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Old July 11, 2005, 09:00 PM   #1
TomNash
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Ballistic gelatin testing results : .380ACP Federal Hydrashok

Hello. I am posting here the results of a few tests that I conducted last summer because the results are posted on other websites and not on this one. Really I just wanted to the share the information with you, because when my gelatin powder runs out (~ 3 weeks), that will be the end of the line for me, as far as ballistic gelatin testing is concerned. :

"

TEST ONE

.380ACP Federal Personal Defense (90 gr. Hydrashok)

Calibration = 3.1875" velocity = 582 ft./s.

Shot 1 - Penetrated 12.5"

Shot 2 - Exited block at 11.9375"

Shot 3 - Penetrated 12.4375"

Shot 4 - Penetrated 11.9375"

Shot 5 - Penetrated 12.0625"

Average impact velocity = 843 ft./s.

Average recovered diameter = 0.469"

Firearm = Kel-Tec P3AT


TEST TWO

Hello. I tested 5 rounds of .380ACP Federal Personal Defense from a P3AT in Ballistic Gelatin last weekend.

The gelatin was Vyse brand, mixed at 10% concentration into an FBI sized block (6x6x16)". Calibration BB traveled at 594 fps and penetrated 9.4cm.

The front of the block was covered in 1 layer of 100% cotton, new and unwashed, fruit-of-the-loom T-shirt material. This material was chosen after reviewing several 100s of mugshot photos of violent criminals and their choice of upper body clothing. It also is representative of clothing worn most of the time in the southern US, where I live.

Average penetration was 12.0"
Average expansion was 0.476"
Average impact velocity was 839fps.

Lot number = 2 09H449

"

This test was undertaken to find an expanding load for a semiauto .380ACP with a short barrel, that would penetrate to FBI minimum penetration depth. This turned out to be a very hard thing to do, with only the Federal load making the cut. I would seriously recommend to short-barreled .380ACP owners to test your bullets in a valid medium or have them tested by someone qualified to do so.

Please look at the third pic, that of the bullets. The first one on the left was loaded by hand into the barrel, the rest were magazine fed. It is my opinion that the feed ramp on the barrel was damaging the hollowpoint, causing one side not to open up. While these subsequent bullets do penetrated satisfactorily, the expansion is just not as good as the first round. Does anyone know how to correct this on a Kel-Tec ? I.E. stop the barrel from eating up the shape of the bullet?

Thank you.

Tom
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Old July 11, 2005, 09:11 PM   #2
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I love reading these reports they are very informitive on choices for SD round choice. Keep up the good work
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Old July 12, 2005, 12:25 AM   #3
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bullet tests

I tested PowRball using gallon jugs of water at 15 yards. About the only difference in our results was the PowRball bullet separated. The lead bullet penetrated 3 jugs. The outer shell of the bullet went out the side of the second jug.
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Old July 14, 2005, 01:10 PM   #4
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Tom- I think the problem may be a design flaw for the KT. Have you tried different ammo? Try hand cycling a few rounds and see what the bullets look like.

Other bullets such as PowRball, EFMJ, or even Gold Dot may not have the same problems.
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Old July 14, 2005, 01:25 PM   #5
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Nice test.

This is why I use the superior Makarov. in 380 ACP.
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Old July 14, 2005, 05:15 PM   #6
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TomNash, thank you for the tests.
Those are some pretty deep channels for the .380 HydraShok. Not doubting you, but they're usually in the 7"-9" range. Interesting...
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Old July 14, 2005, 05:44 PM   #7
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TN-popo : Love the name! I am likely to agree with you on the tendancy of .380ACP HPs to penetrate to that shallow of a depth. Every JHP in .380 that I could think of and buy as current production was tried out in gelatin. Winchester SXT and Speer Golddot were both outstanding in terms of expansion in bare and lightly clothed gelatin. The problem was that the SXT went 10" while the Golddot about 9" .

If I could leave the folks reading this message (and those concerned with their firearms terminal performance) a word of advice that I have found to be true through gelatin testing : each firearm will shoot a particular brand of ammunition to different velocities, and in handgun JHPs especially, the expansion of the bullet is dependant largely on velocity. A bullet that is larger diameter will penetrate shallower than a bullet that is smaller diameter, everything else being the same.

Combine that with the fact that powerful pistol bullets have about 33 percent of the momentum of a light rifle cartridge, the reason for variation of JHP performance from pistol to pistol might hopefully become clearer.

