(from Jul 2014)
Twenty-third in a series of a quest to find the overall best defensive ammunition for modern 9mm pocket pistols (such as the Sig Saur 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 Winchester PDX1 124-grain bonded jacketed hollow point bullets in +P pressure (part #S9MMPDB), and the similar Winchester Ranger 124-grain bonded JHP in +P (part #RA9BA)
This ammo was generously donated by one of my viewers, so thanks for that!
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 three bullets of PDX1 and three bullets of Ranger into a bare gel block, and then three more bullets of PDX1 and three more bullets of Ranger into a denim-covered gel block. We ended up with six bullets (three each) for each phase of the test.
In this test, both types of ammo performed well in the bare gel test, although penetration was on the low end of the acceptable scale (11.8" for Ranger, 12.1" for PDX1). The denim tests were more controversial, the Ranger failed to expand properly and one bullet completely plugged up and overpenetrated; the PDX1 saw two out of three bullets work properly but one failed to expand fully -- even so, none of the bullets overpenetrated.
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.