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Posted: 7/27/2003 2:12:49 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/27/2003 2:13:28 PM EST by zhukov]
Alrighty. Went out Saturday and did a shot into a trashcan full of water from the top of a ladder in the back of my pickup truck. I had planned to try several different types of ammo, but the plastic trashcan split right down the side after the first shot. Did I mention this was our kitchen trashcan ? Had to stop by WalMart before my wife found out....

Anyway - Since this was a shot straight into a 2ft deep trashcan, I think I can say that Silver Bear 62gr HP DOES fragment. From the remnants, it appears that it was indeed fragementation, not expansion. The tip of the bullet is still intact:



I'll probably try to find one of those cheap stamped steel trashcans, which should hold out longer.

In case you're wondering - Dr. Fackler states that water will accurately simulate tissue when it comes to a bullet's expanding properties. There's no way I could've measured penetration depth with this setup anyway.
Link Posted: 7/27/2003 3:00:51 PM EST
uhhh honey while your at the grocery store can you pick up a 25 pound roast along with 400 boxes of jello,any flavor will do.....;^) josam
Link Posted: 7/27/2003 6:25:03 PM EST
Great pic. Thanks for taking the time to test. I've only got about 1500 rounds of this stuff (along with 500 of the soft points).
Link Posted: 7/27/2003 8:07:06 PM EST
Well, I'll admit it. I was flat-out wrong. I told zhukov in a private message (or was it e-mail?) that the Silver Bear would NOT fragment. I assumed (wrong, obviously) that the construction was exactly the same as Wolf 62gr that I've played with. I'll have to investigate, but I have a feeling that the jacket is either thinner than the Wolf, or the material is weaker. Possibly a combination of both. Maybe further experimentation is in order. So, kudos to you, zhukov, for taking the time to play with this and post the results. Oh, and remember that water is incompressible, so the energy from a shockwave has to go somewhere... [:)]
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 4:59:28 AM EST
Hey, good post. Like Brou, I too assumed that this bullet was constructed just like the ones Wolf uses and I didn't expect it to fragment. Then again we all know what they say about assumptions, right? Hehe. Thanks for taking the time to test this and posting the results. Now if we can come up with some gel to fire this into for penetration results as well as fragmentation, we will have an even better idea of it's potential. Oh, and BTW, good to see you're back Brou. -Charging Handle
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 5:20:30 AM EST
Nice work Zhukov! We discussed this on your initial post and glad to see you followed thru with it. It seems to have answered the questions we were raising. You could have used your foot to measure penetration by standing in the barrel and raising the water level until the bullet failed to reach your foot. Ya know, at 10 inches water it hit your foot, at 11 inches it didn't. Even the red color of the water wouldn't have impaired the test. [:)]
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 6:13:24 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 4:32:35 PM EST by Zhukov]
Really - it was nothing. What can be more fun than trying to balance on a ladder in the back of my P/U while trying to hold onto a loaded weapon ? As I always say - if there's no chance of personal injury, it's not fun and not worth doing....

I looked at the bullet's construction again last night, thinking that the SB is copper gilding after all. But there's a distinct difference in color when comparing to the M193 cross section, so it's probably steel. This leads me to believe that the reason this fragments (and the Wolf 55gr doesn't), is due to the length of the 62gr bullet, which probably imparts a lot more stress when the bullet does yaw.

I was really surprised at how small the lead fragments were which I recovered from the bottom of the trashcan. It'd be great to see the fragmentation process if someone had access to high-speed cameras. I don't know if I recovered all of the fragments - there were no radial holes in the trashcan , but the remnants don't seem to add up to make a whole bullet - maybe some of the small stuff went out with the water when the trashcan surrendered its life...

For reference, here's the a previous picture I took comparing the SB to a LC M193:



Just for reference - I don't have any particular hangup about SB, I just thought that since Wolf definitely doesn't fragment, and since the lacquer coating *might* be a problem, SB would be a great, cheap plinking alternative. If it fragments, then that's an added bonus. The drawback for this round is definitely the fact that it does have quite a bit of red sealer, which might be more problematic than lacquer coating as some people have recently started reporting. I inspected the chamber before cleaning (shot about 100 or so SB), but did not notice any read stuff in the chamber. The bolt did have some, as the primer is sealed also. So far, I've not had any failures. As long as that continues, I'll probably order a thousand from AIM ($120/1000).

