The 6.8 Remington SPC: An Up Close and Personal Look

 

It looks like a standard AR rifle, but with bigger bullets.

It looks like a standard AR rifle, but with bigger bullets.

I love the AR platform. And yes, it is a platform as it’s a design model that allows of near infinite customization. You can add accessories until your rifle looks like a Pakistani Jingle Truck. More importantly, since the rifle is a platform, you can obtain or build one in a dozen or more different calibers.

One of my favorites is 6.8 Remington SPC. Originally developed as a possible replacement for the 5.56mm by some folks from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, United States Special Operations Command and Remington, the 6.8 cartridge is partially compatible with the standard AR platform.

Like 300 AAC Blackout, the 6.8 Remington SPC was developed in response to complaints about stopping power of the 5.56 mm cartridge, especially when used with shorter barrel rifles. It splits the difference (more or less) between 5.56 mm and .308 while still allowing larger capacity due to case size and lighter weight. As a rough example, think of a standard size AR magazine holding 25 rounds of 6.8 SPC instead of 30 rounds of 5.56 mm. Not a bad tradeoff for the extra oomph you get from each cartridge.

The energy of the “standard” 115 grain projectile traveling at 2,640 feet per second is 1,785 foot-pounds – significantly more than the 1,281 foot-pounds of a 55 grain .223 Remington bullet moving at 3,240 feet per second. While we’re comparing energy levels, let’s look at some other “similar use” cartridges.

5.56x45mm SS109 62-grain: 3,100 fps, 1,303 foot-pounds
.300 AAC Blackout 125-grain: 2,215 fps, 1,361 foot-pounds
.308 Winchester, 150-grain: 2,850 fps, 2,704 foot-pounds
.30-30 Winchester, 150 grain: 2,300 fps, 1,761 foot-pounds
7.62x39mm (Soviet), 123 grain: 2,435 fps, 1,619 foot-pounds
.270 Winchester, 130 grain: 3,160 fps, 2,881 foot-pounds

Cartridge length was limited to be compatible with existing magazines, but specific 6.8 mags have been developed for better reliability and allowance for slightly longer cartridges if desired. According to The folks at Sierra Bullets, “With the magazine length of the AR at 2.260″, cartridge length was critical. There are now magazines on the market designed specifically for the 6.8 mm SPC to allow them to be loaded out to 2.315.”

The 6.8 Remington SPC is based on a .30 Remington cartridge case, but fires, you guessed it, a 7.035 mm projectile. If you don’t recognize 7.035 caliber, that’s just the metric measurement of the popular .270 which is actually .277 inches diameter. See, there’s that goofy tendency to name cartridges something different from their actual diameter again. Just like a .38 Special being .357 caliber. In simple terms, think of it as a .270 Winchester with a smaller cartridge case and less powder capacity that can be fired in an AR type rifle with correct barrel and bolt.

The interesting thing about 6.8 Remington SPC is the terminal performance down range. With about 200 feet per second more velocity than that famous AK-47 round, it has reach out and touch someone performance out to about 500 yards.

The cartridge case is based on the .30 Remington, which explains the need for a bolt swap when converting a standard AR rifle. Similar to development of 300 Blackout from .223 Remington cases, the 6.8 takes a shortened .30 Remington case and necks it down for the .277 inch bullet.

The beauty of this caliber is increased diameter and bullet weight over .223 Remington, while maintaining big time velocity from an AR platform with its overall cartridge length limitations.

Read the rest at AmmoLand!

 

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition 2nd Edition 2014. It’s ON SALE now for a limited time!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Top 10 Self Defense Ammo Picks

Top 10 Self Defense Ammo Picks

With a controversial and opinionated topic like this, I have to include a couple of explanations and disclaimers.

Mike McNett, Founder of DoubleTap Ammunition and Godfather of Boom! prepares even more ballistic gelatin for testing.

Mike McNett, Founder of DoubleTap Ammunition and Godfather of Boom! prepares even more ballistic gelatin for testing.

You do have to be careful about blanket statements when it comes to ammo performance. There are just too many variables. For example, you can’t necessarily say things like “Mega Blaster Yellow Tips” are the best. You might be able to say “Mega Blaster Yellow Tips 9mm 124 grain +P loads are the best!” It may very well be the case that the .40 Smith & Wesson loading of Mega Blaster is not so hot, but maybe the .45 ACP, 9mm and .380 ACP are. You always have to look at the specifics like caliber, bullet weight and gun type. In other words, you need to make sure the specific brand of self defense ammo you choose works in your caliber and in your gun. Some offerings, like a few mentioned here, recognize caliber variables and design accordingly. For example, DoubleTap Ammunition varies projectile types to account for such factors.

Velocity is a really big deal and performance statements always have to be qualified with variables that impact velocity. While a specific .45 ACP self-defense cartridge may work as expected every time from a gun with a 4 or 5 inch barrel, it may not work at all with that micro-compact 1911 with a 1 inch barrel. OK, I’m exaggerating, but in my testing, I’ve found that even a 50 to 100 feet per second velocity reduction can make a great bullet stinky and inconsistent.

With that said, expansion (or perhaps fragmentation) performance weighed heavily in the development of this list. After all self and home defense ammo is intended to stop things quickly.

I’m blending self-defense (concealed carry) and home defense on this list. Just because I feel like it. With that said, let’s get busy.

DoubleTap Defense

I’ve spent a lot of time with founder Mike McNett, the Godfather of Boom!, and know what he puts into ammo development and testing. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Mike buys up 84% of the annual worldwide production of gelatin blocks.

DoubleTap makes a variety of ammo types for various purposes, but for this list, stick to the DoubleTap Defense and DoubleTap Tactical lines. These loads, available in nearly any caliber you want, use either the excellent Barnes TAC all copper bullets or bonded projectiles, depending on the specific load requirements. Like 1911’s? Check out the Mann Load. It uses a 160 grain Barnes TAC bullet moving at over 1,000 feet per second, has great expansion and penetration, but low blast and recoil. If you carry a .380 ACP, consider the 90 grain Bonded Defense offering.

They’re not cheap, but they work. And it is a life and death decision after all.

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel is optimized to expand at lower velocities from compact guns.

Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel is optimized to expand at lower velocities from compact guns.

The plethora of compact revolvers and semi-automatics sent the Speer engineers back to the drawing board. Speer Gold Dot ammunition has always been one of my favorite performers in almost any caliber. But, like any ammo, it’s designed with a careful balance of expansion and penetration assuming a specific velocity range. When you fire ammo from a gun with a short barrel, say 3 inches or less, you’re likely to lose as much as 100 feet per second (or more) in velocity. Then that carefully planned balance goes out the window. If you suffer from a short barrel, make sure you use ammo designed for lower velocity.

.223 / 5.56mm Practice Ammo

Well, sort of. For a home defense scenario, standard, full metal jacket 5.56mm ammo is a pretty darn good option. Here’s why. For inside use, over penetration is a potentially serious issue. Pistol rounds, shotgun slugs and buckshot go through walls like tax evaders through Congress. So do many hunting and tactical .223 / 5.56mm projectiles – they’re designed to do that.

On the other hand, small, lightweight, standard full metal jacket 55 grain projectiles tend to fragment and start upsetting when they hit things like drywall. Counter to assumption and common sense, AR-15 type rifles may present less of an over penetration risk than a .38 Special. It’s something to consider for home defense, especially since most guns that use this ammo have 30 round magazines.
Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

Be sure to check out our latest book, The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition 2nd Edition 2014. It’s ON SALE now for a limited time!

The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

Ammo Test: Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P 130 Grain

When I lug my ammunition testing setup to the range, I get more strange looks than Michael Bloomberg lactating at a Mayors Against Legal Governing (MALG) press conference.

That’s because I bring a couple of now-perforated trash cans full of soaking wet newspaper, some old boots and a bunch of discarded clothing. Shooting into water or plain ballistic gelatin doesn’t tell too much about bullet performance after it has passed through real-world barriers. So I assemble a suitable range wardrobe.

Recently, I brought 1/2 of a fully stocked thrift store to the range to test the Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P 130 grain self-defense load.

Winchester's PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P self-defense load.

Winchester’s PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P self-defense load.

This load is solid for .38 Special handguns, but also makes a good option for .357 revolvers. Some folks like to shoot .38 Special loads out of sturdier .357 revolvers for less recoil and wear and tear on the gun. Of course, the option is always there to load 357 Magnum cartridges whenever you like.

Velocity

Considering that this load uses 130 grain projectiles, velocity was appropriate. I tested it from a Ruger LCR .357 Magnum revolver, which features a 1.875 inch barrel. That’s shorter than NY Governor Cuomo’s debate on the SAFE Act! Using a Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph, I measured a bunch of shots with the chrony placed 15 feet down range. The average of the Winchester PDX1 Defender 130 grain load worked out to 903 feet per second. Not too shabby, and enough for pretty reliable expansion.

Winchester PDX1 Defender .38 Special +P Expansion Performance

I shot another pile of these bullets into a pretty tough target to get an indication of expansion performance. While anything will expand if you shoot it into ballistic gelatin, things start to get crazy when you shoot through real-life barriers like leather and fabric clothing. To put it to the test, I shot through two layers of leather and 4 layers of light canvas. Not counting anything hard that might get in the way, this starts to approach a worst case heavy clothing scenario.

Winchester PDX1 38 Special +P

Expansion was good overall. Throughout testing over 75% of projectiles expanded properly.

I shot everything through the leather and canvas barrier into a deep container of wet pack. That’s a fancy word for soaking-wet newspaper. As you can see by the photo, most projectiles displayed good expansion. About 1/4 of the time, one would slip through with minimal or no expansion. That’s not a big surprise given .38 Special velocities out of a short-barrel revolver.

Closing Arguments

This was a good load. After testing thousands of self-defense rounds, in virtually all pistol calibers, I’ve become a big fan of bonded bullet designs. I’ve yet to encounter a quality bonded bullet that came apart while passing through a tough target. Like jacketed designs, expansion is always measured in probability, not certainty, but overall, bonded bullets have proven to be solid performers.

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

You can find Winchester PDX1 Defender Self Defense Ammunition at Brownells

Ammo Review: Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 180 Grain Hollow Point

Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 180 Grain Hollow Point Ammunition

It’s a good thing these Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 180 grain self-defense rounds don’t have dystychiphobia. That’s fear of accidents.

Speer Gold Dot 40 S&W 180 grain ammunition

Speer Gold Dot 40 S&W 180 grain ammunition

I say this because in our testing we had a high-speed wreck. One of our projectiles crashed right into the back of another during the expansion testing phase. We’re going to attribute this to our truly amazing shooting skills, and not just random chance.

No worries though. No animals were harmed in this crash testing and the crash test dummy can probably be salvaged.

Just the facts

All Speer Gold Dot ammunition features a bonded core projectile design – more on that later.

What’s interesting about Speer Gold Dot design is that projectiles are optimized for caliber and anticipated velocity. The idea is to make the projectile “soft” enough to expand properly, but no so “soft” that it over expands and comes apart or suffers in terms of penetration performance. This is evident in the Speer Short Barrel product line, where projectiles are designed to expand at lower velocity, but it also becomes apparent with more subtle projectile differences – as in the 180 grain versus 155 grain .40 S&W loads. We’ll be publishing some results on the 155 grain loading in the near future.

Cases are nickel-plated for high visibility and corrosion resistance. You’ll notice the shiny silver case is easier to see when checking chamber status – especially in lower indoor lighting conditions.

Speer Gold Dots use CCI primers that are non-corrosive and non-mercuric. No worries about barrel corrosion or cleaning with Windex.

No dieting zone

One of the biggest benefits of the Speer Gold Dot design is the Uni-Cor bonding technology used to literally fuse the lead core with the outer jacket. This is done to prevent the jacket from separating upon impact. If the jacket separates, weight is shed from the projectile and penetration can suffer.

The rounds we tested for expansion had a fairly rough time of things – passing through 4 layers of light canvas and two layers of fabric. After that, they entered a big pile of wet BS. To be more specific, we took a bunch of old New York Times newspapers and thoroughly soaked them for an expansion testing medium. As indicated by the photos, all of the tested rounds expanded as expected. We’ve come to expect this from Speer Gold Dots. But even we were surprised at the expansion performance demonstrated by the heavier weight, and lower velocity, 180 grain loads. All of the loads tested exceeded 150% expansion with final diameters measuring over .65″ in each example.

Just to check the real performance of the bonded projectile design, we weighed several of the expanded projectiles to see how much they lost from the original 18 grains:

178.3 grains

177.3 grains

179.7 grains

179.9 grains

And the one that slammed into the back of another bullet at 1,000 feet per second? Its post-collision weight was 179.4 grains.

Velocity

Speer Gold Dot 40 SW 180gr crashed

This one crashed right into the back of another bullet – and still didn’t come apart.

The Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 180 grain load is factory rated to achieve 1,025 feet per second, measured at the muzzle. We tested this load with a Beretta PX4 Storm .40 S&W. This particular gun features a 4″ barrel, so one would expect actual velocity to be a tad less than stated on the box. Assuming the manufacturer obtains rated velocity from a full length test barrel.

We went to the range and measured velocity 15 feet from the muzzle using a Shooting Chrony Beta Master chronograph. Taking the average of a bunch of shots, all from the Beretta PX4, we observed an average actual  velocity downrange of 1,018 feet per second. Not bad at all considering the slightly shorter barrel and the fact that our chronograph was 15 feet from the muzzle.

Our Rating

4 Nuns Four Nuns! Even for Speer Gold Dots, we were a little surprised at the consistent expansion performance with this load. When velocities start to get near 1,000 feet per second or lower, we’ve seen a lot of hollow point rounds get a little inconsistent with expansion performance. But not this one.
Available Here Speer Gold Dot .40 S&W 180 Grain Ammunition

 

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

Buyers Guide: Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender Ammunition .357 Magnum 125 Grain

My Gun Culture Shooting Buyers Guide

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 357 Magnum Ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 357 Magnum Ammunition

In our recent ammo review, we found the Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender .357 Magnum 125 grain load to be supremely effective.

Velocity was quite respectable, even out of a short barrel snubnose revolver. We measured that at 1,214 feet per second on average, as measures by our Shooting Chrony Beta Master placed 15 feet downrange.

More importantly, expansion performance was impressive with some projectiles nearly doubling in diameter after passing through 4 layers of light canvas and into wetpack.

Good stuff!

 

Available Here Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender Ammunition .357 Magnum 125 Grain

Winchester Elite PDX1 9mm +P Self Defense Ammunition

Ammo Review: Winchester Elite PDX1 9mm+P Defender 124 grain personal defense ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 Defender 9mm +P 124 grain personal defense ammunition is a bonded bullet design intended to succeed against the tough FBI ammunition testing protocol. Without going into top secret details (not really), these tests are intended to examine how ammunition performs in a variety of law enforcement usage scenarios. Do they still expand after passing through barriers like clothing, automobile glass or steel, and common construction materials? Will the bullet achieve adequate penetration after passing through these barriers? Will Jessica still marry Claude after she finds out about his mob connections and previous engagement to the Crown Price of Belgravia?

Winchester Elite PDX1 9mm +P Personal Protection Ammunition

Winchester Elite PDX1 9mm +P Personal Protection Ammunition

With the exception of that last question, we know the answers. The FBI was impressed enough with test results of the Winchester PDX1 round to adopt it as their official duty ammunition. While we didn’t replicate the full FBI test protocol, we did tinker around a bit with a similar scenario or two.

Velocity of the Winchester PDX1 9mm +P load was impressive. Winchester rates it at 1,200 feet per second. We measured it with our Shooting Chrony Beta Master placed 15 feet downrange and found results to be better than advertised. Fired from a Glock 17 Generation 4 9mm pistol with a 4.49 inch barrel, we clocked the Winchester PDX1 9mm +P load at an average of 1,264.7 feet per second. Fired from a Springfield Armory EMP 9mm with just a 3 inch barrel, the average velocity measured 1,146.7 feet per second.

Expansion performance was excellent. We fired numerous loads into thoroughly soaked newspaper through 4 layers of light canvas. All rounds expanded perfectly with no sign of hollow point clogging. The largest expansion diameter we measured was .675 inches – nearly double the diameter of an unfired 9mm bullet. While relative to the testing media used, penetration depth was as good as any 9mm load we’ve tested.

Being a bonded bullet design, we noticed no fragmentation or separation of the projectiles and all weighed in with over 98% of their original 124 grain weight.

We found this to be a quality load for personal defense. FBI approved.

Available Here Winchester Elite PDX1 9mm +P 124 grain personal defense ammunition

Ammo Review: Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine

If only the Marines has Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine ammunition in 1942…

We tested the Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine load in a 1945 vintage National Postal Meter M1 Carbine

We tested the Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine load in a 1945 vintage National Postal Meter M1 Carbine

In one of those enduring “after the fact” armchair debates, pundits both praise and condemn the performance M1 Carbine with standard .30 Carbine ball ammunition. While the rifle was handy to carry at about 6 pounds, and the operator could carry large amounts of smaller and lighter .30 carbine ammunition, reports persist of the rounds inability to stop charging enemy soldiers. The common element seems to related to multiple through and through hits of the small diameter, 2,000 foot per second projectile not providing enough “stopping power.”

Do these stories have merit? I don’t know as I wasn’t there. What I do know is that during our ammo review, the new Gold Dot rounds in .30 Carbine demonstrated astounding performance. That old M1 Carbine is now a very viable option for home defense or perhaps a car trunk gun.

Ammo Review: Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine ammo performance

This particular loading of Speer Gold Dot projectiles appears to be more of a soft point design than a traditional hollow point design. The projectile is a 100 grain bonded bullet loaded to achieve 1,990 feet per second out of an 18 inch barrel. If all goes to plan, this would yield just about 967 foot pounds of energy measured at the muzzle.

We elected to test this load out of a National Postal Meter M1 Carbine originally manufactured in 1945. This particular M1 Carbine has been fitted somewhere along the way with an IBM manufactured barrel. Clearly it’s the ultimate in tactical office equipment! Even though it does not print stamps, we find it immensely practical for home use. It’s light, handy, and features a 15 round box magazine. And it’s more fun to shoot than most .22’s. If you don’t have an M1 Carbine, run, don’t walk, to your nearest dealer or gun show and get one. You’ll love it. And, it makes a great gun for younger shooters. It’s easy to handle and has minimal recoil. The iron peep sights are plenty accurate out to a couple hundred yards.

The Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine ammo is a soft point design that expands beautifully

The Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine ammo is a soft point design that expands beautifully

Function was flawless – as expected. We’ve found this M1 Carbine to be very forgiving in terms of reliability. It’s short-piston, gas operated semi-auto that runs clean and cool – much like the M1 Garand. The Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine load is premium ammunition, and had no issues running consistently from this old battle rifle.

But what about accuracy? I had no intentions of even trying to gauge the inherent accuracy of a modern load like the Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine out of a 67 year old battle rifle. What we did try was the clay pigeon 100 yard challenge. No worries there. The combination of M1 Carbine and Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine load was up to the task of consistent hits all the way on those four inch targets up to the limits of our 100 yard outdoor range.

We did test velocity to see how it compared with the claimed 1,990 feet per second figure. With our Shooting Chrony Beta Master placed 15 feet from the muzzle, we measured an average of 2,088 feet per second with most recorded shots hitting the 2,100 feet per second mark. Impressive. And we always like to see products outperform their advertised claims.

At this velocity you can configure your rifle with the Gold Dot load to be very flat shooting from 0 to 100 yards. If you zero your sights at 25 yards, the bullet will be about 1 inch high between 50 and 75 yards, and will settle back to just under 1/2 inch high at 100 yards. So, for a target between 0 and maybe 150 yards, just aim dead on and your results will be close enough for government work.

Fun and games with old body armor

Speer Gold Dot 20 Carbine kevlar expansion.JPG

All of these Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine rounds expanded AFTER passing through an old Kevlar vest

A new acquaintance from my recent outing to the Shooting Industry Masters heard about my obsession with testing ammunition through all sorts of tough barriers. After offering to refer me to a psychiatrist friend, he gave me an old, expired Kevlar vest to play with. How do you spell “FUN” when it comes to ammunition testing? K-E-V-L-A-R. That’s how.

Even though this vest was technically expired, it was still plenty effective. To verify that, we shot it with a Speer Gold Dot .357 Sig round from a Glock 31. The vest stopped this round cold. Even more entertaining was watching the energy dump effect of a 1,404 foot per second, 125 grain projectile stopping against the vest in about 2 inches of travel. The vest literally flew off the wet pack target backing and landed about 10 feet away. Wow. While the wearer would certainly be protected from bullet penetration, it sure would leave a mark!

Back to the Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine round performance.

Just for fun, and not for any particularly practical reason, we placed the Kevlar vest over a trashcan full of wet pack. We figured it would be interesting to see how the projectile performed against a really tough barrier. Wet pack is a fancy description for pile of thoroughly soaked, and bordering on mildewy, newspaper. Wet pack DOES NOT smell attractive after a day or so of soaking. We then proceeded to shoot the Speer Gold Dot .30 Carbine ammo through the vest and into the wet pack.

Results?

Like virtually any rifle round, the .30 Carbine passed through the vest. We were less interested in the penetration, which is a given with a rifle round, and more interested in expansion performance after passing through a tough barrier. We measured the expanded bullets and found that most of them doubled in diameter, with some measuring .61 inches across. Now that’s expansion performance!

Closing arguments

Our only regret with this evaluation is that we did not have a .30 Carbine handgun to test. We’ll work on getting our hands on a Ruger Blackhawk chambered in .30 Carbine and post an update. That would be fun.

In summary, this round is impressive. It brings a whole slew of usefulness to that .30 Carbine you might have sitting in the closet. Home, car, or whatever. These rounds performed exceptionally well.

Our Rating

4 Nuns Four Nuns! We were shocked, in a good way, with this load. Full expansion after passing through a Kevlar barrier? Wow. This ammo gets our highest review score!

 

American Eagle .223 Ammo – Reloaders Bargain

We picked up a supply of American Eagle (by Federal) .223 ammo recently to test for reliability. And reloadability.

American Eagle Tactical 223 Ammunition

American Eagle Tactical 223 Ammunition

We were looking for some decent plinking .223 ammo for the DPMS A3 Lite that wouldn’t break the bank – and that had brass cases acceptable for reloading. We’ve had decent success with some of the less expensive steel-cased ammo, and there is certainly a convenience benefit of not feeling guilty about picking up all the brass to save for future reloading. But given the very small price difference between the reloadable American Eagle and some of the communist block steel cased stuff, we elected to give it a try.

Is it acceptable bargain plinking ammo? Yes. It works – we have yet to experience an ammo related problem with it. Weighing random samples, we found reasonable consistency round to round. Looking at overall cartridge length was another matter, with about a .08 inch variance from rounds in the same box. Did we care? No. This was purchased as plinking ammo for fun, and at about 40 cents per round it’s great for reloaders. Shoot it once and keep the brass for the next several outings.

Way more cost efficient than buying raw brass as you get to shoot it first before the reloading process.

We’ll buy more.

Available Here American Eagle (Federal) .223 Ammo 20/box

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Duty vs. A Huge Pile of B.S.

Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty Will it expand banner

Today we hope to answer many pressing questions:

Hornady Critical Defense Ammo shoots the new york times

We got the big guns out to shoot a huge pile of B.S.

