Shooting Myth: Knockdown Power

Knockdown [nok-doun]
adjective

  1. Capable of knocking something down; overwhelming; irresistible: a knockdown blow.
  2. Internet lore referring to the ability of large guns like .45’s and shotguns to literally knock people off their feet.

Last week, I wrote about Ten Examples of the Internet’s Worst Gun Advice, and that created quite the discussion! A lot of the conversation stuck on the issues related to knockdown power. Some are still convinced that a shotgun will knock someone backwards, through a plate-glass window or into the next county. Others got hung up on related issues, like stopping power or lethality.

I decided that this was a great excuse to go to the shooting range and do silly things, so let’s talk about the literal definition of knockdown power. I don’t mean stopping power, or lethality or capability to cause damage. Those things are pretty clear concepts. I mean literal knockdown power. Can a projectile fired from a commonly available firearm literally knock someone off their feet? We aimed to find out – and brought a video camera along to document the experiment. There’s a link to the video towards the end of this article.

Testing the Knockdown Power myth with a 50 pound bag of sand and a bulletproof vest.

Testing the Knockdown Power myth with a 50 pound bag of sand and a bulletproof vest.

Since I couldn’t find any volunteers to get “knocked down” I decided to use a 50 pound bag of sand as a stand-in substitute. Yes, I’m the adventurous sort. I’m stacking the deck in favor of the knockdown power myth. Even though an average evil dude is likely to weigh 150 pounds or more, we’re going to see what various projectiles do to an object that weighs just 50 pounds.

One more thing. There was a lot of discussion in the comments last week about kinetic energy, bullets passing through targets and the concept of energy dumps. So to make sure that our Sandbag Stanley absorbed all the gusto and enthusiasm that each round had to offer, we clothed him in a bulletproof vest. It’s for science after all.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub!

New Self Defense Ammunition From Winchester – Train and Defend

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

Winchester Train and Defend is a no-brainer for new and experienced shooters alike.

So one of the neatest things at SHOT Show Media Day at the range was not even a gun! What???

High on my to-do list for the day was to actually shoot the new Winchester Ammunition Train & Defend ammunition. The idea is simple. Create matching loads where the bullet weight and recoil are virtually the same. Practice with the less expensive full metal jacket stuff, then load your gun with the hollow point version when carrying or using your gun for home defense.

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

Look similar? These two .38 Special Train and Defend loads should!

The neatest thing about this ammo is that it’s designed to be low recoil for controllability. The hollow point projectile is designed to penetrate and expand at lower velocity, so it still works.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Dr. Rob Pincus extracts some .38 Special rounds from the gelatinous pig juice.

Unlike most ammo tests in front of large audiences, Rob Pincus and the Winchester Ammunition folks did it right. They used 4 layers of clothing per FBI testing protocol. It makes a big difference. Any bullet will expand in pure gelatin, but adding the clothing layers helps separate the men from the boys. As you can see by the photos, penetration was excellent and expansion perfect.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

Gooey mushroomed bullets.

I’m thinking this will be excellent ammunition for short barrel guns where velocity is a bit lower than standard. I’m anxious to try this out. More to follow.

This Goofy Gun: The Winchester 9410

Today’s pop quiz! What do the following have in common?

  1. Ben Cartwright
  2. John Moses Browning
  3. Saiga-12 Auto Shotguns

Give up?

It’s the Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

No, the goofball who took this photo was not high on black powder residue. Why, that's a Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

No, the goofball who took this photo was not high on black powder residue. Why, that’s a Winchester 9410 lever-action shotgun!

Admittedly, the Cartwright clan had access to guns from the future, as they shot an awful lot of Winchester 1892’s, which is only two different than the 1894 design we’re talking about here. Close enough. For this pop quiz anyway.

Continuing to refine his lever-action designs, John Browning designed the Winchester 1894 in, you guessed it, 1894. It’s one of the most popular rifles in history with over seven million produced between 1894 and 2006, with those made between 1980 and 2006 technically being made by the U.S. Repeating Arms Company under the Winchester brand.

While there’s a lot of hoopla about the Saiga “assault shotguns”, one can consider the Winchester 9410 as a predecessor – a manually operated “assault shotgun.” Unlike the Saiga, the biggest thing it’s going to assault is rabbits or clay targets, as long as they’re not too far away. And you can only assault things as fast as you can work the lever- up to ten times without reloading.

