Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
In my part of Noth Florida, there are still a great many meat hunters using the Keith bullet in their .44 Specials and .44 Magnums. Some still mold their own, while others buy them cast. Many still use them "because Daddy did!". I have found meat hunters to be very reluctant to change from what is working, and has worked in the past! Having used the classic mold #429421 in hunting situations years ago, I feel the BTB .432" 240 gr WFN GC a very viable improvement. After testing it on top of 13.5 grs of AA5, I was very please with the results. This load closely duplicates Elmer Keith's original formula, with less flash bang.
While showing it the some die-hard River Boys, who shoot the #429421, I recieved the following comments:
When I told them the BTB bullet had deep penetration, they answered. " So what, the Keith bullet shoots through everything we shoot in the swamps". So much for that approach!
It was only after shooting water filled plastic jugs and seeing the water fly more because of that .340" meplat, did I get their attention.
The final solution is they are going to try them out! If you happen to be one of the hunter/shooters that still swear by that tried and true # 429421, I suggest your ordering out some of Marshall's BTB 432" 240 gr WFN GC's and give them a try. I did and am very pleased at the results.
Best Regards, James C.

(Edited by James Gates at 7:52 am on Aug. 29, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Being a die-hard fan of Elmer Keith, I'd like to know WHY you prefer that bullet over 429421.  Milk jugs don't really tell much and the Keith bullet holds true to principles for accurate bullets , in theory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Indeed, Sir..I don't plan to argue with you over, as you put it, the "WHY". I was a friend of Elmer's and am fully aware of his qualifications! After spending 26 years in the gun and ammo companies, I feel that I can form an anlysis on ammo performance. If you had read any of my posts you would have found that I started shooting the .44 Mag in 1956, as did our entire group. We killed 100's of game with the #429421 and continued to use it until we started using Beartooth LBT style bullets.
Now...When Veral Smith took the #429421 and put marking on both the meplat and the forward band, he found that the marking was only wiped off the meplat on recovered bullet through fluid. This proved that tissue/fluid was pushed away from the bullet at 90 degress to the axis of the bullet. We also know from actual shooting of game that the Permanent Wound channel is directly related to the size of the meplat and the velocity. In this case the meplat on the #429421 is .280" and the meplat on the BTB 240 WFN PB is .340". When the men shot the two against each other, same two firearms, a S&W .44 special and Ruger SBH .44 Mag, with the same powder load, same brass, and same primer...All grouped the BTB bullet tighter. I can only contribute that to the nose design to the forcing cones in the barrel.
As for water jugs...you betcha they show something. Water can not be compressed and when one bullet shows significant more damage, it tells that the larger meplat is moving, violently, more water, ergo tissue.
This may not satisfy your "WHY", but it sure does mine....jcg

(Edited by James Gates at 2:35 pm on Sep. 5, 2001)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Somehow I didn't think it would. OK....How about, at my expense, my mailing you a few cylinder loads of bullets for you to try?...jcg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Doug29, James is conveying the truth and as a sidebar, the 180-185gr 357BTB will also give the same wound channel as the 429421 44 Keith bullet providing velocities are the same. The paper ballistic charts don't amount to a hill-a-beans when using these cast gems. Please take James up on his offer for it will truly be rewarding to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I will decline your generous offer for several reasons.  I make it a rule to never shoot anyone elses reloads.  I'm sure that yours are safe and carefully assembled.  I just have my own rules, regarding reloads.  If I decide to try that bullet, I will purchase a few and load them myself.  I would like to know the reasons supporting your choice of that bullet.  You seem to be insulted because I would ask "Why".   You were the one to declare that it was a better bullet than 429421!  Why is it better than 429421?  Ballistically?  There ain't no magic involved!  A larger meplat may be good, but a wadcutter has one that's even bigger.  Everything is a compromise.  A good aerodynamic shape gives a higher retained velocity and better accuracy.  Greater weight OR higher velocity?  We all make our choice.  Right now, I'm happy with H&G's #503 mould.  It drops Keith .44 bullets that are so perfect that I ALMOST hate to shoot them!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
300 Posts
Doug -

James is offering you bullets to try - not reloads.  I doubt there are very many here who would shoot someone else's reloads.  If they were 45 colt bullets, I'd tell him to send em' my way!

