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Thread: .454 Casull's ammo in bear country

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    Default .454 Casull's ammo in bear country

    This is not a debate about revolver and ammo use as back-up in bear country, just an experience I recently had relating to a Winchester load with 380-grain wadcutter bullets (copper jacket, flat lead nose up front). Last year I had my .454 Casull loaded with Freedom Arms 260-grain bullets (I believe), but a friend of mine had some Winchester 380-grain loads, and he handed me 10 rounds. This year at the campsite I decided to check the revolver's sight (just to make sure with one of these bullets, and shot an empty one-gallon plastic paint can from about 20 yards. The bullet hit the can, and traveled perhaps 10' along the top of the moss without hitting dirt. I decided to follow the mark of the bullet on the moss, and found the bullet's jacket, but not the lead. I was surprised, because the jacket was just dented or deformed, but otherwise not in bad shape. It seems that this is not a bonded bullet, and I have no idea if it's the best choice for bear country.

    I decided to buy a box of Corbon High Velocity 380-grain hard-cast ammo. It was expensive, but I have complete confidence on these bullets. I shot a moose though the lungs with this bullet from about 20 yards away (a moose that had walked away and bedded after the shot from my rifle). It put a huge hole on the moose, and stopped on the hide near the base of the neck). Needless to say, I feel a lot more confident using ammo with hard-cast bullets these days.

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    Are you sure these bullets were 380 gr? I can't find a loading for either Winchester or Corbon in 454 that uses a 380 gr bullet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelhed8 View Post
    Are you sure these bullets were 380 gr? I can't find a loading for either Winchester or Corbon in 454 that uses a 380 gr bullet.
    I am not sure about the Winchester ammo, but the ammo my friend gave me were loaded with bullets that weight over 350 grains. That's what he told me. I just checked the Corborn load, and the bullet weights 335 grains. I assumed they were 380, so i apologize. I just looked at the Winchester loads, and figured that the one I am talking about is the 300-grain one.

    It's possible that the Winchester bullet is just fine, but in my opinion it would be a lot better is the lead was bonded to the jacket.

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    Default hornady 300gr

    i have a ruger super redhawk alaskan, .454,2" barrel....i am using the hornady's because i couldn't get anything over 300gr to make a group smaller than 10" at 25 yrds.....the hornady 300gr copperjacketed hollowpoint i believe is what they are....i used it to dispatch a 5ft black bear my girlfriend shot...the bullet traveled through the left shoulderblade through the body and stopped in the right femur....the bullet stayed intact and seemed to perform perfectly mushrooming nicely without breaking up at all....i shot this bear from about ten feet as it was rolling around....i'd like to do some skull testing with the bullets, with the extra skulls we get at work
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Mine has a 7-1/2" barrel, and it shoots well with any load. But I only practice to hit a target from 20 to 10 yards or so, and use factory ammo. It can get quite expensive, so I don't practice with the most expensive ammo.

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Question: Is there anjy reason the hardcast bullets will work better than the similarly-shaped "Flat-Nosed Penetrator" that Cor-Bon loads?

    It seems like the 320-gr FNPNs loaded to 1,550 fps and the 360-gr FNPNs loaded to 1,300 fps (both Cor-Bon specs) would be excellent big game hunting or dangerous game defense loads. I'm asking partly because I own a ton of the FNPN ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Question: Is there anjy reason the hardcast bullets will work better than the similarly-shaped "Flat-Nosed Penetrator" that Cor-Bon loads?

