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BT's gun question thread.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by bassturtle, Mar 28, 2005.


  1. bassturtle

    bassturtle

    Apr 9, 2004
    Okay, first of all, let me say thanks to Brad and anyone else who's helped me with my 'noobish gun questions' both via PM and on the forums. I recently (like 5 or 6 months ago) started getting into shooting and some small game hunting. There are still a lot of things that I have no clue about tho and I'm hoping some you gun-iacs can help me out.

    Again, please keep in mind that I'm totally new to all of this, so when you explain things remember to use small words and speak very slowly...kind of how my wife has to talk to me everyday :D

    My first question. How can you tell the differences in the caliber of rounds - .45 vs. 9mm. How is the caliber of a bullet determined? How do you know what is the best round for a given situation?

    Let's start there :D
     
  2. caliber is the diameter of the round. There ends the extent of my knowledge.

    Mike
     
  3. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Theres a lot of variables, #1 bigger bullits (heavier/grain weight ) travel slower but hit harder. #2 larger diamiter bullits travel slower/hit harder
    #3 larger diamiter bigger bullits drop faster and are less effective at long distances #4 the more blunt the bullit the slower it travels but the harder it hits #5 solid bullits penatrate more and sometimes penatratre too much passing thru the target. #6 Hollow points don't penatrate as much, expand on impact and gennerally cause more internal damage but less collaterial (ricochet/ passing thru target to harm another target). #7 smaller/lighter bullits tend to be more accurate ecspecialy as range increases. Those are the basic rules, they are not exhaustive and like most rules there are exceptions. But they tend to apply, all things being equal. For instance a 150 grain bullit in 30.06 is excellent for medium sized game whitetail deer/antelop out to 3-350 yards, a 220 grain soft point 30.06 is an excellent bear/mule deer carthridge out too about 150 yards. Heavier bullits drop real fast I always laugh, when I see a cop show where some guy while he's running hits a moving target at 100 yards with a .45! It's not gonna happen, a .45 auto pistol bullit will drop about a foot at a hundred yards not to mention the effect of the wind,etc. But then most police shootouts happen within 7 yards! And the first guy who shoots usually loses! TV shows are so filled with gun inaccuracies you could almost do a how not to handle a wepon instructional video with them!
     
  4. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Telling the difference in calibers is usually a matter of looking at the headstamp (around the primer). More often than not it will have the caliber printed there. After you've seen and used them a lot though it gets to where you can usually tell just by looking at them.

    "Best round for a given situation" is a hotly debated topic even among aged experts! I imagine if this really gets going here there will be a lot of disagreement. There's a lot of miseducation on this as well as just fair subjective disagreement. For most defensive purposes though out of the standard service calibers hollowpoints are the go-to design. Among hollowpoints though the different brands can vary wildly and some people will swear by the same round that someone else avoids like the plague. Just find something that feeds reliably in your gun and practice hitting what you aim at. One round for pistols that is always easy to find that is hard to go wrong with is Speer Gold Dots in pretty much any pistol caliber. There are other great rounds and some of them are debatable but most people agree that Gold Dots are a solid choice.

    Hollowpoints are also a good hunting round if you're using an appropriate caliber for the animal you are hunting. Cast loads are good too. For deer and larger game I like pretty much any round that's loaded with Nosler partition gold bullets or Barnes X bullets. Federal makes loadings with both of those and I know Winchester makes a Partition Gold loading. For small game like squirrels and rabbits it doesn't really matter that much IMO.


    brad cook
     
  5. Bullitt:
    [​IMG]


    Bullet:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. For pure self-defense power though: Federal Hydroshocks. We hit a watermelon with one once :)
     
  7. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    Wow.. I don't even know where to begin. There were several gross generalities in Burk's comment, but much of it rings true in ideal situations. One thing worth pointing out is that in the world of firearms, your high school physics class will immediately come in handy... hope you paid attention.

    I'm not physics professor by any means, so here are MY generalizations... if bullet speed is equal, a heavier bullet will retain more momentum than a light one, thus "hitting harder" and penetrating the target/backdrop more. Bullet type also comes into play. When a bullet strikes something, the idea is to transfer the energy from the bullet into the target. The bullet causes shockwaves of energy from the impact and leaves quite a hole as it penetrates. Now, the rate at which the bullet expands and the weight of that bullet determine whether the bullet will stop completely inside the target or fully penetrate and pass through it. Hard cast lead and full metal jacketed bullets are made to penetrate, Hollowpoints are designed to expand fast and release lots of energy. Obviously, everything else in the equation is critical to the outcome... and there are limitless possibilities for finding the "perfect round" for any job.

    Just as with basses, one person's perfect round is likely NOT the same as the next guys'.

    Here's a pretty good resource if you'd like to learn about different cartridges and the history of each one:
    LINK

    Oh, and for the sake of nitpicking:
    Cartridge
    [​IMG]

    (hard cast lead) Bullet
    [​IMG]
    ;)
     
  8. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    In pistol bullets that is not true. The kinetic energy from pistol bullets isn't sufficient to wound. What wounds with pistol bullets is the crushing of tissue and organs by the actual bullet and the blood loss which follows. The concept of "energy dump" is a myth.

    This is not my only point of reference but here's a good one: http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm

    brad cook
     
  9. Gak!

    :D

    Game, set, match!

    You just can't pass up a chance to post a kickass Steve McQueen pic.
     