I don't speak for James at all but if you've been around here awhile (it appears you haven't), you'll find that James' response is simply how James responds.  From what I've learned about him, it'll would take a 2X4 upside his head along with asking "why" before his shorts would get twisted in a knot  :biggrin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Again..If you read my post, I offered to send bullets, not reloads. The only thing different in the two bullets is the nose shape and how it performs in tissue. For all pratical purpose it is the same design, with the exception of the nose shape. All things being equal, lead alloy, lube, powder, and primer-I see no change in sight in, etc.
As for being insulted, I've been down the road too far to be concerned about that, having been insulted by professionals. I do make it a habit of answering argumentive tone with the same.
I still maintain, that from actual experience on game, the BTB bullet is better...that's all. I will continue to post that until someone can show, from actual game experience, that I am not correct. I think the readers would be interested as to why you think the #429421 is better. I have stated my reasons, what are yours and why you think it's better having never shot and tested the BTB bullet? I will be glad to send some bullets for you to load and test. In the end the old saying, "Quality is as the customer perceives!" will have to do. .....jcg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Frankly I'm surprised this issue hasn't sparked more debate. Any attempt to "tarnish" the reputation of the Keith bullet that I've ever seen has always brought more reaction.

The Keith bullet has taken every type of game possible for a 44 (and some that shouldn't be tried, I'm certain). It was invented by a man that can't be measured by todays standards. He lived in an incredible time in history that most people today can only dream of.

His willingness to experiment and demand more from his firearms gave way to some fantastic products. I think that that very desire to find "the best" would put the Elmer Keith Stamp of Approval on the LBT Wide Flat Nose and the Long Flat Nose Design.

Veral Smiths design has allowed us to do what Elmer "thought" he was doing. He felt the shoulder of his bullet was cutting a hole through whatever animal it happened to be making contact with. As it turns out, only the nose was working. Now, if you make that nose that was working so well for Elmer and make it bigger, you've got a winner.

My own opinion is that the WFN is at it's best at handgun ranges on deer sized game. The big nose gives 'em a real smack. It may not be a long range accuracy champ, but we mortals won't be shooting game with a handgun waaay out there. The LFN will step up when extra penetration on bigger animals is needed. These bullets are the ones to turn to when the ultimate accuarcy is needed.  If in doubt theres always the WLN to fall back on. Of course the much anticipated release of the Ogival Wadcutter design should allow some fantastic close range hunting results.

There is nothing wrong with the Keith bullet and never will be. The only question is if there is something better to turn to, why not?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
MT..As usual your grasp of the entire siuation is A-1! There was another bullet designer of the period named Boser. His designs may have been a take off of Elmer's? His design was excellent and will shoot right in with the #429421, however Boser never went out a tested like Elmer did. Esquitar Skelton and Bill Jorden told me that Elmer was the , not one of the, but The best handgun game shot they had ever seen. Now, Elmer was hammer-headed and brusque, to say the least.
But......He would spend untold time explaining where he was coming from, and where he was going! If you crossed him, he would also tell you where to go. Elmer kept thinking until the end. I sent Alex a .410" 210 gr mould that Lyle Kilbourn
cut himself for a design I asked Elmer about when the .41 Magnum came out. All I ever said was that Veral Smith,as you said, took an excellent design and weight, and changed the nose to make a little better game bullet. I like to believe that Elmer would have liked it.
Enough said on this subject anyway....time to deed the bulldogs! Best Regards, James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I like the Keith bullets in their original weights but prefer LBT designs for heavier bullets. I'd guess one reason I do it this way is my admiration for Elmer. By segregating designs based on weight I can keep shooting the old master's designs.

The Keith designs seem to offer excellent accuracy at any velocity. I've had outstanding luck with the LBT LFN designs at the same speeds as well.  The WFN needs to be pushed but it is worth it. You can really hear WFNs slap into game.

