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Old June 22, 2005, 09:38 PM   #1
TomNash
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Ballistic gelatin testing results : .223 Remington

Just got done testing a 53gr. Barnes 'Triple-Shock' bullet in ballistic gelatin.

The bullet penetrated 15.5" and ended up as 0.419" in diameter. The impact velocity was not taken (chronograph malfunctioned due to failing light at the test site), but the cartridge was handloaded to maximum SAAMI pressure using Varget powder ~ 25.5gr and using CCI small rifle primers.

Firearm had 16" barrel with 1/9" twist.

The block calibrated at 10.4 cm BB penetration at 596 ft/sec impact velocity. So it was slightly less resistive than 'ideal' muscle tissue. I will shortly have a penetration depth correction formula and will update this post with the corrected penetration depth, which is the depth to which the bullet would have penetrated in an ideal block.

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Old June 22, 2005, 10:36 PM   #2
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So this bullet won't fragment?
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Old June 22, 2005, 10:36 PM   #3
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Impressive. With the solid bullets you're getting good sized cavities from the bow wave of tissue and fluids being pushed away from the bullets nose instead of fragmenting like FMJ 5.56mm. That's why they're so much better at higher velocities. So what I'm getting at is I'd like to see a test of the 45 gr. at a faster velocity as well, it still should have plenty of penetration. I've always wondered how the .223 solids would rank with the FMJs. They might make an interesting mixed load magazine.

Thanks for posting these test results.
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Old June 23, 2005, 05:19 PM   #4
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Nope... the bullet did not appear to fragment. Also, I was unable to determine the presence of a 'triple-shock' effect, as mentioned in the advertisements. By inspection, there was no difference between this particular bullets wound profile and that of a 55gr. bonded .223 at the same velocity.

No prob. Big-Foot. The main issue with the gelatin testing is money. I would very much like to test all sorts of bullets, but each block of gelatin costs me 50 dollars to make. I think that a 45gr. would be interesting; can you suggest a bonded or otherwise limited expansion .224" bullet in that weight? I cannot think of one off-hand.

With regards to the penetration of such a bullet - I previously posted here the gelatin results of the 60gr. Nosler Partition at ca. 2900 ft/sec impact velocity. The block that was shot was pretty much the same as this last one, the Partition bullet flew all the way through it (16" long) and penetrated 0.25" into a loosely packed sandbag behind the block. The partition bullet was measured at a uniform diameter of 0.39". The Barnes bullet was measured at an average diameter of 0.419". So there were two things (maybe three) working against the penetration of the Barnes bullet : the frontal shape of the Barnes bullet is flatter while the Partition bullet is rounder - this makes a bigger hole in the target, but decreases penetration; the Barnes bullet was moving faster than the Partition bullet, which increased the fluid drag on the bullet exponentially; and the Barnes bullet just made a bigger hole in the block.

Anyways... My personal goal in wound ballistics testing is to evaluate the effectiveness of my chosen defensive loads and then to share the information with those who would care to read it. The FBI minimum required bullet penetration in ballistic gelatin is 12". Any load that expands and penetrates more than 12" could have conceivably expanded more, stopped at 12" and still be an 'effective' round, by the criteria of the FBI test method. Except you get the advantage of having made a bigger hole in the target. A lighter and faster bullet than the 53gr. would certainly do this, much as a 53gr. bullet did better in this respect than a 60gr. bullet (Partition). If you would be so kind as to suggest a source for this 45gr. bullet, I will look into doing such a test.

Tom
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Old June 23, 2005, 05:28 PM   #5
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The results of your tests are very interesting . Keep up the god work tomnash
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Old June 24, 2005, 07:40 PM   #6
Big-Foot
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Sorry Tom I mistook the 45 gr Barnes XLC for a TSX, I hear they are similar in performance though.

If you like solid bullets check out the GS Custom HVs from South Africa, a bit softer than the Barnes, tons of good reading here. http://gsgroup.co.za/hvloads.html
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Old June 24, 2005, 08:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Also, I was unable to determine the presence of a 'triple-shock' effect, as mentioned in the advertisements.
you wont see the triple shock effect in the bullet because it opens up in three stages with the final stage being a full mushroom such as any other bullet. i cant remember what the three stages offer.

Id like to see the results of a longer shot then you might only get the first or second stage of opening.

I think that with a heavier bullet that may be a passable white tail round provided you can place the shot. I would still stick with the .22-250 or .243 for the lower end of the caliber scale but on small white tails i think the .223 would work if thats what you had. Shooting a deer with a .223 would make the guys packin .30-378s look pretty goofy too
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Old June 25, 2005, 01:24 AM   #8
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Yes. The triple-shock effect would be present in the gelatin, not on the surface of the bullet. Thank you for the clarification. As I mentioned earlier, the wound profile that I observed was apparently identical to that of a 55gr. Trophy bonded bear claw.

Wow! Big-Foot, those bullets are awesome. Thanks for the link. If it turns out that the 53gr. penetrated 12" + , once I use the correction formula, I will definately look into going lighter. Does anyone happen to have one of the 45 gr. HP, that they could send me for a handload ? - The shipping to the US is pretty tough, assuming that I can find a use for the bullets, if the gelatin test is not passed.

Tom
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Old June 27, 2005, 05:52 PM   #9
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Gelatin calibration correction done

The corrected penetration depth of this bullet is 14.7". The corrected penetration depth reflects what the fired bullet would have done in an ideal block of gelatin. Best wishes...

Tom
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Old June 27, 2005, 09:30 PM   #10
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Thanks Tom.

Thank you for all the work and posting your results here.

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Old June 29, 2005, 05:49 PM   #11
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Ballistic gelatin

I buy cheap 55 grain bullets for my 223. Also, I shoot a load of 5.6 grains of UNIQUE with it for "City Ground Hogs in the garden. I estimate the velocity to be about 1850 fps.
What is the chances of you POSTING [I do not accept private mail or E-Mails.] the results of firing that load into Ballistic gelatin?
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Old June 29, 2005, 08:04 PM   #12
TomNash
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Send me $50, the firearm and the ammunition and it can be done.

Tom
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Old June 29, 2005, 09:01 PM   #13
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Tom, I just saw a half-case of UMC bulk 45g HP at the local SG store. Would that work for your testing?

For a home-defense carbine, shooting at very close ranges and worrying about over penetration, I've often thought about using this round out of my 1/7" twist AR. I'm told that it will be accurate enough, but will also minimize penetration of secondary barriers.

I'd love to see some reports on this load out of a 1in7" bbl.
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Old June 29, 2005, 09:07 PM   #14
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Perhaps I'm just a bit slow, but what distance was this test shot at?
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Old June 30, 2005, 07:45 PM   #15
TomNash
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VaughnT - I wouldn't mind testing that load at all. The 45 grain weight of the bullet should cause it to 'scoot along' quite nicely. What is the barrel length of your AR-15? While I don't have access to a 1-in-7 twist barrel, I do have access to 1-in-9 in the common barrel lengths.

The tests are normally shot at ~ 4 feet distance from the block if no chronograph is used (which is the more fun way to do it) and ~ 8 feet if the chrono does get used. While I can accomodate any distance from the block, up to 500 yards, I usually fire the shots from a short distance from the block so that the bullet is less likely to fly out of one of the sides.

Thank you.
Tom
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