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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe I brought up this topic at another handgun related site, but can't remember. Anyways, the perfect HD bullet is a bullet that expands a lot for maximum transfer of energy with a reduced chance of over penetration, right? Well, I think pure lead bullets would bo that quite well. When I used to own my blackpowder revolver I did an experiment with pure lead balls and balls casted from 50/50 solder. I had a bunch of pieces of sheet metal. Don't remember the thickness. Think it was 10 gauge mild steel. Anyways, I set them up like a foot away from eachother and shot them from like 5 feet away. The alloy ball penetrated more than the pure lead, but the lead ball was almost completly flat when I recovered it. It was well over an inch in diameter. The alloy ball barly expanded.

So, do you all think pure lead is a good choice? I could only imagine how much a pure lead 12 gauge slug would expand. :twisted:
 

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I would imagine that they expand because you shot them into steel. Unless you can come up w/ a lead hollow point, it will probably pass thru a person just like FMJ would, with very minimal expansion. And, ammo technology has come a long way - they are designed with different layers in hollow point ammo. Just a pure lead bullet with even a hollow point cavity probably would not operate the same.

U would have to case your own bullets and use some ballistics gel to find out more info. But, at first glance, I do not think it would give you the results you are looking for.

Then again, what the hell do I know :p :p :p
 

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There really is a lot to it that a simple explanation just won't suffice. A thorough answer can be obtained with a Google search on lead bullets...
Lead however is very nasty when it hits the bone. The Civil War was good proof of how nasty lead could be... The biggest problem with a lead bullet is you can't run it out of a barrel much faster than 1000ft/sec. with out it leading the barrel up and destroying your accuracy... You can harden it with other metals like antimony to achieve higher velocities, but your getting away from the lead's desirable soft qualities. The best solution is to wrap the lead in a jacket, like copper. Now you can attain velocities much higher than what you can with an alloy... Expose the lead at the tip and you've got a super nasty round.
During WWII, our troops commonly cut the tip off of their FMJ bullets to expose the lead, so the bullet (a "Dum dum") would mushroom instead of zipping on through the enemy...
Pure lead plays hell with bones! :smt078
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the fact you bring up gunshot wounds from the Civil War. It would definatly suck being hit by .75 caliber muskets or cannons with 3" bores.
 

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Hal8000,

Old wives' tale about cutting off bullet nose on US .30 caliber. The combat round is AP, with a steel core.

Ball ammunition with lead core was not issued outside of CONUS.

Bob Wright
 

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And..........

Pure lead does not grip the rifling enough for accuracy. In use with modern powders there is "blow through" to contend with, where the powder burns through the bullet end to end.

Further, reliable expansion is required, and controlled. Too much expansion affects the bullet's penetration.

The Speer swaged bullets use a "jacket" of lead with a softer lead core. These are a pretty good compromise for the reloader.

There was at one time some data on casting a harder alloy base, and casting a softer nose and cementing th two together.

Bob Wright
 

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Hal8000 said:
During WWII, our troops commonly cut the tip off of their FMJ bullets to expose the lead, so the bullet (a "Dum dum") would mushroom instead of zipping on through the enemy...
That's an old wives tale Hal. Here's the skinny...
Dum-Dum Bullet: (n. sus.) A British military bullet developed in India's Dum- Dum Arsenal and used on India's North West Frontier and in the Sudan in 1897 and 1898. It was a jacketed .303 cal. British bullet with the jacket nose left open to expose the lead core in the hope of increasing effectiveness. Improvement was not pursued, for the Hague Convention of 1899 (not the Geneva Convention of 1925, which dealt largely with gas warfare) outlawed such bullets for warfare. Often "dum-dum" is misused as a term for any soft-nosed or hollow- pointed hunting bullet.
 

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And it always struck me odd that expanding bullets were prohibited, yet its permissable to cut a man in half with shell fragments.

Or incinerate him with napalm.

Bob Wright
 

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Hal800,

It is not my intent to "slap you silly" as you put it. Much erroneous information is put out.

It is my intent to use gentle correction. We've all been misinformed at one time or another.

Bob Wright
 

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Maser said:
Anyways, the perfect HD bullet is a bullet that expands a lot for maximum transfer of energy with a reduced chance of over penetration, right?
Energy transfer isn't the only component of "stopping power." It may not be a component at all, except in the context of the bullet requiring energy to penetrate and expand (in other words, the bullet needs energy to do the work of making a hole, but how much or how quickly that energy is "transferred" to the target may not be terribly relevant).

You need a bullet that will penetrate deeply enough into your opponent to disrupt his vital organs. You also need it to be able to penetrate through an upraised arm or hand, since you are not guaranteed an unobstructed frontal shot at his chest (unlike at the square range). It is VERY common in gunfights for bullets to hit arms and hands before entering the body. FBI Miami 1986 is probably the most famous example of this.

A bullet that expands too quickly will not penetrate deeply enough to injure/destroy vital organs, and will thus allow your opponent to stay in the fight, perhaps long enough to kill you. What you want is controlled expansion, not maximum expansion. Modern hollowpoints offer this feature, which is why everyone uses them in preference to pure lead bullets.

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Mike Barham at Galco said:
Maser said:
Anyways, the perfect HD bullet is a bullet that expands a lot for maximum transfer of energy with a reduced chance of over penetration, right?
Energy transfer isn't the only component of "stopping power." It may not be a component at all, except in the context of the bullet requiring energy to penetrate and expand (in other words, the bullet needs energy to do the work of making a hole, but how much or how quickly that energy is "transferred" to the target may not be terribly relevant).

You need a bullet that will penetrate deeply enough into your opponent to disrupt his vital organs. You also need it to be able to penetrate through an upraised arm or hand, since you are not guaranteed an unobstructed frontal shot at his chest (unlike at the square range). It is VERY common in gunfights for bullets to hit arms and hands before entering the body. FBI Miami 1986 is probably the most famous example of this.

A bullet that expands too quickly will not penetrate deeply enough to injure/destroy vital organs, and will thus allow your opponent to stay in the fight, perhaps long enough to kill you. What you want is controlled expansion, not maximum expansion. Modern hollowpoints offer this feature, which is why everyone uses them in preference to pure lead bullets.
+1 You beat me to it.....
 

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Bob Wright said:
Hal800,

It is not my intent to "slap you silly" as you put it. Much erroneous information is put out.

It is my intent to use gentle correction. We've all been misinformed at one time or another.

Bob Wright
Hey Bob, not a problem. It's just a saying we used to say as kids. Maybe it should have been left behind with my Tonka's...
I've not spent the time to research the story behind Dum dum's as you apparently have. My source was a WWII vet. He unfortunately is no longer with us for me to question, but he could of been wrong, or more than likely, I misunderstood him. Anyway, no worries!
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mike Barham at Galco said:
Energy transfer isn't the only component of "stopping power." It may not be a component at all, except in the context of the bullet requiring energy to penetrate and expand (in other words, the bullet needs energy to do the work of making a hole, but how much or how quickly that energy is "transferred" to the target may not be terribly relevant).

You need a bullet that will penetrate deeply enough into your opponent to disrupt his vital organs. You also need it to be able to penetrate through an upraised arm or hand, since you are not guaranteed an unobstructed frontal shot at his chest (unlike at the square range). It is VERY common in gunfights for bullets to hit arms and hands before entering the body. FBI Miami 1986 is probably the most famous example of this.

A bullet that expands too quickly will not penetrate deeply enough to injure/destroy vital organs, and will thus allow your opponent to stay in the fight, perhaps long enough to kill you. What you want is controlled expansion, not maximum expansion. Modern hollowpoints offer this feature, which is why everyone uses them in preference to pure lead bullets.
That makes a lot of sense. I would have never thought about the possibility of the bullet hitting the arms. Thanks for the insight.
 
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