Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Grain size to barrel length question??

  1. #1
    Member Firefisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boca Raton, Florida
    Posts
    99

    Default Grain size to barrel length question??

    After asking my last question about my Ruger Alaskan .44 magnum (2.5" barrel) and it's potency against brown bear, I was referred to Garrett Cartridges' web site. Which lead me to another question (of course). Their fps specs for 310 gr rounds are for 4" and 7.5" barrels, with the fps increasing with barrel length. My understanding is that the longer the barrel, the greater the muzzle velocity, and greater the speed of the projectile. I would interpret this to mean that a 2.5" barrel would be losing muzzle velocity and killing power. Does this mean I should step up to a larger grain bullet to compensate for the loss in velocity? Will a 330 gr round just be too much bullet for me to shoot effectively? I can hit 4/6 rounds in a pie plate sized grouping at about 15' with 320 grain rounds, fired in rapid succession, ok, maybe 3/6. (This example will probably crush any and all credibility as a shooter, but might provide some laughs, was just trying to provide some kind of benchmark).

  2. #2
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    I really don't think you are going to see much difference. I for one would not want to be shooting that load out of a 2.5" barrel. That thing must really kick. Do you really want more recoil if you can only hit 3/6 rounds now? I think I would want a load that I can shoot accurately and hit something, more that a load that I can't hit anything.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    Some factory ammo is being made specifically for the shorter barrels. Please do not take offense to this- but if you are only able to hit 3:6 at 15' (if indeed you mean't feet instead of yards), I would reduce the caliber and fucus on basics- then go back up to more power. I teach folks with a .22, then a .38, then .357, then reduced .44 loads- then up from there. It is difficult to shoot powerful handguns accurately and when form starts suffering- it is time to back down and focus on the basics. It is amazing to me to see people trying to shoot hand canons who literally can't hit the side of a barn, but are too stubborn to slide down a little and get rid of some bad habits. It does not take much shooting something of say a short barreled 500 to get people pushing the barrel down and jerking- anticipating the trigger. That is what I mean by focusing on basics- good form which is easy to do with a gun you don't mind pulling the trigger on. When I catch my own form suffering- I do the same thing I mentioned above.

    Slow down, focus on the front sight, put less finger on the trigger, and practice double action for trigger/sight control.

  4. #4
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    I would think about droping dow to a 260 or 280 grain bullet. I would also change out the sights for Rugers V rear and bead front sight. I would then do alot of pratice at five and ten yards.

    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  5. #5
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    A good way to pratice is set a paper plate about two feet off the ground at fifteen yards then set another about a foot over at ten yards and the last over the othe direction at five yards. Start at the fifteen yard target 2 shots then the ten 1 shot then the five going as fast as you can while hitting the targets. If you miss stop the series and start over as training to miss does no good and a fast miss is no good.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  6. #6
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,217

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKBEE View Post
    Some factory ammo is being made specifically for the shorter barrels. Please do not take offense to this- but if you are only able to hit 3:6 at 15' (if indeed you mean't feet instead of yards), I would reduce the caliber and fucus on basics- then go back up to more power. I teach folks with a .22, then a .38, then .357, then reduced .44 loads- then up from there. It is difficult to shoot powerful handguns accurately and when form starts suffering- it is time to back down and focus on the basics. It is amazing to me to see people trying to shoot hand canons who literally can't hit the side of a barn, but are too stubborn to slide down a little and get rid of some bad habits. It does not take much shooting something of say a short barreled 500 to get people pushing the barrel down and jerking- anticipating the trigger. That is what I mean by focusing on basics- good form which is easy to do with a gun you don't mind pulling the trigger on. When I catch my own form suffering- I do the same thing I mentioned above.

    Slow down, focus on the front sight, put less finger on the trigger, and practice double action for trigger/sight control.
    What AKBEE said (and Will too).

    And if you still think you want to throw a larger chunk of lead, don't try to do it with the .44; step up to a .45. The .45 will do everything the .44 will do, with less pressure, and less felt recoil. The writings of John Linebaugh on the subject are well worth the time it takes to read them. http://customsixguns.com/writings.htm
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefisher View Post
    After asking my last question about my Ruger Alaskan .44 magnum (2.5" barrel) and it's potency against brown bear, I was referred to Garrett Cartridges' web site. Which lead me to another question (of course). Their fps specs for 310 gr rounds are for 4" and 7.5" barrels, with the fps increasing with barrel length. My understanding is that the longer the barrel, the greater the muzzle velocity, and greater the speed of the projectile. I would interpret this to mean that a 2.5" barrel would be losing muzzle velocity and killing power. Does this mean I should step up to a larger grain bullet to compensate for the loss in velocity? Will a 330 gr round just be too much bullet for me to shoot effectively? I can hit 4/6 rounds in a pie plate sized grouping at about 15' with 320 grain rounds, fired in rapid succession, ok, maybe 3/6. (This example will probably crush any and all credibility as a shooter, but might provide some laughs, was just trying to provide some kind of benchmark).
    I like a little color to my argument.....Red and Blue are the same thing....that is muzzle velocity.

