Ballistic gelatin test results : .357 Magnum Black Talon (180gr)


Brass Fetcher
April 13, 2007, 09:28 PM
Special thanks to JohnKSa for providing the ammunition for this test and in so-doing, fueling my gelatin habit. :)

Cartridge : 180gr Winchester Black Talon

Firearm : .357 Magnum revolver with 2.5" barrel length

Block calibration : All depths corrected (From 12.4cm @ 601 ft/sec)

Single shot fired from 10' distance. Impacted at 1092 ft/sec, penetrated to 13.9" and was recovered at 0.632" average diameter.

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April 13, 2007, 09:42 PM
Thank you for all of your AWESOME posts JE223!!!!

April 13, 2007, 10:03 PM
Fascinating. I've actually got some of that stuff. I would have expected overpenetration. Whatever folks say about .357 heavy HP's, that bullet has to be the meanest looking projectile I've ever seen. It's the perfect combination of a full wadcutter and an array of ginsu knives.

Mike U.
April 13, 2007, 10:11 PM
Is this the older, true titled "Black Talons"?
Or is it the current generation Winchester "Ranger" which is essentially the same Black Talon just the newer, improved incarnation?

I ask because I hear the two rounds' names inter-changed so frequently anymore it's hard to tell sometimes which one is being referenced.

BTW, thanks for sharing!

I'm always interested in seeing performance pics of the Winchester Black Talon family. I run Rangers in my .45 ACP, 9 mm and even the lowly 380 ACP . I run 180 gr. Winchester Partition Gold thru the .357 because I was unaware there was any .357 Ranger "Black Talon" ammo in production.

Jim March
April 13, 2007, 10:29 PM
I think that's the real (bleeeeeep), guys. Note the black coat, the pointy bits...

Penetration is actually amazingly shallow for a 180. Sucker must be popping open like a cluster of switchblades owned by meth-heads.

Heap big medicine.

Brass Fetcher
April 13, 2007, 11:09 PM
@Mike U. - Yes, it's is the Black Talon, "2/3 evil-by-weight bullet". You should look at the gelatin results of the .380ACP Ranger bullet, IMO... In the 2 shots that I fired from a Kel-Tec P3AT, I got no deeper than 8.0" penetration. The Ranger (or Black Talon) line of bullets are near-perfection in my opinion... but this particular bullet penetrates so shallow and it is very surprising that it does.

April 14, 2007, 12:04 AM
Wow, I'm really impressed with the expansion on that sucker as compared to some of the 158gr rounds. I would have expected full penetration of the block from that round. It just goes to show that testing a round is MUCH better than going by what you "think" it should do.

Mike U.
April 14, 2007, 10:34 PM
Brass Fetcher,

Yes sir, I agree with your assessment on the .380 results. This particular .380 was bought waaay back when I was younger and "economically challenged". :D
I think I keep it around as a reminder of what was and hopefully what never will be again. I never carry it(in the last couple of decades at least) and have been hemming and hawing about getting rid of it because it's doing nothing but taking up space in the safe.
Reason being is the very statement you cite. It's not nearly effective enough and FMJ is the only round in this caliber that'll get deep enough to do any fight stopping damage. And FMJ seems to traditionally just plain :barf: in that arena.

I bought the Rangers for it when I discovered a seller at one of the gun shows here and spent hundreds of dollars loading up on every caliber he had the Rangers in. A case of 9mm, case of .45 ACP(regular and +P), half a case of 12 ga. slugs, half a case of buckshot, box of .380 and so on.
I was looking for a particular gun that day, but, when I saw a nearly full line of Ranger ammo, well, bye-bye went the gun money. :what: I still left the show a very happy man. ;) :D :D

Brass Fetcher
April 14, 2007, 11:03 PM

What .380ACP handgun are you using?

Is a test with a Kel-Tec P3AT ... I have found that the Federal Personal Defense Hydra-Shok works (just barely, but better than anything else I have tried, including handloads.)

