Author Topic: 5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters  (Read 78 times)

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Online Graybeard

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5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters
« on: February 14, 2021, 06:10:49 PM »
https://www.outdoorlife.com/story/hunting/best-bullets-for-handgun-hunters/

These five projectiles provide the consistent terminal performance you need to take down big game with a handgun

By Brad Fitzpatrick

February 11, 2021

There are a number of suitable handgun cartridges for big-game hunting, but to obtain the best performance you need the right bulletóa lesson I learned the hard way on my first handgun hunt. When I was a teenager, I wanted to take up the mantle of handgun hunting and chose a suitable weaponóa Ruger Redhawk in .44 Magnumóthat I could shoot accurately to 50 yards. When a whitetail doe came within range I fired, but there was no visible reaction from the deer. I fired again and the deer started moving, and by the third shot the deer was at a full run. I was certain that I had somehow missed the shot.

But I hadnít missed. The bullets I was using werenít holding up. Even though the doe died within 100 yards I could have (and should have) ended it much more quickly. The right bullet would have done the job, and after that first experience, Iím more particular about my handgun hunting bullets.

Selecting the proper handgun bullet can be daunting, but there are several good options available today that will dispatch game quickly and effectively. Here are five cartridges hunters can depend on.

1. Federal Fusion


Federal's Fusion bullets have a molecularly-bonded lead core.Federal Premium Ammunition

Itís not uncommon for centerfire bullet technology to cross over to handguns, and thatís the case with Fusion. Federalís Fusion bullets are popular because they offer a molecularly-bonded lead core and copper jacket that ensures maximum weight retention and reliable expansion. Fusion bullets have skives in their jackets, and those skives initiate expansion even at low velocities. This combination of low velocity expansion and bonded bullet toughness make Fusion bullets a versatile choice for handgun hunters. Whatís more, Fusion ammunition is relatively affordable for quality handgun hunting ammunition: the 10mm load shown here is a new addition to the line and cost $28 per 20. That load drives a 200-grain Fusion bullet at a velocity of 1,200 fps and generates plenty of punch for deer-sized game.

2. Hornady MonoFlex


MonoFlex bullets create large wound channels and impart tremendous hydrostatic shock.Hornady

Hornadyís Handgun Hunter ammunition utilizes MonoFlex bullets that feature a copper alloy jacket with an elastomer insert. When the bullet strikes, the elastomer compresses rapidly and initiates expansion. Skives on the bullet further help with expansion, and MonoFlex bullets create large wound channels and impart tremendous hydrostatic shock. This effective transfer of energy ensures clean, consistent kills, and thatís what I experienced while hunting whitetails in Nebraska with this ammo. I killed three deer on that tripótwo bucks and a doeówith two different .44 Magnum handguns firing MonoFlex bullets. Ranges varied between 50 to 65 yards and all three were one-shot kills. Later inspection of the recovered bullets showed uniform expansion and significant straight-line penetration: one bullet was recovered in the center of the animalís chest while the other two were retrieved from under the hide on the opposite shoulder. Handgun Hunter is available in seven different calibers from 9mm Luger to .460 S&W Magnum.

3. Swift A-Frame


Swift A-frame's proved a level of consistency few cartridges can match.Federal Premium Ammunition

Swiftís A-Frame is another crossover bullet that has been extremely popular as a centerfire projectile. As the name implies, the bullet looks like an A in cross section with front and rear lead cores separated by a layer of copper. A-Frame bullets are extremely popular with dangerous game hunters (I shot my cape buffalo in Mozambique with an A-Frame bullet at my PHís request) because they provide a level of consistent performance few other bullets can match. Federal Premium offers a line of handgun ammunition loaded with Swift A-Frame bullets, and if youíre looking for a single bullet that is effective on a wide range of game at varying ranges then A-Frame ammunition is a good option. Currently, Federal offers eight different A-Frame handgun hunting loads in calibers ranging from .327 Federal Magnum to .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum. A-Frame ammunition isnít particularly cheap, but these premium bullets perform extremely well.

