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Has any one used Extreme Defender/Defense type bullets for hunting?

mitdr774mitdr774 MemberPosts: 1,493 Senior Member
I am once again looking at options for use in my .458x1.8 and possibly .350L, and am looking at monolithic bullet options.  I have a handful of Barnes to try and have had some promise with the 300gr TTSX.  I will be revisiting them hopefully in the spring.  In the meantime I have come across some options from Lehigh Defense, but have no experience with this type of bullet.  I can read reviews by magazine writers all day, but I would trust the experiences and opinions of this forum over a paid writer any day.  Has anyone on this forum used any of these fluted design bullets for hunting?

They offer 225, 250, 325, 302, and 305 grain variants as well as a 380gr flat nose.  I dont see why I wouldnt be able to push just about all of these options to at least 1700 FPS with the 225 and 250 maybe to something in the 2300 FPS range.  I currently use a Speer 400gr at 1750 FPS, although I have not had a chance to use it on any game (I really need to get some land of my own some day in the future).  Since expansion would not be a concern, I would only have to worry about being able to push them fast enough for the flutes to work as designed.  Most are listed as a minimum velocity of 750 FPS, so I dont think velocity will be much concern.

I also suspect that at some point in the future my state will follow suit of some other states and ban the use of lead cored projectiles for hunting.  If I start looking at suitable options now it may make the transition less of a pain down the road.  I have only looked at .358 options for the .350L and they are not an option unless I want to single load the rifle.

Replies

  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,300 Senior Member
    In this state, the game laws require "Mushrooming ammunition" 
    Hard cast "lead" qualifies as "expanding" but I doubt they'd let the monolithic bullets slide. So I have no clue
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    I have never noticed that in the game laws here, but I guess that would be something I need to look into.  

    I did a quick look through the 2020 hunting digest and did not notice anything about allowed bullet types.  I guess an email to the DNR will be in order.  Thank you for pointing that out to me.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,300 Senior Member
    I know I had a game warden that had looked through a window in my truck and seen a mag full of 75gr HP and then asked if my AR was loaded with those FMJs like the mag in my truck.
    Since I had my 50 'wulf upper on it, I handed him the round out of the chamber. His eyes got big and then he laughed and said, "I guess not"
    We actually became friends after that and still talk fairly often, even though he's retired
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    Well after reading through the 2020 guidebook, and not seeing an answer to the question I decided to send an email to the DNR.

    "The only restrictions for deer hunting can be found in the the below info from the 2020 guide. The bullet used has not been restricted."

    I guess this means its a go ahead to look at these types of bullets as an option.  Having no experience with them leaves me wondering about their effectiveness though.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,300 Senior Member
    Cool, I know different states have different rules, here, it's "centerfire, using mushrooming ammunition". So "legally", I could hunt deer with TennMike's 25ACP rifle, as long as I was using an expanding bullet design. Not that I'd want to though
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    Sometimes the rules here can be a bit unclear or seem like a missprint.  This past season I I was able to go out for a couple weekends during muzzle loading season with my limited firearm zone centerfire.  The rule book seemed like a misprint so I had to ask the DNR if it was correct.

    Not sure I want to try and hunt anything with a .25 ACP, although it sounds like it would be a riot to shoot at the range.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,345 Senior Member
    I can vouch for the Barnes.

    As to the fluted slugs. . .what I THINK they're trying to do is re-write the rule of needing velocities around 2000 fps or more to overcome tissue elasticity resisting tearing.  The flutes might push the tissue in opposing directions forcefully enough to give the displacement effect of a faster bullet.  Neat. . .IF it works. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    I have had mixed on paper performance with Barnes and GMX bullets.  The 300gr TTSX is one that shows potential to group in my .458x1.8, but I need to spend more time to figure out a consistent load.

    Options are limited for .458 bullets that will expand at the velocities I can push, hence looking at other options besides cup and core and Barnes.  325 FTX had two unexplained results in a row, so I switched to a 400gr FN thats designed for .45-70 Trapdoor velocities.  I have not had an opportunity to see how it performs on game though.  I tried several different 300gr HP offerings with great groups at 50 yards that just fell apart by 100 yards.  Any of the 350gr cup and core options out there seem to require more velocity to expand than I will be able to achieve.  A couple Barnes options will leave me with about a 100 yard range before I get to a velocity that is really close to their minimum impact velocity for any expansion.  The 300 TTSX leaves me a big window, but I have limited stock on hand and when they are available now the price seems to have really gone up.

    The theory sounds good, but not knowing how they perform on game leaves me wondering if a fluted bullet is a good idea for hunting.  Gel tests are not the same as actual tissue.  
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,345 Senior Member
    It IS possible to overthink certain things. . .

    One of those things may be bullet expansion on a .45 caliber hunting rifle.  Considering that you might only get a .308 up to about .55 or .60 caliber, the .458's can be considered "pre-expanded".  Bison were hunted to near extinction with bullets of that general diameter that did little more than plow on through. 