What happens when you shoot a bullet at a huge pile of B.S.?If the B.S. is laid on really thick, will it clog up a hollowpoint bullet and prevent it from expanding?

Is shooting at a pile of B.S. kind of like squashing a pregnant spider? Does it just create millions of little piles of B.S.?

You guessed it! It’s time for another episode of Will It Expand, featuring Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty ammunition. If you haven’t figured it out already, the goal this week is to shoot a huge pile of B.S. To find some suitable B.S., we didn’t have to go far as our corner grocery store carries The New York Times.

New York Times at the shooting range

Is this the first time that The New York Times has been to a shooting range?

What more appropriate pile of B.S. is there than The New York Times?

Once a bastion of journalistic integrity, The New York Times is currently out-subscribed by The National Enquirer – although that may be more of a reflection on today’s readers and the popularity of “The Kardashian Kapers” than the quality of either publication.

Back to the important stuff. What happens when you shoot B.S.? Given the formidable amounts of B.S. in even a weekday issue of The New York Times, we elected to go with the heavy stuff – Hornady Critical Duty. The Critical Duty line features a heavier projectile and a separate InterLock crimp band that helps prevent bullet jacket and core separation when tough barriers – like huge piles of B.S. – are encountered.

Hornady Critical Duty 9mm expansion performance

The Critical Duty 9mm loads cut through B.S. like butter

For our test, we donned heavy duty eye protection – in this case the ESS CrossBow Eyeshields. Who knows what happens when a high velocity projectile, fired from a southern state, hit’s a huge pile of B.S. from New York City? It could be like some ballistic matter / anti-matter reaction that would cause the earth to wobble on its axis and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to issue concealed carry permits free with every library card. Or worse.

We tried the B.S. Bang Theory with two different loads: Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain and Hornady Critical Duty .40 S&W 175 grain. For maximum velocity, we used full size guns – a Glock 17 Gen 4 and a Beretta PX4 Storm.

What did we learn?

Hornady Critical Duty .40 S&W ammo expansion performance

The Critical Duty .40 S&W loads struggled with so much B.S.

As you can see, the Hornady 9mm Critical Duty load performed better. We think that the extra velocity (clocked around 1,172 feet per second on our Shooting Chrony) helped cut through the B.S.

The .40 S&W load struggled a little more. Perhaps the extra diameter of the .40 caliber projectile caused more surface area to impact the B.S. and slow down expansion?

B.S. is a tough target – as shown by the abuse these bullets took going through it.

This may be the very first time that The New York Times has been to a shooting range.

What’s next? Stay tuned and find out.

And, as always, if you have suggestions for our Will It Expand series, just comment here or visit us on Facebook.

You can buy Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty Ammunition here.

Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain Flexlock

hornady-critical-duty-9mmWe’ve been doing lots and lots of shooting with both Hornady Critical Defense and more recently Hornady Critical Duty.

Our supply of the relatively new Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain Flexlock arrived this week so we took it out for some testing.

Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P Ammunition

The first observation – and we’ve seen this consistently with Hornady ammo – is that Hornady tends to be conservative on the published velocity. More often than not, we record equal or higher velocities than claimed on the box. This turned out to be the case with the Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 grain load as well. We shot it from a Glock 17 Generation 4, set up our Shooting Chrony Beta Master just over 15 feet from the muzzle, and recorded average velocity of 1,172 feet per second – noticeably more than the 1,115 feet per second claimed.

We’re going to be doing a lot more barrier testing with this load as the Critical Duty projectiles are designed to perform through tougher barriers than their Critical Defense counterparts. There are a couple of design differences between Critical Defense and Critical Duty. Critical Duty projectiles are generally heavier for the same caliber, but more importantly feature an additional InterLock band to help prevent jacket and core separation when the projectile encounters tougher barriers. For starters, we shot some though a couple layers of leather and fabric into some wetpack. Wetpack is the fancy word for soaking wet newspapers. As you can see by the photo included, it performed just fine.

We’re looking forward to additional experimentation with this load.

Available Here Hornady Critical Duty 9mm +P 135 Gr Flexlock – 25 Rounds

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