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Bullet Penetration

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dog Wonder, May 29, 2010.

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  1. Dog Wonder

    Dog Wonder Member

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    Two weeks ago I ordered Bullet Penetration by Duncan MacPherson! I have read this interesting book two times! This book stresses the importance of having penetration in the area of 13 to 16 inches! Duncan claims that when using the heaviest weight in each caliber (depending on type & brand of ammo) you should achieve this desired penetration! Duncan claims that some situations you may need more then the FBI recommended 12 inches of penetration--so if you choose ammo that penetrates say 14 inches and you have to shoot through an arm to get a vital organ shot that you will at least get the minimum of 12 inches! Duncan also claims that a longer permanent wound channel creates more tissue damage!

    Do any shooters have any comments on this information by Duncan MacPherson?
    I'm starting to wonder if I'm taking his book too seriously --any thoughts on this information?
     
  2. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    It's called
    Full Metal Jacket
    All the PENETRATION and more you could ever need

    Now, might I suggest you learn about the SEARCH Function (third from the right, top green bar) as this is a well beat subject,
    a much more pertinent and also well beaten

    What type of ammo do you carry
    Might I suggest one that works reliably, see there is your great answer.
     
  3. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I've gravitated towards more penetration over the years.

    A couple of things have helped me along that path.

    1. Lightweight, high speed bullets have seemed to fall out of favor over the years. The 90 grain 9 MM (remember "energy dump") of the the 1980's have fallen out of favor and the 124 grain (or heavier) bullets are now the preferred round.

    2. I've also looked at hunting ammunition where bullet effectiveness has been studied formally and informally much longer and in greater detail than in personal defense. When hunters are hunting anything that can hurt them, nobody is using fast expanding rounds, such as hollow points or "ballistic tips". Those are reserved for things that won't hurt you. You practically can't find a hollow point in anything above .35 caliber (9 MM).
     
  4. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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  5. snowman2646

    snowman2646 Member

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    I agree with JTQ, but most dangerous game is well over 200 pounds with thick bones flesh and skin then a large human.
     
  6. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    i'm going to microwave a bag of popcorn, sit back, and watch this one intently :eek:
     
  7. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    In general, the heavier JHP bullet weights penetrate more, 180 gr. 40 and 230 gr. 45.
    357 Sig is mainly offered in 125 gr. so that's a simple choice.
    9mm 124-127gr. is a good compromise for the caliber.
     
  8. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    12" minimum, 15-18" preferred in properly calibrated (to FBI specs) ballistics gelatin.
     
  9. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    ....
     
  10. PRM

    PRM Member

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    WooHoo!!! Here we go again... This is better than season tickets to Six Flags. There will never be agreement on this one. Two camps diametrically opposed!!!

    I heard a story of a local politician once. Seems two groups with opposing points of view had mistakenly got on his calendar to meet with him on the same day at the same time. After a few moments of listening - The politician told each group if they wanted him to agree with them, they would have to leave and come back one at a time.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2010
  11. c919

    c919 Member

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    Sectional density, weight, velocity.

    Be your own judge. I, for one, am not concerned enough about penetration to pack FMJ's (unless in a small carry piece). I prefer either a .357 or .45 JHP for carry, and lately it's been almost exclusively .45.

    I figure any decently large modern JHP is the best way to go (imagine that). Even if it doesn't open up, it will perform like an FMJ (which in the case of the .45acp has been proven battle worthy). I think everything in your OP is accurate, but I wouldn't think only of penetration when selecting an SD round. Expansion is important as well. There's definitely a balance of compromise one must reconcile.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that I think in this day and age we are pretty well taken care of with major label JHPs. I trust in their penetration/expansion capabilities.
     
  12. ET

    ET Member

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    I have the capability of carrying 9mm reg or +p, 40 s&w, 357sig, or 45 reg or +p, all jhp. I can't decide what the heck to pack. I read somewhere that 9mm +p is equal to 357sig. Then I read that 40 s&w is the perfect cc round or is equal to 357sig. But then again 45 jhp is the greatest cc round unless you load 45 +p jhp. My head is spinning. If someone pulls on me I don't want to get shot with any of them, but I can't decide which one is the least effective for cc and in what order the rankings would fall...
     
  13. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Member

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    .357sig would be like 9mm+p+ or +p++, depending on how hot the load is. it's definitely got more muzzle energy than 9mm+p.

    .40 is not equal to .357 sig -- the bullets have a greater diameter (duh), are heavier, and travel faster.

    i don't know that it really matters all that much. i wouldn't feel underarmed with any round you have listed.
     
  14. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    .357SIG does nothing that a good 9x19mm won't.
     
  15. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    ^^very interesting.

    i wasn't aware of this. if there's no increase in performance, there's no reason to pay more for 357sig ammo, and deal with the extra noise/blast.
     
  16. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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    did someone say my name? :eek:
     
  17. ofitg

    ofitg Member

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    Dog Wonder, I would consider this a great book (I have a copy) for more than one reason. MacPherson was aided in this book by Martin Fackler, and pretty much expresses the conclusions of Fackler's group, the International Wound Ballistics Association. The IWBA is a very prestigious group, and their scientific approach is second to none.

    My main reason for buying this book was the technique for predicting penetration. The math gets pretty intense, but the graphs make it easier.
     
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    If I have a humanoid life form whose heart and lungs are 18" from the surface coming at me, I'm getting out my .350 Remington Magnum bear gun. Or, I'll just run away from him.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Kodiak don't break out the bruins or someone will start a damn "what pistol should I buy to go camping in Alaska with"

    I mean, I appreciate you tourism dollars, but really people, if you're using a pistol on a bear, well you missed the smart branch of the creek and lost your paddle all at the same time

    Back to bullets, The question was about penetration from a pistol, and while I personally carry HP in mine.

    HOWEVER EVERYBODY IS MISSING THE DAMN POINT
    penetration don't mean a thing if you don't hit something vital
    listen we can spend the next week talking about energy dump, temporary cavities, hypersonic shockwaves and neutrino particle emission

    If you don't hit something vital, it don't count, as this isn't a horseshoe forum, and hand grenades get expensive with the NFA tax stamp.
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    So will a .22 short, but just because it's been done, doesn't make it the best choice. The simple facts are that the heart, lungs, etc, are an inch or two below the surface. Any good hollowpoint will reach them and do more damage than a FMJ.

    The FBI wants rounds that will go through car doors and windows. That need has ZERO implications in self defense use.
     
  21. Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket member

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  22. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    Dare I say that the FBI conclusions are very relevant to me. I'm of the opinion that I want a round to have more penetration than less penetration. I like having the ability, as does the FBI, to damage a target when located behind certain barriers. Hollow points are great and serve a valuable purpose. I do feel that I can get ample penetration with HPs in my 45 and 10MM handguns. I know I can get it with my 44 mag. However, I do carry FMJ rounds (not hollow points) in my Browning 380 DBA. Just my opinion.
    [​IMG]
     
  23. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    To take c919's post a tad further...

    We all know sectional density so I'll let that one be.

    Weight...the more weight, the more momentum = more penetration

    Velocity...here it starts getting complicated, faster ain't always better...and the same goes for slower. This all depends on...bullet construction (hard lead, solid copper, cup and core, bonded cup and core, frangible, etc.)

    That should give em something to talk about...LOL
     
  24. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I thought we were talking about penetration.

    Your post alludes to shot placement...
     
  25. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    I ain't goin nowhere...done threw my 2 cents out there.

    I've shot enough different things to understand penetration...I've fired a good many rounds to figure this stuff out just because ballistics interest me.

    Your post is a blanket statement that is wrong on many levels...but that is off topic for this discussion.
     
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