Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ballistics Testing Remington Golden Saber 9mm 124 Grain BJHP

I've used Remington Golden Saber for many years.  I think the first box I every purchased was in .45 ACP that I kept in a S&W 625 revolver in case of home invasion.  The brand has really taken off for Remington as their flagship defense brand.  This is another ammo choice recommended by Diamondback firearms as a highly reliable ammo choice.  Personally, I've not invested in enough boxes to confirm or deny that claim, but I will say that the limited amount of rounds that have gone through my DB9s fed and fired reliably.  I have received several requests to do a terminal ballistics test on this load by fellow DB9 owners.  

Test Pistol Specs:
Diamondback DB9 9mm with 3" barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at alternate ends of 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 5 inches away from the SIM-TEST block.  My SIM-TEST blocks are now closely calibrated to ballistics gel density.  I shoot the blocks at the range and then bring them home and recover the bullets.  For this test, I also included two previously recovered test shots I did last February.  The data listed with the February recovered samples is incomplete and is shown only to demonstrate continuity of measurements between the two tests.

Recovered rounds from this test, and the previous test in February, showed consistency in expansion across velocities ranging from 1008 to 1035 fps.  Uniform expansion and projectile weight retention was also consistent across all samples from both tests.  The video below documents the entire recent test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts
This is another Remington load that demonstrates a wide range of velocities, but still manages to expand even at 1008 fps.  I previously captured velocity of two 5 shot strings with two different DB9 barrels.  Those strings averaged 1035 and 1024.  You can find that test HERE.  The good news is that when penetration testing an average shot (1024 fps), it still expanded and penetrated over 14" after passing through two layers of denim.

The recovered bullets tell me an interesting story.  You can see that the lead core flattens and expands, but the bronze petals extend the expansion considerably.  The SIM-TEST media can slip between the petals so the entire expanded circumference isn't pushing against the media.  I believe this is what allows the bullet to penetrate so deeply in testing.  It really looks like the core is ready to pop out of the jacket, but I have not had that happen with any recovered rounds, even with rough handling.

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested. It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision about which specific ammunition to use for their needs. It's also critically important to test any ammo in YOUR SPECIFIC FIREARM before relying on it for any purpose.  Ammunition labeled as +P should not be used in any firearm unless the firearm manufacturer specifically states you are permitted to do so. 


  1. Quick question for you, Bruce. Are the expanded brass segments sharp enough to cut tissue?

    1. If you are asking if they are razor sharp or pointy like the Ranger T series, then the answer to both is no. I can handle the recovered rounds with no worries of being cut or stuck by the expanded petals.