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Shooting & Reloading - Mausers, Big Bores and others >> Handguns

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fsrmg1
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Loc: Western Australia
Taylor's View on Handguns
      #258022 - 18/12/14 11:25 AM

I noticed that Taylor mentions the Colt 38 auto (38 Super?) A number of times in African Rifles & Cartridges. He seemed to prefer that over the 45 Auto and being a big bore advocate, why would he do this? When both are loaded with FMJ bullets, I would think that the 45 Auto had the advantage. With the FMJ, how much 'real measured' difference is there in penetration and knockdown?

How would you folks out there measure them up against one another? What if you could include the 45 ACP +P loadings into the mix?

--------------------
Cheers,

Rich


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Daryl_S
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: fsrmg1]
      #258024 - 18/12/14 12:25 PM

There was a .38 Auto, which preceded the .38 Super.

I think perhaps the smaller round's standard 130gr. FMJ probably had more penetration than the typical .45 Auto and would actually go through more head bone.

For penetration, I think I would prefer a 6" .45 auto loaded with a 300gr. FMJ running 850fps using Blue Dot powder.

Better, would be the .45 Winchester Magnum running about 1,200fps with the 300gr. FMJ. I am not sure what gun it was chambered in - maybe Desert Eagle?

The .38 Super's 1,200fps with a 150gr. would not be in my holster.

My own Colt .45 auto with a standard drop-in 5" Wilson barrel made 960fps with a 260gr. Speer - with their top load of W630 powder. It worked splendidly on a black bear.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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tinker
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Daryl_S]
      #258026 - 18/12/14 01:17 PM

I like the bigger bullet for bigger holes in and out.
For winter I'll likely get the 460 Rowland out and running.

--------------------
--Self-Appointed Colonel, DRSS--



"It IS a dangerous game, and so named for a reason, and you can't play from the keyboard. " --Some Old Texan...


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eagle27
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: tinker]
      #258027 - 18/12/14 03:35 PM

There were two sides to Taylor's chapter on the use of a handgun as a last resort if down and being crunched by an animal.

Firstly metal covered bullets were not available early on for revolvers so he used to recommend an automatic "of not less power than the long .38 Colt Auto" for which metal covered bullets were available. The .38 Super Auto has the same case as the .38 ACP (long .38 Colt Auto), but the Super is loaded to a higher pressure.
Taylor goes on to say that since WWII metal covered bullets were available for revolvers so anyone wanting to use a 455 or 38 revolver could do so.

Secondly he did not advocate anyone weighs themselves down with a big 44 or 45 handgun as in any use of the handgun in an emergency the range would be a matter of inches and there was no advantage in a large calibre under those circumstances.


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xausa
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: eagle27]
      #258036 - 19/12/14 01:24 AM

Lt. Col. John George, in his epic "Shots Fired in Anger" rated the .45 ACP as an inappropriate cartridge for fighting in the jungle conditions he encountered in Guadalcanal and Burma in World War II, primarily because of the .45's inability to penetrate either heavy undergrowth, dirt field fortifications, and Japanese body armor and helmets. He preferred the M1 carbine to the Thompson submachine gun for that reason, citing its ability to deal with all of the material which the.45 ACP was unable to penetrate. He wrote that the Thompson was inferior to the M1 carbine as a combat weapon in jungle conditions. I interpret this finding as an endorsement of lighter weight, higher velocity handgun bullets over slower, heavier bullets as far as penetration is concerned, since the M1 carbine cartridge is essentially a very powerful handgun cartridge.

There is another consideration to be taken into account in any discussion of the use of a handgun as weapon of last resort when hunting dangerous game.

On my last trip to Africa, I was accompanied by a friend and college classmate who was a fanatic on the subject of heavy handguns. He asked me if handgun hunting was allowed in Kenya, and I told him emphatically "no". Nonetheless, he wrote Ker, Downey and Selby, asking them the same question. Ker, Downey's manager at the time was a retired British officer, Lt. Col Unwin, who tried to be diplomatic. He told him the handguns would only be allowed in camp for target shooting purposes.

My friend took this statement as a veiled hint as to how he could get his beloved .44 Magnum into the country, so he proceeded to ship it, along with an impressive number of maximum hand loads, with his rifles. When we arrived in Kenya, however, it turned out that both his and my firearms were held up in customs, obviously because of the handgun.

The PH took my friend to see the chief customs official, who patiently examined my friend's deputy sheriff's commission (before the days of carry permits) and listened to his protestations about "only intended for target shooting." Finally he suggested, "Let's have a look at this "target pistol". One look at the 8" barreled S&W Model 29 and the vicious looking hand loads was all it took to conclude that his suspicions were confirmed. He agreed to release the rifles, but insisted that the pistol remain behind with him, to be released when we returned to the States.

I am reasonably sure that a similar attempt to take a handgun on safari today would meet with the same or similar reception, making speculation as to which hand gun is more appropriate purely hypothetical.


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Rell
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: xausa]
      #258070 - 19/12/14 02:02 PM

Last time in RSA a camp mate brought along a Freedom Arms 454. The secret was that it had a 2x scope. If it's scoped it is/ was last year good to go in the RSA.

