Ammunition integrity during firing process.

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by Devareaux, Jun 25, 2021.

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  1. Devareaux

    Devareaux Active Member

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    Hello my fellow Sako owners,

    This is my first post, and I'm posting because of an issue I have been researching with regards to ammunition integrity and ethical hunting. I'm the proud owner of a Sako AV chambered in .30-06, I have yet to take my rifle hunting and would like to do so in the near future, but in the mean time I have been researching various ammunition types, both factory and hand loaded. I came across a very interesting video, of an older gentleman talking about the various cartridges and bullets he has collected from them over the years. He talks about a .300H&H that he was using when he was a child to hunt elk with. To his surprise, he never captured his elk and he scratched his head about it for years to come. Well he soon found out, that he wasn't the only one having this issue and he later found out what the issue was.

    The issue was that in thin walled bullets, such as the predominant type used today, wasn't sufficient in protecting the lead that was enclosed. When the bullet would reach the game of a thick skinned animal, such as elk, he found that the bullet would simply be fragmented and not sufficient at even breaking the hide of the animal at certain distances. I say that it wasn't sufficient at protecting the lead which is enclosed in the bullet, because the only way a lead bullet would be found fragmented, is because it was splattered against whatever it impacted, and in order to do that, it must have been soft enough to break up and then cooled off after impact. I understand that bullets ft-lbs are converted into heat upon impact, this is the principle that armor piercing rounds are based off of. But what's interesting is that these bullets were found in very tiny fragments and no large pieces were ever recovered, so that entails that the lead was also very soft before impact, especially considering that he said he found bullets that never penetrated the thick hide of the animal, so this is even more telling, because it couldn't have been a solid lead substance at those velocities and not have broken the hide.


    Nosler Partition bullets seem to be the king of hunting bullets, because they are partitioned into two segments. The forward segment being the part that is least protected by the thinner wall of the jacket, and the rear segment being most protected by the thicker walls of the jacket, as well as the copper divider that makes up the partitioned spaces. When these Nosler bullets are recovered we can see a pancake smear of lead and then of course the rear part of the lead bullet encased in the thicker wall of the copper jacket is intact. I believe the rear lead is also being softened and probably taken to a melting point, but because it is encased in a thick copper wall of the jacket, it's weighted momentum pushes the bullet through the game and ensures the kill.

    I believe the lead is becoming molten and many might disagree with me, but let me explain my hypothesis. Elementary science tells us that everything boils at significantly lower temperatures in a vacuum. I believe because of the construction of cartridges, the barrel of the firearm, and because of the gases involved, the ignition of the powder by the primer and that ignition sucking up the surrounding oxygen to burn, that a vacuum situation is induced within the firing process. I believe this is the reason why the brass cases and the barrels themselves are heating up so much during such a short period of time that a primer ignites the powder and the firing process ensues. And I believe this is also causing the lead to become liquid during the firing process, and that it doesn't actually cool off until it reaches subsonic speeds or lands after impact.

    I believe the liquidity of the lead is also causing a momentum shift during trajectory, and this is the reason why no matter how flat traveling a bullet might be, we cannot ever hope to achieve great groupings in certain ammunition, because the liquidity of the lead is causing a shift in trajectory during flight. Almost like a tanker truck that is carrying sand or gasoline or water, when it tries to stop on a dime, the forward motion of the liquid material causing the truck to continue moving or shifting trajectory.


    I believe we need thicker walled jackets in our bullets, or follow the Nosler design, and design better bullet constructions with partitioned areas to ensure a better shot on game and as well in competition. I'm sure many other designs could be constructed to address these issues, but I'm just alluding to the gist of it all. I think the bullet manufacturers won't be leading the way in these designs, because they are already heavily invested in the machinery that makes their thin walled jacketed bullets.

    () Here's a link to that video I was talking about earlier of the older gentleman. Also, you might want to do a little internet researching on heat affecting bullets during trajectory. Don't forget to keep in mind that a vacuum causes materials to heat up a lot quicker and boil at lower temperatures.
     

