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Old October 7, 2012, 06:13 AM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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300gr and 240gr. Where are the advantages?

Apologies if this has been raised before. I've seen a few such threads about ammo choice recently, but this is more about actual performance and how each fits in the grand scheme.

In other words, I just want to understand, rather than choose one over the other.

This morning I was considering the fact that, despite reloading, I have no objections to buying the odd box of ammo if it lets me experience different characteristics without buying 500 rounds of a particular type.

So today, I compared my only factory round so far the S&B .44 Mag SJSP (240gr, 360m/s, 1008 Joules) to some others. The S&B load, despite being impressive when I first started, now looks quite anaemic. Fiocchi also make a 240gr SJSP with 435m/s and 1471Joules. Definitely better!

Then I found the PRVI Partizan website and they have a FPJ or SJSP 240gr cartridge developing 470m/s and 1725 Joules (Now that is more like it!!). Meanwhile, they also make a 300gr SJSP but making only 390m/s and 1485 Joules.

Both seem to make decent energy levels and I'm not surprised that the 240gr travels faster but, despite a 25% weight increase, what does the 300gr bullet bring to the table, here??
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Last edited by Pond, James Pond; October 9, 2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Clarify calibre
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Old October 7, 2012, 08:29 AM   #2
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My brain can't translate your eruro ballistics but generally the 300 grain bullet has better sectional density and should penetrate much better and may increase range. Having said that, either one is going to be powerful at SAAMI spec and dead is dead if your hunting. Bullet construction is going to make a difference as well. Are you just plinking/target shooting or are you hunting?
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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Assuming that you are referring to a .44 Magnum handgun for hunting game. In the instance of hunting something similar as a reindeer, the heavier bullet would be of little/no advantage. However, if hunting something larger i.e., Elk (European "Moose"), big bears, etc., then the heavier bullet would be deemed by many shooters to be better in terms of better penetration in heavier muscles, bones.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Since I'm old and can remember a time when the 240gr bullet was top of the line for the 44 I can tell you that for nearly any hunting application the hard cast 240 gr bullet out of a 44 mag will penetrate any of my North American game animals. (I'm not sure what animals you may encounter or be able to hunt). That does include elk and brown bear. I have taken elk in a hunt and killed a black bear that was tearing up a calving shed using my model 29 and some very stout hand loads. Bullet performance was everything you could have asked.

Deer size game and below do not even slow the 240 gr down. Most shots went straight through destroying everything in between.

Grizzly, Alaskan brown and polar bears are a 300 gr proposition and I only used a rifle when I tried to hunt them. If I was doing a pistol hunt for one of these big guys I'd use a bigger pistol. 454, 460, 500 - you get the idea.

What started the 300gr bullets (If I remember correctly) was the handgun silhouette competition of the 1980s. People were using them to knock down the 200m steel rams. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd5G9mHXpqM) This competition, by the way, was what gave the S&W Model 29 a bad reputation of being a weak or breakable design. If you shot the number of 300 gr loads we did in a weekend of competition your teeth would work loose as well, let alone your gun. (But that is another thread). In a hunting setting the 300gr gives more penetration and bone breaking power than the lighter bullet. But, how much do you need?? LOL!

These 300 gr loads are real but kickers. They are miserable to use and even be around when set off. IMHO - YMMV.

So, a couple of questions..
  • Which load was giving you such a hard time when you first started shooting your 44?

  • Did you think then (or do you think now) that you really need more power since then?
The full power and super heavy bullet loads are very fun to shoot - for awhile - but like I said, I'm old now and I can't take the pounding like I used to.

Even the 180 gr load for the 44 mag is way more gun than anyone would reasonably want for self defense against humans or most small game hunting. For target shooting light mag loads or heavy 44 special level loads are easier to shoot and usually more accurate.

Unless you have a specific application in mind the more powerful ammo isn't necessary or very useful. The problem I have with it is after four or five rounds my accuracy starts to drop off. It sill comes down to bullet placement and if I can't hit the vitals it ceases to be a hunt and becomes a chase. My ethics keep me from taking shots that will only wound or cripple an animal.

(P.S. - Given your Ruger you will be able to shoot as many of any load you may want to endure)
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Last edited by jglsprings; October 7, 2012 at 09:52 AM.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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I need to cut back on the coffee in the mornings.
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Old October 7, 2012, 09:52 AM   #6
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^ Made sense to me. Good post. I have never been into recoil, so a .45 Colt SWC at around 950 fps will do just about anything I could ever want. If I had a .44 mag I would shoot a 250 grain swc at around 1,200 fps - not sure about the euro number conversion.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Plinking or hunting? Neither, really: Just exploring which options are worth investigating and which are not.

