Time to buy some critical defense

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by patscrazy, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. patscrazy

    patscrazy Guest

    Feb 22, 2009
    So I was bored today, so I grabbed a bunch of gallon water jugs, a few guns, and headed out to the range.  I wanted to test the 102gr GS and the 90gr Fed HS rounds through the 4 layer denim test with my p3at.  This is the standard heavy clothing test.  Performance in heavy clothing is a concern where I live(MA).  I also brought my 642 loaded with DT's 125gr +p GD and my duty pistol, a Sig p229 dak in .357 sig, loaded with speer 125gr JHP.  I lined up the 6 jugs all touching then folded over a pair of jeans so I had the 4 layers and drapped them over the first jug, not too loose, not too tight.  I shot each shot from about 8 ft from the first jug.

    First up was the Keltec with the GS.  I found it in the third jug.  Only two petals of the brass jacket expanded, no expansion of the lead at all.  I know this is tough test for a .380 round but I was a little disappointed as this my carry round for this gun.  Which I carry a lot off duty and in my off hand pocket on duty as a last ditch bug. :'(  The only other JHP I had in the .380 was the Fed HS JHP.  Again I lined 6 jugs and covered it with 4 layers of denim and shot from about 8 feet.  I found the round in the 5th jug with absolutely no expansion at all.  I was not surprised by the lack of expansion with the denim with this particular round.  I was surprised that it out penetrated the heavier GS.  

    My other off duty/on duty bug gun I use quite frequently is my SW 642.  I usually load it with DT's 125gr +p GD JHP.  I have always liked this round as it is soft shooting compared to 158gr +p and according to DT it does about 12.75"pen .675" exp in denim covered ballastic gel.  I though for sure I would be happy with its performance.  Not so much.  Penetration was great, found it in the fifth jug.  When I saw that I was psyched.  When I got it out, I was shocked.  No expansion at all.  You could reload this thing!  This bullet is designed to expand down to 800fps.  I know it going faster than that.  The box and website claim 1075fps from a 1.875" barrel.  I didn't think the denim would hurt this rounds performance so bad.  DT must have posted tests from a 4" barrel.  I'm going to try this round again at a later date before I ditch it for Speer GD or Corbon DPX or Hornady CD.

    Just for sh*ts and giggles I brought along my new duty gun, a Sig p229 DAK in .357 sig.  We just switched from old SW .40's, the 4043.  Man this gun is sweet.  Just like the others, lined up six jugs covered the first in 4 layers of denim.  BOOM!  First two jugs were obliterated. ;D The performance was stellar as expected.  Found it in the fifth jug, perfectly expanded.  Expansion was .563".  Very happy with this as my duty round.  

    So, now I'm seriously considering the Hornady CD for the Keltec.  I have seen a lot of other backyard tests with the GS were it usually comes up near the top.  But I think to get good penetration, relative to this caliber, and consistent expansion in heavy clothed bad guys, I think the Hornady round is the way to go.  I see no reason not to switch as cost is the same and it performs more consistently.  

    I realize that this testing is about unscientific as unscientific gets. It was done to show how different rounds perform across the same test.  And because it was fun.
  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Good post, I always like to hear people's test results. I am thinking the Critical Defence or Buffalo Bore's Gold Dots. The BB has more energy than any other 380 I can find about 220ft lbs out of a P3AT. CD shows 200 ft lbs on the Hornady web page but they don't give a barrel length. I hope to get my hands on a box of each and try them out myself, I wonder if the BB will clog with heavy clothing.

    Welcome to KTOG

  3. Texas_Red

    Texas_Red New Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    That Hornady ammo looks like the real stuff. Too bad it seems to be in such short supply. I haven't been able to locate a source anywhere, locally or online.
  4. patscrazy

    patscrazy Guest

    Feb 22, 2009
    Thanks CJ.  I have tried BB hard cast load but not the BB gold dot.  Beats the crap out of my gun. After shooting those I noticed some wear on the frame just below the feed ramp.  On cold days that sucker stings like son of gun with those rounds.  Something I noticed too was when you shoot one the next one had a nasty gash in the bullet.  I assume it was caused by the heavy recoil and the bullet slamming against the feed ramp before it chambers.  Not really sure, I was hoping someone with more experience could explain why this happens.  Anyone else experience this?  Anyway, no more of those in my gun.  I also have tried corbon 90gr +p JHP which also have much more snap to them.  My gun didn't like them as I kept experiencing FTE's.  

    The BB GD does look promising but I really feel these +p rounds are not good in my Keltec.  Never the less I love doing these kinds of tests so in the near future I will test the BB GD, the Hornady CD and a very interesting round, DT's new controlled expansion 95gr. JHP, which is not a gold dot like their last loading.  Fun stuff. :)
  5. FatCat

    FatCat New Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    You should be able to find some at ammunitiontogo.com. I just bought 150 rounds last week.
  6. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005

    It seems illogical, but there seems to be an oddity I term "over-velocity".

    This is when a particular bullet as the velocity increases, seems to expand quite well, then as the velocity continues to increase the expansion begins to diminish again (over-velocity). In other words; some bullets seem to have an optimum velocity for best expansion, both BELOW and ABOVE the optimum velocity the expansion is not as good.

    I have seen this oddity in other terminal ballistic tests as well as in yours.

    One of the reasons that some of the petals didn't expand out of the P-3AT may be that some of the petals were deformed due to smileys. I have seen this in other tests also.

  7. pointpro

    pointpro New Member

    May 9, 2005
    I've been backorder from ammotogo going on 3 weeks now. They emailed me wanting to give me power ball instead of cd, told them I'd wait a little while longer
  8. diamond_jim

    diamond_jim New Member

    Oct 28, 2008
    I got a new Cabelas shooting catalog today, and on the back page they advertised Hornady CD. Jim <><
  9. Texas_Red

    Texas_Red New Member

    Aug 5, 2008

    Just checked their website. They list Cor-Bon and Glaser, but no Hornady.  

    And, to make matters worse, I just checked Cheaper Than Dirt and Midway, and they're both completely out of any kind of 380 ammo whatsoever. Midway's status shows they expect to receive Hornady Critical Defense by May 16th. :(