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Thread: Buck & Ball - Once again

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Here an update with respect to the buck & ball load I am tinkering with.

    I did a slug penetration test today and I tested my buck & ball load against a variety of commercial slugs.

    The target were 4 pine boards stacked one behind each other …. and each board was 1.5 inches thick.

    I shot the following slugs from around 7 to 8 yards (meters):

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    From left to right:

    1. Rio Brenneke
    2. Challenger (Gualandi) Slug
    3. Winchester 3” Rack Master
    4. Federal TruBall
    5. Sellier & Bellot Sport Slug (Low Recoil)
    6. Federal Power Shok Sabot Slug (did not shoot that one)
    7. My Buck & Ball load (690 Round Ball, 21 pellets of #4 buck, 29 grains of Blue Dot)
    8. Aguila Mini Slug


    Here the results:

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    1. All the slugs penetrated 4 boards with the exception of the Aguila Mini Slug and the Sellier & Bellot Sport Slug.
    2. The Aguila Mini Slug penetrated only 2 boards.
    3. The 690 round ball of my Buck & Ball load penetrated all 4 boards.
    4. Some of the #4 buckshot pellets penetrated one board (1.5 inches) by themselves
    5. But what surprised me was that nearly half of the #4 buckshot pellets ended up inside of board number 4. It seems they traveled with the round ball (or behind the ball) through 3 layers of pine boards and then spread out an buried themselves into the 4th board.

    Voila …. those are the results from today …

    I wish I had bought one or two more boards and done the testing with 6 or 8 layers of pine boards … but I really did not think those slugs could go through so much wood .... Oh well … I guess that is what I have to test next time ….

    Thoughts anybody?

    Faustus
    Last edited by faustus; 10-29-2017 at 03:39 PM.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    Good info for those wondering how any of these would do for home protection.
    Scott

    You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who they think can do nothing for them.

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Are your round balls wheelweight? If so they will penetrate quite deep with little deformation in my experience. Pine is not very dense either so it takes quite a bit to stop a slug.

    It would be interesting to see recovered slugs though wood penetration testing isn't very indicative of what happens when slugs meet tissue. Still interesting to see them though.

    I've tried a couple of different mediums to test penetration and expansion but it is hard to duplicate ballistic gelatin results and kind of expensive to use ballistic gelatin.

    I recall a test one the members here tried using wet rice. Didn't go so well but made for a humorous story as did my trial of wet "dough" which was a misguided attempt. I got pretty good results but the journey there and clean up after were... well... not worth it.

    I have put together a frame to hold a series of water bags all lined up then a container full of rags to catch the expanded boolits or slugs. I did a test run using water jugs and a large bucket full of rags which worked pretty well for my .44 mag HP boolits. It would take a lot of water bags to stop a Brenneke, any hard cast slug or round ball though and not likely much if any expansion with hard cast slugs but soft Fosters and Thug Slugs might show expansion in water bags.

    It is always fun doing tests like this and generally educational. I like to recover slugs or boolits though to see how they compare.

    It is interesting that it appears the shot followed the ball then spread out. I wouldn't have expected that but then range for your test is pretty short.

    Personally I think any of these is over powered for home protection. Birdshot or at least something smaller than buckshot should be plenty good at house or yard range without worrying about penetrating walls to other rooms or houses. I'd be willing to bet a Brenneke would penetrate several walls and possibly even into another house unless it met a stud or two dead on. In fact I'd bet a Brenneke would go through a bad guy then still make it through a wall or two.

    They'd be good for bear protection and there the hard cast slugs or balls, or multi ball load like the Dixie Tri-Ball load would be best. Three 0.600" balls would be quite the stopper. No such thing as too much penetration on a bear.

    Its always good to see test results... more fun to do the testing but good to read about other's testing too as there is always something learned. Good write up too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Longbow

  4. #24
    Boolit Buddy
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    Longbow, thanks for the input and for sharing your thoughts.

    My round balls are cast from melted hardened shot. So, they are not pure lead. And my suspicion now is that they are quite hard ...

    I did this penetration test to see how the buck and ball would compare to commercial slug loads. The fact that my 690 round balls would not deform when shot into a sand bank .... just threw me off ... and I didn't know what to make of it ....

    Especially when you compare the result to what the Foster slugs normally look like:

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    That is a commercial Foster slug shot through paper and into a sand bank.

    With respect to recovering projectiles ... I was only able to recover the S&B Sport slug that the 4th board stopped. Here a picture ....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I was not able to find the Aguilla Mini. It was stopped by the 3rd board ... and then must have gone sideways. Anyhow, I could not find it ....

