle. The right cast will work but you need to know itís 18-20 BHN and a proper alloy where the JFP you know the jacket will keep lead together, limit expansion with a softer lead that wonít fragment apart at these speeds.

    Below about 2000fps I prefer cast almost always though, it just works great.
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    I don't remember for sure but I think it was the Hornady 170 gr FP but it could have been something else where we'd find lead and jacket fragments in a whitetail front shoulder leading me to believe they are coming apart. They alway exit so I've never seen one after going thru a deer shoulder but that made me think they were too light a jacket to hold together very well in heavy bone. It's been a long time since I've cleaned a deer shot with one so I could be wrong. I went to the 125 or 130 gr FN for deer anyway so I don't use the 150's or 170 gr anymore in .30-30. The little bullets thru the ribs kill very quick, usually DRT. I tried the .35 Rem and it is a gem too.

    I've not shot a bear with a .30-30 using hard cast and you guys are right that they will break up at higher velocities but it just seems to me that a heavy HC would be the ticket to punch a hole in heavy hide, meat and bone.
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    I think the 170 grain nosler partition round nose would be a good choice. It won't fragment and peel apart when it hits big bone, but it will still expand. I'll be carrying a model 94 this season too. I chose a jacketed barnes original 255 grain (375 win). Hoping to see between 1800-1900 fps. Hornady bullets will separate from the core when they hit heavy bone regardless of velocity.

    I shot my first moose with my model 94 using the 170 grain round nose partition when I was a kid. I think they were federal cartridges. Two shots, one behind the shoulder, and one through the lungs. Neither exited, but they sure did work!

    Forum member Chico's father has shot some moose with a 30-30 too, so he might be able to let you know what bullet worked good for heavy game too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    Cast boolits are very predictable up to about 1800/2000 fps. After that you just about have to cast your own and know what to put in and how much temper on which part of the bullet. Even then as velocity goes up predictability goes down. So, I would go with the hornady or any other 170+gr jacketed bullet that has shown good results at 30/30 velocities.
    That might be what I'm gittin. The chrono results I have are less, but for a 30-30 with 16 & 3/4" barrel. Now, I'm using 20" barrel. I'll be doin more chronographing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADfields View Post
    Yup they sure can be when your whistling them right along, you can get wounds that look like birdshot even. In hunting they usually have time to slow down a bit before impact but in bear defense heís right off the muzzle. The right cast will work but you need to know itís 18-20 BHN and a proper alloy where the JFP you know the jacket will keep lead together, limit expansion with a softer lead that wonít fragment apart at these speeds.

    Below about 2000fps I prefer cast almost always though, it just works great.
    I dunno what the BHN of these bullets is. They're fm Bear Tooth Bullets. I'll try & find out.

    Smitty of the North
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    I have a liking for the Rem RN core lokt but a Nosler RN partition would be hard to beat.

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    Mainer & rbuck:

    Maybe I'm wrong, but at 30-30 velocities, I can't see any advantage in the Nosler Partition whatsoever.

    OR, the Barnes, either for that matter. I'm not a Barnes user anyway, but I like the N P in my 7 Mag.

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    The 30-30 partitions are only $27 for a box of 50, they're on sale. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/261...nose-box-of-50 The sale expires on APR 30th, so get a few boxes while they're as cheap as hornady or speer bullets! They are a deep penetrating bullet for the 30-30. A big-bodied caribou will expand the bullet, as will a bear. Even at lower velocity, honrady bullets can still separate from the core. Had good luck with the partition bullet for bigger animals at 30-30 velocity, so just wanted to pass the praise along to yah.

    About the Barnes bullets, the are a lead core 375 flat point original, not the x-bullet type. They're the only company who make a flat-point 250+ grain bullet for the 375.

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    The Nosler partitions aren't necessary but if I were expecting to use a 30/30 on the front end of a bear, I would want a bullet that would expand some but not blow up on heavy bone. 30/30 bullets tend to be built on the light side to help expansion at lower velocity so some of them may be constructed a little light for bear. I have never shot anything with a 30/30 so I have no real world experience with the various bullets made for the 30/30. I would think a 180gr RN core lokt made for the 30/06 would make a very good bullet for bear from the 30/30. It should expand a little without blowing up on heavy bone. A Nosler partition should work well also and if the price is right, why not?

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    It appears that you aren't actually hunting for bears, but only carrying your rifle for defensive and life saving purposes. My three decades of guiding for the big bears has proved several things to me. Mountain grizzlies have whole differnet personalities than do coastal browns, who are relatively complacent because of their easily gathered food sourve. Mountain grizzlies, on the other hand, have to work pretty hard for every dab of food they get. Moreover, they are not "herd" animals, and are very protective of their territories.

    My recommendations haven't changed over the years: .30-caliber bullets are simply too small to take out the large bones found in a bear's front shoulders, and your first shot should always be made to stop a bear. There may be nothing quite so unnerving as tiptoeing into an alder or willow thicket after a wounded grizz. For serious protection, I think I'd be inclined to leave the Model 94 at home, and carry anything in a .338, .348, or larger caliber for protection in grizz country.

    Just my two cents' worth .............................. and GOOD HUNTING.

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    I don't know why one would scout for caribou in the spring in the first place. They are migratory and move around at will. A herd in the spring is likely to be hundreds of miles away in the fall. Herds come by, then three hours latter come back from a different direction and are gone somewheres else. It seems to be a pointless expedition.

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    [QUOTEMy recommendations haven't changed over the years: .30-caliber bullets are simply too small to take out the large bones found in a bear's front shoulders, ][/QUOTE]

    I never guided nor shot large bears, but that is nonsense and I am certain that there are countless .30-06, .300WM and other .30cal users out there that would agree with me.

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    Ok so first we need to seperate the two, are we talking hunting or protecting/charging. If hunting then lots of rifle/cartrigages out there will certainly take out the vitals and kill the biggest bear and are more then adequate. Heck a 22 can kill an elephant. On a charge(and yes I have been charged) shooting vitals dont do squat(in the short term) unless you endo a bear and do extreme amounts of tissue damage...,you want bone..shoulder, neck, hip,ect...anything that will deliever an immense amount of energy to stop that bear in his tracks or at the very least slow him down enough to get off another shot.Taylor wrote a book on this and even has his on formula although some may dispute it. I have seen a brownie take 11 shots from a 375HH of which 9 were in the chest cause the adrenaline was pumping...I am not advocating anything here just look at all the guys that do it for a living and you will be hard pressed to find any guide carrying less then a 338 and most carry bigger for a reason.As a guide I certainly see where Grizzly2 is coming from 30 caliber is on the light side(I prefer my hunters use a min 338 but have had them take grizz with much smaller) for protection(charges) I gaurantee any of them who have ever been charged including myself has never asked for a smaller gun.To the OP I would want a bullet that holds together as was pointed out that will hold together when hitting heavy bone..

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