FAQ

Can I shoot the 330-grain 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in Ruger Super Blackhawk, Colt Anaconda, Taurus, or Smith & Wesson revolvers?

Can I shoot the 330-grain 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in a Freedom Arms revolver?

Can I shoot the 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in a lever-action rifle?

Can I shoot any of your 45-70 loads in a trapdoor Springfield rifle?

Why can't I shoot the 540-grain Hammerhead Ammo in guns other than the Marlin rifle?

Does the 540-grain Hammerhead Ammo actually out-penetrate the 458 Winchester Magnum?

What do we mean by SuperHardCast?

What is a meplat?

Do the 45-70 Hammerhead bullets possess meplat diameters sufficient to protect against recoil induced ignition in the tubular magazine?

What primers are used in Garrett Hammerhead Ammo?

What primers are used in Garrett Exiter Ammo?

What kind of brass are we using?

Do our SuperHardCast Hammerhead bullets leave lead in the barrel?

Are our 44 Magnum loads really capable of handling grizzly?

When shooting game, should I target the shoulder or the lungs?

How accurate is our ammunition?

Why do we recommend our 540-grain 45-70 ammo for close-quarters work against grizzly instead of our 420-grain ammo?

What is meant by our weight-forward design?

How do we package our ammunition?

Can I shoot the 330-grain 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in Ruger Super Blackhawk, Colt Anaconda, Taurus, or Smith & Wesson revolvers?
No, our 330-gr +P Hammerhead Ammo generates too much pressure for those guns, and is recommended for use only in Ruger Redhawks, Ruger Super Redhawks, Dan Wessons, Taurus Raging Bulls (no other Taurus), and custom long-cylindered single action revolvers built by Hamilton Bowen, Gary Reeder, and John Gallagher.
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Can I shoot the 330-grain 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in a Freedom Arms revolver?
No. Although strength is not an issue, the Freedom Arms revolver uses a cylinder that is too short for use with our long 330-grain Hammerhead Ammo.
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Can I shoot the 44 Magnum Hammerhead Ammo in a lever-action rifle?
No, both loads are too long to function properly in lever-action rifles.
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Can I shoot any of your 45-70 loads in a trapdoor Springfield rifle?
Absolutely not! All of our 45-70 ammo offerings generate far too much pressure for use in the trapdoor Springfield or any other firearm not specifically recommended for use with our ammo. Do not violate this recommendation as severe injury or death could result!
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Why can't I shoot the 540-grain Hammerhead Ammo in guns other than the Marlin rifle?
Our 540-grain bullet has an extremely blunt nose, which results in greater than normal diameter very close to the meplat (forward end) of the bullet. Unfortunately, this keeps the 540-grain Hammerhead Ammo from chambering in most 45-70 rifles. Only the Marlin can chamber our super blunt 540-grainer.
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Does the 540-grain Hammerhead Ammo actually out-penetrate the 458 Winchester Magnum and 500 Nitro Express when using solids?
Yes, as was demonstrated for all to see at a recent John Linebaugh seminar. The penetration results, which parallel ours, demonstrated that the 458 Winchester Magnum produces 47-inches of penetration in wet newspaper with 500-grain roundnose solids and that the 500 Nitro Express produces 48-inches of penetration in wet newspaper with 570-grain roundnose solids. By comparison, our 540-grainer with its super blunt front end produces an impressive 55-inches of penetration in the same material. Nearly 20% deeper penetration than the 458 or 500 Nitro Express with roundnose solids! Although our 540-gr Hammerhead Ammo out-penetrates these heavy magnum calibers in wet newspapers and ballistic gelatin, we strong recommend our 500-gr Exiter Ammo for those in pursuit of Africa's heaviest game: elephant, rhino, hippo, and Cape buffalo. The outstanding Hornady copper-clad heavy steel jacketed flatnose solid used in our Exiter Ammo is the strongest solid available to 45-70 shooters, and is thus the best choice for the heavy bone-busting required for these extra-heavy species.
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What do we mean by SuperHardCast?
