Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Clear Gel Terminal Testing Sellier & Bellot 32 Auto 73 Grain FMJ


I do my best to keep the blog free of politics so I won't go into the reasons why the outcome of the latest Presidential Election didn't surprise me.  Remembering what happened to ammunition supplies after the previous election, I decided to proactively track down a few extra boxes of carry ammo for any pistol that might end up in my pocket or on my hip in the next few years.  Prior to putting in my order, I decided to do a clear gel test on my favorite FMJ and JHP ammo for the P-32 that will end up in my pocket occasionally. 

Folks that carry pistols chambered for .32 AUTO or .32 ACP seem to fall into two camps.  The FMJ camp and the JHP camp.  I've done my homework, through previous terminal tests, so I know which .32 ACP JHPs will actually expand and those that won't.  What I didn't know was the penetration capability of FMJ bullets traveling at velocities attained when launched from a short barrel semi-auto.  Rather than guess, I decided it was time for a test with the new clear gel test medium I have been using.  I also hoped to get some additional insight into bullet tumbling that some folks mention as they expound on the virtues of .32 AUTO FMJ ammunition.

Pistol Specs:
Kel-Tec P-32 2.7" Barrel


Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chronograph.


The video below documents my entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.
Direct Link to Video on YouTube


My Thoughts:
My initial thoughts were that I really NEED a professional high speed camera with HD resolution so I can actually see the bullet tumble as it travels through the gel block.  Reviewing my own amateur high speed footage, and trying to match that up with the artifacts left in the gel block, has been really interesting for the ballistics geek in me.  Allow me to put forth my theory.

In the picture below you can see the start of a typical wound channel and stretch cavity.  With a FMJ bullet, I didn't expect to see much more than a temporary stretch cavity of uniform height through the first several inches of travel until the bullet slowed.  What we got was a uniform stretch cavity for about 3 inches, then an expansion bubble, followed by a series of waves.  Finally the stretch cavity settles down again into a normal pattern.

My theory is the expansion bubble was caused by the bullet tumbling 180 degrees.  The temporarily larger bullet surface area, caused by tumbling, registered as a temporarily larger stretch cavity.  I believe the wave pattern immediately after the bubble was caused by the cupped base of the bullet as it progressed base-first down the wound channel.  Energy loss was so great at this point, the remainder of the wound channel actually appears to be normal. 
From previous tests HERE we know the Sellier & Bellot FMJ ammunition used in this test is the fastest and heaviest .32 ACP ammo available in a standard pressure loading.  There may be other more exotic (aka expensive) boutique ammo brands that have a heavier bullet or faster velocity, but they are tagged as .32 ACP +P.  Since there is no SAAMI specification for .32 ACP +P  ammo, it's buyer beware when using loads tagged as .32 ACP +P or .32 AUTO +P.  One thing I did learn was that my fear of gross over-penetration with .32 ACP FMJ ammunition was pretty much baseless.  Bare gel is an optimum test bed.  Real world exterior and interior barriers will all do their part to leech energy from the bullet as it travels.  If I was going to experience over-penetration with FMJ ammunition, this one should have over-penetrated.

The 2.5" to 3" of lateral travel that I mentioned in the recovery portion of the video was interesting, but I've seen similar things happen to high velocity JHP bullets that fully expand and still have velocity behind them.  My theory here is that once the bullet turned 180 degrees, it was weight forward and most probably turned a few degrees less than a perfect 180.  This caused the bullet to track in the direction that the bullet base was facing.

I stop short of making recommendations, but I will say that the FMJ camp sure does look a whole lot better to me after this test.


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.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Glock 27 - The Incredibly Versatile Pocket Glock


Multi-caliber pistols push all the right buttons for me.  I don't collect them, but I do have a great appreciation for them.  I remember when I first read about the HK-4, I immediately knew I wanted one.  Having one pistol frame and slide with 4 caliber specific barrels, recoil springs, and magazines gave the owner the ability to shoot .22LR, 25 Auto, 32 Auto, and .380 Auto.  Reality set in when I found out that production of the HK-4 ceased in 1984 and I was reading about it for the first time in the early 1990's.  I have no idea why the HK-4 ended up in the "no longer made" category, but for me the allure of the concept never went away.

