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Old June 18, 2013, 06:52 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Handguns only... fast & loud, vrs big & heavy... your thoughts ???

so 1st off, I get the hydrostatic shock thing... ( when I 1st started dating my now wife, my FIL "allowed me" to do all the field dressing of his deer party, the 1st couple years, so I've seen the differences in animals shot with belted magnums, 30-06's, 243's, & 45-70's )

but I've yet to see the kind of hydrostatic shock wounds witnessed with a high power rifle, with a handgun... ( admittedly, I've not had the chance to look over the actual wound channel of one of the X Frame type cartridges ) but I do own a 357 Maximum, & a 454 Casull...

so, over the years I've had a tendency to move towards heavy for caliber bullets, at lower "pressures" & rely on bullet momentum to get the penetration... for example, I've switched from 357 magnum to 44 Special or 45 Colt as a main carry option... lighting off a case in a car, or room in the house can be deafening with a 44 Special or even a cowboy load of 45 Colt... a 357 magnum is brutal... I also find a warm 45 Colt load with a heavy cast bullet, to be as "effective" as the 454 Casull with a normal bullet, without the abusive muzzle blast & concussion...

... so don't get me wrong, I still have a 500 S&W on my "to buy list", but for me, only as a fun gun... my "working" guns are of lower pressure / blast / noise level, as they'll most likely need to be used without hearing protection... for fun, & if I can muff up, I'll play with that Casull all day...

so... your guys thoughts or observations ???
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Old June 18, 2013, 07:11 AM   #2
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About the fastest, loudest thing I shoot these days is the 40 S&W with hot 165's. I've seen HST's drive across 13-14" of deer shoulder and it piled up right there. The .40 has replaced the 357 as my 'medium bore' handgun round.

The best deer killer Ive ever used is the 45 Colt with Sierra's 240 JHC with enough W296 to scoot it along at about 1300 fps. That is definitely loud but it shoots flat and it sure works. I have also killed them with 44/45 cast SWC's at 1000 fps or so, and they're equally effective for 'spine at the shoulder' shots. Either will work if well applied.

Like you, I have never seen anything resembling rifle wounds from a handgun round.
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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Loudest gun I have shot without earplugs was a my Glock 20. The 10mm round is absolutely ear-piercing. I could'nt imagine shooting the thing in a confined space
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Old June 18, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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I think the idea, is partly why the 45 ACP has seen such a resurgence... I'm actually thinking ( partly because I don't like the "balance" of the super long cylinder X frames & Judges ) of buying a Ruger 480, rather than a 500 S&W... ya... I know...not the biggest pistol cartridge in the world... but toss a heavier bullet at a reasonable velocity & lower pressure & blast level...

( edit... sorry, this read like I thought the 480 had heavier bullets than the 500... I guess I was referring to throwing a heavier bullet than the 45's )

I guess I like my blasters, to prove I'm a man's man, but actual round counts are higher out of guns that are more pleasant to shoot...
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Old June 18, 2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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I carry a 9mm SA/DA pistol or a 38Sp revolver. I could carry anything I want but those two rounds are about all I want to light off in many circumstances. I have fired both in enclosed spaces(for reasons I'd rather not disclose) and although they do ring your ears, it's not nearly as painful as a 357 mag or 40 S&W.
The other reason I don't pack a faster/louder boomer is my physical constraints. I have severe arthritis in my hands and loss of hand strength from spinal nerve damage. I carry what I can handle and am confident that they will do what I need done.
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Old June 18, 2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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I like big bullets and I cannot lie

Velocity isn't all that sexy for me. A perfect, do everything load, is the 270 SAA bullet(drops a little heavier from the mold) in the .45 colt. Pushed out at 900-1000 fps there isn't much it won't do.
If I had to stick to one load for the rest of my life.......
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Old June 18, 2013, 12:12 PM   #7
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Hydro-static shock with handguns can not be discounted. It is a very big reason why a faster cartridge of a certain caliber kills better than a slower cartridge of that caliber. Penetration being the other reason. Those are why the .32H&R is a better pure killer than the .32S&W Long, why the .357m is better than a .38sp, why a .44m is better than a .44sp and so on and so on. Tossing it out would mean that as long as you got the penetration needed for a job the extra velocity would mean nothing. Example: both the .32SWL and the .32HR will go right thru a coon, badger, coyote etc. DRT kills with the H&R is way above that of it's little brother. Same hole, same bullet, the H&R kills better because of shock.

