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Water test: Two .45ACP JHPs evaluated

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 481, Dec 1, 2012.

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  1. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    Since 9mmforMe's thread was locked down due to circumstances beyound our control and before I was able to post the two .45ACP tests in water that I promised him, I figured that I'd take the opportunity to do so now that I've got some spare time.

    Here is the first one...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Here is the Schwartz bullet penetration model analysis for the test:

    WinchesterUSA .45ACP 230 gr. JHP (USA45JHP) v. four layers of 2 ounce cotton fabric

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Average Recovered Diameter: 0.735 inch (1.63x caliber)
    Retained Mass: 229.2 grains
    Impact Velocity: 865 feet per second

    Predicted Performance:
    Penetration Depth (S) = 28.34 cm (11.16 inches)
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (MPC) = 66.09 grams (2.33 ounces)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    Here is the second (and last) test...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Here is the Schwartz bullet penetration model analysis for the test:

    Hornady .45ACP 230 gr. XTP +P JHP (# 9096) v. four layers of 2 ounce cotton fabric

    Recovered Projectile Data:
    Average Recovered Diameter: 0.595 inch (1.32x caliber)
    Retained Mass: 229.6 grains
    Impact Velocity: 917 feet per second

    Predicted Performance:
    Penetration Depth (S) = 47.60 cm (18.74 inches)
    Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (MPC) = 72.75 grams (2.57 ounces)
     
  3. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Member

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    Very cool man...thanks for the post.
     
  4. nathan

    nathan Senior Member

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    My 1911s are all loaded with the WWB 230 gr JHP . I think i got a box of 50 for $ 22 back then.
     
  5. 9mmforMe

    9mmforMe Member

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    Wow, how old is that stuff?
     
  6. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    Sure. No problem. :)
     
  7. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Senior Member

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    You can certainly compare loads to each other that way, but humans, while they may be "ugly bags of mostly water," aren't all water. :)
     
  8. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    Ah, I remember that episode. My "inner-nerd" comes through again. :D

    Yeah, the water is simply a consistent medium that gives an "apples to apples" comparison between/amongst two or more bullets. The bullet penetration models (by Schwartz and MacPherson) that I use offer a valuable perspective since penetration depth in water differs from that it gelatin- mainly because of water's inability to support a shear force- which means that a model is needed to determine an equivalent penetration and wound cavity volume/mass in gelatin.
     
  9. Lone Star

    Lone Star Senior Member

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    For what it's worth, the man who used to edit, "Handgun Digest" said that bullets recoverd from animals looked a lot like those that he'd shot into water.
     
  10. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Were those bullets shot into gallon jugs filled with water?
     
  11. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    No.

    All test rounds were fired into a long row of the cheapest 1 gallon ziplock closure type freezer storage bags that I could find -the thinner the better.

    I don't use hard plastic containers for testing since they may have an influence (albeit minor) on the performance of the test bullet.
     
  12. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    I've heard that before, though I can't say where. Maybe that's where I came across it.
     
  13. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    I have a lot of respect for the XTP design, a nice blend of penetration and crush cavity volume.

    One of the most destructive bullets I've ever tested is:

    [​IMG]

    Complete with the Ranger star;

    [​IMG]

    Anytime you see expansion like this, penetration in the 12"-14" range combined with crush cavities in excess of 2.5ozs, you have a fight stopper. Given good shot distribution, a triple/four tap will end the fight in short order.
     
  14. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Senior Member

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    How many bags, on the average, did the bullet penetrate before coming to rest?
     
  15. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    TLH,

    It all depends on the round being tested.

    In the case of two tests above, my records indicate that the Hornady .45ACP 230 gr. XTP +P JHP ended up in the 8th bag and the WinchesterUSA .45ACP 230 gr. JHP ended up in the 5th bag. I've also tested one FMJ, a 9mm 124 gr. FMJ, that punched through 12 bags and almost 80 inches of water. It's all relative.

