Terminal Ballistics as Viewed in a Morgue

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CorpsVet

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Muzzle energy takes into account the weight and velocity of the projectile and is, IMO, the most telling of the various "stats". That is why my choice for in car carry (where I am most of the time) is 9x23 mm. I get muzzle energy approaching the .357 mag with the high capacity of a double stack semi-auto. It's an all steel CZ-75 clone and to heavy for on the body carry for very long. When I'm not in the car I am carrying (IWB) a .40 S&W FNP-40 since it's the only poly frame pistol (except my FNP-45 on my nightstand) I have and all day carry is no problem. My BUG is a S&W hammerless .357 mag in my front pocket.
 

Shadowrider

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This one is OLD... and honestly... not very scientific.

He loves big and slow but admits the .357 is gloriously effective. It's interesting that people completely disregard velocity in handgun calibers...... but everyone admits a .357 is downright nasty lol.

I DO think his insight is valuable from a variable perspective. People DO rely way too much on ballistic gel testing, but I get that it's the "best we have." However, it cannot mimic the varying consistencies of tissue in the human body and how round will react.

These are my sentiments exactly. There have been advances that have brought the 9mm very far, this is true. But I have to roll my eyes when they say that there is no difference between 9mm, .40, .357Sig, or .45ACP. I mean really? Just because they all perform about the same in a gel block? They see that a +P 9mm Gold Dot and 230 JHP .45 is about identical in energy and go about the same into the gel. And then they proceed to just write off the 150lbs or 180lbs of extra energy you get from .357Sig or .357 Mag as meaningless since penetration into gel is also about the same. It's illogical. That extra energy does stuff and gel blocks don't illustrate it. It's also kinda funny that today the old standby .357 SJHP load that excelled for about 80 years in 4" service revolvers carried by LEOs everywhere isn't very consistent at barrier penetration. They used to build car doors and windshields a lot heavier than they do now. They worked pretty well back then, but now? Not so much... :rolleyes:
 

dennishoddy

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These are my sentiments exactly. There have been advances that have brought the 9mm very far, this is true. But I have to roll my eyes when they say that there is no difference between 9mm, .40, .357Sig, or .45ACP. I mean really? Just because they all perform about the same in a gel block? They see that a +P 9mm Gold Dot and 230 JHP .45 is about identical in energy and go about the same into the gel. And then they proceed to just write off the 150lbs or 180lbs of extra energy you get from .357Sig or .357 Mag as meaningless since penetration into gel is also about the same. It's illogical. That extra energy does stuff and gel blocks don't illustrate it. It's also kinda funny that today the old standby .357 SJHP load that excelled for about 80 years in 4" service revolvers carried by LEOs everywhere isn't very consistent at barrier penetration. They used to build car doors and windshields a lot heavier than they do now. They worked pretty well back then, but now? Not so much... :rolleyes:
No kidding. We shot all the way through a car body's doors with 9mm and .40. I cringe when I see people open the car door and stand behind it for a barrier.
The engine, and wheels are the only thing stopping one of those rounds.
 

dennishoddy

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Might that be because modern ammo expands more effectively, which impairs barrier penetration?
And Penetration in gel?
The same "miracle" advancement in 9mm that seems to make everybody say its equal to a 5" howitzer, has been carried over to the larger calibers. They didn't stop making advancements in .45 after ball ammo was in vogue.
I've always tried to consider all factors. Speed, construction and kenetic energy.
All things considered, equally say like a 115 grain 9mm SST, 185 grain .40 SST and a 230 grain SST, a reloader can just about equal the velocity of the 9mm and the .40 shooting from a gun that can handle higher pressures. In that case, the nod IMHO would have to go to the .40 as kenetic energy will carry it further and enable it to penetrate through clothing and bone.
The .45 using ball has been around forever, like the 9mm. I've always thought of it as like throwing a piece of pea gravel at someones chest as hard as you can vs a cantelope casually thrown at the chest. I'm betting the person getting hit by the cantelope is going to feel it a whole lot more than the piece of pea gravel thrown at a higher speed. Kenetic energy..
I know that is a wild analogy, but its just to illustrate a point.
I'm not discussing why higher round count is important, only the ballistics of one bullet vs another bullet.
I've killed two does with a .45ACP 1911, and they died just as quick as a rifle shot.
 

