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Posted: 6/11/2019 8:58:34 PM EDT


Test Gun: Sig P226
Barrel length: 4.4 inches
Ammunition: Underwood 9mm 147gr Hard Cast, .40 S&W Hard Cast
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
Five shot velocity average:1085, 942fps
Gel Temperature 70 degrees.

The discussion of what to carry in the field seems to come up often on the various online forums. It normally revolves around the best caliber and load for bear protection. I would say most peoples first reaction if asked, is to pick a .44 magnum or some other large bore revolver. When talking about semi-auto pistols the 10mm is normally the default answer. The .45 ACP/ .45 Super is often brought up as a viable option to the 10mm and as we have seen in my past test with the right load it can perform very well. To a lesser extent, the option of the 9mm or .40 S&W will be considered.

With is in mine and after testing the Underwood Xtreme Penetrator I grab some hard cast loadings from Underwood. Two of them were the 9mm 147gr +P hard cast and the .40 S&W 200gr hard cast.

Underwood lists their hard cast bullets as a.

"Hi -Tek Coated Hard Cast Flat Nose 21 BHN".

"Hi-Tek coating allows you to enjoy the benefits of a hard-cast projectile and the cleanliness normally seen in copper jacketed/plated rounds.

Hi-Tek is a polymer based compound* that not only reduces fouling in your barrel, but also substantially reduces airborne lead contamination (allowing for use in some indoor ranges). The elimination of the wax lubrication combined with the reduced airborne lead contamination results in considerably less smoke produced with each shot. Hard cast flat nose bullets are non-expanding, powerfully penetrative
bullets that are designed with your woods defense needs in mind; whether fending off wild hogs or black bears, the hard cast flat nose bullets
are consistently effective in taking down any wild animals that you may encounter".

Both of these rounds were shot out of a Sig P226 with a 4.4-inch barrel.

Starting with the 9mm I got an average 5 shot velocity of 1085fps with a high of 1091fps and a low of 1081fps. This was 15fps lower than the advertised velocity of 1100fps. The recoil was very manageable and about what you would expect from a 9mm +P. The spent cases didn't appear to show any signs of excessive pressure when compared to the Winchester "white box" 124gr standard pressure. There were no malfunctions or failures with this round.

With the .40 S&W, I got an average 5 shot velocity of 942fps with a high of 952fps and a low of 938fps. This was 58fps lower than the advertised velocity of 1000fps. Like the 9mm this load was very controllable. Spent cases didn't show any signs of excessive pressure when compared to the Federal 180gr HST loading. There were also no malfunctions or failures when shooting this round.


5 rounds offhand at 10 yards 9mm


5 rounds offhand at 10 yards .40 S&W


9mm case comparison


.40 S&W case comparison

So how will they perform in the gel? To find out I used the same set up I used with the Underwood Xtreme Penetrator testing. Four 16 inch blocks of Clear Gel for the two bare gel shots and two through the 20 gauge steel plate at 30 degrees.

Round one from the 9mm was shot int the upper left corner of the gel block and passed completely through the four gel blocks and was caught with the body armor placed at the end. The only other round to pass through all four blocks was the Double Tap 10mm 200gr FMJ. The velocity of the first round was 1074fps and the recovered weight was 147.1 grains. Round two in the bare gel was shot in the upper right-hand corner had a velocity of 1086fps and also pass through all four blocks of gel. The recovered weight was 146.4 grains



Shooting the 9mm through the sheet metal the first round penetrated to 18.75 inches. Velocity was not recorded and the recovered weight was 137.1 grains. The second rounds velocity was 1091fps and it penetrated to 18.5 inches. The Recovered weight was 134 grains.



Now on to the .40 S&W. The first round in the bare gel had a velocity of 958fps and penetrated to 52 inches. The recovered weight was196.6 grains. Round two hit the bare gel blocks at a velocity of 959fps and penetrated to 52.5 inches. The recovered weight was also 196.6 grains.



