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Can Less Be More???

2151 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  James Gates
Can less be more when it comes to stopping power of a given cartridge?

When I was a kid, I was raised in south central Oregon, where we had Belding's Ground Squirrels, a prolific, short tailed squirrel looking much like a prarie dog.  Locals call them either squeaks or sage rats.  They are very prolific, and like prarie  dogs they can devestate agricultural lands.   They have colonies much similar to prarie dogs, and seemily have no end to them.

They are so abundant there, that as a kid I have several times gone into a freshly cut alfalfa field (with permission), and sat next to a wheel-line to keep from shooting irrigation equipment, and shot an entire carton of .22 ammo from one sittin position, with a hit ratio of better than 2:1!  Some fun!

Now, for my question of the week!  Those little buggers were tough nuts.  Often times you could hit them with CCI Mini-Mag Hollow-Points or Stingers (new then), and even then they would make it the four to ten feet to get down their holes before giving up the ghost.  Most all of the cheap ammo of the day, Federal Lighning, Remington Thunderbolt, CCI Blazer and some cheap Brazilian Ammo that K-Mart used to sell all left them straggling into their holes unless you got solid spine or head shots.

Now for the interesting part.   I started shooting them with .22 shorts because I was given two bricks of them.  When I hit those squirrels with shorts, they would flop over, and kick a few times, and that was it!  Finished, done, dry-ice, toast!  Most of the squirrels shot with shorts would lay down on the spot dead!  It was puzzling to be sure, and since I was getting paid by some ranchers for each squirrel tail recovered, you better bet that I tried to anchor every one I could on the spot.   I came to love .22 shorts!  Still do!

Now, a few decades later, I still find the same strange scenario.  Crows are abundant here, and legal during the customary migratory bird season alloted to ducks and geese.  When we lived in town, we had abundant crows that would steal the dog's food if left unattend.  If I shot those crows with .22 shorts (any manufacture), most would simply flop out of the trees, directly to the ground without so much as much flopping around.   Pull the same stunt with High Velocity LR, regardless of nose configuration, and those same crows would fly off, out of the tree, eight out of ten times to drop out of the sky fifty or seventy five yards away.  Go figure that one!

Why am I writing this today?  Well, just had another crow experience not long ago... same scenario.  We now live out in the sticks, so noise isn't a factor when shooting is concerned, but I still like my .22 shorts.  I had one up the pipe on my Savage 24C "Camper" model, and a pair of crows forty-five yards away in an aspen tree.  I opted to use the .22 short instead of the .20 Ga. load of #5's.  I shot the first crow with the .22 short, and he just tumbled from the branch, straight down to the base of the tree.   A solid body shot settled his accounts.  Undaunted, the second crow watched while I broke the action open and reloaded the .22 barrel.   This time I quickly grabbed the most available ammo, which happened to be some Federal .22LR Hollow-points that Wal-Mart is selling at a very modest price (good ammo for the &#36&#36).  I centered the front bead on the bird and squeezed, black feathers out the back side, a solid body hit, and the crow launched off the tree, and flew about twenty yards before a load of #5 shot finished him.  

Upon examination, the second crow, the one hit with the Federal .22LR hollow-point had been hit squarely through the boiler room, missing the spine and taking out a very impressive exit wound.   This bird flew off.  The first crow, the one hit with the .22 short (Remington), fell dead at the base of the same tree stone dead, with an identical shot, but no exit wound of any kind.   Interesting!

Is less more?  Food for thought!

Have a great day and God Bless,

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Interesting Marshall -

I do most of my bowhunting around Yellowjacket Lake NW of Burns; during early spring and summer scouting, my father-in-law and I will spend part of the afternoons popping sage rats...I mostly with my longbow and Pop with a 22 single shot.  I noticed Pop had the same anchoring problem as you with the hollow points and hyper velocity loads.  Different story when he shoots subsonic rounds.  With a mill bastard file, I made a few SGB's with the subsonics and those buggers guarantee dead rat on impact.  The only thing more impressive during these trips than the SGB's is a .17 Rem  :^)

God Bless,

Boy! I didn't want to get into yhis since the last time I opened this can of worms, i ended up with KaKa in my beard.......OK, it's called EDDT (Energy Deposit Dwell Time). We know it exists, but have trouble defining it. It is another reason I hold the velocity on the 250 .44 LFN's down sround 1200/1300 fps.
My brother Clay has two boys and hunt small game with them. All have glass bedded, floted barrel, etc Ruger 10/22's. They had constast complaints about .22 rimfires until I sent them abrick of Remington sub-sonic HP's. Mean Little cartridge. A couple coils off the mainstring for winter hunting.
Test show that the longer a bullet dwells in an object, at below the speed of sound, the more energy the object absorbs...Et Al! All of this is in mico-seconds. Now, don't jump my case!
How you rate this to your idea of killing power is up to you! I will point out that if you run the 250 gr .44 LFN through the wound channel program @ 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400 fps you might be suprise. Look at the wound channel we all know is important. The only difference is penetration. I suggest, that once you have the depth of penetration you want, stop there and consider EDDT. That's all I am going to say on the subject for now!
Best Regards from The Hammock....James
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         The wound channel calculator is broken,thats why you get the same result with those different velocities.  Maybe we could get it fixed Marshall? I'm can't wait to figure the permanent wound channel for my new .385 Meplat 45-70 bullets.
Hey... I got the message that something was wrong with the Ballistician's Corner. I just finished fixing them... I haven't got them fixed from the Bullet Select yet, but if you go to the Ballistician's Corner you will find them all in working order.

