Your view on Hydra-Shok ammo?


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el Godfather
May 14, 2012, 04:06 PM
Dear THR,
I wanted to ask your views on application of Hydra-Shok ammo in self defense. Is Hydra-Shok really a potent choice or does it have short comings that I should be aware of?

Thanks

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rcmodel
May 14, 2012, 04:14 PM
It is an older bullet design that has been around for a long time.

But it does work, and may give deeper penetration then some other loads.

It generally feeds well in anything.
And 100% reliability trumps magic bullets every time.

rc

TimboKhan
May 14, 2012, 04:31 PM
I use it more or less exclusively for my sd needs. As rc said, it feeds, its reliable and it's proven.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Shipwreck
May 14, 2012, 04:48 PM
I've stuck with it in 9mm all these years - the 124 grain non +p version.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 05:19 PM
el_Godfather]Dear THR,
I wanted to ask your views on application of Hydra-Shok ammo in self defense. Is Hydra-Shok really a potent choice or does it have short comings that I should be aware of?

Thanks

I think it is outdated. If you already have a bunch, have tested it in your gun(s), and it works well then you have a good reason to stick with it.

If you are trying to make a decision on what defensive round(s) to go with, I suggest looking at something from the newer generation. I personally really like Speer Gold Dot. The Federal HST seems very good too. Winchester Ranger would make the cut but they seem to have too many quality control problems.

Rampant_Colt
May 14, 2012, 05:28 PM
It is notorious for clogging with clothing material, not expanding and overpenetrating. Federal has done a most excellent job of marketing H-S ammo, and interwebz hyperbole in conjunction with the fictional Handgun Stopping Power books that claimed 100% one-shot stopping power (from 5" barrel handguns) keep this ammo alive and selling strong.

http://i50.tinypic.com/mrwehu.jpg
Nonsense like this sells ammunition ↑

Hydra-Shok bullets work well when no clothing or barriers are involved.
I'm not certain how many criminals go around without clothing in the wintertime around these parts.

More info here:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs26.htm


http://i49.tinypic.com/zlaw0l.jpg

Wetpack tests I personally conducted using a 5" Colt 1991A1

I'm certain this post will illicit a deep, emotional resonse from folks who use H-S ammo, but ammunition choices like HST, Ranger-T, DPX, Gold Dot and Golden Saber are readily available and are a much better choice than the 30+ year old design.

Please read THIS (http://ammo.ar15.com/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm)

Sent from my computer using my keyboard

Loosedhorse
May 14, 2012, 05:47 PM
the fictional Handgun Stopping Power books that claimed 100% one-shot stopping power (from 5" barrel handguns) keep this ammo alive and selling strong.There are three tables that include data about the .45 230 gr Hydrashok in the 1992 edition. The two tables in chapters agree exactly, and claim a 88% one-shot-stop rate. The last table, in Appendix C, lists 10 more shootings (and 10 more stops) for a 90% rate. I see no discussion about a 100% rate of one-stot-stops from 5-inch barrels. In fact, I see no discussion separating out the 5-inch barrel shots at all.

krimmie
May 14, 2012, 05:53 PM
Who wears 4 layers of denim?

Warp
May 14, 2012, 05:57 PM
Who wears 4 layers of denim?

They don't have to wear 4 layers of denim for the test to be useful, or even representative of real life situations.

Example: It is not at all uncommon to have somebodies arm between you and their torso/chest. Going through the arm/sleeve is two layers of everything in their sleeve area, as well as the arm itself, and then after that the bullet still must go through all of the clothing on the torso. That can easily add up to far more than 4 layers of clothing.

Even without an arm in the way during cool/cold weather one might be wearing 4+ layers of clothing, which can wreak havoc on a hollow point's ability to open

A bullet that clogs so badly through the 4 layer denim test that it completely fails to open can be considered to have failed.

mljdeckard
May 14, 2012, 05:58 PM
It's perfectly fine. Honestly, in the real world, there is little difference in the performance of premium JHP brands.

I do have to roll my eyes a little, the Hydra-shok was considered to be near the top of the list fo ra long time, and then when the HST came out, people were acting like the Hydra-shok had magically become useless overnight. Just because there is a new one that in some peoples' opinion, in some loads, under some circumstances, might perform somewhat beter, it doesn't render the old one useless.

Having said that, I have carried HSTs for a while now.

JohnBT
May 14, 2012, 07:52 PM
"Wetpack tests"

I was attacked one night by a wetpack. No, not really, just kidding.

meanmrmustard
May 14, 2012, 07:59 PM
I like seeing the ballistic gel tests. It gives an "idea" of what you MAY expect from optimum performance, albeit situations are not always optimum.

Okiegunner
May 14, 2012, 09:09 PM
The Hydra-Shock ammo has stood the test of time and should be perfectly fine for SD use.

However, given the choice I prefer Federal HST or Hornady Critical Defense. I have an ammo box with 200 rounds of each in 9mm and .40

C0untZer0
May 14, 2012, 09:37 PM
I will say this for the Hydra-Shok, it was always really accurate in my handguns.

Maybe it was something about that center post in the hollow point or something - I don't know, but it is one accurate shooting round for me.

Having said that, when tested in media, the Ranger T looks very cool with the little claws and everything, Hydra-Shok with it's limp thingy kind of hanging over... not so much.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=164490&stc=1&d=1337042538

krimmie
May 14, 2012, 10:14 PM
I like seeing the ballistic gel tests. It gives an "idea" of what you MAY expect from optimum performance, albeit situations are not always optimum.

Maybe they should add some bone to it.

Example: It is not at all uncommon to have somebodies arm between you and their torso/chest. Going through the arm/sleeve is two layers of everything in their sleeve area, as well as the arm itself, and then after that the bullet still must go through all of the clothing on the torso. That can easily add up to far more than 4 layers of clothing.

Looking at this example, do you really want a bullet to rapidly expand?

There are an infinite number of scenarios out there, each bullet design has it's strengths and weaknesses, so how does one choose?