Many years later I discovered that .40 caliber Glock pistols share similar capabilities with the HK-4.  After purchasing a .40 S&W Glock (full size, mid size, or compact), it is possible to swap out barrels and magazines and turn your .40 S&W Glock into a 9mm and/or .357 Sig.  Glock one-ups the HK-4 by eliminating the need to change out recoil springs.  9mm and .357 Sig magazines are available from any Glock accessories dealer.  OEM 9mm and .357 Sig barrels can be purchased from Glock parts dealers. There are also a few after market manufacturers of Glock barrels.  In my case, I used barrels from Lone Wolf Distributors.

For clarity and completeness, I should mention that the .357 Sig Glock models (full size, mid size, or compact) can also be converted to .40 S&W and 9mm.  I had a G27 so that's the conversion path I followed.

In my case, tracking down a 9mm conversion barrel was pretty easy.  The .357 barrel took a bit more patience because it looks like Lone Wolf sells every one they make in a matter of a few minutes.  Magazines were very easy to find.   With some smart shopping and waiting to buy during sale periods, I finally got all the parts I needed for what I thought was a reasonable price.  My next stop was a way to keep everything organized.

My experiences with Otter Box goes way back.  Over a decade ago, I used Otter Boxes, in the size show in the pictures above and below, as travel cigar humidors.  They always did a great job protecting their contents.  Otter redesigned their cases a few years ago and closed out their old Model 2000 stock.  I picked up a "few" at that time and they work perfectly for storing the conversion parts.  I'm sure there are other dry box options available.

I could go into much more detail here, but I think I covered everything important in the range video below.

I'm really pleased with this 3 caliber set up.  As I mentioned in the video, it's going to be a great tool for my ballistics testing.  I've actually used it in that capacity to run a 3 caliber side by side test, but I have not had the chance to publish the results yet.  The range trip yesterday was my first chance to run 150+ rounds through the conversion with constant swapping between the different barrels and magazines.  I'm really pleased with the results with zero failures of any kind.

As an aside for those wondering why the G27 can't be converted to .380 Auto, it has to do with the operational design of the pistols.  While similar in size to the G27, the G28 is blow back operated while the G27 is a locked breech design.  Technically, you could convert your G27 to .380 Auto with a G28 slide, barrel, and magazine.  You may also need to change the recoil springs.  Import restrictions on the G28, and it's component parts, make this conversion nearly impossible.  So while it would be cool, it's probably not something I'll ever attempt.

The G27, with all the conversion parts, gets me very close to the 4 caliber HK-4 I lusted after back in the 1990's, but in much more meaningful defense calibers.  I'm satisfied with that compromise.  

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Remora Hyde Holsters - Black Friday Sales

Two new Remora-Hyde Holsters

I've blogged about Remora Holsters a few times over the last year.  You see them in my reviews and various shooting videos.  I'm bought into the clip-less inside the waistband holster concept and have several Remoras that I use for pocket or IWB carry.  When visiting various forums, I always try to read what other people think about Remora Holsters.  The only complaints I've read are that the holsters are thicker than other all synthetic pocket holsters like the Nemesis and Blackhawk! products.  Overall acceptance of the clip-less IWB holster seems to be really good.

Alan Bogdan, the Owner of Remora, must be cursed with divine discontent.  It seems like there is a new cut, style, or type of Remora holster hitting the website every few months.  The latest product update is the Remora-Hyde holster.  The Remora-Hyde holster is exactly the same as a standard Remora holster, except the synthetic inner lining has been replaced with 4-5 oz. cow hide.

 Original Remora Size 2 ART holster on left and new Remora-Hyde Size 2 ART holster on right

I asked Alan why he decided to expand his holster line up with this new lining option.  He told me that the new cow hide lined holsters were added to appeal to traditional leather holster lovers and also to reduce the overall holster thickness.  The cow hide is actually thinner than the synthetic liner material, even when the synthetic liner is compressed.  I took a quick weight and measure and found that the leather lining adds slightly to the overall holster weight, but does indeed reduce the thickness of the holster.

Intrigued by the new lining concept, I decided to give the 2-ART size a try with the Remora-Hyde lining.  The picture below shows my year old original 2-ART holster on the left and the new Remora-Hyde holster on the right.  After only 3 days of use, the Remora Hyde holster is fitting itself to the pistol and forming a nice curved profile to match the curve of my thigh.  By day three, the draw from the Remora Hyde holster is as buttery smooth as any fine leather pocket holster.  I like it.

