Ed. Note: Unbeknownst to each other, Paco
Kelly and Jeff Quinn were each working simultaneously
on their own articles testing Belt Mountain Enterprises'
new "Punch Bullets". Paco actually submitted his
article to me just as Jeff was finishing his! So, bearing in
mind what they say about great minds thinking alike, and given
the two men's differing testing methods, I've combined the two
articles into one.
Schlepp, the owner/operator of Belt Mountain Enterprises,
always surprises me with his products and their perfection.
Kelye (pronounced Kelly) is the manufacturer of those excellent
base pins for single action handguns; if you are not familiar
with Kelye's base pins, you should be! Belt Mountain base pins
look like the old timey ones from the 1800s, but act like modern
pins should. They
tighten up the cylinders in single actions, stopping any side to
side sloppiness that most of the modern single actions seem to
have right from the factory. From Rugers to any of the Colts
or Colt clones, Kelye has a base pin that will tighten up your
I talked to Kelye on the phone I had to smile as he told me
about his new ďPUNCH BULLETSĒ, named that because they punch
right thru big game. And they do that.
They are machine turned and lead filled. From the looks
of them with their perfect caliber size and weight, from bullet
to bullet, I guess a screw machine is used.
seem to be made from heavy
copper/brass stock. My
hardness tester states they are way above 40 BHN. The photo
shows the rate much higher, but that is because I had it laying
sideways on the scanner.
start with the 45-70 first, because I just tested it....With 53
grains of Accurate 25/20 from my 24 inch custom Marlin
lever action... the 400 grain bullet clocked at a consistent
1800 fps plus. The
average of four shots was 1812 fps, the highest 1820 fps and the
lowest 1801 fps. These are my loads, in my gun FYI only.
Pressure is around 28,000 psi.
are the most beautifully made 45-70s I have ever seen.
In fact, all the caliber/bullets sent to me are just
excellent... looking mighty fine.
I didnít have an elk to test these on, even if I did I
would welcome a frontal shot cause these beauties would
completely transverse the animal.
It will even do it on moose.
Why can I be so certain? Because at a modest 1650 fps
with a load of 40 grains of ReL #7 at around 26,000 psi... I
couldnít keep them inside 60 inches of wet phone books with
1/4 inch plywood sheets every 20 inches.
entrance was as usual, just around the size of the bullet... the
exits were around 1 and Ĺ inches.
Expansion, none at all in any animal..
Iím sure they went thru without any expansion... the
larger exit was because of the slowing of the bullet spin and
the debris of paper and wood being pushed ahead of the bullet.
We found evidence of that on the ground behind the test
material. Even the bullet dug out of the berm showed no
expansion! My heavy
load that generates 42,000 psi gave 2134 fps. This out of a new
Marlin 450 or my almost new 45-70, will take down any animal on
earth cleanly if placed right.
This testing was done before I hurt my back.
bullet is made for the big bears, the African buffalo and
elephant. They go
absolutely straight in the heavy medium we tested in them... no
riveting shown in the one dug out of almost a yard of hard dirt
berm. I was
going to dig out more, but the caliche dirt here in Arizona is
like cement. One was enough.
bullets are pricey, but you donít use them for anything but
big game... thatís big, big game! Want to take your big game
with a 45-70? These are the bullets to use.
Of course you can also use them in a .458 Winchester
caliber rifle. But
they are made for the 45-70, and why carry a heavy .458 when the
trim Marlin 45-70 is much lighter and faster at recharging the
chamber than a bolt action!
grain .452 caliber bullet is for single actions. And for taking
large game with single actions.
Out of my 45 Colt Ruger (the large frame, not the new
smaller frame) I was getting 1350 fps... surely I could go way
higher in my .454 Freedom Arms SA or my Reeder
custom 45 Colt/Ruger custom five shot SA.
But Iím just getting over a torn group of muscles and
nerves behind my right shoulder blade, and the strength of my
shooting hand has diminished. (Itís coming back slowly...if I
had known I was going to live to this age, I would have taken
better care of my body).
even with the medium velocity, 40 inches of wet phone books
couldnít stop them. If
I were in bear country I would carry the Freedom Arms revolver
or the Reeder Ruger SA with this bullet stoked to 1600
fps. That same load would take a large elk, even a moose.
But the problem with moose is they will die with one well
placed shot, but it takes more than one to make that happen
before they make it to water to die in...ugh.
skinned an elk that made it to water, shot once with a 444 rifle
slug. Iíll pass
on that experience again if I possibly can. You probably wonder
why... well handling the animal is somewhat harder, skinning it
partially under water is not a lot of fun.
And the water gets very bloody, so the clothes you have
on soak up the bloody water... such fun.
.475/380 grain Punch Bullet is the answer to one of the finest
handgun hunting calibers so far.
