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Old October 6, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
BoogieMan
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Bullet fragmentation

I just read someone else's thread concerning stopping power. I am not even going to mention calibers because its not a caliber war thread.
I just hope something could be cleared up for me. I was under the impression that when using a SD round that bullet fragmentation would be the ideal situation. Dumbs all of the kinetic energy and cuts into many surrounding organs. My SD bullets are HydraShok which from the other thread is known to fragment. I understand the biggest single issue is hitting your target, but is my thinking flawed with fragmenting rounds?
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Old October 6, 2012, 08:43 PM   #2
chris in va
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All I can contribute is the penetration issue. When a bullet falls apart, it may not reach deeper CNS areas for that mythical 'one shot stop'.
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Old October 6, 2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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Fragmentation by a handgun bullet is not usually a good thing because of lack of penetration. Penetration is important in reaching vital organs. The most important single factor in penetration is the momentum of a projectile (Mass * Velocity) and NOT kinetic energy (1/2Mass * Velocity*Velocity). As you can see by the formulas, mass of a projectile more directly effects its momentum than its kinetic energy.

Now, in rifle velocities, fragmentation may be a very good thing as there is still enough momentum to penetrate and the kinetic energy is enough that it more reliably creates other damage through hydrostatic shock. Most handgun bullets do not move fast enough to reliably cause tissue damage through hydrostatic shock (some people disagree).

Some manufacturers market handgun bullets specifically designed to fragment or which come pre-fragmented. These are mostly gimmicks. There's a reason law enforcement doesn't use them except in possibly extreme situations.

BTW, to my knowledge, fragmentation is not an issue in Hydra-Shoks.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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They make premium bullets , basically with bonded core/jacket, so the bullet doesn't fragment and the jacket doesn't separate from the jacket . More uniform performance , better penetration !
Vote against bullet separation !
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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Fragmentation in a handgun round is bad for performance...

Now those purpose made fragmenting rounds only penetrate a few inches at the most. So they make a big hole a couple inches deep, and its mostly surface damage that is not fatal and a doctor can repair without too much trouble.

They use those rounds in situations where they can't have any penetration of barriers. They are special use rounds.
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Old October 6, 2012, 10:45 PM   #6
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BoogieMan...

If you are really interested in bullet design, you'll be happy to know that the creator of the Hydra-Shok bullet, Tom Burczynski... was, briefly, a member here. Although his last post was in 2001, what he left behind is quite fascinating... especially his comments on the Federal EFMJ, which he designed as well.

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Old October 6, 2012, 11:18 PM   #7
481
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Thanks for the link to Burczinski's posts- interesting reading to be sure.

I would never have known to look for them.
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Old October 6, 2012, 11:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Thanks for the link to Burczinski's posts- interesting reading to be sure.
It's always nice when you can get information direct from the horses mouth... so to speak. A good example of this is that there's a sub-forum at "SteyrClub" dedicated to conversing with Wilhelm Bubits... a designer for Glock, and the primary designer of the current Steyr and Caracal handguns. You should see some of his personal 1911s!

Cheers,
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Old October 6, 2012, 11:55 PM   #9
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As long as you get adequate penetration fragmentation is a plus. Bones that are struck can also send secondary projectiles to cause more damage. The 357 Magnum and the 44 Magnum loaded with 125 Grn JHP and 180 Grn JHP are good examples of this. Not all fragmentation is bad.
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Old October 7, 2012, 12:51 AM   #10
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Old October 7, 2012, 06:03 AM   #11
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Thanks a lot for the info guys. My only real world experience is shooting deer with a 30-06. That tends to have considerable different attributes than the 9mm under my pillow. My thought pattern (I dont carry im in NJ) is that I want to be able to deter someone from causing harm to my family without hurting my family. Thus the 9mm with Hydrashok. I could also keep the 12ga or even the 30-06 next to the bed. Either of those would easily pass through the intruder the bedroom walls and anything down range. IMHO- I am using as good a round as any for my circumstance. If I had a 44mag I might consider a light weight frangible.
Thanks for the info on Tom B.. I have always been a fan of the Hydrshok design. What was his screen name or do you have links to any of his posts?
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Old October 7, 2012, 01:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Thanks for the info on Tom B.. I have always been a fan of the Hydrshok design. What was his screen name or do you have links to any of his posts?
The hyperlink is in post 6... click on the name hi-lighted in blue.

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Old October 7, 2012, 02:17 PM   #13
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Clicking on Tom Burczynki's name in post #6 got me this:

Quote:
vBulletin Message
Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.

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Old October 7, 2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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I'll be darned... it must have expired . I've "reloaded" the link.

Doesn't matter much... he did use his real name, so looking him up is easy.

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Old October 7, 2012, 07:12 PM   #15
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In most cases, fragmenting handgun bullets are undesirable because their penetration is limited to less-than-adequate levels. This, however, is not universally true as a bullet which can both fragment and penetrate adequately can actually enhance the wounding potential over one which penetrates well but stays together. A prime example of a bullet that can do both are the older 125gr SJHP .357 Magnum loadings. These bullets could fairly routinely shed their jackets in large shards while still allowing the core, which usually comprised 60% or more of the weight, to penetrate 11-13".
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Old October 7, 2012, 07:50 PM   #16
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BoogieMan:

If you're concerned about over-penetration, you may want to consider an AR-15. With light, super-fast varmint rounds the bullet will fragment, but still has enough velocity to be far more devastating than almost any handgun round. This fragmentation also means that there is less over-penetration inside the house than with a handgun or most 12 gauge loads.
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