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Old 06-05-2021, 11:54 AM   #1
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Default .44 mag verses wet sand

Was able to pop off a few before the rain this morning. Have a plastic tote filled with wet sand. Shot a couple of the 260 gr Lyman Devastators loaded with a max charge of H110 and those pretty much broke up as to be expected. Shot a few with a much milder load of 800X and got beautiful expansion.

However, the show-stopper was the 300 gr XTP loaded over a hotter than max charge of H110. These rounds are designated as ďRuger onlyĒ loads, worked up under the advice of the guys at Garret Custom Big Bore Ammunition. This loads arenít to be used in Smith and Wessonís or standard Taurus revolvers.

I couldnít believe the weight retention (98%) and the expansion (almost an inch).












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Old 06-05-2021, 11:55 AM   #2
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Old 06-05-2021, 11:57 AM   #3
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Old 06-05-2021, 12:33 PM   #4
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That's what a used JHP should look like!


Thanks for sharing BT.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:05 PM   #5
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That round will buckle knees all day long.
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Old 06-05-2021, 01:49 PM   #6
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For reference:

C be the same same

XS


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Old 06-05-2021, 02:02 PM   #7
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How much penetration ?
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Old 06-05-2021, 03:00 PM   #8
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How much penetration ?

Found in the 3rd sand bag


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Old 06-05-2021, 03:17 PM   #9
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How much if any antimony in your cast bullets?
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:06 PM   #10
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Found in the 3rd sand bag


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That doesnít tell us much, how much in inches ?
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:40 PM   #11
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How would a load like that do in a lever gun? Say a Rossi 92?
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Old 06-05-2021, 04:52 PM   #12
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That doesnít tell us much, how much in inches ?

If I had to guess, 12-15 inches. Each bag is 50 lbs.


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Old 06-05-2021, 04:53 PM   #13
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How would a load like that do in a lever gun? Say a Rossi 92?

Would do fine if loaded near max. These exact loads wouldnít chamber in a lever action and if it did, without a doubt, it would damage your gun.


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Old 06-05-2021, 05:20 PM   #14
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If I had to guess, 12-15 inches. Each bag is 50 lbs.


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Thanks, thatís pretty good for wet sand. Probably would have been twice that or more in flesh and bone. Great expansion too !
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Old 06-05-2021, 05:42 PM   #15
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Nice!
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:05 PM   #16
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That ought to knock a good sized hog off it's feet at pistol range
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Old 06-05-2021, 07:32 PM   #17
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That ought to knock a good sized hog off it's feet at pistol range

Pistol range for this gun is around 150 yards.


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Old 06-05-2021, 08:34 PM   #18
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Now that would blow daylight through a man!!
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:11 AM   #19
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Awesome stuff, great pics !

For those with a levergun, I highly suggest Remington 180gr or equivalent load. They clock at about 2,200 fps and are ugly. Usually anything under 250gr cycles well.

“Penetration” with a 44 is almost an irrelevant concern, on deer I think expansion in thin skin and fragile bone is more important because it typically is going through.

Personally after extensive killing of a variety of animals with so many different loads, I came to the conclusion 240gr JSP or Copper HP’s is a do everything to anything round.

In my 444, 265gr Hornady Flat nose does everything I need.

I personally found regardless of the differences, no other special 44 mag load does anything significantly better than the 240’s but many times has less desired results on smaller big game.

Its a fun hobby though and I enjoy watching others play.

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Old 06-06-2021, 08:03 AM   #20
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I have a .44 caliber XTP 300 grain bullet laying around here somewhere that I retrieved from a buck deer several years ago. It was fired from a .444 Marlin at about 125 yards, almost went the full length of the deer before it stopped. It mushroomed pretty good. However, although good for comparison purposes, wet sand is far too dense to examine performance of bullets. A much better medium for bullet testing is plastic water jugs, if you don't have any ballistic gelatin. But it takes a bunch of them to do any real testing. Swimming pools are great, too, but it is generally frowned on to walk outside and dump a cylinder full into the pool. Especially in suburban areas...The cast bullets would have had a much better showing in water jugs. And you can adjust your bullet alloy to provide some expansion, although a hard bullet with a flat meplat will perform just fine on game animals. One of my .45/70 loads is a 340 grain bullet cast quite soft, at about 9 BHN, and paper patched with two wraps of tracing paper. I run it 1950 FPS out of a Marlin, and it is accurate and expands extremely well on deer size game.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:04 AM   #21
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Wow, that's pretty impressive.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:13 AM   #22
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I have a .44 caliber XTP 300 grain bullet laying around here somewhere that I retrieved from a buck deer several years ago. It was fired from a .444 Marlin at about 125 yards, almost went the full length of the deer before it stopped. It mushroomed pretty good. However, although good for comparison purposes, wet sand is far too dense to examine performance of bullets. A much better medium for bullet testing is plastic water jugs, if you don't have any ballistic gelatin. But it takes a bunch of them to do any real testing. Swimming pools are great, too, but it is generally frowned on to walk outside and dump a cylinder full into the pool. Especially in suburban areas...The cast bullets would have had a much better showing in water jugs. And you can adjust your bullet alloy to provide some expansion, although a hard bullet with a flat meplat will perform just fine on game animals. One of my .45/70 loads is a 340 grain bullet cast quite soft, at about 9 BHN, and paper patched with two wraps of tracing paper. I run it 1950 FPS out of a Marlin, and it is accurate and expands extremely well on deer size game.

