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Range Report - 200gr FTX in a .357 Mag TC Contender

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  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    Based on the weather it might be a frozen newsprint test... looks like fun!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Based on the weather it might be a frozen newsprint test... looks like fun!

    D

    Tomorrow is forecast cold and windy, but Wednesday is supposed to be 60s and sunny. I'll test Wednesday as I have found that when you're cold and shaking like a dog passing a peach pit sideways that groups tend to open up a bit.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    You gonna shoot at 25 yards for accuracy, right? Just so we can stay consistent?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    You gonna shoot at 25 yards for accuracy, right? Just so we can stay consistent?

    Yup. Gonna do sight in and accuracy shooting at 25 yards. I'll be doing the expansion test at 50 unless you'd rather that be done at 25, too. If the bullet expands I intend to use it next year to harvest a doe and the longest shot I'll get is 70 yards more or less. I could do the expansion at 25 and 50 yards just because, too.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Yup. Gonna do sight in and accuracy shooting at 25 yards. I'll be doing the expansion test at 50 unless you'd rather that be done at 25, too. If the bullet expands I intend to use it next year to harvest a doe and the longest shot I'll get is 70 yards more or less. I could do the expansion at 25 and 50 yards just because, too.

    I did my expansion tests at 50 yards. I figured 25 was too close and wouldn't be a field worthy test. Had it expanded at 50 yards, I'd have tried further (75?) just to see when it stopped performing. But, I obviously never got that far.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    This other "mad scientist" in a white lab coat is doing some interesting things with his Handi-Rifle.
    Scroll down the page and see his photo & drawing of loaded rounds he's played with. The 200 grain bullets are seated "way out there".
    That would effectively increase the combustion chamber & yield performance of the 357 maximum range. His rifle really has a l-o-n-g throat!
    It's an interesting read.


    http://www.metalsmithpro.com/357MagnumRifle.htm

    His drawing reflects his philosophy of getting more out of a magnum case in his long throated Handi-Rifle. That's basically what I've done with
    my contender barrel & 180 grain bullets. I seat them way out & increase combustion chamber size to approach Maximum levels.
    This is not a recommendation, but just an observation.

    357magMaxi.jpg
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    shooter wrote: »
    This other "mad scientist" in a white lab coat is doing some interesting things with his Handi-Rifle.
    Scroll down the page and see his photo & drawing of loaded rounds he's played with. The 200 grain bullets are seated "way out there".
    That would effectively increase the combustion chamber & yield performance of the 357 maximum range. His rifle really has a l-o-n-g throat!
    It's an interesting read.


    http://www.metalsmithpro.com/357MagnumRifle.htm

    His drawing reflects his philosophy of getting more out of a magnum case in his long throated Handi-Rifle. That's basically what I've done with
    my contender barrel & 180 grain bullets. I seat them way out & increase combustion chamber size to approach Maximum levels.
    This is not a recommendation, but just an observation.

    357magMaxi.jpg

    Makes perfect sense and hence 1400 fps... great stuff!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Finished shooting the loads for the rifle this afternoon. I'll do the penetration and expansion test tomorrow.

    First, here's the rifle. It started out as a NEF 20 ga. shotgun, but underwent an operation that changed it into a .357 Magnum rifle with an 18.5" barrel.

    002_zpsa08778de.jpg

    H110 Loads:

    14.8 grains Velocity 1498, 1471 1483 Group size 2.100 vertical string
    14.9 grains Velocity 1427, 1488, 1436 Group size 0.620
    15.0 grains Velocity 1419, 1458, 1450 Group size 0.590
    15.1 grains Velocity 1433, 1473, 1483 Group size 0.910
    15.2 grains Velocity 1504, 1506, 1471 Group size 0.850
    15.3 grains Velocity 1499, 1474, 1471 Group size 1.060 (Extraction of spent cases hard and primers starting to flatten.

    Picture of H110 groups:

    004_zps79f11577.jpg

    Lil' Gun Loads:

    14.7 grains Velocity 1568, 1564, 1591 Group size 0.550
    14.8 grains Velocity 1555, 1583, 1589 Group size 0.460
    14.9 grains Velocity 1591, 1591, 1587 Group size 0.550 (I messed up writing on target)
    15.0 grains Velocity 1577, 1566, 1589 Group size 0.840
    15.1 grains Velocity 1585, 1591, 1598 Group size 0.840
    15.2 grains Velocity 1587, 1610, 1592 Group size 0.390 !!!!!!!I like this one a LOT!!!!!

    003_zps50df9402.jpg

    Lil' Gun behaved well and gave pretty consistent velocities and group sizes. My rifle likes it. My rifle does NOT like H110.

    Edit to add: Range was 25 yards muzzle to target, and chronograph 10 feet in front of muzzle to front screen.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    I got an old Remington model 8 (my grandpa's) that I intend to shoot a black bear with this fall. If you could set aside a few for me when I come down in May, I would appreciate it.

