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  #101  
Old 12-11-2010, 08:06 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
DK: Your points are well taken. No bullet is perfect. I too know of a PD friend who shot a perp in the forehead with a 357 mag and it went underneath the scalp and out the top of his head. A couple of things need to be clarified. SWC, truncated cone and especially WFN are known for tracking straighter than rn ball ammo. The edge of the WFN especially tends to plow straight through bone rather than being deflected. To a lesser extent SWC and TC bullets do the same. They hit bone, smash it and keep going. Like I said the WFN or LFN is least likely deflected or stop. That is why you can shoot an 1800 lb bison with a 335 gr LFN .452 hardcast at 1300 fps and the bullet will plow through the near shoulder and out the other side of the bison. There is something about the wide meplat that tends to make the bullet track straight. Ask Randy Garrett whose 45-70 hardcast bullets have taken Africa's Big 5. Not a 458 Win Mag, a 45-70. One of his 550 gr bullets plowed through both shoulders of a Cape Buffalo and killed a smaller Cape Buffalo unseen on the other side of the intended target. Again with a flat nosed hard cast bullet from a 45-70. Not a round nosed steel jacketed bullet from a 458, a 45-70. Back to the 45 ACP. The same design principle applies to the size of the meplat and the ability of the bullet to track straight through regardless of tissue encounterd. I am glad the HP in the previous example did stop. I am not all that enamoured with rn ball ammo either. But change the design slightly to include a flat point and the bullet will perform as Rifter has stated. I am glad that we have choices as to what ammo we use and as I stated here before I hope no one has to find out how effective his or her ammo is. Read "Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets" by Veral Smith. He can explain the physics involved of tissue destruction by hardcast bullets with large meplats. Who is he? He designed the LBT moulds used by commercial casters such as Beartooth Bullets and others. His WFN and LFN designs are to the Keith SWC bullet what the Keith bullet was to the round nosed bullet regarding killing efficiency. Writings by Marshall Stanton of Beartooth Bullets and Tim Sundles of Buffalo Bore can also shed light on how and why these style bullets kill all out of proportion to what common sense would dictate. Prior to Garrett ammo, if someone said they were going after Africa's Big 5 with a Marlin 45-70 he would have been locked up. Vince Lupo is the hunter who did just that and made the double kill when shooting a Cape Buffalo, IIRC. These are not stunts. A lot of hunters were asked by their PH to leave their Marlins and ammo behind because they had never seen charging animals stopped as quickly as those stopped by heavy hardcast LFN and WFN bullets from a levergun. Is it so hard to believe that the same design scaled down for the 45 ACP wouldn't have similar results on BGs?
Well, yes, any flat-nosed projectile will tend to smash through rather than deflect, whether it be an expanded hollowpoint or a SWC-type round of some flavor.

However, the fallacy to your thoughts is not in the design of the bullet, but rather in assuming that scaling the load down to .45 ACP, the round will behave the same. Case in point, in the realm of the .45 ACP: During its early, formative years, the Federal HST round in a standard-pressure load when being shot through 4-layer denim would consistently show shallow penetration and would fail to expand. However, when the same bullet was used with a +P loading (at 980 FPS vs. 850 FPS), showed consistent expansion and a 16"+ penetration through the same tests. Same bullet, just a different pressure.

Now, what I'm getting at here is that while, yes, the bullet's characteristics should be similar across all media, the velocity plays a HUGE part in how the bullet behaves in tissue. By taking this astounding-performer .45-70 design and reducing the load from the .45-70's pressure and velocity down to the standard 850 FPS for the .45 ACP, and reducing the bullet's weight from the 335gr to 230gr, you're altering enough characteristics and variables that what happens with the bullet vis a vis bone and how it will perform in human tissue cannot be directly correlated.

You would have to have a sizeable enough population of cases where this design was used in this configuration on this medium (human tissue) to begin to create a picture of how the bullet will perform. Because heavy, large game has denser muscle mass and tissue structures, heavier bone structures, etc., there is little comparative value to human flesh. Now, if we had a pig farmer who was willing to donate 500 pigs to our research study and we took those pigs and plugged 'em all with our desired load to see how they perform, this would be a closer approximation.

