This is an issue with bullets of higher antimony content, as they are brittle alloys. It is not uncommon for straight linotype bullets to shatter on the large bones encountered on elk, large wild hogs, bear and moose. These alloys are typically hard, in the BHN 21-24 range.
One of the more common of these alloys is linotype with an antimony (Sb) content of usually 12%. Bullets made from this alloy are very brittle, and will predictably shatter when fired at modest velocities if they encounter large bone mass or steel targets.
There are also those commercially cast bullets which use a 6% or higher antimony content and are heat-treated to bring their hardness up into the BHN 21-24 range. Although not nearly as violent, nor dramatic, these bullets too can, and do break apart on both steel targets as well as large bone mass in game animals, even at handgun velocities.
This brings us to the reason that we use a 3% Antimony alloy at Beartooth Bullets. Although we too heat-treat our bullets to a BHN 21-22 hardness, this low antimony alloy retains the ductile toughness of the un-heat-treated alloy. This alloy, is hard, and tough, not brittle and prone to breaking or shattering like the alloys containing twice to four times the antimony content of our alloy. Our bullets have proven themselves on moose, grizzly bear, Asiatic water buffalo, African cape buffalo, elk, nilgai, zebra, wild boar, moose, eland and multitudes of other heavy boned game animals the world over... usually with complete penetration, and what few bullets have been recovered, most are near perfectly in tact, retaining 90-100% of their original weight when fired at handgun velocities and retaining 70-100% original weight when fired at rifle velocities.