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Thread: Does expansion matter?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I just checked the Lucky Gunner site. They have some new results posted for Winchester Ranger T series 45ACP 230 grain JHP ammo that is really impressive.
    !4" penetration with expansion of 1"(yes that is one inch).
    Nobody has any in stock that I could find quickly. Some restrict the sale to law enforcement only which I find ridiculous(I have the same right to survive a shootout with a bad guy as LEOs do).

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Animals and people are not any tougher or harder to kill today than they were in black powder days.

    Most of the drive towards developing hollow-point handgun bullets for LE use was to reduce risk of collateral damage by reducing risk of riccochets and to prevent bullets from exiting the body, which would increase risk of injuring other officers or innocent bystanders.

    HP bullets also improved the effectiveness of low-powered cartridges having marginal energy, notably the standard pressure .38 Special LRN service load. The .38 was effective enough if shots were well placed on vital areas of the torso, where the bullet was able to do its 180-degree "flip" continuing base-forward, but with poor shot placement .38 Special 158-grain LRN and 9mm FMJRN loads were "wounders."

    Keith's and Hatcher's writings of the 1930s correctly described the attributes of flat-nosed bullets which gave deep penetration with good "crush" characteristics. The .38 Colt Special and .38 Colt New Police were markedly more effective than LRN loads of similar energy. Keith's high velocity flatnosed bullets with full diameter front driving band and sharp shoulder were well proven on game by the mid-1930s.

    Black powder era cartridges such as the .44-40, firing a soft lead, flatnosed bullet at about 900 fps from a typical revolver, killed out of proportion to their kinetic energy and still do.

    If one would simply follow Keith's advice to use a caliber with starts with a "4", firing a soft lead, half ounce, 6-10 BHN bullet, having a meplat larger than half of the bullet diameter, at about 900 fps, you have the exact performance needed for a defensive handgun or outdoorsman's "packing pistol."

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  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master
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    By today’s “ standards”a half ounce bullet at 900 fps “recoils too much.”

    Thus the stampede to 9mm. Current thinking is all handgun calibers of 9mm power level or higher but in the same energy region have effectively the same wounding potential given suitable bullets.

    Whether true or not is arguable. We seem these days to find previously manageable cartridges unmanageable to justify new thinking. In 25 years some other line of reasoning will be popular. We like change periodically.

    In my opinion, RNFMJ is inferior to almost any alternative bullet of better tissue affecting shape and adequate penetration. That appears to be less arguable given what is known.

    I am in substantial agreement with the previous commentary above.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    id agree RNFMJ basically the worst possible choice. with amazing collections of data like the lucky gunner linked earlier why not just pick which one does what you like, be it more expansion or more pen.

  5. #25
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    I also find it interesting that the .38spl LHPSWC bullets had almost perfect penetration and little to no expansion. I would suspect a plain 158gn SWC bullet would do as well. I wonder if the Army would have contracted for the .45 if they had just used a SWC design instead of a round nose. It seemed to satisfy the FBI for many years.

  6. #26
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    The very slightest puckering of a hollowpoint such that the bullet resembles an oatmeal container noticeably attenuates penetration. The classic “mushroom” expansion is probably not a characteristic the 38 LSWCHP +P 158 exhibits in actual human involved shootings from snubby length barrels.

    Still was and is considered effective. A harder cast non hollow point bullet of similar shape but lacking any degree of deformation, however slight, will penetrate quite substantially more than the softer swaged LSWCHP will. I consider the performance in the LG tests to be quite acceptable and am unconcerned what the bullet does in expansion as long as the penetration criteria is well met.
    Last edited by 35remington; 10-21-2019 at 06:58 PM.

  7. #27
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    Holes kill stuff. I do t find a hollow point necessary. If it’s what I have at the time the. I use them, but the majority of the time I have solids in my pistols.

  8. #28
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    holes kill stuff, but bigger nasty jagged holes kill things quicker. particularily if discussing self defense, short of a central nervous system hit, the average 2 legged critter shot thru the heart can still kill you while they bleed out. my opinion is to make the time that takes to happen as little as possible. adrenaline is an incredible thing and can keep a dead man in the fight for a short time before they realize they are dead.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    As for me, I likes my .45's (and .38's) to expand.

