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View Full Version : What would cause my HST not to expand?


slikna99
09-30-2011, 7:46 PM
I recently went shooting the other day and decided to do some water jug tests. Since Federal claims the HST is effective in barrier penetration and still expanding in targets... I decided to try something a little different. The first jug I filled up was a hard plastic jug filled with water. The next jug was an arrowhead 2.5 gallon bottle followed by various plastic materials.

When I shot it through the hard plastic jug, the bullet penetrated through to 4 jugs full of water.. When I got it out, the end was dented and the bullet came out completely unexpanded. I don't really understand this as federal claims the bullet can penetrate a windshield and continue on and expand. Why would a fairly hard plastic medium, which is far softer than glass, stop it from expanding?

Unfortunately the jar shattered so I could not try it again, but the next 5 rounds I shot expanded fine in the water. Was it just a bad round? Looked normal to me when I loaded it into the magazine. 180gr HST shot from a glock 23 btw

Freagan
09-30-2011, 7:50 PM
Have any pictures of those rounds?

zfields
09-30-2011, 8:11 PM
It happens, If you look at enough testing, you will see every brand fail at some point.

slikna99
09-30-2011, 8:36 PM
Have any pictures of those rounds?


http://otonly.com/x1011/SAM_0303.JPG

These are the only ones I saved.

slikna99
09-30-2011, 8:46 PM
It happens, If you look at enough testing, you will see every brand fail at some point.

Yea, I hear ya. I am just somewhat worried because that was the first bullet from the magazine so what if that was the one i had to use for self defense? Granted a bullet is going to do damage even if it doesn't expand but still. I am not by any means discounting this round either, I still believe it to be one of if not the best HD rounds out there.

locosway
09-30-2011, 9:12 PM
This might be why they make guns that hold more than 1 round. Because you might just need more than one shot. ;)

jimmykan
09-30-2011, 10:12 PM
I think something prevented fluid pressure from building up in the hollow point cavity.

Maybe the plastic from jug?

I think Hornady's Critical Defense use a soft rubber plug to enhance expansion.

Mute
09-30-2011, 11:11 PM
You understand that your test neither duplicates shooting a person through a windshield nor just shooting a person, right? At the very least you should try to use ballistic gelatin. IIRC, one of the better known ballisticians wrote that water is a poor medium to use for the purpose of predicting bullet performance in a real shooting.

JeremyS
09-30-2011, 11:34 PM
Basically no hollow point will expand after going through sheet metal. Maybe the hard plastic of that jug did what sheet metal does and squeezed hard on the front of the bullet and prevented it from expanding.

Watch the "pistol ammunition" video on this page, and skip to 16:05 to see it happen: http://le.atk.com/general/irl/videos.aspx


...and yeah... water typically does expand a hollow point but it doesn't properly replicate tissue so it cannot be used to determine what a bullet would actually do...

slikna99
10-03-2011, 4:17 PM
You understand that your test neither duplicates shooting a person through a windshield nor just shooting a person, right? At the very least you should try to use ballistic gelatin. IIRC, one of the better known ballisticians wrote that water is a poor medium to use for the purpose of predicting bullet performance in a real shooting.

I understand this, but I have also read that water will cause a hollow point to expand better than it would in a person or ballistic gel. Or maybe it just causes them to expand bigger... I can't remember.

Mute
10-03-2011, 4:54 PM
The problem is you are shooting at plastic into water. You are setting up the round for failure. Try some other hollowpoints. I'll bet you get the same results. Don't put your faith in a round because of this particular test you're using. You won't be making the best choice if this is what your choice is based on.

QuarterBoreGunner
10-03-2011, 5:10 PM
How about this; barrel length of firearm used?

cineski
10-03-2011, 6:17 PM
Glock 23. 4.02"

ZombieTactics
10-03-2011, 6:29 PM
The simple fact is that HP rounds cannot be counted upon to expand 100% of the time. There's no mystery or malfunction here. This is typical performance.

zfields
10-03-2011, 7:15 PM
9mm might expand
but .45 never shrinks!


*dont start the flame war, this is a joke*


Well, not really, its true.

aermotor
10-03-2011, 7:29 PM
From a Glock 23 you've only really got a 2.625" barrel which really limits the velocity and therefor the possibility of expansion. I believe it's this way in all compact pistols. You might need some +P ammo.

QuarterBoreGunner
10-03-2011, 7:40 PM
From a Glock 23 you've only really got a 2.625" barrel which really limits the velocity and therefor the possibility of expansion. I believe it's this way in all compact pistols. You might need some +P ammo.

Huh? Are you thinking of the G26?

pyromensch
10-03-2011, 7:44 PM
http://otonly.com/x1011/SAM_0303.JPG

These are the only ones I saved.

even without expansion, that bullet looks virtually, undamaged, except for the striations.....would be a little odd, considering it penetrated several jugs

Low-Pressure
10-03-2011, 7:51 PM
9mm might expand
but .45 never shrinks!


*dont start the flame war, this is a joke*


Well, not really, its true.

+1, New signature of mine. I hope you don't mind :)

aermotor
10-03-2011, 7:54 PM
Huh? Are you thinking of the G26?

Just because the specs say 4" does not mean the bullet is traveling through 4" of actual rifling... At the absolute most you have 3" of rifling from a 23 or a 19.

QuarterBoreGunner
10-03-2011, 8:15 PM
Uhm...okay.

