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Old 11-18-2020, 02:03 PM
Kid44 Kid44 is offline
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designed to shoot a particular bullet weight well, the .44 magnum for example was designed around the standard 240 gr. bullet.
As times progressed someone thought if 240 is good 300 or bigger must be better. At some point I feel you reach a point of diminishing returns. In my .44's I stay between 240 and 255 gr bullet weight and between 300 and 325 gr. weight in my .454. Do you have a preference for your guns?
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:14 PM
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My primary interest is self-defense, so that colors my perspective.

In general, I prefer bullet weights that are medium-to-heavy for caliber, within the standard range. So I like 130-158gr for .38 Special, 147gr for 9mm, and 230gr for .45ACP. I have no interest in ultra-light or ultra-heavy bullets. As you said, there does seem to come a point of diminishing returns when going to one extreme or the other. And especially in semi-autos, that could potentially affect functioning.

Just my opinion.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:42 PM
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Most, if not all guns were designed to shoot a particular bullet weight well

[citation needed]

the .44 magnum for example was designed around the standard 240 gr. bullet.
Keith developed the .44 magnum with a 250 gr. bullet.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:01 PM
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Unless an oddball weight bullet provides a significant increase in accuracy, I doubt there is any "real" advantage in using a 300 grain bullet in a .44 magnum over the 240-250 grain bullet that probably already works very well for any intended use in a .44 Magnum firearm. But there is a "perceived" advantage. That doesn't take into account increased wear and tear on gun and shooter with minimal or no effect on a target. One exception might be retained energy at very long range, something few shooters would ever take advantage of with a handgun.

I think modifying/ improving/ "upgrading" (today's word) is far more prevalent today simply because of the abundant choices we have available. Many assume these changes are improvements when often they are only a step backward or may be impractical. It's difficult for some of us to use something as it comes from the box even though it may work very well as is.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:11 PM
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Just because a designer had a particular projectile weight in mind does not have any bearing on that projectile being the best for the cartridge in question.

In 1935 when the 357 Magnum came out, the ammunition was built around a 158 grain projectile similar to the 38 Special offering of it's time.

in the eighty-five years that have passed since the 357 Magnum's Public debut, metallurgy has improved, ballistic knowledge was gained and new manufacturing techniques came on the scene

In that time we also learned how to put jackets around lead and a new world of projectile performance opened up.

The cartridge with the most 1 shot stops in the history of gun fights is the Remington 125 grain SJHP 357 Magnum. That will someday be exceeded by the 9MM just because of the sheer amount of 9MMs being used these days by Law Enforcement and the Military. Not to mention Today's almost total lack of 357 Magnums in the Law Enforcement world.

In this case a lighter weight projectile than the designer originally envisioned is being used

I carry 125 or 140 grain JHPs in my defensive 357 Magnum sidearms but load up the 180 grain Remingtons into the lever gun if there is Deer nearby

Almost never do I shoot 158 grain 357 Magnum ammunition
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:25 PM
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I too tend to stick to the standard bullet weights per caliber/cartridge.

Unsurprisingly, the standard bullet weights tend to perform the best, receiving optimal penetration as well as reliable expansion with SJWC/JHP bullets.

In my opinion, lighter bullet weights are like +P loads, an attempt to turn a cartridge into something it was never designed to be. I've find it ridiculous when a particular alternative load's selling point is that; "It duplicates the performance of [insert another cartridge here]!" Because to me, if I wanted the performance of a particular cartridge, then I would just buy a firearm chambered in said cartridge.
Granted, there are some exceptions to this like .357 SIG, since it's a semiautomatic pistol cartridge which was intentionally designed to duplicate the performance of a specific .357 Magnum load which is a revolver cartridge. I'm talking about specific loads of existing cartridges like 9mm 124gr +P+ loads or .40 S&W 135gr loads which people praise for being able to duplicate the performance of .357 SIG.

I remember that for awhile when I couldn't afford to buy new guns, I got really interested in loads that could duplicate the performance of other cartridges, specifically overpressure loads like .45 Long Colt loads that matched .44 Magnum, for example, but the more I read into it, the more I realized just how impractical it was since you couldn't actually fire such loads out of just any firearm of hat chambering, you either had to modify the heck out it with more heavy duty parts, or buy an overbuilt gun that could handle the extra pressure, so it just made more sense to buy a new firearm chambered in the actual cartridge rather than soup up a load for an existing cartridge which was never designed to perform that way.
What finally broke me of my interest in performance-duplicating alternate loads was when I started trying to find out specifically what 9mm Luger Load matched .40 S&W/.45 ACP as the FBI claimed, only to find out that it was an overpressure load that folks advised against shooting out of anything buy a duty weapon, at which point I lost all interest, ultimately ended up buying a cheap .40cal pistol for $199, and I'm glad that I did because it has since become my favorite pistol cartridge.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
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Keith developed the .44 magnum with a 250 gr. bullet.
True, but then why are most standard factory loads on store shelves the 240 gr.? You just don't see many offerings in 250 gr, yes there are a few but not an abundance like the 240.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:35 PM
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True, but then why are most standard factory loads on store shelves the 240 gr.? You just don't see many offerings in 250 gr, yes there are a few but not an abundance like the 240.
Depends on the alloy; the Lyman #429421 (maybe the most popular .44 Magnum bullet) may weigh around 240 grains when cast of a hard alloy. When cast of wheelweight or softer alloy the weight will go up to maybe 250 or a little more. When you're talking of bullets in this weight range, that amount of variance due solely from alloy composition isn't of great significance.
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:44 PM
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Depends on the alloy; the Lyman #429421 (maybe the most popular .44 Magnum bullet) may weigh around 240 grains when cast of a hard alloy. When cast of wheelweight or softer alloy the weight will go up to maybe 250 or a little more. When you're talking of bullets in this weight range, that amount of variance due solely from alloy composition isn't of great significance.
True, the difference between 240 and 250 is 10 gr, that is about 1/4 the size of a .22 long rifle bullet, insignificant when discussing .44 or .454 Casull bullets, or others. I don't think 10 grains of lead will make a difference, to the shooter, or receiver.
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Old 11-18-2020, 06:40 PM
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The key design criteria for S&W in designing the .44 Magnum revolver were the increased case length over the .44 Special and the pressure. Yeah, Remington told them their ammo would have a 240 grain bullet, but what do you think S&W did with that information?

I submit: absolutely nothing.
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Old 11-18-2020, 07:27 PM
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158 gr. SWC .38Spec., .357M
240 gr. SWC .44Spec., .44M
200gr. SWC .45ACP
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