    The most dramatic destroyer of milk jugs I've ever seen is the NOE 405 grain cast WFN ("Wide Flat Nose" with a meplat of about 75% of full diameter, I.O.W., about .340") out of a .45-70 at about 1600 fps.  A LFN (Long Flat Nose) with a smaller meplat (around .27"-to .30") like the RCBS 405gr GC isn't quite as dramatic, but it will tend to fly a little flatter and might run better in an autoloader.  The RCBS is an accurate projectile to at least 100 yards in everything I've seen it fired in that has a bore diameter appropriate to shoot it in (some of the vintage dinosaurs don't).  I can say it tenderizes deer hearts nicely.

    Also consider the application of you .458x1.5".  Probably not a thousand yard rig. and certainly not a prairie dog outfit.  If you're grouping tighter than about 4 MOA, smile and take it hunting.


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    This is a very valid point on the "pre expanded" concept.  That was essentially the thought process when I was playing with the idea of a subsonic load using 405gr coated bullets from MBC and the 576gr coated bullet from ACME.  Try to drive them around 1100 FPS and use the flat frontal area to act more as a pre expanded bullet and the mass to keep it going straight.  Both have grouped acceptably at 1000-1100 FPS out to 100 yards, but I would need to figure out the actual trajectory out to that distance.  

    I have played with the Speer 350gr a little, but the small meplat would be a big concern if it didnt expand which I wouldnt expect it to.  I can get them up to 2250 FPS MV, but that is below what Speer calls for a minimum expansion velocity.  I can basically duplicate .45-70 Lever gun velocities with a 1.8" case.

    There are some monolithic options with a FN that I may look into as well.   

    It is about a 100 yard hunting rifle.  I expect 1.5" or less 3 shot groups at 100 yards from my hunting rifles.  With this one I was willing to accept up to 2" groups.  With the Speer 400gr it will regularly produce sub 1" C-C groups.  The concern and reason for starting to look into this now for this rifle is that I keep hearing grumblings about banning the use of bullets containing lead for hunting in this state.  

    I really appreciate the input here.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,345 Senior Member
    Pop and I played around with manipulating Rotometals tin/bismuth alloy, which they got an exemption for use on here in CA.  Too much bismuth, the stuff can shatter.  Adding tin to the mix holds it together, but drops the overall mass.

    What we ended up with was getting close to pure tin and a weight of about 70% what you'd get with a lead-based projectile.  The stuff doesn't expand at all.

    So what you're getting is something that will probably penetrate just fine, but will have to do its damage entirely by meplat.  You can increase the velocities by virtue of the lower launch weight, but your bullet has both that lowered momentum and the aerodynamic properties of a school bus, so it is definitely not a long range proposition.  For 100 yards, I'd be OK with it.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,493 Senior Member
    Even with a 325 FTX I really only thought of this as at best a 125 yard gun.  Its just to much of brick to keep in the air at the velocities I can push.  Well, velocities and theoretical pressures I am comfortable pushing.  Some day I will get a Pressure Trace system to try and figure out how close Quick Load is on its pressure estimate.

    I may start playing with the cast lead again and see if I can figure out a load it consistently likes running around 1100 FPS.  The ACME 576 keep leaving a ring of lead in the chamber so I need to figure out if I can correct that issue with case length or if I have some other issue going on.  Probably get 10 shots off before I suddenly cant close the bolt.  Reach in with a cleaning brush and I will snag a ring of lead that still has some tint from the powder coat on it.  0.030" fiber wad, 0.120" lubed felt wad, and 0.060" fiber wad stack between the bullet and powder with that bullet.  Blue Dot doesnt fill the case much, hence the wad stack.  Pressure shouldnt be too high and the wads should keep the burning powder from reaching the base of the bullet I would think.  The 405 and 410 gr MBC bullets do not do this, but I run them over a full case (to bottom of bullet) of Trail Boss.  The 405gr MBC might be my best option for cast lead bullets due to the big meplat and its behavior in the rifle.

    If I had casting equipment I would be tempted to play with different metal options to make my own bullets for this cartridge.  That could be a fun project for down the road.


    This is the no coated version of the 405gr MBC bullet.


    576gr ACME.  the flash makes the one side look distorted.  It wasnt when the picture was taken.  Neither of these are recent pictures.

    The monolithic could be driven a lot faster than the cast lead can be.  This should in theory allow for a longer usable range, or at least less of an arc to the flight path out to 100 yards.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,345 Senior Member
    Odd that you're getting that lead deposit even with the wad stack, which leads me to think there's something mechanical going on, and probably not fire-related.  If you aren't pouring your own - and maybe even if you are - I'd suggest using a gas-checked bullet.  Ideally one that uses the check to form the back of the last lube groove.  Some theorize this uses the check as a debris scraper and the groove as a place for that debris to deposit.  At any rate, the gas check does two things for you - it armors the base of the bullet against flame cutting (hence the name) and, being of a harder material, it acts as a driving key to help keep softer alloys from stripping out in the bore at higher speeds or with faster twists.  

    At 1300fps, using a 405 grain pill with a BC of .275, a 100 yard zero, and an AR-15's 2.5" sight height, you're nicely point and click on deer-sized game to 125 yards.  Beyond that - - yeah, these .458's tend to just fall out of the sky. 
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
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