View Full Version : More in-depth testing wanted
February 5, 2005, 05:04 PM
Please forgive me if this topics has been brought up before. I would like to see a shootout between different ammo that's NOT in bare or clothed gel alone or paper targets.
No...I'm not talking about shooting criminals or goats. What I would like to see is the results of real life scenarios that involve various bullets against different media.
Like what? Well, how about:
1) Various weight .223 police rounds like TAP, for example, being shot through windshields, door panels, tempered glass doors and walls---Similar to the Cali hostage situation where the bullet shattered the glass but didn't do anything else--brick, etc. I know that many reviews are done that shoot into several pieces of wall board, old car doors, etc.. but they don't shoot into ballistic gel to show what happens after the bullets travel through the material.
2) Various handgun caliber's with the same tests.
3) Various frangible bullets shot into the same material and ballistic gel alone. Yeah...I know what frangible means but I've also shot an old car window with one, 223 PMC GREEN, at 50 yards and it shattered like you wouldn't believe.
I know that it won't go through many materials found in cars and homes but will it travel through car seats? How about clothes at med 50yrds to long range(100yrds)? I've killed groundhogs with them at close to 100yrds. What will it do to a human that is wearing several layers of close? I know they won't be happy, but how much damage will it cause? I would like to know.
I'll be honest with you in that I don't subscribe to any gun magazines, like I used to. In the past I usually had 2-3 gun mags in the mail a month but they all started to be the same. All ads, boring reviews that all sounded the same and nothing really remotely able to be used as information.
I have read a few SWAT mags and I was rather surprised in the articles but they still didn't have any testing that I consider usable. At least the few I read. They were very well written though.
What I, and I suppose I'm not alone here, would like to see are not accuracy tests on paper, bare and clothed ballistic tests that were shot at 20 yards, results of shooting into bags filled with water, chunks of fiber board lined up in a row to see how many the bullets travel through..etc. I want to see 100yrd, 200yrd and further test results. Obviously with rifle calibers, and the car, home...etc medium with HG ammo.
What I would like to see is REAL WORLD results and tests that the guns and ammunition may be subjected to. Yeah a tiny 5 shot hole in a target is impressive, a cross section of ballistic gel is nice, but what did that bullet do when shot into a windshield at a kidnapper? Did it go through and kill him? Did it shatter the glass and lose enough velocity that when it hit the perp it just bruised him and pissed him off? Will it deflect and hit an innocent bystanders or other officer?
I hope I didn't step on any toes about this. I would just like to find a gun magazine that isn't like all the rest and shows more in-depth tests and reviews on what works and what doesn't.
If need be, I'll do the testing with supplied ammo and "toys" for free. :D
February 5, 2005, 05:22 PM
I'll let Denny give you a more definitive answer on this. I'll simply say that it appears that you're looking for the Holy Grail; "The" answer.
Ask yourself this:
If Fackler's info is not enough; If the FBI tests are not enough.....what is it that you think we could provide that will be authoritatively different? Basically, anyone who tries to report on such issues, absent enormous resources to do it right, is simply performing "Junk Science". I don't like Junk Science.
February 5, 2005, 06:10 PM
Get ole' Chuck Taylor to re rerun his 1983 SWAT tests like he did (like the poster described) using modern guns/ammo. At the least it would be good for a hoot and stir endless controversy! :)
February 5, 2005, 09:24 PM
You are right about the funds needed to truly do the testing. But I'm pretty sure that many, if not all manufacturers would participate if you brought up the idea to do an all out test. Manufacturers participate all the time in:
Shoot out (http://armedforcesjournal.com/blackwater/index.html)
As for the holy grail I know that there are many factors involved once someone pulls the trigger but I was just wanting the manufacturers to back up what they state about their ammo.
Yeah, it looks good being shot into a block of clay, bare gel...etc at 10 yards, but what will it do when shot through the windshield and, if it gets to the gel block, how far will it penetrate...etc at 25, 50, 75 yards and farther?
Take a look at the Federal LE ammo line up:
The .223 ammo line is shot through different medium and into Gel but ONLY at 10 yards. I understand that 30 feet is the average distance a LEO and SWAT member, other than marksmen, are likely to be involved in a shooting but not everyone gets within 30 feet before they need to shoot at a perp.
