Caliber Comparison: Test Data Summary Repository

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by cole, May 9, 2008.


  1. cole

    Millennium Member

    Below is a summary of various test data providing an example of overall performance. There are always better load designs within a caliber (i.e. Brand X vs. Brand Y), but typical performance for a caliber by weight is a good place to start as it better predicts future outcomes (compared to only considering cherry-picked, best-case performance outcomes). Sources and references provided below.

    =====

    Test-to-Test Comparison Data, Overall Outcomes, All Shot Scenarios
    Caliber Weight Penetration Expand, Ave.
    Summary, Sorted by Penetration, at least 4 tests (w/out FBI and BC*)
    .45acp 230 13.37 0.80
    .40sw 180 13.25 0.69
    9mm 147 12.72 0.66
    9mm 124 12.49 0.64

    Summary, Sorted by Expansion, at least 4 tests (w/out FBI and BC*)
    .45acp 230 13.37 0.80
    .40sw 180 13.25 0.69
    9mm 147 12.72 0.66
    9mm 124 12.49 0.64

    Best Aggregate Outcome vs. Best Aggregate Outcome
    Penetration
    Caliber Inches Percent Advantage
    .40sw 180gr > 9mm 124gr 0.76" 5.8%
    .40sw 180gr > 9mm 147gr 0.67" 4.3%
    .45acp 230gr > .40sw 180gr 0.12" 1%
    .45acp 230gr > 9mm 124gr 0.88" 6.6%
    .45acp 230gr > 9mm 147gr 0.65" 4.9%

    Expansion
    Caliber Inches Percent Advantage
    .45acp 230gr > .40sw 180gr 0.11" 13.8%
    .45acp 230gr > 9mm 124gr 0.16" 20%
    .45acp 230gr > 9mm 147gr 0.14" 17.5%
    .40sw 180gr > 9mm 124gr 0.05" 7.3%
    .40sw 180gr > 9mm 147gr 0.03" 4.4%

    Starting SURFACE AREA (Area = R x R x 3.14)
    Caliber: Diameter in Milimeters, Area
    .45acp: 11.43, 102.56
    .40sw: 10.16, 81.03, vs. .45acp: -21.0%
    9mm: 9.02, 63.83, vs. .45acp: -37.8%, vs. .40sw: -21.2%

    Final SURFACE AREA
    .45acp (230gr): .80"
    .40sw (180gr): .69", vs. .45acp: -25.6%,
    9mm (147gr): .66", vs. .45acp: -32.5%, vs. .40sw: -9.3%

    Conclusions based on aggregate test data:
    - The 230gr .45acp exhibits the largest overall ending diameter (and surface area)
    - When 9mm expands to .40sw diameter it penetrates 1"-2" less than .40sw
    - When .40sw underexpands to 9mm diameter it penetrates approximately 1.5"-2+" more than the optimal 9mm
    - When .45acp underexpands to .40sw diameter it penetrates approximately 1.5"-2+" more than the optimal .40sw
    - If the 9mm exands to the average diameter of the .40sw is does NOT reliably penetrate >12".
    - Even the best 9mm result does NOT expand to the average .45acp diameter.
    - The optimal/best 9mm outcome (with penetration AND expansion) is at best comparable to the average .40sw outcome
    - No 230gr .45acp in any test scenario failed to penetrate 12" in any test scenario.
    - The 230gr .45acp exhibits the most consistent overall penetration >12" WITH optimal expansion across all test scenarios.

    Your personal opinion may differ with the actual data, but the data is the data.

    ----------------------------------------------------

    There is simple science behind all load test data. And, absent large-scale real-world data, controlled scientific testing is what we have. A few key concepts:

    > Penetration, in the same viscous medium, in this case geletin, is ALWAYS the result of weight + velocity + resistance = penetration. So, though the FBI data is old, the concepts of physics are constant.
    Weight = Bullet weight in grains
    Velocity = Speed of travel
    Resistance = Surface area (caliber diameter and expansion diameter) and resulting resistance in given medium
    > Momentum = Mass x Velocity
    > New fangled bullet designs relate to the reliability of expansion, and do not change the underlying physics: In an indentical medium (itself a result of test controls), the more a bullet expands at given velocity the less it will penetrate, and the reverse.
    - Smaller diameter = Less resistance = Greater penetration
    - Less expansion overall = Act like FMJ more = Less resistance = Greater penetration
    - Slower to expand fully = Act like FMJ for longer = Less resistance = Greater penetration
    - Over-expansion = Act like FMJ more = Less resistance = Greater penetration

    DATA TABLES (Average for all shot scenarios)

    FBI DATA
    ATK DATA
    WINCHESTER DATA
    BRASS FETCHER

    Caliber, Type, Weight, Penetration in Inches, Expansion in Inches

    Blue = Loads that did NOT meet 12" minimum penetration.

