Round 3 - 9mm JHP's through Tshirts

All testing was done with a Glock 17.  Phone books were fully soaked for 16 hours.  Altitude was approximately 5200 feet, and temperature was about 70 degrees. 

I've put a CCI aluminum 115 grain ball round and some coins in the pictures for a sense of scale.  All rounds have been purchased in the past 9 months or sooner, so they should be of recent manufacture.

Regarding penetration:  In short, I screwed up the penetration measurements.  Some of the phonebooks either weren't soaked enough, or were of different material, or something to that effect as the numbers I got changed wildly when I switched out the first batch of shotup phonebooks out for a clean batch of phone books.  For example, on my first batch of phone books, the winchester 147gr white box penetrated 9 inches through 4 layers.  When I fired a WWB 147gr into 4 layers on the second batch of phone books as a control (after noticing the penetration numbers were way lower on the rounds in group 2 vs group 1), I got a penetration of 7 inches.  So when comparing penetration numbers here, do NOT compare group 1 penetration numbers to group 2 numbers.

I used a standard 100% cotton tshirt in my test.  Test #1 was two layers: The bullet had to cross the front of the shirt and the back of the shirt before hitting the phone books.  Test #2 was four layers:  I folded the tshirt in half, causing the bullet to cross effectively two tshirts before hitting the phone books.  Bullets on the left were 2 layer shots, bullets on the right are 4 layer shots.

As a final note, here's why you do NOT use FMJ's for defensive usage unless you have zero choice.  When i was finishing up my group 2 tests, I fired 2 124gr FMJ's through 2 layers and 4 layers, and the penetration numbers speak for themselves: 14.0" and 14.5".  Both bullets were totally undeformed, and looked like they could of been reused.

Group 1 Results

Golden Saber 124gr +p and Ranger RA9TA 127gr +p+

Comments:  The golden sabers did fine, though the Rangers surprised me with a core/jacket separation on the two layer test.  Both the jacket and core went pretty deep, so I wonder if it was just a hot round and the extra velocity made it shred apart.

2 layer 4 layer
Ranger T 127gr +p+ jacket 10.0" core 11.0" 8.5"
Golden Saber 124gr +p 8.5" 9.0"


Winchester White Box 147gr

Comments:  As in previous tests, these continue to impress me with their good performance with a budget price.

2 layer 4 layer
WWB 147gr 8.5" 9.0"

Federal Hydra-Shok 147gr

Comments:  I've not been a fan of Hydra's since my first batch of tests.  Surprisingly they (somewhat) redeem themselves here by having a flawless performance.  Still, I don't fully trust Hydra's in a SHTF situation due to the results I've had in the past.  Maybe the 5th round of testing (denim) will change my mind.

2 layer 4 layer
Hydra-Shok 147gr 9.5" 10.0"

Group 2 Results

Golden Saber 147gr  and Ranger RA9T 147gr 

Comments:  The Rangers left me a tad disapointed here,  I expected a bit better expansion.  The Golden Sabers were more uniform and plain bigger.
When I shot these 4 rounds and got the penetration numbers below, I also fired (not shown) a WWB 147gr as a control round through 4 layers to verify my penetration numbers.  The control round gave me 7" (as compared to the 9" in the first group), which is why I had to divide my penetration results into 2 groups.  

2 layer 4 layer
Ranger T 147gr  7.0" 7.5"
Golden Saber 147gr  6.0' 7.25"

Federal HST 124gr

Comments:  The 124gr HST's expanded decently, but their penetration was a bit on the low side.  This makes sense due to lower weight of the bullet compared to the 147gr varieties, and the fact that they aren't high velocity like the RA9TA +p+ rounds.  People looking for a round that expands well
but wanting to keep the over penetration risk down may want to consider the HST 124gr.

2 layer 4 layer
HST 124gr 5.75" 6.75"

Federal HST 147gr

Comments:  Finally, my favorite (and ccw carry ) round.  The Federal 147gr HST.  So powerful, it could take your head right off.  Well er, hopefully.  
Too many Dirty Harry movies lately :)  Decent penetration, with the typical HST huge expansion, they continue to impress me with their performance.

2 layer 4 layer
HST 147gr 6.25" 7.0"