Author Topic: Firearm Effectiveness  (Read 32160 times)

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2008, 06:51:57 PM »
When we talk about deer hunting there is also the issue of where the deer are hunted.  In the midwest deer are bigger than in the South.  Local papers publish bucks shot weighing in at 200 plus or minus pounds FIELD DRESSED.  In some areas a big buck will maybe go 150 on the hoof.   In the grain country they get bigger than in my woods and swamps areas.   Antelope are what 90 to 100 on the hoof?  Mule deer get bigger than whitetails.   While I have thought of taking out the 40 for a camp meat deer, I really prefer the 50 or 54 in case a nicer one shows.  I shot a deer with a 36 revolver one time, and while it did not go all that far, I ahd a horrible time tracking it.  There is a difference in what will kill and what works better and what will work better over several deer and different angles.  I have learned to appreciate the term "deer rifle" after shooting more deer than I have counted and being involved with hunting parties seeing others shot.

DP

tg

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2008, 08:12:42 PM »
I think that each hunter must set his cal./ range limits based on his situation, skills, experience, if approach like archery (get close) many more options will present themselves. All the ballistic mathematics in the world will not take game only the hunter with a completly confident underestanding of his quarry, his gun and himself will do that and very often the results will defy the math.What we must avoid is presenting absoulte standards in which  newcommers may become  intangled and lean toward a straight bigger is better mindset without taking the whole picture into account.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2008, 08:42:24 PM »
TG- I agree with you. I don't use my .75 all the time, simply because I really enjoy the other rifles, and that includes a southern style .45 flinter that has a 44 in barrel and is a sweet rifle to use. I'm just a lot more carefull of my shots. If we are hunting the edge of a farm field, or similiar terrain, I really prefer my .50 Lancaster or that .45.   That is the joy of having more than one gun to choose from :)

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2008, 12:18:41 AM »
I am not saying anything against someone useing a .40 on deer etc. I know they work.  But...I'll give you some of my hunting history. I have 35 acres behind the house. It's crown land behind me, and someone elses property on either side. In deer season, it is not unusual to find other hunters on watch along my property lines. If shoot a deer and it runs over the line, I might just have to kiss it goodbye.
So far, when deer are hit by"Bess",  she has snatched their life away and dropped them within feet, not yards.  That is exactly what I like about her. I have shot deer with a 40-70 Sharps, a 45-100 Sharps,
and a 50-70 Sharps. Unless I hit bone, they were not as effective as my round ball flinters, but nothing compares to that .735 ball. Nothing.

I hunted pretty heavily with 40 caliber Sharps BNs for 2-3 years. They are more finicky as to bullet nose shape an alloy compared to the 44-45 though all work better with a large FP and about 1:40 allow. RN bullets in a 40-70 cast 1:20 are a recipe for a long stern chase. I had a 44-90 that I shot a very blunt 400 gr bullet from that was VERY effective, yet I still had a lung shot doe run well over 100 yards once.
I can't tell a nickels worth of difference in killing power on deer sized animals. In fact with light soft bullets the 40-70 may have an edge. However, the 16 bore RB rifle appears to be head a shoulders above everything, as it should be.
However in going to  http://www.beartoothbullets.com/rescources/index.htms
It is possible to access some stopping power formulas and some other formulas of interest to the big bore shooters.
In this the .495 RB at 1600 out performs the 30-30 170 gr at 2000-2100.
16 bore at 1400 fps is about like a 375 H&H.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2008, 05:07:59 AM »
When you mention archery, there is one thing archers do as a rule that shooters do not.  They wait up to 1/2 hour before tracking or pursuing their game.  It allows them to lay down and bleed out.  Most shooters start searching right after the shot.  Also, how many shooters wait for that perfect shot or pass if it is not presented.  I have also thought I had that shot only to find the angle of the deer was slightly different than I thought.  Saying that a 50 is better than a 30-30 due to someones interesting math is likely based on perfect broadside shots.  The 30-30 will in some instances out penetrate a 50 and can perform better.  Also the 30-30 and the 50 have the same weight bullets.  Sooner or later a deer is going to run on a good hit with good bullet performance.  I have ahd that a couple of times with the 270 in which they were hit perfectly through the lungs and when opened looked like jelly inside.  A lot of guys would have bought a bigger rifle, I had enough experience to know that sometimes s**t happens.  You cannot say that after shooting a couple of deer, moose or elk that a lighter rifle is great, you have to base it over a wider range of experiences.  It is bettter to err on the slighly heavy than too light/  with one you waste a little lead, powder and meat, with the other you may have a hard time finding the deer if you do.

DP

BuffaloGun

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2008, 05:35:26 AM »
I always want something that will bust thru that shoulder if I'm off or the deer moves. I mentioned that .45 was minimum on deer, and I am talking whitetails, but I have used .50s and now stick with my .54. I haven't tried bear but in PA where they are getting big these days I might want bigger.
Again, the big factor is being able to put the shot where it'll do maximum damage.

