Speer Grand slam bullets

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

  1. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I'm very surprised that the Speer Grand Slam has not worked well for some hunters. I have a hunting buddy who has used them in his .270 Win. since they first hit the market perhaps 30 years ago. He has used them successfully and without any negative surprises on approximately 20 elk and 6-8 moose and again as many whitetail deer and a few black bears. I personally have used them as my preferred elk bullet in my .35 Whelens, took something like a dozen elk, one big mountain caribou, and a few moose with the 250 gr. at 2500 FPS muzzle velocity. Perfect performance every time. Bone crushing integrity, deep penetration often with exit hole even on shoulder shots on elk, and decent accuracy. I was only disappointed once, when I shot a deer with one too far back and at fairly long range, a liver shot that required a long tracking job. I think the bullet failed to open on such a light animal. So I learned something here. Just because a bullet works for you doesn't mean it works for everyone, all the time. We normally can't gain enough experience ourselves to be good evaluators of all products in all situations. One good reason I like this forum!
    I'll still use Speer Grand Slam bullets for medium sized game at average distances in moderate cartridges. I have several boxes on hand in 7mm and .308" that I will use them with reasonable confidence in my 7x57, 7x64 and .308 and 30-06 rifles, but IF I had some on hand in .375 I probably wouldn't use them if Buffalo was the quarry.
     
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  2. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Senior Member

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    I used the 150 grain in .270 win. Whitetail, mule deer and one elk. Worked good on everything.
     

  3. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Appears we may be talking about bullets of the same name but having different specifications. I recall when Bill tested the various .375s that he had some early production ones that had the two density cores and only a small notch in the base to hold the jacket and core together. The cores tended to separate from the jacket in this model. Bill also had an improved GS that was the same as the previous run except that it had a very prominent lip of jacket material ringing the inside of the jacket to grip the core, similar to Hornady's Interlock but larger. These were the bullets that showed well in his impact testing. Now it appears that there are further modifications that result in the bullet coming apart on impact. As noted above, I am getting some of these new production bullets and will be testing them, both by shooting and by dissecting a few to see what they are made of.
     

  4. ack

    ack AH Enthusiast

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    I should add that the TBT bullets only penetrated about 9 or 10 inches on 2 small does we took at 50 and 150 yds...Distance was measure but guessing on penetration as they did not exit..I heard 2 shots hit the big buck at 280 yds.,,he fell ,,we found blood but never found him ,,even next day..They just open to fast so it slows 'em down I guess..Never had that trouble with lead tips.
     

  5. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    One of the problems of "Super Premium" bullets is that there is a tendency to substitute fancy for fact. When Bill Steigers started making Bitterroot Bonded Bullets the bonding was an integral part but not the only part. He insisted that the jacket was the main method of controlling expansion. bullets smaller than .277 didn't have enough thickness to have a stout enough jacket, so .277" was the smallest size he made. As bullets got bigger it allowed for significantly thicker jackets, some over .050". The jacket was unalloyed copper so that it was pliable and resistant to tearing (as alloyed metals are prone to do). The soft lead core was equally pliable so it balled up and was held in place by the bonding. When Jack Carter was developing his Trophy Bonded Bear Claws he had several conversations with Bill Steigers seeking counseling regarding his product. Jack's initial product was very similar in design to Bills. Then there were two significant changes, essentially making the base of solid copper/gilding metal and then the front half of the bullet similar to the A-frame. This was the design purchased for production by Federal. How closely Federal has made the new runs of bullets to Jack's patents appears to be doubtful particularly since they have now added the new trick, putting a plastic tip on the bullet. If you have bullets of unknown performance the most informative thing one can do is split the bullet length-wise and see if the jacket has sufficient base diameter to hold the bullet together and an ogive of proper thickness for the expansion characteristics for the game and velocities involved.
     
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  6. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Doc-404 years ago when he was on here regularly told me the Speer Grand Slam was his preferred bullet for hunting plains game in Namibia. He said they were deadly medicine for leopard. I always thought they were a sensible bullet for plains game. I would not hunt hippo, Cape buffalo or elephant with them but I’m positive they be adequate for plains game.
     
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  7. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    The old ones from the 90s were a 2 core projectile. The design was essentially that of the old rws h - mantle - minus the hollow nose cap. If the front 2/3 of the projectile was bonded , they never displayed that on game. The rear 1/3 was a semi partition,
    with the core 3/4 encased by the copper partition - a direct copy of the h- mantle.
    Unlike the h-mantle, this partition would stay together, & get in deep at magnum impact velocities. The h-mantle partition always broke across it's face, resulting in almost total disintegration. I used a great deal of them in 30 cal, 165 & 200, in 308 norma magnum & 300 weatherby, also a heap of 375, 285grn in a 378 weatherby.
    Whilst the 285s were on the softer side @ 378 velocities, they were still excellent on soft skin game.The old Grand slams were one of the only projectiles available at the time that would hold together @ magnum velocities. They were easily distinguishable by the gs stamp on projectile base.
     

