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Old 01-12-2020, 09:56 PM   #1
Desert Bighorn
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Default Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Round nosed bullets,,,,Running shots and “When Pigs Fly”

When I was growing up in New England,,, center fire rifle calibers were not allowed for deer hunting on state forest land. What private land owners used for deer hunting was their choice. My moms side of my family had a dairy farm in a town with dozens of other dairy farms. Most of us had year round deer dep permits. On my dad’s side my Uncle had a couple hundred acres of forest land adjoining state forest as a deer hunting preserve for family and friends.

Being a gun nut way before I was shaving, I paid attention to the rifles that were being used. Pretty much they were as expected. 30-30’s, .35 Remington’s, 300 Savages, all lever guns. Lots of 30-06’s in pumps, autos and bolt guns that were often sporterized Springfields and re barrelled 98 Mausers brought back from the war in Europe. There were also a few 30-40 Krags.

The common denominator for all these deer rifles was the use of round nosed bullets. Actually many hunters did not trust pointed bullets,,maybe from using military ammo.

When I came out west almost fifty years ago I had,,,and still have,,, my Safari Grade Bolt Action Belgium Browning in 30-06. And I used round nosed bullets back then and still do today in every rifle I own. Most all the big game animals I kill are shot with them.

When I am hunting in thick stuff,,,in the chamber of my rifle, I always have a heavy round nosed bullet going at a moderate velocity that is sighted in to be dead on from real close to around a hundred yards.

If the game animal is far away,,,I bolt out the chambered round and feed in the next one which is pointed bullet going much faster sighted in to be 2.5 high at a 100 yards a 225 yard zero.

Why bother??? Several reasons. Hunting wild boar,, literally by the truckload on depredation permits allowed me to develop a comfort with close range running shooting, say out to 60 maybe 70 yards. I like to have my 2 to 7 power scope,,,on low or even super low rings set at 2X and know my bullet is going right where I am aiming. All this settles me. If i have a real tight shot through a small hole in the brush ot just a part of an animal say behind a tres i like to have the dead on point of impact.

Next, my experience is that round nosed bullet have given me more spectacular one shot kills. They have more surface area right on impact and penetrate like ,,,forever,,,. I can be wrong but such are my thoughts.

I used to use a combo of a 160 round nose and a 120 grain spitzer in 6.5x55 .In 270 I used the 180 grain round nosed Barnes original followed by a 130 or 150 grain spitzer. I the 7x57, and the 280 I used a 154 or 175 grain round nose followed by a 139 grain spitzer. That 154 round was so lethal on wild boar in the barley.

Lastly, I had big 250 grain round nose bullets in my 35 Whelen. I thought they delivered the most spectacular one shot kills ever. I shot a lot of boar out in the tall barley in the summer. Crawled on my belly in the tall barely, stood up and start shooting till my gun was empty.

One boar,, maybe 350 pounder was on dead run,,,upon the impact his feet all folded up like a duck and he flew through the air for about a dozen feet then crash landed in, pile of dust.

Last thought,,,since I went all copper,,I have been using Lapua Naturalis round nose bullets. Just got some 160 grain round nose to use in my new 280AI.

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Old 01-13-2020, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Running shots are a skill. Some never gain the skill. Others are natural at it. Round nose bullets do not bounce off, No matter what people say. Pigs fly all the time, On Chinese owned processing plant machinery.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

I've used round nosed one time and was not impressed. Shot a deer through both lungs, it twittered around for 50 or 60 yrs before tipping over. Shot 257 Roberts by the way. My prefered bullets are Nosler Partion
100 gr usually drt
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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Running shots are a skill. Some never gain the skill. Others are natural at it. Round nose bullets do not bounce off, No matter what people say. Pigs fly all the time, On Chinese owned processing plant machinery.
I did everything and more that Jack O’Connor suggested to develop skills at shooting running game.

With friends taking turns we rolled tires down a hill with targets in them.

The old telegraph wires left in the mountains, still hanging on poles to forest service fire lookout stations were a great place to attach targets on pulleys. Zoom they went down hill.

With my .222 Sako vixen I shot at running rabbits and woodchucks. At forest grouse,,,and yes running quail too with my marlin model 39 lever action .22 with peep sites.

Though I would not do it anymore with lead bullets, I shot at pieces of wood moving in fast current in a creek or river.

Shooting at the shadows in the snow of crows and ravens flying above was cool too as was balloons blowing across the open desert floor

I practiced the sustained lead, the snap shot and the fast swing which overtakes the target. Each has their time and place. Low power scopes or variables that can go down to 2x or 2.5x are critical as are the lowest possible scope mounts.