That idea is what really started me in on this gelatin-testing business. I had an IWBA publication of .380ACP performance from a Colt Mustang pistol and compared the diameters of the listed cartridges to water-tested bullets fired out of my Kel-Tec P3AT (same barrel length 2.75" ) . The results in both the water and my later gelatin tests were wildly different. In a calibrated block of gelatin, the 102gr. Golden Saber (my tests) went about 8.5" in the block, while in the aforementioned test, it met FBI standards at about 12.5" of penetration (but it expanded much less than did mine in both test events).

Tom
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Old July 14, 2005, 06:57 PM   #8
TN-popo
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Tom...thanks again.
I know you said it was the end of your gel testing career, but if you change you're mind and want some financial/labor help, I'm in the Smyrna/M'Boro area.
Best
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Old July 14, 2005, 07:10 PM   #9
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You are very much welcome. I have talked with the people at Oak Ridge National laboratory regarding employment when I graduate later this year. I think they are in Nashville area... ? Never know, if that shakes out, I'll have to take you up on it...

Tom
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Old July 14, 2005, 09:41 PM   #10
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Tom- Where in TN are you located?
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Old July 14, 2005, 10:02 PM   #11
TomNash
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G-19 ... I'm actually in Florida at the moment. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with a person at ORNL ... So if I am even more fortunate and get a job working there, I would end up in Oak Ridge, which is just west of Knoxville.

Tom
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Old July 15, 2005, 01:09 AM   #12
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That would be nice- Im supposedly around an hour west of Knoxville, although I never been there so im not sure of the exact time.

Good luck!
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Old July 15, 2005, 09:29 PM   #13
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Good deal. Can I ask how you like Tennessee? Going by the few persons I have met who are from there, I am reminded of what real Southerners are like.

I am from Florida and since the early 1990s, a person could reasonably call us 'New York City, reloaded' . So I would like to get back to a familiar environment.

Not to throw the thread off-topic ... I am planning a .223 Remington test in 3-4 days with the Remington 55 gr. soft point bullet. My goal is to find a .223 load that is accessible to almost everyone, the only limitation being that the cartridge will be handloaded. These particular cartridges cost approximately 1/5 of what a 'premium' factory bonded-bullet cartridge would cost. Will keep you all posted.

Tom
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Old July 15, 2005, 10:49 PM   #14
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Tom- I used to live in Kansas City, KS, so moving to the country (I believe the population here is around 15,000 or so, probably less) is a relief. Most people are nice, well mannered, and easy to get along with. They arent stubborn and rude like "city slickers".

I cant wait for the .223 tests. I will be getting an AR-15 soon and have started looking for a good home defense load for it.
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Old February 4, 2011, 09:43 AM   #15
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I have been reading the blogs comparing self-defense rounds. The main focus in these blogs have been penetration vs. shock (or knock-down force). First let me qualify my comments, I am not an authority on bullets or guns, but do have a degree in physics. I also have a close friend who is a doctor in an ER.

The desire for the best of both worlds is at best a compromise between the two. In order to maximize shock the bullet must fully expend its energy and not exit. In doing so the bullet must decelerate quickly against the resistance of the target. With penetration the bullet must be able to resist the resistance of the target and pass through it (or deeper into it- with a slow deceleration rate). The two cannot both exist in the same round- hence a compromise must be made.

Good arguments have been made on both sides as which is best and under what circumstances. Ammunition manufacturers have tried to meet the demands of both sides with rapidly expanding bullets that do not expand too greatly in order to retain penetration energy. A high penetration, low shock bullet does little damage except directly in front of the projectile, where damage is done in a very small path but much deeper because of slow deceleration. A low penetration high shock bullet does its damage quickly and in a conical path but is much shallower due to the rapid deceleration. The SAME energy is expended in both examples (unless either bullet exits before coming to rest).

Arguments are that a bullet with high knockdown may never hit a vital organ, and a bullet with high penetration may not stop a victim’s advance. The downsides are that a high penetration may miss a vital organ and do little damage. A low penetration bullet may not inflict lethal damage due to being stopped by thick fat, muscle or bone.

While the same round may not have exact energy at the muzzle due to the mechanics of the gun, example a locking bolt opposed to a blowback bolt, a short barrel as opposed to a longer barrel (to a limit), just to name a few. Energy delivery. Mass (weight) and speed (velocity) at the impact point are key for the bullet to perform as intended.

Now from my friend in ER. He states that bullets that are high penetration and low are the easiest to fix- they are usually dead OR a minor wound. A bullet with high impact shock cause more trauma to the body and the death rate is close in both cases. In shooting deaths, the high impact victim more often dies in the ER and the high penetration is DOA. By far the worst are medium range shotgun shootings- (High energy, deep penetration, massive shock and damage).