When shooting through the sheet metal the velocity of the first round was 955fps and penetrated to a depth of 17 inches. The recovered weight was 190.6 grains. The second round had a velocity of 959fps and penetrated to 16.25 inches. It's recovered weight was 188.4 grains.



If we compare these rounds to the 9mm and .40 S&W Xtreme Penetrators that the hard cast bullets in 9mm penetration completely went through all four blocks, 64 inches, of gel. The Xtreme 115gr penetrators went to 47 and 47.5 inches. That's around 17 inches or one complete block of gel. Through the sheet metal, the depths were much closer. The Underwood's hard cast went 18.5 and 18.75 inches to the Xtreme's 16.5 and 18 inches. Closer but the hard cast still beat the Xtreme Penetrators.

With the .40 S&W, the hard cast beat the Xtreme bullets by a large margin, 52 and 52.5 inches to the Xtreme's 22.5 and 23 inches. Through the sheet metal, the Xtreme proved to be the better penetrator with 17 and 18.5 inches compared to the hard cast 16.25 and 17. Better, but not by much.



http://www.general-cartridge.com/blog
Link Posted: 6/11/2019 10:13:15 PM EDT
Outstanding!  Great woods defense option.
Link Posted: 6/12/2019 6:03:24 AM EDT
Great use of the sheet metal. Wish more people used it.

I think Phil Shoemaker proved that hardcast 9mm is good enough for brown bear. Albeit a sow. It's still the best option ammo wise for woods carry for 9mm. Either Underwood or Buffalo bore.

If given the choice I'd still prefer something with a little more umph. As you show, a little barrier cuts a lot of penatration off. Not that bears are armor plated but their bones are very thick and their hide is tough.
Link Posted: 6/12/2019 10:21:46 AM EDT
Fantastic info OP. Thank you for all that hard work.
Link Posted: 6/12/2019 6:42:52 PM EDT
Thanks for your efforts OP.  Love these tests.

Would love to see the same test with 255gr underwood or BB hard cast .45 ACP +P
Link Posted: 6/12/2019 7:13:45 PM EDT
outstanding testing and write up. If I am expecting armored bears I think this would be a good choice. While ultimate bear defense always comes up on this page, the only real study I saw said if you shoot at or hit a bear with any caliber you have a 97% sucess rate. the only failure in the study was a 357 that missed.

and while I'm always interested in adding a new gun to the mix, a couple boxes of good ammo like this would make me feel warm and fuzzy with either my 9s or 45s .
Link Posted: 6/12/2019 7:26:56 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By renegade509:
Thanks for your efforts OP.  Love these tests.

Would love to see the same test with 255gr underwood or BB hard cast .45 ACP +P
View Quote
I will be doing some Underwood 255gr .45+p and .45 Super next then the 10mm in 200 and 220gr.



Link Posted: 6/12/2019 11:15:57 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 5pins:
I will be doing some Underwood 255gr .45+p and .45 Super next then the 10mm in 200 and 220gr.

https://i.imgur.com/SNlCfQ9l.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/e3Sdxkjl.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 5pins:
Originally Posted By renegade509:
Thanks for your efforts OP.  Love these tests.

Would love to see the same test with 255gr underwood or BB hard cast .45 ACP +P
I will be doing some Underwood 255gr .45+p and .45 Super next then the 10mm in 200 and 220gr.

https://i.imgur.com/SNlCfQ9l.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/e3Sdxkjl.jpg
Outstanding!
Link Posted: 6/13/2019 8:30:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 5pins:

I will be doing some Underwood 255gr .45+p and .45 Super next then the 10mm in 200 and 220gr.

https://i.imgur.com/SNlCfQ9l.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/e3Sdxkjl.jpg
View Quote
Do you have a G29? Only asking because I’m interested in the ballistics with the short barrel?
Link Posted: 6/14/2019 10:15:45 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By tveddy:

Do you have a G29? Only asking because I’m interested in the ballistics with the short barrel?
View Quote
Unfortunately I do not.
Link Posted: 6/15/2019 6:45:02 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 03RN:
Great use of the sheet metal. Wish more people used it.

