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Unicorn w/ a .44 Special!

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  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    edited October 2021 #32
    Japhy said:
    good info.. thanks all!  I learn something new every time Im here.
    The goto was Federal .44mag 240gr JHP out of a Ruger SBH 7.5in bbl. primarily because that was readily available.  30yds was about the limit of visibility closer for a brush free shot out of a low tree perch.



    A good lesson in big/slow vs small/fast:

    Compare the damage done to this deer vs my friend’s with the 6.5 CM and 147gr bullets. 

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,410 Senior Member
    NEAT!

    Also pretty surprised by the exit - I figured that light a Gold Dot would pancake & stop shallow.

    Makes for a very respectable SD load then.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    NEAT!

    Also pretty surprised by the exit - I figured that light a Gold Dot would pancake & stop shallow.

    Makes for a very respectable SD load then.
    I thought it would have slowed down more. But, the Ballistic computer says it’s still in the upper 900s by 50 yards. So yeah, that’s pretty good penetration. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,328 Senior Member
    I've said many times that I'm not a hunter, so please forgive my ignorance but I'm curious about something. If energy equals mass x velocity, squared, if you had two bullets of different weights but same type of geometry and the heavier was traveling slower and the lighter traveling faster  but they equaled the same amount of energy, would they do the same damage? Technically?
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    edited October 2021 #36
    This is why I’m not a fan of “energy” in relation to terminal performance. 
    Bullet design, velocity, penetration, and placement have SO much more to do with the terminal effect than “energy” expended or one vs two holes. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,533 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    This is why I’m not a fan of “energy” in relation to terminal performance. 
    Bullets design, velocity, penetration, and placement have SO much more to do with the terminal effect sun “energy” expended or one vs two holes. 


    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,410 Senior Member
    JSD Post 35 - 

    The "Velocity" side of the equation is the REALLY complicated bit, and "momentum" probably equally so.

    Tissues have an elasticity threshold.  If you displace them fast enough, you can exceed that threshold and tear stuff beyond the basic diameter of the bullet.  Slower than that threshold, the tissues will snap back, and you get a bullet diameter hole.  The FBI lab folks say that threshold for most tissues is an impact speed of 2000 fps, but it's probably not quite that simplistic.  A big flat nose - from expansion or otherwise - will crush and tear it's way through, so figure more grab and tear than push and rip.

    Momentum - a heavier slug will be harder to stop, all else being equal.  I've had really pokey - like below 600 fps pokey - heavy .38's penetrate MASSIVELY more than you'll see from screaming fast lightweight 9mm HP's that have a great deal more "foot pounds" on paper.  If you want to equate that to "damage", the light 9mm will make a big splash out of the first jug or two in the stack, but it might not bore through to the vitals like the heavy pills will (which was the problem they had with the light/fast concept in the '80's)

    Prairie dogs and .22-250's aside, bullets kill LARGE by blood loss or nerve damage, and you have to reach the important stuff to do that.   "Energy" is a pretty bad yardstick because you can manipulate it so many ways, but thinking in terms of "knock down" is not really the way visualize it.  Newton tells us if it can knock your adversary down, it's recoil will knock you down.  That clearly isn't happening.

    It pretty much comes down to preferred degrees of deep vs. wide, but deep that transects vitals is better than wide that doesn't make it that far.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • JustsomedudeJustsomedude Posts: 1,328 Senior Member
    Now that makes sense to me. I never considered the other aspects of terminal performance outside of energy alone. I have a feeling that a bullet traveling at break neck speeds likely displaces the atmosphere around it and when that same bullet slows due to impacting flesh, bone, etc... that atmospheric pressure has to rush back in causing the collapse and expansion of surrounding tissue, hence a bunch of damage. Of course this is just my mind thinking of it in layman's terms.
    We've been conditioned to believe that obedience is virtuous and voting is freedom- 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    edited October 2021 #40
    Bigslug said:
    JSD Post 35 - 

    The "Velocity" side of the equation is the REALLY complicated bit, and "momentum" probably equally so.

