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Posted: 12/29/2020 5:51:58 PM EST
I've shot various bullets into water jugs just to see the expansion potential. I understand that water jugs don't replicate what a bullet will do in tissue.

Over time, I've noticed that several bullets will expand unevenly and veer/yaw off at undesired angles, and I would expect that would be problematic on game or in HD scenarios.

I've seen this happen in 6.5 Grendel out of a 11" barrel with 120 grain Federal Fusion and in .308 out of a 26" barrel with 168 grain Speer Gold Dot while Gold Dot in 223 (64 grain) expands perfectly out of a variety of barrel lengths. I'm a bit of a Federal/Speer fan so that's why I notice with these bullets but don't have others to compare.

So...Is this a failure of bullet design or manufacture? Or to be expected?

I wonder if it is connected with sectional density?

.308 GD pictured





Link Posted: 12/29/2020 6:39:53 PM EST
This is to be expected when used on a water jug. Manufactures test these bullets at varying velocities on ballistic gel before sending them to hunters to field test. They will perform drastically different on living flesh than a water jug. Don’t sweat it too much.

-I spent some years field testing bullets for a manufacturer.
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 4:24:33 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By new_frontier13:
This is to be expected when used on a water jug. Manufactures test these bullets at varying velocities on ballistic gel before sending them to hunters to field test. They will perform drastically different on living flesh than a water jug. Don’t sweat it too much.

-I spent some years field testing bullets for a manufacturer.
View Quote


I appreciate the experienced reply. I felt certain that the uneven expansion would not be a desired effect from the factory but wondered if it was a defect.

That...and I had some extra time to ponder/post due to winter weather!

Have a good one!
Link Posted: 12/30/2020 8:24:13 PM EST
Here are a couple bullets I found in deer this season. Neither are evenly expanded but both penetrated very straight. One is a 55 gr Sierra Gameking out of my wife's 223 loaded to 3,100 fps. Broke a rib on the way in and was found under the hide after going through the offside shoulder. Second is an old school 30 caliber 180 gr Winchester Silvertip loaded to 2,700 fps in 30-06. My boy hit big bodied buck angled away on last rib and was found under the hide on the off side shoulder. Both performed fine. I haven't found an uneven expanded bullet to cause issues in game by vering off course enough to matter. I work to support my hunting habit. I've shot enough deer across several states plus guiding hunters over the last 41 years I have bit of experience. I had a large collection of bullets I pulled from deer but lost it in a house fire. I wish I had it to post some pics of truly ugly bullets I pulled from very dead deer. For deer I prefer a standard cup & core bullet. Sierra Gameking or ProHunter are my favorites. Very seldom do I find them but when I do they usually don't look picture perfect but they always do the job.
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Link Posted: 12/31/2020 1:31:41 PM EST
Water jugs suck for testing. I believe that since they are oddly shaped, the shockwaves in them cause the odd deformation and flight paths.

I trust the major manufacturers have put forth plenty of R&D. I just worry about making the bullet connect.

There's really no effective means for a regular joe to realistically test bullets. It takes a lot of time, effort and cost to setup gel.
Link Posted: 12/31/2020 3:54:52 PM EST
It's probably an artifact of rifle bullets and their corresponding velocity but pistol rounds expand perfectly. The HST flower is a sight to behold!

With that said, I've seen at least one video from ARFCOM youtube page where the same uneven expansion occurred in ballistic gel, oddly enough with a 6.5G round.

I'm certain that water jugs are a terrible analog...but fun nonetheless.

Link Posted: 1/3/2021 9:54:54 AM EST
Link Posted: 1/3/2021 2:57:26 PM EST
If you want to reduce the chances of a pass-through, shoot something like the A-Max or V-Max bullet from Hornady or the BT's from Nosler. All of those bullets are or have been used to load LE duty ammunition.

I've shot A LOT of hogs and coyotes with the Hornady 168gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the A-Max bullet as well as the Hornady 110gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the V-Max bullet. I can't recall any pass-throughs on body/head hits. Likewise, I've shot and killed hogs with the Federal Urban in .223 which uses the 55gr Nosler BT and the Hornady TAP in .223 which uses the 55gr V-Max... again, no pass-throughs. On the other hand, I've shot plenty of deer with the Speer 70gr Semi-Spitzer in .223 Remington and can't ever recall a NON-pass-through... they kill extremely well but always pass through.

