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.

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense vs. Flour – Will it Expand?

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Why? Umm. Because we can?

In this episode, we test Hornady Critical Defense ammunition against what is arguably the cloggiest stuff known to hollowpoints – flour.

Stick with us, you never know when you might run into a real-world shootout in a bakery. Or something.

Being that we expected flour to be a tough customer, we elected to test both velocity and weight. Critical Defense .357 Sig to meet the velocity threshold and .40 S&W to meet the weight.

We thought this was a great idea that had potential not only for real world application, but entertainment value as well. And we weren’t disappointed. When you hit a bag of flour with expanding ammunition you get a gratifying ‘fleur de flour.’

Oh, in addition to a neat picture of a bag of flour exploding, we also have expansion test results. Just for fun, we tested two loads in each caliber: the Hornady Critical Defense rounds and Speer Gold Dot projectiles.

The Hornady Critical Defense load in .357 Sig held up pretty well to the bag-o-flour. Five of the six projectiles expanded fullyand the sixth expanded partially.We would trust this load in a donut shop shootout.
OK so we went a little trigger happywith the Speer Gold Dot loads and shot nine of them into the flour. What can we say? It made for great explosions!Out of the nine we shot, five expanded fully, two clogged up and didn’t expand at all, and two expanded just a little – although in a very non-photogenic way.
We shot four rounds of the Critical Defense .40 S&W loads into the flour and all four expanded adequately.As the photo shows, one was exceptionally photogenic and the remaining three were less attractive, although plenty effective.
Cloggy, cloggy, cloggy.Of the three rounds of .40 S&W Gold Dots we recovered, none of them expanded properly.One had no sign of expansion at all, one had a weak attempt, and the third must have hit a flour-based black hole. Either that or it nudged another projectile already in our high-tech bullet catcher.

So what have we learned? Before carrying into a bakery, be sure to test your carry ammo in appropriate conditions.

To see more episodes of our Will it Expand series, click here.

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

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense vs. SPAM

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Welcome back to our continuing series where we subject Hornady Critical Defense and Critical Duty ammo to all sorts of abusive and at times, ridiculous, tests. You see, it’s supposed to expand every time. And we’re going to find out if it does.

Our reader suggestion for this episode is… Spam. Yes, the simulated meat kind.

We thought this was a great idea.

People at our outdoor shooting range? Not so much. Mainly because they got covered with Spam. But hey, that’s why you’re supposed to wear eye protection, right? So our conscience is clean, if not our clothing.

Down here in South Cackalackee we got ourselves a problem – wild spam. It’s everywhere and we find them in all sizes – from 7 ounce cans to 12 packs. And when it’s allowed to roam free in the wild, it can reach 25 pounds – so caliber selection is a bit tricky.

Anyway, wild Spam are slimy, slippery, and basically a booger to catch, so we elected to shoot canned Spam. Both original and generic. Just in case there’s a difference. We hear that artificial spam has even less meat in it so we figured it would be interesting to see if there’s a difference in bullet expansion performance and Spam lethality. Well, obviously Spam is lethal to humans, but is Hornady Critical Defense ammo lethal to Spam?

First we tested the Hornady Critical Defense .22 Magnum round. We thought it would be a pretty good solution for Spam – not too much meat damage, no recoil, and lots of rifle and pistol options to launch it. With a 45 grain FTX bullet that included one of those cute little red flex tips to aid expansion we were hopeful for consistent expansion results.  We elected to use a Ruger Single Six with a 7.5″ barrel – a portable Spam solution that would keep velocity reasonable at closer Spam hunting distances.

We originally expected the .22 WMR to leave a little something edible when all was said and done, but unless we intended to scrape Spam splatter off other nearby shooters at the range, it was not to be. The .22 WMR round was somewhat, ah, explosive against both brand name and generic spam. And we got great expansion from all rounds through both real and plastic Spam. Not bad performance considering that the round had to pass through two sides of metal skin and a big hunk of gelatinous fake meat love.

Because you never know when you might encounter an especially irritable Spam while attending to more urban chores, we tested a couple of common personal defense loads. Will a quick shot from your every day carry gun put down a Spam? Will there be any left? Will the Grocery Product Defense League of Americacome after you with abuse charges?

We aimed to find out and tried both 90 grain .380 ACP and 115 grain 9mm Critical Defense rounds.

While the .380 rounds mortally wounded all of our test Spams with a single shot, we were a tad disappointed with the expansion results. We shot them from a very short barreled Ruger LCP so velocity was at the low end of the round’s potential. We noted some mild deformation, but no actual expansion.

The 9mm rounds out of a Glock 17 Gen IVwere another story altogether.

More weight + More Velocity = Spam Juice

While juicing Spam this way is cheap and easy, not to mention fun, you’re probably better off using the Jack Lalane Power Juicer if you’re one of those that appreciates the extra nutrients available from Spam juicing.

