Monday, August 10, 2015

"Blackpowder vs. Smokeless Powder Terminal Effectiveness"

A few days ago, I had linked to an article about some advantages to lead bullets over saboted rounds from a muzzle-loader, and some advantages to the .45-70 round. So it was with interest that I saw the above-entitled article at The Firearms Blog discussing terminal performance between black-powder and smokeless powder. Basically, as Nathaniel F. discusses, it comes down to fundamental physics and, more precisely, velocity; and black powder firearms can obtain some decent velocities.

I have read many anecdotal accounts suggesting a greater effectiveness of heavy, soft lead balls or bullets versus smaller, fast projectiles when striking game or people, though, that does not seem to be a matter of the kinetic energy of the projectile. Perhaps this is a topic I need to look into further, but I suspect that there is a concussive impact with a large, slow-moving projectile that is not replicated by a fast, smaller diameter projectile. It may simply be a matter of over-penetration in a smaller projectile, more efficient transfer of hydrostatic shock from a relatively large and blunt projectile, or some effect due to the greater inertia of the heavier projectile. Or perhaps it is a case that anecdotal evidence is no evidence.

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