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Discussion Starter #1
I can’t believe I’ve never looked this up before. I was nosing around in the shooter’s bible tonight and got to looking at pistol calibers in the "rifle ballistics" section, and was surprised at the numbers when I started making comparisons.

In the past, I’ve mentioned the velocity/power difference between my .357 handgun and carbine, regarding velocity and energy; based on my handloads, measured with a chronograph. The difference was pronounced (even though it’s a short 16” carbine), but I always wondered if it was a biased test, since the loads were specifically loaded for the rifle, using a slower rifle powder (AA#7, iirc). Basically, I wondered if the use of “rifle” powder was unfair to the handgun in the comparison.

Looking at the published numbers for factory ammo, turns out the difference is even more pronounced than I had thought. These numbers are out of the 2004 shooter’s bible. While it’s admittedly just “manufacturers’ claims”, there’s enough consistency from brand to brand to give them some credibility. While a mfr may distort numbers in their published claims, I can’t see what incentive they'd have to distort the numbers for a given load in favor of one particular type of weapon. Also, not only would all the mfr’s have to be lying, the numbers are so consistent across the board, that all the mfr’s would have to be lying by the same amount. Not terribly likely.

Anyway, here are energy numbers for .357, .41, and .44 magnum factory loads in revolvers and rifles, followed by the percent increase gained when fired in a rifle. I was very surprised when I first looked at them side-by-side like this.


Muzzle Energy (ft/lbs)

Load Revolver Rifle % increase
357 mag Fed 180 jhp 475 960 102%
357 mag Win 158 jsp 535 1175 119%
.41 mag Win 240 Plat. 833 1784 114%
.44 mag Fed 240 jhp 740 1650 123%
.44 mag Rem 240 sjhp 721 1650 129%

Average gain of 117%
_______________________

Energy @ 100 yards (ft/lbs)

Load Revolver Rifle % increase
357 mag Fed 180 jhp 320 535 67%
357 mag Win 158 jsp 361 715 98%
.41 mag Win 240 Plat. 616 1180 92%
.44 mag Fed 240 jhp 550 1015 85%
.44 mag Rem 240 sjhp 543 1015 87%

Average gain of 86%
_______________________

Assuming this ratio of difference holds true for other calibers (relatively safe assumption as long as we stick to revolver/rifle comparisons with “high-intensity” pistol calibers as all the above are), that would mean that a .454 load that generates 1850ft/lbs from a revolver (which is not top-end for the .454), would get 4,014 ft/lbs from a rifle barrel. That’s not only more than the .444 and 45-70 (which is no real surprise), it’s more than the 7mm Magnum, the .300 Win Mag, the .300 H&H Magnum, and more even than a lot of .300 Weatherby Magnum loads.

And at 100 yards, that same lever-action load would still have 2,139 ft/lbs left; roughly what a .308 has at the same distance, and more than a .30-30 has at the muzzle. That’s impressive energy for a lever-action rifle. :)

Granted, it's not a "combat arm" per se, but for a purely hunting gun, it would be unsurpassed for the range of game it could be used for. Anything from 500-4,000 ft/lbs of energy, depending on how you load it, with no adaptors, conversion kits, etc. Heck of an idea for a "Dan'l Boone" type.
 

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I have 2 Levers in pistol calibers, 1 in .357 & 1 in .44 Mag. While not the first choice if the balloon ever went up, they would provide basic protection to a non shooter such as my daughters.
 

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I "knew" that a rifles' longer tube added both speed & power.

I hadn't realized that it added that much.WOW!

Thanks JohninAR
 

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I used to have a Ruger .44 Carbine years ago. One of the few guns I have gotten rid of. This gun was a complete surprise to me. I would have thought shooting a handgun cartridge in a rifle would make it a pussycat to handle. But that damned gun kicked much worse then ANY other gun I have shot! It got to where I hated to shoot it. It shot fine. Accurate, point of aim and reliable, but I just hated to pull the trigger on it. I don't know why it bothered me so much, because I do shoot 12 gauges and .50BMG and they don't bother me nearly as much. Maybe the recoil is just much sharper in that light carbine. But whatever it was, that thing sat in the vault for over 10 years, untouched, before I finally moved it along.

So to be honest, I would be a little bit leery of a .454 Casull in a light carbine. Sounds good on paper, but your shoulder might not respect you in the morning.

BTW, I would LOVE to see a carbine in .500S&W! Not to say I would want to shoot it, but it would definitely get my blood to percolating.
 