What we learned

  • Shooting canned food is fun, but can be expensive
  • Domestic, or canned, Spam is much easier to shoot
  • Don’t shoot Spam when other people are at the range. Unless you have lot’s of Handi-Wipes available
  • Spam is NOT more edible after shooting. In fact, it’s even less palatable.

 

If you’re into video, check out SPAM – The Movie

Spam, spam, spam, and spam.

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

Ammo Review: Will Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Expand in Rocks?

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We’ve had great success getting Hornady’s Critical Defense ammo to expand after passing through all sorts of crazy things – plastic, old garage rags, honey bears, Wal-Mart house brand grape jelly, spam, flour, e-mail, leather boots, canned vegetables, and more. So we figured it’s time for the ultimate test.

Rocks.

Rocks are hard and as we figure, tough on ammo. And you need to know if your ammo is going to perform should you ever encounter an evil d00d wearing a protective vest made of rocks.

When it came time to head to the range, we found actual rocks to be a bit problematic as they are big and heavy and somewhat uneven. And you know how scientific we are are about these things. We need repeatable uniformity. Sounds sophisticated doesn’t it? Repeatable uniformity.

So we elected to use some stone floor tile that we had laying around in the garage. Because it offers repeatable uniformity. And because it doesn’t seem to match any of the floor in our house. Apparently we stole it from the neighbors while they were distracted by the True-Green lawn guy.

As we’ve already discussed, rocks are hard. So we went full octane – .357 Sig and .40 S&W. Out of a Glock 32 and Beretta PX4 Storm respectively.

We used our standard high tech methodology:

  • Take random stuff to the range
  • Bring lots of Hornady Critical Defense ammo
  • Place cameras out there
  • Get strange looks from people at the range
  • Shoot through said random stuff
  • Catch the bullet in our special wet pack blend (soggy newspaper and cardboard)
  • Dig out the bullets

Surprisingly, both the .357 Magnum and .40 S&W Critical Defense loads expanded properly after passing through, well, rock more or less.

What’s the point you may ask?

The point is… Now you know not to put stone floor tile in your ballistic vest. It won’t help you.

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

Ammo Review: Hornady Critical Defense Ammo: These Boots Were Made for Shootin’

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This week’s episode of ‘Will It Expand’ undresses the heaviest of outerwear – leather. As we had no interest in perforating our nice leather coat, we elected to use an even tougher leather barrier – an old pair of Justin Boots.

So – stick with us here – the idea is to shoot hollow point ammunition through not one, or three, but two layers of very heavy leather and into our sophisticated special blend of ballistic testing material called wetpack which consists mostly of thoroughly soggy newspapers. Will traditional hollow point ammo expand? Will Hornady Critical Defense expand? Every time? Will we ever be able to wear these boots again? Is ammo-induced ventilation covered under warranty?

First up: Hornady Critical Defense .38 Special +P 110 grain

We shot the boot with a couple rounds of Critical Defense and a couple rounds of Cor-Bon .38 Special +P 110 grain JHP and Speer Gold Dots. We’ve found the Cor-Bon load to be excellent with sporadic observations of jacket / core separation. Gold Dots don’t separate due to their bonded construction and have an excellent record of expanding in reasonable material. Both the Cor-Bon and Gold Dot loads failed to expand properly after passing through two thick layers of foot-conditioned leather. The projectiles showed early indications of expansion but by no means blossomed to anywhere near their full potential. Kind of like Lindsay Lohan. Both Critical Defense rounds expanded, although one was far more photogenic than its sibling.

Next up: Hornady Critical Defense 9mm 115 grain

Increased velocity helped all the 9mm contestants. The combination of a hotter and heavier load and a longer barreled pistol (Beretta 92FS) made a noticeable difference. We happened to have a box of Federal Premium 9mm Luger +P+ 124 grain Hydra-Shok on hand. These are marked ‘Law Enforcement Use Only’ but we figured this was important enough work to bend the rules a bit. Let’s keep that just between us, OK?

Anyway, everybody expanded AND was photogenic. Conclusions? Beats us, but it sure was fun.

And last but not least: Hornady Critical Defense .40 S&W 165 grain

This last test makes us wonder why we bother carrying anything but a .40 caliber. Lined up next to the .38 Specials and 9mm rounds, these all looked mighty impressive. Especially since all the tested rounds expanded perfectly.

We used three. The Critical Defense .40 S&W 165 grain, a DoubleTap Ammunition .40 S&W 165 grain Gold Dot, and a Winchester .40 S&W 165 grain T Series.

All performed as intended and seemed completely unaffected by conditioned and highly-polished boot leather.

What’s next? Let us know and we’ll shoot it.

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

Ammo Test: Will Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Expand In Rocks?

We aim to find out…

Hmmm. Tough barrier.

Ammo Test: Hornady Critical Defense vs. a Bear – Will It Expand?

Self defense ammo vs. a bear. We find out!

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

Hmmm. Who wins? Lot’s of grape jelly or Hornady Critical Defense?

Ammo Test: Shooting Spam with Hornady Critical Defense Ammo – Will It Expand?

Shooting Spam with Hornady Critical Defense Ammo!

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