Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 06-20-2012, 00:09   #1
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bulk ammo killing power

Alot of us, including me, buy bulk 223/556NATO that is usually a FMJ non expanding bullet such as HP, SP, etc. What is the result of being shot with this mainly target ammo? That is, will it effectively kill an intruder, or even deer for that matter. Will it blow a nice hole or will it pass through with minimal damage. Do I need expanding bullets to defend myself or hunt? Or can I just use some of my stockpiled ammo to do the trick?
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:02   #2
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HP is a hollow point, and it expands.

SP is soft point and it also expands on contact.

I myself have tried to get a good answer if 223 tumbles and yaws like a 5.56 does.

But keep in mind you have to be within 100 yards for that to work its wonderful incredible human shredding magic.

Still have gotten no solid answer.


However the 223 does travel just a s fast as a 5.56 and that gives you the benefits of Hydro-static shock with will leave a temporary cavity inside a person sometimes the size of a basket ball. All that blood will be pushed to the extremities, and the brain will suffer massive damage, if they do not die form it, they will not be the same ever, and will not be a threat to you or your loved ones.


People who dont read much still yell it has not been proven, but they have proved it on live test animals.


Even 9mm have hydo static shock, so 223 will have it in spades and then some.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:28   #3
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i mis-spoke, I made it sound like the HP and SP were non expanding, I meant that fmj bullets like I and many of us buy for the range and for bulk cheap are often-times non expanding. Sorry for my poor and misleading sentence.
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:57   #4
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No way I would use FMJ rounds to shoot animals unless I had no choice.
Of course they will kill something if you hit it in the right spot but will always pass through and not expand.
Unless you are stocking up for the mythical SHTF scenario I would stick with either HP or SP.
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:32   #5
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Plenty of bad guys die in combat and I personally have killed plenty of pigs with 223fmj. Bullet placement trumps magic bullet voodoo everytime. Specialty bullets are better for the application they are designed for, but fmj's will kill.
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:11   #6
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FMJ bullets can be deadly as any, it's fast and small and light. It can break bones and destroy tissue. Not my 1st choice for hunting but they are used in hog country. For self defense, they can go thru 1 wall and hit something esle.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:48   #7
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I use FMJ on coyotes, at 3200 fps, it kills them as fast as my sp's I use to use. AND, hp or sp also at 3200 fps will go through walls as fast as fmj's will. Bulk ammo in 223/5.56 is normally up to speed on velocity. Target ammo is cut back on powder where it functions in a firearm but saves money in overall cost so its cheaper. It chronographs a few hundred feet per second slower. It will still kill you as fast as full load stuff.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:56   #8
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Not all HP bullets expand, the match HP bullets on the market are designed for accuracy not expansion and act more like a FMJ when they hit flesh.
So as Magog had said
HP is a hollow point, and it expands.
is not totally true.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:19   #9
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Under the right circumstances, 5.56x45mm FMJ can be very effective - depending on bullet construction and velocity.

A spitzer / spire point FMJ* does not usually bore straight through, but at some point after striking the target will rotate end over end, to travel base forward. If that rotation occurs early enough it can greatly increase the damage the bullet does to the target.

If the bullet strikes with enough velocity - and is constructed in such a way as to permit it - the bullet can also fragment during the rotation, resulting in even greater damage.

Not all 5.56x45mm FMJ will rotate early enough, or fragment reliably enough, but some will. Even FMJ bullets that do work, need sufficient velocity (usually around 2700 fps) to achieve fragmentation. Shorter barrels, longer ranges, and loading to lower .223 Remington velocities can all adversely effect performance of even the best FMJ's.

Also, not all FMJ's are equal. For example, many of the Russian .223 FMJ's fail to fragment at any velocity obtainable in a .223 or 5.56x45mm.

M193 and M855 FMJ's usually work, if velocity is high enough. Any other FMJ may, or may not.

IMHO FMJ is better than nothing, and can be very effective. But personally, I'd still prefer a good expanding bullet. YMMV.


