Pre-fragmented SD ammo (MagSafe, Glaser, etc)?

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Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,407 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    How could a bullet that exits the target mass be helping things?

    Shooting a person, or a game animal results in incapacitation in one of two ways- - - -hitting a major nerve bundle such as the brain or spinal cord, or blood loss. Does a tire with one hole or two go flat faster? Does a deer, or a gangbanger with two big holes in its body bleed out faster than with only one? Unless a shot hits the relatively small target area that contains brain matter or major nerve bundles, creating BIG blood leaks result in the scumbag achieving room temperature, or at least becoming irrelevant as a threat much sooner. A bullet that expands well and creates a relatively large exit wound, then falls harmlessly to the ground, would be ideal. In practice, a little over-penetration is probably a good thing unless there are big crowds of innocent bystanders immediately behind the BG, like if he's at the front of a crowded elevator.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,037 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Bottom line is that most any large caliber slug will be effective, I suppose, assuming it hits vital areas. And whether it's JHP or FMJ or prefrag is not the major operative factor.

    You're getting there.

    The potential issue with prefrags is making it TO those vital areas. Think of the reason for the development of "bunker buster" bombs - the standard bomb would just blow up on the exterior concrete, making a lot of noise and spewing a lot of chips around, but not having any practical, immediate effect. Not to take away from what is going on - a crater the size of a softball IS a serious wound - but is it always going to be capable of making it to the stuff that runs along the central pole of a human torso that will close the show in a hurry (heart, aorta, vena cava, spine)? That's basically what the FBI concluded 20 years ago - getting to the Tootsie Roll center of the Tootsiepop is of key importance. The prefrags are probably best thought of as REALLY specialized tools for those rare circumstances where overpentration really COULD be a problem. Working security for a lab researching vials of smallpox? Then Glasers are probably for you.

    As to SHAPE of bullet: When you look at a well-designed hollowpoint after it's opened up, what you'll see is basically a large diameter flat point that is crushing its way through tissue. Where a round nose tends to push that tissue neatly out of its way, the flat point will tend to grab and tear.

    Since the handgun rounds we're talking about are only running in the 350-500 foot-pound range, we have to budget that energy between the two extremes of blowing cleanly through (round nose FMJ), and blasting a messy-looking (but possibly slow-to-incapacitate) crater on the surface. Simply put, getting diameter is going to cost you the more-critical depth. The way to solve the riddle is to start with something that gives way more penetration than you need (like a 147 grain round-nose FMJ 9mm) and tweak it into something that fulfills your various requirements. A heavy flat nose FMJ will penetrate a little less than RN but do a much better job in the crush/tear department. A heavy-for-caliber HP will crush/tear still more, but won't do as well overall at defeating barricades. A light-for-caliber HP may be just the ticket for known threats of smaller stature - i.e. Somalia, where the hostiles were generally thinner than the distance it took a 5.56 round to end-over and tumble.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,099 Senior Member
    I was recently reading an article out of an older Shooting Times where the author used to work for a police forensics lab in Texas I think it was. They got hold of ballistic gelatin and started testing commonly used duty ammo at the time: 158 gr. LRN .38, .357 LSWC, .38 wadcutters inverted, FMJ .45, .41 Mag and .44 Mag LSWC, that sort of thing. They also tested some of the then-new hollowpoint ammo (get an idea of the time frame they were doing this?) They initially recomended that officers switch to 110 gr. or so .38 and .357 JHPs because in ballistics testing that ammo opened quickly in gelatin and produced relatively massive wounds.

    Then they had an officer shoot a man from the side, through the upper chest, who happened to be rather beefy, 4 or 5 times, after he had kneecapped the officer with a .25 ACP. He walked away, went down the street... and fell over dead due to blood loss. Turns out that the bullets did as they were shown to do: they opened up quickly, causing massive damage, but not getting quite through to the heart. He took a bit of time to bleed out.

    In later testing with ballistic gelatin and comparing results to successful street shootings, they found that the bullets that produced softball-shaped wound tracks in gelatin didn't work too well as they didn't penetrate deep enough. These wounds were produced by such things as light, fast hollowpoint ammo and pre-fragmented ammo. Football-shaped wound tracks produced by medium- to heavy-weight JHPs produced the best results on the street because they could be counted on to reliably penetrate through to the vitals, and they had the mass needed to get through bone and heavier connective tissues and still track through.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    If they're wrong, don't hold back...