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Rich, I definitely concur. I never fired a RUGER .44 Magnum Carbineu until three months ago. I routinely fire 8MM Steel Buttplated Mausers and 12 Gauge Browinings and Winchesters with just a field jacket on. (In T-Shirt weather I use a Past system.) Like you, I expected not much recoil from a carbine shooting a .44 Magnum. Heck, I have fired hundreds of rounds through both S&W and Ruger revolvers and the recoil was certainly manageable. That little carbine HURT. Maybe it's the shape of the buttplate. I don't know. But it came back feeling like a wedge rather than a broader impact. It WAS very accurate, but no pleasure to shoot. For a brush gun I'll stick with my SKS's "Paratrooper" carbine. Just as much knock down power for deer sized game and not that much more weight. Also you don't have to pop a handful of Tylenol after shooting fifty rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rich Z said:
...your shoulder might not respect you in the morning.

What's the old line? "Will she respect us in the morning?"

"She doesn't respect us now." :laugh:


Seriously, I do know what you mean about 'too much'. You start pushing .300 magnum power in a lever action gun, it's going to jolt. The BLR comes in .300 win mag, though, or at least it used to. The attractiveness of the .454 to me is its versatility; it's not "stuck" way up at .300 winmag power, or way down at the low end, either. It could be loaded to pretty much any power level you'd prefer, even with factory ammo.


My little .357 levergun I like so well is a Rossi, and they came out with this Puma .454 a year or two ago. One very unusual thing about it (which I like) is that it can be loaded/unloaded via a normal sidegate, or in the tube itself, like a tube-fed .22 rifle. In the area I hunt, you can't cross a road with a loaded rifle during hunting season, and the under-tube unloading would be preferable to a 'normal' lever gun, where you have to jack every round out the top. Or unloading any time, for that matter. That's one real downside to the traditional lever gun, imo; at least if you use it much.

Blued or stainless; this is a 20" shown, I believe a 16" is also available. Notice the ".22 rifle" loading port in the tube. (As well as a rubber recoil pad; good idea. :) )
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Finally found a couple .454 carbine/handgun side-by-side comparisons. Didn’t write down the handguns used, but the long gun used in both tests was a 20” lever action Rossi “Legacy”.
The table shows bullet weight, velocity, & energy from the handgun in the first row, same info for carbine in the second row, and followed by percent increase and specific load info.

Wgt.(fps).(ft/lbs).Increase.Load
250 1310 952.4
250 1583 1390.8 46.022% Win. 250

260 1804 1878.4
260 2275 2987.3 59.034% Win. 260 Partition

300 1650 1813.2
300 2030 2744.5 51.365% Hornady 300 XTP

250 1313 956.8
250 1660 1529.3 59.840% Win. 250

250 1470 1199.3
250 1797 1792.2 49.438% Black Hills 250

300 1660 1835.2
300 2085 2895.2 57.760% Freedom Arms 300JSN

325 1525 1677.9
325 1880 2550.0 51.976% Buffalo Bore 321LBT

260 1805 1880.5
260 2210 2819.1 49.910% Freedom Arms 260

This second table is the same information, but for CorBon’s “.45Colt +P” loads, not .454’s.

Wgt.(fps).(ft/lbs).Increase.
265 1410 1169.6
265 1790 1885.0 61.164%

300 1340 1195.9
300 1655 1824.2 52.541%

335 1075 859.4
335 1360 1375.5 60.052%

Notice that even with just heavy .45Colt loads, the lever gun makes it a bear & elk capable cartridge. With .454 loads, it hits right at 3,000 ft/lbs; greater than .308 or .45-70 cartridges.

My estimates in the above posts (4,000 ft/lbs) were off, but even so, you get up to .30-06 power (and nearly twice the .30-06's bullet mass) from a cartridge that gives you the benefits of handgun/longarm ammo compatibility.

Even if you never fired a .454 load, but just stuck with heavy .45Colts; from the long gun, even they have enough power for almost any game animal on the continent.

Maybe Granddad was on to something...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
John in AR said:
...Blued or stainless; this is a 20" shown, I believe a 16" is also available.
20 and 24 inch are available, not a 16-inch. I've read that an 18" is also available, but Rossi/Puma doesn't list it. Personally, I'd rather have the 18" for a woods gun, if it exists.
 

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Their range is stil pathetic compared to a 223's, they have no .22 unit, not even close to the rate of hitting, no luminous sights, no flashhiders, no corrosion-resistant finishes, no ability to strip and clean in the field, don't fire the GI rifle rd, and their ammo weighs MORE than the GI rd. No abilty do disassemble in 5 seconds, reassemble and fire in 10 seconds, no real abilty for 1 hand use, slow reload, etc, etc. They suck, basically.
 

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agreed said:
Their range is stil pathetic compared to a 223's, they have no .22 unit, not even close to the rate of hitting, no luminous sights, no flashhiders, no corrosion-resistant finishes, no ability to strip and clean in the field, don't fire the GI rifle rd, and their ammo weighs MORE than the GI rd. No abilty do disassemble in 5 seconds, reassemble and fire in 10 seconds, no real abilty for 1 hand use, slow reload, etc, etc. They suck, basically.
Has anybody noticed that this sounds kinda similar to someone elses posts?
 

