I'm not aware of what takes place during the bonding process at Winchester, but it appears that this specific bullet didn't get properly bonded and the core and jacket separated in some sections, while another section of the bullet appears to be properly bonded. Very strange indeed.
I take one shot at the end of a Clear Ballistics Gel block that measures approximately 6" x 6" x 16" and weighs approximately 16 lbs. I take the test shot from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured with the chronograph less than 2 inches away from the block. Clear Ballistics Gel is calibrated to 10% ballistics gel density and periodically validated with the standard BB penetration test used with Ordnance Gel. I shoot the test block at the range and then bring it home to analyze the block and recover the bullet. Immediately prior to shooting the test block, I conduct a 5 shot velocity test over a ProChrono Digital chronograph.
The test results are summarized in the data sheet below along with a close up shot of the recovered bullet.
Video documentation of the entire test from range through bullet recovery is available below. The high definition video is best viewed on YouTube, but you can also view it here.
My Thoughts on This Load
As I mentioned earlier, this test left me with more questions than answers. By all indications, I was supposed to be testing the Bonded PDX1 load. I added two additional pictures that didn't make it into the video so you can see the bullet base does match the recovered rounds in other YouTube video tests of this load. I'm specifically referencing a previous test by ScubaOz which you can find HERE.
The recovered round looks much more like what you would expect from the Ranger T-Series, which isn't a bonded bullet. The last picture shows a side by side comparison of what the expected recovered round should look like and the recovered bullet from this test. One other odd thing I noticed was that one of the 6 petals did appear to be bonded and the core and jacket did not separate. If you look at the close up pictures of the recovered round, that petal is positioned at 12 O'clock.
Looking at the performance numbers, the results were outstanding. Velocity, expansion and penetration were really remarkable when you consider the very short 3 inch barrel length of the test pistol. The one concern is weight retention. It's not bad, but the retained weight percentage is lower than we have seen with other tests of bonded bullets.
Pick or Pan? I think there are too many open questions with this test to make this decision. Since the video went up last night I've had several folks tell me to contact Winchester for their thoughts on the results of this test. I may send them a link to this blog post and see what they have to say.
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.