My problem is that the only two animals I'm worried about, even if meeting them is unlikely, are either a brown bear, or a rutting male moose, and I want a woods load to match that possible threat.

I have a few options:
  1. Source and just use S&B factory loads (no thanks: they're just a good source of range ammo and brass).
  2. Load up hot rounds with the PVRI 240gr FNFMJs I have
  3. Buy PVRI's own healthy looking FNFMJ 240gr rounds
  4. Buy PRVI's less impressive, but still potent FNFMJ 300gr rounds
  5. Buy the minimum order of FNFMJ 300gr bullets (but likely more than I need as they'll never be my go-to plinking round) and develop a load, make up a few cartridges of it and occasionally shoot them for practice.

I don't know if the shopcan or will order, putting options 3-5 into question, but that is why I asked the question:
If the answer is "300gr just sounds cool, and has little real world value", I can happily drop options 4 and 5 from my list and stick to deciding between options 2 and 3.

However, it seems I still have a dilemma if, indeed, the 300gr bullets are potentially the best bet for the animals I'm concerned by.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:22 AM   #8
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As a reloader I think experimentation with all types of loads is 3/4 of the fun. I prefer to find out which load works best for me and go from there.

A ****** off moose would definitely fall into the 300gr category IMHO!
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:36 AM   #9
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If you think my answer above is wordy, you should have seen it an hour ago!

I took me ages to formulate and distill the ideas in my post above, hence why some posts are not referenced: namely jglsprings'... I was still typing!

So in answer to that: I get what you are saying and am encouraged by it. Your post confirms a couple of things:
1) My 240gr PRVI options may well be up to the job and...
2)... that 300gr bullets would not be a load for fun and so a lot would go to waste if I had to buy a minimum of 500 bullets

In turn this also suggests that if I decide to go with 300gr, then a box of factory would be the way to go...

jglsprings: you asked two pertinent questions.

Which was my initial load back when I thought I hated the recoil and I'd considered jacking-in the Redhawk? ( oh, the shame!!)
It was that piffling S&B load!!!

Do or did I think I'd need more power?
Well, actually, now yes I do. Admittedly it was hard-packed dry paper and magazines, but that S&B SP travelled precisely 1.5 inches into my scrap paper archery practice target! If that were a bear that wanted my dogs as a starter and me for mains (with enough for left-overs), then I would want more power than the S&B SPs.

Would loads such as the PRVI 240gr loads be enough, is a different story and I don't know the answer to that.

It just seems that when 2 shots fired is doing well, in these bear encounter situations, then perhaps 2 x 300gr increase my chances.... Unless of course, 240grs means I'd get 3 shots!!
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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A ****** off moose would definitely fall into the 300gr category IMHO!
I've done it again! Taking too long to respond.

I'm just going to ask if the local shop can get the 300gr FN FMJs or not, be it as a factory cartridge or component.

If all that fails and everyone thinks 300gr are really the best option, then I'll have to look at the H&N Sports plated FN bullets...

For some reason, I don't think they'd perform... perhaps I'm just prejudiced toward harder FMJs....
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:44 AM   #11
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I think you are on the right track, get a decent meplat aka flat nose. The meplat will do the work, the flat nose crushing and cutting. A 300 grain non-expanding "FN" bullet will out penetrate any expanding bullet be it a .375 H&H or otherwise. That's why they use solids on dangerous game.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:44 AM   #12
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What type of gun are planning on using 300 gr. bullets in? (just curious) If it is the Redhawk you will be able to use either 240 or 300 gr. slugs with no problems. If it is a small alloy frame gun it won't hold up to many 300 gr. loads. Some (like the Charter Arms guns) should be limited to 200 to 215 gr. loads if you want it to last.
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Old October 7, 2012, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
What type of gun are planning on using 300 gr. bullets in?
My delectable SS Ruger Redhawk 4.2"!!

Quote:
A 300 grain non-expanding "FN" bullet will out penetrate any expanding bullet be it a .375 H&H or otherwise.
The 300gr PRVI bullets are FN FMJs, but the 300gr H&Ns are plated bullets, so softer and probably more expanding, but still "truncated cone" or FN.

Should I be so dismissive of those?