Our use of this term is intended to differentiate between what have commonly been called hard-cast bullets and our very special SuperHardCast bullets. Hand-cast by us from custom Hensley & Gibbs blocks, our low-antimony bullets possess superior hardening characteristics. Our hardening process takes our bullets to 25-Brinnell, without the brittleness so common to high-antimony alloys. This is an essential element in the production of proper castings intended for use against heavy game. High-antimony alloys are the standard in the industry due to their ability to achieve acceptable rejection rates from automatic casting machines and 20-Brinnell hardness without additional hardening. This is what characterizes the better commercial machine-cast bullets. However, achieving hardness with the brittleness of high antimony alloys is hard to justify when the game is heavy or possibly dangerous. By contrast, our SuperHardCast Hammerheads possess none of the brittleness of high-antimo y bullets, and are therefore far more reliable when impacted into extremely tough game. If the stress of impact exceeds the strength of our 25-Brinnell bullets (as in pointblank impact into the heaviest game with our high-speed 420 grain 45-70 ammo), the bullet simply deforms modestly, retaining virtually all of its weight. This is in sharp contrast to the all-too-common shattering of conventional high-antimony castings when deployed under similar conditions.
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What is a meplat?
The term meplat refers to the flat on the front of the nose of the bullet. Since it is always a circle, it is generally referred to by its diameter in inches. Our 44 Magnum Hammerheads both possess a meplat diameter of .320-inch, while our 45-70 Hammerheads sport a .330-inch meplat on the 420-grainer and a huge .360-inch meplat on the 540-grainer. When using hard-cast bullets it is essential to use a blunt front end (broad meplat) in order to quickly incapacitate game. All of our Hammerheads possess extremely broad meplats, and can be depended upon to quickly anchor heavy game as well as provide extreme penetration. Our 45-70 bullets are by far the bluntest cast-bullet designs available in the caliber, dwarfing the all to common .300-inch meplat.
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Do the 45-70 Hammerhead bullets possess meplat diameters sufficient to protect against recoil induced ignition in the tubular magazine?
This is a critically important safety issue for those firing heavy recoiling ammo in tubular magazine rifles. When loaded into the lever-action firearm, cartridges are pushed up into a tubular magazine that aligns them bullet-nose to cartridge-head. The bullet nose actually contacts the area around the primer, and even bridges it. Due to this, it is essential that the bullet nose be very blunt in order to prevent contact with the primer during the recoil pulse. The greater the recoil pulse, the greater the need for concern regarding meplat diameter. The importance of this cannot be overstated. A recoil-induced ignition in the tubular magazine is a potentially catastrophic event, both to the gun and the shooter. In response to this safety concern, we have chosen to design our bullets with the broadest meplats in the industry. This extra bluntness provides a very real measure of protection with heavy recoiling loads.
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What primers are used in Garrett Hammerhead Ammo?
Our 44 Magnum Ammo uses Remington primers, factory-installed by Remington. Our 45-70 Govt and Hammerhead Ammo uses military-spec, slam-fire safe, large rifle primers. This primer provides an additional layer of protection against recoil-induced magazine ignitions, and also provides superior low-temperature performance.
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What primers are used in Garrett Exiter Ammo?
Our 45-70 Exiter Ammo uses large rifle primers.
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What kind of brass are we using?
We use Remington cases for our 44 Magnum ammunition, and Starline cases for our 45-70 ammunition.
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Do our SuperHardCast Hammerhead bullets leave lead in the barrel?
Where our 45-70 ammo is concerned, our bullets are gas-checked and will leave a clean barrel. The minor cleaning that is required, will remove far less stubborn after-effects than is left behind by jacketed bullets. Where our 44 Magnum ammo is concerned, our bullets are plain-base. Although leading does vary with the gun, the great majority of revolver barrels retain only trace amounts of lead. Also, the lead left in the barrel is quite easy to remove by simply dry brushing the barrel. The alloy is so hard that it quickly brushes off the surface. Softer alloys are much harder to remove due to their tendency to smear rather than brush off. Softer alloys also tend to build-up on the surface of the barrel to a far greater degree than harder alloys.
