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Hydro-Shok vs Hollow Point?

This is a discussion on Hydro-Shok vs Hollow Point? within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Can someone explain to me what the difference is? I have a box of Federal Hydro-Shok 135GR JHP, and a box of Speed Gold Dot ...


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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:15 PM   #1
 
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Hydro-Shok vs Hollow Point?

Can someone explain to me what the difference is? I have a box of Federal Hydro-Shok 135GR JHP, and a box of Speed Gold Dot 124GR GDHP. I tried looking on net for an explanation of the difference between the 2 rounds.

Basically I am looking for a good Home defense round that has good stopping power and doesn't have the ability to punch threw the target and have enough power to hit an innocent bystander. From what I can get from the internet, Hydro-Shok rounds are what I am looking for.

These rounds are for a Ruger SR9. Any feedback is appreciated!



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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #2
 
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Personally, I don’t like either. My criteria for a SD weapon was BULLET performance, and the high priced so called SD rounds do NOT work every time.

The link below shows a ND with a Hydra Shok round. By rights, he should NOT have had much of a leg left.

http://negligentdischarge.com/leg.html

Everyone has their own preferences. Since my SD weapon is a revolver, the bullet I use is not available for autoloaders. One of the many reasons I changed to revolvers many years ago.

Chris
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Old January 8th, 2009, 01:45 PM   #3
 
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The premium SD rounds, including the two you mentioned, work about the same. Some a little better than others, but it still comes down to shot placement. I don't think you'll wrong with either if you plan on using a handgun for home defense.
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Old January 8th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varmiter View Post
Personally, I don’t like either. My criteria for a SD weapon was BULLET performance, and the high priced so called SD rounds do NOT work every time.

The link below shows a ND with a Hydra Shok round. By rights, he should NOT have had much of a leg left.

http://negligentdischarge.com/leg.html

Everyone has their own preferences. Since my SD weapon is a revolver, the bullet I use is not available for autoloaders. One of the many reasons I changed to revolvers many years ago.

Chris
Do you think maybe the point blank range of the weapon, and the high caliber(.45), and high grain(260) might have contributed to the Hydro-Shok having enough energy to push threw all that tissue? If Hydro-Shoks and Hollow points don't work well, how about Glaser safety slugs? I am not really worried about stopping power. Hopefully 1 well placed round, no matter what the bullet type, should give you enough stopping power. My concern is the bullet leaving the intended target, and having enough energy to punch threw drywall/door and harm an innocent bystander.

What do Law enforcement use? surely they must have the same concern. Again, I am looking for something that would be safe to stop an intended target, but not have enough energy to harm a bystander.

I am not trying to dismiss this story, I am just trying to understand how the heck a hollow point round traveled threw all that tissue.

Last edited by Bummed; January 8th, 2009 at 10:39 PM.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #5
 
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What anyone else uses is really irrelevant to you. You, yourself, must make the decision.

To fully understand what happened in the link I provided, one must understand the dynamics of a bullet when it contacts the target.

The biggest obstacle to real bullet performance is (generally) the jacket. The jacket’s purpose is finished when the bullet leaves the barrel. But as we know, the jacket continues with the lead part of the bullet. The strength of this jacket (too strong) is what inhabits real performance within the target.

The best SD round is a deep hollow point that is unjacketed. However, this type of round is not suitable in an autoloader. So the autoloader must use a jacketed round. Therein is the problem. The jackets are entirely too strong to allow full expansion in EVERY instance, as the link showed.

The poor fellow who had this ND was cleaning his gun when it happened. Not only in his case, but in every case, when the bullet leaves the barrel, it does so at the maximum velocity it will ever achieve. Since the bullet was at max velocity, it begs the question, “Why were there only clean holes in his leg?”, when most of his leg should have disappeared. The answer is clearly “bullet performance” or better yet, the lack thereof.

For an autoloader, the only round, of the numerous I’ve tested over the years, that performs mostly as advertised is the EFMJ. For a revolver, the easiest choice is the SJHP.

As to a Glazer, once again, it will all depend on the strength of the jacket as to bullet performance. Once again, whether they perform or not, ultimately depends on the strength/hardness of the jacket.

In any manufacturing process, there will be wide variances in the end product that will not only be dependent on the tolerances of manufacturing process itself, but also the tolerances of the materials used in that process. As can be seen all too often, the sum of tolerances that may exist between manufacturers can ultimately lead to an inferior product.

Bottom line?. Each of us have our opinions, none of which you may find suitable. Each of us ultimately have to make our own decisions. I have made mine, but I guarantee there will be those who feel differently.

