Before today, I said I had never been effected by recoil. I have never shot a rifle that kicked hard enough to cause me pain. I said that the worst thing about recoil as far as I was concerned, was listening to other people cry and whine about recoil. It has been obvious, by people's responses to my opinion about recoil, that I must sound cocky and maybe a little arrogant. Then today I got a precious opportunity to shoot the legendary Safari Grade. Before today I said I have never shot a rifle that really kicked hard enough to pay any attention. Well, after today, I am here to tell you all, that I still have not shot a rifle that kicks hard. That Safari Grade was a true pleasure to shoot and handle. The light weight of the rifle had me wondering, but after my first shot and with a big ol'smile on my face, I turned to Flat Top and said "It's a ***** cat!" It is definitely the most powerful rifle I have yet to shoot, but far, I mean far, from being painful or even annoying, just that same ol'444 smile.
With that said, I must admit that I have not shot the full house Safari Grade load. Flat Top says he grabbed the wrong box of loads as he was heading out on the road. The load that I shot was a lighter load that he calles his North American load. We chronied three shots with his BeartoothBullets 405gr North American load - 2136 fps, 2129 fps, and 2116 fps. So, what we have is a Marlin Lever rifle producing a muzzle energy of 4,100 pounds (according to Hornady's Ballistic calculator) and this load is the lighter load. I felt like that pig saying "weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!" The Full House Safari Grade load is close to 100 fps faster, if I am correctly remembering what Flat Top said.
Of the three slugs that we shot into the jugs, we recovered 2 slugs. One of the shots was a little high and to the left (I believe it was me shooting this shot) and escaped out the left side of jugs. Flat Top also fired the Safari Grade through a 3 1/3" thick piece of hard and aged Oak and then into 6 jugs.
Anyways, I have video that is being downloaded as I post this thread. I need to go through that video and do some editing and hopefully I'll be able to post. If water didn't fry the camera again. I haven't seen the video, so I do not know what I have yet.
I also tested my rifle with some more bullet tests with some more interesting results. I'll end this initial report/post by saying
140 JUGS SLAUGHTERED IN NEW RIVER, AZ
more to come
Well folk,, when I first started my tests, some people cried foul. They claimed that water is not a good medium to use for terminal ballistic test. Those people were both right and wrong about that theory. Those folk were right because water and electronics don't mix. ( I am sure that must have been what those people meant) To cut to the chase, the video of the Safari Grade jug test does not exist. I haven't given up all hope yet, but after watching minutes of video thats all tweaking out and going gische, gische, gische, gische, gische,.. you get the idea, a window opens up saying that the media player couldn't read the file and it cant be fixed. There might be a way to get at the footage, but things do not look good at this point.
Sorry guys. Especially to Flat Top who was really wanting video documentation of the test. I have everything else - the results, the bullet slugs, retained weight, expansion, velocity and so on, but no video. I do have video of 3 1/2" Oak block and then jugs footage, but that isn't much consolation.
The main point is I knew better, because the same thing happened the last time. What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result? The sad thing is I know a simple answer - sandwich bag and rubberband is all it would take to save the camera. 30 feet from jugs is no safe place for electronics. The chrony gets funkdefied by the water sometimes as well. I'll compile what I have with pics and post that here. This data will also be added to the second season and a half of the bullet tests. By the way, the Barnes Buster 300 gr bullets arrived today.gotta keep on keeping on. So next series of tests Barnes Buster and RD432-265 and a start to testing bullets in my Ruger Super Blakhawk so I can test these bullets to a whole new low velocity. Most or all of these bullets will be tested in velocity ranges of 1100 to 1500 fps range between lowest velocities to highest velocities. Like 2300 fps to 800 fps for Hornady 265 FP.
I will take pics tomorrow and post by tomorrow afternoon.
Last edited by mt_sourdough; 02-16-2012 at 12:01 AM. Reason: improvement
Can't wait to see the rest of the story. DP
TEAM 444 #187, Team 35 #7, Two Marlin 1894Cs, Remlin 1894C, 1894-44mag, 1952 Marlin 30-30, 1966 Texan 30-30. Glenfield 36G & two 30A's 30-30, 30-30 XLR, 2009 336C, 3- 35rem. 1957, 1975 and 2008, 38-55 CB, M-375, 308 MX, 338MXLR, Two 444Ps, 444SS, 1895 GS, XS-7 22-250, XS-7 7mm-08 AI, XL-7 25-06
Sounds like you guys had a ton of fun and thanks for sharing it with us all.Am wondering if a marine camera might be a good investment for you
Team 444 member #145 -Sure, you can make a small bullet expand but you can't make a big bullet shrink!
Cool deal, thanks for posting.
