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Thread: Interesting how many small and underpowered cartridges have been used over the years

  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    Thanks for the corrections. My point remains the same. Did you find any other reason why the Army went with the .38 revolvers?
    The Army only ever downgrades it's ordinance for two reasons. Lack of a serious threat, and costs of the Guns and more properly the Ammo, and this always comes back to Politics and their perceived ideas on what is needed Right Now. The concept of "tomorrow" is totally foreign to them, that's why every time there has been a major conflict, our Military's Ordinance Stockpile has always been behind the curve.

    We haven't had a serious threat to our Military since Vietnam. Then politics got involved and gave a contract to Beretta for a 9MM pistol to appease NATO. The .45 ACP was gone as was the most effective side arm in History which served for 75+ years. The Beretta was not better, it was cheaper, as was the ammo. Simple as that.

    The unproven Sig 320 was priced at $207,,, the proven Glock 17/19 was priced at $270 and so Sig got the contract. They both were 9MM cuz it is the Cheapest Centerfire Pistol Ammo there is.

    When the numbers come out on how many rounds were fired versus enemy kills we will finally see the difference between the 9MM .40 S&W and .45 ACP and very predictably the .45 will have the least rounds fired per kill, with the .40 second, and the 9MM having the most rounds fired per kill.

    That alone makes this move more dangerous for our soldiers. And it's all about the "Benjamins!" And "Acceptable Losses" and as long as you can stay inside those "acceptable losses" for less $,,,, then that's what they'll do.... Everytime!

    my .02

    Randy
    Last edited by W.R.Buchanan; 01-11-2020 at 08:47 PM.
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  2. #82
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Bean counter decisions are always suspect when it comes to weapons.
    It will be interesting to see the numbers you mention.

  3. #83
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    Yep, I was in service (R&D) when they changed to the 9mm. It was simply a political decision.

    I was really asking what the reason was for going with the .38 in double action revolvers just before 1900. I understood it to be that the Army wanted to move to a DA revolver, but, the .44 and .45 DA versions were not as reliable as the .38 so they went with the .38. Yes, that may have been a 'cover' reason and the real reason was cost or political influence by the mfgs. It would be interesting to know the real story.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJames View Post
    Seems like Elmer Keith said the caliber that folks were most scared of in the old days in the West was the 41 rimfire derringer cartridge. Sure wasn't a man stopper, but it was never and through and through round, and they knew a feller would eventually die from it; might take a few days for infection to set in, but usually fatal.
    Last year a shooting buddy brought an original Remington .41 rimfire derringer to Snubbyfest for penetration testing. He only brought eight rounds of ammo and it took me three rounds just to find the face of the 5" x 5" block of Clear Ballistic gel from embarrassingly close range. But to everyone's eventual surprise, the slug ended up base-forward after penetrating 14.5" of C-B gel.

    At the time of that test, I thought there was an inch-to-inch correspondence between the Clear Ballistic gel and validated 10% ordnance gelatin. I've since learned that ain't so. My best guess now is that instead of tumbling its way into the FBI "ideal" penetration distance, the .41 rimfire slug probably would have penetrated just short of the FBI minimum required distance -- say, 11.5" -- in real ballistic gelatin. Although that wouldn't pass muster with the FBI, certainly peritonitis wasn't the only thing to worry about from a .41 rimfire derringer.

    For what it's worth, on that same day my two JHP "calibration" rounds -- a 90 grain Hornady Critical Defense Lite and a 110 grain Silvertip fired from a S&W snubby -- each expanded to about .50 caliber and only penetrated to about 10" and 8" in that same Clear Ballistic gel.
    Last edited by pettypace; 02-15-2020 at 08:24 PM.

  5. #85
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    I have done considerable penetration testing with rounds such as the 38 S & W, 32 Long, 32 ACP, and some others that get the “low powered” description applied to them. With solid bullets of standard weight and standard power in their respective cartridges, the idea that these rounds under penetrate or are underpenetrative on a scale applicable to humans is quite false.

    Most penetrate as well as, or better than, hollow point bullets in the calibers considered as the currently popular more suitable choices.

  6. #86
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    This thread brings to mind what happened to a lady friend of my family.She was assalted in her front yard on returning home from work one night.She pulled her S&W .22 from her purse and the first two rounds went"South of the border".Bad guy grabbed his crotch and backed up bent over.Round # 3 went through the top of his skull.
    End of attack.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    I have done considerable penetration testing with rounds such as the 38 S & W, 32 Long, 32 ACP, and some others that get the “low powered” description applied to them. With solid bullets of standard weight and standard power in their respective cartridges, the idea that these rounds under penetrate or are underpenetrative on a scale applicable to humans is quite false.

    Most penetrate as well as, or better than, hollow point bullets in the calibers considered as the currently popular more suitable choices.
    Yes, indeed!

