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New project... and it's not a gun.

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Michael Tinker Pearce, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    The gold standard these days is gel-testing- shooting ballistic gel through four layers of denim. The FBI arrived at a standard of 12-18" of penetration- enough to get to the good stuff, but not enough to be likely to overpenetrate. You can spend days watching Youtube videos of people testing ammo to this standard. Most modern of current cartridges have been tested to a fair-the-well, but a lot of old cartridges haven't been. We have a vague idea of how these cartridges performed in the past, almost entirely anecdotal. Modern ammo for many of these old-timers tends to be loaded very light; as they are designed to not break the worst guns ever made in those calibers. I short we don't know what these cartridges really did, or can do now.

    I'm going to change that. The Chronograph arrives today, and as the budget allows I'll be getting gel from Clear Ballistics. I'm going to chrono and gel test .32 S&W, ..32 S&W Long, .32-20 Winchester, .38 S&W and .450 Adams for starters. In each case I'll try to come up with a good approximation of the original black powder loading to test, then modern factory ammo and then hand-loaded ammunition. The handloads will all be standard-pressure- no hot rodding! Whenever possible I'll shoot from both short-barrel and service-length guns.

    Should be interesting... and I'm pretty sure it will be fun!
     
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  2. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Ok marking this as a thread to follow.
     
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  3. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    Interesting concept. I like it. :D
     
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  4. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Cool! This aught to be a fun read.
     
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  5. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    Perhaps you make a list of cartridges you have to shoot and others may have different ammo they can send you. I believe that gel can be melted to like new, takes like 8 hours in the oven tho.
     
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  6. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I like your style
     
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  7. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    The Clear Ballistics gel is not exactly the same as 10% ordinance gelatin, and I don't believe it's reusable -- but it doesn't require the refrigeration. I understand that it's considered a good substitute for 10% gel. Penetration and expansion are similar, but from what I've read, the clear gel shows a significant difference in the temporary cavity. So as long as you're not trying to deduce things from the size or appearance of the temporary cavity, I think most people would accept test results done in the clear synthetic gel.
     
  8. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Standing by for data.......
     
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  9. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    According to their website it is reusable.
     
  10. sequins

    sequins Member

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    This is great. There isn't enough data, not nearly enough, aside from popular self defense handguns and rifles. Esoteric data is a treat to consume and I look forward to your endeavor.

    Good luck and have fun, can't wait for an update!
     
  11. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Looking forward to results.
     
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  12. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    Anticipation is making my finger itchy.
     
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  13. FlSwampRat

    FlSwampRat Member

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    Ditto.
     
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  14. Col. Harrumph

    Col. Harrumph Member

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    Me too. May I also suggest .36 cap and (round) ball?
     
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  15. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Eventually I want to do cap & ball, but I'm sticking to centerfire cartridges this time out. When I do the percussion revolvers I plan to use the kind of charges people actually used, not the ones that are recommended... Y'know, put in as much powder as you can and still stuff a ball on top...
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You mean there's another way to load a cap 'n ball besides that?
     
  17. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    ROFLMBO
     
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  18. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    In the book "Stopping Power" by Evan Marshall he did test RB loads from a C&B revolver. And the rounds looked very good in the test and should provide a high degree of stopping power. Better than you would have thought.

    I hope to see some of your test of these old rounds. All I have ever seen of rounds like the 44-40 were baffle test with 1" boards done by Mike Venturino in old Guns & Ammo and Reloader magazine. The same type of test the military used to do to determine if a round was effective. When they said if a round penetrated a 1" board is was considered capable of producing a dangerous wound.
     
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  19. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    This will be much appreciated. Can you add 32 H&R to your list? From a short barrel? Not for me, for a friend...

    Ok, it’s for me.
     
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  20. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    .32 H&R or .32 H&R Magnum? .32 H&R is .32 S&W, and yes, I'll be testing that from a short barrel. I don't actually have a gun that will fire .32 H&R Magnum, but it would be a good candidate for this test; I haven't seen a good gel-test of it.
     
  21. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    The standard in the 19th C. was the ability to penetrate a braced 1" pine board at 100 yards. I like the idea of testing rounds like .44-40, but we know from comparing it to the ballistics of modern cartridges that it ought to be effective... and I don't have a .44-40. Hmmm...
     
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  22. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    Magnum. Sounds like a good reason to add to the collection!
     
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  23. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Oh, I agree... but getting set up to do the gel testing is going to cost almost as much as a new gun, and the Mistress of Finance is going to frown mightily...
     
  24. whughett

    whughett Member

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    , maybe “Go Fund Me” has a category for budding ballistic techs.:)

    Delete if a bad joke.
     
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  25. Michael Tinker Pearce

    Michael Tinker Pearce Member

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    Dude, if we deleted the bad jokes half the forum would vanish overnight... :rofl:
     
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