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Old October 14, 2012, 10:41 PM   #51
FrankenMauser
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Thanks, hooligan.
--


As mentioned before, this is the bullet that was recovered in the neck.

The bullet expanded to 0.699" by 0.634" and had a recovered weight of 181.6 grains.
That's 154% expansion (average of the two measurements) and weight retention of 66%.
Those figures are better than some "premium" bullets like the Nosler Accubond.

(Recovered weight includes a 5.4 grain piece of lead that was broken off while being passed around the camp fire. Photographed weight is 176.2 gr.)





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Old October 14, 2012, 10:46 PM   #52
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And, a photo of the homely test bed for most of these experiments and the fruit of my labors.... still barely showing a sixth point on the right side, and only the shadow of the hidden main beam on the left side.

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Old October 16, 2012, 10:38 AM   #53
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I'll be over for "backstraps" after I get my lawn mowed, and some firewood split.
Seriously I would like to squeeze a few of those dudes off into an elk.
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Old October 16, 2012, 12:45 PM   #54
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They worked well.
It was very nice to see.
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Old October 16, 2012, 12:59 PM   #55
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Damn Grandstander....


Pretty awesome!
The feeling...it's got to be tremendous.

Pretty outrageous trophy, too.
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Old October 19, 2013, 12:51 AM   #56
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I haven't done anything further with this bullet, in the way of testing, hunting, or R&D, since my last updates.

However, I figured I'd add a video of a water jug test done by "mt sourdough" on the Marlin Owners forums.

275 gr Bonded version, at 2160 fps.
mt sourdough noted: "It is possible that this is the hardest hitting 44 cal bullet that I have tested in this weight range." (He has tested over 80 bullets in .444 Marlin, with the majority in the 250-300 gr weight range.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIWmMt7685s

It doesn't penetrate quite as far as some of the competition (by a jug, or so), but it hits hard.



If you like cast bullets....
At the opposite end of the spectrum, is a video you may find interesting, if you've seen anything about the 427 gr bore-rider bullet I designed for my .444 Marlin. It is the best-penetrating bullet he has ever tested.
427 gr Bore-rider @ 18 BHN
1470 fps
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jwjVxIJV-s
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Old January 16, 2016, 11:01 PM   #57
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Chapter Two:
.475" bullets:


Theory: .45 Auto cases should make great .475" bullets when redneck-swaged in an appropriate die.

Reality: Very few dies have the correct dimensions. Only 6.5-284 Norma is in current production and suitable for the cartridge when combined with a Lee bullet sizing die "pusher".

Last week, I FINALLY found a 6.5-284 Norma sizing die for a decent price. I've been looking for quite a while. On clearance at Midway, I actually had a choice between Forster and Redding sizing dies for $25 and $23 respectively. I went with the Redding for the steel lock ring and larger fillet at the die mouth.

Which brings us to the proof of concept. It's a win.
There are some adjustments to be made, and I need to fine-tune case length and core dimensions, but it's viable.

To expand the cases to accept a .475" Lee "pusher", I chopped a Lee .500 S&W expander die that had already been fitted with a .480 Ruger expander. About 3/8" was removed, in order to get the expander within reach of the .45 Auto case. (The .500 S&W 3-die set was purchased used last year, and dirt cheap, since the shop owner didn't even know he had it.)
Somewhere, a .500 S&W owner is screaming at his computer screen:


Side note: This is one of the reasons why I hate Lee dies for serious reloading tasks. They aren't even hardened. I chewed through this die in about 45 seconds ... with an old blade.

Shortly thereafter, I discovered that the minimum body taper design of the 6.5-284 Norma meant that a .475" pusher won't fit in the die once there's a .45 Auto case wrapped around it. I couldn't find my .458" pusher. So, I had to go to one of the .44 caliber pushers. It wouldn't be suitable for production use, because excess lead bleeds around the edge, but it's good enough for proof of concept.

I grabbed some scrap lead wire from setting up my home-built core cutter last year, found a piece around 250 grains - which is was just a rough estimate that I came up with based on experience with the .430" .40 S&W bullets - and crammed it into the die.

A few smacks of the under-sized ejector gave me a win. The nose was over-inserted into the die, but that's one of the things that'll be fine-tuned later on:





It looks like somewhere around 350 gr will be a good weight for untrimmed cases:
(The uneven lead in the nose was caused by the undersized .44 caliber "pusher" allowing lead to bleed around the edge, and made worse by the undersized ejector punch.)



And sizing, fresh from the die, is about as good as it gets:
(And a trip through a .475 bullet sizer will squeeze the middle down with almost zero effort, if it's needed.)


(The ".477" reference mark is actually 0.4766".)


Tools to track down to do this right:
-My .458" Lee bullet sizing kit, for the pusher. Or, order a .452" sizing kit.
-An appropriately sized section of drill rod for ejecting the bullets from the die. Right now, everything is just slightly oversized, or significantly undersized.
-Something I'm forgetting.

The only remaining test:
Will they feed in an AR-15?
...Stay tuned to find out.
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Old January 20, 2016, 05:09 AM   #58
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Quote:
The only remaining test:
Will they feed in an AR-15?
Yes. Yes, they will feed. And, beautifully, at that.
It's go time.


0.452" bullet sizing die ordered from FS Reloading (along with a .357" die, 'cause, apparently, I don't have one).

That just means that I need to figure out what to do for cores.
I'll probably experiment with some 0.375" lead wire until I get the weight right. Then I'll decide whether to stick with the wire (I still have about 15 lbs from the last run of .44 bullets), or if I should find a .44 caliber bullet mold for the task.
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Old February 12, 2016, 10:54 PM   #59
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Need to find an elk to test these in as well....
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Old February 14, 2016, 07:32 PM   #60
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I agree cornbush^^^ Maybe with a bigger bullet, a bigger elk is needed! Franken, I always enjoy your posts! Keep it up!
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Old February 14, 2016, 10:40 PM   #61
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We'll see, come fall.

As much as I want to smack something with one of these .475" bullets*, my priority is likely to fall on another project that's been in the works even longer - a Marlin 336 converted from .30-30 to .444 Marlin. As Cornbush is aware, that project is in the home stretch now, approaching the point where metal finishing and load development will be the only remaining tasks.

And even if the metal finishing isn't done by then, it's just a cosmetic delay. It won't stop me from hunting with the rifle. It'll need to be oiled well to keep the flash rust from going crazy; and it won't stop all rust from forming where the steel is raw; but I'm willing to do it.

On the up side....
In all likelihood, the 444 will be using the swaged 275 gr bullets that got this all started.



*(I'd like to hunt with these bullets once they're fine-tuned. But, as of now, I'm still waiting on proper sizers, bottom punches ("pushers"), and drill rod for ejection.)


Some recent, or fairly recent photos from the 444 project:












And, Cornbush actually has the "other" 336-to-444 conversion that is essentially made from the 'left over' parts (and extra action), from after I finally made up my mind about what I direction I was taking my rifle.
It started with a pair of .30-30 Marlin 336s, built 23 years apart:
(Complete rifles, but this is the only photo of both.)
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