JeremyS
10-03-2011, 8:32 PM
Just because the specs say 4" does not mean the bullet is traveling through 4" of actual rifling... At the absolute most you have 3" of rifling from a 23 or a 19.

Dude it's an industry-wide standard to measure the entire pistol barrel, which includes the chamber. When you see bullet velocity testing and it says XXX feet per second out of an x.x inch barrel, they are using the standard measurement -- the measurement stated by the manufacturer. You don't get to measure it your way and then adjust velocities based on your preference.

If you would like to properly measure a barrel yourself: make sure the gun is unloaded with the slide forward and in battery, stick a dowel down the barrel until it stops, mark the dowel right at the end of the barrel, remove dowel, measure dowel from end that was in the gun to the mark.



edit: for the record, I agree with you that it's a touch odd. It might mean more to actually measure only how much barrel the bullet travels down once fired. However, as long as everyone is doing it the same way then it really doesn't matter and all comparisons (gun size, velocities, accuracy, etc) are totally valid. Luckily, everyone does measure it the above-stated way.

g17owner
10-03-2011, 9:10 PM
Most of what come from ammo manuf. is BS in my opinion. Its all just about selling you 20 rounds for $30 bucks. There are very few HP rounds out there that perform like the manufacturer claims. You cant have the best of both worlds with HP's.

aermotor
10-03-2011, 9:39 PM
Most of what come from ammo manuf. is BS in my opinion. Its all just about selling you 20 rounds for $30 bucks. There are very few HP rounds out there that perform like the manufacturer claims. You cant have the best of both worlds with HP's.

This is the reason for knowing your actual barrel length, mfgs. always BS the specs.

JeremyS
10-03-2011, 9:48 PM
This is the reason for knowing your actual barrel length, mfgs. always BS the specs.

Dude. To quote the internet, "you're not doing it right." ....see above, eh...

JeremyS
10-03-2011, 9:51 PM
By the way, Nissan lied to me. My engine is not 3.5 liters. I took it out, submerged it in water, and it turns out it's really 18 liters. No wonder the gas mileage isn't as good as it should be.

aermotor
10-04-2011, 12:06 AM
:willy_nilly:

Dude wants to know why his HPs aren't expanding. I'm saying it could be due to his barrel being to short. Most people don't think about that.

g17owner
10-04-2011, 4:16 AM
The only reason barrel length is a factor is because the round needs to achieve a certain velocity and the shorter the barrel the less likely it will achieve that velocity. It really would need to be chronographed to see if it is indeed reaching the velocity the manuf claims in order to rule speed as a factor out.

JeremyS
10-04-2011, 8:36 AM
Dude wants to know why his HPs aren't expanding. I'm saying it could be due to his barrel being to short. Most people don't think about that.
Yeah, you're claiming his barrel is 2.6" long when it's not, it's over 4" long. ...and he's not "wanting to know why his HPs aren't expanding," he's wanting to know why just a single 1 did not expand...


A 4.02" barrel is plenty long enough. That's long by today's compact gun standard, and HST is a self defense ammo designed with the expectation of being shot out of some relatively short barrels. In fact, the .40 S&W load was designed with the FBI in mind, to be shot from the 4" barrel of an S&W 4006.

Doubting it? Check out the info straight from Federal. Notice that their test barrel length for ALL of the data is 4 inches: http://le.atk.com/ballistics/Ammo_Ballistics.aspx?id=566&firearm=2&bc=0.17&muzzvel=1010&bulletwgt=180

Glock 27, with 3.46" barrel and this exact same ammo, averages 1003 fps. Federal states 1010 fps for this load from a 4" barrel, so we're right there still. More than enough for reliable expansion with HST. Source:
http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1340536

Mickey D
10-04-2011, 12:48 PM
Go get yourself a pig carcass and shoot it.

slikna99
10-04-2011, 8:27 PM
Go get yourself a pig carcass and shoot it.

I am actually considering this. As for the barrel length discussion above, Federal publishes their .40 data using 4" barrels. I am going to assume they use the industry standard for measuring them as does glock. That being the case, the model 23 measures just over 4"... I assume this would be fine, but I could see how it might make a difference in the sub-compact models that are 3.5. I don't think that is the problem in this case.

I agree jugs full of water don't simulate how a round works in a person. I also see all the other people testing expansion using milk jugs and water, so I figured it would be similar by doing this. I mean, since they claimed it could go through glass I figured plastic wouldnt make much of a difference. Just thinking it might not be as useful through barriers as they claim.

JeremyS
10-04-2011, 8:51 PM
Just thinking it might not be as useful through barriers as they claim.

It is. I'd HIGHLY suggest spending some time reading the wound ballistics documents and watching some of the videos at www.le.atk.com. Very good info on there on HST, Gold Dot, and various other popular law enforcement rounds.

tuna quesadilla
10-04-2011, 9:07 PM
By the way, Nissan lied to me. My engine is not 3.5 liters. I took it out, submerged it in water, and it turns out it's really 18 liters. No wonder the gas mileage isn't as good as it should be.

Touché :rofl2:

:willy_nilly:

Dude wants to know why his HPs aren't expanding. I'm saying it could be due to his barrel being to short. Most people don't think about that.

Four inches (and yes his barrel is four inches not two-point-whatever) should allow for plenty of velocity. His barrel is not too short.