So:

Each of us will know our answer to “How long is a piece of string”? Each and every answer will be different. Only one is correct, and that is your answer which applies to you

Sorry, there is no definitive answer that will hold true in every situation.

Chris
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Old January 9th, 2009, 09:03 AM   #6
 
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What I would like to do is to be able to test different rounds using some sort of material though could mimic soft tissue. But I know that isn't really possible without spending boatloads of cash.

That is why I came here to ask. I figured someone in the community might have insight on what bullet performs the best for a SD round.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #7
 
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The Federal HST has a good rep and can be bought at ammunition to go for $19.95/50 plus shipping, which is about half of most of the others in cost. They have had 124 gr HST +p and 147 gr HST +p, but I think the +p 147 gr is gone now. I have about 6 boxes of each on hand. I guess the standard load is ok too. There are a bunch of photos of the fired bullet showing some great expansion.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 04:22 AM   #8
 
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Good point to remember

As Former Detroit Police Officer, Evan Marshall said over on his Forum, in that not so subtle way,

"remember the 3 most important components of stopping power is:

1. bullet placement
2. bullet placement
3. bullet placement"
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Old January 25th, 2009, 03:47 AM   #9
 
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Here's a link that will tell you quite a lot about what you want to know.
http://www.brassfetcher.com/9mm%20Luger.html
The hydra-shok isn't tested in 9mm, but there is a lot to compare that bullet against in the .45 ACP tests:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/45ACP.html
In my own testing of 9mm bullets, I have found that there is really little difference between one JHP and another.
Varmiter has some interesting ideas, however... Generally speaking, the jackets are pretty strong, but if you look closely at different JHP designs, you see that most of them have what look like pre-cut lines to help in the controlled expansion of the bullet. These are called "skives". The bullet core material is generally a lead alloy that would be too soft to use without a jacket. The idea is that the tough jacket and the soft lead work together to give you good expansion and penetration. In the 9mm tests, you see that nothing tested works as well as the 147 gr. Rem. Golden Saber.
This may actually work "too well" with your concern for over penetration.
Glaser safety slugs have been pretty much disproven as effective stoppers. They probably hurt a whole bunch, but they just don't do enough damage to debilitate a miscreant who wants to hurt you back.
Very interesting results with the Fed. 105 gr. expanding FMJ:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/9x19mm%2...%20Jacket.html
That's great for a hi-tech bullet, but I think your whole concern would be answered by just about any 115 gr. JHP that you can find.
I won't go into anything about handloads, since I guess that you don't reload, and it's not the best idea for SD ammo anyway, due to accountability.
I've seen a good number of LE who have used the hydra-shock, and it's true that they don't perform any different than any other JHP. I never have figured out what that goofy center post is for.
For my own SD ammo, I do hand load. I prefer either the 124 gr. Rem. Golden Saber or the standard Rem. 124 gr. JHP, both loaded to a MV of about 1,250 fps. This is close to .357 mag. performance from the same sized gun. Here in Nevada, it's legal to kill a home invader. I don't ever want to shoot anyone, but if anyone is ever stupid enough to make that happen, he certainly won't do it again.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Average Joe View Post
Here's a link that will tell you quite a lot about what you want to know.
http://www.brassfetcher.com/9mm%20Luger.html
The hydra-shok isn't tested in 9mm, but there is a lot to compare that bullet against in the .45 ACP tests:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/45ACP.html
In my own testing of 9mm bullets, I have found that there is really little difference between one JHP and another.
Varmiter has some interesting ideas, however... Generally speaking, the jackets are pretty strong, but if you look closely at different JHP designs, you see that most of them have what look like pre-cut lines to help in the controlled expansion of the bullet. These are called "skives". The bullet core material is generally a lead alloy that would be too soft to use without a jacket. The idea is that the tough jacket and the soft lead work together to give you good expansion and penetration. In the 9mm tests, you see that nothing tested works as well as the 147 gr. Rem. Golden Saber.
This may actually work "too well" with your concern for over penetration.
Glaser safety slugs have been pretty much disproven as effective stoppers. They probably hurt a whole bunch, but they just don't do enough damage to debilitate a miscreant who wants to hurt you back.
Very interesting results with the Fed. 105 gr. expanding FMJ:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/9x19mm%2...%20Jacket.html
That's great for a hi-tech bullet, but I think your whole concern would be answered by just about any 115 gr. JHP that you can find.
I won't go into anything about handloads, since I guess that you don't reload, and it's not the best idea for SD ammo anyway, due to accountability.
I've seen a good number of LE who have used the hydra-shock, and it's true that they don't perform any different than any other JHP. I never have figured out what that goofy center post is for.
For my own SD ammo, I do hand load. I prefer either the 124 gr. Rem. Golden Saber or the standard Rem. 124 gr. JHP, both loaded to a MV of about 1,250 fps. This is close to .357 mag. performance from the same sized gun. Here in Nevada, it's legal to kill a home invader. I don't ever want to shoot anyone, but if anyone is ever stupid enough to make that happen, he certainly won't do it again.
Thanks for the great info Joe! I can't imagine living in a state where you can't shoot a home invader! What are you suppose to do? Ask the invader to please leave as soon as possible?!
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Old January 25th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #11
 
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If you are looking for expansion, the new Hornaday Critical Defense seems to deliver it in spades. 9mm isn't going to penetrate nearly as much as a .357 or .45. I've heard some people really rave about Corbon DPX, but I really don't think there is any such thing as a "magic bullet." If you hit someone in the right place using any of the brands of premium SD ammo you are going to hurt them very badly.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:27 AM   #12
 
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I for one don't worry over if my bullet is going to expand, I do worry over shot placement. For me most of the time it's a revolver thats on me, and depending on caliber its loaded with some form of Semi-wadcutter. In .38 its the original 158gr SWCHP+P. It has a track record only surpassed by .45ACP. My other caliber is .44spl, it is loaded with Federal 200gr SWCHP. It may not expand out of a 3" barrel, but it sure will but a hurt on anything it hits. When I carry a 9MM its loaded with the HST 124gr +P load. Again though its not about the majic bullet, but shot placement. As a friend from another forum used to say, and I quote, " Shot placement is King, Penetration is Queen, Everything else is Angels dancing on the head of a pin."
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Old January 26th, 2009, 04:43 AM   #13
 
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Well shucks, Argyle. I kinda' half hoped that posting all those links to brassfetcher would compel some of us to actually do a teensy bit of research.
The .357 did in fact penetrate more than 9mm, but the .45 ACP penetrates appreciably LESS.
The simple truth is that any of the three will do EXACTLY the same thing with proper shot placement, and none of the three will do anything at all without it.
In the case of the 9mm, a good hot load is required, but that was the original designed intent.
Your point of hurting them bad is the whole of it, and this would include quite a list of calibers and loads, with 9mm and .38 +P as the minimum.
If I could find as much 10mm auto brass laying around as I find 9 x 19, I might prefer that caliber. The same could be said for .38 Super.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 01:16 PM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Average Joe View Post
Well shucks, Argyle. I kinda' half hoped that posting all those links to brassfetcher would compel some of us to actually do a teensy bit of research.
(chuckling) Actually, AJ, I've done so much research that it makes my head hurt and my eyes cross, and about the only other effect it has had has been to lead me to the conclusion that a question like "what is the best load" is unanswerable and has no answer. It's a bit like "Ford, GM, or Mopar", "Coke or Pepsi", or "boxers or briefs." There are too many variables to take into account, and too many subjective judgements.

I've done quite a bit of testing on my own using dry paper (phone books) as a medium and studying the results to learn what I can. I've posted a few of these results but eventually stopped because I got tired of being bitched out because I was using dry paper instead of ballistic gelatin or wet pack.

What happens when a bullet hits something may look simple, but it is actually quite complex. The bullet leaves the muzzle of the gun with a certain amount of Mechanical Energy, which is Kinetic Energy, and that amount of ME dictates how much "work" the bullet can do. Everything the bullet does after it leaves the gun consumes some of the ME "budget" that it leaves the gun with.

In order to really understand what is going on with "expansion", it is necessary to understand the both the mechanics which cause it and the purpose. Mechanically, expansion is caused by higher hydrostatic or hydraulic pressure inside the cavity in the tip of the bullet than outside. As the bullet travels forward and traps fluid in its cavity, the pressure inside that cavity rises and forces the petals of the bullet to open - in the same way a hydraulic cylinder forces the plunger rod out. The "work" of opening the petals absorbs or uses some of the Mechanical Energy available from the bullet. That is part of the reason why there is always a tradeoff between expansion and penetration. If you want to get an idea of how much ME is being consumed to expand the bullet, you could take a larger caliber HP bullet, put it in vise, then use a pair of needle-nose vice grips to bend each petal outward. The amount of energy you have to exert to bend the petals comes directly out of the forward momentum of the bullet.

In my tests I discovered a lot of interesting things which might not be self evident. I got one result which would explain perfectly the situation Varmiter described where the guy shot himself in the leg with a .45 Hydra Shok which did not expand.

I started out shooting at single phone book to see which loads would shoot completely through one full book. I did not expect .22s, for example, to penetrate a complete book and they didn't. Neither did most .380s or .38s. Virtually all .40s and .357s did. (at that time I did not have a .45 acp.)

The one surprising result came from a .45 LC. When I shot it at a single book it went all the way through, but when I shot it at 2 books stacked together it did not go all the way through one book. The difference was that in the first book the "exit" hole was a huge tear more than 3" in diameter. With a 2nd book behind it, there was too much support to tear the paper when the bullet slowed enough to change from penetrating the paper to simply pushing it.

So, my guess regarding why the Hydra Shok did not expand in the man's leg is because there was not enough back-pressure or resistance - it hit and deformed the flesh and simply pushed it out of the way and there was no chance for enough pressure to build up inside the cone to expand the bullet. It was in and out before the pressure could build up enough to cause any expansion.

Taking the name of the "Hydra Shok" cartridge literally, what does it mean? If you want to see a simple example of what Hydro Shock is, fill your kitchen sink part of the way with water. Take your hand and hit the water with a karate chop. You will create some waves, but your hand will generally slice quite cleanly into the water. Next, take the flat of your hand and "slap" the surface of the water as hard as you can. Not only will your hand sting like blazes, you will slop a lot of water out of the sink as the shock wave travels out from the point of impact. If you had about a foot of water, I am sure you could karate chop all the way to the bottom of the sink. However, I don't care how strong you are, I don't think you could drive a flat hand all the way to the bottom of 12" of water.

I once read a very graphic description of the effects of hydrostatic shock - a LEO shot a BG in the head and the hydrostatic shock literally blew his eyeballs out of his head.

All these variable and more have to be juggled when trying to answer "what is the best load." Iowegan has posted some information that it requires a minimum velocity to develop enough hydrostatic pressure to cause a hollowpoint to expand. Any bullet traveling below this velocity is going to act like ball ammo, maybe just a little more blunted and will penetrate less deeply (just like a dull knife as opposed to a sharp knife - the flat of your hand versus the edge of your hand) but will impart more hydrostatic shock.

So, coming up with a "best load" requires specifying "best load for WHAT?" Tests in ballistic gel, or water jugs, or paper (wet or dry) are simply simulations of the effect that load is going to have on flesh - and require some huge leaps of reasoning. Here is the rationale behind the '12" FBI standard.'
Quote:
Briefly, the performance standards are simple. A handgun bullet must consistently penetrate a minimum of 12 inches of tissue in order to reliably penetrate vital organs within the human target regardless of the angle of impact or intervening obstacles such as arms, clothing, glass, etc. Penetration of 18 inches is even better. Given minimum penetration, the only means of increasing wound effectiveness is to make the hole bigger. This increases the amount of vital tissue damaged, increases the chance of damaging vital tissue with a marginally placed shot, and increases the potential for quicker blood loss. This is important because, with the single exception of damaging the central nervous system, the only way to force incapacitation upon an unwilling adversary is to cause enough blood loss to starve the brain of its oxygen and/or drop blood pressure to zero. This takes time, and the faster hemorrhage can occur the better.

The FBI Ammunition Test Protocol is a series of practically oriented tests to measure a bullet's ability to meet these performance standards. The result is an assessment of a bullet's ability to inflict effective wounds after defeating various intervening obstacles commonly present in law enforcement shootings. The overall results of a test are thus indicative of that specific cartridge's suitability for the wide range of conditions in which law enforcement officers engage in shootings.
SD is by definion not LE. Most SD shootings do not take place in the same sorts of conditions that LEOs encounter. Thus, the FBI protocols, statistics on penetration, etc. are at best rough guidelines for choosing a SD round - which most of the time will be used at close range and without intervening obstacles.

With that in mind, the goal would seem to be - the largest possible wound while at the same time achieving adequate penetration without over-penetration. That means that in the smaller calibers - like .380 - one would want to go with a round that penetrates better since overpenetration is rarely a problem with the lighter rounds. As one moves up the power scale, a better expanding bullet both increases wounding effectivesness and works to prevent over-expansion.

Based on all the above, I think one of the best possible SD rounds would be the new Hornady Critical Defense in .38 spl +P. You will get guaranteed expansion, and the +P load will still give enough penetration to assure a horrible wound, and profuse bleeding which will rapidly lower blood pressure.

Last edited by argyle; January 26th, 2009 at 03:37 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #15
 
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It is interesting in how many "best this" or "ultimate that" questions come along. It doesn't matter if you are talking about caliber, bullet or load.

There is [SIZE="3"]NO[/SIZE] one ultimate: load, bullet, or caliber.

Is that one or several that are superior to many others? Absolutely. But you can pick ANY of the ones classed as superior and find a set of circumstances where that - one - is actually inferior.

Conclusion:
Pick one that does most of what you want, at a price you are willing to pay, and SMILE.

That's as good as it will get for you, or me, or anyone else.
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