    And as for the green.....
    Along with that we are dealing with a handgun which, being big bore with a heavy projectile, it gets it's "killing power" from the pass through hole in the vitals, not from any magical high velocity formula or any mystical "energy" transfer B.S.

    All we can hope for with any big bore handgun round, at handgun velocity, about 1200 fps, plus or minus a 100 fps or so, is for the momentum of the bullet to push it through the target and make a hole in the hide on the off side or end. Thus the requirement for precision, it must pass through the vitals or at least break heavy bones to disable the beast to allow for a possible follow-up shot. So, that being said, velocity matters little but best results for these heavy hard cast bullets is about 1100 fps or in that neighborhood. Bullet design becomes of greater importance since we cannot rely on velocity (energy) to expand a bullet, even those designed to expand, and the many so called LBT designs are generally much more effective than round nose or flat nose designs. The true Keith design is another very good one that does lots of tissue damage. It is bullet weight and design that does the job, not velocity when we deal with big bore handguns.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    466

    Default

    If I have followed your threads correctly (apologies in advance if I have you confused with someone else) you are spending most of your money on a fishing trip and already have the Ruger Alaskan in .44magnum.

    If I have the right guy, you might try practicing with some .44 Special loads. The point of impact will be a little different, possibly a lot different, but the recoil is going to be a lot less.

    A hit with a .44 Special will be better than a miss with a .44 Magnum. Alternatively, you might be able to work back up to shooting .44 magnum before you can do anything but ice-fishing up here.

    To answer your direct question, yes, shorter barrel, same load, less velocity. Within reasonable limits as a reloader you can tailor your powder burn rate to your barrel length. This is do-able if you have say an AR-15 with a 16" barrel and another AR15 with a 20" barrel. With a 2" snubbie revolver you just don't have a lot of options because your revolver can only take so much pressure before it explodes, and you only have a brief window of time to accelerate the bullet down the barrel before the bullet leaves the muzzle. The more pressure you can put on the back end of the bullet for the longest time possible gets you more velocity.

    The Ruger Alaskan is a popular choice for folks who feel the need to carry but don't shoot a lot. Backpackers, hikers, fishermen, it is a fine, dependable, rugged choice that your grandchildren might wear out sometime in their dotage. You are not going to break it in this lifetime, go shoot it as much as you need to. Also, it has a nice short barrel that is easier/faster to draw and point than a similar revolver with a longer barrel.

    FWIW folks that shoot more tend to favor revolvers in the 4-6" barrel range and either deal with the extra barrel length while fishing and camping, or also buy a big bore snubbie like the Alaskan if they have the bucks for a second revolver.

    Your snubbie will be fine. All you have to do is your part.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefisher View Post
    ............Will a 330 gr round just be too much bullet for me to shoot effectively? I can hit 4/6 rounds in a pie plate sized grouping at about 15' with 320 grain rounds, fired in rapid succession, ok, maybe 3/6. (This example will probably crush any and all credibility as a shooter, but might provide some laughs, was just trying to provide some kind of benchmark).
    I assume from this that you, like so many others, that since you own a handgun you can now play a part in the preservation of your own existence. This just isn't so. You need expert tutelage and sufficient training and practice before you can be anything but bear bait. The level of marksmanship ability that you will need to achieve would be two shots, in a playing card, from the holster, in three seconds at a distance of 30 feet. A lofty goal but if you can achieve this in regular practice, you'll probably get one shot on the card when you really need to.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  10. #10
    Member Firefisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boca Raton, Florida
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Some really good info guys. Thanks Will for the tip on the sights, and shooting practice drill. AKBEE, I definitely tense up anticipating the recoil. Not so much the recoil itself, but the finger-busting I'm about to receive. The .44 Alaskan has a notch machined in on the top left of the trigger. With the recoil from heavy loads, I get a reciprocal notch in my trigger finger, in only 5-10 rounds. And for those of you about to fleece me for having dish-pan hands, I'm a fireman by trade, meaning that I work with my hands for a living. That thing just cuts me up. I've thought of practicing with gloves, but that won't be how I'd be shooting in an emergency. I'm a firm believer in practicing how you play to develop muscle memory. I'm sure you guys understand. Swmn, maybe you have the solution to the problem; stepping down to a Special load. That, and a hell of a lot more practice. But you were right swmn. I don't shoot often. I'm a die hard fisherman. If I've got extra cash and time, I buy fishing gear and go fishing. Not guns and ammo. I do carry concealed, and I take my piece to the range regularly (not regularly enough by some standards, but my grouping is better with that piece ) . A major problem I have is that ranges down here don't want me shooting my .44, and definitely won't allow firing from a holster. I need to meet someone with a large parcel of land and a big 'ol dirt hill.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,217

