(from Sep 2014)
Twenty-Fifth 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 105-grain Federal Premium Guard Dog, an Expanding Full Metal Jacket bullet.
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 four performed excellently but one failed to expand. I then fired another bullet into another gel block, but this time had it pass through four sheets of 1/2" drywall (effectively simulating two interior house walls). The bullet easily busted through all the sheets of drywall, and penetrated the gel a full 9 inches, meaning that it could very easily pose a lethal threat to anyone who may have been in a room on the other side of two walls.
I didn't bother with denim testing, because there's no point, really -- the Expanding FMJ design of the Guard Dog doesn't involve a hollowpoint to get clogged, so a denim test would be irrelevant.
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.