I'll start with a big Thank You to Ammunition Depot for supplying the ammunition used for these tests. In addition to their ad at the top of the page, Ammunition Depot has been a generous supporter of many ammunition tests published over the last 12 months so please check them out if you are shopping for ammunition.
Remington UMC ammunition is a staple ammunition product that can be found in a multitude of retail locations. The familiar green, white, and black packaging may not be as sexy as other ammunition choices on the shelf, but it is the ammunition in the box that really matters. I've always found Remington UMC ammunition to be well crafted and reliable in the pistols I've used it in. For shooters on a budget, the 50 and 100 count boxes are reasonably priced which allows you to shoot more while spending less.
If I had an unlimited amount of time available to focus on terminal testing, I would definitely follow the format of this test more often. I think there are some new insights to be gained by looking at terminal performance across a range of velocity and not just the results from a single test shot.
Step 1) Measure and record temperature and relative humidity.
Step 2) Run a 5 shot velocity average over a ProChrono Digital Chronograph at a distance of 10 feet.
Step 3) Run test shot through 4 layers of 14 oz/yard heavy-weight denim and into a block of Clear Ballistics Gel that is calibrated to 10% Ordnance Gel density. Shot distance is 10 feet.
Step 4) Run a 600 fps calibration test bb shot into the Clear Ballistics gel block and record penetration depth.
Video Documentation of the Entire Tests from Range to Bullet Recovery:
My Thoughts on This Load:
Overall, I was very happy with the way this test worked out. I did my best to minimize the variables across all 3 barrel lengths by using the same denim and gel block for all 3 tests. The one disappointment was that all 3 bullets passed entirely through the gel block and came to rest against the phone book backer. Because of this, I feel the expanded diameters of the recovered rounds are good approximations, but not firm data points since petals may have been flattened when the bullets made contact with the phone book. At least we learned that they all expanded to some extent.
The photo below is a value add for the people who read the blog. Folks viewing only the YouTube videos won't see this view. By turning the block 90 degrees, the photo below shows the top down view of the gel block and allows for quick visual comparison of the wound channels created by the 3 test shots. They all look relatively similar, but there were some differences in the points at which expansion started and the length of the stretch cavities. I've been doing some outside reading and the experts like to see expansion cavities that run for several inches in length. Finding those artifacts in the gel block indicates the bullet was still traveling at a velocity great enough to reach and damage vital organs located several inches deep in the target.
I also also pleased to see expansion with all three test shots. The denim barrier didn't seem to have a significant impact on expansion. I think the primary differences with expansion were velocity related. As velocity increased, more of the lead core flowed out and down the jacket petals. I saw no evidence of the undesirable separation of the lead core and copper jacket with any of the test shots. The photo below shows all three recovered rounds with the fastest on the left and the slowest on the right. When you lay all 3 recovered rounds side by side you can really see the difference a little extra velocity makes with this load.
Pick or Pan:
Some may think that 18+ inches of penetration is too much penetration. Others may find this perfectly acceptable. I appreciated the consistent expansion performance and limited velocity difference across the range of barrel lengths tested. Add to that the reasonable retail price and wide availability of this load and I would call this one a pick. It may not be the best performing load available, but it is a consistent performer.
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.