    Tissues have an elasticity threshold.  If you displace them fast enough, you can exceed that threshold and tear stuff beyond the basic diameter of the bullet.  Slower than that threshold, the tissues will snap back, and you get a bullet diameter hole.  The FBI lab folks say that threshold for most tissues is an impact speed of 2000 fps, but it's probably not quite that simplistic.  A big flat nose - from expansion or otherwise - will crush and tear it's way through, so figure more grab and tear than push and rip. 
    The OTHER thing to consider is WHAT is hit. Some organs have more elasticity than others. For example , the lungs, intestines, and the stomach can absorb and expand. So, Bullets passing through them at low velocity/expansion can be absorbed and the tissue will tolerate their passing to stretch and resume a minimal permanent cavity. 
    Organs such as the Heart, Liver, Kidneys cannot tolerate expansion and will likely tear under hydrostatic shock or simple bullet diameter. They are unforgiving to foreign objects and are more likely to present bullet diameter or greater holes. Ultimately…….more permanent cavity. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 298 Member
    I've said many times that I'm not a hunter, so please forgive my ignorance but I'm curious about something. If energy equals mass x velocity, squared, if you had two bullets of different weights but same type of geometry and the heavier was traveling slower and the lighter traveling faster  but they equaled the same amount of energy, would they do the same damage? Technically?
    Kinetic energy is the integral of momentum =
      1/2 mass x velocity squared
    If a bullet passes through the target the amount of energy that is absorbed in the target is the difference between energy on entry minus energy on exit. If the bullet didn’t exit then the target absorbed all of the energy.  My original thinking was that heavier bullets would lose more energy in the target. Even if the faster bullet would be carrying more kinetic energy. 
    Anyway a Federal 240gr JHP out of a 7.5in Ruger SBH inside 30yds will shoot through a Midwest whitetail side to side every time. 
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    Japhy said:
    I've said many times that I'm not a hunter, so please forgive my ignorance but I'm curious about something. If energy equals mass x velocity, squared, if you had two bullets of different weights but same type of geometry and the heavier was traveling slower and the lighter traveling faster  but they equaled the same amount of energy, would they do the same damage? Technically?
    Kinetic energy is the integral of momentum =
      1/2 mass x velocity squared
    If a bullet passes through the target the amount of energy that is absorbed in the target is the difference between energy on entry minus energy on exit. If the bullet didn’t exit then the target absorbed all of the energy.  My original thinking was that heavier bullets would lose more energy in the target. Even if the faster bullet would be carrying more kinetic energy. 
    Anyway a Federal 240gr JHP out of a 7.5in Ruger SBH inside 30yds will shoot through a Midwest whitetail side to side every time. 
    As will a lot of different bullets/calibers. The terminal question is…….what did they do in between?
    That, is where the science and discovery of terminal performance comes in. What does the projectile do in its passage to increase the lethality and terminal performance. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,580 Senior Member
    Hell, the furthest I’ve EVER tracked a deer shot by ME was with a .50cal BMG last year. 
    A shot that, by a smaller/faster/better designed bullet would have been a DRT or short track………turned into 800+ yards and a next day recovery. 

    It ain’t the size of the bullet. It’s what and how you use it. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,410 Senior Member
    Now that makes sense to me. I never considered the other aspects of terminal performance outside of energy alone. I have a feeling that a bullet traveling at break neck speeds likely displaces the atmosphere around it and when that same bullet slows due to impacting flesh, bone, etc... that atmospheric pressure has to rush back in causing the collapse and expansion of surrounding tissue, hence a bunch of damage. Of course this is just my mind thinking of it in layman's terms.
    Probably not to any significant degree, since the most elastic tissue involved in the process is SKIN, which can stretch to a surprising degree.  If you follow Zee's autopsy photos for any length, you'll see that the small holes on the outside are usually no indicator to the mess that was made inside.  Sometimes you'll get enough tissue displacement off the front of the bullet or be shooting through something non-elastic enough to get the really enlarged exit wounds, but with the general trend in prioritizing penetration first, with moderate expansion second, you'll see a lot of bullet-sized entries and golf-ball sized exits.

    A lot of SMART people have gone down some pretty strange pathways to manipulate the forces at work.  My favorite from a "different thinking" perspective HAS to be the inter-war British .380/200 version of the .38 S&W they shot in their Webley MKIV's:

    The MKI bullet is 200 grains of round nose lead, launched at only about 600 fps, but of a design with a tendency to tumble on impact:



    Tumbling confirmed by a sheet of Coke can placed between gallon jugs.  This was an early attempt similar to making better bullet designs for the 9mm in the 1990's - more effectiveness from a lighter gun with less recoil.  You see the concept of unstable bullets applied to a lot of military rounds to obey the letter of the Hague Convention.  They technically aren't soft points, but when they start travelling sideways through tissue and/or fragmenting along the way, the effect is much the same.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,618 Senior Member
    edited November 2021 #45
    Good shooting and a good report.  I shoot mostly .44 Special out of my Ruger Redhawk, the ugliest .44 made.   I don't hunt, therefore I don't need a lot of velocity or high performance.KL

    As for "speed kills," I remember Elmer Keith writing on this subject a long time ago. To test this concept, he and another guy had a brass rod turned down to .22 caliber to be loaded into IIRC  a .22-250.  If he chronographed the speed, I can't remember FPS.  To test this concept on jack rabbits. Confident of explosive results, they took shots.

    He reported that speed alone doesn't kill.  They mostly got pass through bullets and minimum damage.  I think most of the rabbits hopped away.

    I read this in TNR magazine from about 1972l





    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    edited November 2021 #46
    I am a big fan of velocity as long as it has acceptable grouping.  If my options are 2700 fps but unpredictable flyer or 2550 fps and 1" groups at 100 yards (6.5x55 with 129gr InterLock bullets), im taking the slower option.  The extra velocity wont do me any good if its not even close to the right spot.  Part of the reason I am not too terribly concerned about velocity with my little .458 is that its still a .458" diameter projectile.  The lower expansion limit on the Speer 350gr is something like 1900 FPS and starting out at 2100 FPS I will be below that limit just before 100 yards.  If I have a shot that far (very unlikely) I will have to rely on the shape of the bullet and its diameter to do the work.
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