* A spitzer / spire point FMJ traveling point forward is inherently unstable, which is why it will tend to tumble on impact to travel base forward. That's also why FMJ bullets made for deep, straight penetration is big game are generally round nose slugs (more inherently stable).
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:12   #10
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^See Above^
M193 is probably your best bet, it's common, cheap and reliably fragments, explosively at 2700fps^, about 150-175yds, partially at 2500-2700fps, about 200-225yds.

I wouldn't use M855 for anything other than target practice, unless I had to. It has been proven to NOT reliably fragment, because of the steel penetrater. It is highly flight yaw dependent in order to cause fragmentation meaning it has to hit at a high angle of attack to fragment. This means it generally fragments after a certain range, as the bullet wobbles more in flight. Plus bullet construction is highly variable between manufacturers and even lots.

Many OTM, open tip match, rounds have thin jackets, that allows them to fragment, many at lower velocities than M193/M855. Mk262 Mod1 will fragment at 2080fps and above, about 250-300yds. Mk318 Mod0 also fragments, I do not know the velocity threshold, but it's probably similar to Mk262. Plus Mk318 is a barrier blind round, it can pass through barriers like windshields and not be deflected off path. I'm not sure what other OTMs fragment, but I believe many do. I was reading a thread were a guy was working on a load with an OTM, and he decided to go dear hunting with it. It fragmented in the dear, and ruined the front left quarter.

On .223, I wouldn't expect any FMJ to fragment, they'll tumble though. M193 and M855 have thin jackets for FMJs and canulatures, which make the bullet weak. That's why they fragment.

Originally Posted by Jeff F View Post
Not all HP bullets expand, the match HP bullets on the market are designed for accuracy not expansion and act more like a FMJ when they hit flesh.
So as Magog had said

is not totally true.
Not trying to say you are wrong but has this been proven? I know OTMs have a cavity in the tip from reverse drawing the jacket and weren't designed for expansion. I've heard people both say the do and they don't expand. They do tend to fragment though, which makes it hard to test if they expand or not.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:29   #11
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I don't care what anyone says, getting hit by a 52 grain or 62 grain FMJ is going to mess up your day even if you are 300 yards away. The odds are not in your favor if you get hit. kwg
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Old 06-20-2012, 13:56   #12
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I think this link may be helpful and I have used it quite often.


The AR15.com Ammo Oracle
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Old 06-20-2012, 16:20   #13
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The 5.56/223 is certainly deadly; what it lacks is 'stop you in your tracks' knockdown power. I have heard many accounts of a charging enemy needing either a head shot or most of a mag to make them stop. I read a few years ago that our guys in iraq discovered by accident that 5.56 match ammo was making 1 shot stops out to 400 yards.
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Old 06-20-2012, 16:28   #14
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Originally Posted by scottm343 View Post
The 5.56/223 is certainly deadly; what it lacks is 'stop you in your tracks' knockdown power. I have heard many accounts of a charging enemy needing either a head shot or most of a mag to make them stop. I read a few years ago that our guys in iraq discovered by accident that 5.56 match ammo was making 1 shot stops out to 400 yards.
Read "American Sniper". I'm pretty sure a gut shot is the most lethal. Center of mass so to speak. That's what I would go for. I have never been in combat and don't plan to anytime soon so consult with someone that has been there done that and make your own decision.
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Old 06-20-2012, 17:01   #15
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
I don't care what anyone says, getting hit by a 52 grain or 62 grain FMJ is going to mess up your day even if you are 300 yards away. The odds are not in your favor if you get hit. kwg
+1 on that.
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Old 06-20-2012, 18:10   #16
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Originally Posted by cma g21 View Post
Under the right circumstances, 5.56x45mm FMJ can be very effective - depending on bullet construction and velocity.

A spitzer / spire point FMJ* does not usually bore straight through, but at some point after striking the target will rotate end over end, to travel base forward. If that rotation occurs early enough it can greatly increase the damage the bullet does to the target.

If the bullet strikes with enough velocity - and is constructed in such a way as to permit it - the bullet can also fragment during the rotation, resulting in even greater damage.

Not all 5.56x45mm FMJ will rotate early enough, or fragment reliably enough, but some will. Even FMJ bullets that do work, need sufficient velocity (usually around 2700 fps) to achieve fragmentation. Shorter barrels, longer ranges, and loading to lower .223 Remington velocities can all adversely effect performance of even the best FMJ's.

