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Rem 115gr Standard Pressure Water + Denim Test

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Joshua M. Smith, Aug 10, 2007.

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  1. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    Wabash IN
    Handgun: Taurus PT92, 5" barrel
    Ammunition: Remington UMC 9mm standard pressure, 115gr, packaged in a 100 round "value pack" L9MM1B

    I was asking around the various gun boards about this stuff a while back. I received mixed opinions as to how it would perform, so I went ahead and bought it with the intention of testing it. If the tests came out in its favor I would relegate it to second string carry ammuntion and woods ammunition. Here is the test using four layers of denim and water jugs.

    Most important to any handgun/ammuniton combination is the the ability of the ammunition to function reliably in the firearm. Though I've done some gunsmithing to my Taurus to make it ultra-reliable, bullet shape never hurts either. As you can see, this Remington hollowpoint has almost a hardball profile.

    Being old tech, this round is representative of older style hollowpoints designed to be used in pistols originally engineered to feed ball reliably. It works.

    My standard water test setup...

    And from the front...

    That four layers of denim is thicker than it may look on camera. Take the leg of your blue jeans and fold it in half - imagine a hollowpoint bullet performing properly after being plugged with that much material.

    Usually I insert a movie of the shot here, but I was shooting alone today.

    After the shot I discovered two things: First, the bullet didn't seem affected in its performance by the denim as the front jug exploded and landed on the ground, seperated from the denim which had been taped on well. The second thing I noticed was that, after shredding the second jug as well as the first, the bullet veered off and disappeared. (I set the jug back up for photographic purposes.)

    Though I could postulate what happened from the reaction of the milk jugs, I didn't have a bullet and therefore nothing was "solid." I set up two more jugs which were meant to be used to test my carry round, the Bonded Golden Saber. That'll have to wait a week or so now.

    As you can see, the second setup is the same as the first.

    Here is the front jug and denim exactly how they landed after my second shot. The jug seemed to have been launched into the air and was totally shredded, looking as if someone had put a mouse inside and thrown it to the coyotes! This is performance typical to hollowpoints the generation previous to our current "best" crop.

    The previous generation of hollowpoints, while they typically expanded well, usually did so in the first few inches. This was true of the Silvertip, and in my experience, true also of the Federal C9BP "Classic" hollowpoint. I used this last to dispatch a sick rabbit once at 15 yards or so, and it took that rabbit apart, looking as if it had expanded almost fully before exiting the broadside shot.

    These are jug numbers, from right to left, 2, 3, and 4. Notice how jug #2 is blown out, and jug #3 is losing water.

    I found the spent bullet between jugs #3 and #4.

    The bullet exhibited textbook expansion after passing through four layers of denim. Again, fold the leg of your blue jeans and imagine the bullet performing well after passing through that barrier. As well, I didn't measure correctly. These jugs are 6" thick instead of the 4" I am used to. Penetration was closer to 18" in water, or about 9" in ballistic gelatin.

    Sorry about that, folks. The milk people need to tell me when they're going to change form factor! Oops! Seriously, I should have measured before jumping to conclusions. I will do so from now on.

    A closer shot of the expanded bullet. As I said, textbook performance...

    Curiously, the jacket and core did not try to seperate. Though I'm not too concerned about it, I may email Remington to see if they've begun bonding everything...

    From the front, you can see how the jacket peeled back. Though not designed like the Black Talon, Ranger or SXT, this jacket is fairly sharp and protrudes enough that I'd guess it would see some "action" if used for serious purposes.

    Honestly, this stuff surprised me. Though I carried the +P version of this ammuntion while waiting for some premium stuff to arrive, I didn't truly feel comfortable with it and used it for range fodder as soon as the premium ammunition arrived.

    Not the best these days by any stretch of the imagination, this Remington ammunition, now (perhaps sadly) relegated to discount store bulk ammunition sales, still has plenty of punch to do most jobs which need doing. While not top-of-the-line any longer for barrier penetration, having been designed to the older penetration specification of 10" - 12" instead of the 12" - 14" we usually accept as the golden standard today, this old style ammo should still do the job in most defensive situations encountered by law enforcement and legally armed private citizens.

    I'm favorably impressed.

    Josh <><
  2. denfoote

    denfoote Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Near the border of occupied Azlan and Mexico.
    What you have shown is something I have suspected for some time ie that the "bargain" ammo does just as good of a job as the "premium" stuff!!

