Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ballistics Testing Cor-Bon 90 Grain JHP

Since I was testing Cor-Bon DPX and Pow'Rball, I thought I would also include the 90 Grain JHP load too.  This is another Cor-Bon load that I have very little experience with primarily due to premium price of Cor-Bon ammo.  Cor-Bon's claim to fame is that they offer premium defense ammunition that runs at the top end of velocity, without exceeding SAAMI standard pressures.  My previous testing of Cor-Bon's .32 ACP ammo showed me that their velocity claims were well founded as their .32 ACP JHP ammo was faster than any other commercially available JHP load I tested.  Details of that test can be found HERE.  For this 380 ACP load, Cor-Bon publishes a velocity of 1050 fps and also claims expansion with penetration of 9" to 14".

Test Pistol Specs:
Kahr P380 with a 2.53" 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, my second shot at the block was a Cor-Bon DPX .380 Auto.

Aside from a small issue with symmetrical expansion, the test round expanded quite well from the short Kahr barrel even though the impact velocity was over 100 fps less than the velocity published on the box.  The video below documents the entire recent test from range testing to bullet recovery.

My Thoughts
I think the Corbon JHP shows some potential with it's good speed and moderate expansion.  I'm a bit concerned about the lack of uniform expansion from our one test shot, but I think it's worth revisiting this one again in the future for a follow up test to see if we can get full expansion from this load in additional testing.  The round shot into the block for this test may have been slightly "light" and a second test shot may deliver a higher velocity and more uniform expansion. 

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. I have 2 P380's and they are finnicky about ammo. I like the cor-bon because both will shoot it reliably. Thanks for the test!

  2. The 90-grain JHP is the .380 round that Corbon's own website recommends for self defense carry. You are right about the premium price: a bit more than a buck per round. I'll gladly stock a couple of magazines with for CC purposes.

    1. I have the worst luck with Corbon 380 tests. For some reason I think I'm jinxed with it comes to this brand.

  3. Recoil is stout from an LCP or similar pistol, but it is manageable with the small included mag extension. I averaged 927 fps from my LCP on a 2016 lot number. The expansion mirrored your result. After seeing some recovered bullets in my years as a peace officer, I have to say they look a lot like what you recovered from gelatin here. This Corbon bullet/loading gets 70% in the "one shot stop" category in Marshall's statistics from 60 odd actual "social encounters" on the street. That's as good as or better than the best snub-nosed .38 spl. round out there.