I'm not arguing, mind, that this says anything about how the bullet will perform. By all rights, the bullet should perform well, by nature of its design. What I'm trying to remind you of is that you cannot assume correlation of effectiveness between a heavy rifle load used on big game and a pistol load used on human tissue. By changing both the load, and the medium in which it must perform, you are changing enough variables that it's impossible to make an informed guess from a scientific perspective.
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  #102  
Old 12-11-2010, 08:55 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Originally Posted by AndyC View Post
Dude, pleeeeease - try a paragraph once in a while. No offence meant but seriously - matter how good your stuff might be, people are just going to skip reading it.
Point taken about me being a bucket mouth. But I find those one sentence proclamations devoid of any evidence just as anoying. I also know I was peeing into the wind on a forum that deals with "Which is the best HP for SD" seemingly every other topic. Notice I didn't say "Which bullet design?" It appears it is already taken for granted by most of the one line answerers that there is no other bullet style, except for those diehard ball ammo users. I came to this forum when I bought my Milspec. Admittedly my backround is in single actions where using hardcast bullets with wide meplats is the norm and no one questions the ability of that bullet type to harvest game or stop BGs. So when the argument comes up between the HP clan and the RN ball clan I interjected that there just might be a design or two in between that will split the difference with benefits of both the HP and RN designs. Rifter and a few others understand my logic and in Rifter's case has actually seen the results I was talking about. I'll leave it at that. I do enjoy the repartee and admit I get carried away with my answers.
  #103  
Old 12-11-2010, 08:58 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
Point taken about me being a bucket mouth. But I find those one sentence proclamations devoid of any evidence just as anoying. I also know I was peeing into the wind on a forum that deals with "Which is the best HP for SD" seemingly every other topic. Notice I didn't say "Which bullet design?" It appears it is already taken for granted by most of the one line answerers that there is no other bullet style, except for those diehard ball ammo users. I came to this forum when I bought my Milspec. Admittedly my backround is in single actions where using hardcast bullets with wide meplats is the norm and no one questions the ability of that bullet type to harvest game or stop BGs. So when the argument comes up between the HP clan and the RN ball clan I interjected that there just might be a design or two in between that will split the difference with benefits of both the HP and RN designs. Rifter and a few others understand my logic and in Rifter's case has actually seen the results I was talking about. I'll leave it at that. I do enjoy the repartee and admit I get carried away with my answers.
Just as long as you're willing to actually listen to data and not just stomp your foot and yell "well, it's MY favorite and YOU"RE WRONG".
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  #104  
Old 12-11-2010, 09:37 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
Just as long as you're willing to actually listen to data and not just stomp your foot and yell "well, it's MY favorite and YOU"RE WRONG".
DK: I do look at what you've posted for resource material. In fact I do agree with a lot of what you have written. I just pointed out that I would like to see all types of bullets tested head to head in gel. I can find resource after resource that will compare one hollowpoint to another but I would like to see truncated cone, SWC and WFN designs compared to HPs. I don't find anyone offering that comparison so I have been relegated to using anecdotal evidence of those bullet types in hunting situations. I realize the shortcomings of comparing a deer's chest cavity to a human's but without any gel studies where measurements can be taken and data compiled that is all I have in the way of an argument. I did give you a reference by Veral Smith but I doubt anyone will care to actually read as much of what he has written as I have read what Drs. Roberts and Fackler have written. I actually started out believing hollowpoints were the only way to go until I had my eyes opened to what "old school" designs could do. As a matter of fact my favorite bullet for my 45 Colts is a North Fork Cup Point Solid which is a hybrid of a solid with a cup point hollowpoint that flattens out at 1200 fps and will plow through anything on 2 or 4 legs. The trouble is that they are CNC machined out of solid copper and very expensive but they are HPs by definition. Politicians in CA thought they could mess with hunters with their demand for lead free bullets. Between Barnes and North Fork all the politicians did was force the creation of better killing bullets. PS: If I stomp my feet it's because I've been typing so long my butt and feet went to sleep!