Yeah, I made that bullet trap so I can easily retrieve bullet to re cast. My Keith style .44 mags are around 13 bhn. With that large meplat, they should expand somewhat at that hardness.

Iíd never been able to recover a .44 projectile from any deer Iíve killed, longest shot only being 108 yards. Those 240 gr XTPís punches through them.

Last hunt the year, I shot two deer in the same evening with hand loaded 240 gr Magtech sp.

I think this year, Iíll focused more on hunting with cast bullets.


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Old 06-06-2021, 08:29 AM   #23
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Yeah, I made that bullet trap so I can easily retrieve bullet to re cast. My Keith style .44 mags are around 13 bhn. With that large meplat, they should expand somewhat at that hardness.

Iíd never been able to recover a .44 projectile from any deer Iíve killed, longest shot only being 108 yards. Those 240 gr XTPís punches through them.

Last hunt the year, I shot two deer in the same evening with hand loaded 240 gr Magtech sp.

I think this year, Iíll focused more on hunting with cast bullets.


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I also load the .45 caliber 300 grain XTP in my Freedom .454 Casull, but haven't shot any game animal with it yet. Only killed one pig with that pistol so far, and it was a cast bullet.
I likely wouldn't have retrieved that .444 bullet out of that deer except it was a full length shot, entering the left front shoulder and stopping just about an inch from the skin in the right hindquarter.
Those Keith style semi wadcutters will perform great on game, whether they expand or not. I have a custom mold for short barreled .44 magnums that is a 250 grain full wadcutter, with gas check. It's only accurate at shorter ranges but it's a real killer on trapped or snared hogs, and I suspect it would be formidable defense load too. Looks like a small engine piston...lol.

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Old 06-06-2021, 10:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny44 View Post
Awesome stuff, great pics !

For those with a levergun, I highly suggest Remington 180gr or equivalent load. They clock at about 2,200 fps and are ugly. Usually anything under 250gr cycles well.

ďPenetrationĒ with a 44 is almost an irrelevant concern, on deer I think expansion in thin skin and fragile bone is more important because it typically is going through.

Personally after extensive killing of a variety of animals with so many different loads, I came to the conclusion 240gr JSP or Copper HPís is a do everything to anything round.

In my 444, 265gr Hornady Flat nose does everything I need.

I personally found regardless of the differences, no other special 44 mag load does anything significantly better than the 240ís but many times has less desired results on smaller big game.

Its a fun hobby though and I enjoy watching others play.
Agree on the 240 JSP in a rifle. Tough enough for rifle velocities, still expands for massive damage
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Old 06-06-2021, 11:01 AM   #25
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I actually prefer JSPís for hunting with the exception of XTPís. All others I tried broke apart having major core/jacket separation.

Not sure what method Hornady uses to bind their jacket and core together, but it works.


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Old 06-06-2021, 12:00 PM   #26
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Not sure what method Hornady uses to bind their jacket and core together, but it works.


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Bonded to the jacket plus the cannelure locks the lead to the copper base very well. Bonded just means the lead slug is shoved in with flux and slightly melted from the outside in to fuse with the copper. Kinda like soldering a pipe joint. The cannelure further strengthens the joint just like a copper coupling that also has a cannelure. Bullets would then be tumbled and swagged again to insure dimension and the sorted by weight.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:36 PM   #27
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I don’t worry about expansion in large caliber handgun bullets. The idea is to break bones in the skeletal system. You don’t have the advantage of hydrostatic shock. So aim for the shoulder and don’t worry about expansion.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:57 PM   #28
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I actually prefer JSP’s for hunting with the exception of XTP’s. All others I tried broke apart having major core/jacket separation.

Not sure what method Hornady uses to bind their jacket and core together, but it works.


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I used to shoot a lot of jacketed hollow points, mainly Sierra, Nosler and Speer, I never had any problems with them. I started off with 240 gr. hollow points leaving a 7 1/2" barrel somewhere over 1500 fps. Then later switched to 180 gr. jacketed hollow points, to get more reliable expansion. The 180 gr. loads used H110, and left the same 7 1/2" barrel at 1776 fps. That was a deadly load. I never had jacket separation problems, back the. But that was 25 to 30 something years ago.