I've also used the .223 Fed Urban in an OIS, two upper torso hits with no pass-through. Massive internal damage.

Because of your mentioned concerns, many LE SWAT teams use the aforementioned ammo or something similar as their issued duty ammo. It is the exact reason we switched years ago from the 168gr FGMM to the 168gr TAP for our SWAT Sniper Team ammunition. We still issue, use, and carry a more "durable" bullet for glass/light barrier work, and for that, we have several loads including the 168gr Gold Dot, 168gr SP, and 168gr Bonded Tip. When we issued M-14's we used the Hornady 110gr TAP... a really bad-ass round IMO.



L-R are as follows... 168gr Hornady TAP (A-Max); 168gr Federal Tactical Bonded Tip; 168gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban Soft Point; and the 55gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban in .223 (Nosler BT).  

Otherwise, expect pass throughs when using high velocity bullets that are SP's or Bonded construction wise.

Link Posted: 1/3/2021 8:33:42 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bowhntr6pt:
If you want to reduce the chances of a pass-through, shoot something like the A-Max or V-Max bullet from Hornady or the BT's from Nosler. All of those bullets are or have been used to load LE duty ammunition.

I've shot A LOT of hogs and coyotes with the Hornady 168gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the A-Max bullet as well as the Hornady 110gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the V-Max bullet. I can't recall any pass-throughs on body/head hits. Likewise, I've shot and killed hogs with the Federal Urban in .223 which uses the 55gr Nosler BT and the Hornady TAP in .223 which uses the 55gr V-Max... again, no pass-throughs. On the other hand, I've shot plenty of deer with the Speer 70gr Semi-Spitzer in .223 Remington and can't ever recall a NON-pass-through... they kill extremely well but always pass through.

I've also used the .223 Fed Urban in an OIS, two upper torso hits with no pass-through. Massive internal damage.

Because of your mentioned concerns, many LE SWAT teams use the aforementioned ammo or something similar as their issued duty ammo. It is the exact reason we switched years ago from the 168gr FGMM to the 168gr TAP for our SWAT Sniper Team ammunition. We still issue, use, and carry a more "durable" bullet for glass/light barrier work, and for that, we have several loads including the 168gr Gold Dot, 168gr SP, and 168gr Bonded Tip. When we issued M-14's we used the Hornady 110gr TAP... a really bad-ass round IMO.

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/924/jC3hdz.jpg

L-R are as follows... 168gr Hornady TAP (A-Max); 168gr Federal Tactical Bonded Tip; 168gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban Soft Point; and the 55gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban in .223 (Nosler BT).  

Otherwise, expect pass throughs when using high velocity bullets that are SP's or Bonded construction wise.

View Quote


Excellent post @Bowhntr6pt

Your experience totally makes sense and is...what I would imagine...to be a huge liability for any LE if the bullet yaws after contact.

I certainly understand that these high velocity rounds will almost always pass through game or perps.

The yaw is a concern for me from a meat preservation standpoint but also factors in with load selection because these rifles could be pressed into HD if needed.

Again...thanks you for your perspective.
Link Posted: 1/4/2021 11:47:56 AM EST
For a fictional take on testing and evaluation of long distance (more than 1-1/2 miles) sniping and the related ballistic performance of the projectiles used, if you have not already done so, you may wish to read the novel "Game of Snipers" by Stephen Hunter.
MHO, YMMV, etc.  Be well.
Link Posted: 1/4/2021 11:22:40 PM EST
Great thread about checking expansion of bullets.

I've read that water soaked phone books are good for testing.

Has anybody tested identical loads against gel and phone books and compared them?
Link Posted: 1/5/2021 10:48:48 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By craig24680:
Great thread about checking expansion of bullets.

I've read that water soaked phone books are good for testing.

Has anybody tested identical loads against gel and phone books and compared them?
View Quote


That would be an interesting comparison, along with the aforementioned soaked paper test above.

Do they even make phone books anymore?
Link Posted: 1/5/2021 7:56:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/5/2021 8:24:47 PM EST by bfoosh06]
Link Posted: 1/6/2021 10:33:10 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Bowhntr6pt:
If you want to reduce the chances of a pass-through, shoot something like the A-Max or V-Max bullet from Hornady or the BT's from Nosler. All of those bullets are or have been used to load LE duty ammunition.

