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Old September 8, 2012, 05:20 PM   #1
Pond, James Pond
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Bullet choices. What to choose when choices are few?

I am presently cutting my teeth (feels more like chiselling) in reloading with 200gr plated bullets in .44 mag. They are truncated cone bullets and lack a cannelure which has caused me some grief in the crimping department. These are my range practice round.

I want to investigate a woods load. I'd use a supply of bullets to work up a good combination of powder, crimp etc, and then just keep a small stock of complete cartridges. Once in a while at the range, and then to keep a full cylinder when in the woods (bear or elk are by far the biggest animals, although seldom seen).

Here are my choices in order of cost, cheapest first:
300gr plated truncated cone, but no cannelure so hard to crimp and produced as a sports shooting bullet. Approx €75 for 500.

240gr FMJ (FPJ) from Prvi Partizan, but available locally. Probably a harder bullet than the plated one, but lighter. Still, ballistics from some companies show the 240gr can have more velocity and energy than a 300gr bullet. I don't think they have a cannelure.
Does that make crimp jacketed bullets a real pain?

240gr SJFP: same details as above. Soft point better or worse than the FMJ for this application? My gut says penetration over expansion for those animals, but I'm not 100% sure. Both these are €95 per 500, although bulk buy may give a discount and available through a shop.

300gr cast bullets from Midway. Most expensive by quite some margin, but do have a cannelure €125-165 per 500 depending on brand, exc shipping

For a while I was sure that 300gr were the best for the job and I'm curious to see what they feel lik out of my 4" barrel, but I hear a lot of good things about 240gr performance.

Which would you choose?
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Old September 8, 2012, 06:01 PM   #2
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It's not very hard to cast your own bullets, and a lot less expensive once you get started. If you pan or tumble lube the most expensive piece of equipment would be the mold (they could be sized using a Lee push-through die). A gas check design such as the Lyman 429244 can be used with or without a gas check; with for high velocities and without for low, powder-puff velocities.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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I'm not a big revolver guy ,but I think you have to really watch out for bullets without a canalure. They have a tendency to pull out of the case from recoil.
It is something to watch for.
I would go with lead bullet and if your going to order them get them from http://powdervalleyinc.com/ and look under cast section for Missouri Bullet Co. They make several 240gr and a 300gr TCFP(which would be good bear medicine). I personally like to go heavier, for the mass, in areas of stopping something.
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Old September 8, 2012, 10:58 PM   #4
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If you go with a hard cast bullet make sure it fits your bore. You want an LBT style, LFN, that will shoot end to end on large/dangerous game. A 300 plus grain bullet. Here is the best www.beartoothbullets.com
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Old September 9, 2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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I've shot hundreds of plated bullets through my 4 inch .44 magnum, the Lee factory crimp die works well for crimping plated bullets, since it creates it's own cannelure. If done correctly, you won't cut the plating. Definitely worth a look.

I'd go with 240 grain bullets in a 4 inch, just to keep velocities up and recoil down. Full power reloads can reach close to 1300 fps from a 4 inch. The recoil from these is very stout! I can only imagine what a full power 300 grain load feels like.

FMJ won't expand and isn't intended for hunting. You want a quality SP bullet for game.
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Old September 9, 2012, 12:59 AM   #6
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The 240 gr bullets are nothing to sneeze at, that is the "standard" weight for .44 mag and has been used for lots of hunting. However if bear is a possibility then the 300 gr would be better yet. BUT, I would go with the heaviest bullet with a cannelure. It is important to get a good crimp in a heavy recoiling cartridge. Ideally a 300 gr hardcast lead or semi-jacketed soft point.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:28 AM   #7
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
I would go with the heaviest bullet with a cannelure.
This is what I had understood and yet a number of manufacturers will offer 300gr options without one...

Annoying really as it limits my choices further.

Well, that means I should discard the plated option: I was chided for putting too heavy a crimp on them leaving a groove in the body of the bullet...

The light crimp I'm using with the 200gr bullets and starting loads is still allowing some bullet creep, so I can only imagine what would happen with a hot 300gr bullet!!

That leaves either the SJFP 240gr or the 300gr hardcast Midway offering!!
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:29 AM   #8
Pond, James Pond
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If done correctly, you won't cut the plating. Definitely worth a look.
I have an FCD. Getting the crimp right on my 200gr caused me no end of grief at the beginning, but I think I'm there now.

Another point worth noting on the plated option is that they have a plastic coat on them that seems to perhaps make the slide more easily in the case and making bullet creep more likely
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:50 AM   #9
Pond, James Pond
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I just re-checked my Midway sources and I don't think I want to pay those prices: €60-85 per 100!!

Excluding shipping! They must be smoking something strong in their sales department....

So it's now either 300gr plated from H&N Sports or it's locally bought Prvi Partizan 240gr SJSP.

PPU do make a 300gr SP with cannelure, but I doubt the shop will buy for only one customer. Perhaps if I order 500 or so, but that is a lot for a woods round that won't get shot so often!!
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:58 AM   #10
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If you want a super penetrator....
See if your local shop can order those 300 gr SPs for you.

Otherwise, my choice would be for the 300 gr plated. (Out of what you've listed.)

I don't like the PPU bullets. They seem to be fairly fragile, tend to lose their jackets, and use a pure lead core. So... they end up turning themselves into a soft lead lump.
However... many plated bullets are not pure lead. They have a bit of tin in the mix to slightly harden the alloy. And, the plated bullets stay together better, since the plating acts as a 'bonded' jacket.


