During the course of exchanging a few PMs with the OP (a very nice guy BTW!) I ran some hypothetical examples through the Schwartz and MacPherson bullet penetration models to illustrate the effect of sectional density upon penetration. I thought that others might be interested in seeing what these two models offer in terms of predictions so I offer their results here-
Originally Posted by 481:
For the .44 Magnum (diam. = 0.4285") pushing a 300 gr. FMJFN at 390 mps (~1214 fps), the predicted soft tissue penetration and permanent crush cavity weight estimates will be-
Schwartz Model: Pen.= 126.61cm (49.85 in.), P.C.C.= 81.14g (2.86 oz.)
MacPherson Model: Pen.= 140.79cm (55.43 in.), P.C.C. 89.91g (3.17 oz.)
For the .44Magnum (diam. = 0.4285") pushing a 240 gr. FMJFN at 470 mps (~1542 fps), the predicted soft tissue penetration and permanent crush cavity weight estimates will be-
Schwartz Model: Pen.= 111.85cm (44.04 in.), P.C.C.= 71.68g (2.53 oz.)
MacPherson Model: Pen.= 123.95cm (48.80 in.), P.C.C.= 79.15g (2.79 oz.)
As you can see, the MacPherson model is a little more "optimistic" in its predictions of penetration and permanent wound mass. Having a more pragmatist approach, I tend to err towards the more conservative estimates of the Schwartz model; either way they do agree that the 300 gr. FMJFM will penetrate farther and, as a result, damage more soft tissue than the 240 gr. FMJFNs, making the 300 gr. FMJs more preferable- at least to my thinking.
- and I've added the conversions from metric to English units (in parantheses) for those of us who don't "do" the metric system.