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Old November 11, 2005, 07:10 PM   #1
SevenRoundMags
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Can permanent wound cavity > Size of slug?

I realize this is a very simple question which I suspect I know the answer to, but I'll ask just to be certain. If a certain bullet is .451 or .355 in diameter, can the permanent wound cavity be larger than the slug itself, assuming the bullet does NOT expand nor tumble?
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Old November 11, 2005, 10:29 PM   #2
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Not usually, when you're talking handguns.

It's worth pointing out that tumbling during penetration is not uncommon, so you can't completely ignore it.
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Old November 12, 2005, 12:33 AM   #3
Sir William
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I say yes. The bullet enters and begins to dissipate its kinetic energy. The wound chunnel as some call it is enlarged front to back in a funnel or cone shape usually. Fast 22s and other bullets are so high speed that they often look like ice pick wounds and do go through and through with little loss of energy barring hitting a bone.rib. Think of a snowplow. The blade picks up snow and begins pushing. The snow piles up in front of the blade and is then pushed ahead and over to the side of the roadway. A bullet essentially does the same thing.
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Old November 12, 2005, 01:03 AM   #4
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I forgot which website I read this on but it was from a link on this forum. The wound channel depends what type of tissue the bullet strikes. Most tissue is elastic and will spring back and the permenant cavity will only be the diameter of the bullet, if not smaller. The site mentioned that some types of body tissue are not elastic and tend to tear rather than spring back. The liver is one such type. I think it said that the brain was another. For other types of tissue, I think the permenant cavity will be the bullet diameter or less. If it is a very high velocity round, the stretch cavity may be bigger than the bullet diameter since the tissue may expand more than its ability to spring back.
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Old November 12, 2005, 01:51 AM   #5
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Well, if you accept that gelatin testing is a fairly reasonable approximation of what happens to human flesh, it's pretty easy to verify that permanent wound channel for a handgun bullet is approximately the same diameter as the bullet, barring tumbling.

Pretty hard to argue unless you want to attack the testing method itself (gelatin.) stephen is correct, not all tissues exhibit the same elasticity characteristics. I can't say that I know for certain which type of tissue gelatin is supposed to replicate best...

On the other hand, rifles can have enough oomph to cause a permanent wound channel diameter significantly exceeding the diameter of the bullet.
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Old November 12, 2005, 02:51 AM   #6
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It also depends on the shape of the bullet . A 44 with round nose doesn't create a wound channel nearly as big as a SWC.
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Old November 12, 2005, 06:59 AM   #7
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There are many things that factor in on this question, so there is no set answer; however, as a general rule, most permenant wound cavities are LARGER than the bullet diameter.

I know there are many that will "say it aint so" , to these I suggest you consult a forensic expert or trauma surgeon before disagreeing. After assisting with MANY autopsies and digging MANY bullets out of people, I've seen this first hand with multiple calibers including rifles and handguns.

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Old November 12, 2005, 08:20 AM   #8
Weeg
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Big difference between Temporary and Permanent wound cavities.


Google the "Armed Forces Institute of Pathology"

.
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Old November 12, 2005, 08:52 AM   #9
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I found it interesting that a SWC is better than a RN for terminal performance. Though when you think about it, it makes sence.
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Old November 12, 2005, 09:20 AM   #10
mete
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Here's the experiment , shoot an animal with a large caliber 44 or 45 with both RN and SWC . Push your finger into the hole . You have to use a little force to go into the RN hole but no force at all with the SWC hole !!! The SWC is cutting a full caliber hole just like it does with paper while the RN pushes aside tissues temporarily ! Elmer Keith is right again .
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Old November 13, 2005, 03:40 AM   #11
SevenRoundMags
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Quote:
Here's the experiment , shoot an animal with a large caliber 44 or 45 with both RN and SWC . Push your finger into the hole . You have to use a little force to go into the RN hole but no force at all with the SWC hole !!! The SWC is cutting a full caliber hole just like it does with paper while the RN pushes aside tissues temporarily ! Elmer Keith is right again .
Then why don't people use SWC for self defense in every caliber? Seems like a better deal to me
Quote:
There are many things that factor in on this question, so there is no set answer; however, as a general rule, most permenant wound cavities are LARGER than the bullet diameter.
Is this the case with round nose bullets, SWC's, or both?
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Old November 13, 2005, 04:04 AM   #12
mete
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SD ammo today is designed around the FBI criteria of penetration and expansion.There are many variables and the makers can do almost anything but the criteria now are the FBI's .Hunting bullets for large game usually require more penetration. My favorite for deer is the 44 mag Speer JSWCHP , the only bullet I recovered penetrated 25-30" and opened to 50 cal ! For defense in the 44 mag I would use a LSWCHP at 900-1000 fps. For SD penetration of 18" is more than enough.
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Old November 13, 2005, 07:21 AM   #13
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It may be worth pointing out, at this point in the discussion, that for many decades THE DEFENSIVE BULLET was the LSWCHP (and before that the LSWC), either in .38 Special +P or in .357 magnum (but the same projectile in either case, usually with 158 grains mass). This load was extensively used by the FBI and by may other law enforcement groups (excluding politics, which sometimes demanded the use of LRN bullets).

While that era is over and autoloaders now dominate defensive handguns, many experienced individuals still use revolvers and LSWCHP rounds are still very potent. I personally favor the more-modern projectile designs (such as the current Gold Dot offerings by Speer), but that does NOT mean the LSWCHP is inadequate.
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