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Old April 20, 2014, 12:30 PM   #1
simonrichter
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.22lr bullet deformation

I was able to do some ballistic testing with my handgun on a friend's shooting range and was really surprised about the state of the bullets I retrieved.

- I shot approx. 5mm of laminated wood with a stack of paper (my old income tax documents ) behind @ ca. 5 meters (ca. 15 ft)

- Federal HV round nose, copper washed

- barrel length 2,33"

First of all, I was impressed that all bullets penetrated at least 5 cm into the paper. Even more, I was surprised to find that the bullets, though not hitting any metal or hard surface and clearly penetrating the laminated wood, were nevertheless strongly distorted and flattened. Is that a sign of keyholing or normal for a (very slow, out of such a short barrel9 .22lr?

I also tested against a 1mm metal plate, where they penetrated but really mushroomed (the two in the lower columns of my picture)

So, is that performance normal?
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Old April 20, 2014, 09:03 PM   #2
lamarw
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I do not see any evidence of keyhoing from your picture. It appears the bullets flattened from the nose as opposed from the sides. There were a couple of bullets in which it was hard to determine, but the others were certainly not keyloles.

Looking at the targets, did you see any evidence of the bullets striking the target sideways vs. straight on? One could not tell in your second picture since you were depicting the thickness of the target as opposed to seeing the front of the target.
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Old April 21, 2014, 07:10 AM   #3
simonrichter
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Thank you, that's a good point. There was certainly some angle they struck the first layer, not too much but obviously enough. And what you say makes sense, since the bottom of the bullet is not deformed in almost all cases.

I just wondered why the bullets were so heavily deformed, but its maybe just the fact that it is unjacketed lead, after all...
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Old April 21, 2014, 08:14 AM   #4
Aguila Blanca
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Laminated wood isn't ordnance steel but it IS a "hard surface."
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Old April 21, 2014, 10:01 AM   #5
simonrichter
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If that's the expectable performance of .22, that's fine for me - if it means my gun is OK.
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Old April 22, 2014, 09:12 AM   #6
PointOneSeven
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Looks ok to me too. .22's are great for target and varmint work, but to get hunting round performance and perfect stars and mushrooms, a jacketed round does it right.

I was pretty excited about the .17 hmr rounds that came out in two different grain bullet configurations. The heavier bullets were supposed to be less explosive, but I never recovered any for comparison.

And I had a .22 magnum in a *very* short barrel (shall remain nameless to avoid flame war). Used to keyhole like crazy. I wasn't expecting a target pistol out of it, but I was expecting the bullets to fly straight. Gave it away in a trade.
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Old April 23, 2014, 03:13 PM   #7
Guv
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I once recovered a CCI 22mag from a 2" revolver from an aluminum can shot at 15 yards! All I can think of is that particular ammo had some pretty slow burning powder. This was 25+ years ago and I think maybe the ammo companys are a little more flexible with their powder choices these days.
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Old April 23, 2014, 07:56 PM   #8
James K
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.22 Long Rifle bullets are made of soft lead and certainly do distort on hitting a solid surface. In fact, they can even literally melt when striking something like steel as the kinetic energy is converted to heat.

Those bullets look like hollow points, which expanded about as expected. Solid bullets would tend to penetrate better and remain more or less intact, though they also would be mushroomed and distorted.

I think your gun is normal.

Jim
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Old April 24, 2014, 04:24 AM   #9
simonrichter
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Quote:
Those bullets look like hollow points
they are round nose, actually.

Are there maybe .22lr loads with more or less soft lead or is it all the same all the time?
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