An incident happened here recently where a criminal fleeing crashed on a busy highway. He shot an officer attempting to give aid, then got into a gunfight with another officer. Traffic had stopped on the highway, and this guys was just walking amongst the vehicles with a gun in his hand. Now if he was to turn towards my vehicle and my window was up(most people have windows up, a.c. on here...it's HOT), I night have to defend myself through the glass...don't think I'd want a rapidly expanding bullet design here.

Here's the story for clarity.
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Law-Enforcement-Officer-Shot-on-Floridas-Turnpike-FHP-151023155.html

Warp
May 14, 2012, 10:18 PM
Looking at this example, do you really want a bullet to rapidly expand?

I want it to expand, yes, absolutely.

I only carry JHP in calibers that are capable of sufficient penetration while also expanding.

An incident happened here recently where a criminal fleeing crashed on a busy highway. He shot an officer attempting to give aid, then got into a gunfight with another officer. Traffic had stopped on the highway, and this guys was just walking amongst the vehicles with a gun in his hand. Now if he was to turn towards my vehicle and my window was up(most people have windows up, a.c. on here...it's HOT), I night have to defend myself through the glass...don't think I'd want a rapidly expanding bullet design here.

Here's the story for clarity.

Car window glass? Are you really worried about a Gold Dot, HST, Golden Saber, etc, failing to perform because you shot through your car's window? I suggest you do more research on handgun wounding ballistics and the performances of various rounds.

BTW: If you were going to talk about through the windshield, something like the Gold dots (bonded) that I first referenced would be outstanding, and definitely preferred over hydrashok.

JTQ
May 14, 2012, 10:19 PM
mljdeckard wrote,
It's perfectly fine. Honestly, in the real world, there is little difference in the performance of premium JHP brands.

I do have to roll my eyes a little, the Hydra-shok was considered to be near the top of the list fo ra long time, and then when the HST came out, people were acting like the Hydra-shok had magically become useless overnight. Just because there is a new one that in some peoples' opinion, in some loads, under some circumstances, might perform somewhat beter, it doesn't render the old one useless.

Having said that, I have carried HSTs for a while now.
This is a valid post.

I always like to think of a room with 10 guys in it. Of those 10, lets say three are carrying a gun (probably a pretty high percentage in the real world). One guy has a pocket .380 since we all know "the gun you have with with you is better than the one you have back in your safe". He has his .380 loaded with HST ammo. Another guy has a .38 Special S&W J-Frame with Speer Gold Dot. You are stuck with either your G17 or your 1911 and only have Hydra-Shok ammo because you are too cheap to upgrade to the new technology rounds. Of the 10 guys in the room, who's do you think is better off? I'll take my chances with the G17 or 1911 even if all I had was ball ammo in either of those pistols.

KenW.
May 14, 2012, 10:24 PM
While it works; after all. There are some who still suggest hardball. Technology has surpassed the Hydra Shock. Look at the more modern bonded bullets like the Gold Dot.

krimmie
May 14, 2012, 10:38 PM
I suggest you do more research on handgun wounding ballistics and the performances of various rounds.

I'll admit warp that I'm more of a shotgunner, I'm not defending Hydra-shok ammo, in fact, I haven't had any in years. I should take your advice and check into performance a bit more though. For the record, I either carry a S&W 6906 with Rem. 147 gr, Golden sabers, or my Kahr K-40 with Win. Ranger 165 gr. JHP.

abq87120
May 14, 2012, 10:39 PM
HST's are awesome. I shot one through three one-gallon milk jugs of water. I found the bullet quite a long way behind the jugs. It had expanded as advertised. A beautiful round. It looked like 100% of it's weight was there.

Warp
May 14, 2012, 10:40 PM
Golden Saber and Ranger are solid choices.

Tomcat47
May 14, 2012, 10:48 PM
Great bullet....have used and still use in 9mm CCW.

I understand the testing with 4 layers of denim...but real world not too applicable!

I used Hyda Shok in .357 Magnum for whitetail deer...and it is a very impressive cartridge on them from 6" Barrel.

krimmie
May 14, 2012, 10:54 PM
Golden Saber and Ranger are solid choices.

Truly by accident on my part.

Rampant_Colt
May 14, 2012, 11:02 PM
Gold Dot bullets are plated, not bonded..


4-layers of denim is a very real-world applicable test. Here's why:


http://i48.tinypic.com/34ytvmv.jpg

Count how many layers of fabric a bullet may have to penetrate before making contact with center mass.

Some useful information about this subject:
http://demigodllc.com/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php?sort=wv2

http://www.gunthorp.com/wounding_factors.htm

The website linked below briefs the performance standards of the FBI Ballistic Test Protocol:
http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm

meanmrmustard
May 14, 2012, 11:04 PM
Gold Dot bullets are plated, not bonded..


4-layers of denim is a very real-world applicable test. Here's why:


http://i48.tinypic.com/34ytvmv.jpg

Count how many layers of fabric a bullet may have to penetrate before making contact with center mass.

Some useful information about this subject:
http://demigodllc.com/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php?sort=wv2

http://www.gunthorp.com/wounding_factors.htm

The website linked below briefs the performance standards of the FBI Ballistic Test Protocol:
http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm
Ha! Hobo wit a shotgun!!!

Warp
May 14, 2012, 11:07 PM
Gold Dot bullets are plated, not bonded..

Speer Gold dots are bonded. Here is a link, though there are tons of other sources and I'm surprised you were not aware.

http://www.speer-ammo.com/products/gold_dot_prsnl.aspx

An excerpt:

"Gold Dot was the first high-performance handgun ammunition to be loaded with true, bonded-core bullets. Using our exclusive Uni-Cor® process, we bond the jacket to the core one molecule at a time. This virtually eliminates core-jacket separation, the leading cause of handgun bullet failures and often inherent in the design of conventional bullets."

