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.