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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Rell
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Rell]
      #258071 - 19/12/14 02:05 PM

On anther note I shot a 250lbs black bear in a corn field maybe 20 years ago with my grand dads 1911, the first 7 shots put him down but output, the next 4 did the job. 50 year old ball ammo may not have been the best choice.

--------------------
450-400, 9.3x74r and 7x65r.


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Rule303
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: xausa]
      #258078 - 19/12/14 05:14 PM

xausa I would agree with what you have posted. I have read that the Australian Infantry at Milne Bay prefered the 9mm sub machine guns over the thompson for those sane reasons. The 45 was to big to slip between the weave of Japanese body armour but the 9mm could.

I would think Taylor is looking at penetration up close as he said.


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poprivit
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Rule303]
      #258093 - 20/12/14 01:15 AM

I took my S&W 500 to ZA and Zim a few years ago. As long as you do the paperwork, no problems. I used it to bring down an old stink bull giraffe in ZA. 500 grain Hornady through the #2 vertebrae and he fell like the wires were cut. Used a red dot sight which worked a treat.

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fsrmg1
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: poprivit]
      #258118 - 20/12/14 01:47 PM

Ok, when I originally posted this thread, I was thinking of what was historically present at the time he wrote his book in the late 40's. They did handload back in the day, so how would their hardware measure up with top loads of the time?

--------------------
Cheers,

Rich


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Daryl_S
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: fsrmg1]
      #258119 - 20/12/14 02:19 PM

The factory .38 super or 9mm would probably out penetrate .45 Auto FMJ, for sure, on game, through muscle, anyway. With handloads, I do not know if the .38 Super or 9mm factory could be improved upon, but the .45 auto, most certainly, speed wise.

However, would the little ones do enough damage to get you out of trouble? I do ot kow, but I have my reservations about them. I'd rather have the .45 myself. It will go through the head of any bear or cat, if not with the first round, the second would pen as you always double tap at the least.

It worked for me, on my first bear with the .45. I was working night shift on prowl duty at the jail, so it was all above board and legal.

I used the 960fps 260gr. Speer for a rib shot on the second bear a couple nights later.

The .44 mag also works. I won't say better as with the results I had, there could be no improvement. Quickly, almost instantly dead, is quick enough.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Jim_C
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Reged: 09/08/14
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Daryl_S]
      #258123 - 20/12/14 04:38 PM

Regarding loads of the period in which Taylor was writing, these are the velocities reported in 1935-1950 ads/catalogs/etc:
38 auto: 130 grain bullet at 1,000 fps
38 super: 130 gr. bullet at 1,250 fps
38 Special: 158 grain lead RN at 770 fps
38 special hi-speed: 150 grain metal piercing bullet at 1175 fps (primarily intended for the 38/44)
45acp (military ball): 230 fmj at 860fps
45 acp (metal piercing): 230 grain pointed fmj at 940 fps

Unless he got into some of the experimental loads (as were used in the development of the .357 magnum), a handloader of the period would be unlikely to exceed these velocities. I've got notes on some casual experiments with these bullets on heavy bone and skulls, if anyone is interested.


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fsrmg1
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Jim_C]
      #258155 - 22/12/14 03:09 PM

In going with the spirit of not having a big heavy handgun as a backup, I think that I'd go for the 45 cal. 1911 stuffed full of the +P equivelent loads over the .38 Super. If it came down to std loads in the .45, I would probably take the Super of it though.

The .357 Mag did come out in 1935, but that was in the big N frame size. Keith was playing with hotted up .44 Spl's at the time on the N frame that might have been worthwhile enough for the extra bulk. Interesting???

--------------------
Cheers,

Rich


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Ripp
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: fsrmg1]
      #258167 - 23/12/14 01:45 AM

http://www.outdoorlife.com/articles/hunt...-limpopo-africa

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Daryl_S
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Ripp]
      #258170 - 23/12/14 03:22 AM

Just looked through the new Hornady catologue and in there, was listed all THEIR new and specialized ammo.
They new defensive loads in handgun, include a number of special tests for penetration from heavy clothing, to wood, metal, glass etc.

The .45 Auto loads equal or exceeds the 9mm ammo in every category, especially in metal penetration. I did not read further on what metal was used for that test, but it is usually car doors in the police testing I am familiar with.