Leatherbelly

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2008, 10:14:34 AM »
[You will have a hard time convincing a lot of people who use a .40 regularly on deer and a .50 on Elk....
[/quote]
 Let me just enlighten everyone on Mule deer in NW British Columbia.Year before last,I popped a deer that field dressed over three hundred pounds,which is a average four year old where I hunt. I've seen what a big one looks like and many people do not believe me when I tell them it weighed 454 lbs,field dressed. This buck had a massive rack to go with his huge body.Buddy Baker shot one just like it.It was way up there in the Boone and Crockett record book. I'm thinking(yikes) that a .54 would be my minimum for muleys up here. Whitetails,different story. With a well placed shot,maybe a .40 minimum.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2008, 11:44:59 AM »
When you mention archery, there is one thing archers do as a rule that shooters do not.  They wait up to 1/2 hour before tracking or pursuing their game.  It allows them to lay down and bleed out.  Most shooters start searching right after the shot.  Also, how many shooters wait for that perfect shot or pass if it is not presented.  I have also thought I had that shot only to find the angle of the deer was slightly different than I thought.  Saying that a 50 is better than a 30-30 due to someones interesting math is likely based on perfect broadside shots.  The 30-30 will in some instances out penetrate a 50 and can perform better.  Also the 30-30 and the 50 have the same weight bullets.  Sooner or later a deer is going to run on a good hit with good bullet performance.  I have ahd that a couple of times with the 270 in which they were hit perfectly through the lungs and when opened looked like jelly inside.  A lot of guys would have bought a bigger rifle, I had enough experience to know that sometimes s**t happens.  You cannot say that after shooting a couple of deer, moose or elk that a lighter rifle is great, you have to base it over a wider range of experiences.  It is bettter to err on the slighly heavy than too light/  with one you waste a little lead, powder and meat, with the other you may have a hard time finding the deer if you do.

DP

Its just a theory, interesting though. Forsythe in "The Sporting Rifle and Its Projectiles" states that a 16 bore is about as light as anyone would use for dangerous game (he hunted in India in the 1840s-50s). And this is about where the 375 H&H resides as well. Do I think the 16 bore is as effective as a 375? Depends on the game. Cape Buffalo?? Nope. Mule deer, sure. In my experience, so far as KILLING the animal the 50 RB within its range works just as good as a 30-30 or 6.5x55 or 30-06. But a scoped modern centerfire allows easier shot placement and shooting to far longer ranges with confidence.
You can only kill something so dead. Shot placement, given sufficient power and penetration, is the key.
I might add that I once caped a bull elk shot by a client. 300 WBY 180 gr factory load at about 40 yards. Total penetration was perhaps 6". Bullet totally disintegrated when it struck a relatively light weight bone (projection off the top of the spine). I think a 50 cal RB would have out penetrated the 300 WM at this range. I have broken far larger bones on a elk with a 54 RB and still got penetration to the offside chest wall.
I still think a 54 RB is minimal for elk. One reason I built the 16 bore (and I always wanted one after reading Forsythe).
Some bullet effectiveness theorys favor velocity this produces the best energy but not always the most effective load on game. HV loads, over 3000 in most cases often work very well but sometimes produce performance failures. Bullets of larger diameter and/or heavier at modernate to relatively low velocity are generally pretty consistent. They work the same EVERYTIME since the bullets don't come apart so penetration is usually good from shot to shot. Place the shot right critter dies. HV light bullets sometime produce long chases when the penetration fails regardless of placement.
So bigger and/or heavier generally is better even if the velocity and energy is lower.
The use of very hard bullets, copper etc. Has changed this somewhat in recent years.

Dan
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Offline FL-Flintlock

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2008, 04:35:25 PM »
DP,

You're all over the place on me so I'll try and take these as they appear...  The .45 acp or colt can be as useless as anything else if the bullet is not right and/or if the shot placement is not right.  You hit someone in the little finger with a .45acp or a .50BMG and they're going to loose the finger and become extremely PO'ed, not out of the fight.  Where I beg to differ is with the broad-base statement
Quote
the 38 special lead bullet out of a pistol was very close to as effective to their one shot as a 45 stopping power at about 65% in police shooting situations.
  First thing is that neither the .38 nor .45 bullets are identified and that in itself leads to HUGE differences since both calibers have an abundance of bullets that are completely useless thus the statement is baseless from the start.  The second thing is the "65%" reverse the order and that means "in at least 35% of the shootings, the .38spl was useless".... tends to present things in a new light, does it not?  You said it yourself in the previous thread, one must compare "apples to apples" which was precisely my point.  A .38 spl loaded with a 148gr HBWC over 2.5gr of Alliant Bullseye produces an extremely effective terminal wound channel at ranges of 30 feet or less with little chance of the bullet exiting a human creating collateral damage dangers yet the same load deployed at 30 yards will be about useless compared to a 230gr bullet from a .45acp running at wide open throttle.  Thus, my point, and yours as well, any comparison must be done in an apples to apples manner and no comparison can be made unless all[/u] the data is known.

Energy transfer is a complete waste of time to even consider when it comes to creating an effective terminal wound channel.  The only time energy transfer becomes a valid consideration is when you're going against an armored or otherwise "hardened" target.  Blowing up milk jugs is fun but it's nothing more than a complete waste of time from the standpoint of ballistic effectiveness unless your intent is only on terminating milk jugs.

