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Discussion Starter #1
Pstmstr and I went out yesterday to perform another wetpack test. Thanks for the help Pstmstr!!!



I wanted to run a follow-up to the wetpack test I performed out of my M&P compact. You can see it here: http://mp-pistol.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=3824



I managed to leave the house with no memory cards for my camera. So I don't have any pics of the wetpack this time. We used a wetpack set up just like my previous test. It was covered with 2 layers. The first layer being a t-shirt. The second layer being a jacket. The jacket was of the 2 layer type; the outer shell being a heavy denim, and an inner liner of cotton.



We used 3 guns for this test.

-M&P 9mm fullsize (4.25" barrel)

-Kahr PM9 (3" barrel)

-S&W 340 (1.875" barrel)-This gun was used for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special loads.



The loads are listed in order of penetration. The penetration on this group of loads was about 7" to 11". #1 with the least penetration; and #13 with the most penetration. Expansion numbers are listed to the side of each load. We rounded expansion to the nearest one hundredth of an inch.

Enjoy.



 

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You. Are. The. Man.

Thank you two very much for all of your hard work (sort of, I wouldn't consider getting to shoot 13 different types of ammo and then playing with precision tools hard work).

A wonderful addition to the forum!




I never would've guessed that the 124 gr GDHP would penetrate more than the 147 gr and have better expansion. I shot my first box of the 124 gr GDHP short barrels the other day. Very accurate load but was pretty snappy. I could actually feel the slide slamming back down from the extra pressure. Makes wonder whether they were beating up the gun a little unnecessarily.

So the DPX has "lacking" penetration? I thought you wanted at least 8-10" in case the BG is heavy (or a big animal). I love the expansion though. I'm off to look for some 124 gr DPX's now. I'd like to have seen where my carry round fell into the list (Golden Sabre 147). I suppose DPX's would make a good HD round? I bet they still go through 3 or 4 walls though. I still can't get my Mossberg 500 to sit on my night stand as easily as the M&P!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The short penetration of the DPX kind of surprised me, especially out of the M&P fullsize.

The DPX 115+P is the only DPX load that I know of in 9mm.
 

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very nice work

Have you measured retention weight ? how much have the bullets lost while expanding ?



Just curious.. i think you'd want very expandable, medium penetration and great weight retention in a bullet.. Those HST's look pretty good. Although visually it looks like the Rangers may have retained much of their wieght.



Mouse..
 

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Have any suggestions on a good web site that compares the ballistics between not only different loads but also between calibers?
 

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You can start with the Terminal Effects forum at Tactical Forums and also the Terminal Ballistics forum over at www.warriortalk.com but you have to register to view at that one.



About wetpacks, I don't see much value in them. Let's say we have 9 inches of penetration in a wetpack. What does that translate into in terms of penetration in a human body? Is it half that? Or double? There's no way of knowing.



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Wetpack tests are for comparison of loads in that medium only. Ballistic gelatin is consistant and can be calibrated. We know that a bullet that travels a certain distance in calibrated gelatin will travel an approximate distance in human tissue. Even this is not a very good system because there are so many variables involved inside of the body but it is consistant and reproduceable allowing you to compare how a bullet performs in one block to how another round performs in another block. For wetpack comparisons there are variables involved in each test medium. If you wanted to test one load versus another you should do it in the same wetpack. It wouldn't be very scientific to compare a load from one wetpack to one from another. Because of these variable you are not going to be able to say that one load travels "x" distance in wetpack so it travels "x" distance in tissue but you will be able to compare expansion and penetration of two loads that are fired side by side. I prefer wetpack over water jugs. Some loads become plugged by the wetpack and don't expand but they expand nicely in water. I also like getting a first hand look at how the loads I carry might perform if I had to use them. Its not the best test medium but its cheap, and it works well enough.
 

