Revolver for handgun hunting, another view

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Onty, Mar 30, 2022.

  1. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Just found an old, but very interesting post from Terry Murbach, well known shooter, handgun hunter and writer:

    "...I DO KNOW I CAN RUN 300gr BULLETS AT 1100FPS FROM ALL MY 45COLT SIXGUNS INCLUDING THE COLT AND S&W M25-5 GUNS OF VARIOUS BARREL LENGTHS WITH LOADS THAT ARE STRAIGHT OUT OF THE LAST FEW SPEER MANUALS.
    A 45 CALIBER 300gr LFN BULLET AT 1100 WILL COMPLETELY PENETRATE ANY ANIMAL IN NORTH AMERICA AND YOU NEED NOTHING ELSE. MORE SPEED MAY FLATTEN THE TRAJECTORY A BIT-- darned LITTLE TOO AS A MATTER OF FACT-- BUT ALL YOU ARE DOING AT 1100 OR 1300 IS POKING A 45 CALIBER HOLE IN AND A 45 CALIBER HOLE OUT.
    THE MOST INTERESTING PART OF THIS TO ME IS THE FACT THAT A 454424 KEITH BULLET AT THE SAME SPEEDS--1050 TO 1100-- DOES THE SAME WORK AND DOES IT AT EVEN LOWER PRESSURES. THIRTY SIX YEARS AGO I PUT FIVE TONS OF MEAT ON THE GROUND WITH THE KEITH LOAD FROM A RUGER 45COLT 4 5/8" SIXGUN [ 1075FPS FROM THIS GUN ] AND NEVER RECOVERED A SINGLE BULLET. THEY WENT COMPLETELY THROUGH FROM EVERY CONCEIVABLE ANGLE INCLUDING FROM STRAIGHT ABOVE.
    THERE IS NO NEED FOR ANY HEAVIER BULLETS OF ANY KIND IN THE 45COLT CARTRIDGE"


    https://www.levergunscommunity.org/viewtopic.php?t=19554 , posted Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:31 pm.

    Also, James Gates wrote: When we get to this point, it is the Meplat Area that counts. Whole long thread about meplat https://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?48098-Gates-Extreme-Meplat-Bullets

    I sincerely believe that for big game, larger caliber and heavier bullet are better. However, if 454424 (255-260 grains) bullet, at about 1100 fps will do anything 98% handgun hunters require, is any need for more of "good things"?

    Assuming that velocities are 1100 fps, and bullet weights are 255-260 grains: "The diameter of the wound channel produced by a proper hard-cast bullet is far more a product of the diameter of the meplat than the diameter of the bullet." Randy Garrett, Garrett Cartridges Inc., https://www.garrettcartridges.com/meplats.html , so effect on the game, with same meplat and same velocity, should be very similar regardless of caliber.

    Let examine 454424 bullet:

    45-Keith-260-Gr-600x471-500x500.jpg

    Since we have on the market molds for 44-250/260 bullets, with.320"-.330" dia meplat and if lunched at same 1100 fps velocity, effect will be the same as with 454424; good size hole, and complete penetration. Such load should be easy to get from any modern 44 Special revolver, like Ruger Flattop, or S&W 24/624. And in many cases, this will be just starting load for 44 magnum revolvers.

    And that brings me to another interesting bullet; MP 413-265 WNFP for 41 Magnum

    ojAm2CM.jpg

    I have no exact meplat dia, but when I scaled drawing, looks like it's .320". BTW, bullet shown here is FP, plain base, but is also available as GC, HP, and combination, see https://www.mp-molds.com/product/mp-413-265-wnfp-41-cal-hollow-point-mold-multichoice/ .

    To lunch this bullet from 41 Magnum revolver at 1100 fps should be no brainier, even at moderate pressure. OK, meplat is not .330" as on 4544242, rather .320", but I doubt that will be any difference in effect on deer or hog. On top of that, since bullet dia is .41", and more streamlined than larger bullets, especially SWC, velocity loss on longer ranges should be bit less than with 44 or 45 bullets of same weight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
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  2. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I got that mold in this week. I look forward to working up a good load for it this summer getting ready for whitetail season.
     
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  3. ECVMatt
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    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    I used to email back and forth with Terry quite a bit many years ago. I was just starting out with the .45 Colt and ran into him on Sixgunner.com. He was very patient and gracious. He put up with all my dumb questions and gave me some great information. Because of these conversation I started running an LBT 325 HC bullets at about 1100 fps in my Ruger Bisley. It is a great load, doesn't stress brass, and kills well. At that time I was handgun hunting 2-3 times a year in TX and we killed a lot of hogs. I never recovered a bullet using this load. I eventually changed loads because we hunt with dogs and this would shoot right through and was a danger to other hunters and our dogs. Even at some distance, it would hit very hard.