Dan P. presents a great example
Quote
300 WBY 180 gr factory load at about 40 yards. Total penetration was perhaps 6". Bullet totally disintegrated when it struck a relatively light weight bone (projection off the top of the spine).
One could use this example to make the statement that the .30-30 is more effective on elk than the .300wtby and while the statement would have merit for this particular incident, it cannot be used to present a "broad-base" claim as is being done with the .38 v .45

But let's go one step further with this one ... 180gr .300wtby presents 4,200 ftlbs of energy.  The elk in question clearly absorbed 4,200 ftlbs of energy yet the amount of energy induced into the elk had no affect on the terminal results or the ability of the bullet to create a wound channel with sufficient effective depth.  Compare this to a 170gr .30-30 @ 2,100 fps presenting a mere 1,600 ftlbs of energy that can easily create a sufficient terminal wound channel in the same instance.  At no point can any claim of "energy" be used as a valid argument to define "terminal effectiveness".  Just as I stated earlier, and some other have brought up the issue of arrows - if one looks at a soft tissue only hit with an arrow, very little energy is transferred from the arrow to the victim yet the results are very much terminally effective.  The same applies to anything else be it bullet, ball or whatever, terminal effectiveness is measured by the quality of the wound channel and the amount of energy transferred to the victim means absolutely nothing.  Another example is a Marine who got hit in the throat with a 9mm at an estimated 50 yards, the bullet penetrated his windpipe but stopped in the neck muscle.  The Marine absorbed approximately 290 ftlbs of energy from that bullet and lived to tell about it with no permanent damage other than scar tissue.  Had this Marine been struck with a broadhead arrow carrying less than 27 ftlbs of energy and transferring less than half to the victim, the results would have been fatal.  Thus, the amount of energy transferred to the victim means nothing since only 7 ftlbs of energy is needed to completely decapitate a human with sword - how many times have you survived absorbing 40+ ftlbs of energy delivered by the recoil of a heavy rifle or shotgun?  Energy carried by the projectile is nothing more than its potential to do a given amount of work, its ability to convert that potential into terminal results is completely different matter.  Thus, a given bullet design, weight, physical size and velocity carries with it a given amount of energy yet a completely different set of variables can produce the same terminal results and the amount of actual energy transferred to the victim plays no roll in the potential for lethality.  A 179gr ball that expends all of its energy, for the sake of discussion say 550 ftlbs into the victim creates an effective terminal wound without exiting the victim while a 750gr ball that completely penetrates the victim transferring just 120 ftlbs of energy in the process creates even faster terminal results.  There is no way around the fact the amount of energy delivered to the victim by the projectile is absolutely useless in determining the resultant terminal effects.

I used to load 0.710" PRB's in a 12ga suppository gun over a healthy charge of Alliant Blue Dot - nothing, and I mean nothing created terminal results on whitetails and hogs like those round balls.  I've shot WT's with 300gr bullets from the .375 H&H (long story as to why) and had them go 80yds before dropping with a solid boiler room hit yet every WT and hog that was smacked with one of the 0.710" balls never made more than 10 feet and most never went a single foot.  If one wants to look at energy, the .375 H&H bullet showed up at the WT with roughly 4,400 ftlbs of energy while the mere round ball carried with it about 2,150 ftlbs yet the RB is considerably more effective at producing terminal results. 

It all comes back to my point that potential energy, transferred energy, velocity or any other variable you choose means absolutely nothing by itself - terminal effects rely solely upon the projectile's ability to create an effective wound channel.  The depth and diameter of the wound channel is the sole determining factor of lethality provided the damage created by it is in a vital area.  A gut shot is a gut shot no matter if it's made by a .22LR or a .375 H&H just the same as a brain box hit can be just as lethal if it's delivered by either of these.

As for the minimum caliber for X argument, one must look at both the options and possibilities and make a determination for themselves.  A WT can be effectively taken with a .36 PRB within a limited range and with perfect ball placement but a .54 PRB is going to allow for not only more range but also some room for error in placement.  If the .36 ball happens to hit the shoulder bone, chances are very good that it will never reach the vitals where as the .54 will punch the bone and continue on to make a fatal wound channel.  There is also the need for having a load of sufficient power to take advantage of the ball size as well - a .54 driven with only 30gr of powder is not going to be as effective as driving it with 70gr of powder just as a pure lead ball may suffer performance losses from being over-driven with a massive powder charge whereas one can alloy the ball and extend the after-impact performance capabilities.
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northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2008, 05:07:46 PM »
Flinter I have stated more than once on the studies that they were comparing the nonexpanding bullets in the 45's Ie the military ball to the 38 special non expanding police lead bullet (non expanding because it is not going fast enough to expand) They were police studies using police ammo. Shot placement had the same variation as enough instances were covered ie over 100 and the the area of the torso was standardized where the hits were counted.   The 44 special, 45 colt factory loads, the 38 special and others performed about the same.  The bullets that performed the best were the bullets with more energy.  In the case of the 45 if you loaded it hotter with a 185 grain hollowpoint it performed better than the military ball.  The 9mm FMJ by the way has the same energy as the 45 ACP FMJ and performed about the same.  With hollow points in hot loads it far surpassed the 45 ACP FMJ load.  One of the things that came out of this study that makes a lot of sense is that there is kind of a "threshold" of power or performance and that if falling under that threshold you may see little difference.  Kind of like asking what is a better deer rifle a 22 hornet or a 32-20.  Since neither is worth a hoot for larger deer except with very precise shot placement it is a ridiculous arguement.
Bullet effectiveness is the mathematics of collisions.  Bullet effectiveness is related to three things.  The kinetic energy of the bullet or the collision, the durability of the target and the durability of the bullet.  All of this is based on Newton's Laws of Physics.  If a big bore works better it is because the bullet is more durable than a smaller bore.  In many cases as in FMJ's the bullet is too durable and the energy gets expended on the other side of the target.  These formulas some will quote from whoever may work on a small range of uses but are mostly not derived from any tangible data, just numbers puilled out of the sky to support their opinions.
The energy transfer is what expands the hollow point.  The energy transfer is what makes the bullet penetrate.  The energy transfer is what blows up too light of bullets on big game.  These are basic laws of motion and the laws of conservation of energy.  If you do not want to believe that Newton's laws do not apply (and so far the exceptions have been at speed of light instances) that is fine. 