I've shot A LOT of hogs and coyotes with the Hornady 168gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the A-Max bullet as well as the Hornady 110gr TAP in .308 Winchester which uses the V-Max bullet. I can't recall any pass-throughs on body/head hits. Likewise, I've shot and killed hogs with the Federal Urban in .223 which uses the 55gr Nosler BT and the Hornady TAP in .223 which uses the 55gr V-Max... again, no pass-throughs. On the other hand, I've shot plenty of deer with the Speer 70gr Semi-Spitzer in .223 Remington and can't ever recall a NON-pass-through... they kill extremely well but always pass through.

I've also used the .223 Fed Urban in an OIS, two upper torso hits with no pass-through. Massive internal damage.

Because of your mentioned concerns, many LE SWAT teams use the aforementioned ammo or something similar as their issued duty ammo. It is the exact reason we switched years ago from the 168gr FGMM to the 168gr TAP for our SWAT Sniper Team ammunition. We still issue, use, and carry a more "durable" bullet for glass/light barrier work, and for that, we have several loads including the 168gr Gold Dot, 168gr SP, and 168gr Bonded Tip. When we issued M-14's we used the Hornady 110gr TAP... a really bad-ass round IMO.

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/640x480q90/924/jC3hdz.jpg

L-R are as follows... 168gr Hornady TAP (A-Max); 168gr Federal Tactical Bonded Tip; 168gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban Soft Point; and the 55gr Federal Tactical Rifle Urban in .223 (Nosler BT).  

Otherwise, expect pass throughs when using high velocity bullets that are SP's or Bonded construction wise.

View Quote


These posts are excellent examples of the dilemma of bullet designers.  I get it that LE will be concerned about over penetration for obvious collateral damage reasons.  Shallow penetration explosive varmint bullet construction will incapacitate without necessarily killing.  That's probably what you want.

Then, "barrier blind", deep penetrating bullets are reserved for situations such as shooting through glass or where wall penetration may be needed and injury to innocents are not a factor.

I'm a hunter.  I prefer the combination of both rapid expansion and deep penetration, the ability to break bone, hold together, and usually leave an exit wound.  This is where bonded bullets like Trophy Bonded Bear Claw,  Speer Gold Dot and Fusion (same bullet) and my favorite, Barnes solid copper hollow point TSX and TTSX bullets shine.

You need to match the bullet to the mission.   For hunting and HD - defensive use I prefer the rapid expansion deep penetration, bone breaking combo.    On large game like deer, I do not want shallow, explosive varmint loads that may merely horribly wound an animal that will run off and die later.
Link Posted: 1/7/2021 1:54:31 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MS556:


These posts are excellent examples of the dilemma of bullet designers.  I get it that LE will be concerned about over penetration for obvious collateral damage reasons.  Shallow penetration explosive varmint bullet construction will incapacitate without necessarily killing.  That's probably what you want.

Then, "barrier blind", deep penetrating bullets are reserved for situations such as shooting through glass or where wall penetration may be needed and injury to innocents are not a factor.

I'm a hunter.  I prefer the combination of both rapid expansion and deep penetration, the ability to break bone, hold together, and usually leave an exit wound.  This is where bonded bullets like Trophy Bonded Bear Claw,  Speer Gold Dot and Fusion (same bullet) and my favorite, Barnes solid copper hollow point TSX and TTSX bullets shine.

You need to match the bullet to the mission.   For hunting and HD - defensive use I prefer the rapid expansion deep penetration, bone breaking combo.    On large game like deer, I do not want shallow, explosive varmint loads that may merely horribly wound an animal that will run off and die later.
View Quote


Exactly.

For hunting, I'll take either the bullets that tend not to exit or the ones I know will... either one works for me because in the woods I'm not concerned with the background for the most part. An exception is when I'm hunting fields with cattle... there I use the A-Max, V-Max, or BT's.

Not concerned with meat damage as I usually do neck shots if close enough or behind the shoulder shots where all I get is ribs.  

For HD and duty, I'm sticking to bullets that tend not to exit, V-Max or BT's, for obvious reasons.

We are fortunate now days to have such a variety of bullets to choose from. Unfortunately, many shooters and hunters don't know about or appreciate bullet technology and proper bullet choice.
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