    I've been using the Remington Value Pack JHP and the Winchester White Box JHP in just about every caliber I carry for quite some time now.

    They are older bullet designs, but the old timers still know how to get the job done!!
  3. sm

    sm member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Between black coffee, and shiftn' gears
    Excellent Report!

    We use and like it, and this includes for CCW.

    Great writing and pictures!

    I and some others I hang with, have been very pleased with this L9MM1B

    For us, reliability is paramount. Cartridge has to feed and extract and work in all magazines.
    It does not matter what "teem seel" uses or the plumber's brother-in-law, if a cartridge does not run the gun, it is of no use.

    Here is my/our deal : Shot placement is the key, and the gun has to run in order to place a shot.

    Some folks are on a budget, and were using Winchester White Box. OLD WWB was fine, in fact the 115 gr JHP mirrors the OLD 115 gr STHP. I mean in Chrono and in the Scienfitic Shoot Mud and Dirt Tests

    WE started having problems with new offerings of WWB.
    Being blunt, anything Win was a problem, and I used to buy Win products by the pallet!

    So, we tried this UMC loading. We like Standard Pressure loadings.
    This L9MM1B - works.
    3913, BHP, Kel-Tec P-11, Glock, Ruger...it works. This load runs the guns.

    Now, I am old school on this bullet testing bit. We shot dirt just to see how the bullet held up.
    Jello was something one ate.
    Truth testing, varies as one can shoot the same thing, and get varied results
    I also worked in the main OR for a bit, and bullets do not do as the box , or anything else says they are supposed to do.

    WE just care the gun runs with mags and we hit what we are supposed to quickly and effectively.
    Heck at this minute, I am CCWing hardball...I really don't care or worry about it.

    Anywho the L9MM1B...
    SSMD/T - Kel-Tec P-11 from I dunno, 7 or steps went ~ 15"
    Plopped a piece of heavy cotton tarp,doubled and again from 7 steps 13"- 17"

    Real scientific - poke wooden dowel and measure.
    We did recover some bullets and expanded nice.

    FWIW, Mentors shared this when I was a brat and it still holds true.
    Bullets recovered from critters mirror those shot in dirt.

    I understand Mr. Camp finds this to be true as well.

    Take care sir,

  4. sph33r

    sph33r Member

    Jan 24, 2007
    I don't know what the chances are of this. I just bought a box of these this morning and decided to head to THR to find a review. I was shocked to find this thread on the first page. :D Thank you so much for your research.
  5. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    Wabash IN

    You're welcome. I couldn't find a review so I did one. Everything else I found was the +P or +P+ version.


    Josh <><
  6. Nnobby45

    Nnobby45 Member

    May 10, 2005
    Reno, Nv.

    Is it the general assumption that a bullet that travels thru layers of denim and expands in water jugs, would perform the same if shot into gelatin, which is accepted as the medium that more closely resembles human tissue?
  7. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Member

    Aug 8, 2004
    Wabash IN
    Not exactly.

    Water usually provides for the maximum upset which can occur with a particular load. For example, a jacket will usually seperate in water before in gelatin or human tissue.

    I guess the best way to sum it up is this: Water is to gelatin what gelatin is to tissue.

    The four layer denim test is a standard FBI test. It gauges how hollowpoints react to heavy clothing.

    If I had the facilities to do this correctly, I would be shooting calibrated 10% ordnance gelatin covered with four layers of denim.

    Then, I could see how well I could defend myself against a dessert! :D

    Both water and gelatin are homogenous; people are not. The closest I think a person could get to actual human results without actually testing on humans would probably be to catch a deer or a hog, dress it in heavy clothing, scare the bejesus out of it, and then shoot it. You'd then have a representative example of that particular animal you shot, and something which may or may not compare to a human shooting.

    In other words, each shooting is unique with its own unique set of variables.

    Penetration in water is roughly twice that of gelatin, so this 18" of water that was penetrated is close to 9" of gelatin. I believe most gelatin tests have the bullet penetrating an average of a little over 10", so this seems to be representative.

    What water and gelatin testing are good for is to compare two different bullets with the same variables.

    If you want to know what works on the street, look at the street results, find what bullet was used, see how it performs in water or gelatin, and find another which performs similarly. Then you can take an educated guess at how that bullet would work on the street.

    I hope this clarifies things a bit.

    Josh <><
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2007
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