Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense vs. A Frying Pan

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Our potentially life saving Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty ammunition tests have already revealed that…

Hornady Critical Defense 45 ACP 185 grain

The Hornady Critical Defense .45ACP round expanded after passing through the frying pan – just not in the traditional way.

With all the testing we’ve done with Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty ammo in our Will It Expand series, there are still some cliches that need to be put to bed.

For example, the defense from a frying pan attack. This one is legitimate as it’s portrayed in Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ ride. Just ask that drunken pirate running eternal from the angry frying-pan-wielding wench. Around and around they go. When he gets whacked nobody knows.

We’ve been slack on testing the .45 ACP loading of Hornady Critical Defense and this caliber somehow seemed appropriate for the frying pan test.

So we headed off to the range with a genuine Teflon-coated frying pan and a gaggle of cardboard milk jugs filled with water. An iron frying pan would have been more authentic to the cliché, but we weren’t willing to give up homemade cornbread for this story.

Weighing in at 185 grains with a velocity of 1,001.5 feet per second as measured by our Shooting Chrony out of a Springfield Armory TRP 1911 full size pistol, we figured the round would have no problem perforating the pan.

As you can see by the photo, the Hornady Critical Defense .45 ACP bullet expanded – although in a non traditional manner. The projectile compacted inwards, rather than expanding outwards – just like Hornady claims in its hard barrier tests.

AVAILABLE HERE: Hornady Critical Defense 45 ACP 185 grain 20/box

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense vs. Butt Modulating Yogurt

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Admit it. You’ve already got the Activia jingle going in your head.

Hornady Critical Defense ammo test shooting yogurt

Hornady Critical Defense ‘regulating’ prune flavored Activia.

Or at least you’re wondering why a perennial hottie like Jamie Lee Curtis is now hawking butt modulating yogurt.

Or what happens when bullets strike Bifidus Regularis bacteria – gajillions of them?

Or whether ammunition has occasional irregularity?

Or whether prune flavored yogurt has a messier ballistic aftermath than something fruitier – like strawberry mango tropi-blend with guava-kiwi-pomegranate concentrate?

Or if premium ammunition is worth the cost in terms of facilitating intestinal transit?

But enough of that. After seeing the Activia commercial for the 3,012th time, and listening to its claims of being able to handle the toughest of bowels, we had to ask some questions.

Activia Prune flavored yogurt waiting to be shot with hornady critical defense ammo

Prune Activia – Pre-Yogurtal Expansion

Can prunes handle Hornady Critical Defense pills?

Can Activia regulate the performance of high velocity 9mm and .40 S&W expanding ammunition?

Is the explosion caused by bullets hitting prune yogurt similar to that caused by prune yogurt hitting your bowels?

These are important questions and we aimed to find out.

If you hadn’t figured it out already, we stocked up on Prune Flavored Activia and headed to the range with a few boxes of both Hornady Critical Defense and Hornady Critical Duty ammo. Jamie Lee Curtis did not attend as ballistic testing is not covered in her endorsement contract.

Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty 9mm expansion performance

Glock 17, Critical Defense, and Critical Duty vs. Intestinal flora.

What caliber is appropriate for prune yogurt? We had no idea, so we went with two common self-defense calibers – 9mm and .40 Smith & Wesson. Not knowing how tough of a barrier prune flavored Activia is, we tried both Hornady Critical Defense, designed for civilian self defense use, and Hornady Critical Duty, designed to penetrate tougher bowels barriers, yet still expand.

Here’s what we learned.

Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty .40 S&W ammo expansion performance

We’ve found that the Beretta PX4 loaded with Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty ammo facilitates intestinal transit with aplomb.

Shooting yogurt makes everyone at the range laugh like kindergartners with a whoopee cushion.

Expansion was not an issue. The yogurt expanded all over the range, and some counties of 3 bordering states.

When shooting yogurt, bring lots of wet wipes.

If you get into a running gunfight in a health food store, no worries about evil d00dz taking cover behind the Activia display – you can shoot right through it.

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

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

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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

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense vs. Grape Jelly – Will It Expand?

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All y’all have some pretty weird suggestions for our semi-serious ammo testing. Here we are, trying to be all scientific, and you keep sending suggestions for silly random things to shoot. Like you really might find yourself in a situation where you have to shoot through a large glass jar of grape jelly to protect your family. We decided to proceed with this one anyway, as this test offered exciting possibilities for lower cost wine production methods.

Well, you never know. Stranger things have happened. Just watch Jerry Springer sometime. You just might find yourself in a life or death situation where some crazed evil d00d is pelting you and yours with large jars of grape jelly. Rather than judge, we’ll just follow the Boy Scouts creed and be prepared – and find out if our carry ammo is up to the task. If we were dealing with cheap generic grape jelly, we would have tested this scenario with 9mm or .40 S&W loads. Given that it was about 1/2 gallon of genuine Knotts Berry Farm jelly, we thought it prudent to test with .357 Sig.

Loaded with a 115 grain FTX projectile, this load is rated at 1,235 feet per second and in our Glock 32, it chronographed at 1,231 feet per second from the 4” barrel. Plenty enough to stomp grapes.

In addition to providing great entertainment for our staff, there was some practical value to this test. After all, the 1/2 gallon of grape jelly was enclosed in glass. That’s roughly equivalent to the FBI glass barrier test protocol right? Right? Come on, stick with us here…

Anyway, we backed up about 15 feet, placed a high-tech bullet catcher made of wet pack (a pile of thoroughly soaked paper) behind the grape jelly, and fired…

That’s when the cops showed up. Well, not quite, but it was a close call. You see, when you shoot at a sealed glass jar, filled to the brim with gelatinous substance, with a high velocity projectile, all that energy has to go somewhere. Apparently, the latent grape jelly energy dissipated by covering every person at the range with a moderate coat of sticky, sugary, slime. Let’s just say we were more popular before we shot the jelly than after.

After apologizing profusely to shooters in all the other lanes and the good citizens of Montana, we went in search of the bullet. To see if it did in fact expand.

We’ll let you know, as soon as we find it. Apparently, shooting grape jelly creates a matter / anti-matter implosion. As best we can tell, that Hornady bullet is orbiting Saturn about 128 years in the future. Or something like that.

We’re not giving up. As soon as we can find an equally massive glass jar of grape jelly, we’re going to try it again. This time with an electro-magnetic containment vessel.

Stay tuned.

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

Hornady’s Critical Defense Ammo: Will It Expand? You Suggest, We Test!

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Inspired by our recent review of Hornady’s Critical Defense ammunition in .357 Magnum, we’ve decided to kick things up a notch. We were pretty impressed with how this ammo expanded even after passing through hard barriers. So, with some help from the good folks at Hornady, we’re going to really put both Critical Defense and the new Critical Duty ammunition to the test.

Yup. We’re going to shoot stuff. A lot of it. With a lot of different guns. It’s a tough assignment, but someone has to do the dirty work.

We do things a little differently here, so we’re not going to stick to the basic denim in front of ballistic gelatin routine. That’s boring. And gelatin is a pain to make. We’re going to see how this ammo performs in a wide variety of, umm, real world scenarios. Real world in our slightly half-cocked view anyway.

So what do you think? Will it expand in cottage cheese? Kleenex? Old shag carpeting from the 70s? Fruitcake? Sand? Justin Bieber CD’s? A Shake-Weight?

Here’s how it works:

  • You send ideas on what we should shoot
  • We shoot it
  • We’ll take photos and post a story relating the experience

Pretty simple huh?

So send your ideas. Either comment on the post, contact us, post it on our Facebook wall, or Tweet us about it. We’re ready. And willing.

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