  10. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Well that particular round has probably been one of the bigger points of debate among people who study such things. Extensive testing by Dr. Gary K. Roberts and Dr. Martin Fackler, both experts in ballistics and terminal wounding, have shown that the older design of the hydra-shock doesn't compare with some of the newer designs as far as consistency of expansion. It's an inconcsistent performer. However, I'm not saying that there's any magic bullet. Shoot what you're good with and hit what you're aiming at. I just don't use hydra-shocks because evidence indicates that there are more reliable expanders such as Gold Dot, Federal Tactical and Winchester Ranger T.

    brad cook
     
  11. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    Good point, Brad. You're right... I got tired before I finished my thoughts, however the damage is still done as a form of energy dump/transfer. With a hard cast bullet, the energy is transferred primarily from the metplat at the nose of the bullet. The resultant shockwave is just as detrimental in most cases as the tremendous blood loss that follows, especially if that projectile strikes bone and sends shrapnel into surrounding flesh.

    In most cases the larger the diameter of the bullet, penetration wins out over expansion, collateral damage notwithstanding.

    [edit] Another point worth noting: Brad, you hunt (hogs) primarily with a .357 magnum, correct? I'm a bit jaded in the handgun caliber department... my Dad got us started early in big bore revolvers and I've been hunting with .44 magnum and .454 Casull for the last few years. He hunts with a 45 LC, .480 Ruger and .475 Linebaugh primarily. I'm by no means saying that .357 is inferior, Lord knows we've killed plenty of game with that round... just that sometimes I grade things on a curve without realizing it. ;)
     
  12. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Me firing an AK-47 on full auto:

    [​IMG]

    :hyper: <-= Me afterwards.
     
  13. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    On an 18 degree day at the range...

    [​IMG]

    ...happiness truly can be a warm gun (or 10.)

    [​IMG]
     
  14. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    I can relate, felt the same way when I got to shot MP5's and AR's fully auto with some ATF guys in Detroit! Full auto is fun, and it's amazing how many non shooters get "the bug" after an afternoon at the range! As far as my earlier post I was trying to give a starting place for someone asking newbe questions. I know there are tons of exceptions. I don't do a lot of hunting anymore, I have the flyfishing bug, So I am primarily interested in self defense wepons. I carry a wepon on the stream because I have run into packs of dogs, far more scarier then bears! My wepon of choice is the .45 Auto, Slow moving bullit (safer to shot in the house, should God forbid that siuation ever present it self), Very accurate at short ranges, lots of knockdown. I am presently using Hornady XTP's for my carry ammo and I don't know how it compares with the hunting rounds your using. When I hunted with the .44 mag.(whitetail) I used 200 grain soft points, I beleive winchester ammo, several years ago, opting for accuracy over knockdown. Unfortunenetly the big bucks just kinda stayed 120 yards away laughing at me!!!!!! There good at that!
     
  15. Mike A

    Mike A Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Kentucky
    Hornady had a darn good thing going on there with the XTP bullet. It's hard for me to decide which I like best in my .454 between 325 gr. XTPs and 310 gr. LBT hard cast bullets. Either one at 1500 fps is more than enough for any game in Kentucky, but they sure don't go far when you hit 'em.
     
  16. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    It seem like you're considering the crushing and cutting action of the meplat to be "energy transfer." That's not commonly referred to as energy transfer. The shockwave from a pistol bullet doesn't add to incapacitation, even with a .44 mag, only the cutting and crushing of tissue and the damage that does plus the resultant blood loss contributes to incapaciation. The energy from a bullet causes what's called "temporary cavitation" which doesn't actually cause permanant damage because organic tissue is so elastic and the elastic tissue within a human body stretches no more than ten times the bullet diameter as a result of kinetic energy from a pistol bullet, this is within the elasticity limits of the tissue. That changes when you get into high-powered rifles.

    brad cook
     
  17. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Since I am too lazy to start my own topic and there are a bunch of gunperts here... What kind of options are there out there for modern (looking) revolvers? Every revolver I see looks like an old west thing and I guess that makes sense, but in my head I can see a really cool looking modern type of revolver with smoother lines and possibly hammerless... does such a thing exist? I really doubt my brain could come up with this image itself, no matter how vague it is.
     
  18. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    9x19- Low stopping power, high penetration. Examples are Glock 17/18C/19/26 (and more,) M9, MP5, Uzi, and Luger.

    .357 Calibre- I don't know much. I'm pretty sure most are revolvers.

    .38 Calibre- Don't know much about that either. I think they're mostly revolvers.

    .40 Calibre- Low stopping power, high penetration again. I shot one of these, it was a revolver, and it kicked like a fscking beast. Example is a revolver. These things can supposedly go for like a mile. I can't think of any SMG's.

    .45 Calibre- High stopping power, low penetration. This thing will blow a huge hole in you. Good example is the famous Colt 1911 and the UMP .45 SMG.

    .50AE Calibre- Fscking huge. It will own anything. Examples would be the Desert Eagle (Israel; only holds 6 rounds) and some revolvers (only holds 5 rounds.)

    5.7x28mm Calibre- Basically a shortened rifle bullet. The only example is the Five-seveN. The P90 uses the same bullets.

    I will cover rifles in a bit.

    Nice firearms website.

    Whoever said that thing about a modern revolver, check out the Colt Elite Python.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Oh yeah! You're talking about the single-action revolvers that have the western look. The double actions have the more modern look.

    If you're looking for a snubby then I like this one for modern:

    [​IMG]

    S&W 327. Holds 8 rounds of .357 mag or .38. Scandium frame, titanium cylinder and barrel shroud. I'd love to have one. Expensive though!

    As far as hammerless or shrouded hammer...

    There's the 340 among others:
    [​IMG]

    Then there are the big boys such as the 627 hunter:
    [​IMG]

    And there are plenty of other models from Ruger, Taurus, S&W and others that are more modern and are hammerless or have shrouded hammers. The shrouded hammer models are usual snub nose revolvers. They range in price from 300 bucks to over a grand. Ruger and S&W are good.

    brad cook