DP
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 05:13:24 PM by northmn »

tg

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2008, 05:32:15 PM »
" You cannot say that after shooting a couple of deer, moose or elk that a lighter rifle is great"

Not great just sufficient if one does their part, and "stuff" does happen even if you start with a larger bore with the potential longer range to begin with, increased distance will increase the odds of "stuff" happening, a large heavy bullet may or may not help when the "stuff" hits the fan. I don't know how many hunters wait before tracking a deer I was taught to do that in the early 60's I would hope that most do it now and also hope that most who have taken up ML hunting and the limitations built into it would also pass on many shots, I have had to do this to help avoid that..."stuff," large bore guns are fine I use .58 and .62 as they are all I have left but would not hesitate to use a .40 0r .45 prb on average Muleys/Whitails or Blacktails, if there are deer the size of Elk in your area it would be logical to adjust accordingly, the point is that going to a larger bore may not overcome the "stuff" when it happens so it is best to be conservative and pass all but the good shots and try to eliminate "stuff' before it happens rather that hope we have a heavy enough load to cover the "stuff"

Daryl

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2008, 07:22:02 PM »
Interesting, all 3 pages -

  I liked the 14 bore. with it's 480gr. round ball, (466gr. in WW). Both penetrated exceptionally all and never was wanting. It produced 3" permantent holes through the lungs and heart, due I figure, to the wide shock wave that accompantied it. None of the recovered balls showed lattening more than to .70", yet those big 3" holes effectively bled the moose in sort order. Impact appeared to make the moose so sick they never ran from the shot, only walked slowly and with difficulty, about 20 yards max. That sort of performance works all the time.   My buddies. 75's shooting heavy patched .735's worked even better with from 120gr. 2F to 240gr. 2f. No moose walked more than 5feet. THAT's performance.  Most just drop their hindquarters, then fall over. THAT's even better performance.

 For a new hunting rifle, I'll probably go to a 16 bore, bit flatter tragectory, higher velocity and still great killing power.

 In my opinion, using the smaller bore muzzleloaders on big game is lsimilar to using small bore modern rifles on big game. They work as long as shot placement and bullet construction is up to the task at hand.  Things go wrong and when they do, larger bore, heavier bullets or balls are needed.  It makes sense to me to use what will work 99.9% of the time, rather than possibly 65% of the time - which is why I packed a 4" 29 as a standard sidearm when I was a policeman, rather than my issued .38.

 For hunting big game, size does matter when things don't go as planned.

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2008, 07:56:36 PM »
Interesting, all 3 pages -

  I liked the 14 bore. with it's 480gr. round ball, (466gr. in WW). Both penetrated exceptionally all and never was wanting. It produced 3" permantent holes through the lungs and heart, due I figure, to the wide shock wave that accompantied it. None of the recovered balls showed lattening more than to .70", yet those big 3" holes effectively bled the moose in sort order. Impact appeared to make the moose so sick they never ran from the shot, only walked slowly and with difficulty, about 20 yards max. That sort of performance works all the time.   My buddies. 75's shooting heavy patched .735's worked even better with from 120gr. 2F to 240gr. 2f. No moose walked more than 5feet. THAT's performance.  Most just drop their hindquarters, then fall over. THAT's even better performance.

 
 For hunting big game, size does matter when things don't go as planned.

That illustrates my point on energy.  The 14 gauge ball did not expand all that much and thus the moose recieved the brunt of the energy in the wound channel to make the 3" holes.  Had the ball flattened out too much you would not have had that performance.  I wish I would not have mentioned that article by Marshall and Sanow and only mentioned it because it was a very well constructed study designed to eliminate as many variables as possible. And illustrated many good points.  Energy tansfer may not be the term I should use.  So lets say performance is the ability of the target and the bullet to withstand energy.  Energy flows to the least resistance.  Also as I mentioned about the paper target and the milkjug, certain objects will not absorb enough energy due to their structure so that extra energy is spent on the landscape.  A lot of big bores used on deer do that.  Your moose are big enough to absorb more energy.  Basically I tried to use theory to show that KE is a valid comparison, especially apples to apples like ML round ball to ML round ball.  However there is NO MATHEMATICAL FORMULA that explains it well.  When all is said and done the more experienced we get at hunting the more we like certain power levels for certain jobs.  Some things like using too small a caliber starts reeking of a stunt as some say.  Nobody is so good that they won't screw up some of the time.  That could be another thread, "My Best?, Worst? Screw up Hunting" In muzzle loading round ball use the only way to get more power is to use a bigger bore.  Look at the junk the inline people try to use to standardize the 50 as a caliber when a bigger bore does it better.

