Author Topic: Colonial Myths  (Read 32260 times)

Daryl

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2009, 10:19:01 PM »
Quote
Now I can't seem to find out what is considered a legal/non-lethal shot for a human torso.
I think that "Hatcher's Notebook" contains that info based on testing done at the Frankford Arsenal for the US Army.

Back in the 1880's a bullet or ball that penetrated soft pine, 3/8" deeply (dent) was considered to be going fast enough to create a fatal wound on a human and likely to find the lung of a horse.

northmn

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #76 on: August 16, 2009, 06:56:05 PM »
The Baby Dragoon in 32 was one of Colt's hottest sellers.  If you look at its ballistics you wonder if it wasn't offering a little false security as it is in the range of a 25 auto.  The 41 Derringer was really poor with a 130 grain bullet at about 450 fps.  Lethality, especially in the older times, only required minimal penetration.  We are not talking about clean kills necessarily.  A bullet that went deep enough to perforate an intestine would cause septic shock and death over time.

DP

Daryl

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #77 on: August 17, 2009, 05:42:03 PM »
My little pocket Deringer that Taylor built for me (birthday or Christmas present back in '74) has a .45 barrel of normal length for that type.  It emulates the "Lincoln Deringer' except for it's calibre.  Using a .440 ball and a .44 mag. case full of 3F produces a rebound off a 2x4 pine board from 5 yards, yet the 'penetration' divot is almost 1/2" deep, certainly deep enough to produce a dreadful wound on a human.  They don't quite 'stick' into the board & are quite visible as they come back. The first one came back to smack me in the shoulder - glad it wasn't in the shooting glasses.

The .32 revolvers were indeed anemic compared to what we consider 'protection' revolvers today.  The little .36's also showed they were rather poor at kiling buffalo, failing to penetrate past the ribs, however the 1860 Colt Army revolver became a favourite for 'running' buff from horseback as it worked well, often killing 3 to 4 buffalo from a single cylinder.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #78 on: August 17, 2009, 08:20:33 PM »
Way back in the old Buckskin Report days John talked me into penetration tests. RB and Maxi-ball.
I found that my short barreled 50 caliber belt pistol would shoot completely through a Pronghorn's chest from side to side at 20-25 yards throwing up a plume of dirt beyond. It would penetrate a Mule Deer bucks chest on a diagonal from shoulder to diaphragm and lodge under the hide. It made just over 800 fps as I recall without resorting to looking up my notes or the article.
This load at 25 yards would penetrate 4 boards of the baffle board I set up made of IIRC 1/2" plywood (if you want hard details I will have to look this up). This was my baseline. I had real world penetration and compared it to the baffle tests.
The 50 caliber rifle with 90 gr of FFFG would penetrate 4 boards at 200 yards (54 with 120 gr did 5 IIRC). This tells me that at 200 yards and 700-800 fps or perhaps less the 50 caliber ball is a SERIOUS weapon and would kill medium game with decent shot placement. The hide and hair on a deer easily equals people with a coat/vest/shirt attire.
Considering that once under about 900 fps velocity degrades much more slowly, my limited testing at 300 with a 50, I can pretty well assume that a 50-54 RB will take a man out at 400.
This all tallys with the unknown calibers (*probably* 50-54) used to kill General Frasier and the "bugleman's" horse during the War of Independence.

People who wonder and who have the resources should load a 50-54 ball to 500-600 fps and do some penetration tests. We could use the knowledge.
I have a fairly well informed opinion already. IMO Circa 1776 if solidly hit with a 50 caliber RB at 400 yards the best one could hope for is to be put out of the fight for a few weeks.
Yes, BTW  the Maxi penetrated better than the RB. But at 200 with the rifle I had I could not hit the 24x24 target past 150. A rb would shoot through a deer to 150-200 so the problems associated with the maxi-outweighed the benefit.
I have to get to the shop. People seem to think they should get something back when they send money.
Darn gotta order a barrel or maybe two.
Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #79 on: August 17, 2009, 09:00:22 PM »
Daryl, that was a remember when, for me. When I was just a kid, ie 50 years ago, my Uncle had a .41 Deringer, and the same thing happened to me. Fired it at a fence post, and the bullet bounced back and hit me. My cousin and I never told anyone !

Daryl

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #80 on: August 18, 2009, 07:10:03 AM »
I don't talk about it much, either. 

northmn

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #81 on: August 18, 2009, 04:53:15 PM »
I have always felt everyone should own a Derringer at least once.  I had a CVA model.  If you loaded it with the recommended charge it would bounce back off borads.  With about 30-40 grains it would penetrate more, but the ball just about came to the end of the barrel.  There were more accurates pistols also.  Sold it but should have kept it for the parts to make a nicer pistol.  There was a Western story once about two gamblers that started shooting at each other across a poker table and missed and went to the other ends of the room to reload.  Bet any crowd gave them a real wide berth.

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #82 on: August 18, 2009, 08:36:21 PM »
I may have posted this previous.
I had heard of people simply removing the barrel from a SA Colt to make a hideout gun "back in the day".
I had the barrel out out of a 44-40 one day and loaded a case with FFG (IIRC) and 200 gr jacketed (all I had) and it broke though a 3/4" particle board and severely dented a second to the point it bulged at the back.
I decided that at card table distances it would be fairly effective. Not to mention the smoke and fire such a load generates for confusion factor.
Occasionally old Colts, cartridge and percussion, are seen with barrels cut off very short.

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

northmn

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Re: Colonial Myths
« Reply #83 on: August 19, 2009, 12:03:24 AM »
I have seen pictures of revolvers with the barrels either cut off at the frame or removed.  Gamblers guns.

DP