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All,

I am curious about this ammunition. a local dept has adopted the 9mm load as their standard duty round for all issued pistols. This ammunition is also approved for their 9mm carbines. I think its a horrible choice, I have seen no info on how this ammo does in the FBI protocols .Maybe I am missing something? 

Original Post

This is the description I found when searching the interweb:

Liberty Civil Defense ammunition is a high velocity, extremely accurate load designed for self-defense. The 50 Grain Lead-Free Fragmenting Hollow Point bullet travels at 2000 feet per second, resulting in 12 inches of ballistic gel penetration and a permanent wound cavity greater than 3.5 inches in diameter. This light bullet, high velocity round yields 16% less felt recoil and has an effective range of 25 meters. This ammunition is new production, non-corrosive, and requires no weapons modifications.-came from Outdoor Limited web page

When we tested our new handgun rounds, we fired them through a variety of barriers into ballistic gelatin.  I am neither a physics major or ballistics expert, but I'm not so sure a "50 Grain Lead-Free Fragmenting Hollow Point bullet" is going to consistently deliver acceptable penetration through any barrier.

That being said, there are people here who know far more about ballistics than I do. My $ is on them telling you it sucks.

It’s similar to the old GECO B.A.T. ammo from the late 1980s.  The only difference is the B.A.T.  Rounds had a plastic plug in the tip so the rounds looked and fed like 9mm FMJs.

I’m nearly certain DocGKR posted some data and informed opinions regarding the GECO ammunition and it’s effectiveness or lack thereof.

The rumor was the Liberty stuff may penetrate Level IIA soft armor.  I don’t remember if that was just bs speculation from arfcom or wether some folks did some ballistics testing and posted it to YouTube.

I’ll stick with my +P+ 127 grain Ranger ammo, thanks.  I know it works just fine.

Took some. 380 ACP to an ammo demo day at the range. Through 2 layers of denim into ballistic gelatin, it shed the front petals into 6 little pieces and the base core continued on for over 10 inches. Out of a Ruger LCP. Sample size of 1, but impressive for the round and gun, plus recoil is not nearly as sharp as most other rounds through the LCP.

I did talk to the owner of the company about the physics of the round, as it seemed too good to be true initially,  but it is actually pretty simple.  Energy =mass x velocity squared. Given that the biggest change in terminal energy comes from the increase in speed of the projectile(because it's squared),  you can trade weight for speed and come out ahead. In this case, very light plus very fast gives it acceptable energies with lower felt recoil. 

On the flip side,  I think there is valid concern about the lack of history in real world use. But given my VERY LIMITED experience with a couple boxes through one gun, the advantages of lower felt recoil, lower (marginal) weapon weight, no feeding issues, and impressive performance in the ballistic gelatin, it is what I carry in my NPE gun, and I feel pretty comfortable with that choice. The ammo seems to give me every possible advantage out of a gun that gives me every possible disadvantage. 

Uh....no.  That is NOT impressive terminal performance.  Does it meet any of the following standard criteria:

  • Be blind to impact yaw
  • Limit penetration to 12-18 inches
  • Resist yaw in tissue, with no yaw earlier than 12 inches
  • Continue on shot line after penetrating tissue
  • Be blind to barriers
  • Limit fragmentation

Looking around the internet at some of the photos of performance in various test media, it certainly does NOT appear to offer the touted "12 inches of ballistic gel penetration and a permanent wound cavity greater than 3.5 inches in diameter".

Note photos w/red arrows showing width of the permanent cavity is generally way less than 0.5"........

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  • Liberty 50 gr enterance
  • Liberty 50 gr lateral
Last edited by Community Member
Commish posted:

Took some. 380 ACP to an ammo demo day at the range. Through 2 layers of denim into ballistic gelatin, it shed the front petals into 6 little pieces and the base core continued on for over 10 inches. Out of a Ruger LCP. Sample size of 1, but impressive for the round and gun, plus recoil is not nearly as sharp as most other rounds through the LCP.

I did talk to the owner of the company about the physics of the round, as it seemed too good to be true initially,  but it is actually pretty simple.  Energy =mass x velocity squared. Given that the biggest change in terminal energy comes from the increase in speed of the projectile(because it's squared),  you can trade weight for speed and come out ahead. In this case, very light plus very fast gives it acceptable energies with lower felt recoil. 

