New load in my Model 94. It is deadly accurate but Im wondering if its a good deer killer, Im kinda new to cast. I am useing a Lee C309 170f mold, a 50-50 mix of wheeleight lead and pure lead, and 22 grains of IMR 4198. Im hunting Vermont deer which can go over 200 pounds. Looking for advise on this setup, ie bullet performance, velocity, any info or opinions. Like i said it is deadly accurate. Thanks, Craig
Is this 3030 load a deer killer?
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- Last Post 07 January 2020
Until we have feedback from the deer, it's all conjecture.
Shot placement trumps energgy, but I still agree with Larry.
Within 50 yards his slower .30-30 load with soft alloy will work, but so does my .44-40 and it doesn't need to expand!
I've killed a dozen or so deer with black powder and patched .45-.50 cal. round balls, and a couple with .44-.45 cap & ball revolvers too, but always well inside 50 yards at woods range.
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
Based on Lyman data your load produces 1600 fps. 200 pound Deer need to be hit in the vital with a load producing 1,000 foot pounds on impact for an ethical harvest. Your load with a 170 gr bullet at 1600 fps only has 966 foot pounds at the muzzle and is not a humane harvest load at any distance. Your bullet needs 2057 fps to deliver 1,000 foot pounds at 100 yards. That will take 24.3 grains of IMR 4198 to be an ethical harvest 100 yard Deer rifle with your cast 170 gr bullet. Your alloy is not strong enough for that load level, you will need a BHN 15 alloy like Lyman #2 You sound like you have a nice target load at 1600 fps but that is not a humane Deer load at all unless you are point blank shooting the brain through the eye.. I shoot your same bullet at 2050 fps with H4895 from my 100 yard Deer rifle. The load groups 2.2” @100 yards for me. I cast the bullet in #2 alloy and my mold is honed large, I size check the bullet at .310” for my 30-30. I also shoot the RD 165 FNGC about that speed, it shoots a little better and has a much bigger flat nose than the Lee bullet. Gary
In a 30-30 I have used a 190 gr. bullet at 1900 muzzle velocity using 12-13 bhn bullets. Have killed deer out to 150 yards with no problem.
I any 30 caliber I prefer to keep muzzle velocity above 1800 fps. I know you didn't ask about your bullet choice but the RCBS 180 FN (really about 190 grains) is my preferred hunting bullet for a 30-30 or a 30-06. Having said that there are many suitable bullet choices.
You might want to consider a change of powder for your deer 30-30 loads. I suggest Hodgdon's LeveRevolution. A charge of 34.5 - 35 gr under your Lee 170 gr bullets should run 2150 - 2175 fps+/- out of your M94. That is a 200 yard deer killing load, even the larger ones you have up there. I also use COWWs +2% tin and then mixed 50/50 with lead for my hunting alloy in a Lyman 311041. They weigh out at 175 gr. I also use a soft NRA 50/50 lube and size them at .311. Loaded over 34.5 gr LvR they run 2155 out of my 20” M94 and 2174 fps out of my 21” Contender Carbine. I clean the barrel every 7 - 8 shots to maintain best accuracy if right at 2 moa. More than that and fouling picks up opening the moa to 3 - 4. Keeping the barrel clean isn't a problem for hunting as if I've not got the deer in 7 shots I might as well go home and clean the rifle anyways...... Here's 7 shots out of the magazine tube at 100 yards fro my M94 Carbine. Paster is 1". This LvR load will still retain about 1600 fps at 200 yards which is what your load is producing at the muzzle. The ability to have adequate bullet performance out to 200 yards is the real benefit of such a load. LMG
Concealment is not cover.........
Craig, it is likely your groups will open up a bit when you increase the load to 24.3 grains IMR4198. Consider the effective 100 yard distance and the vital size of 10 inches. At worst your groups will be ~ 5” at 100 yards and that still fits in the vital at the distance.
