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Discussion Starter #1
These comments apply to both jacketed and hard cast pistol hunting bullets. Meplat Area (MA) is the portion of the nose of an expanded jacketed bullet or the front of a hard cast bullet. Generally speaking, the larger the MA, the more tissue damage on game animals. We accept this fact on jacketed bullets, handgun and rifle, without really thinking about what happens.
Speaking now of hard cast handgun bullets. Many of the early designs on hard cast had too small MA and we saw over penetration and little tissue damage. Very early, Elmer Keith, in "Sixguns", started handgun hunters thinking in a new direction with hard cast bullets. Since then many designers, like Veral Smith, have added their knowledge based on actual field experience.
Some that have been designing hard cast bullets, like John Anderson and I, will be moving over to Pistol World from Beartooth Bullets.
We will be discussing the finer points of hard cast bullets as related the game hunting. I hope we will be able to answer questions on the pros and cons of hard cast bullets........James
 

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James, I am most interested in hearing about hard cast and, in particular... those for the .45LC loads and .454 Casull. :D

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Paul and All......The comments I will make apply to all hard cast calibers.
First of all....I am not saying hard cast is better than jacketed bullets in handguns. Both jacketed and hard cast are good and have their place. It's up to the shooter to decide which is best for his hunting situation.
Jacketed handgun bullets, as with jacketed rifle bullets, are designed to expand within a certain velocity bracket. Too slow and they do not expand, too fast and they frag. The jacketed handgun bullets of today are a far cry from the early bullets.
My rule of thumb for choice is based on whether one is hunting thinskin game or potentially dangerous game. I tend to use hard cast bullets on wild hogs and such......but this opens another situation and that is Meplat Area (MA). Actual tests being down by John Anderson confirm the importance of the MA on hard cast bullets! I am sure when he finishes his tests he will post the results. To sum up for hard cast......tissue damage comes from velocity and MA, while penetration comes from Sectional Density and velocity. It is most inportant, when using hard cast, that a very latge MA is considered to stay away from over penetration and give good tissue damage.
If the reders desired, we will discuss this further, but will not get involved in arguements. It will be up to the shooter/hunter to decide what they want to shoot!.......James
 

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As James stated I have been running tests for a while now on different bullets both jacketed and hardcast starting with the 357 too also include 44 special/mag and 45Colt as time allows. James and I designed several styles of bullets in each caliber awhile back and it is way past due too see how they will compare to other styles. We have ran penetration tests in the past with the old standard milk jugs in a row but it is not a test I was satisfied with. I'm now using ballistic clay too study wound channel and cavity and will be taking pictures and data to display on the forum in the future. As James said the new jacketed bullets are a far cry from those afew years back and though I prefer cast, some of the newer jacketed bullets really are good!
 

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I would be interested in some data regarding bullet nose shape and penetration and jacketed/lead bullet design and penetration/fragmentation. My opinon on using a handgun cartridge for hunting is that it is mainly a loud arrow for most intents and purposes. I've shot a couple of middling sized black bears with a .357 mag loaded with 168 gr hardcast semi-wadcutters and it was interesting seeing what the bullet(s) did. I also have shot a fair number of deer with various .357 loads to come up with this opinion. I haven't had the opportunity to shoot a hog with a pistol, when I've had the chance the rancher wanted them dead any way possible and would not put up with "goofing off" with a pistol. I carry a .454 Casull loaded with the 325 gr Buffalo Bore load as a second gun when I'm in Alaska. Recoil is hellacious but I figure if it comes to using it, I'm in contact distance. I do practice with these loads a bit, much more so with the 260 gr Magtech loads as well as the Winchesters in 250 and 300 grs. I would definitely like to find a bullet that will give deep penetration with a little less velocity than the BB loads; I see no need to unnecessarily beat myself up if it can be helped.
 

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If it's bigger than a .45Lc... I don't want it in a handgun. I could never get off Number Two. I wanted to know about .454 because I intend to get a Marlin lever in that cal. :wink:
 

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Paul,
The Winchester 250 gr 454 Casull loads are quite pleasant to shoot, they run about 1200-1300 fps out of my Ruger Super Redhawk. The 300 gr bullets are a bit stouter at 1300 fps but are still not the worst. Adding another 25 grs to the bullet and especially 200 fps to the speed is quite noticable but not impossible to manage, even for the second shot. This is a second gun, meant to be used if a critter has gotten by the main gun (.375 H&H) and needs to be shot while chewing on my leg (other areas and the gun won't really matter). I plan on using stiff 45 Colt loads with 260 gr XTP bullets for my deer hunting as I have been happy with the Win 250s so far. I expect them to be a handful in the Ruger Vaquero but fairly mild in the SRH.
For the .454 in a rifle, I would go with whatever bullet is cheapest for targets (though a jacketed bullet may leave a bit less fouling in the barrels as the speeds may be a bit high for a plain lead bullet) and use the Freedom Arms jacketed bullets for hunting. I have used a 9mm carbine for varmints and found that the bullets most despised in a handgun work very well at the higher speeds found in a longer barrel. The FA bullets are about the toughest around and should work very well out of a rifle. I have seen some levers be fussy on bullet shape, semi-wadcutters have not been well liked in a couple I've seen. Others fed them well so it would be best to try one box before buying a case (unless the price is right).
 

