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Thread: .454 casull bear defense load/bullets

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    For what it's worth my 44 mag or 45 Colt with a big hardcast running 1200 would out penetrate my brothers 454 with his smoking hot 260 grain hollow points hands down.
    E=M(C2)....but that lighter bullet will shed energy faster than the heavy one through the same medium, correct? And when the hollow point opens up, you have a wider frontal area, offering even more resistance. Feel free to correct my misconceptions
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Understood, tho not so long ago, 11 or 12 BHN was considered very "hard". I still think that's a pretty good definition. Personally, I like 15-18, max. I can scratch that with a fingernail, but consider it pretty **** hard. Point being, the term "hard cast" which is so oft tossed out without any defining qualifiers doesn't mean a darn thing. When Mr. SmokeRoss spoke of the gentleman "losing" several animals "with hard cast bullets", what does that mean? The bullets were at fault? If so, why? What size, shape, alloy, BHN hardness were they? What was the shot placement?
    From Buffalo Bore's website: Hard cast bullets may contain some lead and be grey in color, but that is where the similarities stop. Hard cast bullets can be formulated of numerous alloy mixes (antimony, silver, tin, etc) containing some lead, but the alloys make the bullet much harder than pure lead. Pure lead has a Brinell hardness # of about 4. Most hard cast bullets will have a Brinell hardness # of 11 to 30 and as such are several times harder than lead.
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    ..... And personally, if I am the hunted instead of hunter, I want something that will amputate all four legs, break the spine, shatter the skull, and explode the heart/lung...with no recoil lol
    Indeed...!!! I'm thinking some kind of laser would be real nice.....lol.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    And which does more damage, a wide flat meplat, or a mushroomed bullet - to a wide flat meplat? All fun stuff for campfire discussions. And personally, if I am the hunted instead of hunter, I want something that will amputate all four legs, break the spine, shatter the skull, and explode the heart/lung...with no recoil lol
    That's funny right their😝! Enter some land mines around the camp sight and when you get up to pee in the night tread lightly!

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    E=M(C2)....but that lighter bullet will shed energy faster than the heavy one through the same medium, correct? And when the hollow point opens up, you have a wider frontal area, offering even more resistance. Feel free to correct my misconceptions
    Like I said, "For what it's worth." I think for the most part it's situational and there are no died in wool answers! A big wide shallow wound channel vs a deep narrow wound channel......hmm a brown bear with a big flesh wound that didn't penetrate bone or a narrow one through the bone into the vitals. I like the ideas of deep wide wound channel butI am not man enough for a 458 Lott in a handgun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    From Buffalo Bore's website: Hard cast bullets may contain some lead and be grey in color, but that is where the similarities stop. Hard cast bullets can be formulated of numerous alloy mixes (antimony, silver, tin, etc) containing some lead, but the alloys make the bullet much harder than pure lead. Pure lead has a Brinell hardness # of about 4. Most hard cast bullets will have a Brinell hardness # of 11 to 30 and as such are several times harder than lead.
    That is a very misleading statement.

    In a so-called Hard Cast bullet, isn't LEAD by far the greatest proportion? With antimony and tin, being only a small proportion?

    For example, an alloy that consists of 92% lead, 2% tin, and 6% antimony

    (Hard cast bullets may contain SOME lead and be grey in color) That's Funny.

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    That could be my mistake, Smitty. I clipped one paragraph out of this article:

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...duct_list&c=54
    Last edited by calm seas; 12-24-2017 at 10:07. Reason: Spelling
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tralika View Post
    Chez,
    First off, I've never shot a charging bear. I've lived in Alaska for forty years or so and I've shot some bears, one Brown Bear with a 35 Whelen from about 25 feet. I shot that bear 3 times. It went down after each shot but got up twice. I suggest you take a look at the ballistics for the Garrett ammo. I use their 45-70 Hammerhead ammo for my survival rifle and I'm a believer. For bears I think a heavy-flat nose bullet at the highest velocity you can obtain it the best medicine.

    http://www.garrettcartridges.com/45%20454%20tech.html
    Chez, those bear loads we were shooting were CPB bullets, they were 18-21 BHN, loaded to 1200-1400 fps. And I was like tralika - faster/heavier is better, but this thread led me across this article by Randy Garret...