I think Phil Shoemaker proved that hardcast 9mm is good enough for brown bear. Albeit a sow. It's still the best option ammo wise for woods carry for 9mm. Either Underwood or Buffalo bore.

If given the choice I'd still prefer something with a little more umph. As you show, a little barrier cuts a lot of penatration off. Not that bears are armor plated but their bones are very thick and their hide is tough.
View Quote
Philly Shoemaker has nerves of steel to kill a Pissed Sow on he Period while in an ambush charge from so close. I've always admired that true story!

I'm into carrying Heavy "Keith" rounds/loads from both Underwood and Buffalo Bore in .44Special and have recently carried the Underwood 305 grain Hard Cast Keith's rated at 1325fps after finding them rather pleasant to shoot 20 of them even from my 3" barreled N frame. They were superbly accurate, burned clean, and gave off a muzzle flash so minimum I was shocked. I have no doubt they will go strait thru a bear from Snout to ButtonHole... I've carried Underwood and Buffalo Bore's HC hot "Keith's" in both .45ACP+P's and .45Super and they are superb. One is well armed in the woods with a reliable gun with either of those loads too!

***As for the Buffalo Bore 9mm Hard Cast Keith "Outdoorsman" rounds I tried would shoot and chamber... However, they absolutely would not unchamber a live round from the chamber in both my CZ P-01 and SP-01 pistols.... even with my big beefy mitts racking on the slide. I had to get home and use my gunbench as a press off the rear sights both times to clear the chamber. I emailed Tim about it and he said it's due to the Europeans having different ideas of chamber throat dimensions than American made and other non Euro manufactures of 9mm semi-auto's. Just a heads up for anyone planning to try or use them out of a Euro Manufactured gun. Good load though!***
Link Posted: 6/15/2019 6:48:51 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By renegade509:
Thanks for your efforts OP.  Love these tests.

Would love to see the same test with 255gr underwood or BB hard cast .45 ACP +P
View Quote
I've used them. They would perform similar to the OP's test but probably with a bit more ballistic gel penetration. Fantastic option in a reliable .45acp. I've used their .45Super's as well. They almost make .44Mag entry level muzzle energy and are very accurate and pleasant to shoot out of both a CZ 97B, 1911, and Smith Model 25 with Moon Clips...
Link Posted: 6/16/2019 9:02:36 PM EDT
how about doing 124gr fmj 9mm NATO as a control?
Link Posted: 6/17/2019 10:39:42 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By mcantu:
how about doing 124gr fmj 9mm NATO as a control?
View Quote
That's not a bad idea. Let me see what I can do.
Link Posted: 6/17/2019 2:00:38 PM EDT
Got any pics of the gel blocks was the wound track more impressive than a typical fmj?  The Underwood 9mm ammo is what I carry in my pistol when going to black bear areas
Link Posted: 6/17/2019 4:35:30 PM EDT
After mcantu's suggestion, I got a box of some M882 9mm and shot two rounds into some bare gel. This was the same blocks I used for the Underwood test. To my surprise, both rounds only penetrated about a block and a half, 24.5 and 24.75 inches. I was expecting much more.

Link Posted: 6/18/2019 10:10:27 AM EDT
Great testing! Thanks for sharing
Link Posted: 6/18/2019 11:34:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/18/2019 11:34:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/19/2019 3:56:56 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 5pins:

I will be doing some Underwood 255gr .45+p and .45 Super next then the 10mm in 200 and 220gr.

https://i.imgur.com/SNlCfQ9l.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/e3Sdxkjl.jpg
View Quote
Looking forward to the 45's, thanks for the work!
Link Posted: 6/22/2019 1:57:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/22/2019 2:06:21 AM EDT by mcantu]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 5pins:
After mcantu's suggestion, I got a box of some M882 9mm and shot two rounds into some bare gel. This was the same blocks I used for the Underwood test. To my surprise, both rounds only penetrated about a block and a half, 24.5 and 24.75 inches. I was expecting much more.

https://i.imgur.com/WcV52ntl.jpg?1
View Quote
that pretty much matches Dr Fackler's wound profile.

Link Posted: 6/22/2019 7:12:14 AM EDT
Any chance of doing this type of test with carbines in 38/357, 44 & 45?
Link Posted: 6/22/2019 3:12:13 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By psegnatelli:
Any chance of doing this type of test with carbines in 38/357, 44 & 45?
View Quote
Unfortunately not.
Link Posted: 6/23/2019 11:59:14 AM EDT
Great test!

Very interesting results.

9mm hardcast results are impressive.

I look forward to the 10mm tests.
Link Posted: 6/25/2019 9:58:20 AM EDT
I have always found the BB .380 +p interesting.
BuffaloBore 380 ACP +P 100 grain Hardcast in Gelatin
Link Posted: 6/25/2019 3:35:10 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
I have always found the BB .380 +p interesting.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3b3ZGmZuT0
View Quote
Who needs .44mag when you have .380 performance like that!
Link Posted: 6/25/2019 4:15:37 PM EDT
That's' pretty crazy performance for a .380. I almost bought some of the Underwood .380 hard cast, kind of wish I had after seeing that.
Link Posted: 6/25/2019 11:09:53 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By 5pins:
That's' pretty crazy performance for a .380. I almost bought some of the Underwood .380 hard cast, kind of wish I had after seeing that.
View Quote
Please! For the giggles.
Link Posted: 6/28/2019 7:33:44 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By renegade509:
Thanks for your efforts OP.  Love these tests.

Would love to see the same test with 255gr underwood or BB hard cast .45 ACP +P
View Quote
Same
Link Posted: 6/28/2019 7:53:17 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/28/2019 8:25:15 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Thanks!
Link Posted: 6/29/2019 5:06:11 PM EDT
OP,

I just checked out your website. Lots of great info.

Any plans to test the Underwood .38SPC +P hard cast Keith LSWC?

How about the Underwood 180Gn Hard Cast .357Mag?
Link Posted: 6/29/2019 5:11:11 PM EDT
how terrible is that 380 to shoot?
Link Posted: 6/29/2019 5:42:11 PM EDT
Nice test, Thanks.
Link Posted: 6/29/2019 7:21:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By StevenH:
OP,

I just checked out your website. Lots of great info.

Any plans to test the Underwood .38SPC +P hard cast Keith LSWC?

How about the Underwood 180Gn Hard Cast .357Mag?
View Quote
I have some 200gr .357 hard cast but no on the .38.
Link Posted: 6/29/2019 7:48:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/2/2019 10:01:34 AM EDT by BUCK1911]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By steviesterno16:
how terrible is that 380 to shoot?
View Quote
The only time I shot it was at a rattlesnake next to my dog and it did a good job on the snake and I didon't notice the recoil at all.

ETA it did over penetrate the nope rope....
Link Posted: 6/30/2019 11:19:46 AM EDT
I've also shot some of the BB 100gr hardcast out of a Sig P230. It shot fine, and the recoil was more than typical .380 but not bad at all. Most importantly, it was reliable, although I cannot afford to shoot enough to really wring it out 100%.

But I don't think 31"+ penetration is good for typical self defense against humans and if I'm going out in the woods, I usually carry a 40cal Glock.

But if I was forced to rely on a .380 woods carry, this would be my preferred load.
Link Posted: 7/2/2019 10:07:13 AM EDT
I always have a 380 with me as a backup to primary weapon and on that time I run outside with a sick dog in the middle of the night and didn't grab said primary weapon and find that bear staring me in the face I want all the penetration I can find.
A few years ago I looked out and saw some elk chewing on one of my fruit trees and I ran out to scare it away and nothing but my shorts and flip-flops. Were you aware that Elk are large and they don't scare very easy.... I ended up the winner of a very long stare down over the sites of my LCP.
Link Posted: 7/2/2019 4:53:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By BUCK1911:
I always have a 380 with me as a backup to primary weapon and on that time I run outside with a sick dog in the middle of the night and didn't grab said primary weapon and find that bear staring me in the face I want all the penetration I can find.
A few years ago I looked out and saw some elk chewing on one of my fruit trees and I ran out to scare it away and nothing but my shorts and flip-flops. Were you aware that Elk are large and they don't scare very easy.... I ended up the winner of a very long stare down over the sites of my LCP.
View Quote
LOL.  
Tell ya what thou, I do the same thing.