    I would love to recover a Brenneke and one of my 690 round balls after shot through those pine boards ... and in order to see how they look after being shot ... maybe I will have more success next time.

    With respect to the Tri-Ball load .... or the buck and ball load based on the Tri-Ball load ...I gave up on those. My shotguns are sighted in for 50 yards (meters) and with 1oz slugs. The 690 round balls hit more or less to point of aim at that distance. However the 600 balls hit 3 feet high at 50 yards .... and that is a bit too much for my tastes.

    Voila, so much for now ....

    Faustus

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    This was the setup ... just with 4 boards ....

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  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Yeah, factory Foster slugs are all soft lead... at least any I have experience with. Brenneke and Gualandi are hard lead.

    Hard round balls do take a beating! I found some of my 0.735" RB's almost at the 300 yard mark at the range after shooting them at 50 and 100 yards and they were in good enough shape to shoot again... well, almost anyway. I've found some of my heat treated slugs and a Tusker or two (Dixie Slugs hard cast) and again almost no damage.

    It is hard to recover slugs unless you can slow them down first. I live in a heavy snow area and many of the slugs I've recovered were found in the spring after the snow melted. I've found lots of other people's boolits and slugs as well. Shooting downrange and 50 to 100 yards when there is 4' of snow provides many recovered slugs when that snow melts. Since I make most of my own slug moulds I recognize my slugs.

    I learned a lot from them too. I had one that was generally giving pretty good accuracy but gave unexpected fliers too. It was a thick skirt HB slug but it turned out the skirt was tending to bell out when cast from ACWW. After oven heat treating they flew very consistently and so far have been one of my best performers. I have a slightly modified version waiting to be tested.

    Lots of water then a bucket of rags is the best I've found for stopping boolits/slugs if deep snow isn't available. Hah! you do have to use a lot of water or that bucket either gets a hole in it or gets carried downrange a bit. Ask me how I know! I might be a slow learner sometimes but I have fun.

    Glen Fryxel recommends a 2 liter pop bottle wrapped in masking tape then shot end on as a reasonable facsimile of tissue for deer size critters. A large mass of water is very hard on boolits. My plan is to use hanging water bags... again, the frame is all made up and waiting to be tested. I need more time or less life getting in the way!

    I wonder why that Tri-Ball load shoots so high? I haven't tried those so I wonder if that is a common issue. I don't recall anyone else mentioning it though. Did you try downloading at all? I guess it would take a lot of downloading to lose 3' though.

    I have a load recipe for two 0.690" RB's but have not tried it. That would pack a punch even at low velocity... at both ends and it may be a bit much for me these days. Getting old and fragile.

    Longbow

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    ...
    I wonder why that Tri-Ball load shoots so high? I haven't tried those so I wonder if that is a common issue. I don't recall anyone else mentioning it though. Did you try downloading at all? I guess it would take a lot of downloading to lose 3' though.
    ...
    Longbow
    Longbow, it is my understanding that lighter projectiles will impact higher than heavier ones ... and the 600 balls are quite a bit lighter than the 690 ones ... Now, I am not an expert on ballistics ... far from that ... If somebody has a better explanation, please feel free to share ...

    My Tri-Ball load impacts so much higher that I would need to dedicate one shotgun just to that load and adjust the sights just for that load .... and that is right now is not convenient for me.

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
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    Ok, penetration test the second …..
    This time I had 8 layers of 1.5 inch pine boards. And this time I stacked them a bit closer and I believe that had an impact on penetration.

    Here again the slugs:

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    Here the set up:

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    And here the results:

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    1.) Rio Brenneke penetrated 5 boards (I shot two rounds just to be sure … I had expected more from the Brenneke.)
    2.) Challenger slug penetrated 7 boards (actually it was stuck in the 7th board and one could see the nose from the back)
    3.) Federal TruBall slug penetrated 6 boards … now I was surprised by that one.
    4.) For my Buck & Ball load … the 690 round ball penetrated 3 boards this time … got stuck in board 3 in the back.

    And here a picture of the recovered projectiles:

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    From left to right:

    1.) Brenneke Slug
    2.) Brenneke Slug
    3.) Challenger (Gualandi) Slug
    4.) Federal TruBall
    5.) Sellier & Bellot Sport Slug
    6.) 690 Round Ball

    The Challenger slug is the clear winner when it comes to penetration. It is a pity that it is not more accurate … I only got a 10 inch group at 50 yards/meters with the Challenger slugs. However, I get 2 inch groups with the Federal TruBall at 50 meters/yards ….

    Thoughts anybody?
    Last edited by faustus; 11-04-2017 at 06:10 PM.

