Speer Grand slam bullets

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by bruce moulds, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    I have some speer 7mm 175 gn grand slam bullets.
    when I bought them, I am sure they had 2 cores, a rear hard one and a front softer one.
    the front core from memory was bonded to the jacket., and a cannelure locked the rear core in.
    this seemed like a good concept for many hunting situations.
    a look at the speer wesite suggests that all those features other than the cannelure are a thing of the past.
    I am guessing that the average grunt saw no point in paying extra for what appears to be a superior bullet.
    probably could not tell the difference if they did.
    they also had a 285 gn 375 of the same design, amongst others.
    does anyone remember these bullets, and can comment on the difference between the old ones and the new ones.
    bruce.
     
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  2. PaulT

    PaulT AH Elite

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    Bruce, I've been waiting nearly twenty years for this thread.

    My experience dates back to the late 90's. I'd already done a fair bit of hunting throughout the South Pacific by then, so was hardly a "new-chum" but my knowledge of bullets was limited to the drastic run of failures that i'd had with new technology bullet designs at that time. I'm sure that many of the readers here that were around from the mid 90's through to the early 2000's will have some of their own stories, anyway I digress.

    One day a bud of mine from Sydney rings me and says "You're coming to Zimbabwe with me", "There's going to be an election and it's been deemed un-safe and so I've got us a deal".
    All of a sudden I had an African hunt to plan.

    I intended to take my 30/06 for soft skinned game and my very first Lott (which was still a wild-cat in Australia at the time) for buffalo and Elephant.

    Due to my experiences with local game I knew I had to lash out and get the very best bullets available. You draw blood in Africa and that's your trophy !, so I shopped around and talked to some very experienced people.
    One day i'm in a very well known gun shop in Melbourne talking to a fella who had several African hunts and a lifetime of buffalo shooting under his belt.
    His recommendation (the best that he had available in the shop) was Speer Grand Slams, although he did warn me that production quality did vary from batch to batch. "When they're good, they're very good, but oh when they're not, they're very bad" (his personal experience shooting buffalo with them).

    Well, I bought several hundred 200gn .30 cal as they were the best available at the time and I had an impending hunt coming up.
    Finally after getting a good load worked out in my rifle I had about half a season of Sambar hunting to do before going to Zim in late November.
    I only got to test them twice on Sambar several months apart, both stags, both hit with my favourite high shoulder shot. Both animals fell to the shot instantly and neither was ever recovered despite spending months looking for both.

    That SHOULD HAVE BEEN MY NOTICE.
    In November of that year I took the same loads to Africa and although I recovered every animal I shot at it was a complete disaster, with all animals requiring several hits despite good shot placements.
    As an example, one afternoon we were walking down a two-track when one of the trackers spots a very nice Impala walking towards us. I placed the shot central chest and knocked him down but he immediately got up and ran away.
    When we finally found him the bullet was found turned around and was stuck in the hide behind the off-side shoulder having penetrated less than 10", and this is a 200gn from a 30/06 at about 45yds.
    Some projectiles came apart completely on Sable, Kudu and Water buck.
    Even an average sized wart hog took several well placed shots to bring down.

    All up over a period of time I took over a dozen different animals between Africa and home with the Grand Slams and ALL OF THEM required multiple hits despite good shot placement.

    Eventually I pulled all the remainders and threw them in the trash.

    I know this was a long time ago and perhaps does not reflect current production quality but they fooled me once... shame on you Speer...………..
    I've never bought another Speer projectile since 1999.
     
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  3. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    very interesting paul.
    were they the old style or the newer style?
    bruce.
     

  4. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    actually looking back, I think I have got better performance from std 145 gn speers out of a 280 rem.
    this begs the question that maybe paul had a faulty lot of granslams, as they were advertised as deeper penetrating than std speer soft points.
    in the meantime I might not load the above mentioned 7mm 175s.
    I was considering them for a 7mmstw too?
    bruce.
     
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  5. Edge

    Edge AH Fanatic

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    Don’t waste your money! Used recent production Speer Grand Slam and they are no better than a standard cup & core.

    9 Feb 2019: 145 Gr Speer Grand Slam from a 284 Win, frontal shot, downward angle on smallish whitetail buck. Impact velocity was no more than ~2850 fps, instant death so you can say the bullet did it’s job BUT found a piece of jacket between the shoulder blades in the back strap while deboning and the wife found a sliver of lead at dinner last week while eating backstrap.

    I believe parts of the bullet penetrated into the chest/paunch as there was stomach bile coming from the mouth when I walked up to the deer.

    Glad I only bought 3 boxes of them, never again.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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  6. Andrews

    Andrews AH Member

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    Interesting reading. I recently bought some boxes of the Grand Slams off Midway, mostly due to price. 175 grain for my 7x57 and 285 grain for my 375 Ruger. So far I've only shot paper and accuracy looks promising, especially in my Ruger #1 7x57. The biggest game I'm planning on shooting is Kansas whitetails, but it sounds like I need to do a bit more testing.
     

  7. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    Swift A Frame
     
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  8. Hearties

    Hearties AH Veteran

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    Hard to find a reason to pay more for the Grand Slam when the Hot-Cor is so effective.
     