Also, not all FMJ's are equal. For example, many of the Russian .223 FMJ's fail to fragment at any velocity obtainable in a .223 or 5.56x45mm.

M193 and M855 FMJ's usually work, if velocity is high enough. Any other FMJ may, or may not.

IMHO FMJ is better than nothing, and can be very effective. But personally, I'd still prefer a good expanding bullet. YMMV.


* A spitzer / spire point FMJ traveling point forward is inherently unstable, which is why it will tend to tumble on impact to travel base forward. That's also why FMJ bullets made for deep, straight penetration is big game are generally round nose slugs (more inherently stable).
You beat me to it, g21. That is what I have read concerning the .223/5.56. It needs the high velocity to work on humans the way it was designed to work as far as tunbling and fragmenting which means it IS about a 100 yard cartridge for that purpose unless it's a head shot. Max loads are the ticket. From what I have read. I have no personal experience killing anything with the round. Soft points are better than FMJ for terminal ballistics as well.
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Old 06-20-2012, 18:18   #17
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Originally Posted by scottm343 View Post
The 5.56/223 is certainly deadly; what it lacks is 'stop you in your tracks' knockdown power. I have heard many accounts of a charging enemy needing either a head shot or most of a mag to make them stop. I read a few years ago that our guys in iraq discovered by accident that 5.56 match ammo was making 1 shot stops out to 400 yards.
I have no doubt there have been many 1 shot stops out at 400 yds. The .223 was designed to penetrate both sides of a military helmet out at 500 yds.

I think the problem we keep hearing about the 5.56/.223 is that it may always take down the enemy but what the military wants are one shot kills EVERY time. Not wounded and not hit and miss results. They don't want to walk into a battle area after the fighting is over and have someone get shot in the back by some guy who may be dying but can still pull a trigger.

I wouldn't want to get hit with a .223 at 1000 yds. Lets face it, getting shot with one at any reasonable range wouldn't be fun at all but wounded isn't dead and wounded can still fight.
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Old 06-20-2012, 18:49   #18
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Its been a long time ago. but I remember reading somewhere these comments about observed 223/5.56 performance vs. 7.62x39 during the Vietnam War:

Killing power: .223/5.56 Soldiers shot with this rnd suffered approx 50% mortality rate.

(Back then M-16's had a 1:12 barrel twist rate)

7.62x39 soldiers hit by this rnd suffered about a 10% mortality rate.

Part of the answer to these statistics could also relate to the different doctrines of military warfare on the two sides. Eastern doctrine is that a wounded soldier takes 3 or 4 men out of combat. We were fighting a war of attrition. (Kill'em all and let God sort them out!). My 2c.
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Old 06-21-2012, 08:17   #19
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
Its been a long time ago. but I remember reading somewhere these comments about observed 223/5.56 performance vs. 7.62x39 during the Vietnam War:

Killing power: .223/5.56 Soldiers shot with this rnd suffered approx 50% mortality rate.

(Back then M-16's had a 1:12 barrel twist rate)

7.62x39 soldiers hit by this rnd suffered about a 10% mortality rate.

Part of the answer to these statistics could also relate to the different doctrines of military warfare on the two sides. Eastern doctrine is that a wounded soldier takes 3 or 4 men out of combat. We were fighting a war of attrition. (Kill'em all and let God sort them out!). My 2c.
The original AR-15 was designed with a 1 in 14" twist, which really aided early tumbling and fragmentation, but was a bit too unstable for the type of long range and cold weather (denser air) use desired by some in the military.

So regular production M-16's were made with a 1 in 12" twist, which many believe may have somewhat adversely effected rapid incapacitation, but produced better long range / dense air accuracy.

Modern M-4's are made with a 1 in 7" twist, for use with longer / heavier bullets. The added stability does tend to delay tumbling, sometimes enough to allow the bullet to pass through the vitals before it tumbles - particularly on very thin targets (as in Somalia).

In any event, I'm not sure the results obtained using a 20" barrel (higher velocity) with a 1 in 12" twist (less stable / earlier tumbling) and those obtained using a 14.5" or 16" barrel (lower velocity) with a 1 in 7" or 1 in 9" twist (more stable / later tumbling) will be all that similar.
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Old 06-21-2012, 13:43   #20
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Originally Posted by cma g21 View Post
The original AR-15 was designed with a 1 in 14" twist, which really aided early tumbling and fragmentation, but was a bit too unstable for the type of long range and cold weather (denser air) use desired by some in the military.

So regular production M-16's were made with a 1 in 12" twist, which many believe may have somewhat adversely effected rapid incapacitation, but produced better long range / dense air accuracy.

Modern M-4's are made with a 1 in 7" twist, for use with longer / heavier bullets. The added stability does tend to delay tumbling, sometimes enough to allow the bullet to pass through the vitals before it tumbles - particularly on very thin targets (as in Somalia).

In any event, I'm not sure the results obtained using a 20" barrel (higher velocity) with a 1 in 12" twist (less stable / earlier tumbling) and those obtained using a 14.5" or 16" barrel (lower velocity) with a 1 in 7" or 1 in 9" twist (more stable / later tumbling) will be all that similar.
I'm sorry, but that is flat out wrong.

From Ammo Oracle:
...though unfortunately this is widely believed. When the M16 was first used in Vietnam, it was assumed that the smaller 5.56mm round would make much smaller wounds than the 7.62mm M80 round fired from the M14. Everyone was surprised to learn that M16 wounds were often much more severe. In order to explain this discrepancy, it was theorized that the slow 1:14 barrel twist made the bullet less stable in flesh and caused it to tumble, resulting in the large wounds. In fact, the slow twist only made the bullet less stable in air. Any pointed, lead core bullet has the center of gravity aft of the center of the projectile and will, after a certain distance of penetration, rotate (yaw) 180 and continue base-first. This is where the appearance of "tumbling" came from.

The actual cause of the larger-than-expected wounds was not a result of this yawing of the bullet, but of the velocity of the bullet coupled with the bullet's construction. M193 bullets have a groove or knurl around the middle, called a cannelure. This allows the mouth of the case to be crimped on to the bullet, preventing the bullet from being pushed back into the case during handling and feeding. The cannelure also weakens the integrity of the bullet jacket.

When the bullet struck flesh at a high-enough velocity, the bullet's thin jacket, weakened by the cannelure, could not survive the pressure of moving sideways through the dense flesh. Instead, the bullet would only rotate about 90, at which point the stresses were too much for the bullet jacket and the bullet would fragment. The results were a wound that was far out of proportion to the size of the bullet. Yet, the twist rate of the barrel and therefore the rotation speed of the bullet, is not a factor in the fragmenting equation.

M855 ammo works exactly the same way, though due to its heavier bullet, it has less muzzle velocity. Less muzzle velocity translates to a shorter range in which the bullet retains enough velocity to fragment, compared to M193.

Fact: Flesh is as much as 1000 times denser than air and will cause a bullet to lose stability almost instantly. For M193 and M855 ammo, this typically occurs after 3-5 inches of flesh penetration, though this can vary. In order to spin the bullet fast enough to be stable in flesh, the barrel twist would have to be on the order of 1 twist every 0.012 inches, which would look like the barrel had been threaded instead of rifled.
The importance of rate of twist in wounding is a frequent subject of what we politely call "ballistic myth." Any projectile that has a "center of pressure" forward of the center of gravity will tend to tumble. You can illustrate this to yourself by trying to balance a pencil on your fingertip. Spin, given to the projectile by barrel twist, puts a projectile into a state described as "gyroscopically stable." The projectile might be momentarily disturbed but will return to nose-forward flight quickly. To describe how stable a given projectile is we use the gyroscopic stability factor (Sg). Generally you want a factor of 1.3 or greater for rifle rounds. 1.5-2.0 is a generally accepted value for 5.56 rounds.

For M193 the following variables apply:

axial moment of inertia (A) = 11.82 gm/mm2
transverse moment of inertia (B) = 77.45 gm/mm2
mass (m) = 3.53 grams
reference diameter (d) = 5.69 mm

Using the gyroscopic stability formula: Sg = A2 p2 / (4 B Ma) and assuming sea level we use an air density of 1.2250 kg/m^3 and discover that this this projectile will need on the order of 236,000 rpm for good stability (Sg > 1.3).