For those that worry about "printing", the outside of the holster was also starting to fit to the pistol, but not nearly as much as the leg side of the holster.  Swapping one holster for another and checking the print in a mirror, I couldn't pick up a significant difference between the two holsters other than the Remora-Hyde holster being a little less thick.  The picture below is reversed from the one above.  The Remora-Hyde holster is on the left and the regular Remora on the right.

I also tried a Remora-Hyde holster in the IWB configuration with the added Sweat Shield option.  This one didn't get carried as much as the pocket holster this week, but you can see that it is also starting to mold to the pistol contours.  Particularly around the trigger guard and ejection port.

Normally, I'd like to use a new product for at least a week before blogging about it, but earlier today I found out that Remora is running a 15% off everything they sell special offer this weekend.  Per their Facebook page: "Black Friday sale that continues all weekend long!!!! Receive a 15% discount on any order placed between this Friday at 12am through Sunday at 11:59pm (this offer can not be combined with any other offer) just enter the code blackfriday15 on the order page to receive the discount."  To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time Remora has run a special offer discount like this so please take advantage of this special offer if you've been wanting a Remora holster of your own.  I know I've got my eye on a holster or two that I'm going to try with the Remora-Hyde liner while the discount code is active.

Speaking of discount codes, the folks at Clear Ballistics have super-sized the always active 5% discount they set up for readers of this blog.  For Black Friday Weekend, you can get a whopping 30% off all Clear Ballistics products.  This offer was published on their Facebook page earlier today.  If you've wanted to try your hand a terminal ballistics testing, now's your chance to get in on the fun at 30% off.  

I never leave the house on Black Friday.  It just seems like too much drama to save a few bucks.  I will say that these two offers are pretty killer and I don't even have to leave my house to take advantage of them.

Y'all have a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rethinking Pocket Carry

What???!!!!????

 The Pocket Guns and Gear guy is rethinking pocket carry?  Yup.  It's true.

Over the last few months I've really taken advantage of my private range access and spent a considerable amount of time actually shooting my carry pistols.  In the past, all my shooting was done at a commercial indoor range or semi-public outdoor ranges that didn't allow for draw from concealment.  You may occasionally luck out and get the semi-public range to yourself and sneak in some draw to fire practice, but I never felt comfortable doing it because the range wardens would often pull up in their trucks to observe the range activity from the parking lot.  I didn't relish the thought of a confrontation with them.

I quickly learned that drawing from your pocket can be incredibly slow if you are someone that wears a variety of different pants with different pocket styles.  It's still better than not having something in your pocket or on your person, but it got me started down the path of investigating other carry options.  My next stop was investigating inside the waistband appendix carry. 

Appendix carry requires a small leap of faith that folks around you won't notice the bulge in your waistband at the 2 O'clock position under your shirt.  Pocket concealment is easy as long as you are working with one of the smaller pistols.  Move that pistol up to your waistband and all kinds of paranoia starts running through your head.  In reality, I realized that people are usually busy, caught up in their own lives, and have better things to do than give you more than quick fraction of a second glance.  Paranoia eliminated.

For me, the main advantage of AIWB carry is very fast access to your firearm if you need it.  After finding the right holster and some practice, I really started to see the merits of this carry method.  I really didn't fully appreciate it until I finally bought myself a shot timer.  Here's a little snip of a video I made over the weekend when I was practicing with my current favorite carry combo.  A Boberg XR9-S in a chopped down Remora holster.  This rig works fine in the pocket or as a AIWB practice rig.


Many years ago, I attended a Dale Carnegie seminar that included video tape analysis of your public speaking assignments.  I hated it, as I am sure most people do, but there was no denying the powerful impact it has on identifying and correcting bad habits.  The video above is a great example of identifying a bad habit, in this case the lean to the right, that I was not aware of when actually out on the range.  Competitive shooters analyze their hat-cam footage so why shouldn't we follow their lead and analyze our practice footage?  If you have the resources to do it, I think it it might be worth your time.  I know I learned a few things about my shooting this weekend.

On the wardrobe malfunction.  You would think that something as easy as lifting your shirt to access your firearm would be pretty simple and automatic.  As you saw in the video that isn't always the case.  I have no idea why it happened, but my guess is that I was rushing to grab the pistol before the shirt was clear.  One more thing to be cognizant of when practicing.

