DPX VRS Hornady Critical defense

DPX VRS Hornady Critical defense

This is a discussion on DPX VRS Hornady Critical defense within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 40 S&W DPX Handgun Cartridge, 140-Grain Solid Copper Lead-Free Bullet, 1200 fps 40 S&W 165 gr Critical Defense Hornady 1175/506 I am not sure which ...

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Thread: DPX VRS Hornady Critical defense

  1. #1
    New Member Array HKTANK's Avatar
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    DPX VRS Hornady Critical defense

    40 S&W DPX Handgun Cartridge, 140-Grain Solid Copper Lead-Free Bullet, 1200 fps

    40 S&W 165 gr Critical Defense Hornady

    I am not sure which would be better in my Full frame USP some say the DPX is unbeatable others the Hornady i ask because my buddy owns a gun shop and has 1000 rounds of each he told be i could buy to stock pile i just dont know which is better in the long run and i know the critical defense is hard stuff to find and the DPX has a high ticket.

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    These two are completely different projectiles and functional design purposes.

    Have you read anything about them?
    They are not comparable to each other.

    I run DPX in .45 ACP and 9MM for my carry gun magazines, have been for half a decade now since just after it's introduction.

    As related to HD I run Winchester USA 230 gr. JHP which is directly comparable to HydraShock and is more comparable to the Hornady CD.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  3. #3
    Member Array Emrah's Avatar
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    They different, yet they are similiar. They are both design to expand incredibly well, and it seem they both run light-for-caliber bullets in any given caliber. The DPX has always been the "high speed, low drag" kind of thing. Lighter bullets driven really fast. I prefer heavier and slower for guaranteed penetration.

    The Critical Defense line was created by Hornady's chief ballistician Dave Emary to specifically NOT penetrate more than 12" in ballistic gelatin. Again, I prefer a bullet that meets FBI minimum penetration requirements; even though I'm not shooting through walls, auto glass, doors, etc.

    Winchester PDX-1 or Speer Gold Dot. Done.


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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    No, they are very different as by engineered design of _function_.

    Look back into both, again, only this time with detail.
    The only similarity is that they both are JHP projectile design.

    The DPX is lighter only because copper is less dense than that of lead...That is due to nature not because Corbon made it so.

    The Critical Defense round as specifically engineered to act and have effect very different from that of most other defensive rounds in general, never mind DPX in specific.

    Again these two are not comparable.
    Or rather they are as a Corvette Z06 might be to a Ford Focus.
    They by engineering design have completely different specific applications and intended results, even as they both come in two doors have four wheels and an engine.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  6. #5
    Member Array ECHOONE's Avatar
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    Tell me if I'm wrong I read in two different articles one said the PDX1 ammo was terrible holding it's accuracy! and in another article the critical defense ammo wasn't expanding like it was suppose to in certain calibers! The only ammo I use in my .45 1911 I feel comfortable with is Winchester Ranger it was always reliable,and accurate for me!Cor-Bon DPX is the best but WOW what a price!

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Argeed, DPX is very expensive.
    To be expected though as it is an exotic specialty ammo, on par with Buffalo Bore and other quality narrow spectrum type ammo.

    But then I care enough to give the very best. :p

    - Hallmark
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  8. #7
    Member Array Emrah's Avatar
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    What I meant was they are both usually light-for-caliber. They work (expand) on completely different principles. DPX is copper so it will always need more "oomph" to get the penetration it needs. I did not mean the bullets are of similar composition.


  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emrah View Post
    DPX is copper so it will always need more "oomph" to get the penetration it needs.
    Nope. Corbon DPX is lighter because copper is lighter than lead, yes - but Corbon made the decision to use it. DPX achieves penetration by the way the Barnes bullet expands. Rather than mushroom, it petals, giving less frontal area and allowing the incredible penetration Corbon claims. Couple that with the velocity and you have a formidable SD round.

    DPX IS extremely expensive, but I believe it's the best round for SD and I don't scrimp when it comes to protecting my life.

    Hornady is good, but, as posted, designed to do a different thing. You might want to look into Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel ammo. Good stuff there, too, but with a little extra kick.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    I'm going with Jang on this one. IMHO the two projectiles are not comparable to each other. Critical Defense should be compared to Golden Sabres, Hydra-shoks, and other carefully engineered, layered defensive ammo.

    DPX is a solid (of sorts), There isn't much out there to compare it to.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array shooterX's Avatar
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    I carry DPX in my Sig P239 .40 s&w, not 100% sold on the critical defense rounds.

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    The use of copper (100% pure and non-alloyed) is for very good reason and is not by accident.

    Copper is lighter than lead in molecular mass while also being _harder_ and less tensile. In fact non-alloyed pure copper is twice (!) as hard as lead.

    While lead is 2.5 times greater in molecular volume while being 1.27 times greater in mass (density).

