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Old October 19, 2007, 09:49 PM   #1
MMarshall
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Straight-Walled Cartridges

I'm starting this in hopes that I may learn of a new cartridge I did not previously know about.

I'm going to have chambered possibly a T/C or Competitor pistol in a large, hard hitting straight-wall caliber. I'm posting this here because I'm talking about rifle calibers for the gun.

Basically, what I am looking for is the best cartridge ballistically speaking in a +3000ft-lb straight-wall case for long range shooting out to 250+ yards. So I'm basically looking for the smallest diameter possible with the highest energy. Unfortunately, this isn't easily found in a straight-wall since you lose so much case capacity as diameter decreases.

444 Marlin is a good choice I feel as it's smaller than .45 caliber, but then I found the even narrower and longer .405 Winchester. However, even at .411 diameter, it is still fairly draggy and doesn't have the greatest trajectory at the ranges I want to use it at. So I'm getting closer to what I want theoretically, but yet still not quite the trajectory curve I desire.

I guess what I'm envisioning in my head is some super-duper long .35 caliber straight-wall cartridge or something similar. Although, I'm not so sure such a thing even exists out there. I imagine it would really have to be long to keep up with the needed energy levels.

The reason I must stick to a straight-wall is so that it is legal if I ever use it to hunt in my county.

I'm open to any suggestions I may not know about which are better ballistically than the .405Win.

Thanks a lot.
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Old October 19, 2007, 09:59 PM   #2
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If you are limited to straight-wall cartridges, you may want to take a close look at the 454 Cassull and the 460 S&W, both 45-caliber straight-wall rounds. I am not sure of the energy out of a Contender, but they are the most powerful 45-caliber cartridges available for a handgun. If you feel adventurous, you might also check on the 500 S&W, a real bruiser of a round. When you start to drop lower in caliber, you also lose quite a bit in the energy department. 357 Maximum is the powerhouse of the 38-caliber bunch, and while it's no slouch, it would have a hard time approaching the energy of the others mentioned.
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Old October 19, 2007, 10:06 PM   #3
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.50-110? It might be hard to get that energy figure from a pistol, but a lot of straight wall rounds go well over that from even a carbine. How long a barrel can you get? I would try for a long heavy one (at least 12") to gain accuracy and velocity, but mainly to add weight and keep the thing from kicking the bjeezus out of you.

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Old October 19, 2007, 10:21 PM   #4
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Might take a look at the 458 American. It is also known as the 458x 2 inch. It is the 458 Winchester Magnum shortened to 2". It can move a 300 gr bullet at a little over 2500'ps or a 350 gr bullet at 2300'ps. This is out of a rifle so you would lose some but it is a much better bore to case capacity adjustment than some of the full rifle cartridges. It also, comparing cartridges as a rifle, is about another 150'ps faster than the 405 Winchester but has the capacity for heavier bullets if need be. Shooting this thing is going to be a handfull. It will also be a custom chambering. RCBS does have dies for it but I'm not sure I'd want to be the first to shoot it. I would definitely want a muzzle control device of some kind on it.

I just ran a ballistic calculator on it and a 350 gr bullet at 2300'ps will get you 4100lbs energy. Your velocity probably won't be that high but from a 14" barrel I'd expect something around 2100'ps which equates to 3400lbs energy at the muzzle. The 300 gr bullets would make 3200 lbs energy at 2200'ps.
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Old October 19, 2007, 10:58 PM   #5
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The 460 has less energy than a .444, so I would be taking a small step down with that. The larger .454 diameter of the 460 will also make it slow down faster than the .411 diameter of the 444 at the lighter weights. Basically what I'm going after is a lesser diameter than what I have discussed, but something which doesn't have lesser energy. If there was even a straight walled .375 that was very long so that it has about 3200ft-lbs in a rifle, this would be excellent. I'm trying to go closer to 2500fps+ MV without gaining such high energy levels as would be the case in the 458 diameters. And the 458's lose their velocity very quickly. It will surely need to have a muzzle brake. I hear that these center grip styles like the Competitor pistols don't kick that bad because of the grip location relative to the pivot point; I don't know how T/C's handle this big with the rear grip. 3400ft-lbs out the muzzle would probably give a good damn bite no matter what though. That's a little more than I want to handle from this pistol.

Like I said, this is all just a theoretical cartridge design which would be excellent for what I seek, but I have no idea if there is actually anything out there that would mimick these numbers.
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Old October 20, 2007, 12:36 AM   #6
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All I can think of besides .444 marlin is the the .357 maximum:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/357max.htm
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Old October 20, 2007, 10:15 AM   #7
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.375 Winchester.
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Old October 20, 2007, 10:42 AM   #8
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If your wanting keep caliber lower than .40,
a nearly straight case that has energy you want
is the 9.3 x 74. Brass is available.Ed
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Old October 20, 2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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+1 on the .375 Win
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Old October 20, 2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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Darn it.

