Gelatin test: .40 S&W 180 gr Gold Dot fired from pistol and carbine


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chopinbloc
February 26, 2014, 02:31 PM
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40 S&W 180 gr Speer Gold Dot loaded over 9.2 gr of AA#7 fired from a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 carbine and Glock model 22 pistol through four layers of denim into calibrated gelatin.

BB: 593.6 fps, 3.4"

Pistol data:

Impact velocity: 1,081 fps
Penetration: 14.5"
Retained weight: 179.7 gr
Max expansion: 0.741"
Min expansion: 0.492"

Carbine data:

Impact velocity: 1,320 fps (approx.)
Penetration: 16.6"
Retained weight: 178.9 gr
Max expansion: 0.781"
Min expansion: 0.538"


A few notes: The chronograph did not catch the impact velocity from the carbine shot so I took a four shot average. Velocities were:

1,312 fps
1,317 fps
1,327 fps
1,324 fps

I was surprised at how much velocity the bullet gained from the longer barrel and I was surprised to note that the faster bullet actually went deeper. I had to double check. The only explanation I can come up with is that the extra velocity pushed the petals back against the shank earlier.

Speer lists the factory velocity as 1,025 from a pistol so I believe that I got fairly close to what they put out but I do not know what powder they use so the burn rate could be substantially different. I did not have any extra factory ammo available for testing.

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Cee Zee
February 26, 2014, 11:05 PM
I'd suggest that you give Hornady Critical Duty (http://www.natchezss.com/product.cfm?contentID=productDetail&prodID=HO91376) a try. It's 175 gr. and it has some features that make it out perform Gold Dot by a good size margin. I used Gold Dot exclusively until I came across this stuff. It does things like penetrate car door steel and windshields at just about any angle you shoot from. Those two things alone are impressive. But it also opened up a much bigger hole in my test medium of choice, firewood. I'm not saying it is as good as gelatin but it's a lot less trouble. At any rate it tells me how big of an exit hole bullets make and the Critical Duty stuff did very well.

Skribs
February 27, 2014, 12:29 AM
Extra velocity usually means wider expansion, and that usually more than cancels out the higher velocity. However, this only expanded .04" more, and it had about 240 more FPS, which means it had enough extra punch to keep going. That's my take-away, anyway.

Bexar
February 27, 2014, 12:38 AM
I enjoyed that video...thanks.

chopinbloc
February 27, 2014, 10:52 AM
Cee Zee, I tested 10mm 175 gr Critical Duty (video below) It is certainly a good projectile but I don't believe it to be superior to Gold Dot or HST by any signi9ficant margin. Also, Gold Dot does have very good barrier performance if that's something that ranks high on your list of priorities. Almost any pistol bullet will penetrate sheet metal or windshield glass. It's not about getting through it. It's about how well the projectile performs after penetrating. Some bullets fail to expand after passing through hard objects. Gold Dot and HST usually do very well with barriers. The reason Critical Duty made a larger hole in the wood is that the rubber plug was still able to cause a little expansion in the projectile whereas a traditional hollow point like Gold Dot doesn't experience any hydraulic pressure in wood so it does not expand.


Skribs, I like your explanation. I believe you are correct. Thank you for posting.


KNlOU6C0Y_U

scaatylobo
February 27, 2014, 11:06 AM
Nice video and the goof of not wearing the ears was funny = been there,done that.

I prefer a lighter bullet in the .40 and I go with 165 grain XST's, as that was my dept load.

I also like the 135'ish loads as the are FAST to recover for second shot ,and expand and do not over penetrate.

I do carry the 180's while hunting and use them to finish deer,or in case I run afoul of a hog/bear [ yes I do carry a .44 mag for that in REAL bear country ].

chopinbloc
February 27, 2014, 11:11 AM
Are there any 135 gr .40/10mm that will meet the minimum penetration standard?

wally
February 28, 2014, 11:34 AM
I was surprised at how much velocity the bullet gained from the longer barrel and I was surprised to note that the faster bullet actually went deeper.

Why? All else being equal penetration is proportional to sectional density times bullet velocity. Expansion reduces sectional density so if they expand the same, the higher velocity will penetrate more, but possibly not as much more as expected because the expansion could happen earlier.

