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Thread: Odd question.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    So, I now have this 1851 Navy in .44 cal, and I would like to be able to carry it on occasion. You know, matches the outfit sometimes.

    Anyway, the thing is, It has a safety position on it, which is putting the hammer down between cylinders.

    The question I have is, would I still have to have 2 chambers empty, or would the safety position count?

    You would have to pull the hammer back, then pull the trigger to fire.

    Thoughts?

    Oh, and for those people who are going to tell me not to carry it, I'm going to once in a while anyway.

    They're safe to carry, and I think that it would pack more of a punch than a 9mm.

    Thing's a beast.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Anyway, the thing is, It has a safety position on it, which is putting the hammer down between cylinders.

    The question I have is, would I still have to have 2 chambers empty, or would the safety position count?
    Utah law defines "unloaded" with two requirements:

    1. There must be no round "in firing position". Everyone seems to take that to mean no round in the chamber lined up with the hammer and barrel. You're covered there.

    2. At least two manual actions must be require to fire. You have to pull the hammer back and then pull the trigger.

    So, I think you're good to carry with all chambers loaded and the hammer down between chambers.

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    State Researcher Kevin Jensen's Avatar
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    The NAA mini revolvers are built the same way, with the safety notches in between each cylinder. They are made in Provo, and I believe that they were designed this way with Utah law in mind. Sounds like you are covered.
    "An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." Robert A. Heinlein

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    While I agree that you OUGHT to be safe carrying that way (2 manual actions), the law does not differentiate between single and double action revolvers. Many police officers understand the 2 actions rule, others know the two empty chambers rule - so you MIGHT run into some issues there, if stopped. To them, the revolver would appear to be fully loaded

    Just a heads up, hopefully you never have any problems with it - cool replica by the way!

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    GeneticsDave wrote:
    While I agree that you OUGHT to be safe carrying that way (2 manual actions), the law does not differentiate between single and double action revolvers. Many police officers understand the 2 actions rule, others know the two empty chambers rule - so you MIGHT run into some issues there, if stopped. To them, the revolver would appear to be fully loaded

    Just a heads up, hopefully you never have any problems with it - cool replica by the way!
    There is not a 'two empty chambers rule'. That is just the result of the 'can't fire with one manual action rule' applied to double action revolvers. There is no need to differentiate between single and double action revolvers.

    When something like the 'two empty chambers rule' gets repeated enough people start believing it.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Sounds like I should be good, but the same worry as Open carrying in general, a LEO may not know it's legal.

    I wouldn't mind carrying this thing. It would match my western wardrobe quite well.

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    althor wrote:
    There is not a 'two empty chambers rule'. That is just the result of the 'can't fire with one manual action rule' applied to double action revolvers. There is no need to differentiate between single and double action revolvers.
    Dave knows that. His point is that some officers don't, which may cause you some grief.

    I say fine, just plan on causing the officers some grief, after it's straightened out.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    I think I'll keep a copy of the law on me.

    And not talk to Police. Yeah, that's what I'll do.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    They're safe to carry, and I think that it would pack more of a punch than a 9mm.
    There's some info around on the internet where somebody did a chronograph and some math and came up with the result that a Ruger Old Army .44 (.45) had roughly the same muzzle energy as a .38 +P. Can't recall where I saw it. It didn't specify ball or slug.

    If nothing else, its kinda cool to have your defensive weapon and smoke screen generator all rolled into one. Check the manual. If you can stuff the chambers full of black powder you can also have a mini flame thrower. Well, spark thrower, anyway.

    If the ball misses your assailant, maybe you can set them on fire!!
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Well, in any case I have seen the holes these things make, and let me tell you, its scary!

    The other thing is that with blackpowder, the load varies quite a bit. Different grains of powder and such.

    I want to see some ballistics.

    Anyway, with similar energies, and I'm pretty sure lower velocities, and a larger projectile, and the flattening that happens when they hit the target, I imagine that they will do considerable damage.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Well, in any case I have seen the holes these things make, and let me tell you, its scary!

    The other thing is that with blackpowder, the load varies quite a bit. Different grains of powder and such.

