Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Reloading All Reloading Topics Go Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-22-2021, 11:08 PM
Dragonwing Dragonwing is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: NE Washington state.
Posts: 39
Likes: 45
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Default 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting

I've noticed in some previous posts that alot of you are using cast bullets for hunting. Last week at our board meeting (Inland Northwest Wildlife Council), we had a seminar on the effects of lead used in hunting. We all know about it when it comes to waterfowl but they showed us the problems lead has regarding big game bullets. That included copper jacketed ammo. Their X-Ray photos showed lead fragments scattered throughout several different animals. They say it's a growing concern with wildlife agencies here in the Pacific Northwest. I'm not looking to be political, but to inquire if anyone uses the solid copper bullets in their hunting handloads. We have a few board members who have been reloading them for a few years with excellent results. They were talking rifle loads, and said they wouldn't to back to conventional bullets. Has anyone used solid copper bullets for their hunting handloads?
PS: What grain and what style cast bullets do you use?

Last edited by Dragonwing; 02-22-2021 at 11:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #2  
Old 02-22-2021, 11:50 PM
LittleCooner's Avatar
LittleCooner LittleCooner is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 1,037
Likes: 1,555
Liked 1,416 Times in 552 Posts
Default

I have been using solid copper on deer and elk for 26-27 years in the rifles. I can not provide a report on deer from a hand gun that you desire, but have a nice load worked up for my 44 mag using the Barnes solid copper 200 grain bullets. For two years now, I just can not get a good shot on one of our whitetails. I do believe they will preform above and beyond what the jacketed lead core bullets on shots placed in the correct spot of the lung area. I do not expect to ever hunt with the lead again. I hope I can post a photo and report this fall.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:00 AM
CB3's Avatar
CB3 CB3 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,615
Likes: 1,462
Liked 2,089 Times in 806 Posts
Default

I am familiar with the Barnes Bullets all copper hollow point handgun bullets, now also available in loaded ammo. I worked for Barnes for five years.

They are excellent, consistently expanding performers that retain their weight, penetrate straight and deep. They are long for their weight because copper is less dense than lead, so you need a 1/20 twist barrel. Copper is also more expensive than lead, but the increase in terminal performance justifies the cost. It is common to find that a lighter weight all-copper HP Barnes bullet will outperform a heavier lead jacketed bullet.

This link shows loading data for three different copper bullet weights.
https://www.barnesbullets.com/wp-con...44-Rem-Mag.pdf

The Barnes VOR-TX line of loaded ammo is very high quality. In .44 mag they offer their mid-weight 225 bullet @ 1275 FPS. with 762 ft lbs energy at the muzzle. As with all Barnes Bullets, expect 90%+ expansion (to .85”).
VOR-TX Hunting Handgun - Barnes Bullets

Barnes was making all copper hunting bullets long before the current concern over lead bullets reared its ugly head, but this reality has been going on since the first musket balls were fired at game. We live in a different time.