    It seems like the 320-gr FNPNs loaded to 1,550 fps and the 360-gr FNPNs loaded to 1,300 fps (both Cor-Bon specs) would be excellent big game hunting or dangerous game defense loads. I'm asking partly because I own a ton of the FNPN ammo.
    There will be a time when the hard driven JSP bullets from the 454 will expand too much, too quickly. A black bear isn't a test, moose shoulder would be. Your bullets are 45 caliber. They rarely shrink smaller than that. A 45 caliber hole is a hugh hole. If those big flat nosed bullets stay tegether they will push all sorts of stuff ahead of them and make a massive hole without expanding at all. The WFN, WLN designs have larger flat noses and are made of very hard cast lead. I have seen 4" diameter exit holes from those bullets. I have forgotten how the Corbon Penetrator bullets are constructed. Fill me in on those. I would only be concerned about the bullets with the 454 when very large animals with very big bones are considered, grizzly included. The Freedom Arms marketed 260 and 300 grain bullets that are JFP are hardened lead and bonded. I don't think they sell those anymore and I don't know who made them. I have the very best performance from hard cast GC lead bullets and like the 350 to 370 grain stuff. I prefer more weight and less velocity. I think the Corbon 335 grain WLNGC (Cast Performance bullet) is a top notch load and would recommend it for bear country carry but that is the lightest I would go. The 454 can muster up the velocity with no problem. My 5 1/2" guns gives my 360 CP WLNGC loads 1400 fps and a good crimp keeps them in the cylinder. That is a concern with the 454.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    There will be a time when the hard driven JSP bullets from the 454 will expand too much, too quickly. A black bear isn't a test, moose shoulder would be. Your bullets are 45 caliber. They rarely shrink smaller than that. A 45 caliber hole is a hugh hole. If those big flat nosed bullets stay tegether they will push all sorts of stuff ahead of them and make a massive hole without expanding at all. The WFN, WLN designs have larger flat noses and are made of very hard cast lead. I have seen 4" diameter exit holes from those bullets. I have forgotten how the Corbon Penetrator bullets are constructed. Fill me in on those. I would only be concerned about the bullets with the 454 when very large animals with very big bones are considered, grizzly included. The Freedom Arms marketed 260 and 300 grain bullets that are JFP are hardened lead and bonded. I don't think they sell those anymore and I don't know who made them. I have the very best performance from hard cast GC lead bullets and like the 350 to 370 grain stuff. I prefer more weight and less velocity. I think the Corbon 335 grain WLNGC (Cast Performance bullet) is a top notch load and would recommend it for bear country carry but that is the lightest I would go. The 454 can muster up the velocity with no problem. My 5 1/2" guns gives my 360 CP WLNGC loads 1400 fps and a good crimp keeps them in the cylinder. That is a concern with the 454.
    Murphy, I don't know much about them except they appear to look more solid than a typical soft point:



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    Default 454 ammo PUNCH!

    I plan on getting the Ruger Super Redhawk 2" for carrying, I haven't shot any of these yet, but I plan on looking at these bullets when I do.
    I just got some for my 45-70, and I don't think penetration is an issue with theses bad boys.

    You can handload them for $ 2.50 each

    http://www.beltmountain.com/punch.htm

    Or buy them from Grizzly ( the only one who manufactures with these bullets that I know)

    http://www.grizzlycartridge.com/-str...ain/Detail.bok

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Murphy, I don't know much about them except they appear to look more solid than a typical soft point:


    Oh, yeah! Belt Mountain Punch bullets. They'll do the trick. I've used those. I didn't realize Corban loaded those things up. I wouldn't worry about that bullet coming apart of failing to penetrate....maybe over penetrate. Be careful with herd animals you may overfill your tag.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Oh, yeah! Belt Mountain Punch bullets. They'll do the trick. I've used those. I didn't realize Corban loaded those things up. I wouldn't worry about that bullet coming apart of failing to penetrate....maybe over penetrate. Be careful with herd animals you may overfill your tag.
    Thanks for the info Murphy. I still can't choose between the 360-gr/1,300-fps/1,351 ft-lb version or the 320-gr/1,550-fps/1,708 ft-lb version (I have three boxes of both).


    I assume that you would prefer the former?


    Also, slightly off point, but lately I've been relying more and more on Cor-Bon loadings from my 10mm to my 340 Wby. Any extreme informed good or bad opinions on Cor-Bon?

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    I'm with Murphy on this one. Given a choice, I would go with the 360gr loading.

    In my own 454 I often use that weight in my handloaded ammo, using 22grs of 'Lil Gun powder, which I consider to be somewhat of a "medium power" level in the Casull. As a comparison, I have a box of Buffalo Bore 360's (hard-cast) and out of curiosity pulled the bullet out of one to see what was behind it. I found 24.5 grs of what APPEARS to be 'Lil Gun powder. However, I would be the first to say that trying to identify "mystery" powder can be a risky and uncertain business at best, and, IMO, under no circumstances should loads be based on what one thinks a factory is using...because you could be WAY off. Just mentioned this as an interesting observation...
    If they are, in fact, using 'Lil Gun, then they are 2.5 grs hotter than what I usually load to. (and they state that they don't load the Casull to max-pressure levels) (http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php...ct_detail&p=60)
    I happen to agree with their rational for not loading the 454 Casull to max-pressure, but 24.5 grs of 'Lil Gun would push a 360gr along at a pretty fast clip...not a "mild" load by anyone's standards...it's gonna have recoil. At any rate, a 360gr bullet at 1400 to 1500 fps is gonna "stomp" just about anything on four legs in North America. It will likely completely penetrate a moose or large bear. (most of the time)
    BB claims 1425fps for that loading. The pulled bullet is a hard-cast WNFP with gas check, a very wide meplat, blue-colored fairly hard lube, and is VERY heavily crimped in place. (heaviest factory crimp I have ever seen, in any caliber) The brass case is manufactured by Starline. (good stuff) I am not condoning their ammo over anybody elses...this box was given to me...just thought ya'll like to know what I found out about it. At some $45-plus per box of 20, it is SPENDY...