[Edited 'cause I can't spel]
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 6:55:47 AM EST
Yeah, your pictures tend to show a silvery appearance to the cut jacket of the silver bear, while the M193 is a copper/goldish color. I also noted dark spots in the lead alloy itself. Doesn't appear to be as pure in composition as the M193. If you have a magnet, that will tell you if it is guilded steel or not. I'll have to get some SilB (not to confuse it with Seller&Belliot (S&B) or Santa Barbara (SB)). Its cheap enough and doesn't seem to have the issues reported by some with the Wolf. If I could find a box or two, I could run it through my Crony. I'll have to check around.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:14:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/28/2003 7:42:13 AM EST by DaPhotoGuy]
Originally Posted By neilfj: Yeah, your pictures tend to show a silvery appearance to the cut jacket of the silver bear, while the M193 is a copper/goldish color. I also noted dark spots in the lead alloy itself. Doesn't appear to be as pure in composition as the M193. If you have a magnet, that will tell you if it is guilded steel or not. I'll have to get some SilB (not to confuse it with Seller&Belliot (S&B) or Santa Barbara (SB)). Its cheap enough and doesn't seem to have the issues reported by some with the Wolf. If I could find a box or two, I could run it through my Crony. I'll have to check around.
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You MIGHT have problems with the red sealant. I did. Some people don't. I spend 10 minutes a night in front of the computer with a little tool I made for taking off the sealant 40 rounds at a time. Not fast but I've already got the ammo and don't want to throw it away. Already cleaned about 500 rounds and have another 1000 to go. If they ever get rid of the sealant like Wolf did I'll buy 10,000 rounds of this stuff. Edited to add: Food for thought. How soft CAN they make steel in comparison to copper? Edited to add: Hardness Scales Compared [url]http://www.taosnet.com/ebear/metal/hardness.html[/url] [b]Metal Sclerometer Scleroscope Brinell Method *[/b] Lead 1.0 1.0 1.0 Tin 2.5 3.0 2.5 Zinc 6.0 7.0 7.5 Copper, soft 8.0 8.0 ... Copper, hard ... 12.0 12.0 Softest Iron 15.0 ... 14.5 Mild steel 21.0 22.0 16 - 24 Soft cast iron 21 - 24 24.0 24.0 Rail steel 24.0 27.0 26 - 35 Hard cast iron 36.0 40.0 35.0 Hard white iron 72.0 70.0 75.0 Hardened steel ... 95.0 93.0 *Actual numerals have been divided by 6 for purposes of comparison.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:23:05 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/28/2003 7:24:20 AM EST by Ridge]
Originally posted by zhukov: This leads me to believe that the reason this fragments (and the Wolf 55gr doesn't), is due to the length of the 62gr bullet, which probably imparts a lot more stress when the bullet does yaw.
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I will assume this round fragments due to the hollow tip and not so much yawning at all. My tests indicate that a PMC 55gr FMJBT doesn't fragment in water, but if you snip the tip of revealing a hollowpoint. It fragments violently in water. You could test this if you had some Silver Bear 62 gr FMJ. I would cautiously claim that a 62gr FMJ silver bear will not frag, but the HP will. I have some Russian 62gr FMJ (Barnuel sp?) is this similar to silver bear? Edited to add: GREAT post BTW!!
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:25:03 AM EST
Originally Posted By zhukov: I'll probably order a thousand from AIM ($120/1000). quote] Have you tried their SP 62 grain? I've got 500 rounds of it and like it better than their HP. Don't know if it expands/fragments any better than the HP. Hmmmm . . . time for me to buy a steel trash can? How do you filter all the little pieces out, cheese cloth?
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 9:57:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 4:33:02 PM EST by Zhukov]

I will assume this round fragments due to the hollow tip and not so much yawning at all.

