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Hornady Critical Defense fail

This is a discussion on Hornady Critical Defense fail within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I normally carry Hornady Critical Defense in my LCP but after doing some research I decided to run a little test. A lot of people ...


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Old February 18th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #1
 
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Hornady Critical Defense fail

I normally carry Hornady Critical Defense in my LCP but after doing some research I decided to run a little test. A lot of people seem to bash the .380 in general and some feel expanding loads in this gun is really pointless.
1. This test was NOT done under any scientific conditions.
2. More testing needs to be done

2 different targets set up-one at 10' with a heavy towel to simulate heavy clothing, followed by a pine board that was 3/4" thick to simulate bone, followed by 10" of wet magazines.
The second target was the same combination but instead of pine board, a particle board was used(just to see if there would be any difference in penetration--and target was less than 5' away.

I fired a total of 21 rounds-simulating a fully loaded LCP. Granted these bullets did not pass through human tissue & blood BUT IMO I believe the Hornady load was a failure based on the bullets I was able to recover. ALL of them had no problem penetrating the boards and the wet paper and some keep on going and were not recovered--but not a single one of the ones I recovered expanded--not one. They most certainly may expand in real tissue and the gelatin tests. I'm going to buy some other brands to test for function and will try some other tests with the Hornady-if they fail I'm going back to standard proven hollowpoints or FMJ's. I also may just relegate the gun to back up duty only. I fully know the capabilities and limitations of the .380 and it's not my only defense gun. I really like Hornady ammo but I believe it may be a lot more hype that fact when it comes to what this stuff does--dunno that there have been any real shootings with this ammo yet to know.





this is also posted in the ccw section under carry ammo.



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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #2
 
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Try something more similar to soft tissue between the cloth and bone simulator. Maybe wood is not something that generally expands ammunition types and it is either taking too much energy from the round, or dis forming the round so it can't expand. Just my 2 cents, but I like the idea!
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #3
 
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Try shooting them into Duct Seal Putty.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #4
 
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Thats exactly right. the problem is not only the wood,but also the magazines. let me first say that Hornady crtical defense, by their own admission, isnt designed to perform after penetrating hard objects, its made to expand into flesh through clothing. (something that any modern HP does just fine, btw)

That said. I tried 3 different HP rounds from my 9mm into a really thick catalog (4k+ pages) none expanded, but only the hornady had a core/jacket separation. For some reason I had been under the impression that hornady critical defense was a bonded round, but it turns out its not. I used to load horady in my defense guns, ive since switched to speer gold dot.

basicaly, I dont think the problem is your caliber, its your test.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #5
 
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Ah cool will try that. I figured the board would be at least close to bone--but of course a bullet has to pass through skin & tissue before it hits bone--so maybe it will expand before. I will say that the magazines it did penetrate were blown out-eventhough the bullets didn't expand they would have caused some tissue tearing. I'll give the putty a try too. I was at least happy that there was plenty of penetration- so the bullet in theory can get to the vitals-the pine board was pretty tough-would bet as strong or stronger than human sternum bones. I also have to realize this ammo was never designed to shoot through barriers like police ammo. It does give one something to think about though when buying ammo.

dacaur--definately like Speer Gold Dots too-have used their ammo in .38 Special and .41 Mag. I too thought the Hornady was a bonded bullet--will redo the test later and also try different brands.

Last edited by Ruger41; February 18th, 2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:19 PM   #6
 
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Your results are meaningless. Worse yet, folks will see your title and never read these posts, and say that they "heard that Critical Defense fails". It will be all over the internet before sundown. This is the sucky side of the internet!

Human tissue is mostly composed of water....your test material is not!!!

These bullets are designed to expand in a fluid medium, not wood and wallboard. Line up some gallon water jugs and shoot them, and you will get a very different result! Cover them with cloth, that simulates normal clothing in your area this time of year if you wish. Cover them with a side of pork ribs, if you want to simulate a rib penetration. Better yet, get the recipie for ballistic gelatin, and make your own.

If you feel you need to shoot at bad guys hiding behind solid cover, for heaven sakes pick a more potent caliber!

Last edited by off road; February 19th, 2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #7
 
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Will try that--But if you think about how an average man is built and gets shot right in the center of the chest or in the forehead-the bullet goes through cloth into the chest, then a small amount of skin(not even enough to cause expansion) right into the sternum and then into the organs--thats what I was trying to somewhat simulate--thought I would get at least some expansion with the wet paper--A persons sternum is not as soft as a plastic water jug so just firing from the cloth into the jugs should definately cause expansion--but will it with something as dense as bone being shot before it hits the water--Was not trying to replicate shooting through a barrier like a wall--was trying to be close to the density of bone. Will have to try the jugs with something else-maybe check the butcher shop for a pig or sheep front chest area. BTW this is nothing scientific at all-was just for curiosity sake--I have and do carry much bigger calibers other than a .380
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:13 PM   #8
 
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How about heavy cloth, wood, then the jugs o'water?

Great tests! I don't care if you don't have a lab coat and clipboard.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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They did seem to hold together pretty well considering what they penetrated. Did you weigh them on a powder scale to see how much of the original bullet was retained? If they penetrated the board then they would likely break any bone they hit. To be truthful I wouldn't want to have been hit by any of them. How would those do against some meth addict in a rage? No clue but I suspect the LCP would be empty when you finished.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #10
 
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I am in agrement that the hornadys are not made to shoot through barriers. I have tested many bullets in bout water and the same test you just did and i can say magazines are hard on bullets!! We experinced almost 100% core-jacket sepparations with hornady XTP's. As many folks on this forum will tall you though XTP's are tried and true performers, so i think its all relative to the test, which doesn't always follow real life! Many modern hollowpoints will clog!! i think hornady is on to something and if i carried a .380 or 9mm i would perhaps stack my mags with altenating CD and something along the lines of Buffalo Bore's 90 grain hard cast flat points. With the most attention given to the most RELIABLE functioning load. Bentionite, also known as drillers mud, a type of clay, makes for a good "soft" bullet testing medum. It comes in 50 pound bags at drilling supply stores and is very cheap.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:28 AM   #11
 
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Have not weighed them and will do so. Even without expansion the fact that they held together and that they do feed reliably is a good thing-it would be similar to an fmj--PLUS those jagged pieces of copper will tear things up inside. They did blast up the magazines which is also a good thing to me as it simulates the wound cavity--you want as big a hole as you can get for massive blood loss as quickly as possible. Again none of this was scientific--just seeing what the bullet is capable of--when I wrote fail, to me it does NOT mean Hornady ammo will fail in a defense situation-it merely failed a unscientific test that I gave it. If you put it up against FMJ I say it equaled or bettered FMJ as far as penetration goes and I darn sure wouldn't want to be shot with it.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:33 AM   #12
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I suspect that many of them will weigh less as the bullets shed some of their jacket. Just my theory.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #13
 
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Look up some comparison tests between bullets. I've seen quite a few comparisons where Hornady Critical defense was used, it wasn't the best at everything. I prefer Golden Sabers and PDX1.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:06 AM   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruger41 View Post
Will try that--But if you think about how an average man is built and gets shot right in the center of the chest or in the forehead-the bullet goes through cloth into the chest, then a small amount of skin(not even enough to cause expansion) right into the sternum and then into the organs--thats what I was trying to somewhat simulate--thought I would get at least some expansion with the wet paper--A persons sternum is not as soft as a plastic water jug so just firing from the cloth into the jugs should definately cause expansion--but will it with something as dense as bone being shot before it hits the water
In a human, the bullet would pass through the sternum or ribs (very likely to glance and pass around a rib), then into a fluid medium behind that. That is what your experimental design fails to replicate reasonably (your wet paper)....the tissue behind that is mostly liquid.

I paid my way through college, working for the medical examiner of a large populous So. Calif. county. Saw lots of bullet wounds! Believe me, it isn't all that difficult to disable a human! I like Critical Defense, but if you really want to do a bang up job on someone....use Silver Glasers. The effect is more like a shotgun, than a solid bullet. http://www.shopcorbon.com/Glaser-Saf...g/500/500/dept

Last edited by off road; February 19th, 2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:54 PM   #15
 
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off road you are spot on there regarding the Glaser--I used to have a neighbor who was a nurse in an ER in central CA. She told me once of someone who had been shot with a blue tip Safety Slug with the #12 shot in .25acp--didn't kill the person but took HOURS to pick out all those bb's and stop the bleeding it did cause. I have also been on a Police ride along where a person was shot in the rear end with a .25acp and you would have thought they were shot with a .357 from their screaming--and all the blood--they survived too of course.

Bullets & buckshot pellets can do some nasty stuff--have also been to an autopsy of a man who came at two Fresno, CA Sheriff Deputies with a large kitchen knife--they had 12 gauge shotguns. Two blasts-one in the arm and the other in the thigh took the guy out fast. Cut his femoral artery and the other nearly ripped his arm off at the elbow.
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