Rampant_Colt
May 14, 2012, 11:19 PM
Nope, the copper is electro-plated onto a lead core like cheap jewlery. They vary the lead hardness and copper thickness based on the bullet's intended velocity window

Uni-Cor technology bonds an incredibly uniform jacket to the core—one molecule at a time

http://www.speer-ammo.com/products/gold_dot_const.aspx

"one molecule at a time" is fancy-shmancy jargon for an electro-plating process. Uni-Cor was the original name of Gold Dot bullets back in 1991-'92 before being changed to Gold Dot, and is a process CCI/Speer uses to manufacture TMJ and Gold Dot bullets. Maybe I'm splitting hairs here

Warp
May 14, 2012, 11:23 PM
I'm still seeing bonded.

Frankly I've been active on gun boards since 2005 and you are the first person to ever claim Gold Dots were not bonded. Also, I've come across a fair amount of tests and real world results with Gold Dots and their performance indicates that they are in fact legitimately bonded.

My technical knowledge does not allow me to fully appreciate your post or its implications at this time.

Archie
May 15, 2012, 12:01 AM
I've got about 400 rounds of Federal Hydra-Shok ammo in the 230 grain .45 ACP version. It functions well in all the autopistols I carry for defense. It shoots well in all the autopistols I carry for defense.

Even if it 'clogs' and fails to expand, it's still as useful as G. I. hardball. I see no reason to shoot it up just because and purchase new ammo just because it's 'new'.

Okay, if I had none, what would I select? As mentioned, all the premium HP ammo varieties are all pretty good. I'd probably buy a box of each and see which brands function in my pistols, and secondarily, how they group. First preference is the best functioning, tie breaker is accuracy.

The man with the double barreled shotgun; how many layers of clothing to penetrate? None. From that angle, I'd put the first round just above the muzzles of that shotgun. I'm a pretty simple guy.

Warp
May 15, 2012, 12:39 AM
Archie: I don't think most of us count on being able to make a one shot headshot on an attacker coming at us with a shotgun in a real life scenario. Most of us are not that exceptionally skilled.

ApacheCoTodd
May 15, 2012, 12:42 AM
I like 'em. Does it have shortcomings? Absolutely and especially if you shop for data to support a particular scenario.

That said, I can't imagine a load which everyone agrees is best.


For me;

H-S has proven to be dead reliable regardless of storage or length of carry time

It has flat sent coyotes, a couple of feral dogs and a white tail in North Cackolakee straight and dramatically off to the big adios.

Feeds - so far - in absolutely everything I've run it through.

Dr.Rob
May 15, 2012, 12:53 AM
I like them.

I bought them in .357, 45ACP, 380 and 44 mag way back when.

44's open up way too fast for deer sized game. I switched to a 240 softpoint , then a 300gr softpoint.

in 45 ACP the 'older' design shot really well but loading and unloading I got bullet set back. Changed that by making my 'house' gun a 45 ACP revolver. I've shot one into game before, results were impressive.

Saw a 158 gr 357 hydrashock switch off an elk with a coup de grace.

In 90 gr .380 the hydrashock opens up way to fast.

Guess I've had mixed results. I decided the 380 didn't have mass to go deep if it was expanding as soon as it hit bone. 357 and 45 didn't seem to have that issue. I had fired the 44 into clay and it blew up--not what i wanted in a pistol I was carrying as a 'short rifle' in deer season.

It's an old design, but it works.

C0untZer0
May 15, 2012, 02:29 AM
we bond the jacket to the core one molecule at a time

That must be exhausting...

Inebriated
May 15, 2012, 03:13 AM
I love it. If I can't get HST's, I'll get Hydra-Shoks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=k0515AxzA5c

777TRUTH
May 15, 2012, 04:55 AM
Having said that, when tested in media, the Ranger T looks very cool with the little claws and everything, Hydra-Shok with it's limp thingy kind of hanging over... not so much.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=164490&stc=1&d=1337042538

Viagra anyone?

The Hydra Shock is a proven SD round. It will get the job done but as always there maybe better options out there.

I use them and like them, I also live in Florida and don't have to deal with heavy winter clothing for a very long time.

Friends and family living up north still have a summer carry round (124gr Hydra Shock) and a heavier winter carry round (147gr HST).

skt239
May 15, 2012, 07:33 AM
I've been using Hydra's for years now. Before I used it in all calibers but these days it's mainly just .357 in my HD gun. Is there better ammo? Certainly but nothing wrong with the Hydra's.

Ash
May 15, 2012, 07:40 AM
If you are counting 4 layers of denim, but throwing an arm into the mix, you have created a different scenario. Flesh of an arm will start the bullet expanding, which changes the geometry of the round once it goes through another layer. 4-straight layers, lying parallel to each other, does not reflect clothing worn on a body, with strands going different direction from each other. A ballooned coat set in front of a layer of denim would potentially be a valid comparison. But even the bad guy in the picture, his layers are not adjacent to the point that they offer mutual resistance to a potential round. His arm would change any bullet that penetrated it. Nothing in that photo is representative of 4 layers of a reasonably tough material where each layer assists each other (as strands in a cable).

4 layers of denim cannot make any kind of claim to reality, unless the guy was wearing 4 pairs of jeans or 4 denim jackets.

stevekozak
May 15, 2012, 08:28 AM
I like Hydra-shoks. As an above poster stated, they have been very accurate and easy to shoot in both my 1911s and my Sig232. I have one pistol that doesn't like to load them reliably, and in that pistol I carry Golden Sabers. Also, as stated, most premium HPS are perfectly acceptable. As same poster stated, as soon as HST came along, HS was suddenly the red headed step child. I have some HST in .45, and it is fine, but will not be loaded in my carry 1911s until all my Hydra shoks are gone. Carry what you shoot well, otherwise the charecterisics of the bullet are for naught.

Loosedhorse
May 15, 2012, 08:29 AM
Nope, the copper is electro-plated onto a lead core like cheap jewlery.Is your contention that bullets perform better if made like expensive jewelry? (Is there a lot of cooper-plated lead jewelry somewhere I'm not seeing? ;))

Bullets ain't jewelry. The only thing that matters about the process by which Gold-Dots are made is whether it results in a well made bullet that performs well.

Like Gold-Dots! :)

ku4hx
May 15, 2012, 09:11 AM
Hydra-shok's are like wooden baseball bats. They ain't "bling" but they've gotten the job done for a loooong time.

Mike Faires
May 15, 2012, 11:14 PM
None the forehead is exposed! By the way I am currently taking applications for test subjects to wear 4 layers of denim. The test will be to see if my 230 grain Hydro Shocks will penetrate enough to take the fight out of you. Winners will get a substantial cash reward. Any takers?

Tomcat47
May 16, 2012, 12:09 AM
....:scrutiny: Center mass on that dude pointing a shotgun at me would be the bridge of the nose first!

Denim Problem solved!

Rampant_Colt
May 16, 2012, 12:55 AM
None the forehead is exposed! By the way I am currently taking applications for test subjects to wear 4 layers of denim. The test will be to see if my 230 grain Hydro Shocks will penetrate enough to take the fight out of you. Winners will get a substantial cash reward. Any takers?
You're missing the point. The reason four layers of denim is used for ammo testing is to see whether or not the bullet will expand repeatedly after encountering these materials. Ammunition designed to meet the specifications as outlined by the FBI Ballistic Test Protocol is engineered to expand after encountering obstacles like plywood, automotive glass and sheet metal.


This is mentioned in my previous post on page 2
http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm


I find it curious that people spend lots of money on what they personally consider to be their perfect defensive handgun, yet still use ammo with questionable attributes. Just because Hydra-Shok ammo is old doesn't mean it's good. W-W Silvertips have been around since 1979, does that make them the best choice? If there are better choices available that will expand after encountering a wider variety of obstacles wouldn't you rather use that?


Bullet R&D has evolved in the thirty years since those dated designs became available. Nothing is a sure thing. Prepare for the worst-case scenario, not ideal conditions. Have a back-up plan in order. Do you think the bad guy is going to stand still and let you take careful aim between his eyes? You may only get one shot off; make it count. This isn't a fairytale or after-school special that always has a happy ending. There are no magic bullets, but modern bullet designs will increase the odds in your favor.

Warp
May 16, 2012, 01:35 AM
We have some seriously skilled individuals in this thread. Congrats to the guys who can pull off quick life-or-death headshots.

ku4hx
May 16, 2012, 06:52 AM
We have some seriously skilled individuals in this thread. Congrats to the guys who can pull off quick life-or-death headshots.
Body, body, head; body, body, head was what I was taught and practiced for years. I think maybe that's why B29 and similar silhouettes have heads, shoulders and bodies. But ... to each his own.

ku4hx
May 16, 2012, 06:53 AM
You're missing the point. The reason four layers of denim is used for ammo testing is to see whether or not the bullet will expand repeatedly after encountering these materials. Ammunition designed to meet the specifications as outlined by the FBI Ballistic Test Protocol is engineered to expand after encountering obstacles like plywood, automotive glass and sheet metal.


This is mentioned in my previous post on page 2
http://greent.com/40Page/general/fbitest.htm


I find it curious that people spend lots of money on what they personally consider to be their perfect defensive handgun, yet still use ammo with questionable attributes. Just because Hydra-Shok ammo is old doesn't mean it's good. W-W Silvertips have been around since 1979, does that make them the best choice? If there are better choices available that will expand after encountering a wider variety of obstacles wouldn't you rather use that?


Bullet R&D has evolved in the thirty years since those dated designs became available. Nothing is a sure thing. Prepare for the worst-case scenario, not ideal conditions. Have a back-up plan in order. Do you think the bad guy is going to stand still and let you take careful aim between his eyes? You may only get one shot off; make it count. This isn't a fairytale or after-school special that always has a happy ending. There are no magic bullets, but modern bullet designs will increase the odds in your favor.
Well said!

ku4hx
May 16, 2012, 06:59 AM
Some very interesting data here:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/ammodata.htm

Since the subject lends itself to the examination of old bullets vs. new ones, this data is still relevant. Hydra-Shok bullets are prominently featured along with Golden Saber, Gold Dot and some others. Obviously bullets developed after this data was compiled is not present. But we are talking about the old Hydra-Shok after all.

Just statistics for sure, but until a significant population volunteers to be the test group in a live wounding experiment all we have are numbers and old wives tales. And Massad Ayoob of course ... of course.

Mike Faires
May 16, 2012, 09:11 AM
Statistics and plans go out the window when the first shot is fired. After that it is training and muscle memory, And yes, there are some here with the requisit training, ability and experiance to make 1 shot head kills, not the only way we were trained but always an option. And yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
Nothing is perfect but if you prepare for the worst you may survive it. Remember statistics are someone else's experiance organized mathmatically.
Use what you are personally experianced and comfortable with. If you can afford to buy the flavor of the week and then expend at least 250 rounds to insure function and accuracy go for it. If however you have accumulated, used, and still retain several hundred rounds of an older design that has never let you down and is a proven fight stopper, why change.
But then I am an old fashioned guy. No wonder nines and tupperware guns for me. I am a 1911 kinda guy. Used one for for 28 years in the military never let me down and even when empty makes a heck of a slap jack up side the head.

lemaymiami
May 16, 2012, 10:06 AM
I'm long out of police work and always considered a handgun to be what you used because you couldn't get to something better.... That said I always recommended to young officers that they carry the heaviest round possible in either Hydro Shok or Speer Gold dot ammo for their auto pistols (my last ten years there were so few revolvers in service that they were a rarity in my area -south Florida). That's also why I encouraged them to carry 40 or 45 if they had a choice since you could get the heaviest bullet weights in those sizes. I'm sure that there are probably even better rounds currently available but that's not why I'm speaking up on this topic. In real life on the street the circumstances you'll find on that one life/death incident are so un-predictable that nothing can really prepare you for what you'll be facing...or what ammo will be best for a given situation.

Like most I read all the literature, like the idea of a properly expanding round, etc. -but there's simply no substitute for a bullet that penetrates deeply enough that it will mess with the vitals that are deep within the core of your target. Remember that the old G.I. hardball 45 round has a long history as a terribly efficient man-stopper and it usually would penetrate a solid 18" with no expansion at all... Whether it expands the way you expect or not a heavy round that penetrates deeply will usually get the job done.

One of my officers had to fire a shot at almost point blank range with a 45 loaded with hollow points at an opponent seated in a car. That single round traveled through the car door, through the car seat, and pretty much right through the chest cavity, from side to side, of the offender. No, it didn't expand much at all, yes it did end the problem with one shot.

TimboKhan
May 16, 2012, 10:21 AM
My technical knowledge is such that I cannot appreciate the nuances of other bullets outside of hydra-shok at this time.

At the end of the day, I believe that these work, and real world experience by plenty of law enforcement and civilians who have used these to stop threats back that belief up. I have no doubts that in controlled conditions you can find fault with them, but you know, just because it doesn't expand doesn't mean your not still creating a wound channel, and I think that point gets lost here. Humans are not a hard target. Bullets passing through the human body cause trauma, expanded or not.

Now, that isn't to say that there isn't a better option out there. I stick with these because I like them and am satisfied with them and because I don't think there is anything so groundbreakingly superior to cause a change.

Loosedhorse
May 16, 2012, 10:41 AM
Just because Hydra-Shok ammo is old doesn't mean it's good.Doesn't mean they're bad, either. And yes, I get the HST rationale. W-W Silvertips have been around since 1979, does that make them the best choice?I thought the question was whether they're "bad", not whether they are the best choice. I think there are better choices, sure, but I wouldn't kick Silvertips out of bed.

This tester (http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/9mm/gel9.htm) got 13.8" of penetration from the 115gr, fired out of a Kel-Tec P-11. If folks don't like 115, they could try 147.but modern bullet designs will increase the odds in your favor.And how do we know this, exactly? I know that they might, perhaps that they could--how do I get to knowing that they will?

mdauben
May 16, 2012, 11:50 AM
I've heard all the back and forth on the issue of H-S. Back in the day when they were considered one of the best SD loads, I carried them in both my 9mm and .45ACP. Now, I generally carry either Gold Dots or HST in my guns, because they both have good reps, and are available in economical 50-round "LE" packaging. On the other hand, if my guns were still loaded with H-S, I would not feel any less well armed.

Despite the fun of nit-picking the results of denim tests, wet pack expansion and gel penetration on-line, I honestly believe that the terminal performance differences between most premium JHP ammo is inconsequential compared to the myriad of other variables in a SD shooting. YMMV.

Storm
May 16, 2012, 12:17 PM
Been using H-S about as long as I can remember. Never had a concern. Anyone wearing four layers of denim around here is going to have other issues such as dehydration. Recently I have also been using Pow'RBall, which I'm sure has its detractors as well.

Pick your poison.

Warp
May 16, 2012, 03:32 PM
Anyone wearing four layers of denim around here is going to have other issues such as dehydration

During the winter when it gets cool, and all of the true locals think it's turned into the arctic, people wear tons of layers of clothing. This winter was mild, but when it has been down to 30*, 20*, 15*...people wore TONS of clothing. ;)

Storm
May 16, 2012, 08:57 PM
Honestly, other than maybe someone in their leathers, I have rarely if ever seen anyone wearing thick enough clothes to be a concern even with our coldest winters, except maybe my wife

Warp
May 16, 2012, 09:06 PM
Honestly, other than maybe someone in their leathers, I have rarely if ever seen anyone wearing thick enough clothes to be a concern even with our coldest winters, except maybe my wife

In that case I suggest you dig deeper into handgun wounding/ballistics with a specific eye for what it takes to clog a JHP to the point that it does not expand, or only minimally expands. Plenty of people wear enough clothing in the cooler months that a sub-par hollow point could easily clog up and fail to expand.

I get the feeling, based on the above paragraph, you are now looking/thinking about this from a "so much clothing you don't adequately penetrate" angle, which is not the problem. Well, it isn't the problem with a proper defensive caliber. It might be a problem if you are carrying a .32 or a even a .380

Storm
May 16, 2012, 09:21 PM
It's never enough unless it is someone's favorite flavor. No worries, I have chosen what I am satisfied with.

Btw, I agree that caliber choice is crucial. With 357 SIG, 40, and even 9mm I have little concern over bundled felons.

For the record, my position is that clothing isn't as big of a deal as some would make it. Folks here for the very most part wear less of it for most of the year making it even less of an issue.

Ash
May 17, 2012, 07:48 AM
Are we really going to say that, while old, the Hydra Shok is subpar?

Warp
May 17, 2012, 02:32 PM
Ash: Subpar? That might be a bit harsh of a term. Perhaps a term that indicates hydra shok to be acceptable, yet not quite in the top echelon. It just doesn't seem to open as consistently, or hold together as consistently, as some of the other choices available today.

Also, how many LEA do you know of that use Hydra Shok right now? Tons of Gold Dot and Ranger out there. HST is coming along as well. I know of some with Golden Saber. Haven't heard of one yet, myself, that issues Hydra Shok. (I'm sure they are out there, just not as common)

Loosedhorse
May 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
Haven't heard of one yet, myself, that issues Hydra Shok.Asking how many LE dept.s issue something might be a good indication, might not. LE dept.s don't look just at "predicted" effectiveness (if that's what gel tests are about), but also pricing and liability--and there's less liability if they select something that a lot of LE Dept.s are selecting.

Me? I think IMHO the (many) loadings of the light-for-caliber (115 9; 185 .45; etc.) Barnes all-copper Tac-HP might be the best SD ammo out there in several calibers. But it's pricey; ammo companies wouldn't be that thrilled to push a load that requires a lot of the profit to flow to the bullet manufacturer instead of to them alone; and no LE Dept. would want to be the first to issue it. So, even though no one issues it, doesn't mean therefore it can't be the best.

Warp
May 17, 2012, 06:52 PM
If a LEA issued it we could look at their results. Some of the others that have been mentioned have proven themselves time and time again in OISs. If Hyda Shok cannot match that street cred, why not?

Loosedhorse
May 18, 2012, 09:18 AM
If Hyda Shok cannot match that street cred, why not?
Why do you say lack of "street cred" has led to the HS falling out of favor? My guess is that it was more a lack of "4-layer denim gel cred."

