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Water Test: Federal 12 gauge Barnes Expander 3/4 oz. (P152XS)

Discussion in 'Shotguns' started by 481, Dec 9, 2012.

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  1. 481

    481 Member

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    For those interested in testing ammunition in water, I thought that it might be nice to post my most recent (12.08.2012) water test result of the Federal 12 gauge Barnes Expander 3/4 oz (P152XS) as fired from an 11-87 with a 21" rifled barrel. I have used this saboted slug occasionally when deer hunting and when it remains inside of the deer's body (as it often does on quartering frontal presentations), penetration commonly occurs in the 18" - 22" range with robust expansion of about 1.5 to 1.6 times caliber (initial slug diameter is 0.504" +/- 0.005").

    The test range was 35 feet and the slug's velocity at impact (1707 fps) was recorded by a F1 Shooting Chrony placed about 5 feet in front of the test barrier- four layers of medium weight denim. (Yeah, I know that deer don't wear jeans, but I needed a barrier of some sort so humor me, OK? :D )

    I also discovered that if I wanted my chronograph to produce an accurate reading of the slug's velocity, it had to be placed no less than 30 feet from the 11-87's muzzle- otherwise muzzle blast plays havoc with the gadget. This turned out to be a good thing since the impact produced quite a splash- not an enjoyable experience in 35F weather. The chronograph got wet, but seemed to suffer no ill effects after I wiped it dry.

    Front view:
    [​IMG]

    Side view:
    [​IMG]

    Rear view:
    [​IMG]


    Here are the Schwartz and MacPherson bullet penetration model analyses for this test:

    Federal 12 gauge Barnes Expander 3/4 oz (P152XS) v. four layers of denim

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Average Recovered Diameter: 0.7898 inch (1.57x caliber)
    Retained Mass: 325.4 grains
    Impact Velocity: 1707 feet per second


    Schwartz Model Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Penetration Depth (S) = 52.91 cm (20.83 inches)
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (MPC) = 142.46 grams (5.03 ounces)


    MacPherson Model Predicted Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Cavitation Regime occurs above Vc = 371.04 fps
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 52.00 cm (20.47 inches)
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 126.48 grams (4.46 ounces)



    Once again, I am always surprised by the agreement that the MacPherson and Schwartz bullet penetration models share with one another as I often use them both and take the average of the two yields as an indicator of the potential terminal ballistic performance of the ammunition that I am testing. In this case, it would seem that an average of 20.65 inches of penetration and about 4.75 ounces of permanently crushed tissue along the length of the entire would track can be expected.

    Hope you all enjoy the info.

    :)
     
  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks.

    I did a good bit of testing in water, some years ago. Most of the ammo of the time (2003) showed little or no expansion from a P-11's 3" barrel. This told me to expect none in tissue, unless I hit bone. (Triton Quik-Shok was the only 9mm that showed beautiful full expansion- which the folks at Triton called a failure since the bullet did not fragment!)

    To me, the great advantage of water is as an inexpensive way to gain a rough idea of performance on a load for which no gel testing has been performed.

    John
     
  3. 481

    481 Member

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    Hi John,

    From all of the reading and testing that I've done, like you, I've come to view water as kind of a negative discriminator- that is, if water won't make a JHP (or a slug) expand, gelatin probably won't either.

    In “Applied Wound Ballistics: What’s New and What’s True” by Dr Fackler and Beat P. Kneubuehl, they make brief mention that the FBI FTU uses water in that capacity and the forensics sections of one of my former employers (a large midwestern PD) did too when they had to run early "quick 'n dirty" evaluations for new ammo acquistions.

    Being a bit of a math & science geek, this sort of stuff serves as a fun past-time for me although one might be led to question my sanity for doing this most recent test under the conditions that I did. :rolleyes:

    Have you seen the tests done here for the P11?

    http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/9mm/gel9.htm
     
  4. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Nice test and you were able to capture the slug, good pics. I wonder how accurate this ammunition would be when fired through a smoothbore?
     
