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Discussion Starter #1
What is the ultimate "pot gun round"?

For our discussion, a few parameters:

1. We're using cast bullets and we'd like to keep our lead use down as low as possible.
2. We want a round with extremely economical powder consumption.
3. We want a round that will dispatch squirrels and rabbits, but not tear up a lot of meat.
4. We want a round that is capable of killing a deer at 50-75 yards, or so.
5. We want a round that shoots pretty well with a large range of powders.

What round would you choose and what firearm would you chamber it in?
 

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30-30

you want 2 molds a lee 314-90swc run these through a .311 push through sizing die lube 2 coats alox and load

and a c309-170rf

the swc you power with 2.7gr bulls eye or similar load they fly sub sonic and are known for good performance on small critters without a blood shot mess
I am currently using 2.5 of tight wad

the 170gr can be powered by a bunch of things but you should start with H4895 around 24gr and work up in half grian increments till accuracy falls off then go back and tune your load at the best most seem to find right around 26 gr is where they like it I say around for some it is 25.5 others 27

I have also used the 170s without a gas check and pistol powder I used power pistol at 6.3 gr for a nice plinker that will ring a steel plate at 100 yards

similar things can be don in 32 win spl also

or 38-55 btu you start getting into more lead

you could do something very similar in 358 Winchester and have an even bigger game load but the rimmed cartridge is hand because it setts the head space and not the shoulder that can get pushed forward in rimless with repeated small load firings

then build a box out of plywood or what ever you have put a steel plate at one end and 3-4 feet is good , then fill it with wood chips or rubber mulch , make it so the end opposite the steel plate is fairly easily replaceable with scrap wood shoot into it for your target work and recapture your lead melt , cast and shoot again
 

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another option of course is the 357 or 44mag carbine being your only looking to get deer at 50-75 yards either would be fine

they are rimmed , nice small cases mean less powder needed , 105gr .358 swc could be used or a faster 158gr round flat magnum load for deer , these pistol rounds in a rifle can pick up an additional 3-500fps depending on powder look at the same round in a 6 inch python revolver and a 16inch winchester carbine http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/357mag.html

then a fella could carry a revolver and rifle in the same cartridge

if you have a NEF or H&R that meets the serial number requirements you can have the 357 or 44mag barrels for 104 dollars each sure it is a single shot but they are easy to feed and clean , and your looking for a meat gun not a battle rifle
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The round I had in mind when I posted the original question was the old classic, the 32-20. Kind of a pain to reload with the thin cases, but they'll shoot black powder and smokeless, functioning just fine with cast bullets.

Ruger made a run of Blackhawks several years ago in 32-20. I wish they'd do it again.
 

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32-20 just from looking at the reloading manual most loads are in the 800-1100 fps range with some fairly light bullets 90 to 115 gr for pistols It definitely shines better in the rifle for model 92 an similar strength where 1500-1900 fps but still in some very light bullets 90-100gr are all this book has loads for

32s are nice but 357 is just so much more available 32-20 is getting a little hard to find a gun chambered in it that and your unlikely to find much in the way of brass for free , I like free brass only fired once it keeps my costs down

2 loads with the closes weigh bullets my manual has 32-20 "for win 92 or stronger rifles" 100 gr xtp 15.5gr max AA1680 for a max 1849 fps

and a 110gr 357 mag with 23gr of h110 max for 2389fps

I have also been reading up on 357 MAX I just sent my NEF handi off for 44 and 357 mag barrels , the only complaint seems t be that the 357 barrels come with a really long throat , on the flip side a lot of guys have been reaming them to 357max , this takes 357 mag to a new level with a longer case and room for more powder , yet you can still use 38sp and 357 in it with apparently no worse accuracy than when it just had a long throat

not that you really need to go that fast , I will probably end up feeding it mostly 38spl cast lead so that it can use the same round as the revolver

because a standard 44mag load should be more than enough if I want to go after larger game

but you never know
 

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I have 357 and 44 Mag single shot nef rifles they are great kids deer rifles I liked them so much I bought Rossi lever guns in the same calibers for close range work a pistol caliber lever gun is hard to beat . I have also played with reduced cast bullet loads in 30-06 with good results from .309 round ball to 150 gr bullets with light charges of bullseye
 

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I have played with a fair amount of 30-30 reduced loads , from stuff equal to the 32-20 pistol velocities of 800fps with a 90gr swc to 170gr bullets going around 1200 fps

running 170gr without gas checks and 6.3gr power pistol, it has a shank I just am to cheap to add 2 more cents to each bullet when i only have 5 cents in each round as it is they are great at 50 , i can't see well enough at 100 with irons to know how they really are but when the 100 yard steel plate is hanging that I can hit that time after time but it is about the size of a sheet of typing paper.

Ky crawler you should try a lee tl314-90swc run it through a .311 sizing die and lube 2 coats with alox , push it with a mild load of bulls eye and you be eating out the centers of targets at 50 yards

try a .440 round ball in a 44mag cases they are easy to load with only a fire formed case , and priming tool you can basically thumb the ball in then chamber

I happen to have a .440 round ball mold for the 45 smoke pole so i gave it a try one day , gets kind of addicting playing with the light side of things
 

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I like light loads in 30-30 for small agme. I use round balls and 3 grs Unique or red Dot for grouse and bunny loads. Doesn't tear them up, makes about as much noise as a standard vel 22. You can move up to 32-20 power level also, like a 110-120 gr cast at about 1200 fps, or up to full power and weight bullets if desired. Can do much the same with a 308 or 30-06 as well, but if cast is your primary desire, the 30-30 may be simpler, and more efficient with cast level loads.

I'm not as much of a fan of pistol cal rifles. What works well in one is often a great compromise in accuracy or usability in the other. Pistol bullets don't always work well on deer size animals when pushed at carbine velocities either. I've had pistol cal rifles for ages, they sound great in theory, but when it comes to what actually gets out the door with me, I prefer a true rifle cal if I'm going to carry a rifle. I'm not at all allergic to jacketed bullets, but keep molds around for when I want to make cast bullets.
 

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the pistol cartridge carbine is appealing to me because I rarely need a full power load , I cast and with carbide dies I pistol cases size and load so easily in my turret

so shooting on the cheap , the ability to play with different bullets in a single shot for simplicity

I use mostly cast , except for 223
 

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Yes, carbide dies are a good reason to use pistol calibers, as well as not needing much range. I have a variety of country around me, from wide open to thick forest, and intermixed with open areas. I'm always thinking in terms of having range (coyotes, wolves etc while out with my dog), and often horsepower when going close or into the mountains (bears, the ones with sharp edges). Having a rifle in hand is a year round thing.

I mostly leave the magazine loaded with full power loads and single load light loads as needed.
 
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