A year and a half ago, I reviewed Rossi revolving 45LC carbine (also capable of chambering 410 shotshells). I wan’t all that impressed with the accuracy, the handling or the terminal ballistics.
Yesterday, one of my models brought her Circuit Judge to the range and we shot a few rounds through it. Shooting 45LC lead bullets with a red/green dot sight, I was able to overlap all five shots at ten yards. That is substantially better than my results with the previous gun using the same ammunition.
About 13″ straight line penetration with 11/16″ expansion from the original .45″. Minimal felt recoil and dull report. Empties extracted easily, though the one closest to the receiver sometimes butted up against the wood of the stock.
We also tried two 44Mag handloads for Henry Big Boy first mentioned a couple of years ago. One load used 240gr Hornady XTP, the other Sierra 240gr JHC, both provided by Brownells. 24.5 grains of H110 move either at just under 1750fps. The impacts on gel were pretty spectacular with both loads: explosive fragmentation upon impact with about 15 degree spread. I am generally not a fan of fragmenting bullets for defense, but these loads had one important difference — deep penetration ranging from 16″ to 24″! Apparently, the relatively large size of each fragment combined with efficient cutting shape and high initial velocity of impact made all the difference. When I cut the block for re-melting, the “wound track” parts of it were not re-usable. For close-in defense against soft-skinned foes, this appears nearly ideal.
Hornady lists recommended velocity for 240gr XTP as 1350fps from a 7.5″ revolver. So, fired from a carbine, this load would have conventional expansion at 100 yards. Given the impressive accuracy of this lever action (under 1.5MOA), it can be used to good effect out to at least 150 yards. With 100 yard sight-in, the trajectory doesn’t rise above 2 inches nor drops below 6.