  8. Andrews

    Andrews AH Member

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    So far, all of the newer GS bullets i have seen have the same stamp.
     

  9. Brent James

    Brent James AH Member

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    If they've actually changed the design , it's probably not for anything but cost cutting.
    The only change in projectiles I've seen that was an improvement over the original was when nosler/Winchester brought out the partition gold projectile.
     
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  10. Firebird

    Firebird AH Veteran

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    I use the 165 gr for my old .30-06 and 145 for my 7mm-08. Both have taken mule deer and elk with excellent results. I handload them and have since 1993 ish and still love them. I test all my loads by shooting them into one gallon jugs filled with water at 100 yards-simple test to see how well a bullet will hold together and how well it will penetrate. Last years freezer filler with the pre 64 at around 100 yards and 165 grand slam

    09DF4D50-0823-424B-9D54-1B8A424A4667.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2019
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  11. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Nice rifle and Whitetail, but if the rifle were mine the scope would have an objective small enough to allow retention of the original rear sight.
     

  12. Firebird

    Firebird AH Veteran

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    I laughed a bit at that post-my smallest whitey buck ever! Then I did kill this corn fed yearling with my open sight .30-30 winchester- also a classic but not with a grand slam. The big American Jackal I did shoot with the old -06 and 165 grand slam and results as expected.
    I'm assuming you would leave the rear sight to retain the value of the rifle and rightly so. I have it in a zip lock in the gun safe-BUT, the value of the gun is the hands I took it from and truly, it won't leave mine until they are dead and stiff and even then that particular deer slayer will remain "in my family." -So its value is in the fact that I can still use it and it is still a wonderful reminder of my grandpa that I inherited it from. It will never be sold. When I got that rifle for Christmas my 16th year, I was told it was shot out and no longer a good rifle. Stupidly I never even fired it for about ten years. Then I started handloading and could afford a good scope and it is certainly not shot out and loves grand slams and gameking bullets. I shoot left handed, dad didn't deal with this well so I learned to shoot as a lefty with right handed actions. The vx-L scope let me get my face right down on the stock where it needed to be-I have a half dozen of those scopes on rifles because that system works so well with my southpaw affliction. Anyway so to make that scope work the rear sight was removed and scope installed and I don't need to tell you that despite good eyes and an appreciation for open sighted rifles--I shoot much better with the scope of course and that rifle gets used-not a mantle story item. Its value is our family heritage and its own ability to by golly get it done!
    Hope these pix will help apologize for hijacking the thread(Smiley face, smiley face)

    IMG_4719.PNG IMG_4724.PNG
     

  13. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Here is what was left of the “new style” 145gr Grand Slam, just the jacket, as I mentioned above, wife found a small shard of lead close the same area I found the jacket.

    7FFB78F8-0525-47FF-B00C-1AA2A6194DAE.jpeg
     

  14. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    That jacket shows a primary mistake for bullet makers. I'm not sure what part of the jacket is shown, but the edge with the separation shows it to be too thin to allow the jacket to do its job. As the Grand Slam was made 30 years ago there was a significant thickening of the jacket from the inner ring to the base. With the old bullet the front portion may have been ripped away but expansion would have stopped at the ring. For what it's worth, it appears Speer has discontinued the 375 GS. Checking the Speer website they only list bullets up to .338". I guess the large bullet (.375 and larger) is too competitive and potential sales too small.
     

  15. Edge

    Edge BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    The jacket flipped over:

    E83E1278-A668-4294-B6F8-F12EE11C9E41.jpeg
     

  16. Red Devil

    Red Devil AH Member

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    Current production .277/ 150 gr. Grand Slam:
    (Hot-Cor/ Tapered/ Fluted/ No roll crimp or shear lock)

    [​IMG]
    Good accurate game bullet, as long as you do not over-stress it.




    Red

     

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  17. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    The bullet appears to have very little in common with the initial production Grand Slam bullets. Speer might have been more ethical to call it the Mag Tip.
     
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  18. Red Devil

    Red Devil AH Member

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    Probably.

    Most likely the evolution of the bullet - and marketing.

    They may use the same tapered/fluted jacket as the original GS, but w/ a full hot-cor core. (and lost the sheared lock used to hold the original harder slug). That may also be the "Mag-tip", but I never used or sectioned them.

    Haven't noticed any performance difference, but shoot them accordingly.

    They are no longer premium priced, apparently making way for their new bonded "Impact" ELD line.




    Red
     

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