    Now why would an ammunition manufacturer or for that matter a shooter wish to select copper rather than lead as a projectile?

    Not simply because copper is a harder metal.
    Think of what projectiles are shot at...

    Bone, tissue, muscle and hide/skin...And that is just toward hunters where the Barnes bullet has been extremely well regarded against basically everything.

    Now as applied to combat use there are additional external factors to deal with.
    Automobile glass, sheet metal of widely varying type (aluminum and mild steel) and thickness as well as again hide in the form of armor such as denim, leather, and other fabrics as are normally worn by human beings as an outer layer or layers plural.

    Lead being well known to be a soft metal squishes and deforms upon impact with most anything regardless of the secondary items own hardness. Notable exception being skin.
    Also conventional ammunition being lead jacketed in copper tends to lose weight (mass) as it impacts solid surfaces and/or break apart after entering flesh. We have known this for a half century now from both testing and real world use in living being as recorded scientifically.

    So again why copper?

    Because of it's rigidity modulus...aka Tensile Strength.
    Copper is much more resistant to change shape as by external stress.

    How much more so than lead?
    8.5 times more!

    So think about how firearm projectiles are used, again...

    The advantages for using a solid copper projectile (not just copper jacketed lead) toward hunting of tough and/or large game should be abundantly clear and obvious. Copper will break or bore through hide and bone that otherwise would cause lead to spall. Break apart, upon and as a result of impact.
    Where as with application to combat a copper projectile really excels.
    Not only can it penetrate hard and/or dense objects but it is 8.5 times _less_ likely as compared to lead to lose it's shape and/or be stretched and torn apart so as to lose mass as measured in a projectile weight of grains.

    Additionally the projectile is engineered as a hollow point, and not JHP because it requires no jacket being solid copper.
    The petals of the projectile are by design thin and deeply grooved with intent to expand from hydraulic force...But they do not and will not break away (!).
    Expansion occurs following impact with water, ballistic gelatin, or soft hydrated (living) tissue. Impact that creates a high pressure zone at the front of the bullets petals causing them to peel back under a specifically engineered degree of fluid pressure. No fluid thus no pressure and by that no expansion as it keeps on truckin'.

    Upon expansion though the petals of the hollow point projectile take an again engineered shape and they _stay_ there.
    No loss of petals, deformation of the projectile and most importantly no loss of mass.

    Corbon 'DPX' .45 ACP

    Corbon 'DPX' as juxtaposed against conventional copper jacketed lead hollow point projectiles

    Corbon 'DPX' - Side view

    Close ups...

    So why is any of this of note?
    Why should anyone carrying ammunition for combat/defensive use care?


    Because even if you some how were able to know ahead of time that you were not going to have a need to shoot at and through automobile glass, door panels, or some other hard/dense object to stop a threat....You would though know that the threat itself is going to likely be armored

    The reason is based in application at the real world as well as expected terminal result.
    Which leads to the the matter of projectile mass and how copper to this end is _not_ directly comparable to lead as for same result.
    Lead requires mass to a certain degree as to attain a percentage of effectiveness in penetration. We now this too from over 100 yrs. of historical application and scientific evaluation.

    But remember lead is very soft (!).

    Then comes along copper jacketed lead.
    Why the jacket, and why made of copper?

    Because copper as detailed above is 8.5 times more resistant to deformation than is lead.
    The jacket literally helps keep the lead contained among itself so as to not break apart and lose mass both in flight (relatively high velocity ammo) as well as to retain mass though not overall shape as upon impact with solids and/or tissue.
    Jacketed copper projectiles have been around for what 40 yrs. now, plus or minus, as a 'new' technology. It works pretty well and has stopped a fair number of living beings, man and beast.

    But why not remove the handicapped weak link altogether, lead?
    That is what Barnes did. Genius!

    Although copper has less mass than lead it does not _need_ a 1:1 ratio of lead to do the same job with equal effectiveness. Never mind that it actually is more effective than copper jacketed lead.
    Copper projectiles does not lose mass and because it's lower in mass more actual material can be compressed into a casing than that of lead resulting in tighter compression of powder space which in net effect results in a projectile that acts like it's +P+ powered while using standard powder charges. Note that the DPX projectile longer than that of same caliber lead projectiles AND is seated deeper too.

    At the end of the day DPX works, and works very well as well while being quite flexible in ability to penetrate solid barriers...All the while having a relatively low flash thanks to reduced powder charge and no need to be +P+ as others have gone. If you shoot DPX under low light you do not suffer a huge fireball and with that loss of night sight and/or vision period. Seriously, try this as I have. You will be surprised.

    Lastly there is the ballistic equation for energy as measured at the muzzle:

    Energy = Mass times Velocity squared as divided by 450,400

    Now of course this figure is as at the muzzle.
    Energy reduces as over time and space (distance away from the muzzle) but that is a linear value all other component values (mass & velocity) being same so this is why the above equation is most often cited and used.

    Now look at that equation closely.
    Mass goes down which means velocity will increase, as to be squared.
    Mass goes up which means velocity will decrease, as to be squared.
    All other things being equal.

    Lead is 2.5 times greater (!) than copper in mass.
    That is significant.

    9MM DPX = 115 gr.
    .40 S&W DPX = 140 gr.
    .45 ACP Auto & Auto Rim (revolver) DPX = 160 gr.
    .45 ACP '+P' DPX = 185 gr.

    Compare this directly as to what ever JHP combat/defense ammo by doing the math above, or you can use this simple and handy online calculator for same; Muzzle Energy Calculator

    The differential to that end should become abundantly clear upon doing the math, if it wasn't obvious to you right out the gate by looking at the math formula alone.

    Solid non-alloyed copper does not have to be the same or even similar weight as lead!

    Then there is the science behind why and how projectiles result in the killing of living beings. Not specifically stopping because human beings are stopped for all manner of reasons including even jut a gun being displayed never to be actually fired (psychological stoppage).
    The manner in which living being are stopped medically is well known and documented. Projectile wise the functions that lead specifically to death as by penetration are not affected by the type of matter used to do destruction. To that end the body knows no difference between copper, lead, tin, graphite or solidified water (aka 'ice') for that matter. Nor does the body know to measure the molecular weight or that of the actual projectile weight as toward being killed, or not. To that end again projectile material is not significant...or rather is insignificant.

    So bottom line:
    * Select a projectile that allows the shooter to best _penetrate_ what ever might be in the way of his guns bore so as to damage if not destroy vitals as within the target being a priority.
    * Second is that the _energy_ of the projectile be as of such a degree that it can support the above penetration.
    * Third the projectile be constructed of a material that will at a minimum support the above regarding energy AND relative penetration...Without coming apart upon firing losing mass and/or _reducing_ it's ballistic coefficient which in turn promotes drag as while in flight through air which directly reduces velocity. Velocity which is squared against mass to result in ENERGY as imparted on or within the target.

    Then there is the add-on fourth item of post impact penetrative shape of the projectile as it enters the body and dumps retained energy (!) as well as physically creates temporary and permanent wound channels.

    I could go on detailing this greater but I fear I've gone too in depth as it is. So I'll stop here.

    That is the science behind the DPX projectile.
    It is very highly rated by literally everyone who has looked at it with an eye for science as related to wounding (damage to beings) and penetration.

    A quote from the very well known 'DocGKR':

    Keeping in mind that handguns generally offer poor incapacitation potential, bullets with effective terminal performance are available in all of the most commonly used duty pistol calibers—pick the one that you shoot most accurately, that is most reliable in the type of pistol you choose, and best suits you likely engagement scenarios.

    The following loads all demonstrate outstanding terminal performance and can be considered acceptable for duty/self-defense use:

    9 mm:
    Barnes XPB 105 & 115 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal Tactical 124 gr JHP (LE9T1)
    Speer Gold Dot 124 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 124 gr +P JHP (RA9124TP)
    Winchester Partition Gold 124 gr JHP (RA91P)
    Winchester Ranger-T 127 gr +P+ JHP (RA9TA)
    Federal Tactical 135 gr +P JHP (LE9T5)
    Federal HST 147 gr JHP (P9HST2)
    Remington Golden Saber 147 gr JHP (GS9MMC)
    Speer Gold Dot 147 gr JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 147 gr JHP (RA9T)
    Winchester 147 gr bonded JHP (RA9B/Q4364)

    .40 S&W:
    Barnes XPB 140 & 155 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Speer Gold Dot 155 gr JHP
    Federal Tactical 165 gr JHP (LE40T3)
    Winchester Ranger-T 165 gr JHP (RA40TA)
    Winchester Partition Gold 165 gr JHP (RA401P)
    Federal HST 180 gr JHP (P40HST1)
    Federal Tactical 180 gr JHP (LE40T1)
    Remington Golden Saber 180 gr JHP (GS40SWB)
    Speer Gold Dot 180 gr JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 180 gr JHP (RA40T)
    Winchester 180 gr bonded JHP (Q4355)

    .45 ACP:
    Barnes XPB 160 & 185 gr JHP (copper bullet)
    Federal HST 230 gr JHP (P45HST2)
    Federal HST 230 gr +P JHP (P45HST1)
    Federal Tactical 230 gr JHP (LE45T1)
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP
    Speer Gold Dot 230 gr +P JHP
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr JHP (RA45T)
    Winchester Ranger-T 230 gr +P JHP (RA45TP)

    -- Obviously, clone loads using the same bullet at the same velocity work equally well (ie. Black Hills ammo using Gold Dot bullets, Corbon loads using Barnes XPB bullets, etc…)

    -- Bullet designs like the Silver Tip, Hydra-Shok, and Black Talon were state of the art 15 or 20 years ago. These older bullets tend to plug up and act like FMJ projectiles when shot through heavy clothing; they also often have significant degradation in terminal performance after first passing through intermediate barriers. Modern ammunition which has been designed for robust expansion against clothing and intermediate barriers is significantly superior to the older designs. The bullets in the Federal Classic and Hydrashok line are outperformed by other ATK products such as the Federal Tactical and HST, as well as the Speer Gold Dot; likewise Winchester Ranger Talons are far superior to the old Black Talons or civilian SXT's.

