Home Ballistics Testing Material

This is a discussion on Home Ballistics Testing Material within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I read on a couple other threads about shooting into wet news paper to compair rounds of ammo. I know no material is going to ...

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Thread: Home Ballistics testing Material

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array 4my son's Avatar
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    Home Ballistics testing Material

    I read on a couple other threads about shooting into wet news paper to compair rounds of ammo. I know no material is going to completley simulate the effectiveness of a defensive round, but what about other materials. I'm thinking as long as you are shooting into the same material, what you use should not matter as much. I have access to a stack of catalogs about waist high. Same paper as magazines. What effect does the wetting have on the paper. This glossy paper wont soke up water the same as news paper.

    How many of you put something else in front, Old jeans, or leather scraps, Etc.

    Will you be able to see the rate of expansin by looking at the pages at various depths.

    How deep do rounds usually go, I'm going to be trying some .45 Golden Sabors against some Gold Dots.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
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    Mike - I have used wetpack for my tests done a ways back with my R9. here and and here . Some post expansion pics are there.

    I did not have any fabric as an initial barrier, as I was mostly doing just a simple assessment/comparison of different bullet's performances from that gun - probably should have in retrospect.

    Having the paper totally soaked means you get some hydraulic effect and so expansion is much assisted - tho of course it is only the vaguest approximation to tissue!

    I would expect that your glossy paper will still saturate eventually - and my prep'ing method (Steven Camp does much same) - is to bundle up the material (newsprint) and leave immersed in water a full 24 hours. Do not bind too tight tho as whole deal swells and will break cord.

    Take out and leave to drain for maybe 30 minutes (it gets heavy!) - wrap in polythene sheet and transport to range and use.

    I usually shoot from about 6 feet distance and try and mark front surface with marker pen to give me identifiable zones for reference. Having put three shots into each zone I then take the bundle home.

    Final stage for me is peeling off layer by layer until I find bullets and note approx depth they finished up at - then clean those in water to remove most of paper fiber that gets caught up. Then bag up the samples to be photographed later.

    Steve Camp's site - http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/ has quite a bit of info on this in various of his test reports.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Distinguished Member Array 4my son's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Having the paper totally soaked means you get some hydraulic effect and so expansion is much assisted - tho of course it is only the vaguest approximation to tissue!
    Thanks Chris,

    That makes sense,

    The nice thing about this for me is it will all be done at home. The beauty of 20 wooded acres.

    nice pics too.

    I can't say when I'll get to try this, but I'll post pics of the results.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    The "Camp Method" is to soak for 24 hours or until thoroughly saturated, then drain for 30 minutes prior to shooting. This is the one I decided to use and haven't regretted it.

    test 1 of the Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket 124 grain +P 9mm

    For those not familiar with the Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket (EFMJ), it is what its name implies: a full metal jacketed round which expands. It does this via a rubber plug in the nose. Upon impact the rubber (actually silicone) presses against prestressed scored lines in the jacket, causing deformation and expansion. This renders the bullet immune to weaknesses from which a traditional hollow point bullet suffers, namely the ability to be clogged by cloth.

    I am aware of two weights in 9mm caliber as of this point in time, 105 grain and 124 grain. I have heard rumors of a 115 grain version but have not seen it. The 105 grain is readily available to the public. I had been told that the 124 grain is primarily law enforcement. Gary at Federal Cartridge confirmed this. He did add however that they do not restrict sales to non - law enforcement as do some other companies and that it can be ordered through a law enforcement supply shop should one not wish to be “stuck with” the 105 grain option.

    One of the cartridge’s claims to fame is the ability to penetrate barriers. Today I set out to test this.

    The firearm used was my pet pistol, a 1991 vintage Taurus PT92. This is a pre-decock version and, as such, I often carry it in single action with the safety engaged, i.e., “cocked’n’locked”. I save the double action trigger for more politically correct functions: Whenever I’m in town.


    The first item tested was accuracy. I need to know that my pistol will shoot a particular round before I trust my life to it. I therefore set a target at a paced seven yards.

    I feel seven yards is more than adequate. I debated on using an actual tape measure; I decided, however, to pace it off as real world encounters are rarely measured. I stuck to my semi-controlled stance for the duration of this test.


    This is what the rounds did in my hands, from my pistol. They are not as accurate as some other rounds I’ve fired. However, I believe they are plenty accurate for serious work and I am therefore carrying them at the moment.

    Five shots were fired for accuracy from a Weaver stance. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


    Here is a closer view. All shots fired stayed on the playing card with no real flyer.

    Next came the penetration tests. I had two barriers with me today: a piece of inch thick hardwood and two sheets of drywall. The sheets of drywall together equaled &#189;".<br>

    Here is the entrance hole on the oak.

    I liked that entrance hole. I had never shot wood before that showed a circle as concentric as this.


    This is the exit hole. Notice how much larger it is than the entrance. This seems to indicate that the bullet was already beginning to deform.

    Deformation was suspected in wood, a trait which I’ve not seen shared by the traditional hollow point as it needs external hydrodynamic pressure to influence expansion/deformation. I decided to forego the test with the drywall as it would have been worse than redundant to the wood.


    These are the wetpack entrance holes. The barely visible hole on the left was shot while the wetpack was naked. The one on the right shows the beginnings of expansion after the bullet passed through the wood.

    Before I show the exit holes I would like to apologize as I could not manage to show the insides. Suffice to say both are perfectly conical showing uniform expansion. I particularly admire the fact that this ammunition can do this well after passing through a not informidable barrier.


    The exit hole on the left was what the barrier penetrator made. The one on the right was bare wetpack.

    In a day or two I will head out to the range again with a thicker wetpack. This one proved too thin though it did show how readily these rounds will expand. The new wetpack is soaking as I type this. I would also like to take a frontal shot on a racoon but I do not know if I will be given the chance.

    Thus far I am favorably impressed with this ammunition. The recoil, while a bit sharp, is very quick. This to me is more important to bringing my pistol to bear again after recoil than a light, long “shove” type recoil.

    I do not feel handicapped in the least by carrying Federal’s Expanding Full Metal Jacket over traditional hollow point ammunition.

    Joshua M. Smith

    Special thanks to Mr. Stephen A. Camp, Federal Cartridge Company and their excellent customer service, and to the members of Handguns and Ammunition who made me curious enough to start testing ammo a bit more seriously.

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com
    http://www.federalcartridge.com

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    Thumbs up

    Josh - excellent! Very nice report and that certainly seems one heck of a good bullet performance.

    Appreciate the work you put into that.
    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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    Senior Member Array Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    I've decided that a live animal, legally taken, will be the next test. We have an overabundance of racoon around here, to the point of them having a bounty, but I've not been able to get a frontal or even quartering shot on one as of yet.

    We cannot use 9mm on deer in Indiana or I would get my license again after all these years to expend one of these rounds on a small whitetail.

    Josh <><

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    +1 on the report Josh. You put alot of effort into it. We need more like you to do testing like that Thanks again. Shoot straight and be safe Sixgun

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    Cabelas has DIY ballistic gelatin for sale.
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