  9. #29
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Well, I hate to say it but I tested out Federal slugs prior to Tru-Ball and they were some of the most accurate factory slugs I have shot providing roughly 6" groups at 100 yards. Now if I could get dependable 6" 100 yard groups from my home cast and loaded slugs I'd be pretty happy!

    I hate to say it because Normally a guy can do better than the factories but so far I've failed with slug loads.

    I understand the Tru-Ball slugs are even better and your accuracy results with them were very good.

    I am a little surprised the Brenneke didn't do better as well.

    Not too surprised the Gualandi did so well in penetration due to design. I found that recovered Gualandi's had distorted skirts though and accuracy was a bit iffy which surprised me. They shot okay but I had a couple keyhole and generally accuracy was not great. You also found accuracy not so good which makes me think they are not a good choice.

    Interesting test results for sure. What loads were used for each slug? Were they loaded to similar velocities? I'd expect the 0.690" RB's to penetrate better than most slugs if loaded to max pressure/velocity.

    As for your Tri-Ball loads shooting high, yes the individual balls are lighter than the larger ball but there are three of them making for a heavy payload. Could it be recoil that is raising the muzzle making the Tri-ball load impact high? Heavy recoil and longer barrel time can have a significant effect on impact elevation.

    Good report and pictures!

    Longbow

  10. #30
    Boolit Buddy
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    Longbow,
    me as well I had expected more penetration from the 690 ball of my Buck & Ball load. But I think I now have enough information to try to increasing the powder load. My Buck & Ball load has a 2.1 oz payload and when I shoot that load it does not feel like it. It feels more like one of the 1oz slugs. So, I believe I still have some room there to increase the powder load. This will be my project for this winter together with testing some Hammerhead slugs from Slugs 'R Us .... more fun to come …


    And here the data for the slugs that I shot:

    1. Rio Brenneke: 1 1/8oz; 1410 FPS
    2. Challenger (Gualandi) Slug: 1 1/8oz; 1610 FPS
    3. Winchester 3” Rack Master: 1 1/8oz; 1700 FPS
    4. Federal TruBall: 1oz; 1600 FPS
    5. Sellier & Bellot Sport Slug: 1oz; 1345 FPS
    6. Federal Power Shok Sabot Slug: 1oz; 1500 FPS
    7. My Buck & Ball load: Weight 2.1oz; Velocity unknown
    8. Aguila Mini Slug: 7/8oz; 1250 FPS

    I am just realizing … there is a pretty direct correlation between speed and penetration …. Now I wish I had tried the Rack Master which has the highest velocity …

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Are those factory loads with listed factory velocities?

    I'm betting that if the Brenneke was moving as fast as the Gualandi penetration would be much improved, equaling or bettering the Gualandi slug.

    And I am sure that if the 0.690" RB was hard cast and launched at 1500 FPS it would be a top contender for max. penetration. Of course that would be just the 0.690" RB at max. pressure/velocity not buck and ball.

    Also, penetration in wood is not comparable to penetration in tissue or ballistic gelatin. I found that slugs/boolits don't expand well in wood... especially cross grain dry wood. Wet green end grain wood worked better for me in that regard. Still it is interesting and provides comparative info... and is fun!

    My Cartridges of the World has some old info (military?) on testing penetration using pine boards similar to what you are doing. I think dimensions and spacing are given if you want to follow a "standard". No slug info though.

    Longbow

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Are those factory loads with listed factory velocities?
    ...
    Longbow, yes ... factory loads with listed factory velocities!!

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    As for your Tri-Ball loads shooting high, yes the individual balls are lighter than the larger ball but there are three of them making for a heavy payload. Could it be recoil that is raising the muzzle making the Tri-ball load impact high? Heavy recoil and longer barrel time can have a significant effect on impact elevation.
    Longbow
    Indeed so! Particularly when bench techniques that work well for firearms with fast barrel times are used. This is part of the reason why late 19th century British gunmakers used standing benchrests for testing their ultra big bore black powder dangerous game rifles.

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hmmmmm... I'm pretty sure Brennekes can be pushed significantly faster safely. I'll check my books. Of course you need Brenneke slugs for reloading to accomplish that.

    I have a soft spot for Brennekes. I think old Wilhelm Brenneke had a great idea and design (old style Brenneke). My home made attached wad slugs are not quite up to Brenneke standards.

    Longbow

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy
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    Longbow,

    ok, I checked my reference load data for the velocities. My Buck & Ball load would have the lowest velocity of all the slugs tested. And that would explain the lack of penetration ....

