Friday, September 7, 2012

Ballistics Testing Winchester Ranger 9mm +P 124 Grain T-Series

This is my first test of Winchester Ranger T-Series ammo in a caliber above .380 ACP.  I've read quite a bit about these loadings over the years, but have never run any down the pipe of any of my larger caliber pistols.  I think part of the reason for taking so long to come around to testing the T-Series lies in it's popularity.  When ammo supplies got tight several years ago, it was nearly impossible to find this ammo available at the usual outlets.  When you did find it, it was very expensive in comparison to other similar ammunition options.  As someone that discovered the joys of handgun ownership and shooting at about the same time the Winchester Black Talon was vilified and removed from the shelves by Winchester, I was really looking forward to seeing how this load would perform.

I'm not a perfect historian with thousands of facts at my fingertips, but I have read that the Ranger T-Series replaced the previous Black Talon bullet.  Some agree with this and others disagree.  I do know that the Black Talon was only available in 147 grain weight in 9mm, so this 124 grain loading may be a descendant of the Black Talon line, but is not a direct replacement.  I shot a quick comparison picture since I had some 147 Black Talon on hand that I bought years ago.  Based on this picture, they may be related, but the hollow point cavity on the current T-Series is much wider than the original Black Talon bullet.
Pistol Specs:
Kahr PM9 9mm with 3.1" barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a SIM-TEST block that is loosely draped with 2 layers of medium weight denim.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the SIM-TEST block.  My SIM-TEST blocks are now closely calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the blocks at the range and then bring them home and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronic ProChrono Digital chronograph.

I was pleased that the test shot velocity was close to the five shot velocity average.  The terminal performance should be representative of what you can expect from this load.  The video below documents the entire test from range testing to bullet recovery. 

My Thoughts
When conducting these short barrel terminal tests on 124 Grain 9mm +P ammo, we really want to see velocity of about 1100 fps, full expansion of the bullet with a recovered diameter of at least .5", and penetration of at least 12" after passing through 2 layers of denim.  This loading met or exceeded all of the benchmark performance criteria.  The recovered bullet just looks mean with those sharp talons extended perpendicular to the bullet shaft.  The bullet did shed some weight during it's travel, but the recovered round is still in the 120's.  The bullet engineers at Winchester have done an excellent job with the bullet design on this load.  I'm looking forward to testing additional bullet weights and calibers in the future to see if they all perform as well as this load did.

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 comment:

  1. Good review, I enjoy reading all of your reviews.

    May I suggest that you summarize your ammo testing results in a table such as :

    brand wgt vel pen exp ret wgt gun

    keep it up to date and link to it in your side bar.