4. Winchester Partition Gold


Partition Gold is no longer in the Winchester lineup, but you can still find the ammo through select vendors.Winchester

Partition Gold bullets feature a copper jacket that is bonded to the two-piece lead core. The front and rear sections of the lead core are divided by a layer of copper that helps to prevent over expansion while maintaining significant weight for deep, straight-line penetration and have made Nosler Partition bullets a favorite choice of big game hunters for years. The hollow point design initiates expansion at lower velocities while creating a wide wound channel and transferring tremendous energy. Sadly, Partition Gold ammunition is no longer in the Winchester ammunition lineup but itís still available for sale through distributors and if you can get your hands on a box the stuff is wonderful. The .460 S&W load, shown here, produces over a ton of muzzle energy, and the bulletís durable construction makes it tough enough for big, tough game like elk and moose. Winchesterís Dual Bond bullet, successor to Partition Goldís position as one of the brandís premium hunting projectile, are also highly effective based on reports from those who have hunted with them, but Iíll always have an affinity for the tough, accurate, Partition Gold.


5. Barnes XPB HP


The author tested Barnesís .454 Casull load (250-grain XPB bullet at 1,700 feet from the muzzle) and found it to be exceptionally accurate.Barnes

Barnes is now owned by Sierra Bullets, and while the acquisition is certain to bring about changes to the Barnes brand letís hope that the all-copper Barnes XPB HP bullet remain in production. These bullets are used in Barnesís VOR-TX Hunting Handgun line of ammunition and they perform well through a variety of handguns. The skived hollow point initiates consistent 2x expansion for tremendous shock and energy transfer and those who live in areas of the country with lead bans can legally use this ammunition. I tested Barnesís .454 Casull load (250-grain XPB bullet at 1,700 feet from the muzzle) and found it to be exceptionally accurate. As you might imagine, this is not a load that lacks energy: at the muzzle the VOR-TX .454 load generates 1,605 foot-pounds, and at 50 yards the .454 load is still carrying over 1,200 foot-pounds of energy, more than twice what the .44 Magnum load generates at the muzzle. Those kind of energy levels can wreck a weak bullet, but the Barnes XPB is tough enough to withstand that type of power. For that reason, these bullets are great for hunting a full range of game from deer and hogs to bear and moose.


Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises
256-435-1125

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: 5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2021, 11:15:54 PM »
they forgot kieths and lfns!!
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Re: 5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 03:48:16 AM »
Yup I've used a lot of those two. I have a bunch of the Nosler Partition handgun bullets and Barnes XPB in my bullet stash but haven't loaded them up yet. I think I might have loaded up some of them for the .357 magnum one winter but haven't shot them.

Mostly I used cast or Hornady and Nosler JHPs. I was using Hornady JHPs long before they thought of the XTP.

I've likely shot a literal ton of the Lyman 429244 Thompson designed GC bullet also.


Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises
256-435-1125

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!

Offline Dog Phish

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Re: 5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2021, 01:17:58 AM »
I take Hornady XTP bullet in all my handgun hunting loads or  LWFN bullets in 1-20 hardness any day over these over hyped jackbooted marketed ammo. Shot placement being most important key ingredient.

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: 5 of the Best Bullets for Handgun Hunters
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2021, 01:52:54 AM »
make mine an lfn. Ive killed animals as big as 1000 lb bison with just a 44 and an lfn. Killed animals as small as rabbits with the same gun. Same outcome. Dead animal and not any excessive meat damage. Matter of fact out of all the pigs bear bison and deer i killed handgun hunting for 20 years only one was with a jacketed bullet. that was a 200 lb black bear i killed with a 240 xtp out of again a 44 mag. Jacketed bullets are no doubt superior for self defense but for big game nothing beats a swc or lfn.
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