There are many excellent jacketed lead loads, especially in .44 REM Mag. But if you go the way cf our dear California brothers in arms, all copper bullets are a solid option.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #4  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:03 AM
Dragonwing Dragonwing is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: NE Washington state.
Posts: 39
Likes: 45
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCooner View Post
I have been using solid copper on deer and elk for 26-27 years in the rifles. I can not provide a report on deer from a hand gun that you desire, but have a nice load worked up for my 44 mag using the Barnes solid copper 200 grain bullets. For two years now, I just can not get a good shot on one of our whitetails. I do believe they will preform above and beyond what the jacketed lead core bullets on shots placed in the correct spot of the lung area. I do not expect to ever hunt with the lead again. I hope I can post a photo and report this fall.
I'm shooting my 629 Classic DX with 6.5" barrel, topped with a Vortex Venom. The shots from my tree stand will all be under 65 yards. What powder are you using?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:11 AM
CB3's Avatar
CB3 CB3 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,615
Likes: 1,462
Liked 2,089 Times in 806 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonwing View Post
I'm shooting my 629 Classic DX with 6.5" barrel, topped with a Vortex Venom. The shots from my tree stand will all be under 65 yards. What powder are you using?
Perfect set up. Youíll do fine.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:21 AM
LittleCooner's Avatar
LittleCooner LittleCooner is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 1,037
Likes: 1,555
Liked 1,416 Times in 552 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonwing View Post
I'm shooting my 629 Classic DX What powder are you using?
I just posted my load in the other thread. I am using 23.5 grains of Vihtavouri H 110 in Starline brass with the 200 grain TAC-XP bullets. In my 29-2 with 6.5 inch barrel, they are running 1400, actual average of five was 1403 fps.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:26 AM
LittleCooner's Avatar
LittleCooner LittleCooner is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Northeast Alabama
Posts: 1,037
Likes: 1,555
Liked 1,416 Times in 552 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
It is common to find that a lighter weight all-copper HP Barnes bullet will outperform a heavier lead jacketed bullet.
25+ years and about 50-60 Whitetail deer have proved to me that this is a very true statement. And 30-35 of those deer never moved from their tracks. They are a definite "next level up" from the jacketed lead bullets we have used for decades. Barnes had a "better mousetrap"
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #8  
Old 02-23-2021, 01:40 AM
Dragonwing Dragonwing is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: NE Washington state.
Posts: 39
Likes: 45
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Default I'm

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCooner View Post
I just posted my load in the other thread. I am using 23.5 grains of Vihtavouri H 110 in Starline brass with the 200 grain TAC-XP bullets. In my 29-2 with 6.5 inch barrel, they are running 1400, actual average of five was 1403 fps.
Now if I could just find some of that powder and the bullets I'd be a happy man. The only powders I have, starting with the most are:
11.5 lbs of W231
4 lbs Unique
4lbs CFE
3.75 lbs WSF
I'll have to see if I have anything close, and just keep looking. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-23-2021, 03:57 AM
nate-dogg's Avatar
nate-dogg nate-dogg is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 543
Likes: 1,910
Liked 1,800 Times in 333 Posts
Default

I know you specified hand loads, but I can say that I use the factory Barnes solid copper in 30-06 and 500 Magnum with great expansion and weight retention. I'm sure if you could find the Barnes solid copper projectiles and loaded your own they would have similar results to the factory loads.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-23-2021, 10:50 AM
tominboise tominboise is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boise, Idaho, 83706
Posts: 201
Likes: 202
Liked 243 Times in 104 Posts
Default

Not any with a handgun but I have killed a very large Shiras moose here in Idaho using a 7mm Rem Mag and a 139gr Hornady GMX all copper bullet. Range was about 80 yards and the bullet went through the lungs and stopped in the opposite shoulder. I thought it worked perfectly.
__________________
Regards,

Tom
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #11  
Old 02-23-2021, 11:55 AM
smithra_66 smithra_66 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 84
Likes: 1
Liked 114 Times in 47 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nate-dogg View Post
I know you specified hand loads, but I can say that I use the factory Barnes solid copper in 30-06 and 500 Magnum with great expansion and weight retention. I'm sure if you could find the Barnes solid copper projectiles and loaded your own they would have similar results to the factory loads.
Be careful comparing rifle bullets to handgun bullets though.

Rifles kill with velocity and shock, and something like the 30-06 has plenty of velocity to get reliable expansion.

For handguns, you should figure on never having expansion. They are too low in velocity to count on it, and that's why people choose solids for handgun hunting. A good cast bullet with sharp shoulder maximizes frontal area (Elmer Keith school of thought), and THAT's what handguns kill with. Punching a 44 or 45 caliber hole clean through.

I'm sure a copper solid would work fine but you're going to be encroaching into the boiler room more than with a lead slug, therefore you'd need to adjust your powder charge and likely get lower velocity per the same pressure.