  2. RifleNutPPC

    RifleNutPPC Well-Known Member

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    Bullet manufacturers design bullets for very specific purposes. The gentleman in your video said he was using a Sierra 168 gr. MatchKing bullet when he shot the elk that got away. The MatchKing bullet has a very thin jacket for target shooting; it isn't made for hunting, especially not for large, heavy boned animals like elk.
    If you are worried about bullet integrity for hunting, use the Barnes X bullet. It's a solid copper bullet that gives unbelievable penetration and kills large game quickly and efficiently. I have been using their 80 gr. X bullet in a 243 for decades and never lost an animal with proper bullet placement.
     
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  3. Spaher

    Spaher Well-Known Member

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    my 2 cents. Gentleman shot an elk broadside at 350 yards with a .300 H&H Match King bullet, claims he hit it in shoulder with no mention of blood trail and trailed him for 6.5 hours (and BTW discussion of fragments are not from that hunt). Would appear that hunting solo, he was relying on magnum recoil and using his rifle scope to verify bullet placement.
    Sounds like a shot placement issue to me with probable brisket nick and no vital organ damage or a clean miss, assuming no branch or deflection.

    With a Barnes X solid copper bullet you will not only have an entrance but high probability of an exit wound with a good blood trail if not drop the animal.
    BTW the Sako Powerhead II bullet uses the Barnes Tipped TSX bullet

    Anecdotal opinion is all.
     
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  4. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Just my two cants - worth squat. Considering the available selection of Nosler Ballistic Tip and Accubond variations for hunting and the results I have enjoyed, I have never felt a need for any other type of bullet. I have used them for decades for varmints, deer, speed goats, elk, moose and a nice R M Big Horn. They have given me excellent performance in .223, .264, 7mm RM, 7mm STW, 300 WM and .338 Lapua. I did put two rounds of Accubond 300 WM completely through an elk (one through to the skin and the other one out the other side) on a bedded cow. Shoulder shots, she did not move, so I did not know I didn't need the second one two inches apart. Thats when I finally grew up and decided that with the accuracy that I could maintain there was no need to place my shots anywhere except head or neck. Selective shot placement or don't squeeze the trigger. There may be many other bullets that give better results for target or long range competition, but for hunting accuracy backed by excellent penetration, expansion and knock down power, I will stick with Nosler. Even though I live close to their factory, I have no personal interest. Sakojim.
     
  5. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Poorly constructed, light for caliber bullets at high velocity are doomed to fail the moment they leave the barrel. Stoutly constructed, heavy for caliber bullets at moderate velocity penetrate & kill consistently. This knowledge seems to have been lost in the jibberish din about max velocity magnums, flat trajectories & "mushrooming" bullets. Shooting a target bullet out of a magnum cartridge at an elk is about as dumb as it gets. The idea that bullet lead gets to it's melting point of over 600 degrees F upon impact is another "concept" I have difficulty with. Amazing what people can conjure up in their minds!
     
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  6. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    Very true paulson. One thing that I firmly believe is too often neglected is that no factory production ammunition holds very close tolerances because of mass production. Neither do mass produced bullets, therefore to get the best performance that your rifle will attain requires that all bullets be selectively weighed for exact quality control along with other details while hand loading, which is the only way to top performance. My personal opinion is that most bullets even of the highest quality will only yield approximately 60 -70% per box suitable for precision hand loading. The rest are target round expendables. The slightest variation in weights will give variation in POI. Sakojim.
     
  7. Devareaux

    Devareaux Active Member

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    Correct, he said the fragments he collected were from other recoveries. Later on when he started realizing that the thin walled bullets were having severe design flaws and causing the lead to fragment and the thin jackets to render the bullets useless, that's when he figured that what was happening on his earlier elk hunt. Anywho, I was reading about a man named "Erik" I believe was his name, who was from Berger Bullets, and he conducted a test based on this very thing that this man was talking about. Problems within thin walled jacketed bullets. But his tests were ran on fast twisting rifles. So there seems to be a common theme about disintegrating bullets under certain situations. And all situations allude to a heating problem, but everyone seems to have different opinions as to what the source problem of the heating is. I simply added my two cents to say that maybe because of the fast twisting, and the heavier or longer bullets, and the modern powders and whatnot, that somehow a vacuum situation is created. Because these problems were be explainable under a vacuum situation, because heat travels faster and things boil quicker and with less temperature under a vacuum situation. I thought this was an interesting subject in the firearms realm, and it seems a lot of people, even bullet manufacturers have chimed in on the issue from reports and facts gathered.
     
  8. Devareaux

    Devareaux Active Member

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    Yeah the melting or softening of lead is a problem many people are having a hard time understanding. But when vacuums are created due to varying pressures, it becomes very clear how things can boil and soften at lower temperatures than what's known in a non-vacuum situation. Especially when it comes to high twisting rifles, you create different pressure zones, so I can see how a vacuum can be created and cause heat to start working on the materials in these situations, whereas in other situations this would not happen. Take for instance paper shotgun loads. We shoot paper shotgun loads and they do not burn up. But Paper shotgun loads don't twist at high rates, and they don't create varying pressure zones that would allow a vacuum situation.

    I have seen varmint rounds vaporize within 50 yards. These kind of phenomena are exactly what people are reporting in certain rounds. So we know this softening of lead and disintegration is happening within these situations and not with other situations. My only guess would have to be a vacuum is created, because there's no other known situation that would allow these things to happen and at the speed they are happening. If a varmint round is vaporizing within 50 yards, then something had to have happened between the primer being fired and the bullet leaving the muzzle. And this all happens within 1/15,000th of a second approx. And all I know that could make this happen at those speeds, is under a vacuum situation.
     
  9. tilleyman

    tilleyman Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the primary cause of light jacketed varmint rounds vaporising into grey dust at 5o yards is that they are being driven too fast!

    MV x (12/twist rate in inches) x 60 = Bullet RPM
    At 3200fps a bullet is already doing 252,000rpm in a 1:9" twist barrel, step that up to 4,000fps and its doing 320,000rpm.

    I've recovered .303 174gr FMJ bullets that clearly show the impact of the 'logs' of powder on the exposed lead base as the column is pushed forward in the first few milliseconds of ignition.

    So while a bullet may well get hot on its travel to the target, it won't be in a molten state.
    If it was all those nifty-colored polycarbonate tips would melt and fly off or be degraded into stubs... they don't.
    Also there are a myriad of high speed video bullet impact tests into ballistic gelatine... if the lead was in any way softened you would see the results immediately... a FMJ core would squeeze out like toothpaste :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  10. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie Formerly known as bloorooster

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    I read once as a youngster that armor piercing rounds were indeed molten metal, the melting point was achieved by friction between the projectile and the atmosphere in flight. But they where talking velocities of over 15,000 - 20,000 FPS.
    Now , I was a youngster then , no internet, reading from the original information highway, Colliers Encyclopedia! Copyright 1968!

    My experience is that game loss is either poor shot placement or poor caliber choices for the game hunted. I’ve never seen any evidence of molten lead or cauterized flesh. I have seen fragmented bullets, either hollow points at high speeds or soft points that hit bone. Another situation could and should be mentioned is the one Nosler mentions about elk and the mud that cakes there bodies at times. The mud was absorbing energy from the bullets before they had time to release the energy to the vital organs, thus the partition bullet design was invented.


    Hippie
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
  11. sakojim

    sakojim Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting discussion to say the least. I am not in any way an expert on this topic, but speaking from my military experience and common logic I draw the following conclusions. First is my assumption that a bullet traveling through dense atmosphere would create heat at its penetrating front end from air compression. Second, a vacuum would be created at its aft end and would not effect the body (lead) enough to melt it. The interesting point of heat created in vacuum conditions is the fact that rocket re-entry through the earths atmosphere will create enough heat energy to burn them up unless speed and heat are somehow controlled, but we have hundreds of satellites travelling through space (vacuum) at tremendous speed without any friction or heat. Third, my only experience with armor piercing rounds was that they were designed with a shaped charge form of explosive behind the point of the round that forced the tremendously hot concentration to pinpoint the piercing molten mass to penetrate up to 13 inches of armor plate with a very small hole to spread molten metal within the target. The concentration point being the critical factor. Now that being said, I am certain that more highly sophisticated and newer types of military ammo have been developed. Sakojim.
     
  12. Bucktote

    Bucktote Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen,
    After viewing the vidio about using target bullets in a hunting effort, shooting at excessive ranges,taking shots at an elks hind section I come to the following conclusion. 1. Know your eqipment and never push it to its limit ( Take roller skates on an ice skating trip) 2. Keep your shots within the limits of your abilities,( we all know what they are!) 3. Never disrespect game animals by taking shots that are iffy. With regard to bullet design, how many of us mortals know really what after all, takes place when a primer ignites the charge, what happens? Newtons laws of gravity, an item at rest tends to stay at rest, an item in motion tends to stay in motion, does that mean the gilding metal rotates around the liquified lead inside the jacket? I am older than the author of that vidio and I don't know how an asprin works but it does & I don't take an asprin to stop a cut from bleeding! become a responsible hunter and sportsman and be a good example to those that will follow our sport.
     
