I post this test I conducted partly because of ".303 Guys" reply to me on the other thread and in general for anyone interested.
Here is a home made terminal ballistics test I did with 22 Hornet bullets fired from a rifle that may interest some of you.
The media was a cardboard box of 9” depth filled the first 8” with folded paper. The last 1” was from a book, denser paper with front and back hard covers removed. The last inch of dense paper was to stop the deeper penetrating bullets if needed. The entire box and paper contents were then soaked completely with water inside and out.
Testing range was 50 yards.
The 22 Hornet bullets used were the following and fired from top to bottom on the box media.
1) Hornady 45 Grain Soft Point Hornet bullet @ approximately 2700 f.p.s.
2) Sierra Varminter 45 Grain Soft Point bullet @ approximately 2700 f.p.s.
3) Calhoon 37 Grain Double Hollow Point bullet @ approximately 2830 f.p.s.
Here is a front view of the soaked box exhibit 2149
with the hand drawn evenly spaced bulls and a fired bullet from 50 yards through each.
Here is a top view of the internal soaked media exhibit 2150
[/img] Hornady 45 Grain Soft Point
. BC .202 – at ¾” showed little expansion as compared. At 1 ½” showed the start of expansion. At 2 ¼” it showed a violent sudden expansion hydraulic shock that was the largest of the three bullets at this point. At 3” the hydraulic shock larger expansion was dieing off fast. By 3 ¾” the shock cavity had ended and the nicely mushroomed bullet was mostly just penetrating. It then penetrated the deepest approximately 8 ½” about ½ way into the heavier paper media at the back.. The recovered remains showed a classic mushroom shape. The remains of this bullet weighed 43 grains out of the original 45 grains.Sierra Varminter 45 grain Soft point
. BC .139 – at ¾” it showed the most initial expansion of the three, likely because of its rounder nose. At 1 ½” there was much expansion as compared to the other two. At 2 ¼” it showed violent expansion, topped only slightly by the Hornady at the same point. At 3” the shock cavity was recessing yet was still greater than the other two. From there the mushroomed bullet continued penetrating yet with a slightly larger diameter wound channel then the Hornady. It came to rest just into the last inch of heavier paper media in the rear. Approximately 8” or ½” behind the Hornady. It had lost its jacket just prior to that but it was recovered. The remains of this bullet and jacket also weight 43 grains out of 45. But, this bullet has mushroomed nearly flat out and was noticeably larger than the Hornady. It was a full ½” diameter.The Calhoon 37 Grain Double Hollow Point
. BC .13 – at ¾” it showed the least expansion, basically none. At 1 ½” it showed a minimal start of expansion as compared to the other two. At 2 ¼” it showed a little expansion but was far behind the 45 grain Varminter Soft Point and behind the Hornady. By 3” it had caught up in expansion as compared for that distance. At 3 ¾” it suddenly blew and started to frag. It had the largest diameter wound channel at this point but it also was the deepest to penetrate before this happened. The base and a couple frags continued to penetrate from there with a smaller diameter wound channel as compared to the Sierra Varminter which was very consistant and also expanded early. The largest chunk the base of the bullet penetrated to 8” deep or just prior to the denser media. A few fragments were found along the path. The recovered remains of this bullet weighed in at 22 grains out of the original 37 grains.Exhibit 2151
shows the entrance from top to bottom the Hornady, Sierra and Calhoon. With the middle Sierra showing the most initial expansion followed by the Hornady.
[/img] Exhibit 2152
shows left to right the Calhoon, Sierra & Hornady a bit deeper with the excellent early expansion of the soft point Hornet bullets as compared to the hollow point.
[/img] Exhibit 2153
shows top to bottom the Hornady,Sierra & Calhoon. This is approximately the 3 ¾” mark at which the Calhoon finally expanded fragment a full 1 ½” behind the Sierra Soft Point or from another perspective over 50% deeper for violent expansion as compared. The other two bullets had already maxed expansion, largest diameter wound channel and were in penetrating mode while still creating a nice diameter channel from their mushroom characteristics. From this point on the Calhoon follwed with penetrating mode but with a smaller wound channel diameter as compared to either.
[/img] Exhibit 2154
shows left to right Hornady, Sierra & Calhoon recovered bullet remains in front of the scale.
As a fellow hunter looking in I feel you know your needs much better than I do obviously. I am not a bullet engineer but just an avid varmint hunter like yourself. I simply show this test,report to help as others have done similar which I found helpful. You can decide what, if any good this does for you and how, if at all, it may help.
For myself the test concluded what I had seen in the field. At down range distances of 100 plus yards and lower velocities the Calhoon bullet was zipping through Woodchucks with little expansion leaving crawlers that either of the other two soft points never did. This hollow point bullet like others does not expand / frag well , at 22 Hornet velocities down range. Nor does it carry the down range energy of the 45 grain bullets. The only lighter grain bullet that I have seen fragment well to date is the Hornady 35 grain V Max, which works decent out to 150 yards on Woodchucks/Groundhogs but certainly lags behind the 45 grainers which anchor with vast superiority, even out to 200. I think it is likely a better ground squirrel bullet than Woodchuck / Fox. I have not tried the TN’T bullet because of its very low b.c. and light weight but, I am sure with its hacked off and cupped design it fragments well. The Winchester 45 grain soft point appears to expand even better than the Varminter with its larger lead tip which is more squared off. Unfortunately this bullet is not available to reloaders. Some have asked me about the Hornady SPSX / soft point bullets which start at 50 grain and how they compare to the Hornady 45 SP Hornet bullets. They note the superb expansion, explosion of such bullets but, are also usually shooting them from faster,larger 22 center fires. I have never shot/hunted them. For what its worth I did contact Hornady in the past in regards to a comparison of the two bullets and spoke to one of their tech. support team members. He was kind enough to look up the paper specs of each bullet for me and noted the SPSX 50 grain actually has a slightly thinner jacket than the Hornet bullet does! Go figure as to why? All things considered (accuracy in most rifles at 100 & 200, energy & expansion down range, I consider the Sierra Varminters in 40 & 45 grain soft points amongst the best all around 22 Hornet bullets made. The Hornady 45 SP IMO is right up there with them and some whom call Coyotes or hunt medium size game at close range may prefer it as it penetrates a bit deeper and mushrooms in classic form.
Enjoy the outdoors……..