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Thomas Hrabchak





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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 2:18 pm    Post subject: .22 pistol vs plate?         Reply with quote

Hi all, new to the forums, and I have a question I was hoping an expert could answer.

Given the nature I'm not sure which is the right forum for this, so I apologize if I'm in the wrong place. But this seemed alright.

basically, me and some friends at work have had what amounts to a very spirited discussion on the merits of modern small arms vs. medieval armor. So, we have some questions I hoped an expert can answer.

1) Can a smaller-caliber handgun (say, a .22 pistol) penetrate typical plate armor?
2) If so, at what range would it no longer be effective?
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What sort of plate are we talking about? I'm assuming a curiass. And by .22 handgun, I'm assuming you mean .22 short. If my assumptions are correct, then your answer is no. A small piece of soft lead is simply not going to have the punch to defeat a curved piece of steel.

M.

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George Hill




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
What sort of plate are we talking about? I'm assuming a curiass. And by .22 handgun, I'm assuming you mean .22 short. If my assumptions are correct, then your answer is no. A small piece of soft lead is simply not going to have the punch to defeat a curved piece of steel.

M.


He most likely means .22 long rifle. .22 short is as rare as can be these days.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Gavin Kisebach




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

.22 short is an incredibly weak round. I know an idiot who let himself get shot in the back with a .22 whilst riding a motorcycle ay top speed away from the rifle. It left only a welt on his back. Of course, if memory serves James Brady was shot with a .22 short from an extremely short barreled revolver, and it almost killed him.

I tend to agree that against well made, dished plate, the round would most likely skip off or simply bounce.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
M. Eversberg II wrote:
What sort of plate are we talking about? I'm assuming a curiass. And by .22 handgun, I'm assuming you mean .22 short. If my assumptions are correct, then your answer is no. A small piece of soft lead is simply not going to have the punch to defeat a curved piece of steel.

M.


He most likely means .22 long rifle. .22 short is as rare as can be these days.


Even then, not a chance. I'd considered shooting some 16ga steel with a .22LR round at a distance but the danger in that is..well, not wise.

M.

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Thomas Hrabchak





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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, I did mean a .22 short. I was under the presumption that even with a short, soft round, the sheer velocity would punch through the plate. but I didn't take the affect of the curvature of the plate into account. And, I guess, underestimated the stopping power of a breastplate or cuirass.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 8:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas Hrabchak wrote:
Actually, I did mean a .22 short. I was under the presumption that even with a short, soft round, the sheer velocity would punch through the plate. but I didn't take the affect of the curvature of the plate into account. And, I guess, underestimated the stopping power of a breastplate or cuirass.


It happens. Remember, these where the protective items of people who's whole existence was war. It's very protective, or they don't use it.

I think the early hackbut (hook gun) was somewhere around 40 caliber, right? I do know later weapons where around 60, with the British standard eventually being a 67 cal. ball with a 68 cal. barrel.

M.

EDIT: Welcome to the forums, by the way. You're more than welcome to stay here and learn with us.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With .22 long rifle we are generally talking of a 40 grain bullet at 1,000 to maybe 1350 ft/sec. : The amount of energy may be low but the diameter is small and against mild steel I wouldn't want to be the target if I was wearing a breast plate.

The angle of the shot might make a difference to the odds of penetration as well as range.

Now, tempered spring steel might stop a .22 or even a more powerful .38 but again maybe not ?

There have been cases of .22 bouncing of the thick bone of the forehead but I wouldn't want to take any bets ! I assume the question is a theoretical one and not a case of " don't do this at home Jackass stupid stunt " Eek! In that case get a million dollars of life insurance first and make me the beneficiary. Razz Laughing Out Loud ( Joke, if that wasn't obvious ).

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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depends on the round. Many 9 mm rounds will punch through 3 mm of steel at 75 meters. However, I've also read one of the earlier M-16 rounds could only manage 1 mm. (Though I can't find that source now.)
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Nov, 2007 11:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think we've pretty much summed up that a .22S is not punching through a decently made breastplate.

M.

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 5:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Now, serious rounds like the 7,62 NATO or 5,56 will punch right through plate armour; The 7,62 penetrates more than 8 mm of steel.

In the early age of gunpowder, breastplates where thickened to stop pistol or harquebus shot.
This was acomplished, but the resulting breastplates where to heavy for comfortable use.

Now, a musket ball produces about ten times the energy of a .22LR (30-70 kj), which is again about twice as powerfull as a 22.short (at about 110/120 kj). The 9mm Luger produces about 300 Kj at the mussle, the 5,56 NATo/.223 remington 1200 kj, The 7,62 NATO 2500 kj.

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Boris Bedrosov
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas!
I've personally tried the standard steel helmet of Bulgarian Army with different types of ammo and distances. Of course, there is one big question mark if the steel of this helmet is similar with medieval steel. The helmet itself is about 1,5 mm thick.
So, the helmet was punched with entry hole with 9 x 18 (Makarov) from 60 feet (with bullet with FMJ and steel core inside), 9 x 19 (Luger) from approx. 30 feet (only FMJ); and of course 7,62 x 39 (AK-47) - from approx. 500 feet (FMJ with steel core) with entry and exit holes. Except these, the helmet was tried with different 12 Ga. hunting ammos, shot from about 40 feet - no holes, just "dishes"
The only ammo, which didn't make any serious marks (scraches, "dishes", holes), only the paint damaged, was exactly 22.LR, even when shot with pistol from about 10 feet.

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A neighbor used a snub nosed .38 on a 16ga plate at 5' and it only dented it.

M.

