Extremely lightweight bullets [Archive] - Glock Talk

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quake
08-17-2012, 09:21
This could well be said to be in the wrong subforum, but this is about the only subforum I visit here, so here it is.

The chronograph results I posted earlier sparked a couple private inquiries regarding the lightweight Pow'rball ammo, and discussions of lightweight bullets in general; as some of the more high-end exotic stuff uses VERY lightweight bullets, down to 60 grains for 9mm etc.

This is the results of some personal testing I did several years ago, using extremely lightweight bullets in a couple revolvers. The thought was to try & replicate the old "Swat" ammo of the 1970's if anyone remembers those. They were just a jacket filled with expoxy, rather than a jacket filled with lead, achieving near-incredible velocities thru lighter weight.



Standard disclaimer Ė do NOT take this as me recommending everyone run out & try this. Itís potentially VERY dangerous. Itís potentially VERY dangerous. Iím just experimenting for my own purposes, and sharing what I find; I am NOT trying to get others to follow my example. If you do, and you blow up your gun (or your hand or your face), itís on you, not me.

If this is violating any site policy or practice, or is just a cause of concern for any reason, any moderator is obviously free to delete any or all of this post; and I'll understand completely if that happens. Not trying to push the envelope of what's acceptable here at all, I just figured I'd share what I've learned so far. Don't mean to cause heartburn or worries for anyone.

BR549
08-17-2012, 11:45
Elmer Keith, John Pondora Taylor, John Linebaugh....

and now Arkansas Quake....:supergrin:

except you're playing at the opposite end of the spectrum. :whistling:

Hey, I'm just joking. The results of your experiments are quite interesting. Thanks for sharing. :)

quake
08-17-2012, 12:57
Elmer Keith, John Pondora Taylor, John Linebaugh....

and now Arkansas Quake....:supergrin:...

Actually, 'John' here as well... :fred:

beatcop
08-17-2012, 15:15
Interesting...give them a try on some game and let us know how they work out.

DoctaGlockta
08-17-2012, 18:29
This could well be said to be in the wrong subforum, but this is about the only subforum I visit here, so here it is.

The chronograph results I posted earlier sparked a couple private inquiries regarding the lightweight Pow'rball ammo, and discussions of lightweight bullets in general; as some of the more high-end exotic stuff uses VERY lightweight bullets, down to 60 grains for 9mm etc.

This is the results of some personal testing I did several years ago, using extremely lightweight bullets in a couple revolvers. The thought was to try & replicate the old "Swat" ammo of the 1970's if anyone remembers those. They were just a jacket filled with expoxy, rather than a jacket filled with lead, achieving near-incredible velocities thru lighter weight.



Standard disclaimer Ė do NOT take this as me recommending everyone run out & try this. Itís potentially VERY dangerous. Itís potentially VERY dangerous. Iím just experimenting for my own purposes, and sharing what I find; I am NOT trying to get others to follow my example. If you do, and you blow up your gun (or your hand or your face), itís on you, not me.

If this is violating any site policy or practice, or is just a cause of concern for any reason, any moderator is obviously free to delete any or all of this post; and I'll understand completely if that happens. Not trying to push the envelope of what's acceptable here at all, I just figured I'd share what I've learned so far. Don't mean to cause heartburn or worries for anyone.

You do know there is a reloading forum right? You should post this info there as the information will make for a good discussion. Thanks for sharing.

RedHaze
08-18-2012, 14:42
:wow: a .45 caliber bullet at ~2200fps should turn a jackrabbit inside out pretty well...

cyrsequipment
08-19-2012, 09:55
Very interesting, thanks for posting.

I am still on the fence about the speed v. bullet weight debate but your numbers are rather interesting.

M1A Shooter
08-19-2012, 12:04
interesting. your 51gr 45 bullet at 2177fps is still producing 536ft/lbs of force.

Commander_Zero
08-19-2012, 14:43
Light-for-their-caliber bullets have been experimented with for a while...usually getting into some really ridiculous weights at amazing velocities using unusual materials. Things like plastic, zinc, and 'tubular' bullets (a'la PMC) wind up getting amazing velocity and correspondingly interesting terminal ballistics.

The exterior ballistics, though, have some drawbacks. Almost always, the really, really lightweight bullets shed velocity at an amazing rate....to the point where they are almost 'non-lethal' at anything past 100 yards. For close-in stuff at normal pistol ranges they seem pretty razoo but the tradeoff is range.

cyrsequipment
08-19-2012, 16:54
Aquila made a line of alloy bullets that were rather lightweight, produced some rather high velocities. They were quite the rage for awhile because a couple police departments "tested" them and found that they penetrated bullet-proof vests.
Mainly they were short-range rounds (as stated above) that fractured into 3 or 4 pieces on impact and didn't over penetrate.

