caliber comparisons

Discussion in 'Revolver Handguns' started by circa81, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. circa81

    circa81 New Member

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    In loads just for plinking with a medium to full size revolver, how does the recoil of the .45 long colt compare to the .357 magnum, .45 acp, and the .327 federal magnum? Same question for full on defensive loads as well. Thanks.
     
  2. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    depends on how its loaded. my old ruger 45lc blackhawk i could load up super hot and it was brute to shoot more powerful than a 44mag. or i could load it down to 45acp levels making it a pleasure to shoot.

    357 magnum can be loaded down to light 38 spl loadings.


    45acp is the equivelent of the 45lc. the 45acp was designed to duplicate the military loading of the 45lc

    the most versatile of the rounds you list is the 45lc. especially if you get a real strong actioned revolver. shooting blackpowder loads out of a 45lc revolver is a hoot

    cant comment on the 327 never fired one or even seen one
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011

  3. SgtSam

    SgtSam New Member

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    JonM: Not to be picky, but the .45ACP was never designed to duplicate the standard loading of the .45Colt. It can't be no matter what kind of powder you put in it. .45ACP doesn't handle 255 grain bullets very well. And to load the .45ACP up to get in the neighborhood of 970fps, with the requisite 255gr bullet, would be disastrous.

    The .45Colt's requirement by the Army at the time of its inception was that the new round must be able to penetrate a horse and still have enough power left to kill a man behind the horse. We're talking Indians hanging off of the off side of their horses while riding in raids or battle, for one scenario. There are others.

    As good as the .45ACP is, it is not in the same league with the .45Colt when that round is loaded to its normal, or higher loadings. The .45Colt is actually a far more versatile round than the .45ACP, IF, and only if, you are a handloader.

    As you can most likely tell, I'm a big fan of the .45Colt (Long Colt is not the correct term for the cartridge).
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    and yes the 45colt (wont call it lc anymore :) ) is a more versatile round.

    for some reason the army dropped the 45colt went to a 38 discovered it didnt work well and decided to replace it with an auto pistol. the design parameters was to get close as reasonable to the old 45 colt as a goal.

    they got almost close with the 45acp which was good enough.

    older bp loadings were around 1000fps. modern factory 45 colt is around 860fps from what i understand

    my old blackhawk could push a 255 to nearly 1400fps. but it was brutal to shoot.

    if i could pick a perfect revolver today it would be a colt python chamber in 45colt. one of the new production colt saa in 45c is on my short list
     
  5. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    The .327 offers more 'real-world' energy than the .357 Mag., (at least in my test), better penetration and one more shot per gun load. It does all this with substantially less recoil and noticeably less muzzle blast than the .357 Mag.
     
  6. CubDriver_451

    CubDriver_451 New Member

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    303Tom,

    Curious about what you mean by "real world" energy?

    Not trying to start a caliber debate or any other argument, just not understanding what you are say.

    Thanks,

    JW
     
  7. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    .357 Mag. 1600 fps , 800 ft. lbs. energy. .327 Fed. Mag. 1900 fps , 800 ft. lbs. energy with less recoil.
     
  8. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Thanks SgtSAM, a correction was needed.

    Long live 45 COLT.
     
  9. mes227

    mes227 New Member

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    The .45 Colt is a very versatile load even with factory ammo, considering the range of options from light Cowboy loads to the very heavy Buffalo Bore loads that exceed the ballistics of their own .44 Map +P.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  10. mes227

    mes227 New Member

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    In your example the .327 delivers the same energy, but substantially less stopping power. Energy is a function of bullet weight times velocity square and has little relation to stopping power (e.g., the .22 Mag delivers substantially more energy than a .380 auto - a whopping 320 ft-lbs vs. a meager 190 - but you don't see many LE using .22 Mags as back-ups). Of the various standard ballistic measurements, energy is perhaps the least important.

    Further, considering standard factory loads, the .327 does not deliver the same energy as the .357. Most of the premium .357s listed on ballistics101.com (as an example) deliver between 460 and 750 ft-lbs, while the list of premium .327s deliver 370 to 500 ft-lbs.

    Many consider the terminal knock-out or TKO a much better indicator of stopping power. TKO uses bullet weight, terminal velocity (not squared) and expanded bullet diameter (TKO = weight x velocity x diameter / 7,000).

    Here's a comparison of Federal Hydra-Shok rounds in both calibers:

    .327 Mag
    85 gr, muzzle velocity=1,400 fps, muzzle energy=370 ft-lbs. Assuming 50% expansion, TKO = 8.3, about half way between a .380 auto and a .38 Special.

    .357 Mag
    158 gr, MV=1,240 fps, ME=539. Again assuming 50% expansion, TKO = 15.1. Nearly double that of the .327 Mag, the same as a 10mm Glaser or a .44 Special JHP, and only a bit less than the legendary .45 acp JHP.

    Thus, while the .327 Mag is a fine caliber, it cannot reasonably be compared to a .357 Mag. The advantage of an extra 10% diameter and almost 50% extra weight cannot be overstated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  11. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Taylor KO Factor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    And through experience the TKO factor is just like BC it is BS !
     
  13. Lindenwood

    Lindenwood New Member

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    The .327 is a fine caliber and is extremely underutilized IMO, but it is not on the same level as the .357. "Real world energy" is kindof a silly thing to try to quanitify :p .

    BTW, I have no idea where you're getting this 100gr bullet @ 1900fps stuff. The fastest load I can find is about 1500fps for that bullet. A .357 can get that with a 158gr bullet. Or, one could load that 158gr bullet to 1200fps (same energy), with barely over half the pressure of the .327, for a still-effective option.