If I can't get 300gr PRVI FNFMJs which would be the next best thing an FNFMJ that is 240gr, or a plated LFN that is 300gr?
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:07 AM   #14
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One of the lesson's that I learned reloading was that the plated bullets I was using could not stand up to velocities over 1200 fps. They would shed the plating and key hole. Under that they were okay for practice and "easy" targets.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:11 AM   #15
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You can't get hard cast bullets from what I remember. One way to see how the bullet will perform, is to shoot into wet newspaper and/or water and see what happens to the bullet. Your .44 mag is up to it but you are rightly concerned about bullet construction. Here is an example, 00 buckshot will go about 6" to 8" into wet newspaper but a .44 mag hard cast 300 grain LFN will go over 40 inches into wet newspaper. That is a huge difference.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:19 AM   #16
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Here is an example, 00 buckshot will go about 6" to 8" into wet newspaper but a .44 mag hard cast 300 grain LFN will go over 40 inches into wet newspaper. That is a huge difference.
Waow!!!

That is a difference, indeed!!
So, even out of my "snubby" 4.2" barrel, power shoud be pretty acceptable!!
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:36 AM   #17
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Numbers, numbers, numbers,
The old Speer 3/4jacket hp -the only one I recovered when through almost 30" of white tailed deer .It was only 225gr and less than full load.
Corbon DPX ,barnes all copper ,225gr recoil like the above round, through rib, glancing blow to vertabrae ,through rib stopping against hide .250 lb red deer.
Swift A-frame 280 gr ,through rib lungs rib exiting on 250 lb red deer. Similar recoil to others , all one shot kills.
Point here is that HOT loads are not necessary nor are heavy bullets .These three bullets are excellent premium bullets.Construction means a lot !!
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:42 AM   #18
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The 3/4 jacketed 240gr Speer bullet was my favorite for hunting and the 225 gr was my "go to" 44 special bullet.

If I'd been paying attention when they discontinued them I'd have bought a pallet of them. Oh well, life is what happens when you are making other plans.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:44 AM   #19
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^ He has limited options where he lives in the euro zone and he is talking about angry moose and brown bears.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:52 AM   #20
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It was more of a conversation with METE, sorry if I got side tracked.
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Old October 7, 2012, 11:53 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond=
If I can't get 300gr PRVI FNFMJs which would be the next best thing an FNFMJ that is 240gr, or a plated LFN that is 300gr?
To answer your question, I'd go with the 300 gr. plated LFN since it is the closest in construction and weight to the 300 gr. PRVI FNFMJ and most likely to match the penetration offered by the 300 gr. PRVI load.

If know the velocities (advertised or otherwise) of these three loads, you can use any one of a few bullet penetration models (there are a few- the most notable ones being by D MacPherson, C Schwartz, and CE Peters) to give you a general idea of how far they'll penetrate especially since they will probably not be expanding unless they hit bone.
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Old October 7, 2012, 12:01 PM   #22
Pond, James Pond
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To answer your question, I'd go with the 300 gr. plated LFN since it is the closest in construction and weight to the 300 gr. PRVI FNFMJ and most likely to match the penetration offered by the 300 gr. PRVI load.
Thanks for that answer. That means that I need to first confirm availability and cost of the minimum PRVI order and if they're not available, then the same with the plated LFN, before settling on the 240 FNFMJs.

At least asking for quotes from shops is free...
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Old October 7, 2012, 12:08 PM   #23
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"It was more of a conversation with METE, sorry if I got side tracked."
You must have slipped-in while I was typing. I was responding to METE as well and the A Frame is always a good choice. The bullets you all discussed are good, we are blessed to have so many choices. And as we all agree, bullet construction is critical.
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Old October 7, 2012, 12:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond:
Thanks for that answer. That means that I need to first confirm availability and cost of the minimum PRVI order and if they're not available, then the same with the plated LFN, before settling on the 240 FNFMJs.

At least asking for quotes from shops is free...
No problem.

Once you decide upon what you want and and find out what their velocties are, feel free to hit me with a PM if you want those models' results (I prefer to use the MacPherson and Schwartz models mostly)- they'll give you a general guideline as to what will give you the performance that you want.


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Old October 7, 2012, 12:30 PM   #25
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feel free to hit me with a PM if you want those models' results
Cool!!
Thanks a lot! I knew there was a good reason for ordering that chrono, the other day!!

Don't worry about PMs filling your inbox anytime soon however, as I doubt I'll have any data for you for at least a couple of months!!

Any bullets ordered will arrive in November at best, January or Febraury at worst!!
Then I have to load them up... in an outdoor garage... with no heating or electricity... in the middle of an Estonian winter!!
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