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Thread: Hornady silhouette bullets, tell me about them please.

  1. #1
    Member The Kid's Avatar
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    Default Hornady silhouette bullets, tell me about them please.

    I have acquired an old, like first year, 444 Marlin and have finally gotten ahold of some brass to load some ammo. Imagine my dismay as I found that there is no way, with cases trimmed to correct length, to seat a 300gr Speer Unicore FN to where it will chamber. First one I tried stuck in the throat filling my rifles action with a healthy dose of H4198 and forcing me to break out the cleaning rod. Ughhhhh.

    So I took it to the shop to see if I could find a reamer to throat it with to no avail. Afterwards I decided I would just change to plan B and use the 270gr Speer Golddot FP. They are built the same way as a Unicore and should match speed and velocity for a good balance. Better penetration than 240s and more speed than 300s.

    So while I was digging through my drawers and milk crates of reloading paraphernalia I happened onto a big box of Hornady 240gr silhouette bullets. They are the older style with a strange crimped looking tip and a tiny dot of lead exposed in the center. I had loaded a handful of these last winter for a buddy to use as plinkers in his 444. So I loaded a handful for myself and headed for the range, surprise surprise, they shoot dang good.

    Which brings me to my question, what are these bullets supposed to do when they hit something? The other silhouette bullets I have seen are all FMJs but the tip on these makes me wonder if they are going to expand, or fly apart or what, I have no idea. I would like to use them if they might be a decent bullet as I have quite a few and it seems like I see more at every gunshow that can be had on the cheap but I'm unsure. Anyone have any insight as to how they might behave on game?

    May e I'll just shoot them to be shooting them and pony up the cash for more Golddots to hunt with.

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    I have limited experience with them, but none in 444. I tried them on my short foray into handgun silhouette, and they were better than any other of similar weight for taking down the rams. My "interpretation" was that the jacket at the nose tended to fold inward rather than out, holding the bullet together a little longer for better knockdown. In any case there was less bullet splatter from them than other bullets.

    My use in rifles has been limited to dinking around in a 44 wildcat based on the 45-70 case blown out to form a shoulder and distinct neck- more case capacity than the 444 for use with slower powders and a little extra velocity. I never shot any game with them, but they were sure accurate. FWIW, my favorite bullet in that wildcat is a 300 grain Hawk driven a little faster than I drive 300's from a 45-70. It's noticeably flatter shooting than the 45 cal, and seems to penetrate better on flesh and blood. I've never recovered any bullets, but the wound channel tells me it's finding a nice balance between expansion and penetration. Whichever weight Hawk feeds in your 444, I'd sure add it to the list of probables for great performance. One of my hunting pards uses the 300 grain Hawks in his 444 and has never complained about feeding issues. He's casting covetous eyes at my wildcat though, so maybe he has issues with powder capacity with the deep seating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    Anyone have any insight as to how they might behave on game?
    I used to load the 180 grain silhouette in a 357 Maximum, but the only living thing I ever shot with it was a few feral dogs. I have to say it was impressive on them, but I stopped well short of a necropsy...
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

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    Well I guess they probably aren't the best bullet to use on game. Of course black bears usually don't take alot of killing, and I probably wouldn't use the 444 for anything else anyway. I have so many other more versatile rifles lying around these days. It is a pretty neat gun though, has the straight grip montecarlo buttstock, rounded lever and banded 2/3 mag tube. It did have a 24" bbl but I cut it to 20" and installed one of our ghostrings along with an old Redfield Sourdough front blade. Cool gun balances well and points good, if only it didn't have the shortest throat on the planet.

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    If I recall hornady designed the 265gr bullet for the 444. I know not the 240 you have, but if you are looking for a good bullet on the cheap I would try it.

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    It's been a long time since I read about those but if I remember right, they are supposed stay in one piece while flattening and staying on the steel plate as long as possible. This is supposed to transfer the energy to the plate over a longer time period and take down steel plates better. Don't know whether it works or not. I would think expansion on anything but steel would be poor but who knows.

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