Nylon bullets. Practical?


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Balog
February 13, 2004, 11:10 AM
So I've been re-reading Unintended Consequences and I keep thinking that the nylon bullets Mr. Ross describes would be a perfect match for my situation. You see, I live in an apartment :barf: and I have to be very concerned with overpenetration. I currently use a shottie loaded with birdshot (at any range inside the apt it won't spread), but I'm looking to get a pistol to use as well.

I'm going to get a .44 as soon as I can afford it, and then get into reloading for it. I know in the book it specified that a fairly hot load had to be used to get a good result, but I'd been thinking about a lower recoil and muzzle blast/flash load. More of a .44 Special than a magnum. Would that rob me of the velocity that gives these loads their lethality?

Also, since I don't have a lathe, would it be a problem to get the components? I've never seen a source, but I've never really looked either.

I had been considering using heavy soft cast wadcutters at low velocity. I thought this would give me enough penetration to get through a BG without going too far, as well as the lower recoil (faster follow up shots) and lesser flash/blast (less likely to blind me or ring my own bell in the enclosed space) that I was wanting.

So what say you THRers? It's gonna be a while before I can do this (darn lack of money), but I like to plan in advance! Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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cordex
February 13, 2004, 11:21 AM
Well, I don't know about nylon barstock, but I do know a guy who cast some resin bullets in .451. I've got a baggie on my reloading bench that I've been meaning to trim and load up.

I might be able to convince him to cast something in .429 if you were interested in paying for materials.

critter
February 13, 2004, 11:26 AM
I have an old Speer reloading book that has loads for soft round ball loads in the .44. Could work up a load for multiple balls that ought to be good for inside an apt.

I did make some loads with multiple balls for a .357. Speer shot capsules will hold three #1 buckshot stacked. Makes a nice 'trifecta' group at inside the house ranges. I also stacked two #000 buckshot (without the capsule) in the .357. Makes a good 'two-fer'. (I do not remember the weight of the triplex load but each #000 is 70 gr so two is 140 which is very near a normal payload for the caliber.)

I would imagine either would make a good anti-personnel round without too much penetration into the neighbor's abode.

USE EXTREME CAUTION AS THESE ARE NONSTANDARD AMMO LOADS AND YOU PROCEED INTO THE DARK SIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Balog
February 13, 2004, 11:30 AM
cordex: Isn't resin a hard, fragile substance? I wouldn't have thought it would hold up to firing. Or am I thinking of a different material?

swifter
February 13, 2004, 01:10 PM
the best way to avoid "overpenetration" is to shoot 'em in the thick part!:what: :D

Tom

Jim Watson
February 13, 2004, 04:02 PM
I would not depend on a novel for firearms selection.

The old Thunder Zap plastic bullet was a resounding flop as were several other designs of trick bullet.

There are Glaser and Magsafe that might reduce the danger of wall penetration if you plan to miss a lot.

I dunno about the RBCDQ or Nuttrillium gimmicks. Do you want to beta test them or your own notions?

The FIRST consideration has got to be stopping the assailant.

cordex
February 13, 2004, 04:07 PM
cordex: Isn't resin a hard, fragile substance? I wouldn't have thought it would hold up to firing. Or am I thinking of a different material?
'Tis rather brittle, but it apparently shot well enough for the guy who made them. I'll load up a few and give them a shot (as it were) when I get the chance.

Note: I'm not suggesting these for defensive uses, just something to toy around with.

g56
February 13, 2004, 04:23 PM
I used to be a Deputy Sheriff and we looked at personal defense and the over penetration problem in depth. Any lead bullet will over penetrate unless it is fired at such low velocity it wouldn't work for defense, we studied the problem and our recommendation was a 12 ga riot gun loaded with #4 Duck & Pheasant shells, that's not buckshot, it's Duck, bird shot. At close range #4 Duck & Pheasant shells are incredibly effective, but they don't penetrate walls very well, in our testing we found they will use most of their energy destroying the first layer of sheetrock, very little will penetrate a second layer and none will penetrate a second interior wall.

Based on our testing we found that load to be very effective and have the least chance of injuring someone in an adjoining room, any rifle or pistol bullet will penetrate several interior walls, and can easily kill someone in an adjoining room. Buckshot will over penetrate and we didn't recommend it for indoor self protection.

Balog
February 13, 2004, 04:57 PM
Jim Watson: I wouldn't normally either, but Mr. Ross knows what he's talking about. In fact, he posts on this board.
If I ever have to shoot in my apartment, I'll be breaking one of the four rules since I don't have a backstop and I don't know what's behind the target. Would you shoot at a range with only a human sized backstop and a house right behind it? After all, it's only dangerous if you miss. :rolleyes:

Surely
February 13, 2004, 05:35 PM
If you already have a shotgun you already have the best close range self defence weapon made. You could experiment with some less penetrating shotgun loads, you can stick just about anything in a shotgun shell. Try split peas, rice, glass beads, rock salt or whatever. Some of these harder substances can wear a barrel tho. They all will hurt like hell at close range and could even be lethal, Sure to scare the hell out of any perp and you can leave a few rounds loaded with lead behind them just in case the dude is strung out.

Balog
February 13, 2004, 05:47 PM
My only problem with my shottie is length. It's a pretty small apt with a lot of tight angles. I'd like something a bit easier to maneuver.

