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Thread: Is it really true???

  1. #1
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    Default Is it really true???

    Consensus in current thinking seems to be,,, that these Wide FN bullets, have a huge edge in terms of penetration, and should be used for making up the loads you will use for Bear Protection with your 44 Mag., for example.

    Iím not disputing this at all, and Iím going that way, but Iíve no actuals to judge from.

    I usta read the same stuff about SWC bullets.

    Those of you, that have shot/killed bears, or other animals with a beeg bore hand gun, can you verify this, either by your own experiences or that of others?

    OR, have you even tried other bullet designs?

    Thanks
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    I can't swear to any of what I think on this subject but I believe there are several factors that control how much penetration you get. Bullet hardness, shape, weight ,caliber and impact velocity all have some affect. Which contributes the most is beyond me. Bullet hardness and impact velocity are important as they determine how much expansion you get. More expansion usually equals less penetration. Weight, the heavier it is the harder it is to stop. Cailber, smaller caliber same weight tends to slide through with less resistance. Shape is important as some shapes penetrate straighter than others and straighter means less resistance. I haven't tested which shape is the best for the most penetration but others have done a lot of testing and it seems as if the round flat nose is the best shape for hand guns. Hard cast SWCs were the hot setup compared to jacketed HPs and jacketed soft points as they didn't usually expand much if any. The next step for added penetration was more weight followed by better nose shape. Is it reely true? I don't reely know but most folks that test this sort of stuff seem to agree that they are better. Are they a whole lot better than a hard swc? Probably not, but that is just my guess. Sooner or later someone will come out with shape that will be sooo much better that the round flat nose that we will all wonder why we even used such a poor design in the first place. Sometimes it makes my head ache wondering why we just gotta fix things that aren't broke.

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    283085_2118196687039_1609428461_2081057_3481246_n.jpg285417_2128923075192_1609428461_2095233_6414313_n.jpg This falls bear my dad shot, I had to finish it in tall thick stuff. Went through head, down spine and out behid shoulder just under hide. Lots of penetration and through a lot of bone too! 230gr 10mm. Plus a 6'10" black bear with a 19 1/16" skull last spring with the same gun and load. Single shot a close range and from a tree stand, again losts of penetration and kept going thruogh the large chested bruin to disapear into the soil! Plus recently caught caribou with the same load at close range, pass through in neck!

  4. #4

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    The following is for hard cast- hard enough that they don't expand at all, but not so hard that they might shatter on heavy bone. In my experience the FNs don't penetrate as far as RNs, but further than HP or jacketed FN intended to expand a bit. Meanwhile they do a surprising amount of damage while RNs do very little. That's a trade off for penetration I like. In my looks at wound channels with RN (principally 45 ACP and 9mm ball, but a little 38 SP soft RNs), the RNs are really bad for veering off course inside the critter. HPs and jacketed FNs will do the same thing after impact with bone when the nose gets smooshed on one side. The hard cast FNs bore straighter than any other while doing more damage than a plain RN, even as they don't penetrate quite as much as the RN.

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    I hunt almost exclusively with handguns nowadays. Flat nosed hardcast bullets with a meplat in the 75 - 80 % range have no equals in penetration. They will track straight unlike round nosed bullets. There is a reason why so many rifle bullet manufacturers are finally discovering flat nosed solids -- okay only a couple of decades behind the handgun hunters, but better late than never, I guess! The large meplat also creates quite a large wound channel -- all out of proportion to the diameter of the bullet. The only problem with the SWC designs is the limit of the size of the meplat, because of the step. Smaller meplat typically makes for a smaller wound channel.

    Like BrownBear pointed out, the bullet needs to be hard enough not to distort (the nose profile must remain in tact), but not so hard that the bullet is brittle, so that it doesn't come apart when it hits something hard like bone.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    The following is for hard cast- hard enough that they don't expand at all, but not so hard that they might shatter on heavy bone. In my experience the FNs don't penetrate as far as RNs, but further than HP or jacketed FN intended to expand a bit. Meanwhile they do a surprising amount of damage while RNs do very little. That's a trade off for penetration I like. In my looks at wound channels with RN (principally 45 ACP and 9mm ball, but a little 38 SP soft RNs), the RNs are really bad for veering off course inside the critter. HPs and jacketed FNs will do the same thing after impact with bone when the nose gets smooshed on one side. The hard cast FNs bore straighter than any other while doing more damage than a plain RN, even as they don't penetrate quite as much as the RN.

