Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Testing Fiocchi Extrema 380 AUTO 90 Grain XTP

This ammo was an odd-ball I had in the ammo cabinet.  It was purchased during the ammo drought of 08-09.  I had just procured a Ruger LCP and found myself in a situation of having limited ammo available to shoot.  Ammo to Go came to my rescue and posted boxes of these rounds for well less than the $1 per round everyone was asking for 380 JHP ammo at the time.  You can see why these went so cheap if you have a sharp eye.  The printer left the "R" out of Extrema on the box front and the even more confusing side panel lists these rounds as being loaded with 95 grain XTP bullets.  To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a 95 grain XTP bullet for the .380.  It's always been 90 grains.  In reality, these rounds are loaded with 90 grain XTP bullets.

I find it interesting that Hornady lets other companies buy and load their XTP bullets.  This load from Fiocchi competes directly with Hornady's own Custom line of ammo.  One day soon I'll have the chance to test the Hornady Custom and TAP FPD loads and see how they compare with the Fiocchi.  Given they all use the same bullet, I really wonder if the performance will be nearly identical across the the lines.

I've always liked the XTP bullets in 380 and 9mm especially.  Back when I had more time and less money, I rolled my own 380 and 9mm reloads and the only bullets I ever used were XTPs.  I always found them to be slick feeding and I perceived they delivered better accuracy than factory Federal and UMC FMJ I would buy from Walmart.  I never did any testing on the projectiles so I was looking forward to this test.

If you follow my blog and my tests, then you know my testing process.  If you are not familiar, please view the video as it includes footage from the range and also footage from the bench where I extract the captured bullets from the SIM-TEST ballistics media.  My testing process is pretty simple.  I take two shots at a SIM-TEST block that is loosely draped with 2 layers of medium weight denim.  I take the shots from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 8 inches away from the SIM-TEST block.  This testing was done with a Kahr P380 with a 2.53" barrel.

The recovered bullets and their corresponding measurements are shown below.  The results were really quite interesting to me.  While I can't claim that the bullets didn't expand, I will say the expansion was different than what I have been seeing with loadings from other manufacturers.  Instead of a deep peel back of the petals, the petals were really quite short and it's like the bullet expanded to a larger diameter FMJ and penetrated quite deeply.  

My Comments: While they may not look as exciting as the fully expanded and flattened button profile slugs, you can't deny that these rounds did expand and did so while maintaining their deep penetration characteristics.  These Fiocchi Extrema rounds might be a good choice for situations where deep penetration with moderate expansion is needed. 

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