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quake
08-20-2012, 09:42
Interesting...give them a try on some game and let us know how they work out.
I actually wouldn't trust them on game other than nuisance animals close by. The weight/ballistic-coefficient issues would probably be horrible at any real distances. Can't say for sure, but it's almost a certainty imo. :dunno:


...Almost always, the really, really lightweight bullets shed velocity at an amazing rate....to the point where they are almost 'non-lethal' at anything past 100 yards. For close-in stuff at normal pistol ranges they seem pretty razoo but the tradeoff is range.

...Mainly they were short-range rounds (as stated above) that fractured into 3 or 4 pieces on impact and didn't over penetrate.
Those concerns are real; no way around them. But they're also part of the potential benefit, for the specific niche I'm thinking about. I'm picturing short-range bedroom-gun or hideout-gun applications; where range is minimal, energy is important, and overpenetration can be a real concern.

Not something I'd use for hunting, and frankly not something I'd be comfortable using yet for defensive use. Too many unknowns and too much potential for demonization in court.

Just curious to see what's accomplishable. One thing about these is that even with the .357-magnum power level that M1A Shooter points out, there's VERY little felt recoil. Penetration is another big unknown, but it's liable to be as good as can be had with these light weights, since the hard jacket of the original projectile is retained.

I puttered around in the shop some yesterday afternoon, setting up another batch of the expoxy/jacket bullets. (Remember, the info in the opening-post pdf was from a number of years ago; it's been a while since I messed with these.) It'll take several days for the epoxy to harden completely, so probably next week before I get to load & test them.

Really just feeding my curiosity; seeing what's do-able with a very-low-recoil, reduced-penetration load that's still got respectable muzzle energy, in a bedroom-gun application. I'm picturing something for my wife or even her elderly mother, in a revolver, that doesn't jar too hard; yet is (potentially) substantially more effective than the more common options out there. In our particular circumstances, (at least for bedroom-gun use) the courtroom-demonization concern is less than a lot of folks would probably face, since it's a small community where everyone pretty much knows each other, and frankly people openly congratulate someone who shoots an intruder. Very different from the circumstances that someone in a city or more criminal-friendly environment would be facing.

Regardless, it would take more tinkering before I even semi-seriously considered using them for defensive applications. Just tossing it out there for consideration at this point.

quake
09-10-2012, 13:55
Had somewhat of a surprise when testing a new batch of modified bullets. In one batch I had some .451 XTP and .452 XTP-Mag bullets; the XTPís had been modified to 70 grain, and the XTP-Mags were modified to 112 grains. Both were loaded with 9.0 grains of Bullseye, in new starline .45LC brass, with Winchester WLP primers.

The surprise was that the heavier bullet, with the same powder charge and from the same gun, was the faster of the two; by a full hundred fps. The 70-grain XTPís averaged 1242fps (240 ft/lbs), and the 112-grain XTP-Magís averaged 1342fps for 447 ft/lbs. First-blush assumption is that the XTP-Magís caused more resistance, hence more backpressure on the igniting powder, hence a higher total pressure; and the higher pressure against the igniting powder causing higher velocity. Strange to me when it happened, since reducing pressure in shotguns (via overboring) causes higher velocity, where in this case it was (assumingly) increased pressure that increased velocity. Likely an issue of short handgun barrel length performing differently than long shotgun barrel length; canít say.

And itís strictly assumption that it was increased pressure that caused the increased velocity; but it seems VERY likely. The bullets were 60% heavier and a thousandth bigger, and presumably the ĖMagís also have a harder jacket material since theyíre intended for use at much higher velocity. Any one of those factors could increase resistance/backpressure, and the combination of all three seem almost certain to increase it.

Thatís part of why I enjoy this Ė I would have never expected or predicted that result, but once it happens, it actually kind of makes sense.

Fwiw, a different XTP load (.38 spl, modified to 48 grains with 6.5 grains of bullseye) averaged 1542 fps. Good velocity and a VERY mild load for one thatís putting out > 250ft/lbs, but penetration was lacking when tested in wood. Thatís part of why the uber-exotic loads (60-grain 9mmís, etc) make me skeptical, at least from handguns. In 5.56, Iím fine with a 60 grain projectile; from 9mm or .38, not so much.