160gr/185gr/230gr ballistics out of 3" [Archive] - Glock Talk

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fsqridah
09-20-2010, 10:51
I have three different loads for my Kimber Ultra Carry II, and just out of curiousity, I'd like opinions on how you think the 3" affects the external ballistics.

- 160gr Corbon DPX @ 1050fps/392fpe out of 3" test barrel. A test I saw online was getting an avg of 1080fps out of a 3" Colt Defender with 12-12.5" of penetration.

- 185gr +P Black Hills TAC-XP @ 1000fps/411fpe out of 5" test barrel. Not quite as hot as the Corbon DPX loading (1075fps/475fpe), but more controllable. The same test was getting 16-16.5" of penetration from the 185gr DPX loading from a 5" barrel.

- 230gr +P Buffalo Bore Gold Dot @ 950fps/461fpe out of 5" test barrel. I sent an email to a BB rep and he said he hadn't done any testing/chrono'ing from a 3" barrel so he wasn't sure about velocities.

I've used all three loadings on water jugs (clothed/unclothed) and all of them had 100% expansion (at least during my informal testing). I was unable to measure penetration depths, but the 230gr BB load seemed to dig the deepest and expanded to .72-74 inches. The 160gr and 185gr TAC-XPs both expanded to .80-.84 inches, but didn't penetrate as far. The recoil was the least with the 160gr, followed by the 185gr, then the 230gr.

From what I've seen, a 3" barrel cuts the velocity 10-15% from a 5" barrel. However, if you do the math, a 15% loss of velocity yields 850fps/297fpe for the 185gr and 808fps/333fpe for the 230gr. The 160gr makes at least the advertised 1050fps/392fpe from a 3" barrel. If you compare bullet weight, MV, ME, and Mmomentum of the reduced velocities, you get the following:

160gr @ 1050fps/392fpe/24 lbs. ft/sec
185gr @ 850fps/297fpe/22.5 lbs. ft/sec
230gr @ 808fps/333fpe/26.5 lbs. ft/sec

To compare, the 230gr short barrel Gold Dot gets 820fps/343fpe from a 4" barrel. Assuming a 10% loss of velocity (4" down to 3"), you get 738fps/343fpe from a 3" barrel. Gunblast did a test of the standard 230gr Gold dot rated at 890fps/404fpe from a 5" barrel and got an avg of 765fps/299fpe from a 3" Kimber, which provided .73" expansion/15.3" penetration on bare gelatin. The drop from 890fps to 765fps indicates a 14% loss of velocity going from a 5" barrel to a 3" barrel, which is what I used to do my estimated calculations.

Now, adding in the Speer numbers, you get:

160gr @ 1050fps/392fpe/24 lbs. ft/sec (Corbon DPX)
185gr @ 850fps/297fpe/22.5 lbs. ft/sec (+P Black Hills TAC-XP)
230gr @ 808fps/333fpe/26.5 lbs. ft/sec (+P Buffalo Bore GDHP)
230gr @ 738fps/343fpe/24.2 lbs. ft/sec (Speer SB Gold Dot)
230gr @ 765fps/299fpe/25.1 lbs. ft/sec (Speer Gold Dot)

After shooting all five, the 230gr short-barrel Gold Dot has the least amount of recoil. Compared to the 160gr DPX (49fpe less with .2 lbs. ft/sec more), it makes sense. However, the 230gr +P BB loading by far had the most recoil of the five, followed by the 185gr +P Black Hills, then the 230gr Speer, then the 160gr DPX, then the 230gr Speer short-barrel. The momemtum ratings are very close, so the muzzle energy should be the most indicative of how the load will recoil. If you consider the velocity losses, the 160gr DPX has the highest ME, so it should produce the most recoil. Felt recoil cannot be calculated with numbers alone, but for now, I'm comparing numbers to actual shooting. From shooting, the 160gr has very light recoil. Comparing the ME of the 230gr +P BB and Speer SB Gold Dot, the Speer has 10fpe more with slightly less momentum. According to this observation, the 230gr +P BB should have more recoil, but not by much. From shooting both, there is a HUGE difference in recoil. Part of that could be the unburned powder from the +P loading. But consider that a 3" with a +P load will still get higher velocities than a 5" with a non +P load, then the 230gr +P BB out of a 3" barrel should get higher velocity than the 230gr Speer GD out of a 5" barrel, which yields 890fps. Because of the huge difference in recoil (barely any versus very significant), it only makes sense that the 230gr +P BB out of a 3" would be getting more than 890fps, but a 15% loss from the posted 950fps yields 808fps, which is 82fps less than the 890fps. The 160gr DPX uses a fast burning powder charge optimized for short barrels, so its recoil could possibly be discounted when compared to the rest. But sense the SB-GD uses a faster burning powder, it should retain higher MV/ME than I posted (10% loss), meaning it would have even more ME than the 230gr +P BB than it already does. However, it could be that a lot of powder in the 230gr +P BB load fails to burn in the 3" barrel, increasing recoil by a significant amount.

