Thursday, September 20, 2012

Terminal Ballistics Testing Remington UMC 45 ACP 230 Grain JHP


Walk into just about any mass retailer that sells ammo, and you will probably find several boxes of these on the shelf.  Sold in bulk packs of 100 rounds per box, I can usually find this available in one of several local locations if I'm looking for some ammo before heading out to the range.  One thing that I've not found is plentiful information about how this JHP round performs in terminal testing.  Perhaps it's the very reasonable price point that keeps people away from doing any serious testing on this load.  I'm more open-minded and since Remington is an Arkansas company, I decided to give the home team and their product a thorough terminal test.
  
Pistol Specs:
Kahr PM45 45 ACP with 3" 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 had a bad feeling about this load when I was running it across the chronograph.  I was hoping for velocity in the low 800's.  770's were not what I was hoping for.  I know 230 grains is a big bullet to get moving, but I thought we would see more velocity from a JHP loading.  The video below documents the entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.




My Thoughts
This test was an eye-opener for me.  Prior to running the test, I felt pretty good about having a few boxes of this ammo stashed away for a rainy day.  Now I realize that instead of a very reasonably priced defensive load, I'm stuck with an expensive replacement for FMJ range ammo.  I had heard the rumors that this load wouldn't expand, but I like to test things and see the results with my own eyes before buying into the "wisdom" floating around on the internet.  
The hollow point cavity was really trying to expand and shows just a tiny bit of petal separation at the nose, but there just wasn't enough speed behind the bullet to cause expansion.  I wanted to mention that this bullet was shot into the exact same SIM-TEST block as the REM UMC .40 S&W load profiled last week.  That bullet performed well. 
  

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. 

10 comments:

  1. Too bad - I too had a few boxes of this areound and wouldn't let my kid shoot them up for target practice. Now they are his to take to the range. Do you think they would do any better out of a 5 inch barrel?

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    Replies
    1. They might do better, but why risk it. They seem to be too slow.

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    2. I have shot meny of these rounds and found good penatrcion about 16 " in bulistic jell .
      With about 598 expansion .
      I would say a very good alternative to round ball ammo.
      And its a 45acp any ways so its guna get the job done at 1/2 the cost of most personal protection rounds .

      Delete
    3. I have shot meny of these rounds and found good penatrcion about 16 " in bulistic jell .
      With about 598 expansion .
      I would say a very good alternative to round ball ammo.
      And its a 45acp any ways so its guna get the job done at 1/2 the cost of most personal protection rounds .

      Delete
  2. While not defending this load I feel I must point out the OBVIOUS. You were shooting ammo basicaly designed for a 5" (traditionaly rifled) 1911 style pistol barrel in a 3" (most likely polygon rifled) barrel. The reduction in velocity from these notoriously slow barrels is the culprit here, not the ammo itself, I.E. impropper ammo application/usage. When using a compact pistol with traditional, old-school style h.p.'s you need a load 100-200 fps faster to compensate for lost barrel velocity. I'm sure this ammo works generaly well through a traditional full-length barrel for which it was designed.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment. I test in short barrels because most manufacturers don't publish their test results from short barrels. There is nothing on the package that alerts the buyer that this ammunition expands only in 5" barrels or won't expand in 3.25" barrels. What I find odd is that the 9mm and 40 S&W loads in the UMC bulk pack family performed well in short barrels while the 380 and 45 did not.

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  3. Bruce, try this test. Go buy a slab of pork ribs and some hamburger set your denim up in front of the ribs the hamburger behind then ribs, simulate the thickness of the human body and then your gel to catch it and see what happens........you might find it interesting!

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  4. Bruce,

    It's "game" before you shoot it, it's "food" after you shoot it.

    P.S. Thanks for all of your wonderful reviews.

    ReplyDelete