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  • hard cast versus expansion, hydrostatic shock not a factor anymore?

    With the medium speed bear protection rifles such as the 450 Marlin or the 45/70 the heavy hardcast seems to be the bullet of choice. I understand that penetration is needed, but what about hydrostatic shock, and explosive wound channels?

    Slow and heavy penetrates soft tissue, where hydrostatic shock performs best, but hard cast are used for slow and heavy. If slower works better in this medium, what about smashing large bones, joints, and the skull? Would not a faster bullet smash the hard stuff better than the slow one< it is physics, not magic I would think.

    If the purpose is Protection and stopping a charge--not hunting, the bullet coming out the south side of a north headed bear may a moot point if the bears lives long enough to eat you before expiring. This is why this subject (bear protection) is so elusive, as rumors, theories, and a spiritual numen seems to follow the subject at hand. The modern bonded softs like Swift, and Trophy Bonded stay together and penetrate enough to kill in most situations I would think. I shot a 600 pound Black Bear in Northern Alberta with a .338 using a Swift bullet and it did a great job! But, and there always is a but in life, that was not a charging shot.

    I am leaning on researching putting a soft up first in the chamber, and hardcast behind it. If the soft doesn't stop it, or if I only get one chance to shoot, I trust a good bonded soft to make it die sooner than the hardcast. But, if I get a second shot to back up the first one, then the solid can bust up its wheels to slow it down more...

    This is for the 450 Marlin. My .458 Lott will probably only use Trophy Bonded bullets for bear. Maybe Swifts, I will wait and see how they shoot in more focused and intense shooting sessions first.

    Sound good to anyone with experience? Remember, I am talking about a carry protection rifle at this time, not hunting with it.

  • #2
    ya got me....

    All that hydrostatic shock, energy, etc is hard for me to pin down in my head. I do believe it is real at high velocity on lung shot stuff such as deer and young moose or elk. But, when the critter starts weighing over 700 lbs. and has a big skeletal structure that gets hit I think a large caliber and deep penetrating bullet is best. Is a hard cast in a 45-70 better then a heavy jacketed 45-70 soft nose? Wish I knew. I also wish more bullet makers would make a 400 grain 45-70 bullet with a real heavy jacket that barely mushroomed. Seems like most of them that retain a lot of weight roll up like a pumpkin ball and that limits penetration. There really has not been a lot of information printed on 45-70 bullet performance on big bears and big moose. I'm talking real data like type of bullet, velocity, what was hit and where, penetration, etc. If there is I would be interested in reading it. Seems rather odd given the popularity of the round in Alaska. I load the 405 gr. Kodiak and have heard good things about the 390 gr. Belt Mountain "Punch Solid". So far all I have ever shot with mine is a tree stump that charged me from 20' That's after owning a Marlin 45-70 for about 20 years. Now I am ashamed!

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    • #3
      I would rather carry a rifle everyday for 20 years without a bear story to tell, than to have bite marks on my stock, my fanny, and a sad story to tell!!!

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      • #4
        If the hard cast is a better choice for second shot it stands to reason its also better for the first and more meaningfull shot
        Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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        • #5
          properly constructed

          to stay together, a large diameter soft point bullet even at moderate speeds will do an adequate job, but, the wide flat point (meplat) on a hard cast bullet does create hydrostatic shock, perhaps not double hemispheric, but it will cause plenty of tissue shock. It will create a wound channel larger then the bullet diameter, so a 45 caliber bullet will do the job. Any time you use a soft point bullet, the expansion will cause quicker slowdown of the bullet and less penetration. But a hard cast bullet will, in all likelyhood, cause more through and through wound channels. blood out two ways. Different theories, different experiences lead people to what they think is best.
          I saw a short video of a guy who shot a pretty good sized brownie with a 250 grain .338 WM load. The bear was not aware of them at about 60 yards, and he went down in an instant. While the guys were congratulating each other, the bear slowly got up and started to move away, fatally wounded. The guy shot him 3 more times before he went down for good, rolling into a small pool, to make tyhings harder. Point is, they were good quality soft points. you just never know. Things happen the way they are meant to.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Proud American View Post
            With the medium speed bear protection rifles such as the 450 Marlin or the 45/70 the heavy hardcast seems to be the bullet of choice. I understand that penetration is needed, but what about hydrostatic shock, and explosive wound channels?

            Slow and heavy penetrates soft tissue, where hydrostatic shock performs best, but hard cast are used for slow and heavy. If slower works better in this medium, what about smashing large bones, joints, and the skull? Would not a faster bullet smash the hard stuff better than the slow one< it is physics, not magic I would think.

            If the purpose is Protection and stopping a charge--not hunting, the bullet coming out the south side of a north headed bear may a moot point if the bears lives long enough to eat you before expiring. This is why this subject (bear protection) is so elusive, as rumors, theories, and a spiritual numen seems to follow the subject at hand. The modern bonded softs like Swift, and Trophy Bonded stay together and penetrate enough to kill in most situations I would think. I shot a 600 pound Black Bear in Northern Alberta with a .338 using a Swift bullet and it did a great job! But, and there always is a but in life, that was not a charging shot.

            I am leaning on researching putting a soft up first in the chamber, and hardcast behind it. If the soft doesn't stop it, or if I only get one chance to shoot, I trust a good bonded soft to make it die sooner than the hardcast. But, if I get a second shot to back up the first one, then the solid can bust up its wheels to slow it down more...

            This is for the 450 Marlin. My .458 Lott will probably only use Trophy Bonded bullets for bear. Maybe Swifts, I will wait and see how they shoot in more focused and intense shooting sessions first.

            Sound good to anyone with experience? Remember, I am talking about a carry protection rifle at this time, not hunting with it.

            Let me play the devils advocate here, some say I'm good at it.

            What is hydro-static shock?

            What causes a plastic gallon jug of water to explode when shooting it?

            Would the answer to both questions be the same?

            Shoot one jug with a small caliber, high velocity round.
            Shoot one with a slow, heavy, large caliber, flat nosed, hard cast bullet.

            An easy way to do this quickly is use a 9mm 100 grain load and a 44 special load. Or a 223 and a 45-70 with heavy, flat nosed, cast bullet.

            Then lets us know what happened.

            The term would be better applied as rapid displacement of tissue (or water). We can do this with a narrow bullet at high velocity or we can do it with a wide projectile at slow velocity. The wide, heavy bullet will survive the impact better, stay together, push through and make a much larger wound cavity.
            Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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            • #7
              This is all well and good; an argument that is posted a lot I see. It may have merit, but it also has weaknesses. Since you jumped to the water jug, let me jump to an area where I am well versed at ... police shootings. As a retired cop and Shooting competitor, and a hunter, I have seen many of these effects by bullets.

              Faster expanding bullets, hollow points or others, having been studied for years and documented does work better by a large margin over the solid lead, moderate speed bullets of the past. Animals and people are not water jugs, they are made of water, but do not consist of water, there are open areas and space, bones, sinew, and other variables. Some bullets I will admit are designed to not over penetrate for public safety ... we do not want little Johnny getting hit by a slug going through bad guy Bob. But, and there always is a but in life, we also do not want bad guy Bob who is not taken down quickly, but dying nonetheless, shooting you dead ... before dying himself!

              Solid .45s work well due to size, but .45 hydrashok bullets work better! This is not completely the same as a bear, but similar in some physics that I am concerned about regarding bears, a thin-skinned animal as well. The expanding handgun bullets will have the same effect on a water jug as your aforementioned demonstration, but in the real world it is not a true factor or gauge of actual results.

              There are also nervous system and mental effects differences that may turn a person or an animal away from what they doing without dying first ... shooting at you, or charging you in a bear's case ... that the effects of a hard hitting expanding bullet may have. I think static things like wood or water jugs are somewhat telling, but not the whole story by any means. I still feel that the old African Pro Hunter choices may still apply here, a claw extractor, Mauser action, and the biggest gun that you can shoot into the target intended at speed is best. The qualifiers for some in Alaska may change that, because of lighter weight in rougher country, and cost of ammo, etc. So:

              I am back where we started looking for the perfect rifle for Protection, not hunting if I may remind you. I will admit I do worry about my lever gun reliability in life & death scenarios. If you miss a moose while hunting because your gun jams, no big deal, you get disappointed. Miss a charging bear for the same reason you get DEAD! A big deal!