As said, felt recoil can be vastly different from the numbers, but I'm wondering if the 15% loss of velocity is always accurate, or if the posted numbers from the ammo manufacturers is not indicative of the performance one would get from a 5" barrel. Someone needs to let me borrow a chrono so I could do a direct comparison between a 5" 1911 and 3" 1911.

fredj338
09-20-2010, 12:24
As said, felt recoil can be vastly different from the numbers, but I'm wondering if the 15% loss of velocity is always accurate, or if the posted numbers from the ammo manufacturers is not indicative of the performance one would get from a 5" barrel. Someone needs to let me borrow a chrono so I could do a direct comparison between a 5" 1911 and 3" 1911.
Thanks for sharing the data. I doubt the 15% reduction holds to a universal for all ammo. In my 1911OM, most 185gr still make a bit mroe than 850fps. The 185grRGS is still over 900fps in the non+P version, one of my choices for the short bbl 45acp.

fsqridah
09-21-2010, 00:03
Something else I thought of is the powder burn rate. The Corbon 185gr +P DPX makes 1075fps @ 475fpe/28.4 lbs ft/sec tested out of a 5" barrel. However, once you drop down to a 3" barrel, a lot of that powder that doesn't get burned results in added rearward momentum, which increases recoil. So you may get the exact same recoil as shooting it with the 5", but just lower MV/ME. I ran some more numbers on six loadings I've shot and came up with a recoil factor:

[(Muzzle energy) X (Momentum)]/1000 = RF

These are the numbers I yielded using factory ratings, regardless of barrel length:


Corbon DPX 160gr @ 1050fps/392fpe/24.0 lbs ft/sec = 9.41
Corbon +P DPX 185gr @ 1075fps/475fpe/28.4 lbs ft/sec = 13.49
Black Hillls +P DPX 185gr @ 1000fps/411fpe/26.4 lbs ft/sec = 10.85
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP 230gr @ 950fps/461fpe/31.2 lbs ft/sec = 14.38
Speer GDHP 230gr @ 890fps/404fpe/29.2 lbs ft/sec = 11.80
Speer SB-GDHP 230gr @ 820fps/343fpe/26.9 lbs ft/sec = 9.23

Reordering them from highest RF to lowest RF, you get the following:

Speer SB-GDHP 230gr @ 820fps/343fpe/26.9 lbs ft/sec = 9.23
Corbon DPX 160gr @ 1050fps/392fpe/24.0 lbs ft/sec = 9.41
Black Hillls +P DPX 185gr @ 1000fps/411fpe/26.4 lbs ft/sec = 10.85
Speer GDHP 230gr @ 890fps/404fpe/29.2 lbs ft/sec = 11.80
Corbon +P DPX 185gr @ 1075fps/475fpe/28.4 lbs ft/sec = 13.49
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP 230gr @ 950fps/461fpe/31.2 lbs ft/sec = 14.38

Now, you simply go by percentages of each loading compared to each loading:

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = +/-0%
Corbon 160gr DPX = +2%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = +18%
Speer 230gr GDHP = +28%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = +46%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +56%

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = -2%
Corbon 160gr DPX = +/-0%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = +15%
Speer 230gr GDHP = +25%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = +43%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +53%

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = -15%
Corbon 160gr DPX = -13%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = +/-0%
Speer 230gr GDHP = +9%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = +24%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +33%

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = -22%
Corbon 160gr DPX = -20%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = -8%
Speer 230gr GDHP = +/-0%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = +14%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +22%

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = -32%
Corbon 160gr DPX = -30%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = -20%
Speer 230gr GDHP = -13%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = +/-0%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +7%

