Conicals or round balls - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Conicals or round balls

I never shot a deer with a round ball. Shot a few with conicals, great plains bullet, 390 or 395 grain, they do not make them anymore in that grain, now they are I believe 425, this is for a .54. Anyways I see on here, some of the hunters who are successful, with round balls are saying there is not much of a blood trail with their round balls. Is that normal, not to have much blood with a round ball, or does a conical get better blood trails, or no difference? My last two with the great plains, one was at 7 yards, from a tree stand, and the bullet did not exit the hide on the opposite side, was flattened and large diameter, deer dropped on the spot. The other at 45 yards went thru, hole about 1.5 on exit, deer went 50 yards, and had a good blood trail. Have not shot any with the 425 grain, so I do not know if there would be a difference. Trying to ask guys with some experience, as I do not have much in this area.
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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 07:30 PM
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I have killed with conicals and RB's.Calibers from 45,50,54,and 58.Powder charges of 50 up to 120.I have found no difference in caliber or projectile vs blood trail or distance traveled after the shot.If anything I get more bang / flops with the 45's that I use 50grs of powder and a RB.They only reasoning I can come up with is slower and more energy absorbed by the deer.I have never recovered a RB/conical but most my shots are lungs. I liver shot 1 and it dropped.Others on muzzy sites echo same results.Double lungs give more blood as you have 3 holes.In,out,and mouth from coughing up blood in the lungs.
Deer shot in the heart or lungs don't live longer than 7 seconds.They either drop or take off like a rocket.
Some say if they just exhaled when hit drop quicker.
Use what groups the best in your gun and what you can hit with on that 1st shot out of a clean bore.
NOTHING lives with a 1/2" hole inn the heart or lungs.
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 07:37 PM
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Depends on the rifling in the barrel, slow (1-66) round ball, fast (1-28) conical.

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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 08:05 PM
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You could roll your own - Lee makes molds for .54 380gr black powder bullets:

https://leeprecision.com/mold-d-c-54cal-380.html
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-07-2020, 08:30 PM
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Depth of rifling along with twist.I have a 32 caliber TC Cherokee with a 1:30 that gives head shots on squirrels with RB's up to 40 yds. with 20grs of FFFg.The 1:60,1:66,1:72,etc lets you burn more powder accurately than the 1:48.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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The barrel I am using right now has a 1/32 twist, also have a 1/38 and the factory barrel with 1/48. Sounds like it will not make much difference between a round ball and conical. I do not get much experience, as I usually fill my tags during archery season. Thanks for the information.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 04:29 PM
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I've always used round balls, with one experiment with conicals (Buffalo Bullets, if I recall, that I got to use on a bear hunt). I shoot an early TC Hawkens in .50 cal. RBs have always served me well on deer. The one experiment on deer with the conical yielded no evidence of improvement.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 05:10 PM
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I've killed them with 45,50,& 54 calibers, both round ball and conicals, factory and cast in my garage. 410er is spot on with NOTHING lives with a hole thru the lungs. If you don't want to track far, shoot for the shoulder, simply because not only will the heart/lungs be hit, but once you break bones they tend to drop straight down and stay put more often than not.

Straight up the leg, put it in the middle and pull the trigger.

Remember.... they're full time deer......we're part time hunters!
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 05:51 PM
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I've been using the Hornady Pa Conical (gr wt is 240) for about ten years. It's accurate as all from my 1-72 twist Green MT. barrel. I use the Pa Conical because it's powder, conical, pan....aim 'n shoot. No patches to mess with. And as I said.....very accurate out to 100 yards. As others stated.....get 'em in the lungs and it's all over.
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 01-08-2020, 11:52 PM
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I'd like to try some of those PA conicals...are they still being made? I see places to buy them, sometimes a little pricey, but not sure if they are old stock. I have read some posts that they were discontinued.

I was looking for a mold for them, but it sounds like they are little too complex. But I am the guy who would buy a mold rather than pay $.40 a bullet plus shipping and consider it paid off when they broke even without accounting for lead price or my time.

They sound like the best option to roundballs for .50 and slow twist.
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