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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This article was written by Larry Seecamp and applies to the .32 as well as the .380. I have seen a lot of recommendations on this forum for Full Metal Jacket ammo in the small Walthers. This has surprised me since the only real advantage quoted is "best penetration". But what good is penetration if there is little or no damage done by the bullet? A FMJ bullet is used by the military because the Geneva convention requires it. WHY? Because it is "more humane" than a hollow point bullet. Fortunately, the police and civilians aren't governed by the rules of war. Do you see any police departments using FMJ bullets? The answer is NO. They are using the most effective bullets available...hollowpoints. Okay....here is Larry Seecamp's article:

http://www.seecamp.com/faq.htm#Hollow Points

Why hollow points?

Whether hollow point bullets expand or not, there is still a hollow point shock value advantage.

When shooting hollow point ammunition, air becomes trapped and compressed inside the cup as the bullet speeds through the air. This pressure exerts itself outwardly against the side walls of the cup. If enough of it were present, the cup would expand or explode on the way to the target.

Simultaneously, there is a far more moderate degree of inward pressure on the cup created by the outside bullet taper. The discrepancy in pressure exists because the air on the outside of the cup is allowed to pass while the air on the inside is trapped.

The bigger the cup and the smaller the outside taper, the greater is the force for explosion versus the force for implosion.

Soft bullet material, a thin walled cup, a cup weakened through expansion cuts or an aerodynamically streamlined cup to reduce the implosion force, all encourage bullet expansion or explosion ~ as also does increased bullet speed.

Greater bullet speed means a greater tendency for expansion or explosion. From a practical point of view, there is an upper limit to the benefit of bullet speed. There is a point at which increased bullet speed offers no benefits or even a negative benefit in stopping power ~ for example, a light weight bullet that disintegrates on impact.

Expansion or explosion work against penetration. Bullet penetration is reduced by expansion and even more so by explosion.

When a hollow point bullet hits the target it can do a number of things depending largely on the medium it hits.

Ideally, the hollow point bullet hits soft tissue and the compressed air/tissue inside the cup cause the bullet to expand. Along with this, with or without expansion, comes an increased temporary wound cavity. Trapped air/tissue inside the cup and the aerodynamics of the cup create a larger temporary wound cavity than is created by a streamlined ball bullet. Wadcutters have been shown to be more effective as man stoppers than ball. Their aerodynamics tend to create a bigger temporary wound channel.

Traditional hollow points have only minimal if any expansion on hitting denim clothed ballistic gelatin. This is a good thing because it means if the assailant is wearing heavy clothing, penetration is increased. The downside is reduced or no expansion.

With this increased penetration and non-expansion, however, there is still an increased temporary wound channel. Just because a hollow point bullet fails to expand does not mean it is less effective than a ball bullet.

Air blowers are equipped with safety nozzles because air hoses are dangerous and can kill people. Workers have thought it funny to goose someone with an air hose and have blown co-worker’s intestines apart. The stopping power value of trapped air/tissue in a hollow point should not be underestimated, even when the bullet does not expand.

Expansion, with traditional hollow points, is most on unclothed gelatin. This is good ~ there is penetration with heavy clothing and expansion with light clothing.

I recommend traditional hollow point ammunition ~ Gold Dot, Hydra Shok, Hornady, Silver Tips. I’m wary of "high performance" and home-brewed ammunition that show extraordinary performance under staged conditions.

FWIW: One would think a .50 caliber Barrett would be the ideal combat weapon in any encounter. Not so, according to tests done by the TV show Myth Busters.

If an enemy dives under water, using a muzzle loader from the Civil War is a greater threat to that individual than a .50 caliber Barrett. The .50 caliber rounds hit the water at such speed that the water acts like a solid. The slower moving muzzle loaders penetrate much further in the water.

To sum up, there is no ideal cartridge, there is no ideal caliber and there is no ideal gun. For a close range self-defense pistol, I think we do okay.

The most important thing in any defense pistol is that the pistol go bang when the trigger is pulled each time it is pulled. Ammo choice is secondary.

My advice on ammo: Always go with the ammo that works most reliably over the ammo that impresses in staged tests.



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Well, for 32ACP, I have seen tests for FMJ and JHP - except for Corbon, nohollow point expanded at all. And, U have the possibility of layers of clothing stopping the round. Plus, in 32ACP, U have rimlock issues if U go with JHP.

In 380 - I go with hollow points. In 32ACP, I"ll stick with the FMJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, for 32ACP, I have seen tests for FMJ and JHP - except for Corbon, nohollow point expanded at all. And, U have the possibility of layers of clothing stopping the round. Plus, in 32ACP, U have rimlock issues if U go with JHP.

In 380 - I go with hollow points. In 32ACP, I"ll stick with the FMJ.
Depends on the ammo and how it was tested. Tests can be "adjusted" to get whatever result you want. So I don't put a lot of value in them. Note also...
"Ideally, the hollow point bullet hits soft tissue and the compressed air/tissue inside the cup cause the bullet to expand. Along with this, with or without expansion, comes an increased temporary wound cavity. Trapped air/tissue inside the cup and the aerodynamics of the cup create a larger temporary wound cavity than is created by a streamlined ball bullet."

