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Old July 19, 2018, 04:12 PM   #1
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Federal 10mm 180gr Hydra-Shok in Clear Ballistics Gel

Test Gun: Delta Elite
Barrel length: 5 inches.
Ammunition: Federal 10mm 180gr Hydra-Shok (P10HS1).
Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
Distance: 10 feet.
Chronograph: PACT 1 XP with inferred sky screens.
Five shot velocity average: 986fps
Gel Temperature 70 degrees.

The latest installment in the 10mm is the Federal 180gr Hydra-Shok. I forgot to take a pic of the loaded ammo in front of the box and by the time I remembered I had shot up all the 20 rounds. I got an average velocity of 986fps with a high of 996 and a low of 980. I ended up shooting two five round groups at 10 yards because I lost the pic of the first five. Hence one of the reasons for running out of ammo for the box pic.

The first round in bare gel had a velocity of 995fps but exited the block at the 15-inch mark and was found on the floor next to me. For some reason, it took a left turn in the block and lost a small piece of the jacket at the 10.5-inch mark. It expanded to .71 inches. Round two hit the block at 990 fps and also penetrated to 15 inches and expanded to .68 inches and stayed in the block. The third round (I wanted to catch two in the block) impacted at 981fps, it to penetrated to 15 inches with a recovered diameter of .69 inches.

In the heavy clothing covered gel the first round penetrated to 20.75 inches and expanded to .55 inches with a velocity of 1003fps. Number two went a little deeper at 22.5 inches and expanded to .58 inches with a velocity of 990fps.

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Old July 19, 2018, 04:47 PM   #2
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That's a .40 load masquerading as a "10mm."

Essentially the same as the old and long-discredited FBI "10mmLite." Price-wise, you're paying for downloaded performance out of a more expensive case.

If that's the maximum velocity/energy level you want to shoot, that's fine. But don't get a 10mm pistol.

Just get a pistol chambered for the .40S&W, shoot whatever make of .40 ammo you like, and be done with it.
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Old July 19, 2018, 11:32 PM   #3
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Next test, try using a gel temp of around 50 degrees.
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Old July 20, 2018, 03:10 PM   #4
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180 grain at about 1000 fps is VERY anemic for 10mm.

At 180 grain, I'd expect close to 1300 fps.
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Old July 20, 2018, 05:16 PM   #5
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that load is like the Cadillac escalade pick up truck. for the guy that wants to say he has a truck, without really having a truck.
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Old July 20, 2018, 09:20 PM   #6
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Thanks for making these posts. I like seeing the results of the gel testing.
Originally Posted by agtman View Post
That's a .40 load masquerading as a "10mm."
More so than you might think.

I shot the 180 gr. Hydra-Shock over the chronograph in both Federal's 10mm and .40 loads back in 2004 using guns with similar length barrels (Glock models 29 and 23). I found Federal loads the two essentially the same. The 10mm averaged 962 fps, which was all of 14 fps faster than the .40 version. Statistically they were the same.

I have since wondered about that. I'm sure Federal is aware of this, and could easily push the bullets faster. I'm guessing the bullet comes apart and does not perform as well at higher speeds. Or, maybe they determined that was the ideal velocity / expansion / penetration for that bullet, and going faster gave less good results.

The testing above shows we get 15-20" penetration with expansion of .50" to .75". Is that "good enough"? Maybe.

For the record, I like Hornady "Custom" JHP or Win Silvertip in 10mm. They both do 1200+ fps from a 5" barrel. But I wouldn't feel inadequate with the Hydrashocks either.
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Old July 21, 2018, 07:58 AM   #7
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For the record, I like Hornady "Custom" JHP or Win Silvertip in 10mm. They both do 1200+ fps from a 5" barrel. But I wouldn't feel inadequate with the Hydrashocks either.
Back in the very late '90s (a/k/a the bad ol' days - pre-DT, pre-BB, pre-UW), when I couldn't source ProLoad's 10mm 180gn @ 1200fps, I often carried Hornady's so-called 'Full-Load' 180gn XTP-HP @ 1180fps (5" test barrel). I found it had good consistent velocity and was very accurate in my old Smith 1076 and G20.

On the Winny 175gn STHPs, their issues have been noted and discussed before.

When they first appeared in the late '80s, chrono data showed they were doing pretty close to Winny's claimed "box flap" velocity of "1290fps," which is derived from a 5.5" factory test barrel. In real-world 5" 10mm guns, like a Delta or S&W 1006, chrono-ed velocities were in the 1225-1250fps range which, given the 10mm's huge energy curve, is still decent.

Through the '90s, however, Winny proceeded to water-down the 10mm STs to hot .40-levels, with various 10mm users chronographing velocities from 5" guns in the range of 1100-1125fps - even though the Church of Winny still claimed "1290fps" as their official velocity spec.

Post-2005 or so, after DT & McNett began loading the 10mm with hybrid propellants and demonstrating the better-than-Norma velocities the 10mm was actually capable of, 10mm fans with chronographs started seeing Winny ST velocities consistently approaching the 1200fps+ out of guns like the 4.6" Glock 20. No doubt too the fact Winny had been inundated over the years with criticism and chrono-data from 10mm users testing the STs in real-world guns provided additional incentive to actually load this ammo to the claimed specs.

All that said about velocity, the real problem with Winny's STHP was that while they were great expanders in soft tissue, they were notoriously poor penetrators when almost any intermediate barrier was encountered, including clothing.

Through the '90s, many L.E. users of the STs, even in other calibers like 9mm, dumped the bullet for its dubious performance in penetration testing. Essentially, the STHPs are simply old, outdated bullet technology. L.E. folks soon opted for other makes of better penetrating bullets, the XTPs included, but others too, as bullet tech improved, such as the Golden Sabers and Gold Dots.

Last edited by agtman; July 21, 2018 at 08:07 AM.
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Old July 23, 2018, 12:37 AM   #8
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986 fps

Just plain sorry velocity. Not only is that .40 SW velocity, that is .45 acp velocity with a near equal bullet weight. C'mon Federal.
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