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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some recommendations and/or first hand experience with pistol bullet that can handle rifle velocities. I'm shooting two different 1894CB's (44 mag and 45LC) with the 24" barrel. I am currently loading a 240gr XTP in the 44 mag and the 250 XTP in the 45LC. Velocities for both of these are in the 1800 - 2000 fps range, to much for the bullet construction in my experience.

For the 44 mag I have thinking about trying the Hornady 265gr. FP Interlock made for the .444 or the Speer 270gr. Gold Dot SP.

For the 45LC I was thinking of either the Hornady 240gr. or 300gr. Mag XTP's constructed for the .454, Hornady's regular 300 gr. XTP or the Speer 300 gr. SP.

Thanks,
Toby
 

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I haven't done too much in rifles with the pistol bullets, but I've shot them in contenders with 14" barrels which is approaches the low end of the rifle velocities.

In the .45LC your best be would probably be the 300gr Hornady XTP Mag you mentioned. There also quite a few bullets available from Beartooth that would work for you if you want higher velocities with less pressure.

I have used the Sierra 300gr FP bullet in the Contender and a Ruger 44 carbine to good effect. Again, there are many bullets from Beartooth that would do an excellent job for you.

Hornady makes it easy on you and includes a chart with the XTP's that outline the useful velocity ranges for the bullets.

If your goal is to create a good hunting round, I'd take a good look at the heavy hard cast bullets with a gas check. You don't have to worry about the bullet blowing up and you'll get full penetration and a good sized hole through the animal.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Agree, what do you want to do? If it's hunting then hard cast will do anything you need from either a rifle or handgun - I've seen the wound channels! All of the WFN bullets are devastating out of a handgun, a rifle just adds that much more power (or range, which is really what you are adding).
 

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Those 240's and 250's are designed to work well at impact vel. in the 1100 to 1400fps range (the Hornady bullets are pretty good about not fragmenting or over-expanding). Take a look at the ballistic charts and see how quickly they are down to that range when fired from a rifle...if that range is about where you usually shoot ame, then the bullets perform as expected.

The 300gr. loads weork too, but are also designed to work their best in the same velocity range (the front...expanding...half of the bullet works just like the lighter slugs...it just has more "shank" to drive it deeper).

In other words, the velocity at IMPACT is what counts, not what it started at or how much it retains way out there were you would pass on a shot.

I personally prefer cast bullets, usually heavy and with a wider front flat. I refer to them as "big dumb bullets"..dumb beacuse they aren't expected to perform magic tricks...just poke a big hole straight through what you hit at any range you hit them.
 

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Toby,
Ribbonstone has a good point with the velocity left at the target. We all know that the target, if it happens to be an animal, can show up from 10ft to too far to shoot, that's why I favor a cast bullet as well. They aren't likely to blow up on a close shot and they still perform at range. If your concern is leading, there are many ways to prevent it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys,

Understand that the reasons I listed those bullets were because after talking to both Hornady and Speer they claimed that these bullets are built with a much thicker jacket, thus stronger, and harder core than "regular" handgun bullets. Hornady claimed the 265gr Interlock for the .444 was toughest bullet on my list, rated to well over 2000 fps.

I've been loading the regular 240gr XTP in my revolvers to 1500 fps and they work well, better than average. But last year I took a doe at 50yds with same bullet from my muzzleloader (chrono'ed at 1780 fps) and the bullet absolutely exploded on impact, 2 shots in a row.

I have been told lead bullets were the trick before but I've only been reloading since about 1998 and don't have a whole lot of experience with lead bullets. I have never shot a lead bullet at these kinds of velocities before, never past 1400 fps for that matter. I've just always been told to never push them to fast and I haven't. Up to this point all my reloading and interest in bullets, for the most part, has revolved around copper jacketed and therefore I have never really taken the time to understand how to prevent leading. I assume we are talking about gas checks but I don't really understand how the work or what it does for you. Would one of you mind taking a minute??? :D :D

Thanks,
Toby
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Toby,

The muzzle-loader will be the easiest scenario, because you are loading the bullets in a sabot and it doesn't matter if they are cast or jacketed. Make sense?

Well, there is a LOT of information about cast bullets, so let's stick to the basics: They need to be the proper shape for making a good wound channel (flat nose, example the WFN, LFN or other Veral Smith designs or the "Keith" semi-wadcutter of Elmer Keith fame), and hard enough to withstand pressures/velocities - except in the case where you shoot them out of a ML with a sabot.

At the same time, if they are too hard they can shatter, but at the velocities you are quoting, and on typical Missouri whitetails, nearly any decent cast bullet should be fine. Even the cheap stuff from Midway ought to hold up - I've shot them through tree limbs.