    There are few things in the world of ballistics less well understood than the issues relating to comparative penetration. It is commonly believed that the faster one drives a solid bullet, the deeper the penetration. We see this all the time in the various attempts, via new calibers, to achieve higher velocity for improved performance on heavy game. The current rage among big bore shooters seems to be the 458 Lott, since it achieves a good 200-300 fps higher velocity than the 458 Winchester Magnum. It is claimed that the new 458 Lott is an improvement over the 458 Winchester Magnum since its higher velocity supposedly results in more lethal impact-effect and deeper penetration. This, it is claimed, is just the ticket for busting the heaviest game. Of course, the new 458 Lott also achieves greater kinetic energy as a result of its higher velocity, and this is also a convincing characteristic for those brave souls in pursuit of the heaviest game.

    Despite all the impressive "science" deployed to reinforce the assertion that higher speed projectiles are more capable of inflicting the deep penetration and impact-effect required to reliably anchor heavy game, one finds that these assertions simply do not withstand common-sense, repeatable penetration testing. In fact, if one conducts these tests, one finds that there is nothing that can be observed which supports the assertion that the faster one drives non-expanding solids the deeper they penetrate.

    Very interestingly, if one takes the Hornady 500-grain .458 diameter solid bullet and compares the penetration that results from impact speeds varying from about 1500-fps to 2500-fps, one finds that the higher impact speeds produce the least penetration. When driven to about 1500-fps (as the 45-70 will do) one finds that such solids produce nearly 6-feet of penetration in wet newspapers. When the same bullet is driven to about 2100-fps (as is characteristic of the 458 Winchester Magnum) one finds that the penetration is reduced to about 4 to 4 and 1/2 feet. When one tests the same bullet at 2300-2400 fps (as is characteristic of the 458 Lott) one finds that the penetration comes up nearly 20% short of that produced by the 458 Winchester. And when one tests the same bullet at the blistering speeds characteristic of the mighty 460 Weatherby Magnum, one finds that the penetration achieved is the most shallow produced by the various 458s.

    What is apparent from testing is that penetration stops increasing at impact speeds above about 1250-1300 fps. When the impact speeds significantly surpass about 1600-fps, there is a very definite and measurable decrease in penetration depth. This raises some interesting issues regarding the relationship between kinetic energy generation and impact-effect. Although higher velocity projectiles always generate more kinetic energy they clearly do not produce deeper penetration, and when the velocities reach the levels common to today's magnums, the increases in velocity result in significantly reduced penetration. Simply stated, the faster they strike the faster they stop. If the builders of the various 458 Magnum calibers would simply advocate driving the heaviest bullets their calibers can push to about 1500-1600 fps, the super-powerful magnums would produce penetration depth unobtainable with 500-grain solid bullets at any speed. A 650-700 grain 458 solid at 1550-fps from the magnum 458s would produce penetration that would clearly redefine the 458 Magnums. However such an increase in bullet weight would require faster twist barrels and would certainly bring howls of protest from those who purchased 458 Magnums previously, since those guns would require rebarreling in order to accommodate the heavier bullets. As a consequence of this, I don't think any of us should hold our breaths waiting for that kind of change to occur.

    Fortunately for all of us who love the 45-70, it can be considered to be the deepest penetrating of the various 458 calibers. This is not due to any particular inherent superiority, but due to the 45-70s "inability" to achieve the kinds of speeds with heavy bullets that leads to decreases in penetration. The reasons why high impact speeds reduce penetration are not well understood. However, anyone who takes the time to run comparative penetration tests will find that those of us who pack a good 45-70 with heavy bullets need not take a back seat to any other 458 caliber, especially when the game is heavy and the penetration requirements are great.


    I may need to do some range testing with my 45-70 loads *broken heart*
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    Chez, those bear loads we were shooting were CPB bullets, they were 18-21 BHN, loaded to 1200-1400 fps. And I was like tralika - faster/heavier is better, but this thread led me across this article by Randy Garret...

    I may need to do some range testing with my 45-70 loads *broken heart*
    Interesting article but I need to see it to believe it.

