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loosing confidence #192865 06/07/2018 12:56 PM
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So, as the title implies, I am loosing confidence and am torn this year on what weapon to use for my season. Pistol or Rifle.

I currently use a 460 SW. Last year I shot two deer with this weapon and could only find one, but that was after two days using buzzards.

The first deer was a really nice buck. I was steady on a bag at about 100 yards. The deer mule kicked and ran off. I searched several hours a day for two days and found no sign. I know I could have missed, but at that range with a bag rest, and not rushed, I just don't see it.

The second was a couple days after the buck. A doe at about 130yards. She jumped and kicked. I again searched for hours. It wasn't until A couple days later, while checking cameras, I saw buzzards near the area and found her about 150 yards away from the POI. But the rout she took had to have had her running for several hundred yards, turning in the opposite direction, before falling. I inspected the shot and it was really good, right behind the shoulder.


I shoot Hornadys 200gr ftx for this gun because they are fast and really accurate at the range. I shoot at 100 and 200 yards with great results.
I have other handguns, 3030, 44's but the 460 is probably the hardest hitting one I have and the most accurate, specially at range. I really like shooting the 3030 but am not completely sold on its effectiveness out to 100 yards.


I have started looking into different ammo but everything else that is factory seems to perform so much less I could see how they could make a great difference, even with the different bullet.


I really take it hard when I wound game, or worse, hit and find it rotted, of which that was the first time. Rarely do I not recover game that I shoot at, even with a handgun, but specially with a rifle. These back to back *uck ups really have me thinking about not bringing the handguns out this year, even though I really enjoy using them.


I know it was a long read, and probably boring for most, but it has been eating at me since last season.

Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192866 06/07/2018 1:14 PM
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45MAN Offline
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SOUNDS LIKE A BULLET ISSUE TO ME. I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY USED THE CORBON LOAD USING THE BARNES 200gr BULLET. NO BIG SHOCK ON IMPACT, NOR BIG BLOOD TRAILS, BUT THE ANIMALS ONLY GO 20 - 40 YARDS AND DROP DEAD. I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED IF A HEAVIER BULLET, e.g. A 260gr SWIFT MIGHT BE THE WAY TO GO. I AM NOT USING MY 460 RIGHT NOW, AND HAVE OTHER GUN PROJECTS TO WORK ON, BUT ONE OF THESE DAYS I MAY TRY A HEAVIER, CONVENTIONAL SHAPED, BULLET.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192867 06/07/2018 1:20 PM
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That sucks. I'm sorry to hear about losing your deer. It's a hard thing to accept, but also a good time to reevaluate as you are doing and I have also done. I've got a couple questions if you don't mind to help the discussion.

Did you examine the bullet wound closely on the doe? Was there full penetration (exit wound) Did it look like the bullet expanded? How big was the exit? Were there any internal organs to look at for damage?

I also try to shoot right behind the shoulders but try to keep the bullet low so I catch the top of the heart or some of the large vessels (the bottom ~1/3 to 1/4 of the animal). Do you think you were up in the lungs? A lot of hunters will place it through the shoulders as it's hard to run with two messed up front shoulders and the bone often makes a lot of extra internal shrapnel.

After all that, each animal you shoot is an individual and they all behave differently. It's not uncommon for them to run a ways even with a good shot unless you make it impossible for them to run. The 460 should be a very hard hitting round, but bullet performance is always key. Have you done any terminal performance testing on the 200gn FTX with water jugs or the like or found reports of others who have at similar ranges? Any idea what your muzzle velocity is?



Also, are you shooting factory or reloading? If you reload, there is a lot of potential in your 30-30 hidden behind that old round nosed 150gn bullet. I think a reasonable max range for a 30-30 factory load in a 14" contender is 100-150 yards, but it really depends on the bullet performance at the given velocity at the target. If you reload, some of the lighter 300 BO bullets will give you effective ranges of up to 300+ yards, or if you're like me, much farther then you are willing to shoot.

Edit- Looking at the reviews and comments on the factory 200 FTX load on MidwXX.com it looks like they are split. Many say it works great while at least a few say it explodes on impact and doesn't penetrate. To me this sounds a little bit like the discussion around the Hornady XTP. They work great until they don't and then you are left wondering. IMHO, I would find a different bullet (I am partial to the Barnes). That all being said, bullets of all types fail on impact and none are perfect, that's why we have options and internet forums to beat decisions to death.