I just recently got a 445 Super Mag. barrel. So far I have only loaded 240 gr. Hornady XTPs. Just shooting targets, I have had jackets come off of the core. Those are leaving the muzzle at 2082 fps. I found a jacket, between the sheet of Hardie Plank and a sheet of 1/2" plywood I use for my target stand. I have found a few of the XTP jackets laying around, after target shooting. 2000 + fps, seems to be a bit much for the Hornady bullets.

I have thought about trying some 265 gr. XTPs and 300 XTPs, to see how well those expand at whatever velocity the 445 will spit them out at. I would love to find some Sierra, Barnes, Speer or Nosler, if they make any 265 gr. to 300 gr. bullets, that are not silhouette bullets. But all I can find in 44 caliber is Hornady. Actually that's all I can find in 458 caliber and 6.5 caliber, are Hornady. Really getting tired of only being able to find Hornady bullets.

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Old 06-07-2021, 09:02 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Johnny44 View Post
Awesome stuff, great pics !

For those with a levergun, I highly suggest Remington 180gr or equivalent load. They clock at about 2,200 fps and are ugly. Usually anything under 250gr cycles well.

ďPenetrationĒ with a 44 is almost an irrelevant concern, on deer I think expansion in thin skin and fragile bone is more important because it typically is going through.

Personally after extensive killing of a variety of animals with so many different loads, I came to the conclusion 240gr JSP or Copper HPís is a do everything to anything round.

In my 444, 265gr Hornady Flat nose does everything I need.

I personally found regardless of the differences, no other special 44 mag load does anything significantly better than the 240ís but many times has less desired results on smaller big game.

Its a fun hobby though and I enjoy watching others play.

Years ago, my favorite load for my 7 1/2" Super Blackhawk was a 180 gr. bullet leaving at 1776 fps, that was a deadly load. Years before that, when I was a kid. I had a Ruger 44 Carbine, I only used Remington 240 gr. hollow cavities. They were rifle ammo, that came in 20 round boxes, if I remember correctly. That was some deadly stuff out of that 44 Carbine, I killed some critters with that combo.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:37 AM   #30
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Dang 44 just works.
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:17 AM   #31
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The beauty of any handgun projectile .40 caliber or over, with a decently tough bullet, at 1,200 fps or above, is that on deer sized animals or smaller, very little expansion is needed. A broadside shot will almost always give two holes, unless you hit spine or shoulder, in which case the animal will usually be recovered anyway.

Bigger hogs may be a different story, they can soak up some lead before they give it up, and they don’t bleed like a deer. Where hogs are concerned, bigger is better, and I prefer to break bones, especially high shoulders.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:55 AM   #32
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X10 on the high point shoulder shot. Usually breaks shoulder blade and then the spine right behind. Even if the bullet stays inside the animal it's butt hits the ground and it's staying planted right there. These 270 gr LeadHeads with 19.5gr H110 from my 41 mag will knock a 200lb hog sideways and down with a shoulder hit and you can hear the bullet smack a mile away These have a BNH 22 hardness and they break any bone they hit.
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:09 AM   #33
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I bought 2 of these Bisley Hunters several years ago. One in .44 mag which I gave to my brother for his B'day and a .41 mag I kept for myself since it is flatter shooting caliber. Both pistols are open sight accurate to 80+ yards on hogs off of a good rest. Both of them kill the snot out of stuff with those hardcast bullets I used to get from Leadhead.
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:16 AM   #34
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I canít shoot beyond self defense ranges without optics anymore, but like you, Iím a .41 Mag fan. Hereís one of mineÖ
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:24 AM   #35
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You need someone to test them .44s on pigs, Leon?


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Old 06-08-2021, 11:25 AM   #36
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I canít shoot beyond self defense ranges without optics anymore, but like you, Iím a .41 Mag fan. Hereís one of mineÖ
I guess we are part of the cult following for Bisley frame Rugers. They don't even make mine anymore in 41 mag. .
I Also have a Taurus Ragin Bull in .41 with a ported barrel and it has way more recoil even thought it's much heavier.
For some reason these Bisley frame pistols seem to have less felt recoil than other guns of the same caliber. I know mine does
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:27 AM   #37
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How long before Leon goes into bidnez casting hard to find bullets?
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:28 AM   #38
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I guess we are part of the cult following for Bisley frame Rugers. They don't even make mine anymore in 41 mag. .
I Also have a Taurus Ragin Bull in .41 with a ported barrel and it has way more recoil even thought it's much heavier.
For some reason these Bisley frame pistols seem to have less felt recoil than other guns of the same caliber. I know mine does

My dad has the blued Bisely in .44, I have the super redhawk, and a .444 Marlin. I donít shoot any of them enough, but I did sight in my .44 last year and get it ready for hog duty.


