It shouldn't be a big surprise to my regular readers that I'm still infatuated with my Springfield XDs. If you are new to the blog, you can see my XDs Review here. This post isn't really about the XDs. This post is about deciding on the carry ammo I will use in the XDs.
I had standard pressure and +P 230 grain loads from the Federal HST and Winchester Range T lines on hand, so I decided I would start by picking one of these four as my initial carry ammo. I poured a huge block of SIM-TEST and headed out to the range to see how these four choices would perform in terminal testing.
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. 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.
After my initial Point of Impact and 5 Shot Velocity testing was completed, I decided to exclude the HST 230 grain +P from testing. The main reason for this was the small difference in average velocity between the standard and +P rounds. I also started questioning if I could really get 4 test shots into the single block of SIM-TEST I had on hand so rather than mess up the bullet recovery I decided to only test 3 loads. The video below documents the entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.
My Thoughts Coming out of the test, I decided that a follow up test of the HST 230 grain standard pressure and Ranger T 230 grain +P should be done as soon as possible in the new Clear Ballistics Gel product. The fact that the SIM-TEST block tested too soft, was really the straw that broke the camel's back on the SIM-TEST product. After investing a considerable amount of time casting the block and then doing 5 shot velocity tests, I was really disappointed that I wouldn't be able to use the penetration data because the block tested soft on the BB calibration test.
The standard pressure HST expanded fully to almost double it's initial diameter and penetrated the most of the 3 tested rounds. The Winchester Ranger T standard pressure did not fully expand. The Ranger T +P expanded fully and penetrated well.
Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested. All tests represent actual performance in ballistics testing media. Terminal performance in all other media will show different results. It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision on 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 or +P+ should only be used in firearms that have been certified by the manufacturer as safe for the additional pressures generated by these ammunition types.