I was really surprised by the results of this test. This was my first opportunity to shoot through a barrier other than simple 2 or 4 layers of denim. Two layers of denim never caused a significant impact on bullet expansion in previous tests. 4 layers of denim would impact some of the slower and lighter 380 Auto bullets, but didn’t really stress calibers 9mm or larger. The leather was a real game changer and proved to be a significant barrier that impeded the expansion performance of everything except the .357 Sig.
All recovered rounds were within 1 grain of their published bullet weight. All rounds penetrated at least 16″. As I mentioned in the .357 Sig video, it was the only bullet that had to be pulled from the gel block. The 9mm and 40 S&W bullet noses both cleared the block and were ultimately stopped by the phone book backing the gel block. I wouldn’t say that any tested load was a failure.
The epiphany for me was the performance of the .357 Sig load. Prior to this test, I had never shot .357 Sig, so I had only heard about it’s terminal performance virtues from tests others have done. I generally dismissed the round as an expensive niche caliber. To see it preform as it did under similar conditions as the 9mm and 40 S&W test shots was the real ah-ha moment when I discovered something new. For me, the ah-ha moments have always been the payoff from my testing.
I don’t think this should be a condemnation of 9mm and .40 S&W as it should be a call for more tests involving more cartridges including ammo that isn’t Speer Gold Dots. While they may be very commonly-issued to law enforcement, we’ve all seen tests demonstrate how similarly different bullets often perform (and fail to perform) regardless of caliber.
But it is interesting nonetheless. Read the whole thing at Pocket Guns & Gear.