Monday, October 27, 2014

SIG SAUER Elite Performance 40 S&W 165 grain V-Crown JHP Multi Shot Terminal Test

Last January, SIG SAUER launched their own line of ammunition.  In the mad rush to be the first to publish tests on the ammunition, I ran a test of the .357 Sig and .40 S&W back in May of this year.  I published the 357 Sig test right away, but the .40 S&W test sat for several months before I had the chance to publish it.  Part of the delay was caused by the need to re-shoot some of the test when my initial denim test shot passed through the gel block and was lost in the berm.  

SIG has targeted their Elite Performance ammunition to the personal defense market.  The ammunition features SIG's proprietary V-Crown jacketed hollow point bullet, Techni-chrom coated brass cases, and low flash propellants.  It's currently available in .380 Auto, 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 Auto, and naturally .357 Sig.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Sig's Elite Performance ammunition with retail prices similar to other premium personal defense ammunition brands.

Test Pistol:

Test Protocol:
Step 1)  Measure and record temperature and relative humidity.
Step 2)  Run a 2 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 has a similar density to 10% ordnance gelatin.  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 similar to 10% ordnance gelatin.

Test Results:

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

My Thoughts on This Load:
The ammunition looked great and shot well.  I had initial concerns when our 4.5 inch test pistol failed to meet the 1090 feet per second velocity advertised by Sig from a 4 inch barrel.  After capturing the velocity from 9 test shots, we fell 75 feet per second short of the published velocity specified for this load.  The lower velocity had a negative impact on the denim test shots.  Expansion was incomplete and the tested rounds penetrated well beyond our ideal penetration depth of 12 to 18 inches.  The results from the light clothing and bare gel test shots were very good and in line with our desired terminal performance expectations.

Pick or Pan:
Sig Sauer set the terminal performance bar very high with their marketing for this line of ammunition.  After previously testing the .357 Sig and now the .40 S&W, we've worked our way through half of the line.  Bare gel and light clothing test results have been great in both tests.  All heavy clothing tests demonstrate incomplete expansion and exceed our desired maximum penetration.  Both loads have failed to meet published velocity specifications.  Inconsistent terminal performance, across all test scenarios, earns this load a Pan. 

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, October 11, 2014

Glock 42 MagGuts +1 Conversion Kit Review

Corso Inc. is a Florida based company that develops new internal parts (guts) for handgun magazines.  The kits are sold under the MagGuts brand name.  By swapping out the magazine internals, with the MagGuts replacements, you can add one additional round to the magazine capacity without negatively impacting magazine reliability.  Unlike most other products that increase magazine capacity, MagGuts kits are designed to add capacity without changing the overall magazine length.  MagGuts offers kits for several different handguns.  In addition to the Glock 42 magazine kit reviewed here, they also have kits for most of the popular single stack 380 Auto pocket pistols.  Their complete product line can be viewed and ordered on their website.

The Glock 42 MagGuts kit consists of a replacement spring and new follower.  These parts are direct replacements for the Glock spring and follower.  The kit can be installed in less than a minute if you are familiar with taking apart Glock magazines.  If this is your first attempt to remove the base plate from a Glock magazine, it may take you a few minutes longer.

The kit ships with excellent detailed and illustrated instructions.  MagGuts has also produced installation videos for all their kits that can be viewed on YouTube or from their website.  I've included the MagGuts installation video for the Glock 42 below so you can see how easy it is to install the kit. 

I've previously disassembled Glock magazines, so I knew what to expect when pulling the base plate from the magazine.  I'm not a big fan of forcing the base plate over the two little locking lugs at the base of the magazine body.  In the picture on the left I've placed a red arrow by one of the locking lugs so you can see what I'm referring to.  There is a matching lug on the opposite side of the magazine body.

I prefer to use a set of vice-grips that are padded with a piece of scrap kydex to gently squeeze the magazine body directly over the locking lugs.  This helps the magazine base plate slide off more easily.  This is purely optional, but I wanted to share it with you.  If you do use vice-grips, please remember to gently squeeze the magazine body.  Applying too much force could crush the body.      

As mentioned above, the MagGuts kit allows you to squeeze one more round into the magazine without causing any problems with magazine reliability.  I was really pleased to discover that the fully-loaded converted magazine still locked into the magazine well as easily as it did before installing the kit.  Magazine feeding and empty magazine activation of the slide lock was flawless with the MagGuts kit installed.  Rather than have you take my word for it, I shot a quick video just for the blog to demonstrate shooting the G42 with a stock magazine and with a MagGuts equipped magazine.

After shooting the demonstration video, I sent quite a few more rounds downrange using the MagGuts converted magazine with the G42 loaded to 7+1 capacity.  Rain cut my practice session short, but I'm comfortable and confident that the converted magazine can be used as my carry magazine.   

The Glock 42 MagGuts kit sells for $17.95 and can be ordered from the MagGuts website.  Orders over $25 are shipped free.  All MagGuts products are 100% made in the USA.  Currently the product line is limited to single stack 380 Auto magazines, but I have a feeling that single stack 9mm kits may be offered in the future.  Corso Inc. welcomes your new product requests, so if they don't make a kit for your current concealed carry handgun you can let them know which kit you would like to see them develop in the future.