I recently tested a couple .454 Casull rounds. First was the long discontinued 260gr Nosler Partition. I also tested some 240gr Hornady XTP/Mag bullets. Both were loaded over W296. I used a 12 inch Encore with a ported barrel.
First I ran the loads across a chronograph. The 260 gr Partitions came in at 1905fps. The 240gr XTP/Mags are running 1980fps. With the closed breech and long barrel these velocities are close to 460S&W revolver velocities for bullets of this weight. I posted a .44 Mag bullet test last week using a 12 inch barrel. The velocity of both .454 Casull loads is about the same at 100 yards as the 240gr SJHP .44 Mag load velocity at the muzzle. That is some serious power!
I also tested the 240gr XTP/Mag bullets from a 7.5 inch BFR revolver. It came in at 1740fps which is about where the same load fired from the Encore would be at 50 yards. Unfortunately I did not have enough jugs to test the Partition at revolver velocities.
Next I tested the bullets. Here is the test setup. I start with a water filled milk jug backed by one half inch thick plywood, then 1 inch of glossy catalogs followed by more milk jugs. Nothing can replace actual flesh and bone on game but I try to simulate it with the catalogs and plywood. The plywood definitely takes a toll on the bullets.
I fired the Partition first. I have tested .458 inch 300gr Partitions fired from a 12 inch .45-70 in the past and was impressed with their penetration. The .451 inch 260gr version did not disappoint. It was recovered in the 6th jug which made it the winner for penetration. It left a .624 inch hole in the plywood and completely lost the forward portion of the bullet. The recovered weight was 210gr (losing only 50 gr) and it expanded to .543 inches at its widest point. It just goes to show that combined with the high velocity this is a fairly tough bullet test.
Next up was the 240gr XTP/Mag fired from the 12 inch Encore. I was surprised to find it in the third jug. The energy it transferred to the jugs, catalogs and plywood was impressive. It made a 1.656 inch hole in the plywood and the jacket and core separated. The recovered weight was 146.3gr (losing 93.7gr). The jacket expanded to .893 inches and the core expanded to .613 inches at its widest. I have used these and the 300gr version on deer from a revolver and have been very impressed with their performance.
Next I tested the 240gr XTP/Mag load from a 7.5 inch BFR. I was out of catalogs so I used the combined saturated catalogs from the previous tests with a thickness of about 2 inches. The jacket/core stayed intact. I hit a little low on the jug which I think forced the plywood up on impact. The plywood broke without a hole through it. As with the other two tests it left an impressive hole in the catalogs. It was also recovered in the third jug which again surprised me. The recovered weight was 186.8gr (losing 53.2gr) and expanded to .701 inches at its widest point.
Here is a look at the before and after on these bullets. The Nosler is on the left, the 240gr XTP/Mag fired from the Encore is in the center and the XTP/Mag fired from the BFR is on the right.
Here is a look at the base and petals of the 240gr XTP/Mag fired from the 7.5 inch BFR. IMO its a thing of beauty!
One thing that surprised me was that the particle board base supporting the jugs broke under the first jug when testing the 240gr XTP/Mags from the Encore. I have tested .44 Mag, .375JDJ and .45-70 with a variety of bullets using a similar setup. I have never had a particle board base break with any of those rounds. It goes to show how much energy is transferred to the target with that combo.