Close Range Varmint Slug

After developing my solution to the problem at hand, I opened it up to guesses as to what I'd found out. We had fun with a bunch of e-mail suggestions. Thank you for playing along.

Julio happened to nail it. His mail is on the other page of guesses. I've highlighted those sections of the various mail copy which were on the correct track as well.

Here's what we wanted to avoid. The 50 grain round ball at approx. 750 fpe just tears thru (that's a 2 by 4) and keeps going.

Contrast that with a 71 grain waddcutter type of slug on the right (slug is in the wood an inch below this level). You see that a tremendous amount of energy was transferred from the shock radiation cracks. The slug piled up on itself - being blunt, it didn't go all the way thru that time. However - you can see this 70+ fpe slug packs too much of a punch too. It's also rather solid - so it has more mass to ricochet or carry to distance with energy (again - not what we want in this instance).

Another plank - this time on a more springy type of mount that flexed some (thus limiting ultimate penetration). Left to Right ...You see the two round ball #1, #3. They are about to break out the other side - the debris is loosened. The springy mount prevented escape. Now - look at the extreme right - #4 - that's the 71 grain waddcutter type of slug. It's all piled up on itself. It's less than half it's original length. You see the compression wave in front of it. It was shot down lower in the plank from the edge this time and the springy mount robbed some energy - no cracks showing here.

Now - this new problem solving slug of mine is #2. Can you see that it entered as a clean 32 caliber hole. Immediately parachuted open, gathered and compressed some material, twisted, and stopped.

That's a 29 grain "big mouth" type of hollow point slug. I made tooling to swage them from round buckshot ball. I made a few types and they each have different characteristics. The geometry effects them alot. (Sorry for the home shop guys, I'm not going to disclose every geometric principal - the individual characteristics of each - and the methods of making the tooling. bummer - I know - I'm mean).

So ... you ACTUALLY mean to tell me you shoot the thing with the mouth forward??? It will NEVER fly. It's like a paint can flying rim forward.

Actually .... it will. Here's three (@ 10 meters) of a little heavier model.

Here's 3 of the lighter model @ 10 meters. Actually ... you must pay attention to the slugs. If you don't grade them well - they won't fly. Any old slap/dash squashed buckshot won't work. So - did I just miss or was this flier a poor slug? (Obviously it was a poor slug ... correct .... ;?)

So ... you must have had to turn them waaaaaaaaaay down in velocity to get them to fly ... right?

No. I didn't. That does say 860 fpe from my 32 caliber air pistol shooting the 29.4 grain slug. Right ... 48.29 fpe.

Good ones fly dead straight ...

And they "core" the target when they enter. This angle shot shows the clean cut - and I think those are rifling smear marks. Now - it soon spreads open and stops.

Here you see a sliced section. The slug is cut in half too. The compression wave popped out. And the green shows the expansion.


However ... if the target section isn't too thick ... such as this hard 5 ply T-111 Yellow Pine 5/8" Exterior ply sheathing ... it cores on thru. This is the exit side.

Note the exit side from a round ball. The wound channel tries to heal behind it again after it wedges thru.

I have alot more pics. This is a start...

Back ... to conclude the thread ...

Turned the Victory 32 SS down so as to shoot the quiz slug @ approx. 641 fpe. Still a quite acceptable velocity figure.

That works out to 26.46 fpe on my woodburning shop calculator.


That drives the slug into this 3/8" plywood just flush ...

Cracking the back but not going thru the unbacked wood.

Here's the slug in a thicker pc. About the same penetration - this one I cut apart. The slug fully and immediately mushrooms to almost twice it's 32 caliber diameter.

Same pistol will blast thru a 2 by 4 and keep going with a simple buckshot ball. Or, it may be turned down, and such a slug will make it an excellent short range varmint pc. Anything in between is available easily. Pistol or Carbine stock makes weight and ease of carry excellent. At the power demonstrated here, I got about 24 shots on the fill.