Cap and Ball Revolvers vs Ballistic Gel

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by bearbullets, Nov 2, 2016.

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  1. Feb 13, 2020 #41

    Stantheman86

    Stantheman86

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    .31 Pockets were Colt's biggest seller, lots were privately purchased and carried by ACW soldiers on both sides if they or their families could afford them. Also plenty of knockoffs made in Belgium and the Manhattan Arms co made bunches of Colt-like .31's. They were never a "military issue" caliber but probably could wager at least as many were carried as .36 and .44 revolvers.

    When things went hand to hand , 5 shots of .31 beat a clubbed musket or a knife.

    Also the little .22 and .32 Rimfire S&W's probably saw wider purchase and carry than any other private purchase handgun. I had read mainly for defense against other uniformed miscreants or local people who followed camps and stole stuff.

    .31 percussion was at least as powerful as a .32 Long which likely evolved from the .31 Percussion revolvers, through conversions.
     
  2. Feb 13, 2020 #42

    MSW

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    thanks for the test - despite the alleged shortcomings, it was informative. I agree with the idea of putting something similar to a ribcage in there … having said that, i'd not want to be on the wrong side of my 1860 colt … they worked then and they'll doubtless work now.
     
  3. Feb 13, 2020 #43

    Stantheman86

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    The one guy (Natural Man) does exactly that in a test with his Uberti 1861 Navy and Kaido conicals. It's in another video.

    He puts a rib bone in the Ballistic gel as it sets in the Tupperware container and shoots it at 5 yards .

    Some people view these revolvers or muzzleloading long arms as "toys" or "not real guns" because they're used to seeing metallic cartridges. I assure them these guns were very much "real" back then and are just as "real" now. 200,000+ men didn't die in the ACW from fighting with "toys".

    Guy at the range a while back , I had my Uberti 51 Navy , just getting it out to shoot it since I didn't for a while and this man is like "oh a cap and baller those things used to bounce balls off cardboard the last time I fired one, it's a wonder how we ever used those in battle" I'm like , I don't know what you were using or how you loaded it but this revolver is just as dangerous as any other handgun, sure as hell aren't bouncing balls off anything
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  4. Feb 13, 2020 #44

    nkbj

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    When starting to experiment with percussion revolvers I rather crudely modified a Lee 9mm mold with a 3/8" drill bit and rolled a bevel on the base of each bullet between two pieces of formica samples, the back side having that grainy texture to help the material adhere to a counter top. They worked awesome great and for the forty plus years since I'm still tinkering with the revolvers, enjoying what caseless ammo has to offer.

    Seems to me somebody oughta have a "1858" with chambers and barrel to use .44 revolver molds (.43 diameter and 200 to 250 grains). A barrel with rifling standard to the 44-40 cartridge and chambers slightly over groove diameter could be really nice and it is easy to acquire. The only downside to using .44 molds is that the "magnum" cartridge was invented about when the world went coo-coo for semi-wadcutters so that other nose styles are less common that for .45's. Best, going with .44 molds would let you keep a nice hefty wall thickness on your chambers and that's a good thing.
     
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  5. Feb 13, 2020 #45

    TFoley

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    My ROA, with a 145gr ball over 30gr of Swiss #2, puts out an average of 1020 fps...338 ft lbs - that would be no fun to be standing in front.
     
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  6. Feb 13, 2020 #46

    Columbus

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    We talk about ballistics, shoot these things into ballistic gel, watermelons, plastic bottles full of water, etc. and wonder about their lethality. But you know what, every single bp revolver I own (all 9 of them) shoot high. At most handgun ranges all you're going to do (or should so) is point that thing at your adversary's belt buckle and pull the trigger - you hit someone center of mass with any of them, right down to the .31pocket pistol and that person is pretty much dead. We forget, there are no EMTs coming, no ambulance, no sterile hospital, no blood banks, you're going to bleed out or die of peritonitis. Shot in the arm, leg you have a much better chance, but you get hit in the belly and you're gone.
     
  7. Feb 14, 2020 #47

    Woodnbow

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    I once witnessed the immediate aftermath of a .44 cap and ball used defensively. One night as a young Sheriff’s Deputy, we received a call of a domestic shooting. The woman had been living with this guy for a few years and we’d been called out to that residence many times. But the last time they had differences of opinion she grabbed his Remington .44 and put one in the center of his sternum. He dropped dead right there, the ball stopped just under the skin on his back breaking thru the sternum, his heart and a rib. I have no illusions about the effectiveness of a simple lead ball. It’s certainly as deadly as anything you’re likely to find in modern pistols.
     
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  8. Feb 14, 2020 #48

    Stantheman86

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    I blame the Gander Mt/Cabelas blister pack with the Pietta Brassers and "starter kit" for the "those are just toys you don't gotta do "gun paperwork" for" mentality among casual shooters.

    At the same time I love the Cabelas revolver blister pack because it's everything that's good about America ....... you can pull a revolver off a peg board at a sporting good store, buy everything you need to shoot it and go to a register to pay for it....be at a range in an hour shooting it.
     
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  9. Feb 14, 2020 #49

    TFoley

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    It never fails to amaze me that people who happily take an old-style muzzle loader to the woods and drop a 300-400# fit and muscular animal DRT, finding the ball just under the skin on the other side, or passed right through causing an near-instant death, should wonder that a feeble human could also suffer the same fate. Back a few years and I was down in the target end of a 1000 yard range - scoring for a long-range rifle match. The guys at the other end were shooting mostly .451" match rifles. By chance one bullet hit the base of the frame - made up of old railroad ties. That bullet punched through that tough old tie as though it had been meringue.
     
