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Old September 3, 2012, 06:12 PM   #1
fishbones182
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44 mag bullet styles for 240 grain

Well here i am thinking about what to play with next on the 44 mags I have. I was curious if bullet style made much of a difference in performance at all. I was thinking about a 240 grnfp versus the tried and true 240 gswc. What do you guys think about the different styles? Any difference in accuracy or loads for them?
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:43 PM   #2
Ozzieman
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With my experience with the 44 SP and Mag a lot depends on what you’re shooting them in.
The only lead I use is from Penn bullets.
I have used his 200 GR Round nose flat point in both my N frame S&W’s and in the Ruger 77/44 Rifle.
The hard premium grade I have had up to 1500 and it’s worked very well.
Another I have tried is there 320 GR SSK. But only in the Ruger rifle. You should see what this thing does to a gallon jug full of water. Looked like a hand grenade went off.
I have a new one on order which looks interesting and that’s the Penn 180 TCBB. Although it’s rated to over 1600 I will be working it up slowly.
http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html
For jacketed my best work was with the Hornady 200 XTP had the best accuracy of any bullet I have ever tried in my Ruger 44/77 or Marlin lever. With the Ruger 77 I worked up a load that held 3 inch groups at 100 yards.
One that I did not like was the Hornady FTX. It’s a great bullet with factory loads. A good friend uses them for deer and it’s been a great bullet but for reloading I have been unable to find a bullets seater that doesn’t deform the tip badly.
The tried and true 240 Semi wad cutter is a hard bullet to beat and it’s the one I shoot the most. My last order from Penn was for 5000.
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Old September 3, 2012, 06:58 PM   #3
jmortimer
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Here is .44 wadcutter that Buffalo Bore uses from Rim Rock Bullets.
http://www.rimrockbullets.net/catalo...roducts_id=169
I like wadcutters.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:54 PM   #4
fishbones182
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I currently load 200 grain lead round nose flat point and and 240 grain lead semi wad cutter. I mostly use either mastercast or friends wood bullet companies. I have seen a 240 grain lead round nose flat point and am curious as if the loading would need to change due to bullet style and if accuracy would be affected by the style of the bullet. Thats part of the reason i love to load my own so i can try new things.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:08 PM   #5
GeauxTide
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I really like Missouri Bullets. Have them in 41, 44, and 45LC. They are fabulous and don't lead.
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Old September 4, 2012, 10:32 AM   #6
totaldla
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The biggest problem with funky bullet profiles is seating them. Bullet seating stems in different dies may not accomodate a true wadcutter. The SWC profile has been popular for a really long time and all the popular dies can handle it.

Some folks attach some wounding ballistics fantasy to wadcutters - but it is just fantasy. IMO, bullet fit is more important than bullet profile for accuracy.
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Old September 4, 2012, 02:04 PM   #7
jmortimer
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"Some folks attach some wounding ballistics fantasy to wadcutters - but it is just fantasy"
In a non-expanding hard cast bullet, the larger the meplat the better. I will trust expert opinion over "fantasy" opinion on an internet thread. I'll trust Veral Smith over "opinion" on this thread. One reason that LBT design is preferred by serious hard core cast bullet hunters is the large meplat as compared to SWC. LFN is big improvement over SWC primarily due to meplat. As noted on the Buffalo Bore web site:
"This load is designed to cause disabling terminal effect, combined with the penetration required to cause fast incapacitation on human sized targets from any angle. The big flat wad cutter nose crushes living tissue as it passes through, unlike mushroomed bullets that are slightly rounded on the nose and tend to slip and slide through living material. The crushing action of the flat nose keeps penetration straight and thus deep. The hard cast construction will not deform on flesh and bone at these velocities so the nose profile remains constant along with bullet path and terminal damage. Full wad cutter profiles in large calibers (like .45 and .44) hit like a truck and do massive permanent damage. Renowned NYPD "Stake Out Officer" and Gun Fighter Jim Cirillo used full wad cutters in his 38 SPL revolvers because they incapacitated his targets with certainty. See our Item #20D (38 SPL)."
Sorry, but I'll stick with expert opinion.

Last edited by jmortimer; September 4, 2012 at 02:23 PM.
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Old September 5, 2012, 12:31 PM   #8
totaldla
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jmortimer: that is exactly how the fantasy continues to be spread. You have no data. Veral has no data. If you don't have data, then you have "opinion", and like most body parts - everybody has one.

