New Hornady Critical Defense

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by raymac1215, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi, I was at my LGS and asked if they had any .380 ammo. He smiled and asked how many and what kind !! He was loaded with ammo. He recommended a new bullet put out by Hornady. Hornady Critical Defense FTX ammunition . It eliminates clogging with the use of their special front insert and expands every time. He also said that it loads real nice in a P3AT due to it's design. I bought 2 boxes of 25 for $19.99 each. They look realy cool !! Hope they work as well as they look. Sorry I don't know how to insert pic but Hornady's web site shows them. Also he had five brand new P3AT's and one LCP in the case for cheap. $249 for P3AT and $289 for the LCP. He said the shortage looks like it's over for the .380 ammo. Hope he is right and that this has helped some of you folks. I was shakng when I left without buying another pistol... oh well...maybe next time. ;D
     
  2. risabee

    risabee Member

    236
    Jun 23, 2007
    Sir, there has been some discussion of these here and I think the general opinion here is they are the round that the P3AT was waiting for. I am down to only a very few and would love to find more. As things stand here just now I cannot practice with them. :(
     

  3. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Now that Buffalo Bore is loading their +P 380 with Sierra Bullets instead of Speer Gold Dots I'm going to try some Hornady Critical Defense. Let us know what you think of them after you try them. I'm going to look for some chrono data on them but I supposed that absolute velocity is not totally important as long as they expand!
     
  4. JB

    JB Guest

    Based on the promotional video I saw, the philosophy behind Hornady's Critical Defense line (a philosophy with which I agree) is that the average self-defense minded private citizen has different needs from those of agencies such as the FBI, etc.  In other words, a private citizen carrying a short-barreled .38, a pocket .380 or a small 9mm may not need a round that will penetrate a windshield and still get 12 inches of penetration on a BG.  Instead, a round that will accurately feed, fire and expand reliably with decent to very good penetration (not overpenetration) might be better.  Also, while the basics are the same each bullet is supposedly specifically designed for the caliber from which it will be fired.  In other words (if Hornady's claims are to be believed) these aren't bullets originally designed to perform out of a full-sized 9mm service pistol that have been scaled down to be loaded into a short-barreled .380 (or 9mm or .38 Special) pocket rocket.  Instead, they are designed for such handguns to begin with.

    GoldenLoki has done some gelatin testing of this ammo along with other ammo from a P3AT and the results can be seen here: http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm   I already carry CD in my .38 snubbie and will be getting some for the P3AT as soon as I find some at a non-jacked-up price.
     
  5. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hello,

    Hornady's Critical Defense bullets perform as advertised with moderate expansion and decent to excellent penatration.  I got ahold of some 9MM Luger Hornady's Critical Defense rounds and and did a bucket test of 9" of wet pack covered with 9" of water.   To forther test the claims I shot tghe rounds through 4 layer of cotton/kevlar sleeves designed to resist cutting.  The bullets expanded to 50-51 caliber and pentrated the water and dug 6" into the wetpack  for about 13.5" of gelatin equivalent penatration.  It looks to me that this would be a good round for winter use when you might have to deal with heavy clothing on an attacker.

    One shouldn't discount Gold Dot rounds in 380 they also have decent pentration in the 11-12" area and expand to 53-55 caliber.  Expansion can be a little spotty though, I've had instances were a petal or two hanot expanded or broken off.  I'm looking forward to testing the Hornady's Critical Defense rounds in 380.

    Thanks
     
  6. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Hi JB, Thanks for mentioning that video they have available on their site, it really does a nice job of explaining how the new ammo works.  I would recommend to at least look at the video. When I get a chance to shoot it I'll report on my opinion.  

    risabee if you are having trouble finding ammo PM me and I'll tell you the LGS that has plenty.   I was able to get a decent picture of the new ammo. It has a substance in the hollow point that forces it to open.

    [​IMG]
    Packaging of the FTX ammo

    [​IMG]
     
  7. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    152
    Feb 8, 2008
    Thanks for the link to the tests JB! Very informative but I was a little surprised by the total lack of expansion on the part of the 102 gr Remington Saber. This has been fairly highly touted by some people here and on other 380 sites. You might as well be shooting full metal jackets which have about the same penetration. They kind of remind me of the 88 gr Remington JHPs from Walmart. At least the Rem 88 gr are cheap and feed flawlessly and are OK for "breaking in" P3ATs.
     