Personally I'm not a fan of big, flat faced cast bullets as being the end all for big game in today's world. I'm not saying they don't work anymore but bullets have come along way's since cast bullet hey day. Back when Keith and all them were playing hard cast ruled because there were no other good alternatives. HP's were explosive, controlled expansion wasn't heard of. Other alternatives of the time included FMJ's which are about worthless in the field. While still applicable in some instances, better killin can be achieved via a quality HP in most cases today. And a lot of that is due to shock.

Cast big advantage today is the ability to cast effective bullets in your back yard. It's not performance advantages in the field.

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Old June 18, 2013, 12:14 PM   #8
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Other than the 45 ACP and 45 Colt all I have is the 480 Ruger.

So I'm a big and kinda fast guy

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Old June 18, 2013, 01:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
I'm not saying they don't work anymore but bullets have come along way's since cast bullet hey day.
Sorry sir but THIS is the hey day of the cast bullet. The cast bullets of today are VASTLY improved over those of 100yrs ago. Not only are we more educated on how they work but the designs have improved to the point that we don't need jacketed bullets in handguns. Yes, jacketed bullets often make bigger holes but they only do so with high velocity. Velocity is the fastest diminishing factor. A good cast bullet works and works more consistently than jacketed bullets and it doesn't need high velocity to do so. They create large wound channels and if of proper weight, almost always exit creating two holes to bleed instead of one.

Your comments about velocity are interesting because higher velocities often do NOT improve penetration but hinder it. It is well proven that exceeding 1200-1300fps in handguns does not improve penetration or lethality. Pushing ANY jacketed bullet faster will only cause it to expand faster and NOT penetrate deeper.


Quote:
Cast big advantage today is the ability to cast effective bullets in your back yard. It's not performance advantages in the field.
Today 10:28 AM
Pure nonsense.
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Old June 18, 2013, 01:27 PM   #10
Magnum Wheel Man
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"L" I used to carry a 4" GP-100 almost exclusively around the farm, for wood chucks, opossums, raccoons etc... & I will vouch for the fact ( as I've had many crawl off only to have to put up with the smell ) that a 110 gr hollow point will plant critters this size, better than 158 gr hollow points using a 357 magnum...

but the amount of blood shot really decreases quickly ( going back to my rifle / field dressing experience ) with slower moving bullets... while often the killing effectiveness remains... for example, a 100 grain factory load 243 will with as close to the same shot as practical, leave a larger bruised wound track, than a factory 405 grain 45-70, yet the 45-70 in my experience drops a deer sized animal faster with same shot placement...

I've never seen a handgun wound track even with ( for example ) the deer shot by my FIL with a 6" Dan Wesson 357 Maximum with 180 grain bullets, come even close to any of the rifles legal around here for deer, so that would seem that handguns are in the sub velocity needed for true hydrostatic bruising...

yes, the 110 grain 357 mag stopped the wood chucks better than 158 grain ammo ( in my experience ) however 44 special ( I've mostly used hollow points in this example ), & even lead cowboy loads in 45 Colt drop these critters as well as the 110 grain 357... at a much lower blast / recoil level than those hot lil 357's

I'm certainly no authority, this is only observations I've made during my experience's, to contribute to the discussion... YMMV but I'd still like to hear about it
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Old June 19, 2013, 07:59 AM   #11
jglsprings
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Mr MWM,

I have a rule of thumb. If you can't fit your thumb in the end of the barrel it isn't big enough.



