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Petals thru bone

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 2zulu1, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    Hopefully this will turn out to be a fun kinda thread, nothing really scientific and we'll see how bullets (ammunition) perform against some big, tough, bleached out range (as in open range) cow bones.

    I'm going to start out with Winchester 127gr +P+ ammunition, baseline is using 1 gallon, soft plastic water bags to capture the bullet;


    Just as there are mathematical formulas to calibrate loose/tight ballistic gel to a properly calibrated constant, same principle can be used to calibrate water to ballistic gel. According to Duncan MacPherson, bullets penetrating pig gut, ballistic gel and water expand to the same general diameter. Again according to Duncan MacPherson, beginning on page 251 (of his WTI book) and subsequent pages, there are tables, graphs and descriptions equating bullet performance in water to ballistic gel numbers. So, if one knows impact velocity, bullet weight and expansion diameter; ballistic gel numbers can be calculated.

    Winchester Ranger 9mm 127 gr. JHP (+P+) - no barrier
    Vi = 1250 feet per second
    Mr = 115 grains
    Dr = 0.605 inch

    Vcav = 404.644 feet per second
    Mw = 37.113 grams (1.309 ounce)
    Xcm = 28.696 centimeters (11.298 inches)

    Large cow bone placed at a complex angle;


    Now to learn how a lightweight RA9TA bullet will perform against such a barrier, plus the bone was placed at a complex (vertical/horizontal) angle;


    Bullet retained more weight than it did during the baseline test;

    Winchester Ranger 9mm 127 gr JHP +P+ (RA9TA) v. heavy bone
    Vi = 1250 feet per second
    Mr = 126.3 grains
    Dr = 0.528 inch

    Vcav = 417.458 feet per second
    Mw = 40.593 grams (1.432 ounces)
    Xcm = 38.668 centimeters (15.224 inches)

    Same type experiment as above, this time shooting a Federal 165gr HST and 4 layers of denim;


    Federal .40S&W 165 gr. HST JHP (P40HST3) v. four layers of denim
    Vi = 1130 feet per second
    Mr = 165.3 grains
    Dr = 0.643 inch (1.61x cal)

    Vcav = 397.316 feet per second
    Mw = 50.993 grams (1.799 ounce)
    Xcm = 33.807 centimeters (13.310 inches)

    Now for the bone test;


    Backside of bone, petals folded inward (riveted) as it penetrated a tough bone barrier;


    Federal .40 S&W 165 gr. HST JHP (P40HST3) v. heavy bone
    Vi = 1130 feet per second
    Mr = 165.3 grains
    Dr = 0.486 inch (1.215x caliber)

    Vcav = 427.969 feet per second
    Mw = 49.736 grams (1.754 ounces)
    Xcm = 53.654 centimeters (21.123 inches)

    Unlike simulated bone that has multiple examples of JHP cavities plugging up with material when placed in front of ballistic gel, I have not witnessed this phenomenom using cow bones.

    The following post will show examples of JHP expansion against bone after first penetrating 3" of water.

  2. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    Win RA45TP v 4LD

    Baseline for Winchester's plus P 230gr Ranger JHP;


    This bullet has one of the largest handgun crush cavities per penetration depth that I've tested, including a number of high velocity 10mm loads;

    Winchester Ranger .45 ACP 230 gr. +P JHP (RA45TP) v. four layers of denim
    Vi = 990 feet per second
    Mr = 230.2 grains
    Dr = 0.769 inch

    Vcav = 372.928 feet per second
    Mw = 68.886 grams (2.430 ounces)
    Xcm = 31.951 centimeters (12.579 inches)

    Now for the fun part, 3" of water in front of a cow rib, if you look closely you can see the Ranger star in the center;


    Not only were there a number of bone fragments inside this exploded bottle, bone fragments were outside the trough on both sides and in front of the bone;


    Excellent flat expansion;


    0.6675" expansion
    Retained weight 229.7grs
    Bullet length 0.402"
    Bone thickness 0.565"

    481 will be along with his calculations

  3. SonicmetalicS

    SonicmetalicS Member

    Excellent post and test, I like the way you did it and your results seem accurate, not altered ;)
  4. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Nice test, Bob. Thanks for running it. :)

    Here is the MacPherson predictive analysis for this test:

    Winchester Ranger .45 ACP 230 gr. +P JHP (RA45TP) v. heavy bone

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Recovered Diameter: 0.6675" (1.4781x caliber))
    Retained Mass: 229.7 gr.
    Impact Velocity: 990 fps

    Predicted Performance:
    Cavitation Boundary (Vc) = 390.249 fps
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 67.304 grams (2.374 ounces)
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 40.037 cm (15.763 inches)

    Nice expansion. Kinda neat to see that little "gold star" at what used to be the bottom of the JHP cavity.

