View Full Version : Hornady critical defense ammo - yea or nay?
Is there any information yet about Hornady's 9 millie Critical Defense ammo?
It sounds good, conceptually, but I wince when any
handgun ammunition is touted as "(expanding)....every time!" (my emphasis added)
I would consider this load for my SO's carry, though, obviously, until such time as we have a data base to draw conclusions from, it'll be Brand BlahBlahBlah.
Any thoughts, anyone??
It would not be on my short list of recommended duty ammo since it's not designed to deal with barriers other than heavy clothing.
Might be really good concealed carry or BUG ammo.
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it as a duty round. Off-duty might be fine where you are less apt to be shooting thru barriers. One of my co-workers has them in his backup/off-duty .380 and loves them. I don't know what that substance is in the tip but it feels like a soft rubber almost. I'll be watching to see how they perform.
The Hornady XTP in .380 is marginal in bare gelatin... if the newer load expands better (more), it should be worse!!!
I looked at my data collected back in 1997... an article I had published in the WBR, Vol. 3, No. 2... where I tested 8 different .380 HP loads. The Hornady XTP JHP was the best performer, but the estimated bare gelatin penetration (my testing was in my 'water-testing' tank, using the MacPherson methodology from the penetration model in his book: 'Bullet Penetration') was only 10.4 to 12.4 inches, with a 5-shot average of only 11.34 inches. This load was the best of the 8 popular loads tested, and even it is considered marginal.
I had a friend give me 3 rounds of this new 'Critical Defense' load to water-test in my tank, and I plan to do that this weekend. The bottom line would be determined by the expansion as compared to the XTP JHP, since this new load is the same bullet weight and velocity as the XTP JHP.
Preliminary info from Hornady is here:
OK... I did the water-testing...
I took pictures, and will post them soon.
The expanded bullets look like they have roughly the same expanded diameter and recovered length as the 90 grain XTP's recovered in my 1997 testing. The expansion (3 rounds) looked extrememely uniform with the 'Critical Defense' ('CD')and the expanded bullet still has a hollow area at the nose, unlike the XTP. The expanded XTP has more of a 'rounded star shape' when viewed from the front, whereas the expanded 'CD' rounds are basically just 'round'...
The 'CD' bullets appear to expand in a way that would lead me to think that the penetration depth would be roughly the same as the XTP. So that leaves me personally with the question as to if it is really any better at all...
Preliminarily, I would think NO...
I think the point is that the XTPs have been known to clog on heavy clothing, the rubber filled hollow point would seem to solve that.
I have an 'FBI Ammunition Test Summary' (and its pictures) from 27 Jul 2006 that show the .380 Hornady XTP shot through the FBI Protocol Test. There were 8 stages: 'Bare Gelatin', 'Heavy Clothing', 'Steel', 'Wallboard', 'Plywood', 'Auto Glass', 'Heavy Clothing at 20 Yards' and 'Auto Glass at 20 Yards'.
The only stages that appeared to give the bullet a challenge were the 'Steel', 'Auto Glass' and 'Auto Glass at 20 Yards'...
It went 11.25 inches in Bare Gelatin (Expansion was .47 inches), 13.35 inches in 'Heavy Clothing' (Expansion was .42 inches) and 13.65 inches in 'Heavy Clothing at 20 Yards' (Expansion was .41 inches)... and the pictures don't look all that different between those 2 stages...
These are pictures from the water-testing I just performed...
In both attached pictures, the bullet on the left is the Hornady XTP, the 3 on the right are the Hornady 'Critical Defense'...
Heres one of DocGKR pictures which show a .38 Sp 'Critical Defense' load on the right, compared to an all copper Barnes XPB projectile in the middle, and a Speer 135 gr +P Gold Dot on the left:
Top row in bare Gel.
Second row is denim covered
OK, I see the picture... it tells me the 'CD' load is crummy against 4 Layers of Denim...
But I have a picture (FBI source) that shows that the older XTP works fine against 'Heavy Clothing'...
Not sure how to post the FBI picture... it is part of a .pdf
PM me if you need proof of this claim...
Wait a minute... did you really mean that the 'CD' load in Doc's picture is a .38???
I thought we were talking .380 ACP here...
That pic is of tested .38s, and not the newest as Doc retested the Hornady load.
The photo is of .38 sp. We indeed re-shot the test with a new lot of Hornady ammo and it worked much better: http://www.m4carbine.net/showthread.php?t=25310&page=2
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