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9mm and .357 Sig - Terminal Performance Testing

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 22,892 Senior Member
Buddy called me last weekend and said he had a couple trapped pigs he wanted butchered. Asked if I could help. Hell yeah!!  Told him I had some new 9mm ammo I needed to test. 
We agreed we would do it this weekend and I would test my 9mm while he and another guy wanted to test their .357 Sig ammo. 
I’ll just lay out the data, one pig at a time and then I’ll give my opinion and we can discuss y’all’s. 

I’m gonna do this in various installments because I’ve been screwed by this forum software before. Typing and loading lots of info and pics just to have it kick me out and lose everything. 

Glock 17 (4.4” Barrel)
9mm
147gr Winchester Ranger Bonded
1,026 fps
5 yrd shot

Sig 226 (4.4” Barrel)
.357 Sig
124gr Speer Gold Dot
1,396 fps
5 yrd shot 
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Glock 17

    I shot the pig with the Glock 17 and my boy videoed standing next to me. Can’t post videos on this forum software, so I’ll post screen captures from the video. 

    Impact

    You can see the dust kick up on her shoulder. I was wanting a broadside shot with no major bone impact. I was trying for an aortic arch hit (top of the heart). 

    She immediately took off and made a 3/4 circle around the trap. Blood started flowing about 2/3 of the way around. She ran up to the other pig in the trap and bit at her. 

    6 seconds after impact, she sat down on her haunches. 

    8 seconds after impact, she fell over on her side kicking. 

    She kicked for 2 seconds and then just laid there shallow breathing and rocking a little until 20 seconds after impact. At 30 seconds after impact, she lifted her head once and was done. 

    We hooked her up to the tractor bucked and took her up to the house to autopsy. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Glock 17 Autopsy 

    The sow weighed 255 pounds “Live Weight”. 
    Placed a stick inside the bullet entrance. 

    The chest cavity was full of blood. 

    Entrance to body. 

    Broke one rib on entrance. 

    Struck the frontal lobe of the right lung. 

    Missed the aortic arch by about an inch and actually struck the heart, which I didn’t mean to do. Hard to precisely guess the anatomy from the outside. 


    Exit from the heart. (Note the minimal hydrostatic and temporary cavity damage to the internal organs. The bullet just isn’t going fast enough to do anything but poke caliber/expansion size holes.)


    Missed ribs on exit. 

    Exit from body. 

    The bullet lodged in the hide of the off side. 


    Only lost .9 grain after 16-17” of penetration!!

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 3,798 Senior Member
    Nice that the bullet holds together that well.  Never been a fan of 147 grain 9mm ammo.  To me it looks like it expanded well but internally it works just like a slightly larger caliber solid.  
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 5,945 Senior Member
    Excellent weight retention. Wound channel size and elapsed time to expiration could be seen as disappointing, but a handgun round of any flavor only has so much energy.

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Sig 226 - .357 Sig
    My buddy who trapped the pigs is a retired Houston Narcotics Cop. He is a Sig fan and we enjoy poking each other about Glock vs Sig. another mutual friend of ours is a Dentist. Good guy who likes guns and shooting as well. I would say he is in the “learning stage” and still struggles a little with what I would call accurate shooting. Kinda like our thread about accuracy of defensive guns and my bringing up training/shooter expectations. 
    Again, real nice guy with a willingness to learn. On the flip side.......he’d never killed anything before. I asked him if he was up to the shot and able to place the round similar to mine for a closer comparison. He said he was........
    First shot, he flinched and creased the brisket of the pig. Breaking a rib at the juncture with the brisket. Not entering the chest cavity. Just creating a painful flesh wound. Well, the pig was wired now and a bit pissed off. We told the Dentist to shake it off and focus on making a good shot. It took awhile to get the pig to stand broadside and still but, we finally succeeded. 
    But, his second shot was too high and a bit far back with a slight quartering angle. A solid lung shot, though. 
    Impact

    That lit the fire and sent the pig on an adrenaline charged foray. 

    After a lap around the trap, the Sow locked eyes on my boy standing next to me while I videoed. 
    She bluff charged and peeled off at the last second. Making another lap around the trap. 

    She locked on my boy again and went straight at him. 

    Smashing into the fence, she bounced off and fell down. Blood sprayed all over me!


    Got up and ran across the trap. Falling in the middle. 


    She got up, turned, and came back at my boy!

    Smashing I to the fence again, she bounced off and fell over. 

    Thrashed around for a several seconds and went limp. 