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  10. #30
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    It been a while since I have read Handgun Stopping Power by Marshall but if I remember correctly 9mm ball was about 30% for one shot stops. 45 ACP ball was about 50%. With good hollow points both are over 90% so yes expansion increases stopping power.

    Some light wound ballistics here. https://history.amedd.army.mil/books...cs/default.htm

    In 1974 as 14 year old I purchased a new Colt Gold Cup. I shot a lot of jack rabbits with it. I started with ball but some solid hits failed to anchor them. I switched to 200 hollow points and it was like the hammer of Thor hit them. I also shot them with a 45 Colt but that had a medium sized meplat cast and that also worked very well.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 10-22-2019 at 02:33 AM.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Some results that illustrate the point above.

    https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...c-tests/#45ACP
    LGs test shows that the best penetrations with the JHPs were mostly NOT expanded. And those JHPs that did expand were in the shallow end of FBI acceptable penetration.

    Looks like Speer and Hornady and Golden Sabers look good. And seems +p is a good choice in these offerings.

    Lefty
    I'll be needing that for squirrels and such.....

  12. #32
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    The “shallow end” for a few types was around a couple of inches past the FBI standard, as in beyond what is considered needed, and it is no great trick to find an expanding JHP that goes further than that. All calibers had a few under penetrating examples mostly frangible ammo or lightweight for caliber bullets that expanded too widely. We can safely ignore those in all instances.

    Handily substantiates my statement that the 45 does not “need” nonexpanding bullets to be usable for defensive use and is competitive in penetration to other calibers when using hollowpoint bullets. This is well known in the wound ballistic community.

    The best penetration with all calibers was with nonexpanding bullets, so no news there. Since you ended your post noting several different brands of JHP that did well in the test (I counted about near 20 candidates from this test alone which is not all encompassing) it appears you are in substantial agreement with my comment that the 45 ACP does not need ball ammo to attain adequate penetration. Enough said on that point.
    Last edited by 35remington; 10-22-2019 at 09:11 PM.

  13. #33
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    I carry what I practice with, and for me it's cast coww. I hope that I'll never have to shoot or draw down on another person, but if I have to shoot I want to know that the gun will go bang and the boolits will go where I'm pointing them.
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  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty Red View Post
    LGs test shows that the best penetrations with the JHPs were mostly NOT expanded. And those JHPs that did expand were in the shallow end of FBI acceptable penetration.

    Looks like Speer and Hornady and Golden Sabers look good. And seems +p is a good choice in these offerings.

    Lefty
    The Hornady Critical Duty rounds fully expanded and penetrated to the far end of the scale. It is exactly what they were designed to do so it is not surprising (they were designed to meet the full FBI criteria, including the glass and metal portions). The Critical Defense rounds also fully expanded and are designed to penetrate to the near end of the scale after going through clothing, which is exactly what they do.

    And you are right, many of the others did not fully expand on every shot.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    The “shallow end” for a few types was around a couple of inches past the FBI standard, as in beyond what is considered needed, and it is no great trick to find an expanding JHP that goes further than that. All calibers had a few under penetrating examples mostly frangible ammo or lightweight for caliber bullets that expanded too widely. We can safely ignore those in all instances.

    Handily substantiates my statement that the 45 does not “need” nonexpanding bullets to be usable for defensive use and is competitive in penetration to other calibers when using hollowpoint bullets. This is well known in the wound ballistic community.

    The best penetration with all calibers was with nonexpanding bullets, so no news there. Since you ended your post noting several different brands of JHP that did well in the test (I counted about near 20 candidates from this test alone which is not all encompassing) it appears you are in substantial agreement with my comment that the 45 ACP does not need ball ammo to attain adequate penetration. Enough said on that point.
    I don’t think I stated that. It we can agree to disagree. I look at the chart and see something different than you. I’m still under the expression that the 45ACP penetrates better with SWC or RN, especially in biological targets with different density of organic tissue and bone. And the addition of barrel length helps all bullet shapes. IMHO.

    But you are right, enough said between you and me on this subject.

    Lefty
    I'll be needing that for squirrels and such.....