I believe that you will find them easier to use now also...

Click Here to go to the Wound Channel.

God Bless,

Mr. Gates more than likely has hit it right. A similar situation developed in naval gunnery around the turn of the twentieth century.

Before then, most naval guns were designed to do one thing- fire the heaviest shell for a given bore at short ranges. Even the best naval gunners were limited to about 10,000 yards under perfect conditions. But with new propellants and, most important, greatly improved optical rangefinders, it became possible to "reach out and touch someone" at twice that distance.

But a new problem arose. Now that shells were plunging through thin decks instead of blasting through thicker belt armor, the rounds would often perforate a targeted ship without doing much damage. (Now does this history lesson sound familar to the discussion at hand?)

In several instances it was found that by changing the projectile shape to a more blunt configuartion that the rounds were slowed just enough to improve damage potential. Much like the SGB tool, eh?
Mr. Gates wrote us up a nice, to the point, Tech Note on Meplats and Wound Channels, partly in response to this thread.   A good read, and good food for thought!

Take a look on this link
Meplat and Permanent Wound Channels

Thank you to Mr. Gates!!!

Have a great day all!  God Bless,

Hi, Mr. Gates:
  I'm afraid you've got a goof in your Tech Note. The 100 yard velocity with a muzzle velocity of 1000 fps should be 870 fps, assuming a G1 BC of .125, not 670 fps. In turn, this gives a .652" wound channel, not .503". Now if I never made a mistake!!!!!!!!!!

WOOOPS! Jack...That's what happens when you get old and try to do something at 2:00 in the morning...I missed a number transposing. Not only that but I recalculated the BC and looks like it will come out @ .151....working these form factors are a dilly....I'll edit it! The SD will stay the same and I don't think it will change anything much. Thanks for the check!
Best Regards from the Hammock....James
PS...Jack what ballistic program are you using? I'm using PCB.....jcg
(Edited by James Gates at 3:55 pm on Feb. 8, 2001)

(Edited by James Gates at 4:30 pm on Feb. 8, 2001)
Hi, Mr Gates:
  Being Scottish, I was too tight to buy one, so I wrote my own in dBase III+ (no, you old hackers, that is not a misprint). It read in the Ingalls tables and did the necessary math. I got the tables and formulae from Hatcher's Notebook. Later I converted it to QuickBasic so it would be easier to give copies to my friends and firearm safety students. It uses the G1 table now so it matches the ammo company's tables.

  It now corrects for non-standard atmosphere, prints ballistic charts, finds the ballistic coefficient given velocities at two ranges, and finds the muzzle velocity from Chrony data. I spent a lot of time making keyboard entry easy. You can crank out tables all day with one hand on the number pad. Try that with a Windows program. Anyhow, it was a lot of work.

  It's pretty close to McTraj and the Oehler program untill you get out to long range. I'll try to fix that some time. It's strictly DOS, but it will run in a DOS window under Windows 3.1 and 98 SE.

  I found a copy of PCB and I wasn't getting your numbers, so I ran them through McTraj. It looks like PCB is using the Ingalls table and ICAO atmosphere, while I'm using the G1 table and Standard Metro.  Therefore, PCB needs a BC of .134 and my program needs a BC of .125 to get numbers that match your data. Another case of apples and oranges. Dear Reader, if I've lost you, check out page 499 of the Speer #11 manual.

  I might be violating copyright laws if I distribute it.

  I always look forward to your postings.

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Jack...Great job!!!! I know dBase III+ well and have it on my computer now. I designed the entire Manatee County Traffic Control System with it! It's still a great old program and my dbf's are still in although I now use dBase4 and compiler...I just path back the III+. In 4 I can set my entry screens and reports a little easier and not have to go through what you did. I really admire what you have done. You can teach anyone data entry, but few can build anything with dBase. My hats off to you. I held, until I retired, a CE1 rating with the state merit system. If you get time change the BC on the 250 LFN to .151 and see if there is much difference. I sent all the co-form data and BC tables that Parker Ackley gave me to Marshall. I hope he will have time to work up BC's for his bullets for the loading manual. I'm going back a check what PCB is set up for. If I could figurea way Iwould get a copy of dBase 4 to you. You could path everything. Talk about Scots...How about Stewart, Robertson, MacTyre, Powell, Dendy, just for starts...All on my late mother's side. Well, my friend, It's 1:28 PM in the Hammock!
Best Regards.....James  (now if I could learn to type!)
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Hi, Mr. Gates:
  It looks like your BC of .151 equals my BC of .144. If your refiguring of the form factor raises your BC from .134 to .151, that extends the effective range by 15 yards. In other words, the bullet slows to 870 fps at 115 yards instead of 100 yards.

  Getting back on topic, I've heard about slower bullets being more effective because they act for a longer time a number of times. There's a lot about "killing power" we don't understand yet.

Check this out, theres a couple of guys here speaking Greek!!   I thought I knew about bullets,now I got to take language classes to browse the talk forums.
We people in the South thought everyone from New york spoke greek!  Oh, well..........James
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