    I have a cheap chronograph and 45-70, all we need is something to shoot into to measure the penetration. I'd also like to do it with our 454's

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I killed a charging black bear with a .44 magnum years ago. Hand loads, but couldn't tell you exactly what they were. Shot him in the head at 10'. But I also shot a large black bear broadside with a .454 Casull and never recovered it. I think the hard cast bullet just punched a hole through him kinda like a fmj only larger. I know of someone who lost a couple moose and a bear with hard cast bullets in a .444 rifle. (wasn't me) I'm just not sure the hard cast are all they are cracked up to be. Yeah, I know we want penetration, but with a large dose of powder behind a premium expanding bullet, I have had good success. I'm not talking about 240 grain jacketed hollow points. Go ahead. I have my flame suit on. BTW, I have taken about a dozen black bears with a .44 magnum. Oh, and elk and deer also. Not a novice.
    I agree hard cast, probably not what cracked up to be.

    I use Hard Cast because consences seems to be that penetration is paramount, and HC does that well. Plus cast is easy on a barrel.

    There are a bunch of variables involved, but I suspect that a jacketed bullet, such as Hornady STP could penetrate ENUFF, and keel better , or as well.

    Maybe, some cast bullet loads too much ova good thang.

    I don't do much in the way of load testing or measuring throats and bore diameters. I can't shoot a handgun well enough from a rest to tell if one load is more accurate than another. I just concern myself with sight-in, and what I gather from folks who are heavy into this stuff.

    So, I appreciate your thoughts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    E=M(C2)....but that lighter bullet will shed energy faster than the heavy one through the same medium, correct? And when the hollow point opens up, you have a wider frontal area, offering even more resistance. Feel free to correct my misconceptions
    I think that's correct, but a lighter bullet should result in lighter recoil, which is IMO, an important factor.

    Also, "when the hollow point opens up, you have a wider frontal area, offering even more" TISSUE DAMAGE.

    Is the ULTIMATE in bear defense, the largest caliber, with the tuffest bullet, at the highest velocity? (In the lightest gun, with the shortest barrel.)

    Lee Stoner showed me a picture of a bear skull with a hole in it. Purportedly, the hole resulted from one of his 270 grain SWC 44 caliber bullets fired from a snub-nose 44 Special, also pictured. It was not Lee who accomplished this, but one of his customers.

    As you can see, the bullet is not excessively heavy. It could not have been traveling at a very high velocity, from a short barreled 44 Special, but according to Lee, it is known to be a great penetrator.

    Assuming the correctness of the above, Do you think it could be due to the SWC design? I don't recall if Elmer Keith had anything to say about SWC versus FN and WFN.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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    For me personally, I feel my 'ultimate' bear protection is my Ruger Alaskan in 454. My wife and sister can neither one handle that pistol - their hand size is the issue. Their 'ultimate' bear protection is an AR-15 with a 30 rd mag. It won't break a shoulder, but the bear will regret kicking that hornet's nest....hopefully

    Smaller bullet results in lighter recoil, subject to velocity and weapon weight. Speed of powder factors in I would imagine, a faster burning powder pushes faster...all good stuff for campfire chat.

    And there is the very real PERCEIVED recoil. I have never felt recoil when firing at live targets.
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    For me personally, I feel my 'ultimate' bear protection is my Ruger Alaskan in 454. My wife and sister can neither one handle that pistol - their hand size is the issue. Their 'ultimate' bear protection is an AR-15 with a 30 rd mag. It won't break a shoulder, but the bear will regret kicking that hornet's nest....hopefully

    Smaller bullet results in lighter recoil, subject to velocity and weapon weight. Speed of powder factors in I would imagine, a faster burning powder pushes faster...all good stuff for campfire chat.

    And there is the very real PERCEIVED recoil. I have never felt recoil when firing at live targets.
    The Ar15 seldom comes up in bear protection threads, however I would rather have a good AR with a 30 round mag of FMJ ammo than a 44 mag any day. A confidence thing I guess!

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    For me personally, I feel my 'ultimate' bear protection is my Ruger Alaskan in 454. My wife and sister can neither one handle that pistol - their hand size is the issue. Their 'ultimate' bear protection is an AR-15 with a 30 rd mag. It won't break a shoulder, but the bear will regret kicking that hornet's nest....hopefully

    Smaller bullet results in lighter recoil, subject to velocity and weapon weight. Speed of powder factors in I would imagine, a faster burning powder pushes faster...all good stuff for campfire chat.

    And there is the very real PERCEIVED recoil. I have never felt recoil when firing at live targets.
    Multiple shots, even from a cartridge that is considered inadequate could do a bear in, I'm sure. I heard that already happened. Maybe last year, I can't supply details.

    Faster burning powder doesn't increase velocity. Velocity is a function of the pressure curve. Slower burning powders usually produce more velocity.