    ATK Sacramento
    .40sw 180 14.36 0.66
    .45acp 230 14.00 0.76
    9MM 124 11.08 0.64
    9mm +P+ 127 11.33 0.64
    9MM 147 11.75 0.68

    ATK Santa Clara
    .40sw 180 11.79 0.73
    .45acp 230 12.33 0.81
    9mm 147 11.71 0.70

    ATK Portland
    45 230 13.37 0.75
    9MM 124 13.06 0.59
    9mm 147 13.11 0.58
    9mm 127+p+ 11.50 0.57

    ATK Kern Co.
    45 230 13.08 0.74
    40 180 13.81 0.71

    ATK Fresno
    40 165 13.38 0.58
    40 180 11.63 0.62
    45 185 11.60 0.61
    45 230 12.18 0.77

    ATK San Diego
    40 180 13.3 0.67

    ATK San Angelo
    .40sw 165 13.65 0.66
    .40sw 180 14.35 0.61
    .45acp 230 14.75 0.75

    ATK Riveside
    38sp 110 10.67 0.64
    .40sw 180 12.28 0.76
    .45acp 230 12.33 0.79
    9mm 147 11.50 0.66

    ATK Butte
    357 125 11.7 0.59
    40 180 12.4 0.70
    45 230 12.9 0.75

    ATK Ft. Collins
    9mm 124 12.75 0.58
    9mm 127 12.00 0.57
    9mm 147 12.25 0.64
    40 180 12.19 0.76
    45 230 12.80 0.83

    ATK Aurora
    9mm 124 11.85 0.63
    9mm 147 13.13 0.73
    40 165 12.88 0.68
    40 180 11.88 0.81
    45 230 12.31 0.93

    ATK LA County
    9mm 115 9.00 0.57
    9mm 147 11.03 0.68
    45 230 13.63 0.91

    Winchester Manufacturer Data
    9mm T-Series +p 124 13.35 0.68
    9mm T-Series +p+ 127 12.20 0.67
    9mm Bonded 147 15.14 0.62
    .40sw Bonded 165 14.79 0.63
    .40sw Bonded 180 15.86 0.62
    .45acp T-Series 230 14.78 0.72
    .45gap T-Series 230 12.95 0.73
    .357sig Bonded 125 13.64 0.60

    FBI Data*
    9mm 115 12.46 0.57
    9mm 124 15.65 0.55
    9mm 147 16.76 0.53
    .40sw 155 14.80 0.66
    .40sw 165 15.97 0.61
    .40sw 180 16.44 0.62
    .45acp 185 14.79 0.78
    .45acp 200 16.31 0.63
    .45acp 230 16.08 0.68

    Brass Catcher*
    9mm 115 15.70 0.42
    9mm 124 12.58 0.55
    9mm 127 10.40 0.64
    9mm 147 14.42 0.59
    .40sw 165 11.54 0.53
    .40sw 180 13.42 0.62
    .45acp 200 13.20 0.67
    .45acp 230 12.60 0.70

    *The older FBI test tested older bullets design that on average expanded less and penetrated more, especially in 9mm loads. Modern optimal HP bullets expand more reliably. FBI data is useful as reference, but is not representative of modern HP performance where optimal expansion is consistently attained. Brass Catcher (BC) test controls (e.g. gelatin consistency within and between tests) are argueable.

    AVERAGES ACROSS ALL DATA SETS (including BC/FBI)
    9mm 115 11.25 0.61
    9mm 124 12.49 0.64
    9mm 127 11.12 0.64
    9mm 147 13.48 0.65
    .40sw 180 12.51 0.65
    .45acp 185 13.61 0.59
    .45acp 230 13.37 0.80