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Definitely rounds should be tested in the same wetpack, but how do I extrapolate useful info from those tests about what round I should carry? What about reliable expansion? A round may or may not expand in a wetpack, but what does that tell us about that rounds ability to perform well in human tissue. OTOH, everything expands well in water jugs... or not so well considering rounds could over expand. Shooting water jugs is a nice way to make earrings for the wife.




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I actually prefer wetpack to the waterjugs. I've fired hydrashocks that plugged in the wetpack and failed to expand. This, to me, approximates what couild happen with clothing or other materials. I stopped carrying Hydrashoks (in 9mm, I still think they work well in .45) and Corbon Powr'ball (in .38special) based on my wetpack tests. I couldn't get the Powr'ball loads to expand. It could have been just that lot but it was enough to shake my confidence. On the other hand, DPX, Corbon JHP, >38 special Gold Dots, and the XTPs I buy locally have all earned my respect. I like to see Yukonglocker's tests and they fall in line with my own pretty consistantly. Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
tigs40cal said:
Hey YukonGlocker, is that 124gr HST the p9HST1?
Actually, it is the P9HST3.





And wetpack tests will not prove how a bullet will perform in a human body. The only medium that will prove that is the human body. Those are kind of hard to come by. Besides that, bullet performance is very inconsistent in the human body. But wetpacks will give you a reliable test medium to test bullets side-by-side.
 

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I'm just concerned that wetpacks may make a particular round look good (as water jug tests do) when in fact it would not normally expand reliably or penetrate adequately. A round may expand beautifully but may come up short in the penetration department. Ordnance gelatin offers us the next best thing to living human tissue, and because both expansion and penetration can be measured, it is valuable tool for ammo testing.



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Discussion Starter #13
The same thing can happen with ballistic gel. Although, you will get very consistent results using that medium. There have been many instances of a bullet performing very well in gel, and not expanding at all in a human.



When you have wound channels in wetpack, you can see exactly what the bullet was doing, and where it was doing it. You can measure both expansion and penetration.



Let's just say for example that I want to compare a few 9mm loads out of my pistol. We will look at wound channel, expansion, and penetration. Let's assume that a load does not expand at all. This load will have more than adequate penetration, probably more than needed. We can assume that for about any 9mm load, if it doesn't expand, we will not have to worry about adequate penetration.

So really, we need to compare penetration for a given amount of expansion. We need to find a load that will expand reliably, but still penetrate adequately.



So now we are talking about reliable expansion. How do we find a load that has reliable expansion?

1. Ballistic testing-test loads side-by-side in a given media.

2. Actual street results-this is data collected from actual shootings.

We compare all the data from #1 and #2, and make an educated decision.



Every shooting is different. Every person that is shot is different. So there will not be one load that will perform to 100% satisfaction in every case. There are just too many variables when you are trying to figure out what a bullet will do when it passes in or through a body.



So what do we do? We try to find a load that has reliable, consistent expansion under all circumstances;

and all the while, penetrating adequately. Can we test all circumstances? No.

But we do the best we can. If we can find a bullet that will expand reliably and penetrate adequately under severe conditions, then we infer that the same bullet will perform similarly in a body. This is why you see testing through all kinds of barriers. We try to make the bullet fail. When we find a bullet that is extremely hard to fail, and exhibits satisfactory performance, we put that one on our list.



Once we find a few loads that meet out criteria, we can test them side-by-side. We try to make them fail side-by-side. When we do this, we quickly found out the strengths and weaknesses of each bullet. Some may expand a little more under extreme testing. Some may penetrate a little more under extreme testing. And then we pick the load that exhibits the best compromise for what we want it to do.



I could go on and on. I love studying and experimenting with ballistics. If I could afford ballistic gel, that is what I would use. But in the mean time, I have to use the best medium that I can afford-wetpack. And I find that wetpack tests reflect the very same results that ballistic gel tests yield. The only problem, as stated in another post, is the wetpack tests are not controllable from test to test. We can try to make each wetpack the same, but there will always be differences between wetpacks. So all we can do is take one wetpack, and compare results that we get from that particular test. The results are valid. The results are interesting. The results are educational.

