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Old 11-14-2010, 11:25 PM
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Self Defense and Duty Load Information - Updated 03/2012




I've spent quite a bit of time discussing terminal effects in all its glory cultivated from questions about Hollowpoints, caliber, which way the wind is blowing, and anything else you can think of.

Many times data comes up that is invaluable that I refer to. The first link that I find absolutely invaluable to reference to new shooters is the following, penned by Dr. Gary Roberts. http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=19887

This is the terminal effects post. THE post. In it Dr. Roberts, whom by the way is, yes, a certified Dentist of all things, who has since gone on to undergo training and serves as a ballistics expert who consults with both various Law Enforcement Agencies (which he serves with now), as well as offering service to the Military in the same field.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 09-01-2011 at 07:27 AM.
  #2  
Old 11-14-2010, 11:28 PM
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Service Pistol and Duty Loads

Updated as of 04/13

Quote:
When comparing well designed duty handgun ammunition, there are minimal differences in penetration depths and temporary cavity effects, as noted below in the gel shots by Doug Carr:




As you increase bullet size and mass from 9 mm/357 Sig, to .40 S&W, to .45 ACP, more tissue is crushed, resulting in a larger permanent cavity. In addition, the larger bullets often offer better performance through intermediate barriers. For some, the incremental advantages of the larger calibers are offset by weapon platform characteristics. As is quite obvious from the photo above, NONE of the common service pistol calibers generate temporary cavities of sufficient magnitude to cause significant tissue damage. Anyone interested in this topic should read and periodically re-read, “Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness” by Urey Patrick of the FBI FTU, as this remains the single best discussion of the wound ballistic requirements of handguns used for self-defense -- it is available at: http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm .



Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits you likely engagement scenarios.

The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

9 mm:
Barnes XPB 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
Federal HST 124 gr +P JHP (P9HST3)
Remington Golden Saber bonded 124 gr +P JHP (GSB9MMD)
Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
Winchester 124 gr +P bonded JHP (RA9BA)
Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

.40 S&W:
Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
Speer Gold Dot 165 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (RA40B/Q4355/S40SWPDB1)

.45 Auto:
Barnes XPB 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
Hornady Critical Duty 220 gr +P JHP
Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

Notes:
-- Obviously, clone loads using the same bullet at the same velocity work equally well (ie. Black Hills ammo using Gold Dot bullets, Corbon loads using Barnes XPB bullets, etc…)

-- Bullet designs like the Silver Tip, Hydra-Shok, and Black Talon were state of the art 15 or 20 years ago. These older bullets tend to plug up and act like FMJ projectiles when shot through heavy clothing; they also often have significant degradation in terminal performance after first passing through intermediate barriers. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to the older designs. The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST, as well as the Speer Gold Dot; likewise Winchester Ranger Talons are far superior to the old Black Talons or civilian SXT's.

----------------------------------------

Basically all the standard service calibers work when using good quality ammunition.

Here are some useful resources:

http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollec...law_bullit.swf

http://le.atk.com/pdf/GoldDotPoster.pdf
http://le.atk.com/pdf/HSTInsertPoster.pdf
http://le.atk.com/pdf/EFMJBrochure.pdf
http://le.atk.com/general/irl/videos.aspx

9mm TAC-XP, 115gr
.357SIG TAC-XP, 125gr
.40 TAC-XP, 140gr
.40 TAC-XP, 155gr
.45ACP TAC-XP, 160gr
.45ACP TAC-XP, 185gr

------------------------------------------

The keys are:

-- Cultivate a warrior mindset
-- Invest in competent, thorough initial training and then maintain skills with regular ongoing practice
-- Acquire a reliable and durable weapon system
-- Purchase a consistent, robust performing duty/self-defense load in sufficient quantities (at least 1000 rounds) then STOP worrying about the nuances of handgun ammunition terminal performance.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 04-08-2013 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Per DK's request
  #3  
Old 11-14-2010, 11:44 PM
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Dr. Roberts and others all list a very similar set of criteria, or rules, that are necessary to surviving any situation that could be lethal. To me, these five things are as follows:

1. Shot Placement and Repeatability. If you can't hit the bad guy center of mass, you are simply not going to be able to defend yourself adequately. Likewise, if you can't follow up with more shots to center of mass, you are significantly reducing the odds.

This brings up the old adage "Shoot until the threat stops". Shoot enough to win. Whether you want to shoot or not, if you MUST use deadly force, don't worry about how many bullets you have to use to stop the threat. Just keep shooting until it stops, or you run out of ammo.