Iím not much on 50 caliber handguns, that's just my
personal choice. I feel the .475 will do the same things a fifty
will do, but with better down range ballistics and penetration.
A friendís .475 Linebough custom was used for my
testing, with the friend doing the shooting.
A 380 grain bullet doing near 1500 fps that doesnít
expand is also very hard to stop.
It went thru the wood pile as we called the 60 inches of
phone books and plywood for near 55 inches... punching thru two
of the plywood sheets. It doesnít get any better than that.
me, if you are going big game hunting, or in big dangerous game
country, from .452 thru .458 and on to .475, .500 and .512, Kelye Schlepp has
the right bullet for you.
Mountain Enterprises Inc.
Box 3202, Bozeman, MT 59772
him Gunblast sent you, and remember, his base pins will tighten
up your hunting handgun as well.
For a few days now, I have been testing out a
new .45/70 bullet from Belt Mountain Enterprises.
Unknown to me, Paco Kelly has been doing the same. This
afternoon, just as I came in from a day of chronograph and
penetration testing of the bullet, I received the article from
Paco by way of Boge. Paco is a better writer than I, and
has years more experience, but after spending much time on this
project, I decided to add my findings to his., and hopefully the
reader will benefit from both parts.
I will not plow the same ground here as my good
friend, as it turned out the we used different powders and
different penetration media in our separate endeavors. The best
powders that I found in my trials consisted of Accurate Armsí
AA2460 and Hodgdonís H322. While I got velocities as
high as 2248 feet-per-second (fps) with a healthy dose of H322,
velocities were becoming erratic, so I backed off on that
charge. Penetration tests also showed that there was little to
be gained by pushing the bullet any faster than just under 2000
fps. Also keep in mind that all of my testing was done with my Marlin
Guide Gun, which wears an eighteen and one-half inch ported
barrel. Pacoís test gun has a twenty-four inch barrel, so the
reader can likely glean useful chronograph information from both
parts as well. My favorite load, which gave good velocity and
excellent consistency used 60.1 grains of AA2460 in new Starline
cases with a Federal 210M benchrest primer. These clocked
1958 fps from the short-barreled Marlin at twelve feet from the
muzzle in 76 degree weather with moderate humidity. As can be
seen in the photos, this was a compressed load.
To test penetration, I was glad to see that Paco
used wet telephone books, as there is no way that I could
accumulate enough to do so. Where I live, our telephone books
measure six inches by nine inches, and are just under
one-quarter of an inch thick. I would have to gather up 240 of
them to get the sixty inches that Paco used. I used
instead a medium of which I have plenty. I shot the Punch
bullets through live hickory trees. As a comparison, the 405
grain Remington soft point bullet over the same charge of
AA2460 powder would penetrate less than six inches of live
hickory. The Belt Mountain Punch bullet penetrated over thirteen
inches of hickory, exited the back side of the tree and
penetrated through four inches of dry magazines that I packed
tightly into a box that I used to catch the bullet. These were
not some soft sissy home decorating or womenís fashion
magazines, but hot rod Harley periodicals, filled with pictures
of tough bikers, cold steel and polished chrome! Hickory and dry
paper has little relation to live flesh, hide, and bone, but
does show the relative penetration abilities of the Belt
Mountain bullets. The fired bullet shown weighed the same after
being fired through the tree and paper as it did before firing.
The sectioned bullet photo shows the construction of the bullet,
with the whole front section made of brass with the lead core
swaged into place, adding weight to the bullet. The
circumferential grooves reduce the bearing surface for lower
pressures, leaving plenty of bullet to engage the rifling.
The load listed above worked very well in my Guide Gun, showing
no signs of excessive pressure, with easy case extraction. The
cases received a heavy crimp into the crimp groove of the Punch
bullet, and functioning was perfect in my rifle. Recoil was
stiff in the little Marlin, but the light weight and quick
handling qualities of the gun make it a good choice to carry as
a stopping rifle against large hairy carnivores. It should also
be perfect for use in hunting the huge wild cattle of the world.
I can think of nothing in which the .45/70 Punch bullet would
not offer excellent penetration. Unlike some solids, the flat
nose and solid brass front section of the Punch bullet assures
straight-line, bone breaking penetration. Kelye makes
these for several handgun calibers also, but I have yet to give
them a good workout. Mike Rintoul of Grizzly Cartridge
Co. is loading these Punch Bullets into some of his premium
factory cartridges, with more loadings surely to follow as the
bullets become more readily available.
Give Kelye Schlepp of Belt Mountain a
call and try a few of these bullets yourself. I can think of
nothing that I would rather carry when hard-hitting,
bone-crushing penetration was required to resolve a situation. I
highly recommend them.
Mountain Enterprises Inc.
Box 3202, Bozeman, MT 59772
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author(s) nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
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