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Thread: Expansion experiment

  1. #1

    Expansion experiment

    I have been thinking about conducting a .243Win ammo expansion experiment, that is using homemade ballistic gel in 20x20x50cm blocks.

    Purpose is to try and visually understand:
    a. expansion characteristics of various bullet designs
    b. expansion characteristics of bullets at ranges from 100 to 200 yds
    c. expansion characteristics of bullets at various weights (55g to 100g)
    d. penetration ability of bullets at various ranges and bullet designs + weight classes
    e. how the a-e can be applied in understanding practical hunting applications and appropriate usage on various types of game and various ranges to ensure the most ethical kill

    I need a bit of input from the forum of course, in the shape of:
    a. one (or two) best powder that will serve as the default propellant for the experiment (working with both light and heavier bullets - or one for each end of the scale)

    b. I need to procure 2 bullets each of a variety of manufacturers, weights and designs that the forum recommends based on popular usage on uk deer and vermin species. How this can be accomodated one can always discuss

    Hope to hear the input of the forum members, and whether they/you believe this would be a valuable experiment to conduct over the course of the winter months.



  2. #2
    I would be very interested.
    happy to donate some test bullets
    I have:
    Berger 90gn Boat Tail Match (hollow point)
    Hornady 100gn SP
    Hornady 87gn BTSP

  3. #3
    Not sure what gel you have in mind, but this may be of interest to you
    here was also a whole book essentially written around bullet tests using this media which you may be interested in as well
    Cross sectioning the bullets and comparing jacket thickness can also be useful in predicting expectations, but certainly not definitive.
    I will be interested in your results. Unfortunately 6mm is not a calibre I shoot at present so can't help with bullets.

  4. #4
    Im sure your project will generate alot of interest, and hats off to you mate if you do it, I am sure there will be alot of work for you.

  5. #5
    I suspect your expansion blocks are too small but I could be wrong. The one thing about expansion tests are that they are relative to the medium. While is shows how bullets react comparatively speaking for that specific media, it won't necessarily indicate how they will work on game. (unless you're hunting ballistic gel, that is!) Still, it's an edcucation. I have done it for many cartridges. One of the best home-brewed mediums I have found is bales of newspapers soaked in water for a day or so. Heavy as hell, and you only get one shot per bundle, but really excellent for expansion comparisons. To look at a wound cavity you simply remove paper from the stack. My partner filled the cavities with plaster and let the whole mess dry out a bit. Very graphic, 3D depictions of the wound channel.~Muir

  6. #6
    look at the RWS site, they have slo mo videos of each bullet listed.
    very graphic

  7. #7
    If you're looking for a powder to use, think about H414, it can be used in pretty much anything.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    I did a similar experiment with 25-06 and 308 about eight years ago, I used soaked directories (well soaked) and a ply front board.

    I may have the data still, recall I used common "hunting bullets" and Scenar / SMK /A Max (obviously this was 30 cal)

    It was interesting to se expansion of SMK.....Scenar and A Max sffered from stripped jackets frequently.

    I remember best retained weight went to Barnes followed by Nosler Partition.

    The data and pics were sent to Deer magazine, but never printed, I may still have a copy CD with the piece on it.

    Certainly have the bullets in a box ....somewhere!

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