2. Cultivate the warrior mindset. Or, as is attributed to Mark Twain and Jeff Cooper (i've seen many attributions for this one) "Be kind and courteous to everyone you meet, but have a plan to kill each one." Does this mean you should WANT to kill anyone? Nope. But if the time comes that you have to use that weapon to defend yourself or your loved ones, you WILL be faced with the psychological repercussions and in that moment you will have to find out if you are able to take a life if necessary. Being psychologically ready to accept the burden of what WILL happen if this comes to pass is key. You MUST be able to think clearly when it comes to it. You MUST be able to act on a plan and take stock of the situation and keep yourself and others not involved safe.

3. Use enough gun, and make sure that gun works. A gun that sits in a holster and rusts, or even sits in a safe and collects dust, is useless. Likewise, all the fancy ammunition and hi-tech stuff in the world is great, but if your gun doesn't run on it, it's a paper weight. Ball ammunition has killed more people in this world than Hollowpoints ever have. Yes, that's because the HP design is both new to the game AND is not allowable under the rules of war. But, at the end of the day, if your gun only runs on ball and that's what you need to use, then use it. Let NO man tell you you're under gunned because you use ball ammo.

4. Following on item 1, practice practice practice. As a shooter, just standing and addressing a target at a range is not enough. In a life or death situation, you WILL find yourself having to utilize movement in combat, you MAY have to shoot weak hand, and you WILL have to utilize cover and concealment. While you may not think yourself to be shooter enough to compete with the likes of Robbie Leatham in the USPSA matches, the local club's IDPA and IPSC matches are a blast to shoot, and they WILL push you out of your comfort zone for combat shooting. Also, investing in and continuing to invest in training to perfect and keep up your skills is a good thing. A little fun playing on the range never hurt anyone, and it could save your life.

5. Above all, utilize EVERY tactical and technological advantage you have available to you. According to Jeff Cooper, "always cheat, always win." You don't NEED hollowpoints to get the job done. But, hollowpoint ammunition that performs well and has a LONG track record of performance offers you a technological advantage. The hollowpoint, once expanded, WILL present a larger surface to damage tissue, and WILL create a bigger hole.

We know that blood loss and hits to the central nervous system are the only reliable methods of incapacitating a target. Period. In a moment of rage or adrenaline or drug-induced stupor, No psychological effects are guaranteed in an attacker, and as has been shown repeatedly, very often an attacker WILL NOT be stopped by a single gunshot, or even a LOT of gun shots.

With that in mind, making as many/the biggest holes as possible will increase your chances of stopping the threat. Likewise, ANY tactical advantage you can use to throw off your attacker is a good thing. Throw things at him, use a light to blind him, anything that will force him to break off an attack and give you any kind of advantage.
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2010, 11:55 PM
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There are questions with regards to the effectiveness of Gel tests in regards to actually demonstrating real performance of rounds. Many folks have written on this subject, and there are a LOT of great sources of material out there.

For my own part, I would point out that gel testing didn't appear just because someone thought it would be cool to shoot jello. When the FBI conducted tests and developed the ballistics gelatin, they determined that a medium that would optimally represent an average density of human flesh was the best way to eliminate many of the variables in testing and make tests repeatable. Calibrated Gel is essentially the synthetic equivalent to taken a cross section core sample of human tissues sans bone and other hard tissues, throwing it all in a blender, and making jelly out of the puree. Kinda gross.

In the real world, scientists who study this stuff know that shooting into a block of jello isn't the same as shooting a real living being of any species. This is why these tests were developed by taking data gathered through cadaver testing, animal tests, and real world shooting incidents and blending it all together to develop a set of minimum criteria that could be used and correlated with real world performance.

What that means in basic english is that all the data collected from real world tests and incidents and ammunition used and all that was compared to what was seen in the lab with calibrated gel. From that, it was deduced that if rounds showed a certain minimum of performance or better in the gel, it correlated to acceptable to outstanding performance in the field.

No, it's not perfect. It's a grossly homogenous representation that doesn't factor in a LOT of conditions. And it's really not meant to. The sole purpose of these tests is to demonstrate optimal performance capabilities of the rounds in question. After all, if the rounds don't perform reliably in a perfect laboratory setting with all of the challenge taken out of it, it REALLY won't work well in the real world. And that's all it really is meant to do.

When it comes to the actual thing, body chemistry, body makeup, chemicals ingested, and a host of other things including old Mr. Murphy will rule, and anything that CAN go wrong WILL go wrong.

