Thursday, February 27, 2014

Liberty Civil Defense against traditional defensive ammo..... the unscientific and inconclusive test you asked for.

A while back, yours truly decided to test the impact results of Liberty Civil Defense ammunition.   Liberty, being something totally new, needed a more down to earth test than the traditional ballistic gelatin block.... at least in my opinion it did.

So, in a fit of totally unscientific and probably unrepeatable experimentation, I fired the Liberty .45 acp SUUUuuuuper high velocity self defense into a ten pound pork butt.

The pork butt does not simulate meat and bone.... it is meat and bone.  The terminal ballistics of the projectile should be revealed in fairly dramatic ways, and this proved to be true.

But..... (or should I say butt?).... you, my gentle readers, took me to task.  The now infamous 'Pork Butt Test'™ may be interesting, but how do the traditional defensive rounds stack up in the same test?  To this point, most have only shown their merits publicly in the old fashioned lime jello...... er...... Ballistic Gelatin testing.

To this end, ANOTHER ten pound pork butt was procured, from the same professional butcher consulted before (and some primo BBQ sauce was picked up as well).  In addition, listening to readers suggestions, a box of Federal 230 grain Hydro$hock ammo was also acquired as a comparative test subject.

Testing was matched as much as possible, down to striking the bone on entry in the same way and at the same angle.

The results, for what they are worth:

Liberty:  Entry wound

Hydroshock:  Entry wound
Looking at the entry wounds, the higher velocity of the Liberty left clear results.  The Hydroshock punched right through the bone, with no obvious heavy external wound.

Liberty:  Wound channel
Hydroshock:  Wound channel
The Liberty defensive ammo opened up a huge permanent wound channel, as the image shows.  The Hydroshock opened a much, much smaller channel, but did provide full penetration.  The Federal bullet veered downwards, punching a somewhat ragged hole through roughly eight inches of meat before exiting the target.  The Liberty established a massive wound channel about 4-5 inches deep, with the bullet base coming to rest another few inches in.

The Liberty +P .45 acp bullet at 1800 FPS dumped 100% of it's energy into the meat and bone of the target, while the Federal Hydrock 230 grain at 900 fps provided full penetration but took it's remaining energy downrange.

The Liberty 78 grain lightweight nickel plated bullet fragmented and all of it was recovered although the pieces were quite small.  The Federal Hydroshock left behind one small chunk of copper jacket, and a few tiny pieces of lead.  The rest of the Hydroshock is buried in the dirt bank someplace.

So.... what does all this mean?  Primarily, it means the Old Fat Man will be eating well the next few days.  As far as scientifically testing terminal ballistics in premium defensive ammunition.... this ain't that.

What I have done here is mostly subjective, and for it to have meaning the testing would have to be repeated under controlled circumstances multiple times.  MANY multiple times.

I like BBQ Pulled Pork a great deal...... but not that much.

My take away?   Well, I would be happy with either ammo in my carry weapon.  I expect both are excellent stoppers of bad guys doing bad things. That said, I bet you can guess what's in there now.


Crucis said...

Interesting. I usually fill my wheelguns with Buffalo Bore LSWCHPs, and my pistols with Golden Sabers. Wonder how they would compare. 'Course, you wouldn't want to eat all the pork after the LSWCHP tests. ;-)

Long Island Mike said...

This past week Massad Ayoob had an article online about the rationale of using hollow point ammo. Worth the read. Thought u might enjoy it.

Carteach said...

Good piece. thanks!

Long Island Mike said...

Well, guess what? After another couple of days, Massad publishes another quicky article on ammo. Again IMHO well worth the read. He must be on some writing jag about this topic while at the airport btw classes LOL....

Reg T said...

As I recall, the big issue that came out of the Miami FBI shootout (other than the terrible performance displayed by the FBI from start to finish) was the likelihood that the bad guys might have been stopped sooner with better penetration.

I huge wound channel is nice, but only if it penetrates sufficiently to impact major CNS or vascular structure to induce a quick neuro stop or speedy exsanguination (bleedout).

I would rather have the penetration than a bullet which stops short - as one or more did in Mattix or his buddy, where it stopped just short of his heart. A huge wound channel that only penetrates four inches sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Thick clothing, a big guy with a lot of fat, or worse, deep, thick muscle, and your bullet just doesn't cut it.