Surely
February 13, 2004, 06:01 PM
Sounds like you need a hacksaw. Drop 10 inches off your barrel and it will be alot better, haha

Standing Wolf
February 13, 2004, 08:59 PM
I know in the book it specified that a fairly hot load had to be used to get a good result, but I'd been thinking about a lower recoil and muzzle blast/flash load. More of a .44 Special than a magnum. Would that rob me of the velocity that gives these loads their lethality?

There's nothing wrong with .44 special loads. I'd stake my life on a .44 special wadcutter target (light) load a lot sooner than just about any nine millimeter load. My pre-agreement Smith & Wesson is uncannily accurate with very light .44 special loads, mid-range loads, and full house .44 magnum loads, all of which are good for home defense.

All that said™, the shotgun with g56's recommended load probably makes the best sense.

Highland Ranger
February 13, 2004, 09:52 PM
Nylon begins to get soft (melt) under 500 degrees, need to go get a materials book to be sure but that's my recollection.

I'm thinking that the charge in the cartridge would flash up higher than that so even if the bullet wasn't near the charge long enough to melt, I gotta think there'd be some goo involved in the barrel i.e. not practical?

Mikke
February 17, 2004, 07:30 AM
I didn't notice any "nyloning" from the nylon .357's I shot (only 10 in total).

Dunno if they would be useful, but it's kind of nifty shooting a revolver doing 1000+ m/s (3300 fps). :D

John Ross
February 17, 2004, 11:31 AM
"The old Thunder Zap plastic bullet was a resounding flop as were several other designs of trick bullet."

A commercial flop, yes. They didn't sell, for whatever reason. My belief is that lack of marketing was a big factor. Anyone who ever shot anything with them had no doubt about their effectiveness.

"There are Glaser and Magsafe that might reduce the danger of wall penetration if you plan to miss a lot. "

Agree completely.

Think about whether you really want to use handloads for defense. I do it, but there are arguments against it. I wrote an article discussing this issue:

http://www.john-ross.net/hldefense.htm

JR

Balog
February 17, 2004, 11:57 AM
Hello Mr. Ross, it's great to see you. A very thought-provoking article. However, since I intend to use my pistol (for the time being) solely for home-defense, I don't expect to encounter any legal problems. Anyone in my small apt is almost certainly within 21 feet.

Do any of the reloading manuals give information on using nylon bullets? Do any reloading supply houses sell them?

John Ross
February 18, 2004, 11:25 PM
No to both questions.

IMO in a quality gun you cannot overload a nylon bullet. T-Zap was a 20-ish grain slug with a case full of Bullseye that went 2700 out of a 2" Chiefs Special. My 44s were a 37 grain projo that went 3600 out of a 5" 29. Cases fell out of the gun.

Go to a friendly machine shop with a Swissomatic and have them run you some.

JR

Balog
February 19, 2004, 12:24 AM
Do you prefer a full-wadcutter shape, or shall I have them shaped?

John Ross
February 19, 2004, 08:43 AM
It doesn't really matter. Mine were Keith shaped, FWIW.

JR

Owen
April 8, 2005, 08:53 PM
If you are going to be using speed loaders, putting a round nose on them, or at least a bevel will make life easier.

The Bushmaster
April 8, 2005, 09:26 PM
Fragmentable bullets for apartments. Do damage to perp but will stop in a average wall....

Gung-Ho
June 19, 2005, 04:33 PM
Mr Ross...what kind of crimp did you use. And did anyone ever ask if they were legal to make?

jlseagull
June 19, 2005, 05:01 PM
How about a Serbu Super Shorty? (http://www.serbu.com/shorty.htm) it's an AOW, so there's only a $5 transfer tax, not a $200.

BluesBear
June 19, 2005, 05:39 PM
Why would you think there mught be a question of legality?
After all it wouldn't exactly be armor piercing.

Gung-Ho
June 19, 2005, 05:46 PM
Like I said, it never even crossed my mind that they might be illegal. But someone on another forum brought it up, and you just never know these days. It was my understanding that in order to be illegal they had to have a core of certain materials....and plastic was NOT one of them. After all, they are not exactly armor piercing. :rolleyes:

grendelbane
June 19, 2005, 09:32 PM
After all, they are not exactly armor piercing.

Are you sure? Being armor piercing would not make them illegal, as it is the bullet material which determines legality, not bullet performance.

Nylon bullets are travelling above the velocity ranges at which many rifle bullets will penetrate Kevlar. I am sure that they slow down pretty quick, but at very close range they might well penetrate body armor.

I have no personal experience, but would not trust Kevlar to stop such a bullet at very close range.

Gung-Ho
June 19, 2005, 09:36 PM
I have no personal experience, but would not trust Kevlar to stop such a bullet at very close range.

Personally I'm not going to trust ANY vest to protect me.....I'd MUCH rather not be shot at. :D

BluesBear
June 19, 2005, 10:14 PM
There's a HUGE difference between armor and a bullet resistant vest. :rolleyes:

There are thousands of small arms bullets that will zip right through a bullet resistant vest.
Hells Bells™ even a good hunting arrow will do that. So will many knives.
That's doesn't mean any of them are "armor piercing". :scrutiny:

In relation, there are very few small arms bullets that are actually capable of penetrating armor.

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