I've had to put up with this holy hardcast BS for a long time and I make a point of dissing it every chance I get.
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Old September 5, 2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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I like wadcutters. Larger meplats are not fantasy. That's my opinion and I'm stickin to it.

I get best performance (overall) with 240 gr SWC's. It's hard to beat that Keith boolit. Lees 240 gr RN shoots better in my gun than it should.
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:00 AM   #10
Robert Palermo
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Empirical work

Much of this started with Elmer Keiths belief that a swc would cut a hole thru tissue and break bone the same way it cuts a hole thru paper.
J.D.Jones of SSK industries who knew Elmer said that Elmer wanted the bullet design to do everything.
In J.D.s actual tests on hunting animals it was found that the shoulder of the bullet was wiped away as it were; leaving only the nose profile intact that was actually carving its way thru.

Veral duplicated the effect of the shoulder wiping away by firing the bullets into wet sand showing the effect as well.

J.D. went on to develop the SSK line of heavyweight bullets with its profiles developed in actual real world testing on game animals.
Veral went on to design the LBT Designs based upon his tests.

Larger meplat design bullets have proven themselves over the years at being very effective in taking various types of game.

As to nose profiles its been found over the years that TC designs are more accurate over the SWC designs as they are self centering to the forcing cone and are more aerodynamic than their SWC counterparts. The Round Nose Flatpoint design falls in between the two for accuracy.
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:17 AM   #11
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^ Thanks for the info and thanks for making the Thunderhead. And thank you for making .45 Colt wadcutters. I like what you are doing at Penn Bullets. Ross Seyfried caused a ruckus years back when he rightly pointed that a +P .45 Colt with hard cast bullets and a large meplat was equal to a .300 mag on large/dangerous game. The Linebaugh Seminars and he Bone Box support that claim and more. On large/dangerous game, a non-expanding bullet with a large meplat blows the doors off expanding bullets.
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Old September 6, 2012, 08:32 AM   #12
Jim Watson
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Does anybody use a plain old roundnose any more? I never heard a complaint about the accuracy of the old 246 gr .44 Russian and S&W Special roundnose. Talk about self centering. I would sure give them a try; I seldom shoot much other than roundnose in .38s, they line up with a speedloader so well and shoot as accurately as anything but a wadcutter. Now if somebody would just cut a machine mold for 358311 instead of those hemispherical jobs with vestigal front bands, I would be happy.

The main purpose of the roundnose flatpoint is tubular magazine pistol caliber carbines. Can't see where it offers any advantage in a revolver other than commonality with a carbine.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:04 AM   #13
Edward429451
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I use a Lee 240 gr RN sometimes. Someone gave me the mould so I tried it just for kicks, and it shoots so good that it's hard not to use it more, it being such an inferior design and all.

I used Rem 246 gr RN 44 Specials before I began loading for my Bulldog and they shoot great out of it.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:09 AM   #14
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I shot tens of thousands of extra hard Keith style SWCs. They proved accurate. I bought at wholesale prices and like the cost savings over jacket stuff.
I'll have to take old Elmer's word they are effective on game. Never succeeded in dropping the hammer on a deer with my Redhawk.
But, I did shoot competitively and the results were highly satisfactory.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:43 AM   #15
fishbones182
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One sure does pick up a lot of info around here. I have loaded swc in my win 94 and have had no issue with them other then being stubborn with feeding sometimes. I dont think they are small enough to set off a chain reaction in the tube of the gun. I was just looking at trying a different style and see what happens in my gun.
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:28 PM   #16
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I have an Old Ruger 44 mag carbine I got for $180 blow up and peel back the muzzle like a banana.

I shot 300 gr cast bullets and it left Lead fouling in the bore. Then I shot 240 gr JHP and it blew up.

There are no replacement barrels, because this happens often, so the replacement barrel needed to have a gas hole drilled and a gas fitting welded on, etc. A real hassle.

That was the end of cast bullets and the 44 mag for me.

Hank Williams Jr. shot a bear with 44 mag JHP and it then attacked his dog. So he converted to cast bullets.

