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Ammo Quest .380 Finals: Winchester PDX1 .380 ACP test in denim



(from Nov 2013)

23rd in a series of a quest to find the overall best ammunition for modern micro-compact 380 ACP pistols (such as the Taurus TCP 738, the Ruger LCP, Sig P238, Beretta Pico, Kel-Tec P3AT or S&W Bodyguard or any other popular 380 micro-pistol using a barrel length of around 2.8").

This is the seventh episode in the "Final Round", where I am re-testing ammo that performed well in the first round (through bare ClearBallistics gelatin). In the Final Round, I'm testing in genuine 10% organic ordnance gelatin (aka "ballistic gelatin"), and through four layers of IWBA-specification 16oz heavy denim.

In this installment, I am testing the Winchester PDX1 95-grain bonded jacketed hollow point. PDX1 performed poorly in the initial bare gel test, but it is so popular and such a premium brand name that I felt it deserved a complete set of tests. In this test, the penetration performance was dismal. The average penetration was 8.5", nowhere near the desired minimum 12" level. Under-penetration can get you killed, and the PDX1 rounds grossly underpenetrated in this particular test, from this particular pistol.

Note: I'm not making any claims for these videos other than that these are the results I achieved, in my own testing, from the stated pistol. I have no intention to make a blanket endorsement or indictment of any product, only to review and report what I found in a given instance. Obviously it is incumbent upon each individual to conduct their own research and make up their own mind about which defensive ammunition is best for their own purposes, in their own firearms.

I wouldn't personally recommend carrying PDX1 in .380 ACP in a 2.8"-barrel micro-pistol; the bare gel performance was poor, the denim gel performance was poor, and there are other rounds out there that perform better than this. Expansion was excellent, consistency was excellent, but penetration is the primary factor and PDX1 didn't deliver satisfactory penetration.