I would agree, but both times I recovered fragments the tip of the bullet was intact. Now it could be that the water gets into the tip and tears the round apart from the inside, but I guess I was expecting to see the hollow point tip itself be mangled somehow.


If I could find a box or two, I could run it through my Crony.


Someone's already done that, but I can't for the life of me find the link. They tested a bunch of different stuff, and the SB came in at 2950fps out of a 16" barrel - very surprising. I stuck some LC in between some SB, and couldn't tell any difference in recoil, so it's loaded up pretty good it appears.


Hmmmm . . . time for me to buy a steel trash can? How do you filter all the little pieces out, cheese cloth?


I just checked during lunch, and a galvanized trashcan runs about $15. I'll definitely try one, as long as the crimps make it waterproof. Easy enough to try - I can always return it if it leaks (or caulk it up if it's not too bad). Reinforcing around the outside with some metal bands or straps might also help keep it from splitting. It wasn't hard to filter out the pieces. The trashcan split to within 4 inches of the bottom, and decanting a majority of the remaining water was easy without disturbing the stuff in the bottom. The remanants I just poured onto a paper napkin.

If the steel trashcan works out, getting the fragments out will be a lot more difficult. Some plastic hose to siphon off the fragments like a vacuum cleaner into a smaller bucket - that should work quickly.

On a funny side note - my brother-in-law was there also, and he'd brought along an old steel scuba tank which didn't pass hydro inspection. We shot the hell out of it. He's going to take it back to the shop and complain about the fact that it's not holding air anymore. I'd love to see their faces when he walks in. Some bullets didn't make it all the way through both sides of the tank. Pouring out the contents yielded mostly lead dust and some larger lead fragments.

[Edited to add response to chrony question]
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 11:10:29 AM EST
That is interesting. I thought I saw the tip in there. From closer inspection the length of the bullet could be the issue (still curious if the hollow point aids in some way). 2950 fps out of a 16" barrel. That is pretty hot. I'll try out my Russian 62gr FMJs, but I'm not sure if they are as hot as the Silver Bears. This is how I do my water tests. I line up about 5, 1 gallon jugs in a straight line. Then I shoot the first jug and collect the pieces from whichever jug it penetrates to, or off of the table top if frags are between jugs. Works pretty good.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 11:19:13 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/3/2004 4:33:31 PM EST by Zhukov]

Originally Posted By Ridge:
This is how I do my water tests. I line up about 5, 1 gallon jugs in a straight line. Then I shoot the first jug and collect the pieces from whichever jug it penetrates to, or off of the table top if frags are between jugs. Works pretty good.



