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Old 09-17-2006, 08:49 AM   #1
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

I just completed another wetpack test of .380acp ammo, using my first generation Kel-Tec P3AT. Although time and schedule constraints forced me to do a shorter soak ( 8 hours), I believe the relative comparisons in this head-to-head test are valid. Comparisons with 24 hour soak-times (as I've noted before) amount to about a 10% difference in penetration, in my experience. The results are based on the average of two bullets, excepting the DPX, of which I had only one remaining sample. I also estimated ballistic gelatin penetration, based on the 2/3 formula.



1. Corbon DPX (Penet.: 6.0" wetpack, 9.0"gel; Expan: .66")



2. Speer Gold Dot (P: 6.0" wet, 9.0" gel; E: .49")



3. Remington Golden Saber (P: 4.9" wet, 7.4" gel; E:

.62")



4. Winchester Ranger-T (P: 4.7" wet, 7.0" gel; E: .60"



5. Wolf Gold HP (P: 7.4" wet, 11.1" gel; E: none



The major surprise, to me, was the disappointing penetration of the Golden Saber round. In OldGrandpa's tests this round does exceptionally well in both penetration and expansion. The major problem it has had in the past was with jacket separation. In my test, there was no evidence of jacket separatiion at all, but the penetration was disappointing. It makes me wonder if the GS round has been redesigned in some way (bonded?). In any case, a bit more information for the data pool. BTW, I'm hoping to test the Corbon Powerball down the road, and at that time I will retest the Golden Saber to see if my results were an aberration.

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Old 09-18-2006, 09:06 PM   #2
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

DTWilly makes a good point. The point being that all wetpacks are not the same. The way he makes his, the way I make mine, or someone else are not the same unless....we use the same source for newspapers (newsprint paper differs from different paper mills). And also the size tub we soak in, how long we soak, what kind of box (plastic leaf bag liner??), how tight we pack the box, and how long before we shoot, all will affect the results.

This test by DT was an 8 hour soak. I began my wetpack tests over 4years ago using the overnight, 8 hour soak. My results then were very similar to what DT is getting. See the following 2 links for those old tests, 8 hour soak.

http://www.ktrange.com/articles/a10/a10-7.html

http://www.ktrange.com/articles/a10/a10-10.html

Even with a 36-48 hr soak I don
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:10 AM   #3
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Ah, the old "smiley" controversy rears its head again. Kel-Tec owners of the first generation P3AT have spent endless hours debating the effect this little dimple on the ammo causes on bullet performance. I did a test a while back that, IMHO, showed that the effect is minimal to non-existent (http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaB...num=1116435642 ). In any case, I totally agree with OG that there are so many variables with the wetpack test, that it's pretty much comparing apples to oranges each time out. Nonethess, I believe there is some value in relative comparisons of different bullets iin the same media at the same time and place.



As a side note, I was so puzzled by the discrepancy of the Golden Saber round performance between my test and Old Grandpa's, that I think I'll test this round again down the road. I really doubt that the whole issue is one of soak time. Anyway, these paradoxes keep me interested in lugging around those hernia-causing wetpacks. Keeps me out of trouble, I suppose.



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Old 09-19-2006, 07:21 AM   #4
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints



Good work, DT. And sometimes a box of factory ammo can show up with less than optimum results. I plan some more tests on "smileys" and GoldenSabr will be included.

Cheers,

og
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Old 09-19-2006, 10:58 PM   #5
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Hello. Very true: Wetpack is not calibrated and results will vary a bit. It's usually pretty easy to correlate your results with known calibrated 10% gelatin results but from what I've seen on larger animals, the gelatin results vs. real "soft target" results can be quite different. The main thing that I look for in my own informal wetpack shooting is consistency. Do all of the rounds expand similarly and do they penetrate roughly the same depth.



Best.



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Old 09-20-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Good point Stephen. It seems that to get that sense of consistency in expansion/penetration, it's necessary to fire multiple rounds of each brand. You can do this fairly easily (and inexpensively) in wetpack. Ironically, in ballistic gelatin, the "gold standard" of testing, most tests I've seen are limited to a single bullet. While the results more closely approximate living tissue, any trend analysis is lacking. Is this strictly a cost, time, and logistical limitation?
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:23 AM   #7
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Hello. I suspect that firing but one shot/block is a protocol that is followed for consistency in shooting results so that another bullet's performance is not even remotely affected by a possible fissure or defect in the gelatin caused by a previous shot.



Best.



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Old 09-21-2006, 11:22 AM   #8
 
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Does anyone know if there is any standard number of rounds of a certain brand the FBI (or other ballistics labs) test to determine performance? One? Five? Ten? I understand the rationale Stephen mentions for one round/one gelatin block , but it seems that determining consistency would require multiple rounds/gelatin blocks.
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Old 09-21-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

Hello. I'm not sure if it's one round or two or three, but it would have to be the same as much as possible for the scientific validity they claim.



Best.



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Old 09-22-2006, 02:25 AM   #10
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another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

I believe they calibrate each block using a pelletgun. Or someone did. I forget.



I do the same thing (sort of) when chronographing: begin and end each session with a string from a certain gun/ammo. that way if there's a significant difference from day to day I know not to directly compare results from the different days.



If I was wetpack testing, I'd add one round of a known performer into the mix, probably nonexpanding. A significant difference in penetration would indicate that the two wetpacks vary considerably. I've found WinClean to be very uniform in velocity.



Regards,



Pat





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