So expansion, while good if it happens, is not mandatory. Shooting someone with a FMJ bullet is about the equivalent of sticking them with a very dull icepick. Tissue damage is minimal and it certainly isn't going to stop them. But it may piss them off enough to make them jump on you and beat the crap out of you :D

Layers of clothing stopping the round?!?!?!??!!? Unless you are shooting at a guy dressed in a kevlar overcoat, I doubt very much a .32 auto fired at close range is going to be stopped by clothing. I'll tell you what, you dress up in however much clothing you want, and then I'll pop a .32 auto round into your chest...okay? :rolleyes:

Dep



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There's a lot of supposition going on here. This article isn't specifically about either the .32 or .380 round, it's a general discussion of the differences between FMJ and Hollow-point rounds.

What it doesn't take into account is how the mass of the bullet affects the expansion of hte hollow-point round. These smaller bullets have a very small mass, the expansion properties are a bit limited when compared to larger bullet sizes.

My concern is that a smaller JHP round (the .32 or .380) will simply "splat" at a shallow depth and stop before hitting anything vital.
 

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A few months ago, I read about someone in South America getting shot at almost point blank with 32ACP, and it bounced off their skull.

Sorry, I'm standing by my assertion on the FMJ on 32ACP - I've seen multiple tests.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The article was posted by Mr. Seecamp on his Seecamp pistols website. He only builds .32auto and .380 pistols, so I think we can safely assume he is referring to those calibers.
On the other side...you would need to pump in MANY .380 or .32 FMJ rounds (as in a 32 round machinepistol) to do enough damage to actually bring down a bad guy. I think people are confused about the abilities and use of the Walther pocket pistols. These pistols are not and should not be the "first choice" for a defense weapon. They should only be used when situation dictates concealment, or where a full size pistol is impractical to carry. Just as you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, you can't turn a caliber that has such low power into a "manstopper".

But if you are really concerned that shooting an HP .32 or .380 will result in the bullet hitting the human body and then dropping to the ground, I suggest you do your own test. Take a 1/4 inch pine board out to the range and mount it in a vise. Shoot a .32 or .380 hollowpoint at the board and see what happens. I doubt the human body can put up as much resistance as that pine board.



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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
A few months ago, I read about someone in South America getting shot at almost point blank with 32ACP, and it bounced off their skull.

Sorry, I'm standing by my assertion on the FMJ on 32ACP - I've seen multiple tests.

There are reports of people being hit with an RPG grenade and surviving (watch Blackhawk Down...it's a TRUE story). It only prooves that the human body is an amazing device. NO pistol or rifle is a certain killer. And using FMJ ammo is reducing, not increasing your chances of surviving a gunfight. But it's your life and your choice. :)

BTW...chances of anyone getting a "headshot", no matter how much they might practice it at range sessions, is slim at best. If I could get consistent headshots, I would sell all my pocket pistols and just carry a big rock. Much more effective than any .32 or .380





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In my 45 ACP or 38 SP/357 Magnums, I agree with this and carry only Jacketed Hollow Point ammo for self defense. The JHP ammo in those calibers that I carry has been tested and consistently demonstrates 12 inches or more of penetration in ballistic gelatin. I'm pretty much guaranteed adequate penetration and the largest wound channel possible with the given caliber used.

With 380 ACP, none of the JHP ammo I have seen tested provided even 8 inches of penetration, let alone the 12 inch minimum recommended by most authorities I have read. FMJ in a 380 ACP should penetrate more than JHP and is the only way to get close to the minimum 12 inches desired.

I've always thought that the main reason to use JHP ammo and not FMJ in a handgun was to prevent overpenetration. The idea being that a 45 ACP FMJ round will sail right through one person and through the wall behind then and become a danger to your neighbor across the street.

Does anyone know of a 380 ACP JHP round that works well in a Walther PPK that will provide around 12 inches of penetration in balistic testing? If one exists, I will order up a few boxes and try them out once I get the set of springs replaced on my PPK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Again...your first choice in a defensive caliber should NOT be a .32 or .380. Anyone who is using the Walther pocket pistols as a primary handgun is seriously outgunning himself as far as what the bad guy is probably carrying. Even a lowly .38 special is more effective than the .32/.380. So comparisons to those larger calibers aren't really valid. It's like comparing a Corvette to a Honda Civic. Both are cars, but they have very different abilities.
The .32/.380 are considered the "threshold" as far as lowest caliber you can carry and hope to effectively defend yourself. They should be carried only in the most "last resort" circumstances, and only then, with EFFECTIVE ammunition. And firing FMJ is NOT the most effective manstopper. I have no idea where this trend in "deep penetration" has come from, but a bullet that penetrates deeply is NOT a guarantee of good lethality. You would almost have to hit an organ like the heart DEAD ON to have a FMJ .32/.380 be effective. Either that, or use a machinepistol and literally "fill 'em up" with lead. Forgetabout all that gelatin testing crap.
Gelatin doesn't die, nor does it have organs that are more or less susceptible to failing. The FMJ bullet has shown to make a very small wound channel and instead of destroying organs in it's path, it tends to just "shove them out of the way". Again...the comparison to shoving an icepick into someone is most illustrative of the "effectiveness" of FMJ.

