Whats the scoop on Lost river bullets??

Steve in Mi

Well-Known Member
May 28, 2001
The BC on the bullets is great they are very pricey. I am looking to try some in either 200 or 220 weights the j40 it the target a a j36 is a hunting bullets. If any one here has tried them any feed back would be great. I would like to try both of the target and hunting bullets. Thanks in advance

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
I am hoping Warren's J36 bullets are the ultimate long range hunting bullet. I say, “hoping” because I haven’t shot any game with them yet. Their high BC, (.715 in 160 grain, 7mm) excellent accuracy and controlled expansion should be an ideal combo.

Last year I used the 140 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip (.485 BC) in a 7mm Dakota at 3,450 fps muzzle velocity. The difference in wind drift with a 10 mph wind at 700 yards is nearly 10 inches less with the J36 at 3,400 fps in my new 7mm Ultra. The drop in the next 50 yards past 700 is reduced by 2 inches with the J36 compared to the Nosler. These are huge advantages at long range. Using the highest BC bullet you can group well is the key to killing big game at ranges over 500 yards.

I have just recently been using the 162 grain Hornady A-max with a .625 BC and got great results on two lung-shot deer at 525 and 690 yards. (I hadn’t gotten my newly re-barreled 7 mm Ultra rifle to shoot the J36 in time for the opening of the whitetail season.) The A-max bullet expands rapidly but you get no real penetration and no exit hole for tracking. If you shoot the deer in the lungs you don’t need either penetration or exit hole. I know Kirk Kelso, Darryl, Dave King and others use a different target bullet, the Sierra Matchking, for deer quite successfully. Kirk killed a grizzly with it, too. They report more penetration than I got with the A-max and the Matchking apparently is constructed differently. The Matchkings in 7mm don’t have a good BC, though.

If you hit an animal in the lungs it doesn’t matter much which kind of projectile you use. Even a sharpened pencil pushed through the lungs would kill any mammal, in my opinion. But…for a less than perfect hit at long range I would like to have more penetration and an exit hole for tracking, if possible. Earlier this week I failed to recover a whitetail doe, which I shot at 675 yards. The doe was standing at about a 35 to 45 quartering away angle. It was hit hard and knocked off its feet. I probably failed to realize I had a wind of 1 to 2 mph and this plus the quartering angle meant I probably grazed the leading edge of the rear leg and the bullet entered the body cavity behind the lungs. I say probably because I didn’t find the deer and didn’t get a chance to do a post-mortem. My first un-recovered long range deer. Hope it’s my last.

With the J36 I think I would have recovered the deer with this same aiming point. However, with the J36’s penetration characteristics I probably would have aimed a little closer to the front shoulder and had the advantage of a larger kill-zone. The front shoulder covers a portion of the lungs. I’ve been staying away from the shoulder with the A-max, not being confident that the A-max would penetrate the bone.

If you try the J36 or J40 be sure you ask owner Warren Jensen which twist you need in your barrel to stabilize these long bullets. I am shooting them into ½ moa vertical groups at 500 and 700 yards with my 8 twist, 30-inch 7mm Ultra. This is the same great accuracy I get from the Hornady A-max which is known to be one of the most accurate non-custom target bullets. Another suggestion is to pay more attention to the J36 group size at long range and less at how they do at 100 yards. This is probably true of other bullets as well, I guess.

If Warren isn’t too busy maybe he will see this post and come on-line to explain the expansion characteristics of his J36 at long range velocities. For example, with my 7mm Ultra at a muzzle velocity of 3,400 fps, my 160-grain J36 will be down to 2,500 fps at 700 yards and 2,150 fps at 1,000 yards.

By the way, the drop results from 100 to 700 yards during my shooting this morning verified that the .715 BC of the J36 is accurate. Amazing!

As to cost, you get what you pay for! The small added cost may be equal to only about 1% of your annual hunting and shooting costs.

[ 11-23-2001: Message edited by: Len Backus ]

Lee Owens

Well-Known Member
May 28, 2001
McKinney, TX, USA
Are you going to get a new barrel for the Lost River bullets? I exchanged a couple of e-mails with Warren on the subject. He said "normal" barrels don't really hum with solids. He said he would work with the barrel maker of my choice if I want to get a rifle set up for his bullets.

I'm really giving it a lot of thought for a 1kBR Heavy Gun. Would be 6.5 Gibbs. Not a fire-breathing monster, but gee, two Sub-MOA groups from this newbie in two matches? I'll stick with that one for a while.

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