However, what we CAN do with these tests is better the odds that what we use will work as advertised, and thusly better the odds that you'll be able to stop the threat if YOU do YOUR job.
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2010, 11:59 PM
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Further Reading

On over-penetration, I suggest starting here:
http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=56486

On Wound Ballistics and Pistol Caliber Gel Tests, I suggest starting with these links:

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=34714

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=26028

As always, the real geniuses in the field are, of course, Dr. Gary Roberts and Dr. Fackler, and a host of others who have published a great body of work on this subject, and know more than I ever could hope to know on physiology and wound characteristics and everything else. There are innumerable sources of information from everyone from Doctors and Coroners to experts on bullet technologies.

I would like to thank and attribute the quoted text to Dr. Roberts' publically provided information on the M4Carbine Terminal Effects forums, as his research, and he himself, are probably some of the most readily accessible on the planet. He posts avidly on the M4Carbine forums and I readily encourage that anyone that has questions post there yourself. MUCH great knowledge can be had.

I hope I've provided SOME small insight with my posts.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:08 AM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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I frequently see the projectiles measured. Are the actual cavities measured? Is it possible to do a plaster cast of the cavities for 3D comparison? As far as penetration is concerned, is over penetration a real concern? Afterall, a rifle round would penetrate the gel block but I doubt anyone in a SD situation would say put down that rifle and use a handgun.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
I frequently see the projectiles measured. Are the actual cavities measured? Is it possible to do a plaster cast of the cavities for 3D comparison? As far as penetration is concerned, is over penetration a real concern? Afterall, a rifle round would penetrate the gel block but I doubt anyone in a SD situation would say put down that rifle and use a handgun.
The cavities are measured in the gel block for what temporary cavity is retained, however it would mean little. As the displaced tissue returns to rest, it will tend to close back in on the space it was forced out of by the temporary cavity and bullet, so ultimately, the cavity means less than the damage done to organs and tissue structures.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:12 AM
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On Overpenetration

As stated in the link I provided on overpenetration, Dr. Roberts has this to say:

Quote:
The Presumptive Hazards of Over-Penetration

Failures to stop a suspect because of under-penetration, poor bullet placement, and completely missing the target are far more significant problems than over-penetration. With shots to the center of mass, if a handgun or rifle bullet fails to have enough penetration to reach the large blood bearing vessels and organs in the torso, rapid physiological incapacitation is unlikely and an opponent may remain a lethal threat to officers and citizen bystanders. Conversely, if a bullet fired by officers completely penetrates a violent criminal and exits downrange, the bullet will certainly have had enough penetration to reach the large blood bearing vessels or organs in the torso. As a result, it is more likely to have caused sufficient hemorrhage to induce hypovolemic shock--the only reliable method of physiological incapacitation in the absence of CNS trauma.

Unfortunately, according to the available published date, the majority of shots fired in the field by U.S. LE officers miss their intended target. According to published NYPD SOP-9 data, the NYPD hit ratio by officers against perpetrators in 2000 was 12.3% of shots fired and in 2001 13.5% of shots fired. The Miami Metro-Dade County PD had hit ratios ranging between 15.4% and 30% from 1988-1994. Portland PD reported hits with 43% of shots fired at adversaries from 1984-1992, while Baltimore PD reported a 49% average hit ratio from 1989-2002.

Given that the reported averages for LE officers actually hitting the suspect ranges between 12% to 49% of shots fired, more concern should be given to the between 51-88% of shots fired by LE officers which completely MISS the intended target and immediately result in a significant threat to any person down range, rather than excessively worry about the relatively rare instance where one of the 12%-49% of shots fired actually hits the intended target and then exits the perpetrator in a fashion which still poses a hazard.

In short, the consequences of projectile under-penetration are far more likely to get officers and citizens killed than over-penetration issues.
I would have to agree with this assessment, with the following caveat:

Ball ammunition such as 9mm ball can easily overpenetrate, but the greater problem with these rounds is not so much the overpenetration, but rather that the bullet, due to its shape and design and velocity, will tend to simply push tissue out of the way without causing damage, and will pierce through the body with little blood loss and low chances of hitting anything vital. Because of this effect, such rounds overpenetrating compared to other bullets that either are bigger and go slower or expand in tissue and thus tend to stay IN the tissue shows that these rounds are not as effective simply because they do not cause enough trauma to tissue and subsequently blood loss to effect incapacitation. This is, I believe, the greater threat in these cases: not doing enough damage in the body to effectively stop the threat by nature of the design. Hollowpoints, larger calibers, and other such measures reduce this particular aspect/risk and increase the capability of each round firing to inflict more damage and lead subsequently to a more effective means of stopping the threat.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 11-15-2010 at 12:17 AM.
  #9  
Old 11-15-2010, 01:08 AM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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The permanent cavity is what denotes the actual amount of damage done ie displacement. This is something I can see for instance in an animal that was shot. Since tissues are elastic in nature does the temporary stretch cavity in gel tests imply trauma to the surrounding tissues in a gunshot wound? I'm not arguing with Dr. Fackler et al but is there documentation correlating the amount of tissue damage to the size of temporary stretch cavity? The reason I ask is that in hunting with a big bore there is the old saying that you can eat right up to the hole. In other words there is a big hole in and out of the game, not to mention destroyed bone if a shoulder shot is made. Everything in the bullets path is destroyed but there is not a lot of blood shot meat surrounding the hole. I'm kind of a visual type of guy and that is why I like the pictures of the wound cavities side by side. For that reason I would like to see WFN bullets tested alongside hollowpoints. Double Tap and Buffalo Bore are offering WFN, RNFP and SWC bulleted ammo and it would be helpful for the consumer to see how they compare in gel with the current crop of HP ammo, especially since that ammo is commanding premium prices.
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Old 11-15-2010, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
The permanent cavity is what denotes the actual amount of damage done ie displacement. This is something I can see for instance in an animal that was shot. Since tissues are elastic in nature does the temporary stretch cavity in gel tests imply trauma to the surrounding tissues in a gunshot wound? I'm not arguing with Dr. Fackler et al but is there documentation correlating the amount of tissue damage to the size of temporary stretch cavity? The reason I ask is that in hunting with a big bore there is the old saying that you can eat right up to the hole. In other words there is a big hole in and out of the game, not to mention destroyed bone if a shoulder shot is made. Everything in the bullets path is destroyed but there is not a lot of blood shot meat surrounding the hole. I'm kind of a visual type of guy and that is why I like the pictures of the wound cavities side by side. For that reason I would like to see WFN bullets tested alongside hollowpoints. Double Tap and Buffalo Bore are offering WFN, RNFP and SWC bulleted ammo and it would be helpful for the consumer to see how they compare in gel with the current crop of HP ammo, especially since that ammo is commanding premium prices.
This is an area of ballistics I know little about myself, so I went back to Doctor Roberts' own data, this one coming from the second link down on the further reading section:

Quote:
Military and LE (law enforcement) personnel are generally trained to shoot at the center of mass, usually the torso, of an aggressive opponent who must be stopped through the use of lethal force. Physiological incapacitation with wounds to the torso is usually the result of circulatory system collapse. More rapid incapacitation may occur with greater tissue disruption. Tissue is damaged through two wounding mechanisms: the tissue in the projectile’s path is permanently crushed and the tissue surrounding the projectile’s path is temporarily stretched. A penetrating projectile physically crushes and destroys tissue as it cuts its path through the body. The space occupied by this pulped and disintegrated tissue is referred to as the permanent cavity. The permanent cavity, or wound track, is quite simply the hole bored by the projectile's passage. Obviously, bullets of greater diameter crush more tissue, forming a larger permanent cavity. The formation of this permanent cavity is consistent and reliable.

The tissue surrounding the permanent cavity is briefly pushed laterally aside as it is centrifugally driven radially outward by the projectile's passage. The empty space normally occupied by the momentarily displaced tissue surrounding the wound track, is called the temporary cavity. The temporary cavity quickly subsides as the elastic recoil of the stretched tissue returns it towards the wound track. The tissue that was stretched by the temporary cavity may be injured and is analogous to an area of blunt trauma surrounding the permanent crush cavity. The degree of injury produced by temporary cavitation is quite variable, erratic, and highly dependent on anatomic and physiologic considerations. Many flexible, elastic soft tissues such as muscle, bowel wall, skin, blood vessels, and empty hollow organs are good energy absorbers and are highly resistant to the blunt trauma and contusion caused by the stretch of temporary cavitation. Inelastic tissues such as the liver, kidney, spleen, pancreas, brain, and completely full fluid or gas filled hollow organs, such as the bladder, are highly susceptible to severe permanent splitting, tearing, and rupture due to temporary cavitation insults. Projectiles are traveling at their maximum velocity when they initially strike and then slow as they travel through tissue. In spite of this, the maximum temporary cavity is not always found at the surface where the projectile is at its highest velocity, but often deeper in the tissue after it has slowed considerably. The maximum temporary cavitation is usually coincidental with that of maximum bullet yaw, deformation, or fragmentation, but not necessarily maximum projectile velocity.
From this I would draw the conclusion that a representative size of the temporary cavity as seen in gel is similar to what one might expect, however I don't believe there are any actual sets of data to correlate one to the other as we have really no way of measuring the momentary tissue displacement in actual individual shooting trauma victims, and as stated by Dr. Roberts, it would vary so wildly based on any number of anatomical and physiological points that any data collected would be meaningless.

