CAST BULLET MUSINGS

Decided it was time to fine tune the sighting on my Ruger SBH .44 magnum and my .480 Ruger SRH, as “Pig Season” seems to be off to a fine start. Did some work on my “private range” in setting up better backstops at 25 and 50 yards, working on another target station at 75 yards. For me, these are sensible hand gun hunting ranges, for where and what I hunt with hand guns – hogs in a thickly wooded area.

Ruger SBH, 7.5" barrel, 31o gr hard cast at ~1000 fps, 27 yards.

Ruger SBH, 7.5″ barrel, 31o gr hard cast at ~1000 fps, 27 yards.

This was the initial sight in target with the .44 mag, shooting a Cast Performance 300 gr Hard Cast bullet at 1000 – 1100 fps, at 27 lasered yards. Not a really “tight” group, but it was late enough in the evening that the red lighted reticle on the T/C 2.5×7.5 variable scope was welcome. Certainly “minute of hog” at that distance. Also, these are “sight-in” targets, with optics adjustments between shots where necessary – not a final group check for repeatability.

.480 SRH, 7.5" barrel, 375 gr HC at ~1000 fps, 25 yards.

.480 SRH, 7.5″ barrel, 375 gr HC at ~1000 fps, 25 yards.

Getting the .480 SRH “on target”. Also got some needed experience shooting in late dusk conditions with the UltraDot red dot sight! I have been loading both 375 gr and 410 gr Hard Cast bullets from Cast Performance for my .480, and experimenting with different charge weights and velocities. These, I suspect were a bit under 1000 fps, the ones I shot the next day were closer to 1200, which caused a POI shift. One of the good things about heavy, large caliber bullets at close range is that pin point accuracy is not really needed to put a hog down – and such precise bullet placement is hard to accomplish on a constantly moving target in low light.

The first shot with the .44 after moving the target out to 60 yards (eyeballed it at 50, lasered it after set-up and found in was actually 60!). On my .44’s, I like “one shot groups”, as I find the shots to usually be very repeatable and consistent. Will do more shooting for groups later.

First try at 60 yards with the .44 mag - same load as used at 25 yards.

First try at 60 yards with the .44 mag – same load as used at 25 yards.

At the moment, my 25 yard target backstop is made of several feet of dead logs. They are starting to rot, so I expect bullets to pass through (except when shooting the steel targets), but guessed they would not travel far enough to be a problem. My wife found one of the .480 bullets yesterday, lying in the road only a few feet past the backstop. It showed minimal deforming from being fired, only light rifling marks. Fact is, it can – and will – be loaded and fired again! Comparing it to a sized but unfired .480 bullet, it weighed 357 gr instead of 375, so it did loose weight somewhere. The diameter was also smaller, measuring .468″ instead of the .478″ – .480″ of the unfired bullets.

The bullet on the left is actually a 415 gr, but is still a .480" sizing, for comparison. The right hand bullet is a 375 gr that penetrated several feet of red wood, with only a slight loss of weight and some rifling marks to show for its journey.

The bullet on the left is actually a 415 gr, but is still a .480″ sizing, for comparison. The right hand bullet is a 375 gr that penetrated several feet of dead wood, with only a slight loss of weight and some rifling marks to show for its journey.

Since I have these pistols “close”, next shots will likely be fired at the steel targets, at the same ranges.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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