At 3200 fps M193 is typically spun up to more like 256,000 (1:9" twist) to 330,000 rpm (1:7") so that Sg approaches 1.9 or 2.0. 1:12" rifles will spin rounds at around 192,000 rpm and 1:14" rifles around 165,000 rpm. You can see why 1:14" rifles might have had trouble stabilizing M193 rounds.

Clever math types will see that density of the medium traversed (air in this case) has a dramatic effect on the spin required to maintain the Sg (density being in the first term's divisor). This is why cold conditions tend to dip "barely stable" rounds below the stability threshold. Without doing too much calculus it will be seen that an increase of three orders of magnitude (1000) in this variable will be a dramatic one for spin requirements. To balance things spin must be increased to compensate.

Through human flesh (which varies from 980 - 1100 kg/m^3 or about 1000 times the density of air) something on the order of 95,000,000 - 100,000,000 rpm is required to stabilize a projectile at speed. Given these differences it will be seen that the difference between a 1:12 or 1:14" twist when it hits flesh and a projectile launched from a 1:9 or 1:7" weapon is so small as to be beyond measuring. But the game isn't over yet.

Gyroscopic stability of 2.0 or so is sufficient for a M193 projectile to recover from an upset quickly, return to nose-forward flight and not be over stabilized. To prevent the upset in the first place, particularly when a sudden and very extreme change in density (and therefore drag and pressure applied to the center of pressure) requires FAR more stability. To grant enough stability force to prevent the upset of a M193 projectile encountering a sudden 1000 fold increase in density a factor of as much as 10 to 50 times (speaking VERY conservatively) the required gyroscopic stability for a steady state flight through a medium of that density would be required. In other words, unless the projectile is spinning at nearly a BILLION rpm it is going to be upset by such a transition. Even at this rpm it is like to be upset somewhat.

In summary, and to take the most extreme case, a M193 projectile spinning at 350,000 rpm (from a 1:7" rifle) is going to upset in flesh (yaw) exactly as fast as one spinning at 150,000 rpm (from a 1:14" rifle). Claiming that twist rate has any impact on the speed of yaw and therefore terminal performance is just not in line with the laws of physics. Anyone making such a claim should either be carefully avoided or introduced gently to basic gyroscopic stability concepts. Often a calming substance like warm milk or Thorazine helps in the transition of such a subject.
The reason for 5.56 rounds penciling through is the bullet, not the barrel twist. M855 is known to be unreliable when it comes to fragmenting. This is because of the steel penetrator, and the variances between manufacturers and lots. The steel penatrator prevents the tip from deforming or bending when it hits the target, therefor the M855 needs a high angle of attack caused by high flight yaw (wobble) in order to initiate fragmentation. This has been known since at least the Gulf War. The M855/SS109 was designed around a steel helmet penetration requirement and to give the FN Minimi/M249 greater range.
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Old 06-21-2012, 17:35   #21
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Military rounds are designed to stop a man, not necessarily kill them. Wounding a soldier is a better option as it ties up resources and allows for prisoners.

Ive shot animals with military rounds and hunting bullets. The results are night and day difference. Hunting bullets just do more damage.

Whoever said match hollow points dont expand... Yes they do, they tend to fragment much easier because they have thin copper jackets. They usually explode on impact
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Old 06-21-2012, 19:05   #22
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Originally Posted by Dacotua View Post
Military rounds are designed to stop a man, not necessarily kill them. Wounding a soldier is a better option as it ties up resources and allows for prisoners.

Ive shot animals with military rounds and hunting bullets. The results are night and day difference. Hunting bullets just do more damage.

Whoever said match hollow points dont expand... Yes they do, they tend to fragment much easier because they have thin copper jackets. They usually explode on impact
I said that, and I stand behind it. OTM bullets do not expand like a HP designed to do so. I have seen first hand what a OTM .308 does when it kills a deer. Less meat damage then the soft point hunting rounds. They do sometimes loose jacket when they hit bone. Sierra Matchking 168 grain HPBT.
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Old 06-21-2012, 20:55   #23
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AR-15 (Sliver Bear 62Gr JHP) VS (Tula 55Gr FMJ) - YouTube



This shows hydo static shock very well.