You don't mention gas checking your bullet, I hope you do as accuracy will be less at that load level without a gas check and gas checks extend the load range of your alloy strength about 10%.
If your WW alloy is from clip on WW and not stick on WW you are in better shape. The clip on WW alloy has enough Antimony that the alloy can be drop quench hardened as the bullets are cast. That will raise your BHN to the strength needed for 24.3 grains IMR 4198. Put the pure lead aside and harden your clip on WW alloy bullets and you will be fine. Although the Lyman #2 alloy I recommended will expand better on impact due to #2 Alloy Tin content malleability.
If you are curious about the 1,000 foot pound vital hit impact on deer size game for a humane harvest, That comes from hunting guide associations all over the world. It is not something new that I made up. I first read about that in the 1960s in the Herter's Guide Manual and it was old news then. It is good standard for ethical harvest. Your current load with 22 gr IMR 4198 falls way short in power for ethical harvest. A good guide would not allow you to use that load on 200 pound Vermont Deer at any range and would sight you in with good ammo for your Deer or send you home. He would likely insist you use factory 30-30 ammo because your particular cast load is too weak for ethical harvest.
Nice soft alloy and the load duplicates the .32-40 “deer load” so no reason it will not work inside ethical ranges.
Cheers from New Zealand
I have only seen two animals killed by “bullet energy” alone : One was a small sparrow that landed on a bush I had a target attached to I hit the bull with the 500gr. full house load in my .458 Win. when I went up to check the target the bird was lying there dead. 2. I shot at a running jack rabbit with that same rifle and a 490gr. cast bullet at near 2000fps. I hit the ground under the jack knocked him about 3 ft. into the air. When I skinned the rabbit there were no holes in him but a great bruise in the area of his chest.
Where you hit the animal counts more than what you hit them with. Like a warden told me: "They shoot elk up here all the time with a 22rf.". But, that being said you also need enough bullet going fast enough. A low speed 30 cal bullet going through the lungs is equivalent to an arrow with a field point on it. It won't do enough damage to ensure a quick clean kill. Conversely, if you gut shoot a deer with a 375 H&H you still have a gut shot deer. Brodie
One thing most people forget...... the harder the alloy, the more speed it takes to make it work. That nice soft alloy in a hollow pointed handgun cartridge will kill easily at 400 ft-lbs when put in the right spot.
Farm boy from Western Illinois, living in the Magical Pacific Northwest
I am an archer too and broad-headed deer hunting arrows don't kill by foot pounds, they kill by cutting and bleeding not shock at all. My broad-heads will shoot through a steel bucket full of sand at 25 yards because they cut a path with sharp edges and don't need anywhere near 1,000 foot pounds to do that. The OPs load won't even go through the same bucket of sand or a 200 pound Vermont Whitetail vital and is not an ethical load for Deer. His load is less than 1,000 foot pounds at the muzzle and decreases continuously with range. I recommended a load that has the minimum recommended ethical power for reliably harvesting Deer to 100 yards when you hit anywhere in the 10” vital of a Deer. Even if your bullet goes in between the heart and lungs, the shock passing through the area mortally damages the lungs and heart with a bullet passing through that delivers 1,000 foot pounds on impact. Bullets kill by shock damage, broad-heads kill by slicing and bleeding.
It has been suggested by Lyman to guide associations and hunters that 1,000 foot pounds to the vital with a bullet is the point reliable fatality begins for humane harvest of Deer sized game. Sure less will do in many instances, but the ethical reliability is lower. Guide associations accepted this standard immediately to ensure their clients are not under-gunned as the OPs 22 gr. load makes him under gunned for Deer.
And Yes, I do have all my deer hunting rifles, including Muzzle loaders. specifically setup to deliver humane harvest energy shock to my longest hunting shot range. I see less as unethical. And I wish everybody did.
