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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/16/2002 4:56:08 PM EST
I have been trying to research the topic of high performance pistol ammo (mainly 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP) in an attempt to find the best possible self defense ammo for these calibers. I have found a great deal of data, but what I have seen seems to be different than what I had originally thought about ammo, particularly the 9mm round. I have seen some data that seems to support the use of standard velocity 147 gr. rounds such as Ranger and Black Talon as well as Golden Saber. I have also seen poor performance from Speer Gold Dot in this caliber (including the 124 gr and 124 gr +p loads). The Hydra-Shok seemed to be way down the list of top performers as well. Much of this testing was evidently performed by the FBI and can be seen here [url]www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/9mm.htm[/url]. I liked the way they tested the rounds on both bare gellatin as well as gellatin with a layer of denim over it. This showed how many of the highly regarded hollow points fail during the penetration of clothing as they become clogged with fabric. Some actually seem to expand better though! So, what do you folks choose to use or are issued with and how does it stack up? The round I want to choose must consistently penetrate 12" or deeper and expand nicely as well, even through clothing. Does anyone have any other data in reference to this type of performance? When it comes to protecting me and my family, I want the load that has the best chance of stopping an attacker rapidly. I realize bullet performance is secondary to shot placement, but I want both if I get them. I wanted to start this discussion here as I know you folks put it all on the line every day out there and if this can help any of use choose a better round, then I think it will be worth it. Let me know your feelings about what ammo you think is best. Thanks very much for taking the time to read my post.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 5:04:18 PM EST
I think I would go with the rangers they look really good. What caliber are you looking for? those black hills gold dots look real good in .45 check them out at ammolab.com
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 6:15:13 PM EST
My dept. issues Hydra-shok all around: 9mm = 124grn +P+ 10mm Short ([:D]40S&W)= 155grn .45ACP = 230grn We've to date had no shoots with these. P3[pyro][^][heavy
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 6:49:38 PM EST
Ok, just to update my own thread, I have found some terrific data at ammolab that has answered my question as to what ammo I want! Here it is.... [url]www.ammolab.com/9mm_section1.htm[/url]. Check out the first two expanded rounds (numbers 1 and 2). The first is a Winchester Ranger 127 gr +P+ fired from a 4.5 barrel Glock 17. It expanded to a diameter of .59", penetrated to 14.6" and retained 114.9 grains of it's original weight! Not bad eh? This same round fired from a 4" barrel Glock 19 was even more impressive. It expanded to a whopping .65" while penetrating to a depth of 14.9" and retaining 114.5 grains in weight! That is just incredible for a 9mm. Farther down the page is the Ranger 147 gr. standard velocity JHP's. These too performed well and seemed to favor the longer barrels while not expanding as well in the shorter barrels. So if I were asked to pick the best self defense ammo available for the 9mm, I would have to go with the 127 gr +P+ Ranger in 4" barrel pistols, either 127 or 147 gr loads with a 4.5" barel and though data wasn't shown for the 5" barrel, the 147 gr may actually perform best from it. Either round is a good one. The listed velocity from the +P+ ammo fired from the Glock 17 was 1180 fps, so it doesn't seem that this round would be overly brutal to the shooter or the weapon. Most NATO spec 9mm 124 gr FMJ has a velocity of 1150 fps or greater. While I wouldn't want to use this ammo very often, I imagine most pistols should be capable of absorbing a standard 3 mag load of these in an emergency at least, plus the occassional round in training. There were other rounds that actually expanded a little better than the Ranger, but none managed anywhere near the penetration. I saw one that expanded to approximately .70" in diameter, but it only penetrated to about 8". That said, I would take the Ranger's .65" expansion over the other one considering the Ranger is a much deeper penetrator, while not being really bad as far as overpenetration. Now I just have to figure out where and if I can get this load. I know it is marketed by Winchester as a LEO only load, but it is my understanding that it isn't illegal for civilians to have and use, if they can find it. I have heard of some gun shops that stock it, as well as gun shows and some auction sites. But most LEO suppliers probably stock this, so if you are an LEO, this might be worth checking out. It looks as if this ammo is a top performer and could turn the 9mm (which is often regarded as a mouse)into a roaring lion! I have also heard that the Ranger has great loads for the .40 S&W and a very good 230 gr +P load for the .45 ACP. Anyway I hope that some of this info was helpful to you folks. I had lots of fun looking at and comparing all the data. Ballistics data is really lots of fun but I am afraid my poor brain has absorbed more info than it is rated for! My head is hurting from reading so much. Oh, and thanks for the replies so far also.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 8:16:38 PM EST
For anyone who may be following this topic, I have also found what I consider a great alternative to the Winchester Ranger 127 gr +P+ round. It is hard to find and usually only sold to law enforcement. But civilian shooters can still have a load that's just about the equal of the Ranger. Black Hills sells a terrific 9mm load that is loaded with a 124 gr JHP to +P velocities. The penetration and expansion are pretty much on par with the Ranger's performance. Ammolab.com also has a section for the testing of this bullet alone. It did well after traveling through clothing as well. Below is more info and prices of various Black Hills ammo that did extremely well in tests performed on ballistic gellatin: #D9N9 Black Hills 9mm Luger 124 gr JHP +P, 1250 fps, 430 ft lbs = $21.45 per 50 rds #D40N3 Black Hills .40 S&W 165 gr EXP JHP, 1150 fps, 483 ft lbs = $25.19 per 50 rds #D45N5 Black Hills .45 ACP 230 gr JHP, 850 fps, 368 ft lbs = $26.07 per 50n rds #D45N6 Black Hills .45 ACP 230 gr JHP +P, 950 fps, 460 ft lbs = $27.94 per 50. After looking at what these rounds did in the tests performed by ammolab, I would say they are as good as anything that's available on the market today. And of course all of these can be bought from AR15.com's own supplier, [url]www.georgiaprecision.com/cats/catbhhandgun.htm[/url] at the above prices and item numbers. I think I will have to give Tommy some business myself!