Federal at least gave some information on what the ammo can do even if it is only at 10 yards and with the .223. What about their HG ammo? The US, thankfully, isn't a Police State yet so officers don't carry M-16/4's etc. What about the weapon that's used in 99% of all shootouts by Officers?
This is what I am looking for but at longer distances and with other ammunition and different weapons. Such as 20-24" AR-15's & 700Rem's, Patrol handguns, 9mm-40sw Patrol carbines, H&K MP5's, FN p90's...etc...etc...etc. that are used on patrol officer as well as by Designated Marksmen and SWAT Teams.
I'm pretty sure you know that many smaller departments can't afford to have full time SWAT officers or be issued equipment by their departments so they need to buy what they, and the department, are told by the manufacturers and read in magazines, are the best of the best.
I agree with gordo, that would be the best PUT UP OR SHUT UP testing. In order to get the best results don't limit the testing to a few shooting tests with the same bullet. To the tests over and over again, at least several times with fresh materials, and take the averages of how it performed in each test.
I've heard the saying "No two shootings are identical." Not all officers are going to shoot through windshields, drywall, plywood, glass...etc. but sometimes they need to. I would like to see what ammo, does what through what material at variable distances. That's it, nothing more nothing less.
What will that bullet that shoots 16" in gel through different material is shot through the same material at 25, 50, 75 100yrds?
I didn't want to step on any toes but I was just wanting something that is more than a "typical" gun, ammo and penetration test/review that the majority of gun mags do.
I'm not a Police Officer but many friends and family members are. They depend on their equipment to get them home alive and in one piece. They should be able to have the info on ammunition that is more than likely going to kill the bad guy, and get them home to see their kids, rather than what a fancy picture in a magazine/pamphlet or salesman says.
I guess if wanting a bullet that can kill the bad guy in almost every situation (not controlled laboratory test) a police officer may find him or herself in then yes, I am looking for it.
If asking for more in-depth honest testing that is not tainted with free perks by the manufacturers for a positive review, is too much to ask, then I guess I'll keep on thumbing through the magazines, without buying them, while I wait on a prescription to be filled. :(
February 5, 2005, 10:14 PM
What you're asking is quite unrealistic...at least for SWAT and probably for most small Nation-States. Let's look at the request:
...what will it do when shot through the windshield and, if it gets to the gel block, how far will it penetrate...etc at 25, 50, 75 yards and farther? Have you any idea how many windshields and gel blocks would be required just to compare two bullets of one caliber? How many times you'd have to repeat for each to be able to say anything authoritative?
Such as 20-24" AR-15's & 700Rem's, Patrol handguns, 9mm-40sw Patrol carbines, H&K MP5's, FN p90's...etc...etc...etc. that are used on patrol officer as well as by Designated Marksmen and SWAT Teams. Remind me again....X how many different bullet designs, weights and manufacturers?
they need to buy what they, and the department, are told by the manufacturers and read in magazines, are the best of the best. The uninformed leading the lazy. If we had this answer, I'd much prefer to do the following definitive articles:
- What's the BEST .338 round for Elk?
- What's BEST, a Glock or a 1911?
- What's BEST, a Mig 29 or an F16?
I was just wanting something that is more than a "typical" gun, ammo and penetration test/review that the majority of gun mags do. Make that "Gun Rags". Gun Rags do this type of "testing". SWAT doesn't....for the reasons stated above.
They should be able to have the info on ammunition that is more than likely going to kill the bad guy, and get them home to see their kids So would I. If there were a magic bullet, I assure you it'd be noticed. But, now you're no longer asking for penetration on inanimate objects. The study you request has now moved into the need for live human targets. I think that may be beyond our budget. Maybe next year. ;)
If asking for more in-depth honest testing that is not tainted with free perks by the manufacturers for a positive review, is too much to ask, then I guess I'll keep on thumbing through the magazines, without buying them, while I wait on a prescription to be filled. I believe you. You're a discriminating reader who currently subscribes to no GunZines. I simply don't think our expenditure on a few hundred thousand or a million (to prove nothing) is going to produce the one feature that will cause you to fork over that hard earned $26.95 for a "prescription". ;)
We don't mind browsers at all. Please continue to "thumb" at the news stand or book store. Given your personal requirements, I doubt you'll be happy actually paying for a magazine.....especially not SWAT, given our reputation for being easily "tainted with free perks by the manufacturers". :D
Best of luck in your quest for the information you seek.