As you’ve figured out, the Winchester 9410 is closely modeled after the Winchester 1894 rifle, with a few necessary differences. Slender, slick and a natural pointer, the 9410 acts a lot like its ancestor. It’s pure joy to handle and shoot. A couple of the major differences (besides the fact that is’t a freakin’ shotgun!) are a specially designed extractor/ejector for controlled ejection of .410 hulls and a tang-mounted safety added to the ’94 family in 2003.

Read the rest at OutdoorHub.com!

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: Winchester PDX1 Elite Defender .40 S&W 165 Grain

The .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge has been called many things since it was introduced in 1990.

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 40 S&W 165 grain.JPG

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 40 S&W 165 grain

Slow & Weak

Save your bacon & Walk free

Sexy & Winchester

Shoot & Wound

Sledgehammer & Wallop

Shortened & Widened

Sluggish & Wimpy

Slay & Waste

Studious & Well-spoken

Oh yeah, and Smith & Wesson

Used by the majority of law enforcement organizations, the .40 S&W round has somehow managed to gain flocks of proponents and many vocal detractors. One thing we’ve found in our testing is that broad caliber generalizations are absolutely meaningless. Everything depends on the specific projectile and load being tested with any given caliber.

Let’s take a closer look at the Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 Defender ammunition in .40 S&W 165 grain loading.

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 Defender .40 S&W 165 Grain Ammunition Overview

Winchester PDX1 ammunition is a bonded hollow point design. In average Joe’s English, that simply means that the jacket of the bullet is chemically attached to the lead core interior. Speer Gold Dot ammunition uses a similar design process.

Why?

Winchester believes that a bonded design allows more control over the delicate balance between penetration and expansion – without risk of jacket separation that is prone to occur with traditional jacketed / lead core bullets. The Winchester PDX1 round is pre-programmed by shape and cuts to expand into six segments as the projectile expands.

165 grain .40 S&W: Feel the need for speed…

We clocked a veritable pile of the Winchester PDX1 Elite .40 S&W 165 grain ammo through our Shooting Chrony Beta Master, placed 15 feet down range. When all was averaged out using some complex addition and division with a touch of calculus, we found that the PDX1 ammo achieved average velocity of 1,195 feet per second. Factory specs listed on the box claim 1,140 feet per second at the muzzle, so this round outperformed the claims in our evaluation.

The test gun for the velocity test was a Beretta PX4 Storm full size – we did a full gun review on this one a while back. This particular handgun features a 4 inch barrel, so we’re not getting the full velocity advantage of an extra inch on a longer barreled pistol – and the round still outperformed the velocity claim.

Why?

Could be a number of factors. Perhaps the claimed velocity is a conservative number. We’ve seen that before and we always welcome conservative marketing claims – it’s a pleasant surprise when your ammunition performs even better than expected. Or perhaps our testing is done in a higher temperature environment. We’re in South Cackalackee where weather conditions are generally 90/90/90. That’s 90 degrees, 90 percent humidity, and 90 times hotter than it should be. The hotter it is, the higher the pressure, and higher the measured velocity.

Winchester PDX1 ammo expansion performance

Winchester Supreme Elite PDX1 ammo expansion

Expansion performance of the Winchester PDX1 was excellent – most rounds doubled in diameter.

Our expansion testing always considers performance through barriers. Any reasonable ammo will expand in picture perfect manner when shot into water or gelatin. It’s like reality TV. Real, but not really. Many fail however when you place the water or gelatin backstop behind real world barriers like clothing. Not too many thugs run around buck naked as far as we know, so we’d rather see how our carry ammunition performs against clothed attackers.

For the Winchester PDX1 Defender tests, we used a barrier consisting of 2 layers of light canvas and 2 layers of cotton fabric. We’ve settled on this combination to provide an average “clothing” simulation for average weather conditions. We’ve found that many brand name hollow points have failed to perform consistently behind even this relatively simple barrier. Some rounds will expand while others will clog with fabric and behave like full metal jacket ammunition – passing right through the target. Behind the fabric barrier, we used simple wet pack. That’s just thoroughly soaked newsprint.

We obtained excellent results with this particular Winchester PDX1 ammo. The extra velocity available with the 165 grain load made a noticeable difference in expansion performance. The packaging claims 1.5x expansion capability. In our tests, we found that projectiles expanded to over .6 inches in diameter easily, with many rounds doubling in diameter. Performance of the programmed petal expansion was consistent as well with all six petals expanding in nearly every case.

