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Thread: Photo of some penetration/expansion tests of rimfire bullets

  1. #1
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    Photo of some penetration/expansion tests of rimfire bullets

    All of these bullets were fired into water jugs. I had two of the large kitty litter jugs end to end. That's 18 inches of water total. None penetrated both jugs, all bullets were recovered from the second jug. That means none meet the FBI minimum standard.

    From left to right: CCI Stinger, (fired from a Colt Woodsman, 4.5 inch barrel) Winchester PDX .22Mag, Hornady Critical Defense .22 Mag, (fired from a NAA Mini, 1 5/8 inch barrel, and for comparison a Hornady .45ACP Critical Defense. (fired from a Springfield 1911A1, 5 inch barrel)



    I would like to repeat the test with a longer barreled .22Mag pistol, say a Kel-Tec PMR30. The expansion and penetration might be considerably more. If anyone has a PMR30, please send it to me.

    BTW, I also have a Hornady .45ACP CD bullet recovered from a deer I had to put down, after a poacher shot it on my land and broke its back. Expansion through deer is equal to expansion through water.

    Not trying to prove anything here, just sharing information.

    Edit:, the first Winchester bullet actually shed its jacket so that is the core and jacket in the photo.
    Last edited by Pulp; 01-15-2013 at 06:19 PM.

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    Regular Member stickbow95's Avatar
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    Interesting. I've always enjoyed testing different bullets and loads.

    I'm assuming that the CD .45 penetrated more than two jugs?

    My normal carry ammo is a 230gr Hornady XTP loaded to around 900fps. Fired from my 5.5" 1911 it penetrates 5 water-filled milk jugs and stops in the sixth.

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    Actually, no it did not penetrate both jugs. Here's a little video I made while testing. First shot is with the NAA and Winchester PDX1, second shot is with the CCI Stinger, and third shot is .45. After each shot I have two still frames which show some deformation of the plastic.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEy705TLbJw

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    Regular Member stickbow95's Avatar
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    Re: Photo of some penetration/expansion tests of rimfire bullets

    Cool.
    I was having similar results when I was loading lighter bullets. I found that the lighter bullets, even at higher velocities, showed less penetration. I was getting 4 milk jugs with a 200gr XTP @ just under 1000fps. It was the same with 9mm loads.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

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    Regular Member Contrarian's Avatar
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    Red face bullet testing

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm


    See the link - this is all he does...testing various gun/bullet combinations against various targets.


    Good read.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrarian View Post
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm


    See the link - this is all he does...testing various gun/bullet combinations against various targets.


    Good read.
    Yup, I'm a frequent visitor there also. Very good website.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pulp View Post
    All of these bullets were fired into water jugs. I had two of the large kitty litter jugs end to end. That's 18 inches of water total. None penetrated both jugs, all bullets were recovered from the second jug. That means none meet the FBI minimum standard. ....
    So, are you now willing to stand in front of any of them?

    Seriously, why are you even referencing the FBI penetration standard?

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

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    The FBI standard is not a criteria for my ammo purchases, but it could be for others. Knowledge is a good thing.

    I'd reckon there is a possibility that had I been using thin plastic milk jugs some of the loads may have penetrated enough to meet FBI standards. The kitty litter jugs are pretty tough plastic.

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    Regular Member stickbow95's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think that the FBI standards relate much to water jugs of any sort. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the FBI standards, comparing them to water jug penetration is irrelevant, "apples to oranges" as it were. Water (and "jug") penetration isn't a very good test of bullet performance. Water is actually much more damaging to a bullet than wet newspaper, ballistic gelatin, or flesh. Even some bullets that I've recovered from sand, dirt, and lumber have shown less damage than those fired into water. I don't know why, I'm not a physicist, engineer, nor anything else fancy, that's just what my own personal experience has shown me.

    Weather someone finds any of this useful is up to that individual I guess. I do find some levels of useful info in examining bullets recovered from various types of media.

    The reason I shoot at water jugs, wet news print, sand, lumber, old wash machine, whatever, is because I can. It's fun.

    I've got a ton of bullets that I've recovered from shooting at various types of targets. Maybe I'll throw some pics up.

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    According to the feller what runs the Box of Truth, 24 inches of water penetration equals 12 inches of standardized ballistic gel. I don't personally know that for a fact, but don't have any reason to doubt it.

    Did you see the Mythbusters episode where they were shooting into a swimming pool? Even a .50BMG couldn't penetrate gel that was a foot or so underwater. The water would just disintegrate the bullet. Too much velocity was their reasoning. Slower bullets, like 9mm would go through the water and into the gel.

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    Regular Member stickbow95's Avatar
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    I'm familiar with the box of truth guy and I do think that that stuff provides a certain amount of useful info. However, penetration depth in water vs gelatin is only one small factor in the equation. The most important factor is bullet performance. This would include things like weight retention, expansion (if the bullet is of expanding design), and overall bullet integrity. There is no comparison that can be made in water vs gelatin vs wet newsprint vs sand vs whatever.

    As the Mythbusters episode showed, water is destructive. Fast moving, high-intensity loads tend to fail more rapidly. My own testing shows the same.
    Example: my hunting loads for my .300 Weatherby magnum are a 180gr Barnes TSX at @3100fps muzzle velocity. The Barnes TSX is one of the best expanding bullets on the market for weight retention and penetration. All the deer that I've taken with it have been pass throughs and DRT (dead right there) no matter what angle the shot. However, in water, penetration and bullet integrity is not as good as 230gr .45ACP XTP loads. According to the box of truth, if either round penetrates say, 40" in water, they should both penetrate 20" in gelatin. In ballistic gelatin, the .45 ACP falls far short of any high intensity hunting rifle round. I am confident that my .300 Weatherby loads would be perfectly adequate for say, a moose. Elephant have occasionally been taken with the .300 Weatherby (I'm not recommending that). Would I use my .45 ACP for moose considering that it penetrates the same, and holds together better, in water as the .300? No way!

    Another example using the same loads: Shoot ice. I froze some water filled milk jugs the other day and shot them with various firearms. At 20 yards, the .45 ACP 230 gr XTP load didn't completely penetrate the jug, nor did it split the jug open at all, the jug just fell off the log I had it sitting on. The .300 however, exploded it's jug and I got rained on by ice pieces 60 feet from the jug!

    Conclusion: In water, energy works against the results causing excessive damage to bullet integrity. Water is not a good test of real world bullet/load performance. But it is fun to shoot.

    Try this stuff: http://ballistekgel.com/

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