Link Posted: 6/30/2002 10:43:26 PM EST
CHARGING HANDLE....This kind of topic is right up my alley. My department (LASD) issues three types of bullets. One is the new Winchester Ranger SXT 147gr 9mm bullet. The other two bullets are for .45ACP. One is the Winchester 230gr Ranger SXT and the other one is an optional 230gr Ranger SXT in "+P" configuration. Originally the 230gr +P load was made by winchester to aid in better expansion out of short compact .45 auto's like the Glock compact and S&W .45 "CS" auto. I carry the +P in my full sized Hk USP .45. My department probably has a deputy involved shooting at least once or twice per month her in the Los Angeles county area. The department really loves the 9mm 147gr Ranger because it's the best 9mm bullet we've ever ever had. Performance is awesome. The .45 is relatively new and only a small miniority of deputies are carrying the .45. However the number of deputies switching over to any of our authorized carry 45's is growing DAILY!!!!! The more personel that switch to that caliber, the more number of .45 shootings we will have and more data can be gathered. I know my dept. went to great lengths on gathering real and statistical data on HUMAN TARGETS, not "jello junkie" ballistic gel targets. Between the Ranger 127 +P+ and 147gr loads, I'd go with the 147 if I were you. Yes in balistic gel the 127 may go 1/2"-1" deeper or expand a fraction of an inch better, BUT....when it comes to hitting auto glass or a door, the 147's extra weight aids it slightly better in penetrating a human being. Although auto glass wrecks havoc on any bullet, period! As far as legality is concerned....Winchester's policy is that they don't sell their new "Ranger SXT" loads to the civilian market. Law enforcement only. Here in CA, it IS NOT against the law to posses and use LEO only ammo. That's a big misconception by many. If you have a cop friend, have him/her buy you some of that Ranger ammo for home defense. Or, perhaps you can find a retailer that orders ammo for cops, yet sells it to civilians as well. Our department tested Hydra shocks, Cor bons, Golden Sabers, Gold dots. All great bullets....on paper and in "jello". Yet when it came to comparing actual police shootings with the winchester Ranger SXT'S, those other bullets did not perform as well as the SXT's. One final not,,,,there is no other bullet out there besides the Ranger SXT's that expand and penetrate very well AND.....Open up into little tiny SHARP points that "cut" razor sharp slashes in muscle tissue and internal organs. That extra bonus of the "cutting" ability far exceeds performance of regular expanding bullets that just "stretch" and/or may tear soft body tissue. The SXT'S are like little chinese "throwing stars" inside a human body. Lots of blood loss when the bullet travels 12-15" inside a human body. Go with the Winchester Ranger SXT'S in 9mm or .45. You'll love them if you need them to save your life.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 11:08:48 AM EST
Our dept conducts several tests on ammo. Most people dont consider the way that ammo reacts to penetrating objects. Most Police shootings involve cars and homes. Some ammo that performs well in the gelatin tests sucks when it comes to glass, metal, and drywall penetration. We found Speer gold dot to be the best all around performer - I carry a .45 and carry the 230 grn. We used hydrashocks before and they were terrible in glass and metal pentration. Anyways - just something to consider
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 11:21:35 AM EST
Sir, you are somewhat off course. To quote Dr. Fackler, "What you hit them with is not the problem, hitting them is the problem." Instead of agonizing over exactly which round to use, spend that energy and money on training and practice. Use any JHP made by a major manufacturer, and get thee to a range! Shoot IPSC, IDPA, Bullseye, anything to be totally familiar with your handgun. Like most Americans, we seek hardware solutions to "software" problems. Pick a gun, pick a load, and shoot until it is reflexive. I have been there, done that, and after 26 years as a LEO, 25 as a firearms/officer safety instructor, I still say put more effort into training (Software), and less into hardware.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 1:15:48 PM EST
I am with Sleuth, shoot and shoot often. And when it comes to duty ammo for a .40 185 grain Hydro Shok is the only way to go.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 1:30:35 PM EST
