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Thread: 30 caliber bullet test as well as a few others

  1. #1

    30 caliber bullet test as well as a few others

    I posted this on a different forum and thought you might also find it interesting.

    I went to the range today. -25C, sunshine, and nobody else there. Can't ask for a better day.


    This is a follow up, if you will, to the other test I did a while ago.


    Test:
    I ordered 50lbs of cow leg bones from a butcher I know. All shots were through the joint (thickest part of the bone) portion. I also put a 2" thick piece of neck trim (muscle, silver skin and connective tissue) in front of the bone and behind it to simulate meat on the way in and on the way out. All measurements are of the depth of penetration into the newspaper ONLY. For total penetration add 4" of meat and another 5-6" for the bone to the numbers I will post for each bullet. Soaked newspaper over night and taped them together in stacks of ~5" with ductape.
    These bones were all shot at 5m to simulate an absolute worst case scenario for a bullet. Max impact speed as well as the animal taking a step prior to the shot which turns a easy broadside shot into something else since there is a big elk/moose leg in the way now.


    This is not scientific, valid, don't throw out the bullets you've been using for 30 years etc. I did this to satisfy my own curiosity and as much as it sucks to haul a bathtub full of wet heavy newspaper around, it's also fun.


    I did not finish all the bullets in the lineup as I ran out of newspaper. I will finish the 30 cal test (165gmx, 180btip, 208amax) and I will also test a .375 270gr tsx and 260gr accubond, just to satisfy my own curiosity.


    Bullets up for testing.
    L to R
    165gr hornady gmx, 168gr nosler btip, 180gr nosler btip, 180gr nosler etip, 180gr barnes tsx, 180gr swift scirocco 2, 180gr barnes original, 200gr lapua mega, 195gr Chinchaga, 200gr nosler accubond, 200gr nosler partition, 210 berger vld, 208 hornady amax



    Cow bones for testing







    Results


    Bullet: .308 210gr Berger Hunting VLD
    Penetration: 7" (7" is newspaper only. Total penetration was 16" (4" for meat at 5" of bone). All penetration measurements are only newspaper, please add 9" of bone/meat if you want total penetration.)
    Weight retention: 57.6gr (27.5%)
    Expansion diameter: .694"
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: .308 200gr Nosler Accubond
    Penetration: 10"
    Weight retention: 127.6gr (63.8%)
    Expansion diameter: .697"
    Impact speed: ~2825fps


    Bullet: .308 200gr Lapua Mega (Thank you Sask_Hunter)
    Penetration: 9"
    Weight retention: 121.6gr (60.8%)
    Expansion diameter: .657"
    Impact speed: ~2825fps


    Bullet: .308 200gr Nosler Partition (Thank you Eagleye)
    Penetration: 12"
    Weight retention: 119.5gr (59.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .535"
    Impact speed: ~2825fps


    Bullet: .308 195gr Chinchaga (They are made by Dale Janzen [Chinchaga Custom Bullets] In Peace River AB. Thank you Eagleye.)
    Penetration: 6.5"
    Weight retention: 144.1gr (73.9%)
    Expansion diameter: I honestly have no idea how to measure this as I don't know where the front or back/shank/anything is on this bullet. Looks like a blob of lead. It is 1.031" "wide" fwiw.
    Impact speed: ~2850fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Nosler E-Tip (Thank you Sask_Hunter)
    Penetration: 14"
    Weight retention: 178.8gr (99.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .697"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Barnes TSX
    Penetration: 17.5"
    Weight retention: 179.8gr (99.9%)
    Expansion diameter: .674"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Barnes original (these are considered a "good" cup and core which is why I picked it. .032" jacket thickness)
    Penetration: 4.5"
    Weight retention: 93.9gr (52.2%)
    Expansion diameter: 1.032"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Swift Scirocco II (Thank you Eagleye)
    Penetration: 14"
    Weight retention: 139.5gr (77.5%)
    Expansion diameter: .651"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: .308 168gr Nosler Ballistic Tip
    Penetration: 9.5"
    Weight retention: 98.6gr (58.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .641"
    Impact speed: 3100fps


