Let's talk penetration

This is a discussion on Let's talk penetration within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Now before anyone gets too excited, I mean which rounds are proven to penetrate but not over penetrate enough to drop and stop the bad ...

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Thread: Let's talk penetration

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Let's talk penetration

    Now before anyone gets too excited, I mean which rounds are proven to penetrate but not over penetrate enough to drop and stop the bad guy. This question is even more pertinent with most parts of the country being slammed by winter weather. Everyone's in winter clothes and there's a possibility that lighter rounds may not be able to get through that thick layer of wool/cotton/polyester bulletproofing.

    Thick clothing is one of the main reasons I think there's a differentiator between calibers. I'd like to hear from the ballistics experts here on the topic of penetration through winter or similar heavy clothes.


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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    I bought a .380 bodyguard when they first came out but was concerned about penetration. Just for my own info I set up 4 layers of denium an four gallon water jugs useing starfire 95 gr sfhp they went thru two jugs that was enough for me to carry it. Also since I am in FL not to much winter wear. FMJ went into 3rd jug I was about 5 to 6 feet away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Easy8 View Post
    I bought a .380 bodyguard when they first came out but was concerned about penetration. Just for my own info I set up 4 layers of denium an four gallon water jugs useing starfire 95 gr sfhp they went thru two jugs that was enough for me to carry it. Also since I am in FL not to much winter wear. FMJ went into 3rd jug I was about 5 to 6 feet away.
    I have the same gun. So I'm wondering what a 1 gallon milk jug equals etc.
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    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    enough to drop and stop the bad guy.
    Sorry but that magic rounds does not exist. As long as it penetrates the body and clothing it has the potential of stopping the BG as long as you hit a vital area. And that is the key, hitting a vital area.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dguertin View Post
    I have the same gun. So I'm wondering what a 1 gallon milk jug equals etc.
    Just found a site that says to divide buy 2 for a 1 gallon milk jug. A milk jug is about 5.75" so that's not good peniteration if that's correct.
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    Every caliber/bullet combo fails to penetrate, every caliber/bullet combo over penetrates, every caliber/bullet combo works just right--and all of them do that sometimes.
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    Got to thinking about penetration. I'm not a big guy and 5.75" would go 75% through my gut or 90% through my chest cavity if it were me that got shot. So unless the bad guy is a Neanderthal a Boxer or a football player I think you good to go with 5.75 penetration for an average person isn't that far from front to back. The 14" used by the FBI is over kill some what since the FBI and all LE has to cove all contingencies. We however are not going to encounter this as a norm.
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    There is no exact answer. There are many you-tube video's that show similar penetration in several calibers using ballistic gel with denim. In reality, the garments people wear, and human flesh can't be duplicated in a test lab. Not everyone wears denim, especially in the winter. MY understanding is down jackets and wool will plug many hollow points, meaning the bullet will not expand reliably.

    Heavier bullets for winter may be the best choice. Larger calibers leave bigger permanent wound channels.

    Quote Originally Posted by DetChris View Post
    Now before anyone gets too excited, I mean which rounds are proven to penetrate but not over penetrate enough to drop and stop the bad guy. This question is even more pertinent with most parts of the country being slammed by winter weather. Everyone's in winter clothes and there's a possibility that lighter rounds may not be able to get through that thick layer of wool/cotton/polyester bulletproofing.

    Thick clothing is one of the main reasons I think there's a differentiator between calibers. I'd like to hear from the ballistics experts here on the topic of penetration through winter or similar heavy clothes.


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    Instead of a new thread on any more well discussed topics, how about we just search for what has been already discussed...

    Ammo Penetration Thru Winter Clothing, Especially .45acp?

    The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...her-print.html

    denim, leather, and winter coats, how much do they effect a shot?

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ion-print.html

    Which Ammo To Use For .380acp Winter Carry?

    Heavier Ammo in Cold ?

    Why Does Penetration matter?

    Bullet Penetration

    The bottom line is there are no definitive answers as to what will, or won't work, beyond the simple logic that everything is up for debate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX expat View Post
    Instead of a new thread on any more well discussed topics, how about we just search for what has been already discussed...

    Ammo Penetration Thru Winter Clothing, Especially .45acp?

    The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense.

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...her-print.html

    denim, leather, and winter coats, how much do they effect a shot?

    http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/...ion-print.html

    Which Ammo To Use For .380acp Winter Carry?

    Heavier Ammo in Cold ?

    Why Does Penetration matter?

    Bullet Penetration

    The bottom line is there are no definitive answers as to what will, or won't work, beyond the simple logic that everything is up for debate.
    Spoiler Alert!
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    For God's sake.

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
    This stuff is out there for crying out loud.

    I think some just like hovering over the pot with a ladle in their hand.
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    VIP Member Array maxwell97's Avatar
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    That's what SHE said.

    My understanding of the problem with winter clothing is that it can prevent expansion by plugging the point with solid material. If anything, penetration may actually increase due to limited or no expansion. At any rate, if a round penetrates 12" in gel even with expansion, I don't see a couple of layers of cloth or down doing much to stop it.

    So the benefit of switching from, say, 9mm to .45 in winter would not be better penetration, but better performance from an unexpanded bullet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxwell97 View Post
    That's what SHE said.

    My understanding of the problem with winter clothing is that it can prevent expansion by plugging the point with solid material. If anything, penetration may actually increase due to limited or no expansion. At any rate, if a round penetrates 12" in gel even with expansion, I don't see a couple of layers of cloth or down doing much to stop it.

    So the benefit of switching from, say, 9mm to .45 in winter would not be better penetration, but better performance from an unexpanded bullet.
    So many folks (none here in this thread thankfully) seem to think that heavy winter clothing somehow behaves as body armor. Your point about switching from the 9mm to the .45 for better performance with an unexpanded JHP is well taken.
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    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OutWestSystems View Post
    Sorry but that magic rounds does not exist. As long as it penetrates the body and clothing it has the potential of stopping the BG as long as you hit a vital area. And that is the key, hitting a vital area.
    ... after penetrating a carhartt jacket, sweatshirt, shirt and thermal underwear. And still going deep enough and expanding. That's the question.


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