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The question of what accuracy should a brush gun have and at what range? There are many different opinions on that! Little Hank and I sat down yesterday, pulled out all of our notes, letters from Clay...my brother, Milton...my cousin, Sonnie and Linda Youngblood, and our notes. These notes cover almost 200 deer and hogs. What we found was the average shot on deer was 75 yards! and hogs 35 yards! This covered rifles and pistols, with a few ML's thrown in. Well. what does this tell us? For one thing, what the Old Timers knew...A shot gun would have killed most, a rifle that would shoot into 4" at 100 yards would have killed then all, and there was litle, if any, need for a scope. What?..4" groups at 100 yards? Yep! Now, I am like all of you and like to see those little clover leaf groups....but to sweat if my favorite "killing" bullet only groups 3" at 100 yards! No way!
As you know, I picked up a 1894P and have been smoothing it up. I worked over the barrel in my old way with Flitz and JR1. Knowing that my messed up eyes were a problem, I have now mounted a Leupold 1x4. That scope is a semi-compact and doesn't make the little rifle look like a Buck Roger's Ray Gun (any one remember who Buck Rogers was)? I plan to do some real testing on what is the "hunting" potential of this little gun and various bullets. I have already decided that for this rifle the BTB 250 LFN GC, a 265 gr that Marshall is working on, and maybe the 280 gr OWC are all ideal. I further decided that if I can get 1500/1600 '/" out of this combo with the 250/265 gr, it will kill anything in the Southeast! That may sound puny to many of you, but taking everything into consideration, that's my goal. I will base my comparison on Winchester/Nosler's new jacketed partition. What I select as the best cast bullets will have to match or be better. I don't plan any more penetration test since we already know the 250 LFN GC will penetrate up to 10"/12" of seasoned oak ALONG the grain in the log.
All bullets to be sized .4315", if possible. This is the size Marshall advises for the SBH.
All shooting will be done at 75 yards! The shooting will be done from the bench and sitting. Why 75 yards? To reduce the human error and using this angle of departure one can calculate the average group on out.
So............We will see! When the dust and smoke settles, I will give you my thoughts!
Best Regards, James

(Edited by James Gates at 8:44 am on Mar. 11, 2001)
 

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James,

I might have missed your post on this but I wanted to ask you if the 280 gr OWC feeds and chambers OK for this new rifle you have?




:cool:
 

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James,

I'm right on your tail in testing my Marlin 1894. I'll be using the 250 LFN as well as the 280 WFN, both gas checked and sized the same as yours at .4315. Again, compatabiltiy with my Ruger is the reason. The jacketed bullet I'll be comparing the lead to is the 270 grain Speer Gold Dot soft point. I've seen some recovered slugs shot from a 444 Marlin that had expanded quite well and of course because of the bonded construction core separation is not a concern. My only question is how well the jacketed bullet sized at .429 will compare with the correctly sized lead bullets as far as accuracy is concerned.

Another note is that I ordered my bullets at a Brinnnel hardness of 16 instead of the normal 21. This may prove to be a real advantage when loading at less than top velocities. I'm also interested in seeing what level of expansion the lead bullets provide. My tests will involve accuracy, penetration, and expansion. Test media will be some wayward telephone books that got lost on the way to the recycling bin. I also plan to anneal the noses of some of my 21 brinnel hardened bullets to check their expansion level.

You may notice that I'm looking for some modest expansion from my load. Here in the desert southwest most four legged targets are on the small side. My thinking is that a bullet that expaned modestly would be more effective at dropping the occasional coyote or javalina as well as ending any unpleasant visit with a mountain lion. Our black bears don't get that big and I'm certain a bullet that expanded just a little would still do the job.

I plan to sight in my Marlin at 100 yards. When I settle on the load I'll be using, I'll also know where the bullets will hit at the shorter ranges. I ordered the smaller diameter aperature for the Ashley sight. For my eyes the standard aperature was too large. Accuracy was OK but I think I can do better with this sight system.

This little experiment will be fully documented and presented here on the web site for all to enjoy. I'll try to photograph the recovered bullets, though the camera I have has not done well at this in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Friend Contender...Somewhere(?) I thought I Posted you the info on "tractor tire" penetration and feeding...If not I apologies! The OWC's went through the tire full of water like cheese! There was a perfect wadcutter type hole on both sides. There was a great deal more water blown out of the tire than before. That big meplat was working. As to feeding. There was no problem once you got thr hang of ot through the loading gate. You have to push it in until it bottoms and press against the rim toward the action. It will snap in. If you tried to feed with slow lever action it would hang, but could be snapped on in. With a sharp lever throw, it would feed OK. I think with a few thousandths taked off the front of the lifter and maybe off the back, it would ease things up. Anyway, you could get by the way it is.I got a little lead wash in the 1894P, but I think that was from the .430",instead of .4315"/432" size. I found what was left of the bullet that trashed the cement bag. The front half is gone, but the base is intact. The gas check is still on it.
All in All...A very tough bullet! Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Friend MT....Sounds like you have agreat test lined up. When all the dust and smoke clears with will have some good hard data. I plan to stay with the 21 bhn for both pistol and rifle. After seeing what was done on the 6 deer killed this year I'm satisfied, however your expansion test are most important. The telly books are OK, but we always got more expansion out of them than the Gel. But....Who knows which is the closer to living tissue, and....it's a great way to compare bullet Vs bullet. If you have recovered bullets from game it helps to set up a data of comparision.
I, too, will final sight the rifle in @ 100 yards before next season, with the SBH @ 75 yards. I am using 75 yards on test to reduce human error.
Sierra says they are shipping their .44 bullets @ .4295" and Wichester @ .430". Bore ride bullets do shoot accurate, but not best on the firearm. There is also "bumping up" happening due to the soft core. Most recovered bullets show sign of this. The recovered Winchester "bump" right up with that exposed lead base in the partition bullet. I have no doubt from what I have seen at present that the .4315" BTB bullet will be the most accurate. I am interested in what the different powders do. In our match rifles, the groups were always smaller if we used a powder that developed less pressure at the muzzle. Thats why we used IMR 4064 Vs Imr 4350 in .30-06. We could have gotten 150'/" more velocity, but with more pressure at the muzzle. That is the reason I lean toward AA5 instead of WW296/H110. There is a great deal of difference at the ports!!! Within the pressure envelope of AA5, I can get what velocity I want. Herco is even better, but nasty and pressure spikes. Best Regards,James
 
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