More Fragmenting Slug Performance Data – It’s Devastating!
In this post, Tom Gavin brings us more detail on his interesting research with more fragmenting slug performance data. You can see his previous post by following this link.
Take it away, Tom…
First a couple of important points.
1. Warning. Don’t shoot ballistic gel without safety glasses!
2. This post is not to say anything bad about Hollow Point slugs. We all have our favorites. The purpose is to show the results of testing both fragmenting slugs and Hollow Point slugs. These are the same results seen in the field and on volunteer cadavers.
I don’t normally spend this much time posting something. I have other things “I should be doing.” But my whole reloading and shooting life powder burner or air has always been about Hollow Point performance with accuracy at POI.
So after doing all the testing necessary to confirm repeatable performance results for extreme long-range slugs, it only seemed right to share this information.
The slow motion video below shows the “Energy Transfer” difference between a standard hollow-point slug and a fragmenting slug on a small 2-Inch thick Ballistics Gel block.
Shooting a 2-Inch block of 20% NATO Ballistic Gel is as close to a Pigeon or Squirrel cadaver as reasonably possible without showing you the real thing. Shooting a large block of test medium that stops a round completely isn’t an accurate test here.
These slugs are designed specifically for Pigeon, Starling or Ground Squirrel pesting applications. Other calibers/game may benefit from fragmenting slugs also. That I’ve not tested.
A friend @swish and I have been shooting and experimenting with his fragmenting slug design for the last year or so. We’ve experimented with lots of different configurations of hollow-points, base styles and fragment numbers (any from 2-7).
These slugs can be manipulated to reliably produce varying rates that they fully expand or fragment at. The main goal has been to produce a slug for accurate long-range shooting that will always release maximum energy at POI as velocity’s diminish.
Pass-throughs and ricochets are reduced to almost nothing, while delivering twice the energy at POI. Delivering as much energy as possible at POI is what we’re trying to accomplish with a Hollow Point slug in the first place.
I know that there’s powder burner ammunition that’s designed to do the same thing. So this is not a new invention here. We’re just putting good sound proven technology to work in the low velocity air-gun world, that’s all.
Velocities listed in this video are measured 1 Foot from the block. Enjoy the background music, too!
The data below confirms what the video shows. The amount of energy absorbed by the gel block is obviously MUCH higher with the fragmenting slugs. That also happens with the prey when hunting.
Fragmenting Slug Performance Data .22 Caliber
Fragmenting Slug Performance Data .25 Caliber
In both calibers, see how much more energy is absorbed from the fragmenting slugs than from the HPs. This proves that fragmenting slugs in 22 or 25 cal. will deliver the available energy at POI better than a standard hollow-point on small pests. Regardless of the test medium the results are always the same.
Note – The last fragmenting slug in the video is at the same velocity it would be doing at 135 Yards out of my slug gun. That’s 48 Ft/Lbs of energy and the fragments just bounce off the printer paper taped to a cardboard box behind it.
That’s approximately what would spill out of the back of a pigeon at 135 Yards. Instead of a standard hollow-point that would still have approximately 50% of available FPE left over flying through space.
Here’s a few positive aspects about fragmenting slugs.
Fragmenting slugs break into 5 to 7 small pieces of lead weighing approximately 5 to 8 grains each with almost no velocity left. These don’t represent very much of a ricochet hazard.
2. Effective range for complete fragmentation.
This depends on the remaining FPS at the Point Of Impact (not Muzzle Velocity). Our tests give the following numbers:
.22 cal. 28 grain as low as 600 FPS at POI. slug design dependent.
.25 cal. 38 grain as low as 600 FPS at POI. slug design dependent.
.25 cal. 36.5 grain as low as 640 FPS at POI. slug design dependent. Still testing.
.25 cal. 31 grain as low as 680 FPS at POI. slug design dependent. Still testing.
It’s the exact same slug as our day-to-day paper/plinking slugs. Can do MOA or better at 200 Yards with a capable slug gun.
Currently this is a do-it-yourself thing. But rest assured the slug makers will be making these for mainstream use before too long.
I don’t generally promote certain products or manufacturers very often.
But that’s kind of needed here.
I use a Corbin swaging press and dies to start. I’ve made the additional punches and pins for hollow-points to get the different results, for the different fragmenting slugs.
Obviously slug weights can be varied. These weights are just what we’re using in our slug guns.
These tests confirm what the video shows. Fragmenting slugs in 22 or 25 cal. will deliver the available energy at POI better than a standard hollow-point on these small pests. Regardless of the test medium the results are always the same.
The Chronograph was placed behind the 2-Inch thick Ballistics Gel block to see how much velocity/energy is lost with different types of slugs. We made 2 shots with each type of slug.
Of course I’d recommend a “Standard Hollow Point Slug” for a larger animal were more penetration is required, like a Coyote for example. Common sense dictates matching power/cal. and game size.
But many of us are shooting small “pests”, with more pass-through velocity/energy than I’ll bet we were aware of. That’s one area were the fragmenting slugs really do excel.
I personally had serious ricochets after pass-throughs or missed shots on Ground Squirrels at all yardages. Knocking a hole through a Squirrel at 150 Yards and hearing a round ricochet another 100 and hit a tree with a load whack was the norm. That’s just not the case anymore.
I’m just showing 100% repeatable test results that are hard to dismiss. These aren’t some huge hole Hollow point with a poor BC that won’t shoot stable at 200+ Yards. They’re a 2-S ogive slug for decent BC that anyone could be making at home for about 1/2 the cost of a pellet.
Hopefully there’s some useful information in here for someone that might be interested!