    The point being, I'm not a world class expert in ballistics like some here, whose word is law. So I freely admit to either not knowing or simply saying "I think that..." or "In my opinion..." I'm totally unqualified to make blanket statements declaring someone else wrong on such topics, is all. If you look through my postings you'll see that I never say "this is true" or claim such. I'll leave the absolute knowledge to others here, whose opinions are never challenged.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Then they had an officer shoot a man from the side, through the upper chest, who happened to be rather beefy, 4 or 5 times, after he had kneecapped the officer with a .25 ACP. He walked away, went down the street... and fell over dead due to blood loss. Turns out that the bullets did as they were shown to do: they opened up quickly, causing massive damage, but not getting quite through to the heart. He took a bit of time to bleed out.

    The incident you describe here is a good example. A couple of corrections though, assuming we are talking about the same incident. I've seen the video of Trooper Coates vs. the fat man. The man was a fat guy, which was a contributing factor in the .357 mag bullets not effectively stopping the threat. Trooper Coates died from a single round from a 22 mag which entered through his armipt, where his body armor did not offer any protection. That bullet severed his aorta, which lead to him bleeding out internally within about 30 seconds or so from the time he was hit. The trooper put 5 rounds into the fat guy, then reached up to his shoulder to key his mic and radio for help as he was moving toward the front of the suspect's car. Keying his mic as he did with his arm raised is what contributed to that round entering right between his ribs and toward the heart. He went down and died right in front of the suspect's car.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,099 Senior Member
    This was a different situation. This happened in the 1970s. Rereading the story, one of the bullets stopped juuuuuuuuust against the heard.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Ah, Ok. Just very similar set of circumstances, I guess. :up:
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,099 Senior Member
    Yes. Luckily in the situation I'm talking about, both officers lived. One just got his knee taken out. With a .25 ACP.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 710 Senior Member
    Sam,
    It's not entirely objective or empirical but it is some data for you, on all sort of various SD things, sites run by an old guy on the Texas gulf coast, you'll have to find it in his archives but as I recall he's got what you are looking for http://www.theboxotruth.com/
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,407 Senior Member
    When I was living in Merced California in the late 1970's, a CHP trooper made a traffic stop on Interstate 5 and got into a gunfight with the driver who happened to be a gangbanger from the bay area. The cop scored six hits from a .38 Special, not sure what kind of bullet he was using, and got hit with one round from the .357 the scumbag was carrying. The trooper died on the scene. The BG survived and ended up in the Merced county jail after a hospital stay. My landlady was one of the jailers tasked with watching him. I'm not sure what kind of ammo the CHP was issuing at the time, but it seems it was less than effective!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    You're getting there.
    etc etc

    If you mean "there" is my using FMJ solid nose slower ammo, nope. I'll use the high-velocity and lighter ammo, thanks, which any tests I've ever seen show good penetration (as I understand it, 4" to 6" being the expected "correct" depth). If I look at the ammo specs, stuff like PowrBall or HydraShok or newer brands have higher energy than slower ball ammo. The calculations are pure math and the results are a higher muzzle (and therefore impact) energy than the slower ball ammo.

    And I don't see any specs or videos or articles that indicate that JHP ammo doesn't penetrate. Wound cavities also seem to be larger. And yes, I know that there are anecdotes about a .22 being fatal where a .44 mag just bounced off, or similar stories, but generally, ANY modern, high velocity hollow point ammo in ANY "large" caliber will be about as effective as possible, on average, and of course realizing that there are always exceptions and unusual cases.

    My .45acp CorBon PowrBall ammo has about 2x the energy of ball ammo. I have therefore loaded my self defense .45s with that ammo. I could just as easily chosen HydraShok or any other top quality brand. The only reason I've switched to the PowrBall is that it's rounded tip will help ensure a more reliable feed, especially the steeper ramps of the Glocks.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,037 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    If you mean "there" is my using FMJ solid nose slower ammo, nope. I'll use the high-velocity and lighter ammo, thanks, which any tests I've ever seen show good penetration (as I understand it, 4" to 6" being the expected "correct" depth). If I look at the ammo specs, stuff like PowrBall or HydraShok or newer brands have higher energy than slower ball ammo. The calculations are pure math and the results are a higher muzzle (and therefore impact) energy than the slower ball ammo.

