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Discussion Starter #1
I was given a mixed box of jacketed .500 heads that I thought were for the .500 S&W, but now I'm not sure. Could they be for a .50-cal muzzleloader? Is there any difference? All these heads mike out at exactly .500" and are mixed lengths, either .726" or .736". A friend gave me a muzzleleoader head for reference which is .499" in diameter and .646" long, not including the nub for the gas seal. I don't have a scale so I can't determine the weights, but functionally, is there any difference between .500 heads used in a pistol and those used in a muzzleloader? Thanks for any help.

LA in MA
 

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Wotthehell is a "head"? A bullet? If so, yes, there is a difference. It sounds as if your .500 jacketed bullets (if that's what we're talking about here) are most likely for a .50 caliber cartridge firearm, either a rifle or a handgun. Your friend's .499 bullet, which I assume is lead, is made to slip down the barrel of a muzzle loader and will then expand to fill the rifling when burning powder behind it is pushing it out the barrel. You might notice I have made a lot of assumptions here but I'm trying to make sense of a question I don't entirely understand.

If you don't have a scale, I assume (that word again!) you aren't a reloader and if that's the case what do you intend to do with a bunch of loose bullets of any caliber? Just curious how all this came about, and I must be bored as hell since I'm trying to answer something I don't understand to begin with. I do however know a bit about reloading and feeding a muzzle loader, so I'm willing to help if I can.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No5,

Sorry for the confusion and the boredom. I was given these .50-cal, 334 gr. jacketed heads/bullets (about 550 in qty) to find homes for them: that is, sell them to someone who can use them or give them away. I'm just trying to determine whether they are heads/bullets for a pistol or a muzzleloader, or either. My friend's muzzleloader round, which is fully jacketed, was in the question for comparison purposes only and can be dis-regarded for the purpose of answering my main question: Are .50-cal bullets meant for muzzleloaders, rifles and handguns interchangeable? If not, how would I determine what I have? Thanks for any help/advice.

LA in MA
 

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The big difference will be expansion.

Smokeless powder bullets will not expand at handgun or muzzle loading velocities and pistol/blackpowder bullets will disintegrate at smokeless velocities.

Some picture would help to identify what they are.
 

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Hmmm. Those sure look like bullets intended for smokeless cartridges to me, most likely pistol since there aren't many actual .50 cal rifles except .50BMG which use much heavier bullets (like 500-750 grains; these look more in the 350 grain range, but that's another guess). Did they come in a box, with a manufacturer's name on it? That could be another clue.

Most, not all but most, jacketed bullets like this intended for use in a muzzleloader are smaller, like .45 or even .30 caliber, and are to be used with a plastic sabot ("shoe" in French, fills the space between the bullet and the larger-bore muzzleloader). The idea behind that is to push that lighter hunting-type bullet faster with black powder, and approach the performance of a modern rifle round.

All that said, I'm becoming more sure these are for cartridges and not muzzleloaders. Anybody else with an opinion?

By the way, thanks for the pics. They help.

Jerry
 

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If they will fit down the barrel, they will go out the barrel. The problem is that the jacketed bullets will not engage the rifling. Minie balls are soft lead and they have a skirt that expands to the rifling.

Just sell the bullets to a 500 S&W shooter, unless they are for a 50 AE.

Good Luck.
 
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