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  #1  
Old 09-10-2005, 05:01 PM
Marshall Stanton's Avatar
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Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View


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Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2005, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Stanton
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Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View
Marshall Stanton
I can tell sir that you are a thinking man. I read your article and printed a copy for further review.
My first impression is that you are right on the mark. I would have to re-crunch the numbers to find any fault with with your view on the subject. I can tell that you learned from your mentors and have expanded on that.
I am a small man and have no trouble shooting a large frame revolver while hitting my mark to 75 yards. My experince is limited up to .44 mag and heavy .45 Colt loads.
They are as effective as they need to be. If I need more, I would look to the rifle rack.
You did a very good write.
Cheezywan
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2005, 09:11 AM
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Well said!

Accuracy, controllability, and correct bullet design = gut pile.

How's that for a summary?
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2005, 04:28 PM
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Marshall Stanton,
I have now read your review for the third time. I will not even attempt to recrunch the work that you did here. MikeG said alot with his post.
You worked hard on this one. You now have me thinking harder than I want to on the subject.
Thank you for your hard work. I will continue to re-think all of this.
You asked for critique, right? I would have liked to have seen the Federal .41 magnum 250gr. Castcore load included.
Only because it was there for the other availible loads.
Thanks for keeping me from thinking about my job,
Cheezywan
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  #5  
Old 09-13-2005, 05:59 AM
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Hey Marshall,

Excellent article! So much of hunting success is first about being able to hit the target. After hitting the target it is all about the bullet. Time and history have proven your bullets get the job done and great velocity is simply not a positive component in the successful harvesting of deer size game.

Like you, I have studied Elmer Keith's approach to handguns. In the latter years of his life, the big boomers were comming into the market. He even wrote about some of them. Yet when he went to the field, it was with a handy 4" revolver loaded with a mid weight bullet at around 1100 fps or a bit over. The only thing that has really changed is the bullets are better now.

Bill
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2005, 12:01 PM
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Having done a lot of handgun hunting for white tail deer, I must agree with the information as presented.My favorite cartridge (revolver) is the .41 mag and while I have used the .44, .357 .45 colt and others there really does not seem to be a nickles worth of difference between any of the over .35 magnum revolvers , on deer.

Actually, I don't see myself hunting anything with a handgun that needs more power than the .41 mag
prefering insyead to use a rifle for grizzlies, cape buffalo and the like. (they are fairly scarce in the midwest.)

Good article.

Regards,Gene
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2005, 07:07 AM
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Marshall
A thumbs up on another of your excellent articles. I have enjoyed all of your articles you have posted for us. I like your practical approach to things. Keep up the good work. Someday I would like to see you compile your writings into a book.
Cary
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2005, 05:03 PM
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Marshall,
Excellent article! I agree with a previous poster, you HAVE to write a book on handgun hunting! You obviously have too much experience and too much knowlege not to write a book on the subject.

Jim
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2005, 06:23 PM
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Interesting Reading Marshall. I don't do as much handgun hunting now as I used to. Was into the metal target competition for a number of years and plunking those Rams at 200 meters required heavy 44 mag loads to knock them over.

I've killed a bunch of black bear with both the 44 mag and 41 mag along with a pile of deer. I eventually went to the 44 with a 255 grain kieth style bullet at around 1350 fps from a 7.5 inch bbl and 1250 from a 5.5 inch bbl. This has been my standard load now for over 25 years. It has graduated from the old Smith model 29 to a 7.5 inch Super Redhawk and a 5.5 inch Redhawk.

I could not tell the difference in killing between the 210 cast 41 mag bullet and the 255 Kieth style on bear or deer.

I have read with interest the gun writers lauds of all the new super magnums coming on the market and often wondered (at least for the lower 48) just what was the necessity of so much power or recoil for deer and black bear sized game.

I know that as far as killing power for the distances I can shoot a handgun the 41 and 44 mag seems to fill the bill and the locker pretty well.

Of course there is tha argument that "you can never own enough guns" and for those that like to collect and shoot the latest big boomers the market has all that could be desired. I have a friend that over the last 30 or 35 years has killed his elk with a different new rifle every year.

Anyway I hope you realize that promoting this kind of commen sense probably won't gain you any laurals.