I think after hundreds and hundreds of years of people shooting animals with all-lead projectiles, eating them, and living to tell their story, you're probably going to be fine.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #12  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:20 PM
CB3's Avatar
CB3 CB3 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,615
Likes: 1,462
Liked 2,089 Times in 806 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithra_66 View Post
Be careful comparing rifle bullets to handgun bullets though.

Rifles kill with velocity and shock, and something like the 30-06 has plenty of velocity to get reliable expansion.

For handguns, you should figure on never having expansion. They are too low in velocity to count on it, and that's why people choose solids for handgun hunting. A good cast bullet with sharp shoulder maximizes frontal area (Elmer Keith school of thought), and THAT's what handguns kill with. Punching a 44 or 45 caliber hole clean through.

I think after hundreds and hundreds of years of people shooting animals with all-lead projectiles, eating them, and living to tell their story, you're probably going to be fine.
Velocity is not what kills; it is the enhanced terminal performance of the bullet. If a modern bullet is designed to expand reliably at a range from 1,000 FPS to 1,500 FPS, it will expand within that envelope, whether from a handgun or rifle. The broad statement that handgun bullets do not expand (because of their lower velocity) is absolutely incorrect. Most hunting rifle bullets are expanding bullets to increase wounding potential. Their operating FPS envelope is just higher. Expanding bullets are known to be favored over non-expanding bullets except in a few defined instances where even deeper penetration is more important. No deer ever needed that treatment.

The greater wounding effect of expanding bullets, along with sufficient penetration, is undeniable. Properly designed bullets do their job. A 200, 220 or 300 grain Barnes .44 mag expands as designed consistently and is as good, or better, than many other handgun bullets and even some poorly designed rifle bullets, especially if they non-expanding. Punching a smaller .44 diameter hole clean through a game animal does not have greater wounding (killing) potential than a fully expanded, high rpm propeller-like 80 caliber bullet punching through an animal to just under the hide on the far side.

As to lead consumption, the bigger argument in California was that raptors eat gut piles containing lead, and the raptors die of lead poisoning. This is true to some extent. However, many other factors contribute to declines in animal populations, not just lead exposure.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #13  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:41 PM
smithra_66 smithra_66 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 84
Likes: 1
Liked 114 Times in 47 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CB3 View Post
Velocity is not what kills; it is the enhanced terminal performance of the bullet. If a modern bullet is designed to expand reliably at a range from 1,000 FPS to 1,500 FPS, it will expand within that envelope, whether from a handgun or rifle. The broad statement that handgun bullets do not expand (because of their lower velocity) is absolutely incorrect. Most hunting rifle bullets are expanding bullets to increase wounding potential. Their operating FPS envelope is just higher. Expanding bullets are known to be favored over non-expanding bullets except in a few defined instances where even deeper penetration is more important. No deer ever needed that treatment.

The greater wounding effect of expanding bullets, along with sufficient penetration, is undeniable. Properly designed bullets do their job. A 200, 220 or 300 grain Barnes .44 mag expands as designed consistently and is as good, or better, than many other handgun bullets and even some poorly designed rifle bullets, especially if they non-expanding. Punching a smaller .44 diameter hole clean through a game animal does not have greater wounding (killing) potential than a fully expanded, high rpm propeller-like 80 caliber bullet punching through an animal to just under the hide on the far side.

As to lead consumption, the bigger argument in California was that raptors eat gut piles containing lead, and the raptors die of lead poisoning. This is true to some extent. However, many other factors contribute to declines in animal populations, not just lead exposure.
I guess you have not read Elmer Keith or Ross Seyfried over the past 50 years.

Cast or other solid bullets are the way to go in handgun hunting for the same reason they are the choice against large African game in rifles.

You want to punch a hole in your target and handguns don't have the shock factor that rifles do and can depend on for hunting big game.

I had a Hornady XTP blow up on the shoulder of a whitetail many years ago. Hit it so hard that it flipped the deer over but it got up and ran away. I've since switch to solids and never had that problem again.

Even a 44 mag just doesn't have the shock factor to rely on hollow point bullets....and in the case of the XTP, it was designed too light because it needs to expand on the meager velocities that the 44 mag can produce! So it's actually the opposite of what you said...

Handguns kill with frontal area. Rifles kill with velocity.

See: 223 Rem vs. 45 ACP in a self defense situation. The 223 has the same diameter as a 22 LR....but it's WAYYYY faster. It causes WAAAYYYY more destruction. Even more than the big 45, which is also no slouch in self defense situations. The 45 is slower than the 22 LR but it causes WAAAAYYY more destruction. It's because it's way bigger diameter.

Velocity kills and frontal area kills. Rifles have LOTS of velocity and relatively little frontal area. Handguns have LOTS of frontal area and relatively little velocity. Use the bullet that accentuates either situation.

Last edited by smithra_66; 02-23-2021 at 12:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 02-23-2021, 12:59 PM
Rpg Rpg is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Denver area
Posts: 4,845
Likes: 15,529
Liked 9,875 Times in 3,120 Posts
Default

I used the Barnes all copper bullet handloaded in 350 Remington Magnum on a couple deer in 1990. They worked well, but certainly no better than more traditionally constructed bullets.

The biggest drawback was the reduction in case capacity resulting from the homogeneous Barnes bullet necessitating a lot of fiddling to develop a load that performed well with the over long, relatively light bullets.

Iím much happier with more traditionally constructed bullets.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #15  
Old 02-23-2021, 02:59 PM
dave1918a2's Avatar
dave1918a2 dave1918a2 is offline
US Veteran
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Aurora, CO.
Posts: 1,332
Likes: 1,026
Liked 1,881 Times in 783 Posts
Default

I hunt with a .475 Linebaugh using a cast 430 gr long flat nose by LBT. I cast them out of wheelweights and linotype and quench them. I have been eating game shot with lead since I was old enough to hunt. Still cooking @ 75.
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #16  
Old 02-23-2021, 03:09 PM
Dragonwing Dragonwing is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: NE Washington state.
Posts: 39
Likes: 45
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Default

Great conversations here. This is why these forums are so important and informational. You get information from years of personal experience and different results and points of view. It gives you choices to try and see what might work one person, doesn't work for another. It's important to gather as much information you can and see what might work best for you and your personal situation. I appreciate all of you sharing your many years of experience. Thank you.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #17  
Old 02-23-2021, 06:03 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Harlem, Ohio
Posts: 9,744
Likes: 13,039
Liked 15,255 Times in 5,541 Posts
Default

This to explain the counter point! I do not use any solid copper bullets! When Barns came out with the Varmint Grenade, a solid copper varmint hunting bullet for rifles. I bought 6mm and the two weights of 22 caliber bullets. They weigh less per volume (or length) than lead core bullets, so they are suppose to stabilize in the standard rifling for cartridges. I could not find an accurate load in 223, 22-250 or 22BR with the 36 grain or for the 22 Hornet with the 30 grain bullet. I called Barns and talked to the people in their ballistics department. They gave me loads that hadn't been published at that time and assured me they were astoundingly accurate loads!, I ask for the particulars on the test rifles or test barrels they used, you know, common info like brand and model and rate of twist! Not one cartridge had any data ascribed to it! Every one was a dismal failure!!! So I called two of my rifles manufactures, Cooper and Savage to see if they had any suggestions. With Cooper I had my rifles caliber, model, and serial number handy, but when they found out I was using solid copper bullets, they said they had not been able to get satisfactory accuracy from any brand, weight, or caliber! When I called Savage, they were not as detailed but basically said the same thing!

The purpose of a hunting/varmint bullet is to kill, and to kill humanely! To do that they MUST hit where aimed consistently! With the lead core poly tipped bullets I use for varmint hunting, I get .25 to .5 MOA groups out to 300 yards of the larger centerfires and .25 MOA out to 150 yards on the Hornet. The best I could find from my rifles was 3 MOA! That is 6 to 12 times larger groups in the same guns! This is all 10+ year old data, because I refuse to go in the field with something so prone to failure!

Please Note; I do not hunt in California or on Federal land, where they both require nontoxic projectiles.

Ivan
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #18  
Old 02-23-2021, 06:38 PM
SMSgt SMSgt is online now
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,668
Likes: 1,317
Liked 3,201 Times in 1,401 Posts
Default

I can remember living in Spokane and they kept the California influence trapped west of the Cascades pass.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-23-2021, 06:51 PM
CB3's Avatar
CB3 CB3 is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Utah
Posts: 1,615
Likes: 1,462
Liked 2,089 Times in 806 Posts
Default

Ivan—
The Barnes Varmint grenade was never a solid copper bullet. It was sintered material encased in copper gilding. It required a faster twist for stabilization than similar weight bullets because it was longer. There are challenges to loading copper bullets, including case capacity. However, there is a significant amount of data available for such loads, and there has been for more than a decade. There are numerous factors that can adversely effect accuracy. My experience has been that it is usually not the bullet.

Barnes had a similar bullet for larger calibers called the MPG. I bought a Savage 110 .308 for an antelope hunt in 2011. While working for Barnes my buddies in the lab custom loaded an MPG that grouped under 3/8” for 10 rounds at 100 yards from my factory rifle.

Our customer service folks often received calls not for help but just to vent about how accurate various Barnes Bullets were. The engineers at Barnes knew (know) their ballistics. They have brought many significant new products to the market. It is possible you got some of the earliest product of that product line and it was not yet understood by those unfamiliar with it.

Having talked to literally thousands of people at SHOT Shows and other trade shows, I will acknowledge that a minute percentage of shooters are challenged to make Barnes bullets work for them. However, Barnes is a successful, often copied, growing business because its products are accurate, reliable and predictable. If everyone had your experiences, Barnes would not be in business today.

There are many good lead based bullets out there that are accurate, reasonable in cost, easy to load and work well. Barnes bullets are available as a choice in most instances, not intended as a competition to make other bullet designs obsolete.

Solid copper hollow point bullets, now copied regularly by competitors who had to wait for Barnes’ patent to expire, are known for excellent performance in the types of hunting to which the OP was referring.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-24-2021, 01:32 AM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 632
Likes: 335
Liked 296 Times in 187 Posts
Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleCooner View Post
I just posted my load in the other thread. I am using 23.5 grains of Vihtavouri H 110 in Starline brass with the 200 grain TAC-XP bullets. In my 29-2 with 6.5 inch barrel, they are running 1400, actual average of five was 1403 fps.
Would that be "N110"...?

Jus'askin'...?

Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-24-2021, 03:43 AM
Oracle's Avatar
Oracle Oracle is offline
US Veteran
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Selah, Washington
Posts: 615
Likes: 1,964
Liked 1,015 Times in 369 Posts
Default

Hello from Central Washington, I am a bow hunter but I pack a model 629, 6.5" barrel 44 magnum loaded with Underwood 220 grain solid copper Xtreme Penetrator rounds. A couple of years ago one of my hunting camp members was attacked by a cougar. He had his bow, no gun. His first shot had the cougar at ten yards and he missed, his next shot had the cougar at ten feet and he connected.

Now all of us pack a gun in the woods.
Attached Thumbnails
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting-img_0345-jpg  
__________________
U.S. Coast Guard, retired CPO
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-27-2021, 12:08 AM
Kyler Hamann's Avatar
Kyler Hamann Kyler Hamann is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central Coast of CA
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I’ve guided on the Central Coast of California since 1988. Over those decades I’ve been fortunate to help my clients take a couple thousand animals. Mostly feral pigs, with a few deer mixed in. Since the age of 16 it’s been pretty rare that I haven’t had some sort of 29, 629 or (more recently) 329 with me. Though it’s rare to get charged by an angry wounded boar, if you’re on enough hunts it happens once in a while. Therefore I try to never guide without a .44 Mag in a shoulder holster (but I’ve strayed a bit to use the 10mm here and there).

While I have huge respect for the penetration and accuracy of the TSX and TTSX Barnes rifle bullets, I’ve had TERRIBLE results with the Barnes handgun bullets on pigs and deer. They are plenty accurate enough, but in my opinion the hollow point is much too large and they expand TOO QUICKLY – therefore not penetrating nearly deep enough to dependably kill humanely (especially if you hit a lot of bone).

Due to guiding in the condor zone, I was forced to switch to nonlead bullets clear back in 2008, so I’ve had many miserable experiences with poor penetration from the Barnes handgun bullets (again, NOT the rifle bullets – they’re the opposite extreme in the penetration department). I don’t recall ever having even a hot loaded .44 Mag Barnes bullet exit – no matter how far or how close the shot has been. And I’ve had a couple instances where the penetration was so poor that the resulting events were downright dangerous – with not putting down the animal in a timely manner. Generally I’m a big Barnes rifle bullet fan, but they have let big game hunters down with their design of their handgun bullets. For over ten years I’ve expressed this concern to them, but now I’ve given up complaining since there has never been any response and so few people seem to hunt with them.

There are VERY few other legal options for handgun hunters in CA.

CEB offers a very expensive 200 gr. bullet that is on the legally approved list. But they are pre-cut and designed to allow the petals to shear off – likely leaving you with a lowly 180 gr. .44 diameter slug tumbling along. I’m not real comfortable with that option, but I haven’t used them enough to give them a thorough try.

The best option in my opinion is the now discontinued Magtech 200 gr Solid Copper Hollow Point. They might still be available in factory loads (low velocity and poor accuracy in my experience), but haven’t been available to reloaders for several years. In my experience they have penetrated MUCH better than Barnes and retained their original weight. I attribute this better penetration to a much thicker wall to the cooper hollow point, allowing them to penetrate further before fully expanding (and stopping like the Barnes does). Because of my frustration with the other options I’ve searched to the ends of the earth and squirreled away enough Magtech bullets for reloading to keep me covered, but I keep hoping someone will come up with other usable options.

Why someone doesn't make an all copper handgun bullet with a smaller hollow point for big game is beyond me. It wouldn't cost any more to manufacture and it would weigh more while being the same length - win-win.

Bottom line: If you’re planning to hunt big game with the current Barnes handgun bullets you may get sadly inadequate penetration, even with maximum loads. How I wish I could go back to carrying a simple 240gr. jacketed soft point that typically penetrated from one end to the other of an angry boar and mushroomed consistently.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #23  
Old 02-27-2021, 12:20 AM
Kyler Hamann's Avatar
Kyler Hamann Kyler Hamann is offline
Member
44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting 44 mag solid copper bullets for hunting  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Central Coast of CA
Posts: 25
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I should mention that the Xtreme Penetrators might be an answer to my penetration complaints, but as the law has been interpreted to me they are not considered to be "expanding" and therefore not legal for big game hunting in CA. There are a couple other solid (non hollow point) nonlead (copper and brass) .44 bullets out there that have more weight, but again aren't on the list to allow us to hunt with them.

Still keeping my fingers crossed for other legal options in the future.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
WTS - Remington Copper Solid Sabot 12 ga. Slugs Paul1948A Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 0 02-08-2015 04:53 PM
Solid Copper .45 Ammo - paper weights, key chains... JordonC2 Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 0 06-14-2013 11:59 AM
Solid copper bullets v. lead reerc Ammo 16 04-02-2011 11:11 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:40 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2021 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)