    Sorted by Penetration
    Caliber, Weight, Test, Penetration, Expansion
    9mm 115 ATK 9.00 0.64
    9mm 115 ATK 9.00 0.57
    9mm 127 BC 10.40 0.64
    38sp 110 ATK 10.67 0.64
    9mm 147 ATK 11.03 0.68
    9mm 124 ATK 11.08 0.64
    9mm 127 ATK 11.33 0.64
    9mm 127 ATK 11.50 0.57
    9mm 147 ATK 11.50 0.66
    .40sw 165 BC 11.54 0.53
    .45acp 185 ATK 11.60 0.61
    .40sw 180 ATK 11.63 0.62
    .357sig 125 ATK 11.67 0.59
    9mm 147 ATK 11.71 0.68
    9mm 147 ATK 11.71 0.70
    9mm 147 ATK 11.75 0.68
    .40sw 180 ATK 11.79 0.73
    9mm 124 ATK 11.85 0.63
    .40sw 180 ATK 11.88 0.81
    38sp+p 135 ATK 12.00 0.56
    9mm 115 DT 12.00 0.70
    9mm 127 ATK 12.00 0.57
    9mm 124 ATK 12.10 0.69
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.18 0.77
    .40sw 180 ATK 12.19 0.76
    9mm 127 WIN 12.20 0.67
    9mm 147 ATK 12.25 0.64
    .40sw 180 ATK 12.28 0.76
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.31 0.93
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.33 0.79
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.33 0.81
    .40sw 180 ATK 12.44 0.70
    9mm 115 FBI 12.46 0.57
    9mm 124 BC 12.58 0.55
    .45acp 230 BC 12.60 0.70
    .45acp 185 DT 12.75 0.82
    9mm 124 ATK 12.75 0.58
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.80 0.83
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.83 0.84
    .40sw 165 ATK 12.88 0.68
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.94 0.75
    .45acp 230 ATK 12.95 0.73
    9mm 124 ATK 13.06 0.59
    .45acp 230 ATK 13.08 0.74
    9mm 147 ATK 13.11 0.58
    9mm 147 ATK 13.13 0.73
    .45acp 230 ATK 13.25 0.61
    9mm 124 DT 13.25 0.70
    .40sw 180 ATK 13.30 0.67
    9mm 124 WIN 13.35 0.68
    .45acp 230 ATK 13.37 0.75
    .40sw 165 ATK 13.38 0.58
    .40sw 180 BC 13.42 0.62
    .40sw 180 ATK 13.60 0.66
    .357sig 125 ATK 13.64 0.60
    .40sw 165 ATK 13.65 0.66
    .40sw 180 ATK 13.81 0.71
    .40sw 165 DT 14.00 0.70
    .45acp 230 ATK 14.00 0.76
    9mm 147g DT 14.00 0.66
    .45acp 185 ATK 14.08 0.64
    9MM 127 ATK 14.10 0.60
    .45acp 230 ATK 14.25 0.74
    .40sw 180 ATK 14.35 0.61
    .40sw 180 ATK 14.36 0.66
    9mm 147 BC 14.42 0.59
    9mm 147 ATK 14.54 0.59
    .40sw 180 DT 14.75 0.68
    .45acp 230 ATK 14.75 0.75
    .45acp 185 FBI 14.79 0.78
    .40sw 155 FBI FBI 14.80 0.66
    .40sw 165 WIN 14.80 0.64
    .45acp 230 WIN 14.87 0.73
    9mm 115 ATK 15.00 0.53
    9mm 147 WIN 15.14 0.63
    .45acp 230 DT 15.25 0.95
    9mm 124 FBI 15.65 0.55
    9mm 115 BC 15.70 0.42
    .40sw 180 WIN 15.87 0.63
    .40sw 165 FBI 15.97 0.61
    .45acp 230 FBI 16.08 0.68
    .40sw 180 FBI 16.44 0.62
    9mm 147 FBI 16.76 0.53
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 cole, May 9, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. I know there have been many threads on caliber and performance data. I'm new at this forum, but I'll try to get something started .. from a simple standpoint. I personally look at three things when selecting a caliber and cartridge for sd.

    1) the cartridge should deliver the near max ENERGY for the caliber selected. Velocity doesn't mean anything to me. I go to the ballistics tables presented by the manufacturer and go straight to the energy column, then I find the the cartridge that delivers the highest energy. I then analyse the bullet.

    2) the bullet should penetrate gel from 11" to 15". less than 11, the cartridge is too weak, over 15", it is overpenetrating.

    3) the bullet should be of a HP 'cutter' design like a Talon, Gold Dot, and Solden Sabre and should not fragment excessively. i.e. fast, light Cor-Bon cartridges seem to frag sometimes %100 in gel alone although they are oustanding quality products!

    As far as the question of minimun acceptable energy, that may be the MIL$ question. Is 350 lbs the lower limit? 300? 250? A 380 will deliver 250 lbs and will take about anyone down with well placed shots, but I'd never select it as my primary sd weapon! (I suspect it would fail the gel test though)

    I suspect you veteran posters get bored and maybe frustrated with these discussions, but maybe some of you can give your ideas.
     

