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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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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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