Speer 230gr SB-GDHP = -36%
Corbon 160gr DPX = -35%
Black Hills 185gr +P TAC-XP = -25%
Speer 230gr GDHP = -18%
Corbon 185gr +P DPX = -6%
Buffalo Bore +P GDHP = +/-0%

While this could be a bunch of baloney, the comparisons are damn near spot on. The 230gr SB-GDHP and 160gr DPX are very close in felt recoil with the DPX only barely noticeably more. There is a more significant jump going up to the 185gr +P TAC-XP, and a slightly noticeable jump to the 230gr Speer GDHP. The 185gr +P DPX recoils much more harshly than the 230gr GDHP, and the 230gr +P Buffalo Bore loading generates the heaviest felt recoil, being just a bit more than the 185gr +P DPX. It could be that although the MV/ME/Mmomentum suffers as you decrease barrel length, the felt recoil is very similar, due to the additional powder. In my first post I stated that the Black Hills TAC-XP had more recoil than the 230gr GDHP, but I meant it the other way around.

Either way, I feel fine carrying any of my three loadings. I like the high sectional density of the 230gr BB loading, but it takes longer to get back on target. Plus, 7+1 with two 7-round mags can get heavy with 230 grainers. The way I see it, if it's hitting with enough energy to expand, it will expand and still get in there 15-16". If it's going too slow to expand, then it's going so slow that for deep penetration, the non-expanded diameter is necessary. The 160gr DPX gets 1050fps+ out of a 3" barrel and it has very light recoil. It carries nicely and gets 12" or so of penetration. However, I can see its light weight and low SD preventing it from defeating even the lightest of intermediate barriers. The 185gr +P is a good compromise between the two. I get adequate penetration, .82" expansion, and a better SD for barrier penetration (even though the .45ACP sucks at penetrating barriers).

I would carry the 230gr Speer SB Gold Dots if I knew I would get enough penetration, but I'm not sure how deeply they dig. They're going so slow that when they do expand, they might not have the umph to get in there as far as they need to.

I'm most certainly splitting hairs here, but it's always interesting to see how numbers and physics work with guns and ammo.

GunFighter45ACP
09-21-2010, 08:55
I've tried & carried all 3 at one time or another in my 3" 1911s. I prefer 'heavy for caliber', so if I had to choose only 1, I'd go for the 230gr offering. That's not to say the others aren't any good, or don't have their applications, but for me, the 230gr has always been accurate enough & easy enough to shoot effectively, that that's how I'll roll. Now, if you've tried them & find 1 of the lighter offerings to be more accurate or handles better for you, then that's the way to go.

fsqridah
09-21-2010, 09:23
I like heavy for caliber as well. The 147gr is what I carried in 9mm, and 180gr in .40. I can't say that I carried heavy for caliber in 10mm (155gr DT loads), but I've always favored heavy for caliber because it is guaranteed penetration. The wonderful thing about the Barnes bullets is they penetrate more deeply than any conventional bullet of the same caliber/weight. Traditional JHPs crush tissue, forming the permanent wound channel. The Barnes bullets crush tissue as well, but don't rely on sectional density to give them penetration. Rather, their expanded profile allows them to cut their way through. I don't have any pictures of my TAC-XPs, but here's one:

http://www.tactical-life.com/online/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/copperexpansion.gif

As you can see, the petals are spread out and have sharp edges. Some people have actually cut themselves handling the expanded specimens. Not only do they achieve deeper penetration than any lead/copper bullet of the same caliber/weight, their expanded diameter is larger. They have no jacket to shed, and the difference in expansion/penetration between bare gel, 4-layer denim, sheet metal, wood, and glass is marginal at best. For expansion, you're looking at .82-84" every single time, and whatever penetration depth you're achieving, it won't deviate from that more than an inch or so.

I definitely like the 230gr Gold Dots, and I wouldn't mind getting my hands on some 230gr HSTs. But for now, the 185gr +P Black Hills loading fits the bill. If I'm out in the woods, I run four of the 230gr +P BB GDHPs followed by four of the 255gr +P hardcast FN loading from Buffalo Bore. Doubletap has a 255gr +P hardcast SWC, which I would prefer, but their quality control has been rather shabby lately. Plus, Buffalo Bore really knows their stuff, they're honest, and they respond to emails. Same with Black Hills.

