Curiosity SWC Cowboy loads

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GunnyGene

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My curiosity button was pressed a couple days ago. I have a bag of .41 mag SWC cowboy ammo that I punch paper with occasionally, and was wondering if anyone had done any backyard penetration tests with it. I know it wouldn't have any expansion to speak of. Advertised at 800fps, and about 300ftlbs at the muzzle. Specifically what do y'all think about this as a Home Defense round? It has considerably less recoil and flash than my usual Underwood XTP (1560 fps, 1135 ft. lbs.), but do y'all think the trade off would be acceptable at in-home distance for the usual common break-in type bad guy (no armor)? :)
 

GunnyGene

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charlesappel said:
They should work fine. The only worry I would have is about possible over penetration - due to lack of expansion.

Over penetration isn't a concern. Just me and wife here, and over 1/4 mile thru dense forest to any other building in any direction. :)
 

GunnyGene

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Ok, here's a couple short videos of my backyard test. Sorry for the small size, but not much to see anyway.

.41 mag 6.5" NMBH

All shots from rest at about 10feet. 210gr SWC cowboy loads from Georgia Arms.

First is 6 jugs of water. Bullet penetrated all 6 and disappeared into the woods. No expansion judging from the holes. Didn't expect any anyhow.

Next one is some pine boards. Penetrated five 3/4" boards and retrieved the slug which stopped at surface of board 6. No expansion here either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DR36pFFz34E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIXbqAMXDo0

SWC%20slug.jpg~original
 

Jimbo357mag

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While putting a hole through someone does work, lead hollow points and jacketed hollow point bullets work that much better. They will expand to almost twice that diameter and impact the subject that much harder. :D
 

stevemb

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Um..they expand as they travel thru the media. Impact is the same. The now expanded bullet has a harder time exiting the elastic skin layer and often stays within the hopefully intended target and does not hit unintended targets. To sum it up, HP's do not hit harder, do not impact harder. If they stay within the target, they then shed all of their energy there, this part is good. If in an urban area or household with loved ones beyond the wall, HP's are good. Otherwise I like to leave two holes and be able to penetrate barries better. Old argument I guess. Oh, unless you hit the stud, typical drywall barely slows down a bullet. This why I often suggest people tour their own home with the view being to know, remember where the 'frig is, where the overloaded bookcases are, etc.. Be aware of which parts, of which walls can be shot thru easily, which will provide you with cover.
 

GunnyGene

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stevemb said:
Um..they expand as they travel thru the media. Impact is the same. The now expanded bullet has a harder time exiting the elastic skin layer and often stays within the hopefully intended target and does not hit unintended targets. To sum it up, HP's do not hit harder, do not impact harder. If they stay within the target, they then shed all of their energy there, this part is good. If in an urban area or household with loved ones beyond the wall, HP's are good. Otherwise I like to leave two holes and be able to penetrate barries better. Old argument I guess. Oh, unless you hit the stud, typical drywall barely slows down a bullet. This why I often suggest people tour their own home with the view being to know, remember where the 'frig is, where the overloaded bookcases are, etc.. Be aware of which parts, of which walls can be shot thru easily, which will provide you with cover.

Judging from the results of my back yard penetration test (above), I'm satisfied that they are an acceptable alternative to achieve the objective of lower recoil and flash. Appreciate the feed back from y'all. :)

As an aside, it seems one member felt it necessary to school me on HP's. :roll: Perhaps he missed the mention of my usual load in this wheel gun. :wink:
 

stevemb

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Keep pushing the curiosity button ! I grew up in a rural area with a abandoned sand quarry nearby. People junked an amazing array of things there for me and my freinds to shoot holes in. Campers, corvairs, school buses,'frigs,TV's and such. We "tested" everything we had from every angle until they dozed it off and put in a housing development. At an indoor range, shooting at paper thats clipped in place, you learn marksmanship, but not much else. A worthy goal, but don't stop there !
 

GunnyGene

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stevemb said:
Keep pushing the curiosity button ! I grew up in a rural area with a abandoned sand quarry nearby. People junked an amazing array of things there for me and my freinds to shoot holes in. Campers, corvairs, school buses,'frigs,TV's and such. We "tested" everything we had from every angle until they dozed it off and put in a housing development. At an indoor range, shooting at paper thats clipped in place, you learn marksmanship, but not much else. A worthy goal, but don't stop there !

Don't worry, I will. In fact I've got a old busted riding mower that I'll be shooting up when I find my round toit. :mrgreen:
 

stevemb

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Cast bullets on the softer side will do what they have always done, if in large enough size and suitable velocity. GunnyGene,am sure your loads will suffice. Am sure you already know this too.
 

stevemb

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A further note on HP's.. The latest generation from any of the major ammo corp will do well thru one barrier, glass or sheet steel or drywall. Then they will turn in decent results in media. The best way to test since nobody wants to volunteer to be a "bullet catcher". If you feel the need to penetrate another barrier..they will be lacking. The bullet will have "upset" and not penetrate as well anymore. You see me throw out the urban/rural thing regularly, and along these lines choose your carry ammo.
 