Increases in velocity with barrel length is expected and well documented:
http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/index.html

chopinbloc
February 28, 2014, 12:13 PM
Why? All else being equal penetration is proportional to sectional density times bullet velocity.


For solids, the relationship is close to linear. As velocity increases, penetration increases. As you note, JHPs don't expand the same at different velocities. I don't know the exact mechanisms and Doc Roberts assured me that the expansion RATE is the same, regardless of velocity. I find that difficult to believe but he's got a lot more experience and book learnin' than I do. The SIZE of the expansion can definitely be effected by velocity.

Take a look at the difference in penetration between these two:

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And again with these two:

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You can see a similar, but less pronounced effect with the smaller variations in velocity between standard pressure and +P loads of the same type and weight on ATK's website, particularly in the tests fired through heavy clothing or IWBA heavy clothing, like my own tests.

http://le.atk.com/wound_ballistics/

Cee Zee
March 1, 2014, 07:44 PM
Almost any pistol bullet will penetrate sheet metal or windshield glass.

Any bullet can penetrate a windshield if you shoot it from a direct angle. But any side angle is very likely to deflect the bullet and that's where the Hornady ammo shines according to tests I've seen done. I've seen the Box O' Truth tests. They fire directly at the windshield at a 90 degree angle. A .22 will penetrate in that situation.

As for car steel, the whole reason the .357 became popular was because of the failure of the 9mm to penetrate car door steel. I'm not talking about the sheet metal that the door skin is made of. I'm talking about the steel barrier all cars in the US are required to have for protection of the occupants, the anti-intrusion bar. I've seen the Box O' Truth tests for this too. They fired every round above the steel beam inside the door. I wasn't impressed.

TheCracker
March 1, 2014, 08:40 PM
Nice test. Thanks for sharing

chopinbloc
March 1, 2014, 10:01 PM
Cee Zee, you're missing the point. Performance against auto glass is one important factor but there are several other factors that are also important. The performance over a range of metrics is the reason that HST and Gold Dot are the preferred choices for defense.

Don't get me wrong, Hornady's Critical Duty is a great bullet and a substantial improvement over their XTP line (for defense, that is) but HST and Gold Dot have a longer track record and are well proven designs.

Cee Zee
March 2, 2014, 12:48 PM
I know about Gold Dot. I have a bunch of it for my .40 and it's my primary defensive ammo for both of my .45's. But as you know FMJ ammo is better at penetrating steel than any hollow point. And the Hornady ammo acts like a ball round until it penetrates the steel. And it has been shown to be more effective at penetrating windshields at an angle than other ammo.

I'm certainly not saying that Gold Dot is bad ammo. But one of the primary places a person may need a gun is on the road where people think they can do things and get away before they get identified. I've seen way too much stuff happen on the road to not worry about whether I might be shot by some lunatic. That's why the Hornady ammo is a good choice IMO. In other respects the Gold Dot may do better. But this ammo is pretty good at pretty much everything. And it excels as a bullet to use against someone shooting at me from a car.

I've already been through all of this on my own. I didn't take the choice I made lightly. I'm convinced I made the right choice too. Your mileage may vary.

chopinbloc
March 2, 2014, 01:04 PM
CD hasn't been around as long so it's not fair to compare the number of agencies that choose it, but do you know if any PDs have adopted it?

ATLDave
March 2, 2014, 01:20 PM
The original post's data from the carbine is also very useful regarding the likely performance of GD's in a 10mm application. Some people have worried that GD's design parameters are exceeded by 10mm velocities... doesn't look like that's a big problem.

Cee Zee
March 2, 2014, 05:26 PM
do you know if any PDs have adopted it

No. But that wouldn't mean anything to me anyway. I pick my own ammo based on my own testing. The Hornady is not only very accurate in my XDm but it has passed every penetration test I've put it through and yes it has been tested more than just the firewood I mentioned. But I will say that firewood test has been right in line with other tests with gelatin etc. that I've seen elsewhere.

chopinbloc
March 2, 2014, 07:15 PM
ATLDave, these results were consistent with tnoutdoors9's test of Underwood 10mm 180 gr GDHP but my own test of a 10mm 180 gr GDHP at the same velocity showed dramatically less penetration. That indicates to me that performance may be somewhat erratic at this velocity.

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