              This is fun, this forum... Learn a lot, and exchange ideals and experiences!
              Last edited by Proud American; 03-31-2009, 08:35. Reason: add a word or two...

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              • #8
                Reliability is one of the things I really like about my Marlin Guide Gun. It's simple & it works.
                As far as comparing how bullets work in people to how they work on Alaskan big game simply doesn't work. While a brown bear may be "thin skinned", he's so heavily muscled & boned that you absolutely need something that wiill penetrate to get to the goodies, preferably the centeral nervous system. For that I want a heavy bullet that will stay together without massive expansion (that limits penetration) and still displaces a fair amount of tissue. The heavy hardcast bullets with a large meplat do that. As with any bullet/caliber, shot placement is the key. If a bear is charging, we aren't talking broadside lung shots, but shots into heavy muscle/bone.
                Vance in AK.

                Matthew 6:33
                "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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                • #9
                  I believe the answer has been given,just not accepted.Haveing seen more people die than most given the choice I would prefer to shoot if needed a person at 15 yards with a 45acp than a 223 and to me the same logic stands for bear protection
                  Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    topic keeps re-surfacing

                    Amusing that this topic keeps re-surfacing with solutions to non-existent problems. That said, the poster of this thread has a .458 LOTT bolt gun (that can also use .458 WIN MAG), a Marlin in .450 MARLIN or .45-70 as well, likely has a .44 REM MAG or something more powerful in a handgun, and has or uses a 12 GA shotgun from time to time.

                    Seeking experienced insights from head-on Browny/Griz charge scenarios, yet knowing the best of situations is never happen to draw down and fire upon one.

                    I'm gonna flat out tell ya that the vast majority of charging bear stories with incidental shootings are mostly fables... extremely, rarely necessitating a bears demise. Animals and folks get to close 'for comfort', people get trigger happy, and blast away under conditions far less pressing than self defense.

                    Is the lever gun in .45-70 w/ modern full power loadings a good choice? Sure - if you shoot it well, its reliable in good repair, and conveniently handy to tote.

                    Is the .44 REM MAG handgun (or on up) a good choice? Yes - if you can place your shots, its dependable in fine workin' condition, and find it so easy to carry around at all times even while in for the night.

                    Is the 12 GA a bad choice? No - particularly as a versatile, compact, relatively easy to use, and rapid firing final defense.

                    Is Pepper Spray a lame choice? No - In so many scenarios it could be a win/win situation for humans and bears!!!

                    Would you carry a bolt gun in .458 LOTT over the rest listed? Yes! & do!!! However, it is custom safari-grade, weatherproof, w/ a tack-driving 16 1/2" barrel... purpose built and made to order for such a task. Is it 'better' on heavy, dangerous game than all mentioned? Yes! Easily out-classing the rest listed in every way, shape, and form.

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                    • #11
                      HERE WE GO AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes:
                      A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
                      THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
                      THE HEART OF A CHILD
                      THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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                      • #12
                        With such a short barrel

                        would the .458 Lott really have all that much more worthwhile extra over the .458 Win Mag?

                        In a real world situation where a lot of people don't even want to carry a S&W or Ruger steel .44 mag because they are (good lord) too heavy, I doubt many would carry a custom heavy caliber rifle, considering the cost also. But, the Marlin is well within our budgets by comparison and a 405 grain hard cast bullet at 1600-1700 fps at close range would work just fine.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Proud American View Post
                          This is all well and good; an argument that is posted a lot I see. It may have merit, but it also has weaknesses. Since you jumped to the water jug, let me jump to an area where I am well versed at ... police shootings. As a retired cop and Shooting competitor, and a hunter, I have seen many of these effects by bullets.

