Wet Pack Ammo Comparison Tests For Kahr PM9 (Take 2)
Since the links I provided earlier to another site didn't work, I'll post here. I had to remove some unimportant pics in order to post here.
Hello everybody, my name is John and I'm a long time mostly lurker on different forums. Every once in awhile I'll come out of the wood work when I think that I may have something of interest to pass on. This is one of those times.
I'll apologize in advance if the text gets to be boring, the poor focus of some of the pics, and if there are to many pics
This past April, I got 2 Kahr PM9's for concealed carry for the wife and myself, I started looking for a reliable defense round out of the 3" barrel. We also have Kahr K9's since 1999 that we carry concealed. We've both legally carried concealed for many years.
After not really finding many bullet comparison test results for 3" & 3 1/2" 9mm Kahr pistols, or for short barreled revolvers, I decided to run my own wet pack tests on ammo that interested me. The tests have 2 criteria, one is a good penetration to expansion ratio, and the second is to find the softest felt recoil for multiple follow up shots for my wife ( not me ).
Before someone may get on the "practice, practice, practice" soap box, as I've read on some forums, please allow me to say that we have our own 25 yard outdoor pistol range, and she shoots more in 1 month than most people do in 1 year. She practices moving, drawing, and firing out of a fanny pack, or a custom made paddle holster, at single and multiple targets. I don't need to practice ;-)
These tests are a work in progress as the weather allows and I collect newspaper. What I have in my favor is that I can shoot off of my back deck between downpours. My goal is to test 9mm Kahr PM9 and a K9, a 1 5/8" .38 S&W mod.60, a 2" .38 titanium S&W, a 2 1/2" .357 S&W mod. 66, and a 4 1/4" .45 1911 Colt commander or an Officers Model.
I'll try to make my packs consistent with what I've read from people that seem to know what they're doing.
My procedure will be to put the dry news print into plastic milk crates and then submerse them in a live stock trough for 24 hrs. I'll then lift out the crates and let the water drain out. Then I'll transfer the wet paper into a plastic garbage bag lined cardboard box. On the inside back side of the box I double up on the thickness of the cardboard. I want to allow for flexibility but also for the thicker skin of the human back. Call me obsessive.
Since the winter climate here is mostly mild but wet, I felt that 4 layers of a denim shirt was adequate.
All velocities are measured on a PACT mkIII timer and chronograph.
All recovered diameters are measured at the widest points, and in some cases at two different areas, as explained below.
All penetration measurements are the total of an inserted rod into the bullet hole to the base of the bullet plus the length of the recovered bullet.
This first set of tests is out of a PM9. The distance is 10', with a chronograph set up mid way. I fired a maximum 9 shots into each wet pack.
The ammo tested were, Fed. 124 Tactical (LE9T1), Fed. HST standard pressure, Fed. 147 HST, Win. 147 RA9T and an oldie, Win. 147 ST. All this ammo is labeled Law Enforcement, but can be found.
This is Fed.124 Tactical. What a big disappointment. The bullets all traveled over 1000 fps (1042.0, 1050.9, 1059.6) out of a 3" barrel, and only one expanded (.650"). Don't be fooled by the expansion. If you push back the two protruding petals, the bullet measures.574" When I traced the bullet paths of the other two, I could see that the holes from the over penetration rounds were the same diameter, front to back. There were no attempts at any expansion. I can only conclude that the noses were plugged up.
Federal advertises this round as +p, but the box doesn't say so, and I don't think the advertised 1160 fps velocity is +p.
This round had the most felt recoil. (sharp snap), especially out of a polymer frame.
These are Federal 124 HST standard pressure. At about the same velocity as the above Federal Tactical, these expanded reliably (.519", .537"). I can remember back to the 70's, early 80's when you'd be lucky to get this kind of expansion. And the penetration was 8 1/2", 9 3/8".
In our opinion the felt recoil was sharp but didn't have the snap to it like the Federal Tactical. Less slide velocity?
These are Federal 147 HST. All I can say is WOW! .599", and .624" expansion from a bullet only traveling at 927.5 and 929.9 fps with a penetration of 8 1/2" and 8 9/16" out of a 3" barrel. I guess that the longer score lines on the side of the bullet help with the expansion. If the formula to convert wet packs to FBI ballistic gelatin standards were close to accurate, I'd be happy with this round out of a 3" Kahr PM9 in my area's climate.
The expanded flower was so pretty that as a goof I used the expanded bullet to stamp a flower design on some old leather.
This is a nice low felt recoil round. It's true that the heavier 147 gr. have less felt recoil. It's a slower drawn out pulse.
These are Winchester 147 RA9TA. To me these are a big question mark. First what do I measure for expansion, the widest point from petal tip to petal tip, or the widest part of the main core ? So I measured both. Next these rounds had the lowest velocities (811.5 and 860.3 fps) and the worst velocity spread (48.8 fps) Next when I weighed the recovered bullets, they weighed less than advertised (141.6 gr. and 144.2 gr.) I can see that some lead is missing. But yet with all these flaws these rounds had the best expansion if you measure petal tip to petal tip, and some of the best penetration. I thought that my chrono was off until I started testing with a 3 1/2" Kahr K9, but that's another test.
I really want to like this round but I don't know if the narrow petals with the really sharp tips that do draw blood really do anything in the wound channel.They have the least felt recoil so far.
Next up is an oldie called Winchester Ranger STX Controlled Expansion RA9STX. The expansion is really controlled. It didn't make an attempt to open at all, all the way through the wet pack. There were only two neat round holes through and through. We'll see if they do better out of a K9 just for grins. This was the kind of stuff that gave the 147 grs. a bad reputation.
So here are my final test results.
Fed. 124 Tac 1059.6 fps
Fed. 124 HST 1059.3 fps
Fed. 124 HST 1057.9 fps
Fed. 124 Tac 1050.9 fps
Fed. 124 Tac 1042.0 fps
Fed. 147 HST 929.9 fps
Fed. 147 HST 927.5 fps
Win. 147 SXT 863.5 fps
Win. 147 RA9T 860.3 fps
Win. 147 SXT 852.0 fps
Win. 147 RA9T 811.5 fps
Fed. 124 HST 9 3/8"
Win. 147 RA9T 8 7/8"
Win. 147 RA9T 8 5/8"
Fed. 147 HST 8 9/16"
Fed. 147 HST 8 1/2"
Fed. 124 HST 8 1/2"
Fed. 124 Tac 8 5/16"
Win. 147 RA9T .698"
Win. 147 RA9T .676"
Fed 124 Tac .650"
Fed. 147 HST .624"
Fed. 147 HST .599"
Fed. 124 HST .537"
Fed. 147 HST .519"
The next tests will be this same ammo out of a Kahr K9
OK EVERYBODY CAN WAKE UP NOW!
I would like to post this thread on other forums, so if I would appreciate any suggestions.
Thanx for listening, John