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  13. CerebralDistortion

    CerebralDistortion Well-Known Member

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    Hogwash!

    Is you shoot at an animal and it doesn't get hurt, you missed. Either by being off aim or bullet disintigration. Bullet disintigration due to thin jackets and excessive rotational speed, not uncommon with cheaper bullets, tight twist and very high velocity (per example above). Or by hitting a solid object mid flight.

    There is no way a rifle could give a bullet enough speed to by air friction reach a high enough temperature to melt lead.

    If a bullet is to disintegrate by vacuum there is a process described as cavitative ablation, common in boat propellers, but that has no bearing on this topic though. Or well it has and is the same thing, it's just not applicable.

    Armour piercing bullets are generally accomplished by a solid core (steel or tungsten/wolfram for example though depleted uranium also has been used) for small arms ammunition or shaped charges used by for example artillery or tanks though I've seen some experimental .50 ammo with this technology.

    Some of you need to read up on the subject rather than to create fantasies about it.
     
  14. tilleyman

    tilleyman Well-Known Member

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    During WWI there were stories going around that the Germans had discovered a reversed standard 8mm FMJ bullet acted like a tiny shaped charge, and defeated the British tank armour of the time.
    Interesting link where this is actually tested and proven:
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  15. Devareaux

    Devareaux Active Member

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    Well, as I stated before, there seems to be a heat issue in some situations and not in others. Obviously, not every situation is the same, because the variables aren't the same. Not every lead round is melting or softening, and not every plastic tipped bullet is melting, because not every bullet is affected by the same conditions. Copper acts as a heat shield in a sense, so when bullets are encased by thicker walled copper jackets, it seems to be sufficient to offset the heating issues being created. The Nosler Partition round was created by John Nosler because of these known problems. He also witnessed his rounds being disintegrated when he was hunting, which caused him to create his Nosler Partition round on his lathe many years ago. Basically the forward lead was a sacrificial bullet in a sense, to counteract this known problem of bullet integrity at the forward end. Also, many of the plastic tipped bullets were changed because there was also a problem with heat and these plastic tips. This has been a known issue since their inception and manufacturers, well one in particular, have taken note of it. "https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2015/10/29/hornadys-big-announcement-eld-x-heat-shield-tip/" All manufacturers conventional polymer tips in high BC bullets melt in flight. Hornady® engineers discovered that conventional bullet tip materials in streamlined, high BC bullets melt and deform. Although not a significant issue affecting moderate BC conventional tipped varmint and hunting bullets, aerodynamic heating causes BC reduction and degradation of accuracy, particularly at extended ranges (400 yds +). To counter this effect, Hornady® identified a heat resistant polymer and developed the patent pending Heat Shield™ tip. This revolutionary new tip creates the perfect meplat (tip) with exceptionally consistent results from bullet-to-bullet and lot-to-lot.

    And of course we have the famous 'Berger Bullet Failure Test'. http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?49336-Berger-bullet-failure-test

    And of course the 'Boat Tail' was created because of the known vacuum that was created when a bullet is in flight. 'https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Bullet'

    I say all of this to bring to the attention of shooters and hunters alike, that many physics are involved in shooting. The heat and temperatures that we are aware of in regular atmospheric pressures, aren't accurate information, because we're dealing with very different pressures from the point of the primer being fired to the point of impact.
    People like John Nosler intuitively knew this, and it prompted him to create the Partition Bullet. In modern firearm times, we have even faster rifle twist rates and these varmint rounds that are basically screaming that something is going on, and we need to investigate. I'm glad Berger did a study, and I wish more manufacturers would do the same.


