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Heavier or faster?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by G29, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. G29

    G29 Member

    Heavier or faster?

    looking at some ammo options. Im considering a 10mm 200gr 1180fps Hornady XTP vs 10mm 180gr 1325fps Hornady XTP.

    Does the 180 gr have an advantage at a higher FPS coming in at 701ftlbs vs the 200 gr coming in at 620ftlbs?

    Which one is better for SD?
    Which would be better for a trail round?

    could use some advise

  2. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Historically, heavier handgun rounds tend to penetrate more deeply, while lighter ones tend to have much more dramatic expansion and/or fragmentation and shallower penetration. Absent testing or testing data, I would go for the lighter of the two for SD, and the heavier bullet for "trail use" (if by that you mean potential large dangerous animals like black bears).

  3. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member


    However, 180's generally perform quite well at 10mm velocities, acheiving good penetration and expansion. With the XTP, I would wager that the 180 will penetrate at least as deep.

    The real penetrators in 10mm are the 220 or 230 Gr. WFNGC hardcast from BB or DT.
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    Lighter for people, deer sized game and smaller. Heavier for larger game and bear. Either will work if that's only what you have in time of need.
  5. JERRY

    JERRY Well-Known Member

    since youre not handloading those rounds, expect the velocities to fall quite a bit short of box flap claims. save for a very select few ammo makers who actually make real 10mm ammo.
  6. Prosser

    Prosser Well-Known Member

    I'd do a search for tests of these rounds, out of a gun like a G29, and see how they work.

    Another choice would be looking at the real 10mm ammo expert, Doubletap/Mike
    and see what he's loading.

    Odd, but I think doubletap uses a G29 for testing.

    If there is one thing I've learned, find specific tests when you are looking for 'magic' SD rounds...

    My position is that unless you have specific tests, runs the potential for penetration channel with unexpanded bullets, using a penetration channel calculator, and go from there. After a certain point, with handgun rounds, you don't gain much/point of diminishing returns, in wound channel from adding velocity. The XTP's I've used are pretty tough, and designed for deep penetration. The rounds you ask about are really intresting, since you are taking heavy bullets for caliber, with a tough hollowpoint, and pushing them.

    I would think, given a rural situation, they are an excellent choice, if they expand or not. Given that 1350 seems to even get LFN's to expand, the faster bullet might ensure if not expansion, at least a bigger wound channel, and expansion by deformation, if the HP fails....

    I use XTP's. 1350 fps out of my gun, .475 caliber, and 400 grains. Kind of solves any problem you might have;)

    That's exactly what Hornady says they should do, and they are factory rounds. FA83, custom Douglas bull barrel, by Jack Huntington..Custom, hand fitted conversion to .475 by Jack Huntington. 7.5" barrel. Pretty much flatten hogs and deer...
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  7. mortablunt

    mortablunt Well-Known Member

    I prefer the heavier rounds. A lighter round going more quickly might have more energy, but it is also more liable to waste energy by bursting out the other side of the target. Besides, a bigger round opens a nastier wound channel normally.
  8. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Offered as a perspective:

    Outside of heavy coat time here, my prefered SD 10mm load is a 135gr JHP. I've picked up some 125gr recently...might switch to it if I like it.

    So I would consider both of your mentioned loads as "heavy loads." (I do have 200gr FMJFPs "for black bear," and I think either XTP would work well for whitetails). If you're using the Glock factory barrel, I'd avoid hardcast rounds.
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Guess I'm one of the odd men out on this question.

    I prefer bullet mass to speed, for several reasons...not the least of which is blast and recoil. IMO, far too much is made of the velocity/energy debate, and I'm much more concerned with missing than with overpenetration.

    Many years ago, the British figured out the stopping power question.

    "Heavy ball, light charge."

    It worked well in 1750 and it still does.
  10. Oxide

    Oxide member

    Also, it is legally recommended to not use handloaded ammo for self defense. Anything the prosecution can use to paint you as nuts, they will, and that includes super lethal hand tailored cop killer armor piercing exploding rounds that they will say yours are.

    If any police around are using 10mm, use what they use. Or the 10mm equivalent, that way you can say "I looked up what the police use and used that."
  11. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't say that.

    I, too, generally prefer the heavier bullets. But I also believe there is a happy medium. For SD, we really don't need to penetrate more than ~15", so a heavier bullet that will go further really doesn't help. And because the heavier bullet is expending more energy penetrating than expanding, it will, theoretically, do less damage in the first 12-15" than the lighter, faster bullet producing the same amount of energy.

    So, IMO, the way to shop for a handgun bullet for SD is to find one that will have used up it's energy and stopped with good expansion and having reached 12"-15" penetration.

