Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and sabers

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by gatorhugger, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    236
    Jan 19, 2008
    [​IMG]

    Somebody help me if the photo doesn't show, I swear I am clueless with photos but thought this may be of interest.
    Did a interesting test today.
    I bought a 5inch thick butt roast with a bone running down the middle, a huge round bone. The edges around the bone were about 4 inches. Anybody that has seen a roast knows the meat isn't as dense as a ham.
    I placed that on top of 3 inches of cooked Fettucine. I placed that in a cardboard box. I then put that box on top of a another box containing a soaked phone book. I should have photos of my setup and the pork butt, but I forgot to. I was being eaten by bugs.

    I started off shooting regular 90 grain speer gold dots. These are snappy little bullets. I shot on the edge so it is going through 4" of roast. The entance hole was pretty large, about 3/4 inch. The round penetrated the butt completely, and through the pasta, and ended up an inch into the wet phone book. Expanded but did lose some weight and jacket. That is the bullet on the far left. Pretty nice. Overall penetration was 7 3/4 inches.

    Next up were Buffalo bore hot loads, 90 grains advertised at 1100 FPS in a KT/LCP. Those are the middle two bullets. This is a handful. It blasted an inch and a half entrance wound, moved the entire box setup, and went in 8 inches. It blows off chunks of meat. The recovered bullets are starting to tear apart badly. Not good.
    I shot one Buffalo bore into the thickest meat, it went in 5 inches, hit bone, shattered the bone into shards and the bullet completely disintegrated.
    Hard to control for quick followups, this round felt like shooting a magsafe or some similar frangible. Awesome wound track, but the bullets DO tear themselves apart going as fast as they are.

    Next was 102 grain Golden Sabers. Mild recoil compared, small would track, the entrance was about a half an inch. It penetrated through 4 inches of meat, 3 inches of pasta, and would stop in the first quarter inch of phone book. So about 7 1/4- 7-1/2 inches. Uniform expansion on every round as the 4 bullets show on the right side of the photo. I shot one into the thickest part of the butt, it also hit the bone after 5 inches. The bone again stopped the round, however the GS did break it clean in two and the bullet was recovered fully intact.

    Last was the old Federal HI shok 90 grainers. Did not expand at all, recovered bullet has a clogged nose, however it went an incredible 4 inches into the phone book for 11 inches total pentetration going through a roast, pasta, cardboard, and a phone book. That round is up front in the photo.

    So I am torn between what to carry. I cannot deny the awesome power of the Buffalo bore, but the gold dots tear themselves apart, and the one that hit bone totally blew part at 5 inches. The Golden Sabers don't look that impressive until you recover the heavy 102 grain bullets. The wound track isn't half what the Buffalo bore gold dots are. But they go in almost as deep and do expand and hold together. You can see the recovered sabers look like they weight twice what the dots weigh.

    Food for thought( pun), but I think I have to lean toward the Sabers, it is a close call.
     
  2. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Thanks for taking the time and expense to do these highly informative tests!  I imagine that you seen the Buffalo Bore test by wheelguy.  

    http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1202857757

    Also very informative.  I'm still inclined to think, even from what you observed, that the shock/trauma from the BB's would be the best choice for a self-defense "stopper".  Even if the bullets hit bone, they're going to do serious damage and if they're fragmenting some, the fragments will cause additional damage.  I will say though that the GS's do look very good as a lower recoiling choice.  As for me... I keep my P3AT "stoked" with 7 BB GD's.

    The Federal Hi-Shok 90 grainer looks like the UMC 88 grain JHP's that I use for "punching paper". They're too slow to expand but, what the heck, they're cheap at Wal-Mart and very available.
     

  3. snyderk2

    snyderk2 New Member

    6
    Nov 10, 2006
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    GatorHugger,

    Great test, I am always interested in these various tests of different cartridges. The Buffalo Bore seems to be very potent, I am concerned that it might damage the firearm after repeated use.
    The Golden Sabers have always been one of my favorite rounds and the fact that it broke a bone after penetrating five inches is impressive.
     
