Jacketed Hollow Points: Nonexpansion [Archive] - Glock Talk


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06-17-2010, 20:14

I have read some posts Internet websites regarding hollow points not expanding. Do you have any data or an article regarding this?I saw that Hydrashoks are one of the biggest culprits. One comment was that soft tissue had to be hit for expansion to occur. Another comment is that a minimum velocity should be achieved for expansion.

Is the Hornady Critical Defense really the most reliable for expansion, as the manufacturers claim?

What ammunition do you recommend for civilian use?

Thanks for your response.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mas Ayoob
06-18-2010, 07:00
CDA, hollow points generally expand from the inside of the cavity outward, due to the tensile pressure of flesh (or simulated flesh, in testing). This is why they can fail to expand if the cavity is plugged by inert substances, which can turn them into flat-nosed ball. The same can occur if the nose is caved inward on contact with a hard surface, as in auto body barrier testing.

I found that the Hydra-Shok in particular worked better in the larger calibers, since this Burczynski design was meant to work off a venturi effect as flesh was diverted outward toward the cavity walls by its trademark center post. With the smaller diameter bullets, the cavity around the post was necessarily smaller also. This left less flesh, creating less pressure. The 9mm was mediocre in expansion compared to the .40 for this reason, and the .45 better than either, in my experience and observation. I still like the .45 Hydra; in the smaller calibers, you can do better.

Federal's own HST...Speer Gold Dot...Winchester's Ranger-T series...and Remington Golden Saber are the most proven of the current generation of high tech, high performance premium loads. I personally load my guns with one of those four brands, as a rule. The Critical Defense load is a promising one, but has not yet been used in the field enough to get a solid feel of how it will perform in the actual role it was designed for.


06-19-2010, 14:45

With 40 caliber, I could never understand why I would choose a 180 vs 155 vs 135, etc.

Is the lighter grain faster and more powerful?

What criteria should I choose with grain weight in the 40 line?

Mas Ayoob
06-20-2010, 20:25
Lighter ALLOWS faster, but isn't always so.

In 135 grain, the lightest generally available, I'd choose a full speed load as offered by Cor-Bon and also, I suspect, by Double Tap. Velocity is in the 1300 feet per second range. Wound channels are very similar to those produced by 125 grain .357 Magnum in both depth and width. South Bend, Indiana PD has had several shootings with this load and is highly satisfied with its performance, I'm told.

155 grain JHPs at 1200 foot-seconds, such as the Winchester Silvertip and the Boarder Patrol load, have also performed remarkably well. 165 grain JHPs at 1140 foot-seconds or so, have done remarkably well for departments like Nashville Metro in Tennessee.

The 180 grain subsonic (1000 fps or a bit less) has satisfied some departments, but not others, after a lot of shootings.

As a rule, assuming the above ballistics, the heavier bullets will deliver deeper but narrower wound channels, and the lighter and faster ones, shorter but wider ones. Personally, I split the difference these days and load my .40s with 155 or 165 grain hollow points (at full velocity, not the subsonic 165 grain).

Best of luck,

06-22-2010, 04:40
Thank you for your response. I will look out for the 150s to 160s.

I am also in the process of re-reading your book on Combat Handgunnery.

Your correspondence is always a pleasure to read.