With regards to how important it is in the overall mechanics of causing incapacitation, well, that in and of itself is variable. Obviously damage to organ structures mentioned that are inelastic and are damaged by the temporary cavitation would be more traumatic and cause more upset to the body than tissue simply shoved out of place that is able to simply rebound into position. However...my own conclusion to this would be that a look at temporary cavity as an indicator of traumatic effects and terminal performance is inadvisable as it would be a measure of a nearly infinitely-variable and unmeasurable aspect of ballistics.

As for the WFN and other similar bullet styles, the wadcutter and semi-wadcutter designs, i would expect these designs to perform in a manner superior to ball ammunition, but perhaps not to the same degree as a properly expanding hollowpoint. Dr. Roberts writes:

Quote:
Aerodynamic projectiles, such as bullets, cause minimal tissue disturbance when passing point forward through tissue. Deformation destroys the aerodynamic shape of the bullet, shortening its length and increasing its diameter by expanding and flattening the bullet tip in the classic "mushroom" pattern exhibited by deforming jacketed hollow point and jacketed soft point bullets. The larger frontal area of deformed bullets can crush more tissue to increase permanent cavity size and also displace more tissue to increase temporary cavity size.
We can conclude from this that a WFN/Wad Cutter/SWC would address tissue and would therefore cause more blunt trauma and increase the permanent cavity size over ball as it will, with a flat nose, have a lesser tendency to stretch and nose through the tissue. I cannot say with any certainty that these projectiles will cause a larger temporary cavity as they will still have a relatively small diameter that is addressing tissue. In that regard, a properly expanding hollowpoint will still perform with greater effects as it will deform to a greater degree, address more tissue on the flat front, and will displace more tissue overall.

As such, while you may see an increase in performance over ball, it may not be as dramatic an increase as you see with a properly expanded hollowpoint or softpoint round.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 11-15-2010 at 01:41 AM.
  #11  
Old 11-16-2010, 09:21 PM
Robert101 Robert101 is offline
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DeltaK,
Thanks so much for posting this information in totality. I have read some of it from your previous posts. I have been an advocate of the 45 automatic for a number of years. Lately, I have found a way to fall in love with the ballistics of the 10MM and consequently own both in the 1911 platform. I believe my fundamental decision to stay with the larger handgun bullet diameters is founded/supported in the prior attached documents.

Lastly, I too have alway advocated bullet penetration. My reasoning is slightly different as I believe it is important to have the ability to shoot through intermediate barriers and still sufficiently penetrate the target. With that being said, at times I do question the reason for using hollow point bullets.
Robert
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert101 View Post
DeltaK,
Thanks so much for posting this information in totality. I have read some of it from your previous posts. I have been an advocate of the 45 automatic for a number of years. Lately, I have found a way to fall in love with the ballistics of the 10MM and consequently own both in the 1911 platform. I believe my fundamental decision to stay with the larger handgun bullet diameters is founded/supported in the prior attached documents.

Lastly, I too have alway advocated bullet penetration. My reasoning is slightly different as I believe it is important to have the ability to shoot through intermediate barriers and still sufficiently penetrate the target. With that being said, at times I do question the reason for using hollow point bullets.
Robert
There is no question that the 10mm offers great potential in full house loads. However, in modern down-loaded iterations, you're not seeing a great deal more energy than you get out of a .45 ACP or a comparable .40 SMith load.

That aside, all of Doctor Roberts' picks as listed above also pass barrier tests of wall board, auto windshields, and clothing, and meet the required minimum penetration depth on the other side. Quoting the good doctor:

Quote:
Pistol Caliber Gel Test Assessment
Gelatin calibration needs to be performed on each block of 10% Type 250A ordnance gelatin that has been stored for several days at 4 degrees Celsius. To accomplish this (GEL CAL), a 0.177" steel BB is fired into each block at 590 fps +/- 15 fps, with an ideal range of penetration defined as 8.5 cm +/- 1.0 cm of penetration, although up to +/- 1.5 cm is considered acceptable. Duncan MacPherson's book Bullet Penetration has more information on gel calibration.

