Bullets Solids Versus Expanding

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Macs B, May 20, 2009.

  1. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    76
    I was curious who used solids and soft points and for what game. I noticed while re-reading one of my favorite Capstick novels that he seemed to prefer the .375 with solids for virtually every type of game. I did a little research and even found an article he'd written explaining why he held this preference. More logistics than anything for that period of time and the location.

    I think my experience has been similar to many of yours: we eventually find something that is readily available, works well, and priced right that is what we tend to stick with. I have used expanding bullets on most game I hunt and never have had a problem with the various rounds or their performance. Recently though I made a switch to solids for my light rifle. I hunt Germany primarily and the small (well very small) Reh Deer were just getting torn up by high performance expanding bullets. I switched to a mid weight solid at average pressures and speeds. (30-06 145gr Solid Low Recoil @ 2375 fps) The results have been noticeable. No more overly traumatic shock damage. No more wasted meat. Surprisingly enough, no lost game either. The occasional blood trail is heavy and short. Good shot placement is always important and that is no different with the solids.
    What are your thoughts on this?
  2. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    MacsB, At the time Capstick wrote his books,(early sixties) most in Africa used solids on most dangerous game, with the exception of Leopard, and a few on Lion. The soft points of that time, and earlier were not very reliable, and often failed to stop game, or penetrate well. and Most PHs would reccomend solids for buffalo at that time. That, however, is changeing!

    Today there are some very fine softpoint bullets, that are very controlled and are not only capable of emparting good impact shock, but hold together, for deep penetration as well.

    Personally, I use a combination of the two types. In my bolt rifles,if hunting Buffalo, which is usually the case, I load the magazine full of solids, with a quality soft point in the chamber for the first shot, followed by as many solids as I can get into him before he is down or out of sight. If a follow-up is needed, then I go with all solids for that. I ususally hunt with a double rifle, and I carry that with a soft in the right barrel, and a solid in the left barrel. I carry two solids between my fore finger, and second finger of my fore-hand, for a quick re-load. This allows me to put a good soft point in the bull before he gets exicthed, and after the first shot, most will turn to run, so the next shot will be either a shoulder shot, or a going away shot, and the solid will reach the vitals from the rear.

    The solids I like best for Buffalo, are the North Fork CPS solids (a cup pointed mono-lithic copper solid, with very fine pressure rings around it's bearing surface). This type solid is the only mono-metal solid that is safe to use in a double rifle, and the cup point allows it to expand slightly and retain 100% of it's weight, but penetrate deeply. :)
  3. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    348
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    23
    Member of:
    SCI Dallas
    Hunted:
    RSA, Botswana, CAR, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya way back when, and a few others that I can't remember.
    At one time I always used a soft on top followed by flat nose solids in most of my big bores, when hunting buffalo...

    I always used solids in the 375 H&H as I have seen softs fail on buffalo that are faceing you, the softs will deflect under the shoulder and along the outside of the rib cage on rare ocassions, but it happens...

    Today all this is a moot question...Northfork industries makes the cup point, a flat nose solid with a large cup in the nose. this bullet expands a little and enough to do a great deal of damage, yet it penetrates almost as good as any solid and more than enough for what its used for...I have shot cup points lengthwise through buffalo and they always penetrate at least into the neck, even after breaking large hip bones, and many time will exit the neck, and that is about what I have come to expect from a solid..

    I have not shot elephant with the cup points but have used them enough on buffalo to feel comfortable shooting an elephant with one if I had to.

    I field tested this bullet and the flat nose solids some years back for Northfork and sent them a number of recovered bullets from both live and dead buffalo..both bullets perform to perfection.

    Today all I use in my big bores is the cup point..Good for DG and performs great on plains game, without undue meat destruction unless you hit heavy bone..
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    Macs B.............there is really nothing more I can add to what Dugaboy1 and Ray have posted. They have covered it.

    I know that solids, put in the right place and being of the right design will do a lot more damage than others would believe.

    My only issue here is that both are tooting the horn of bullets that are very hard for me to get. ;) I may have to get them shipped to a US friend so I can get them.
  5. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    Kelly, Mike (the previous owner of NF) shut down for some time, and the bullets were almost imposible to get. I have a stash of 150 NF .475 bullets, 50 FPS, and 100 CPS that I have been hoarding till the new owners get up to speed. I live a long way from the Canadain border, or I would loan you some of mine if you need them for a 470NE. I haven't tried to order any lately, so I'm not sure if they are pleantiful yet, but they are definantly worth getting a USA friend to get you some!