My personal most recent example is my new kit built Traditions 50 Cal Flintlock. It is setup specifically to deliver 1,000 foot pounds at 100 yards with the Lee 250 gr R.E.A.L. Less would be unethical for my Deer hunting shot range maximum of 100 yards. I believe the research from Lyman and follow their recommendation for ethical harvest. I have harvested about 70 Whitetails with decisive 100% mortality following the Lyman recommendation.
An unusual exception is archery hunting Squirrels with blunt tipped arrows. This is my favorite hunting, the blunts instantly kill Squirrels with shock to the chest or head. Paunch or rump shots with blunts are just messy and then crippled Squirrels get very loud and take a second hit.
I have been lucky in the area I live to shoot as many deer as I have. They don't live long enough to get 200 lb. on the property I hunt. But I take deer half that with no problems . If it's accurate and you place your shots you'll do fine. It helps to hit bone. You get plenty of penatration but little expansion. I have taken more deer with my 30-30 than any other rifle I own. Most with cast bullets. As far as energy goes my T/C contender super 14 would run short on the recommendations. A facing standing doe fell were it stood from a cast bullet of wheel weights. It was only about thirty yards but the bullet entered the chest and was retrieved from the hide at the rear ham. I admit I have lost deer but I have lost them with jacked bullets also. It happens. I have taken deer with at least four different cast bullets. My pick is the RCBS 180 FN. However I have to run it in a taper die in order to keep the gas check above the shoulder and allow extraction from chamber if not fired. I use IMR 3031 and it will push that bullet 1900 fps. This from a T/C contender carbine. I hunt in the woods so I don't take long shots. Hope this helps, good luck.
Seems to me that there might be a few of you posting on here that either A.) never hunted with cast bullets, or B.) are so hung up on foot pounds of energy that you discount the effectiveness of bullet design when it comes to terminal performance.
Cases in point--the first buck I ever took (~180 lbs dressed) was with a Dan Wesson 357 SuperMag pushing an air-cooled WW 220 grain LBT WLN out the front end at 1400 FPS. The slug went in, punched a big hole through the heart, and went out the far side of the chest. The deer went about 30 yards and fell over stone dead.
I've also knocked over multiple good sized deer (DRT) with a TC Contender in 7mm TCU, shooting an air-cooled WW 132 grain NOE “Thor” slug at just over 1800 FPS.
Both my loads fall shy of the “magic number” of 1000 ft-lbs, yet I have personally used them to kill dozens of deer because I choose a bullet design that has excellent terminal effectiveness and use an alloy suited to the slugs I hunt with at the velocities I achieve with my pistols.
What I'm getting at is that terminal performance, whether the slug is jacketed or cast, is more about bullet placement and design than it is about muzzle energy.
I have not hunted anything bigger than turkey with that .40 so really can answer your question regarding penetration. All I can say is that the ball kept on going somewhere. Although there probably have been scores of white tails killed with the .40 through out our history, I personally would prefer something a little bigger.
I agree that bullet weight is more important than penetration. All one has to do to understand this is look at the firearms development in this country. From the eastern woods and relatively small game to the far west where much larger calibers were needed for the really big game. While our ancestors couldn't increase the velocity much with black, they met the challenge by increasing the caliber.
Guess I better quit hijacking this thread.
"Guys, regardless of what some of us have pulled off with small cartridges, can we just agree that the original poster would be better off with a heavier load of a slower powder, even if it gives a bit worse accuracy, than the load of 4198 he's using now? That's not to say the current load won't work or can't work, just that he can do better." M3 Mitch stated my own position exactly. I have shot many, many deer with numerous .30 cal cast bullets over the years. I've found the 311041 or similar cast bullet of medium to soft alloy at 1900 - 2200 fps is by far the best to use. That load kills very quick out to 200 yards if the bullet goes into the heart lung area. Yes I have also killed a few with lessor velocity and with less powerful cartridges. However, I don't do that anymore as I prefer to kill an animal quickly for humane and other reasons. No criticism intended of anyone for using less as long as they do kill and recover the deer. I'm only stating my own preference after killing many deer and having a few heartbreaks in there too. LMG
Concealment is not cover.........