For many years we issued the Hydro-shok in all calibers. Then we switched to the Federal Tactical "bonded" ammo, which was reported to be better for shooting through auto glass, etc. Well, to make a long story short, we had a shooting last fall, where our guys shot a suspect 5 times with their .45's, including a head shot and the suspect continued his attempts to kill them with his AK for several more minutes. It seems to have been a fluke, but none of the ammo they hit him with expanded, it all just went straight through, the headshot actually hit his skull and deflected off. We now issue the Remington Golden Saber as follows: 124 gr. 9mm 165 gr. .40 230 gr. 45 125 gr. .38+P+ Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 7/2/2002 11:07:46 PM EST
I wouldn't change ammo just because of a fluke from one shooting incident... ALL HANDGUN AMMO IS REALLY A POOR PERFORMER on humans PERIOD! Handguns are just a last ditch "heat of the momment" weapon, when you didn't have time to get a long gun. If you are responding to a call where you know a gun is involved (or any deadly weapon for that matter), you are silly for not getting the upper hand and bringing a "long gun" with you to your potential lethal force encounter. With that said,,,,,Caliber press (which is rather weak now with their old videos) has a video where they do a reinactment of a cop that gets hit twice with a 12ga 1oz slug...AND LIVES...and fires back!!! He's hit once in the vest in the back and another time in the pelvic area.... My point is, there ain't no "magic" bullet. All bullets can and do fail to meet their claimed expectations. Shot placement is the key. A guy hit 5 times in the body with a .45ACP and continues to shoot his gun shouldn't be a surprise to any of us. That's why us LEO'S are taught the "failure drill", which is typically "2 to the chest and 1 to the head" or a variation of that, no matter what handgun caliber we use. And yes, bullets regardless of caliber can and do "bounce/glance/ricochett/whatever" off of heads. Heck, there are thousands of men who were maimed by mines, grenades, bombs, missles, explosions (all of which are theoretically more deadly and violent than any typical handgun bullet) and lived to tell about it. From blown off limbs, to shrapnel passing through and through one's heart/brain etc....Humans are really really resilient creatures. Just keep on firing until the deadly threat stops it's attack on you. That's why most semi auto magazines have more than 5 rounds in them.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 7:09:24 AM EST
I agree there is no magic bullet, especially handgun ammo. We were just disappointed that none of their hits, one of which was a center mass chest "10 ring" hit, another was through his neck (missing anything vital), expanded and did much of anything to him except punch a clean hole. We believe that the placement was there, the ammo failed. They did fire alot more than 5 rounds, they only scored 5 hits. One officer emptied his Glock 21 during the fight (total of 14 rounds, if I remember correctly) and reloaded, the other fired 1 round total (scoring the chest shot). The suspect finally fell due a hit to his thigh, and then was subdued after a standoff and being taser'd with an M26. He died 10 days later. Yes, we issue AR15's and Remington 870's, all sleeping soundly in the car, as this shooting erupted with no warning at a Landlord/Tenant dispute. Both of the officers were extremely lucky, the suspect opened up on them unexpectedly and got off a total of 30 rounds from his AK, and 1 round from a 2" smith. All I am saying is that you are correct, nothing handheld is reliable, but we also shouldn't have to be screwed when armed with .45's.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 7:54:17 AM EST
I have no clue what is "best". Here is my departments experience. We swithced to semi autos in 1990. We adopted the S&W 3rd Gen. 45's using Federal 230 grn. .45 ACP hydra shok. With this round we have had 7 officer involved shootings against human targets. 5 one shot kills. 1 two shot kill and 1 one shot stop.
Link Posted: 7/3/2002 10:51:02 AM EST
Just imagine if the officer with the Glock had more "trigger" time, and had scored with all 14 shots! I am not criticizing, I wasn't there. But more hits could have solved the problem sooner. This is exactly my point - training (software), not bullet choice (hardware).