GunnyGene

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stevemb said:
A further note on HP's.. The latest generation from any of the major ammo corp will do well thru one barrier, glass or sheet steel or drywall. Then they will turn in decent results in media. The best way to test since nobody wants to volunteer to be a "bullet catcher". If you feel the need to penetrate another barrier..they will be lacking. The bullet will have "upset" and not penetrate as well anymore. You see me throw out the urban/rural thing regularly, and along these lines choose your carry ammo.

Well sometimes some folks volunteer to be a bullet catcher, even if they don't realize it. :wink:

As for carry, everyone has their own preferences, including me, so not much point in measuring dickies. :wink: :mrgreen:
 

Jimbo357mag

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GunnyGene said:
Specifically what do y'all think about this as a Home Defense round? It has considerably less recoil and flash than my usual Underwood XTP ...
You asked for opinions. I guess you don't agree that a jacketed hollowpoint with 3X the energy and twice the expansion will stop a bad guy better than putting a hole right through him with a hardcast SWC.

Oh and btw impact is not the same when all the energy is absorbed by the target compared to a bullet going through the target. (simple physics) We are not talking about bullet entry we are talking about the result of the bullet entering the subject and all the energy being transfered to the subject. Impact is going to be greater for the hollowpoint bullet, AKA stopping power. :D
 

Chuck 100 yd

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Your Cowboy loads in a .45 will do just fine. Many people keep a .25 auto,.32 auto or
.38 special as their home SD gun. Your .45 cowboy loads are a cannon compared to those.
 

Rancher Will

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Everyone rightly has their opinion about loads. i have mine that may not match some others.

I have previously mentioned that both my wife and I carry revolvers loaded with 250 Gr, hard cast Keith type bullets. My wife carries a .44 Special and I carry one of my two .44 Mags that I carried nearly 40 years as an LEO and to date as a rancher.

I do not believe that there is any such thing as "over penetration" when a correct bullet is used. That is why I load our cartridges with Keith type bullets.

Over the years I have killed numerous Deer and Elk with my .44's. I have never shot a human with my .44's but Deer are similar in size and strength to a good size man. Elk are much larger and more vigorous than any human. In Korea I did observe numerous humans shot with GI bullets so I observed the effect of the "Full Patch" GI bullets.

I have observed that when a Deer or Elk is hit by one of my .44's, the way I load them, the bullet always goes all the way through the body no matter what angle the hit is made. I also have observed that none of the Deer or Elk that I shot with the Keith type/shape bullet moved more than a very few feet before collapsing. In fact most dropped within one or even no step. When they were running they almost always flopped on the ground, many actually flopping over one or twice when they hit the ground.

I can't remember any Deer or Elk that I hit that wasn't dead by the time I got off my horse to check it after it dropped from my shot. And I don't remember any that required more than one shot.

I believe that if we ever have to shoot a bad guy with our 44's I expect the same results as I have many times seen with Deer and Elk. I expect the bullet to go through and the Bad Guy to drop. I have 5 more shots and wife has four more in her revolver if we encounter more than one bad guy that needs shooting after the first, but I doubt that we need more for the first.
 

woodperson

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I am interested in the load from Georgia Arms. You do not find many commercial reduced loadings for the .41 mag. Are they pretty accurate? Do you have any idea what powder they are loaded with?
 

GunnyGene

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woodperson said:
I am interested in the load from Georgia Arms. You do not find many commercial reduced loadings for the .41 mag. Are they pretty accurate? Do you have any idea what powder they are loaded with?

They're as accurate as any other .41mag I've used at short ranges. You get more bullet drop at greater than 15 yds or so of course, but that's expected. No idea what powder they use. http://www.georgia-arms.com/new-41-rem-mag-210gr-lead-semi-wadcutter/

That said, I don't know how they would perform in say a 3" barrel. Out of my BH, recoil is about like a standard .38spc. so quicker to get back on target than the Underwood or other hot load.

For $25/50 it would be worth it to buy a bag just to try them out in your gun. :)
 

Mobuck

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Everyone has their own opinion of what will work.
When I carry a revolver for a "chore gun", the first two shot in the cylinder are moderate loads with swaged HP. In many cases, I have no desire for extensive penetration for my uses. Shooting a varmint in close quarters or with a questionable background with a "penetrator" is not going to end well. I want that bullet to expand quickly and STOP. My swaged HP loads penetrate less than 4" in wet newsprint leaving a 2" wide cavity.
 

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