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Engineer
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 10:28am | IP Logged Quote Engineer

Hello everyone, my first post here.
I recently developed a load for my 357 that is shooting
a 180gr hard cast 1350fps out of my 4' gp100. What I
would like to do is to test penetration against a media
that simulated brown bear skulls. I have been told oak
is similar in density. Anyone know if this is true? I
would think bear skull would be harder. Does anyone
know a good way to simulate a bear skull for a
penetration test? Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks Guys!

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RT58
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 10:43am | IP Logged Quote RT58

I don't have a clue, but I did want to welcome you to the forum.

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Engineer
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote Engineer

Thanks RT58!

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Paul B.
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 4:24pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

Many years ago when I was still gainfully employed, I bought a .44
magnum and worked up what I thought would be good bear defense
loads. Mentioned to to a friend with Alaskan experience and he said
shoot the bear five times only. I asked why only five and he said, "You'll
want that last one for yourself when that pissed off bear is ripping your
insides out. Sadly, I never got the job transfer to Alaska but I never forgot
what he said. Just might be good advice.
paul B.
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Engineer
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Posted: January 07 2017 at 10:29pm | IP Logged Quote Engineer

Paul B.
I have heard similar. My personal favorite is "If your
going to use a pistol for brown bear defense file off
the front sight so it hurt as bad when the bear shoves
it up your rear end. I do not expect the loads to be
perfect for bear, i was more just curious if it could
potentially penetrate a skull. In Oregon were I live)
we don't have brown bears, and a 357 is adequate for our
black pears, and more than adequate for anything else.

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USA Joe
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 12:19pm | IP Logged Quote USA Joe

Hi Engineer & welcome aboard :) I would believe your hot load should penetrate the skull if the angle is not so great that the bullet just slides under the hide ! + need a tough alloy to hold together! At any rate I remember Mr Keith's tests on Big Bulls with his 44mag loads of 255 swc on top of lots of Hercules 2400 that out penetrated 06 loads at close range . Good luck   Joe

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Engineer
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 5:40pm | IP Logged Quote Engineer

Thanks USA Joe,
My intuition sais they would penetrate, this load in
particular is a 180 gr lazercast on top of 16gr of power
pro 300-mp with a magnum primer. I could go hotter
(based on pressure signs) but this was the load that
also held high consistency.

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MontanaWolf
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 6:01pm | IP Logged Quote MontanaWolf

I like penetration tests too... I'll just stay silent on the pun....

I am certain in OR you could find some cow, bull or cow elk skulls to use, maybe put 2 together back to back and glues or something to get a good thickness. Your local wildlife agency should be able to tellyou an avg thickness or maybe call some one out here in MT at MT FWP or even in AK. I

I'd cover them in leather as well (I get mine from a thrift store and just lay it over the skull wet to simulate skin/hide and I'd I'd add another layer or 2 of loose denim to simulate hair. Heck, I'd even put a bottle or balloon of jello or pudding in the skull to see if it bursts, LOL. Heck you could even use gelatin for that.

Let us know what you get.

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richhodg66
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Posted: January 08 2017 at 6:12pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I think the penetration testing would be fun and interesting, but I also believe heavy handgun bullets penetrate well, probably better than most would think.

Several years ago on this site I think, someone decided to test the penetration of the old Kieth load of a 250 grain SWC and 21 grains of 2400. He lined up 18 full gallon jugs of water because that was all the jugs he had and shot them. The bullet went through all 18 jugs and he lost it.

I'm guessing if it went through 10 feet of water and kept going, a bear's skull wouldn't stop it either. I know you're talking .357 here, but a 180 is pretty heavy in the .357 and I'd guess the sectional density of it is as good as a 250 grain .44.

The subject has been beaten to death, but if I was serious about bear defense, I'd carry a rifle.

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MontanaWolf
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Posted: January 09 2017 at 8:52am | IP Logged Quote MontanaWolf

I know when I am in Griz country I carry a 12 ga with 3.5" magnum hardened slugs in a 2 shot, 1.5" Derringer. Knowing that it would hurt a lot more to fire than any bear mauling seems to let me take the mauling easier as the lesser of the 2 evils, kind of like voting but not nearly as painful

Edited by MontanaWolf on January 09 2017 at 8:53am


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Lord, please let it be a 1 shot, 1 kill day 10 yds uphill from a spot that my tailgate fits under. Thank you!
IF YOU WON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS THEN PLEASE, GO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!
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mikld
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Posted: January 09 2017 at 11:34am | IP Logged Quote mikld

I think any wood, except maybe ebony would be a poor
representation of bone; too fibrous. I'd look for a piece of hard
plastic 3/8" to 1/2" thick. Strong like bone, but also brittle like bone.

I personally wouldn't rely on any handgun being a reliable "bear
stopper" although many bears have been killed with handguns. I
tend to think about how fast a bear can run when it's POed and the
amount of damage it can do before it dies even when shot with a
huge 500 T-Rex Magnum....

Edited by mikld on January 09 2017 at 11:35am


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MontanaWolf
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Posted: January 09 2017 at 6:46pm | IP Logged Quote MontanaWolf

I just hold up a picture of Obama, the bear instantly freaks out and runs away anticipating the stench that would consume it.

Edited by MontanaWolf on January 09 2017 at 6:46pm


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Lord, please let it be a 1 shot, 1 kill day 10 yds uphill from a spot that my tailgate fits under. Thank you!
IF YOU WON'T STAND BEHIND OUR TROOPS THEN PLEASE, GO STAND IN FRONT OF THEM!
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STCM(SW)
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Posted: January 09 2017 at 8:25pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

I've done some penetration test's with handgun's.

10 3/4" boards 1" apart in a box I made.
44 Magnum - 6 boards
357 Magnum - 5 boards, stuck in # 6
45 ACP 4 + boards
500 Magnum, through all 10 boards, back stop and 3" to 4"
into the tree behind the table.......
Destroyed the box.

imagehosting

This was about 10 years ago.

Edited by STCM(SW) on January 09 2017 at 8:29pm


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RT58
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Posted: January 09 2017 at 8:43pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Shooting boards was once the standard for penetration testing.

I used to shoot at a police range that was often mistaken for a trash dump. It did offer some interesting targets and was educational too. If you are ever in a gunfight jump behind the nearest refrigerator or range, their insulation is very difficult for handguns to penetrate. Surprisingly homemade pre-fragmented rounds made a big hole through one side, but only scratched the paint on the inside of the other side. A .41 mag. Marlin shooting a 300 gr. bullet did go through both sides and the door that was hanging open, then cut down a small sapling behind it.

A .32 mag. shooting factory ammo couldn't penetrate both sides of a 55 gal steel drum. Loading it up with 7.62x39 spitzer type bullets went through like it was made of butter.

Keep us posted on your penetration tests, they can be surprising.
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