Dave70968

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And Penetration in gel?
The same "miracle" advancement in 9mm that seems to make everybody say its equal to a 5" howitzer, has been carried over to the larger calibers. They didn't stop making advancements in .45 after ball ammo was in vogue.
I've always tried to consider all factors. Speed, construction and kenetic energy.
All things considered, equally say like a 115 grain 9mm SST, 185 grain .40 SST and a 230 grain SST, a reloader can just about equal the velocity of the 9mm and the .40 shooting from a gun that can handle higher pressures. In that case, the nod IMHO would have to go to the .40 as kenetic energy will carry it further and enable it to penetrate through clothing and bone.
The .45 using ball has been around forever, like the 9mm. I've always thought of it as like throwing a piece of pea gravel at someones chest as hard as you can vs a cantelope casually thrown at the chest. I'm betting the person getting hit by the cantelope is going to feel it a whole lot more than the piece of pea gravel thrown at a higher speed. Kenetic energy..
I know that is a wild analogy, but its just to illustrate a point.
I'm not discussing why higher round count is important, only the ballistics of one bullet vs another bullet.
I've killed two does with a .45ACP 1911, and they died just as quick as a rifle shot.
Penetration is less a function of energy (1/2 * mass * velocity squared) and more a function of momentum (mass * velocity). It's also a function of bullet shape (frontal area and shape--and a bullet that expands on impact has more drag than one that takes 12" to expand) and sectional density (related to shape). Long, smooth, pointy bullets will penetrate more deeply than short, flat-nosed ones, even at the same mass and velocity. Bullet construction directly affects the shape as it penetrates; a hardcast monolithic solid will retain its shape, while a Glaser Safety Slug will be quickly pulverized (which is precisely what it's designed to do), limiting penetration even if they have the same kinetic energy at the moment of impact.
 

dennishoddy

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Penetration is less a function of energy (1/2 * mass * velocity squared) and more a function of momentum (mass * velocity). It's also a function of bullet shape (frontal area and shape--and a bullet that expands on impact has more drag than one that takes 12" to expand) and sectional density (related to shape). Long, smooth, pointy bullets will penetrate more deeply than short, flat-nosed ones, even at the same mass and velocity. Bullet construction directly affects the shape as it penetrates; a hardcast monolithic solid will retain its shape, while a Glaser Safety Slug will be quickly pulverized (which is precisely what it's designed to do), limiting penetration even if they have the same kinetic energy at the moment of impact.
Yes, that's why I specified construction of the bullet as one of the qualifiers to take out variables
 

Shadowrider

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And Penetration in gel?
The same "miracle" advancement in 9mm that seems to make everybody say its equal to a 5" howitzer, has been carried over to the larger calibers. They didn't stop making advancements in .45 after ball ammo was in vogue.
I've always tried to consider all factors. Speed, construction and kenetic energy.
All things considered, equally say like a 115 grain 9mm SST, 185 grain .40 SST and a 230 grain SST, a reloader can just about equal the velocity of the 9mm and the .40 shooting from a gun that can handle higher pressures. In that case, the nod IMHO would have to go to the .40 as kenetic energy will carry it further and enable it to penetrate through clothing and bone.
The .45 using ball has been around forever, like the 9mm. I've always thought of it as like throwing a piece of pea gravel at someones chest as hard as you can vs a cantelope casually thrown at the chest. I'm betting the person getting hit by the cantelope is going to feel it a whole lot more than the piece of pea gravel thrown at a higher speed. Kenetic energy..
I know that is a wild analogy, but its just to illustrate a point.
I'm not discussing why higher round count is important, only the ballistics of one bullet vs another bullet.
I've killed two does with a .45ACP 1911, and they died just as quick as a rifle shot.

Yep. And here's the deal. They have advanced modern bonded bullets to the point of being at the end of the testing protocol's informational limits. That's why they all penetrate essentially the same depth. If you research the available data on the new Speer G2 Gold Dot loads they didn't really improve a damn thing as far as bullet performance goes. What they did do was make it more consistent through various barriers. I.E. similar expansion, depth and weight retention when fired through denim vs. wall board, vs. steel. They have those measured parameters a little closer than before. If you push them faster, they open up too much and fail the penetration portion, if you push them faster still they rip themselves apart (fragmentation). The test itself is at it's limit of usefulness and like I said before, the current testing methods don't really account for energy.
 

dennishoddy

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Yep. And here's the deal. They have advanced modern bonded bullets to the point of being at the end of the testing protocol's informational limits. That's why they all penetrate essentially the same depth. If you research the available data on the new Speer G2 Gold Dot loads they didn't really improve a damn thing as far as bullet performance goes. What they did do was make it more consistent through various barriers. I.E. similar expansion, depth and weight retention when fired through denim vs. wall board, vs. steel. They have those measured parameters a little closer than before. If you push them faster, they open up too much and fail the penetration portion, if you push them faster still they rip themselves apart (fragmentation). The test itself is at it's limit of usefulness and like I said before, the current testing methods don't really account for energy.
Then you enter the solid copper bullets that won't fragment, expand in a controlled fashion and retain 100% of their original weight. We've came a long way from the days when lead was poured into a copper jacket.
 

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