Smilies and Wet Newspaper Test

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by DT_Willy, May 18, 2005.

  1. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy New Member

    743
    Nov 16, 2004
    I've long wondered what effect, if any, smilies had on hollow point performance; i.e., depth of penetration and expansion. To satisfy my curiosity, I decided to shoot my FG with non-modified barrel into a 10" wet newsaper pack, supersaturated with water for 24 hours. My theory was that the first round, which was void of smilies, would show better performance than the next few rounds in the mag, which typically develop moderate to severe smilies in my gun due to recoil battering of the round. My intention was to test several brands, including Speer Gold Dot, Hydra Shok, and Golden Sabers. Unfortunately, I had to terminate my test after only completing the Gold Dots; hopefully I will test the other rounds later. However, the results with the Gold Dots were most surprising.

    There was NO significant difference in penetration or expansion between the "smilied" and "non-smilied" rounds. Of the four rounds I shot, all penetrated the newspaper within a quarter inch of 6" (according to a formula used by Stephen Camp and others, this would translate to 8" in ballistic gelatin). In fact, the first, "non-smilied" round penetrated slightly less, at 5.75."

    What surprised me most was the expansion. Each bullet was PERFECTlY mushroomed--each of the six petals was fully expanded, and completely symmetrical. None of the petals were deformed or mishapen in the "smilied" rounds. I expected bent or broken or twisted petals in the "smilied" rounds, but they were exactly the same as the first round. (If I can figure out how to get close-ups from my wife's digital camera, I will try to post these pictures).

    What does this mean? Perhaps since the Gold Dot is a truly bonded round, it is more forgiving and less effected by smilies. Or perhaps, it means, as some have felt all along, that smilies are primarily cosmetic.

    I will, as time permits, test the other hollowpoints in a similar way and see what happens. For now, I'm pleasantly surprised, and quite impressed, if nothing else, by the uniformity of the Speer Gold Dot.
     
  2. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
    Good post! Well done! Can't wait to see the pictures and results of your further research. Packer.
     

  3. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy New Member

    743
    Nov 16, 2004
    Forgot some important data. The expansion numbers, in the order of fired rounds are: .502"; .494; .510; .491.
     
  4. Darth_Muffin

    Darth_Muffin New Member

    255
    Dec 4, 2004
    Are you sure it's the second round that would have smilies? For some reason I'm thinking it would be the third and subsequent rounds...
     
  5. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
    Next round to feed is the one in harms way of the feed ramp and the u shaped feed ramp hitting the bullet face generates the smilies. cartridges lower down may get smacked by magazine during recoil but won't get smilies. Packer.
     
  6. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    The minor deformation on the hollowpoints didn't figure to change their expansion characteristics much, but it is good to see someone run a test.

    Of greater concern to me is the potential for damage to the magazines. I inspect mine for damage every time I load them. So far, I have noticed smileys on my FMJ ammo, but have only seem some light deformation of the plastic on the followers.

    I am sure it has been posted somewhere else, but does KT do rampectomies or are they a DIY mod only?
     
  7. Phila_PD

    Phila_PD Guest

    "Of the four rounds I shot, all penetrated the newspaper within a quarter inch of 6" (according to a formula used by Stephen Camp and others, this would translate to 8" in ballistic gelatin"

    "Totally Wrong"

    There is no accurate formula to translate wetpack to Ballistic Gelatin due to the inconsistencies of the wetpack which are too NUMEROUS to list. How would one calibrate the wetpack to repeat to the exact consistencies of the test before it? Not to mention density and total volume ratios. Home tinkering is fun but cannot measure a bullets true nature.
     
  8. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
    Call them. They will do a "polish the feed ramp" if you request it and that is pretty much a rampectomy. Be sure to also request shipping reimbursement. You must send or fax receipt to get this. Packer.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Don't worry about so much about the followers!
    Do worry about the back of the mag itself cracking out.
    Every time the feed ramp hits the bullet, which makes the Smiley, it slams the round against the back of the mag body. It in turn, is hammered against the aluminum frame. Eventually, metal fatigue sets in and the mag body cracks. See this link for pictures and details.

    http://www.1bad69.com/keltec/smiley.htm

    If it was me, I'd do the rampectomy, which I did.

    ;D
    rcmodel
     
  10. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    Yeah, I am not really too concerned about the followers, it is the back of the magazine issue that causes me to check each time. Do I need to wait for the thing to crack or should I just call and send it in now?