A gas-check helps prevent leading when pushed to maximum velocities/pressures. It has no effect on terminal (wound) ballistics.

OK - let's talk about your jacketed selections. First, you did the right thing by going to the manufacturers, they can help. Likely, your ML is just a bit faster than the XTP can hold together - after all, you don't get these velocities with a .44 mag revolver loading.

The 265gr. Hornady was brought out for the .444 Marlin rifles, they had the same problem you do, bullets for typical .44 mag velocities don't hold up from fast rifles.

The Gold Dots are plated, not a typical bullet construction, and have a reputation to hold up well, as does the 300gr. PSP Speer that you mention.

The '.454-rated' bullets will be quite tough, and might be just what you need for the speeds your ML will run. But - at long distances they might not open up too much. Probably something that bears experimenting with, try wet newsprint for an expansion medium, maybe some bones thrown in to make the test more severe.

If you stay toward the heavier bullets in any caliber, you should generally be getting less expansion, because you normally can't run them as fast.

Hope this isn't too much information all at once, fire away with any questions.....
 

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Toby,
A gas checked bullets has a small copper cup fitted to the base of the bullet. It covers the base and a small amount (less than 1/8") of the sides of the bullet. It is shaped like the cover of a quart ice cream container. The bullets have a heel that accepts the gas check. It is fitted to the back of the bullet prior to sizing it. You will be buying cast bullets, so that will matter little to you. The gas check helps to prevent leading by protecting the base of the bullet from becoming vaporized by the high pressure of the loads you are using. Some claim that the gas check also "scrapes" lead and powder fouling from the bore. If you take a peek at the line up of Beartooth bullets on this sight you will see the difference between a gas checked bullet and a plain base. Another way to help ensure you won't get leading in the barrel is to slug the barrel. You accomplish this by driving a piece of pure lead, like a egg shaped fishing sinker through the length of your barrel with a piece of wooden dowel of appropriate size. It is much easier than it sounds because the lead is very soft. The sinkers are sold on this website also. You measure the piece of lead with your calipers and it will tell you your barrel size. You can then order your bullets to the proper size. I like to go .001 over bore size in a rifle. It is important for your barrel to be perfectly clean before you slug it, but I'm sure you keep your rifles clean anyway. When you have a bullet that is the right size for your barrel, you'll seldom encounter leading. Another way to help ensure minimal leading is to use heavy bullets, as the velocity is not quite as high as the lighter, standard for caliber, bullets. The heavier bullets give you superior penetration also. It has been my experience, speaking generally,that heavy for caliber bullets, are more accurate than the lighter bullets because the loads tend to be more ballistically uniform. I'm speaking of handguns with handgun cartridges here. I'm guessing this might apply to handgun caliber rifles as well.
 

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Getting lead up to speed isn't all that much of a trick. Need a hard alloy bullet for this kind of pressure (but if you shoot rock hard alloy at low pressure, liable to get some leading)..but as much as I like cast bullets, will admit that jacketed will work just as well for hunting.

In lead, I'd look to the commercail hard alloy version of 270gr. and above, preferably with a nice wide flat point. Would prefer them to be a bit larger than jacketed, looking at .430" for a .429" bore (is some debate about this...but .001" oversize hasn't caused me any grief). I've never seen aANY advanatge to having a hard cast bullet impact at more than 1200fps...so figure out how far you expect to shoot, then use the ballistic charts tow rok backwards to the Muzzle vel. you'll need to be at that speed out there where the bullet connects.

Simplest would be to stick with jacketed...and I will put in a GREAT word about the Nosler partition handgun bullets. When i shoot jacketed bullets, could use these and only these and be perfectly happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys,

I actually had a gentleman on one of the other website send me an email with his phone number. He basically explained it exactly as you explained, the slugging, the size bullets, the gas checks and the heavier bullets being more reliable and accurate. Thats no less of a thanks to you for your time but reassures that his tips were valid. Its to bad the rest of the world don't help each other as reloaders seem to do, we may not be in all this mess.

Thanks again,
Toby
 

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Well you got all your answers. May I suggest there is only 1 powder to use for .44's. Hodgdon's H110.
 

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in my winchester 45 colt. i have shoot som loads with
hard lead bullets.
one is a 280 grains truncoutet hard lead bullet at 1900fps.
the oder on is a 350 grains FP at 1650fps.
i use vv N110 ,20.8 grains in the 350.
and 23,6 in the 280.they have god grops at paiper targets
upp to 100 meters.:)
 
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