444/44Mag bullet tests
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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    444/44Mag bullet tests

    Have pictures, but add picture icon is missing.

    The same bullet fired out of a 44 Magnum rifle, then fired out of a 444. All loads put together 100 fps below-listed max according to some manual, not chronographed, so FPS could be off a bit. Fired into a matrix of 1.5 inches soaked paper, a piece of 3/8 fiberboard siding and another 16 inches of soaked paper.

    For the 444 tests, another 3/8 piece of fiberboard siding was inserted at 14 inches. The purpose of the board is to simulate substantial bone structure. Given the very different vertical points of impact between 180gr and 300gr bullets, this testing was done at 25 yards.

    The 444 likes to mangle bullets, so rather than try to measure the expanded diameter/area, choose to measure the width of hole permanently placed into the paper which I will call the wound channel. The maximum width of this is usually about 4 inches into the test material, and is about 6 inches in length, tapering back down to bore diameter as the bullet slows. Rifles used were a microgroove 444 and a Ruger 77/44. Paper was replaced all the time, after soaking/saturated at 36 hours. Note holes in the first board, the larger holes are the hollow points starting to expand. That board frequently shear the hollow point bullets and influenced their behavior. Have noted from past tests, later when using the bullets on deer, about 9 inches of penetration is needed to shot thru whitetail at reasonable shot angles.

    Note, with many bullets the 44 Magnum outperforms the 444 for both penetration and wound cavity. Beleive the 444 velocity exceeds the ability of the bullet to retain ideal terminal performance, generally giving up 20% more bullet weight...

    Special notes; Putting JB Weld into a hollowpoint and letting it cure, effectively turns it into a soft point. Misplaced one of the plugged bullets, but do have the tests results. The 265gr FTX and 265gr SP are very different bullets in effect. The 265gr SP went deep to 13 inches with the longest wound cavity of any bullet tested. The 265 FTX went one inch deeper, it started early with a huge initial expansion into the first board, but apparently sheared it mushroom on the board, from there providing a relatively narrow wound channel. Without the tough board, the FTX would have probably retained a very large mushroom/wound cavity, but substantially less penetration.

    The 270gr Speer Deep Curl as a 444 bullet provides great penetration but losses a lot of weight. The 300gr Sierra goes deep but comes apart. The 300gr Hornady HP does very well, and would probably be perfect plugged. The 240gr Swift was the overall winner, giving best penetration and wound cavity, the 280gr version of this bullet should be even better.

    Load Bullet FPS Penetration Wound Cavity Recovered Weight grains

    1 444 300gr Sierra 1900 14 .75 269
    1 44M 300gr Sierra 1300 16+ .429 not recovered

    2 444 300gr Hornady 1900 14 3.0 188
    2 44M 300gr hornady 1300 13 2.0 271

    3 444 270gr Speer DC 2100 16 2.25 143 thru both boards
    3 44M 270gr Speer DC 1600 10.5 1.5 269

    4 444 265gr Horn SP 2100 13 2.25 258 long wound channel
    4 44M 265gr Horn SP 1600 16 1.25 258

    5 444 265gr Horn FTX 2100 14 1.5 196
    5 44M 265gr Horn FTX 1600 15 2.0 232

    6 444 240gr Rem Fac 2250 11 1.0 223 Rem factory load
    6 44M 240gr Win SP 1750 13 1.75 231 Win factory load

    7 444 240gr Horn XTP 2200 6.0 3.0 151 coyote bomb
    7 44M 240gr Horn XTP 1700 10 2.0 191

    8 444 240gr Horn XTP 2200 9.0 1.75 plugged XTP lost bullet
    8 44M 240gr Horn XTP 1700 12 1.5 204 plugged XTP

    9 444 240gr Speer SP 2200 10 2.75 199 Speer 4457
    9 44M 240gr Speer SP 1700 10 1.5 233 Speer 4457

    10 444 240gr Speer DC 2200 12 1.75 121, bullet fragged
    10 44M 240gr Speer DC 1700 11 1.5 238

    11 444 240gr Swift 2200 17 3.0 202 thru 2nd board
    11 44M 240gr Swift 1700 13 2.0 217

    12 444 240gr Rem HP 2200 9 3.0 150
    12 44M 240gr Rem HP 1700 9 2.0 155

    13 444 200gr Horn XTP 2500? 5.5 2.0 140
    13 44M 200gr Horn XTP 2,000 8.0 2.25 152

    14 44M 180gr Horn XTP 2,100? 7.0 3.0 126 coyote bomb

    Pictures located a few threads down
    Last edited by graymustang; 01-03-2018 at 06:31 PM.
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  2. #2
    Gun Wizard
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    When I can get into this will space out the chart to make it easier to read and add pcitures of fired bullets.
    Ret_Eng, edcknives, Vooch and 1 others like this.
    "Should have put more dirt down, saw it right off." Bear Claw in Jeremiah Johnson



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    Thanks graymustang! Very interesting results and very informative!
    Vooch, edcknives and Ruga Booga like this.
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  5. #4
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    Thanks for sharing the results of your hard work!

    Interesting that the 265 gr FTX looks to shine in the .44 Mag, even though it was designed for the .444.
    Do you think it would be a good load for a Marlin 1894?





    Vooch

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
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  6. #5
    Gun Wizard
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    Ran the same test on the 44 Magnum, years ago but did not keep the data, really just checking out some bullets before hunting them. In that test and this, upon approaching the target, noted material puched back out thru the entry whole, the only other bullet to do that is the Speer 4457. Anyway, the 265gr FTX did very well in that test as well, so would think it should work very well as a 44 magnum bullet. It appears to be the 44 Magnum bullet of choice, with the 240gr Swift in the 444.
    Last edited by graymustang; 01-03-2018 at 06:11 PM.
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  7. #6
    Gun Wizard
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    Pictures that go with bullet tests.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Should have put more dirt down, saw it right off." Bear Claw in Jeremiah Johnson



  8. #7
    Gun Wizard
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    Thanks for posting this, good info and I would have never thought of putting JB weld into a hollow point to change its characteristics. I have my own bullet performance test coming up in a couple of days hopefully I can post results then.
    edcknives, graymustang and Vooch like this.

  9. #8
    Gun Wizard
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    What I really learned from this, you cannot judge by expanded bullet diameter alone. Many of the largest wound cavities were produced by bullets that did not have the largest classic mushrooms. And some of the bullets which penetrated deepest had the widest mushrooms. It is some combination of these two design factors that define the winners
    CWT, edcknives, VinceA and 3 others like this.
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  10. #9
    Deadeye
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    I'm glad the 265g SP tested well since I just ordered some for my 444.
    graymustang likes this.
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  11. #10
    Gun Wizard
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    I was wondering how the 240gr A-frame would work? I tested the 300gr A-frame and it is my favorite jacketed bullet in the 444, but sometimes the lighter bullets are more softly constructed.
    Like with the Sierra 300gr Sportsmaster compared to the 240gr Sportsmaster. The 300 gr uses a core that is made of hardened lead that is 15bhn. I never had the jacket separate in my tests but performed like a jacketed cast bullet at 444 velocities and like a solid at handgun velocities. The 240gr Sportsmaster was a totally different beast. It doesn't use the hardened alloy core like the 300gr and it just splatters as 444 velocities.
    Good stuff.
    vt4ster and Vooch like this.
    Oh...Give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and antelope play.


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