BULLET TEST COMPARISON (as promised)

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by elkaholic, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys! I've been promising some bullet test info and have some preliminary results. I hope to do some more testing this week and will then attempt to post some pictures. I hope to end some of the speculation involved with what is a good long range HUNTING bullet. I'm quite sure it probably WON'T end it but should at least generate some interesting discussion:D. My first test involved .308 bullets in 185 Berger VLD, 190 Sierra matchking, 200 Nosler AB, and 190 Sherman XR. I was shooting a B-78 with a 12 twist at 1800 ft/sec. The bullets were fired point blank into a box with the following medium: Two layers of carpet, a sheet of 5/8" chip board, and 4' of damp cardboard. The idea was to approximate terminal performance in "primarily" soft tissue at long range realizing that the test is somewhat flawed because the rotational velocity would be much higher at 1800' down range if the muzzle velocity was say 3200'. This would tend to cause a little more expansion than my test but for the sake of comparison, I chose the easy route. (a higher twist rate would also likely cause a little more expansion). The following results were observed: The Berger and the Sierra looked like they came out of the box other than the rifling marks. I only had one 200 NAB left and it exited the box with a .308 sized hole (I'm sure it didn't expand either) I will test some more later. The 190 SXR expanded consistently to about 3/8"; a little over original diameter. This week I plan to up the velocities and add some bone (or similar) to the media. I might add that the Sherman XR would maintain the 1800' level at considerable more distance as it has a .713 B.C. Using the JBM chart,and a MV of 3200' the Sierra would reach 1800' at approx. 850 yards and the Sherman at 1135 yards. Bear in mind that the Sherman B.C. is calculated (not yet field tested) but it should be close. If my REAL job doesn't get in the way too much, I hope to post the Proof (PICS) later this week. Stay tuned!......Rich
     
  2. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Rich,

    When I posted results of a similar bullet test people jumped all over my case regarding reduced spin rate at the reduced velocity.

    I took a bit of an issue with those comments as I don't think it makes "that much" difference though it must make some difference.

    I was also told that a bullet stops spinning after some amount of penetration. After watching several slow motion videos of bullets through various types of gel that turns out to be a hog wash statement. My opinion is that if the bullet goes through the thickest part of an elk, hits no bone and exits its still spinning.

    Go for it. Awaiting pics.
     

  3. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Roy. What the heck are we doing up so late?.......Rich:D
     
  4. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Well for any that might want to criticize, they can go ahead and spend their money and time testing bullets the way they believe they should be properly tested, and then share their test results. At least your actually doing some testing, which is more than 99% of the rest of us have done. Roy shot some rigored porkers. I'm looking forward to your results no matter how you decide to test'em.

    What's a Sherman XR? Never heard of them before. Do they have a web site and any history of use on game?

    You gonna test any Hornady AMax? I've never used them yet. Been using the Berger Hunting VLDs for long range but thinking about trying some 162 Amax in my 280 AI. With the plastic tips I'd think the Amax's would continue to expand at slower impact velocities than the Berger VLDs would.

    Looking forward to reading about whatever testing you perform.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  5. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I may try to get a better media at some point but for now it's more of a comparison test. I haven't tested the A-Max but I am quite sure that you are correct as far as expanding quicker and more predictably than the Berger because of the ballistic tip and larger meplat. I also think the Berger may do better on the higher end of the velocity window. The Sherman XR (Xtreme Range):D is my own design and I've been making them in some form for about 5 years now. The current one is a newer design and the best yet IMO. I have taken several head of Big game at distances from 400 to over 1000 yards and they have performed VERY well. it will add 200-300 yds to your rifle for foot lbs. and also probably adds more than that when you consider the distance difference and the bullets ability to open at lower velocity than most other popular choices. I bond most of the ones I use for hunting, especially when I think they may be used at less than say 500 yards. I don't think it matters at longer ranges but it doesn't hurt either. I would like to add that what I am NOT trying to do is discredit anyones claims of at what velocities their bullets expand. I don't know how there tests were performed and especially what media was used. i.e. none will expand without resistance and all will expand on a metal plate:D. Thats why I'm calling my test a comparison. The reason I chose the bullets I did was because they are all good bullets and popular choices for long range hunting (all having their limitations) I may do some testing in water as I feel it's a better test media than you would think. There seems to be something about the hydraulic action which would duplicate body fluids. "Afterthought" I wish I would have saved some shoulder blades!:)...Rich
     
  6. darrindlh

    darrindlh Well-Known Member

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    Rich,
    Is there a way that we can purchase some of your sherman xr bullets??

    Darrin
     
  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    I would not worry very much about RPM. Light Varmint is gone and with him the vacuum of knowledge about fundamental physics. RPM is both your friend and enemy and you can burn out several barrels determining which or you can just ask any drag racer what happens at 8000+ RPM when something is out of balance in the motor such as will occur when a bullet is deformed upon contact with a bone. Alternatively you can go down to Sears and get some drill bits and shoot them down your barrel being as that was always his favorite saying- a bullet is like a drill bit.

    Secondly, the tire will be flat on the bottom even if you kick it and swear at it. In other words what most people find is that it actually takes a long time to learn the nuances of bullet testing and that many bullets will be fired before one understands the end result and can make a prediction. That is why I don't do it.

