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Product Tests: The Devel Bullet

Reprinted by permission from "HANDLOADER Magazine" - April 2001, No. 210 Edition - Article by Sam Fadala

     The most innovative bullet I have seen in recent times is the entirely new Devel from Leved Cartridge Ltd.  The name (deh-vell) comes out of Merry Olde England pertaining to whacking something really hard, which is what the bullet was designed to do--with high-grade accuracy.  The Devels received for testing were .45 caliber, miking out at .452 inch, 175 grains weight, supplied with .50-caliber sabots for shooting in muzzleloaders.
     Ten sample bullets randomly selected from a box of 100 ran:  175.7, 174.5, 175.7, 175.1, 175.2, 175.1, 175.9, 175.1, 175.2, and 175.4 grains.  The Devel contains no lead.  It is a composite of tin and copper constructed with a new high-tech process in the powdered metal arena.  Charles C. Kelsey, Jr., managing partner of the company, explains, "The patented design causes terminal effects due to the exterior configuration of the bullet rather than the principal of expansion."
     That is exactly correct, for the bullet does not expand, yet it creates tremendous impact on the target.  The nose of the Devel is the key.  Looking directly down on it reveals the shape of a five-pointed star produced by five cavities with five corresponding ribs, which Kelsey terms "fins."  The fins immediately cut upon impact, reducing tissue.  Kelsey believes, "The tip extremity and ogival bullet surfaces cause lacerations that are exacerbated by a violent flow of target matter radially into the wound channel."
     I have no argument with this concept, as proof would require some high-speed X-ray photography.  My own idea, however, suggests a terrific shock wave set up by the cutting fins and depressions in the nose of the bullet, and it is this shock wave that creates the wound channel.  We know from simple logic that large exit holes are not made by the bullet itself.  We have all seen 2-inch exit holes in a deer hide, while the .30-caliber bullet may have expanded only to .5 inch or so.
     One thing is certain:  The bullet does cause violent disruption in test media.  I have no first-hand knowledge on big game impact; however, a trusted colleague tried Devel bullets on wild boar and found them extremely effective.  In a couple of cases, bullets were recovered but only when the hogs were hit diagonally so the projectile had to travel the full length of the animal.  Otherwise, the Devels exited.  I found penetration in my bullet box and other media extremely high, due in part, of course, to the fact the missiles remained intact.  Because of the sabots, they did not even bear rifling marks, and those recovered from a sturdy dirt bank backing up the test looked good enough to shoot again.  The flatbased bullet with significant shank section also seemed to drive through media without deflection, creating a long, straight cavity.  There is no metal jacket over lead core to break free.
     Accuracy was surprising.  I used two test rifles, a Thompson/Center Encore and a CVA Firebolt, both .50 caliber to match the Devel's sabot dimensions.  These rifles were scoped, the first with a Simmons 2.5-8x Whitetail, the second a B&L 2.5-10x Elite, both scopes set at 8x.  The best group at 50 yards was essentially a single hole made by three passing bullets.  The worst group was .75 inch for three shots.  Kelsey attributes accuracy to the homogenous nature of the bullet's construction, which is homogenous and uniform.  I suspect accuracy derives as much from care in manufacturing with consequent precision.  The unique shape may also contribute.  That is hard to prove, but there could be something to the general spire shape with its five fins and five grooves.  I had no way of assessing this.
     At 175 grains, the Devel, which has already proved its value on wild hogs and whitetails, will stand up to any North American big game with strong loads.  We are looking at well over 2,000 fps muzzle velocity from the so-called "magnum" muzzleloaders of the day, whose companies allow three Pyrodex Pellets for 150 grains volume equivalent charge.  In fact, my test rifles achieved that velocity with 120 grains volume Pyrodex RS.  Bones don't mean much to the Devel.  It is too strongly constructed to be detoured by anything short of a rhino joint.  At the same time, the bullet provides serious tissue disruption.  The new patented Devel is certainly unique.  I suspect it will gather a following.
     For more information, contact Leved Cartridge Ltd. (see information below) or Sam Fadala at HANDLOADER Magazine.


For More Information Contact:

Leved Cartridge, Ltd.
P.O. Box 21, Georgetown, TX 78627-0021
Tel:  512-863-4387
Fax: 512-863-0758
Internet: ckelsey@levedcartridgeltd.com

                       

  

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