    Default

    If I had a gun that chewed up my hand, regardless of load, and a gunsmith couldn't help me fix it (at reasonable cost) such that it would not chew up my hand, I'd get a different gun, period.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefisher View Post
    The .44 Alaskan has a notch machined in on the top left of the trigger. With the recoil from heavy loads, I get a reciprocal notch in my trigger finger, in only 5-10 rounds. And for those of you about to fleece me for having dish-pan hands, I'm a fireman by trade, meaning that I work with my hands for a living. That thing just cuts me up. I've thought of practicing with gloves, but that won't be how I'd be shooting in an emergency. I'm a firm believer in practicing how you play to develop muscle memory.
    Yup, my Redhawk did a similar thing to my trigger finger with a square edge on the right side of the trigger, the part that only shows outside the frame when the trigger is pulled pack.

    What I did was hold the trigger back with a couple wire ties and get on that edge with a sperical bit on a dremel tool for about 6.2 seconds and put a permanent end to that foolishness.

  13. #13
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    The SRH grip is not for everyone so maybe a different grip is in order. If your carry gun that you shoot better is a semi-auto maybe you should look at trading the Ruger for a Glock or something in 10mm which will serve you well up here if you can hit your target with it.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  14. #14
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    You ruger guys aren't the only ones. I have a 3 " barreled smith (all steel). With the 320 grainers, they helped me to find an imperfection in the wood. That imperfection near the web of my thumb/palm (where the wood didn't precisely meet the frame) bloodied up the inside of my thumb after only a few rounds. After smoothing.....it's gone. Fit needs to be perfect with this level of recoil.

  15. #15
    Member Firefisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boca Raton, Florida
    Posts
    99

    Default

    Will, call me old fashioned, but I just like my wheel gun (I just have to teach it to like me). Swmn, good idea. I'll try the same. That'll teach it to quit biting.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I like a little color to my argument.....Red and Blue are the same thing....that is muzzle velocity.

    And as for the green.....
    Along with that we are dealing with a handgun which, being big bore with a heavy projectile, it gets it's "killing power" from the pass through hole in the vitals, not from any magical high velocity formula or any mystical "energy" transfer B.S.

    All we can hope for with any big bore handgun round, at handgun velocity, about 1200 fps, plus or minus a 100 fps or so, is for the momentum of the bullet to push it through the target and make a hole in the hide on the off side or end. Thus the requirement for precision, it must pass through the vitals or at least break heavy bones to disable the beast to allow for a possible follow-up shot. So, that being said, velocity matters little but best results for these heavy hard cast bullets is about 1100 fps or in that neighborhood. Bullet design becomes of greater importance since we cannot rely on velocity (energy) to expand a bullet, even those designed to expand, and the many so called LBT designs are generally much more effective than round nose or flat nose designs. The true Keith design is another very good one that does lots of tissue damage. It is bullet weight and design that does the job, not velocity when we deal with big bore handguns.
    Hey Murphy,

    You surely do write a confusing response. First you like through-and-through shots (as in full metal patch bullets), and then you like Elmer Keith's heavy tissue damage. Which one is it ??? It surely can't be both !

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Througt and through done right gives tissue damage with bone fragments insted of lead which gives you both.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  18. #18
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post
    Hey Murphy,

    You surely do write a confusing response. First you like through-and-through shots (as in full metal patch bullets), and then you like Elmer Keith's heavy tissue damage. Which one is it ??? It surely can't be both !
    I'm pretty sure they are the same thing. Tissue damage, specifically vital tissue damage, anyway you can get it does the trick. I just meant that relying on bullet expansion in handguns is a fools errand when dealing with large beasts. How on earth do you describe big bore handgun performance?
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •