Saturday, May 19, 2012

Ballistics Testing Remington UMC 9mm 115 Grain JHP

If you've ever shopped for ammo at Walmart, you've probably seen this Remington UMC ammo on the shelf.  Back in the 90's the boxes were sunshine yellow with black writing.  At some point over the last 20 years, the packaging was updated to look more like the Remington Express premium line of handgun ammunition.  Packaged in bricks of 100 rounds, this ammo is bargain priced and can frequently be found in-stock.  Bargain priced is a bit tongue in cheek as we all know ammo prices have increased dramatically in the last 5 years, but at about $25 per box here locally these JHP rounds are only slightly more expensive than the FMJ practice ammo fodder they share shelf space with.

Over the last year, the owners of Diamondback DB9s have discovered that this ammo is one of the best choices for feeding reliability.  Ordinarily, I wouldn't consider an economical price as the key factor in picking ammo.  I pick ammo based on reliability and availability first, then shop around to find the best price.  It just happens that this ammo is generally available at a reasonable price and works wonderfully in DB9s, so it was time to do a terminal ballistics test on it and make sure it performed well in that area too.

Test Pistol Specs:
Diamondback DB9 9mm with 3" barrel

Testing Protocol:
My testing process is pretty simple.  I take one shot at alternate ends of a SIM-TEST block that is loosely draped with 2 layers of medium weight denim.  I take the shots from 8 feet away and impact velocity is measured 5 inches away from the SIM-TEST block.  My SIM-TEST blocks are now closely calibrated to ballistics gel density.  I shoot the blocks at the range and then bring them home and recover the bullets.  For this test, I also included two previously recovered test shots I did last February.  The data listed with the February recovered samples is incomplete and is shown only to demonstrate continuity of measurements between the two tests.

Recovered rounds from this test, and the previous test in February, showed consistency in expansion across velocities ranging from 1062 to 1141 fps.  Uniform expansion and projectile weight retention was also consistent across all samples from both tests.  The video below documents the entire recent test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts
For a bargain defense round, I can't find much fault with this loading.  The only real fault I can find is the wide variation of velocities from the three different boxes I sampled.  I shoot quite a bit of this ammo and previously captured velocity of two 5 shot strings with two different DB9 barrels.  Both strings averaged 1063 and you can find that test HERE.  The good news is that when penetration testing our slowest shot (1062 fps), it still expanded and penetrated over 12" after passing through two layers of denim.

Getting decent performance from a widely available ammo that's affordable enough to practice with, and also carry, really elevates this ammo to one I need to keep around.  The fact that it also works great in Diamondback DB9s is just icing on the cake!

Disclaimer....This test should not be considered an endorsement or recommendation for the product(s) tested. It is up to each individual to make their own personal decision about 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 should not be used in any firearm unless the firearm manufacturer specifically states you are permitted to do so. 


  1. Good test. Thanks for posting. I've bought this load and always wondered it it was any good. Based on your test I'd say its fine for carry.

  2. Good test. Thanks for posting. I've bought this load and always wondered it it was any good. Based on your test I'd say its fine for carry.