    Bullets L to R
    210gr Berger VLD, 200gr nab, 200gr mega, 200gr pt, 195gr chinchaga
    180gr etip, 180gr tsx, 180gr barnes orig, 180gr sc2, 168gr btip






    Shanks of those that had any left
    200gr nab, 200gr mega, 200gr pt



    180gr etip, 180gr tsx, 180gr sc2, 168gr btip



    200gr partition "bulged" at the top of the shank which can be seen clearly in the picture. The led in the bottom half was also pushed in. This of course means nothing, it is merely an observation.






    Amount of destruction is rather humbling






    I also tested my wife's 243 win with 80gr ttsx at 3150fps as well as my 223 with 55gr hornady gmx at 3300fps into deer femurs. Wrapped with 2" of trim. 5m impact worst case scenario.


    Bullet: .224 55gr Hornady GMX
    Penetration: 11" (11" of newspaper. Add 6-7" for total penetration of meat/bone/meat/newspaper)
    Weight retention: 51.2gr without the little piece I found (93.1%)
    Expansion diameter: .673"
    Impact speed: 3300fps


    Bullet: .243 80gr Barnes TTSX
    Penetration: 16" (blew all the petals off so not surprised it went this deep)
    Weight retention: 54.8gr (68.5%)
    Expansion diameter: .284"
    Impact speed: 3150fps


    L to R 55gr GMX, 80gr TTSX











    PART 2


    I finished my test of what I had set out to do. Same exact test procedure as before, just did the bullets I was still missing.




    Results


    Bullet: .308 208gr Hornady AMAX
    Penetration: 8.5"
    Weight retention: 82.1gr (39.5%)
    Expansion diameter: .956"
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (OLD jacket as per picture posted above)
    Penetration: 7.5"
    Weight retention: 87.5gr (48.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .720"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: .308 180gr Winchester Power Point Factory load
    Penetration: 7"
    Weight retention: 103gr (57.2%)
    Expansion diameter: .803"
    Impact speed: ~2950fps


    Bullet: .308 165gr Hornady GMX
    Penetration: 14.5"
    Weight retention: 164.6 (99.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .657"
    Impact speed: ~3100fps


    I also tested the .375 270gr Barnes TSX and the .375 260gr Nosler Accubond. Same test conditions.


    Bullet: .375 270gr Barnes TSX
    Penetration: 22.5" (Blew all the petals off. Never would have thought that would happen.)
    Weight retention: 169.4gr (62.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .483"
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: .375 260gr Nosler Accubond
    Penetration: 11.5"
    Weight retention: 147.2gr (56.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .706"
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullets L to R
    .375 270gr Barnes TSX, .375 260gr Nosler Accubond, .308 208gr Hornady AMAX, .308 180gr Winchester Power Point, .308 180gr Nosler Ballistic Tip (OLD jacket), .308 165gr Hornady GMX











    Part 3


    Results .375


    Bullet: .375 250gr Barnes TTSX
    Penetration: 16.5"
    Weight retention: 152.1gr (61%)
    Expansion diameter: .528"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Results .308


    Bullet: 200gr Sierra BTSP
    Penetration: 9"
    Weight retention: 130.6gr (65.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .730"
    Impact speed: ~2825fps


    Bullet: 200gr Speer SP
    Penetration: 3"
    Weight retention: 14.5gr (7.25%)
    Expansion diameter: .533"
    Impact speed: ~2825


    Bullet: 190gr Hornady Interlock BTSP
    Penetration: 8.5"
    Weight retention: 29.8gr (15.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .806"
    Impact speed: ~2875fps