Last edited by karl; 06/07/2018 2:05 PM.
Re: loosing confidence [Re: karl] #192870 06/07/2018 2:46 PM
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Chance Weldon Offline
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If you say you felt good about the shot, especially after confirming your placement on the doe, I believe you. I have no experience with the 200 grain FTX, but like karl, everything I've read about it is mixed. Really mixed. Some guys say it won't open well except at really high velocities, some say it fragments severely no matter the velocity. I don't think any handgun bullet has such a wide range of opinions on it, not even the XTPs. I'd lean more towards the bullet's performance, or lack thereof, being a factor.

I don't think there is one easy answer to your problem. It is apparent something needs to change, however.

On the subject of the 460, I think you ought to try another bullet. As mentioned by the others, the 200 grain Barnes XPB, which performs similarly to the FTX ballistically. I don't know whether you reload or not, but I think Cor-Bon has some factory loads with this bullet. Yes, it's expensive even just as a reloading component, but in my experience it is pretty accurate, sub-MOA even:


If you find them a bit too expensive, only use them to develop you load and/or sight your gun in with the loads, then use the FTX to practice with during the off season. They hit fairly similarly at 100 yards.

Option #2 if you reload would be to develop a good load with your 30-30. . . guessing it's a Contender? Can't give you any advice here, but there's tons of information in this forum and plenty of guys with experience using a 30-30 handgun. Pretty sure it's capable of killing reliably at 150 yards and beyond with the right load.

One last thing you might try just to ensure it wasn't you would be to try to replicate the shot you made. Set up a blank piece of paper or paper plate (because deer don't have little orange dots on them to aim at) at the same distance as the buck, then set up the same type of shooting rest, wear the same gloves, and try to take a similar amount of time to get on target and fire. See where that first shot goes. Not the best way to determine what happened, but it might be helpful.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192872 06/07/2018 4:25 PM
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So sorry to hear about your loss of animals. I would urge you reevaluate your ammo and your shot placement before you condemn all handguns as the issue. As far as shot placement goes I would recommend either center shoulder, breaking bone if you want to quickly anchor a deer sized animal. For ammo I recommend a heavier JHP that will penetrate fully with some expansion. I have killed many deer with XTP bullets in 44magnum. I have killed a Whitetail and a red sheep with a 460 using 240 XTP Mag bullets. Both quick kills with full penetration. I am not a fan of the pointed FTX bullets. They are fairly light for their diameter and they must expand to create a wound channel. If I had to use them I would experiment with pulling the plastic top and shoot them as a hollow point.
Regardless of rifle or handgun you need bullet placement in the vitals and a good wound channel to secure a kill. Many deer run off to be lost with rifles too.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: billa] #192875 06/07/2018 4:53 PM
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I have found that I shoot my contenders much better past 50 yards than any of my revolvers. I have sweet 14 contenders in both 30 30 and 44 mag and like them both but if I had to choose one it would be my 30 30 for the extra range it gives with hand loads.

With the right hand load you can turn it into a true 200 yard deer handgun.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: REDHAWK1954] #192878 06/07/2018 6:29 PM
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Others may differ, but I feel that you are over gunned for the task. I experienced much the same problem when using my 454 Casull on Texas Whitetails. I shot a sizeable Sika buck with my 454. The deer ran off through the scrub oak to the accompaniment of catcalls from my fellow hunters that I had missed. The guide asked if I was sure of a hit, which I was. We found no blood or hair, but managed to follow the deer's tracks in the soft earth. After a half-hour of tracking we found some blood, and eventually the Sika, where he had run headlong into a large oak 70 yards from the shot, smashing his antlers in the process. While field dressing the deer, the guide showed me the heart dead centered by a bullet from the Casull. The bullet was simply too heavily constructed for the job at hand. You might consider the practice adopted by many of the Professional Hunters in Africa, and shoot the shoulder dead center, rather than aiming behind the shoulder. Just MHO.


Last edited by Sawfish; 06/07/2018 6:31 PM.

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Re: loosing confidence [Re: Sawfish] #192879 06/07/2018 7:22 PM
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I'd have to agree that your load sounds like the issue. I shoot at the shoulder, not around it, so I have to also say that could help if you need to anchor the deer before it can get lost.

As far as the .44 and 30-30, both will work at 100 yards. 30-30 ballistics, from what I have seen, don't change much in a 14" barrel as opposed to a rifle (and many of those rifles have 16" barrels anyway). So, you're shooting the same 30-30 which has likely taken more deer in the US than any other cartridge. There's no question as to it's efficacy. Deer haven't gotten any bigger or tougher than they were when the 32-20 Win. was taking them cleanly.

Last edited by JDK; 06/07/2018 7:23 PM.

