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Monolithic bullets for hunting

05 Mar 2018
@ 05:38 am (GMT)

Jan Nielsen

Hello all

I live in Denmark and the writing is on the wall; sooner or later - probably sooner - lead-free rifle ammunition will be mandatory. I normally shoot a
Sako 75 in 270 Win using either 150 grains Hornady SST (or 110 grains Hornady A-max for foxes)

Being a notorious cheapskate I use 105 grains turned brass bullets of my own design for training, and now I'm wondering if it would be possible to use brass bullets for hunting. I figured this site would probably be the right place to pick some brains.

I have in mind a rather light bullet, perhaps 100-110 grains turned from ordinary free-cutting brass with a large meplat (70% or more) and an injection molded plastic point to improve the ballistic coefficient of the bullet. I would rather not tinker with petals and large cavities in the bullet nose, but would like rely on the meplat alone to do the job. The largest animals I hunt with this rifle would be fallow deer, red deer and the occasional wild boar. I do not plan on shooting at distances over 300 meters

Being a tool & die maker I'm in an enviable situation, having access to all kind of machinery, including swiss-machines for bullet making and injection molding machines for making bullet tips. I have zero expirience with monolithic bullets for hunting and all inputs and suggestions will be most welcome.


05 Mar 2018
@ 06:47 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Monolithic bullets for hunting
Hi Jan, this has been done before and I have tested such bullets. To work in the small bores, you need very high impact velocities. You may find that your turned bullets are very light which will help with this. Otherwise, it can be best to adopt a wide bore (e.g. .358 Norma) to ensure you have plenty of frontal area. Utilize a fairly low SD to ensure some measure of energy transfer.

It is also worth considering a slightly concave meplat if you do not wish to utilize a full hollow point.

As I understand it, you are not allowed to build stands for hunting over the flat terrain. Having to stand to shoot over long grasses or crops can induce a fair degree of error (both misses and gut shots). I know some folk like to brag about how well they can shoot off sticks but that's all it is, bragging without taking their fellow man into account. For the average guy with his heart racing, there is a great deal of room for error. In such situations, the bullet must be able to produce extremely wide wounds if it misses the vitals and also break up if it hits the ground, not continue on to nearby houses. In some ways, 250 yards over sticks is no different to shooting prone out to or past 1100 yards. I am sure many would disagree. I really don't care, I deal with reality, not fantasy and have seen enough gut shots and misses in close to know what I am talking about.

In the mean time, I suggest you try to share my copper bullet article locally to help educate folk.

Set about your experiments and see how you get on, you may well obtain a suitable result. But do take note that it may effect your hunting strategies. Also keep an eye out for the frangible green options from RWS.
05 Mar 2018
@ 09:28 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Monolithic bullets for hunting
Jan....have a search in the 6.8forum for testing done by fella with handle of Xman..... he is pretty fanaticle in his research and very thorough in his testing...bit like someone else we know.... with difference that he has preference for mono type projectiles
there are two projectiles out there than out preform all the others one is 110grn barns and I THINK the other is a 85grn made for the spc cartridge.....
for animals size you are talking if going mono you will be heaps better off going light and need speed for expansion period. also check out lehigh brass projectiles it may give you ideas.
06 Mar 2018
@ 06:35 am (GMT)

Jan Nielsen

Re: Monolithic bullets for hunting
Nathan. Almost all of my shooting is done using a bipod, either prone or sitting - a hunting trip to Scotland 25 years ago made me a believer. At some point somebody told me that "bipods looks ugly" to which I replied that a wounded deer is more ugly to look at - it kinda shut him up. Four-legged shooting sticks have become quite popular here. They're a pain to use, but once in place extremely stable.

Anyway, I'll give the turned bullets a try. Maybe using a copper alloy and go for some expansion. I hope I'll be able to add some info to the knowledgebase after a couple of seasons.

Mike. Thanks for the suggestion. I found some of the Xman threads you mentioned - lots of interesting information.



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