(from Sep 2013)
14th 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 or S&W Bodyguard or any other popular 380 micro-pistol using a barrel length of around 2.8"). I am putting several of today's most popular hollowpoints to the test, determining how well they penetrate and expand into the ballistics gel when fired from the TCP. In this installment, I am testing the Hornady Custom 90-grain XTP jacketed hollow points.
In this test, the ammo performed very well indeed. The penetration was an average of 12.5" for all five shots, all of which successfully expanded. Chronograph and penetration results were quite consistent round-to-round.
Also in this episode, I use the corroborating mathematical formula, the Quantitative Ammunition Selection (QAS) formula (by Charles Schwartz) for predicting bullet penetration in ballistic gel. Adding this formula to the results helps correct for excessive "bounceback" where the bullets penetrate deeply but bounce back into the gel, thus coming to rest at artificially shallow penetration. The Quantitative Ammunition Selection formula is available in book form at www.quantitativeammunitionselection.com.
While these Hornady rounds performed excellently in this bare gelatin test, that's not the final word on the subject. We will have to see how rounds perform through the IWBA 4-layer-denim test too. Certain selected rounds that performed well in the bare gel tests will be advanced to the "final round", where the denim test will be used, and the results from both bare and denim-clothed gelatin will be used to determine an overall winner.