The E-mail below is from Andy Tillman, former Small Arms Editor of 17 years for International Defense Review, the monthly publication of Janes Defense Weekly.
Note that test firing bullets into wood is not a good indication of how a bullet will perform in game as it is too far removed, in structure and composition, from tissue or bone. It is an extremely severe test and it serves only as a comparison of the performance between different bullets in wood.
Tissue is 15% denser than water and the water testing is significant, as it is a closer approximation of the likely performance in game. Field reports of FN bullets in game support the water test results below, proving superior penetration and linear penetration. GS Custom thanks Mr. Tillman for sharing this with us.
At last I have recovered your great 450 gr FN in my wooden
stop box (and also water buckets).
My chronograph was not working last week end, as it was overcast and I just could not get a reading with anything. But I know the velocity very closely based on previous load development.
I tested at about 2,030 fps and 2,450 fps. the reduced velocity was using Vihtavouri 550 in my 458 x 404 case and the high velocity using 93 gr of a Bofors powder similar to RL-15. A 450 gr Kodiak RNSP uses just 88 gr for same velocity, so you were absolutely right about the reduced friction of your bullet. It appears I can get anothr 2 gr more powder and closer to 2,500 fps with your bullet.
The penetration of the reduced velocity load to simulate a 458 winchester was 39 1/2 boards. The higher velocity gave 48 boards but the bullet was begining to deform (expand), so there may be a point of diminishing returns on penetration. I still plan to try at the highest velocity possible.
No deformation at all with the lower velocity.
The FN appears to penetrate in between a SP and a FMJ. A 458 RNSP penetrates 21-23 boards, and a 500 gr Barnes X 28 boards. A FMJ in 458 penetrates 58-59 boards. So you do give up quite alot of penetration with the 450 gr FN compared to a 500 gr RN.
Now the good news. the FN ripped out a very large hole in the boards. Splinters of wood made a bridge from one board to another the same way a SP will. You have to see it to appriciate the difference.
I also shot into 4 x 5 gallon water buckets. It split the front 2 completely in two. This is the first FMJ that has ever split even the first can in two, let alone the second. I did not recover this bullet. It tumbled in the 4th as it exited and penetrated 6 3/4 inch pine boards. Most FMJ RN will tumble in 2nd or third bucket.
This is the only "FMJ" I would use on game. I like it alot. Even my friend Bill Steigers of Bitterroot, was impressed.
I include a scanned photo of the two bullets and an unfired one.