And never forget, it is just really fun to go shooting.
 

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YukonGlocker said:
The same thing can happen with ballistic gel. Although, you will get very consistent results using that medium. There have been many instances of a bullet performing very well in gel, and not expanding at all in a human.
Yes the same thing can happen in ballistic gel, but we are dealing with something that, through great effort, 1) produces results similar to tissue (http://www.btammolabs.com/fackler/winchester_9mm.pdf), and 2) must be prepared, and cared for under specific conditions in order to protect its integrity as a sound testing medium. A bad batch of gel will give useless test results. The test results also gain credibility when layers of denim are used to cover the bare gelatin, which is where so many rounds fail to perform. So, IMO, properly prepared and cared for gelatin with 4 layers of denim will yield valid test results.



When you have wound channels in wetpack, you can see exactly what the bullet was doing, and where it was doing it. You can measure both expansion and penetration...



How do we find a load that has reliable expansion?

1. Ballistic testing-test loads side-by-side in a given media.

2. Actual street results-this is data collected from actual shootings.

We compare all the data from #1 and #2, and make an educated decision.
To number 1 I would say that it must be more than a given media but is accepted by experts in that field. Otherwise the results will be comparable (to one another) but may not be useful. How much penetration in clay or wetpacks is equivalent to 12-14" in ballistic gel?



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Discussion Starter #15
I agree with what you are saying Chooch.

But, a bad batch of gel does not give useless results. You just can't compare those results to other tests. The results are valid for that particular test. For example, I might want to see how a 2 bullets will perform after penetrating a 1/2 thick sheet of plywood. Even if I have bad gel, I can compare those 2 bullets for that test.



Most of the time, about 8" of penetration in a wetpack is equal to 12" of penetration in gel.

I don't know about clay; I've never used it.
 

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YukonGlocker said:
But, a bad batch of gel does not give useless results. You just can't compare those results to other tests. The results are valid for that particular test. For example, I might want to see how a 2 bullets will perform after penetrating a 1/2 thick sheet of plywood. Even if I have bad gel, I can compare those 2 bullets for that test.
If the temperature is not regulated, if the gel is not uniformly cooled, or if it is not calibrated, etc the results will be skewed. For example, if it is too cold a round will penetrate less, too warm and the round will penetrate more. It wreaks havoc with the penetration standards. This is likely the reason why you can find gel tests on the internet where certain loads (which are known to be poor performers) appear to perform well.



Most of the time, about 8" of penetration in a wetpack is equal to 12" of penetration in gel.

I don't know about clay; I've never used it.
The 12" penetration minimum was to be used in conjunction with properly prepared, cared for, and calibrated gel. But since wetpacks will vary from one pack to the other, as you have already pointed out, it cannot be uniformly true that 8" of wetpack penetration equates to 12" in this gel.



I hope you know I'm not trying to be a jerk here. You have certainly earned my respect on this forum. :oops:



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Discussion Starter #17
choochboost said:
...I hope you know I'm not trying to be a jerk here...
Of course I do. I really enjoy discussions such as this. And you have earned my respect also. I surely hope you are not taking my posts wrong.



One more thought... There are many variables than can skew data when we are studying ballistics. It sounds as if you may have studied a little statistics, just as I have. And there is something else that can really skew data, bias. Researcher bias is prevalent in many ballistics testing. Everything is not always as it appears. This is something that I always try keep in mind when studying/interpreting data.



I wish I had more time to BS; but I have to get going.

Later.
 

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YukonGlocker said:
[quote name='tigs40cal']Hey YukonGlocker, is that 124gr HST the p9HST1?
Actually, it is the P9HST3.





And wetpack tests will not prove how a bullet will perform in a human body. The only medium that will prove that is the human body. Those are kind of hard to come by. Besides that, bullet performance is very inconsistent in the human body. But wetpacks will give you a reliable test medium to test bullets side-by-side.[/quote]



Have you tested the p9HST1?
 
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