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Old October 22, 2013, 04:13 PM   #1
Skans
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Are Bi-Metal Jacketed Bullets armor piercing....

I would like to know if anyone has actually tested various bi-metal bullets to see if they will or will not pierce bullet-proof vests, and what were the results compared to lead core bullets?

For purposes of discussion, I am not asking about BATFE definition of "armor piercing" or whether the definition only applies to pistol cartridges vs. rifle cartridges.

It seems to me that bi-metal bullets, i.e. those which are steel-jacketed, would be far more prone to piercing certain levels of bullet proof vests, at least more so than copper-jacketed lead bullets.

It also seems to me that the makers of various armored vests would have done some testing on how they hold up to steel-jacketed bullets, since they are now quite prevalent. However, I can't find a thing about whether various body armor holds up to threats from bi-metal bullets. Is there any specific factual data out there on this?
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:50 PM   #2
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Although the jacket is steel, it is quite soft. I can cut a 7.62X39 Tula bullet in half with wire cutters, virtually no discernible difference performing the same experiment on a 150 grain 30-30 bullet. Actual "armor piercing" has a hardened steel core which does not expand and deform against the dense weave of a vest.

I have not tested anything against a vest because I only have one vest and don't want to ruin it.
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Old October 22, 2013, 10:13 PM   #3
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Well, a 7.62x39 is gonna penetrate a standard vest regardless of bullet construction.
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Old October 23, 2013, 06:47 PM   #4
iraiam
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Quote:
Well, a 7.62x39 is gonna penetrate a standard vest regardless of bullet construction.
True, I was just using 7.62X39 as an example of how soft the steel jacket actually is. I thought I had some Tula 9mm, but I am unable to lay my hands on it right now. I would bet the steel jacket on that ammo is just as soft, but I don't recall even checking if it is a steel jacket.
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Old October 24, 2013, 10:15 AM   #5
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try a 7.62X54R out of a mosin nagant for penetration using steel core steel case if you think 7.62X39 fired from my 1959 T56 SKS is cool.
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Old October 24, 2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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try a 7.62X54R out of a mosin nagant for penetration using steel core steel case
Steel core? I think you mean steel jacketed.
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Old October 24, 2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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I still have a bunch of Garand clips full of G.I. A.P.
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Old October 25, 2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Steel core? I think you mean steel jacketed.
No he didnt, steel core is armour piercing ammo.
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Old October 28, 2013, 08:06 AM   #9
Skans
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The question is whether a bi-metal bullet, say 7.62x39 will substantially defeat body armor better than a solid lead bullet of the same cartridge. What about pistol cartridges using bi-metal? Has anyone actually tested this? Has anyone actually tested how bi-metal bullets deform (or not deform) upon hitting various substances?

I know the difference between a steel-core bullet and a bi-metal (mild steel jacketed) bullet. However, I have read reports of very little deformation of bi-metal bullets upon impact, and I was wondering if this translates into better penetration of protective armor.

Last edited by Skans; October 28, 2013 at 08:14 AM.
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Old October 28, 2013, 07:03 PM   #10
Dfariswheel
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No he didnt, steel core is armour piercing ammo.

Not always.
Armor piercing ammo has a core of very hard steel or a heavy, hard metal like tungsten.
The core has a very sharply pointed tip.

Some steel core ammo is not armor piercing.
As example the surplus 7N6-PS 5.45x39 ammo.
The bullet jacket is very mild steel.
Inside is a mild steel core. The core is blunt on both ends and is not considered to be armor piercing, although it does penetrate thin steel better then a lead core.

Here's a sectioned 7N6-PS bullet.
Note the blunt-ended mild steel core.

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Old October 29, 2013, 07:48 AM   #11
Skans
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Dfariswheel, I'm not sure what I'm looking at. I see the steel jacket. Is the inner metal (inside of the large void) steel or lead? Also, is the tip hollow or some other metal?
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Old October 30, 2013, 04:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
No he didnt, steel core is armour piercing ammo.

