(from Apr 2014)
Fourteenth 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 Barnes TAC-XPD 115-grain solid copper hollow point bullets in +P pressure.
I am chronographing the rounds as well as firing five 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, the ammo performed fairly well; it did achieve sufficient penetration on all five shots, but one failed to expand and actually over-penetrated, and another showed signs of not fully completing the expanding process. I think the short barrel just wasn't able to give the TAC-XPD bullets quite enough velocity for them to perform consistently.
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.