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2008, 08:47:03 PM »
In talking of elongated bullets there are other factors. IMO a 320-400 gr FP 45 bullet at BP velocities is more effective on deer than a 550 gr RN.
HOWEVER, when you step up to Bison the 500 gr seems to do better IMO.
I fully suspect that Daryl's 14 or my 16 will work extremely well on Bison, probably better too 100 yards than the 500 gr 45. I have not the slightest doubt that a ball over .70 is just that much more effective. But then the one deer I have shot with the 16 bore from front to back ran 55 long steps before falling and the ball flattened back 1/2 way making a 3-4" hole where the top of the heart was.


Frontal area of the bullet and its shape has a lot to do with terminal ballistics.
Blunt FMJ RN solids have been used in Africa at least since the advent of the 450 NE. If properly placed they work very well.
Some here have pointed out that the 45 ACP hardball is no more effective than a 38 lead bullet. They have also described the Thompson/LaGarde tests as "faulty" or some such. They are applying current technology to pre-WW-I tests. The T/L tests tested softpoint ammunition  in some of the small bores, 38 acp for one. They also used the then standard FMJ FP in the 9mm Luger.  However, "state of the art" at the time produced non-expanding softpoints thus they acted as solids. I think if you look at the military, which for the most part is stuck with FMJ ammo, it might be found that the people who actually USE a handgun to shoot people, the special ops people, still use 45 ACP to a great extent. While modern HP handgun bullets change this to some extent this does not make the 45 ACP obsolete. It is loaded with high tech bullets as well and when so loaded is ball park with the 357 from what I data have seen. Also heavy clothing may prevent HP bullets for performing properly.
I would also point out , assuming my memory is correct, that Marshal/Sanow consider (at one time at least) a one shot stop to be someone who goes out of the fight after taking a few steps the same as someone who drops to the shot. I see this differently. If the target can walk around he can shoot too. Thus when I read there data I factor this in.
Sanow in particular who once went on record that that the FMJ 38 Super was a better stopper the 45ACP based solely on ME and once wrote an article citing Thompson/ LaGarde that was stated to be 100% accurate when he had obviously never even read the report and the article contains numerous gross factual errors. I think I still have the letters he wrote in response to my criticism someplace. So while Sanow has surely learned since then I personally consider him a jerk and don't read his stuff. He does not respond well to polite criticism.

I have done limited testing with the 125 gr 357. It is a VERY effective loading in barrels of 4" or more. However, it is also very noisy and can be intimidating. It is also too big for most concealed carry. While I can carry a 5" 629 under my shirt my wife has problems with anything much larger than a Chief's Special and prefers this to her Sig 239 40 S&W she uses as her reserve officer duty gun. She is likely under gunned. But the gun you can have on your person is far more valuable than one in the car glove box no matter how powerful it might be.
I hear various theories on how targets react to bullets. Soft lead bullets at low speeds have a different effect than HV bullets. The are more effective than there energy levels would indicate as we keep hearing hear. This is the reason the RB, the various BPCRs and many handguns are more effective than they should be by modern standards which almost universally rely on energy. This can be deceptive since many 22 CFs will out energy a BP 45-70. But they will not work as well on game.
I think this has be beat to death...
Dan
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Offline FL-Flintlock

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #39 on: July 21, 2008, 06:21:18 AM »
DP,

The energy argument is what's used by the likes of Wakeman and Bridges to advance their agenda of selling more of their in-lines and talking "energy", be it potential or transferred, is playing into their trap. 

Dan said it right, different projectiles work differently and there is no mathematical formula, at least not that I know of, to show by the numbers the centuries of success and failures of different projectiles.  As I said, energy means nothing because all that matters is how good the permanent wound channel is.  This is not defying Newton's laws nor attempting to ignore them but when certain projectile and load combinations are field-proven over a century or two of use, one cannot deny the actual results no matter if they can figure out a way to make numbers explain it or not. 

As for the .38 v .45 tests, if you don't know the exact design of the bullet, bullet weight, gun and load used in each test, there is now way to accept the results as factual because of the missing information.  No matter if the bullet is a non-expanding FMJ, a non-expanding lead or a jacketed steel core, if one does not know the exact shape of the bullet, it's weight, the rate of twist in the rifling and the velocity at the time of impact at a minimum, there is no plausible way to accept any kind of test results since the results cannot be analyzed based on known factual results of ballistic testing on the same or similar bullet designs.  Simply stating "non-expanding" or jacketed v cast lead means absolutely nothing because there is no way to confirm or deny the results of any test or theory presented unless one knows all the details.  I'm not saying the tests were flawed or intentionally skewed but without knowing ever detail, there is no other option than to hold the results as "suspect".  I don't have the write-up, perhaps the information I seek is contained within but the extremely limited information you provided here is grossly inadequate for making any determination either way.