                          Faster expanding bullets, hollow points or others, having been studied for years and documented does work better by a large margin over the solid lead, moderate speed bullets of the past. Animals and people are not water jugs, they are made of water, but do not consist of water, there are open areas and space, bones, sinew, and other variables. Some bullets I will admit are designed to not over penetrate for public safety ... we do not want little Johnny getting hit by a slug going through bad guy Bob. But, and there always is a but in life, we also do not want bad guy Bob who is not taken down quickly, but dying nonetheless, shooting you dead ... before dying himself!

                          If you seek to compare man and beast as needing similar equipment to stop, I suspect we'll read about you in the paper one day. The load needed to stop a human assailant would function quite well with only 3" of penetration and correspondingly shallow wound cavity. It would have little or no effect on a 900 pound beast intent on killing you. Light for caliber bullets at extremes of velocity are piss poor choices for grizzly bears from any angle. Stopping and killing power is MUCH better with strongly constructed heavy bullets because they will penetrate to the vitals from any angle. Why is that so hard to understand. No, neither of them are water jugs but that is where we can see your hydro-static shock in motion and all that it's worth. It gives little or nothing towards effective killing/stopping power unless we are charge by a renegade trout.

                          Your comparison of lead vs JHP loads for police work, though I doubt you've made any actual comparison, have to do with soft lead round nose vs JHP's, not Hard cast flat nosed LBT style and also all such comparison were with 38 spcl lead RN vs 9mm JHP, with exception of 45 hard ball FMJ round nose. And all were at handgun velocities.
                          There is a much greater permanent wound cavity made with a flat nosed 240 grain 44 special at 850 fps than a 9mm 115 grain JHP at 1200 fps.

                          If you have a 458 Lott you sure don't need a 450 or 45-70 but if you want light weight high speed bullets use a 243 for bear protection.

                          Solid .45s work well due to size, but .45 hydrashok bullets work better! This is not completely the same as a bear, but similar in some physics that I am concerned about regarding bears, a thin-skinned animal as well. The expanding handgun bullets will have the same effect on a water jug as your aforementioned demonstration, but in the real world it is not a true factor or gauge of actual results.

                          Correct but here again shallow penetrating, non-exiting bullet design. Bear vitals are behind a lot more bear muscle and bone and that muscle and bone are much thicker and tougher than even the brawniest of bipeds.

                          And again your hydro-static shock doesn't shock the heavy beast of the wild nor does the sound of your gun. It was your claim that hydro-static shock made a difference in killing power, not mine.

                          There are also nervous system and mental effects differences that may turn a person or an animal away from what they doing without dying first ... shooting at you, or charging you in a bear's case ... that the effects of a hard hitting expanding bullet may have. I think static things like wood or water jugs are somewhat telling, but not the whole story by any means. I still feel that the old African Pro Hunter choices may still apply here, a claw extractor, Mauser action, and the biggest gun that you can shoot into the target intended at speed is best. The qualifiers for some in Alaska may change that, because of lighter weight in rougher country, and cost of ammo, etc. So:

                          Are you now talking about guns or cartridges?? A hard hitting expanding bullet will only hit the outside edges........penetration is what is needed for thick animals. I think this is the point you are missing.

                          I am back where we started looking for the perfect rifle for Protection, not hunting if I may remind you. I will admit I do worry about my lever gun reliability in life & death scenarios. If you miss a moose while hunting because your gun jams, no big deal, you get disappointed. Miss a charging bear for the same reason you get DEAD! A big deal!

                          This is fun, this forum... Learn a lot, and exchange ideals and experiences!

                          I find your comparison of the behavior of handgun bullets for police work to bullets to be used for bear defense rather odd, especially when you well know that over penetration could be a very dangerous thing in police work. You also know that a bear cracass is much larger than any human. We rarely have a situation in bear defense where over penetration would cause injury to an innocent bystander. I've been shot at in six different countries and have returned same with prejudice, I've seen a bullet wound or two. I am certain I would not get the same performace with the same type of bulet for an animal so constructed as a heavy grizzly or brown bear.