    In my experience and testing round nose yaw, tip and then tumble and do not penetrate as deep nor as straight as wide flat nose bullets, nor do RN leaves as large of a wound channel

    Yes wide flat point hard cast bullets do indeed kill well in my experience

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    This falls bear my dad shot, I had to finish it in tall thick stuff. Went through head, down spine and out behid shoulder just under hide. Lots of penetration and through a lot of bone too! 230gr 10mm. Plus a 6'10" black bear with a 19 1/16" skull last spring with the same gun and load. Single shot a close range and from a tree stand, again losts of penetration and kept going thruogh the large chested bruin to disapear into the soil! Plus recently caught caribou with the same load at close range, pass through in neck!
    This is really interesting to me (and a few others) who are carrying 10mm. Could you give a few more details about this bear (size, shot aspect etc) and the particular load. Seems there is lttle real info out there about 10mm and Grizzlies.

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    My understanding is if all things are equal in a hard cast bullet, the Long Flat Nose penetrates straighter and further then the Wide Flat Nose. At least that's what a Gun Writer said!

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    OK, so they DO, penetrate straighter, if not deeper, AND, do more damage, and lend themselves better to bullet weight.

    There are other common beliefs, that don't prove out. I just wondered if they were all that much better than other nose designs.

    Smitty of the North
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    Smitty, they do work well. One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that this type of bullet shouldn't be driven too fast, they are a lead alloy afterall. Drive them hard and they lose their ability to penetrate really well when the nose degrades.

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    The wide, flat-nose, non-deforming bullets at moderate velocities more-efficiently use their kinetic energy toward penetration while creating a wound channel this is not too narrow (wouldnít create enough damage) or too wide (slows the bullet down too much too fast). This is partly because (i) the wide, flat-nosed, hard-cast bullets moving at moderate velocities tend to be more stable and yaw less than round-nosed bullets and also (ii) are not losing a bunch of their energy converted into heat by flattening out the pointy front end of the high-B.C. bullet into a big, fat mushroom shape.

    One designer of military weapon systems goes through a ton of experimental penetration test data for hunting bullets and concludes that there is ďsomething inherently efficient about the penetration of very broad flat-nosed solids (small meplats behave like conventional round noses). If you examine the bullets for which this behavior holds, the ratio of the meplat to the bullet caliber is typically 0.7 or larger. I suspect that the effect is a minimization or even a damping of bullet yaw and that there is a point between a meplat ratio of 0.7 and 0.5 where an abrupt transition occurs. Now, I understand that very broad noses like this are unpopular with users of repeating rifles because they have a nasty habit of snagging on the magazine rim or feed ramp, but for single shots and double rifles they really ought to be considered.Ē http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/b...s/methods.html

    He also found that ďheavy, large caliber, flat-nosed handgun bullets can be expected to penetrate 30 to 50 inches while creating a 3/4 to 1 inch diameter wound channel

    This is important, if he is correct, in stating: ďAssuming that a bullet creates at least a 3/4 to 1 inch (19 to 25 mm) diameter hole through the vitals (a well placed shot), penetration is the more important of the two functions of a bullet for the big game hunter. A 3/4 inch (19 mm) hole which severs major arteries or passes through blood bearing vital organs will cause a rapid loss of blood pressure and will drop most targets within 50 yards. This is not to suggest that extreme cavitation will not cause an animal to succumb more rapidly. It could. However, bullets which cause extreme cavitation generally do not penetrate deeply and may not be suitable for some aspect angles due to the depth of penetration required to reach vital organs or the presence of interposing heavy bones. On the other hand, if only broadside body shots are taken, extreme cavitation may deliver the highest proportion of rapid kills.Ē

    The reason that wide, flat-nosed bullets create a Goldilocks (just right)-sized hole is (which is bigger than the bullet width) is due to the hydraulic pressure that the bullet creates as it hits, and passes though, the animal. Smack a pond hard with the flat bottom of a pan. Then turn it sideways and slice it into the water. The first method creates more outward pressure from the impact point. It also slows down the pan more quickly. Same thing with flat-nosed bullets. At the right caliber, weight, and velocity, flat-nosed bullets tend to efficiently punch through flesh while not tumbling around and creating just the right sized hole.