Yeah - I got a B- on my first attempt with that method. Several people pointed out that the skin of the milk jug would be very inelastic and skew the final result - hence the shot straight into water. Also compare the picture of my first attempt. Here too the tip is plainly visible. But like I said - the fragmentation my occur from the inside out, although the tip in my current photo is so flattened that it does seem to be due to bullet yaw.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 1:30:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/28/2003 1:31:37 PM EST by Ridge]
Good point. Seems like I read an article in a mag awhile back where someone was testing fragmentation using water. His setup looked like a long narrow trough of water. But it seems like he had some type of membranes seperating/and holding the water in. Maybe some kind of trough with a line of large water balloons? Would the rubber of the balloon mess up the results?
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 1:40:48 PM EST
Does your Silver Bear box indicate which plant it was made in? At least their AK calibers use several, and may not be made the same at each place.
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 2:06:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By RS39: Does your Silver Bear box indicate which plant it was made in? At least their AK calibers use several, and may not be made the same at each place.
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Mine say: JSC Barnaul Machine - Tool Plant 28, Kulagina Street Barnaul, 656002 RUSSIA
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 4:08:12 PM EST
As for a test medium - how about a cheap kids pool from wallyworld? You could patach the whole with duct tape until it was all shot up. Cheers, Chris
Link Posted: 7/28/2003 7:42:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/28/2003 7:42:50 PM EST by GoVol98]
This test correlates well with my unofficial pumpkin tests of last fall. XM193 made a baseball sized exit hole. AK-74 made a softball sized exit hole. Silver Bear SP made pumpkin pudding. Pieces were flying no less than 15ft in the air. I used the mini-14 to shoot the Silver Bear...I'm still a bit skiddish on using bi-metal ammo on the non-chrome lined Oly barrel.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 10:01:13 AM EST
Not to hijack, but where does one buy Silver Bear?
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 11:17:15 AM EST
AIM surplus and ammunitionstore.com. CTD just dropped prices to be almost inline with those guys as well. It's not listed on AIM's website, but I had emailed them last week and they said they got more in stock. About $120/1000.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:10:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Collin: Not to hijack, but where does one buy Silver Bear?
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[b]FROM THEIR WEBSITES[/b] All prices per 1000 Cheaper Than Dirt - $144.50 Ammunition Store - $115.98 Only thing, CTD has SP or HP while Ammunition Store only has HP.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:28:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 7/30/2003 12:33:03 PM EST by Ridge]
Hopefully in augmentation to this thread. I went out last night to test my Barnuel(sp?) 62 gr FMJs. I don't know how these compare to the Silver Bears but assumed they were similar. First I wanted to see what kind of velocities they had, but when I got my Chrony all set up I realized that I had left it on and the battery was dead. ARGH. So I went to the frag experiment. I observed that milk jugs suck for these experiments, and a good trash can or perhaps the kid's pool would work best for collecting the fragments (course I'd feel kind of funny at the range with a kiddy pool or a trash can)[:)] Anyway, the 62 gr FMJs did not fragment. They blasted the jugs, tumbled and richocheted(sp? this must be a funny french word). If I can verify that the velocity and bullet construction of this round is similar to the Silver B. Then we could almost assume that the Hollow tip would in someway facilitate fragmentation. Edited to add: I was using a 16 in bushmaster barrel.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:50:26 PM EST
Well, shoot. I saw the Silver Bear at CTD just recently for $2.50 a box. I don't know if they goofed up or if it was a short-term special, but it's back up to $2.89 a box now. Bummer.
Link Posted: 7/30/2003 12:51:41 PM EST
zhukov, Good job on the tests. I was another who assumed it would behave like the Wolf rounds. My hat's off to you. As Ridge pointed out there was an article in SWAT a year or so ago about doing similar tests (for handgun rounds) in a trough setup. I've got a copy of the issue (I plan on making one myself). Just remember rounds will travel about twice what they will in ballistic gelatin so make sure its long enough! A trough will also allow you to see where the fragments end up. This is important because if the round isn't fragmenting till 20"-30" - then you might as well consider it a FMJ for defensive purposes. Note also water shows what happens under optimal circumstances (the best you could expect) it does not represtent typical results.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 12:47:50 PM EST

Originally Posted By Ridge:
Seems like I read an article in a mag awhile back where someone was testing fragmentation using water.

His setup looked like a long narrow trough of water. But it seems like he had some type of membranes seperating/and holding the water in.



The article was in SWAT magazine (Buiding a Fackler Box IIRC). I have a copy of the aritcle at home. It was supposed to be my winter project (before my wife got the bug to buy a new home....).

BTW someone mentioned milk jugs? There was an article at the FirearmsTactical.com website about using paper milk cartons full of water for testing penetration.
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 2:20:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/5/2004 8:03:27 PM EST
If you drill holes in the trash can, and line it with a piece of plastic sheeting or trash bag thick enough to hold water, should work good as a reusable testing device. The plastic will burst giving the water somewhere to go, hopefully without ruining the can. Have fun.
Link Posted: 5/6/2004 8:24:24 PM EST
Maybe just build a trough and fill it with a row of those plastic grocery bags or the cheap garbage bags filled with water. Line up as many as needed in a row. They should hold water long enough to shoot through it. If you had the ends closed up except for a hole in the center, that should hold the bags. If you shoot through the back end, who cares, the bags are holding the water, not the trough. Seems like a couple 2 X 8's nailed to a 2 X 12 about 5 foot long would do it. Sounds to me like a cheap and easy way to do it. hug.gif
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