    29 seconds after impact, she was on the ground. 52 seconds after impact, she was dead. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,060 Senior Member
    Charging pig is a good thing for the kid the experience, especially with a solid fence in the way, looks like the 9mm performed well, always interesting to see that much damage and the fight still went on for awhile.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Sig 229 Autopsy

    The sow weighed 120 pounds “Live Weight”. 

    Entrance 


    No bones on entrance. 

    The bullet struck the middle of the left lung. 
    Angles rearward and exited the back of the right lung. 

    The increased speed of the lighter bullet and faster cartridge created a larger temporary wound path and hydrostatic damage. 

    Nicked a rib on exit. 



    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Several factors and considerations. 

    9mm / .357 Sig
    147gr / 124gr
    1,026 fps / 1,396 fps
    255 lbs / 120lbs
    calm / amped
    heart & lung shot / lung shot
    8 sec on ground / 29 sec on ground

    I am a fan of speed. But, I am also a fan of shot placement. In the end......where you put an effective round is more important than which effective round you use. 
    You can’t miss fast enough to win. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 3,648 Senior Member
    Interesting science as usual. Pertinent in that I have a 229 in .357 Sig and love shooting it but it’s never been employed other than target work.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 5,945 Senior Member
    Was the Sig round a straight path? Or was the direction altered after impact?

    There's a school of thought that favors the lighter bullet 9mm loadings. Some evidence here might advocate that. At one time in the distant past the 147gr loads had a poor reputation. I think at least for the Winchester Ranger brand, that rep can be shed.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Was the Sig round a straight path? Or was the direction altered after impact?

    There's a school of thought that favors the lighter bullet 9mm loadings. Some evidence here might advocate that. At one time in the distant past the 147gr loads had a poor reputation. I think at least for the Winchester Ranger brand, that rep can be shed.
    I didn’t have the shooters point of view so I don’t know if the pig was perfectly broadside to him and the bullet deviated, or if it was slightly quartering away. I told him it needed to be broadside.  No knowledge whether that translates in his mind or not. 

    Yes, I’m not usually a fan of the heavy 9mm. Preferring speed. But, it sure ended a 255 lb pig right quick. With good expansion and penetration. 

    The .357 Sig round seemed to perform as it was supposed to as well. But, shot placement or organs hit didn’t caused a less than preferred terminal result. 

    The way I tend to correlate these tests to human interactions.........if the pig is standing, that’s how long the “assailant” is still a threat. Once they fall, I assume the human analogue threat to have been stopped. Even if there is movement and agonal breathing for a period after.   
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 5,945 Senior Member
    It seems a reasonable interpretation to me as well.
    Great effort and information as usual.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    Nice!

    In "man-with-a-gun" context, the 9mm gave 6 seconds to no more mobility and two more seconds to can't shoot at you any more.  Pretty much textbook for what the FBI lab is saying a pistol bullet should do, and in keeping with what we've seen with both rifle and handgun kills that were purely cardiovascular / starve the brain of O2 in nature.  Cool that you could do it on a pig on the upper end of the "human adversary" size scale.

    A pity that we didn't get clean results from the Sig, but knowing you, our day will come.  Definitely, we have the opportunity for great science on the whole "usefulness of speed" argument if we can get a similar hit on a similar pig with the same starting diameters we had here.  The only fly I see in the comparison ointment in this case is that the Gold Dot is going to be a wider expanding bullet than a bonded Winchester - both being designed to do slightly different things -  so the difference in speed may not be the whole of what we're seeing there with regards to the width of the channel.  

    I know this quest for knowledge is hard on you buddy, but you're just gonna have to kill more pigs.  :D


    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,324 Senior Member
    The 9mm did better than I would have thought.  I have heard too many complaints and viewed too many test results to have expected any expansion.  That is some good shooting and bullet performance there.  The science part of it is as always, very interesting.  Well done.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,130 Senior Member
    Great info THANK YOU
    Kudos to your boy for standing fast👍
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,608 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Several factors and considerations. 

    9mm / .357 Sig
    147gr / 124gr
    1,026 fps / 1,396 fps
    255 lbs / 120lbs
    calm / amped
    heart & lung shot / lung shot
    8 sec on ground / 29 sec on ground

    I am a fan of speed. But, I am also a fan of shot placement. In the end......where you put an effective round is more important than which effective round you use. 
    You can’t miss fast enough to win. 
    All valid considerations. One more to add to the list is bullet construction. It's hard to know if it would have made any difference since the bullet placements where too different.
    Shot placement. Target amped up or casual. Bullet designed (velocity/construction) for the task at hand. All very important.
    Personally, I like the heavy for caliber defensive rounds in the smaller offerings because you can never be quite sure of what the bullet will encounter (rib bone in this case). Also, you cannot know ahead of time just how big the threat might be. Finally, once an engagement starts that perfect forward facing silhouette might just go out the window once all parties begin moving around, again you won't know how much penetration you'll actually need. That's why I like the heavy for caliber expanding defensive loads in pistols like the 9mm.
    But of course, we keep coming back to shot placement as the ideal.
    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    edited May 10 #18
    Bigslug said:
    Nice!