    Long range rifle bullets obviously canít use that flat-nosed shape or they would have a rainbow trajectory and slow down a lot more quickly. So, relatively high-ballistic-coefficient pointy bullets generally are used in most rifles designed to be able to hit things out past 200 yards or so. They make hunting at longer ranges possible. Theyíre not as efficient as wide, flat-nosed bullets, but they still can be pretty darned effective when they mushroom while smacking an animal at high velocity at short or long range. In a particular situation a fast-moving pointy rifle bullet could do better than a slower HC FN bullet. An extreme and easy example is a 750gr pointed .50 BMG bullet moving at 2,900 fps. (You can get the idea from these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYSGuiko6Gg; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_McIBT3ZKpw). I donít think any flat-nosed handgun bullet can equal those results on any large animal. But the .50 BMG is not as efficient as the slower FN bullet in doing what it does. The same is probably true for some other powerful rifles, but if we get into a discussion about which particular ones might do so, this thread will implode.

    Described in a less-fancy, but more-scientific, manner the author linked above says:

    Quote Originally Posted by Rathcoombe View Post
    Cavitation is caused by two sources: mechanical crushing and hydrodynamic pressure.

    Mechanical crushing occurs directly in the path of penetration and is caused by the undeformed bullet nose or the expanded bullet "mushroom". At low velocities, flat or sloping surfaces merely push tissue aside. However, at higher velocities, tissue is macerated. For rigid solid bullets, a flat nose shape with a broad meplat (the flat portion of the bullet nose) will create a larger crushed cavity than a semi-spitzer or round nose shape. For expanding bullets, a broad and nearly flat expanded bullet shape will create a larger crushed cavity than an expanded "mushroom" with a classic round shape with gently sloping edges. Although an expanded bullet may have a diameter of 0.55 to 0.75 inch (14 to 19 mm), the effective meplat diameter is rarely more than the nominal bore diameter.

    Hydrodynamic pressure causes damage from the pressure induced radial velocity extending from the stagnation point at the point of the bullet in its axis of travel to the outer edges of the bullet. The tissue velocity is zero at the infinitessimal point of the bullet nose, where the hydrodynamic pressure has its highest value. The velocity with which the tissue is displaced by this pressure is a function of the angle between the axis of penetration and the bullet nose (see the figure below). If the angle is small, the radial displacement velocity is small. For this reason, a larger diameter, flatter expanded bullet is more effective in producing cavitation from hydrodynamic pressure than a smaller diameter, steeply sloped bullet shape. Because the tissue velocity is also proportional to the velocity, the cavitation can be much larger than the actual diameter of the bullet. This is how a .50 inch (13 mm) diameter expanded bullet can create a 1.5+ inch (39 mm+) permanent hole in game.



    The chart below describes the dynamic pressure of a projectile moving through water at ballistic velocities. Now tissue is not exactly the same as water but the densities are similar and so the hydrodynamic pressures created are similar (actually a bit higher since tissue has mechanical strength and fluids do not). Soft lead has a tensile yield strength (flow stress) of roughly 5000 psi (5 ksi). Harder lead alloys have a flow stress of about 7500 psi and heat-treated wheel weight alloy has a flow stress of roughly 11 ksi. Pure soft copper has a flow stress of roughly 17.5 to 20 ksi, while harder copper alloys can have yield strengths approaching that of mild steel, or about 80 ksi. If you examine the chart you will see that these figures correlate reasonably well to experience. Pure lead bullets will deform at velocities down to 800 or 900 fps in impacts with soft tissue. Harder lead alloys will deform at magnum handgun velocities. Monolithic soft copper bullets can be expected to deform at velocities above 1700 or 1800 fps. A brass alloy bullet might retain its shape until extremely high impact velocities were involved. Obviously deformation depends on design as well, so these numbers are merely general bounds. What this also shows is the severity of high velocity impacts. The dynamic pressure at 3000 fps is more than twice that at 2000 fps.



