.50 Action Express vs. .440 Cor-Bon

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About Cor-bon:

   Cor-bon is a company that produces high velocity and energy ammunition. Pushing the limits of legality while being very safe. And yes, Cor-bon ammo is more expensive.

About .440 cartridge:

   Magnum Research, Desert Eagle Mark XIX (USA), 440 Cor-bon - Magnum Research designs a range of high-performance firearms. The most famous of which is the Desert Eagle pistol known for its large frame, tough looks, and many Hollywood appearances in crime dramas set in gritty New York city hotels and luxurious Vegas hotels. At 10 3/4" and 4.5lbs this pistol fits-the-bill for any Arnold(ish) need. Not to mention this is a quality firearm, accurate, dependable, and not too bad to handle.

    Cor-bon (corbon.com) designs and manufactures performance ammunition for civilian and law enforcement use. Cor-bon loads are usually 'hotter' than other loads in the class. Cor-bon has many standard loads and has two proprietary loads called the 400 Cor-bon and 440 Cor-bon. The 400C is a 45ACP cartridge necked-down to a 40SW bullet. The 440C is a 50AE cartridge necked-down to a 44M buller. Both operate on a simple concept, take a better bullet (ballistic coefficient, etc.) and pack more power behind it.

   Right now only the Desert Eagle Mark XIX is available in the hot 440C load. Expect to see a few other manufacturers come out with support for the hot 440C.

   Why the 440C? Or 'Why the 440C instead of the 50AE?'... I won't get into the 440C vs. 44M arguement, its senseless. If you want the power, move up, if you don't, don't...

Reasons I think the 440C is a better round than the 50AE:

  • - The 44 bullet has better ballistics. The 44 is also a more common design and has higher availability;
  • - The added powder/power increases muzzle velocity and energy dramatically. The 240gr. JHP 440C is at 1900+ ft/sec. and 1900+ lbs/ft... the 260gr. BHP 440C is at 1700+ ft/sec. and 1600+ lbs/ft... phew!;
  • - Cor-bon itself makes a better load than the available 50AE rounds. The custom mixes of powder reduce muzzle blast and maximize burn. I found the recoil of the 440C to be a bit sharper than the 50AE but not harder or difficult to handle. The muzzle blast from the 440C was not more than any 44M I've seen and less than the 50AE I shot;
  • - Versatility; Cor-bon makes three types of rounds. One simple JHP, one bonded-core hollowpoint, and one penetrator (hard cast full ball)... hopefully they will replace the round 305gr. penetrator bullet with an equivelent flat-head bullet;

   On with the show... I've shot 357M, 44M, 50AE, and 440C out of the DE. All were a pleasure and loads of fun. A hot 357M load almost feels like a simple 22LR load in the DE. Either the 357M or 44M handled much easier in the DE than any of the revolvers I've handled. The 50AE and 440C require a bit more care and experience but were not bad at all. There is no way in sin you can control the recoil but you can work with it and in no way is it too much or bothersome. I'd much rather shoot the DE over-and-over than most revolvers I've used.

   With good ammo you shouldn't have feeding problems unless you limp-wrist the shot. I have never had or seen a jam that so many people complain about. Then again, I've always used new ammo from Cor-bon and Federal. Anyhow, back to the 440C. I immediatly knew this was a great hunting load. I will use it boar and deer hunting as soon as time provides. I suspect the 240gr. JHP will not penetrate and fragment too much to be of great use but the 260gr. BHP should take any deer/elk/moose or boar down. I might use the 305gr. penetrator on some hunts but for the most part, hard-ball ammo is illegal for hunting. Though, if I'm heading into bear country the penetrator is coming with me.

   I don't know what to say. I've shot many-a-gun. This will be my handgun hunting choice for a long long time to come. And its a fun pistol for the range too. Although, for upwards of $1.50 a shot, it better be really really fun. hehe...

   Enjoy and good luck. Take care of your firearm, be safe, etc.

About the actual bullets

   The 240 and 260 gr. models use a nice soft tip bullet. The 305 gr. model used what Cor-bon has coined the Penetrator. Under the Cor-bon Q&A there is a brief section on the Penetrator. Basically, it is a full-jacket, ultra thick wall, heavy lead, large game bullet. This puts the Federal CastCore to shame in terms of hardness and penetration _but_ it is round. The round casing leaves it succeptable to richocet off of hard bone (although it'll brake clean through a majority of the time). The CastCore by Federal has a flat surface w/ sharp edges for 'cutting' through. Cor-bon is working on a similar version for the Desert Eagle (the flat heads will be out for other guns sooner than the DE due to unusual loading problems).

   The 305 gr. is illegal for hunting in most states so it might be a mute point but I look forward to having it for large boar and other dangerous game...

Hopefully I didn't miss anything.

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