So now you have my thoughts on AIWB carry.  I see quite a bit of upside potential, but I'm a realist.  The 6 to 8 seconds required to draw and fire twice from the pocket versus the 3 to 4 seconds required for the AIWB carry method.  On paper it looks good, but then the realist in me comes out and realizes that under stress these times could potentially double.  Probably best if I picked one carry method and practice, practice, practice.

Bottom line is don't be afraid to try out a new carry method.  You will never know if it can help you unless you give it a try.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Short and Long Barrel Clear Gel Test 9mm +P Federal HST 147 Grain

A few months ago I received an email from Seth at Ammunition Depot that was very complimentary of my ammo testing videos and blog articles.  Seth offered to help me out if his store had anything in stock that I found difficult to locate on my own.  I singled this load out as one that I have found very difficult to get my hands on when ordering ammo from my usual sources.  Seth had a box on my doorstep in less than a week.  Since the ammo was provided to me free of charge, I thought I would change up the format of this review and do both a short and long barrel test with the donated ammunition.  So please keep an open mind as you read down through this new testing format.

I've read about this specific load for quite some time.  It is generally held in high regard across many of the forums I follow and I think that's part of the reason why I've had such a difficult time locating a box for testing.  I've had multiple requests to review this load so it appears that word of mouth has many people interested in how this load performs in both long and short barreled pistols.
  
Pistol Specs:
Long Barrel:  Glock 17 - 4.5" Barrel
Short Barrel:  Kahr PM9 - 3" Barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chronograph.

Long Barrel Test Recovered Round:

The video below documents my entire long barrel test from range testing to bullet recovery.


Short Barrel Test Recovered Round:

The video below documents my entire short barrel test from range testing to bullet recovery.


My Thoughts:
The more HST I test, the more I appreciate the incredible flexibility of this line of ammunition.  While it does not carry any special markings that it will perform in short barreled pistols, it has never failed to impress me with full expansion and satisfactory penetration.  Weight retention is also as good or better than other competing loads when shot into bare gel or through 2 layers of denim and gel.  Adding another 1.5" of barrel length with the longer barreled Glock allowed for higher velocity and greater expansion.  Penetration was reduced due to the larger frontal bullet face that was pushing through the gel.  Both tested rounds penetrated well beyond the 12" penetration hurdle that seems to be the expected minimum penetration depth.

I was a bit disappointed that both test shots came in well below their 5 shot velocity averages.  Even with this, the long and short barrel velocity spread with the two test shots was 79 fps.  Looking at the two recovered bullets, there was a noticeable difference in expansion between the two rounds.  The petals of the bullet fired through the short barrel extended back to the mid point of the bullet shank.  The petals on the bullet fired from the long barrel expanded and extended all the way back to the bullet base.

I will admit that I was a bit skeptical of the terminal performance we would see with this 9mm 147 grain load.  My skepticism stems from very poor expansion performance from this bullet weight in some very early 9mm ballistics tests done in 2011 with loads from other ammo makers.  I am really impressed with the performance of this load in both the long and short barrel and I can see that it deserves all the positive praise it receives on the forums.

Long barrel test bullet on the left and short barrel test bullet on the right.
    
I hope you enjoyed this test.  I'm interested in your feedback if you have any thoughts on making the review article easier read when combining two tests into one blog article as I've done here.    


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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Boberg XR9-L Production Update

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Boberg Arms.  Since receiving my XR9-S back in April, I continue to appreciate the unique design features of the pistol.  I shoot a bunch of pocket guns as I work on the blog, but the XR9-S continues to be my pocket 9 of choice for concealed carry.  It might not be the smallest, lightest, and most pocket-able of the bunch, but for me it is the most accurate and softest shooting.  I've run a steady diet standard pressure defense and +P ammo through my pistol and it's holding up just fine.

Back in mid-August, I posted a blog about sitting in on a real-time design session that took place over on the Boberg Forum.  You can read about that event by clicking HERE.  If you don't want to read the previous blog, then I'll just say that a bunch of us posted our design ideas for the new XR9-L, or long slide version of the XR9-S.  When the final design drawing was finished, the pistol was going to look like this.
We ended up with a design that was very similar to the XR9-S, but with a longer barrel, slide, sight radius, and accessory rail. 

