Metal Patched Bullets-Can you tell me how I can get the best results for killing moose and other big game when using metal patched bullets? I am using a Ross straight pull, sporting rifle, .303 British caliber, and I can buy service shells loaded with cordite and metal patched bullets for less than half the price of other makes of cartridges. I have been filing the points of the bullets down to the lead, but some say that if I just nick the point it is enough to make them expand. Will the cordite powder freeze up in very cold weather, and does it have any other bad features?
I think it will be necessary to file away enough of the bullet jacket to expose the entire point of the lead core in order to obtain good results. If the jacket is merely cut through n the point the bullet will mushroom on striking bone, but otherwise it would not work well. Francis Bannerman adapts the metal patched Mauser cartridges to hunting purposes by sawing a cross through the point of the bullet jacket. He claims that if the point is filed off, no matter how carefully it is done, the bullets are not accurate. However, you would hardly have the necessary equipment for such work, and you have plenty of opportunity to tray out field bullets for accuracy.
In regard to cordite, I understand that it makes a very hot gas that erodes the barrel rapidly, and for that reason it is never used by American manufacturers, though it is the standard powder in England for high power cartridges. It is also very susceptible to climactic changes. I have never heard how it behaves in cold climates, but in the Tropics it develops greater strength, and cartridges for use in hot countries are usually loaded with from five to ten grains less than for temperature climates, but give the same amount of energy. If it acts that way when subjected to greater heat it is reasonable that it would lose power at the same rate when subjected to cold. All smokeless powders are more or less susceptible to climatic changes, but I am of the opinion that cordite is worse than our American powders.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913
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