    All tissue is elastic and will rebound, up to a point, from the stretch caused by the hydrodynamic force of the bullet's passage (this is termed a "temporary cavity"). Tissue has varying elasticity and some tissues will be damaged by hydrodynamic pressure which causes only temporary cavitation in other surrounding tissues. In general, however, temporary cavitation is relatively insignificant for the hunter, although it is often very useful in combat situations. Humans are not as psychologically predisposed to struggle to survive as wild animals, and will often collapse or surrender when struck by a bullet which causes violent temporary cavitation, even if they are not physically incapacitated (especially if the bullet passes close by the spine). Game animals will generally recover and run (or charge) within a second or so; aggressors hyped on drugs or anaesthetized by endorphins as a result of a previous injury will behave in the same way.

    The figure below illustrates the typical wound cavity created by most conventional lead-alloy cored, copper-alloy jacketed bullets. The dashed line indicates the dimensions of the temporary cavity. Note that there is often a short "upset depth" before the bullet begins to deform, then a violent cavitation as the bullet expands. The deformation of the bullet is complete approximately at the terminus of the large cavity. Thereafter, the bullet penetrates in a rigid form until the termination velocity of the tissue is reached. It then travels a short distance elastically with its residual momentum until rebounding to the end of the permanent cavity at rest.


    http://www.rathcoombe.net/sci-tech/b...mechanics.html

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    Not a BIG BORE test, but my kid uses 180Gr hardcast RNFP in his 357 1894 lever action. I was amazed at how these worked on 2 Blacktails this year. Both passed clean through, making a clean, bit bigger than .38 hole each side of the rib cage. The damage inside was nothing short of amazing; nothing at all left of the lungs but mush. These 2 shots were both 80-90 yds, so the bullets were losing Velocity and all the other stuff. The energy tranfered was excellent, especially considering this round/caliber should really be marginal at that range. Both bullets hit bone on the way in (although skinny ribs), but we found no remnents of lead and exit holes appeared clean, just with a bit more mush around them. Hopefully be able to test the same out of my 45-70 on some bigger stuff soon.

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    First let's clear up some terms. I've heard these bullet designs by several different names i.e. truncated cone wadcutters, ogival cone wadcutters, and then Veral Smiths wide flat nose (wfn) and long flat nose (lfn) These designs vary by caliber, but generally have a meplat that is .37" to 0.40" from the canalure, the lfn has a meplat approximately 70% the dia of the bullet, and wfn has a meplat that is approximately 80% of the bullets dia. Lee's design seems the split the difference at roughly 75% meplat dia. The traditional swc design has a meplat of ~65% bullet dia and due to the nose design is a longer bullet than the same weight lfn/wfn.

    To give a fair comparison of bullets, you need to evaluate them for the same weight. I think you'll find that allot of what was written about the swc's in days of old were lighter bullets i.e. 240-250 gr 44's and 45's vs the 300+ gr that have become popular. Comparing the relatively softer 240-250's @ 1300-1500 fps vs. the hard 300+ @ 1200 fps is an apples to oranges comparison. Hence when you see reports of the lfn's dramatically out penetrating swc's, make sure it's the same weight bullet, same hardness and same muzzle velocity.

    I haven't had the opportunity to do extensive terminal testing of lfn vs. wfn vs. swc, though there is plenty of testing out there that indicates the larger dia meplats disrupt more tissue, which makes perfect sense. I have done extensive range testing of lfn's, wfn's and swc's from 275 to 460 gr with my 480 over many years. I've also shot a fair number of various bullet designs in the .357 and 44 mags.

    Here is my two cents on why the lfn's and wfn's are superior to swc's. The swc is a much longer bullet, if you compare say a 240 gr swc to a 300 gr lfn in 44 mag, you'll find that both bullets provided the same powder capacity in the case. With less lead in the nose of the swc, there is more of it behind the canalure. There are several implications of this length difference. The same weight swc vs. lfn will have higher pressures for the same velocity for the swc, or the lfn can be driven slightly faster. It isn't a huge difference, but for maximum performance, the lfn has the edge. With the lfn being shorter, it requires a slower barrel twist to be stabalized, which conversly means for a slower twist barrel, the heaviest bullet you can stabalize will be an lfn. And then there is the stability when traveling through flesh, the shorter lfn will be more stable and hence drive straighter through flesh. I can't say why, perhaps it's the shorter bullet length, but the lfn's seem to be capable of better accuracy and are easier to find accurate loads for than the swc's.