    Think I will just stick with the handloads...

    Marshall/Ak

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineHawk View Post
    Murphy, I don't know much about them except they appear to look more solid than a typical soft point:


    That looks like a tough bullet. Is it a solid? I would not mind using bonded bullets with the .454. I was not impressed whatsoever with the jacket dropping off the Winchester load, and would not trust the lead would maintaining its integrity when hitting bone. I should have taken a picture of the jacket and posted it here, but instead I sent it to the friend who gave me the ammo since he he uses his .454 with that ammo as backup in case of bears. The jacket was completely clean inside, with no traces of lead.

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    Default 454 Casull - Belt Mt Punch bullets

    [IMG]file:///Users/Chuck/Desktop/454CasullPunch-b-1.jpg[/IMG] I don't think those Corbons are Belt Mountain PUNCH bullets. These are from Grizzle Cartridge. I'm not a 100% sure, but I think Corbon makes there own.



    [IMG]file:///Users/Chuck/Desktop/454CasullPunch-b-1.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by HIKERWITHAGUN; 09-23-2009 at 19:45. Reason: Pictures

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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    That looks like a tough bullet. Is it a solid? I would not mind using bonded bullets with the .454. I was not impressed whatsoever with the jacket dropping off the Winchester load, and would not trust the lead would maintaining its integrity when hitting bone. I should have taken a picture of the jacket and posted it here, but instead I sent it to the friend who gave me the ammo since he he uses his .454 with that ammo as backup in case of bears. The jacket was completely clean inside, with no traces of lead.
    Ray, I honestly don't know the details, but it seems like those bullets will stand up to a lot of trauma with all of the copper up front. At 454 velocities (1,300-1,500 fps), it would imagine that they would stay together and penetrate well.

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    My 454 is a SRH that I shortened to 4.75". My loads are hard cast 360 CP WLNGC's pushed with W296 and mega-crimped to stay in place. I have driven that bullet completely through a live standing cottonwood which was so big around that I would have to add at least a foot and a half to each arm to completely get my arms around it. I was so amazed that I shot it three more times with the same result. I have found my load.

    Doc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    My 454 is a SRH that I shortened to 4.75". My loads are hard cast 360 CP WLNGC's pushed with W296 and mega-crimped to stay in place. I have driven that bullet completely through a live standing cottonwood which was so big around that I would have to add at least a foot and a half to each arm to completely get my arms around it. I was so amazed that I shot it three more times with the same result. I have found my load.

    Doc

    Hey, Doc. How's things. Maybe you were pulling the trigger too hard!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by RayfromAK View Post
    That looks like a tough bullet. Is it a solid? I would not mind using bonded bullets with the .454. I was not impressed whatsoever with the jacket dropping off the Winchester load, and would not trust the lead would maintaining its integrity when hitting bone. I should have taken a picture of the jacket and posted it here, but instead I sent it to the friend who gave me the ammo since he he uses his .454 with that ammo as backup in case of bears. The jacket was completely clean inside, with no traces of lead.

    Ray,
    Those Belt Mountain punch bullets are lathe turned bronze with about half the diamerter hollowed out and poured with hard lead alloy. The jacket thickness is about .125" thick on the 45 caliber bullets. They are a solid!
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Life is good Professor. I've spent alot of time in the field since late August, and I have a couple more hunting trips before settling down to welcome our winter.

    BTW I don't think pulling the trigger too hard was a factor because I was firing from the hip while fanning the hammer...kind of a .454 tactical-wildwest movement that I have recorded on DVD for purchase.

    (Hopefully, everyone reading this knows that I am joking).

    Doc

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