They say you can blow up a tank with a marshmallow if you can get it moving fast enough. While we’re still waiting on a civilian legal marshmallow rail gun, we’re taking a baby step in that direction by testing this load.
With all the shooting of random things we’ve done over the years, we’ve been less than impressed with the high velocity, low projectile weight theory. Light bullets at enormous speed make for spectacular water jug explosions, but when shot through something harder like clothing, leather, bone simulating materials, rocks, black eyed peas, or grape jelly, performance – and especially penetration – leaves a lot to be desired.
We’re totally violating our own self-imposed ammo rules with this test and trying a relatively lightweight 95 grain 9mm bullet at insane velocity. The Buffalo Bore 9mm +P+ round claims to launch a Barnes TAC-XP bullet at a realistic maximum of 1,550 feet per second. Buffalo Bore estimates the following expected velocities out of some common 9mm handguns:
1524 fps — Walther P88-4 inch barrel
1374 fps — Glock 19-4 inch barrel
1508 fps — Browning Hi Power MK111-4.6 inch barrel
1496 fps — Beretta 92F-4.9 inch barrel
Fortunately we’ve got a Beretta 92 so we’ll see if we can get 1,500 feet per second out of this beast. We’ll also try it out of a Glock 17 Gen 4 and a Glock 26 Gen 4 just for fun.
With all the testing we’ve done with our Will It Expand series, we’ve come to appreciate the importance of that last extra bit of velocity when it comes to expansion performance. And Buffalo Bore delivers when it comes to velocity. We set up a Shooting Chrony Beta Master at 15 feet from the muzzle and clocked the following:
Beretta 92FS: 1,420 feet per second
Glock 17 Gen 4: 1,438 feet per second
Glock 26 Gen 4: 1,358 feet per second
Considering our Chrony was 15 feet downrange, the recorded velocity came in right as advertised.
We subjected the Buffalo Bore Barnes load to a pretty tough expansion challenge: 2 layers of heavy boot leather and several layers of cotton fabric (translation: old ratty t-shirts) in front of a dense paper wetpack bullet catcher. Of the four rounds we tested for expansion, all four expanded dramatically. Penetration was surprisingly good for a 95 grain projectile with 2 projectiles plowing about 7 inches into the dense wetpack after the leather barrier and the remaining two making it about 9 inches in.
We were pleasantly surprised at the performance of this load. Felt recoil was shockingly light in all guns tested – especially so with the more hefty Beretta 92FS. Our wetpack was particularly dense so the 7 and 9 inch penetration post-barrier was impressive.
To be candid, we really wanted to test the 115 grain 9mm +P+ Barnes TAC-XP loads, but they are not available just yet. We’re looking forward to trying those out next.
This is a 4 Nuns load.
You can buy Buffalo Bore ammo here.