    Ray was instermental in the developement and testing of the different designs of the North Fork soft, CPS, and FPS bullets. I'm hopeing the new owners don't change the design, because they absolutely work like magic, on Buffalo, and the CPS, as Ray said works great on plains game as well! Top that off with they are safe to use in a double rifle, new or old, as long as the right dia is used. That is not the case with most mono-metal bullets, including the expanding X-bullets, or any Mono-metal bullet with a solid shank, with no pressure rings!
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    DG1 .......thanks. Hope the NF people can see their way through to supply us up here to!!! Damn border stuff is a pain in the posterior at times.
  7. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    10
    Member of:
    SCI N.E. Wisconsin Chapter - WisNRA
    ...Dugaboy 1 that was something I never knew that those were the only mono-metal bullets you could use safely in a double rifle. To tell you the truth I didn't even know there was a problem at all!! I have never had the pleasure of shooting or owning a double so I never had to reload for one & had I not read your post I wouldn't have known! Any Info I would appreciate!!
    ...............Thank you!
  8. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    Calhoun, The problems started with the monolithic solids by A-square, and Barnes. These bullets were made of bronze, with the bearing surface being slightly larger that the bore diameter,and the rest of the bullet at bore diamether. The Idea was that the rifleing would engrave the bearing surface, and the mistaken idea that since bronze is softer than steel this would be OK. What they didn't figure on was the shank being solid, the metal displaced by the engraveing had no place to go, and the shank of a standard steel jacketed solid has a softer lead core, allowing the bullet to swage slightly so the engraveing was much easier, though the jacket was steel.

    What happened was in many of the older double rifles the barrel steel was very mild, and the VERY SUDDEN passing of a bullet through it's bore swelled the barrel to a point that it could not return to it's origenal bore dia. This could be seen by running an oily rag over the outside of the barrels, and look down along the outside of the barrels with the light right, it was plainly evident the rifles patter was showing on the outside of the barrels.

    In the modern double rifles this type of Mono-metal solid also damaged some of the barrels, but in one case a fellow, bought a new Chapuis double rifle and in just a few days the rifle suddenly lost regulation, and was all over the target, with no steady group pattern. After a time he found the ribs, and wedges had come loose from the barrels, and would not regulate at all. He sent the rifle back to Chapuis where they fixed the rifle, and sent it back. Low and behold he went back to the range, and the rifle regulated perfectly till about the tenth round, when the regulation went South again. He checked the rifle out, and found the ribs, and wedges had come loose again. He sent the rifle back to Chapuis, who asked him what ammo he was useing in the rifle. When he told them the ammo had Mono-metal solids, they hit the cealing, and told him they would fix the rifle, but if he used the Mono-metal bullets again he was on his own.

    The fix first came with the solid copper mono-metal solids from GS Custom of RSA, but it was not just the softed materal that did the trick, but the fact that they Turned the copper bullet the same way the Bronze bullets were made, but the whole bearing surface was turned to leave the very narrow rings around this portion of the bullet. The cuts between the rings were cut to slightly less diameter than the groove dia, giveing the displaced metal a place to go being dumped into the grooves between the pressure rings. These bullets were also cut with flat point meplates as well. The North Fork is basiclly the same type of bullet, but with slight improvenents in both pressure ring placement, and nose configuration, and are more available to folks in the USA, than from Africa. These bullets are safe in "ALL" double rifles new or old, as long as the proper dia is used.

    I hope this explains this bullet issue for you, but there are other things about double rifles that simply are unique to double rifles that are not understood by even very well versed gun builders, and most gun writers. Many of these things you need to know before you buy a double rifle, so your life will run smoother than if you try to apply the rules you have learned for single barreled rifles. The double rifle is a zebra of a different stripe!:D
  9. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    Dugaboy 1...........good post. You obviously have way too much time on your hands. ;) (Just kidding.)

    Sending you a PM.
  10. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    3
    Member of:
    Double Rifle Shooter's Society, Life NAHC, NRA,SCI
    Hunted:
    Us, Canada,Zambia, Zimbabwe, South America
    :D
    You are quite right, I've been retired since Feb of 1996, and on a fixed income that rarely allows me a trip to the Bush of Africa, so here and other places is where I get my AFRICA fix, between hunts accross the pond!:(

    Here is a link to the North Fork bullets so you can see pictures of the bullets that explain better than my discription! http://www.northforkbullets.com/magento/
  11. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    10
    Member of:
    SCI N.E. Wisconsin Chapter - WisNRA
    ...Dugaboy 1 Thanks for the post!! I learnred more in 2-3 minutes than trying to interpret out of a manual - even if you could find about it in a manual.. There is a hell of a lot more about reloading than one will ever find in the book & we just have to keep learning!!!
  12. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    SCI Life Member, MLOA, DU, MWF, MTA
    Calhoun.....I have been reloading for about 35 years, and as you know, you never stop learning.:)
  13. daniel paydar

    daniel paydar New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    swedish hunters organisation
    fmj flat point

    hi
    once upon a time when i was young;) almost any factrory had loaded solids in every an each caliber i was really found of fmj flat point rounds in 3030. it was a good killer in any thing you could shoot and no meat was ruined. today finding a good fmj flat point in standard calibers like 3030, 7x57, 8x57, 3006 and so on. i miss those nice fmj rounds a lot :( and i wish they will return to the market.
    cheers
    danny

Share This Page