We all have little anecdotes that cause us to change direction.
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Old September 6, 2012, 06:04 PM   #17
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You should fit your bullet to your gun and leading should not be an issue. Sorry to hear about your gun.
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Old September 6, 2012, 06:58 PM   #18
fishbones182
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Bullet fit is a big part of it but the cylinder throats are important also on a revolver. A lot of folks i think that have a big leading issue are either loading them too slow or too hot to get that type of build up in the barrel. You should never fire a jacketed round after cast unless the barrel has been cleaned out first. Jacketed bullets create more pressure as they dont give like a cast bullet does. In a barrel thats already fouled bad it can cause those types of accidents to happen. I often shoot 100 to 150 rounds of lead 44 mag bullets and it dosent take me 30 min to make the entire gun look new again afterwards.
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Old September 6, 2012, 07:08 PM   #19
buck460XVR
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Quote:
I've had to put up with this holy hardcast BS for a long time and I make a point of dissing it every chance I get.

I always like this statement....surprised it hasn't come up on this thread yet. I've read it on the inter-myth dozens of times, so it must be true.


Quote:
I like using hard cast bullets 'cause they will always shoot thru end to end any game animal on the North American continent!

Everyone has a favorite bullet, but unfortunately, nobody has invented that "Magic" bullet yet.
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Old September 6, 2012, 09:23 PM   #20
fishbones182
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Quote:
Everyone has a favorite bullet, but unfortunately, nobody has invented that "Magic" bullet yet.
I wont lie i do get some leading in my barrels i dont know anyone that doesnt. I do love cast because of the savings and if i had major leading i more then likely wouldnt be shooting cast bullets. I have had very good luck with them myself. When you find that majic bullet thats cheap to use and hits dead center every time without aiming let me know id like to try a box of them.
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Old September 7, 2012, 08:54 AM   #21
SL1
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Some folks attach some wounding ballistics fantasy to wadcutters - but it is just fantasy. IMO, bullet fit is more important than bullet profile for accuracy.
It seems hard to discredit the concept that wadcutter bullets have more deadly terminal effect than round-nose bullets, and silly to try. There are too many accounts of actual effect on animals, going back for many decades.

One that I remember from quite a while ago was from a guy trying to shoot some porqupines out of his trees (before they gnawed them to shreds). He shot one with several round-nose .38 Special bullets, but did not dislodge it. He then used a much less powerful .38 wadcutter, because he ran out of the regular .38 Special loads. The porqupine feel with the first wadcutter. Comparing the wounds, he realized that the wadcutter did much more damage.

One comparison that I had happen to me involved an airgun with round-nose and cup-point pellets (which did not actually expand). I shot a squirrel right through both lungs (close to if not actually hitting the heart) with the round-nose, knocking it onto its back, only to see it thrash around, then jump onto its feet and dash into the brush. Later I saw it hopping around with big bulges of skin just behind both forelegs. It lived for weeks, at least. I was using that round-nose pellet because it was substantially more accurate than the other designs that I tried (1 hole at 50' using a rest and scope). But, I switched to the cup-points for pests after that (about 0.3" groups at 50'). The first squirrel I shot with the cup-points in essentially the same place. That pellet did not expand and did not exit, and the squirrel went down, thrashed for about 10 seconds, and was dead.

So, I am a believer that a wide, flat bullet will do a heck of a lot more damage to a living target than is done by a bullet of the same diameter with a more "streamlined" nose.

It really doesn't matter whether the bullet is hard-cast lead or a non-expanding jacketed or solid type, so long as the nose is the same shape. However, it is usually possible to get higher muzzle velocity from a hard-cast lead bullet than from a jacketed bullet in a magnum revolver, while staying within the SAAMI limit on peak pressure. More velocity at the target gives more wound channel width, and a greater lethality to the target.

The trouble with non-expanding bullets occurs when they hit something that offers little resistance, like just skin and lung tissue on a broadside shot, and exit the far side without expending much of their energy making a wound channel inside the animal. In that case, an EXPANDING bullet will do more damage. But, that is really just a more streamlined bullet that CONVERTS TO A MORE-THAN-BORE-DIAMETER BLUNT BULLET when it hits the animal. If you use a large diameter bullet to begin with, such as a .45 or .475, expansion is not so necessary.

And, as for bullet fit vs accuracy, please read the recent article in Handloader about "duplicating old round-nose bullet loads." It pretty clearly demonstrates that round-nose bullets are beneficial to accuracy when bullet fit is not ideal, as was often the situation in the early days of the revolver (and current days for the Colt SAA). As the author points out, round-nose bullets are great if all you want to do with them is hit metal targets or punch Cowboy Action Shooting paper targets.