Some of my favorites:
.41 - 220 gr. Keith, 255 gr. WFNGC
.44 - RCBS 250K, Lyman 429640 275 GC, LBT 300 LFNGC
.45 - 454424, RCBS 270 SAA, LBT 300 LFNGC, Lyman/FA 454649 , LBT 325 LFN, LBT 335 WLNGC

Bottom line, you can never have enough bullet moulds! <!--emo&:)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':)'><!--endemo-->

Hey James, tell us some Elmer stories when you have time.

take care
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Well....I have to be very careful when I discuss Elmer. You can read everything he wrote and still he was bigger than the written word. I never got to hunt with him and most of the time spent was at the big shows. We would shut down the Hospitality Room and, He and and a lot of the other "Old Heads", would sit a talk half the night. He was crusty on the outside, but warm inside. We remember him a great deal for the .44 mag and forget he also brought the .45 Colt out from the dark ages (also the .41 mag.). He thought the companies were loading the Keith type bullets wrong by covering the front band....but all that'a common knowledge. He did think his #454424 was abetter game bullet than the #429421.
I killed a lot of hogs with that #454424! Like I say, I have to be careful talking about Elmer and the rest....I'll have someone jumping my case, as lots of them are looked at like holy men now. In reality they would not have liked that...they were real men who spoke from first hand experience and people don't like to hear that nowdays!
Best Regards, James
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,225 Posts
So James... if I argue with you about bullet designs, will you send me some free bullets too?  Such a deal!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hello Mike...I think it's best if we try to steer away from arguements on the forum. At best, we end up with 8 or 10 pages of hype and the forum readers get lost..or the question is never answered. I also find that many times people will argue against something they have never tested...I have problems with that.
I am not a target shot, but rather am concerned what a bullet design does on game. I am more that happy if I can keep my shots on the 10" Gorilla Gong at 100 yards. In order to make some sound anlysis on bullet designs for game, we are working very hard testing. We all know that no two game shots are the same and it takes a lot of data input into the database before some trends start to show up. This is why I have asked (begged?) for data from the meat shooters on this forum. As of yet only one response has come in. Yet when I was posting weekly results, my email was filled up with messages saying we had our head in our *ss. Figure that out!
I remember once in Chicago at the NRA show a turkey jumped Elmer Keith about something. Elmer asked he had he read "Sixguns" and the answer was "No"...With that Elmer said to go read the book and "Then write One!"
We do need discussions of what the members of the forum turns up!!!! If those results are based on tests...I prefer to see the opposition presents its tests and let the readers decide. Best Regards, James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
James,

:biggrin: No argument from me.  I won't even hit you up for the free bullets.

I do have 2 questions:

1)  When you talk about "meat hunters" what do you mean?  I get a mental picture of an old-style market hunter, but I doubt that is what you are talking about.

2)  What is a "gorilla gong"?  Since I don't get to "meat" hunt very often, I am always on the look-out for new targets.

Thanks for your posts.  I enjoy reading them, and have learned much from your real-world experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hello Husker...Nice to hear from you!
First of all...I use the term meat hunters to refer to the hunter who uses his firearm on game animals. Some do "crop depredation work" where a State specified number of deer are killed off the super large Florida farms. Like the old time market hunters, these shooters can tell you a lot about actual used of various calibers and bullets. Some of these shooters kill over a hundred deer in one year and all the meat goes to good causes so nothing is wasted.
As for Gorilla Gong.....It is a 10" x 4" circle of cold rolled steel hanging by two chains from a metal stand. I have a 30 yard short range testing setup where I can shoot from my 70' deck. Sometimes we break it down and take it to the gun club. We move it out unspecified ranges and practice field condition shooting. After a shot string we overspray it with cheap spray paint. I figure if one can keep all his shots on Gorilla at 75 yards from field positions, he more than ready to hunt with a handgun.
Best Regards, James
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,225 Posts
James, keep those test results coming in!

Just needling you about the bullets... I have plenty!

I measure practical handgun accuracy on whether I can hit a gallon jug at 100 yards consistently (not exactly up to IHMSA standards!), so I think we're on the same wavelength.

Sorry for not getting you more results on your survey.  Plan on making a detailed report the next time I get to whack a pig.  "Unfortunately" the last pig I shot was with a .338 so not really relevant to your survey... although impressive none the less!

I think I'm a "meat hunter" too... I shoot it and eat it!  Seriously, the last couple of pig hunts I have been on have been strictly for population control - we have a bad infestation in TX.  Waiting to test Dennis M's .45 bullet on a cooperative hog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,435 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Mike...Thank you very much for your reply! Don't get me wrong...although we tend to shoot/hunt live meat, we need the boys shooting paper over clocks and testing! It's a two way street and both groups are just as important to our handgun game. Sometimes they seem on the opposite end of the stick, but if you can get them talking to each other some real good results in design, etc fall out.
Thanks for the comments about the meat shoot database I have about decided to throw jacketed bullet results in the database so the readers can compare results....what do you think?
Best Regards As Always, James
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top