    Ok. . .There's still some massaging of Sam's brain to do. Not harpin' on ya Sam - some of your concepts were regarded as conventional wisdom 25 years ago, and such things tend to die hard.

    What I'm saying is that shot placement (which is all on the shooter) and penetration are the two prime desirable characteristics in a duty round. As long as penetration is not given up to an excessive degree, by all means, take all the expansion you can get, as the bigger hole will leak more. The ideal would be to somehow develop a 1911 that launches low recoil 12 gauge slugs - because there you have about 24 inches of bare gelatin penetration with a 3/4" starting diameter. Since that's a physical impossibility with the space, weight, and speed constraints of pistols, we have to compromise on the expansion we want to get the penetration we need. It might be possible to somehow design a 230 grain .45 round that opens up to 2.5" inches in diameter, but that bullet will have so much drag that it will never get to the organs we need to hit to stop the fight. So we compromise by keeping the final diameter down to a more reasonable .75-.85 caliber (roughly .65-.75 for .40 and 9mm), and we get a decently wide hole that still manages to transect enough of an entire torso (even on a side shot with an arm in the way) to disrupt what needs disrupting.

    Failure of the light, fast, and rapidly expanding to penetrate adequately was in fact what gave us the modern methods of evaluating rounds. I believe it was a 115 grain 9mm Silvertip that hit one of the Miami perps in the arm, clipped the brachial artery, and was on a beeline to the heart when it ran out of momentum and stopped short. The brachial hit was ultimately fatal, but the goblin was still able to do serious damage before that effect was realized. This is why the FBI protocols state that a foot or more of penetration is desirable - 4"-6" inches may work on a pure frontal shot on a skinny person, but those square-on hits are rare in reality - hence my misgivings on prefrags.

    Notice that I don't talk about energy - or at least the transference of energy to the target - very much. That's because it really doesn't mean a great deal in terms of stopping a threat with a pistol. As I said in the earlier post - equal and opposite reactions; your target will never feel more "punch" than you feel from recoil. "THUD" is not what solves the problem - blood loss and catastrophic nerve damage are. Last year, I was all hot to test some 200 grain cast round nose .38's to see at what point they met the FBI's minimum gelatin penetration standard of 12". I journeyed to my friendly neighborhood ammo rep's shop with these bullets set at about six different power levels, ready to collect lots of data points. Very boring day - the minimum powder charge giving a lowly 600 fps and a mere 160 foot-pounds was sufficient to completely penetrate an 18" gelatin block. Recoil was pretty much nil. Change the shape of that projectile to a sharp-shouldered semi-wadcutter profile while keeping the same speed, and it will crush and tear at a level not terribly far below the wunderslugs.

    I also don't go on too much about size of wound channel because it's really only the PERMANENT wound channel that concerns us at handgun velocities. The TEMPORARY cavitation caused by pistol rounds is within the stress limits of most human tissue. Unlike rifles, which can displace meat fast enough to exceed those limits, handgun bullets will typically only destroy a swath of tissue only slightly larger in diameter than that which they come into physical contact, so figure the hole that's going to matter is going to be about .40"-ish to 1.0"-ish hole regardless of bullet type and speed.

    I used to be all about throwing heavy .45 caliber bullets as fast as possible with visions of dumping megajoules of kinetic mayhem into the target, but have since realized that the only real difference between a good 9mm slug and a good .45 slug at the end of the day is about two to three tenths of an inch in finished diameter. The pretty magazine pages try to convince us of the existence of magic bullets, but I doubt the slickest of what we have today is massively more effective than the earliest flat points of the old west.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    Sam I did lots of tests with Glasser and other frangible rounds, save your money.

    I rely on Federal hydroshok to do what I need, are there other rounds? sure, but hydroshoks have worked for Me.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
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