But it really wasn’t until I started shooting pigs/boar on the run that my confidence rose when I saw how well I doing after all the initial practice.

My favorite rifles for shooting running big game are my short Sako Finnlite in .308 with an ultra light 2-7 on EXTRA low Sako mounts with the scope at 2x.

And my 35. Whelen which I shot “forever and back” with 38 caliber practice pistol bullets fueled by 12 grains of Unique. It has a fixed low power scope with a huge thick post reticle Great for the dimmest light at dawn and dusk in the thick stuff.

Within my practiced limits I am quite comfortable at running shots,,,
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

I think the reason most shy away from them is trajectory and loss of speed. Used within reasonable ranges, they should be reliable killers. If we look at the .338 210 gr. Partition, it is about as close to being a round nose bullet as possible without actually being one. They are said to be elk killers in the .338-'06. If a person hunted the wet side exclusively for elk where ranges were consistently within 100 yards, round nose bullets would be right at home. A .30-'06 with 200 grainers would give good results. It would be slow enough so as not to worry about coming apart and heavy enough to maintain velocity after impact.



The reason you've seen great penetration is because round nose bullets are usually heavy for caliber. I would never shoot a light round nose bullet if such a bullet actually existed. Could get away with it if it were a Swift A-Frame or similar but not in a lesser design.



We typically don't shoot .35 cal. cartridges at extended ranges so trajectory isn't a concern. At their effective range, they carry a lot of energy and the big diameter can dump it reliably giving quick kills. Big game animals react differently when hit with big stuff than with lesser diameter bullets. Bullets are slower and don't shed weight like high speed bullets so they penetrate very well and dump a lot of energy along the way because of diameter. Bullet diameter means more than what folks think.
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

For west side rifle, I primarily carry one of my 35 cals. Growing up we used lots of round nose bullets (corelokt mostly) in all calibers. Or flat nose in the lever guns. Now I use 250gr in the 35 Whelen and 220gr in the 356W for all west side hunts. I have a 310gr round nose for the 35 Whelen mainly because I can, but have yet to shoot at an animal with that one. I plan to experiment this year with some of the 35 cal Hawk bullets in round nose, just because.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Spitzer bullet construction took a while to catch up to velocity in modern cartridge loadings.

Not shocking to hear that tried and true designs got the nod for a long time.

After reading a little about bullets and results from 1900-ww2, it's not a shock that anyone would choose the 30-30 and blunt nosed slugs over the 270 with copper jacketed slugs.
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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Originally Posted by backpackhunter View Post
For west side rifle, I primarily carry one of my 35 cals. Growing up we used lots of round nose bullets (corelokt mostly) in all calibers. Or flat nose in the lever guns. Now I use 250gr in the 35 Whelen and 220gr in the 356W for all west side hunts. I have a 310gr round nose for the 35 Whelen mainly because I can, but have yet to shoot at an animal with that one. I plan to experiment this year with some of the 35 cal Hawk bullets in round nose, just because.
Tell me about your 35 Whelen what twist too
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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Tell me about your 35 Whelen what twist too
It was the first rifle I bought for myself when I turned 18, decades ago. Didn't have much money so bought it used at a shop in Philomath. Hunted with for many years as a 30-06, lots of memories, but it was getting worn down. Was a very accurate rifle. So had JES rebore it to 35 Whelen awhile back, refinished the stock, and cerakoted the barrel to give the rifle new life.


I can't remember if Jesse did a 1:14 or 1:12 twist on the re-bore (I've had him rebore a few rifles for me). He and I had talked about both, so I know it was one of those two options.

Last edited by backpackhunter; 01-13-2020 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Isn't the entire round tip just a lever thing? I shudder to think about a FMJ in my Marlin lever 30-30. I'll stick with the lead round tip.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:17 PM   #11
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I've used round nosed one time and was not impressed. Shot a deer through both lungs, it twittered around for 50 or 60 yrs before tipping over. Shot 257 Roberts by the way. My prefered bullets are Nosler Partion
100 gr usually drt

I shot a 1200 Lb. Rossie bull at 35 yards, through both lungs with a lever 30-30. I watched him jump over 2 old growth logs that had fallen over each other and then run 100 yards through thick Rhody brush. Had I hit him with a 460 W mag, I thing that same thing would have happened.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Look at most of the dangerous game cartridges for Africa big 3's... upto 900 grain JDJ....all round nose. Hopefully soon I'll have the 'infamous' Heym...soon.

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Old 01-14-2020, 05:54 AM   #13
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

I shot my first bull with round nose bullets. From a 264 WM of all cartridges. 160 Winchester Round nose. I thought they were the coolest looking load when I was 16.