I carry HSs in .45. I personally think that .45 (like .40 and 10) is a very forgiving caliber: many loads will perform well, so big deal which HP you choose. I think, in contrast, which load one picks in 9 or .38 (.38--what's that? ;)) might matter a lot.

Gtimothy
May 18, 2012, 10:57 AM
I like H-S in my 1911. Accurate and feeds reliably. As for the BG with the dbl barrel scattergun, He's ready to let loose so I'm not standing still taking good aim. I'm one handing it looking for cover! When he stops to reload, and only THEN, I'll take a proper stance and finish it.

JTQ
May 18, 2012, 11:28 AM
Warp wrote,
If a LEA issued it we could look at their results. Some of the others that have been mentioned have proven themselves time and time again in OISs. If Hyda Shok cannot match that street cred, why not?
The Hydra-Shok has been around for a long time, and at one time was a very popular issue round. It has a bunch of "street cred". Actually, it probably has more "street cred" than most other rounds.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_power_chart.htm

Loosedhorse wrote
My guess is that it was more a lack of "4-layer denim gel cred."
You are probably right. Since Federal makes Hydra-Shok and HST, it is possible Federal needed to sell a "new and improved" round to increase market share. Of course I do believe HST is probably a better round, but it does not make Hydra-Shok inadequate.

Note: I'm not really a fan of the Marshall and Sanow "scientific method" of data gathering, as there are just too many variables involved to make the data truly accurate, but it is a data point none the less.

PabloJ
May 18, 2012, 12:06 PM
Dear THR,
I wanted to ask your views on application of Hydra-Shok ammo in self defense. Is Hydra-Shok really a potent choice or does it have short comings that I should be aware of?

Thanks
Perfectly acceptable SD ammo.

CountryUgly
May 18, 2012, 03:37 PM
It's an oldie but a goodie plain and simple.

Pyro
May 18, 2012, 07:03 PM
Well..it's a bullet...and bullets work.
Just remember...SHOT PLACEMENT.
I like to practice with what I carry.

ctaylor
May 18, 2012, 10:31 PM
Reading this is much like reading internet discussions regarding the most effective broad head for bowhunting deer. Lots and lots of opinions but the capability to actually prove anything just doesn't exist because of the number of variables. One thing is certain: the R&D and Marketing Depts. of companies that manufacture and sell bullets and broadheads are out there doing something every day...whether the product is improving or not.

I have never (thank goodness) shot a human being. I have shot a lot of deer with centerfire rifles in several different flavors. It is impossible to predict the result of even a well-placed hit. Very, very few actually "drop in their tracks", even when shot through both lungs...never mind a hit in the paunch. Beyond that, it's a crap shoot. Some go 40 yards and some go a half-mile. My reading suggests that human reaction to gunshots varies widely as well.

Nothing wrong with shooting the latest FBI favorite, but it seems to me the design of your bullet (assuming it doesn't fragment) might be way, way down the list of important factors in surviving an exchange of pistol fire. Stuff like recognizing the threat, gaining separation (who wants to exchange fire at arms length?), reaction time (training), accessibility of your weapon, ambient lighting and even the clothes that you're wearing (I'm going to start wearing lots of denim!) come way before bullet section. IMHO.

I am pretty sure about this: deer hit anywhere with a 300 Win Mag react more than one shot with a 243. They flinch, buck, stumble, get knocked off their feet, whatever...but whatever they do is more than they do when shot with a "light" caliber. I think that's what I'm looking for, since I'm not out to kill anybody. I just want them to react as much as possible in the hope that they will stop attacking.

So give me a bullet that is going to deliver some serious energy, in hopes that it imparts enough reaction to make the BG cease fire and retreat. That comes from mass X velocity, not bullet design (assuming the bullet doesn't disintegrate). In my opinion.

Warp
May 18, 2012, 10:39 PM
So give me a bullet that is going to deliver some serious energy, in hopes that it imparts enough reaction to make the BG cease fire and retreat. That comes from mass X velocity, not bullet design (assuming the bullet doesn't disintegrate). In my opinion.

Bullet design matters, too. That energy doesn't do any good if it passes right through the target and keeps going, This is why the .357 mag 125gr SJHP has such a reputation...it violently expands and dumps all of it's energy in the target (while penetrating adequately). A 125gr FMJ that passes right through wouldn't have as great of an effect. And if thick/heavy clothing is involved, and it clogs the JHP resulting in energy being wasted by passing right through..now bullet design matters because bullet design is what allows that JHP to open up and release that energy into the target (while still penetrating adequately)

Ash
May 18, 2012, 11:15 PM
The hole that a 357 generates, regardless of expansion, will do what it needs. Vitals or bones hit make the damage worse. And in any case, HS have been around and are established veterans. There are better, sure, but they remain good.

Warp
May 18, 2012, 11:19 PM
Ash: People carry, and LEAs issued, SJHP or JHP for .357 mags instead of FMJ for a reason. They more reliably stop people.

76shuvlinoff
May 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
I keep my .40 in the truck and my .45 on the nightstand stoked with Hyda-Shoks. Even if they don't expand it's still a decent hole. Frankly if I have time I'm turning and burning with a 12ga pump anyhow.

That said the .380 that's with me more than anything else is full of FMJs.

Hypnogator
May 18, 2012, 11:39 PM
Usetawas, Hydra-Shoks were the best S/D & service ammo made. They still are excellent, but, as has been pointed out, not against opponents wearing heavy clothing. I carried them for years in 230-gr .45ACP, still have a couple of boxes kicking around, but now they're range ammo, as far as I'm concerned.

My Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro is loaded with Federal 230-gr Tactical Bonded (which they advertise as giving superior performance from short barrels). My second choice would be Federal HSTs, followed by Taurus or Cor-Bon 185-gr loads using Barnes Hex bullets.