My opinion is to mix the clip (first is high impact followed by high penetration), use the highest energy for the caliber, place the shot well, and most importantly FOLLOW the first bullet very closely with the second bullet. The first bullet should get his undivided attention and the second one insures a toe tag on his DOA ride. Those are just my thoughts on the subject and I would hate to ever have to make the decision on who lives or dies but I intend to keep my options open just in case.
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Old February 4, 2011, 10:02 AM   #16
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Necroposting on this ancient thread to state some twaddle about "shock" (no reasonably sized handgun round is going to provide anything of the sort) is actually a good thing in this case.

The popularity of .380 ammo threads lately makes this one a good choice to raise from the dead. It provides another jello test that, along with the excellent brassfetcher.com tests, shows that the .380 Federal Hydrashok is just about the only .380 ammunition choice that both expands and penetrates 12".
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Old February 4, 2011, 10:37 AM   #17
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+1 the 90 grain Hydra-Shok is the only expanding ammunition I would consider in the .380 ACP but I will stick with the Buffalo Bore Standard Pressure 100 grain hard cast FP which sill go two feet in ballistic gelatin or what I mostly use, the Winchester WB 95 grain FMJ FP which goes 20 inches. Regardless I get fantastic straight line penetration with the destruction of the flat point.
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Old February 4, 2011, 01:35 PM   #18
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the corbon dpx round seems to be a good round out of the p3at. I do believe and have seen some tests where approx 3/4 of the round will open, which could mean that the hp is getting dented in or distorted on one side as it is forced over the ramp into the barrel. Kel-tecs website has some test info on the dpx and others.
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Old February 5, 2011, 12:22 PM   #19
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If you accept the FBI report on wounding ballistics, the only thing that accomplishes an immediate stop is to hit the central nervous system (CNS). That takes deep penetration. FMJ is the only thing I will carry in a .380 (And I very rarely carry a .380).

Fatality rates are not important if the bad guy is able to continue his attack for 30 or 60 seconds even if he dies later.
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Old February 5, 2011, 01:27 PM   #20
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Run some testing on the .357 mag. 158 gr Gold Dot or XTPHP at 1250fps. maximum.
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Old February 5, 2011, 03:02 PM   #21
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Two things amaze me about the original post of this thread.

1. It's almost 6 years old.

2. It's also done on these pages:

For the bare gelatin:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/90%20gra...ydra-Shok.html

For the denim covered gelatin:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/380acp%2...othing%29.html

(Source: www.brassfetcher.com)
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Old February 5, 2011, 04:05 PM   #22
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The "New" O/P expained why he raised this from the dead and this is better information http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%2...%20gelatin.pdf
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Old February 6, 2011, 12:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
The "New" O/P expained why he raised this from the dead
No, he didn't. He just lit in to advancing some theories of his own.

Quote:
and this is better information
Yes, I'm aware of brassfetcher's new site since I posted the link to it. I was giving links from the old site where the information from the original post is located.

The reason I pointed this out is because it smells fishy. The "old" brassfetcher site was up and running in 2004. Why didn't the OP just post a link to it? I guess we'll never know because the OP from 2005 hasn't even posted since 2007.
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Old August 13, 2011, 09:59 AM   #24
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I think we have carried this hollow point thing a bit too far in the .380 auto discussions. After having read reports and comments by ER doctors who have treated gunshot wounds, and homicide detectives who have investigated hundreds of shootings, I have come to the conclusion that in these smaller calibers, .25, .32, and .380, the lack of bullet weight and velocity make it evident that hollowpoint/expanding ammo is NOT very effective in these weaker cartridges. PENETRATION is the key here, and that means full metal jacketed bullets. Gellatin and water jug tests look good on paper, but in reality, many expanding .380 rounds do not penetrate far enough in actual human shootings to do enough damage to stop an attacker. You can do your own research on the internet on this subject, so I won't get into any arguments here on this forum. But as a result of my own investigations, I have decided that I will only carry full metal jacketed ammo in my P238. The gellatin junkies can continue their arguments to the contrary, but penetration is the key to effectiveness with the .380 and other mouse gun rounds, not expansion. Over penetration can occur, of course, but that will be in rare circumstances. When you are shooting to defend your life or the lives of others, you have to hit the bad guy's vitals and in these small calibers, penetration is the only thing that makes real world sense.
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Old August 13, 2011, 12:57 PM   #25
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Mr. Nash, thank you for taking time to preform and then publish the results of your study. Even though I no longer own a .380 caliber pistol, I will file your information away in case I ever purchase another .380 caliber pistol.
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