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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When thinking about HD, one of the things that drew me to the Judge was the ability to shoot .410 and have less worry about over-penetration. Although I live in a detached house, I have close neighbors and relatively thin walls (modern construction, just Hardi-plank siding).

But I also bought the Judge as a possible woods/backcountry/backpacking gun, and there I can see some situations where I might want to reach out a lot further and with as much punch as possible. I have the magnum Judge with the 3" cylinder. How hot a .45 load can I shoot, and is there a point where the power starts to make the free bore issue worse and accuracy drops way off? Basically, what is the ideal JHP round for the Judge that gives the best combination of range and punch while maintaining reasonable accuracy? (Obviously this isn't a target gun, I am just looking for "accurate enough to work with" here).

Right now I just have some cowboy loads (which is all I could find), but I am curious about some of these hotter JHP .45 rounds out there. Once the ammo shortage eases I figure I will be picking up something a little hotter in .45 for when I use it as a trail gun, but I am wondering whether all of you have found a point of diminishing returns on hotter ammo out of the Judge Magnum? Or is the only limiting factor my tolerance for "brisk" recoil? :eek:
 

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Here's a previous thread on the topic of "how hot?" Have a look at the ballistics101.com website for the BROAD scope of ammo in 45LC rounds. What is in the owner's manual regarding +p ammo? Technically 45LC does not have a +p spec.

http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/judge/68245-45-colt-p-ammo-judge.html

Testing what works best for accuracy is often a gun-by-gun proposition. I'm not a Judge owner. I'm sure thst you will have some short lists and opinions soon to get you a data base to start from!
 
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The only thing I could get besides cowboy loads was some federal jacketed flat tip
in 225 grain.

These seemed accurate enough. I can keep them in a pie plate circle at 25 and 50
yards but resting on a sandbag. Not freehand. I am out of practice as well.

For camping the 2 and a half or 3 inch PDX shells should work well but shoot really high
any more than 7 to 10 feet away.
 

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Hornady leverevolution rounds are awesome and so are the hornady critical defense. My favorite 45 loads!
 
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Hornady leverevolution rounds are awesome and so are the hornady critical defense. My favorite 45 loads!
Did you have any trouble with the Critical Defense .45 Colt? I tried it yesterday and it jammed the cylinder. Closing the loaded cylinder was very tight and couldn't shoot DA. Had to cock and shoot SA. The back of the cartridges are binding against the frame. I started a thread about this today.
 

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No I have never had problems with anything from hornady. I do have a raging judge magnum, maybe that makes a difference.
 

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Did you have any trouble with the Critical Defense .45 Colt? I tried it yesterday and it jammed the cylinder. Closing the loaded cylinder was very tight and couldn't shoot DA. Had to cock and shoot SA. The back of the cartridges are binding against the frame. I started a thread about this today.
Thanks for the reply. The cartridges are binding in the right side of the frame... looks like the frame is machined wrong. Going back to Taurus today. Sorry for Hijacking this thread.
 

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My reloads are slightly hot. I use Hornady 250gr XTP and Bullseye powder. But they're only .4 grs of powder over max. It took me several loads to build this one up, but it's safe and supremely accurate. I absolutely would not recommend any super hot ammo in a Judge, or any gun not rated for it, could be a recipe for disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hotter rounds are those with a stronger charge. Rounds get hotter by using more powerful powder or more powder.

When you increase the power two things can happen - you increase the pressure on the walls of the cylinder etc. and you increase the energy imparted to the bullet. The rifling of the barrel imparts spin to the round which stabilizes it and makes it fly accurately. At a certain point the stabilization provided by the rifling isn't adequate in relation to the energy in the round. The bullet accuracy starts to go down and you can even get "key holing" where the bullet actually tumbles instead of flying straight. Because the Judge has fairly shallow rifling there may be a point where the round is still within spec and safe to use in the Judge and won't blow up the gun but is really too powerful and therefore too wild and unreliable.

The other issue that comes into play in all this is the length of the barrel. Shorter barrels normally mean lower muzzle velocity all other things being equal because the powder has more time to burn behind the round and therefore more of the total energy gets imparted to the bullet. When you see a big column of flame coming out of the barrel behind the bullet a lot of that is wasted energy because it is burning after it leaves the barrel and therefore not helping to push the bullet. It may look cool but it really isn't doing anything.

At least that is my understanding of how this all works. But I don't reload so my understanding of all this may not be perfect. Somebody who knows more about it than me can correct me if I have screwed any of this up.
 

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Thanks for the information. This raises another question. How do you know how "hot" the ammo is prior to purchasing?
That's reloads.
Factory ammo is all loaded to be within SAAMI specs.
There are a couple of calibers that SAAMI releases a +P specification for, those would be considered hot.
There are a few commercial loads that you will see with a +P+ designation - those are higher pressure than +P and nobody sets a standard for them, those, I would say, should be considered 'approach with caution' loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
For factory ammo you look at the muzzle velocity reported on the box and the weight of the bullet in grains. A 200 grain bullet traveling at 750 FPS is softer shooting or not as hot a round as another round with the same bullet weight going 1300. It takes more force to accelerate that same mass to higher speeds.

That said there is no standard barrel length for reporting these figures and there are often multiple different bullet weights for a given caliber. So think about this as no more than a rough way to compare power at best. At the end of the day the power of a bullet is based on its velocity and mass. That is measured in foot pounds. Look on the Internet for the formula as to how you compute it using grain weight and FPS.
 

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Opinion/Recturm analogy time...as in everybodys got one here's mine.

Muchadoaboutnuthin...I've never seen a surviving thug "post shooting" that could tell the difference between what he was shot with...standard & high pressure rounds.

Most of us would fair better working on our shooting skills and mind set, to include situational awareness, than pondering on what the next wonder round might be...
:icon_ lala:
 
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