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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The counterpart to MJM's target shooting ammo thread.

Here's the catch; while obviously nobody can stop you from posting your opinions about scenarios, FBI specs, close or far range or car windows or whatever, it doesn't take long on the net to figure out that every poster has their opinion and their trusted source and will defend it to the death. Read em all across 30 forums and 16 youtubers already.

I won't even share mine other than to say that I own several calibers and this thread is about .380 ACP, not .22 or .45 or any number of mm.

Being a sort of data-oriented guy I noticed that some people review one bullet (yep, one) and at the top end sites use five. Because obviously five bullets in one weather condition from one firearm is the beginning and end of all discussion. :p I'm sure you'll agree that for any given round X you will find data suggesting it's awesome, some suggesting it's useless, and it being .380 every thread seems to have someone extolling the virtues of .45 ACP. (The .45 ACP forums attract 10mm egoists).

Accordingly rather than just snarking I've decided to start aggregating all this stuff in the goal of making some cool charts (and starting my YouTube rise to stardom … rofl) no but really, some cool charts which contain a statistically significant number of data points, hopefully.

This is really ugly but gives you the idea of some of what I'm looking for; this is part of the data of one bullet in one caliber. Every shot gets its own data point; so in this sample 'shootingthebull410' is getting essentially 10 'votes' because he bothered to sample 2 sessions of 5 rounds, whereas the MouseGunFanatic guy did two rounds total.

What I'd ask for here is that if you know of a source, please reply to this with as much of the info here as possible: Caliber, Brand/Model, URL, Tester, Date, Firearm, Barrel Length, Test Condition, FPS, Penetration, Expansion (max, if several are listed), and any notes (like "round exited gel" or whatever happened). This is a partial of what I've captured to date on one round.


Caliber Brand Model Test URL Tester Test Date Firearm Barrel Length Condition FPS Penetration Expansion Note
...
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 8/26/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 gel 857 7.75 0.512 average FPS only
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 8/26/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 gel 857 8.13 0.491
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 8/26/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 gel 857 8.25 0.566
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 8/26/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 gel 857 8.75 0.51
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 8/26/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 gel 857 8.88 0.584
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 11/1/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 4 layer+gel 890 10.13 0.523
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 11/1/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 4 layer+gel 848 11.63 0.542
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 11/1/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 4 layer+gel 872 11.88 0.543
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 11/1/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 4 layer+gel 877 12 0.538
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Ammo Quest 11/1/2013 Taurus TCP 2.84 4 layer+gel 821 17 0.355
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Mouse Gun Addict 8/1/2013 Kahr P380 2.5 gel 854 12 0.426 stated "12+"
0.38 Hornady Critical Defense Mouse Gun Addict 8/1/2013 Kahr P380 2.5 4 layer+gel 860 13 0.415

...

(edited out the URLs in the sample because even without the brackets the forum software is picking them up and embedding the videos)
(edit2: the reason I'm going with just throwing all the data in the blender is because with enough of it, it doesn't matter if person X did the test just right or if gun Y reinforces my preferences -- it all just comes out in the wash, but you need a large enough sample (which itself is surprisingly small for the math to work) … but even a "clear answer" is only "disproving the null hypothesis" and not actually definitely proving anything).
 

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I applaud your industry, but choices in carry ammo are often based on things more pedestrian....
-First and foremost, does it reliably run in your gun?
-Can you hit reasonably well with it?
-Can you find enough of it to test it in your gun, and practice with it from time to time?


I'm sure the data will make grounds for forum debate. :)
Moon
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I applaud your industry, but choices in carry ammo are often based on things more pedestrian....
-First and foremost, does it reliably run in your gun?
-Can you hit reasonably well with it?
-Can you find enough of it to test it in your gun, and practice with it from time to time?


I'm sure the data will make grounds for forum debate. :)
Moon
Let’s say it may help inform people as to where they spend their time and money proving out those three items you cited above. ... no, you’re probably right. That’s OK, it’ll be interesting. Mostly I noticed that I was showing confirmation bias and decided to scrub it away with data.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Still a ways to go, and I'm only caring about .380 (because it's what the PPK(/s) eats, and because the viable choices are so wide in 9mm/10mm/.40/.45 that the effort's best focused here, and because there's a LOT to hunt down and enter including sourcing data)

So far I've collected 223 test rounds from Ammo Quest (aka shootingthebull410), Lucky Gunner, Ammo to Go, and other sources, most complete with velocity, gel (or denim+gel) penetration, and expansion.

Of all the rounds the most complete set of data I've collected was about the Hornady Civil Defense (their plastic nose thing). On that one I have 32 test rounds so far.

The not shocking thing: barrel length increases velocity. (It's good to see the obvious thing in the data or else you should wonder if you're collecting nonsense or forgetting something important).

For this round with this data, barrel length also gently increases penetration and also expansion; the linear trendline crosses the 12" FBI line at just about 3.4" barrel length. Some of the (smaller incomplete data set) rounds more dramatically increase effectiveness by barrel length.

Here's where I think it's interesting, and why I'm still chasing down lots of data. For the HCD, Ammo Quest/StB410's results are significantly worse (penetration) or better (expansion) than everyone else's. They're all using the same gel from the same place, granted sometimes with different guns (several Ruger LCP sources), but that one source is just very different for this round. I'm not doubting the methodology; all of these have video clips of the shots, but something's up. Does STB's Taurus just kinda suck when even shorter barrels from other testers do better? Do all Taurus TCPs act this way? Or is that just not the right round for *that* model? (I haven't finished typing STB's data in and only have the HCD so far; he's got per round FPS/penetration/expansion but it's embedded in his videos so I have to skip around in each video and find the bit where the data is overlaid on the presentation). That's the problem with even a 'robust' 5 round test and why all this typing into spreadsheets might be useful.

Lastly: besides that 'our' model has a longish barrel length for .380s, the only source I've found that compared velocity of same round / same author across many firearms is "Ballistics by the Inch" and the cheerful news for us is that his data suggests the PPK/S really is "delivery like a brick through a plate glass window" yielding faster velocities than even longer barrels in his data set (BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .380 Auto Results (2010)).
 
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