Mike U.
April 15, 2007, 02:27 AM
It's one of those cheap Jennings (Bryco) .380's. Had it since around the early 80's. Better jobs and a couple of years after buying it I was into magnums(.357 and .41) and 9mm for an auto-loader so the little .380 fell into dis-use. The only real reason I have Rangers for it is my belief that if I own any gun, I need to have ammo for it on-hand. I ran 18 rounds thru it to check for reliable feeding and back into the safe it went.
I have a Kel-Tec P-11 for pocket carry that is about the same size as the .380, so the .380 has effectively been obsoleted. :)

Odd Job
April 15, 2007, 02:31 AM
@ Mike U

There is an interesting discussion about the Black Talon/Ranger SXT line here:

@ JE223

Good work, as usual!

Mike U.
April 15, 2007, 02:58 AM
Odd Job,

That was a heckuva good read. Thank you!

I'd been interested in the evolution of the Talon/Ranger loads and this was very enlightening!

April 15, 2007, 03:15 AM
Mike U: Here is the info on Ranger SXT's in .380 [RA380TP] (and other calibers) from Winchester's law enforcement site . . . As you'll see JE223's test data on the .380 is spot on with Winchester's. About 8" is all the Ranger .380 has to offer. The Federal 90 grain HSJHP penetrates better and many carry flat pointed FMJ as well for expansion.

I've been using the 127 +P+ in my 9mm's, but the bonded +P's (sans talons) seems to penetrate better in denim and hvy cloth but give up a small bit of expansion.

Mike U.
April 15, 2007, 03:34 PM

WOW! This info is Gold! Those .380's open up pretty good for the most part, but, that penetration flat out stinks.
You guys have helped me to make up my mind. I appreciate the help. I'm taking these .380 Rangers out to punch some paper with them just to burn them up. Then I'll see if one of the local gun shops wants to buy it. In all honesty, I have no real world use for a .380 ACP. I already have a snubby .38 and a pocket 9mm so the CCW base is well covered. :cool:

April 16, 2007, 01:18 AM
Wow. Now that's a snub-nosed load! 180 gr at OVER 1000fps.

How bad is the kick on that and does Winchester make a Ranger version?

Brass Fetcher
April 16, 2007, 11:52 AM
The kick was not an issue at all - it was about the same as the Speer Gold Dot 158gr... which, in the all-steel revolver was not much. It felt about the same as a 1911, using standard .45ACP ammo. But - the 'Buck Fever' effect is present when shooting gelatin... as you know, it takes some doing to go from gelatin powder to gelatin block on table at range, so I really want the shot to go right (high pressure/stress on shooter)! I don't remember shooting the 45-70gov that made the mess-of-block that comes up on the front page of my site, for instance.

I would expect the recoil to be on par with a hot .45 in a 1911.

April 27, 2007, 01:18 AM

That's very impressive performance for 180 gr .357Mag out of a snubby.

I may have to take another look at the Ranger line.

Brass Fetcher
April 27, 2007, 11:54 AM
@JohnKSa - These were actually the evil 'Black Talon' bullets... sent to me by a fella on THR ... :)

Although I don't see any difference between the Ranger and the Talon line... both really impress me, in most calibers.

April 27, 2007, 12:00 PM
There does seem to be a difference in the way the petals unfold. On the original BT's the wadcutter underneath is very clearly defined, as are the cutting petals. On SXT's and Rangers the wadcutter is less clearly defined and the petals are more "dull" and sloppy. Not, of course, that it makes any difference at 1,000+ fps.

April 27, 2007, 12:07 PM
Any thoughts on that round out a levergun for a levergun/revolver "all purpose load" ?

Seems like out of a small barrel it does the job just fine.... which makes me wonder about performance from longer barrelled weapons.

April 27, 2007, 02:23 PM
...which makes me wonder about performance from longer barrelled weapons.Me too!

See John--if you feed them they only want more! :D

These were actually the evil 'Black Talon' bullets... sent to me by a fella on THR ... I didn't know that these were 180 gr bullets when I sent them so it was a surprise to see that part of the results. I received these rounds as part of a trade/purchase from a coworker--I knew that they were BT but that's about it.

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