  4. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    The Kel-Tec manual says: "The P-3AT will accept +P ammunition, however not with continuous use."  Don't worry...you're not going to hurt your gun.  The 380 auto is a fairly low pressure cartridge (21,500 psi).  Even if BB stepped it up 10 to 15 percent, the pressures will not be excessive.  The extra recoil will "hammer" the gun a little but at a buck a round you'll probable only shoot enough to get used to it.
     
  5. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    It occurred to me that wheelguy probably has more experience with Buffalo Bore +Ps in the P3AT than anyone else on this forum. He exhorts people to practice with it to overcome "limpwristing'".  So if you see this wheelguy, I'd appreciate it if you'd tell us about how many rounds of of BB +P's have you shot and have you noticed any deleterious effects on your gun?
     
  6. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    236
    Jan 19, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    I wish I would have taken pics of this raw roast. When the Buffalo bore Dots would hit, it looked like modeling clay blowing apart. Just gaping holes in some pretty serious thick meat. The entrance hole looked like an exit hole. It is obvious that this bullet, as you can see from the pics, is being driven way faster than its designed capabilities. Forgot all the talk of gold dots being bonded and not falling apart, if this round hits bone, it blows up into 20 pieces. Like a little bomb. even when it didn't hit bone, it's going to go into some fragmentation like a Triton quik shot.

    For the Sabers the entrance holes are nothing special, the slow moving slug barely moved the 4 pound roast. But the sabers keep pushing, pushing, pushing, deeper and deeper, and expanding. So its bigger and a whole lot slower and not as impressive, but like the turtle that could, it gets there. And the end result is a whopping lead of mushroom that makes the gold dot seem puny.

    I guess it depends on the old argument of bigger and slower, versus a smoking rocket that partially blows up. I feel confident either would go through a chest cavity no problem, even with bone. Both are going to expand in meat and bone. The difference is the recoil involved, the wound channel, and at the end of the tunnel you end up with 102 grains of sabers versus probably 50 grains of Gold dot on the far side of someones chest.
    Either one would seriously screw up your day.
    But it's a trade off, always is.
     
  7. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    236
    Jan 19, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    I think the difference in my tests and the rib tests is the thickness of meat. In these tests, which are simulated to be the pectorials of a bodybuilder, it's going through about twice the thickness of ribs, then hitting fettucine for 3 more inches which is soupy but has thickness to simulate internals.
    The Butt bone is also much much harder and 3 times the thickness of a rib bone.

    So I think that is why the rib tests show more penetration, in that test the rounds are going through just 2 inches of rib and dry plaster. These new tests show that with thick meat, then a soupy substance under it, you are looking at more like 7-8 inches of penetration. With thick meat and thick bone, it's going to be a mere 5 inches no matter how big and bad the 380 load. And also that Buffalos do overexpand. Is that good or bad is a point of view, nothing more. They are powerful rounds make no mistake, and it is my opinion that I would not shoot more than 20 in my little gun, just to test it, and then carry it if so inclined. They feel like magnum loads in the tiny guns.
     
  8. forestranger

    forestranger Active Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    NC
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Good info, Gatorhugger. Little too expensive for my "taste" ;D. Ol cheap me just uses wetpack. When I fired GS into wetpack, it expanded most of time & penetrated almost as well as fmj. When I started covering the wetpack with layer of denim and terry cloth, it quit expanding any over half time. Clogged up, I guess. DPX only 380 that has always expanded but it's only an 80 gr bullet. It avgs 1020fps and GS little under 800 out of 3at. Only conclusion I came to was to try to carry at least 9mm much as possible and use 380 for BUG. Thanks for report.
     
  9. torrent

    torrent New Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Excellent test, thank you for doing it and sharing it with us. I have been fond of the Buffalo brand for a while now because they perform well in other calibers and muzzleloaders as well so it stands to reason that they would perform well out of a short barreled .380.
     
  10. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    236
    Jan 19, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Hey, I'll buy the roast if you guys send me the rounds. I wanted to test a couple of DPX and a couple of rangers too. Didn't have any.
    That's also another $10 roast and a few boxes of fettucine!