While none of this modern stuff means anything to ML or BPCR applications, it helps to prove the case that numbers cannot explain certain known facts and that for the simple reason as no one has taken the time or saw a reason to figure out a calculation.  1900 ftlbs of energy delivered to the shoulder of a moose by a 55gr 0.224" HP bullet moving at 3900 fps will have little effect even though the full load of energy is expended in the moose.  Likewise a 450gr 0.458" RN bullet moving at just 1200 fps will have a potential energy of 1440 ftlbs yet it will penetrate the moose's shoulder, vitals and exit the opposite side - in the process it may have transferred only 50% of it energy, 720 ftlbs into the moose yet the resultant wound channel created will be quite terminal.  I don't know how to present this any clearer that the amount of energy transferred to the victim or the potential energy carried by the projectile does not have any bearing as to if the projectile can produce a terminal effect wound or not.  One must remember that the KE formula used by "modern ballistics" is the same formula that was originally created to calculate the amount of work that can be done by a steam piston, not a bullet.  Yes, the basic theory and calculation of energy is valid but it doesn't mean anything by itself with the sole exception of calculating the minimum weight and velocity required for a projectile that is going against an armored or otherwise hardened target and that only because one can calculate the level of energy needed to penetrate a known substance of a given thickness - flesh and bone is not the same as armor plate.

I hate to keep going back to modern cartridges but they make the point so well ... Example is the modern Big Five cartridges where some have gone to building super powerhouse rounds in an effort to drive the standard 0.458" and 0.474" 500gr monolith RN's at much higher velocities than were previously obtainable - the reasoning being that increased velocity means increased energy and increased energy means increased killing power ... nice idea pandering to the numbers on paper crowd but subsequent testing showed that the increased velocity caused a considerable decrease in penetration depth and size of the permanent wound channel - but hey, the energy numbers on paper looked real impressive and unfortunately many of the modern/young hunters have been suckered in by the numbers on paper hype. 

Looking only at numbers on paper, PRB's and even BPCR bullets are not very impressive yet ML's throwing PRB's have been quite effective for what, about 700 years now and continue to be quite effective at putting game on the table yet today.  Same deal but not quite the length of time yet for well over century and still today, BPCR's continue to hold their own and in many cases continue to out perform the most modern of smokeless cartridges despite their rather un-impressive numbers on paper.

Personally, I don't care what the numbers look like on paper, I'm a round ball and flint shooter and considering the length of time and hassle it takes to run a modern in-line, I'll stick with my flinter thank you very much.

This is not the place to argue the points of HP's v FMJ's in modern cartridges.  If you wish to discuss that topic further, please feel free to email me.   :)
The answers you seek are found in the Word, not the world.

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #40 on: July 21, 2008, 05:13:37 PM »

Dan, One of the most effective loads found in the early tests by Marshall showed that the 357 mag loaded with 125 grain hollowpoints was the most effective load a patrolman could carry as was the +p+ 9mm howllow point.  I wish to also point out that the study did not have anything at 100%.  He also stated that a 4 inch 357 is noisy and hard for the average officer to shoot. also he has data for  a couple of 45 hollowpoint loads that are very impressive, especially at the +p level (which is also an increase in KE)
 As to energy levels in black powder, the problem comes when you try to compare jacketed HV's to Boundball or in your interest BP cartridges.  Mathematically the 243 with a 100 gr bullet at 2900 would have the same energy as a 45 loaded with a 400 grain bullet at 1450, or say a 16 gauge loaded at about the same speed with a round ball.  The effect of a collision depends on the kinetic energy, and the durability of the bullet in this case and the target.  When you say a deer runs about 55 yards when hit by a 16, the deer will also run about 55 yards if hit by the 243 or the 45-90 lets say.  the deer is kind of Kind the water jug I mentioned in that only so much energy is transmitted into the deer and likely the rest into a tree on the other side.  Almost every deer I have shot with about anything you can think of runs a ways if hit in the lungs.  As I stated, an old timer told me one time that they tend to run to cover if in a field and seem to make it if they are 10 yards out or 100 yards out.  Also as I mentioned my sons friend shot one with a 50 Browning Machine Gun caliber that went 70 yards and did not quite make it off the field.  They were amazed that an animal could take the damage that deer did and run that far.
Bullet nose design and other considerations do have an effect, we all know that.  Also there is no reason to shoot deer with overly big bores because they do not absorb enough energy for them to matter.  A 50 or a 54 delivers plenty of energy.
The bigger bores start to shine on bigger critters that need the extra whomp if shot through the ribs.  Your 16 gauge or the big 45 have big durable bullets that can take the energy as transmitted to BOTH the bullet and target that the 243 cannot.  The 100 grain bullet stats to fall on its face.  If made stiff it does little damage and over penetrates, if made soft it breaks up a dissipates the energy in smaller missiles that do not penetrate.  Also the energy required for expansion is lost on the target.   An interesting aside to what you mentioned about solids for the real big bores.  You get the irresistible force meeting the immovable object phenomena.  They have had a devil of a time making solids that do not deform.  Not exactly mushroom but bend and otherwise deform at the nose off one side or the other which causes them to veer off course. Again extreme energy acting on the bullet. 
I personally do not give a tinkers @!*% what Bridges says about energy because almost all those that quote energy use it without regard to the amount of energy transferred to the bullet.  When you read gun writers they talk as if all the ft pounds of energy in a load goes into the critter.  Take a bullet and hit it with a hammer and see what it takes to get a mushroom .  That energy is lost to penetration bruising and whatever. Another reason the big ones work very well as they resist deformation better. Newtons law of the conservation of energy.  Also some want to claim a minimal energy level, but assume equal ability to transfer that energy regardless of design.  I once read an article by a person shooting compound bows that tried to state minimum energy levels needed to kill deer, elk and whatever.  None of these genius's proposed energy requirements would be met by a very powerful traditional bow,  although they have worked for at least 5000 years.  It isn't the energy formulas that are wrong its the gun writers that do not understand the concepts and come up with some interesting minimums.   