    The "standard load" for a .38 S&W was a 146 grain round nose bullet at about 730 ft/s. MacPherson pegs that combination at about 25 inches of penetration in 10% ordnance gelatin with 16 grams of wound mass. But trade the round nose bullets for wadcutters and you get about 19 inches of penetration and 24 grams of wound mass. That puts a 100 year old, top-break, S&W Safety Hammerless in some pretty lethal company -- more effective than a lot of the .38 Special +P JHPs shown on the Lucky Gunner site.

  8. #88
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    That is one of the reasons I do a lot of shooting with full power wadcutters in my 38 special. I like the idea of that flat nose.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by pettypace View Post
    Yes, indeed!

    The "standard load" for a .38 S&W was a 146 grain round nose bullet at about 730 ft/s. MacPherson pegs that combination at about 25 inches of penetration in 10% ordnance gelatin with 16 grams of wound mass. But trade the round nose bullets for wadcutters and you get about 19 inches of penetration and 24 grams of wound mass. That puts a 100 year old, top-break, S&W Safety Hammerless in some pretty lethal company -- more effective than a lot of the .38 Special +P JHPs shown on the Lucky Gunner site.
    Assuming straight line, ''nose-forward'' stable flight through the target (e.g.: a human body shot COM) just about any non-deforming bullet in a reasonable SD caliber will produce terminal penetration exceeding the maximum recommended depth of 18 inches.

    Predicted penetration of the .38S&W 146-grain LRN at 730 fps covers a span of 24 - 26+ inches; the MacPherson model predicts a penetration depth of 26.33 inches, the Q-model predicts 24.75 inches, and the mTHOR, with the shallowest prediction, 24.08 inches. Trading the LRN configuration for that of a wadcutter for a 146-grain .38S&W boolit, the respective predicted depths become 20.52 inches, 17.04 inches, and 19.12 inches. No problems meeting the 18'' mark there!

    Even the .32S&W Long (which has quite a following here and elsewhere) with a nominal 0.312" 85-grain LRN at 705 fps nips at the edge of the upper-boundary of the 12'' - 18'' penetration depth bracket:
    MacPherson: 18.91 inches
    Q-model: 18.95 inches
    mTHOR: 17.85 inches

    From what I can see, they're all capable of some pretty serious damage...otherwise they would not be with us today.

  10. #90
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    While not drawing the scrutiny the subject does these days, the users of the “weak” rounds of the past had opportunity to discern if they were “underpenetrative” or not. They were quite aware that they penetrated very adequately.

    With more information readily available now, it is remarkable that some opine their penetration is inadequate with standard ammunition. We ought to know better.

    The 32 Long with 98 grain wadcutter at 720 odd fps gets it done as well.

  11. #91
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    I think the most odd underpowered round was when the French military decided to go with the .30L cartridge (7.65 Longue or 7.65x20) which was a identical copy version of the rather week .30 Pederson round developed for making bolt action 30-06 Springfields into semiautomatic rifles. For some odd reason the French really liked it. They made quite a few handguns and a bunch of submachine guns that used it.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earlwb View Post
    I think the most odd underpowered round was when the French military decided to go with the .30L cartridge (7.65 Longue or 7.65x20) which was a identical copy version of the rather week .30 Pederson round developed for making bolt action 30-06 Springfields into semiautomatic rifles. For some odd reason the French really liked it. They made quite a few handguns and a bunch of submachine guns that used it.
    It would have been slightly hotter than the 32 ACP they used en masse during WWI, so likely seen as an improvement. Something like a 20-25% increase in energy. Definitely not a 9mm luger though.

    I also wonder if resource availability and cost have been taken into account in this. I wonder how copper and lead prices would compare after inflation. The ability to put say 2 million rounds instead of 1.5 million or 1.8 million rounds on the front line could have been a motivation we're not accounting for as well. Cartridge weight of a 32 ACP is slightly over half that of a 9mm Luger round. That's a lot of extra ammo!

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    While not drawing the scrutiny the subject does these days, the users of the “weak” rounds of the past had opportunity to discern if they were “underpenetrative” or not. They were quite aware that they penetrated very adequately.

    With more information readily available now, it is remarkable that some opine their penetration is inadequate with standard ammunition. We ought to know better.

    The 32 Long with 98 grain wadcutter at 720 odd fps gets it done as well.

    I am sure that it does. A quarter of an ounce of lead at 700+ fps is capable of making quite a hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earlwb View Post
    I think the most odd underpowered round was when the French military decided to go with the .30L cartridge (7.65 Longue or 7.65x20) which was a identical copy version of the rather week .30 Pederson round developed for making bolt action 30-06 Springfields into semiautomatic rifles. For some odd reason the French really liked it. They made quite a few handguns and a bunch of submachine guns that used it.
    When it comes to terminal performance in military combat where handguns are largely constrained to non-expanding designs (FMJ) that leave very narrow permanent cavities due to the minimal disruption produced by the smooth, rounded shapes of FMJs, the dominant effect in wounding becomes penetration depth.

