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Discussion Starter #1
hello all,
Not sure If this is posted in the correct place, or if the answer lies in a post somewhere?

On many occasions During ammo discussions I hear about wet-pak and ballistic gel used to 'catch bullets.

Well I am truly fascinated with how bullets react on impact and would like to do my own tests.

In the past I have used a piece a Jarrah wood, (A extremely hard wood found in Australia) and then used an Axe to chop open the hole and find the bullet but this method is very crude and all but destroys the bullet.

So my question is what is wet-pak and or gel and is it possible to buy or make something similar to test bullets bearing in mind that I live in Australia. are there any plans on the net showing how to make a catcher?

One thing that came to mind is a container filled with very soggy shredded newspaper and water but this I suspect would also deform the bullet considerably. Can they be fired into a container filled with plain or salty water? and if so what are the risks.

Given the restrictions here any of these tests would have to be done at the range or on the farm.

any comments welcome.

Ta Bang bang.
 

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Hello. "Wetpack" is merely newsprint that is super-saturated with water. I soak it 24 hours and drain 30 mins prior to shooting. No need to shred it and probably no need to soak 24 hours but I do it the same way each time in an attempt to keep it consistent.

Gelatin is usually referring to 10% ballistic gelatin which is considered the gold standard for testing bullet expansion characteristics as well as penetration. I believe it comes in powder form and is sold by Kind & Knox; it is expensive and has to be used at the same temperature for today's results to be repeatable with yesterday's, ie: sort of laboratory conditions.

There are some other commercially available media available but none are free as can be newsprint and in my opinion, none can exactly match what might or might not happen when a bullet strikes something made not only of soft tissue, but bone as well.

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank-you Mr Camp for you reply,

So my guess of soggy shredded newspaper was not too far off the mark :),
Given the expense and most likely the availability of ballistic gel in Australia , wet-pak will be more than adequate to satisfy my "non scientific"curiosity.

Could you give me an idea of what thickness I would need

I assume to be 100% safe I would need about 6 to 12 inches of newspaper for pistol and perhaps double that for rifle cartridges?

Thanks Bang bang.
 

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Hello. The newsprint will swell quite a lot as it absorbs water and it takes quite a bit of water to keep it submerged for a day...along with a weight to keep it under water. It will also swell up probably more than expected. If you want a stack to be 12" when soaked and drained, I'd put about 8" of newsprint in to soak.

A non-expanding pistol bullet of 38 Special, 9mm, 357 will easily penetrate 14+ inches of wetpack.

Expanding 9mm, .45, .357 and so forth normally will be stopped in about a foot or so. I use a straight thin rod to measure penetration to the base of the bullet and then record the depths. Some folks prefer to also add on the length of the bullet, which is fine but I prefer to under estimate a bit than maybe over. Also, this is only a comparison medium to see how one bullet stacks up agains another, but does compare quite nicely with bullets I've pulled out of animals.
A very ballpark way to estimate how it would do in calibrated 10% ballistic gelatin is to multiply by 3/2. Again, this is not exact but close and I consider it close enough since we cannot predict if or which bones will be struck in "soft targets".

Best.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tip, I'm a bit red faced
, did actually find/see the sub board about terminal ballistics after I opened my eyes, but thanks for the link, answers all the questions perfectly.

Ta BB.
 
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