  5. pikid89

    pikid89 Member

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    ^ probably not very accurate at all

    Sabot slugs are made FOR rifled guns..they rely on the rifling for stabilization

    a traditional slug in a smoothbore is front heavy for stabilization, not unlike a shuttlecock
     
  6. 481

    481 Member

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    Thanks. The slug blew through 10 of 12 1-gallon water bags sitting in the rack. I knew that it was going to go through a lot of water so I placed three water-filled one-gallon milk jugs behind the 12 bags as sort of an "insurance policy" against my kind of luck- mostly poor.

    Of course, I also didn't wanna have to repeat the test again 'cause my fingers were starting to get numb from the cold about the time I took the actual test shot.

    Like pikid89 said, probably not very accurate.

    Quite sometime ago (years), I called Federal and asked that very same question. After the guy I was directed to stopped chuckling, he said that I wouldn't be happy with the performance of the slug if I tried that.

    I took his word for it.
     
  7. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I think GL's tests were done a few years after mine. Also, some of my ammunition was probably even some years older than 2003- I think some of it I'd bought to test my Sub-9...(I had one of the few. :( )
     
  8. 481

    481 Member

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    You know it's getting bad when firing ammunition from your supply can be considered to be an historical re-enactment. :D
     
  9. josiewales

    josiewales Member

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    ^ Wish we had a like button! :)
     
  10. 481

    481 Member

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    Thanks. You like it when I pick on John? :D
     
  11. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    :D

    Some bullet designs have gotten really good in the last few years. Especially thinking of the dedicated short barrel loads.

    John
     
  12. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    That's kinda what I thought, IIRC, there was a penetrating smoothbore sabot slug; but it was a very long time ago and is probably another historical event. :)

    I have an FNH SLP Mk1 that uses standard Invector chokes, perhaps a rifled choke would stabilize this ammunition.
     
  13. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Member

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    Very nice 481,

    I'm not very knowledgeable about longarms, but I found your results to be quite impressive.
     
  14. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    Have you tested the Barnes slug against intermediate barriers for clogging, wood/sheetrock, typically found in home defense scenarios?

    I'm curious as to how the Barnes slug compares to 9 pellet OO buck (1335fps) or 21 pellet #4 buck (1345fps). The OO buck I have remains in the wad out to ~20 yards or so, basically a sabot round until impact.

    Looks like Federal has a winner with the Barnes expander. :)
     
  15. 481

    481 Member

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    2z1,

    No, other than the test against four layers of denim, I haven't tested this particular slug against any other barriers. I don't plan on doing any more tests 'til the temperatures flirt with the low 50s again so it'll be a while 'til I can. :(

    Interesting thoughts.

    00 and #4 buckshot ought to be very capable in the HD role.

    Evaluating the two loads you mention using the Schwartz and MacPherson bullet penetration models shows them both to be pretty formidable choices-

    The Schwartz and MacPherson analyses of 9 pellets of 00 buckshot @ 1335fps:
    Pellet Diameter: 0.33 inch
    Pellet Mass: 53.8 grains
    Impact Velocity: 1335 feet per second

    Schwartz Model Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Penetration Depth (S) = 54.70 cm (21.53 inches)
    Cummulative Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (MPC) = 140.42 grams (4.95 ounces)

    MacPherson Model Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Cavitation Regime exists above Vc = 633.21 fps
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 57.64 cm (22.69 inches)
    Cummulative Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 128.02 grams (4.52 ounces)


    The Schwartz and MacPherson analyses of 21 pellets of #4 buckshot @ 1345fps:
    Pellet Diameter: 0.24 inch
    Pellet Mass: 19.7 grains
    Impact Velocity: 1345 feet per second

    Schwartz Model Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Penetration Depth (S) = 40.12 cm (15.80 inches)
    Cummulative Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (MPC) = 127.12 grams (4.48 ounces)

    MacPherson Model Terminal Performance Prediction:

    Cavitation Regime exists above Vc = 696.69 fps
    Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 38.02 cm (14.97 inches)
    Cummulative Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 104.21 grams (3.68 ounces)



    It would seem so.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
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