Last edited by NonPCnraRN; 12-11-2010 at 09:48 PM.
  #105  
Old 12-11-2010, 10:05 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
DK: I do look at what you've posted for resource material. In fact I do agree with a lot of what you have written. I just pointed out that I would like to see all types of bullets tested head to head in gel. I can find resource after resource that will compare one hollowpoint to another but I would like to see truncated cone, SWC and WFN designs compared to HPs. I don't find anyone offering that comparison so I have been relegated to using anecdotal evidence of those bullet types in hunting situations. I realize the shortcomings of comparing a deer's chest cavity to a human's but without any gel studies where measurements can be taken and data compiled that is all I have in the way of an argument. I did give you a reference by Veral Smith but I doubt anyone will care to actually read as much of what he has written as I have read what Drs. Roberts and Fackler have written. I actually started out believing hollowpoints were the only way to go until I had my eyes opened to what "old school" designs could do. As a matter of fact my favorite bullet for my 45 Colts is a North Fork Cup Point Solid which is a hybrid of a solid with a cup point hollowpoint that flattens out at 1200 fps and will plow through anything on 2 or 4 legs. The trouble is that they are CNC machined out of solid copper and very expensive but they are HPs by definition. Politicians in CA thought they could mess with hunters with their demand for lead free bullets. Between Barnes and North Fork all the politicians did was force the creation of better killing bullets.
It would indeed be interesting, certainly.

So, I went back and did some research and searching around and I came across a ballistics gel test that was performed on a .38 Special wadcutter round. The test can be found here: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=274139

What I found most telling is this image here:



What we note here from this example is that the wadcutter round has penetrated quite deeply into the gel, however, we also note that aside from a fairly small temporary cavity near the start of the channel, the channel itself continues to display fairly ball-like characteristics.

From the stated data, some fragmentation occurred with the round in a couple of the tests, but mostly we see a very hollowpoint-like deformation of the wadcutter bullet:



Obviously this is one test.

Comparing this to an average shot of various hollowpoint rounds in gel, as seen here:


What we can see is that the hollowpoint performance of an average 9mm in a similar weight is going to yield a slightly larger temporary cavity, on average, but in a lead semi-wadcutter profile, penetration appears slightly improved over our stock sample, and with the deformation of the lead in gel, the profile of the bullet deforms to be nearly identical to our expanded hollowpoint, yielding nearly identical wound paths.
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  #106  
Old 12-11-2010, 10:31 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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So, what can we conclude from the above? Well, it's certain that a larger, higher-energy round will behave in tissue in a similar fashion, and it can be extrapolated that the same effects will likely occur.

With a jacketed SWC round of whatever flavor, I'm dubious that similar effects will occur as the jacketed bullet will resist deformation.

Another concern that should be noted, that came up a lot in my searches, is that while most autos will feed ball and hollowpoint profile bullets, many seem to have reliability issues with a wadcutter profile. Another concern is that some manufacturers have apparently suggested not firing unjacketed bullets in their guns.

Further study of jacketed vs. unjacketed is a topic that I think very much demands further study, as it would be interesting to see how much part is played by the deformation of the unjacketed lead, which leads to a similar effect as a hollowpoint.

This leads one to wonder, purely speculatively, whether an "ideal" bullet would be something like a bonded hollowpoint round. Bonded bullets, in my experience, tend to flatten out and become more like a wadcutter design than they do anything else, and they don't suffer the major issues with failures that other non-bonded projectiles share.

It is, however, my firm belief that if we study modern hollowpoint performance, that the net result of all of the design work that has been laid out has been not to necessarily reengineer a competitor to other designs, but rather to tap into the proven performance of the wadcutter design and lend it to a more auto-friendly profile.