DP

Offline Ken G

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2008, 08:32:03 PM »
How's about nudging this back over to the muzzleloading side fellers.   

Cheers,
Ken
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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2008, 08:45:11 PM »
If I put a .535 ball through a moose's lungs, he is dead. If I put a .735 ball through same, he is dead.
The difference is..he's got a lot less time to think about it! ;D I don't depend on energy. It's the shutdown of the vital organ/s that sustain life that ensures a clean kill.  I have a friend who shot a deer with his bow, and the arrow went clean through. The doe actually flinched, looked around, and then went back to feeding. A few seconds later she fell over. Not much energy transfer there at all.
My point is, IMHO all the opinions re deer hunting with everything from .40 etc on up, are correct, providing a vital organ is hit. What I gather from all the posts, is that we can all agree that the big balls,[ 69, 72, 75 etc work faster/better, more consistantly ,than smaller cal. I know hunters who have lost deer after a decent hit with 45s, 50s etc. and I too have done so.  I have never lost anything after a hit from the .735 ball.
Ever!  

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2008, 10:36:49 PM »
If I put a .535 ball through a moose's lungs, he is dead. If I put a .735 ball through same, he is dead.
The difference is..he's got a lot less time to think about it! ;D I don't depend on energy. It's the shutdown of the vital organ/s that sustain life that ensures a clean kill.  I have a friend who shot a deer with his bow, and the arrow went clean through. The doe actually flinched, looked around, and then went back to feeding. A few seconds later she fell over. Not much energy transfer there at all.
My point is, IMHO all the opinions re deer hunting with everything from .40 etc on up, are correct, providing a vital organ is hit. What I gather from all the posts, is that we can all agree that the big balls,[ 69, 72, 75 etc work faster/better, more consistantly ,than smaller cal. I know hunters who have lost deer after a decent hit with 45s, 50s etc. and I too have done so.  I have never lost anything after a hit from the .735 ball.
Ever!  

Exactly.
I have found that a deer shot thru the lungs with ANYTHING likely to be fired from the shoulder is going to run 40+- yards in most cases. Sometime far less sometime a lot more. I have shot them with 50 RB at near 150 yards where the permament cavity was very small and at 30-40 with a heavily loaded 54 rb where the permanent cavity in the lungs was the size of a silver dollar. Both young mule deer bucks and they both ran about 40 yards. Unless the spine or brain is shocked they seldom fall quickly. My son shot a similar buck just over the heart with a 45 rb with 45 gr of FFG and it ran about 75 maybe 100 yards.  I have had deer run farther when shot with both 50s and 54s at the same range and much high velocity. And as with all things it can change with the deer,  if it has been recently spooked or if it is simply standing grazing. Some animals are just tougher than heck and some are pushovers.
They will go until the brain shuts off. This may only take 5-15 seconds but a panic stricken animal can cover a lot of ground in 10-15 seconds.
Most of the time if the animal is lost its tough to know what the hit really was.
The problem with the larger bores is the same as in colonial times, they cost far more to shoot. They also generate a lot of recoil if loaded to 1600 fps.
Everything is a trade off. Where I hunt I can often watch the animal till it falls. In areas where cover is thick the bigger balls produce better blood trails (though a 50 will do very well) and probably shorter average runs.
I have a 40 caliber percussion I suppose I should shoot a deer with it this year. But while I often get close shots packing a 40 will likely assure a long shot... Murphys law.
Discussions of this topic are sure to drag in comments on modern tests since there is little testing done on 18th century firearms. The military arms of the time had no "stopping power" issues nor did most of the contemporary long arms.
 
Dan
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Daryl

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2008, 01:51:50 AM »
  Years ago, I worked for a time in a gun shop. One day a shopper came in, looking for a handgun to send back home to India.  We walked over to the handgun display and I pulled out one such  point-tree-too Bebbly Scort (his words) for him to look at.  He procaimed it to be a Vitty Gude Goo-in. I then told him that if anyone shot me with one, it would make me angry and I'd likely break his neck.  I then pulled out a new 6 1/2" M29 (I'm dating myself here) and said THIS is a very good gun!  His eyes just got larger and larger and said quite slowly, DOT's A VITTY BEEG GOO-IN!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 01:52:31 AM by Daryl »

Offline Dan

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2008, 03:05:13 AM »
There is a lucid discussion in the following link regarding terminal ballistics.  It is long and mostly in context of conical bullets...but the same physics apply:

http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/ballistics/wounding.html

My "1,000 words" is below. Sorry it isn't a front stuffer but it illustrates one extreme of the discussion.