    Bullet: 180gr Speer Deep Curl
    Penetration: 10"
    Weight retention: 104.3gr (58%)
    Expansion diameter: .664"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: 180gr Speer Grand Slam
    Penetration: 8"
    Weight retention: 68.1gr (38%)
    Expansion diameter: .585"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: 180gr Nosler Partition
    Penetration: 13"
    Weight retention: 96.2gr (53%)
    Expansion diameter: .760"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: 180gr Nosler Partition Protected Point
    Penetration: 12.5"
    Weight retention: 118.2gr (65.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .594"
    Impact speed: ~2900fps


    Bullet: 175gr Barnes LRX
    Penetration: 20.5"
    Weight retention: 112.3gr (64.2%)
    Expansion diameter: .381"
    Impact speed: ~3000fps


    Bullet: 168gr Barnes TSX
    Penetration: 19"
    Weight retention: 121gr (72%)
    Expansion diameter: .440"
    Impact speed: ~3100fps


    Bullet: 165gr Speer Grand Slam
    Penetration: 4.5"
    Weight retention: 26.9gr (16.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .528"
    Impact speed: ~3100fps


    Bullet: 155gr Lapua Scenar
    Penetration: 6.5"
    Weight retention: 46.1gr (29.8%)
    Expansion diameter: .624"
    Impact speed: ~3400fps


    Bullet: 130gr Barnes TTSX
    Penetration: 14"
    Weight retention: 105.8gr (81.4%)
    Expansion diameter: .655"
    Impact speed: ~3575fps


    I also tested 3 favorite .264 bullets of mine. Same test (cow bones, muscle etc).


    Bullet: 155gr Lapua Mega
    Penetration: 11"
    Weight retention: 46.1gr (29.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .624"
    Impact speed: ~2500fps


    Bullet: 140gr Hornady Match BTHP
    Penetration: 10"
    Weight retention: 59.4gr (42.4%)
    Expansion diameter: .622"
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: 120gr Barnes TSX
    Penetration: 16"
    Weight retention: 97.6gr (81.3%
    Expansion diameter: .485"
    Impact speed: ~2950fps




    Bullets L to R
    .375 250gr TTSX, .308 175gr LRX, .308 168gr TSX, .308 130gr TTSX










    Bullets L to R
    .308 200gr Speer SP, 200gr Sierra BTSP, 180gr Speer Grand Slam, 180gr Speer Deep Curl, 180gr Nosler Partition Protected Point, 180gr Nosler Partition








    Bullets L to R
    .308 190gr Hornady IL BTSP, 165gr Speer Grand Slam, 155gr Lapua Scenar








    Bullets L to R
    .264 155gr Lapua Mega, 120gr Barnes TSX, 140gr Hornady Match BTHP








    I'm done testing for now. If I do more it won't be until Summer. Newspaper weighed 550lbs today and my back is killing me. I'm very surprised by some of the results and others were expected. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions. I would like to point out though that all 4 "fragile" "match" bullets (210 vld, 208 amax, 155 scenar, 140 bthp) penetrated a cow femur and several inches of muscle as well as newspaper. None of them exploded and all of them out penetrated several "real" hunting bullets. They make huge wound channels as well. They are certainly not premium bullets (partition, tsx et al) but they are better than several normal cup and core hunting bullets, imvho of course.


    Thank you for all the interest and many thanks to all the generous people that donated bullets for this experiment. Many thanks again.


    Part 4 338 bullets


    I tested the 300gr Berger OTM, 300gr Sierra Match King, 285gr Hornady BTHP, 265gr Barnes LRX and the 250gr Nosler Partition Gold (they no longer make these, where moly coated and have longer shanks than current partitions). I will test the remaining 250gr Sierra Match King and the 250gr Hornady BTHP along with some 6.5 bullets later this fall.




