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Old November 27, 2017, 13:52   #1
justashooter
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novx plastic bullets

an article in this month's guns and ammo shows just how disappointing G&A has become in recent years. they finally provide promotional advertisement (disguised as an article) on something new, then they fail to tell us what what we want to know.

the idea is sorta-new. plastic bullets in a case with stainless walls and aluminum base. the plastic bullets are described as a copper/polymer composite (code-word for high density plastic with just enuf powdered copper to say that they are "copper composite". there is no performance data given other than that they can be driven to 1675 fps in a 9x19 gun. no terminal in gel performance info at all.

in another source we hear that they perform somewhat like a frangible. well, duh. they are heat treated plastic(brittle). then you hear that they are environmentally friendly and light weight (65 grains in 9mm). you might as well use bismuth. what they do not say in the article is that they are gonna be 3X as expensive, and have no penetration capability at all, especially against concealment like a hollow core door or urban tactical gear (a light-weight synthetic windbreaker over a tee shirt).

thanks, but no thanks, if i want hyper velocity i have a tokarev, which was designed in 1933, and gets that velocity with 80 grain lead bullets.

having a basis in metallurgy i understand that the much touted magnetic properties of the case is purely incidental to the alloy of stainless, chosen for it's low cost, and adequate material property. what they really don't mention is how profitable it will be to sell this cheaply made junk to people used to paying for brass and lead. the advantage to reloaders is obvious. i am sure you will be able to 3D print the little bastards.
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Last edited by justashooter; November 27, 2017 at 14:02.
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Old November 27, 2017, 17:09   #2
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The goal in the firearms and ammunition industry is to pound down the cost of production and reduce capital overhead. Traditional casing and bullet manufacturing equipment is rare, expensive, specialized, slow, and takes a highly trained and experienced workforce. Hybrid casings and plastic projectiles "fix" this issue. Unfortunately they are depending on commercial sales to float the business while it matures; hence the hasty marketing.

I wouldn't make use of this new technology without it maturing for a few more years. I read about and see between the lines "untested", which to me makes it dangerous.
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Old November 27, 2017, 17:11   #3
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Expensive practice rounds?
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Old November 27, 2017, 21:06   #4
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I have some old Hirt indoor practice rounds purchased from Cheaper than Dirt a long time ago. IIRC, the projectile is black plastic with a copper half jacket and it will cycle an AR when fired. I ran some through my Chrony and saw almost 4000 FPS out of my full length A2 barrel. They packed enough punch to take down the plate rack at 20 yards. Designed to be used makeshift indoor ranges without the need for armor plate or specialized back stops. Then there is the blue plastic rounds for use in the G3 indoors. So plastic ammo has been around for a while. Make it cheap enough and most of us would buy it and save the good stuff for when it really is needed.

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Old November 27, 2017, 21:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tac-40 View Post
I have some old Hirt indoor practice rounds purchased from Cheaper than Dirt a long time ago. IIRC, the projectile is black plastic with a copper half jacket and it will cycle an AR when fired. I ran some through my Chrony and saw almost 4000 FPS out of my full length A2 barrel. They packed enough punch to take down the plate rack at 20 yards. Designed to be used makeshift indoor ranges without the need for armor plate or specialized back stops. Then there is the blue plastic rounds for use in the G3 indoors. So plastic ammo has been around for a while. Make it cheap enough and most of us would buy it and save the good stuff for when it really is needed.

Had about 40 rounds of this. Shot really good out to 100.
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Old November 28, 2017, 10:06   #6
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Heat treated plastic is not necessarily fragile (before you flame me I am a polymer chemist). If they break apart or not is the design of the round. Some plastics will shatter, some will not. How much copper (or other metal) you put in it versus polymer will determine the density of the round, and how heavy of a round you can make. I have seen heavily filled polymers that are 90% zinc dust by weight and still have amazing properties. I don't get the magazine, but if done properly, polymer/metal rounds could be the future. Thermoset polymers currently coat bullets, so can handle the heat of being fired. The best part is you can cast them at room temperature.

Envision this process
1) mix metal powder (waste product from other machining processes, so cheap) and resin.
2) pour into mould and let cure (seconds to minutes depending on polymer choice.

Do not discount it too quickly.
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Old November 28, 2017, 15:45   #7
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Old November 29, 2017, 02:39   #8
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In my humble experience, powdered metals are anything but 'cheap'.
More like 5x-10x or more the base metals price per pound.
Of course that changes with type, purity and sieve size, but ive yet to find any id call cheap.
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