    Anywho, I hope my fellow Sako owners find this information interesting at the very least. All of this information really got me to investigate the various bullets on the market, and I have made significant changes on what I purchase as far as hand loading and factory ammunition.
    Bullet Length has much more to do with twist rates on a rifle, than grain weights. The grain weight to rifle twist correlation got started because the rule of thumb was that heavier bullets have to be longer at the same diameter. But the factual correlation of bullet length and rifle twist got lost in the mix.
    Many of my Sakos are 1:10 twist rates, and some of the more modern bullets are quite long and my Sako barrels don't perform optimally with them. So I've since purchased barrels with faster twist rates to shoot some of the longer bullets more effectively. But that has also cropped up the problem which is being discussed here.
    Which is heat , rotation, and vacuums. Very interesting stuff.
     
  16. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    My two cents worth. Up until now the only time I confirmed that the lead core was melting was when I goy my first 17 rifle. Actually I should say two of them. The first was a Rem 700 BD in 17 Rem and the second being a H&R Ultra wildcat in 17-223. I still have both by the way. All of this said back in the day I handloaded using Hornady 25 gr HP pills.

    Lugging the rifles to the range I proceeded to sight-in the little guys but as I recall the attempt was pretty frustrating. Put simply no hits on the target at 50 yards, 25 yards and at this point I got really frustrated. Moving down to the pistol range I finally got hits at 15 feet. I still have the targets with full longitudinal bullet profiles. It was obvious that the high velocity 17 caliber cartridges were causing the cores to destabilize resulting in unpredictably wild fliers.

    The solution came with the Remington 25 gr core lokt 17 caliber bullets. I recall that I had to buy a very large quantity of them to get Remington to sell the little buggers to me. I still have a bunch of them but I can tell you that hitting a fly on the target at 100 yards was something that I could do consistently.

    rick
     
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  17. Devareaux

    Devareaux Active Member

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    Very interesting Rick. Thanks for your input, because it really allows people that have similar problems to take that information and try to find out what is happening and to find solutions for these problems. Most people don't experience a bullet vaporizing on them sub 100 yards, and even fewer people experience a bullet vaporizing on them past 250 yards. But these things do happen, and there are those of use that wish to figure out exactly what is the problem.

    I find it very interesting because when Hornady did their tests on their plastic tips, they discovered that there was a heating issue in "High BC" bullets. Which is very telling, because a 'High BC' bullet will maintain it's vacuum that the varying pressures create, and this allows a higher time-frame for heat to transfer.

    Also I have a suspicion that what is happening in the "Varmint" rounds when they are disintegrating sub 100 yards, is that the extreme rotations are pushing the lead against the thin copper jackets allowing the heat to concentrate against a high surface area of the lead and by the time the copper jacket is weakened enough, the lead is already soft and then gets spun out into a fine dust. Which is a common observation in these situations. If it were just the centrifugal forces breaking the copper jackets, then the lead should fly out in chunks, but instead it's flying out in dust particles which entails that a great amount of heat has already penetrated the lead content.

    Very interesting stuff.
     
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  18. CerebralDistortion

    CerebralDistortion Well-Known Member

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    All metals have a crystalline structure.

    Dust is chunks.

    The melting point of lead is around 600 °F.

    Heat permeability in any metal is not high enough to transmit heat through the bullet body during the part of a second it takes the bullet to hit its target. Even less so when disintegrating mid flight.

    Wound tracts are not cauterized.

    Inferior jacket material does not lower the melting point of lead.
     
  19. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    I think the OP has posted his theories & treatise on "Ammunition integrity" on the wrong forum. In all his extensive post the only time he used the word SAKO was in his greeting "Hello my fellow Sako members", except in post #15 where he made a brief reference to his Sako barrels. Not once has he mention a Sako rifle, model name, or asked a question about Sako or anything related to Sako. Then he proceeded to give his lengthy imaginings about bullet performance ad nauseam. There are forums where this subject matter can be debated that are much better suited to his crusade. This is the "Sako Collectors Club", not the bullet integrity club. I'm curious why he chose this site to espouse his theories while completely ignoring the subject of Sako rifles. I smell a troll!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
  20. ricksengines

    ricksengines Sako-addicted

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    OH Paul, my experience with the 25 gr Hornady's was with the H&R Ultra Wildcat. The last time I looked H&R built that jobberdoo on a Sako L461.

    Frankly I'm enjoying the discussion and I always had some suspicion about the plastic tipped pills. I wouldn't want to see us stifling discussion. If that was true the entire thread that I wrote in Improving Accuracy could be considered inappropriate and better suited to a different forum.

    Just Saying.

    rick
     
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