As far as accuracy, they're all accurate, but the 230gr +P BB GDHPs were the most accurate and shot exactly to point of aim. But the others do well enough for government work.

CanyonMan
09-21-2010, 10:25
The broken record here (thats me) says: I still like heavy for caliber, and like the momentum of the 230gr in my 45's. 3" Glocks, 4 + " commanders, and 5" Gov models. I am just not real concerned with the energy numbers here. A 825/850/900fps 230gr 'on target' at combat/SD range will do a great deal of damage placed properly. I say that last part cause of all the stories how billy bob was shot 8 times with a 45acp and did not die. The thing you don't here is that most all the shots were in his legs, and arms and guts. Trust me, if this was the case he 'may have lived',... "but he was busted up real bad and hurtin like the dickens". I can assure you. ;)

End of sermon. I like heavy for caliber.... I have just not in all these years, in this caliber, seen anythig special from higher /lower vels in 3" to 5". A 45acp is what it is, and the 230gr has the momentum to do what it needs to do out of any of those barrel lengths. (through all my experiences with them at least). Not being smart, just saying... ;)


BTW... fsqridah Thanks for all your research and time and work you put into your posts.



Say safe amigos.



CanyonMan

cowboy1964
09-21-2010, 13:25
I believe 230gr is the gold standard in .45ACP but am concerned any time you're looking at < 800 fps. That's getting slow. You cannot go by water tests to judge real-world expansion. That's true at any velocity but more so at super slow ones, IMO.

I use this site for comparing various weights and barrel length data:

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/45auto.html

fsqridah
09-21-2010, 15:19
Not a problem. I find ballistics very interesting and they give me a good study break, assuming a 15-minute break doesn't turn into a 3-hour break. :supergrin:

Those tables show that the 3" Para lost ~10% or less muzzle velocity when compared to the 5". Being that Kimber uses match grade barrels just like Para, I would think the results would be very close.

When it comes to conventional lead-core/copper-jacket bullets, heavy for caliber gets my vote. But the all-copper bullets are completely different in their construction and how they perform, so you can't really apply the same theories to them as you would to Gold Dots, Golden Sabers, XTPs, HSTs, Ranger Ts, etc. It's like comparing a traditional 4-stroke engine to a Mazda rotary engine with regards to displacement. The rotary is just so much more efficient for its size compared to the 4-stroke engine, so some of the same concepts that would hold true to the 4-stroke engine are completely different from the rotary. It's a bit of a far fetched comparison, but you get my point. A 160gr JHP loaded to the max will outrun a 160gr Barnes TAC-XP, yielding it greater kinetic energy and greater momentum, but LESS penetration and LESS expansion. I like the century old .45ACP and the century old 1911 platform, but I like the high-tech components of the Kimber and the high-tech bullets from Barnes. :supergrin:

In the end, it probably won't make a damn bit of difference. But I'm a better, faster shot with the lighter loadings. And whenever I get into some pointless debate with an anti-gun crackhead, I can always shoot down their EPA-nazi "it's got lead and lead is bad!" argument; "Well, lead is poisonous, you're right. That's why my bullets are 100% copper. Shooting someone pollutes the environment less than throwing a penny in a wishing well." I'd leave the last part out, but yeah. :rofl:

CanyonMan
09-21-2010, 15:56
I believe 230gr is the gold standard in .45ACP but am concerned any time you're looking at < 800 fps. That's getting slow. You cannot go by water tests to judge real-world expansion. That's true at any velocity but more so at super slow ones, IMO.

I use this site for comparing various weights and barrel length data:

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/45auto.html



I don't "carry" 45acp at 800fps. But have shot plenty! But, even at that, "if I may be so Graphic", will with a 230gr projectile, blow a bad hole in a bad guy, and still get to the vitals with a front on shot. Sometimes it will get to the vitals after going through some other stuff. Don't underestimate the 'driving potential' of even a slower moving 230gr 45.

Most NON +P ammo in 230gr 45, runs 850fps/875fps, which is real standard for this caliber even with FMJ's and JHP's. Some a tad higher, not much though in NON +P

Don't need a +P in a 45. 840 to 880/890 fps is plenty good with a 230gr 45.