    Must mean that you did it right. :D
  5. Strykervet

    Strykervet member

    I always get a kick out of stuff like this. Good job. I also like it because I have the exact same ammo, the T series bullets in 9mm, .40, and .45, but haven't been able to do anything like this lately. They look like well designed bullets.

    Something that would work even better if you can afford to do it would be to go to butcher and get a calf leg or something similar. Then the bone would wet and surrounded by tough tissue. You may even be able to find a butcher that would donate to watch... Not like you need a good cut or anything.
  6. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Well.............since we are sharing pictures of tests, here is one of my most recent ones...:D



    Here is the MacPherson predictive analysis of the test:

    Hornady .45ACP 230 gr. XTP +P JHP (#9096) v. four layers of denim
    Test Platform: HK USP45
    Caliber: .45 ACP

    Test Media: Water
    Barrier: 4 layers of 8 ounce denim

    Muzzle Velocity: 921.75 feet per second (est.)
    Impact Velocity: 916.75 feet per second (F-1 Chronograph @ 21 feet)
    Kinetic Energy @ impact = 581.832 Joules

    Test Distance: 21 feet
    Temperature: 70° F

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Average Expanded Diameter: 0.595 inch (1.3178x caliber)
    Retained Weight: 229.6 grains
    Total Length: 0.495 inch

    Predicted Performance:
    Cavitation Boundary (Vc) = 403.945 feet per second
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 63.282 grams (2.232 ounces)
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 46.445 cm (18.286 inches)

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  7. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    OK, now I am in a "forty-five" kinda mood....




    Sure, it is "economy" ammunition, but it really expanded well despite the barrier....:what:

    Winchester USA .45ACP 230 gr. JHP (USA45JHP)
    Test Platform: HK USP45
    Barrel Length: 4.41 inches
    Caliber: .45ACP

    Barrier: 4 layers of 1 ounce cotton T-shirt fabric

    Test Media: Water

    Muzzle Velocity: 870 feet per second
    Impact Velocity: 865 feet per second
    Kinetic Energy @ impact = 517.998 Joules

    Test Distance: 21 feet

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Average Expanded Diameter: 0.735 inch (1.628x caliber)
    Retained Weight: 229.2 grains

    MacPherson Predictive Analysis:
    Cavitation Boundary (Vc) = 379.133 feet per second
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 63.066 grams (2.225 ounces)
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 32.096 cm (12.636 inches)

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2011
  8. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    At that distance, did you hit the target on your first shot? To ensure hits I get about 6ft away to enjoy those 'free' showers of water.

    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  9. Scipio Africanus

    Scipio Africanus Well-Known Member

    That big .45 bullets shatter bones is no surprise, this had been known for over a hundred years. Thanks for re-proving it. This looked like a lot of fun and was informative. Good Job!
  10. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    .40 S&W Speer 165gr GD #53970

    The baseline test (handloaded) did well, actually the Gold Dot performed better than I expected. I attempted to achieve the 1150fps of the #53970 but ended up with 1127fps, not bad for first attempt.


    Nice symetrical expansion. When loaded to .400Corbon/10mm velocities, given the large hollow cavity, this bullet blows up, shearing off the front part of the bullet.

    test data;

    .40 S&W 165 gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP v. 4 layers of denim

    Vi = 1127 feet per second
    Dr = 0.648 inch (1.62x cal)
    Mr= 164.4 grains

    Vc = 120.821 meters per second (396.394 feet per second)
    Mw = 47.916 grams (1.690 ounces)
    Xcm = 37.139 centimeters (14.622 inches)

    I didn't know what to expect with today's bone test with Speer's #53970 ammunition.

    A 20oz bottle placed in front of the cow bone yields 3" of water penetration that causes the bullet to expand prior to hitting the bone.

    The 3" set-up that I refer to in these bone tests will look similar to this;


    I did not expect the 20oz bottle to violently explode firing this ammunition. A plastic fragged part of the bottle that fits near the bottle's neck can be seen in the trough. A number of bone fragments were found in and outside the trough.


    Bullet punched out a large hole as seen from the backside of the bone.


    Nice symetrical expansion;


    Numbers for the day shift to calculate. :D

    Expansion 0.599" (1.5x cal)
    Weight 163.7grs (99.7%)
    Bullet length 0.388"
    Bone thickness 0.271"

    Given the repeated failures of the 165gr GD at accelerated velocities like those observed in .400 Corbon and 10mm; these tests were very encouraging to witness what this bullet is capable of at factory design velocities.