We can argue all day long on the various designs and which offers better performance, but I strongly believe that in this day and age, if you choose one of any of the three major design categories with a good track record, you can't go wrong. Fearing a hollowpoint might not expand is rather silly when you figure that a non-expanded hollowpoint is just a flat-nosed ball round. That's been demonstrated repeatedly. However, we all have to choose what we're comfortable with, and my advice remains the same: Choose the ammunition that works for you, is reliable, is accurate, and readily available, and practice to be a good shot. The rest is of such unimportance as to be of secondary concern. Choosing from any of the three major categories of bullet design in .45 ACPs will yield positive results on target. The bullet don't just disappear because it ain't someone else's wonderbullet.
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  #107  
Old 12-11-2010, 10:37 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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BTW, Rifter and NonPCnraRN, the more I read your posts, the more it reminds me of being on a technical board discussing the merits of Windows vs. Mac, and having a couple of random folks chime in extolling the virtues of Linux
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  #108  
Old 12-11-2010, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
Just as long as you're willing to actually listen to data and not just stomp your foot and yell "well, it's MY favorite and YOU"RE WRONG".
Just a couple of things for you to ruminate on. Back when Sharps Rifle Company started making modern steel reproductions of the Sharps rifles, there was a long of talk about how effective those old straight case rounds were. Thanks to Hollywood, there is a lot of BS floating around on them, but here's some facts. Most of the buffalo had been killed off by the time the so-called buffalo calibers (.45-120 and .50-120) came along. The 'Big 50' of western lore was actually the 50-70 Gov't round chambered in the original Trapdoor Springfield model. The .45-70 came along with the '73 Springfield, later picked up in the larger lever action guns like the Winchester 1886 and the Marlin 1884. Nearly all of those rounds, including the various .40 caliber bottlenecked Sharps rounds, used paper patched roundnose lead bullets with large flat tips. They were routinely known to penetrate a bull buffalo from side to side through the heaviest muscle and hide and bone.

A friend of mine bought an 1874 Sharps chambered for the .45-120-3.25" round. He had me research and work up safe loads for it using smokeless powder (which was quite a chore by the way, as there was very little data for that at that time). We ended up with a 520 gr cast bullet with a round nose and flat point. The load was a duplex with 15 grains of Unique over the primer, a big tuft of kapok and then the main charge of 4895, with the remainder filled with kapok to keep it all in place. That load gave about 1500 fps maybe a bit more.

We took that rifle and his Ruger #1 .458 Win Mag to the desert and set up a steel plate at about 100 yards. Much to our surprise, every single round from the .458 riveted (500 gr. FMJ) and failed to penetrate that 3/8" hard steel plate. The bullet from the .45-120, however, punched perfect 50 caliber holes through every time. We found a number of the cast bullets in the bank behind the plate, still cylindrical in shape and retaining roughly half the weight.

That was graphic proof, for me at least, of the effectiveness of those old black powder rounds, and the savvy of the people who designed them.

Hollow points have their place, and can be very effective. I don't know why the ammo makers suddenly seemed to have forgotten all that was known about heavy flat point bullets, and started pushing HP loads so hard. There has always been a small hardcore group who remembers what worked so well in the old days (I guess I fall into that group), and for the most part they get short shrift these days.

This is one of those arguments that is likely never going to be resolved. All I can say is MY choice is based on about 80% direct observation, and 20% on reports by others. I will admit that most of the modern hollow points you guys are talking about didn't even exist when I formed that opinion, but I must also say that I haven't seen anything yet that convinces me the newer ones give enough better performance to cause me to switch. Maybe I'm just too old a dog to change my ways.
  #109  
Old 12-11-2010, 10:58 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
Just a couple of things for you to ruminate on. Back when Sharps Rifle Company started making modern steel reproductions of the Sharps rifles, there was a long of talk about how effective those old straight case rounds were. Thanks to Hollywood, there is a lot of BS floating around on them, but here's some facts. Most of the buffalo had been killed off by the time the so-called buffalo calibers (.45-120 and .50-120) came along. The 'Big 50' of western lore was actually the 50-70 Gov't round chambered in the original Trapdoor Springfield model. The .45-70 came along with the '73 Springfield, later picked up in the larger lever action guns like the Winchester 1886 and the Marlin 1884. Nearly all of those rounds, including the various .40 caliber bottlenecked Sharps rounds, used paper patched roundnose lead bullets with large flat tips. They were routinely known to penetrate a bull buffalo from side to side through the heaviest muscle and hide and bone.

A friend of mine bought an 1874 Sharps chambered for the .45-120-3.25" round. He had me research and work up safe loads for it using smokeless powder (which was quite a chore by the way, as there was very little data for that at that time). We ended up with a 520 gr cast bullet with a round nose and flat point. The load was a duplex with 15 grains of Unique over the primer, a big tuft of kapok and then the main charge of 4895, with the remainder filled with kapok to keep it all in place. That load gave about 1500 fps maybe a bit more.

We took that rifle and his Ruger #1 .458 Win Mag to the desert and set up a steel plate at about 100 yards. Much to our surprise, every single round from the .458 riveted (500 gr. FMJ) and failed to penetrate that 3/8" hard steel plate. The bullet from the .45-120, however, punched perfect 50 caliber holes through every time. We found a number of the cast bullets in the bank behind the plate, still cylindrical in shape and retaining roughly half the weight.

That was graphic proof, for me at least, of the effectiveness of those old black powder rounds, and the savvy of the people who designed them.

Hollow points have their place, and can be very effective. I don't know why the ammo makers suddenly seemed to have forgotten all that was known about heavy flat point bullets, and started pushing HP loads so hard. There has always been a small hardcore group who remembers what worked so well in the old days (I guess I fall into that group), and for the most part they get short shrift these days.

This is one of those arguments that is likely never going to be resolved. All I can say is MY choice is based on about 80% direct observation, and 20% on reports by others. I will admit that most of the modern hollow points you guys are talking about didn't even exist when I formed that opinion, but I must also say that I haven't seen anything yet that convinces me the newer ones give enough better performance to cause me to switch. Maybe I'm just too old a dog to change my ways.
You make good points. And as I keep repeatedly pointing out, I'm not saying at all that I'm ignoring their performance.

Indeed, from a historical perspective, my understanding of how this all worked out was this:

1. Law enforcement agencies adopt the 9mm as the "wonderkind" of new bullets, favoring hi-capacity, low recoil, and decent performance.
2. Law enforcement discovers that ball ammunition in 9mm (jacketed ball no less) shows itself to be a very good penetrator, but also lacks in terms of doing enough damage on its way through to effectively incapacitate a threat quickly.
3. Law enforcement casts about for a way to make their new 9mm perform like the .45 ACP did, but without admitting that they were wrong. The concept of causing the round to expand and thus create a bigger hole with more energy spent in the target comes about. The design is effective at what it's designed to do: translate more of the kinetic energy of the bullet from forward momentum into damage done to the target.
4. Public sees this new "hi-tech" design that LEOs are using, and begin to adopt it. Shooters of other calibers want this design in their own handguns, so the design is updated and applied to other calibers.
5. 30 years of hollowpoints being the status quo (Law Enforcement utilizes the Hollowpoint as standard, the wannabe rambo types in the public sector want to emulate and thus create a market for hi-tech hollowpoints, etc.) which leads to continuous forced improvement of the design to address teething problems and design flaws. A ubiquitous set of bullet designs come out that have a very very good track record and are equally as effective as the older designs. People like them.
6. Due to the nature of the business, these companies continue to evolve their designs and add new gimmicks in order to chase the law of diminishing returns, along with staying fresh and new in the market (Why rely on the good ol' fashioned speer gold dot that's worked for 30 years, or even the ranger design or similar, when a NEW hollowpoint design that reinvents the wheel must be SO much better?) in order to continue to compete against other makers.

To address your point about why designers ignored that particular design, my guess, and this is just a guess, mostly because the design either didn't translate well into 9mm and 40 Smith, or generally disagreed with the more modern automatics being developed and didn't function reliably, leading to a choice to develop bullets that functioned properly and could match the old designs' effectiveness.

There is certainly a strong core of actually developing and creating designs which function flawlessly in firearms that don't do so well with the older profiles of bullets, and still offer similar effectiveness, and make up for the shortcomings of new, small, fast calibers that just don't do enough tissue damage to be of much use at all. There's no arguing that point.

However, there's also a significant truth to the fact that the market is a self-feeding beast that must continually develop new stuff to stay ahead of the curve and simultaneously must generate a need for those products.

The same can be seen in the world of "Tactical [products]". How many people over the years went out and spent $300+ on fancy "Tactical" flash lights when for their purposes a $30 maglight would do the job just as well?

How many people spend thousands of dollars to outfit their AR-15 with tactical rails and ACOG sights and infrared laser units and so forth, just because the market pushes this stuff as what the shooter NEEDS to have?

I think this is why we should all agree that there is a "zone" of effectiveness in which ANY choice will result in effective outcomes. I would put SWC and most of the proven hollowpoint designs in this category. We have a lot of history that backs up the SWC/WC designs. We have now 30 years and THOUSANDS if not Hundreds of Thousands of cases in which these new hollowpoint designs have been used to great success that back them up. We can agree that ANY choice from this pool will be likely to be a good one.
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Last edited by DeltaKilo; 12-11-2010 at 11:00 PM.
  #110  
Old 12-11-2010, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
So, what can we conclude from the above? Well, it's certain that a larger, higher-energy round will behave in tissue in a similar fashion, and it can be extrapolated that the same effects will likely occur.

With a jacketed SWC round of whatever flavor, I'm dubious that similar effects will occur as the jacketed bullet will resist deformation.

Another concern that should be noted, that came up a lot in my searches, is that while most autos will feed ball and hollowpoint profile bullets, many seem to have reliability issues with a wadcutter profile. Another concern is that some manufacturers have apparently suggested not firing unjacketed bullets in their guns.

Further study of jacketed vs. unjacketed is a topic that I think very much demands further study, as it would be interesting to see how much part is played by the deformation of the unjacketed lead, which leads to a similar effect as a hollowpoint.

This leads one to wonder, purely speculatively, whether an "ideal" bullet would be something like a bonded hollowpoint round. Bonded bullets, in my experience, tend to flatten out and become more like a wadcutter design than they do anything else, and they don't suffer the major issues with failures that other non-bonded projectiles share.

It is, however, my firm belief that if we study modern hollowpoint performance, that the net result of all of the design work that has been laid out has been not to necessarily reengineer a competitor to other designs, but rather to tap into the proven performance of the wadcutter design and lend it to a more auto-friendly profile.

We can argue all day long on the various designs and which offers better performance, but I strongly believe that in this day and age, if you choose one of any of the three major design categories with a good track record, you can't go wrong. Fearing a hollowpoint might not expand is rather silly when you figure that a non-expanded hollowpoint is just a flat-nosed ball round. That's been demonstrated repeatedly. However, we all have to choose what we're comfortable with, and my advice remains the same: Choose the ammunition that works for you, is reliable, is accurate, and readily available, and practice to be a good shot. The rest is of such unimportance as to be of secondary concern. Choosing from any of the three major categories of bullet design in .45 ACPs will yield positive results on target. The bullet don't just disappear because it ain't someone else's wonderbullet.
Just a reminder that the Hornady 230 FMJ-FP in not a wadcutter shape. It is actually a truncated cone flat point. But calling it a SWC is easier to market. The main body of the bullet is cylindrical - straight sided - with a cone shaped front portion with the point lopped off. The edge of the tip is radiused. That radius is important because it is in the exact same place that the point of contact on a round nose FMJ hits the feed ramp. That enables this bullet to feed just like RN. In other words, feeding is very good. Standard revolver style Keith type SWC bullet have a sharp edge that can make feeding difficult without attention to the feed ramp.

The Hornady bullet is the one I've been referring to throughout this discussion.

Last edited by Rifter; 12-11-2010 at 11:04 PM.
  #111  
Old 12-11-2010, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
Just a reminder that the Hornady 230 FMJ-FP in not a wadcutter shape. The main body of the bullet is cylindrical - straight sided - with a cone shaped front portion with the point lopped off. The edge of the tip is radiused. That radius is important because it is in the exact same place that the point of contact on a round nose FMJ hits the feed ramp. That enables this bullet to feed just like RN. In other words, feeding is very good. Standard revolver style Keith type SWC bullet have a sharp edge that can make feeding difficult without attention to the feed ramp.

The Hornady bullet is the one I've been referring to throughout this discussion.
here I am, trying to concede that it's all good, and you just CAN'T let it end there, can ya?
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  #112  
Old 12-12-2010, 12:48 AM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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A perfect example of a WFN is the Double Tap 200 gr WFN-GC for the 40 S&W. The meplat is .32 inches. That amounts to 80 percent of caliber. That is larger than the meplat of a SWC 44 cal bullet. The bullet I want to eventually use in the 45 ACP is a 255 gr WFN with a meplat of .36 which is 80% of caliber. The meplat alone is greater than the base of a .357 bullet. So these bullets are new to the scene as far as auto pistols go and need to be tested along side any premium HP. As was previously mentioned the truncated cone design was a compromise to ensure 100% feeding back in the day when 1911s were coughing on HPs. A quality 1911 should feed a .45 WFN bullet with 100 percent reliability. Such a hardcast bullet does not change shape. The resulting wound will be the same from start to finish whereas the HP is always in a state of flux. It starts out caliber sized, expands up to double caliber but if driven too fast looses some of its diameter as the jacket folds back. That isn't necessarily a bad thing either as it allows greater penetration while still creating a massive wound at maximum expansion. I will propose that both designs make large wounds. It is just a cast lead bullet is cheaper than premium HPs. I think one would be served well with either the premium HP or WFN with truncated cone and SWC bullets falling somewhere in between. I realize that the confidence in modern HPs is due to a lot of testing and statistical data that the WFN design lacks at this point. It is not that the WFN is not a good design, it is just that there is little empirical data to support its use. So until I get a .45 WFN I think the Barnes 185 gr DPX will give me both the wound size and penetration I seek and I can find it on the shelf now. I know that deer hit with the Barnes 150 gr TSX-FN 30-30 bullet drop like they were hit by Thor's hammer. If the 185 gr DPX works like that in a 45 ACP against BGs I'll be a happy camper.....till the wife gets the Visa bill. There I go getting wordy again.

Last edited by NonPCnraRN; 12-12-2010 at 12:55 AM.
  #113  
Old 12-12-2010, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
here I am, trying to concede that it's all good, and you just CAN'T let it end there, can ya?

Ahh, come on, not my intent at all. Just making sure I was being clear on what I was referring to, so there was no misunderstanding on what I said earlier, or what I meant.
  #114  
Old 12-12-2010, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NonPCnraRN View Post
A perfect example of a WFN is the Double Tap 200 gr WFN-GC for the 40 S&W. The meplat is .32 inches. That amounts to 80 percent of caliber. That is larger than the meplat of a SWC 44 cal bullet. The bullet I want to eventually use in the 45 ACP is a 255 gr WFN with a meplat of .36 which is 80% of caliber. The meplat alone is greater than the base of a .357 bullet. So these bullets are new to the scene as far as auto pistols go and need to be tested along side any premium HP. As was previously mentioned the truncated cone design was a compromise to ensure 100% feeding back in the day when 1911s were coughing on HPs. A quality 1911 should feed a .45 WFN bullet with 100 percent reliability. Such a hardcast bullet does not change shape. The resulting wound will be the same from start to finish whereas the HP is always in a state of flux. It starts out caliber sized, expands up to double caliber but if driven too fast looses some of its diameter as the jacket folds back. That isn't necessarily a bad thing either as it allows greater penetration while still creating a massive wound at maximum expansion. I will propose that both designs make large wounds. It is just a cast lead bullet is cheaper than premium HPs. I think one would be served well with either the premium HP or WFN with truncated cone and SWC bullets falling somewhere in between. I realize that the confidence in modern HPs is due to a lot of testing and statistical data that the WFN design lacks at this point. It is not that the WFN is not a good design, it is just that there is little empirical data to support its use. So until I get a .45 WFN I think the Barnes 185 gr DPX will give me both the wound size and penetration I seek and I can find it on the shelf now. I know that deer hit with the Barnes 150 gr TSX-FN 30-30 bullet drop like they were hit by Thor's hammer. If the 185 gr DPX works like that in a 45 ACP against BGs I'll be a happy camper.....till the wife gets the Visa bill. There I go getting wordy again.
Can you PM me with more info on that WFN bullet? Can it be bought off the shelf ready to load or do you have to cast it yourself? It sounds very much like the 260 gr. Keith cast I used to use 30 years ago.
  #115  
Old 12-12-2010, 09:21 AM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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On behalf of everyone who has been following this thread, thanks to every contributor for an extremely interesting and informative discussion.

I offer special thanks to the gentlemen who elevated this debate with in-depth opinions and arguments based on, I suspect, many years of experience and dedicated study. I'm impressed and grateful for your contributions. Your passion for the subject of bullet performance made your comments fun as well as educational.

When I'm sure all the dust has settled, I'll print this thread for re-reading and filing in my place where 'special' materials are kept for future reference.

Last edited by Trekker; 12-12-2010 at 09:31 AM.
  #116  
Old 12-12-2010, 10:44 AM
rottman43055 rottman43055 is offline
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Good thread indeed.

The .45 is an excellent round because of it managable recoil for follow up shots etc while still delivering a big heavy bullet in a variety of types & loads, effective in either jhp or fmj. I believe it was Chuck Taylor who shot 7 people with handguns and the 5 he dropped right there with 1 shot in the chest each was with 45 fmj. And yes, jhp would have probably worked just as well.

Point is with good shot placement 45 is a good round no matter what you load. I am definately ordering BB 230 +p fmj fp for my 45!

That said, I'm going to brush up my skills with the .44 magnum. I had & sold a super redhawk, which would have been to heavy for carry anyway, but if anyone has sugguestions for a good 44 magnum with a 4-6 inch barrel that isn't to heavy, please PM me so we do not derail this thread.

The intelligent discussions here on ballistics are the best I have found on line.
Like Trekker said thanks to all who have weighed in thus far.
  #117  
Old 12-12-2010, 10:49 AM
2gunpete 2gunpete is offline
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The CG of a FMJ will cause it to tumble upon entry and penetrate butt first, making it more effective than WFN.
  #118  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:06 PM
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The CG of a FMJ will cause it to tumble upon entry and penetrate butt first, making it more effective than WFN.
Now, that just plain doesn't track. Only time I've ever seen a FMJ RN tumble was after glancing off a heavy bone, and even then it just changed the direction in most cases. A RN, by virtue of its shape, tends to be self correcting in terms of staying point on absent impact with something solid.

It definitely doesn't behave like the old 5.56 55 gr FMJ in the original M-16.
  #119  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:47 PM
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.

Last edited by aric; 03-26-2011 at 12:33 AM.
  #120  
Old 12-12-2010, 03:55 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Now, that just plain doesn't track. Only time I've ever seen a FMJ RN tumble was after glancing off a heavy bone, and even then it just changed the direction in most cases. A RN, by virtue of its shape, tends to be self correcting in terms of staying point on absent impact with something solid.

It definitely doesn't behave like the old 5.56 55 gr FMJ in the original M-16.
This is absolutely correct. There is absolutely no evidence that the Round-nose FMJ Ball tumbles. Period.
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  #121  
Old 12-12-2010, 04:31 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
Now, that just plain doesn't track. Only time I've ever seen a FMJ RN tumble was after glancing off a heavy bone, and even then it just changed the direction in most cases. A RN, by virtue of its shape, tends to be self correcting in terms of staying point on absent impact with something solid.

It definitely doesn't behave like the old 5.56 55 gr FMJ in the original M-16.
Rifter: I was going to ask where in the Wide, Wide, World of Sports 2gunpete got that gem of information but you beat me to it without quoting Blazing Saddles. PS: Did you get my PM?
  #122  
Old 12-12-2010, 04:41 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Rifter: I was going to ask where in the Wide, Wide, World of Sports 2gunpete got that gem of information but you beat me to it without quoting Blazing Saddles. PS: Did you get my PM?
Oh sure, ya PM HIM!!
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  #123  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:09 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Oh sure, ya PM HIM!!
Dang DK! How else are Rifter and I going to talk about you behind your back? In the name of full disclosure he wanted the link to the Beartooth 255gr WFN hardcast bullet. http://www.beartoothbullets.com/bulletselect/index.htm
http://www.beartoothbullets.com/imag...-255-WFNPB.jpg

Last edited by NonPCnraRN; 12-12-2010 at 05:17 PM.
  #124  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:12 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Dang DK! How else are Rifter and I going to talk about you behind your back?
Could always just do it to my face. Much easier.
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  #125  
Old 12-12-2010, 05:20 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Could always just do it to my face. Much easier.
See edit to my post. Also how do I do it to your face on a forum? Besides people would start rumors.
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