Expansion Testing (Hillbilly style)

This is a discussion on Expansion Testing (Hillbilly style) within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Farmer near us told us about a deer that got hit in front of his house. We went out to see if the meat was ...

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Thread: Expansion testing (Hillbilly style)

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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    Post Expansion testing (Hillbilly style)

    Farmer near us told us about a deer that got hit in front of his house. We went out to see if the meat was still good - or at least recover the hide (I'm a amateur brain tanner) but the farmer had miscalculated the time of death - the thing really stank! The coyotes had also gotten to it which had pretty much ruined the hide.

    Well, we couldn't let the poor thing go to waste so we dedicated it to science. Ok - that's not quite accurate. We weren't extremely scientific about it - but wanted to see how some of the bullet designs of different calibers from various pistols performed in the expansion category.

    I found the results pretty interesting. I'll just summarize here:

    38 special from 2" barrel: No expansion on various weighted hydrashocks - AT ALL. (non +P) Did not have any other brands at the time.

    .357 magnum from 2 1/2" barrel: 158 grain gold dots - expansion was poor OR non existent. This was very surprising as it was what I have been carrying in the SP101. 148 grain silvertips mushroomed flawlessly each and every time. This is now my new carry ammo.

    380 ACP from keltec: Silvertips, expansion was so-so but had several failure to penetrate! Assuming these hit ribs.

    9mm from Beretta 92F: Gold dots - expanded beautifully.

    45 ACP: Cheap winchester whitebox hollow points from 4" Kimber. Expansion was very meager - not much at all.

    One interesting thing to note - despite the 45 ACP not expanding much at all - it caused the most visible damage out of all of the test rounds. Whereas all other rounds penetrated clean and buried in the dirt behind it, the .45 bullets were always found in a pool of goopy bloody sludge with bits of meat buried in the ground with it. Not sure why this was the case - but it definitely has made me a believer in bigger is better.

    I realize the above test is by no means scientific or complete - and I'm not definitely not touting it as that. But it was definitely interesting to see expansion in real tissue from a handgun bullet.

    And yes - the smell was horrendous.

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    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    I am sure someone has already posted this link, but I found it interesting and educational.

    http://www.theboxotruth.com/

    Yes, I know it is apples and oranges, but interesting none the less.

    Bryan

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Box of truth is a great site its been posted a few times but if your arent seraching it probley wont come up ..


    The expansion test ya had on the deer was interstion

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    Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Joe - nothing like a ''meat test''

    I am a great fan of GD's and glad to hear they performed quite well - I have done wetpack tests on those as well as other stuff and find expansion more consistent than about anything else.

    True tho too it seems - bigger is better - that is why the .45 club is so thriving
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    Chris,

    The only thing that really baffled me is the .357 gold dots performed horribly. I'm a big fan myself and every other gold dot cartridge we tested did well. However, the .357 gold dots just didn't do it. The bullet design is different - with the inside of the hollow point jacketed petals. It may have been us - since as I've said we weren't really being all that methodical. But the silvertips did well 100% so I've made the switch to them in my SP101.

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    Where did you place the shots? Some of the ammo may not perform the same in humans as deer. deer have much less fat and more muscle in most cases. Most defensive carry bullet designs are made well and tested extensively. I would imagine the work just fine. Check out the new ammo specifically for short barrelled pistols for better performance though.

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    Agreed Joe - does seem the .357's were disappointing. In fact have never tried those, always using CorBon stuff in SP or M28.

    I did get a boatload of ''blem'' bullets some ways back (like 2,500!!) - and it turns out they are 158 JHP Speer GD style so when I get to loading some will maybe test out for expansion, tho they won't be used for SD - mostly just hot .357's for grins.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    The shots were placed broadside through the lungs in various places with a few tests through the shoulder to see how bone penetration affected performance. Agreed on the differences between deer and human tissue makeup - the bullets very well may perform better in human tissue. But I haven't convinced anyone to volunteer yet. :)

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    I did a lot of testing in wet newsprint of many 125 grain JHP's. I found that the Hornady 125 gr XTP performed fantasic in every test. They relaibly held over 90% of their original weight and expanded on average to .58 cal. with very adequate penetration.

    You might want to give them a try.
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