Ballistics by the inch


OK, this is going to be a bit of a catch-all entry, where I (and I hope Jim K and Steve) will post some little comments and observations about doing the project.  A lot of this stuff you would probably find if you poke around deep enough in either the Emails or the flickr images, but it’s nice to get an individual story as well.

* * *

See the title on the site?  The tag line: “Three guys, two chronographs, and 7,000 rounds of ammo . . . ” really oughtta be “Three guys, FOUR chronographs, and 7,000 rounds of ammo . . . ”

Yeah, we killed two chronographs.  Put a bullet (a .45 colt, if memory serves) right through the forehead of the first one, which went through 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 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.

Ah, good times, good times.  We put an armour plate (a railway tie plate) in front of the next set of chronographs from then on.  Good thing, too, that saved us probably another five or six sets of chronographs.  Live and learn.

Jim Downey

December 1, 2008 - Posted by | .25 ACP, .44 Magnum, .44 Special, .45 Colt, Anecdotes


  1. Pursuant to this comment on Defensive Carry, I thought I’d pass along an interesting observation that Jim K made when we were getting set up for the project and discussing it with Steve. This is a paraphrase:

    Who knows? We may find that an 8″ barrel with .25 ACP is the ideal man-stopper. I think it’s unlikely, but currently all we have to go on is anecdotal information, not solid research.

    Jim D.

    Comment by James Downey | December 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. So, over the last couple of nights I’ve settled in with Firefly and started sorting the brass from the testing. Hadn’t had either the time nor a real need to do so before now, but am getting my reloading set-up going and figured that the time had come.

    And what better show than Firefly for such?

    Anyway, last night, as I was closing in on sorting the last thousand or so casings, I came across a slug. Nice, heavy, looks like probably either a .45 Colt or a .44. Nose plugged up with wood, a couple of the ‘petals’ peeled back, but otherwise in pretty good condition.

    What was it doing in the brass?

    Well, this is speculation, but I bet it’s right – I bet it landed there while we were testing. As noted on the site (Steve’s Long Run), we ran into the phenomenon of bullets coming back at us from the target stump(s) after subsequent shots impacted. Not true ricochets, these didn’t have much velocity – but it could still be disconcerting when one such would come flying right through the door and hit you with a light thump.

    See, the brass bucket was kept just behind the shooter’s chair, against the back wall of the tent where it was out of the way. So it would be possible that an incoming slug could sail back through the door, past the shooter, hit the wall, then land in the bucket. We did pick up several such spent slugs off the floor, and I’d bet that this one just happened to land in the bucket.

    It’s a good memento of the whole project!

    Jim Downey

    Comment by James Downey | December 23, 2008 | Reply

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