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Thread: Here's one to discuss....Jacketed or Not?

  1. #1

    Here's one to discuss....Jacketed or Not?

    I was preparing some cast bullets for heat treatment this morning and while swaging on the gas checks, I was reminded of some comments shared by a couple of board members and I as to whether or not the gas check constitutes a jacket. It is copper, affixed to the bullet, and travels a distance along the parallel sides of the bullet. Would it then not be just a very short jacket??

    The photo below is of two 30 caliber bullets. Both weigh exactly 220 grains +/- a few tenths of a grain. I have killed big game with both of them with equal performance.

    What do you all think? ~Muir
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Muir; 10-07-2010 at 14:23.

  2. #2
    Muir,

    I think I don't know nearly enough about casting bullets, loading cast bullets, sizing them or heat treating?

    As I have said before it's something I am going to have to get involved in more and get the lead pot set up and start playing with it. 303 of course is one to look at as is the 9.3mm but then there is the .308 and 30-06................................................

  3. #3
    It's easy to pick up once you get started. I used a gas camp stove and an old pot when I started. The point I was getting at was aimed at your regions specific bullet requirements. Would that lead bullet be a "monometal" bullet or just a lead-tipped jacketed (expanding) bullet by virtue of the copper base?

    I guess the post was a little out in left field, as we say here... ~Muir

  4. #4
    I suspect it would be classified as a solid. performance would make no odds

  5. #5
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    Would it then not be just a very short jacket?
    No. Not by me. And anybody knows what a "half jacket" is - such as on the Speer 100 grain 308 "plinker" bullet.

    I'd define a jacket as a cladding designed to engage the rifling and transmit the spin imparted by that rifling to the bullet. So a paper patched bullet is actually a paper jacketed bullet. And IMHO quite legal for anywhere that mandated a "jacketed" and not a "metal jacketed" bullet.

    Attachment 1832

    Indeed in the USA at one time metal jacket bullets were also often called "metal patched" bullets to tell the buyer that these were of metal and not paper jacket type! As originally if a bullet was described as "patched" it meant PAPER patched.

    A gas check isn't designed to do that - to transmit the spin - but just to stop the heat of the powder melting the bullet base. So your gas check bullet is just a "solid" bullet.

    As an aside if you want to actually shoot lead bullets (not linotype bullets) in a rifle and so get high velocity and expansion you need to paper patch (like a half jacket but paper).

    There is an excellent book about this "Shooting the Paper Patched Bullet" and any paper patched bullet is better than any gas check bullet in terms of velocity that can be achieved.

    So no a gas check is a gas check. A "patch" paper or metal is a true jacket.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 11-07-2010 at 11:54.

  6. #6
    Muir,

    Some information and possible homework, if I've got any of it wrong I'm sure someone will correct me!

    As far as I can see the minimum requirements in England for a bullet to shoot deer with are that it must be,

    1. Soft nosed or hollow nosed and designed to deform in a predictable manner,

    2. For Cwd and Muntjac be at least .220 calibre, 55 grains in weight and have a muzzle energy of 1000ft lbs,

    3. For other deer must be at least .240 caliber and have a muzzle energy of 1700ft lbs.

    In Scotland the minimum requirements are different in that it must be,

    1.A bullet of an expanding type designed to deform in a predictable manner,

    2. For Roe, (no minimum calibre is specified), be at least 50 grains in weight, with a muzzle velocity of 2450 ft/sec and have a muzzle energy of 1000ft lbs,

    3. For other deer (no minimum calibre is specified), be at least 100 grains in weight, with a muzzle velocity of 2450 ft/sec and have a muzzle energy of at least 1750ft lbs.

    So, if you can design a lead or alloy bullet which can cast that will fulfil these criteria without leading the barrel excessively and at a reasonable cost then there will be a surge of interest from some parties. For deer it is difficult to get to use calibres as large as .375 and then only as a secondary permission if you have originally managed to get if for "dangerous game" or similar reason. There are probably some instances where this is not the case but they will be far and few between.

    For live quarry other than deer, ie. vermin, there are no specifications for bullets other then specification 1 for each country.

    I don't see that jackets are mentioned in the legal criteria but generally are required to meet the other legal requirements.

    I don't see any legal definition of hollow point, I sure a good lawyer could argue successfully that a dimple in a round nosed bullet could be treated as a hollow nosed bullet or that a device(made to suit the calibre) such as used by Paco Kelly to form or regulate hollow points in .22 rimfire bullets would comply with that criteria so long as you designed it to deform in a predictable manner. Again there is no definition of predictable so the design criteria could be as wide or narrow as wished.

    Soft nosed may be achievable by differential heat treatment or annealing, over to you on that one as well!

    For more detail on our tangled and complex legal system try these urls and download accordingly. Many hours of reading!

    http://www.basc.org.uk/en/utilities/...E404879B2489F0


    http://www.basc.org.uk/en/utilities/...D197523083F073

    Have fun

    Bob

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    No. Not by me. And anybody knows what a "half jacket" is - such as on the Speer 100 grain 308 "plinker" bullet.

    I'd define a jacket as a cladding designed to engage the rifling and transmit the spin imparted by that rifling to the bullet. So a paper patched bullet is actually a paper jacketed bullet. And IMHO quite legal for anywhere that mandated a "jacketed" and not a "metal jacketed" bullet.

    Attachment 1832

    Indeed in the USA at one time metal jacket bullets were also often called "metal patched" bullets to tell the buyer that these were of metal and not paper jacket type! As originally if a bullet was described as "patched" it meant PAPER patched.

    A gas check isn't designed to do that - to transmit the spin - but just to stop the heat of the powder melting the bullet base. So your gas check bullet is just a "solid" bullet.

    As an aside if you want to actually shoot lead bullets (not linotype bullets) in a rifle and so get high velocity and expansion you need to paper patch (like a half jacket but paper).

    There is an excellent book about this "Shooting the Paper Patched Bullet" and any paper patched bullet is better than any gas check bullet in terms of velocity that can be achieved.

    So no a gas check is a gas check. A "patch" paper or metal is a true jacket.
    I have that book! Have you read the NRA (US) series on high-velocity paper patched bullets? Where Mathews deals with mostly large bore, relatively low velocity calibers, the NRA tests worked with .30 calibers from .308 to 300 Win Magnum. Really interesting stuff.

    My discussion was aimed towards what the (your) law would think of a parallel sided copper cup on the back end of a cast bullet. As I tried to point out, it does have parallel sides and is made of copper, and is swaged onto the bullet. I am just trying to find a crack in your shooting laws....much like you have done with siding that the paper-jacket is a "jacket". Along the paper-patch line: I don't get the correlation between what constitutes a jacket and your statement about imparting spin to a bullet. It would seem that they are related only by circumstance, especially since the paper jacket is designed to come off the bullet once it leaves the muzzle, sending a "mono-metal" solid into the target. At least in my dubious proposal that a gas-check is a jacket, I can argue that the gascheck stays with the bullet in flight.

    As an aside, I mentioned performance to justify a comparison of the two bullet examples and to eliminate any idea that the gas-checked bullet would be unsuitable regardless. The cast bullets I shoot at deer are 50% harder than linotype but they are still only one third as hard as soft copper. (Were I to drop one from waist level onto a hard floor the nose would dent.) Deer hit with a 180 grain bullet of this nature at 2500 ft/sec act like they have been hit with a jacketed soft point. ~Muir

  8. #8
    Bob,
    Thanks for the info and links. I'll give it a look when I can. Really, this was just supposed to be a fun, hypothetical bit aimed at your laws: the one I'm thinking of was one someone mentioned about "monometal" (solids) bullets. I am vague as to the accuracy of the person's quote. I sure didn't mean for it to get serious. Just a dig at the law like Enfield has made rightly considering a paper jacket, a jacket.

    So many people here successfully harvest deer with cast bullets. I wish there was a way that you folks could do the same without running foul of the Regs.~Muir

  9. #9
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    Well, of course, before all the (relative) nonsense of the calibre and velocity specifications in the Deer Acts we used to shoot deer with muzzle loading rifles AND breech loading rifles shooting lead bullets.

    The .300 Sherwood promoted as the ideal for "park deer" is actually no more than a half jacket lead bullet of 140 grains with a hollow point at about 1,450fps.

    But the classic deer calibres of the breech loading blackpowder period were being around .400" or slightly greater. And the classic breechloading calibres of the muzzleloading period around .450".

    As far as UK Law an expanding bullet is one that is "designed" to expand so that is all that actually is required. Certainly a solid lead (or alloy) bullet with a hollow cavity would be held to be "designed" to expand.

    And you'll come across these in collections of old British blackpowder cartridges with that hollow often plugged with a domed metal "T" shaped plug to give ballistic advantage but to also aid terminal expansion. These are usually something like 450/400 2 3/8" one of the classic deer calibres from the blackpowder era in Britain.

    It could also be argued that any "patched" bullet with an exposed lead front was designed to expand as the "patch" (paper or metal) was needed because the lead was too soft to not strip in the rifling.

    The law here is odd indeed. As an all lead Minie bullet obviously has to expand (at the base) to work when it is fired. Yet somehow isn't to the letter of the law thought of as being "designed" to expand on impact with the target!

    Personally? If I wanted to do this and I think that the velocity requirements would mean it is a strictly "English" proposition I'd use a cast lead bullet (paper patched or not) and use the Forster 1/8" hollow point attachment on the superb Forster trimmer to hollow point it.

    Certainly IMHO there would the be no doubt that the bullet was "designed" by that hollow point to expand as required by the law. And I'm sure that a visit to a good hardware store would yield some solid copper domed rivets that could be used as expander plugs.

    Certainly in the right hands and at the right distance any nominal .450 muzzle loader with such a hollow point bullet would be a formidable deer rifle today just as they once were.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 11-07-2010 at 18:00.

  10. #10
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    That the paper jacket comes off is correct. That it does so after it has transmitted spin to the bullet is also correct. That is its sole purpose.

    For these were all lead bullets in actuality with maybe a little tin. And the velocity was just too great for them to "take" the rifling if they didn't have the paper patch. They would strip as the went up the barrel.

    The paper patch was the eventual simple solution to the material available (lead) not being suitable for the velocity achievable.

    Thus obsoleting all the blind alleys of mechanical fitting bullets such as the Whitworth or the "Belted Ball" or Jacob's variation on it as the merits of the "small" (!!) .450" calibre came to be desired.

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