My dad had a load with 140 Nosler Partitions, but I liked the look of the round nose. It turns out those loads were just something that came with the gun when he bought it.

They did the trick on an unsuspecting spike near the Cascade crest on a foggy evening at about 10 yards. I put 3 through the ribs before he had a chance to fall over on the spot. 30 years ago last October.

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Old 01-14-2020, 06:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

The purpose of round nose solid bullets on dangerous game is said to be they go straight when heavy bone is encountered. Like an elephant skull.



One advantage for us who don't hunt elephants is bullet length. Pointed bullets in the heavier weights may not fit a rifle's magazine. Round nose bullets can be seated out farther which allows more powder space and reduces pressure.



When it comes to accuracy, the more pointed a bullet is the more precise it has to be to fly straight. A pointed bullet is more prone to turn on impact if contact isn't straight on. Impact at an angle tend to push the point to one side which can alter the bullets path and make bullet expansion erratic.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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The purpose of round nose solid bullets on dangerous game is said to be they go straight when heavy bone is encountered. Like an elephant skull.



One advantage for us who don't hunt elephants is bullet length. Pointed bullets in the heavier weights may not fit a rifle's magazine. Round nose bullets can be seated out farther which allows more powder space and reduces pressure.



When it comes to accuracy, the more pointed a bullet is the more precise it has to be to fly straight. A pointed bullet is more prone to turn on impact if contact isn't straight on. Impact at an angle tend to push the point to one side which can alter the bullets path and make bullet expansion erratic.
Obviously. Its simple physics.

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Old 01-14-2020, 08:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

First buck I ever shot was with a 180gr round nose soft point from a .30-06...... at about 15 ft. Square in the shoulder, turned him to jelly and had a fist sized exit. He went down but was still kicking so I popped him again in the lungs..... just a 7.62mm hole going straight through. I think if you hit something to initiate expansion and slow them down at a short range they are ok. I could definitely see it being a good hog round.
These days I stick with hornady ELD-x and federal fusion.


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Old 01-14-2020, 01:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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I shot a 1200 Lb. Rossie bull at 35 yards, through both lungs with a lever 30-30. I watched him jump over 2 old growth logs that had fallen over each other and then run 100 yards through thick Rhody brush. Had I hit him with a 460 W mag, I thing that same thing would have happened.
What about knock down power?
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:19 PM   #18
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I can only guess how many tons of version has fallen by my extended Appalachian family with a 180 gr. round nose bullet shot from .30-06s.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:23 PM   #19
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Brian: Hummmm.... 1200 lbs. There isn't an official heaviest Roosevelt ever recorded but it is "said" they top out at 1100. Some Alaskan islands where they are "said" to go 1300. Sort of goes along with what I mentioned on another thread where truly big bulls react differently when shot. Had you shot that bull with a .35 Whelen, it might have gone down sooner. Like maybe 95 yards and not 100.
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Old 01-14-2020, 03:41 PM   #20
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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It was the first rifle I bought for myself when I turned 18, decades ago. Didn't have much money so bought it used at a shop in Philomath. Hunted with for many years as a 30-06, lots of memories, but it was getting worn down. Was a very accurate rifle. So had JES rebore it to 35 Whelen awhile back, refinished the stock, and cerakoted the barrel to give the rifle new life.


I can't remember if Jesse did a 1:14 or 1:12 twist on the re-bore (I've had him rebore a few rifles for me). He and I had talked about both, so I know it was one of those two options.
I want to hear more about your JES rebores. I remember you were having him do your 356 Win for you. Maybe on another thread you can share how they are working for you. I had a 375 winchester he did and unfortunately I sold it before shooting it much.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:13 PM   #21
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

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Brian: Hummmm.... 1200 lbs. There isn't an official heaviest Roosevelt ever recorded but it is "said" they top out at 1100. Some Alaskan islands where they are "said" to go 1300. Sort of goes along with what I mentioned on another thread where truly big bulls react differently when shot. Had you shot that bull with a .35 Whelen, it might have gone down sooner. Like maybe 95 yards and not 100.
Yeah probably not 1200, but boned out there was 444 Lbs of meat to the butcher. Largest Rossie ShyAnn meats had seen. This was late 1980's Cascade Roosie.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:17 PM   #22
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

I lived my first 3 decades in Tennessee. The reason lever actions used round nosed or flat bullets was because they had tubular magazines. Otherwise, there was a danger of primer strikes by the bullet.

