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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Havin' lotsa fun depleting my stash of milk jugs recently. Today I blew up 23 of them with my 9.3x57 Model 146.

I am starting to get a feel for this caliber and want to pass on my test results and maybe an opinion, too.

You know my SOP. That's on my previous post concerning bullet testing. I used the jugs and boards. On the other post I mentioned that a 9.3 bullet penetrated 7 jugs. That was a water-only test, and today's got the full treatment of boards {1/2 inch plywood} and milk jugs. All shooting was done at 20 yards.

Today I tested the 270 grain Speer Semi-Spitzer {2050 fps muzzle velocity}, the 285.5 grain Prvi Partizan Round Nose {2100 fps mv} and a Hornady 220 grain .375 caliber Flat Point sized down to .366 {2190 fps mv}.

Here are the bullets:

The bullet on the left is a Speer 270. It fully penetrated 4 boards and 4 jugs and dented the 5th board, expansion .58", retained weight 240 grain = 89%.

Next from left is the 285 Prvi Partizan. It fully penetrated 4 boards and 3 jugs, raising a dent on the 4th jug that caused it to rupture. Bullet was found on the ground right next to the table, expansion .74", retained weight 263 grains = 92%.

Third from left is the Hornady 220 grain .375/.366 FP. This stubby little rascal penetrated 3 boards and 3 jugs and was found in the 3rd jug, having actually dented the jug on the off side but not penetrating it, expansion .61", retained weight 152 grains = 69%.

OK, here's where it gets a little interesting. I found a couple old, massive steer bones lying about and decided to see what they do to add a little dance to the party. So here goes. Fourth bullet from the left was shot at a setup involving a jug followed by a board, followed by 2 jugs and then I placed a steer shoulder blade in such a position as to allow a strike in the center of the blade. After that there was a 1 inch plywood backer. The bullet penetrated the jugs and board and then shattered the shoulder blade and dented the plywood backer. Bullet is the 285 PP and was found right next to the plywood backer on the table, still hot to the touch! Expansion .77, retained weight 253 grains = 89%.

Heres the post-shot wreckage:

Finally, a really interesting affair...!! I really got curious as to how a bullet would react to a strike on bone at top velocity, not having been slowed by any other media first. I placed the heavy shoulder socket portion of the shoulder blade PLUS a chunk of massive hip bone in front of the first jug. Behind that were 2 more jugs. Boy did that change its mind!! The 285 PP bullet came apart on the bones, fully penetrated two jugs and the pieces pictured were found in the 3rd jug. The pieces in-total weighed 123 grains so it can be said that under that stress 43% of the bullet penetrated the massive bones, 11 inches of water at speed and some couple more where they came to rest.

I find it almost weird that even though the bullet must have suffered serious damage early on somehow pieces kept going all the way into the third jug.

Here's what the show looked like once I collected the mess strewn about and arranged it for the camera:

So what?

Well, I am beginning to get a feel for this caliber. I have now both shot some game with it and played some games with it and I really like it.

I am now totally convinced that the 285 grain Prvi Partizan is the bullet for me and my x57's. It expands, dumps energy and penetrates reasonably well. However, though I find it the perfect mate for the x57 and the game I hunt with that caliber, I would NOT use this bullet on dangerous game in a x62, x64 or x74R.

The Speer bullet appears to be a tougher bullet as Kwahe reported he was told it was by the Speer folks. Personally, for my use in the x57, I don't like it. The Remington 140 grain PSPCL in my 6.5x55 expands similarly. The big Speer appears to give more penetration than I need with less mushrooming affect. It might stand up well to buffalo. I don't know. I am going to avoid it. From this test, compared to the known performance of my PP bullets, I think at 100 yards or more the Speer might not provide much mushrooming expansion at all. This is essentially what the guys at Speer told Kwahe as I remember and from this simple test I believe they were speaking the truth. For a hot-loaded x62 or the others, the Speer might be just the mustard.

The little Hornady 220 appears to be useful. I believe it would make a fine deer bullet {sized to .366" obviously} in the x57, particularly if a guy wanted an easy kicking alternative to the heavier bullets. I find the recoil of the x57 to be mild, but the 220 at just a bit shy of 2200 fps is noticeably even easier. Such performance makes for heavy-loaded .35 Remington performance and I see no reason to doubt that the squeezed-down .375/.366/220 would do just as well on deer as that fine old round does.

I wrote up on the Forum a year ago or so an experience I had killing a gone-wild steer with a sized-down .375/.366 Hornady 270 grain Spire Point bullet. I need to test that one on the jugs & boards. Since speaking to the owners of the steer, they said that it was pushing 1000 lbs {I wasn't there for the butchering} and I got full penetration from both shots, one of which at 70 yards or so went through the animal completely from side to side at an angle. The wound channel was massive, too. That bullet is not the most accurate bullet in my rifle, exhibiting some banana-like characteristics after getting squirted out of the sizer die, but it did the biznis for me before I had access to a lot of other bullets. I need to test that one on the jugs and boards!

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jn 3:16 Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.

Edited by - LeeSpeed on 12/28/2006 09:40:18 AM

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Posted - 12/27/2006 : 9:25:58 PM

Lee , Thanks for the bullet tests and your report. Good info

I had dug a few of my 285.5 Prvi's out of the dirt at the range last weekend. The bullets hit decomposed granit dirt and not much left of them. I did notice that the lead completely seperated from the copper jackets. Some of the jackets still had a "cup" to them and no lead inside.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
neck reaming

Daryl, what is the tool used for opening chamber necks? Is is hand turned and something that can be done "on the kitchen table"?

My 46 seems to have a neck diameter of .393, while my 146 has only .391 which is really pushing it since loaded rounds with Remington brass {thinnest necks I've checked so far} go .390-.391.

I would like to have a perfectly round, .393 neck in that 146 which i suspect would give me safe tolerances for .370 cast bullets hooting AND accurate and not excessive dimensions for .365/.366 jacketed bullet shooting. I also like your idea about using .375 caliber bullets sized down to .369/.370. Less sizing and better mating to the chamber should mean good accuracy.

My fist kill with a 9.3x57 was made with a resized .366-.375 caliber 270 grain Hornady Spire Point.

Does this neck reaming plan sound practical? How easy is it to ruin the gun!?

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Very interesting.

These .370 groove 9.3x57's make for a bit of a tight fit when shooting appropriate sized cast bullets. I have read where the 9.3x57 is listed as having a chamber neck maximum .393 whereas the 9.3x62 is .391. Why the discrepancy I do not know, but since ours appear to be on the tight side, I am thinking I just might see what the pricing is for this tool and then maybe have a go at it. since my 46 already has a neck about .393, nothing needed there, but then, that one has a .368 groove depth, too!
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