    Source - Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads - M4Carbine.net Forums
    If you do not know who DocGKR is then I'll leave it up to you and your Google-Fu skills to learn more about him and his professional as well as gunfu forums record.

    Meanwhile the projectile design of the Hornady 'Critical Defense' is completely different in every way to that of Corbon DPX.
    Once again they are not similar in any way aside from both being projectiles that have a cavity type shape at their centers. Although even the design engineering, shape and type of cavity are also completely different. This too is abundantly clear upon anything other than casual observation.
    I won't detail CD as that can be done by some other person, or ones self. But in doing so one will see clearly that these two projectiles are not comparable...aside from being generally and wrongly referred to as 'bullets' by lay persons.

    Before selecting ammunition regardless of manufacturer claims it is suggested you do your homework and understand the device which you very well may be betting your LIFE on.
    Do not just run with mfr. claims because mfrs. are in the business to sell stuff and sales & marketing people sometimes tell half if not outright untruths.

    Also do not take the word of the internets as gospel!

    Everything I have stated in this post should be, and would be by wise people, double checked as to be factual by ones own self. That is exactly what I do, did and will almost always do.
    Ask for source citations when being told 'facts'. Demand proof and if it i not provided then either go find it yourself, or move on to what can be proven.

    Your life, and/or the life of your family ho depend on you to do your homework and know better, depends on it.

    - Janq

    * WebElements Periodic Table of the Elements | Copper | physical properties
    * WebElements Periodic Table of the Elements | Lead | physical properties
    * Modulus of Rigidity
    * Muzzle Energy Calculator
    * Self-Defense DPX at Dakota Ammo - COR®BON/Glaser Self Defense and Tactical Gear
    * Ballistics For Dummies
    * Service Pistol Duty and Self-Defense Loads - M4Carbine.net Forums

    Note: I am in no way current nor past associated to nor affiliated with Dakota Ammo, Corbon, or Barnes.
    I am not endorsing this product for anyones use and I did not state and am not implying that this projectile or ammunition as a round ('bullet') in general is what is best overall on the market or for any given application general or specific. If you depend on this ammo it just might not work for a given use, same as with any other pistol caliber projectile which all have been shown real world to have poor ability to stop a threat as in relation to more efficient stoppers of beings as in the form of rifles and guns that fire shot type projectiles.
    As well I do not claim to be a physicist nor a ballistics or firearms engineer as I am not and never have been, although I do have an education background as toward mechanical engineering and a life long interest and mind for science.
    Also I like facts, figures, math...And I love product research, so much so that I'd created for myself a profession as based around same.
    Best of luck with what ever you choose.
    Last edited by Janq; February 9th, 2010 at 02:08 PM.
    snakyjake and F350_6 like this.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Oh and I forgot to address cost.

    This too should not be an item of mystery as it's well known that copper costs more per pound than lead.
    Always has as for centurys including being used as a monetary unit going back to ancient times right along with gold and silver.
    Copper as a raw material is quite valuable and considered to be a 'precious metal'. Check current jewelry prices of copper based product for an example of this.
    Lead is very much not, even as it's price has gone up (too) relative to times past.

    $2.9834/lb. - Today
    Source - Kitco - Copper Charts and Graphs - Copper Prices - Copper Quotes, Cu, Industrial metals

    $0.9223/lb. - Today
    Source - Kitco - Lead Charts and Graphs - Lead Prices - Lead Quotes, Pb, Industrial metals

    There is a very good and reasonable reason why a solid copper projectile based product would be so expensive market price as in relation to lead, even when the copper projectile is 20 to 50 grains less than a comparable jacketed lead projectile.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array lance22's Avatar
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    We need to separate this out and sticky this as an explanation of expansion and projectile types. It's too good an explanation to let it slip. My opinion only.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    EXCELLENT post! You've done serious research and calculations. It's also obvious you know something about what you're talking about. Thank you for passing that on.

  16. #15
    Member Array Munch's Avatar
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    Is there going to be a quiz on this? Seriously though, quite possibly the most well presented post I've ever read on bullet performance and why.
    “Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician.” Jeff Cooper


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