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Old November 26, 2019, 02:57 PM   #1
ratshooter
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What Range?

I know that old time bullet penetration test were done by shooting at 1" blocks of wood baffles and seeing how many pieces of wood the bullet went through but at what range did they do the shooting? One poster said it was a hundred yards and thats probably true for rifles but what range for handgun testing?
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Old November 28, 2019, 07:15 PM   #2
Jasonzee
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I would guess 25 to50 yards.
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Old November 28, 2019, 08:44 PM   #3
Savvy_Jack
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It is a tad bit more complicated than that but not really complicated at all. To answer your question......

According to Winchester's 1875 catalog, “The effect of this change [from 44 Henry to the 44-40] is to increase the initial velocity of the arm from about 1,125 f.p.s. to 1,325 feet per second, reducing or flattening the trajectory and increasing the power and accuracy of the arm and giving it a penetration of about 4 inches, in pine board, at 1000 yards." Winchester described it to be effective and accurate to 500-600 yards."



According to Whelen (1941), Small Arms and Ballistics, the 44-40 Winchester "High Velocity" loads (1,565fps)[200gr softpoint/full jacketed penetrated 10/19 each respectively...7/8" thick soft pine boards from 15 feet.

The key here is bullet energy at impact, expanding or not. Depending on velocity at impact, the 44-40 200gr bullet can maintain greater than 400ft lbs of energy at 200 yards.

According to modern wimpy Winchester Super-X hunting ammo at only 1,190fps, energy maintained at impact is 900fps and 360ft lbs of energy at 200 yards. https://winchester.com/Products/Ammu.../Super-X/X4440 The sole reason the 44-40 so misunderstood and underrated, as well as being considered a weak cartridge.

Ironically, the slower the bullet (around 800fts) the greater the penetration due to lack of soft point expansion, pending tissue/vs boards. Obviously the reason why the full metal jacket bullet penetrated further than the JSP.

Last edited by Savvy_Jack; November 28, 2019 at 09:58 PM.
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Old November 29, 2019, 03:22 PM   #4
ratshooter
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I have read several Mike Venturino articles when he was testing 44-40 and 38-40 handguns (and others) and in the pictures he looks to be at around 10 yards from the box with the wood baffles in it. I didn't know if that was the standard distance used from long ago to test handguns or if the military had an arbitrary range for bullet penetration testing when shooting handguns.

Make the test range too long and rounds like the 36 caliber Navies loaded with a round ball and they may not even make it through the first board. Or at least would give a poor false showing of their effectiveness.
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"Those who cannot cleanly dispatch their game using a .30-30 are either shooting too far, hunting inappropriate (too large) game, or are simply incompetent." Mic McPherson

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Old November 29, 2019, 09:21 PM   #5
Savvy_Jack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratshooter View Post
I have read several Mike Venturino articles when he was testing 44-40 and 38-40 handguns (and others) and in the pictures he looks to be at around 10 yards from the box with the wood baffles in it. I didn't know if that was the standard distance used from long ago to test handguns or if the military had an arbitrary range for bullet penetration testing when shooting handguns.

Make the test range too long and rounds like the 36 caliber Navies loaded with a round ball and they may not even make it through the first board. Or at least would give a poor false showing of their effectiveness.
Revolver shooting at 15 yards or so results in the same basic energy/velocity range as a rifle at 200 yards with most of the old -40, -20 calibers....when it comes to original ballistics or replicating original ballistics.
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