After what I think is a relatively short 3 month wait, we all got our first look at a firing and fully functional XR9-L this week.  I think it looks fantastic, but again, I'm probably a bit biased since I was part of the design team.  I'm not 100% sure of the final specifications, but I believe the total length of the pistol is just under 6" and barrel length is 4.2".  Weight was not available at the time I wrote this up, but I'll get that later and post an update.  
 
Boberg Arms will be displaying their XR9-S and new XR9-L at the SHOT Show this year.  If you are attending, you can find them at booth 2827. 

If you would like a Boberg XR9-S or XR9-L of your own, sales are only done through the Boberg web store.    

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Clear Gel Terminal Testing Federal Premium 45 Auto 230 Grain HST

This was a follow up test of this load in the Clear Ballistics Gel test media.  Two weeks ago I published test results for this load that was shot into the SIM-TEST media.  You can see that report HERE.  I was really disappointed that the SIM-TEST was too soft for the test and penetration values were not accurate.  Since it tested well in the SIM-TEST, I wanted to try it again in the clear gel.

One other thing to mention about the previous test.  When I wrote up the recap I mentioned that I cut the HST 230 Grain +P load because it didn't have a significant velocity increase over the standard pressure loading.  In reality, the rounds I thought were standard pressure were really a mix of standard pressure and +P.  I had purchased two very cheap boxes of standard pressure HST with labels on them that the brass had incorrect head stamps.  Some had the +P designation and some did not.  The box flap specified standard pressure, but the velocity results lead me to believe they were primarily +P rounds.

This test was done with a new box of standard pressure that did not have the cheaper price or warning label attached.  Based on the velocity test, I believe these were indeed the standard pressure load.
  
Pistol Specs:
Springfield XDs 45 3.3" Barrel


Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chronograph.

The video below documents my entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.



My Thoughts:
When I started testing the 230 grain 45 ACP loads, in short barrel pistols, I as a bit skeptical about velocity and expansion.  In this test we have a good example of a standard pressure round that had no problems opening up at less than 800 feet per second.  Even with the lower velocity and full expansion, the bullet penetrated more than 12" into the clear gel.  Retained weight was also excellent.

Based on the three criteria of expansion, penetration depth, and weight retention this was my most successful 230 grain standard pressure test so far from the short 3.3" test barrel.  Now that I've found the source of my error in my initial SIM-TEST test, I think I will circle back on the +P version of this load and see what the extra 50 to 60 feet per second will add to expansion and penetration.     


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.

The DoubleTap BIG Announcement

Yesterday I posted that a BIG announcement was coming out this morning on the DoubleTap.  According to their Marketing Firm, we would know the destiny of the DoubleTap.  I checked in on their Facebook page this morning and they had this new information available for us.

The official press release follows in it's entirety.  My only comment is that I am very glad they kept the manufacturing in the US.  We will see how long it takes to get the operation spun up and shipping out DoubleTaps.   


DoubleTap™ Defense, LLC announces today that it has chosen Florida-based Azimuth Technology, LLC  to manufacture the DoubleTap™ concealed carry pistol. The DoubleTap Tactical Pocket Pistol was introduced at the 2011 NASGW show in Reno, Nevada.

“When we announced that DoubleTap was looking for a new manufacturing partner [October 2012], we were pleasantly surprised by the positive response from the firearms manufacturers and other precision manufacturing companies,” Ray Kohout, inventor and founder of DoubleTap™ Defense commented. “Our industry has been very supportive of the DoubleTap project and we are ultimately grateful. Out of all the responses we received, it became very clear that Azimuth Technology was the perfect fit in corporate philosophy, facility capability and plain, old-fashioned, roll-up-your-sleeves determination to bring this product to market in a timely fashion.”

The ultra-compact, no-snag, pistol in .45 or 9mm built on titanium or aluminum frames was well received by both industry media and firearms distributors with initial orders in the tens of thousands.

Azimuth Technology of Naples, Florida, is a state-of-the-art precision contract manufacturing facility. Azimuth produces products for various industries including defense, aerospace, oil/gas and many others. The Azimuth Technology facility boasts over 60 of the newest CNC precision machines capable of handling lot sizes from a mere 100 pieces to 1 million.

Azimuth Technology, founded by Len E. Zaiser and Len E. Zaiser IV, has over 50-years of manufacturing and business experience. Len Zaiser Sr. has founded seven different manufacturing companies that have employed thousands of people throughout his highly successful career. Len Zaiser Jr. is the President and co-founder of Azimuth Technology and former founder and co-founder of several area businesses.