Real world results, come from real world experience. Very true.. ;)


But, Since the majority of folks have not had any real world experience, with certain calibers and loads etc ([B]very understandable) it is wise to check out those folks who know what they are doing, and been around a very long time, and run test in various media (not just water alone) which can tell us a good deal with proper calculations, but when 'other media' are added to the h-2-0, things can get pretty interesting for the folks that have no other means whereby to shoot something else to find their results.

I like seeing and doing, these kind of test, where there are all kinds of cool media stuck together to see what a certain bullet/caliber will do. Beats the fool outta gel blocks, and a whole lot easier than havin to shoot a BG ! ;)



All I am saying here amigo, is do not underestimate the driving force of even 800fps 45acp ! ;)







CanyonMan

fsqridah
09-21-2010, 19:13
The whole "will the slow moving 230gr still do the job" question is asked quite often, which is vastly different than my reasons for starting the thread. But what I always tell people is that WAY back in the day, the old school 230gr hardball ammo was getting well under 800fps out of 5" barrels and still had an excellent reputation for stopping power. My question was simply how much velocity do you lose going from a 5" to a 3" barrel, while factoring in felt recoil between the different loadings.

I believe my so-called "testing" in water jugs was taken the wrong way. I just wanted to see if the bullets expanded, and I had no other means of test media. But if the statements I'm making regarding penetration depths is somehow suggesting that I attained those results using water jugs, then obviously there was some miscommunication. If you do a simple google search regarding the expansion/penetration depths of the DPX loadings and Speer GD loadings, you'll find that there have been numerous tests conducted, every one of which not only validates the Barnes bullets, but favors them due to their terminal performance. Now I'm not about to start a golden bullet skirmish, but look at this way:

A 230gr Gold Dot (or any other JHP) going at 750-850fps and expanding to ~.72" will generally get 14-16" of penetration, if not more. It's got the sectional density to do it. However, if the bullet fails to expand, its sectional density goes way up, and penetration will increase significantly. I believe Fackler (or the other guru guy) did some testing that showed the 230gr FMJ @ 850-875fps (thereabouts) routinely punched through 26" of 10% ballistic gel. The general opinion is that 230gr FMJ never overpenetrated anything, and if it did, it wasn't a human body. And if it managed to get all the way through there, you could usually find the bullet laying a few feet away. Still, if it's getting optimal penetration depths with a SD of .062, think of the penetration it will probably get with a SD of .162 (261% of it's expanded SD).

Now take the 160gr and the 185gr Barnes TAC-XPs and compare their expanded diameters and sectional densities with the Gold Dot:


Loading__________Original diameter ___Expanded diameter
230gr Gold Dot @ .451 in/SD = 0.161; @ .73 in/SD = 0.062
185gr TAC-XP @ .451 in/SD = 0.130; @ .82 in/SD = 0.039
160gr TAC-XP @ .451 in/SD = 0.112; @ .82 in/SD = 0.034

It's pretty obvious that the Gold Dot has a noticably higher unexpanded SD, but when you factor in expanded diameters along with bullet weights, the TAC-XPs have VERY low sectional densities. But here's the kicker: because of the construction and profile of the TAC-XP, it penetrates more deeply than any other bullet of the same caliber and weight (having a lower SD because of the increased diameter over the other bullet); OR, it will have very similar penetration to a bullet of the same caliber, but with heavier weight (and significantly higher SD). The TAC-XP does not require the sectional density of conventional bullets of the weight caliber/weight to get the same penetration. Those petals are sharp and they cut through flesh like a blade. What makes this part so great is that if they fail to expand, they will not demonstrate excessive penetration like the 230gr GD (no expansion). While the 230gr GD may not penetrate excessively when failing to expand, it has a much greater chance of doing so than either of the TAC-XPs.

So in a nutshell, when you have a traditional JHP that expands and gets 12-18" of penetration, you will have significantly more penetration if it fails to expand, which may or may not be excessive. When you have the TAC-XPs that expands and gets 12-16" of penetration, you will NOT have significantly more penetration if it fails to expand. I guess the proper way to look at it would be that if your 230gr JHP does not expand and gets adequate (but not excessive) penetration, it probably will not get adequate penetration after expansion. If your TAC-XP does not expand and gets adequate (but not excessive) penetration, it will still probably get adequate penetration because it's expanded form gets ultra deep penetration regarding its low weight, high expansion, and ultimately very low sectional density.