FWIW, I still like the 230-gr stuff out of the Taurus because it's heavy enough to absorb the recoil, but I carry Cor-Bon DPX 140-grs in my Walther PPS and DPX 60-grs in my Ruger LCP. Penetration and expansion tests on both these loads have shown outstanding results even through heavy clothing (the archetypal 4 layers of denim). :cool:

Ash
May 19, 2012, 01:36 AM
Wasp, people carried, and still carry, HS for a reason.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 01:46 AM
...it was one of the better choices available.

That is no longer the case.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 01:59 AM
That is no longer the case.

I posted this in the thread earlier, but please do show me how this is a lesser round today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=k0515AxzA5c#t=127s
Seems rather effective, if you ask me.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:04 AM
That looks fine. I recall having seen better from others, but that looks fine.

Problem here is that n=1. I've seen plenty of others that clogged and failed to open significantly, including in this thread.

But hey, like I said in my first response here, if you have them and they work in your gun you have a very good reason to go with them. I would still recommend something different to the person making an initial selection, though.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 02:20 AM
Fair enough. I recommend HSTs and Gold Dots over any other load, but just in my little tests and several videos, I haven't found an issue with Hydra Shoks.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:23 AM
Gold Dots...now those I love. My personal favorite handgun defensive load.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 02:27 AM
I prefer HSTs myself... $30 for 50 rounds beats $27 for 20 rounds, which are the averages in my area. Both perform excellent, and if I run dry on HSTs, I have no issues going with Gold Dots. I do prefer them to Hydra-Shoks, but I can usually find Hydra-Shoks easier.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:33 AM
Inebriated: You can get HST, Gold Dot and Ranger (talon and bonded) in 50 round boxes.

I never shop for it and am not sure, but I assume you can get 50 round boxes of Hydra Shok too, if you know where to look.

Right?

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 02:36 AM
I've yet to find Gold Dots in 50 round boxes for $30, and I don't think I've seen the Hydra Shoks in 50 round boxes at all... The Ranger stuff... ehh, I've never bothered trying it when I'm happy with the other three.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:46 AM
I've yet to find Gold Dots in 50 round boxes for $30, and I don't think I've seen the Hydra Shoks in 50 round boxes at all... The Ranger stuff... ehh, I've never bothered trying it when I'm happy with the other three.

http://www.mahsupplies.net/

50 bound boxes of 230gr Gold Dots for $29.75. They are out of stock right now, but he does a pretty good job of getting stuff in stock, so check back. I just ordered three boxes of that a couple weeks ago, and received them promptly. It was $101.88, shipped, for all three boxes (150 rounds).

I didn't pay more than $30 for any of mine, including the several boxes, not pictured, I already put downrange.

;)

http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g105/austin3161324/1bbd9dc6.jpg

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 02:50 AM
http://www.mahsupplies.net/

50 bound boxes of 230gr Gold Dots for $29.75. They are out of stock right now, but he does a pretty good job of getting stuff in stock, so check back. I just ordered three boxes of that a couple weeks ago. It was $101.88, shipped, for all three boxes (150 rounds).

I didn't pay more than $30 for any of mine, including the several boxes, not pictured, I already put downrange.



Well dang... I thought I was doing good with 4 boxes of defensive ammo for the .45 lol. I'm gonna have to order some stuff from him. Just got a 9mm for the first time in a while, so I'm needing some good defensive ammo to stash away. And at prices like that, I'll pick up some more .45 as well.

Thanks for the link man, I appreciate it!

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:58 AM
No problem. hotpig (guy who runs that site) is good people.

He has Speer Gold Dot 124gr +P in stock right now. Since you are just into 9mm I'd get a couple boxes. And then a couple more.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 03:09 AM
I might just do that. I haven't had a chance to get anything for it, except 300 rounds of FMJ the day I got it (last Saturday). It'll be my carry gun (G26) once my CCW stuff comes back, so until then I've got some breaking in to do.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 03:42 AM
G26? Shouldn't need a break in. You will of course want to shoot it to get accustomed to it and verify that it works, but the gun itself shouldn't actually need broken in.

Excellent carry gun. My favorite.

Inebriated
May 19, 2012, 04:39 AM
Ehh, it SHOULDN'T need a break in, and no Glock I've had needed one, but it's the best excuse I can muster so I can spend excess amounts of time at the range.

And the little thing is just a dream to shoot. Fits pretty much everywhere.

Ash
May 19, 2012, 07:50 AM
So, based on that argument, a Walther P38 is of no practical value since it is old? A Colt 1917 New Service in 45acp is of no value because it is not only old, but merely a 6-shot revolver? That is an extreme version of your point not intended to exaggerate, merely make a point. A man armed with a Colt New Service today is equal to a man armed with a SIG 220. The 1917 did not cease to be effective when modern autos came about.

HS are older, true, but their qualities did not diminish in some way once newer rounds came out. Their serviceability remains exactly the same now, as they did when introduced. Their effectiveness did not magically decline when something else came about (there is no inverse proportion at play, here). So, if HS was at any time a good round, it remains a good round. If it is not good now, it never was good. It either has always been a good round, or never has been good.

No longer best? Okay, anyone can buy that. No longer any value? Makes no sense.

HS reliably stopped people, or LE's would not have carried them. Therefore, HS reliably stops people, which is why people still carry them.

Sapper771
May 19, 2012, 09:39 AM
I have never really cared much for Hydra Shocks. I have used them in 9mm and 45acp with so-so results. IMO/IME, there are better designs out now that are superior to the Hydra Shock.

+1 for HotPig.

Loosedhorse
May 19, 2012, 10:19 AM
...it was one of the better choices available.

That is no longer the case.Based on anything besides gel? Does your declaration that they are in the lower 50% of all offerings (not one of the "better" choices) cover all HS calibers, or just some?No longer best? Okay, anyone can buy that. No longer any value? Makes no sense.Now that sounds more like it to me.

Warp
May 19, 2012, 02:58 PM
Does your declaration that they are in the lower 50% of all offerings

Strong strawman.

No longer best? Okay, anyone can buy that. No longer any value? Makes no sense.

...and another strawman appears!

lol

Ash
May 19, 2012, 08:22 PM
Excuse me?

Loosedhorse
May 19, 2012, 11:55 PM
...it was one of the better choices available.