    Anyways I think a heavy for caliber bullet going around 1100 FPS has a lot going for it.

    Let us know if you find a load that works.
     
  4. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    When I used the 45 long Colt for white tailed deer, I loaded the 454424 to about 900 fps with Unique powder. Never recovered a bullet. Easy to shoot and easy on the revolver. Switched to black powder and got the same results.

    Some like a heavier bullet and there is a 270-275 grain SWC that follows the Keith design.

    My favorite SWC is 452423, a 235-240 bullet designed by Keith for the 45 ACP/AR. At the same 900 fps, same results. But, SAECO 453 is an eye opener. A 225-235 grain full wadcutter launched at the same 900 fps seems to impact harder. Still have not recovered a bullet but …

    Kevin
     
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  5. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have taken two whitetail deer with a revolver and both were shot with a S&W 610, pushing a 200gr XTP to ~1250 fps. All bullets exited including one that went through a shoulder blade.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. DR505

    DR505 Member

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    In the April 2022 #337 Handloader magazine Brian Pearce has an article on .45 Colt at 23,000 psi....fine for all S&W N-Frames. Good read.

    I always liked the .45 Colt and it works very well.
     
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  7. Onty

    Onty Member

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    There is an article from Brian Pearce about 45 AR, 3 levels, published in Handloader Magazine - August 2008 - Issue #254. If I remembered correctly, there is a load using Lyman 454424 and powder 2400, making about 1040 fps. However, this load was only for late models S&W M25. Earlier revolvers in 45 AR are not sturdy enough for such load.

    IMO, the most balanced 45 round for revolver is 45 Schofield. This cartridge should lunch 454424 at 1100-1200 fps with ease, at moderate pressure, yet powder space will be better filled than using 45 Colt case, so accuracy should be better. I was so thrilled with idea of having Bisley in 45 Schofield, that years back, while lived in Canada, I organized group buy (25 of us) for Ruger Bisley, 45 Colt/45 ACP, stainless, 5.5". I approached importer in Canada to organize transfer from USA. Idea was, when shipment arrives, select and purchase 2 revolvers that have interchangeable cylinders, take one revolver with 45 Colt/45 ACP cylinders, take second 45 ACP cylinder from another revolver, and convert it to 45 Schofield. Unfortunately, personal at (now defunct) distributor didn't do paperwork right, whole process dragged for months, and whole deal fall through.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
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  8. Buzznrose

    Buzznrose Member

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    Nice info! Appreciate this very much!
     
  9. NeroM

    NeroM Member

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    For a number of years I have used and perhaps boasted about the effectiveness of the 41 Mag, loaded with a 250 gr WFN from CPC driven at 1200 fps - the meplat is .320. This combo penetrates well and leaves a nice wound channel - plus is a good balance of shoot ability.
    Before the 41, used a 45 Colt - recently have been going back to the 45 more and more - the "standard" 255 gr SWC at 950-1050 fps is surprisingly effective and easy to shoot. One of the oldest cartridges - still has amazing functionality.
     
  10. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Thanks for the old thread and the various links. I don't hunt anymore but still enjoy reading about the effectiveness of caliber and bullet combinations.

    Jeff
     
  11. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Sir, did you have a chance to try this 41-265 bullet? Is it plain base or gas check? If so, please specify loads, velocities and accuracy. Also, what's the revolver or revolvers you used for testing? Thanks!
     
  12. bernie

    bernie Member

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    I have not cast any yet, I have been crazy busy. I have not found any published loads for it, so will probably work something up myself, and that data will not be posted.
     
  13. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Look for loading data here https://www.hodgdonreloading.com/reloading-data-center , Hodgdon have loads you need. I am quite surprised how much velocity they get (beware; test barrel is 10.125"!?) with starting load and pressure just 24400 psi.
     
  14. KansasTrapper77

    KansasTrapper77 Member

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    I’m glad I stumbled upon this thread.
    Just this year I picked up a New Model Ruger Flat Top in .45 Colt with plans to hunt whitetail with it.

    Last year I successfully took a younger doe with a .357 magnum but the bullet didn’t perform as advertised and it left zero blood trail. She didn’t go far but frankly I thought I’d missed.

    So for the 45 Colt I have a Elmer Kieth 255gr SWC around 1075-1100fps I’m working on.
     