    There's more to it than where a given powder is on the list of burning rates. The right powder is needed for the best results.

    Let me suggest that you just don't REMEMBER the recoil. How could you not feel it? I remember muzzle blast, more than recoil on a hunting shot, but I feel and hear them both, Their effect is real, and not dependent on my conscience memory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    The Ar15 seldom comes up in bear protection threads, however I would rather have a good AR with a 30 round mag of FMJ ammo than a 44 mag any day. A confidence thing I guess!
    I was told years ago by a Canadian woman that she felt a .25 Auto was the perfect bear defense weapon. I looked at her - stunned. She said, "One round in my hiking companion's knee, and I can stroll away as the faster party member."

    And Smitty, maybe the more correct phrase would be 'don't remember the recoil'...I have just never been aware of the recoil when a live target is in the sights. If I wasn't aware of it, I must not have felt it. :-)

    And the powder burn question had more to do with recoil than bullet speed. Does Unique push the same weapon backwards faster than H1000, given the same bullet weight and bullet velocity?
    Don't want no one to get hurt, but if yore gonna have a wreck, I wanna watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    And the powder burn question had more to do with recoil than bullet speed. Does Unique push the same weapon backwards faster than H1000, given the same bullet weight and bullet velocity?
    This is a flawed question which on its face appears to be erroneously based on some incorrect assumptions. It's difficult to tell if you're just messing around, or if remedial physics instruction is being called for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post
    I was told years ago by a Canadian woman that she felt a .25 Auto was the perfect bear defense weapon. I looked at her - stunned. She said, "One round in my hiking companion's knee, and I can stroll away as the faster party member."

    And Smitty, maybe the more correct phrase would be 'don't remember the recoil'...I have just never been aware of the recoil when a live target is in the sights. If I wasn't aware of it, I must not have felt it. :-)

    And the powder burn question had more to do with recoil than bullet speed. Does Unique push the same weapon backwards faster than H1000, given the same bullet weight and bullet velocity?
    Yes

    I think a faster powder will kick a bullet out while a slower burning powder will push a bullet out resulting in different felt recoil.

  18. #38

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    Late to the party but I want to add a thought to the velocity-penetration discussion. There's a serious problem with stating that higher velocity will not improve penetration of a non-expanding bullet. "Non-expanding" should not be assumed so. Let's say a 'non expanding' bullet will penetrate 30" if impacting at 1800 fps but will penetrate 40" if impacting at 1200 fps. Well, at some point the 1800 fps bullet will be traveling at 1200 fps so shouldn't it then penetrate another 40"? If not, that proves that the condition of the faster bullet is changed by the time it slows down to 1200 fps, i.e. it is truly not non-expanding. The higher velocity MUST have changed the bullet. Therein enters the need to talk precise metallurgy.

    There are mountains of experience that substantiate both sides to the expanding vs non-expanding as better. It's a matter of framing it in the correct context. Just how tough is a hollow point and just how soft is the hardcast needs to be put into context.

    I believe bullet hardness/expansion is a great tool to flex a cartridge as needed. A hardcast 9mm would be much better than an expanding one, but solid brass or very hard cast 454 probably leaves a lot on the table. Might as well let that .454 mushroom or expand a little as it has the power to pass through anyway.

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    Here is the article on 458 bullet penetration tests
    http://www.garrettcartridges.com/penetration.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by calm seas View Post

    And Smitty, maybe the more correct phrase would be 'don't remember the recoil'...I have just never been aware of the recoil when a live target is in the sights. If I wasn't aware of it, I must not have felt it. :-)

    And the powder burn question had more to do with recoil than bullet speed. Does Unique push the same weapon backwards faster than H1000, given the same bullet weight and bullet velocity?
    I spose ones awareness could be impaired, but mine doesn't seem to be effected.

    I use both Unique and H1000 in my 7mm Magnum. The Unique load has very light recoil, because I use so much LESS of it. (It is a reduced load with cast bullets.) Even a max load of Unique in a 7mm RM, would be a fraction of a charge of H1000.

    It's an extreme example, but it's Your Example. A faster powder would necessitate lighter charges. A lighter charge can reduce recoil, (although it may not be noticeable in a 7 mag.) just as a lighter bullet results in lighter recoil, (much more noticable, because bullet weights tend to be greater than powder charge weights.)

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