The body is just a big bag of water.
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Old 06-22-2012, 21:23   #24
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Originally Posted by Neurotic Hapi Snak View Post
I'm sorry, but that is flat out wrong.
Very interesting, but I think things are not that simple either:

Your quote from Ammo Oracle refers to flesh density being 1000 times that of air. I think density is not relevant in discussing yaw but that the concept you are looking for is viscosity - think about what the 5.56 x 45 does when it hits solid materials of lesser and greater density than flesh, such as wood and mild steel - penetration is usually pretty straight because the hole formed acts as a "barrel" to guide the projectile.

Flesh is not solid, but is easily displaced sideways like a fluid, so the axial stability effect imparted by the hole in a solid material is absent. It is the high viscosity of flesh in the absence of the sideways stability offered by a solid that provokes yaw, with no mechanism to prevent it.

As for the likelihood of a bullet tumbling in flesh when comparing spin rates:
If you compare single bullets flying point forward and landing square on to the target, then the yaw in flesh is going to similar, despite a 1:7 or 1:14 twist. However, if you fire 100 bullets from each barrel at 200 yards, the slower twist barrel is more likely to have a larger number of bullets land at a slight angle to the target due to wobble in flight.

These slower spinning wobbly bullets already have a slight yaw angle on contact with the target. They may be more prone to yaw significantly as they plow deeper into flesh than punch straight through it. It is not their lack of spin that makes them yaw in flesh, but the fact that they landed pre-yawed if you like.

In other words, the effect of the 5.56 bullet is not 100% predictable, but must be considered in the context of statistically significant differences observed from sufficiently large representative populations.

If a NAM vet tells me that his 1:14 M16 seemed more effective than its 1:12 replacement I would be inclined to believe him, as long as his observations weren't based on only two shots.
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Old 06-22-2012, 22:37   #25
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Originally Posted by subscriber View Post
Very interesting, but I think things are not that simple either:

Your quote from Ammo Oracle refers to flesh density being 1000 times that of air. I think density is not relevant in discussing yaw but that the concept you are looking for is viscosity - think about what the 5.56 x 45 does when it hits solid materials of lesser and greater density than flesh, such as wood and mild steel - penetration is usually pretty straight because the hole formed acts as a "barrel" to guide the projectile.

Flesh is not solid, but is easily displaced sideways like a fluid, so the axial stability effect imparted by the hole in a solid material is absent. It is the high viscosity of flesh in the absence of the sideways stability offered by a solid that provokes yaw, with no mechanism to prevent it.

As for the likelihood of a bullet tumbling in flesh when comparing spin rates:
If you compare single bullets flying point forward and landing square on to the target, then the yaw in flesh is going to similar, despite a 1:7 or 1:14 twist. However, if you fire 100 bullets from each barrel at 200 yards, the slower twist barrel is more likely to have a larger number of bullets land at a slight angle to the target due to wobble in flight.

These slower spinning wobbly bullets already have a slight yaw angle on contact with the target. They may be more prone to yaw significantly as they plow deeper into flesh than punch straight through it. It is not their lack of spin that makes them yaw in flesh, but the fact that they landed pre-yawed if you like.

In other words, the effect of the 5.56 bullet is not 100% predictable, but must be considered in the context of statistically significant differences observed from sufficiently large representative populations.

If a NAM vet tells me that his 1:14 M16 seemed more effective than its 1:12 replacement I would be inclined to believe him, as long as his observations weren't based on only two shots.
That is actually a very good point. I've always thought of the difference of stability in flesh, which is like less than 1%, rather than the difference in angle of attack caused by flight yaw/"wobble". I know the effectiveness on M855 depends of angle of attack/flight yaw, so it makes sense that it would effect other rounds. I would assume it causes the bullet to yaw quicker in flesh, meaning a shorter wound "neck". Therefor it would cause fragmentation in "thinner" body parts or in thinner individuals. So it would be more effective.
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