Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Corbon 45 Auto +P 230 Grain JHP Denim and Clear Gel Tests

I've tested several Corbon loads over the last two years with generally mixed results.  Corbon is known for their and premium priced defense loads that tend to run on the fast side in comparison to other manufacturers.  This was my first opportunity to test their classic JHP load in 45 Auto.  Having recently tested their similar 9mm +P 125 grain JHP load with great results, I was anxious to see how their 45 Auto load would perform.

Test Pistols:

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 first bare gel test shot into a block of Clear Ballistics Gel that is calibrated to 10% Ordnance Gel density.  Shot distance is 10 feet.
Step 4)  Run second test shot through 4 layers of 14 oz/yard heavy-weight denim.  Shot distance is 10 feet.
Step 5)  Repeat steps 3 to 4 with alternate barrel length.
Step 6)  Run a 600 fps calibration test bb shot into the Clear Ballistics gel block and record penetration depth.

Test Results:

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

My Thoughts on This Load:
The one positive performance characteristic was that the load met the manufacturers published velocity specification when fired from a similar length test barrel.  I was really surprised to see the bullets repeatedly fail to expand in my test.  I was hoping for performance similar to the 125 grain 9mm +P load from this same ammunition line.  The additional problem with core-jacket separation was another unexpected result.

Pick or Pan:
Based on this test series of 4 shots taken from a single box, I would pan this one for failing to expand and for core-jacket separation when it did expand.  These undesirable traits are unacceptable from a premium priced defensive load.

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.


  1. Pretty shocking, and yet another example of why I'm not a betting man! I would have lost my shirt on this one. You achieved 900+ fps with a full-weight 230g .45, and it didn't expand in clear gel?! That's 1972-style performance, if I may date myself :-) At 970+ it expands, but suffers complete core-jacket separation. Do you know which bullet Cor-Bon used in this load?

    1. Unfortunately, I don't know what bullet they used.

  2. Looks like Sierra