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Dog... thanks for the advice. Sounds reasonable to me.

I will stick to the .45LC on the hip... and a .454 rifle. My wrists are smaller than my pec... well, you know. :wink: On the plus side, I can shoot the .45LC in the rifle, as well. :D
 

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Paul F. said:
If it's bigger than a .45Lc... I don't want it in a handgun. I could never get off Number Two. I wanted to know about .454 because I intend to get a Marlin lever in that cal. :wink:
I'm not sure Paul F, but unless something has changed Marlin doesn't produce a rifle in 454 Casull. I have a Marlin 94 in 45 Colt and I think possibly some folks have built 454 on the Marlin but I don't beleive I would want to chance that amount of pressure in the little Marlin. Rossi makes a copy of the Win 92 in 454 though! I get about 1600fps out of 315gr bullets out of my Marlin.
 

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John... someone on another board had recommended it and I was beginning to wonder why I couldn't find one on GunsAmerica or GunBroker. :shock:

I like the looks of the long barrel .45Lc or 47/70, though! :wink:
 

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Paul F.
If you really want to find out if the Marlin is capable of handling the 454, get ahold of Mic McPherson at www.levergun.com and he will let you know! This is probably one of the best authorities on Marlin rifles and he is a very nice gentleman!
To tell you the truth my Marlin in 45 Colt is more then enough for anything I'm likely to run into.



Best,
 

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I went back and re-read his post. He said, ".450 Marlin."

I'm going with the .45/70:



If the short barrel is a problem... I'll send it about 10 miles up the road to MagnaPort. :wink: I think, for what I want it for, the gun should do well. I also try to find a laminate stock or something else more weather/river/rock friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Now that's a good looking rifle!!!!!
Now.....As I have stated, I want to try to stay away from the arguements that have ranged (and damaged) other forums concerning one caliber over another. It can become a very emotional subject!
As for excessive recoil.......I have said many times one should shoot what they like and can control. Some shooter/hunters can spend the necessary time to train for the heavy recoiling firearms......others can't or don't want to. After all is said and done....if you can't hit with it, you might as well throw cherry bombs.
What we are going to try to do, is show results on various bullet designs, with both text and pictures.....then let the shooter/hunter decide which design fits his needs. .....James
 

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Yep. When playing with bears or moose, one should be ready to fire and capable of handling their weapon. After all, it may take more than one shot and not being able to handle or control the weapon is a real liability. I like the .45-70 and have shot mine many, many times at both targets and animals. My concern with this is the barrel length and Magnaport, if necessary, will handle that. Above .45-70, I am not confident of my ability to withstand the recoil and will not go there without an opportunity to shoot the bigger bore guns. Besides, on this continent, with what I hunt, I can find no reason to change. :wink:
 

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Sure wish someone would let me know how to post pictures as I would like too show you guys my 400 Yukon and some of the revolver grips and frames I have built! I am completely computer iliterate!!!!!
 

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Check out the site's FAQ, John. It says:

Can I post Images?

Images can indeed be shown in your posts. However, there is no facility at present for uploading images directly to this board. Therefore you must link to an image stored on a publicly accessible web server, e.g. http://www.some-unknown-place.net/my-picture.gif. You cannot link to pictures stored on your own PC (unless it is a publicly accessible server) nor to images stored behind authentication mechanisms such as Hotmail or Yahoo mailboxes, password-protected sites, etc. To display the image use either the BBCode tag or appropriate HTML (if allowed).
[/quote]

One free image storage site that may work is Photobucket.com. I'd like to see your pictures.
 

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I'm trying to figure out this posting pictures, not very good with computers!! This is a Colt NF in 44 special with a 5.5" barrel. I modified the grip frame to the keith #5 style and the wood is stabalized double dyed red/black boxelder, very hard and weather resistaint! This might not be the area on the forum too post pictures, sorry if it is not. Will try too post other projects later. Thanks TexNekkid for the info on posting!






 

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Puma makes a levergun in .454 casull. I don't care for the looks of it compared to the marlin but if you must have that cal. in a levergun, there it is.
 
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