A Word of Caution about Hornady’s Critical Defense Handgun Ammunition - by Shawn Do

This is a discussion on A Word of Caution about Hornady’s Critical Defense Handgun Ammunition - by Shawn Do within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Are we saying that the CD round will not penetrate barriers? Or that Hornady will not guarantee expansion once the bullet has penetrated barriers (other ...

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  1. #31
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Are we saying that the CD round will not penetrate barriers? Or that Hornady will not guarantee expansion once the bullet has penetrated barriers (other than clothing)?

    I have a hard time believing the former. And as for the latter - so what? If you shoot a CD round through glass and it fails to expand...it will act like FMJ. LOTS of folks have been killed by FMJ.

    The CD round was made to have low flash, low recoil (they're not +P in 9mm), reliable feeding, and reliable expansion through clothing. The trade-off is reduced performance through barriers. For CCW needs, that probably IS a good trade-off.

    I alternate the .380 CD round with FMJ-FP in my LCP. The CD round gets ~ 11 inches in gel, just short of the FBI minimum...but it expands reliably, which cannot be said of many JHPs in .380. The FMJ gets 16-17 inches, which exceeds the FBI desired 15. This works for me.

    Anyway, I think the benefits of JHPs are over stated. In handgun ammo, the main benefit of JHPs is reduced risk of overpenetration. I do not think JHPs are markedly better than FMJ in stopping a threat. Shot placement, and penetration to the vitals is it. Arguing about this bullet or that bullet is almost pointless. Kinda like the endless caliber wars.

    Here's some tests including the CD round in 9mm:

    http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/9mm/gel9.htm

    And in .380:

    http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm

    Looks OK to me...but I'm not expecting magic either...
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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    That's fine, it's based upon an opinion... and one that is based upon that your likely scenario is shooting thru metal, auto glass, etc. As far as walls, most are sheetrock, and I can poke a hole thru that with my finger... so that was just garbage. Many HP's may not make it thru glass, etc.... so that's not a big surprise.

    I carry Hornandy in the mag in my gun, however, I also have 2 extra mags, and one is loaded with +P's, or +P+ FMJ's...... if I want penetration real quick, I know to drop the one and load the other. However, to me ... most SD situations will not be shooting thru glass, metal, etc.

    You can always find something to argue against any ammo out there .... ammo is not made to for every situation type there is.
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  4. #33
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    I just purchased some Hornady Critical Defense Ammo for my Ruger in .357 (125 gr), and I'm not concerned about its ability to provide me with needed SD/HD as a BUG. You fellows read and study the charts, i'll just be prepared to defend myself.
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  5. #34
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    As an example of why I have doubts...shooting thru auto glass? The likely scenario would seem to be someone is driving at you and you need to shoot thru the windshield. Me? I'd much rather get out of the way. But if for some odd reason this retired old fart wanted to shoot thru the glass...is it my F-150, with a relatively perpendicular angle to the glass? My Miata, which may be thinner and certainly has more angle? The window of a house?

    Maybe the FBI has protocols for this, and they are welcome to it. I want my ammo to penetrate a human and leave a wound channel. Deeper and bigger is better.

    And I tend to put more weight to what Jack O'Connor wrote about stopping power in reference to game - pick a load that matches your likely target. A .243 is pretty light against a quartering shot on an elk - so use something else or be more picky about your shot. A 375 H&H Magnum is overkill on a whitetail.

    Humans? If the round will penetrate, then the next question is expansion. And since ammo doesn't always expand well when shot thru clothes, I prefer bullets that have expanded prior to leaving the barrel. Give me a 44 or 45 if possible. But since they don't make em in small revolvers, if I carry the latter, I'll go with a 38/357...with heavier bullets for better sectional density. And I doubt there is a huge difference between the major manufacturers...I think we now know enough for folks to match bullet with speed to get good penetration and decent expansion.

    Obviously, anyone who wants to avoid any brand of ammo can do so. But I find worrying about performance after passing thru windshields, cinder block, etc to be a bit more exotic than I care to emulate. Of course, I regularly choose a 5 shot J-frame, so perhaps I enjoy living dangerously.

  6. #35
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Maybe I am nitpicking. Yes it says they were "tested" but it didn't say by who or what the criteria was. I can swear under oath that my old Suburban is faster in the quarter mile than a new supercharged Corvette. Well, if you mean faster at moving the driver and seven passengers that quarter mile. Or driving that quarter mile in a foot of snow. That's still "faster" right?
    I didn't know who DocGKR is or why he should be regarded as any more credible on ammo performance than my son's second grade teacher. As a result of your post I now know who he is and why I should care what he says. The thing just read to me like gratuitous assertions.
    Keep in mind that the article appeared in DocGKR's sub-forum, and that his background is well-known within the forum where he was posting, so within the context of that article, in that forum, it was perhaps understood by the members as implicit. Gary K. Roberts, DDS, LCDR USNR, is a well-respected authority on wound ballistics, an independent researcher and consultant to various U.S. and allied organizations, and to a number of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. He serves as a technical advisor to the Association of Firearms and Toomark Examiners. He recently served on the Joint Services Wound Ballistics Integrated Product Team (JSWB IPT), as an independent research consultant to the FBI-USMC munitions testing program at Quantico, and to the Technical Support Working Group - Modified Upper Receiver Group (TSWG MURG) program. He has a long working relationship with the FBI in munitions testing and wound ballistics research.

    Dr. Roberts completed his residency in hospital dentistry and dental surgery at Navy Hospital Oakland, and was then assigned to study at the US Army Wound Ballistics Research Laboratory - Letterman Army Institute of Research. He still practices dental surgery at the Stanford University Medical Center (Level I Trauma Center), and has served as a sworn reserve LEO in the SF bay area, in addition to his ongoing independent work for the military, law enforcement and others in the area of wound ballistics testing and analysis.

    I used to enjoy Dr. Roberts' commentary on the International Wound Ballistics Association forum and in the IWBA newsletter, and have followed his articles for a number of years, now. It is still only one man's opinion, but when Dr. Roberts discusses wound ballistics and munitions, I give it a fair amount of weight. That's just me, of course.
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  7. #36
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357 View Post
    ...when Dr. Roberts discusses wound ballistics and munitions, I give it a fair amount of weight. That's just me, of course.
    Yeah.

    He's got nothing on testing with milk jugs and looking at marketing material to make a decission on things.

  8. #37
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    I'm ducking anything fired my direction. I'll worry about if it penetrated my hide afterwards.
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  9. #38
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    Thank you for that article!
    I was seriously looking at Critical Defense for my .357 snubbie......glad I didn't purchase any because the snubbie is my "truck gun".
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  10. #39
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peckman28 View Post
    mcp1810: I believe their statement concerning barrier penetration is based on manufacturer claims. Hornady designed it to reduce over penetration, with the obvious side effect that it will be less effective with barriers. I thought that was a good read. If you still want to use CD, go for it. Just know what it can and cannot do going in. Thanks for sharing OP!
    I thought they designed it to expand more reliably? That was the main reason I have been considering for use in my pocket .380
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  11. #40
    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    To anyone who carries the Hornady CD.....do yourself a favor and get some Speer GDHP
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  12. #41
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    Yeah.

    He's got nothing on testing with milk jugs and looking at marketing material to make a decission on things.
    The tests I referenced above were done with properly calibrated ballistics gel, through 2 layers of denim...by an independent 3rd party.

    Hmmm...sounds like the guys at "Theboxotruth" should do some testing!
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  13. #42
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    For accuracy and reliablity I like Speer Gold dot. Not sure about expansion, but the local Vancouver police are happy with it. The only problem is finding enough to practice with.

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    Agreed they should do some testing, the "Mythbusters of gun forums everywhere"

  14. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    ....The CD round was made to have low flash, low recoil (they're not +P in 9mm), reliable feeding, and reliable expansion through clothing. The trade-off is reduced performance through barriers. For CCW needs, that probably IS a good trade-off....
    I share these ^^^^^ thoughts. I carry CD in a small, light, single stack 9mm, I find the reliable feeding and reliable extracting (case design allows the loaded chamber indicator to extract the spent cartridge even with the extractor removed from the gun) with fast and accurate follow-up shots in a round made to expand through clothing to outweigh the "it won't penetrate through xxxxx" concerns for my CCW. If I'm at home, my primary HD weapon is a 12 ga. Backup is a 40 cal. The 9mm I chose was for concealed carry in a pocket, IWB, when heavier clothes weren't an option to conceal a larger weapon. If I"m wearing shorts and a t-shirt, they probably are too. Shot placement is king...I have no concerns. I also carry CD in my S&W 442. In my larger 9mm weapons, 40, and .357 I make other choices based on when and how I carry those weapons. I try to match the carry weapon and ammo with the situation in which I'm choosing and carrying that particular weapon. I keep many different types in the same calibers for different purposes.
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  15. #44
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    I have used and personally tested this ammo through a variety of materials including multiple layers of cloth, car doors and side window glass and it does what I require of my ammo. Just like the caliber and capacity of weapon you choose to carry and whether you carry additional magazines or speed-loaders or not, or if you even carry a BUG or two BUGs. It will ALWAYS will be a matter of what YOU are comfortable with. . .let's all be happy that we have choices in life and focus on "them" that try to remove those choices from us
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  16. #45
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    So you can't depend on Hornady's .357 Magnum ammo, traveling at 1500 fps to penetrate sheet rock. Time for Hornady to get out of the ammo business.
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