That is no longer the case.
your declaration that they are in the lower 50% of all offerings (not one of the "better" choices)Strong strawmanYou are perhaps unaware, when you say that HS is no longer "one of the better choices available," what your words actually mean?

Okay by me.

Warp
May 20, 2012, 01:39 AM
Instead of "better choices" I should say "one of the best". After all, we are talking about something you may stake your life on. I personally want better than "top 50%" performance.

sxcamaro05
May 20, 2012, 03:42 AM
I myself feel confident in Hydra-shok after doing some "tests". I feel for the price the ammo is a good buy, and provides reliable results. I tried out 9different types of hollow points, and decided from that list based on effectiveness (which is subjective). The top 4 were:

1.) Speer Gold Dot
2.) Federal Hydra-Shok
3.) Remington Golden Saber Bonded
4.) Hornaday Critical Defense

I feel confident enough after firing all these to use them in a CCW or home defense pistol. They all performed well and I think for value #2 and #4 are very good.

Warp
May 20, 2012, 03:44 AM
sxcamaro05: I am curious...you said they all performed well. How did you measure their performance?

JRC45AUTO
May 20, 2012, 07:17 PM
Well all you experts are wrong.
Any hollow point (gold dots, and the like) will plug with clothing no matter what new hole design you come up with.
The post in the HS is to help prevent plugging.
But all this aside, the bullet I carry, shoot IPSC, IDPA, and reload for my many 45's is the 200gr hard cast semi wad cutter at 900 f/s.
This bullet will take most things on 2 or 4 legs.
It does not expand & loose penetration.
It cuts a nice neet 45 cal hole through bone, blood vessles, car doors and anything else in its way.
I moly coat them and this has greatly reduced the cleaning required.
And they are cheap compaired to the latest space age technology wonder bullet.
And one other thing to consider is You can really get good shooting the same bullet exclusively. You get to know the trajectory and where its going to hit.

Warp
May 20, 2012, 07:28 PM
Do you ever have feeding problems with that SWC in semi autos?

There are certainly positives to a SWC, but when the "latest space age technology wonder bullet" (which has been around for a long time) penetrates >14" while expanding to 0.85" or greater...it has some positives too. ;)

Dr.Rob
May 21, 2012, 09:02 PM
I can vouch for shooting 230gr HydraShocks in a 1917 Colt.

abq87120
May 21, 2012, 09:19 PM
I shot an 45 ACP HST +P through three one gallon milk jugs filled with water. HST I think means Hydro-Shock Two. WOW! That thing is a beast. The first two jugs exploded and the round was found in the sand a long way behind after bouncing off the creek bottom. It's all I carry now. Except for Hornady XTP in my wife's LCP 380. It gets good press going through clothing and expanding. In the winter I load her gun with FMJ. It's like stabbing them with an ice pick but it gets through the ski jackets at least. She also carries a G26 9mm when she is in the mood. With HST's in it of course.

Warp
May 21, 2012, 09:45 PM
abq87120]I shot an 45 ACP HST +P through three one gallon milk jugs filled with water. HST I think means Hydro-Shock Two. WOW! That thing is a beast. The first two jugs exploded and the round was found in the sand a long way behind after bouncing off the creek bottom. It's all I carry now. Except for Hornady XTP in my wife's LCP 380. It gets good press going through clothing and expanding. In the winter I load her gun with FMJ. It's like stabbing them with an ice pick but it gets through the ski jackets at least. She also carries a G26 9mm when she is in the mood. With HST's in it of course.

HST is a different round than hydra shok. Newer and, IMO, better. Good choice. :)

heeler
May 21, 2012, 10:10 PM
I have no dog in this fight but I was very interested in the post put forth by JRC45AUTO in which he stated the post in the Hydra-Shok was to prevent clogging.
How so??
I certainly am no expert on hollow point bullets but this statement did get my attention.
Anyone care to follow up on this?
Fwiw I had three boxes of standard pressure 9mm 124 gr. and two boxes of 147 gr. HST arrive by brown truck today.
Cant wait to try them out in the PM9.

Rampant_Colt
May 21, 2012, 11:36 PM
The post in H-S bullets (in conjunction with the skives) uses the physics of hydraulics to aid in bullet expansion. It also is what causes them to get clogged with clothing debris.. Go see my pic on page one.

It makes no sense to me when better performing ammunition is readily available, yet people still choose to use this outdated bullet design. It's your life, do as you choose. I want the best available ammo money can buy for my defensive needs

YankeeFlyr
May 22, 2012, 01:32 AM
Rampant Colt, did the .45 ACP fail to expand because it's clogged, or because the denim slowed it enough to where it didn't open when it came into the WP? I mean, isn't a 230 grainer from a 5 inch barrel kinda marginal velocities to open anyway in a typical bullet construction?

I didn't see any material in the HP, in the photo on the first page. But maybe I just missed it...

For the record, I do keep HS in 230 grain in the 1911, and 124 grain in the 9mm.

Shawn Dodson
May 22, 2012, 01:04 PM
Who wears 4 layers of denim?

4 layers of denim cannot make any kind of claim to reality, unless the guy was wearing 4 pairs of jeans or 4 denim jackets.

See: Why Four Layers of Denim Cloth? at - http://www.firearmstactical.com/tacticalbriefs/2006/04/02/0604-02a.htm

Maybe they should add some bone to it.

JHP handgun bullets are designed to expand in soft tissues. In a defensive shooting the kinds of tissues we’re trying to destroy are all soft tissues. These are reasons why bone isn’t normally used to test JHP bullet performance because: 1) JHP bullets aren’t designed to expand in bone – they just deform, and 2) the bullet’s terminal performance characteristics are entirely dependent on factors that cannot be controlled by the shooter (what bone is hit, where it is hit, angle of impact, depth of location along the wound track, bone density/thickness, etc.). The only terminal performance desired in bone, at least that I can think of, is for a bullet to blast through to reach vital tissues. Quite simply, performance in bone is what it is.

The post in the HS is to help prevent plugging.

This marketing claim is untrue.

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