    Take care of that baby. A Model 8 in 35 Rem. was a hell of a rifle back in the day, and come to think of it it's still pretty potent Bear or Hog medicine.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Lil' Gun Loads:

    14.7 grains Velocity 1568, 1564, 1591 Group size 0.550
    14.8 grains Velocity 1555, 1583, 1589 Group size 0.460
    14.9 grains Velocity 1591, 1591, 1587 Group size 0.550 (I messed up writing on target)
    15.0 grains Velocity 1577, 1566, 1589 Group size 0.840
    15.1 grains Velocity 1585, 1591, 1598 Group size 0.840
    15.2 grains Velocity 1587, 1610, 1592 Group size 0.390 !!!!!!!I like this one a LOT!!!!!

    003_zps50df9402.jpg

    Lil' Gun behaved well and gave pretty consistent velocities and group sizes. My rifle likes it. My rifle does NOT like H110.

    Edit to add: Range was 25 yards muzzle to target, and chronograph 10 feet in front of muzzle to front screen.

    I have been looking everywhere for Lil' Gun and cannot find it. Clearly it is approaching .357 Maximum loads and I am betting with the round nose / soft lead you will get deformation that is acceptable. Fun!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    I have been looking everywhere for Lil' Gun and cannot find it. Clearly it is approaching .357 Maximum loads and I am betting with the round nose / soft lead you will get deformation that is acceptable. Fun!

    D

    Lil' Gun is my 'go to' powder for several calibers. And it does pretty danged good in .410 shotshells, too. I try to keep at least 4 lbs. on hand. It's a lot like IMR 4064 in versatility.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    Excellent! What does Hornady list the velocity threshold for that bullet at?

    I had to call them to get mine.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Excellent! What does Hornady list the velocity threshold for that bullet at?

    I had to call them to get mine.

    I don't know what the velocity threshold is for that bullet. I'm going to shoot some water filled jugs tomorrow and see if it will expand. That particular box of bullets I have are from the late 70's, but they still make them. They are great for deer and black bear from a .35 Rem.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I got the sawdust filled plastic coffee cans soaking in a tub of water in the back of the truck. Supposed to rain tomorrow morning, and clear off in the afternoon. If it clears off, I'll do the 50 yard expansion test.

    Would have done it today but I had to go to town to shop for a birthday present for my grandniece that turns 13 next week. Shopping for a present for boyz is easy; shopping for a present for girlz is hard.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    :popcorn:
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    I got the sawdust filled plastic coffee cans soaking in a tub of water in the back of the truck. Supposed to rain tomorrow morning, and clear off in the afternoon. If it clears off, I'll do the 50 yard expansion test.

    Would have done it today but I had to go to town to shop for a birthday present for my grandniece that turns 13 next week. Shopping for a present for boyz is easy; shopping for a present for girlz is hard.

    LOL shopping for a 13 year old is easy, just give her money and you will be her favorite. That or a boot knife, and derringer... no wait.. maybe a rifle.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Got 10 more rounds loaded with 15.1 grains of Lil' Gun. Heading out in a bit to get sighted in at 50 yards and then shoot the waterlogged sawdust in the coffee cans.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Got 10 more rounds loaded with 15.1 grains of Lil' Gun. Heading out in a bit to get sighted in at 50 yards and then shoot the waterlogged sawdust in the coffee cans.

    Well, hurry up!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    waiting.... :zzzz:
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Fired three rounds into water and sawdust filled coffee cans. Only recovered one bullet; two went walkabout somewhere.

    Penetration was impressive. The coffee cans are nominal 6" diameter (red Folger's 39.9 oz plastic cans). The first and only bullet I recovered penetrated 5 completely and bounced of the back wall of the 6th for a total of 36" penetration. That's like 3 Southern deer standing side by side.

    Jacket separated somewhere in it's travel, but ended up in the same can. I know this as that can was removed from the 8 on the table. There were two holes in the can where the bullet core and jacket entered.

    Here's the pictures. first is core and outside of major part of bullet jacket:

    Image11_zps134dceff.jpg

    Second is inside of bullet jacket and bullet core:

    Image12_zps7dd8834a.jpg

    As you can see, there was no discernible mushrooming of the bullet.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    That is truly weird.

    No expansion (mushroom) but jacket separation and a "plug" of lead?

    Like my results.........these loads seem to penetrate like no tomorrow!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    That is truly weird.

    No expansion (mushroom) but jacket separation and a "plug" of lead?

    Like my results.........these loads seem to penetrate like no tomorrow!

    Well, I'll take the penetration; a 200 grain bullet launched at just under 1600 fps penetrating that much media is beyond impressive. The bullet core isn't all that hard to score with my thumbnail, either.