That 9.3x74 is amazing. That is what I envisioned in my head as being almost perfectly what I need. The unfortunate downside...it's a bottleneck still.

I don't think you could pass that case off as a crimp to the Dept of Natural Resources if I used it for hunting; it has to be a straight case as they say:



Does anyone know where to get a dimensional drawing of the cartridge, so that I could send a section of the photo in and ask if it is allowable? I say "a section of the photo" because I don't want them seeing how massively long it is.

Edit: Scratch that idea. This photo from Hornady tells me it is a bottleneck:


Last edited by MMarshall; October 20, 2007 at 06:20 PM.
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Old October 20, 2007, 08:32 PM   #11
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A 375 WIN won't get 3000 ft lbs. A 405 Win will, It is only
one in 40 caliber range that will, that brass is available for.Ed
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Old October 20, 2007, 08:46 PM   #12
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I'd be shocked if any of these cartridges will approach 3,000 ft. lbs. out of a handgun.

I'd think that the .405 would be a horrible choice for 250+ yards. Rainbow trajectory, **** poor sectional density on those short, fat bullets...

I wouldn't want to try it.
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Old October 20, 2007, 09:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'd think that the .405 would be a horrible choice for 250+ yards. Rainbow trajectory, **** poor sectional density on those short, fat bullets...
My thoughts exactly. The 405 looks great to me when I am forced to use other poor choices by default, but all in all it's not anything great to these ranges that I want. Like you say, rainbow trajectory.

Would you guys agree that the .375 would be the diameter to try a wildcat straightwall in? It seems to me like that would be the minimal diameter you can approach on case capacity, without it needing to be a foot long to get 3000ft/lbs from a pistol. If it was .35 caliber, it would have to grow another 1/2" past the 74r and that is starting to become a bit of an oddball looking cartridge.

I think the goal of 3000+ energy at these diameters is a fair goal from a pistol, because I can do a 15-16" barrel for instance. It by no means is a compact pistol, it just has to stay legal and a straight case. My whole goal is that I am somewhat rivaling a rifle performance from a handgun.

I'm not sure what could be a doner case to a .375 wildcat mimicking the 9.3x74r, but it would be interesting here for me to find something possible. I don't know if a 74r could maybe be straightened out and stretched so that it is a true non-bottleneck taper still shooting a .375 bullet.
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Old October 20, 2007, 09:43 PM   #14
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I'm just not so sure that you could get any reasonably near 3000 ft. lbs. out of a handgun in a .375 in a straight walled case and still have much barrel left once you factor in the chamber.

The only way I could see doing it would be to add another half to three quarters of an inch onto the .375 Win. to increase the powder capacity, using fairly heavy bullets to get a decent sectional density, and relatively slow powders to keep pressures down a bit.

Remember, you're dealing with a handgun...


An alternative might be the .475 JDJ.

Comes closer to the 3,000 ft. lb. mark and there's a picture of Jones in the 7th edition cartridges of the world with an elephant he took with the round.
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Old October 20, 2007, 10:40 PM   #15
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With the .375 you would need a 300 grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 2100 fps to get 3k lbs of energy at the muzzle.

That would mean you would have to load a .38-55 case (approximately 1/8" longer than a .375 case) with 'bout 35 grains of AA1680 and the COL of 2.675" to accomodate the larger bullet. Seems we would be pushing the pressure envelope too! be careful!
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Old October 21, 2007, 12:07 AM   #16
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But that's factoring in a 20 to 24" rifle barrel.

Lop 8 to 10 inches off that and your performance is going to go down considerably.

And I'm not so sure that the .38-55 case is up to those kinds of pressures.
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Old October 21, 2007, 08:19 AM   #17
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Just thought of it, I chrono'd a 350 grain .458(.45-70) out of 16" barrel at 2150fps (@12 ft). That equates to 3580 ft lbs @ the muzzle. 'Course it was way too hard to hang on to, mule kicked softer.
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Old October 21, 2007, 09:15 AM   #18
HUBEL458
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Midway has 3.25", it looks like, 9.3 x 82 basic brass,
that you could make the 9.3 caliber case with. Didn't
know it was available. Its base is smaller than the
9.3 x 74, so it is a straight case in 9.3. Ed
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Old October 21, 2007, 12:01 PM   #19
MMarshall
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Ed,

You are the man my friend, for you have given me exactly what I have asked for. It is amazing to me that this exists, and I surely would have never known.