    And some bug spray, I was eaten alive, I was in deep woods and man the squitos were furious! I popped off about 5 rounds of each and left. A lot of bullets were truthfully never located, they didn't hit the roast right and went out the side of the box, and with me being drained of blood every second I wasn't digging for them. ;D

    Bottom line, all you Buffalo bore fans, you ain't underpowered. You just have to hold on. I'm stoking the Sabers. Out.
     
  11. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Can anyone else confirm this that the GS will clog and not expand half the time when shot into wet denim, I was seriously thinking about making this my carry load along with the very expensive 380 DPX rounds. Thanks

    Tom j
     
  12. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Great test gatorhugger! Thank you for adding to our storehouse of knowledge about various rounds - at the cost of being bug bit  ;D. After all, what you don't know can hurt you - so better to put in the effort and get the straight story. Choosing what round is best does come down to "how was the test done", and whether or not it provides a realistic scenario for your situation. The loosers are more easily identified than the best of the winners, though.

    So far, I have put 4 full and a part of 1 twenty round boxes (80+ rounds) of various BB through my chrome P3AT with no sign of damage of any kind. All the BBs measure the same energy values, so I wouldn't expect more beating with the hard cast BB over the gold dot, for example. I would expect hammering of the guide rod, or peening of the hood or guide rod exit. So far, no hint on close examination with a 3x lens.
     
  13. forestranger

    forestranger Active Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    NC
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    [​IMG]

    Curt32, sorry I didn't keep more bullets from tests but this is pretty represenative of what I got w/GS fired into 24 hr soaked pure newsprint covered with layer of denim and terry cloth. I kept these just as samples of test. LEOs present wanted all my DPX to take back & show superiors but all did expand. I carried the GS for couple years and for all I know, with it's penetration, it may be as good as any 380 rd? I'll make sure to take some pictures next time I do anymore 380 wet pack testing.
     
  14. fatman

    fatman New Member

    Apr 6, 2005
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    While it was available some of our KTOG members shot a lot of the Spanish surplus Santa Barbara ammo which was pretty hot stuff and none reported any ammo related problems with their pistol after hundreds an in some cases 1000+ rounds. Based on that history the Buffalo Gold Dots should be OK in your gun.
     
  15. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Thanks a million wheelguy!  This is exactly the info that I was looking for.  I'm sure that this will assuage a lot of other's concerns about shooting BB +P's in their P3ATs.  You and gatorhugger and others like you in this forum are GREAT!  You sacrifice a lot of your own time and money just to help others out.  I belong to several gun forums and this is the best bar none.
     
  16. jerry-s.

    jerry-s. Guest

    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    i enjoy "back yard" bullet testing.....it is interesting to see the different mediums used and the imagination of some folks.....

    i really like the idea of using raw meat with a bone as a target....it is a bit more realistic on what you may have to actually shoot.....
     
  17. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    236
    Jan 19, 2008
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Let me say that Forestranger is 100% correct on Golden Sabers not expanding in soaked newsprint half the time. I have experienced the same result and getting the newspaper wetpak results is what prompted me to get the Pork Butt with Bone and fat. No matter what 380 I shot into newsprint, Sabers, dots, sometimes, often, they would clog, so I became disheartened a bit. My 9mm JHP would not clog on paper.

    What the Big hunk of meat taught me was that both 380 gold dots and sabers expand every time in a water and tissue based substance. The tissue did not clog the bullets, and the soaked fettucine underneath did not clog any bullets except the Federal hi shok. All the rounds were completely encrusted in Meat and blood and soggy pasta but Had expanded by the time it hit phonebook pages.

    To test against just paper is not a good test. 8 inches of newsprint is just not a fair medium for the 380. Will an opponent wear 8 inches of soaked newspaper? I prefer tests of something similar to what I will be shooting at in an emergency, flesh, fat, bone, blood. ( and pasta, ha ha)

    The question is will the bullets still expand in a butt roast with bone, covered in denim and a jacket? Will a think layer of clothing clog them up? I doubt it seriously, but that is for future testing.
     
  18. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Re: Bullet test today, Buffalo Gold dots and saber

    Thanks gatorhugger for the feed back on the GS. Well think I might just consider the Double Tap as a possible carry load because they suppositly have less recoil and are more controllable then the BB. Have you ever done any testing on theses?

    Tom j.