(from Dec 2014)
Twenty-Eighth in a series of a quest to find the overall best defensive ammunition for modern 9mm pocket pistols (such as the Sig Sauer P938, Taurus PT709, the Ruger LC9, Kahr CM9, Beretta Nano, Kel-Tec PF9 or S&W Shield or any other popular 9mm micro-pistol using a barrel length of approximately 3").
In this installment, I am testing the 147-grain Winchester "W" Train and Defend jacketed hollowpoint (part #W9MMD). It is rated on the box at 950 fps; my 9-shot average from the shorter 3"-barrel pistol produced an average of 881 fps. Note, that is about 50 fps slower than the recently-tested Winchester Ranger-T 147-grain rounds. Winchester says that they purposely down-loaded the "W" Defend cartridges for lower felt recoil.
I am chronographing the rounds as well as firing multiple rounds per block so that we get a more statistically relevant result, rather than the typical ammo test where only one round is fired. Ammo can behave a bit unpredictably, and the results of any one bullet are not necessarily representative of how the ammunition performs overall.
In this test, I fired five bullets into a bare gel block, and witnessed nearly perfect, ideal performance; all expanded and all penetrated to an average depth of 15.40", which is right in the middle of the desired 12"-18" range. I then fired five more rounds into a block of gel covered with 4 layers of IWBA-spec heavy denim, and witnessed another example of textbook perfect performance, with all five bullets penetrating to an average of 15.95" while expanding properly.
The purpose of this testing is to find which rounds of ammo perform well enough from a short 3" barrel that they can reliably deliver the penetration (with expansion) that has been documented and proven necessary in order for the bullet to be able to reach the vital organs of an attacker and deliver an incapacitating hit.