You would have to know me really well to fully understand why I'm so incredibly stoked this afternoon. It all got started several months ago when I did my first testing of .380 ACP ammo. At the time, I was focused on capturing velocity only, but I tested the same ammo in 3 different pocket pistols with various barrel lengths. You can read all about that testing here. Since publishing that blog entry, it's become the most looked at post out of the 50 or so I've done. It's been visited over 6000 times so I know there's a real interest in the data.
I did receive some feedback that my data was "nice", but lacked terminal performance information. I couldn't argue with that since I knew it was true. Simply knowing average velocity and a calculated energy value let folks make and educated comparison of one ammo vs. another, but fell woefully short when trying to compare the terminal performance of one ammo vs. another. I took this to heart and spent several months designing, building, testing, and destroying a series of terminal ballistics test boxes that would allow me to 'catch' fired rounds and measure their terminal performance. My best work in this area took place last September when I was able to test 5 different 9mm loads. You can read about that here.
I finally built a ballistics box that should last for a long time. It's been sitting in my garage just waiting for a trip to the range so I can finally test it out. I tried to take it out last weekend, but my local range was packed on Sunday and full of groundskeepers on Monday. It's pretty elaborate and will allow me to capture impact velocity and terminal performance from each shot. Previously, I was capturing the velocity data as a separate step.
Earlier today I got permission to do my testing on a private range tomorrow. Based on the weather forecast, I should have a great day for testing. I'm locked and loaded with dozens of .380 ACP, 9mm, and even some .32 ACP ammos to test. Can't wait!