On the flip side,  I think there is valid concern about the lack of history in real world use. But given my VERY LIMITED experience with a couple boxes through one gun, the advantages of lower felt recoil, lower (marginal) weapon weight, no feeding issues, and impressive performance in the ballistic gelatin, it is what I carry in my NPE gun, and I feel pretty comfortable with that choice. The ammo seems to give me every possible advantage out of a gun that gives me every possible disadvantage. 

Energy calculations are deceptive.  You have muzzle energy, energy when it impacts the body, and energy when it actually reaches the vital organs you are trying to disrupt.  The bullet begins to lose velocity past the muzzle due to friction with the air.  When it hits the target, it dissipates energy in the process of penetrating clothing, deforming, penetrating skin, tissue, etc.  And DOCGKR will correct me as necessary, but while velocity is the driving factor in energy calculations, momentum is more driven by mass, density and the shape.  Inertia and momentum are related in that inertia is the resistance of a body at rest to start moving, while momentum is the resistance of a body in motion to slow down/stop.   A 9mm diameter bullet that weighs 50 gr., but is the same shape and dimensions of a 9mm bullet weighing 123 gr., is less dense and has less momentum.  So it slows down faster as a result of friction/resistance of air, clothing, different tissues, bone, etc.  So a very light, very fast bullet has impressive muzzle energy numbers, but if it has low sectional density, its speed, and energy, may be very unimpressive when it finally hits something important.

Dorsai posted:
Commish posted:

Took some. 380 ACP to an ammo demo day at the range. Through 2 layers of denim into ballistic gelatin, it shed the front petals into 6 little pieces and the base core continued on for over 10 inches. Out of a Ruger LCP. Sample size of 1, but impressive for the round and gun, plus recoil is not nearly as sharp as most other rounds through the LCP.

I did talk to the owner of the company about the physics of the round, as it seemed too good to be true initially,  but it is actually pretty simple.  Energy =mass x velocity squared. Given that the biggest change in terminal energy comes from the increase in speed of the projectile(because it's squared),  you can trade weight for speed and come out ahead. In this case, very light plus very fast gives it acceptable energies with lower felt recoil. 

On the flip side,  I think there is valid concern about the lack of history in real world use. But given my VERY LIMITED experience with a couple boxes through one gun, the advantages of lower felt recoil, lower (marginal) weapon weight, no feeding issues, and impressive performance in the ballistic gelatin, it is what I carry in my NPE gun, and I feel pretty comfortable with that choice. The ammo seems to give me every possible advantage out of a gun that gives me every possible disadvantage. 

Energy calculations are deceptive.  You have muzzle energy, energy when it impacts the body, and energy when it actually reaches the vital organs you are trying to disrupt.  The bullet begins to lose velocity past the muzzle due to friction with the air.  When it hits the target, it dissipates energy in the process of penetrating clothing, deforming, penetrating skin, tissue, etc.  And DOCGKR will correct me as necessary, but while velocity is the driving factor in energy calculations, momentum is more driven by mass, density and the shape.  Inertia and momentum are related in that inertia is the resistance of a body at rest to start moving, while momentum is the resistance of a body in motion to slow down/stop.   A 9mm diameter bullet that weighs 50 gr., but is the same shape and dimensions of a 9mm bullet weighing 123 gr., is less dense and has less momentum.  So it slows down faster as a result of friction/resistance of air, clothing, different tissues, bone, etc.  So a very light, very fast bullet has impressive muzzle energy numbers, but if it has low sectional density, its speed, and energy, may be very unimpressive when it finally hits something important.

Forgive me, I am about to ramble.

BLUF: Kinetic energy is (mostly) bullshit In regards to handgun bullet wounding, momentum less so, clear ballistics gel is the devil, snake oil rounds are infuriating and ramble, rant, ramble.

Ramble/ Rant:

Lets look compare 50gr Liberty Civil Defense (+P loading) to the Speer 124gr (Standard pressure) IN AIR.  The below chart was created with the help of the Hornady ballistics calculator.  It's worth noting that I assumed the same ballistic coefficient for both. As the BC directly correlates to mass / density of the shape, the Liberty Civil Defense velocities in the table are likely slightly higher than they should be as range increases.