    At least one of the bullets, the last one, went sideways out of the 5th can. Big tear in the side of it. It bounced off the 6th can, as best as I can tell.

    The sawdust I used was mixed pine and hardwood, and pretty fine stuff. I lucked out and got some from a local sawmill. I packed it tight in the cans and soaked them in water overnight. I also had plenty of extra soaked sawdust, water, and duct tape to plug the holes after each shot, so I think the test media was pretty consistent.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    tennmike wrote: »
    Well, I'll take the penetration; a 200 grain bullet launched at just under 1600 fps penetrating that much media is beyond impressive. The bullet core isn't all that hard to score with my thumbnail, either.

    At least one of the bullets, the last one, went sideways out of the 5th can. Big tear in the side of it. It bounced off the 6th can, as best as I can tell.

    The sawdust I used was mixed pine and hardwood, and pretty fine stuff. I lucked out and got some from a local sawmill. I packed it tight in the cans and soaked them in water overnight. I also had plenty of extra soaked sawdust, water, and duct tape to plug the holes after each shot, so I think the test media was pretty consistent.

    Excellent work. I agree that penetration is keen for this type of loading. If you wanted to shoot a deer, might as well send it all the way through.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I've got 4 more rounds left. I may build a bullet box out of scrap wood now that I know how far the penetration is going to be. I'll have to put it on one of my small trailers because that much soaked media will be heavy. I figure 12" square by 4 ft long should work. Hinge the top piece to make digging in a little easier, and using garbage bags of the water soaked sawdust to stop the bullet.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,456 Senior Member
    I built a bullet box several years ago. I used 2x8 boards (I think) and made a channel I could stack water filled gallon ziplock bags, one after the other. Once I stacked the amount of bags I wanted, I put the top on the "box".

    Again, water isn't he best media.........but I had a veritable smorgasbord of handgun cartridges and bullets to compare. Even did .223 Rem ammo as well. This was quick, cheap, and repeatable for me. One after the other, I could stack the bags, shoot, measure, and start over again. It worked great for what I needed at the time.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    I've got a partial sheet of 5/8 CDX plywood and a 2x8 I could sacrifice for the cause. If I caulk the bottom seams and end pieces, water loss would be at a minimum. Supposed to be nice weather tomorrow. Might have some more results in a few days.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Intersting results :yikes:
    Cute "lead banana" too.

    Having done one or two expansion tests, my best guess is that the sawdust was a little too "hard" for the bullet and with the mouth of the jacket being more "open" than the ftx Zee shot, the sawdust was abrasive enough to "catch" the lip of the jacket and that was "all she wrote" once the edge "caught".

    Do I know for sure what happened? NOPE, not in the least. The above is just my best S.W.A.G. as to a possible cause. :tooth:

    Although you two are playing with jacketed bullets, at 1500 to 1600 FPS this might be a lead only rifle bullet opportunity... I don't see a lee mold in 200 gr or 220 gr .358 diameter...

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    BigDanS wrote: »
    Although you two are playing with jacketed bullets, at 1500 to 1600 FPS this might be a lead only rifle bullet opportunity... I don't see a lee mold in 200 gr or 220 gr .358 diameter...

    D

    Lyman makes a 200 grain flat point bullet mold similar to the jacketed bullet I shot, but even with the softer wheel weight lead expansion would be pretty nonexistent.

    Checked and it appears Lyman no longer makes the old 200 grain flat point. They do make these:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/534896/lyman-2-cavity-bullet-mold-358315-35-caliber-358-diameter-204-grain-round-nose-gas-check?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/766200/lyman-2-cavity-bullet-mold-358430-38-special-357-magnum-358-diameter-195-grain-round-nose?cm_vc=ProductFinding

    And this RCBS design:

    http://www.midwayusa.com/product/319002/rcbs-2-cavity-bullet-mold-35-200-fn-35-caliber-358-diameter-200-grain-flat-nose-gas-check?cm_vc=ProductFinding
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    I was reading the reviews on those bullet molds. Below is one from the Lyman molds, and even though it is not a .357 it's pretty close to what you two are attempting.

    D


    By Luke

    from Bennett, CO

    I use this bullet in a 10" T/C chambered in .38 Special over Unique. Will print 1/2 groups @ 25 yards. With 3 minutes of elevation I can ring the 200 yrd Ram all day. This load works great in my 357 BlackHawk too. Puts bullet right to the end of cylinder with .38 brass. This load shows no signs of excessive pressure, brass falls out of both guns. Love this mold, very accurate and hits with authority; even at lower velocities.
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Been thinking about the bullet box thing. If I build it like I laid it out in previous post, I could use garbage bags filled with water to stop the bullet. Water from the creek to fill the garbage bags is only about a hundred yards from my backstop. And a couple or three layers of cardboard in front to hold the front water bag in place and support its end.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
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