  3. speedlace

    speedlace My Boggle?

    968
    0
    0
    What??! No, 10mm?:supergrin:
     
  4. Rugby

    898
    0
    0
    That's exactly why the manufacturers list energy numbers; for people with your mindset.

    No? You realize that the bullet with the highest velocity within a caliber, will have the highest energy numbers, don't you? Do you realize that if a manufacturer didn't list energy numbers, you could still pick the bullet with the highest energy from the velocity numbers alone? Did you know the formula for calculating energy is KE=1/2*M*V^2? This means that as the velocity is doubled, KE is quadrupled. Sounds like velocity means everything to you.

    Why is 15" "overpenetrating"?

    Why is some fragmentation good, but excessive fragmentation bad? If you claim that CorBon fragments almost 100% of the time, and fragmentation is bad, how can CorBon be an excellent product? Can you post where you got this gel test information that shows CorBon fragmenting almost 100% of the time? What do you consider to be acceptable fragmentation and what do you consider to be exessive fragmentation?
     
  5. Unfortunately, none of these figures tells the final shape of the bullet or the permanent wound volume.

    As the size of many Americans is trending toward the robust, 14" is minimum penetration for the "I beat anorexia" types, IMHO. Tweekers on the other hand, only need tweeker spray, preferably the non-pepper kind. However, if tweekers are in the paranoia stages, a picture of Janet Reno in 8.5"x10" will lead to instant incapacitation.

    Bullets that expand/compress flat in shape, and leave nasty exit wounds tend to have faster incapacitation times. If two bullets exit at the same velocity, a flat shaped, fast expanding bullet (say .6" expansion) in all liklihood will have caused more communition than an umbrella shaped bullet (let's say .75" expansion) since it would have needed a higher initial velocity for a greater rate of energy transfer.
    http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=868217


    For those concerned with over penetration, may I suggest movement during the draw to minimize collateral risks.

    Thanks Cole for taking the time to break down the data and share it with the rest of us. :)

    Bob :cowboy:
     
  6. Preußen

    Preußen Wildey's here

    I have to disagree with that for a variety of reasons.
    First of which is bullets never look like they do after fired into water or ballistics gelatin like when recovered from bodies. Bones, obstacles, and clothing are often encountered.

    Second, is how will a larger diameter expanded bullet be less effective than a smaller diameter slug because of its shape? You're basing this assertion on shooting bullets into plastic water-filled milk containers as far as i can tell. I do agree that a flat meplate should rend, or crush flesh more efficiently as opposed to pushing it aside like a RNL/FMJ, but you said expanded bullet.. In theory, a flat-meplate bullet should be more efficient, and permanently crush more tissue than a FMJ/RNL because it starts off and ends its path of penetration with a flat surface
    How do you know they have faster incapacitation times, though?

    If you believe in "energy transfer", HERE'S a good long thread for you to read about on the subject.
     
  7. Now remember the guidelines I use are personal and not statements of fact. All comments are welcome though. I don't post to make statements so much. I post to learn from others.

    Yes your brain must be very large compared to mine.

    I know how to calculate energy.

    Energy is a better indicator of effectiveness for people like me with very small brains.

    I double checked this and I should have said 18" My mistake. Or, my brain.
    Although, I can't remember seeing a gel test where a 9mm penetrated >18" except for fmj's.

    I mean to say the light, fast Cor-Bons often fragment 100%, (I think they are 115 gr +p, not sure). After I post this, I'll send another with a link to a gel test I'm thinking of.

    100% is too much. I'll never use frangibles except for target practice. WAIT, if a frangible hits a person in the rib cage, Are we talking killing with energy dispersion or veloci...... Oh never mind. Its a small brain thing.
     
  8. Jeff82

    Jeff82 NRA Benefactor
    CLM

    tagged
     
  9. cole

    Millennium Member

    More data added...
     
  10. cole

    Millennium Member

    Added Brass Catcher data to the overall data table (with a disclaimer).

    If you have links to test data please send a link and I'll take a look.
     
  11. Maybe you could have helped him understand what's he's wrongly looking at and why, instead of just telling him he's stupid, or, depending on how you take it, making it look like you're stupid? Now I know you're not stupid, but Mr. logan2302 doesn't. Didn't you see in his original post where he posted; "I'm new at this forum..." And then later; "I suspect you veteran posters get bored and maybe frustrated with these discussions, but maybe some of you can give your ideas." I just think you could have been a bit more helpful to him, instead of letting him sit there in the dark where he started in the first place.
     