 Speer +pWeight (gr)124Liberty Civil DefenseWeight (gr)50

Range

Velocity (feet/second)EnergyMomentumVelocity (feet/second)EnergyMomentum
0122041021.61200044414.29
100102428918.14157227411.23
20091423016.1912371708.84
30083419214.7710341197.39
40076916313.62920946.57
50071314012.63839785.99

As the chart above UNEXPECTEDLY shows, they hyper velocity uber death round has less momentum at the muzzle... huh... how unexpected.  Wait, no, this was expected.  Really expected.  almost like high velocity, low weight, fragmenting snake oil has been foisted upon those who don't know any better for years.

Also, there MIGHT be a slight difference between the density of air (approximately 1.225 kg/m^3 at sea level and at 15 °C) and say the average density of the human body (approximately 985 kg/m3).  If you think that something 804.1 times as dense will slow down a bullet faster and limit penetration...  I just don't know what to say.

BUT!  the sectional density of the round must be fantastic!  Where as the Speer 124gr GoldDot has a stinking SD of .141, whereas HYPERDEATH rules the roost at a SD  of .126!

But at least the penetration and expansion meets the 12" minimum!  wait, no, UNEXPECTEDLY it's penetration seems to suck (except when tested properly... inclear gel... by the manufacturer... where it met the minimum...).

Ignoring *that* guy who apparently tests duty rounds for police and military using his fancy pants "testing protocols", "calibration" and "standards"  lets consult the real ballistic authority, YouTube!

  • Liberty 50 gr Civil Defense - The Chopping Block  - https://www.youtubeDOTcom/watch?v=Ymq6KXOm1_8
    • Uber Death petals - 4"
    • 28.0gr death core - 10"
  • USM4 / Halo Point / 50gr, 2000fps +p 9mm / Liberty 50 gr Civil Defense - tnoutdoors9 - https://www.youtubeDOTcom/watch?v=T_hZMZM1l04
    • Fragments of DOOM - 4"
    • 28.5gr core of truth - 11"
  • Liberty 50 gr Civil Defense  - Liberty Ammunition  - https://www.youtubeDOTcom/watch?v=lud77SVzmdg
    • ROCKIN FREEDOM PETALS - huh... no depth data
    • ???gr Liberty cookie cutter of, um liberty - Claimed 12 inches... in a 12 inch block, and the super core did not exit and there *seems* to be an inch of block left, but it could be a trick of the angle / light.
  • Liberty 50 gr Civil Defense - Liberty Ammunition  - https://www.youtubeDOTcom/watch?v=-KbZacbjUcI
    • I don't know... fatality shearlings? no depth given
    • The core with out a weight  - 12 inches.  BARRIER BLIND!!! no tape measure or ruler visible.

Hear me mortals!  In each video, it sure looked like the death disk core turned on it's side...  as it was less tall than it was wide.  This round calculates the path of least resistance during its turbulent terminal tango, MAXIMIZING penetration... and possibly minimizing tissue disruption having less presented surface area.

I know what you are thinking...  "but .22lr, clear ballistic gel has been known to overstate penetration depth and isn't accepted by testing professionals as a substitute for properly constituted and calibrated Vyse Ballistics gelatin (which IS the repeatable testing standard)".  Well, I have an answer!  The answer is...  what you say is impossible!  Because in that case, the clear ballistics gel shots done by the manufacturer (the 2 YouTube videos above identified as Liberty Ammunition would show that the round likely UNDER PENETRATES... and how likely does that seem?  Now, before you hurt your pretty little head with all that thinking, just focus on the death petals!

 

Below are definitions and equations for terms used above 

Kinetic Energy  - "Kinetic energy is the energy that an object has because of its motion."

https://simple.wikipediaDOTorg/wiki/Kinetic_energy


 

Momentum - "Momentum is a vector quantity: it has both magnitude and direction. Since momentum has a direction, it can be used to predict the resulting direction and speed of motion of objects after they collide... Momentum depends on the frame of reference, but in any inertial frame it is a conserved quantity, meaning that if a closed system is not affected by external forces, its total linear momentum does not change."

https://en.wikipediaDOTorg/wiki/Momentum


 

Sectional density  - "Sectional density is the ratio of an object's mass to its cross-sectional area with respect to a given axis. It conveys how well an object's mass is distributed (by its shape) to overcome resistance along that axis... Only if all other factors are equal, the projectile with the greatest amount of sectional density will penetrate the deepest... For illustration, a nail can penetrate a target medium with its pointed end first with less force than a coin of the same mass lying flat on the target medium. "

https://en.wikipediaDOTorg/wiki/Sectional_density


ballistic coefficient  - The ballistic coefficient (BC) of a body is a measure of its ability to overcome air resistance in flight. It is inversely proportional to the negative acceleration: a high number indicates a low negative acceleration—the drag on the vehicle or projectile is small in proportion to its mass.