    L to R: 250gr Nosler Partition Gold, 250gr Sierra Match King, 250gr Hornady BTHP, 285gr Hornady BTHP, 300gr Sierra Match King, 300gr Berger OTM, 265gr Barnes LRX



    L to R: 300gr Berger OTM, 300gr Sierra Match King, 285gr Hornady BTHP, 265gr Barnes LRX, 250gr Nosler Partition Gold



    L to R: 300gr Berger OTM, 265gr Barnes LRX, 250gr Nosler Partition Gold






    Results


    Bullet: 300gr Berger OTM
    Penetration: 15.5"
    Weight retention: 165.2gr (55.1%)
    Expansion diameter: .840" (HUGE wound channel)
    Impact speed: ~2750fps


    Bullet: 300gr Sierra Match King
    Penetration: 11"
    Weight retention: 121.6gr (40.5%)
    Expansion diameter: Broke in half
    Impact speed: ~2750fps


    Bullet: 285gr Hornady BTHP (Match)
    Penetration: 9"
    Weight retention: 19.3gr (6.8%)
    Expansion diameter: N/A
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: 265gr Barnes LRX
    Penetration: 19"
    Weight retention: 256.8gr (96.9%)
    Expansion diameter: .763"
    Impact speed: ~2840fps


    Bullet: 250gr Nosler Partition Gold
    Penetration: 16"
    Weight retention: 194.1gr (77.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .667"
    Impact speed: ~2925fps


    Just for fun I also tested my 44 Magnum 1894 Marlin shooting 265gr wheel weight cast Ranch dog mold with gas check bullets. Same test as all the others.





    0.340" Meplat (aka flying trash can)







    Bullet: 265gr Ranch Dog (ww air cooled)/gas check
    Penetration: 22"
    Weight retention: 168.7gr (63.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .701"
    Impact speed: ~1700fps


    Thanks for looking.


    Part 5


    Well friends, here is part 5. Lots of bullets tested (22 this time) and some results really surprised me. Just as a reminder, all the 30 cal and 6.5 bullets were tested with cow bones as outlined above and the 6mm bullets got deer bones.


    Results


    Bullet: 230gr Berger OTM
    Penetration: 20"
    Weight retention: 141.9gr (61.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .569"
    Impact speed: ~2700fps


    Bullet: 220gr Nosler Partition
    Penetration: 13.5"
    Weight retention: 42.3gr (19.2%) (No, that's not a typo. The rear core was not with the bullet when it was recovered.)
    Expansion diameter: .411"
    Impact speed: ~2725fps


    Bullet: 220gr Remington Core-lokt
    Penetration: 8""
    Weight retention: 99.7gr (45.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .835"
    Impact speed: ~2700fps


    Bullet: 215gr Berger OTM
    Penetration: 13"
    Weight retention: 58.7gr (27.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .493"
    Impact speed: ~2750fps


    Bullet: 180gr Nosler Ballistic tip (new, tough jacket)
    Penetration: 13"
    Weight retention: 80.7gr (44.8%)
    Expansion diameter: 548"
    Impact speed: ~3050fps


    Bullet: 180gr Hornady Interbond
    Penetration: 13"
    Weight retention: 104.4gr (58%)
    Expansion diameter: .523"
    Impact speed: ~3000fps


    Bullet: 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw
    Penetration: 17"
    Weight retention: 146.2gr (81.2%)
    Expansion diameter: .605"
    Impact speed: ~2950fps


    Bullet: 185gr Bonded Matrix RN
    Penetration: 6"
    Weight retention: Completely disintegrated
    Expansion diameter: N/A
    Impact speed: ~2800fps


    Bullet: 178gr Bonded Matrix Hunting Bullet
    Penetration: 8"
    Weight retention: 55.9gr (31%)
    Expansion diameter: .77"
    Impact speed: ~3000fps


    Bullet: 165gr Trophy Bonded Tip
    Penetration: 15"
    Weight retention: 128gr (77.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .655"
    Impact speed: ~3100fps


    Bullet: 150gr Hornady Interlock
    Penetration: 8"
    Weight retention: 67.2gr (44.8%)
    Expansion diameter: .647"
    Impact speed: ~3300fps


    Bullet: 150gr Hornady Interbond
    Penetration: 11.5"
    Weight retention: 83.1gr (55.4%)
    Expansion diameter: .549"
    Impact speed: ~3300fps