February 6, 2005, 01:05 AM
Toxic, unfortunately the performance of projectiles in tissue and ballistic gelatin is not consistent, although it is predictable. By that, I mean that you can reproduce results, but the penetration through gelatin will fall into the typical bell-shaped curve.
The best example of this is Marty Fackler's work with the 5.56 (.223) NATO ball M193 round. I'll see if I can attach the image. About 70% of the time, the bullet would produce a wound cavity with its largest size at about 4 to 10 inches of penetration. However, about 15% of the time, the cavity would be about 2-3 inches more shallow or deeper. (The chart X axis is in centimeters, not inches). This was with "bare" gelatin. If you introduce a barrier such as windshield glass, your standard deviation will likely become much greater.
There are a number of self-proclaimed wound ballistics experts populating the internet. I'm not an expert, although I do teach the occasional class. I point out that:
1) The quality of projectiles today is generally far better than it was twenty years ago, thanks to Fackler demonstrating the utility of calibrated 10% gelatin,
2) You should select a projectile that will handle your typical mission requirements (in terms of accuracy and barrier penetration). If this isn't covered by the FBI protocols, you may need to test it yourself.
3) Shot placement will always trump bullet performance.
I spend quite a bit of time with CCI/Speer engineers, and they do good testing and are usually glad to share their data.
Fackler, ML: Civilian gunshot wounds and ballistics. Emerg Med Clinics North America 16:17-28, 1998.
February 6, 2005, 09:27 PM
I hope I didn't step on any toes with my post I just wanted to get down to the, nitty gritty--no holds barred--put up or shut up, tests and not the typical advertising/marketing hype. It all seems like facts, in many cases, are put aside for the sake of marketing and advertising.
As the saying goes, "Gentlemen, Bullsh*t is Bullsh*t no matter how many different ways you look at it." ;)
Yeah, the shooting industry isn't the only industry that uses marketing/advertising, to it's advantage, but not many people have their lives depend on what toothpaste has the best flavor or how much suction a vacuum has.
Again, I hope I didn't step on toes.
February 7, 2005, 12:07 PM
As stated previously, it is all but impossible for S.W.A.T. to proclaim that one load is “the answer.” The logistics, not to mention the variables involved, are simply too much to overcome. Even if it were possible, manufacturers are continually updating their loads, hence what may be best at the time an article was written, may be obsolete by the time it makes it to the printer.
For some basic info on shooting through glass, I respectfully refer you to the June 2004 issue of S.W.A.T. in which we ran some basic comparative tests with three different calibers: .308 Winchester (7 loads); .223 (3 loads); and 300 Winchester Magnum (3 loads).
And no, you didn't step on any toes.
February 10, 2005, 03:47 AM
As Rich noted while it is a great idea the costs for even a small number of tests as described are well beyond the reach of normal research. We spend a tremendous amount of money each year performing vast amounts of testing both commercially and privately underwritten. Given that we are purchasing resources in large volume and having a well established testing process running thousands of rounds the average cost remains at right around the $400 per round of handgun ammunition tested and $490 per round of rifle ammunition tested given a basic documentation/photo package which does not include frame/frame video. Testing at range i.e. 50/100/200+ yard impacts is also extraordinarily difficult and a recent Black Hills 5.56mm test program using real 100 yard impacts, not reduced velocity downloads took over 11 hours to setup and calibrate before we could begin the actual tests needed.
In all honesty when it comes down to it the larger makers (ATK-Federal/Speer, Remington, Winchester) and specialty makers like Black Hills are producing very good products and the differences are not that significant to justify the expense unless you have specific reasons or needs to do so eg. legal or large purchase potential. Of course there are always new "super" bullets but these days by and large most cosumers in this industry can spot the claims in the ads.
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