You have also made some generalizations that aren't accurate.
There are a whole lot of people out there that do not aim anywhere close to the heart area...... and they kill deer easily doing so. The quite narrow view you're expounding doesn't help. The vital area for Deer as noted in the Guide Associations using the Humane Harvest 1,000 foot pound standard is defined as a 10 inch circle including the heart, and lung area does not define the hit as a heart or lung hit, only that 1,000 foot pounds impact in that area will reliably stop the heart of the animal with impact shock transferred to the heart.
Look at this way in a similar situation for humans. Strike a human in that area with a baseball bat hard enough and you can stop a human heart with just shock impact from the bat and no penetration is required. Blunt tipped arrows in archery hunting for small game work the same way with no penetration and kill by shock stopping the heart of small game animals.
The standard was developed and still used by Hunting Guide Associations to prevent the type of shots you mention that are no where near the vital area to discourage customers of the guides from taking less reliable shots on game that lessen the quality of the hunt for the customer and the guide.
If you disagree or don't want to acknowledge the standard, so what. Be aware that professional guides that use the standard will not allow you to hunt until you agree by contract to use the standard while being professionally guided on your hunt.
The snappy mouth response of a guide with a customer that balks at the standard is that ” If you can't demonstrate your ability to hit that 10” circle at the distance we agree on hunting, you cannot hunt with me. We are going to the range to test your ability to hit a 10” circle at 200 yards. Then I will set your maximum range based on your one shot. You get 1 shot to prove yourself or you don't hunt here with me.” The professional guides do not want bad shooting jerks that don't follow directions on a hunt. The one shot test is common from good guides.
Perhaps you have never hunted with a good professional guide. It is a unique experience and so is reading, “Professional Guide's Manual Written for Northstar Guide Association” by George and Jacques Herter in 1960.
To be fair I was quite skeptical of a ball when I bought my .50 cal muzzleloader. By modern thinking (not an exact number necessary, and not one of 1000 ft/lbs) a projectile with such a poor sectional density and with a poor ballistic coefficiency that sheds velocity rapidly, there was no way I could understand how this could be exceptable beyond 50 yds. I spent time and asked questions and sought evidence and found it in abundance. A ball with barely more than 300 ft/lbs goes clean through medium game beyond 125 yds and can and will drop them DRT with a solid hit. No more tracking was necessary compared to modern stuff as we all know that even a good hit with a good bullet may still leave you with some tracking to do. I still can't get over this absurd 1000 ft/lb rule as it would even dismiss most commercial .44 magnum ammo, which is a ludicrous idea. Even the .357 mag has been shown to be effective, though most consider it minimal.
From Onandaga's original post
in this thread:
"Based on Lyman data your load produces 1600 fps. 200 pound Deer need to be hit in the vital with a load producing 1,000 foot pounds on impact for an ethical harvest.
Your load with a 170 gr bullet at 1600 fps only has 966 foot pounds at the muzzle and is not a humane harvest load at any distance.
Your bullet needs 2057 fps to deliver 1,000 foot pounds at 100 yards. That will take 24.3 grains of IMR 4198 to be an ethical harvest 100 yard Deer rifle with your cast 170 gr bullet.
Your alloy is not strong enough for that load level, you will need a BHN 15 alloy like Lyman #2
You sound like you have a nice target load at 1600 fps but that is not a humane Deer load at all unless you are point blank shooting the brain through the eye.. Gary"
I used an RCBS 180 gr. GC FP bullet over a case full (to the base of the bullet) of old WW ll surplus 4831 powder. Velocity was 1875 fps. Family members regularly took our N. Idaho White Tail deer out to 100 yds. The bullets always passed completely through quartering or broad side shots. The alloy was 10 bhn nuclear medicine lead.
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