|Bullet Test - April
Highly unscientific but fun shooting test...
|At the conclusion of the live-fire
session of the CCW class, interested shooters were invited to bring their
premium self-defense ammunition to Prado Olympic Shooting Park and fire it
into wet telephone books at close range.
These test were anything but scientific. We shot the various kinds and calibers out of different barrel lengths. Wet phone books are the "poor man's ballistic gelatin" and certainly have no similarity to human tissue, bone and muscle. But they safely absorb bullets are are easy to retrieve, so we were able to make some interesting comparisons.
Full Metal Jacket vs Hollowpoints
Using the FBI statistic of maximum penetration of fourteen inches, both the 9 mm AND the .45 ACP drove clean through the stack of phone books and into the ground below. We dug out the ones we could find, and you can see there was minimum deformation.
The FMJ would certainly punch clean through an adversary and continue through the neighborhood. This would create a significant liability issue. As Massad Ayoob states, "We have a legal moral and financial responsibility for the terminal resting place of every projectile we fire." You would be hard pressed to locate these rounds after a shoot-out in a public place unless you had a doctor dig them out of people BEHIND the bad guy.
Winchester SXT/Ranger/Black Talon
Corbon & Federal Expanding Full Metal Jacket
Summary: the purpose of shooting someone in a self defense situation is to STOP them from harming you. The sooner they stop, the safer everyone will be (including them!). So we are seeking a bullet that will punch big holes in the "hydraulics" (circulatory system) to cause a loss of blood pressure to the brain, significantly enough to shut them down. That's where bullet performance becomes important. We need the ability to punch big holes in deep organs.
The mass of the bullet is what maintains its inertia. Once the bullet comes apart, it's done all the work it can do. As we discovered, high velocity can be the enemy of bullet performance, especially if the round disintegrates on impact.
If you're going to carry a little "snubby" then go for all the velocity you can afford. But for longer barrels, the heavier bullets with less velocity seem to perform consistently better. Obviously, the more expensive police loads do consistently better, if you can get them.
An essential point: make sure you're not using full metal jacket for your self defense load - for your safety as well as mine!
Check out this website for more penetration examples and experiments: Box O' Truth
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