  12. cole

    Millennium Member

    Updated with comparison summary.
     
  13. BrokenArrow

    Millennium Member

    Yada, yada , yada... but very slickly yaded. Good job!

    The nine is fine, the 40/357 finer, the 45 finest.

    My nine is still fine enough for me. YMMV.

    The data is the data, but it takes us different places.

    It takes the DOJ (FBI, DEA, USMS, BATF) to a minimum of 12 inches and 147/9s and 180/40s.

    It takes DHS (ICE, CBP, USSS, USCG, FAM, FPS) to a minimum of 9 inches and 124/9s and 155/40s.

    Data takes DOJ to mostly Glocks, DHS to mostly SIGs...

    The data is coming to take you away ha, ha? ;)
     
  14. BrokenArrow

    Millennium Member

    The 9s do >18 when they encounter the hard/soft barriers first. For example, 5 round avg through FBI heavy cloth:

    115 ST 11.8
    115 GD, 22.1
    124 GD, 22
    124 GD +P, 20.25
    124 Starfire, 20.1
    124 XTP, 18.3
    127 SXT +P+, 19.8
    147 HS, 19,
    147 GD, 18.2
    147 SXT, 22.8
    147 XTP, 20.5

    Some have changed a lot since then, some a little, some none at all. HS and XTP pretty much the same. The new (>2000) GDs:

    115 +P+ 12.75
    124 +P 14.1
    147 GD 14.9

    124 +P GD:

    steel 27.6

    The FBI likes an _avg_ of between 12 - 18 for the entire 40 shot/8 event test series, w as many individual rounds of at least 12 as possible.

    FBI 40 round avgs

    9mm
    115 ST 11.4
    115 GD 17.9
    124 GD 17
    124 HS 14.4
    147 GD 14.9
    147 HS 17.2

    40
    155 GD 16
    180 GD 17.9

    45
    230 GD 14.8
    230 HS 18.3
    230 GS 16.7

    Beware: gel test results can vary a LOT when comparing FBI, manufacturers, or demo results. At least as much as real bad guys. ;)
     
  15. cole

    Millennium Member

    When the 9mm HP does NOT expand it will penetrate that deeply. The key numbers are BOTH expansion and penetration.

    The data above shows, overall, with the 9mm, pick one or the other (deep penetration >12" or wide expansion >.64"), you can't have both. The data above shows that the 9mm will RELIABLY penetrate >12" ONLY if it does NOT expand beyond about .64". For the 180gr .40sw, this threashold looks about .72+" and for the 230gr .45acp about .77+" or so (see table sorted by penetration).

    ALso, keep surface AREA in mind, NOT diameter. So, at >12" penetration, area of tissue disruption (RxRx3.14):
    .64" = .32
    .72" = .41 = +22% 9mm, -13% .45acp
    .77" = .47 = +32% 9mm

    You simply cannot expect a lighter bullet ravelling at the same velocity as a heavier one to be comparably effective. Physics refutes it, and the data bears that out. That's why I included a table that shows expansion relative to penetration. FMJ will out-penetrate HP, so, again, it's about expansion relative to penetration. And, between the two, penetration is prefered.

    I find it's the cherry-picking of load data that tends to give people the results they were looking for. When I use the term "cherry pick", a 9mm example I often think of is where people take FBI-type deep 9mm penetration paired it huge Winchester-type 9mm expansion and think you get both. The argument then follows that 9mm has "closed the gap" on the .40sw. But, the actual data shows you simply do not get both in one shot.

    They are all excellent choices for self-defense. There is good-bestter-best in both the data and in your application. But, I believe that expectations should be based on aggregate, objective data. That's just me.
     
  16. cole

    Millennium Member


    This is the summry FBI data with expansion included:
    FBI Data*
    9mm 115 12.46 0.57
    9mm 124 15.65 0.55
    9mm 147 16.76 0.53
    .40sw 155 14.80 0.66
    .40sw 165 15.97 0.61
    .40sw 180 16.44 0.62
    .45acp 185 14.79 0.78
    .45acp 200 16.31 0.63
    .45acp 230 16.08 0.68

    Of course the 9mm gets deep penetration in the FBI tests because it's getting dismal expansion. Most every load in the old FBI testing showed poor expansion and deep penetration when compared to new loads. Which is why new bullet designs emphasize reliable expansion.
     
  17. Great info, cole, thanks for posting that.

    My brain hurts now.:crying:
     

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