    In most cases, JHPs that expand during testing rarely make it past the 9th or 10th bag (the width of the bags -six to seven inches- varies quite a bit depending upon how they are set up) and those that do, do so because of mitigated expansion (for all sorts of reasons).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  16. hentown

    hentown Senior Member

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    Friend of mine in Atlanta was attacked by three jugs of water just the other day. He caught two of them lined up and finished them off with one bullet. The third jug ran and got shot in the back.
     
  17. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    TLH,

    One point that I neglected to make and would like to clarify is, that in the end, how far the bullet goes in water is irrelevant since the only parameters necessary for the Schwartz bullet penetration model prediction is the bullet's average expanded diameter, recovered mass, and its velocity at impact.

    Taken from the website-
    http://www.quantitativeammunitionselection.com/the_book
     
  18. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Senior Member

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    ^^^^^^^^

    Book would make for nice Christmas gifts. Good information. :)
     
  19. 3twelves

    3twelves member

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    I like the Ranger T's in .40, got a box of Win. PDX1 for the SA 1911 but they won't feed. :(
     
  20. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    But yet in the real world you could expect gelatin results to be the opposite with the slower load expanding less and penetrating deeper than the faster load expanding more and penetrating less.

    Schwartz believes he has an accurate model where you can shoot into water and formulate the expected behavior in gelatin. MacPherson believes that you can expect a bullet to perform in a human as it does in gelatin. Sounds to me like someone really believes that shooting into water will predict bullet behavior in a human, they just don't want to say it out loud, and then just don't actually try it in water. Maybe that's why Schwartz has a grand total of one professional endorsement and that by a fellow engineer.

    Like Mel Brooks said in Space Balls: "may the Schwartz be with you!" ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  21. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Members can have different ideas, but they will be expressed politely.

    John
     
  22. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    Until a bullet actually hits a test medium and behaves as it will, it is not possible to say how the bullet will expand with any degree of certainty.

    You are certainly welcome to your opinion. ;)

    However, I am afraid that I'll have to defer to the research and greater qualifications and expertise demonstrated by Schwartz and MacPherson as opposed to accepting blindly an unsupported anonymous opinion as the basis for refutation of their respective research and models.

    Both models, and the physics underlying them, appear to have been thoroughly vetted by professionals knowledgeable in the field and both models rely upon valid scientific methodology to establish themselves.

    Whether one wishes to accept it or not, the fact is, both water and calibrated ten percent ordnance gelatin are accepted as being proven soft tissue simulants and bullets recovered from both mediums look very much like those taken from soft tissue- not to mention the volumes of independent research that support that fact.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  23. utbrowningman

    utbrowningman Member

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    I think both would hurt a great deal.
     
  24. 481

    481 Senior Member

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    I doubt that you'll find anyone willing to dispute that. :D
     
  25. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    I agree, but your statement seems to be self contradiction since you preach the Schwartz modeling theory where he believes he can accurately predict how a bullet will behave in gelatin after shooting said bullet into water.

    Feel free to defer and as for "unsupported anonymous opinion" I'll remind you that Schwartz has a grand total of one endorsement from a Swedish engineer according to the site you post the link for. MacPherson's opinions are largely based on gel tests and theory or from autopsies where the number of shots fired to kill the assailant go unspecified yet he uses mathematical analysis from a single round fired into gelatin to predict its effectiveness on human beings.

    I think you fail to recognize that this is not a game. Defense shooting is serious business and accepting unproven theory then preaching it as gospel could sway a new or inexperienced shooter into making a decision that could get them hurt, or worse, killed. Selecting a load based on penetration and expansion after passing through four layers of denim into ballistic gelatin can be useful as long as the shooter realizes that real world and unforeseen events can drastically change from a test result. Like I've said before, shoot a bullet with high enough velocity to make it expand upon impacting water and it will almost always look impressive, but we have an engineer trying to make a science of it, with only one other engineer prepared to endorse or vet it. AS for MacPherson, I'd like to see the list of names of doctors and scientists prepared to vet his work not named Martin Fackler or one of his disciples like the dentist doc Roberts. ;)
     
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