If you don't need maximum penetration, just stick with a cheap 240. (It doesn't really matter which one.)
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Old September 9, 2012, 02:03 AM   #11
Pond, James Pond
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Quote:
See if your local shop can order those 300 gr SPs for you.

Otherwise, my choice would be for the 300 gr plated.
The 300gr SP would also be PPU.

As for the plated option: are you not put off by the lack of a cannelure?
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:21 AM   #12
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no

Most highly recommend the Cast Performance 255g lead.
Load to 1200--1270fps.
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Old September 9, 2012, 01:44 PM   #13
FrankenMauser
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As for the plated option: are you not put off by the lack of a cannelure?
I would rather have a bullet I prefer, and have to figure out how to crimp it; than have a bullet I don't really like, just because it's easy to crimp. (Just my approach to the matter.)

The PPU soft point might still suffer from jacket separation, but the larger chunk of lead will help make up for it. It would probably do the job you have in mind, without an issue.

Honestly... I don't really like any of the options, besides the cast bullets. But, I wouldn't pay the price you listed; just as you won't.

Which Midway site do you order through, when you use them? Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK?

Quote:
Most highly recommend the Cast Performance 255g lead.
Load to 1200--1270fps.
That wouldn't be a bad choice, and they are on sale right now in the U.S. But... I don't even see them listed on most of the international sites. (Even though other Cast Performance bullets are listed.)
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Old September 10, 2012, 01:44 AM   #14
Pond, James Pond
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I would rather have a bullet I prefer, and have to figure out how to crimp it; than have a bullet I don't really like, just because it's easy to crimp.
Interesting.
The reason I ask is because I was recently scolded for my lack of bullet sympathy when applying crimp to the same plated bullets only in 200gr weights.
At the time I had no idea what a heavy crimp and what an excessive crimp looked like!!
Members also criticised a choice of bullet where a cannelure was absent.

Quote:
Which Midway site do you order through, when you use them? Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK?
As yet, I've not ordered through any of them. If I were to, it woudl be Germany. Prices are "lower" but only in a comparative sense. SO far, everything I have wanted from Midway, I've found far cheaper elsewhere.

Bullets, though, a bit trickier: I just don't know where to look beyond local suppliers (most of whom don't stock .429 or .430 calibre anyway).

By far the easiest purchases, in terms of hassle, would be either the H&N 300gr plated you chose, or the PPU 240gr jacketed options. No mail/internet, just walk in, order.
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Old September 11, 2012, 11:56 AM   #15
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James from a webpage with PPU bullets it does appear that most of their jacketed revolver bullets have a cannelure.

I thin it would be worth getting the PPU 240 SJFP and testing it worth water jugs to see if the core and jacket separate or not. Normally this would be a good bullet for almost anything. Heavier would be even better but this should do the job.
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Old September 11, 2012, 04:34 PM   #16
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Can you order from places like Powder Valley here in the U.S. or isn't it allowed to import stuff like that?
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Old September 11, 2012, 06:29 PM   #17
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The PPU SJFP in both 240 and 300 gr are the same cup and core construction as any other JSP bullet made by Winchester, Remington, Nosler and others. I would have no problem loading and hunting with either. If bear and elk were my primary targets I would tend to stick with 300 grainers. But if deer and other game were my primary targets the 240s would be my pick. If I could not get the 300s, I would not hesitate to use the 240s. I would stick with JSPs/SJFPs for hunting as opposed to JHPs.
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Old September 11, 2012, 07:46 PM   #18
Nathan
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Can you get the 240 gr H&N?


Can you order the B156 from Privi?


I learned some German and found these 240 JHP's for 100. . .


IMHO 240 JHP is a good place to start and maybe end for 44 mag hunting loads. 300 gr cast might be better on Elk, but your costs are high!

Last edited by Nathan; September 11, 2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old September 12, 2012, 01:28 AM   #19
Pond, James Pond
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Can you order from places like Powder Valley here in the U.S.
Its not so much can I import, but that US companies won't post out. Seems that the USPS has listed my country of residence as a dangerous place to ship to...

But aside from that, I think the postal costs from across the Atlantic would be quite high.

Regarding the 240 v 300gr issue. Firstly, I won't be hunting with them, but the load would need to acheive the same in case something tries hunting me!!

Over here, HPs are not permitted for use my civilians, so that is why I am limiting myself to SPs.

So aside from that, I can order whatever H&N bullets I want, provided I get my order in with my range to benefit from a bulk discount.

From PPU, I know I can get htose 240gr options. I can only get the 300gr option if the shop is willing to order. I imagine 500 bullets is the minimum!
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Old September 12, 2012, 03:12 PM   #20
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.44 Mag? That has always been a cast bullet round, as far as I was ever concerned. Never even considered jacketed bullets--too expensive when cast works so well.
240gn L-SWC has always been the first choice and, for many, the only choice.
If hunting thin skin game, you can try 180-200gn XTP or JHP.
I would not even consider a plated bullet. All that I have ever tried were absolute garbage in the accuracy department and, with the high cost of these "bullets" now, a jacketed bullet would be much better.
Montana Gold has an excellent 240gn JSP for $333/1950 or 17 cents a bullet (where most jacketed bullets from the big names seem to be about 24 cents each).
Penn Bullets has 240gn L-SWC and L-TC for $105/1000, or 10.5 cents a bullet and matercastbullets.com has 240gn L-SWC bullets for $92.57/1000 and 300gn L-GP bullets for $57.85/500.
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