    Let's stick with our 10mm loads. If choosing between:

    135 gr. @ 1,600 FPS for 768 ft/lbs. penetrates 10"

    180 gr. @ 1,350 FPS for 729 ft/lbs. penetrates 14"

    220 gr. @ 1150 FPS for 646 ft/lbs., penetrates 20"

    I would go with the 180 gr. load. Sure, the 135 is going to have more violent upset and the greater energy translates to an ability to cause more damage, but 10" is already below the accepted minimum of 12", and may become only 7" or 8" if heavy clothing is involved.

    Similarly, the 220 gr. load is most likely to overpenetrate the target, and energy that is not used up expanding the bullet and penetrating the target is wasted.

    The 180 gr., in this case, provides a happy medium of penetration and expansion.
  12. ms6852

    ms6852 Well-Known Member

    As an individual that is using this particular round for self defense I would have to use the lighter round. Because it is traveling at a faster velocity most of its energy will be transferred upon impact of the target. The penetration may not be there but the hydrostatic shock is. In a self defense scenario it is very likely that innocent bystanders may get shot by the slower and heavier bullet because it will go through the attacker whereas the lighter bullet will remain inside the attacker and the hydrostatic shock will render the attacker useless.
  13. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    True...but it also may experience delayed or absent expansion after clothing, and penetrate deeper.

    I'll ask because I don't know: do those 4-layer denim tests usually cause HPs to penetrate less, or more? It seems to me that in most cases, I hear the denim prevents expansion, and causes greater penetration.
  14. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith Well-Known Member

    If you can... get both.

    Heavier AND faster!

  15. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    180gr for self defense, 200gr for trail use. I'm looking forward to trying both the 180gr Gold Dot and 200gr XTP on deer this season.

    There is nothing 'wasted' about an exit wound. Shooters would get to a much higher level of understanding if they look beyond silly energy figures.
  16. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is often the case. I've found it in my own testing, too.

    However, I also found that some bullets I fired through thin leather and a couple layers of cotton fabric (to simulate a leather jacket, shirt and undershirt) both failed to expand and got less penetration than the same bullet fired against a bare block of clay. It appeared that they may have upset and tumbled from the initial barrier.

    I see we have a Courtney disciple.

    You might visit the other thread we have going about hydrostatic shock and read a bit. It seems that even though there is evidence of ballistic thoracic trauma causing remote cerebrovascular damage on a small scale, to say the least it remains very contested that it is a consistent and reliable wounding or incapacitation mechanism. And that was with rifle bullets; A service caliber handgun bullet (10mm included) will not cause nearly the shockwave that a high velocity rifle round will.

    It's also said by Courtney himself that the bullet must pass close enough to a major vessel to cause this pressure wave. If you don't get adequate penetration, you can't get near the major arteries he cites as propogating this ballistic pressure wave. Therefore, even if you subscribe to this theory, you still have to recognize the need for penetration.

    Expecting to be presented with an ideal target in a SD situation is unrealistic. You have to consider such possibilities as the bullet you fire may first need to pass through an arm before entering the chest. So it will not only have the flesh to contend with, but potentially 3 times however many layers of clothing the person is wearing.

    All of these things factored into the FBI's 12" minimum penetration figure.
  17. G29

    G29 Member

    Good info guys, you've given me alot to conisider. I am now leaning towards the the 180gr... ill have to test both
  18. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

    Sure. The Courtneys say penetration first, too.

    However, they are not FBI "disciples" (as long as we're throwing around the term disciple, perhaps to mean unthinking, uncritical faithful?). If you decide that 10 (or 9.5) inches is adequate, you may have good company. And some of the newest projectiles (like the Barnes all-copper X-bullets) seem to do great in both expansion/energy dump AND penetration (because of minimal weight loss), as well as resisting plugging of the HP cavity by either denim or bone simulant.
  19. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    More like the Websters definition:

    One who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another

    Insult is neither made or implied.

    Yes, they do. As do Gold dots, Golden Sabres and a host of others so long as they're loaded within their design parameters.

    And on that note, this is the problem with some of these light/fast loads: They're too fast for the bullets. The X-bullet, of course, is light because it contains no lead. But it has been my personal experience and that of others that grossly exceeding the velocity window of a bullet has a definite negative aspect for penetration.

    Like I said before, there is a happy medium, and though I don't subscribe to the hydrostatic shock theory, the parameters of the Fackler school of thought end up giving us the same thing:

    If you subscribe to hydrostatic shock as the wounding mechanism, You want to drive the bullet deep enough, and use the rest of it's energy to expand it and destroy tissue

    If you subscribe to maximum crush cavity as the wounding mechanism, You want to drive the bullet deep enough, and use the rest of it's energy to expand it and destroy tissue
  20. mokin

    mokin Well-Known Member

    Personally, I like the 180 grain rounds.

    Expect the real life velocities to be lower than what is advertised.

    For self defense I think either round would be sufficient - provided you can put the bullet on target.

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