    I know this quest for knowledge is hard on you buddy, but you're just gonna have to kill more pigs.  :D


    My cop buddy had never done this stuff before. When we finished........he said, “I gotta trap some more pigs!  This is great stuff!”
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    The 9mm did better than I would have thought.  I have heard too many complaints and viewed too many test results to have expected any expansion.  That is some good shooting and bullet performance there.  The science part of it is as always, very interesting.  Well done.
    I would personally prefer to stay with the .40 S&W...........but they didn’t ask me. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    Nice!

    A pity that we didn't get clean results from the Sig, but knowing you, our day will come.  Definitely, we have the opportunity for great science on the whole "usefulness of speed" argument if we can get a similar hit on a similar pig with the same starting diameters we had here.  The only fly I see in the comparison ointment in this case is that the Gold Dot is going to be a wider expanding bullet than a bonded Winchester - both being designed to do slightly different things -  so the difference in speed may not be the whole of what we're seeing there with regards to the width of the channel.  


    Don’t know that we will get another 255lb pig to test. But, I’m sure we will revisit the .357 Sig. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Zee said:
    Several factors and considerations. 

    9mm / .357 Sig
    147gr / 124gr
    1,026 fps / 1,396 fps
    255 lbs / 120lbs
    calm / amped
    heart & lung shot / lung shot
    8 sec on ground / 29 sec on ground

    I am a fan of speed. But, I am also a fan of shot placement. In the end......where you put an effective round is more important than which effective round you use. 
    You can’t miss fast enough to win. 
    All valid considerations. One more to add to the list is bullet construction. It's hard to know if it would have made any difference since the bullet placements where too different.
    Shot placement. Target amped up or casual. Bullet designed (velocity/construction) for the task at hand. All very important.
    Personally, I like the heavy for caliber defensive rounds in the smaller offerings because you can never be quite sure of what the bullet will encounter (rib bone in this case). Also, you cannot know ahead of time just how big the threat might be. Finally, once an engagement starts that perfect forward facing silhouette might just go out the window once all parties begin moving around, again you won't know how much penetration you'll actually need. That's why I like the heavy for caliber expanding defensive loads in pistols like the 9mm.
    But of course, we keep coming back to shot placement as the ideal.
    With rifles, I prefer heavy for caliber bullets, though I’ve started using some lighter ones just to play around and expand........my horizons. 

    But with pistols, I’m beginning to like speed (with adequate weight). 

    Preferences:
    9mm - 124gr +p
    .357 Mag - 158gr
    .40 S&W - 155/165gr
    10mm - 180gr
    .45 ACP - 185/200gr

    Though I cant argue with the 147gr performance yesterday. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Some_MookSome_Mook Posts: 224 Member
    edited May 11 #22
    Interesting report.  Thank you for sharing.

    I'd be curious as to whether or not there might be much of an increase in hydro-static damage with a moderate increase in velocity out of a longer barrel, like say, out of your PC9, and if that made a difference in time to incapacitation.

     
    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace." - Thomas Paine
    "I know my place in the world and it ain’t standing next to Jerry Miculek" - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    Some_Mook said:
    Interesting report.  Thank you for sharing.

    I'd be curious as to whether or not there might be much of an increase in hydro-static damage with a moderate increase in velocity out of a longer barrel, like say, out of your PC9, and if that made a difference in time to incapacitation.

     
    I assume there would be an increase in velocity with the Carbine, how much that would translate into lethality with the 147gr bullet, I do t know. It was pretty much fully expanded at its current velocity. So, maybe a little more penetration and hydrostatic shock. Which can translate to lethality. Wouldn’t hurt. No wait........yeah it would. 😁
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    edited May 12 #24
    Hmmm. . . .

    .380 ACP, 9x19mm, .38 Special, .357 Mag (rifle and handgun), .35 Remington, .358 Win, .35 Whelan. . .

    All essentially the same diameter with the potential to cover a HUGE range of weights and speeds, AND if one were clever, allow testing of the same basic bullet at those different speeds. 

    We pretty much already get that the FBI prioritization of 1. placement, 2. penetration, and 3. more diameter if you can get it without sacrificing 1 & 2 works, but if we wanted to start delving into how much extra speed you need for speed to matter, this would probably be the starting point for best science.