« Last Edit: July 22, 2008, 06:00:06 PM by Acer Saccharum »

Daryl

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2008, 04:47:41 AM »
Found the 'energy-dump' article writing, interesting.  Pretty much mirrors my thoughts on the subject of the last 30 years.
; I'll get around to reading the rest, when I've time. Being semi-retired/tired takes up a lot of my free time.

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2008, 05:09:51 PM »
Unfortunately the studies are of military/police variety with little done on game.  I rambled on this issue more than I wanted to really.  As one trained in research and structuring research with a little experience in research I tend to be an egghead on that area and really get into it.  There are two major things to look at in research:
1. The procedure and criteria
2. Validity.

Marshalls research had excellent structure and criteria and when statistical analysis was applied in the form of multivariate regression, I got a prediction level of over 90% which supports my feelings on that issue.
As to validity, as Dpharsis mentioned it was from a criteria one may or may not feel comfortable with.  Generalization off of the findings is where problems arise.  Marshall's research was for handguns on humans.  I would be the first to say that use of the same on deer could yield vastly different results.  Humans stand up and tend to be facing you when shot as where quadripeds are generally double lunged and need more penetration.  The FBI studies were on pigs and as a result the 147 grain HP 9mm was adopted.  It likely worked well on pigs and not so well on humans.  The FBI study hurt in validity for its intended purpose.  The Thompson Lagarde studies I feel were the same.  Good studies but with results that can only be applied to cattle.
Here are a couple of conclusions out of the stats I would like to present as my own generalizations:
When graphed there were two flat areas and one area of increased performance.  I put to you folks that on game with a round ball that you may not see very good performance until a point or threshold of power is reached.  IE most think the 45 is about minimum on deer.  Were I to ask which is better for elk a 36 or a 40 most would right a way say the 40 as it is more powerful.  I put to you that it may not perform any better than the 36 as both are very underpowered for the task and likely any results would be kind of like the issue with the 38 special round nose and the 45 ACP fmj.  Neither was powerful enough to make a significant difference in performance.
There is likely a base area.  The picture of the pig shot with CB caps well illustrates it.  If a 40 or a 36 ruptures the Aorta an elk may not go much further than with a bigger bore.  Would they penetrate both lungs or just one?  If one there may not be much difference between the two.
Also there was a flat area on the graph at the top.  After 90% stopping power ratings was reached there was not much improvement.  I remember hitting a jack rabbit with a 222. I saw snow fly behind him and saw him run.  I turned to a friend and said "I same darn close to that one".  He said "you sure did".  When I went to recover it I saw it had run 80 steps with the whole side of a rib cage blown out.  I did not think a rabbit had that much blood in him.  The tenacity of game animals can astound you at times.
Once you reach that top flat area, extra power is really not needed.  Again 50's and 54's on deer are likely at that point.
One final point on my ramblings:  I sometimes wonder, especially with the smaller bores if we cannot over power them.  A 40 or 45 can be driven over 2000 fps.  At close range I wonder if we would not flatten the ball too much? 

DP 

Offline Acer Saccharum

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2008, 05:59:30 PM »
Gents, Please keep this to M/L topic. I understand the relationships that many of you have made, especially the valid  comparisons between cartridge and muzzleloading.  I am writing this because Ken asked before that we stay on the M/L side of the thread. In the interests of keeping to the ALR muzzleloading only format, I am deleting the photo of the cartridge gun. If this heads into a cartridge discussion, it will have to be locked. Keep this thread  strongly related to our muzzleloaders, please.

Chuck Dixon turns purple if a cartridge gun shows up at the Gunmaker's Fair....even if it's a private deal out in the parking lot. I will follow his lead, except the turning colors part.

Thanks, Tom
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Daryl

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2008, 07:26:15 PM »
As to high velcity flattening balls prematurely, I can agree that this is a definite possibility, especially if some bone is hit. My .40 achieves 2,147fps with hit's 3F accuracy load.  I know how well pure lead expands at impacts of 1,400fps, and that at higher speeds, excessive flattening will happen.  On the other hand, impacts at longer ranges, say 75 to 100yards, the velocity will have been bled off to a realistic level and excessive flattening is unlikely to happen.  This is true as well with larger bore. Witness my 14 on moose. The pure lead balls showed similar expansion to the WW balls.  The .54 kill at 170 yards, although fired from a 48" twist  with it's higher rotational spining than given by typical slower twists, showed no expansion at all. It punched through one rib and stopped on the off side hide.  There was a circular ring still on the ball from the rod when loading it.  Of course, impact velocity of that load was very low indeed. My comp program shows 850fps at 170 yards, given a BC of .06 for the ball. I've lost my Lyman book so cannot state the .535" ball's true BC.