The .45 Auto "Critical Defense", 220gr.'Flex-Lock' load they used is just over 1,000fps.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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Daryl_S
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Daryl_S]
      #258171 - 23/12/14 03:24 AM

About Elmer's .44 SPL loads - 1,200fps with the 245gr. SWC. 17.5gr. Herc. 2400 in solid head cases - An excellent game load.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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kuduae
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Daryl_S]
      #258202 - 24/12/14 06:34 AM

For appreciating Taylor's ideas about handgun use for big game, you have to understand the man and his time: Taylor was British, period. He disdained everything and everyone not British, especially German and metric. He published his "African Rifles & Cartridges" in 1948. So his practical experiences may be dated to the 1930s. He used factory loads exclusively. To him "handloading" was a thing of past, blackpowder times. He had limited ballistic knowledge. Reread his paragraph on the 9.3x62: He complains bitterly about the Krauts offering a higher speed load for this cartridge, as "it will not shoot to a different point of aim". He had probably never heard of American experimenters like Keith and high speed handloads for the .38 or .44 Special. He never dreamt of such Magnum revolver loads like .357, .44, .480 or .500. To him a "revolver" was probably a Webley or, perhaps a S&W or Colt in .38 Special. To him "revolver cartridges" were most likely the .455, the .38 S&W aka .38/200 and the .38 Special, all standard velocity, round nose lead bullet loads. To accuse these cartridges to have " mediocre penetration", is a bit flattering IMHO. To Taylor "self loading pistols" were probably Webleys again, with a few Colts and Mauser C96 still floating around in the British Empire. So the halfway powerful pistol cartridges known to him were most likely the .455 Webley Automatic, the 9mm Browning long. the .38 Auto and he .30 Mauser, all loaded with standard velocity, round nose fmj bullets only and chambered by Webley & Scott in their weird Automatics. So he had to rely on penetration only. The .38 Auto likely gave the best penetration combined with a halfway decent bullet diameter of all the handgun loads known to him.

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Ripp
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: kuduae]
      #258218 - 25/12/14 12:55 AM

Quote:

For appreciating Taylor's ideas about handgun use for big game, you have to understand the man and his time: Taylor was British, period. He disdained everything and everyone not British, especially German and metric. He published his "African Rifles & Cartridges" in 1948. So his practical experiences may be dated to the 1930s. He used factory loads exclusively. To him "handloading" was a thing of past, blackpowder times. He had limited ballistic knowledge. Reread his paragraph on the 9.3x62: He complains bitterly about the Krauts offering a higher speed load for this cartridge, as "it will not shoot to a different point of aim". He had probably never heard of American experimenters like Keith and high speed handloads for the .38 or .44 Special. He never dreamt of such Magnum revolver loads like .357, .44, .480 or .500. To him a "revolver" was probably a Webley or, perhaps a S&W or Colt in .38 Special. To him "revolver cartridges" were most likely the .455, the .38 S&W aka .38/200 and the .38 Special, all standard velocity, round nose lead bullet loads. To accuse these cartridges to have " mediocre penetration", is a bit flattering IMHO. To Taylor "self loading pistols" were probably Webleys again, with a few Colts and Mauser C96 still floating around in the British Empire. So the halfway powerful pistol cartridges known to him were most likely the .455 Webley Automatic, the 9mm Browning long. the .38 Auto and he .30 Mauser, all loaded with standard velocity, round nose fmj bullets only and chambered by Webley & Scott in their weird Automatics. So he had to rely on penetration only. The .38 Auto likely gave the best penetration combined with a halfway decent bullet diameter of all the handgun loads known to him.




Agree with his knowledge on a lot of this. Reading his KO estimate and the statement that even if you get close to the brain of an elephant with a .577 Nitro the elephant will be knocked out for something like 20 minutes..well I have see that to be NOT true..saw a shot on the tube about a year ago..guy using a 577 and at 20 yards hammmered a bull coming at him..the bull spun and headed for the next county..the ended up getting him but after the first shot he didn't even look hit...

His books are interesting to read, but need to be taken with a few grains of salt..

Ripp

--------------------
ALL MEN DIE, BUT FEW MEN TRULY LIVE..


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Daryl_S
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Ripp]
      #258225 - 25/12/14 05:51 AM

A agree, guys - many of us grew up and/or started loading a LONG time ago when factory ammo was only a little better than crap. We started loading to improve on the factory ammo for our rifles, both accuracy, generally improved power & certainly to allow more shooting for the same dollar.

We've been loading for so long, to use current factory ammo, which is much better than that of 40years ago, seems way out of place - an unreasonable 'option'. Rimfire, yes of course, but centre fire - no bloody way.

I'll just load exactly what I want (or pick from the great variety within the 'ready stash',) when I need it! I cannot fathom being restricted to factory ammunition. Then there's the cost! WOW!

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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fsrmg1
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Re: Taylor's View on Handguns [Re: Daryl_S]
      #258241 - 25/12/14 11:42 AM

Yes, I agree! Itís funny hearing people judge a cartridge based ďonlyĒ upon what Taylor wrote close to 70 years ago. Powder and bullets have moved on a lot since those earlier days and itís hard to condemn and put up those same weak arguments over and over again.

I agree that Taylor seems to less recognise or even criticize anything non British as being substandard. I also notice that quite a few of his original negative comments seem to be third hand or hearsay on such matters that are outside his experience, being mainly heavy calibres shooting heavy bullets. The truth is that history is the better judge and there are a lot more American and European cartridges out there that British, so they couldnít have been that bad...

Another note is that Taylor did know of Keith, since he mentioned him in his books regarding calibres, big game hunting and reloading. Keith was a well known outdoors writer of that era and I'm sure that Taylor read the gun rags as well when he had the opportunity.

--------------------
Cheers,

Rich


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