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Old March 15, 2005, 04:31 PM   #1
mikemayberry
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Questions about velocity and .44 mag bullets

Any help on this would be appreciated. What I am trying to determine is what will happen to a .44 mag XTP (240 grain) when it travels at 1000 fps vs. 1350 fps. I am trying to learn how it will react differently in soft tissue/ribs of a deer at the two velocities.

2. Same question but if it strike shoulder bone.

3. Same questions as above for hard cast 250 Keith style bullet.

4. Finally, would your answers be the same for a 300 grain XTP at the two velocities?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old March 16, 2005, 07:17 PM   #2
mikemayberry
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Perhaps my velocities are too close:

How about 900 fps vs. 1400 fps?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old March 17, 2005, 06:20 AM   #3
WESHOOT2
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what do you really wanna knbow?

I have some experience with 300g XTP's and heavy lead in 44 Mag; how may I help?
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Old March 17, 2005, 07:47 AM   #4
mikemayberry
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Weshoot2,

I'm new to ballistics and bullet performance and am just trying to figure out the effect that speed has on bullet expansion for the 240/300 XTP's and the 250 hardcast lead bullets.

In other words, will any of them mushroom less or more as the speed increases. Specifically, at 900 fps will the XTP be as likely to open up as it is at 1400 or will it perform the same through the same substance at both speeds?

Thanks for helping me better state my questions and for any help you can give.

Mike
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Old March 18, 2005, 06:57 AM   #5
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Every XTP bullet has a specific velocity window. Too slow and you won't get very much expansion, too fast and the bullet will break up very rapidly. Off the top of my head, the 240 gr XTP will expand reliably between 1000 to 1500 fps. The 300 gr. XTP is a stout bullet and should be kept to at least 1100 fps muzzle velocity in order to achieve proper expansion. It is, quite frankly, more bullet than you really need for deer hunting. I personally stick to the 200 or 240 gr versions of the XTP for that purpose.

In short, to answer your question, the faster you push an XTP the more it will expand. Again, assuming you stay in it's velocity window. On deer, it probably won't make much difference if you hit hit shoulder or not, bullet performance should be good either way. You may want to check out Hornady's website to see what the velocity windows are for each specific bullet.

As far as cast bullets go, you probably won't get any expansion at all, but they'll penetrate like crazy with velocities between 900 and 1500 fps. Some peopla swear by cast bullets for deer hunting; I do not. I like some expansion on deer. If I were carrying my .44 for bear defense, then I would probably use a heavy hard cast bullet.

I hope I have helped some, and not confused you. I have a great deal of experience loading for my .44, so please feel free to ask more questions.
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Old March 18, 2005, 09:06 AM   #6
mikemayberry
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Ruger #1,

Thanks for the thorough reply and this helps a bunch. I had looked for the 'velocity window' on the Hornady website and did not find it. Didn't know what exactly I was asking for, but that is it and you have information about the velocity window that I have not yet found.

I went back to look again at the Hornady website and still have not located that information. Maybe I'm missing it or it is in their reloading manual.

Any other tips you have about the .44 mag that might be helpful? I have experimented with 2400 powder from 16.5 to 20 gr. behind the 240 XTP and am getting impressive results out of the 16.8 - 17 gr. for this 12 inch Encore barrel. Next, I'll have to figure out how fast that bullet is travelling.

Thanks again #1!

Mike

Last edited by mikemayberry; March 18, 2005 at 09:09 AM. Reason: clarification on type of gun barrel
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Old March 19, 2005, 07:10 AM   #7
WESHOOT2
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straight from Hornady Manufacturing

#44200 240g XTP-HP 900-1800fps

#44280 300g XTP-HP 850-1900+fps

So both expand at lower speed; more speed opens them sooner.

Hardcast bullets just make long holes.

The perceived advantage to the heavier bullet comes at extended range, where its greater momentum allows it potentially greater penetration.
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Old March 19, 2005, 08:19 AM   #8
mikemayberry
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Excellent!

WeShoot2, between you and Ruger#1, I now understand what I was trying to figure out.

I just need to check my velocities to make sure I'm in the window.

Two last questions: since everyone wants deeper penetration on wild boar (which I also hunt with this setup), will the heavier 300 gr. bullet go deeper because of inertia? Seems that it would.

When seeking deeper penetration with the 240 gr. would it go deeper at a higher velocity or open sooner due to the higher speed and stop sooner?

Maybe I'm overthinking this but I am close to understanding. You guys are great to help.

Mike
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Old March 19, 2005, 08:29 AM   #9
WESHOOT2
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maybe's vs what actually happened

The 300g should penetrate deeper. Momentum.
Maybe.

The 240g should open sooner and stop penetrating sooner at higher velocity.
Maybe.

That said, the XTP's are designed to open slowly, allowing greater penetration.

Me? I prefer the 300g version.
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Old March 19, 2005, 11:51 AM   #10
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Glad to help.

WESHOOT2 pretty much hit it on the head. The 300 gr version should penetrate deeper, and would be my choice for hogs, or anything larger than deer. I am quite sure it will work very nicely on deer as well. I have always preffered the lighter XTP's on deer, but I think I may give the 300 gr loads a try on deer.

The loads you mentioned should be giving you plenty of velocity, esp. out of a 12'' T/C barrel.

From a penetration standpoint, higher impact velocity usually means less penetration. Conventional bullets expand more rapidly at higher velocities, losing weight and therefore inertia quickly. This isn't a bad thing neccessarily, especially on deer sized game.

That said, XTP's are wonderful hunting bullets. They expand very well,while retaining enough weight and shank length to penetrate completely.

Again, I am glad to help, and hopefully you can find that " perfect load".
Good shooting!
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Old March 19, 2005, 01:11 PM   #11
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I have a little experience with 240 gr. XTP on deer. Best penetration was with 23.5 gr. H110. Shot a large deer right in the middle of the chest as it was facing me at about 35 yards. The bullet exited in the middle of the left hind quarter. That was at least 36 inches of deer it traveled through and still exited. I can not expect more from the bullet than that. The result was an instantly dead deer. The internal damage was also impressive. You have chosen a good bullet to load.
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Old March 20, 2005, 07:20 AM   #12
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Generally, you should look at the bullet in terms of speed over a determined distance such as 100 yards. Most magnum loadings with jacketed bullets and the slow burning powders made for them don't allow very much variance in powder charge. So muzzle speed isn't going to vary a whole lot without changing powders, pistols etc. The last XTP'S I bought in .38 cal had a little paper inside stating the speed range. They are designed for a wide range of speeds. For the life of me, in all the years I've been on various boards etc, I can't ever remember anyone complaining about XTP bullet performance (other than self defense because of over penetration).
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