Thanks for the good article.
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  #10  
Old 11-29-2005, 03:37 AM
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Good work, Marshall. Facts and experience vs. irrational fantasies.
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  #11  
Old 11-29-2005, 07:21 AM
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Interesting, to say the least!
Marshall, It takes a brave man to go against the hot air blowing from today's rag writers!
Having used a handgun on game since 1956, I can only agree with your findings. I think Meplat Area times Velocity equals Tissue Damage........Period. Weight come into play with Penetration. In most cases there is too much Penetration and not enough Tissue Damage. Whether today's handgun shooters like it or not........we had to trail up with dogs a lot of deer and hogs shot with the #429421. In our part of the country, unlike some other areas, if an animal ran 100 to 150 yards it could be lost. Another problem was blood trail, worst on wild hogs.
When the Meplat Area moved up the at least 73%, we began to see a difference.
Having shot the .44 Magnum for most of the time since 1956, a few years ago I had quite a few bones in my hand replaced. I moved down to the .357 Magnum Smith & Wesson 6" 686 that Smith tricked out for me. I now use a .357" 180 gr. hard cast (heat treated) bullet with a .300" meplat @ 1400'/" MV.
Quite frankly I can see little difference in Tissue Damage for my old .44 Magnum with a 250 gr bullet. If I was still shooting the .44 Mag........I would go with your 250/265 gr with the largest meplat at 1200'/"........but we have discusssed that before!
Keep putting out Facts!.........James
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  #12  
Old 11-29-2005, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall Stanton
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Handgun Hunting Loads-A Critical View

Marshall

It's interesting that you came up with 1100fps as an optimal mv for handgun hunting. So did I, accidently.

Hunting in Alaska to feed my family I developed a load, 20gr 296 under a cast 320gr pb bullet. I had some loading data and tried various loads, backing off to the 20gr charge and finding the recoil negligable and the accuracy optimal.

I gave some handloads to another shooter and told him that those loads were hammers on deer. He chronoed them and was sneering when he told me "they were only around 1100 fps, and I should use 24gr under that bullet to get some velocity."

Seriously, that's an overcharge, don't try that one at home kiddies.

Funniest thing about it is the deer didn't know the mv and all died pretty much instantly.

'Course this was BEFORE THE INTERNET, maybe the deer have better information now.

Regards,

Grizz
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2005, 03:35 PM
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I have what may seem to be a simpleton type of question. Would not the same 1100 fps apply to long guns also? I'm making the assumption here that if one prefers a long gun or doesn't own a handgun of hunting status, and doesn't need the velocity , hence the flatter trajectory. Wouldn't this make the rifle a real pussycat to shoot while still retaining all the power needed for adequate close range hunting??
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  #14  
Old 12-12-2005, 06:53 AM
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Yup. You are exactly correct.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2005, 06:18 PM
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Hmmm, a 1100-1200 fps bullet in a rifle. Maybe like these Beartooths in the middle of the photo?



They shoot about 1" at 100 yards loaded in .360 DW brass, but loaded in .357 brass, like the second from the right, there isn't much difference in group size.

Good article Marshall. A real thought provoker, that is sure to complete my conversion from "light and fast" thinking!

BTW, the one on the right is a .44 Mag and the three on the left are 180 gr XTPs in .360 DW brass.

I should have added the OAL for those Beartooth 250 gr RNFPGC in .360 DW brass is 2.15" with a taper crimp using 800X and CCI 400. That's longer than what most .357 Max chambers can handle. Since I loaded those, I have pushed the bullet farther into the case and use an OAL of 1.935" now. The OAL of the 250 gr in .357 Mag brass is 1.77".

Last edited by Paul5388; 12-17-2005 at 06:31 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2005, 02:36 AM
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Thumbs up

Thanks Marshall,
You and I are on the same sheet of music here!
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2006, 01:46 PM
G. Gunter
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Right on!

Marshall, I came to the same conclusion this past season. Now, no matter what caliber I'm shooting, if it doesn't get the job done at 1200 fps I'll go up in caliber rather than increase velocity. Thanks for the info! -- Greg
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  #18  
Old 04-18-2006, 09:03 AM
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Thumbs up

[B]I registered just to tell Mr. Stanton how much I enjoyed and benefitted from this article. I'm new to handgun hunting and have been dazzled by all the ,44mag loads available.

Does this thing have spellcheck?
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2006, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjake
Does this thing have spellcheck?
Unfortunately, no, the software doesn't have a spell check. I think everyone has slipped up on more than a few occasions, though, so no worries.

There is an edit button for your posts though, if you want to go back and fix something.
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  #20  
Old 10-25-2006, 11:19 AM
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I too have observed the mild shooting penatration of cast bullets. I shoot your 250g GC .41 in .41RemMag revolvers. My hunting is loaded to 1150-1250fps depending on the gun I use. To date I have never recovered a bullet from a game animal, be it deer, hog, goat/sheep, bison, or feral cows. Granted I keep my shots to/inside 30 yards, but the bison was at 67, broadside. The bullet broke both shoulders, took out the aorita gang and is still going. I have no need to go with a heavier bullet or faster load when I'm already shooting through bison. The BearTooth Techinical Guide was the smartest $14.00 I've spent in a long time.
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