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Thread: New .475 Pistol Cartridge

  1. #1

    Default New .475 Pistol Cartridge

    I am good friends with the principals of Lehigh Defense, an up and coming bullet/ammo manufacturer. I get the privilege of brainstorming and providing input with the R&D guys in coming up with new products.

    Several months ago we started discussing the idea of a .475 caliber semi-automatic handgun cartridge. We ended up designing a totally new case to house the round. It is designed to be utilized in guns originally chambered in .45 ACP. Initial developmnet and testing has been done with a Springfield XD Tactical with the ONLY modification being a barrel swap. Factory magazines and gun internals are utilized with no tweaks or changes. This makes a truly versatile switch caliber package. XD Barrels are going to be available directly from Lehigh.

    Lehigh has also developed 2 proprietary bullets for the cartridge. The first is a copper 200 gr. (CF) Controlled Fracturing bullet which sheds three 35 gr. petals upon initial expansion leaving a .475" 95 gr solid base for deep penetration. The second bullet is a solid copper 220 gr penetrator. Most other factory bullets under 400 gr. should work in the cartridge as well.

    Testing with the CF bullet has shown dramatic, devastating performance. With the 200 gr. bullet running right at 1200 fps, initial expansion results in violent energy transfer with the razor sharp petals doing massive tissue damage. The 95 gr. base keeps tracking in a straight line demonstrating 16" of penetration in 10% ballistic gelatin. The attached video link shows a test shot into the gel. Watch the upset of the front block. We were also firing .300 Whisper rounds the same day and the gel blocks would barely move with those. But with the .475 Lehigh shot the front block nearly flips over and is cut almost completely into thirds.




    I have no vested interest in the company other than I'd like to see my friends do well. I just wanted to post on here because I thought some of you my find the cartridge interesting or useful. It sure was fun being the co-designer of a totally new cartridge. I could get hooked on that!

  2. #2

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    Video with gun writer Richard Mann previewing the cartridge.

  3. #3
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I am curious as to the intention for the frangible round. Self defense I assume. Not really handy for bear defense, but a 200grain solid going 1200FPS might sure be interesting.

    I could run up to that block with a baseball bat and make it flip over too ... Probably a less than lethal hit on a human. Ballistic gelatin is cool stuff, unfortunately it's tough to simulate bones.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I am curious as to the intention for the frangible round. Self defense I assume. Not really handy for bear defense, but a 200grain solid going 1200FPS might sure be interesting.

    I could run up to that block with a baseball bat and make it flip over too ... Probably a less than lethal hit on a human. Ballistic gelatin is cool stuff, unfortunately it's tough to simulate bones.

    In this application, yes the CF bullet would mostly be for self defense, although it makes a good bullet for deer sized game.

    The solids are 220 gr. and will run right around 1200 fps also.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    You can get 1200 fps with a 230 grain bullet out of the .460 Rowland. BUT, a .475 hole is bigger than a .451 hole.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    You can get 1200 fps with a 230 grain bullet out of the .460 Rowland. BUT, a .475 hole is bigger than a .451 hole.
    And it's amazing how much bigger the hole in that .475 case looks than a .451 also.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    I know, I have a .480 Super Redhawk.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Cool idea as a defensive round but I'd go heavier in bullets. Thats very low sectional density. And ballistic gelatin is somewhat mis leading. I have a Wildey in 475 Wildey magnum. On a par with the 480 Ruger in a full size pistol. 200 grains at 1200 fps is 10 MM ballistics, albeit at .475 diameter.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Cool idea as a defensive round but I'd go heavier in bullets. Thats very low sectional density. And ballistic gelatin is somewhat mis leading. I have a Wildey in 475 Wildey magnum. On a par with the 480 Ruger in a full size pistol. 200 grains at 1200 fps is 10 MM ballistics, albeit at .475 diameter.
    I agree with you Murphy and I intend to pursue load development with heavier bullets on my own. But as a company they are in the market of making and selling machined bullets, so they aren't as interested in other maker's bullets. The Wildey was one of the inspirations we looked at when coming up with this design. We were mainly intending to come up with a cartridge that was adaptable to more gun platforms.

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    The Wildey is based on the 284 Win case. Bigger in diameter than the 308 Win but with the 308 (45 ACP) rim size, rebated. Is this just a shortened version of the 475 Wildey?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  11. #11

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    Looks like an interesting idea. I couldn't find any mention of it on the site. Do you know if they are going to market barrels for other handguns? Any idea what pressure they operating at?

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    The Wildey is based on the 284 Win case. Bigger in diameter than the 308 Win but with the 308 (45 ACP) rim size, rebated. Is this just a shortened version of the 475 Wildey?
    Murphy, No we didn't just shorten the Wildey. The case is actually based off of the .480 Ruger case. We start with unheadstamped cases that are cut to length and then the 45 ACP rim is machined into the back end. Thank goodness for automated CNC Machining.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by akraven View Post
    Looks like an interesting idea. I couldn't find any mention of it on the site. Do you know if they are going to market barrels for other handguns? Any idea what pressure they operating at?
    It is not on the website yet because we are still in the development stage. The long term plan is to hopefully produce barrel conversions for other guns. But the initial investment is pretty big to buy and test each different model. The biggest hurdle will be trying to get it to work in single stack magazines. Pressure testing is being done by Western Powders as we speak.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    Murphy, No we didn't just shorten the Wildey. The case is actually based off of the .480 Ruger case. We start with unheadstamped cases that are cut to length and then the 45 ACP rim is machined into the back end. Thank goodness for automated CNC Machining.
    So that's why I can't find any .480 brass!
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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