    The FBI is currently saying that 2000 fps impact speed is the threshold for the concept of energy dump / hydrostatic shock / destruction by displacement to really kick in, but then we have all the old tales of yesteryear about how great the 125 grain .357 Magnum JHP was (Remington was specifically da bomb, IIRC), and that flies somewhat in the face of that notion.

    At any rate, .35 caliber seems a good field to study this with, if your propeller beanie gets to spinning.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    edited May 12 #25
    Zee said:
    Don’t know that we will get another 255lb pig to test. But, I’m sure we will revisit the .357 Sig. 
    Ok. . .now I'm having a vision of Mr. Owl from the old Tootsie Roll commercial eyeing Wilbur from Charlotte's Web down the barrel of an old Smith Model 27, saying:

    "Are YOU thick enough to stop a bullet?  Let's find out." :D
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    The next cartridge I’m testing will be my 185gr Gold Dot .45 ACP handload @ 1.125 fps. 
    Then, my reversed HBWC .44 Spl loads. And then my reversed HBWC .357 Mag loads. 

    I’ve decided I’m more interested in seeing what flesh does to the bullet and what the bullet does to flesh than the time line to incapacitation and death. There are just too many variables that effect the time. 
    So, depending on the size of the pig, I’m now willing to take quartering shots just to try and keep the bullet inside and see how much it will penetrate and what damage it will do. Avoiding neck and spine if possible. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    This is probably sound reasoning.  I'm pretty attached to what I've called the "ten second rule" for collapse from a cadio only kill with no major bone hits.

    Might as well look at what makes the best drain.

    Veral Smith has some good real world observations on this in his cast bullet book.  I shall review and get back to you.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    From everything I’ve shot/tested, a suitable defensive round at suitable speed through the aortic arch or heart itself and including some lung damage will result in sub 10 seconds to on the ground. In fact, I’ve not had one stay on its feet past 8 seconds. If you just take a single lung........pack a snack. 

    What I hope to accomplish with the quartering shots is a Bi section of the aortic arch and bronchiole juncture. With more room to stop the bullet. The terminal results should be similar but stand a better chance of stopping the bullet. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 22,892 Senior Member
    And folks wonder why I’m so adamant about training and shot placement. 
    Minute of bad guy my ass. Ain’t gonna cut it for reliable desired results. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 3,608 Senior Member
    It comes from Hollywood, it's gotta be real! 😁

    Beware of false knowledge -- it is often more dangerous than ignorance.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    OK. . .digging out Veral Smith's book - Jacketed Performance With Cast Bullets - and it IS relevant to your thinking.

    Paraphrasing his key points, keeping in mind that this guy is a big advocate of medium to large meplats on non-expanding LFN and WFN type bullets.

    1.  He's very big on driving a hole straight through something important and making that hole wide enough for surrounding tissues to bleed significantly into - wound volume, as it were.  He likes his sectional density - i.e., ability to penetrate.

    2. He's of the opinion that a 1/2" permanent hole gets it done on animals below 150 pounds; that 3/4" to 1 1/4" gives you significantly more leeway to placement.

    3.  Interestingly, he's of the opinion that much over 1 1/4" inches, as caused by shock displacement can be counterproductive to the hemorrhage effect.  He says that if that shock is also taking out major nervous system components in the process, all can be right with the world, but if it's a purely cardio hit - - he cites the opinion of a surgeon who said that the shock effect ruptures CELLS rather than cuts arteries and the effect is that those cells then release a blood clotting agent.  He and his mold customers claim some anecdotal experience of this.

    4.  His pet formula for ability to make the ideal wound tunnel is "displacement velocity" - basically the rate at which the flat front of a bullet shoves tissue sideways out of its path.   He gives this as meplat diameter in thousandths of an inch times velocity (presumably in feet per second) divided by four.  Kind of reading between his lines seems to indicate that his favorite .44 Mag LFN and WFN bullets with meplats of .30" and .34" respectively are giving displacement velocity ratings of about 100-120  when shot at speeds of 1200-1400fps and making permanent tunnels of about 1" to 1 3/8".  Dropping the speed of the .340 meplat to 800/900 fps reduces the hole diameter to 1/2" to 5/8".  For comparison, he's saying that you can get a 1 1/4" wound channel out of a .28" diameter meplat .38 at 1700 fps; 1/2" out of the same bullet at 1000 fps.

    Nerdy stuff, to be sure, but getting to the meat of the matter.

    As relates to personal defense though, we're probably balancing more "controllability of gun" issues, so our speeds will be on the lower end - hence the hollowpoints to make the holes wider.  The book goes into that  as well - - however, my brain is not up for it this afternoon!  :D
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
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