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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think some of you may be interested in this. I had this baffle box built a few years back using white pine boards. Then black powder loads (and a few smokeless ones from semi-autos) were fired from about 15 feet. The labels on the boards show where the bullets stopped. Of course a .44-40 wouldn't hold 40 grains or a 45 Colt, but I got about 33 to 35 grains of FFFg in them so they were snorty.
 

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Mike, I'm sure the old penetration tests that we all have read was shot thru true 1" boards and not 7/8" or so we have today. I wonder how much difference dryness of the wood would make in penetration compared to board thickness? Never the less, it just got me thinking and that's dangerous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All the bp loads were compressed - generally speaking about the width of a grease groove. Bullets in the bp loads were all cast from 1-20 tin to lead alloy. The semi-auto loads were all FMJ factory loads.
 

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That's very interesting Mike. If you were to fire a round into a solid piece of pine a foot thick, the penetration is very much reduced. I still would not want to be in the path of any of those rounds! Actually, that the government used this kind of test in the 1870's is puzzling for the same reasons. Maybe they envisioned bad guys behind wagon boxes or clapboard shacks? The penetrations also depend on bullet hardness, right?

JP
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bullet hardness would be a factor but none of these bullets expanded noticeably. It is true that the gov't testers used 1" boards, not what we have today but they also used different primers, powder, cartridge case material, different rifling, etc. This was just a casual test for fun and comparison. I think the gov't did it in baffle boxes and also Winchester did too according to their 1899 catalog was they just didn't have anything else that was practical at the time.
 

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I think it looks like fun and in fact when I can get back out to my workshop, I think I will make one to do my own "tests." I will however, make 1 inch boards to see what happens. FYI, just because a bullet does not penetrate, such as when a LEO has on a vest, there can still be damage. I was shot almost point blank by a .38 special which did not penetrate my vest, but did break several ribs and left me black and blue on my right side for a couple of weeks. If any of you have had broken ribs, you cannot laugh, sneeze, cough or even fart without hurting, LOL
 

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I always get a laugh from the guys that want you to believe them fast light weight bullets have more "energy".

Original 44-40 BP ammo was listed as 200gr bullet @ 1245fps with 40gr of BP

Original 45 BP load was 255gr bullet @ 1000fps and 40gr of BP

If you had anything close for powder and bullet weights it makes a good comparison for "energy" in the real world.

Good stuff Mike. Thanks for the post.

 

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Great information and I am certainly liking the looks of those guns you used. I feel like I have seen this photo once before, no sure where, maybe it was with smokeless powder. Either way, good to know. Wonder how a full load of black powder would work on a bear out of a 45 colt....
 

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Not that I would want to try, but did it or are there reports of it stopping horses?
Sixguns by Elmer Kieth has a section he talks about different calibers on game, I recall one story he spoke about a friend of his riding a dry creek on their way back for the last bit of an Elk they had killed; a matter of yards away as they came up to the site, a Grizzly stood up in front of them and the fella shot him with his 45colt... one & done. Another story in there writes about a guy who carried a 7.5" 45colt who came upon three Grizzly's and first one charged (shot it) then the second charged (shot it too) with the third there-after heeling it for parts unknown.. been some-time since I read the book, but recall him mentioning something about the 45colt being a great outdoorsman cartridge proven by such events that at the time of writing was only bettered by a heavy 44special.

...those stories took place in the time the transition was happening from Black to smokelss, so I'd imagine the loads were not "today's" cowboy loads. Likely full power Black either side of 1000fps... I'd imagine that can be compared somewhat to shooting horses.. worked on Grizzly bears, it'll work on a horse
 

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Hey Mike, is that, '32A' the .32 Auto? I kinda surprised with that one, but maybe shouldn't be if it's FMJ. Did you try a .380 for the heck of it? Somewhere I have a box of .45 Colt FMJ's......

For some reason I thought that the Russian was a better penetrator than the American.

Wyatt: those old poker tables & wagon boxes were made out of hedge lined with boiler plate :rolleyes:
 

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wolfcoln said:
Not that I would want to try, but did it or are there reports of it stopping horses?
Horses aren't all that tough compared to any bear. But on the horse count way, way more horses kilt back in the day than blue coats, cowboys or Indians.
So ya lots of horses killed with a 45 Colt or a 1860 Army Colt prior. More than any of us would care to count.
 

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Horses aren't all that tough compared to any bear. But on the horse count way, way more horses kilt back in the day than blue coats, cowboys or Indians.
So ya lots of horses killed with a 45 Colt or a 1860 Army Colt prior. More than any of us would care to count.
Stands to reason, if I'm an infantry soldier with a muzzle-loader and a cavalry charge is bearing down on me, I don't spare any stinking horses!
 

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easy there goose. Horses don't have any favored politics : )

They figure as many as 3 million horses died in the civil war.

Civil War Horses Killed Total Dead Battle Horses Battlefield

Slaughter of Indian horses by the US Army

1000 horses in Spokane WA 1858

1000 to 1500 Palo Duro Canyon, Northern Texas Panhandle, 1874

A single US Army horse survived in Custer's 3 Company command. 268 US Service men died during the battle.
 
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