I've always like the performance of the larger heavier projectiles in every caliber I shoot. Rifles, pistols and even my shotguns. Always had better luck
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Old June 19, 2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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jglsprings,
I have a rule of thumb, too. Don't try to stick your thumb down a barrel.
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Old June 19, 2013, 08:06 AM   #13
Magnum Wheel Man
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I've got big thumbs... that would put me in the "destructive device" category
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Old June 19, 2013, 08:31 AM   #14
jglsprings
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I've got big thumbs... that would put me in the "destructive device" category
Makes it a pretty good rule.
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Old June 19, 2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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"I like big bullets and I cannot lie"

x2
That was funny.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:19 AM   #16
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by Magnum Wheel Man
my "working" guns are of lower pressure / blast / noise level, as they'll most likely need to be used without hearing protection... for fun, & if I can muff up, I'll play with that Casull all day...

so... your guys thoughts or observations ???
The difference in the sound pressure between handgun rounds is like asking if you would rather be deaf as a stone or deaf as a rock.

Yes, there are measurable and theoretically large decibel differences between them. However, the "quietest" is loud enough to permanently damage your hearing with a single shot while the loudest is loud enough.... to permanently damage your hearing with a single shot.

I imagine a forum for squirrels and they're chatting about if it's better to be hit by a Cadillac Escalade or an 18 Wheeler.

In a hunting scenario, never, ever fire a gun louder than a 22 rifle without wearing ear protection. No animal is worth tinnitus. There's really no excuse anymore. Modern, electronic options actually HELP you hear animals AND protect your ears. No excuses.

In a defense scenario, choose the gun that you're convinced is more effective. That argument has been (and is being) had a million times over. We each make our own decisions. The best suggestion there can be is to have an electronic hearing protection option available for home defense. It may not be useful in this or that scenario but it MIGHT be useful in many others, so there's no reason not to have it. Alive and deaf is better than dead but alive and not deaf is better yet. I've shot (or been near) and unfortunate number of handgun discharges when I wasn't wearing protection. A 22 handgun is ungodly loud and it's darn near the bottom of the heap. As I said, squirrels and 18 wheelers.
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:29 AM   #17
Magnum Wheel Man
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^^^ very sound advice... unfortunately for me, I already have "industrial disease"

... so shooting a "normal" 44 special, or 45 Colt out of 2-4" barrel doesn't "hurt" the same as it might others without damaged ears...

I have shot a 357 "normal" load without hearing protection, & had a noticeable temporary hearing loss, so I won't do that again, ( if I can help it ) & there is no way I want to shoot that Casull out of my Alaskan with out hearing protection

so for me, I would, if I had to, prefer to carry that bigger lower pressure round, than that 357, for daily carry
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Old June 19, 2013, 10:19 AM   #18
Sarge
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There ain't anything much lower pressure that 410 birdshot, but from a 2 1/2" Public Defender it hurt my ears worse than anything I've fired w/o hearing protection. In recent memory, anyway.
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Old June 19, 2013, 11:37 AM   #19
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With regard to handguns, I believe in large and heavy vs. small and fast. The .45 Colt with a 250 grain bullet at ~900 fps was designed for both anti-personnel and anti-horse.

In the old west, this same cartridge took down everything from man to buffalo to bear. It was not the best cartridge (vs. rifle) in these cases but many times it was shown to suffice.
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Old June 19, 2013, 11:41 AM   #20
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It's my opinion that hydrostatic shock/permanent wound cavitation with a cartridge fired from a handgun (leaving out such things as AR-15 and T/C "handguns", of course) is, in the most generous telling, insignificant to nonexistent. It's certainly nothing I would count on to protect my bacon nor anyone else's.

Consequently, I prefer big, heavy, wide bullets at moderate velocity, to assure a maximum wound diameter and penetration depth.
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Old June 19, 2013, 12:06 PM   #21
jrothWA
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Take allok at this website:...

www.hipowersandhandguns.com, by the late Steve Camp.

he has photos' of a deer taken with the Hornady 124gr XTP in 9mm, plus some others calibers.