Link Posted: 7/6/2002 10:02:32 AM EST
Youre right, not being there, no one can criticize, this officer had a man turn a corner 8 feet away and start firing an AK from the hip totally unexpectedly. He threw himself flat against a wall and unloaded his Glock one-handed, as 7.62x39 rounds dismantled the wall around him. He scored 4 hits, including the head shot. He did great.
Link Posted: 7/7/2002 9:53:52 PM EST
The best ammo? Shouldn't it be the best shooter? any two rounds on top of each other on a headshot or center mass at 25yards or closer should be enough to put the perp down, if not repeat first step. That should do it.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 3:32:15 PM EST
Originally Posted By mcpd34: The best ammo? Shouldn't it be the best shooter? any two rounds on top of each other on a headshot or center mass at 25yards or closer should be enough to put the perp down, if not repeat first step. That should do it.
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That's kind of funny I heard a Navy Seal say the same thing on the Discovery channel when they Had a show on about the navy seals.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 5:33:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By bountyhunter:
Originally Posted By mcpd34: The best ammo? Shouldn't it be the best shooter? any two rounds on top of each other on a headshot or center mass at 25yards or closer should be enough to put the perp down, if not repeat first step. That should do it.
View Quote
That's kind of funny I heard a Navy Seal say the same thing on the Discovery channel when they Had a show on about the navy seals.
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I saw it too and they talk about shot placement, Jessie the Body also refered to gun control as to being able to put two rounds through the same hole at 25yards. Didn't steal any quotes. Thanks
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 3:17:31 PM EST
We issue the .40 Ranger 180 gr. SXT. Locally, this round had performed spectacularly. 13 of 15 shot DRT (dead right there) the other 2 did not resist further. Both county's use the Ranger in 2 different pistols, Sig P229 and Glock 22. A couple of weeks ago at SigArms armorer's course in Coconut Creek, I heard all about how the CCI Gold Dot 180gr was better than the SXT due to superior retained weight. This was from Maryland and South Florida agencies with lot's of shootings.
Link Posted: 7/14/2002 11:48:29 PM EST
Yeah the "Gold Dot" is good, but the SXT is still KING!!!!! It may loose 2-4% of it's weight, BUT.... It's the only bullet that actually cuts and tears soft body tissue. Unlike the Gold Dots and other, which only stretch soft body tissue, and SOMETIMES causes tearing. The SXT rounds by Winchester do some aweful cutting damage. Ask any trauma surgeon that has experience in trying to sew someone up after getting shot with that round. There are plenty of those doctors here in Los Angeles county. Both LAPD and the Sheriff's dept carry the Ranger SXT loads for both 9mm and 45 ACP. Pretty much all the suspects are dying now even with shots that aren't exactly in vital areas. Just really close. Most of the suspects are "bleeding" out due to the sharp "talons" on the SXT rounds. It's a great bullet.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 12:33:11 AM EST
I think the Ranger is probably the best defensive ammo out there at this point for handguns. The Gold Dot is a good round too, but it doesn't have the sharp talons. Both types expand about the same, but the talons are better at cutting than the Gold Dot bullets. Now with that said, it may not be all that often that this will give the Ranger an advantage. As Firearms Tactical put it.....the bullet would have to pass close enough to a major blood vessel to touch it and the bullet's jacket petals would have to be in a perfect relationship to said blood vessel to cut it and so forth and so on. They determined that these sharp talon like features might make a difference in about 1 in every 20 shootings. So even though that doesn't give it any great advantage over other bullets that are out there, this one expands just as well and offers a bit more chance of a fast stop. That small chance is really all we have between most bullets anyway, so I would rather use the Ranger if given a choice. It isn't any worse than a Gold Dot, so you have nothing to lose.
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 4:46:44 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/15/2002 9:41:53 PM EST
My department (oh, here I go again), is preparing a transition to Hydra-Shoks for our 45's. We used to use Win Silvertips, rounds that I noticed have a tendency to keyhole and fly WAY off point of aim out of my Glock 21, 1 out of 10 rnds fired. Anyone else have experiences like that out of a stock Glock barrel? I have no such problem with the Hydr-Shok and it is far more accurate in my experience. I've been asking for an ammo change to the Hydra-Shoks for two years now. Not because I think it's the end-all be-all but because it's a round that my administrators would recognize that I like better than the Silvertips. Why do we carry Silvertips now? Because they've always carried those and they were the top round when the PD carried revolvers. Why the switch over to Hydra-Shoks? No clue (no testing has been done or investigation made as far as I know). The Capt. probably got a good deal on a case of them. I would actually love to get the Ranger SXT but I can only imagine the nightmare that would be explaining to them what it is.
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