    I want to see some ballistics.

    Anyway, with similar energies, and I'm pretty sure lower velocities, and a larger projectile, and the flattening that happens when they hit the target, I imagine that they will do considerable damage.
    Just for knowledge, you could:

    1) Hunt for some black powder gun forums and ask around.

    2) Hunt up 19th century newspaper stories on "affrays."

    3) Get a copy of Mark Twain's Roughing It. There are accounts in there of people being shotwith cap-and-ball revolvers. Maybe those shootings were with .36's. I don't recall. I just remember the impression that those old guns weren't as effective as today's.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Well, in any case I have seen the holes these things make, and let me tell you, its scary!

    The other thing is that with blackpowder, the load varies quite a bit. Different grains of powder and such.

    I want to see some ballistics.

    Anyway, with similar energies, and I'm pretty sure lower velocities, and a larger projectile, and the flattening that happens when they hit the target, I imagine that they will do considerable damage.
    Keep in mind that the diameter of the hole is less important than the depth of penetration (both matter, but penetration is more important). A less-energetic slug/ball with a large diameter will not penetrate far.

    You might find this post interesting. Or maybe not. I thought it was interesting to write

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    He said that the kinetic energy was equivalent to a .38 spcl +p. Therefore IMO the larger slug would be more damaging.

    Plus the round is less likely to fragment because it is a solid piece.

    Penetration may be a problem here, but not expansion.

    I say we need a test using ballistic gel.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    He said that the kinetic energy was equivalent to a .38 spcl +p. Therefore IMO the larger slug would be more damaging.
    Not necessarily. The larger cross-section will cause the bigger slug to expend it's energy faster (because it's making a hole that's larger in diameter), which means that it won't penetrate as far. If it doesn't manage to penetrate far enough to reach the vitals, then it won't do as much damage as a smaller slug with the same energy that makes a smaller hole but goes deeper.

    I'm sure that it would work just fine if fired into the torso from the front or back, but a hit from an unusual angle might not work so well. The requirement for 12-16 inches of penetration that is generally used to evaluate defensive weapon performance is chosen because it allows for the possibility that the bullet has to pass through an arm, some bone, maybe some heavy clothing, etc., before actually entering the chest cavity.

    My biggest concern about carrying a cap and ball revolver for self-defense would be reliability. If you're careful with your loads, keep your caps clean and set properly, you can be pretty sure it will go bang, but there's just no way you'll get the kind of reliability you will out of factory cartridges.

    If you had a CFP, I'd tell you to carry the 1851 Navy proudly, and tuck a 9mm or .40 subcompact away somewhere to use for self defense.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    I'll agree, Open carry the hog leg (as if there was any other way) and conceal a 9mm.

    With reliability, it's dry here, and as long as I didn't get a dud cap, I'll be fine.

    The other thing to think about is we are only looking at velocity and muzzle energy.

    And we know that smaller rounds lose energy quicker than larger rounds. What's it called? Uh, momentum, that's it. Anyway, the larger slug has more momentum.

    So, I think you would need to factor in Kinetic energy, then momentum.

    I'm not sure how they relate exactly, must figure it out.

    ETA: I very well could be wrong. This is the stuff I remember from physics.

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    momentum (p) = mv

    (mass x velocity)

    Kinetic Energy = p^2/2m

    Momentum squared divided by 2 x mass

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Oh, I see.

    So, since I know I did it wrong, and got the wrong number (huge)

    Can somebody give me a hand on this?

    Given a .454 diameter lead ball at we'll say 300 meters/sec

    Versus

    a 150 gr .355 diameter bullet at the same velocity.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    Just thought of something else.

    I do believe that the wounding mechanics of a Round lead ball are different than that of a conical bullet. Would they not tear instead of cut?

    And there are some older texts written saying that the round ball was superior to the conical bullet in wounding. Not sure this is true.

    I will have to look this stuff up.