I'm not arguing the effectiveness of the 230gr Gold Dot, or any other 230gr loading for that matter. The standard 230gr Gold Dot coming out of a 3" Defender averages 750fps (found on gunblast) and 765fps out of a Glock 30 (3.78" polygonal). The terminal performance with the G30 is as such:

____Testing medium ______Expansion ___Penetration
Bare gelatin _______________.73"______14.5 inches
Heavy clothing _____________.752"_____14.5 inches
4-layer denim ______________.73"______14.5 inches
After penetrating steel ______.51"______15.8 inches
After penetrating plywood ___.451"______19.3 inches

So you can see that a 45-caliber 230gr bullet getting a whopping 765fps/299fpe/25.1 lbs ft/sec still penetrated 19.3 inches, even after penetrating plywood (probably a 2x4). So you can imagine what the same bullet going 850-875fps would do hitting bare gel and failing to expand.

On gunblast there is a short write-up of the 185gr +P DPX from Thunder Ranch (same as Corbon loading) and I quote: I don't think there is anything to be desired in performance of the .45 ACP DPX load. Accuracy is good and control is also good, a product of the lighter than standard bullet. But the 185 grain bullet penetrates as much or more than the average 230 grain JHP.

These are my justification for carrying the 185gr +P TAC-XPs:
1) Less recoil than the 230gr loadings (sans the short-barrel or reduced recoil loads), meaning faster and more accurate follow-up shots.
2) More reliable expansion due to higher velocity and superior bullet construction.
3) More expansion, period. The TAC-XPs have a larger expanded diameter than almost every load. The only two* that rival it are the 230gr HST and 230gr Ranger T, and neither are bonded, so at some point, they will have less weight retention than the TAC-XPs (which have 99.9% retention).
4) Very comparable penetration depths relative to most 230gr JHPs, and always meeting the 12" minimum.
5) If unexpanded, no excessive penetration.
6) No jacket to shed, no bonding needed, and hard-as-nails construction.
7) Lighter for carry (45 grains less per bullet X 22 bullets = 990gr = 2.26 ounces less, which is noticeable).
8) Is politically correct regarding "Get the lead out!"
*The 175gr +P Grizzly Xtreme uses an all-copper bullet that expands to nearly two inches in diameter. And yes, once it opens up its SD is shot to hell and it goes nowhere.

Once again, I'm not bashing the GD, HST, RGS (even though it can't keep its jacket on to save its life), XTP, and other JHPs out there. They all have their pros and cons. But when you really look at what Barnes has to offer in terminal performance, you'll see why they're becoming so popular. Every write-up I've seen has favored the 160gr/185gr +P loadings, and an ammo analysis for .45 ACP loads in an issue of Combat Handguns involved hunting with the little 160gr DPX from a Kimber Tactical Pro (4"). The author took down a mule deer in the 150-170 lb range and stopped the animal in its tracks. There was a very extensive write-up in Handguns about the 200gr Corbon DPX in .454 Casull out of a S&W 460XVR (8.375" ported barrel) where they took 17 (I believe) African game animals, some of them being pretty huge. The 200gr TAC-XP is coming out of that barrel at 2300fps/2349fp, and it took a lot of trial-and-error for the folks at Barnes to figure out how to get the bullet going that fast. The Barnes engineers really know what they're doing, and their products are groundbreaking.

I think what is really being stated is that the 230gr JHP gives the best overall performance. It's not going very fast, but it gets deep penetration and it's a reliable manstopper, and is a better choice than a 200gr, 185gr, 165gr, or 160gr bullet because of its terminal performance. What I'm saying is that you can get virtually identical penetration from a lighter bullet with (1) virtually no risk of overpenetration; (2) a lower expansion failure rate; (3) a wider wound channel; (4) guaranteed 99.9% weight retention; and (5) less felt recoil. This was previously not possible; thanks to Barnes, now it is. :supergrin:

That being said, I would have no qualms about carrying any premium 230gr JHP in my 3" Kimber. And by premium, I mean no Hydra-shoks, no Golden Sabers (unless they're bonded), no Silvertips, and certainly no Montana Golds. I just prefer the TAC-XPs. I don't prefer them because they're lighter. I prefer them because they're TAC-XPs. They just happen to be lighter because they have to be.

Still though, those 230gr +P GDHPs from Buffalo Bore would put a perp on his ass in a hurry. No question about that.