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Josh Warren




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I took a piece of hot-rolled 14ga (~2mm) mild steel scrap and shot at it with guns of various calibers from a distance of about twenty yards last spring. It easily stopped almost all of the .22 ammunition, though there were deep dents with the long rifle. It easily stopped the .25 handgun rounds, too. All but one of the 20 9mm rounds fired at it penetrated. And it could do nothing against the .45.

On my own suit of plate, I would reasonably expect the cuirass(2mm-3.5mm thick) and armet(2mm-4.5mm thick) to stop the .22 and the .25, especially from the front. I might expect the thicker areas to resist even the 9mm, but I certainly won't be shooting at my expensive armour to find out...

Non Concedo
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Jason Dingledine
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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A .22lr round will penetrate a car door (though it will likely be deflected by a strut), and pass clean through to the interior of the vehichle. It may not have much of an energy dump left after this, but it will make it though provided it doesn't hit anything else along the way. Same it pretty much true of plate armor.

If any one is willing to ship me a piece of armor, I have the guns......

Here is a fun little page with all kinds of practical experiments: http://www.theboxotruth.com/

Jason Dingledine
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh Warren wrote:
I took a piece of hot-rolled 14ga (~2mm) mild steel scrap and shot at it with guns of various calibers from a distance of about twenty yards last spring. It easily stopped almost all of the .22 ammunition, though there were deep dents with the long rifle. It easily stopped the .25 handgun rounds, too. All but one of the 20 9mm rounds fired at it penetrated. And it could do nothing against the .45.

On my own suit of plate, I would reasonably expect the cuirass(2mm-3.5mm thick) and armet(2mm-4.5mm thick) to stop the .22 and the .25, especially from the front. I might expect the thicker areas to resist even the 9mm, but I certainly won't be shooting at my expensive armour to find out...


I was present for a different demonstration (at 6-9 yards, and that can be a huge difference), but Josh, his father, and I found that a piece of 16th gauge steel could do little to defend against 9mm rounds (I doubt it makes much difference, but they were fired from a Ruger P-85 (yes, it exists; no, you can't find info on it easily (Josh can testify that I spent a couple hours looking)) , in case one is wondering).

At the same time, I have not tested my father's .22 LR pistol (a Walther PPK-S) or .22 short (Colt Junior Colt), against plate. Observations, based on how far various rounds penetrate the dirt bank behind the target (paper, since I am refering to my father's target, thought that doesn't seem entirely clear in rereading this) indicate that the .22 long rifle will have decidedly more impact (meaning penetration, in this case) than the .22 short rounds. If Josh says that .22 ammo (I assume this means .22 LR), and even .25 handgun rounds, did not penetrate 14 gauge steel, then I have to believe him, and thus confirm that .22 short will do nothing of note.

Since Josh is the one who convinced me that many modern armours are over-built (due to SCA and similar requirements), I have to agree with his postulate that tests against modern recreations are unfair (as they often do not replicate the thickness or temper of historical armour). At the same time, if they (meaning historically correct armour examples) are effective against modern arms, it helps to prove the oft repeated fact (and I do believe it to be fact) that the ideals of an arms race have not changed from the medieval period to this one.

-Grey

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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 11:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry, I got a double post in here somehow.

-Grey

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Last edited by Greyson Brown on Thu 29 Nov, 2007 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Nov, 2007 11:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Halbards over on the AA took either a 14 gauge or 16 guage elbow couter and shot 9mm and .45 at them. The result was the 9mm pierced and the .45 seems to have left a big dent everytime fired but that the angle deflected it for the most part. Could just be a lucky Couter though.

Jason,

Car panels are made from 26-22 gauge metal, hardly a comparision of piercing armour. Even period armour is usually about 20 gauge (.9mm) upwards and the bigger targets average 1.5mm up whihc is roughly 2 to 3 times the thickness of car panels.

Greyson,

Interesting discussion. I do not know if armour today is over built as it is close to impossible to get the thickest part on a helmet the same as a historical model without raising it hot from one piece. THe thickness of many helmets is at its most thicker often than many SCA helmets BUT as it slopes down toward the shoulders it can thin to about 1mm, less than the SCA helmets are for sure. So they are trying for the max thickness and effect of historic helmets but the average is therefor off. There are ways to select carefully different thicknesses of metal to piece together in specific places a closer reproduction using welding and then judicious grinding. Also helmets in period vary hugely in weight as well. Some Sallets weigh in around 3 and 3/4 or so pounds up to 9.

That said some SCAer's do tend to select monster helmets. That is just there deal though. It is their head though.


RPM
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Thu 29 Nov, 2007 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:


Greyson,

Interesting discussion. I do not know if armour today is over built as it is close to impossible to get the thickest part on a helmet the same as a historical model without raising it hot from one piece. THe thickness of many helmets is at its most thicker often than many SCA helmets BUT as it slopes down toward the shoulders it can thin to about 1mm, less than the SCA helmets are for sure. So they are trying for the max thickness and effect of historic helmets but the average is therefor off. There are ways to select carefully different thicknesses of metal to piece together in specific places a closer reproduction using welding and then judicious grinding. Also helmets in period vary hugely in weight as well. Some Sallets weigh in around 3 and 3/4 or so pounds up to 9.

That said some SCAer's do tend to select monster helmets. That is just there deal though. It is their head though.


RPM


I guess I should have been a little more clear. Historical helmets and body armour can often be thicker than modern versions (though, as you pointed out, this is rarely a uniform thickness), but arm and leg harnesses really tend to be overbuilt, and overall thickness throughout the piece is higher as result of using modern sheet metals. While it certainly is possible to create an historical piece of armour (including the varying thicknesses of historical pieces), it is going to be much more expensive, reducing the likely hood that someone will be willing to shoot it. I think there is going to have to be a lot of speculation in discussions like this (I don't consider this bad, it just means we'll probably never get a definitive answer), as a result.

-Grey

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-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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