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Old 05-13-2016, 02:38 PM   #1
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magic bullets

I've been toying with various bullets looking for the magic bullets that aren't still deadly after passing through an interior drywall partition. Haven't found one yet. Most don't even deflect even at some pretty strange angles. Yes, I do know it's pretty much like looking for an honest pol.

While I knew it's primary intended use was as a training bullet (steel targets), I kinda had some qualified hopes about Barnes Reduced Ricochet Limited Penetration (RRLP) bullets in .224. The fact that it has an actual jacket was the qualifier. It is an interesting bullet: 55gr, OAL of 0.930 inches and filled with some magic powder (copper & tin dust and, I assume, something to hold it together). As advertised, it does stabilize in a 9 inch twist and does pretty much vaporize in a substantial target. Does seem to shoot a bit higher than ball. In drywall, it tumbles and struck a target 6 feet behind the wall sideways. Did maintain trajectory though.

Wasn't till I was putting the rifle in a safe that I realized I should have tried it on a simulated limb to see if it would reach a torso intact. Still had one round left. Maybe another day, I'm not gonna bet on it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:21 PM   #2
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I've done similar tests. The most impressive was a frangible from Federal. From an M-16 it totally destroyed a block of gelatin but nothing solid left the block

It penetrated the standard wallboard test and there was enough left that might have caused a wound but not been lethal
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:08 PM   #3
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Federal seems to have two types of frangible: BC223NT5/5A and the same in 5.56mm with hollowpoints and "better accuracy at extended range"-whatever that means. Both are hard to find. I'd also been advised of several ghastly (for the firearms) incidents where the frangible slug fragmented during the feed cycle. The technical explanation I got from one source was that the frangible slugs are extremely sensitive to crimping pressure and this can negatively affect integrity. That's one reason for the development of frangible jacketed slugs.

Moving on, I did try the RRLP with a simulated limb in front of the tissue simulant (water filled milk jugs). I left a roughly 6 inch space between "limb" and "body". Lacking high speed cameras, the bullet appeared to leave the first obstacle in 2 pieces. Possibly, one was tumbling. Two projectiles entered the "body". The base of the bullet jacket was found in what was left of the first jug of the "body), the jug was shattered, with evidence of puncture of the back of the jug. The 2nd "body" jug showed piercing opposite the puncture in the back wall of the first jug. The base was the only part of the bullet jacket found. Calculated total tissue/10% gelatin penetration would have been just shy of 9 inches, "Limb" included.

Actually, very surprising results. However, the takeaway for home defense is establish no fire zones and try hard not to miss.

Barnes reloading data is disappointing. They seem to have a thing for the latest & greatest powders. There's very little continuity between powder selections between .223 data (SAAMI pressures) and 5.56mm (NATO pressures). A whole lot of study and punching numbers into a calculator suggested .223 loads with a specific powder could be bumped up 3.8%. I won't comment further, but I decided I wasn't that brave.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 05-18-2016 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:49 PM   #4
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What about a 12guage loaded with "dust" aka no. 9 birdshot?
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Old 05-19-2016, 06:44 AM   #5
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At close range that would be very effective but as the distance increases the shot shed energy very rapidly and the risk for collateral damage goes up.

I think #12 shot is "dust"and #9 is skeet.

I did a long test with 12 ga. buckshot some time ago and depending on the load and gun and with some 00 buck at 25 yd. one or more of the 9 pellets might miss the target.

I also tried some of the 40 gr. .223 "blitz" bullets on the theory that they would break up in the standard wallboard test (2 sheets 6" apart). That failed
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:23 AM   #6
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We've been taught that 5.56 is less penetrative than most standard LEO handguns/ammo. In your opinion and experience is this correct? Or have we been misled?

I know this is a little off point, but your posts got me thinking...which happens all too seldom now days.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Petty View Post
At close range that would be very effective but as the distance increases the shot shed energy very rapidly and the risk for collateral damage goes up.

I think #12 shot is "dust"and #9 is skeet.
I think you are correct as to "dust."

I don't know if the Air Force trained folks for riot control but the Army did. We were taught collateral damage was "good." You aim at the pavement about 10 feet in front of the advancing mob and fire your shotgun. The buckshot flattened and dispersed hitting more folks but low in the legs and torso but not fatally. We were also taught how to use squads with fixed bayonets to back mobs up and drive them where you wanted them.

Boy, the 60s were fun - NOT.

I've strayed from the original line. Sorry.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:09 PM   #8
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What about a 12guage loaded with "dust" aka no. 9 birdshot?
As someone who has treated a lot of gun shot wounds, I would NEVER recommend birdshot for defense; penetration is woefully inadequate. (as in 1-2").

Every last guy I've ever seen shot with birdshot had a LOT of fight left in them, a few had only been mildly annoyed.

On the other hand, anyone I've ever seen shot with buckshot inside of 25 yards I have never treated... Every last one was declared dead on scene; that's no joke.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:24 PM   #9
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On the other hand, anyone I've ever seen shot with buckshot inside of 25 yards I have never treated... Every last one was declared dead on scene; that's no joke.
Since we were talking about not having over penetration at home, how many have a 25 yard shot even down their longest hallway?
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:51 PM   #10
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When I married my current wife (way back in the last century), she owned a ranch style house. I had 25 yards available upstairs and down. The kids got told in event of a home invasion to get under the beds.

Boxotruth has proof that virtually any birdshot will pass through drywall and have enough energy to penetrate to major blood vessels (throat, armpit, thigh). On the other hand, the ability to crunch through the ribcage and reach vital organs is lacking. OK, if the aggressor is close enough for the shot charge to strike as a solid mass, it may work. That's much closer than I want to be-3 to 6 feet.

FBI and other testing has indicated that #1 buck is probably the best choice ballistically. Federal does offer a tactical #1 load. They seem to do better on grouping and function than other tactical/low recoil buckshot. But, as noted, at 25 yards you'll often see at least one stray pellet. Out of curiosity I tried standard #1 at 25 yards and regardless of choke, the best I could do was 50% on target. One of several reasons I stay out of counties that require buckshot for deer.

Irish Cop- that penetration claim is correct, but it firstly, that claim is relative. Many handgun rounds can penetrate a startling amount of building material. Drywall frequently plugs the hollow point and converts the slug to a solid. Originally, the penetration claim was generally directed at 40-45 gr varmint loads in .223. Those proved somewhat less than ideal on large economy size felons. Many teams now seem to use some type of 55 gr plastic tip bullet. Many of the ammo companies pitch even heavier bullets to ensure penetration of chance barricades and still get good penetration depth on said large dudes/dudettes.

Last edited by William R. Moore; 05-19-2016 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by csmkersh View Post
Since we were talking about not having over penetration at home, how many have a 25 yard shot even down their longest hallway?
Valid point. But my point is the fact that birdshot has horribly insufficient penetration even at very close range.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:01 AM   #12
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I have always recommended #4 buck to shotgun home defenders.

The reality is, you're not going to get something that is going to have sufficient penetration on a human, yet not penetrate drywall. Drywall is a much easier thing to penetrate than the mostly fluid living flesh. So the expectation that a projectile will not pass through 1" of drywall but will give at least 6" of penetration in tissue is just an unrealistic expectation.
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