    To the OP, the .45c or .44Mag are probably the most versatile revolver cartridges. I'd say the .44mag first, largely because there are more revolvers chambered for it capable of handling the high-pressure loads. The .357 is third, though perhaps a better choice for target shooting. If the .327 were chambered in more than just compact guns, and especially in rifles, it would be a very nice lower-recoil solution for longer-range target shooting or even moderate-sized deer hunting (where legal).

    I prefer the big bores as they can be loaded to low pressures and still be very effective stoppers while still having reduced noise and flash over the .357 loaded to the same degree of terminal effectiveness. Then they can be loaded hot and take down anything in North America. The main advantage of the .357s is they can be loaded fast for longer-range flat shooting, but still without as much recoil as a .44 loaded to the same speeds. And to some, capacity can be a factor.

    But I've shot plenty of .44mag loads pushing a backwards 200gr bullet out at 700fps (basically a wadcutter). Recoil is very light in my Raging Bull, but the load is still actually a moderately-effective defense load (I'd put it higher than .45acp Ball, due to the bullets' profiles at impact). But then you can load 180gr bullets at 2000fps (out of a handgun; 2300-2400 out of a rifle) for smallish game at long ranges (would practically explode a coyote :p), or a 300gr bullet at 1300fps for bear defense.
     
  14. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    You don`t reload, do you ?
     
  15. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    Tom, what barrel length and bullet weight are you using, and are these measured velocities or estimates? I do far more big bore shooting than I do smaller bore equipment. Right now, the only small bores I own are .22s. Everything else in revolvers starts with a "4".

    Are you comparing only similar weight bullets? If so, you are handicapping the .357 before you even fire a shot. Larger bore and case capacity allow for heavier bullets that can add a great deal of performance. I know that there are those who argue that caliber really doesn't matter, but I think you would be hard pressed to show that it should not be considered when looking at the real world performance of any cartridge.

    In my experience, measuring "power" only by the energy is a less than complete answer to the equation. I have yet to see any numbers game that truly describes the killing potential of any load. There are simply too many variables to account for; Bullet weight, bullet shape, bullet construction, bullet diameter, impact velocity, shot placement, anatomy of the game, penetration, the list goes on...

    The real key to "killing power" is to place a bullet of sufficient size and have it penetrate to, and cause significant damage to vital organs. I shoot hardcast bullets exclusively in my big bore revolvers, and have taken game ranging from rabbits to elk. From this experience, I can tell you that a LBT style bullet with a meplat of .360", impacting at 1000 will poke a 3/4" hole all the way through an elk and he will drop like a stone, if you do your part and place the bullet correctly. I think comparing the .327 to the .357 is kind of an apples to oranges comparison. Loaded with heavier bullets, I would guess that the .357 casts quite a shadow over the .327. With similar weight bullets, the .327 may have a velocity edge, but that is not a true power measurement of the .357. Just my two cents.

    JW
     
  16. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    With a chamber adapter out of a Enfield No4, through my chronograph.
     
  17. CubDriver451

    CubDriver451 New Member

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    I am a bit confused. You claim 1900fps with the .327 and 1600fps with the .357. I am assuming that you are using the same bullet weight, but you never did say one way or the other. In just a quick look in two different load manuals, Lyman's 47th edition and Speer No. 12, both manuals show loads far exceeding the 1600fps velocity you are claiming for the .357. In fact, both manuals show loads driving a 125 grain bullet to velocities exceeding 2000fps from 18" barrels, and heavier bullets clocking near 1700fps with heavier 170gr bullets from the same barrel length.

    Are you perhaps comparing the .327 from a rifle and the .357 from a pistol? That is the only conclusion that I can come to with regard to the data you are using for your comparison. 1600fps is about what you get from a .357 shooting a 110gr bullet from a 6" barrel.

    I'm still unclear on what you mean by stating that the .327 has more "real world energy", but the .357 beats the energy levels of the .327 load you are quoting, when fired from a similar barrel length.

    I cannot argue that the .327 has less recoil; I'm sure it does, because it also lags in performance in every way that I can think to calculate it. I would expect it to have less recoil. It is less powerful in every way that I can see in the limited research that I have done. Am I missing something?

    JW
     
  18. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

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    Yes you did miss something (Penetration) & no I did not use the same weight bullet, how fair would that be & I have never got 2000 fps from my Marlin.
     
  19. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    .357 vs .327 is the same as comparing .45acp and .40S&W,i'm sure some .327 rounds out of some guns can beat the energy of an average .357 round out other guns,but at the end of the day the .357 will always be the more powerful round.
     
  20. CubDriver_451

    CubDriver_451 New Member

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    Not knowing anything about the loads you were shooting in your Marlin, I can only guess as to why you only saw 1600fps. It is not uncommon to see velocities that are somewhat less than those published in reloading manuals, but I have never seen a disaprity of that magnitude.

    Penetration is influenced by a host of factors; bullet shape and construction, bullet diameter, frontal area, test media, velocity, weight and probably many others that I haven't listed. Faster does not always result in greater penetration. Keep in ind that drag increases at the square of velocity. If you double the velocity of any given object, the drag is increased by a factor of four. Also consider that bullets engineered for handgun velocities, often break apart when rifle velocities are achieved.

    I honestly do not know which would have greater penetration, and would like to see what data you have collected. What types of tests have you done, and did you keep records that can be shared?

    JW