                          If you want a lever gun, the Marlin would be hard to beat and 450 or the 45-70 loaded correctly would get the job done. Personally I prefer a good bolt action and the calibers start at 40. 350 to 400 grains at about 2250 to 2400 fps in a forty caliber will end trouble quickly. I'd want more bullet weight for the 45 calibers, to keep the SD up, with about 450 grains to start. I don't need it to expand at all, only penetrate......everything in its path....... and exit. Holes where muscle and bone used to be are what kills quickly.
                          Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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                          • #14
                            450 or 458 Lott, two rifles, two purposes...

                            No, I don't need my 450 since I have a Lott! But, my son lives in AK, and I am also trying to work up a rifle that he will actually use when I am not there. He has my 500 S&W full-size, and a shotgun, but he does not like carrying a lot. I am trying to find something that he may carry a lot, which is why I bought the takedown version of the Browning 81 in 450 Marlin. He is not as good as I am shooting, and he has little high pressure shooting experience. So, I am trying a compromise situation here for him. A 450 Marlin in the hand is much better than a 458 Lott back at camp ... is my main theme here. I feel that he will not carry a Marlin rifle because it is not as convenient to carry. He usually goes out with other friends, and they could share a rifle half, using their handguns, he his 500, as a trail gun. Then they would have a rifle handy around camp or the stream while fishing, and other places where they perceive they need it.

                            Another reason I have doubts about stuff like Buffalo Bore is their reliability. I have read about problems on this forum. Again, my Police experience finds reliability utmost and foremost. Hornady factory 350 grain loads that go boom every time is better than special semi-factory loads that are questionable and may not go boom when needed. I have an uneasy feeling about them, but the choices are slim pickins in these calibers. I don't trust reloads either in life & death circumstances. Hunting or shooting cans is one thing, the last line of defense in a real situation of do or die is another. Good feelings lead to confidence, confidence leads to success, success means my gun shop owner won’t go out of business because I became bear waste.

                            I know that I could walk through Harlem at night without a problem, or walk in the wilds of Alaska naked carrying fish, without a problem. But, and there always is a but in life, cold steel in hand sure makes me smile anyway on such occasions.

                            I wish Hornady or Federal would load such hard cast bullets, then I would be out of problems here!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Then you're in a tight spot. You don't trust semi-factory loads and you don't trust reloads and the big ammo makers don't have the right stuff.

                              First of all I don't know what is going on with Buffalo Bore ammo but Corbons and others make hard cast in many calibers and Federal does in some. Secondly your comment about reloads makes no sense to me. I'm not sure what you classify as reloads but good ammo is good ammo. I've made thousands of rounds of ammo for dozens of calibers used for dangerous game the world over. Many hunters have taken my ammo afield for bears, buffalo, lion, leopard and elephant. I still load ammo for them when they hunt. So apparently they haven't been eaten lately. You obviously wouldn't trust your own handloaded ammo either so I don't know what to say.

                              First the caliber of choice is a Hornady caliber so no one else will be loading much ammo for it. Hornady wants to load the little 300 grain rubber tipped spitzer which would be the worst bullet for heavy dangerous game but according to Hornady is the flattest shooting rifle in its class. So you should be able to wound an animal farther out than before. And once again a rifle that I've seen disabled with a weed seed in the rotating bolt and a willow twig in the gear mechanism is not what I would call reliable so I don't know where we are going here. You won't use hand loaded ammunition but you'll use a rifle that has never had any endorsement as a rugged dependable rifle by anyone who has the knowledge and experience with the rifle and subject it to hard times.

                              Also my M98 Mauser based forty caliber wildcat will launch 350 Swift A-frames at 2450 fps from a 7 pound rifle that is 41" long with a 20.5" barrel. If that is so hard to carry or shoot I don't see where a BLR will be so much easier. Never will the BLR deliver so much horse power in such a small package. Another good point about a gazillion knowledgable people have endorsed the M98 as a reliable, dependable and rugged rifle. I believe to coddle around with finding the most comfortable or the cutest rifle available so you'll be comfortable with it is an exercise in futility. Belly up to the bar and shoot a real rifle in a real bear caliber. Leave the deer guns in the deer woods.
                              Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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