I can’t speak for everyone, but the people I know used round nose in 30’06 and 308 more due to history and follow the leader than anything else. It’s not like it mattered that much. Most hunting was done in pretty woody areas. It was rare to shoot even 200 yds.

Later, more rounds became popular. Some like the .243, .270, and 7mm mag never even offered round nose bullets in factory variety. They were hunted with any way.

In other words, I think round nose bullets were more about what just happened instead of some clear logical plan to choose the best ammo.

Anyway, there are bad bullets in all point types.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:31 PM   #23
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Increasing frontal area and larger flatter meplats do count when it comes to transferring energy.
Don't let anyone tell you different.
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:46 PM   #24
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Default Re: Round nosed bullets, Running shots and When Pigs Fly

Been collecting Weatherbys since before highschool have several in each caliber even though i dont really use them ,but you never know.I have only seen RN in the 257,300,340 and 460.The 375,and 378 were all pointed also.I used several boxes of factory 257 until i started loading my own with Balistic tips.Kinda cool seeing old round nose Bullets.The 257 became alot more accurate with the BT vs RN.Think i still have a half box of 257 rn.Never did find any spire pointed 257 factory.



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Old 01-14-2020, 07:24 PM   #25
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Brian: My big one was 450 with bones. Looking at weight estimate data, figured live weight was just under 900. Yours was probably an honest thousand or darn close. When they get that big, they have incredible stamina. When I talk about elk cartridges being adequate, these are the elk I'm talking about, not average elk.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:06 PM   #26
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I want to hear more about your JES rebores. I remember you were having him do your 356 Win for you. Maybe on another thread you can share how they are working for you. I had a 375 winchester he did and unfortunately I sold it before shooting it much.
My rebores have shot well after JES completed them. Very happy Attached is the 35 Whelen photo: after I rebored and had the stock refinished and barrel cerakoted. Looks good for a rifle that is almost 60 years old with many hunting stories behind it. Mostly shooting 250gr Partitions, 250gr HotCors, and some old 250gr Grand Slams that I still have. As well as the 258gr Hard cast lead GC from Beartooth bullets. All quite accurate. Have the 310gr Woodleigh Weldcore round nose bullets but haven't played with them as much, and haven't put one of those into an animal....from what I've read those will penetrate anything that walks north America.


356W rebore of a 30-30 by JES is shooting well with the 220gr Speers. Very accurate. And I'm enjoying the extra thump over the 30-30 that it used to be. JES does great work. I carry the 356W a lot on scouting, etc. trips. And certain areas of the west side where it's really thick. I have a Burris Fastfire3 on it, as it's mostly close range work. (my eyes are not what they once were as I've aged)


I'll be ordering some Hawk 35 cal bullets this year in flat and round nose to play with in both rifles. I've become a bit of a reloading junkie. It's relaxing and enjoyable.


I love round nose bullets. A 220gr round nose in a 30-06 is outstanding on game. Heavy for caliber bullets work very well on game. Excellent penetration. Wider meplats are helpful.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:30 AM   #27
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One boar,, maybe 350 pounder was on dead run,,,upon the impact his feet all folded up like a duck and he flew through the air for about a dozen feet then crash landed in, pile of dust.
That would have been fun to see.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:45 PM   #28
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My rebores have shot well after JES completed them. Very happy Attached is the 35 Whelen photo: after I rebored and had the stock refinished and barrel cerakoted. Looks good for a rifle that is almost 60 years old with many hunting stories behind it. Mostly shooting 250gr Partitions, 250gr HotCors, and some old 250gr Grand Slams that I still have. As well as the 258gr Hard cast lead GC from Beartooth bullets. All quite accurate. Have the 310gr Woodleigh Weldcore round nose bullets but haven't played with them as much, and haven't put one of those into an animal....from what I've read those will penetrate anything that walks north America.


356W rebore of a 30-30 by JES is shooting well with the 220gr Speers. Very accurate. And I'm enjoying the extra thump over the 30-30 that it used to be. JES does great work. I carry the 356W a lot on scouting, etc. trips. And certain areas of the west side where it's really thick. I have a Burris Fastfire3 on it, as it's mostly close range work. (my eyes are not what they once were as I've aged)


I'll be ordering some Hawk 35 cal bullets this year in flat and round nose to play with in both rifles. I've become a bit of a reloading junkie. It's relaxing and enjoyable.


I love round nose bullets. A 220gr round nose in a 30-06 is outstanding on game. Heavy for caliber bullets work very well on game. Excellent penetration. Wider meplats are helpful.
Thanks! I checked out Beartooth and they have a fantastic variety of 35 cal bullets. I think I'll need to check some out.
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