RIFLE BULLET VELOCITY ENERGY PENETRATION RETAINED
EXPANSION NOTES SAFARI
2136 FPS 4103 ft/lbs THROUGH 11 JUGS 314gr .543" The first 4 jugs were blown away. At 5 jugs deep, where there are three jugs across, all three jugs were blown away. At 6 jugs deep, the center jug was blown away. The bullet was recoverd between 11th and 12th jug. SAFARI
2129 FPS 4076 ft/lbs INTO 11 JUGS 311gr .519" The first 4 jugs were blown away. At 5 jugs deep, where there are three jugs across, all three jugs were blown away. At 6 jugs deep, the center jug was blown away. The bullet was recoverd between 11th and 12th jug. SAFARI
2116 FPS 4026 ft/lbs ESCAPED OUT OF TOP LEFT OF 7TH JUG NO DATA NO DATA My Bad. Bad shot placement. Flat Top says that extreme spreads will get even better when he gets a new custom bullet from Marshall Stanton with the crimp groove in exactly the right place. Right now he is crimping just behind the lowest crimp groove. 444 SS
RANCH DOG 432-350 WHEEL WEIGHT/ WATER QUENCHED 27-28 BHN 2057 FPS 3429 ft/lbs THROUGH 10 JUGS 278gr .500" Bullet weighs a measured 365 gr with my wheel weight, so energy numbers shown reflect the actual weight of bullet. In this test, my RD432-350 in my 22" Ballard barrel, performed very similarly to Safari Grade loads, sorta like someone just dialed everything back a bit. First 4 jugs exploded and gone. 5th jug exploded but remaining in place. Jugs on both side of 5th jug lost caps and some water. 444 SS
WHEEL WEIGHT/ WATER QUENCHED
1652 FPS 2219 ft/lbs THROUGH 10 JUGS 359gr .475" This load is the same bullet as above 432-350, but with a reduced load. The velocity represented is equal to full house load at 150 yards. Performance in jugs was very similar to full house load, but just dialed back. Same length of penetration between the two. The lower velocity test with this bullet just showed a bit less initial less energy transfer. 444 SS
Hornady 265fp/ SuperPerformance Factory Load 2293 FPS 3094 ft/lbs THROUGH 4 JUGS 245gr 1.011" Today, this load wins the most explosive award. The boards on table that hold the first 4 jugs in place, shattered. The impact even sounded different. Kinda like a deep hollow sound. This bullet consistantly penetrates only 4 or 5 jugs, but then you hear about pass throughs with this bullet on Grizzly bears, moose and elk, so that helps to add perspective to all these results. Look at that expansion! 444 SS
RANCH DOG 432-300 WHEEL WEIGHT/AIR COOLED 13-14 BHN 1821 FPS 2172 ft/lbs THROUGH 5 JUGS 289gr w/GC STILL SEATED .785" This load gives a velocity that is equal to where same bullet is at 150 yards from my full house load. The performance in jugs was similar to Hornady 265 Superperformance test, just not as explosive on the front end. I think the results suggest that it is very much worth pursuing this direction, but at this moment, I cant get these air cooled 13-14 bhn bullets to shoot accurately at 100 yards and full kouse loads. Hard cast bullets print .75" on average at 100 yards with this bullet. I think dual density cast bullets may be the holy grail. 444 SS
HORNADY 265 FTX 2229 FPS 2923 ft/Ibs INTO 6TH JUG 179gr .657" The velocity is about max velocity with Hornady FTX and H4198. It gives up about 50 to 70 fps to the Hornady Leverevolution factory load. This is the second time I have run one of these FTX bullets that performed this well. THE FTX BULLET HELD TOGETHER for a second time. I am seeing a trend here showing an improved bullet. I was thinking that it had something to do with cannelures, but this single cannelure bullet held together and performed strongly. Surprising is the fact that Superperformance actually had a more explosive intital energy transfer than the FTX bullet did.
RIFLE BULLET VELOCITY ENERGY PENETRATION RETAINED
EXPANSION NOTES 444 SS
1745 FPS 2028 ft/lbs INTO 6TH JUG 288.8gr .794" This test is just another in a myriad of tests with this bullet at different velocities. This velocity is equal to a full house load at about 100 to 150 yards, depending on full house load. Nothing new to report here, just more stellar performance from the Speer 300gr UNI-COR. 444 SS
1498 FPS 1495 ft/Ibs INTO 7TH JUG 286.2gr .583" Interesting results here. Not much expansion and the jacket petals peeled off. Velocity represents a velocity equal to full house load at about 200 yards or approaching handgun velocities. This was the only test that didn't see all 4 of the first 4 jugs blown away. Three jugs were blown away and fourth was mangled but still on table.
Thanks for testing and posting the results!
I hope Flat Top comes through the Dayton area as I volunteered to shoot the SG444 also!
Team .30-30 #29
Another great report, thank you. I just got 4 boxes of the speer 300 uni cor and looking forward to loading them for my new xlr, but was planning on a lot more speed that the test loads you ran :-)
Pioneer - Team Member # 291
Thanks, you just saved me a bunch of time and money. I've been working on a 300 gr XTP load up for whitetails hogs and bear but judging by you're results looks like I'll stick to the 265 Super preformance or the LEs. I shot 25 of the 300s last week to see which was most accurate and it appears that .4 under max was the ticket was giving one hole groups 1" high at 25 yards ( we only have a pistol range near my house). On paper this should be 2000 fps and blew up 2, 5 gal buckets with the bullet not found and would vaporize single 1 gal jugs. It's fun though to have the tacticalcool guy next to you stop his rat-a-tating to watch you load, quote "cigars" into a lever gun. Then let them shoot it and they look at their AR a little differently. I'm still going to do a penetration test but use 5, 5gal buckets this time. We have a slew of them at my plant from a painting project.