    As you propose, it is a good idea to always keep in the mix a bullet that you know how it performs on large animals such that you have the gold standard.

    You can read this article about the Strasbourg goat shooting where they shoot every goat they can find. I thought that they shot 900 goats, but this article only references 50 so maybe 50 had electronic gear on them and the other 850 just fell over when they felt like it. Certainly, it wouldn't be that my memory of the test is faulty. If none of your neighbors have goats you can substitute sheep.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0701/0701267.pdf

    So to sum it up- stick to first principles and if you cannot obey the fundamental and basic laws of physics then it is highly likely something is wrong.

    Good luck and have a good time learning about the vagaries of bullets and media.
     
  8. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your response Darrin! I've been asked that a lot lately and believe me, making bullets, testing, shooting and the rewards of reaping the harvest in hunting are all passions of mine and I would love to share that with others. Having said that, I also have to make a living and I don't know if turning a pleasurable hobby into a job is what I want to do. I haven't ruled it out because it would be great to see others use my bullets and enjoy them as I do. Right now I make a few for family mostly. If I did sell them, they wouldn't be cheap! It's quite labor intensive and even the materials are expensive for the way I make them. I'm not sure I could make it worthwhile for $2/bullet? We'll see what the future brings? Thanks again............Rich
     
  9. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting article Bob. As far as practical application goes, it backs up what many of us have observed in the field. The trick is to get the right characteristics incorporated into the bullet for the specific use (I like to call it the window) in which the bullet will perform its job on a given animal. Thats why I've always said that there is no perfect bullet for every hunting situation. One thing that stood out was what many of us refer to as hydrostatic shock. This was THE major factor in FAST incapacitation and was a function of the amount of energy released in a short amount of time (providing it took place within the chest cavity. i.e. sufficient penetration before expansion. This is why i personally argue that a bullet should release all or most of it's energy inside the animal. Some would argue that it doesn't leave as good a blood trail, which is true, and others would argue that you don't need a blood trail if the animal drops where it stood. In the steep country that i hunt in, I LIKE THAT:D. In a perfect world, I like my bullets to have just enough oomph to exit the opposite side. Try to do that everytime:rolleyes: I'm going to put a plug in for Bergers here as I believe that is why they often have dramatic knock down power (under the right circumstances). With the very small meplate and vld design, they often penetrate a few inches and then violently explode (hydrostatic shock). Again, you have that window: Too much velocity on a larger animal and you may not get enough penetration. Not enough velocity and they may penetrate very well but never expand. I have seen this in testing and on animals! Thats why, contrary to what some may think, a shoulder shot with a berger makes more sense at longer ranges and a rib shot at closer ones. I have proven in penetration tests over and over with several brands of bullets including my own that an unexpanded bullet at 1500' velocity will out penetrate an expanded bullet of the same make at 3000' every time! Not rocket science, just physics:D This article also gave some kudos to the ancient Nosler partition which was (and is) a very good killer in my opinion. I have made some partitions of my own and my next project just might be a bonded partition in a rebated boat tail VLD design and one of my ballistic tips. The 190's would be about .7 B.C. They would expand at very long range and would hold together close up. Stay tuned!.......Rich:)
     
  10. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Bergers have a small meplat, not plate:rolleyes:
     
  11. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Hey Roy.....I just swaged a new .308 bullet with one of my new ballistic tips. It is a 260 grainer with an estimated B.C. of .974. Looks like a guided missile! What do you think?:D....Rich
     
  12. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

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    I do not wish to "criticize" anyone who is testing. So take this for what it is worth.

    I worry about stability factor in reduced velocity testing. Not spin induced fragmentation.

    Any test comparing what bullets do is good, in my opinion. I like shooting through milk jugs, but this is difficult even at relatively short range. I have thought about shooting 50 gal garbage cans full of water at 1000 yrds, but a few years ago in a discussion here it was mentioned that the plastic can it self would cause false information. I still have not tried it, but still want to.

    Steve
     
  13. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

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    Weather has been lousy up here so I haven't been able to do higher velocity tests as yet but will attempt to post the 1800 feet/sec results. If we don't get any pics, I'll try again./Users/home/Pictures/iPhoto Library/Data/2010/Apr 6, 2010/DSCI0005.jpg
     
  14. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

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    If you are losing sleep, pacing the floor late at night and mumbling to yourself you can try reading this article.

    Terminal Ballistics


    Even though he an engineer is from the cow college in Alabama i.e. the one with the substandard football team, he does a fairly good job of staying with the fundamentals. In it is a paragraph on spin and he pretty well summarizes my own opinions. Lots off people say lots of things about FMJ but few people actually know what they are talking about. He also understand game bullet stability.

    You can also ponder his opinions on hitting bone as opposed to gelatin.

    While I don't agree with everything, it is at least worth reading and thinking about. He has updated the stuff since I last read it so I read most of it again today.



    If you enjoy smacking wet paper with bullets then you can read the companion piece.

    Terminal Ballistics

    If you like B movies you can go too his home page. I have a fondness for low budget scream queen and post-apocalyptic movies.