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Old 05-18-2011, 01:02   #43
Until I Gota 29
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Hoover, AL
Posts: 3,037
Hornady 180gr XTP Wax tube test

I tried to do the factory 180gr XTP test today, but the tube wasn't sitting right, so I had to bend down to shoot it, and . . . well, excuses aside, I missed. It went in about 1" from center, penetrated almost 12", then exited the side. I never found the bullet. DAMMIT!!! I was sooooo mad. I had a ruined wax tube, no bullet, and no spare test bullets. Anyway, the wax tube data remains, just not the bullet data. I'll repeat it in the future. It does, however, seem that the bullet was driven too fast. This is the first factory XTP that I've ever seen fragment. There were lots of pieces of lead core and copper jacket all in the tube, and some on the ground. Load used: Rem nickel brass, CCI 300, 10.8gr 800-X, Hornady 180gr XTP, COAL 1.260", fired from stock G29, CAUTION, SERIOUSLY HOT, WAY OVER BOOK!!!

As I said, the bullet penetrated about 12" before leaving the tube, so I'm guessing around 14-16" of wax penetration would be about right. The wound chamber was about 2" wide, which is very big; about .5" less than the modified bullet.

Pictures of wax tube:

180gr XTP Take 2

After I cooled down, and had said some choice words, I realized that I had a whole box of 180gr XTPs loaded up. These, however were loaded with only about 8.5gr of 800-X. I looked at the tube, and realized it was still in pretty good shape, so I put one of those rounds in it. I was amazed at how well it did. It seems like this velocity is what the XTP was made for. Penetration was right around 9" (for about 18" in tissue), and the wound channel was about 1.5" wide. The cool thing about this channel, though, was how it was 1.5" wide for a few inches. Usually, the channel opens up fast, then narrows back down. This one opened fast, then stayed the same size for a few inches. I guess it shows the "controlled expansion" concept of the XTP.

The bullet expanded REALLY well, too. Max expansion was .820", min was .678". Retained mass was a perfect 180.0gr. The jacket did not separate. This seems to be the ideal velocity for the 180gr XTP. Too bad I don't have a chronograph yet. This really makes me wonder if we gain that much by overdriving the bullets. I guess so. We definitely get more penetration, and the massive energy deposit.

Pics of wax tube:

Pics of bullet:

180gr Gold Dot water jug test

I also found the 180gr Gold Dot that I shot into the water jugs yesterday. It was, for lack of a better word, mangled. It looks like it went through Hell. I guess that's what 10.3grs of 800-X will do (other load specifics are same as above).

Update: this load chronographed a 10-shot average of 1259fps on 8/4/11.

The bullet expanded to a max of 1.236", although that includes a long piece of copper jacket sticking way out to the side. When only measuring the core of the bullet, max expansion was .565", min being .502". Retained mass was 141.9gr. This was not surprising since I found tons of shrapnel all over the place yesterday. It seems that it was way overdriven. However we will see how it performs in the wax tube.


Please read my previous post, and vote on what type of load you would like to see for the next few tests. The 135gr Nosler and 200gr Black Talon already have loads set for them, and will be on the NUCLEAR side. The 180gr Gold Dot and Starfire, and the 165gr Gold Dot are up for grabs. Please let me know if you would like to see NUCLEAR or just HOT.

Last edited by 21Carrier; 08-05-2011 at 06:48..
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