Basically, it come down to PLACEMENT.

Do know of a gent used a 185gr Silvertip .45 ACP in Michigan, took a buck @ 85yds and dropped it.
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Old June 19, 2013, 01:27 PM   #22
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The difference in the sound pressure between handgun rounds is like asking if you would rather be deaf as a stone or deaf as a rock.

Yes, there are measurable and theoretically large decibel differences between them. However, the "quietest" is loud enough to permanently damage your hearing with a single shot while the loudest is loud enough.... to permanently damage your hearing with a single shot.
Sure any handgun round has the potential to cause permanent damage, but that does not mean that some do not have the potential to cause more damage than others. You are basically saying the difference in decibel levels between pistol rounds is negligible, but the .357 round can be as loud as many long arms? I no longer carry or use a .357 for home defense after a single .357 round left me with permanent tinnitus in my left ear 2 years ago. The .357 is notoriously loud and much more punishing to the ears than say a 9mm or .45, and is just as loud as a 12g shotgun and several long arms. On the decibel scale the .357 is leaps and bounds ahead of other pistol rounds, and seeing as I have already done enough damage to my ears I would like to minimize the chance of further damage as much as possible. It is reasonable to assume that the higher something is on the decibel scale, the more potential it has to cause damage when compared to something of a lower decibel level. Note I said potential, because it is not written in stone that you fire Round A and you will suffer this much damage compared to Round B. But I still believe a higher decibel round increases the potential for how much damage it will cause.

As far as big and heavy vs fast and loud it depends on the caliber. In a 9mm HP I like the 124gr rounds vs the 148gr. In a .380 I prefer the heavier 102gr gold dots to the typical 90gr HP's, in .45 Colt or ACP I prefer heavy and slow to light and fast.

Last edited by Dragline45; June 19, 2013 at 01:41 PM.
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Old June 19, 2013, 01:51 PM   #23
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Being on the firing line with guys shooting 357 sig at an indoor range for the day requires double ear protection and I get headaches afterward. Same range with 40 S&W I use only one set of hearing protection and I don't get headaches. There is a difference!

As for animals, fast handgun rounds like the 357 mag 140 barnes take down deer differently than a 45 colt with big slow keith bullet. Both work but in different ways.
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Old June 19, 2013, 02:24 PM   #24
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Quote:
You are basically saying the difference in decibel levels between pistol rounds is negligible, but the .357 round can be as loud as many long arms?
Nope, I'm not saying it's negligible. I'm saying that the "quietest" causes real and permanent damage so there's no point in trying to pick one. Would you like real and permanent damage or real and permanent damage? Like, you order a pizza and you go to pick it up and they say "Sorry sir, we made you two. The first one we burnt to a crisp and the second we burnt so bad it looks like a hockey puck... which would you like?"

Now, if you're really and truly convinced that "Cartridge A" is equally as effective as "Cartridge B" but A is slightly "quieter", by all means, go with A.

Yes, you're right that the higher on the scale, the more damage it could theoretically do but you're still talking "severe and permanent" versus "severe and permanent".

You don't want to end up dead, with SLIGHTLY less damage to your ears because you picked a less effective cartridge that was SLIGHTLY quieter.

That's my point. Use the cartridge that you're convinced is MOST EFFECTIVE. If it also happens to be quieter, super, but don't make "quieter" a determining factor.
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Old June 20, 2013, 05:55 AM   #25
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Sound

Sound intensity is an interesting and important concern for shooters.
All of the common CF cartridges have decibel levels above 150. This is, as noted, loud enough to cause permanent damage with a single exposure.
A decibel increase of 10 is ten times more intense than then lower value.
Normal conversation occurs at about 60 db. A gunshot is at 150. That is 10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10x10 times more intense.
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