Wetpack Test: DPX, GD, GS, Ranger-T, etc.

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by DT_Willy, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy Guest

    Nov 16, 2004
    Just completed my latest wetpack test, a comparison of the top .380acp hollowpoints. Included were the Corbon DPX, Speer Gold Dot, Remington Golden Saber, Winchester Ranger-T. I also threw in the new Wolf brass-cased HP (Wolf Gold) for good measure. The main goal of this test was to see how these brands compared head-to-head in the same medium at the same time and place. Expansion and penetration, the two key performance indicators, were measured in a carefully prepared pack of super-saturated newsprint (soaked, in this case, for 8 hours), shot from my 1G P3AT from a distance of 10 feet. This approach is consistent with the prior five .380acp wetpack tests I have posted here at KTOG.

    And the results are....

    Not so fast. First, any predicitions from you KTOG ballistics junkies? Gotta build the proper level of suspense.
  2. ront

    ront New Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    I am pretty new to this round so I really have no idea, but I am sure looking forward to your results!!

    Thanks, Ron

  3. kraigster414

    kraigster414 New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    Dave, post the d--n results or I'm on the next plane to Denver! ;D
  4. z71bill

    z71bill New Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    I am pulling for the Gold Dots - am thinking about buying a case from Ammoman.com -
  5. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    My guess;

    1. Corbon DPX
    2. Speer Gold Dot
    3. Remington Golden Saber
    4. Winchester Ranger-T
    5. Wolf Gold
  6. Rubb

    Rubb Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    DPX wins Expansion
    Rem. GS wins penetration

    Wolf wins both :-X(gotta root for the underdog)
  7. spud

    spud New Member

    Aug 3, 2006
    Gold Dot for expansion and DPX for penetration.
  8. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack New Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    Well, we know from the "stoppingpower" gelatin test that the Gold Dot was the better penetrator and the DPX was the better expander.

    Now we will find out how they do in wet paper.
  9. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy Guest

    Nov 16, 2004
    Congratulations to the lucky winner, Bobo. Right on the money, sir. Your special reward will be forthcoming. Please, however, don't hold your breath.

    OK. Down to business. First it is important to remember that penetration in wetpack is approximately 2/3 of what it would be in ballistic gelatin. I have applied this factor to the wetpack numbers to arrive at estimated penetration in gelatin. As for the expansion numbers, all expanded rounds were measured at the widest point with vernier calipers.

    1. Corbon DPX (Penet.: 6.0" wetpack, 9.0"gel; Expan: .66")

    2. Speer Gold Dot (P: 6.0" wet, 9.0" gel; E: .49")

    3. Remington Golden Saber (P: 4.9" wet, 7.4" gel; E:

    4. Winchester Ranger-T (P: 4.7" wet, 7.0" gel; E: .60"

    5. Wolf Gold HP (P: 7.4" wet, 11.1" gel; E: none

    A few notes and comments. I fired two rounds each of the GS and GD, which I haven't fully tested before; one of the DPX and Ranger-T, which I have tested more than once (all tests of these rounds
    were quite consistent). The expansion of all rounds was full and symmetrical, excepting the Wolf, which had no expansion whatsoever. The Golden Saber round, which was disappointing in penetration, showed no sign of jacket separation or fragmentation, as it had in other tests. Nonetheless, i was expecting better performance.

    All in all, the Corbon DPX still appears to be the best HP currently made in .380acp, with the best expansion AND penetration numbers. Whether 9" (or 10" in other gel tests) is enough, is for you to decide.
  10. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy Guest

    Nov 16, 2004
    A few other points of clarification are in order:

    1. The size of the sampling (1 or 2 rounds) is small, and is driven in this case by both time and cost. I have, on the other hand, tested the the DPX, Ranger, and Gold Dot at other times here. The results are consistent with this test. The main purpose of this test was to see how all the brands compared head-to-head.

    2. No current hollow-point round will penetrate as well as a decent FMJ round. On the other hand, the wound channel and destruction caused by some of the best HPs is significantly greater.

    3. The most important thing to remember is that the round you choose should be reliable in YOUR gun. Hopefully, you'll shoot a number of rounds of your chosen ammo before you carry it. Better yet, run your own comparison tests in wetpack or water jugs and see what happens for YOU.

    4. FYI, check out my other wetpack tests here at KTOG:


    Best, DT Willy
  11. Packer

    Packer Guest

    May 14, 2005
      Thanks, DT_Willy for an excellent test! No surprise about the DPX. Obviously the Wolf round was factory developed for longer barrels than P3AT.

      A head to head test like this is valuable for comparison purposes. It would have been nice to have  a FMJ round also, for penetration comparison.

    Some of us like to stagger our rounds.

  12. 98_1LE

    98_1LE New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
    Thanks for sharing this info!
  13. duffiedoo

    duffiedoo Guest

    Aug 2, 2005
    thank you sir. ;D
  14. kraigster414

    kraigster414 New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    Good job Dave!  I have all my guns stoked with the Corbons from .380 to .45 ACP.  Every test that I have seen, yours included, indicates that this is an oustanding defensive round and breaths a bit more life (and respect) into the often maligned .380 caliber.  The P3AT remains primarily a back-up weapon for me but I feel better now thatI have a Corbon DPX loaded in the pipe. The runners-up ain't no slouches either.  You could do a lot worse.  :)
  15. z71bill

    z71bill New Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Very good info - sure wish I had a place to do this type of test.

    Any opinion on the impact of the different bullet weights. If two cartridges are close is the heavy one better?

    I think the weights are:
    DPX 80GR
    GS 88
    GD 90
    Wolf 94
    R-T 95

    For example the GD is 12.5% heavier than the DPX does that account for anything - help overcome the greater expansion of the DPX?
  16. Bobo

    Bobo Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 13, 2005
    Thanks DT - confirmed my suspicions.

    I'll continue to carry my Santa Barbara/Gold Dot mix until I can replace the Gold Dot with DPX at a reasonable price.

    I'm glad you told me I could stop holding my breath, I was beginning to turn blue! No need to send me my generous prize, you can keep it in payment for your kindness in sharing your test results with us. ;D It's the very least I could do! ;D
  17. DT_Willy

    DT_Willy Guest

    Nov 16, 2004
    Packer, check the Santa Barbara test link mentioned above. 12" wetpack; 18" estimated gelatin. A good FMJ will probably penetrate twice as far as a HP round. Alternating both in a mag seems like the "best of both worlds" IF..IF..IF.. this configuration is THOROUGHLY tested for reliability!!

    As for the question about heavy vs. light rounds, I'm not gonna touch this can of worms. This is a debate that will never end. Theoretical arguments based on physics don't interest me as much as actual results.
  18. kraigster414

    kraigster414 New Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    On this subject, I was wondering if anyone has tried using Ballistic Technology's "The Bullet Test Tube" available at Brownells. It's a $70 testing medium kit (reuseable over and over again) for measuring penetration, retained bullet weight, and wound cavity size (handguns).
  19. z71bill

    z71bill New Member

    Aug 15, 2006
    Can of worms? Only if the fish are biting!

    Not trying to start a debate - just trying to learn something new.

    I will admit I do look at things a little (ok a lot) different than most.

    To me theory would be shooting into gelatin or wet newsprint - theory would be looking at feet per second and foot pounds and then predicting that the cartridge with the highest FPS or the greatest foot pounds - or the deepest penetration in gelatin or newprint with the largest expansion = best stopping power.

    But in reality if it was that simple then it would be like adding 1+1, the result would always be the same (2?).
  20. Packer

    Packer Guest

    May 14, 2005