.45 ACP Devel 155gr Radially Dynamic Solid Copper Alloy Prototype Bullet Cartridge
Figure 1. Devel
.45 ACP Cartridge
Devel bullet (left), THV bullet* (right).
The Devel radially dynamic bullet is a solid, non-deforming and non-fragmenting projectile constructed of a sintered copper-tin composite alloy. Although it does not deform or fragment in soft tissues it does fragment upon striking a hard, solid target. The bullet is manufactured by Sinterfire Corp., and the prototype cartridge loaded for Leved Cartridge, Ltd., by Black Hills Ammunition Corp.
The projectile was designed by Charles Kelsey, and is conceptually based on the THV brass alloy soft-body-armor-piercing cartridge (Figure 1), produced in France by Société Française des Munitions (SFM). The unique concave (reverse) ogive of the THV bullet cleaves soft tissue as it penetrates, and as these tissues flow across the ogive they accelerate laterally and are energetically propelled radially outward off the bullet's shoulder. This action produces a large diameter temporary cavity.
The contours of the Devel projectile consist of a flat asterisk shaped meplat and a fluted ogive comprised of five convex fins and five concave, sluice-like flutes. Ordnance gelatin tests (Figure 3) reveal dynamic effects of the concave ogive surfaces produce a large diameter temporary cavity, approximately 3½ - 4 inches, similar to the reverse ogive THV bullet.
An improved design is currently in the works. Sinterfire Corp., was unable to press and sinter a bullet to match optimal design contours (the Devel bullet shown is a technological compromise) and a new manufacturer has been located who can. The improved bullet is lighter, can be propelled at a higher-velocity, produces a larger diameter temporary cavity and meets INS-FTU penetration specifications.
The intent of the Devel bullet design is to use the temporary cavity to tear open tissues cut by the convex fins to produce permanent cavity damage greater in diameter than currently possible with conventional JHP bullets. Validating this theory in ordnance gelatin is impractical, however, because it is impossible to discern differences between permanent cavity disruption and temporary cavity disruption. To quantify the extent of tissue damage produced by the Devel bullet, and to validate the design concept, it will have to be tested in living tissue.
Click here to visit the Leved Cartridge web site.
*Photograph of THV bullet cartridges courtesy of Curtis Steinhauer at www.cartridge-corner.com
Figure 2. Recovered Bullets
Figure 3. Terminal Performance in Bare Gelatin
Shot 5 penetration depth 20.6 inches (Parallax between measurement scale and projectile location in gelatin block produces optical illusion of a measurement error.)
Devel 155gr Alloy Final Prototype
Product Number: None, Lot Number: None
|Test Date: 05/00|
|Test Weapon: Smith & Wesson 4506, 5.0" bbl|
|Bare Gelatin||Denim Covered Gelatin|
|Gelatin Calibration: See Remarks||Gelatin Calibration: not applicable|
Gelatin block calibration (Shots 1-4):
Block 1: 7.4cm @ 582 fps (7.6cm corrected*)
Block 2: 10.0cm @ 588 fps
Gelatin block calibration (Shot 5 shown
*Calibration BB penetration depth corrected due to velocity error in accordance with: "Figure 5-2, Velocity Variation Correction to Measured BB Penetration Depth." Bullet Penetration, MacPherson, Duncan; Ballistic Publications, El Segundo, CA, 1994, p. 84.
Test event not applicable for non-expanding bullets.
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