One night I walk outside with my weiner dog. Underpants and Croc.  Black Bear on the bird feeder.  I grabbed the nearest thing. A Frickin Pool Noodle!!  And proceed to hoot hollar and smack that noodles ends together.   Didn't quite do anything.   So what does my dumbass do?
I start chasing the damm thing twirlin the noodle over my head. Yellin obscenities.

Thankfully the bear took off.  But I was ready to throw down!  Gotta protect my weiner!!
Link Posted: 8/22/2019 5:25:20 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By psegnatelli:

LOL.  
Tell ya what thou, I do the same thing.

One night I walk outside with my weiner dog. Underpants and Croc.  Black Bear on the bird feeder.  I grabbed the nearest thing. A Frickin Pool Noodle!!  And proceed to hoot hollar and smack that noodles ends together.   Didn't quite do anything.   So what does my dumbass do?
I start chasing the damm thing twirlin the noodle over my head. Yellin obscenities.

Thankfully the bear took off.  But I was ready to throw down!  Gotta protect my weiner!!
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/29/2019 9:04:05 AM EDT
Thanks for these tests (and the .45 acp/super)!

The results certainly show that with a hardcast, the service calibers are no slouch in penetration.

I generally carried my GP100 .357 with BB 180 grain hardcast in the woods (especially in CO) but that gun is heavy. Think my G21 or G22 will take over- hell, carrying my G19 in the woods wouldn't make me worried.
Link Posted: 9/19/2019 9:26:06 PM EDT
Any concerns shooting the 9mm hard cast load in small guns like the Sig P365 or Glock 43x?

How about 90s vintage Glocks with the poor chamber support?
Link Posted: 10/26/2019 9:01:36 PM EDT
I just bought a case of the underwood 9mm.
Link Posted: 10/26/2019 10:19:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/14/2019 3:42:59 PM EDT by 03shooter]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jmreagan:

Philly Shoemaker has nerves of steel to kill a Pissed Sow on he Period while in an ambush charge from so close. I've always admired that true story!

I'm into carrying Heavy "Keith" rounds/loads from both Underwood and Buffalo Bore in .44Special and have recently carried the Underwood 305 grain Hard Cast Keith's rated at 1325fps after finding them rather pleasant to shoot 20 of them even from my 3" barreled N frame. They were superbly accurate, burned clean, and gave off a muzzle flash so minimum I was shocked. I have no doubt they will go strait thru a bear from Snout to ButtonHole... I've carried Underwood and Buffalo Bore's HC hot "Keith's" in both .45ACP+P's and .45Super and they are superb. One is well armed in the woods with a reliable gun with either of those loads too!

***As for the Buffalo Bore 9mm Hard Cast Keith "Outdoorsman" rounds I tried would shoot and chamber... However, they absolutely would not unchamber a live round from the chamber in both my CZ P-01 and SP-01 pistols.... even with my big beefy mitts racking on the slide. I had to get home and use my gunbench as a press off the rear sights both times to clear the chamber. I emailed Tim about it and he said it's due to the Europeans having different ideas of chamber throat dimensions than American made and other non Euro manufactures of 9mm semi-auto's. Just a heads up for anyone planning to try or use them out of a Euro Manufactured gun. Good load though!***
View Quote
My S&W 2.0 won't even chamber the Outdoorsman but it shot fine out of my CZ75 that I had. I'm considering trying a chamber reamer on the 2.0, what are your thoughts on this?

Edit- I ordered some of the Underwood 147 hard cast and they work great in my M&P 2.0.
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