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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have heard that you can use wet phone books or newspaper to test penetration. Is there some kind of chart to show you the difference say between the ballistics of the phone books and ballistic gel ?
 

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Not that I'm aware of. Sounds like a good article for one of the gun magazines to take on!

If I were wanting to do some low-budget home tests on bullet performance for penetration, I think the key is to keep consistency in the tests. Such as, put 'x' number of phone books or 'x' number of newspapers in a watertight garbage bag and add 'x' gallons of water into the bag, in a box, and start shooting, then measure the results of penetration, along with retained weight.

Who knows if a bag full of 'yellow pages' is different than a bag full of 'dexknows' books?
 

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There is a problem in getting the phone books to a uniform wetness. You'd think it wouldn't matter, but the results can vary by over 50%. Soaked for too long, turns into "mush" (a lot like "wet lap"). Soaked not long enough, and it's pretty close to wood.

Wish you luck...has given good results, but unless you figure out a way to keep the level of wetness the same from session to session, the results aren't repeatable.
 

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Its a lot easier to use water filled paper cartons. Just count how many are penetrated and blown up. Find the bullet in the last one.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks you guys. Been trying to test a .44 mag with 255K bullet over 22 grains of 2400 and they just go through everything .. I like that carton idea. Do you have any idea how to figure out how many carton to a inch-foot of penetration ?
 

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Here is a very detailed article linked by one of Col. Cooper's best friends, "Father Frog" (His site is very interesting and has Cooper's Columns) - http://www.frfrogspad.com/wetpak.htm This discusses "Wet Pack" (wet newspaper) and briefly mentions "milk carton method" at the end.
I like the milk carton method as described by the Firearms Tacical Institute discussed at the end of this
"A Simple Method for Testing Bullets with Your Guns" http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs3.htm
The "ratio" is one "milk carton" equals 2.5 inches of ballistic gelatin.
 

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We used news paper stacked in bundles and let them sit outside in the rain. the next day go shoot'in. Fine way of getting a look at mushrooming and penetration. Just make sure you have alot of news paper so you can get about 6 foot depth.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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He
"A Simple Method for Testing Bullets with Your Guns" http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs3.htm
The "ratio" is one "milk carton" equals 2.5 inches of ballistic gelatin.

Thanks for the information and a question......any idea why plastic isn't usuable?
"gather several (and we mean several -- about 30) cardboard half-gallon milk cartons (plastic won't do)."

Dan
 

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I had fun testing 45-70 loads, 445 grain bullets on 7 one gallon plastic jugs. That's some where around four feet of water and plastic. If the bullet makes it thru that much, there's not many critters on this continent that should be a problem.

Jim
 

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Thanks you guys. Been trying to test a .44 mag with 255K bullet over 22 grains of 2400 and they just go through everything .. I like that carton idea. Do you have any idea how to figure out how many carton to a inch-foot of penetration ?
I've done some penetration tests using 1 gallon plastic milk jugs lined-up and filled w/ water. As a point of reference: My 8mm mauser penetrates 6 jugs, each approximately 6" across, with a 220 grain bullet.
 

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Thanks for the information and a question......any idea why plastic isn't usuable?
"gather several (and we mean several -- about 30) cardboard half-gallon milk cartons (plastic won't do)."

Dan
Here is info on gallon water jugs from Gun Tests - they deduct 10% from width of water jug.
http://www.gun-tests.com/performance/ammotest.html
Good info - I think the benefit of the 1/2 gallon carton method is that the cartons on either side would limit the side to side flex upon inpact.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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jmortimer,

Thanks again, just what I was looking for. I discontinued that magazine several years ago, maybe need to start it back up.

Dan
 

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I don't think we can get any useful penatration comparision from any media to what a given bullet will do in another media. It's only relivant as a comparision in the same media.
 

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I think you do get useful information - ballistic gelatin gives an indication of how a bullet will expand and penetrate in living tissue. If you know the penetration in ballistic gelatin and know the penetration in water of particular load then we can test at home with our specific guns. So I disagree - like Linebaugh's "bone box" - water and wet newspaper can be useful especially if we have good data from ballistic gelatin testing to use as baseline information.
 

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"I think you do get useful information - ballistic gelatin gives an indication of how a bullet will expand and penetrate in living tissue."

You mis-read what I said. Sure we get "useful information" from penatration tests in any media. What we cannot get from one media is anymore than a general idea of what it will do in another media. That includes ballistic gell vs. animal tissue.

Gel has no varying density matter such as liquids/fat/muscle/tendons, no bones, no fluffy tissue (lungs), no voids (lungs, guts, etc). Thus, all we can possibly get from shooting gell, or anything else, is how that bullet penetrates that material at that terminal velocity. Tests with wet (or dry) phone books, bags of sawdust, water jugs, boards, etc, allows us to see what it does on that material, no more.

Bottom line, certainly penetration tests are useful but only on a comparitive basis between different projecticles, not as solid evidence of what any one projectile will do to animals because animal bodies are as variable as all of the test medias individually.
 

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I understand your point but in addition "real world" testing like the "bone box" or the Box-O-Truth is useful as well. Like Mr. Box-O-Truth says - shooting things is fun.
 

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I've allways prefered water myself. Very repeatable to mix. Works good to compare how bullets behave. Difficult to set-up for penitration tests though.

Balloons filled with water sorta works. Could add bones and stuff I suppose (that makes set-up tougher though!).

I set balloons on a flat surface and arrange like bowling pins (so as to allow for devience in flight due to deformation). Hit the lead ballon "square" and measure the distance that it travels through water.

Note that sometimes they deflect up or down. Grooves on the surface of your board or whatever indicate "skidding".

Hard to do sometimes.

Cheezywan
 

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Just posted this somewhere else on site.
Newspaper soaked for 24 hours is wet pack. If ballistic gel penetration is roughly equal to Penetration in flesh great.
Set up a wet pack target and measure the penetration. Wet pack penetration is 60% of Ballistic gel penetration.

If the bullet penetrates 6" of wet pack it will penetrate 10" of Gel and about the same in flesh.

6/0.6 = 10"

Hope this helps. Mik
 
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