    Reference Load 1:
    • Hull - Cheditte
    • Powder - Blue Dot
    • Primer - Ched209
    • Wad - Turkey Ranger
    • Shot Load - 2 oz
    • Charge - 28.2 gr
    • Pressure - 9500 psi
    • Velocity - 920 FPS
    • Source - Advantages Manual



    Reference Load 2:
    • Hull - Fiocchi
    • Powder - Blue Dot
    • Primer - Fio616
    • Wad - X12X
    • Shot Load - 2 oz
    • Charge - 34 gr
    • Pressure - 10900 psi
    • Velocity - 1125 FPS
    • Source - Advantages Manual



    Reference Load 3:
    • Hull - Fiocchi
    • Powder - Blue Dot
    • Primer - Fio616
    • Wad - X12X
    • Shot Load - 2 1/8 oz
    • Charge - 30 gr
    • Pressure - 10400 psi
    • Velocity - 1025 FPS
    • Source - Advantages Manual



    And I loaded 29 gr of Blue Dot!!
    I would assume the load is somewhere around 1000 FPS ... and that is pretty low compared to the other slugs.

    Hey, I am learning and starting to connect the dots .... this is great. I love this ....



    Thank you Longbow ....
    Last edited by faustus; 11-06-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Hmmmmm... I'm pretty sure Brennekes can be pushed significantly faster safely. I'll check my books. Of course you need Brenneke slugs for reloading to accomplish that.

    I have a soft spot for Brennekes. I think old Wilhelm Brenneke had a great idea and design (old style Brenneke). My home made attached wad slugs are not quite up to Brenneke standards.

    Longbow
    With respect to the Brennekes ... I have a theory. The Brenneke was the only projectile where the wad stayed with the slug. The Challenger lost the wad I think in board 3. And that felt wad that stayed attached to the Brenneke might have slowed it down significantly while passing through the wood. I mean compressed felt and rough would equals lots of friction .... no?

    This is just a theory .... I guess somebody would have to compare the Challenger slug and the Rio Brenneke ... and shoot them into into ballistic gel. Unfortunately, I don't want to go the ballistic gel route ... Too complicated and expensive for me.

    But maybe somebody equipped wants to volunteer?

    ???

  17. #37
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Hahahaha! That reminds me of my home made "reusable" ballistic media... not! and messy!

    I have a Bullet Test tube which is actually a wax media for comparative expansion and penetration testing. It seems to work well enough for my .44 mag. Marlin and .22's but you need 2 or 3 for high power rifle... and they are a fairly small target so you better check accuracy first... and you only get one shot then cut apart then melt and recast so tedious.

    I had a better idea or so I thought ~ "bread dough". Cheap and easy, shoot it, cut it, get your bullet then knead it back together to shoot again... in theory!

    It turned out to be extraordinarily messy and not reusable. It is cheap and easy though!

    You should look up BruceB's mushy rice report. It was even better than mine with bread dough! A search of BruceB and expansion or rice should dig it up. Pretty funny.

    Wood and water are easy and cheap and pretty good for comparative testing at least. You're doing just fine.

    On the Brenneke, I'm going to do some digging because I am certain I have seen reports of the classic Brenneke being one of the best full bore slugs for penetration. Not that 1410 FPS is slow but I'd expect to see better penetration with that one and I am pretty sure they can be pushed faster safely... but you'd think the factory would do that.

    I'll post if I find anything useful or interesting.

    Longbow

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I was just searching for Brenneke in Canada and found some. Bell outdoors imports Brenneke and it turns out we have a local dealer so I'll check to see if he can bring any in. I'll probably be the first.

    Also, I found on the Rotweil site that they have Brenneke classic and classic magnum at higher velocity. Were the ones you used the classic standard?

  19. #39
    Boolit Buddy
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    Longbow, ..... wow, that would be cool. Let us know how it goes .... and what kind of Brenneke these are.

    I have only bought and shot the Rio Brenneke.

    It seems these are older style Brennekes with the felt wad that is attached with a screw. It is written on top and the bottom "Original Brenneke".

    The actual slug seems to be older stock Brenneke that Rio used to make those shells. They are not nice and shiny as if they just came out of the factory .... but show "patina"... or signs of age. My guess is that they got hold of a larger lot of older Brennekes (maybe even decades old) and used them to make those shells.

    Weight is 488gr with the felt wad.

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    It is the same ammo that Brobee tested:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtyPqHyhgJo

    I will see if I can post some pictures of the actual slug ... or as they say "Flintenlaufgeschoss" ...
    Last edited by faustus; 11-12-2017 at 01:09 PM.

  20. #40
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    Click image for larger version. 

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check