    The 7.65x20 Longue, with a 0.3085"-diameter 77-grain FMJRN at 1,130 fps would penetrate to a predicted depth of 23.22 inches (mTHOR), 23.72 inches (Q-model), and 24.22 inches (MacPherson). By comparison, a .45ACP 230-grain FMJRN at 825 fps would penetrate to a predicted depth of 25.83 inches (mTHOR), 25.08 inches (Q-model), and 29.62 inches (MacPherson). Even the 9mm Luger 124-grain FMJFN at ~1200 fps that allied troops would've been on the receiving end of is capable of penetration of 30.68 inches (mTHOR), 30.33 inches (Q-model), and 31.61 inches (MacPherson).

    Any of the extremes described here are likely to make it through at least two, and maybe even three, human bodies, especially the much thinner body types most common to that era (WW I and WW II).
    Last edited by The Schwartz; 02-17-2020 at 05:05 PM.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by drac0nic View Post
    It would have been slightly hotter than the 32 ACP they used en masse during WWI, so likely seen as an improvement. Something like a 20-25% increase in energy. Definitely not a 9mm luger though.

    I also wonder if resource availability and cost have been taken into account in this. I wonder how copper and lead prices would compare after inflation. The ability to put say 2 million rounds instead of 1.5 million or 1.8 million rounds on the front line could have been a motivation we're not accounting for as well. Cartridge weight of a 32 ACP is slightly over half that of a 9mm Luger round. That's a lot of extra ammo!
    That is a interesting thought about it. That might have been their logical reasoning at the time.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by rintinglen View Post
    The Remington’s had a reputation for crudding up, but were much cheaper than the Colts were. The 44 Colts were higher cost, but were reported to go longer between cleanings. It is interesting to note that while Colt made some 200,000 1860 44’s, during the same time frame they made 250,000 + 36 cal navy pistols, but 325,000 31 cal Baby Dragoon’s and 1849 pocket revolvers. Small, light, easy to carry fire arms had a following 150 years ago, just as they have today.
    the remingtons weren't CHEAPER at all to make. The Remington company charged the government for the cost to make the gun and a profit margin. COLT on the other hand was charging the us government hand over fist for colt revolvers, and they cut many corners in production, especially not giving a rats *** if the chambers were ROUND..

    have seen good articles on collecting colt percussion guns that talk about the oddly shaped, out of round chamber mouths on war production guns.

    The ONLY reason COLT lowered the price they charge the federal government for a colt revolver during the war was because the federal government complained about it, and REMINGTON decided to make themselves look better by making a quality COLT 1860 navy and only charging the US Gov the standard pre war colt price. Colt suddenly lowered their price.

    44 henry created the 44 henry rimfire. that was used in the first colt conversions, wasn't the greatest.. so then the center fire 44 henry flat came out. That was stretched out to creat the 44 colt, that was then stretched out for another 10 graisn of powder to create the 44 long colt. the army liked the result but demanded a bullet to be inside the case. they enlarged the case to create the 45 long colt.

    45 long colt, yes its real Virginia, was reduced in length and given a larger rim diameter and lighter bullet to create a more recoil friendly cartridge. when the schofield was taken out of service, they kept the schofield case length, powder charge, and bullet weight but reduced the rim back to 45 long diameter and created the final service round. However the colt DA revolver was the last government made revolver to have the original cartridge in it.

  16. #96
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    Has anyone mentioned 5.5mm Velodog or the anemic to beat them all "2mm Kolibri" in a semi auto no less.

  17. #97
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    the .22 Velodog was primarily used by the French and Belgian cyclists in the early 1900's to discourage dogs. The rounds used a FMJ bullet. I don't think they really intended to kill dogs as much as dissuade them from attacking them. Its power was about the same as a .22 Long Rimfire at the time. I think they loaded it with the cordite strands like the British were using. Thus it needed a longer cartridge case. Anyway it actually had a purpose and function at the time and it fit that niche quite well. The little revolvers had folding triggers, no trigger guard and were designed to work with a gloved hand too. it took me a long time to figure out about the gloves being used with them. The guns feel awkward and ungainly until you try them with a glove (vintage style cycling) on.

  18. #98
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    don't forget the 25acp velo dog guns. Nothing much, nothing great.

    was once said a needle going fast enough will kill you, but a bus going 2mph does it better and faster

  19. #99
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    I've returned to the big and slow camp. A YouTube channel I watch that runs police body camera footage ran an interesting video yesterday. Short version is the officer shot a perp with 13 or 14 rounds center mass. The guy was still walking and dangerous for at least 14 seconds after being shot. Not sure of the caliber used but I'm willing to bet it wasn't a 45.

  20. #100
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    A .45 is not a bolt of lightning. Ask Tim Grahams. (And for the record I like .45)

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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
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