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Re: loosing confidence [Re: JDK] #192886 06/07/2018 10:21 PM
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If you are just shooting deer the 240gr XTP MAG deserves a look. I got them to expand all the way down to 1150 fps. It is too soft for elk but any deer size game it would work well.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192891 06/08/2018 12:30 AM
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I have owned 2 S&W 460's, and 2 Encore barrels chambered for the same cartridge. I tested the Hornady 200gr FTX factoy load from my 14 inch Encore barrel into 3 one gallon jugs filled with water at 50 and 100 yards, and while the splash was very impressive, there was only a small amount of the bullet left. It was about like a dime, both in diameter and in thickness. After this test I pulled down the rest of the ammo and reloaded with 240gr XTP Mags. The results were very similar. I would say the problem lies with the bullet and it's loading. I sold/traded all my 460's and related stuff and returned to my normal Contender chamberings with no regrets. I am not suggesting you do the same, but I would recommend a different bullet and or loading. As far as the 30-30, I would not hesitate to shoot a whitetail at 100 to 150 yards with an accurate 150 grain factory load, or a reloaded equivalent. Don't beat yourself up too much, it's happened to most of us at one time or another.

Re: loosing confidence [Re: reflex264] #192898 06/08/2018 10:41 AM
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 Originally Posted By: GG
So, as the title implies, I am loosing confidence and am torn this year on what weapon to use for my season. Pistol or Rifle.

I currently use a 460 SW. Last year I shot two deer with this weapon and could only find one, but that was after two days using buzzards.

The first deer was a really nice buck. I was steady on a bag at about 100 yards. The deer mule kicked and ran off. I searched several hours a day for two days and found no sign. I know I could have missed, but at that range with a bag rest, and not rushed, I just don't see it.

The second was a couple days after the buck. A doe at about 130yards. She jumped and kicked. I again searched for hours. It wasn't until A couple days later, while checking cameras, I saw buzzards near the area and found her about 150 yards away from the POI. But the rout she took had to have had her running for several hundred yards, turning in the opposite direction, before falling. I inspected the shot and it was really good, right behind the shoulder.


I shoot Hornadys 200gr ftx for this gun because they are fast and really accurate at the range. I shoot at 100 and 200 yards with great results.
I have other handguns, 3030, 44's but the 460 is probably the hardest hitting one I have and the most accurate, specially at range. I really like shooting the 3030 but am not completely sold on its effectiveness out to 100 yards.


I have started looking into different ammo but everything else that is factory seems to perform so much less I could see how they could make a great difference, even with the different bullet.


I really take it hard when I wound game, or worse, hit and find it rotted, of which that was the first time. Rarely do I not recover game that I shoot at, even with a handgun, but specially with a rifle. These back to back *uck ups really have me thinking about not bringing the handguns out this year, even though I really enjoy using them.


I know it was a long read, and probably boring for most, but it has been eating at me since last season.
 Originally Posted By: reflex264
If you are just shooting deer the 240gr XTP MAG deserves a look. I got them to expand all the way down to 1150 fps. It is too soft for elk but any deer size game it would work well.
I have to believe you had bullet failure. If you keep using the 460 try some Barnes bullets. My experience with them gave me complete confidence on game. If you go with the 30-30 I think it will impress you. Again you need the right bullets for the right job. I use 125gr Nosler Ballistic tips at 2300 FPS for deer with great results. I do not shoot the shoulder with these. I can tell you I have got bang flops out to 130 yds. So far that's all the opportunity I had on whitetail distance wise. I would not hesitate to shoot 200 yds.

Last edited by dhom; 06/08/2018 10:42 AM.
Re: loosing confidence [Re: dhom] #192907 06/08/2018 8:25 PM
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Where did you exactly hit the deer???
Sorry..just re-read your post... don`t lose faith...try a stronger bullet....I know guys that have used the Hornady bullet with great success but I got turned off to that 200gr when there was very little penetration after the bullet came apart on a deer I shot going away from me...a stronger bullet with similar accuracy is what you should aim for.... Good luck.....

Last edited by jamesfromjersey; 06/09/2018 5:07 PM.

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Re: loosing confidence [Re: jamesfromjersey] #192913 06/09/2018 12:15 AM
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I never had a issue at all with the 460, I use the 200 grain FTX bulletts, in both the revolver and the Encore, just stay off the shoulder.

Re: loosing confidence [Re: racksmasher1] #192920 06/09/2018 4:44 PM
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Gregg Richter Offline
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Some really good feedback here. Bullet failure seems to be the strongest opinion.

With a bullet constructed heavy enough I also like the center of shoulder shot and used that shot on a big bull elk to anchor him with my .475 LB.







Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192928 06/09/2018 8:54 PM
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I agree that it sounds like an issue with the bullet. I prefer a flat point bullet for any big bore round, either a JHP or JSP. In my experience (when used at the proper velocities) they transfer energy on impact better resulting in larger entrance/exit holes and impressive internal damage.

I don't own a .460 but I have used .454 Casulls on several deer. I have been very happy with XTP/Mags. They are designed to expand at velocities from 1100-2100fps. They don't have to be pushed fast to perform. I load the 240gr XTP/Mags at 1650fps and the 300gr XTP/Mags at 1450fps. All the deer I have shot with them (heart/lung shots) died within sight and didn't go far. By contrast the very hard 300gr Sierra JSP loaded at 1400fps acts like a hardcast and resulted in the only .454 Casull deer I shot that made it out of my sight before dying. It traveled about 75 yards shot through both lungs. The internal damage and entrance/exit holes were not as impressive as the XTP/Mags.

I know the 460 gets high velocities but high velocities are not needed to kill deer efficiently. Due to its high velocities the 460 was also sold as a "long range" hunting round. As velocities drop at longer ranges bullets with thick jackets designed for high velocity rounds often fail to perform as well as they do at shorter distances (higher velocities). Because of this I would recommend that you keep your shots on game inside 50-75 yards until you find a bullet that you're happy with and you build confidence in it. When you have a bullet/load you're happy with keep in mind the bullets limitations. Limit your shots to distances that the velocity is still high enough for the bullet to perform properly.


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Re: loosing confidence [Re: pab1] #192949 06/11/2018 12:45 AM
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sw282 Offline
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l don't care too much for that little stubby 200gr FTX bullet

in my S&W 460 PC 10 1/2'' revolver. l prefer the 225gr FTX in

my 460... Hornady says the 225gr is a 45COLT bullet.. l works

great in the 460.. Loaded at around 1500-1600fps l doubt any

critter would walk away... Lots more pleasant to shoot TOO..

282

Re: loosing confidence [Re: sw282] #192952 06/11/2018 1:44 AM
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HARDCAST ! ! ! 335gr. WLN-GC LBT.

Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192953 06/11/2018 2:46 AM
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s4s4u Offline
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 Quote:
I have started looking into different ammo but everything else that is factory seems to perform so much less I could see how they could make a great difference, even with the different bullet.


What do you mean by "perform so much less"? Do you mean velocity? There is so much more to bullet performance than velocity.


Rod, too.

Short cuts often lead to long recoveries.
Re: loosing confidence [Re: s4s4u] #192974 06/11/2018 7:05 PM
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sw282 Offline
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Bullet placement is like Real Estate. lts LOCATION, LOCATION,

LOCATION that counts... Without that NOTHING else matters

Re: loosing confidence [Re: sw282] #192975 06/11/2018 7:32 PM
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 Originally Posted By: sw282
Bullet placement is like Real Estate. lts LOCATION, LOCATION,

LOCATION that counts... Without that NOTHING else matters


AMEN, Brother! ! !

Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192994 06/12/2018 11:50 AM
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Thanks all for the advice.

I did inspect the wound on the doe I found. It was a pass through right behind the shoulder. The size of the entrance and exit whole had been picked at by the buzzards so they were not very useful in determining the but exit wound.
I typically aim directly for the shoulder but in this case the deer was slightly quartering away so I tried to put it a little behind the shoulder on the close side so that it would exit through the shoulder on the far side. I was about an inch from the shoulder on the far side.


At the risk of getting another hobbie I have been trying to avoid getting into reloading but seems if I am going to move away from rifles and dedicate to handguns I will have to. I am just not very happy with much of the factory stuff I look at. I know that 1600fps and a good bullet will kill, I am just a fan of speed and like my bullets going a little faster. Most of my shots are between 80 and 125 yards and I like starting with a little more fps so I still have some juice left down range to open the bullet up.

Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192995 06/12/2018 1:10 PM
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billa Offline
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If you are hung up on speed I suggest you get a TC Contender or Encore in your favorite rifle caliber and try that for awhile. It sounds like your mindset is not really revolver oriented at the present time. Maybe that will address your lack of confidence in your handguns.


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,... "
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Re: loosing confidence [Re: GG] #192996 06/12/2018 1:59 PM
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 Quote:
Most of my shots are between 80 and 125 yards and I like starting with a little more fps so I still have some juice left down range to open the bullet up.


At that distance I am quite comfortable with my 45 Colt pushing a 250 XTP @ 1,200 fps. At 1,600 fps you should have plenty of juice left.


Rod, too.

Short cuts often lead to long recoveries.

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