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 Pistol vs Carbine ballistics

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
LittleBill Posted - November 11 2017 : 3:30:11 PM
Online venue ‘rangehot dot com’ has an interesting article (‘Pistol vs Carbine’) comparing the performance in cloth-fronted ballistic gel of a few common 9mm defensive loads, when shot from a 16.5” carbine barrel, compared to a 4.5” handgun barrel.

The first thing I noticed was the variation in results: all rounds were faster from the longer barrel, but the difference was much more pronounced for some than for others.

Not surprisingly, usually the faster carbine rounds expanded more. In some cases, this resulted in less penetration of the gel.

All in all, the differences in performance from pistol to carbine were less than I’d expected to see.

And of course, what the article didn’t touch on, was the ‘aiming advantage’ the carbine confers: how much easier it is to place shots accurately from a carbine compared to a pistol.

I’m working overtime to translate the results reported in this article to our new forum standard of “inches of possum”. I’ll keep y’all informed of how that’s going....

9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Jim Higginbotham Posted - November 14 2017 : 08:24:31 AM
I find exactly what Evan says to be true - it is hard to predict.

Sometimes pushing a specific bullet faster causes it to expand more and penetrate less - sometimes not.

Penetration seems to be about inertia and the sectional density - remember if the bullet expands, it changes the SD.

I gave up trying to figure it out and just test them. Trouble is there are too many options to thoroughly test them all.

Jim H.
Evan Posted - November 12 2017 : 8:41:37 PM
depends on the bullet construction. We issued Win 115gr +p+ which the experts dismissed, but it penetrated 17 inches in a cop killer and expanded to .70 caliber without hitting bone.
pochis Posted - November 12 2017 : 6:26:26 PM
evan, would the added velocity cause a more rappid exp causing less penetration on lite loads as compared to an almost controlled exp. on the heavier bullet giving more penetration or am I off base.
Evan Posted - November 12 2017 : 1:53:30 PM
My experience was that the lighter loads made the biggest gains and 147 gr 9MM, for example, the gain was minimal.

Once I get some .40 ammo from CB I'll get out and chrono to see the differences between the Glock 27, Glok 22, and the KT carbine.

I have the carbine folded in a lap top bag because my vision continues to get worse and worse.
Uncle Mike Posted - November 12 2017 : 12:12:12 PM
Hi, according to "Cartridges of the World" you can improve ballistics with the carbine length barrels through hand loading. This is especially true in some of the early cartridges made for weaker actions as in the 44-40 0r 38-40. I think Jack O'Connor wrote that in cartridges like the 22 LR once a certain length was reached there was no improvement sometimes decreasing velocity. I think the advantage in using a carbine is improve accuracy and ease of use. A little extra velocity is just a bonus, regards, Mike
Jim Higginbotham Posted - November 12 2017 : 11:50:59 AM
Until you get into the magnum handgun calibers the I don't expect performance to differ by much.

But, most folks can shoot a carbine a lot more accurately and, as Evan says, placement is often more important than power.

Jim (who likes well placed big bullets - poorly placed ones not so much).
pochis Posted - November 11 2017 : 6:43:53 PM
Ace I think you hit it on the head as to the bonded bullet being the choice and I would think the heavier grain would add consistentcy to performance.
LittleBill Posted - November 11 2017 : 5:36:28 PM
Am I correct in remembering that in general, a heavier bullet will get more of a ‘boost’ from a longer barrel as compared to a lighter bullet?

Ace Posted - November 11 2017 : 5:14:12 PM
I seem to remember one of Evan's books noting that the effectiveness (street results) didn't vary all that much between pistols vs carbines, in pistol calibers. The biggest advantage seemed to be generally better accuracy potential from the carbine.
Country boy reasoning seems to indicate that a heavier, maybe bonded bullet wouldn't be a bad idea out of a carbine, to maybe 'help' with that higher velocity/less penetration thing---speaking of the 9mm. Not sure what difference it would make in the heavier .45acp. Ace

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