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    And there are some older texts written saying that the round ball was superior to the conical bullet in wounding. Not sure this is true.
    Maybe true if you shooting FMJ as your defensive round but with JHP the bullet isn't conical when it tears through your flesh. That is the point of expanding ammunition. It makes a nasty looking chinese star of doom that lessens the penetration but makes the hole much bigger and transfers more energy into the target instead as opposed to a bullet that would go right through.

    As to your equations diameter has nothing to do with momentum or kinetic energy and mass is different than weight.

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    Regular Member thx997303's Avatar
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    I know that diameter has nothing to do with momentum, and weight and mass are different, but they tend to be related. And when you consider that the larger ball is made with the same material as the smaller bullet, then yes the .44 cal ball has more mass, and therefore more momentum then the smaller bullet.

    At least this is the way I see it.

    And IMO energy transfer has nothing to do with lethality. Temporary cavitation IMO does not do damage.

    While energy and momentum have something to do with penetration and expansion, it is the wound channel resulting from the penetration and expansion that does the damage.

    The kinetic energy and momentum merely facilitate the penetration and expansion.
    But the energy transfer itself does nothing to wound.

    Again, all of this is just my opinion.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    And when you consider that the larger ball is made with the same material as the smaller bullet, then yes the .44 cal ball has more mass, and therefore more momentum then the smaller bullet.
    I'll go through the other math a little later when I have some time (got some honey-do's to do right now, and honey is getting insistent), but the ball doesn't necessarily have more mass. It's larger in diameter, but slugs are elongated so may have more total volume of lead, and more mass.

    If you don't know the mass of the ball, it's easy to calculate. The volume of a sphere is 4/3 pi r^3 and the radius of a .454 caliber ball is .57658 cm, so the volume of the ball is .80291 cm^3. Lead has a density of 11.34 g/cm^3, so the ball has a mass of 9.105 g, which is 141 gr.

    So, if the .38 Special slug you're comparing to is 150 gr, then the slug is heavier than the .454 ball. Since the slug also has smaller cross section, it'll lose velocity slower than the ball, and penetrate better.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    Oh, I see.

    So, since I know I did it wrong, and got the wrong number (huge)

    Can somebody give me a hand on this?

    Given a .454 diameter lead ball at we'll say 300 meters/sec

    Versus

    a 150 gr .355 diameter bullet at the same velocity.
    With those numbers:

    Kinetic energy of 141 gr lead ball @ 300 m/s = 410 J or 302 lb.ft.
    Momentum of 141 gr lead ball @ 300 m/s = 2.73 N s

    Kinetic energy of 150 gr bullet @ 300 m/s = 437 J or 322 lb. ft.
    Momentum of 150 gr bullet @ 300 m/s = 2.92 N s

    Of course, there's no reason to assume the same velocity for both. Also, 150 gr is pretty heavy for a .38 special. Lowering the bullet to 130 gr but keeping kinetic energy constant at 437 J yields a momentum of 2.71 N s, slightly lower than the .454 ball. However, I don't really see how momentum matters. It's kinetic energy divided by cross sectional area that determines penetration depth.

    The ball will have a disadvantage as range increases, too. It's less aerodynamic shape and larger cross-section will increase air resistance, causing it to slow faster.

    A .355 JHP retains its narrower cross-section while flying, so it doesn't lose as much energy in the air. Upon impact, if it expands it will probably have a LARGER cross section than the ball, expanding out to between .6 and .7 inches in diameter.

    My experience with black powder hunting is that the lead balls retain their shape pretty well, even when fired from a rifle. My experience consists of only two examples (both elk), though. Personally, for black powder hunting I shoot .44 Hornady XTP JHPs in plastic sabots to make them work in my .50 rifle. The greater length and narrower cross section of the .44 bullet provides better range and accuracy, and the expanding JHP makes a bigger hole than a .50 ball would.

    It's no accident that modern muzzleloader hunting bullets look a lot more like modern cartridge bullets than round balls. We've moved away from round lead balls because they're not as effective.