Where:

  • BCPhysics = ballistic coefficient as used in physics and engineering
  • M = mass
  • A = cross-sectional area
  • Cd = drag coefficient
  • \rho = density
  • \ell = characteristic body length

Edited to add the proper DOT to links.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
Last edited by Community Member

I wasn't going to fall for this bullet till 22 LR came along and explained it had "Uber death petals" with a "death core".  Those two combined equal "fragments of doom".  It's going to be some magic shit I'm sure.   Now if only they could wash the bullets in liberal tears during the final inspection process.  If they could do that you all would buy it too.

As we all know the above statement is pure "tom fuckery".  I do want to thank everyone who posted though, lots of insight and knowledge.

 

I swear my above post started off as a serious post, but then I started watching the company's media, and I went off the rails kind of quickly.

Nothing replaces scientific testing. While mathematical models can be indicative, they are not authoritative.  Professional testing is.

This company has been hawking its wares under multiple names. First it seems they started off with video game pattent infringement, invoked the US military and the m4, and then decided that they were for civil defense.

Magical rounds, rounds designed to make gel look pretty, and radically new designs, should all be viewed with the same jaundiced eye. We have too many professionals doing good work recommending solid, proven performers, that we should not waste our time with bulshit like this.

LGS employee/huckster tried to sell me some of these.  He implied that they could penetrate body armor.

I walked away. 

The fact that they sell enough boxes of this ammo to stay in business is proof positive that there is a sucker born every minute. 

If you want serious defensive loads then stick with proven rounds from Federal, Winchester, Speer and others.  Doc has a pretty good list in the ammo forum.  

Yeah, anything at 2000fps might defeat some soft armor. You could put a Skittle in a railgun and probably core a Buick......but what the pill does on the other side of the armor, in vetted test medium........different tale altogether. The old Aguila IQ fragmenting 9mm would perf a vest pretty often for me, esp from longer barrels, but what it did even with a Fackler box behind the panel was never consistent and always unimpressive.

Mr Boone and I chewed over the damnable TX law requiring school marshals to use 'frangible' ammunition a good bit; frangy gets pushed by a frighteningly large amount of willfully disinformed cop admin folks.

At SHOT19 I spoke with a manufacturer of frangible stuff who offered their .380 projo in a hot LEO 9mm loading; defeating some soft armor and fragging on the far side, but still not something I can sign off on. This spring I took three flavors of the NeverQuit frangible and demo'd them next to our duty ammo; school desk tops, chairs, and backpacks with a big textbook inside. I was surprised how well some did, but still not approaching the consistency and performance of modern police duty pistol and rifle ammo.

The high cost of the uberammo is also something I can't figure for a dept/agency.......if roundX performs 5-10% better than roundZ in Test A, but roundZ is half the cost, then maybe a very large supply of Z is better than scraping by on a small quantity of X. Cop math. Liberty retails for $1.50 a round at times, we get HST at 1/3 the cost, even with individual . Even IF the magic bullet edged out the HST, why buy the $400 toilet seat?

I look at the velocity vs mass argument like I do the HP vs Torque debate. My understanding is that velocity is HP (how fast you hit the wall) and torque/bullet mass is how far you go through the wall.

You can get a Ford mustang with over 600hp, and a Kenworth W900 that has a measly 475hp. Run the mustang up to 140mph and drive it into a building, now drive the Kenworth loaded up and drive it 80mph with a load of concrete bags into a similar building, which one is going to do the most damage?

I like heavier bowling balls (bullets) at modest velocity than hyper velocity grains of sand. If I could have hyper velocity bowling balls with out the effects that happen (danged physics) when I shoot a hypersonic bowling ball, I'd be all over it.

The maddening part in all this is that some poor woman is buying this shitty ammo and trusting it because some crackhead at the LGS is telling her: "East Moose Cock PD is issuing it, and the officers all love it so you know it is good stuff- It works awesome in the XD pistols their chief just bought them. He got them these nice Serpa holsters too."

And her boyfriend is trying to to talk her out of it and the bullshit tiny pink pistol the crackhead sold her, but she won't listen because "Trained Police" and "Gun Shop expert".

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