Monday, April 28, 2014

DoubleTap Tactical 10mm Auto 125 Grain Barnes TAC-XP Multi Shot Terminal Test

10mm Auto has intrigued me for quite some time.  Folks that love it, loaded to its full power potential, make it sound like it is handcrafted by Artemis herself and capable of slaying the orneriest Tyrannosaurus with a single well placed shot.  With such a reputation, it was only a matter of time before curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take the plunge and buy the parts required to convert my Glock 21 to work with the 10mm cartridge.

I've slowly come to the realization that Barnes TAC-XP bullets consistently test well for me in all calibers.  For my freshman outing with 10mm, I decided to start with something that I was confident would perform as expected.  The DoubleTap Tactical 10mm load features the Barnes TAC-XP bullet in the lighter 125 grain weight.  Other ammunition makers choose the 155 grain version of the TAC-XP bullet for their 10mm loads.     

You may notice a change in my testing protocol that I've introduced with this test.  Instead of running a 5 shot velocity string before terminal testing, the actual test shots will now be part of the 5 round velocity average.  

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
Step 1)  Measure and record temperature and relative humidity.
Step 2)  Run 2 shots over a ProChrono Digital Chronograph at a distance of 10 feet for baseline velocity and point of impact.
Step 3)  Run various terminal test shots, with and without simulated clothing barriers, 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 to verify density.

Test Results:

Video Documentation of the Entire Test from Range to Bullet Recovery:

My Thoughts on This Load:
Being new to 10mm, I really wasn't sure what to expect from this light-weight 10mm offering.  While it would have been nice to see this load meet published velocity expectations, it still performed well in testing.  All test shots expanded fully and penetrated to the desired depth of 12 to 18 inches after clearing the barrier materials.

Pick or Pan:
As mentioned above, this was my first opportunity to perform terminal testing with 10mm Auto ammunition.  Without a base of other examples to use for comparison purposes, I would call this load a pick based on expansion performance and penetration depth when fired from a 4.6" barrel. 





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, April 12, 2014

Remora Holsters - New Products Overview and Giveaway!


Alan Bogdan, the Founder and Owner of Remora Concealment and Security Products, and his team in Naples, Florida have been great supporters of this blog since the very beginning.  I've really enjoyed watching Remora Holsters grow as a company.  Over the last three years, it's been amazing to watch the company that started out making an innovative clip-less IWB holster branch out in new areas with new products.  At one time, I actually had myself convinced that I could keep up with all the new products, but that didn't last very long.  As a casual observer it seems like Remora is launching new products, or enhancing their existing products, every month.

All Remora products are made in the USA, and I believe this gives them a significant competitive advantage in moving from idea to finished product much faster than companies selling products made abroad.  I recently received a package from Remora with an assortment of their newest products.  If you are pressed for time, I made a short video review.  If you would rather read about the products in more detail, you can jump down below the video. 



Remora Handgun Cases are available in sizes from extra small to extra large.  The larger sizes can even be made to accommodate handguns with optics.  A convenient sizing guide is provided on their website.

A small case, with standard exterior fabric, retails for $24.95.  The features I really liked about the case were the nylon zipper, internal padding, and large loop provided for hanging storage of the case.

The reviewed case is a medium size, and has been covered with the optional Alligator embossed leather.  These options add another $14.50 to the base case price.

The quality of the case is outstanding, and I think the leather exterior upgrade will provide years of durable service.  If leather isn't your thing, there are 9 other exterior color options available.



The Hydrator is Remora's take on a drink holster.  Keep your hands free and your hydration close with the Remora Hydrator.

The Hydrator reviewed is covered with the Oakwood camo pattern.  8 other options are available, including ostrich and embossed alligator leather.  Base price of the Hydrator is $14.95 with an upcharge of $6 for the leather coverings.

I've never used a drink holster before.  Generally, I prefer to set my drink down and forget when I left it so I have to waste time looking for it.  When I do find it, if there are other people around, I will spend several minutes deciding if I should drink from my newly found drink because someone else may have taken a drink from it when I wasn't watching.  In the end, I'll end up dumping what's left, and getting a new drink to start the process over again.  This Hydrator is going to do wonders for my wallet and mental health.

Seriously, I like that the Hydrator can be snapped over a belt or secured by tucking the short flap in your waistband.  There is a generous patch of Remora non-slip material inside the flap to hold it in place.  I also like the wide elastic band that holds the drink container.  It's rated for 3 inch diameter containers.  The container I used in my video demonstration was 3.5 inches.  It's got some flexibility built in. 

The Remora Micro holster should appeal to fans of bikini-style in the waistband holsters.  I've been using one of these holsters occasionally with a Kimber Solo with extended magazine.

Available in 4 sizes for semi-autos and 3 sizes for revolvers, the $29.95 holster is ordered by gun make and model and Remora selects the correct size for your handgun.  Additional holster color options are also available.

I've never worried about a standard Remora holster falling out of my waistband or down my pants leg.  With the Micro, there really isn't much non-slip material to hold it in place so the belt/waistband clip is a welcome addition for peace of mind.  I also like the flexibility of handguns that can be used with the holster.  The same medium size works for the Glock 42 and the Glock 22.


I was a bit surprised by the inclusion of the Bra Draw holster in the package, but I was really curious to see how this holster worked.

The Bra Draw holster has a retail price of $47.95, and is available in 6 colors.

