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Old July 2, 2017, 07:21 AM   #1
ligonierbill
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Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 1,768
Handgun hunting bullets: cast, jacketed, or mono

I am more of a caliber freak than a handgun hunter, but I might give it a try if I can get my shooting up to par. Right now, I'm having fun getting some revolvers to "all that they can be". I hunt Pennsylvania mostly, so revolvers only.

What is your opinion, or better, experience with jacketed HP or SP, cast and monolithic bullets for big game?

From a paper punching perspective, I have had good results with 158 Hornady XTP and 140 Barnes XPB in .357 Mag. I was a little disappointed in 180 Cast Performance (seemed to lose more velocity than I liked), but maybe I didn't give them enough of a chance.

For .41 and .44 Mag, I have only loaded 210 and 240 JHP, with good results. For whatever reason, I never tried anything else. Should I?

The .45 Colt (Blackhawk) has only seen cast, with one exception. I tried a published "Ruger only" load with 300 Hornady XTP, and sure enough, it ran 1,200. But it seems sacrilegious. Cast up to 360s work well.

As if that weren't enough, I am fixin' to test 325 XTP and 410 Cast Performance in a .480 Ruger Super Redhawk. There are fewer bullets available in .475, suggestions welcome.

I have read a lot about the virtues of big flat-nosed cast bullets for game. I have seen very little about the monolithic bullets in handguns, although many, myself included, have seen good results in rifles. I guess the XTP and Gold Dot bullets are standards for a reason, but I haven't seen a lot of comparison among all these. What are you shooting?
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