  9. Catahoula

    Catahoula AH Enthusiast

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    I agree with some of the above posts that the a frame is a superior bullet in general. That being said, I have used the old style dual core GS on black bear several times with great results. Most were behind the shoulder with complete penetration. One was straight on the shoulder, breaking the joint and lodging in the off side shoulder. Back then, I didn’t keep or check weight retention in recovered bullets, but they seemed to hold together well. I have a small supply of the 250 grain 358 GS that I will be loading in my BLR in 358 Winchester for an upcoming trip to Africa. I’m confident that they will perform well at 358 velocities. I’ll be loading A Frames in my 8mm magnum. I have no experience with current production grand slams.
     

  10. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    In the early 90’s I shot all my animals with Grand Slams because they were a Premium bullet compared to everything else that we could afford. They kept our freezer full of deer and elk and I don’t recall any failures with them. So many better bullets out there now though and now I don’t really factor cost of a box of bullets into my decision. Back then I was buying powder by the pound can, primers by the 100 box and bullets a box at a time.
     
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  11. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Question: Grand Slam used to have two cores. Now it has one. Why?

    Answer: Changes in raw materials beyond our control made it hard for us to maintain the previous bond we had between the front and rear cores. We tested alternatives extensively, and found that the single, ternary-alloy core gave better accuracy and increased retained weights by an average of 14 percent.

    Evidently the above is from Speer, the change having come prior to 2006 (exactly how much earlier I cannot say but anecdotal evidence suggests at least 2 years).
     
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  12. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey AH Veteran

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    Catahoula,
    The oldschool 250GS in a BLR 358Win is one SLICK set up!
     
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  13. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    there is no question that the aframe is just a better bullet.
    it really stretches the spectrum of game suitability from smaller to bigger.
    thinking back I tried the original 145 grand slam (280 rem) on goats in the hope that the soft nose would offer sudden death on side on chest shots, while still being good on angling shots.
    it was too much bullet on such small animals side in in the ribs.
    never got to use it on anything bigger.
    the bullet that worked better here was the nosler partition with its more explosive nose.
    the swift aframe was superior to both.
    I think I will not try the 175 gn bullets in the stw, just sticking to nosler partitions for smaller game and barnesx for bigger at those speeds.
    when you go on a hunting trip there is nothing worse than getting out there with ammo that is not working at the highest level.
    I am now too old to be going through that again.
    bruce.
     

  14. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    And some people have the nerve to call those the "good old days"! :LOL:
     
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  15. meigsbucks

    meigsbucks AH Fanatic

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    I have experience with all three iterations. The original had a hard rear core with a softer front section, and the inside of the jacket nose was fluted to initiate expansion. It also had a “heal crimp” that “held” the core in place. Using the 165gr in a .30/06, I took a couple of whitetail and a boar (hog) with it. Both deer had complete penetration with massive destruction. On the hog, the bullet was found in the far hide. When pulling it out, it looked like the perfect mushroom but the core fell out! Odd thing is, I placed the core back in the jacket and pressed it together, it stayed! Go figure. 74% weight retention.
    Version two added a feature similar to Hornady’s Interlock. I used the 250gr in a .338 Win mag. Two elk, two mule deer and two white tails. Penetration and destruction was fantastic. The only bullet recovered was from a monster bodied mule. Took out the shoulder, thru the heart, exited the far armpit and reentered the leg and found in the crushed knee. The front of the bullet was mangled. 72% weight retention. Great bullet for the time. I still have about a hundred left and wouldn’t hesitate to use them.
    The third version is a combination of Speer’s Mag-Tip and the GS. Now it is just an over priced Mag-Tip. I used a 130gr in a .270 on a whitetail. It ended up as a mangled ball with expansion well down the shank. 56% weight retention. Reminded me of a Hornady.
     

  16. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Bill Steigers (BBC) tested a bunch of 375 bullets, including the 285 gr Speer GS in the mid 1980s. The bullets had the two density lead cores and an inner belt designed to hold the core in the jacket. He wrote up his findings, which I have around here (somewhere). I recall the GS placed in the middle of the pack. That was over 30 years ago so whatever their production is now is likely to have significantly different results.
     

  17. ack

    ack AH Enthusiast

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    I had the same experience this year on whitetail deer in Wyo. but the bullet was Trophy Bonded Tip 180s in /06......Sold 'em all and bought a bunch of A-Frames for Africa....Glad I found out in time..
     

  18. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    ack
    anything with tips is often wise to be avoided when it comes to terminal performance.
    an effective marketing gimmick to the great unwashed, and a chance to value add at the manufacturing end only.
    value add translates in English to charge more.
    bruce.
     
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  19. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    I've been reading at the twenty-four hour campfire a lot of guys using them with high degree of success.

    I hope they're right and you guys are wrong, because I just loaded up 200 rds, 100 each for my sons' 308Wins.

    I am getting stellar accuracy out of them. The one flier in the picture below was because my shooting bench got bumped by the guy next to me. That's 4 bullets in the center from 100 yds out of a Savage Hog Hunter.
    43.7 gr varget.jpg
     
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  20. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    I just ordered 500 285 gr .375 Grand Slams @ 50% off, $.30 each. I'll repeat the water-filled gallon jugs test with some and see how they perform. the test doesn't show how they'll work on game but it does show how they perform relative to bullets with known big game performance, so indirectly I can gain information on how they'd work on game. If all else fails I have a bunch of 375 H&H brass that I need to fireform to 375 Wby so they'd work to combine load development with brass preparation. At $.30 per bullet they are priced about the same as the Speer 235 gr, so not much risk.
     

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