Closing arguments

This particular Winchester PDX1 ammunition performed in stellar fashion. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, it’s important to look at each specific loading independently as performance may vary. We’ll be testing the heavier, but slower, 180 grain Winchester PDX1 ammo as well and will report on that separately. Considering that this test was done with a Beretta PX4 Storm with average barrel length, we highly recommend this round for mid size to full size handguns. We’ll try to test it in a short barrel .40 S&W handgun to see how it fares.

Our Rating

4 Nuns Four Nuns! Velocity was better than advertised through an average length barrel and expansion performance through moderate fabric barriers was excellent. What more can you ask?

 

Check out other My Gun Culture product reviews here!

On the Eighth Day of Christmas… Eight Guns for Plinking

musical-notes_thumb[2]

On the eighth day of Christmas, I hope my true love gives to me…
Eight guns for plinking…

musical-notes_thumb[2][4]

 

CX4-Storm-Rig

Beretta CX4 Storm Carbine
Always wanted one of these. In 9mm. Not sure why, but a light fast bullet just seems right out of this gun, especially as a plinker. It would get some nice accessories on the rail for sure.

golden-boy

Henry Golden Boy .22LR
Yes, you remember correctly. We had another Henry rifle listed in our 5 Magnum Things list. They are just SO classy and you can’t beat a lever action for pure fun. Having one in .22LR means shooting all day for less than $20.

Model-9410-Traditional-MID-514006-m

Winchester 9410 .410
Hmmm. We seem to be on a lever action kick here. But how can you resist a .410 lever action shotgun? Talk about the ultimate plinker! Slugs, shot, buck. Knock yourself out. Too bad its not in production anymore, so keep an eye on the used market.

1911-22-A1-MID-051802-m

Browning 1911-22 A1
Shot a pre-release model of this gun at the 2011 Professional Outdoor Media Association Conference and… wow! It’s more fun than should be legal. Want one bad.

811030_01_md

Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22
Fun, cheap to run, and maintains the operating features of a centerfire AR. Great for practice, but fun just because…

1022-blac0green

Tactical Solutions X-Ring Rifle
Who wouldn’t want a tricked out Ruger 10/22? Loaded with all the Tactical Solutions goodies, this one can’t be beat.

22-kit

Beretta 92 Series .22LR Practice Kit
Pricey, but the quality and functionality are top notch. We’ve had one before and in a moment of complete stupidity, traded it. Ouch. We’d get the barrel threaded for a suppressor this time.

2245260_angle

H&K MP5 A5 .22LR
Why? You have to ask why? Really?

 

musical-notes_thumb[2][6]

musical-notes_thumb[2][8]

Seven lasers aiming…
Six scales a weighing…
Five magnum things…
Four written words…
Three tactical pens…
Two shooting gloves
And a Smith and Wesson M and P

Winchester Ammunition Moves To Mississippi To Cut Spelling Errors

Winchester AmmunitionAccording to the NRA’s American Rifleman blog, Winchester’s Illinois based ammunition division is relocating its plant facility to Mississippi. The announcement follows a recent trend of firearms companies moving south to warmer climes. Earlier this year, gun makers Para USA and Remington completed moves from Canada and New York to North Carolina.

Ben Cartwright - Bonanza

CEO Ben Cartwright

While many believe the announced move is a response to stalled union negotiations with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 9 group, Winchester Ammunition General Manager Ben Cartwright offers a different explanation. “We’ve had trouble for years with people trying to spell the ‘ammunition’ part of Winchester Ammunition.  Seems like half the people want to use one ‘m’ and the other half want to use two ‘m’s.’ We’re just sick of it. Then one day, I the solution just came to me. Remember the elementary school thing about spelling Mississippi?  You know, em-eye-ess-ess-eye-ess-ess-eye-pee-pee-eye? Dang, if people in Mississippi can spell that, then they sure as heck can spell ‘ammunition’ properly. So that’s where we ought to be. Where people can spell our dang name. Dangit.”

Industry insiders are skeptical about the justification for the move. “I can see relocating the whole freakin’ factory if its a cost issue” said Harry Callahan, industry research analyst. “Or maybe if they just feel lucky today. I can even understand that. But for the Mississippi song? Really?”

Winchesters Vice President of Marketing, Don Draper, countered “Look, it’s all about branding. If we lose control of our name then what? Heck, we’ve got county spelling bee champions lined up around the block applying for positions at the new plant. That’s good enough for me.”

Legal Disclosures about articles on My Gun Culture