News related to the DoubleTap™ can be found at www.doubletapfirearmsllc.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DoubleTapFirearmsLLC. 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The DoubleTap Drama Builds

I admit it, I'm hopeless when it concerns an unfolding drama.  I think I've matured enough to allow things to develop in their own time and not get frustrated and impatient to the point of giving up on what could be a good thing in the end.  Maybe that's a maturity I learned from raising our son over the last eight years.  Who knows.

Anyway......I just noticed an update from the folks at DoubleTap Firearms that we should expect a BIG (their caps, not mine) announcement from them tomorrow morning at 10am EST.  If you do the Twitter thing, go ahead and start following them today so you don't miss out.  @DoubleTapPistol is their Twitter name.  You can also find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DoubleTapFirearmsLLC so go Like and post some encouragement on their wall.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Clear Gel Terminal Testing Winchester Ranger 45 Auto +P 230 Grain T-Series


This was a follow up test of this load in the Clear Ballistics Gel test media.  Two weeks ago I published test results for this load that was shot into the SIM-TEST media.  You can see that report HERE.  I was really disappointed that the SIM-TEST was too soft for the test and penetration values were not accurate.  Since it tested well in the SIM-TEST, I wanted to try it again in the clear gel.
  
Pistol Specs:
Springfield XDs 45 3.3" Barrel


Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block.  I take the shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 2 inches away from the block.  Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density.  I shoot the block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullets.  Immediately prior to the terminal test, I shoot a five shot velocity test string from 8 feet over a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chronograph.

The video below documents my entire test from range testing to bullet recovery.


My Thoughts:
I was a bit disappointed that our test shot was a bit slower than the previous test and also the 5 shot velocity average.  Even with the lower velocity, the bullet expanded fully and achieved a good penetration depth from the short 3.3" barrel.  Weight retention was also good for a non-bonded bullet.  The maximum expanded diameter of nearly 1" was really quite impressive.  Those "talons" sticking out perpendicular to the bullet shank really extend the footprint of the expanded bullet.

One thing that stuck with me as I reviewed the wound channel in the clear gel block was how deeply the bullet penetrated before expansion started.  I'm not sure if a delayed expansion is an asset or a liability at this point, but it was unique enough that it was worth noting in the video.



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.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Myth Of Knock Down Power

I really didn't plan to post anything today, but enough was enough.  All week long I've watched a group of guys go at each other over the "Knock Down Power" of various projectiles as fired from pistols and rifles.  I happened to be working on an ammo test video so I grabbed some highlights to give them a visual example of why Knock Down Power is pretty much a big myth.  It looks great in movies, but I'm not seeing real live examples during my terminal testing.  I hope this video will stop the squabbling.  Since I did the work, I thought I would share it on the blog too.


I'm also a realist and understand that getting hit with that bullet would totally suck and definitely cause me to pause and stop what I happened to be doing at the moment.  It does not appear that I would be picking myself up off the ground because the bullet had taken me off my feet.

Comments? 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The DoubleTap Gets A Facelift

Innovation is never easy.  It's often painful and full of disappointment and set backs.  It can be daunting when you find yourself taking one step forward only to find yourself taking two steps backward.  I know I've been there and you can either give up or figure out a way to circumvent or work through your problems and move on.

The DoubleTap press release from October was disappointing to many of us that still look forward to actually owning a DoubleTap one day.  Some of us thought the opportunity to own one was just around the corner after the cover story in Guns&Ammo Magazine.  Then we saw the DoubleTap on TV in the CBS show Person of Interest.  I wasn't expecting the news that manufacturing would have to be moved to a new producer.  In the grand scheme of of possible set backs, that's a pretty big one.

Ray Kohout and his Team at DoubleTap Defense recently added a picture of the new DoubleTap to their Facebook page.  As you can see, they've removed all reference to their relationship with their previous manufacturer.  I like the new grip panels.  Functional instead of arty.  What you would expect on a pistol designed for defensive purposes.  You can also see the logo and manufacturer stampings have been changed.  I'm sure it's all just PhotoShop editing at this point, but at least we're seeing updates.  That has to be a good thing.

Keep pushing forward Ray.  As one of my college professors was so fond of saying...in the face of adversity, don't let the bastards grind you down.

Old DoubleTap:

New DoubleTap: