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Do-it-yourself wetpack test (lots of images)

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by fasttheo, Jul 28, 2011.

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  1. fasttheo

    fasttheo Member

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    A friend and I decided to spend some time at the range today shooting various JHP and FMJ loads into a wetpack. DISCLAIMER: We don't view this as any kind of a 'scientific' test (unless you are attacked by a rogue gang of wet phone books, in which case it may be a valuable study). We did this for fun, and to satisfy our own curiosity as to the expansion capabilities of our carry rounds. We decided to post the results to hopefully generate some conversation, maybe get some feedback on how to make a better wetpack test the next time around, and to show you how our rounds expanded in a 'backyard' test. All comments are welcome!

    Our wetpack consisted of 6 inches of phone book, wrapped tightly in a layer of denim, with a second 8 inches of phone book behind that. The wetpacks were 'framed' in a cheap-o styrofoam cooler. We fired all shots from 5 yards away. Because it started raining just as we finished shooting, we weren't able to get accurate penetration numbers; all penetration numbers are approximate.

    We used the following handguns:

    Butler Deringer chambered in .22 short, a Walther PPK/S chambered in .380 ACP, a Smith & Wesson 617 chambered in .22 LR and a Ruger SP101 chambered in .357

    DSC01857.jpg

    The ammunition used was:

    22 Short: Remington Golden Bullet 29 gr.
    22 LR: American Eagle 38 gr., CCI Mini-Mag 40 gr.
    380 ACP: Remington Golden Saber 102 gr., Hornady Critical Defense 90 gr., WWB 95 gr., PMC Bronze 90 gr.
    38 Special: Winchester PDX +P, 130 gr.
    357 Magnum: Independence JSP 158 gr., Federal Hydra-Shok 158 gr., CCI Blazer 158 gr., PMC Starfire 150 gr., Hornady XTP 124 gr.

    DSC01860.jpg

    Penetration:

    We weren't able to measure penetration depths exactly, but the Remington Golden Saber penetrated to approx. 4 inches into the wetpack, both the Hornady Critical Defense and Winchester PDX penetrated to 5 1/2 inches, the 357 loads all penetrated to approximately 8 inches into the wetpack, as did the FMJ 380 rounds. We couldn't really tell how far the 22 rounds penetrated, but all made it through the first wetpack and were well into the second wetpack (including the 22 short). The Independence soft point blew through both wetpacks and out of the back of the cooler. The Starfire and Blazer rounds were not recovered.

    Expansion:

    With the exception of the American Eagle 22 rounds, which only slightly deformed (and the PMC Starfire and CCI Blazer which we couldn't find), all of the JHP's expanded well in the wetpack.

    DSC01870.jpg

    CCI Mini Mag

    DSC01904.jpg

    Remington Golden Saber 380

    DSC01910.jpg

    Hornady Critical Defense 380

    DSC01906.jpg

    Winchester PDX 38 +p

    DSC01907.jpg

    Federal Hydra-Shok 357

    DSC01908.jpg

    Hornady XTP 357

    DSC01909.jpg

    Finally, some comparison photos:

    380 rounds, before and after

    DSC01880.jpg

    380 rounds, side by side

    DSC01878.jpg

    380 rounds vs 38 special +p

    DSC01882.jpg

    38 special +p vs 357

    DSC01877.jpg

    All of the hollowpoints

    DSC01884.jpg

    And finally, all of the recovered rounds together (forgot to add the 380 FMJ rounds to picture)

    DSC01891.jpg

    Again, this was just for fun, but it was interesting to see how the various loads stacked up against one another. As an aside, my carry weapon is the PPK/S (with Golden Sabers), and my friend carries the Ruger (not sure what's in the cylinder right now). Based on the expansion we saw (again throwing out the penetration results), we're both pretty happy with our JHP options. Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  2. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Nice tests, thanks for taking the prep time and for sharing your results.

    Testing bullets is one of my hobbies too. :D

    Bob
     
  3. critter

    critter Member

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    Interesting!
     
  4. cowpoke

    cowpoke Member

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    Thanks. Good info an pics
     
  5. blume357@bellsouth.net

    blume357@bellsouth.net Member

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    Great write up and pictures... thanks for doing it. I bet a lot of us wish we could have been there and helped.
     
  6. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    I'll second that!
     
  7. 481

    481 Member

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    Thanks for the tests.

    "Scientific" or not, shooting stuff is fun and these tests allow for an interesting and informative perspective on the rounds' performance in the real world.
     
  8. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Thanks for taking the time. :cool:
     
  9. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Very interesting. I'm a bit surprised that all of the rounds had full expansion.

    You might want to try some Buffalo Bore ammo next time.
     
  10. joeq

    joeq Member

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    Good job, I bet it was a lot of fun. I'm surprised the Mini Mag had any expansion at all. Very nice.
     
  11. DFW1911

    DFW1911 Member

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    Very good post: thanks!
     
  12. paradox998

    paradox998 Member

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    Nicely done!
     
  13. fasttheo

    fasttheo Member

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    I was surprised by the expansion as well. We had tried a wetpack test a week or two before, and had several dud rounds that failed to expand. I think it was because the wetpack got too dry before we started shooting.

    The mini mag expanded pretty nicely, I wouldn't want to catch 10 of those in the chest.

    For me, the Golden Saber was the most impressive in terms of expansion; the Hydra-Shok was nice as well.

    Next time out, we're going to try to whip up some homemade ballistic gelatin to maybe get some better penetration numbers (again, nothing 'scientific' intended). We'll post the results.
     
  14. 481

    481 Member

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    Looking forward to that.

    Got a test caliber/round/design in mind? Barrier?
     
  15. fasttheo

    fasttheo Member

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    I had planned on following the instructions I found at http://www.customcartridge.com/pdfs/BallisticGel.pdf. I would really like to test the Remington 88gr Express JHP, if for no other reason than that I've never really seen any data online. Other than that, we'll probably test some of what we did with the wetpack, and maybe throw in some .45 ACP as well.
     
  16. pisc1024

    pisc1024 Member

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    Very nice tests thanks for posting. The big surprise for me was the .380, they expanded perfectly.
     
  17. SonicmetalicS

    SonicmetalicS Member

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    Great test! Wonderful pictures as well. I've been wondering about different hollow point designs and this helped a lot, seems the Remington golden saber is the best performing here.
     
  18. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    Interesting stuff! I too want to thank you for sharing. :cool:
     
  19. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Nice write up. Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    Well done. I look forward to your gelatin testing.
    Don't be surprised if the result are somewhat different. :)
     
  21. VP

    VP Member

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    Excellent review. I like how you put it together. I'm picking up some 380 to test tomorrow for self defense and will definitely pick up a two boxes of Hornady Critical Defense to test for reliability.
     
  22. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    Great job! Thanks for the info
     
  23. possum

    possum Member

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    very well done. Thank you for doing this and taking the time to post this on the forum.
     
  24. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Thanks for sharing. I think wet pack is a better medium than water jugs for informal, non-scientific testing.
    That .380 Golden Saber looks wicked, very 'black talon-ish'.
    Good to see ol' dependable does well in .22lr (mini mag).
     
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