Observations from Tnoutdoors9 Test

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Yankee2718, Oct 9, 2012.

  1. If you watch his videos you can start to pick up on certain trends. I notice bullets that achieve >1000 fps seem to cause more internal damage than bullets that achieve <1000 fps. The slower bullets seem to just punch a straight path and not "churn" up the gel.

    Some of the Underwood Ammo 10mm offerings in the 1500-1600 fps range produce a damage path that looks similar (not the same) to a .223 damage path.

    I think that velocity and bullet construction is playing a bigger role in the wounding abilities of these bullets than the actual size of the bullet.


    115 grain+ weighted bullets >1250 fps

    115 grain+ weighted bullets >1400 fps

    124 grain+ weighted bullets >1200 fps

    124 grain+ weighted bullets >1250 fps

    165 grain+ weighted bullets >1000 fps

    200 grain+ weighted bullets > 850 fps

    Each individual category has some tradeoffs.
    115 grain+ weighted bullets >1400fps produce a large damage path but also produce shallow penetration.
    124 grain+ weighted bullets >1200 fps offer a balanced mix of large damage path and adequate penetration.
    165 grain+ weighted bullets >1000 fps create adequate penetration, but not always a large damage path.

    200 grain+ weighted bullets >850 fps penetrate deeply, but do not produce a large damage path.

    In regards to 155 and 165 grain bullets traveling >1150 fps, I don't have enough data to make any meaningful observations.

    With the data produced by tnoutdoors9, I can make a few hypotheses:

    The best all-around performers based on the data available, appear to be 124 grain+ weighted bullets >1200 fps and 165 grain+ weighted bullets >1000 fps.

    This could change with additional testing of 155 grain bullets traveling at 1300/1400 fps, 165 grain bullets traveling at 1200/1300 fps, and 180 grain bullets traveling 1100-1300 fps.

    Testing of the Underwood .45 ACP 185 grain GDHP at 1200 fps and 230 grain GDHP at 1000 fps would be interesting and are necessary missing data points.

    The only conclusion I can draw from the current data points is that 1000 +/- 25 fps seems to be a threshold for creating a damage path. Bullets moving slower than 975 fps appear to mostly push straight through.

    These are just my observations. These could also be meaningless as simulating actual live tissue is much different than a ballistic medium.

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    #1 Yankee2718, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
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  3. I like mid-weight, fast, bullets personally, at least in 9mm. I do think energy is a factor.

    That said, pistol bullets at these velocities simply do not create damage from the temporary cavity. Only tissue that is physically touched by the bullet is permanently damaged. .357 Sig consistently produces the most impressive permanent cavities, especially in overall length of the large permanent cavity (typically around 7 inches).

    This is a good read:


    #2 cowboy1964, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  4. The damage to the gel is what I am basing my observations on. I'm not even jumping into the ballistic pressure wave game.
  5. The gel damage, or "churning" as you put it, is an indicator of temporary stretch cavity. Now this is a long-running debate on here as to whether it has any impact on incapacitation by being strong enough to actually tear organs not specifically touched by the bullet itself. I dunno personally......I'm on the fence. Always have liked a "dynamic" bullet, but some of these newer bullet designs like HST don't need a screaming velocity to perform as far as expansion and penetration are concerned. :dunno:

    The ballistic pressure wave is more concerning "shock" to the CNS or cardiovascular system from a wave of pressure.

    Frankly I'd put more likelihood of actually occuring on the temporary stretch cavity causing additional damage than I would the ballistic pressure wave slapping someone down.
  6. Where the gel has been "churned" that indicates damage. In a scientific format, that equals more damage.
  7. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    These two things you mention go hand in hand.
  8. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    You post those links so much you must be sold on the koolaid, very, very old koolaid at that.
  9. I think the first one is at least *possible* with handgun rounds, the BPW probably not unless we start talking about the next level, i.e. rifles.
    #8 ABNAK, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  10. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    Like I said, they go hand in hand. The peripheral wounding of a bullet is also caused by said wave. It is not as simple as just rifle or pistol rounds. It is also not just as simple as more or less velocity, it is the rate of transfer which coincides with bullet construction. Do rifles have it easier because of higher energy levels? Yes. But it is a lot of factors and how they work together that makes the difference. Pistols have the same capabilities (within reason) but must transfer much faster since they start out with less energy. Anemic rounds will have the most trouble with this since they cannot spend themselves on rapid expansion to gain a decent temp cavity and hope to have enough left for a desirable penetration depth.
  11. I'm a fan of accuracy, speed, and penetration. This is my reason for going with a 155gr XTP handloaded in a 40S&W. The 155XTP has good velocity (1150-1200fps depending on load), it expands (not as much as some), and you get stellar penetration. I'm also getting more consistent, and excellent accuracy from my handloaded 155XTP's @ 1150fps (haven't tried higher velocity YET) than any other store bought whiz bang round that you can get at your LGS. TnOutDoors has tested the XTP bullet in GEL using the Hornady TAP load, and it performed impressively based on the criteria I look for in a handgun cartridge.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwBckM2GQQ4"]Hornady TAP FPD .40 S&W 155 gr JHP SIM-TEST w/denim - YouTube[/ame]
  12. This coincides what ive been saying for years and have seen quite a bit first hand. The 357sig is the best handgun caliber on the planet, for all around self defense.
    #11 dpadams6, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  13. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    Yep... it's done a pretty good job of duplicating one .357 magnum load on the light end...

  14. 10mm stomps the 357sig between bullet diameter, bullet weight, and velocity. :tongueout:

    Plus I'll take a 40S&W 155gr moving @ 1200fps in a 4" barrel over a 9mm 125gr bullet moving @ 1350 in a 4" barrel. But that's just my preference. To each their own.
    #13 PrecisionRifleman, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  15. The gel isn't "churned". The path you see carved out is where the bullet has cut through. There is also going to be variability in how he slices the halves. You'll notice he uses that little pick thing to pry open the damage channel so it can be seen better.

    Why do you think the maximum cavity isn't produced until several inches in? Because the bullet hasn't fully expanded yet! The damage is only being caused by what the bullet is physically touching. If temporary cavity/energy was causing damage you would see more damage at the entry point because that is where max energy is occurring but all you see is a wound track the diameter of the original caliber.

    BTW, his .40 180gr HST test was one of the best for wound channel, in any weight or caliber.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWy2AB_AQYo"].40 Federal HST 180 gr Ammo Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]

    What more proof? Look at one of his few videos where he shows front facing cross-sections of gel. The only damage is where the shaft of the bullet and the petals have cut through. For example, watch this starting at 3:30:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWW2Y-IZpyE"].45 ACP Federal HST 230 gr Ammo Gel Test - YouTube[/ame]

    BUT... the .357 Sig videos do show some evidence of the temporary cavity actually permanently deforming gel outside of the permanent cavity. So anyone dissing the .357 Sig hasn't been paying attention.
    #14 cowboy1964, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  16. Well, that "light end" is where the legend of the .357 Magnum lives.
  17. This is why I have begun to favor the 357Sig of the 1400+fps variety (Underwood, Cor Bon, and despite my recent experience, DoubleTap too). *If* this extraneous damage is going to occur it's going to be with a very dynamic round, i.e. quite fast with a quick energy dump. I'd go as far as saying a 155gr .40 pushing 1200+fps would get it done too with the right bullet.
  18. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    According to his data, I need not worry about over-penetration with my +p+ 115gr JHP 9mms, even though they are likely going over 1400 FPS.
    #17 SCmasterblaster, Oct 9, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  19. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

    :dunno: You literally contradicted yourself all in one post.

    Anyway, you can see temp cavity effects with other rounds he has tested, the 10mm 180grn GD being a good example. The bullet clearly does not touch the media an 1" (2' dia.) away from the bullet track yet there is damage...
  20. uz2bUSMC

    uz2bUSMC 10mm defender

  21. In a perfect world physics would determine our handgun/ammo choices. The catch is that what is evident in static calibrated gel doesn't reflect the myriad factors that go into each and every self-defense scenario.

    All things being equal, (e.g. reliable consistent mushrooming of the bullet) the faster a bullet of any given caliber delivers its energy the greater its effect as long as the bullet remains in the target. But the variables in self-defense shootings are so numerous that I doubt there will ever be a perfect world answer all of us would accept.

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