Communion Of Dreams

It was spectacular!
April 4, 2008, 6:44 am
Filed under: 2nd Amendment, Ballistics, Guns, Humor, movies, RKBA, Science, tech, Weather

Ever see what happens to modern electronics when you shoot them with large caliber handguns?

Wait . . . I’m getting ahead of myself.

* * * * * * *

As noted previously, I’ve been busy the last few days getting things ready to start the next round of ballistics testing. Round one was about three weeks ago, and in addition to getting a lot of good data about three of the 13 calibers we’re doing the research on, we also learned a great deal about the testing platform and procedures. Because of that amount of learning, when the three of us got together this week before setting everything up on Wednesday, we decided that we would go ahead and push this weekend to do all the remaining testing.

As a friend said in an email Wednesday night: “Whoa.”

Yeah, because that is 10 more calibers (eight barrels, since the .38 special and .357 magnum bullets use one barrel, and so does the .44 special and .44 magnum). And over 5,000 rounds of ammo.

We’re fortunate in that all three of us (me, Jim K and Steve) are all in situations where we can set aside our work demands for a time and devote our attention to doing this. And in looking at the remaining barrel/ammo combinations, it was clear that there would be some efficiency in doing things all at once – a number of the somewhat more unusual calibers have only two or three types of ammo, meaning that we’d be spending more time swapping out the barrels and chopping them than actually shooting and recording data. So there would be a benefit in getting all those calibers done, then move on to the several calibers where we had a lot of different ammo to test while the other barrels were chopped and prepped (de-burring and modest recrowning to get good consistent results).

And that’s what we did yesterday – dove in head first, in spite of very uncooperative weather (lots of rain and temps in the 40s). Our set-up keeps us out of the wet (we’re using a fair-sized cabin tent for our work area, with the chronographs outside under a protective tarp) but the damp chill still takes a lot of energy out of you. The changes we made to the shooting platform – the addition of an inexpensive target laser – meant that you essentially didn’t need to take the time to aim the thing (once we had it zeroed in), all you had to do was control it with the more powerful calibers.

And before we stopped early in the day, we had gotten to the same point with these remaining 10 calibers as we got on the first day of the previous round of testing with just three calibers.

Now, why did we stop early, if things were going so well?

Wasn’t due to the weather. Not unless you consider a .45 caliber bullet as rain.

What happened was this: one of us (who shall for now remain nameless, until I can spend more time to write up the saga appropriately) was in the middle of shooting the second most powerful of the calibers we’re testing, and didn’t manage to control the gun completely when he fired the round. And it went right through both chronographs. Perfectly.

We use two chronographs, lined up one in front of the other, to be sure we’re getting good data. He hit the first one right dead center, a little high from the middle. Like a perfect shot in a movie, hitting the bad guy right between the eyes. The large bullet punched through the display, destroyed the electronics, and shattered the back of the chrono – then entered the front sensor of the second chrono, exiting out the bottom rear sensor as well.

It was spectacular. A perfect shot. I have pix I’ll be posting later.

But it meant we were done for the day. No chronographs, no way to measure the velocity of the bullets.

But such things are available here, and we’ll pick up a couple more units this morning. And we’ll be getting the kind which have a remote readout – meaning that it’s just the sensors in the line of fire, the electronics on our shooting bench. Meaning that we can place some protective armor plates in front of the sensors to prevent this from happening again.

Meaning that we’ll just have to find a new and improved way of screwing up. 🙂

More when I get the chance.

Jim Downey

5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

“Meaning that we’ll just have to find a new and improved way of screwing up.”

Oh, we have no doubt you’re up to THAT task…hehehe!

Comment by gerhardt

A) “If at first you don’t succeed….suck another seed…..”
“We’re you shooting French calibers or were you using French chronographs….?”

Comment by John Neumann

[…] ballistics testing project continues to go very, very well. With a little luck we should wrap it up today. We’ve had a […]

Pingback by Damn, I’m beat. « Communion Of Dreams

[…] 2nd Amendment, Ballistics, Guns, RKBA, Science One of the major things we still need to do for our ballistics project is to come up with a name for the website/url where all the information and data will be hosted. It […]

Pingback by “A website by any other name . . .” « Communion Of Dreams

[…] the one behind it.  Happened during the first day of testing in the second flight of tests.  I blogged about it that night; here’s an excerpt: What happened was this: one of us (who shall for now remain […]

Pingback by Anecdotes. « Ballistics by the inch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: