Several 9mm & 45acp Tests vs Water and Phonebooks

This is a discussion on Several 9mm & 45acp Tests vs Water and Phonebooks within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did some homemade ballistics testing using water jugs, water jugs filled with newspaper and wet phone books. Below you will see some pictures with ...

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Thread: Several 9mm & 45acp tests vs Water and Phonebooks

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    Member Array BenMcDonald7's Avatar
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    Several 9mm & 45acp tests vs Water and Phonebooks

    I did some homemade ballistics testing using water jugs, water jugs filled with newspaper and wet phone books. Below you will see some pictures with the ruff measurements I came up with. I also included my thoughts and general observations on the rounds. Please note these are only my opinion and I am no ballistics expert, I know there is no magic bullet and that shot placement trumps all.

    PB = Shot into phone books that had been soaked for 18 hours.
    WJN = Shot into water jugs that had been filled with newspaper. Usually only the first 2 jugs had newspaper then last 2 jugs filled with only water.
    WJ = Shot into plain water jugs
    WJN+Pork Ribs = I taped some leftover pork ribs to the front of water jugs and put a cotton t-shirt over. Only 1 shot, would like to do more testing but I prefer to eat my baby back ribs, not shoot them.

    Bullets are from left to right in the pictures. When I am giving the max and min measurements I am refer to the 6 talons or pedals. The max and min from outside petal to petal. Also I took some measurements of the core for bullets that have the jacket protrude from the core i.e. Ranger-T and Golden Saber. test weapons were HK p30 and HK 45c. Shots were from about 10-15 feet.

    Winchester Ranger-T 230gr 45 acp



    PB
    max= .99 min= .98 core= .82
    max= .96 min= .93 core= .82
    WJN
    max= .96 min= .82 core= .72
    WJ
    max= 1.00 min= .98 core= ..87

    Very impressive, the talons are very sharp and would leave one nasty permanent cavity. I think the more rounded bullets will just push a lot of tissue out of the way, but with these the talons will shred as it pushes past. The expansion is not as consistent as the HST, the talons vary widely with some pointing straight out, some pointing up etc. penetration seems to be a little less than the 230 gr HST, usually stopped in the 3 jug.

    Federal HST 230gr 45 acp


    PB
    max= 1.01 min= 1.0
    WJN
    max= .96 min= .95
    max= .88 min= .87
    max= .89 min= .88
    WJ
    max= .89 min= .88

    I don't think you could go wrong with the HST or Ranger-T but I like the HST slightly better due to the consistent expansion and better penetration from what I have seen. They also left some pretty nasty looking holes in the phone books and water jugs. The edges on the petals really do leave cuts in the water jugs. I also think that the thicker pedals on the HST would due better when hitting bone and harder structures. The HST seems to due a better job of keeping its jacket in tests I have seen on ATK's website. The 4 shots into water jugs almost look the exact same. Consistent expansion around .90 inches.

    Remington Golden Saber 230gr 45 acp


    PB
    max= .79 min= .72 core= .66
    WJ
    max= .78 min= .75 core= ..66 *Core Jacket Separation

    A note on the core jacket separation, the core and jacket stayed intact into the 4th water jug, then it looks like it separated at the end of its travel. These did out penetrated almost every round. I think these are good rounds, but still outclassed by the Ranger-T and HST. The jacket petals will do some slicing of tissue but not nearly as much as the HST or Ranger, yet far superior to the older Hydra-Shok and XTP.

    Federal Hydra-Shok 230gr 45 ACP


    WJN
    max= .68 min= .67
    Failed to Retrieve

    The hydra-shok is pretty old technology and I think it is still an OK round, but it is really outclassed by the newer offerings. The 2nd shot shed its jacket as you can see and the core just kept going into the side of the hill. The jacket was found in the back of the first jug filled with newspaper. The first shot penetrated good and had ok expansion. I would not feel comfortable carrying these due to the issue's they have with the post plugging with heavy clothing and turning into a FMJ.

    Hornady XTP 230gr +P 45 acp


    WJN
    max= .68 min= .67

    They seem to get the job done, they fully expanded and penetrated very well. Like I have said before there are better options out there but I would prefer these over the hydra-shoks.

    Federal HST 147 gr 9mm


    PB
    max= .78 min= .74
    max= .78 min= .76
    max= .73 min= .71
    WJN
    max= .72 min= .71
    WJN+Pork Ribs
    max= .75 min= .58

    These are my favorite load in 9mm so far. They expand consistently and penetrate well. Same comments apply that I made with the 230 gr. It kinda feels like packing a 45 in 9mm when you look at the expansion. I was impressed with the performance when hitting bone. It clipped half of the bone and kept going straight while expanding. I would like to due more testing using pork ribs, but that is far more expansive than using used water jugs.

    Federal HST 124gr +P 9mm


    PB
    max= .73 min= .69 *2 Petals broke in half
    WJN
    max= .68 min= .67

    These are pretty impressive and my favorite in 124gr, they do pack more punch than the 147gr but I am not a believer in hydro-whatever shock so the temporal cavity isn't that important to me. The petals broke off towards the end of the bullets travel in the phone book.

    Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P 9mm
    Speer Gold Dot 124gr 9mm
    Speer Gold Dot 115gr 9mm


    124gr +P
    WJ
    max= .63 min= .62
    124gr
    WJN
    max= .67 min= .67
    115gr
    max= .63 min= .62

    I like the Gold Dots and they all had good penetration. Expansion was average, but pretty uniform. I would like to do more testing with the 124gr+P as i think they are a great round. They definitely had the biggest splash when shot into the water jugs.

    Remington Golden Saber 124gr +P 9mm


    PB
    max= .68 min= .63 core= .50
    WJ
    max= .71 min= .65 core= .50 * Core Jacket Separation

    They performed about the same as the 230gr 45 acp, good penetration and good expansion. The Core Jacket Separation was also at the end of expansion in the last jug. I think it would only be an issue when going through heavy barriers like auto glass.

    Federal Hydra-Shok 147gr 9mm


    WJN
    max= .61 min= .60

    These did better than I thought they would but just about everything I said about the 230gr applies.



    Lastly I have some comparison shots of the HST vs Ranger-T. Both are pretty nasty. I would like to due more testing with the 9mm Ranger-T including the 127 +p+ and 147gr but my order is back ordered. Sorry for the crappy pictures, my camera sucks.

    /063.jpg[/IMG]

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    Member Array rmarcustrucker's Avatar
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    Very cool results. I'm into HST in my .40 caliber and I have plenty in .45 acp, also. Thanks for taking the time to do the test and then to post it.

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    Member Array BenMcDonald7's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of more pictures. One is the water jug that was hit with a 230gr HST. I also took a picture of the phone book about midway through. You can't make much out due to the horrible resolution.






    On the last photo, from the middle left, Golden Saber 45, Ranger-T 45, and HST 45. The bottom right, and top are both 9mm HST. Next time i will try to take some better pictures of the cavities.

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    Senior Member Array 2edgesword's Avatar
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    Some guys have all the fun :).

    Thanks for taking the time to perform these test and sacrificing some Babyback's in the process.
    Martial Blade Concepts, Jiu-Jitsu & Eskrima NRA, GOA, NYSRPA, LIF, Old Bethpage Rifle & Pistol Club

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    Senior Member Array Barbary's Avatar
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    Are the Ranger-T and Federal HST rounds available for the civilian market or are they strictly for LEO only?

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    Member Array bstrawse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbary View Post
    Are the Ranger-T and Federal HST rounds available for the civilian market or are they strictly for LEO only?
    I have purchased Federal HST without any issues.
    b
    NRA Life Member | NRA & MADFI Instructor | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
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    Member Array bruce21b's Avatar
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    the 147 grain HST is loaded in my P229......

    man, i wish you could get some Ranger-T's in 357Sig and test them :)

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    Distinguished Member Array PastorPack's Avatar
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    Wow, some of those expanded bullets are like works of art. Thanks for sharing.
    God is love (1 John 4:8)

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    I'm thinking about going from 124 gr Rem GS to Fed HST or Ranger T for my 9mms. I don't usually buy +p ammo because of the different 9mm pistols I have, Glock 26, Kel Tec PF9. I don't feel comfortable shooting +P ammo through the pf9. The G26 eats anything you put in it. What would you go with, 147 gr HST?

    Thanks
    J.S.
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    Member Array BenMcDonald7's Avatar
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    I would say you cant go wrong with 147gr HST. I haven't seen any testing on standard pressure 124gr HST so I don't know how far it penetrates. The 124gr +P is usually around 11.5-13 inches in the test I have seen, so I would think a little less than that. Once I finally get my order of 127 +P+ and 147gr Ranger T I will do some more phone book testing. Someone also gave me 2 rounds of PMC Starfire in 45 to try out. I would really like to try some Corbon DPX but I don't feel like spending 40 bucks for 20 bullets. If anyone wants to donate any kind of ammo in 9mm or 45 I will test it out for you and post pics :-). Gets kind of expensive buying 50 rounds boxes.

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    Thanks for sharing your tests. I can't seem to find any duty ammo anywhere to load or donate. All backordered.

    J.S.
    Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything
    Wyatt Earp

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbary View Post
    Are the Ranger-T and Federal HST rounds available for the civilian market or are they strictly for LEO only?
    Despite being labelled "for Law Enforcement" the Winchester Ranger-T, and Federal HST are both available to civilians. In fact, one of DC's advertisers specializes in Winchester Ranger-T ammo. I can get it off-the-shelf from two stores, locally. The Federal HST's are available more widely.
    - Tom
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    Member Array 45XDCCW's Avatar
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    Also Rangers are all over gun broker
    "The Beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." -Thomas Jefferson

    "When loss of liberty is looming, as it is now The siren sounds first in the hearts of freedoms vanguard"- Heston
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    Senior Member Array bzdog's Avatar
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    Just my take, but I think a lighter (124gr) and +P pressure round is probably better from a short barreled firearm like the G26.

    I carry DoubleTap +P 124gr (uses the Gold Dots) in my HK P2000SK, which is pretty similar in size to the G26.

    -john

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    Member Array GoldenSaber's Avatar
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    Nice test... Crappy pictures... Just kidding. I love these kind of post. Thanks for taking the time. Gives a lot good visual information on the performance of many of these rounds.

    I'd love to see someone do something similar the the CorBon DPX's that so many talk about.

    Thanks again.

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