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  10. Feb 14, 2020 #50

    Loyalist Dave

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    AH...No....have to disagree on that one.
    As you can see in the original video, the bullet diameter is what you get. If your bullet doesn't expand, it's all that one gets.
    When you use a bullet that does expand (such as modern defense ammunition) and will move through the target a sufficient distance, the damage is amplified.
    When one hits the nervous system, a .22 LR will do. When one does not, then one needs to either break a femur, collapse a lung (two are much better), or severely damage the cardiovascular system. Bigger holes per each shot for the same muzzle velocity = greater chance of doing any of the three, just as the .44 dragoon was better than the .36. Both had enough MV to pass far enough through the gel, but the .44 made a bigger hole.
    For example several of the .40 caliber modern handgun defense loads will expand to .68 on average.
    Bigger is much better, as long as it's deep.;)

    LD
     
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  11. Feb 14, 2020 #51

    USMA65

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    An ice pick deftly and gently inserted about two inches into the first through fifth intercostal spaces just lateral to the left lateral side of the body of the sternum will render the victim severely impaired and most likely dead in a very short time. I have always been a little fascinated with the obsession for penetration and expansion of gunpowder driven projectiles, particularly when so much of it is IMHO "overkill". The facts are that an accurate shot, or even a lucky one, by even a BB gun can kill. I also am very familiar with the fact that when the targets' sympathetic nervous system is fired up , even a M1A shot several times may not be enough. Woodnbow related a real life event that should cause all of us to reflect even more admiringly upon the heritage and capabilities our forefathers had at their disposal.
     
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  12. Feb 14, 2020 #52

    nkbj

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    Overkill indeed. Any people allowing its military the use of something more energetic than black powder and horse flesh has been a huge mistake.
    :)
     
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  13. Feb 14, 2020 #53

    SPQR70AD

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    I hope people continue to view cap and ball revolvers as toys and not man killers so we can continue to buy them thru the mail
     
  14. Feb 14, 2020 #54

    Stantheman86

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    There's pluses and minuses to everything.

    Basically, the .36 percussions eventually evolved into the .38 Special, a topped off .36 Navy with a conical falls into roughly. 38 Long Colt / light Special territory . Just for comparison.

    Also yes , I mean , people have been dropped stone dead by a single. 22 short and also soaked up 7 .308's and lived. You just never know.

    Not to get off track but I saw a "bad guy" overseas take a 5.56 to the upper chest/shoulder, pat at it like he dropped an ash on himself while he turned around and ran behind a building. Had that been a .58 Minie there would have been no running away :)
     
  15. Feb 14, 2020 #55

    rodwha

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    That certainly depends on the powder used. A .36 with a conical using an energetic powder has shown to produce figures more along the lines of a .38 Spl +P.
     
  16. Feb 14, 2020 #56

    Gun Tramp

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    I count fourteen references to self-contained metallic cartridges on this page so far. Perhaps others have totaled up the references to killing human beings.
     
  17. Feb 14, 2020 #57

    Woodnbow

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    Generally, usually, not a typical reaction to a torso hit by that round. But for every rule an exception...

    Edit: also, the male in that incident was in his 30’s, 6’1” and about 210#, fit and muscular. He was, at the time he was shot, in an extremely elevated emotional state. He was according to testimony, going to kill the woman. After the shot he dropped immediately.

    Bottom line, our cap and ball guns are serious weapons, even the little .31 from a 4” barrel is nothing to joke about. It’s nearly an axiom that if you AD one of them in the direction of one of your favorite humans it’s extremely likely to hit something vital. I’m with you Stan, the fact that we can purchase the “not a real gun blister pack” is a blessing and a small curse. Fortunately, most people who are interested enough to buy them have also got something of a clue about their historical use and know that they are decidedly not toys.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
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  18. Feb 14, 2020 #58

    Stantheman86

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    Well, it's a post about the terminal performance of cap and ball revolvers in Ballistic Gel, which simulates hits on human tissue , where is the conversation supposed to go?

    The 100% sole purpose Samuel Colt developed the Percussion Revolver was to sell them to the military and civilians for self defense, they are weapons made to shoot human beings. It's a tragic note of the Human condition , but still a fact.

    Any reference to "killing human beings" and metallic cartridges is to add color and comparison ,to fill out the complete picture of how a Percussion revolver performs. It's an internet forum , topics tend to just flow in different directions like people actually talking .
     
  19. Feb 15, 2020 #59

    rodwha

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    Indeed, and by using more modern references we gain a clearer picture as most understand well enough the modern stuff.
     
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  20. Feb 15, 2020 #60

    Loyalist Dave

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    Nobody is arguing against those facts. Our ancestors were not silly, and if those guns of that time period did not put a man down, then they would've gone for something that did, perhaps a smaller version of what is called today the Howdah, or maybe they'd a said "nuts" and carried a brace of 20-gauge Howdah pistols. o_O The fact that such revolvers and even smaller "muff pistols" were quite popular and numerous, is a pretty good testament that such were effective. Then as now, effectiveness vs concealablity were trade offs.

    LD
     
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