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Last edited by SL1; September 7, 2012 at 09:10 AM.
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Old September 7, 2012, 09:02 AM   #22
jmortimer
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"So, I am a believer that a wide, flat bullet will do a heck of a lot more damage to a living target than is done by a bullet of the same diameter with a more "streamlined" nose."
You and many others.
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Old September 7, 2012, 06:36 PM   #23
buck460XVR
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Quote:
When you find that majic bullet thats cheap to use and hits dead center every time without aiming let me know id like to try a box of them.
I quit lookin' for magic bullets years ago when experience taught me that using accurate, appropriate ammo with proper shot placement was all the magic I needed. If I hit where I needed, it didn't matter what brand or type of hunting bullet I used. If I didn't, most times it didn't matter either. A bad shot with the best bullet ever made is still a bad shot. With Texas heart shots, you don't need end to end penetration, you just need to hit that Texas heart. LOL.

As I said before, everyone has their favorite. Hopefully it's their favorite because their practice and experience with it has shown them that it is accurate in their firearm and effective against the game they are after. Not because of what was written in the ad on the back cover of a gun rag or what they read on a internet forum, or because their boyhood hero used them. Hopefully these same folks know that there is no such "best for all" bullet and that bullet types used can and do change when the application changes. I use much different bullets in my ought-six for 'yotes than I do for deer. I use much different bullets in the 629s for deer than I do for the bowling pins at the range. I tend to find something that works in an application and I stick with it. If it ain't broke, it don't need to be fixed. If it ain't the bullets fault in the first place you wounded that deer instead of killin' it, changin' to a different bullet ain't gonna help. Folks go on and on about the effectiveness of the bullets Elmer Keith used, but his shooting skills had much more to do with his hunting success than the type of bullet he used. His confidence in his skill and his equipment helped also. Same with most successful hunters. They don't feel the need to puff out their chest and claim their way and their "magic" bullet is the best. They know it is the best....at least for them. They also know it might not be the ticket for someone else. Folks here need to be more like that.


As for the post about shooting the squirrel thru BOTH lungs and it continued to live for weeks like nuttin' happened...........I call bullship. I hear this same baloney every deer season from someone who wounded a deer and lost it. "Yeah, just clipped the lungs and the bullet didn't perform." Yeah right. Like they did a post-mortem exam on a deer they never found. I'm thinkin' the deer was turned more than they thought, they hit farther back than they thought and they gut shot it. No animal in the wild takes any type of bullet thru the lungs and goes very far. If that were the case, archers wouldn't kill many deer.
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Old September 7, 2012, 08:44 PM   #24
SL1
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Buck,

Regarding the squirrel: that was no B.S. First of all, remember that it was a 0.177" diameter, 8.6 grain airgun pellet at about 900 fps. With a streamlined point.

As for where the squirrel was hit, I could easily tell after the fact when I saw the squirrel again. It was hopping around my yard, coming within tens of feet. I was looking at it with 12X binoculars. It clearly had about golf ball sized areas of its skin puffed way out on both sides of its body. The left side, where the pellet entered, was centered just behind/touching the front leg, mid-way up between back and belly. The exit side was maybe a tad lower, but still clearly through ribs, not belly.

When first hit, the squirrel was rolled sideways onto his back, and started madly clawing/kicking the air. I never expected to see it regain its feet and dash into the brush. Even then, I did not expect to ever see it alive again. But, it clearly lived for at least a couple of weeks.

The point is: the cup-point pellet did a much more effective job the next time I shot a squirrel. Even if I had hit a squirrel in the abdomen with a cup point, I don't think it would have lived for a couple of weeks. There was a LOT of blood with the cup point but nearly none with the round point, despite having made an extra hole.

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Last edited by SL1; September 8, 2012 at 07:26 AM.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:32 AM   #25
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Buck,

Regarding the squirrel: that was no B.S. First of all, remember that it was a 0.177" diameter, 8.6 grain airgun pellet at about 900 fps. With a streamlined point.

Again, no squirrel would live with that or any other projectile of that size making a complete pass thru both lungs. Not for weeks....not for hours, maybe for a few minutes. Again, the wounding was not caused by bullet type.....but bullet placement.

Quote:
There was a LOT of blood with the cup point but nearly none with the round point, despite having made an extra hole.
This only reaffirms the point that the bullet did not hit the squirrel in the lungs. Regardless of bullet type, the squirrel would have died quickly because of massive blood loss.......again if hit in both lungs. Even if there would have been no blood on the ground. In comparison, a .177 hole in both lungs of a squirrel would be like a 2'' hole completely thru both of your lungs. Do you really think bullet shape/type would make a difference if you lived or not with a hole the size of a tennis ball completely thru both lungs....with no immediate medical attention?
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