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Hornady Critical Defense .380 FTX

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bdjansen, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. bdjansen

    bdjansen Member

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    I was testing out my new LCP today and was shooting some of the hornady critical defense .380 ftx ammo that I picked for it.

    Anyways, I set up a few different things to shoot, one of them being an empty beer bottle. When I shot it, the bottle exploded! This is as opposed to shattering and the pieces falling to the ground like normal.

    When I went to check out the wood the bottle had been resting against, I saw the bullet, fully expanded, and stuck in the surface of the 3/4 inch board. The glass of the bottle made the bullet fully expand and then it didn't even penetrate through the board behind it!

    I also noticed the same results when shooting some one gallon jugs of water. Fully expanded, but stuck in the surface of the wood. But at least it had to travel through some water in those cases.

    I'm not really that picky with ammo, but I'm rethinking the FTX.... :rolleyes:
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Are you absolutely sure that the bullet you pulled from the backstop board was the one that only went through the beer bottle and couldn't possibly be from one of the other more substantial things you where shooting at like multiple water jugs? If you only fired on round at a beer bottle, had a new backstop board and examined the backstop immediately after shooting only one round through the target and found an expanded bullet that didn't penetrate the board then your implied conclusion that the Hornady ammo may lack penetration after passing though a relatively light barrier would be a valid conclusion. Any other lessor experimental controls could lead to erroneous conclusions.

    I'd suggest you try to duplicate he results next time you are at the range.
     
  3. bdjansen

    bdjansen Member

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    Yeah, I'm sure. There were no other bullets fired closer then 2 feet to the bottle. Plus, there were no other holes behind the bottle either. It was the first thing I did at the range yesterday.

    It's strange. I don't think the glass should make the bullet expand. In fact, I was reading on Brass Fetcher's website last night and he tested this bullet in .40 for his simulated bone and soft tissue test. The .40 cal bullets in his test failed to expand when striking the bone plate first. So something about the glass on the bottle acts differently?

    I wasn't planning on testing the ammo yesterday, I just had some old jugs of water that I brought along. I just wanted to see if the ammo would feed reliably, which it did. But now I'm thinking that maybe I should get one of the more traditional HP designs. That little rubber plug might be doing strange things.
     
  4. D Rock

    D Rock Member

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    I wonder if the arch of the beer bottle didn't have some effect.

    Although my tests aren't scientific, they are consistent. I shoot thru a layer of denim and about 8" of wet phone books. All rounds are found at the rear of books.

    Here are Hornady Critical Defense .380, sorry for the distraction on these but my wife made earrings out of them.
    hornady380web.jpg

    Here are 9mm Critical Defense. As you can see, they open pretty consistently.
    HCD102411web.jpg

    I don't know what results you've had in the past, but I guess from your results, that the .380 just wouldn't be counted on for barrier penetration.

    Dave
     
  5. Loosedhorse

    Loosedhorse member

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    Very cool. She may want to consider putting a clear lacquer (like fingernail polish) on the lead.
     
  6. Doghandler

    Doghandler Member

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    The wife and I think those earrings are pretty cool!
     
  7. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    It is strange. You wouldn't shoot a beer bottle with any beer iin it, would you? :)
     
  8. shadowen

    shadowen Member

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    Not to be critical (pun, pun) but I believe its been stated many time before that Hornady's Critical Defense ammunition isn't designed to shoot through glass, steel barriers, etc...

    The market is for "Defensive or Personal Protection situations" and is "not intended for use in extreme (law enforcement) situations that require superior barrier performance" as stated here: http://www.hornady.com/support/critical-duty-and-critical-defense

    Its a good, reliable round that covers the vast majority of personal defense situations and offers pretty consistent expansion, especially from shorter barreled firearms.

    If you feel that you may be in a situations where you'll need to shoot through glass or other barriers as part of the regular case, then yes, another choice of ammunition is probably prudent.

    Personally, I use it in 9mm and .380 for of my smaller carry firearms (especially .380). I also have some other hollow points (TAP, Gold Dots) for my larger framed pistols and I'm going to probably give the Critical Duty a try too once I can find some, but I'll probably stick with Critical Defense at least for my smaller carry pieces.
     
  9. Ferstlerslim

    Ferstlerslim Member

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    I use it because my LEO friends recommend it, its nice to actually see proof that they expand as claimed.

    Dave
     
  10. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Like above says

    Its not made to shoot thru walls /wood or glass . I use Corbon DPX it will out perform the
    Hornaday CD it will shoot thru walls and wood
     
  11. Jath

    Jath Member

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    Critical Defense ammo is good stuff.

    As for your glass experiment, the round behaved precisely as designed. it hit the front of the glass, which is hard by the way, it absorbed some energy, the liquid forced the round to expand, absorbing much additional energy, and then the back of the glass, some more energy. Now, fully expanded, it hits the wood and stops. This is to be expected as the wood is pretty strong, and the round has lost 50% or more of it's energy, and is now being spread over a larger area. I've done the same test with 9mm and .45 and had the exact same thing happen. It does not show lack of penetration as other suggest, it shows proper energy dump.
     