Not always.
OK, let me re word that, not all stell core is armour piercing but all amrour piercing is steel core. Didnt want to confuse this issue with that statement.


The inner core is what passes thru the metal or whatever. Most vests are rated at pistol level, not rifle. So any high powered rifle will penetrate most vests with regular ammo. Bulletproof glass is same way,it is rated for a certain level they would expect to be hit with.
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Old October 30, 2013, 07:03 PM   #13
Dfariswheel
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Skans:

Inside the tip of the bullet is a hollow air space. It's NOT a hollow point. The internal air cavity shifts the center of gravity to the rear.

The large object inside is the blunt-ended mild steel core.

On top of the steel core is a lead "cap" and there's a very thin layer of lead between the steel core and the outer steel jacket.

The idea is, the hollow air cavity shifts the center of gravity to the rear of the bullet, which in flight makes the bullet very stable.
However, when the bullet hits, the bullet destabilizes quickly and the bullet tumbles.
The Soviets thought that the rapidly tumbling bullet would make the bullet more effective, read lethal.

This is the infamous "Poison" or "Devil's" bullet from the Afghanistan-Soviet war.
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Old October 31, 2013, 08:05 AM   #14
Skans
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Dfariswheel, do you know if that bullet similar to the bullets used in ordinary Wolf 7.62x39? Or, do the Wolf bullets use lead as an inner core? Thanks for sharing your knowledge regarding these bi-metal bullets. They've always been somewhat of a mystery to me.
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Old October 31, 2013, 10:32 AM   #15
Cy4ka
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Not much anything is "armor piercing" despite what sellers want you to believe.

Some 7n22, yea
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Old October 31, 2013, 03:53 PM   #16
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+1

Yeah, despite the claims of shop owners and shop commandos, a steel core slug does not necessarily an AP slug make. D'wheel has pretty much nailed it.

Combloc used MILD steel core for their ball, likely cause it was more obtainable and cheaper than lead. When your providing ammo for a zillion AK's, I guess the costs run up.
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Old October 31, 2013, 09:19 PM   #17
5.56RifleGuy
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[QUOTE]OK, let me re word that, not all stell core is armour piercing but all amrour piercing is steel core[QUOTE]

Tungsten is pretty popular nowadays. Some ap ammo uses coventional components with advanced purpose build bullet design. I recall seeing ap handgun ammo that looked like an upside down top with a needle stuck into it.
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Old November 1, 2013, 04:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Tungsten is pretty popular nowadays
I have a bunch of 30-06 from ww2 that is amor piercing stuff. It will go thru several engine blocks at one time. Has a blacktip.
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Old November 1, 2013, 04:59 PM   #19
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Pretty much any centerfire rifle bullet will pierce Level IIIa body armor.

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot16.htm

Even with plates, large caliber, high velocity rounds will penetrate.



And hard cast lead of sufficient mass seems to be a fairly good penetrator-

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot4_3.htm
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Old November 2, 2013, 06:33 PM   #20
Dfariswheel
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do you know if that bullet similar to the bullets used in ordinary Wolf 7.62x39? Or, do the Wolf bullets use lead as an inner core

As far as I know all Wolf commercial ammo has lead cores.

Also as far as I know only the 5.45x39 7N6-PS bullet is designed that way.
A lot of 7.62x39 military ammo has steel cores, both standard and armor piercing, but not designed like the 5.45.
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Old November 10, 2013, 02:29 PM   #21
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Bi Metal?

That means two metals, right? Aren't ALL jacketed bullets bi-metal?

Pretty sloppy term if what you are referring to is steel jackets or steel cores.

Pretty much any rifle round legal to hunt deer with in the US will punch through a pistol rated vest without really noticing it is there.

A lot of them will do a serious job of trying to get through a rifle rated vest. Some will make it, too.

Lots of nations have used tungsten for AP bullet cores. It works better than steel for that. But steel is much cheaper, and can work acceptably well against light armor & vests.
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