Recently I became aware that my “stash” of bullets for loading .480 Ruger rounds was running low. I was completely out of 375 gr bullets, and in short supply for 410 gr. I had been using bullets from Cast Performance, and was happy with them. A post on the Ruger Forum about some humorous FAQ’s on the website of the Missouri Bullet Company led me to their site – and a new source of projectiles. MBC bills their .475 Thumper bullet as being “For Vicious Critters”, and this should not be considered as false or misleading advertising! This is a Round Nosed, Flat Point (RNFP), Flat Bottom bullet of .476″ actual diameter, with a Brinell Hardness number of 18.
MBC offers bullets with or without their “Hi-Tek” coating, which is a powder coating that increases lubricity, which will increase velocities, reduces barrel leading and smoking from normal bullet lube, and almost completely eliminates lead exposure to a hand loader. The bullets are available in a “red copper” color, or “zombi green”. The bullets I am testing are in the copper flavor. For those who want to do their own coating, they will provide you with the materials and instructions to do so at a reasonable price.
Compared to the 410 gr hard cast bullets I am using from Cast Performance, the “Thumpers” are a bit shorter – .816″ vs .93″ – but when crimped in the last groove on the bullets the loaded over-all length (OAL) is the same as I load to with the heavier bullets – 1.65″. This length works best in my revolver, and with the slightly shorter bullet should be an extra insurance policy against over pressuring due to the bullet intruding into the powder space. The 410 gr bullets also have a broader nose, or metplate(?), which I really prefer for crushing impact – but any flat nose is superior in that respect to a sharp pointed or rounded nosed bullet. At this date, the Thumper is only available in the 340 gr weight, and not in heavier bullet weights. Still, a 340 is a bit heavier than the heaviest .44 bullets I use – 335 gr – and considerably heavier than the 300 – 310 gr bullets I shoot the most of from .44 and .45 revolvers – and with a much increased frontal profile.
MBC does not provide load data, for liability reasons, but their website allows customers to list their favorite loads, and they also have links to hand loading forums for more information. Since the lightest bullets I had previously loaded for my .480 Ruger was 375 gr, I started with five rounds using a fairly light charge of 8.0 grains of Titegroup powder – which has worked well in a variety of loads for .45 ACP. .45 Colt. .44 Special, and .44 magnum for me (the powder, not the charge weight), as well as the heavier bullet loads in .480 – and then “made up” 5 more with 8.5 grains of powder. The 8.0 grain load chronographed at an average velocity of 955 fps, while 8.5 grains produced 1010fps. Either of these loads should be death on hogs – pardon the pun – and the recoil is similar to a .44 mag or .45 Colt with a 300 gr bullet weight and similar velocity, or at least it is in my .480 Super Redhawk, which admittedly has a Magna-Ported 7.5″ barrel and wears Hogue “Tamer” grips to reduce recoil. I am anxious to actually test these on a hog(s), and hope to do so soon.
Pricing on a package of 300 Thumpers is $46.00 for “plain” or $53.00 for the coated version. MBC also sells “Sample” packages of most of their bullets, which gives you 100 coated Thumpers for $13.00, uncoated for $7.00. When I first contacted them, the .475 Thumpers were not actually on the sample list, but they added them soon after my inquiry.
And DO read their FAQ’s! Some are quite humorous!