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Old August 25, 2017, 07:45 PM   #1
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Barnes 9mm 115gr +P TAC-XPD in Clear Ballistics Gel

Barnes has long been known for their solid copper rifle bullets with a well-established reputation in the hunting fields. Something that may not be as well known to some is their line of defensive ammo. This Barnes 9mm load is labeled as +P but the velocity seemed a little low in my sample. This ammo was shot using a Sig P229 with a 3.9-inch barrel. Shot into two 16 inch blocks of Clear Ballistics gel. Two round into bare gel than two rounds into gel covered with heavy clothing and then finally two rounds out of an M&P Shield with a 3.1-inch barrel.

The first round into the bare gel had a velocity of 1047fps, penetrated to 13.5 inches and expanded to .68 inches. Round number two penetrated to 13.25 inches, expanded to .69 inches and had a velocity of 1067fps.

The first shot into the heavy clothing gel did not register on the chronograph but penetrated to 12.5 inches and expanded to .70 inches. The second round also expanded to .70 inches, penetrated to 13 inches with a velocity of 1048fps.

The velocity out of the Shield dropped a bit with the first shot coming in at 997fps, penetrated to 12.5 inches and opened up to .69 inches. The second round also penetrated to 12.5 inches with a velocity of 980fps and expanded to .70 inches.

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Old August 26, 2017, 07:56 AM   #2
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That is impressive performance for 9mm, expansion is on par with better 40 hollow points.
Its lackadaisical to settle for "better than nothing" when something better could be carried.
A lethal threat merits the same ASAP stopping potential regardless of location, light.
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Old August 26, 2017, 09:00 AM   #3
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Those velocity figures are a bit low for +P.
My choice for hunting in a 44mag 6.5" M29 is the factory loaded 225 gr Barnes . I don't have any numbers but the performance is excellent in whitetails ,one shot kills with excellent accuracy. For rifle I use factory 300 gr in 45-70. One red deer cull ran as I pulled the trigger but that gut shot slowed it greatly. bullet opened perfectly stopping against the hide. Second shot went through both shoulders ,smashing much bone, breaking off leaves . base of the bullet exited .
I much prefer info on performance in actual live animals .For smaller game the Barnes works very well in my 40 S&W HK so I carry that !
BTW I find little difference between the 40 S&W and the 45 acp.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
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Old August 26, 2017, 09:24 AM   #4
wild cat mccane
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Is it a Corbon or Barnes bullet in the PDX and XPD?

Corbon seems to have disappeared in previous normal availability when Barnes was bought by Remington
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Old August 26, 2017, 09:36 AM   #5
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Your velocities sound about right. I loaded some 115 TAC-XP over Power Pistol in my full size M&P and averaged 1,100. Hornady 115 XTP go considerably faster out of that pistol. Is the Barnes worth it? Only you can decide.
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Old August 26, 2017, 03:16 PM   #6
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Those look like -P velocities for a 115 grain in 9MM. I've chronographed a bunch of 9MM over the years, and without checking my notes can't recall any 115 grain as slow. Can't argue with the bullet performance though. Impressive, that bullet technology has advanced to a level that such performance is possible at such a low velocity.
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Old August 27, 2017, 09:06 PM   #7
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Lucky Gunner tested a bunch of self defense ammo for various calibers. The results for Barnes 9mm ammo was nearly identical to yours. Barnes advertises 1125 fps muzzle velocity. The test showed at around 1050fps. Those rounds evidently do expand really well.

Ammo Quest tested it too, in a shorter barrel and the expansion was inconsistent.
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Old August 28, 2017, 10:34 AM   #8
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My wife carries the Barnes 9mm in her EDC PPS M2 and her P320. I carry the 45 ACP version in my 1911s and my FNX-45 and we both load the .357 version in our revolvers. Barnes makes good stuff!
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