hardness and paper penetration

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  • Last Post 08 January 2019
tlkeizer posted this 06 January 2019

Greetings,

Now that the coyotes have been sent on, I thought I would try comparing non-hardened bullets against hardened bullets for both accuracy and penetration into bundles of newspaper flyers.  My bullets were both 405 grain HB and 500 grain flat base bullets used in one of my trapdoor 45-70's, all loads with 55 grains Goex FFG powder and CCI 200 primers, SPG pan lubed.  These loads give me 1000 to 1100 fps.  I have had better groups with heavier charges, but I think this shows a trend; maybe more shooting for comparison starting mid-April or May as temps now are in the -teens and colder.

The non-hardened bullets were some I had on hand that I did nothing particular to, range scrap cleaned and cast.  The hardened bullets were from recovered range scrap, newly cleaned, tin added (no antimony on hand), and  dropped from the mold into a ceramic lined large pot half filled with water and a bunch of snow added on top.  The snow kept the water below the snow pretty much at a constant 32 degrees F.  

For accuracy with the 405 grain bullets I compared 2 sets of 5 rounds for groups with 3 levels of hardness: non hardened, hardened with a little tin, and hardened with a little more tin.  The day I shot was in the +20's, light wind, overcast, and shot off a bench with sand bags.  Distance shot was 50 yards.  

Accuracy for the 500 grain bullet was for hard only, it just got too cold for my hands to continue, so that will have to be finished another day.  I made the decision to not shoot more this winter if the temps start with minus.

Groups for the 405 grain are shown below; all in all the most tin did the best, but this is only a small population.

The most interesting for me was comparing hardened 500 grain penetration to the non-hardened penetration.  The bullets actually weighed in at 518 grains, all run across the scale.The most penetration was the non-hardened bullet by one flyer (25 per bundle), but it weighed significantly less on recovery than the hardened bullet.  It also had less deformation, but was skewed in the paper more than the hardened bullet.  Residue from the penetration channel had more lead specks from the softer bullet.  I think the ;more penetration was because there was less surface area presented as the lead was scraped off to allow for deeper,though modest, penetration.

Thought somebody might be interested, this definitely calls for more shooting after the weather warms up.

Happy New Year.

TK

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tlkeizer posted this 06 January 2019

Greetings again,

Photos 3&4 are hardest, photos 5&6 are non-hardened.  Photos 1 & 2 did not come through.  Last photo is of recovered bullets with non-hardened bullet for comparison.

TK

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Urny posted this 06 January 2019

That is an interesting report, and the penetration results not what I would have expected.  That banana shaped hard bullet surprised me.  Thanks for the time and effort you put into this.

 

Urny

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Scearcy posted this 06 January 2019

TK

This is is a very interesting report.  You have alot of fun with those trapdoors.

You always make me feel like a wimp when it comes to shooting in cold weather. My personal thresholds are 10 degrees with a handgun and 25 degrees with a rifle. What I won't do is to wade through knee deep snow to get to the 200 yard targets.

Jim

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Brodie posted this 08 January 2019

TK,

Years ago (circa 1968) I decided to test penetrating ability in some rifles available to me.  By far and away the leader in penetrating dry newspapers was a 489 gr. round nose bullet cast from Lyman #2 and fired over 68gr. of IMR3031.  As I recall it went 12 inches deeper than any other round from the .458 , .338, or 3006.  At the time I did not have the money (or desire ) to shoot solid ammo, and all bullets used were "expanding" or soft point.  Even the 300gr. Sierra Game Kings shot from my Father's .338.  None could match that near 500gr round nosed .458 slug for penetration.  The recovered458 cast bullets did not expand or even deform much.  They just went rather straight through all that newsprint until they ran out of gas.

 

B.E.Brickey

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tlkeizer posted this 08 January 2019

Greetings,

Brodie, your comments made me remember shooting some round balls into both sand and paper some years ago.  The sand was in a plastic milk jug, and the round balls looked like forster slugs when recovered.  I don't remember what the round balls looked like that were shot into the paper.  Another reason to go to the range when it warms up.

TK

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