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Fragmentation - Oh My God

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by PghJim, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I think some people are more concerned with how the target affects the bullet than how the bullet affects the target. I come from an era where cup and core bullets were all we had and some of them were very effective.

    Now, when I watch a video of a bullet test in some kind of gel you can almost see the tester shaking his head in disgust when he find a bullet fragment in the track, or heaven forbid, some jacket separation. Even tnoutdoors9 is guilty of some of this.

    Yes, a 9mm BPLE does fragment, but people should be commenting more on the devastating damage to the gel. I was searching for a video of a gel test using a Federal or Remington 125gr. SJHP 357 Magnum. I could not find one and wonder why. I did find a test of a 125gr 357 magnum with a cup and core bullet. As the tester poked through the shredded gel, he kept saying, "and there is another fragment". So what, look what it did.

    I would pay to see a 357 sig test with Corbon bullets or DT 125gr Sierra's and 115gr Noslers.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  2. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    Got a link to a video? :cool:

  3. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Fragmentation isn't bad, as long as there is enough mass left to reach vitals. If that happens, then fragmentation will create a larger perm wound channel. Why the 357mag as long been an efective fight stopper w/ proper bullets.
  4. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Oct 21, 2005
    J-Ville NC
    I don't mind frag and I agree with Fred and Jim. People have been taught for so long that handguns are nothing but hole punchers so frag must be a terrible thing...I don't think so and appaerntly, neither does a whole lotta people who have been smashed by the .357 mag's famous 125.
  5. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Keep in mind none of these tests simulate hitting hard objects. Bones, buttons, objects in pockets, etc. Fragmentation and jacket separation is very problematic. And if you're shooting through barriers, it's REALLY problematic.

    Also, most of the nasty damage is in the first 4-5". Fine maybe for a front-on shot but a real problem on an oblique shot like through an arm.

    The 9BPLE is a great 9mm round but it's not my first choice.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  6. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    As long as it gets to where it needs to go, it can leave a trail of slime as far as I'm concerned.
  7. The .357 magnum 125 grain is king of the hill, and it fragments. Fragmentation can be a good thing, as long as the bullet penetrates enough.
  8. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    You got that right. The .357 125gr SJHP drops the felon 95% of the time with one shot.
  9. dpadams6


    Jan 5, 2010
    Or how bout 5.56 ammo? Massive fragmentation with many loads and awesome stopping power.
  10. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I do not have the link, but it was a CorBon round. It should be easy to look up on YouTube.
  11. dougader


    Apr 17, 2004
    I will say, though, that IME those Sierra 125's frag a lot more than the Federal 357 mag 125 grain jhp bullets. Even the Sierra 140's come apart when loaded up.

    I think there's a fine balance, kind of what Fred is saying, where we need to have sufficient penetration and then the frags along the bullet path make for a more significant permanent wound channel.
  12. fastbolt


    Jun 9, 2002
    CA Central Coast
    I agree.

    I remember when I attended a couple of wound ballistics seminars some years ago. One of the morgue x-rays available involved a deceased suspect who had been shot with a 125gr .357 Magnum. The wounding and bullet path revealed in the x-ray showed a lot of damage, including a fair amount of fragmentation. The fragmentation was considered to have added to the wounding and tissue damage.

    The penetration for that shot, in that shooting situation, was apparently sufficient. However, the lecturer commented that he felt the use of the slightly heavier 140-145gr hollowpoint loads available in .357 Magnum (back in the heyday of service revolvers) seemed to show that the wounding & tissue damage effects of the 125gr Magnum loads could be carried even deeper into a human body using the slightly heavier JHP's.
  13. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    I ran a side by side comparison of Remington 357 mag 125gr SJHP and DT 125 gr 357 sig Sierra's into wet pack. Both dumped the same energy as far as damage to the jugs, both fragmented the same with about 75 grains of core going on to the back of the third jug. The diameter's of the 75 grain core where in the high 0.50's. I did a post on the test a while back.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  14. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    Ballistics and its effects on the human body/myriad scenarios is an inexact science. It seems to me that with the creation of the .357 Magnum the science and art of effective handgun rounds achieve harmony.

    Fragmenting rounds appear to work great in .357 Magnum but not so well in other calibers where bullet integrity yields better and more consistent results. I think of 9BPLE as a mini-Magnum that mimics the .357 Magnum in some respects, but it will never play in the same ballpark. I do own some 9BPLE and won't worry about carrying it for self-defense but from what I know I will stick with 124-grain ammo that doesn't fragment.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2012
  15. intecooler


    Nov 15, 2012
    I gave him the numbers for the Federal and Remington 125's and he plans on doing them:


    Their is a video on YouTube of a Doctor's study and presentation on wounding and effectiveness of different rounds. Fragmentation did more damage to blood vessels than a pretty hollow point.
  16. Good video. That is some nasty stuff. I would hate to be an ER doctor trying to remove all those fragments from someone.
  17. PghJim


    Apr 21, 2005
    That was the video I was referring to where the tester kept pointing out the fragmentation. I do not care if the bullet had only penetrated 11" the massive damage is the story not necessarily the 13.5" of penetration. If you look at some of the testing tnoutdoors9 has done with the 357 magnum in 125gr GD and PDX1 (both bonded), and you will see that this cup and core bullet from Corbon did significantly more damage to the gel. It's final diameter was not as great, but who cares. As I recall the GD went over 16" of penetration and did very little damage. Between the three, I would reach for the Corbon.
  18. ABNAK


    Apr 22, 2005
    That video shows Cor Bon's own in-house manufactured bullet. I'll wager you'd see similar results with their 357Sig bullet that they make as long as the velocity was ~ 1400fps.
  19. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Glockoholic

    I'm fine with some fragmenting as long as it doesn't adversely effect penetration. Not all fragmenting bullets fail to penetrate deeply which is often the case with low sectional density bullets being driven too fast.
  20. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl

    Mar 25, 2008
    North East Ohio
    I agree.