Do you suffer from a short barrel? Unfortunately, this problem afflicts millions of gun totin’ Americans.
With the explosive growth of pocket .380 ACP pistols like the Kel-Tec, Ruger LCP, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and Glock 42, just to name a few, gun makers just had to up the power level as their next move. .380’s are still everywhere, but now we have a new crop of compact 9mm guns. Whether you carry a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Beretta Nano, Sig P938 or one of the many other pocket nine’s, you’re probably dealing with a short barrel. And by short barrel, I mean right in the vicinity of three inches.
Everyone knows that you just don’t get the same level of satisfaction from a three-inch barrel as you do from a longer barrel when it comes to penetration and expansion. Wow, I’m really treading on thin ice here…
What I mean is that in a shorter barrel, bullets can’t achieve the same velocity as when fired from a longer barreled gun. Mileage will vary depending on the specifics, but you can assume that you’ll lose 100 feet per second or so from any given 9mm load when you fire it from a pocket pistol. This is a big deal because modern expanding bullets are carefully designed to penetrate to a certain depth and expand at a certain rate for a very specific velocity range. Not enough velocity, and expansion doesn’t happen, so the bullet passes through its target. Too much velocity, and expansion is overly dramatic and penetration suffers.
One solution is to use +P+Infinity loads to crank up the speed, but that makes pocket guns impossible to shoot well. Nor it is any fun. So that’s not a very good option. So goes the challenge of pocket 9mm guns. Using ammunition designed for longer barrels, and higher velocity, can be an iffy proposition.
This round is 77 grains of pocket wonder. I got several boxes to test for velocity, accuracy and, of course, shooting the gelatin to see if it would perform.