  8. JB

    JB Guest

    I believe that a lot of folks have been pretty surprised by the performance of the Golden Saber in the P3AT.  I am certainly no ballistics expert but, personally, the performance based on GL's tests (and a few others I have seen but for which I do not have links) goes to illustrate exactly what I was talking about with regards to a bullet design that works great in larger calibers and/or longer-barreled pistols in the same caliber but that doesn't necessarily translate all that well to use in pocket pistols.
     
  9. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    I would love to see a retest of the Golden Saber. GL's tests were the only ones I have ever seen where they did poorly.

    Here is a LINK to some gel testing of the Golden Saber - out of a P-3AT no less.
     
  10. KelTex78

    KelTex78 New Member

    459
    Jan 10, 2009
    This is out of an LCP, not a P3AT, but performance should be about the same:

    This first Golden Saber was fired into water jugs and failed to expand.
    [​IMG]

    These were fired into wet phone books and expanded, but expansion was inconsistent.
    [​IMG]

    I will point out that Golden Saber is a very solid performer in the Bersa Thunder .380. The additional barrel length apparently provides enough velocity to provide very reliable expansion.

    The Hornady Critical Defense has demonstrated much more consistent expansion in both water jug and wet phone book testing.
    [​IMG]
    The far right hand round is banged up because it exited the bottom of the phone books and impacted the table I set my targets up on.
     
  11. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    233
    Aug 29, 2009
    I got some Hornady TAP for my 45. What's the difference between it and the CD ammo? Looks like they make both in .380.
     
  12. KelTex78

    KelTex78 New Member

    459
    Jan 10, 2009
    I bought some of the Hornady TAP in .380 from Cabela's (they claim it to be an exclusive). It looks like a standard XTP hollow point. I'm not sure if other calibers of TAP are the same. TAP does not have the soft rubber plug like the Critical Defense does. It expands differently, but still in a very consistent and controlled manner. This is the .380 TAP ammo after being fired into water jugs.

    [​IMG]

    I like the Hornady bullets for the short-barrel .380s; the limited expansion allows better penetration since you are already dealing with a less powerful round.
     
  13. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    I wonder if Remington changed the makeup of the .380 Golden Saber at some point? That would potentially explain the disparate testing results.
     
  14. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    233
    Aug 29, 2009
    I like the Golden Sabers because they feed every time in all my pistols, never a jam, ever. The bigger the cavity, the more liklihood of a jam for me.
     
  15. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    233
    Aug 29, 2009
  16. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    145
    Dec 31, 2008
    Has anyone had problems with the HCD new FTX round that claims to be the best for small pocket pistols. I bought 2 boxes but have not had the time to try them. I will not carry any ammo without trying it first and proving reliability. I see from the other site that someone stated you have to shave the rubber tip down or it acts like a brake. Any P3AT jams to report ? I thought I found great ammo, now I'm concerned.
     
  17. pocketgun

    pocketgun New Member

    May 4, 2005
    I would just test it as you said. One guys problems with a totally different caliber aren't necessarily yours. Hornady makes quality stuff.
     
  18. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Any idea how the HCD compares to the revered Corbon DPX. DPX has in the past been championed by many here.

    Well, I sorta answered my own question by looking at GL's website. It appears the DPX holds a slight edge on the HCD. Gold Dots seem to do well too, balanced with the realization that they don't always expand.

    Anyone have further insights?
     
  19. Checker4Tix

    Checker4Tix Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    It wasn't clear to me how many rounds were included in Brassfetcher's test. I assume multiple rounds were fired since he includes standard deviations on velocity, energy, weight retention and expansion. The picture of the expanded GS round seems rather ideal too.

    That said, I've been carrying GS's for a long time in my P3AT's. I think I recall reading how well they performed in a report by a guy who goes by the handle Gramps, OldGrandpa, or something like that on another board. Anyone know him (linky?)?
     
  20. tomwalshco

    tomwalshco New Member

    233
    Aug 29, 2009
    My 3AT likes Golden Sabers. I usually shoot a magazine full every trip to the range. Of course my little guy has never had a jam, on anything, ever. Which includes Wolf, Blazer alum, WWB, Federal, etc.