    This is good carry ammunition for those who choose to carry the .40 S&W in medium weights.

  11. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    In all honesty, of the twenty-five or so tests that I have run at this distance (21 feet for the sake of simulating the (in)famous(?) average distance at which gun fights occur), I've only "missed" once, that round hitting far off center bag on the Fackler trough and exiting the side of the test arrangement.

    See? Placement does matter. :D

    Since I declined on the "submariner option" :neener: for my chronograph, I try to keep my chronograph a fair distance from the impact face and such an arrangement dictates a sizeable offset to keep it dry.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  12. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    So, I am the "day shift" huh? :cool: Well, I've been called worse....

    Here is the MacPherson predictive analysis for this test:

    Speer .40S&W 165 gr. GD JHP (53970) v. heavy bone

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Recovered Diameter: 0.599" (1.497x caliber))
    Retained Mass: 163.7 gr.
    Impact Velocity: 1150 fps

    Predicted Performance:
    Cavitation Regime Boundary (Vc) = 403.134 fps
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 51.196 grams (1.806 ounces)
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 38.100 cm (15.000 inches)

    Very impressive tests so far.

    All of the recent tests demonstrate superior permanent wound cavity mass (Mw) that exceeds the "level of adequacy" (a Mw of 30 - 40 grams) for WTI (within preferred penetration depth of 15 inches or less) established by MacPherson in Chapter 11 of his book, Bullet Penetration.

    Greater penetration is desirable because, "...deeper penetration produces somewhat higher velocity at every penetration depth, and blood vessels are at least somewhat more likely to be ruptured by grazing bullet impact at higher velocities." (from Bullet Penetration, page 278), and this load does very well in that regard.

    Thanks, Bob. :)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  13. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Well-Known Member

    Excellent thread guys, hope this one gets made a sticky because it helps those of us unable to do our own testing get some insight. I'm confirmed on keeping my Glock 23 and feel alot better about getting a Glock 30 and putting .45 ACP +P through it for SD. I'll be getting some 1911s to over then next year but the Glock 30 better fits my pocket carry CCW needs. The 1911s will just be for the love of 1911s.
  14. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    I'll second that, and add a question: would a fresh rather than dry cow bone make much difference?
  15. THplanes

    THplanes Well-Known Member

    That's a big question. Brassfetchers tests using a bone simulant show a nice neat plug of the simulant plugging the HP cavity and he only got expansion with the DPX load. 2zulu1 test here and on another forum with dry cow bones shows a much different result. I would tend to go with the real bone tests. But it does leave open the question as to which is closest to living or at least fresh bone
  16. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    The fresher bones, more moisture, would be a better test of the bullets. The dried out bone fibers will separate during this drying period, the fresher bones will still have marrow in them, a more life like situation. Try a leg bone, more life like scenario also, instead of the scapula, a lot thinner bone.
  17. 481

    481 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the input.

    I think your perspective has a lot of merit and your point is well taken. Fresh bone would be the most realistic of all expedients, but at least dry bone is still real bone and what we are limited to for the time being unless 2z1 is inclined to pursue it to that extent.

    In future tests, I may find the opportunity to incorporate fresh bone into one (or more) of my tests if I find ammunition that seems to call for it. I am thinking that I'll probably just find the thickest example of bovine scapula that I can find though since it is nearly as thick as the majority of the bones (ribs, sternum, clavicle, scapula) in the upper portion of the human COM anatomy.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011
  18. KenB22

    KenB22 Member

    Great tests guys. Please keep up the good work
  19. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    There is a local slaughter house nearby and I've looked into using 'fresh' bones (pig/cow) for testing instead of the bleached out open range bones. Given the number of tests I've done and am currently conducting, cost became an issue. I'll stop in again and see if there's a way to work things out so the tests can be done with fresh bones.

    On the flip side, even soaking the range bones for several weeks did not soften them up any. Dried out bones make for a very tough barrier to penetrate, especially after the bullet has expanded.

    I had planned on testing a handloaded 10mm/180gr Nosler earlier today, but I couldn't fit it into my schedule.

    Since there was a request for testing against leg bones, I can post several results with both JHP and WFN loads.

  20. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    I tested this ammunition against a large cow bone, I don't have the MacPherson data for this bone test.


    JHP riveted, flat/symetrical expansion was only a minimal 0.460", basically a .460" meplat;


    Old tech bullet made a large hole.

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