Rather than looking for a bigger icepick, why not look at a bullet that does more damage? I am carrying these cartridges in both my PPK and P99...

.32 auto


9MM


You can read about this ammo here:
http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgis...duct_info.html&setup=141&cart_id=1225280.4952



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I remember one November getting all the penetration I ever wanted with 348 Winchester Silver Tips when 6 of them hit a running buck and made a pattern
the size of a small paper plate...and simply ice picked the animal...then reached in my pocket and found one Remington Core Lokt and hand fed that into the Model 71 Winchester...at the shot the buck dropped and twitched for a moment and was gone....I recovered the bullet just under the skin on the far side and it was easily almost an inch in diameter and dumped its energy into that animal and ended the ordeal. I am a hollow point man and will continue to be...I have seen all the worthless penetration I care to. I want drop dead now impact and will continue to shoot as long as their is any movement...Bubba response...worry about the pattern later. Energy Dump Impact over penetration everyday of the week...thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I can accept that hollow point rounds are better, according to these opinions.

However I'm still wondering why people choose .32 over .380.
I suspect, though few will admit it, they are influenced by the Bond movies. Since I consider BOTH calibers to be "marginal" at best, I went with the round that gives one extra shot. Neither the .32 auto nor the .380 are "death rays". It's certainly going to take more than one shot to do in a bad guy. What floors me is people who recommend only carrying ONE magazine. 6 or 7 shots of these pipsqueak calibers is hardly going to be enough. Maybe they also watch the movies where the guy runs out of ammo and throws the gun at the bad guy???

I don't think a Walther pocket pistol thrown at a bad guy is going to do a lot of damage. :p

I am also highly amused by folks who preach "bullet placement is EVERYTHING". Anyone who says that is giving themsleves away as never having been in a real gunfight. When the bad guys and you are exchanging lead, you hit ANY place on the bad guy that you can. Arms, legs, foot, big toe, pinky finger, left nostril, ANYPLACE! All those hits will have a negative effect on the bad guy. Trying to hit a "center mass" or "headshot" (HA!) is great at the range. Nearly impossible in real life. Funny thing but bad guys know that bullets can kill them and take cover/concealment just like the good guys.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

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It depends on whether you believe that, as the FBI does, a minimum penetration is necessary to be lethally effective by reaching the vital organs that mothrt nature has encased in the body. Every ballistic jello test I have seen fails the 12" minimum for .380 JHPs if they expand. And I have not seen any evidence looking at the IWBA info that indicates any "shock" damage from any handgun caliber; therefore I would go with FMJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess if folks can get the "one shot one kill" mindset out of their heads, then maybe they can accept that FMJ is not the ultimate bullet. I do know the FBI has made some major booboos with gun and ammunition selection in the past (we had a nickname for the letters "FBI", but I can't post it publicly).
Putting my faith in what they pick is not gonna happen. :)

Personally, I prefer the fragmenting type of bullet that breaks up on impact and sends out multiple jagged destructive pieces in all different directions.
Glaser started this type of cartridge, but their rounds had a problem with "clumping" (fragments sticking together rather than seperating).
With the advancements in jacket design, especially the Extreme Shock ammo, fragmenting bullets have come of age....

It's a new war, and our nations best warriors now carry the world's most devastating ammunition! As we entrust the defense of our freedom in our finest professionals, they now carry an advantage beyond their own heroism! Over ten years in co-development with Special Operations Groups and Federal Law Enforcement, the new ExtremeShock™ Explosive Entry tactical defense rounds represent the ultimate refinement in lethal bullet technology. The compressed Tungsten-NyTrilium™ Composite fragments upon impact, leaving a wound channel of catastrophic proportions. The expansive fragmentation characteristics of the ExtremeShock rounds transfer the bullets energy in a far faster time span than conventional hollowpoints. The resulting stopping power is utterly devastating. E-Shock rounds are engineered to expend maximum energy into soft targets, turning the density mass into an expanding rotational cone of NyTrilium matrix particles, causing neurological collapse to the central nervous system.

http://www.extremeshockusa.com/cgis...up=141&ida=14&idp=0&his=0&cart_id=396728.1096



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It is sad but true. The day of the PPK is really over for a carry weopon. I safed mine a couple years ago for a Kahr PM9. As much as I love the PPK it is now just my for fun plinking gun. And now with the PPS you can have Walther quality in a similar size (ugly as it may be:p ) and the jury is still out on that. If you need something smaller then your only choices are the seacamp or Kel Tec which I consider only accurate for point blank self defense.
 
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