    I guess I should just send it in since I have finished the F&B and still am having serious issues with many types of ammo.

    Thanks for the advice on the shipping reimbursement Packer. :)
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Beats me? From what I read in this forum, they still don't acknowledge a magazine cracking problem, and a factory rampectomy seems to be hit or miss on whether it gets done correctly, or not.

    I guess if you don't want to do the rampectomy yourself, you might as well send it in and see what happens.

    ;D
    rcmodel
     
  12. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy New Member

    743
    Nov 16, 2004
    PhilaPD, I've never thought wet newspaper was anything more than an informal test, certainly not of the "lab qualility" of a controlled ballistic gelatin test. The "conversion" formulas developed are not my own, and certainly can be debated. On a different day with a different wet newspaper pack, the results might indeed be different. But on THIS day, the Gold Dots, no matter what their position in the magazine, and no matter whether they were with or without smilies, all penetrated virtually the same depth and expanded virtually identically. The smiley issue is what I was exploring, and the wet newspaper was an adequate medium to give me valuable and useful information. I really wish you, or someone else, would do a similar type of test in ballistic gelatin to see whatever similarities or differences occurred. Best, DT.
     
  13. Phila_PD

    Phila_PD Guest

    "I really wish you, or someone else, would do a similar type of test in ballistic gelatin to see whatever similarities or differences occurred."


    If I recall corectly one was done about three years ago, I'll have to see if I can find the source and request permission to repost it.

    "What surprised me most was the expansion. Each bullet was PERFECTlY mushroomed--each of the six petals was fully expanded, and completely symmetrical."

    Nothing implied against you for conducting a back yard test but I did not want members to perceive that the test results indicated accepted, repeatable, calibrated results that would correlate to properly prepared Ballistic Gelatine. Not all of are members have a firm grasp of ballistic testing protocol and may accept your results/testing procedure as fact not conjuncture.
     
  14. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    rcmodel, I am not adverse to trying the rampectomy myself, its just that I was trying to solve my FTE issues before worrying about it.

    What if I end up shipping it back to KT, they eliminate the FTE problems, but don't perform the rampectomy? Then I will be in the unenviable position of having to decide whether to mess with a fully functional pistol or not. :-/

    As regards the whole wet newspaper vs gelatin debate: I question how truly effective even properly prepared ballistic gelatin is in determining the effectiveness of any pistol round. There are just too many factors involved in shooting a human body for BG (a homogenous substance) to accurately predict what will happen.

    I think Evan Marshall was on the right track with the idea of determining effectiveness statistically, then using the modeling as a predictor based similarity to other (known statistically effective) loads. Many have taken issue with his inclusion criteria and the veracity of his numbers. But those things aside, I think the idea has some merit.

    I am no expert on BG testing, so I will revise my opinion if the Gellatinites out there can provide some persuasive reasoning. ;D
     
  15. SuperFlyer

    SuperFlyer New Member

    814
    Sep 6, 2004
  16. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack New Member

    871
    Sep 7, 2004
    Polishing the feed ramp and a rampectomy are two different operations.
     
  17. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy New Member

    743
    Nov 16, 2004
    Flyer, I'm well aware of the excellent work done by OG and Byron with wet newspaper. Their tests and Stephen Camp's really got me interested in this "poor man's" ballistic test. What I haven't seen elsewhere, and what I'm trying to learn more about, is the effect (or non-effect) of smilies on penetration and expansion. I am now on a mission. More later.
     
  18. Packer

    Packer Banned

    May 14, 2005
    "Polish the feed ramp" is what KT called it when they did a rampectomy on my 1g. Packer.
     
  19. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Excellent test report DT!! I had been wondering the same thing, but I did the rampectomy before I got a round tuit, and now don't have any Smilies to test.

    Anyway, dispite some of your detractors, wet newsprint is about as close to a ballistics lab and calibrated jell as most of us are ever going to get. That, and years of handgun hunting results, give me a pretty good indication of what actual bullet performance will be on living tissue.

    I for one, do believe the results of wet-pack testing can be meaningful, if you have done enough of it to have some basis of comparison with other loads of known performance.

    Keep up the good work, and let us know your results!!!!

    ;D
    rcmodel
     
  20. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy New Member

    743
    Nov 16, 2004
    Thanks rcmodel. I've got a few more rounds I want to test, inluding the controversial Magtech Guardian Gold +P (?). Now I just need a few more hours in the day.