I like to test potential carry ammo in my carry pistol (Glock 30) to see how it behaves. Since the G30 has a 3.78″ barrel, some brands that work well in a 5″ barrel do not have the same performance in my G30. Lacking ballistic gelatin, I use wet newspaper. My standard test is to fire a magazine (10 rounds) into wet newspaper with two layers of thick cotton t-shirt and two layers of denim in front (not many naked bad guys out there, and my testing has shown me that many brands of hollow points do not expand when fired through cloth). I soak the newspaper overnight, and fire from about 10′ distance. This picture shows the result of today’s test:
As you can see, only four out of ten expanded. Those that expanded did so in spectacular fashion. Penetration in wet newspaper was about 8-10″. It looks like this is not suitable for short barrels. I think it will work well in my full size 1911, I’ll have to test to confirm.
Top row, L to R: Ranger T 230 gr from today, Taurus 185 gr copper (standard pressure load with what I believe is the same bullet used by Corbon in the DPX, about half of the rounds looked like this, the rest did not expand fully), and Hornady Critical Defense 185 gr from a few weeks ago (all rounds looked like this).
Bottom row, L to R: Gold Dot 230 gr (all looked like this), Gold Dot 230 gr short barrel (all looked like this), and 230 gr Golden Saber (this was the best one, the rest were not quite as good and inconsistent).
The limited testing I have done with my full size 1911 shows that the Gold Dot 230 gr performs consistently well, the Taurus copper also performs consistently well, and the 230 gr Golden Saber does reasonably well, but not very consistent. Based on that, I think the Ranger 230 gr should do well in my 1911, also.
This is something very important to consider when you carry a 45 with a short barrel.
Article written and authorized by lambertiana over at THR.