  12. Jath

    Jath Member

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    the .380 is not designed for superior barrier penetration. The Critical defense rounds actually achieve this quite well. They don't expand are hard targets, and they actually have a pretty good penetration ability in the higher and faster calibers.
     
  13. bdjansen

    bdjansen Member

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    But then what is the deal with Brass Fetcher's bone plate test? You would think that the bullet would expand when the rubber tip hit that plate. Who knows?

    I saw a video of a guy testing the .380 FTX on some meat. He had 4 inches of meat and then some gelatin behind that. The FTX never made it through the 4 inches of meat.

    So i can't argue with the expansion of the bullet really. It clearly expands very well. It also functions well in my gun. But I don't think I'm comfortable with the penetration. It seems like you can get 10 inches out of it in an ideal block of gel. But what if it hits a shirt button or a jacket zipper? Is it going to fly open and hardly penetrate?

    I'm personally going to go with something else. I'm debating if I should go with a FMJ round or one of the older HPs like Hydra-Shok or Gold Dots.
     
  14. Doghandler

    Doghandler Member

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    Beer bottles really don't say anything about the round's barrier capabilities. We'll need to see some data from wine glasses to make a practical decision - make it both white and red and throw in a rose' so the study is believable.
     
  15. Jath

    Jath Member

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    The bone plate test is flawed. Our bones aren't flat like brassfetchers. They are rounded. The rounded bones would either deflect the round slightly back into the soft tissue, allowing it to expand, or the round surface would force the round to expand as it passed through. The bone simulant being flat simply allowed the bullet to take enough to fill the hollow point hole and that was it. Bad test.

    I saw the meat test through bone you saw as well. The problem with that one is that the COW bone he shot through was about 4-5 times thicker than a human rib would be. That translates to a TON of energy lost in that huge bone.

    Plastic buttons, or even metal ones, would do nothing to mitigate the damage of the round as it would likely turn the button into a projectile as well.
     
  16. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    This is exactly why I carry fmj in my 380 micro pistols.
     
  17. Jath

    Jath Member

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    FMJ is a bad idea in any caliber. too much penetration, not enough tissue damage, etc.

    Hornady FTX is the best stuff for a .380. If you are worried about penetration, it goes to 11.25". Thats well within the FBI standard to which everyone insists on holding a caliber which in general doesn't meet them.

    http://youtu.be/-H9M6cZGd18
     
  18. V1ROT8

    V1ROT8 Member

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    Hornady builds good stuff. Doesn't seem to matter if 380 or 9 or even 22, the bad guy will end up having a very bad day.
     
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    I would completely agree if it is 9mm, but a 380 JHP from a short barreled pistol may very well not expand and preform just like a FMJ round anyway or may expand and have very shallow penetration and not even reach a vital organ and there is plenty of evidence to support this.
     
  20. Pietro Beretta

    Pietro Beretta Member

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    There is also plenty of evidence to support a .380 FMJ will penetrate over 19" of ballistic gelatin and pass right through.

    Of course, everyone likes to disregard these tests based on, "what if" (example: what if it hit bone, what if the velosity was slow enough on the exit to not go through a wall, what if, what if, what if.)

    Be careful out there.
     
  21. abq87120

    abq87120 Member

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    I only carry a 380 when a mouse gun (LCP) is all that I can hide. For SD, a 9mm is usually the lowest power recommended for a round. I do carry FTX in the summer. FMJ in the winter to get through heavier clothing. The FMJ would be like stabbing them with an ice pick as far as a wound channel.
     
  22. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    So you think that what is generally considered an under powered round, a 380 round after fully penetrating an adult torso and two layers of sheetrock may still be lethal?
     
  23. Ghost Host

    Ghost Host Member

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    Hornady has already issued information statements that "Critical Defense" ammunition is not designed for barrier penetration. It is designed so that homeowners, apartment dwellers are not putting rounds through walls into the adjoining room, apartment or house. (most of the time).

    If you feel that you require barrier penetration capability, then take a look at the Hornady "Critical Duty" ammunition. It still has the Hornady "flex tip" and will penetrate barriers.
     
  24. Ghost Host

    Ghost Host Member

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    Hornady has already issued information statements that "Critical Defense" ammunition is not designed for barrier penetration. It is designed so that homeowners and apartment dwellers are not putting rounds through walls into the adjoining room, apartment or house. (most of the time).

    If you feel that you require barrier penetration capability, then take a look at the Hornady "Critical Duty" ammunition. It still has the Hornady "flex tip" and will penetrate barriers. (most of the time).
    GH

    I don't know why this double posted and I don't know if I can delete it. Mod's will you please remove the double.
    GH
    :eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  25. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    I'm not looking for barrier penetration!
     
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