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Yes, all calibers penetrate better in targets, biological and otherwise, with RN and SWC when compared to hollowpoints.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    In my opinion, the best bullets in the world will not do you any good unless you can hit the target. I remember reading how quite a few police officers have fired huge numbers of rounds at a suspect and not even hit them even. So at least hitting the target ought to be a high priority. Now then with that said a FMJ or plain lead bullet is still very effective. Most firearms are very reliable with FMJ bullets too. But a good hollow point bullet that expands reliably does offer a better chance of the bullet nicking or cutting an artery or damaging a vital organ if it passes by close. A FMJ might not quite damage something vital.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    45 GI ball for me. Positive feed, plenty of killing power. You can only kill something dead. I just keep fresh top of the line Win or Rem ball and don't worry about it.

  19. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    It been a while since I have read Handgun Stopping Power by Marshall but if I remember correctly 9mm ball was about 30% for one shot stops. 45 ACP ball was about 50%. With good hollow points both are over 90% so yes expansion increases stopping power.

    Some light wound ballistics here. https://history.amedd.army.mil/books...cs/default.htm

    In 1974 as 14 year old I purchased a new Colt Gold Cup. I shot a lot of jack rabbits with it. I started with ball but some solid hits failed to anchor them. I switched to 200 hollow points and it was like the hammer of Thor hit them. I also shot them with a 45 Colt but that had a medium sized meplat cast and that also worked very well.
    According to M&S last data found in Stopping Power: A Practical Analysis of the Latest Handgun Ammunition, the OSS value for Winchester 9mm 115-grain FMJs (I know...I know....their data is hotly debated, but that is a debate for another time), was 70% for barrel lengths ≥4 inches and 58% for barrel lengths of <4 inches.

    It is interesting that you mention this as I recently came across an interesting research paper here (Braga & Cook, 2018)―

    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jam...rticle/2688536

    ―that included data regarding the lethality of several commonly encountered handgun calibers used in homicides in Boston, Massachusetts during the 2010 - 2014 time period.

    In the attached article, the shooting data, presented here in Table 2―

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    ―can be compared to the predictive yields made by the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model (Dziemian, 1963) by performing a quick/informal ANOVA* (analysis of variance):

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    Using the actual lethality, which was computed as a percentage within Braga's data set (Boston 2010 - 2014) in Table 2, [I used only the caliber subsets that had an n > 5 which reduces the usable statistical population from n = 367 to n = 361**] and comparing it to the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model (Dziemian, 1963) there is surprising agreement between the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model's yields and the actual data as presented in Braga & Cook, 2018. The reported fatality rates and corresponding predicted lethality rates, both of which are expressed as percentages, have very similar variances and Student's T-test scores which suggests that the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model produces accurate predictions that match the variance (F-test = 0.85) of the reported data. "Goodness of fit" for the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model's yields, reflected by r˛, is 0.934 and Chi-squared, which is a test for independence between two categorical variables, is also quite good at 0.999995. Not bad correlative performance for the US ARMY BRL P[I/H] model if you ask me.

    This analysis considers lethality only, but not time to incapacitation which are two very different functions of terminal performance.

    *For the purpose of this ANOVA, it was assumed that since criminals tend to use the cheapest available (aka: "crappy") ammunition, non-deforming FMJs and LRNs were modeled for all calibers except the .357 Magnum which was modeled as a 125-grain JHP @ 1,350 fps that expanded to 1.66 times its pre-impact diameter.

    **The .44 Remington Magnum, 10mm and 7.62x39 data sub-sets were excluded due to insufficient population of n < 5
    Last edited by The Schwartz; 10-23-2019 at 11:59 PM.

  20. #40
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    The disturbing thing about the cited study is it posits that gun regulation limiting the power or caliber of the handgun should be considered based on the results found.

    So, we not only would face a push to limit how many rounds a pistol could carry, but an attempt to limit its lethality on a per shot basis as well. Just what we need...a legislative attempt to make us carry Jennings pistols chambered in 22 short.

    If my life is worth defending, legislative attempts to weaken the firearm I can use and make it less effective in protecting me and mine because some gang banger shoots another lowlife with a pistol termed “too lethal” is the height of left leaning folly.

    After the last assault weapons ban larger caliber pistols enjoyed something of a resurgence. They want to go after that someday too. It is not just one thing they are after.

    Threats to liberty go sadly unrecognized by those interested in “public good” over personal safety.

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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