As I studied the design of the holster, I really liked the way the handgun is secured at the rear of the slide in an elastic pouch.  The muzzle end of the slide is held in place by a plastic snap.  With the holster snapped shut, the handgun is securely held in place.

Drawing the handgun, requires grasping the grip and pulling straight down.  This action opens the snap and releases the pistol.  The straight down draw stroke took a few minutes to learn, but was easily accomplished after a few practice draws.  I tried several several different pistols in the holster, and ultimately decided the KelTec P-32 was an excellent fit.  Other larger pistols will also work with the holster.

I'd really like to try the Bro Draw holster idea, but the more I thought about it the less sense it made.  Without a shoulder strap of some type, I'm afraid the weight of the pistol would pull the heart rate monitor strap down as I jogged.  I'm sure Remora will figure it out if they like the idea.





As I was packing away the review items this afternoon, I decided to run a giveaway on them.  While I would love to keep that leather handgun case for myself, that would seem pretty cheesy on my part if I only included some of the items in the giveaway.  Please see the YouTube video description/details on how to enter the giveaway.  All you need to do is leave a comment on the video to be entered.

If you are curious about Remora products, I encourage you to go Like them on Facebook and visit their website.  Remora is constantly running special price offers so if you can be patient, you may save a few bucks by keeping an eye on their Facebook page.  For example, a Spring Sale is currently underway with 25% off ALL Remora products and a free single magazine holster is included with every purchase.  You can also read up on the three new product innovations that have come along since I started working on this blog entry.  Seriously, it's nearly impossible to keep up with this company.

As always, I appreciate Remora Concealment and Security Products for their generosity.  I really hope the giveaway winner enjoys these products.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Winchester Ranger 40 S&W 180 Grain Bonded JHP Multi Shot Terminal Test

Thanks again to blog reader Justin D. for the assist in securing the ammunition for this test.
 
The Winchester Ranger Bonded line competes with the Federal Tactical Bonded, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington Golden Saber Bonded lines of ammunition.  Bonded bullets are manufactured with a process that bonds the copper or brass jacket to the lead core of the bullet.  This manufacturing process creates a "tougher" bullet that is less likely to fragment when passing through barriers like wallboard, automobile glass, and mild steel.  Bonded bullets are frequently used by many law enforcement agencies that may encounter these barriers in their work.

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
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 various terminal test shots, with and without simulated clothing barriers, 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 to verify density.

Test Results:

Video Documentation of the Entire Test from Range to Bullet Recovery:

My Thoughts on This Load:
180 grain weight 40 S&W loads are on the heavy side of available 40 S&W ammunition.  Add another five grains and you are bumping up against the lower weight 185 grain 45 Auto bullet weights.  It takes a significant velocity for a bullet to upset and expand when fired through 4 layers of heavy denim.  Faster loads tend to do better in the denim test than slower loads.  We have seen this when testing standard pressure against +P loads in 9mm and 45 Auto.

Since 40 S&W doesn't have a SAAMI specification for +P, I was really curious to see if the Ranger Bonded 180 grain load would do better in the denim test than the Ranger Bonded 165 grain load reviewed last week.  You can find that test HERE.  Unfortunately, it also failed the denim test.

The bare gel and light clothing test results were very good.  The test shots expanded to greater than 1.5 times their starting diameter, retained most of their starting weight, and easily penetrated past the 12" minimum.

All 9 shots, that were part of this test, fell short of the 1025 published velocity even though we tested in a similar 4" test barrel.  The shortfall wasn't large, but it is worth mentioning.

Pick or Pan:
I really liked the performance of this load in the bare gel and light clothing test shots.  On the other hand, the failures to expand in the denim test are concerning.  It may be worth testing the Winchester PDX1 180 grain version of this load before panning this one.     




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.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Winchester Ranger 40 S&W 165 Grain Bonded JHP Multi Shot Terminal Test


Thanks again to blog reader Justin D. for the assist in getting the ammunition for this test.  You may remember this load was previously tested back in March 2013 from a much shorter barrel.  You can see that test HERE

The Winchester Ranger Bonded line competes with the Federal Tactical Bonded, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington Golden Saber Bonded lines of ammunition.  Bonded bullets are manufactured with a process that bonds the copper or brass jacket to the lead core of the bullet.  This manufacturing process creates a "tougher" bullet that is less likely to fragment when passing through barriers like wallboard, automobile glass, and mild steel.  Bonded bullets are frequently used by many law enforcement agencies that may encounter these barriers in their work.

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
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 various terminal test shots, with and without simulated clothing barriers, 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 to verify density.

Test Results:

Video Documentation of the Entire Test from Range to Bullet Recovery:

My Thoughts on This Load:
Many folks believe the Winchester PDX1 165 grain is the retail version of this load.  Based on the results of this test, they do appear to be very similar.  I actually tested the PDX1 through the same pistol with a different set of gel blocks very recently.  You can see that test HERE.  The results were very similar.  All recovered bullets from both tests were slightly over-weight.  All test shots fell within a similar velocity range.  The only significant difference was the terminal performance in the 4 layers of heavy denim test.  The PDX1 actually expanded, but the Ranger Bonded tested here did not.  Other than a slightly lower velocity with the Ranger Bonded denim test shot, I'm at a loss as to why the PDX1 expanded and the Ranger Bonded did not. 

Pick or Pan:
Based on the similar results of this load and the PDX1, I would call this one a pick.  I like Ranger 50 count boxes vs. the 20 count PDX1, but I'll buy this load in the packaging that happens to be available at the time I'm ready to re-stock.




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.