    Assuming that it's true that your .44 has kinetic energy equivalent to a .38 special (with some barrel length and some load -- there are a lot of variables being ignored here), the .454 lead ball will be less effective than a .355 JHP. Less accurate, less range, and probably less damage. It might have more penetration than an expanded .355 JHP. As you said, you really need ballistics gelatin to find out what the comparative penetration is. I know the .38 is a little on the weak side, so I'd expect the .44 Navy to be about the same.

    Really, though, the 1851 Navy killed plenty of people and I'm sure plenty of animals as well in its time. Less effective doesn't mean ineffective.

    As I said before, my biggest concern about a cap and ball SD weapon is reliability, even in Utah.

    Edit: Fixed an important typo. I meant to type 130 gr but typed 150 gr. I've bolded that part.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    I know that diameter has nothing to do with momentum, and weight and mass are different, but they tend to be related. And when you consider that the larger ball is made with the same material as the smaller bullet, then yes the .44 cal ball has more mass, and therefore more momentum then the smaller bullet.

    At least this is the way I see it.

    And IMO energy transfer has nothing to do with lethality. Temporary cavitation IMO does not do damage.

    While energy and momentum have something to do with penetration and expansion, it is the wound channel resulting from the penetration and expansion that does the damage.

    The kinetic energy and momentum merely facilitate the penetration and expansion.
    But the energy transfer itself does nothing to wound.

    Again, all of this is just my opinion.
    Seems like the kinetic energy transfer would directly effect how much shock is delivered to a person's organs (like getting tapped by your buddy vs a closed fist punch to the chest). Don't think of the blunt force trauma in that case, but how much different the "rattling" of your organs would be and the shock that is transferred through your body.

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    xRapidDavex wrote:
    thx997303 wrote:
    I know that diameter has nothing to do with momentum, and weight and mass are different, but they tend to be related. And when you consider that the larger ball is made with the same material as the smaller bullet, then yes the .44 cal ball has more mass, and therefore more momentum then the smaller bullet.

    At least this is the way I see it.

    And IMO energy transfer has nothing to do with lethality. Temporary cavitation IMO does not do damage.

    While energy and momentum have something to do with penetration and expansion, it is the wound channel resulting from the penetration and expansion that does the damage.

    The kinetic energy and momentum merely facilitate the penetration and expansion.
    But the energy transfer itself does nothing to wound.

    Again, all of this is just my opinion.
    Seems like the kinetic energy transfer would directly effect how much shock is delivered to a person's organs (like getting tapped by your buddy vs a closed fist punch to the chest). Don't think of the blunt force trauma in that case, but how much different the "rattling" of your organs would be and the shock that is transferred through your body.
    Well, rattling your organs would probably about as bad as jumping on a trampoline.

    The shock manifests itself in temporary cavitation. And I don't believe that temporary cavitation around the wound channel does anything. If it manages to damage the tissue around the wound channel enough to become harmful, then it usually becomes permanent cavitation. IMO.

    As I said, the kinetic energy is instrumental in penetration and expansion. That is how kinetic energy is lethal. IMO.

    The shock that kills people is the self induced kind.

    Anyway, Swilden let's take a better example of a .38 spcl bullet. I didn't do any research on that.

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    thx997303 wrote:
    As I said, the kinetic energy is instrumental in penetration and expansion. That is how kinetic energy is lethal. IMO.
    Agreed.

    However, there is evidence that the shock wave created by dumping kinetic energy into the body can produce incapacitation effects when it strikes the central nervous system (CNS). This incapacitation isn't fatal, but when it happens it's much FASTER than any incapacitation caused by non-CNS organ damage or blood loss.

    If there were a way to reliably create a shock to the CNS that guaranteed fast and long-lasting incapacitation, that would be the ideal self-defense weapon.

    In reality, hydrostatic shock-induced incapacitation appears to be fast but unreliable. So for self-defense our first priority is doing enough direct damage to cause massive bleeding, since that's the most reliable way for a center-mass shot to incapacitate relatively quickly. A deep, wide wound channel (including both permanent stretch cavity and permanent cavity) gives us the best odds of causing massive bleeding. Once we've got that, then it's a good idea to also try to maximize kinetic energy and peak shock, in the hope that we might get shock-induced incapacitation and the desirable immediate stop.

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