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  15. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    That will punch right on through a deer nicely! :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
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  16. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I love the 44mag loaded mid way at 1100 fps, been thinking about 45 colt at about the same velocity with 255 grn out of a lever gun. Should put the hurt on these coastal blacktails I hunt. Just got to find the right rifle. Or handgun.
     
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  17. Choctaw

    Choctaw Member

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    Good luck on your search and I think you will find the results well worth the expense.
     
  18. Onty

    Onty Member

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    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see benefit going to 45 Colt 255 grains at 1100 fps, instead of 44 Magnum, assuming that bullet weight, velocity and meplat dia are the same on both bullets. Considering a number of shops making any bullet mold someone could desire, getting 44-255/265 bullet with .330" meplat dia shouldn't' be the issue. Here is something I am proposing:

    iWQTmNB.jpg

    Same bullet, but plain base:

    M1IW4F1.jpg

    As for lever rifle, I didn't check is distance from crimp groove to meplat OK, but additional benefit of these LBT style bullets should be smoother cycling, since there is no square front band shoulder as on SWC bullet to snag.
     
  19. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I agree on general principles, but there may be some hyperbole at play too. Will a 260 grain .45 SWC at 1100 FPS completely penetrate any game animal in North America under every circumstance? I'd put good money against it. If we are talking 200 pound whitetail and a broadside double lung shot, then sure. A moose through both shoulders, reliably? How about a wounded moose running away? I wouldn't guarantee that a solid from a stopping rifle will make it end-to-end on a moose.

    So yes, the Keith loads work on deer, especially if you hold tight behind the shoulder and don't mind a bit of trailing. I personally like to break both shoulders if I can, so I really like the 325/1200 out of the Colt. It still is likely a bit of overkill - but that is a much better option than underkill, in my book. And when the critter is tougher than the average deer - a big wild boar, for example - I find a bit more horsepower very comforting!
     
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  20. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    Yep...or Keith's classic .44 offering: 429421 250 grainer or the RCBS copy will do the same work at similar muzzle velocities...if...and it's a big "IF"... you can place the bullet in the heart/lung space...penetration will be complete if you do & guarantee a short trail up...again...ya gotta be able to put the bullet there or pass up the shot....Rod
     
  21. Smaug

    Smaug Member

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    Why are cast flat point bullets relevant for hunting these days?

    Yes, they can get the job done, but modern expanding ammo has been proven to perform better on game. That’s why (most of) the world has moved on.

    Just like the Jeep was replaced by the Humvee as the military’s defecto small four wheeler. The Humvee tech was simply superior.
     
  22. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    For common hand guns, not true, at all.

    For rifle cartridges from rifles and a few select hand gun cartridges from handguns, like the 460 S&W, expanding bullets are better than cast for hunting. For handguns used in self defense, expanding bullets are more devastating than cast.

    For handguns used in hunting, cast bullets with wide meplats are more effective than expanding bullets, because a proper cast bullet at moderate velocity will almost always produce an exit hole, while expanding bullets rarely do.

    Two holes are more than twice as good as one hole. Hand gun hunting is more similar to archery than it is to rifle hunting. Takes experience to figure that fact out, because it’s 180 out from the captured gun press opinion.
     
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  23. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    After reading this thread and the claimed .45 Colt velocities for 300 grain bullets, I pulled my Hornady, Speer and Lyman manuals and I found that the loads being quoted here 300 grain bullets running at 1100-1200 are in fact Ruger and TC Contender only Loads. They are NOT suitable for a Colt SAA of the XR grip frame Rugers. Think 850 to 950 FPS for a 260 grain bullet as pretty max for and standard SAA. Carry on.
     
  24. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip Member

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    Hard cast .45s are impressive, even at relatively modest velocities. My 255 RNL @ 750 blow chunks out of dangling bowling pins at 35 yards. What will likely be my last deer was taken with that same bullet at 1050 from a carbine, and that doe dropped like she was struck with lightning.
    Moon
     
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  25. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    A “standard” load for the 45 long Colt for my revolvers is the 255-260 grain SWC over 38 grains of black powder. Good for an average of 950 fps from a 5 1/2” and a 7 1/2” barrel. What I have found is that load will down an Ohio white tailed deer better than comparable hits with the magnum cartridges with hollow points. With the black powder load, I get complete penetration from any angle I am likely to use.

    As a bullet caster I have found that the makers of jacketed bullets are trying to duplicate what lead bullets have been achieving for decades.

    Kevin
     
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