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Now gunkid can come back and he and agreed can agree with each other. :D

RIKA
 

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agreed said:
same old crap. YOu CAN'T deal with the ISSUES, so you have no CHOICE but to bitch about the speaker.
Actually the "same old" part is your inability to understand what the discussion is about and then you try to steer it to your one track discussion.

You constantly talk about 995 of the fights will be in 100 yds or less. At those ranges, they will get the job done.

There is a certain amount of benefit from having both your rifle and your side arm in the same caliber.

If "you're only going to be firing very few rounds - unless you're screwing up", then the lever guns are just as useful as the .223

But since this was not a thread about the .223 your post is largely wasted bandwidth.

Don't you have a web site that would make all the others a ghost town somewhere?

:devil:
 

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Ever get an image in your head of someone using a graduated cylinder as if it were a ruler and not understanding why people keep telling him he's wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
To stick solely with “the issues”, then:

agreed said:
Their range is stil pathetic compared to a 223's,
As I’ve said hundreds of times over the years, in my area, you just don’t get shots past 200 yards, and almost never over 100 yards. I’ve never taken a deer here past 90 or so; clearly within the range of this gun; and you yourself have also said hundreds of times that we shouldn’t engage defensively at long range. The lever gun is plenty adequate to the limited ranges you say we should be ‘engaging’ at, and in my area, it’s nearly impossible to shoot farther than that with ANY caliber.

So in my area, the usable range of both guns are the same.



agreed said:
they have no .22 unit,
No it doesn’t. With ammo available for it, it can cleanly take “.22LR size” animals without the damage that a .454 or .223 would inflict on the meat. For years, you have advocated loading “special” loads for the .223; doing the same for the .45LC would produce loads that would be perfectly appropriate for rabbit & even squirrel size game.

The .22 unit has the advantage of cheaper ammo; I concede that.

But it also has the disadvantages of:
- proprietary magazine,
- proprietary bolt carrier unit,
- the need to carry both of the above separately of the gun.
- the gun’s regular bolt carrier has to then be carried separately when the .22 unit is in place.
- whichever one happens to be out of the gun, has to be kept track of and protected, because if you lose or damage any of those pieces that have to be swapped back & forth, you lose the use of that caliber.
- and it’s slower to swap from a small-game round to a ‘full-power’ round with the AR/Ciener unit than with this gun.

With this gun, every one of those above-listed disadvantages goes away.



agreed said:
not even close to the rate of hitting,
Rate of fire is faster with an auto.



agreed said:
no luminous sights,
Yes there are. Not from the factory, but neither do standard AR’s come from the factory with them. Brockman’s has them for $245 installed. Oops....



agreed said:
no flashhiders,
On a pistol-caliber carbine? That’s true, there’s no flashhider. (There’s not a forward-assist on the bolt either. Because it's not needed, just like a flash hider.)



agree said:
no corrosion-resistant finishes,
I believe if you do a little research, you'll find that stainless steel is considered “corrosion-resistant”.



agreed said:
no ability to strip and clean in the field,
“Strip” - Complete ability to strip it as far as necessary for routine cleaning and maintenance in the field, which is ‘no stripping required’.

“Clean” – Why can’t I clean it in the field..? (FWIW, I have cleaned my current lever gun in the field; probably possible with this one as well...)



agreed said:
don't fire the GI rifle rd,
You are correct. You also have said MANY times that 84 rounds is plenty for a year of shtf. I can carry 84 rounds of this ammo no problem, so this is a non-issue as well, by your own definitions.



agreed said:
and their ammo weighs MORE than the GI rd.
84 rounds of 223 vs. 84 rounds of .454 or .45LC; the difference is ounces. If the difference in weight of your 84 rounds of .223 vs. 84 rounds of this caliber is relevant, a person has much more critical problems than ammo weight.



agreed said:
No abilty do disassemble in 5 seconds, reassemble and fire in 10 seconds,
Other than trying to conceal it, how is this a relevant issue? OAL of the 16” version (I found out it does exist; I found one for sale), is a whopping 33 inches.


Why the animosity and hatred for anything that isn’t your pet choice? I’ll ask again, whatever happened to your infatuation with the .356TSW? You’re on record as saying it’s the "greatest handgun round in the world", yet I haven’t heard you recommend it for a long time now.

Why is that?


You know, if you’d get control of your emotions, you’d be welcome at the adult table.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Agreed/Andy - You're still around & posting everywhere; why no response here to this debate on these "issues" that you asked for?

Seriously, what's incorrect in my above post?
 

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I want a carbine in 9x25 to go with my Delta Elite! Since it can get 2000 fps from a 95gr fmj in the pistol, I bet it can get 2400 from a 16 inch carbine.
 
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