    Comparing the LFN to WFN, I've heard that the LFN hold's it's accuracy better at extended range, and that the LFN penetrates deeper than a same weight WFN. The WFN supposedly won't shoot at less than 1200 fps, but that was not my experience. The only WFN I've done extensive testing with was a 460 gr .476" bullet. While that bullet really is too much of a good thing in the 480, I was able to get 5 shot 1" groups @ 50 yds @ 1050 fps. I sent a box of them to a guy in the lower 48 who loaded them up to 1100 fps in his 480 and took them to the linebaugh institute. He got 38" of penetration in wet newsprint, and in the bone and newspaper test 2" of bone and ~10" of newsprint. The best 475 and 500 linebaugh lodes were 40-44" of wet newsprint, so the lowly 480 with a 460 gr bullet wasn't too shabby. He also tested them at extended ranges and said at about 175 yds they started to fly wild. But that's about double the range I'd trust myself with an iron sighted sixgun against game.

    So I wouldn't say the lfn's are a huge improvement over swc's (you can still kill game with swc's) but overall I'd say to get the best performance with cast bullets out of your big bore revolver, the fn style of bullet is the best choice on the market today in terms of penetration, tissue upset and accuracy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nbh40 View Post
    Not a BIG BORE test, but my kid uses 180Gr hardcast RNFP in his 357 1894 lever action. I was amazed at how these worked on 2 Blacktails this year. Both passed clean through, making a clean, bit bigger than .38 hole each side of the rib cage. The damage inside was nothing short of amazing; nothing at all left of the lungs but mush. These 2 shots were both 80-90 yds, so the bullets were losing Velocity and all the other stuff. The energy tranfered was excellent, especially considering this round/caliber should really be marginal at that range. Both bullets hit bone on the way in (although skinny ribs), but we found no remnents of lead and exit holes appeared clean, just with a bit more mush around them. Hopefully be able to test the same out of my 45-70 on some bigger stuff soon.
    Yup 357 from a lever rifle is as good or better than a 30/30, the diameter more than makes up for the loss of speed. Someday Iím gonna turn one of my 30/30s into a 35/30 and see what those .357s do at 30/30 speeds.
    As too Smittyís question ďIs it reely true???. . .these Wide FN bullets, have a huge edge in terms of penetration and should be used for making up the loads you will use for Bear Protection with your 44 Mag., for example.Ē
    Iíd say you bet itís true, based on critters I made dead over the years WFN is the penetration king and best for handgun bear defense. I wouldnít say itís the best at everything. I tried a 240g XTPmag from my 460 for moose hunting this year, I donít need ten feet of hard cast penetration for a moose, 240g XTPmag folded him in half in his tracks. But itís 395g WFNGC for me for bear defense.
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    Andy, post up a picture of your moose!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    There are other common beliefs, that don't prove out. I just wondered if they were all that much better than other nose designs.

    Smitty of the North
    Yes they are that much better for bear defense where you have lots of thick bone at angles that tend to turn a bullet. WFN is like the postman, or like the postmen used to be, nothing devotes it from itís duty which is to go straight. Imagine any other nose shape meeting thick bone at a 30* angle, they all contact on the side first not the nose. So they all are more likely to turn than a WFN where the square corner grabs then has itís mass behind it.

    Try skipping rocks down at the lake, rocks with a square shape go ker-plunk, rounded ball shapes roll along some. Flat rocks skip best because they have the most mass out front of the point of first contact pulling them past the entry point rather than pushing them into the entry point.
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    Andy, post pictures of the Moose with the handgun and give details of the wound channel and penetration of your load

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    Hokay, you guys. I'm convinced. Thanks for the info.

    Thanks for the website, MarineHawk.

    Smitty of the North
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Hokay, you guys. I'm convinced. Thanks for the info.

    Thanks for the website, MarineHawk.

    Smitty of the North
    I second that 'Thanks'. Good stuff.

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    Great thread guys... one minor detail though. A 355gr .45 wfn at 1200 fps doesn't do much damage to a moose if you MISS .... ask me how I know

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