The references to the larger calibers are still forgetting that I was seeking something which is aerodynamically effective and relatively flat shooting. .45 caliber cannot do this from a pistol. I think the 9.3 will be about as close as I can come to flat shooting at the energy levels needed.

I would assume with the 9.3x82's energy from a rifle that you could easily get 3000+ from a pistol. But I'm not sure about smaller diameter volumes versus larger diameter volumes, and the rates at which they accelerate bullets down a short barrel. For instance, I don't know if .50 caliber will produce 80% of its energy more quickly down the barrel, or if .375 will get there with less barrel because of higher pressure and lower weights (assuming each need to get 3000ft-lbs). I guess it's a theoretical assumption with many variables involved.

Now fill me in please, what actual diameter is this bullet?

The 9.3x82, or the 360 Express Nimrod:



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Old October 21, 2007, 12:49 PM   #20
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I am not sure about the whole project, but 9.3 is .366" in American money.
A Barnes .366" TSX 286 gr copper spitzer has a claimed ballistic coefficent of .468 which is about the same as the famous .30 cal Sierra International originally designed for 300 metre matches.
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Old October 22, 2007, 09:01 PM   #21
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So, um, what did you say the purpose of this beast will be? I'm certainly not critisizing, because I love big bore handguns. Silouette maybe? Just sounds like a very particular setup you are looking for, and I find this type of thing interesting.
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Old October 22, 2007, 09:19 PM   #22
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Take a look at Buffalo Bore ammo co., those people make some pretty sweet rounds. I have some 45-70 ammo from them that is supposed to be pushing 3250 fps out of the muzzle of a rifle. They really know what they are doing, they would be some good people to talk to for the more general calibers.

45-90 and 45-120 might be good choices as well. Not as large as the 50-120 etc, but still push some fierce ft-lbs and velocities. I've heard of kills on buffalo at well over 500 yards out of rifles on some of those old BPCR rounds...
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Old October 22, 2007, 09:41 PM   #23
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Space Show?

A 45-90 or a 45-120 out of a handgun would give one heck of a muzzle flash. At night, the guys up in the International Space Station might actually see it. Welding goggles might be needed for the shooter if he is to spare his retina.
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Old October 23, 2007, 02:37 AM   #24
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What are you hunting and where??? That seems like a lot of energy from a handgun.

Remember that even bullets that don't look sleek have a high ballistic coefficient when they are over 400 grains in 45 caliber.....

Long range shooting from a handgun is going to require you know distances. You aren't going to get more than about 2200 ft/sec no matter what you do with a straight wall cartridge and a 15.9" barrel.



-tINY

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Old October 23, 2007, 11:35 AM   #25
MMarshall
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Basically what I'm going for is this...

I want a pistol which is unique in the respect that it has high energy, but not too high so that it hits me in the face.

One of my main problems which I wanted to solve, was the distances at which I have seen HUGE bucks on my property that were too far to shoot. Like 200-300 yards. Whitetail bucks. The property I hunt has little woods, and huge open grasslands. It is often hard to cross paths with a deer, but not hard to find them in the binoculars.

I know right now a bunch of folks just cringed that I would use this for whitetail. The fact is, we have to use straight walled cases of any length. Or, we can use a bottleneck up to 1.7" case length, which makes no sense at all to me. (Like saying, "You can either use a pellet gun or a cannon.")

Really, what I am seeking is a flatter trajectory. With the straight case rule, anything with a flat trajectory has no energy at these long ranges. Or, anything with energy doesn't have a flat trajectory. I wanted to counter both of these somewhat, so I decided I need a smaller diameter straight-wall with very high energy. I am trying to get as close to a performance rifle as I can from a pistol, more or less.

I have not used a chrono with a pistol shooting a rifle round, so I don't know what kind of loss I should expect if rifle energy numbers are 3500ft-lbs or so. Maybe 3000ft-lbs in the pistol? Not sure.

I would be using a laser rangefinder as well to get accurate readings.

Right now I think I am leaning towards an Encore pistol, but I hear the balance may not be good for large rounds like this. Competitor pistol could build me one as I hear they balance and shoot much better with the large rounds than a rear grip pistol. The only downside is Competitor pistols are butt ugly.

And Full-choke, Buffalo bore doesn't make anything for 45-70 at 3000fps+! Maybe you mean energy? They have a few 3500ft-lb loads I wouldn't mind trying in my 45-70 levergun. I use Buffalo Bore .45 Colt +P in a Ruger Blackhawk...it is fierce recoil from the small gun.
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