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Old 06-08-2021, 11:43 AM   #39
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I guess we are part of the cult following for Bisley frame Rugers. They don't even make mine anymore in 41 mag. .
I Also have a Taurus Ragin Bull in .41 with a ported barrel and it has way more recoil even thought it's much heavier.
For some reason these Bisley frame pistols seem to have less felt recoil than other guns of the same caliber. I know mine does

Right there with you. This is my Bisley 41 mag. But it came with the plow grip and I did the Bisley conversion myself. Homemade grips. Absolutely love this gun and have killed several nice deer with it.



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Old 06-08-2021, 12:31 PM   #40
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Maybe Iíll give the high shoulder deal a shot next time, but Iím having great success popping them in the vitals.




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Old 06-08-2021, 01:11 PM   #41
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They don't go very far when their pump gets exploded
Is that the Weaver 2x pistol scope on that hog leg?

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Old 06-08-2021, 01:40 PM   #42
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Leon, most of the reason that I go for high shoulder shots these days is because Iím just not into dragging a deer 200 yards through the woods anymore. I want to drive up to them !
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:12 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by muzzlebrake View Post
I bought 2 of these Bisley Hunters several years ago. One in .44 mag which I gave to my brother for his B'day and a .41 mag I kept for myself since it is flatter shooting caliber. Both pistols are open sight accurate to 80+ yards on hogs off of a good rest. Both of them kill the snot out of stuff with those hardcast bullets I used to get from Leadhead.

Man, iís luvs me some Bisleyís. Theyíre built for business.


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Old 06-08-2021, 02:13 PM   #44
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You need someone to test them .44s on pigs, Leon?


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I can hook you up.


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Old 06-08-2021, 02:19 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by muzzlebrake View Post
They don't go very far when their pump gets exploded
Is that the Weaver 2x pistol scope on that hog leg?

MB, believe it or not, itís a cheap Simmons 2-7x I paid $80 for new when I bought it 10-12 years ago. Figured if it didnít work out, Iíd only be out of $80. After hundreds of full house loads, it still works. Heck, if it broke now, Iíd say Iíd gotten my moneyís worth.

Hereís my best 100 yard group shooting off sandbags:




When I bought my .500SW Performance Center, I didnít even test the waters with putting a Simmons on it, so I went with Leupold. This pistola is in a league of its own.




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Old 06-08-2021, 02:22 PM   #46
Bullseyebob
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Back in the seventies my first revolver was a Model 29 with six inch barrel. I proceded to test penetration at the dump on an old strong box that was rusted. Steel and concrete sandwiched. The 44s recoil really surprised me but. I shot through both sides of the box.

After that I reloaded Keith 240’s with Hodsgon powder cast hard from wheel weights. Shot cow bones, sand mud and some game animals. The 44 always penetrates great. Todays Garretts are as good as reloads.
Has a lot more recoil than when I saw Dirty Harry shoot it.
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Old 06-08-2021, 02:35 PM   #47
Blood Trail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muzzlebrake View Post
How long before Leon goes into bidnez casting hard to find bullets?

Give me a reason.
Seriously, I really enjoy this craft. Itís a dying art, but recently has gained a little in popularity due to the current political climate and Ammo situation.

I started with buckshot and slugs with goals of reviving slug/buckshot hunting that started to fall to the wayside overall.

Created a Facebook group called Buck and Slug Reloaders. At the end of the first week, I only had 40 members. Almost 4 years later, weíre approaching 8k. Thatís pretty dang awesome considering slug reloading is the smallest niche of a small niche (Reloaders) in the shooting world.

ďReach one, teach one.Ē


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Old 06-08-2021, 03:12 PM   #48
muzzlebrake
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The other .41 mag Pig Pistol. With the Weaver 4x on it I can get under 2" groups at 100 from a rest. This thing is heavy but it's filled many a doe tag and put a lot of environmental terrorists out of commission. I like shooting Bisley better but if I am hunting from a blind with a good solid rest then the Bull is dead solid to 100 yds.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:17 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by muzzlebrake View Post
The other .41 mag Pig Pistol. With the Weaver 4x on it I can get under 2" groups at 100 from a rest. This thing is heavy but it's filled many a doe tag and put a lot of environmental terrorists out of commission. I like shooting Bisley better but if I am hunting from a blind with a good solid rest then the Bull is dead solid to 100 yds.

You bought to make me go track down a .41 mag.


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Old 06-08-2021, 03:21 PM   #50
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you probably already know this but a little antimony and gas checks will keep the lead buildup way down in your barrels. 11% Antimony will give you BNH 22 hardness. Enough to shoot completely thru a cast iron car block. I think Powdered antimony is probably $20-25 per pound now. Nice that it melts at the same temp as lead so it mixes well.
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