Common testing includes either an FBI type assessment using at least the six standard FBI tests at 10 feet (bare gel, heavy clothing, sheet steel, wallboard, plywood, auto glass), with the possible addition of the heavy clothing and auto glass tests at 20 yards or a three event IWBA type test using bare gelatin, 4 layer denim, and auto windshield tests all at 10 feet.

Typically weapon type and barrel length are reported, along with ammunition type, manufacturer part number, along with lot number.

Generally, at least five rounds of each ammunition type should be shot into gel for each test event.

Velocity (VEL) is recorded using an appropriate chronograph.

After penetration depth (PEN) is recorded, the bullets are recovered, then weighed on a digital scale and measured using digital vernier calipers. Ideal penetration for duty projectiles is in the 12 to 18 inch range.

The recovered diameter (RD) of each bullet is calculated by averaging the largest and smallest diameters measured at the leading edge of the deformed bullet. The length of each recovered bullet (RL) is also measured. Good RD's are around 0.60" for 9mm/357Sig, 0.65" for .40S&W, and 0.70" for .45ACP.

The RD is the measurement that seems to cause the most error. Below are several projectiles showing how the largest and smallest diameters are measured:



All shots fired from a S&W 4006 with 4" barrel at a range of 10 feet with gel cal=10cm@578fps; from left to right:

.40 S&W Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (Q4355): vel=946fps, pen=15.2", max diam=0.66", min diam=0.62", thus RD=0.64", RL=0.38", RW=182.5gr

.40 S&W Remington 180 gr JHP Golden Saber (GS40SWB): vel=951fps, pen=14.0", max diam=0.66", min diam=0.62", thus RD=0.64", RL=0.37", RW=180.0gr

.40 S&W Federal 180 gr JHP HST (P40HST1): vel=965fps, pen=15.0", max diam=0.77", min diam=0.51", thus RD=0.64", RL=0.38", RW=182.5gr

.40 S&W Corbon 140 gr bonded JHP DPX (Barnes XPB bullet): vel=1137fps, pen=12.8", max diam=0.77", min diam=0.50", thus RD=0.64", RL=0.38", RW=0.64"

While on a casual first glance, both the Corbon DPX and Federal HST could initially appear to have larger expansion, the actual measurements demonstrate that all the recovered .40 S&W projectiles in the photo above, in fact all have exactly the same RD of 0.64". Also, be mindful that RD measurements are made at the leading edge of the projectile, not further back down the expanded "petals", as this can give a false reading. For example, in the photo above, when measured half-way down the expanded projectile, the widest part of the expanded "petal" measures 0.84", much larger than the calculated RD of 0.64".

When assessing recovered projectiles, those that have sharper leading edges are favored, as they have a superior cutting ability. In addition, consistent performance across the various test events is a preferred characteristic.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 11-16-2010 at 09:37 PM.
  #13  
Old 11-29-2010, 05:37 PM
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I would like to thank all of the people who continue to challenge and introduce new ideas. These ideas and challenges help us all gain a new perspective on the matter.
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  #14  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:27 AM
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Useful Links and Reading Material

Popular links to good reading material for further information on ballistics:

FBI Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness Report

Gun Shot Wounds -- Vincent J. M. Di Maio, expert in pathology

Dr. Martin L. Fackler's "Effects of Small Arms on the Human Body"
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http://www.sofrep.com and http://loadoutroom.com -- Check us out on the web!
http://www.beast-enterprises.com Beast Enterprises - Target Stands and Cerakote Services
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  #15  
Old 09-15-2012, 05:31 PM
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Here are some useful resources:

http://www.winchester.com/SiteCollec...law_bullit.swf

http://le.atk.com/pdf/GoldDotPoster.pdf
http://le.atk.com/pdf/HSTInsertPoster.pdf
http://le.atk.com/pdf/EFMJBrochure.pdf
http://le.atk.com/general/irl/videos.aspx

9mm TAC-XP, 115gr
.357SIG TAC-XP, 125gr
.40 TAC-XP, 140gr
.40 TAC-XP, 155gr
.45ACP TAC-XP, 160gr
.45ACP TAC-XP, 185gr

------------------------------------------
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  #16  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:56 AM
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For further information and testing results from DocGKR:

http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=125566
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