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Are our 44 Magnum loads really capable of handling grizzly?
The answer is yes, in the hands of a reliable shot. From a comparative point of view, our 44 Magnum Hammerheads provide far more penetration than the 300-grain NosIer Partition fired from the 375 Holland & Holland. Also, both bullets present an extremely blunt front end (meplat). Our 44 bullets also offer far greater security from bullet fracture or deflection than any expanding bullet. Since beginning production in 1988 we have had many customers defend themselves from grizzlies, and always our 44 Magnum ammo has provided super-deep penetration, generally to the hips on a frontally shot bear (even when the skull is engaged.)
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When shooting game, should I target the shoulder or the lungs?
Our SuperHardCast bullets do their most lethal work when fired into the shoulder bones of big-game. An exit wound usually results, even when the game is elk and the caliber is 44 Magnum. Expanding bullets often fragment or fail to penetrate adequately when fired into heavy bone, and therefore are best targeted into the relatively soft tissue behind the shoulder. A hard-cast bullet through the shoulders is a faster killer than an expanding bullet through the lungs, and should the shooter "throw a flyer", a hard-cast bullet through the lungs is more reliable than an expanding bullet into heavy shoulder bones. The same advice also applies for our 45-70 ammo. However, the penetration and impact-effect is considerably greater, and even allows for rear angle shots on heavy game.
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How accurate is our ammunition?
Accuracy potential generally exceeds that of the shooter. Shooters consistently report better than two inch 5-shot groups at 50-yds with our 44 Magnum ammo (see published comments by John Taffin and Charles Petty). Our 45-70 ammo generally delivers 1-inch to 1.5-inch 3-shots groups at 100-yds from lever-actions, and MOA from single-shots.
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Why do we recommend our 540-grain 45-70 ammo for close-quarters work against grizzly instead of our 420-grain ammo?
The stress experienced by a bullet upon impact is the product of the toughness of the target and the speed of impact. Therefore, when engaging an extremely tough target at close-quarters, such as a heavy coastal grizzly or buffalo, reliable power is best achieved by lowering velocity and increasing bullet weight. This insures that impact velocity is not excessive, which can overwhelm even the toughest alloy. Although well suited to grizzly defense, our 420-grainer with its .330" meplat, higher velocity, and flatter trajectory is best deployed as a heavy game hunting round, whereas our 540-grainer with its huge .360" meplat, extreme weight, and lower velocity, is best deployed as a heavy game close-quarters stopper.
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What is meant by our weight-forward design?
Unlike other bullet designs, our 44 Magnum Hammerheads have extra long noses that take full advantage of the length of the cylinders in which they are fired. When our ammo is chambered in the firearms for which they are recommended, the bullet noses come to within .030-inch of the end of the cylinder. In this way we are able to utilize the chamber throat as a "storage area", as opposed to its usual function as an empty pre-barrel pathway. Since our 44 Magnum Hammerheads have extra-long noses, they correspondingly have shorter than normal bases, resulting in very shallow seating depth. The shorter the seating depth exhibited by a bullet, the greater the gunpowder storage capacity of the cartridge case. This is an essential element to the creation of high performance revolver ammo. Other builders of 44 Magnum ammo keep their cartridges short so they can function through lever-action carbines and clip-fed autos. Unfortunately this requires the deep seating of bullets, and greatly limits the gunpowder capacity of the case, resulting in lower velocity. By extending the bullet weight forward we gain an additional 100-fps over what is possible with conventional designs at the same chamber pressure. It is our view that the 44 Magnum is best chambered in the revolver, and we build our ammo to perform to full potential in the revolver.
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How do we package our ammunition?
All of our ammunition is packaged in MTM plastic boxes.
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