    Bullet: 150gr Barnes TTSX
    Penetration: 22"
    Weight retention: 88.5gr (59%)
    Expansion diameter: .380"
    Impact speed: ~3300fps


    6.5 Results


    Bullet: 160gr Matrix VLD
    Penetration: 10"
    Weight retention: 50.6gr (31.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .585"
    Impact speed: ~2500fps


    Bullet: 150gr Matrix VLD
    Penetration: 11"
    Weight retention: 101.7gr (67.8%)
    Expansion diameter: .742"
    Impact speed: ~2600fps


    Bullet: 130gr Berger Hunting VLD
    Penetration: 8"
    Weight retention: 48.3gr (37.2%)
    Expansion diameter: .631"
    Impact speed: ~2850fps


    Bullet: 130gr Berger Target VLD
    Penetration: 9"
    Weight retention: 49.7gr (38.2%)
    Expansion diameter: .571"
    Impact speed: ~2850fps


    Bullet: 127gr Barnes LRX
    Penetration: 14"
    Weight retention: 116.4gr (91.7%)
    Expansion diameter: .849" (Bullet was recovered facing sideways which is why that petal bent out and has such a large expanded diameter)
    Impact speed: ~2825fps


    6mm Results


    Bullet: 100gr Remington Core-lokt
    Penetration: 9.5"
    Weight retention: 55.6gr (55.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .431"
    Impact speed: ~3175fps


    Bullet: 95gr Berger Classic Hunting
    Penetration: 7"
    Weight retention: 40.5gr (42.6%)
    Expansion diameter: .464"
    Impact speed: ~3200fps


    Bullet: 95gr Nosler Ballistic Tip
    Penetration: 6"
    Weight retention: 28.8gr (30.3%)
    Expansion diameter: .434"
    Impact speed: ~3200fps


    Bullet: 85gr Speer BTSP
    Penetration: 6"
    Weight retention: 29.7gr (35%)
    Expansion diameter: .627"
    Impact speed: ~3300fps










    Bullets L to R


    Top: 230gr Berger OTM, 220gr Core-lokt, 220gr Partition, 215gr Berger OTM, 180gr Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, 180gr Ballistic Tip, 180gr Interbond
    Bottom: 178gr Matrix Bonded Hunting, 165gr Trophy Bonded Tip, 150gr Interbond, 150gr Interlock, 150gr Barnes TTSX











    6.5 Bullets L to R


    160gr Matrix VLD, 150gr Matrix VLD, 130gr Berger Target, 130gr Berger Hunting, 127gr Barnes LRX











    6mm Bullets L to R


    100gr Core-lokt, 95gr Berger Classic Hunting, 95gr Ballistic tip, 85gr Speer BTSP






  2. #2
    Its not normal to find such an in-depth and so useful comparison of what happens after a bullet is subjected the such force's, Thank You for your hard work most intresting report and well illustrated I am sure others may use this information to decide of the choice of bullet for the type of shooting they intend doing.

  3. #3
    Fascinating reading, thanks for posting

  4. #4
    Excellent info, and superb range of weight & construction inc the 6mm, thanks, it goes well with my interest into wound channel ballistics. ATB

  5. #5
    Winter has clearly arrived in London if it was -25C today Brrrrrrrrrrr

  6. #6
    SD Regular
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    Very interesting, thanks. A lot of hard work right there.

  7. #7
    Fabulous test, thank you.

    Can you tell us which cartridge you were using and what the rough mv was please.

    edit..sorry, just seen mv in the detail.
    Last edited by NigelM; 03-10-2015 at 17:08.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  8. #8
    What a fantastic a thorough bullet test. Thank you

  9. #9
    This is probably what was intended by an old post somewhere in here, It didn't get off the ground, but this effort seems to have made up for that BIG time!
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  10. #10
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    I love these bullets tests that pop up from time to time on forums. Testing them on bone was a great idea.

    That .44 sure smashed through. Very impressive performance.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

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