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Old 10-02-2011, 16:57   #1
G21MAN
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Bonded ammo vs regular ammo

I don't understand why people would shy away from some of the bonded ammo that is on the market today. Why stick with a Ranger T when the Ranger Bonded expands so well and eliminates core to jacket separation failures? The new 40 cal PDX1 scored the highest on the FBI protocol than any other round ever tested. This includes consistent expansion and penetration. I just don't see what the regular ammo has over these bonded rounds. The PDX1 expands to 70 caliber. What else do you guys want? Educate me.
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:00   #2
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The .40 Federal 180-grain HST, a non bonded round, has exhibited .72 inch expansion on average, with 15-17" of penetration, in ballistic gel. It has shown no tendency to core jacket separate, and penetrates barriers well. It actually does better than Federal Tactical Bonded.

Bonding is nice, I like Speer Gold Dots, but it's not the be-all end-all of bullet design.
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:54   #3
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Bonded bullets are designed mainly for LE applications where barrier/vehicle penetration is a real and daily concern. Usually across the board, bonded bullets exhibit less expansion than non-bonded and are effected by heavy clothing. Modern, premium, regular JHP designs offer large expansion in soft tissue and yet still perform good through barriers. During my LEO career I selected bonded bullets for my department. Now retired my primary concern is stopping a heavily clothed human attacker and I carry Federal HST in 9mm, 40 and 357SIG. Go to www.le.atk.com and see the ammo testing data on the HST. Bill
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Old 10-02-2011, 18:05   #4
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HSTs are maybe the ideal bullet right now. They perform like bonded in terms of barriers yet still expand like unbonded in non-barrier situations.
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Old 10-02-2011, 18:28   #5
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Hey, if you like it and want to use it, that's no problem for anyone else, is it? Go right ahead and give Winchester as much business as you can afford.

At least they aren't restricting the PDX1 design to LE customers, right?

You aren't looking for external validation are you?

Quote:
The new 40 cal PDX1 scored the highest on the FBI protocol than any other round ever tested.
Just out of curiosity, though, how did you get access to the results from FBI testing? Last time I looked, they stopped providing access to the results of their ammunition testing even other LE agencies unless an official letterhead request was submitted, signed by someone of no less rank than a supervisor, and the recipient agency had to agree not to disseminate it outside their agency. Something change lately?

Or, were you just told something by the Win rep? (Not that there's anything wrong with that ... I've done it often enough myself ... but they're often just being told things by the folks up the chain from them, too, you know.)

The bonded load is the current preference for that fed agency. That doesn't mean it's going to be the choice of other fed agencies, let alone state & local agencies.

Bonded ammunition isn't what you might call standardized when it comes to design or even method of "bonding".

Defensive handgun ammunition had benefited from some attention and improvement over the years. There are reasons performance specifications and criteria are submitted for different ammunition designs for duty pistol ammunition, but those reasons and criteria may be considered differently among potential LE customers.

Choose whatever ammunition you feel best suits your own perceived needs and anticipated circumstances, and then spend more time improving/maintaining your skillset.

It's still just a handgun chambered in one or another of the common service calibers, you know ...
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Old 10-02-2011, 20:20   #6
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I read that the 40 cal PDX1 scored highest of any round ever tested using the FBI protocol in Handguns magazine, 2012 annual, "Bullet Proof" by Patrick Sweeney.
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Old 10-02-2011, 21:03   #7
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Okay.

Maybe he got the info from the Winchester advertising folks when he was writing his article.



Kidding aside, they've used different ammunition over the years (including GS, GDHP, Hydra-shok, and others) and I wouldn't be surprised but that they'll probably switch brands/designs again in the future. In the meantime, Winchester scored a couple of feathers by getting the duty pistol (.40 & 9) and rifle contracts for the FBI. I'm not surprised they've been involved in refining their design for the FBI, either.

They were also awarded the DHS pistol ammunition contract back in 2009 ...
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Winchester® Ammunition was recently awarded a contract by the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security to supply a maximum of 200 million, 40 cal. rounds over the next five years. ... The load selected for this contract is a 135-grain, hollow point designed for the office of Field Operations of Customs and Border Protection. It will fall under the Winchester® Ranger® line of products.
http://www.winchester.com/library/ne...-Contract.aspx

That one was for a regular JHP design, as I recall, of which some contract overruns have been released onto the commercial market recently.

Compare that contract to the one awarded the FBI back in 2008 ...
http://www.gunreports.com/news/ammo/...MMO_482-1.html

I'm not disparaging Winchester ammunition, BTW. Not at all. I like it. I've used it for many years as both issued and personally-purchased ammunition. I do acknowledge a preference for the T-Series loads, except for in my +P rated Airweights, as I mentioned, in which I'm using the new 130gr +P RA38B (same bonded load as the commercial PDX1 offering in the snazzy 20 rd boxes, except it comes in 50 rd tan Ranger boxes). The Speer 135gr +P GDHP loads have been hard to get out here in recent months, so the Ranger load looks like a decent alternative, even though it's bonded.
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Old 10-02-2011, 21:27   #8
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Ranger T works. Well. It need not be bonded. I have Gold Dots in 124+P and 147, Ranger Talon in 147 and 127 +P+ and Ranger Bonded in 147. Right now the 124+P Gold Dot is in my G19 and the 127 Talon is in my G26. The Ranger Bonded is the only one that hasn't seen carry time.
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Old 10-03-2011, 16:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy1964 View Post
HSTs are maybe the ideal bullet right now. They perform like bonded in terms of barriers yet still expand like unbonded in non-barrier situations.
You may be right but the lack of actual recorded street/LEO stops with HST are not there. My guess is that the Speer Gold Dot is the default credible ammo against human aggressors because of documentation but when enough evidence is available HST could be just as good or better.
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Old 10-03-2011, 18:21   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unit1069 View Post
You may be right but the lack of actual recorded street/LEO stops with HST are not there. My guess is that the Speer Gold Dot is the default credible ammo against human aggressors because of documentation but when enough evidence is available HST could be just as good or better.
The 115gr Federal load and Winchester Ranger have been doing very well too.

*I tend to generally think in terms of 9x19 as that's what I've been carrying and reading about, more often than not, the past 6 years.
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Old 10-03-2011, 18:54   #11
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Hst not that great in bare gel or glass

I just visited the Federal Premium website and viewed the HST data for the last 4-5 years. Here in Arizona, you might need to do a straight up summertime shooting. That's just about a bare gel scenario. Anyways, here's some bare gel HST data from ATK LE:

230 grain
10.75
1.04
100%

180 grain
10.75
.98
101%

This stuff seems to expand too much at the expense of poor penetration for anyone just wearing a T shirt out here in AZ.

I starting to think that a lot of rounds have their fan following, but people seem to embelish the round that they have a fancy for.

You could probably choose any premium round from a big manufacturer and do just fine. I also saw two to three core jacket separations for Golden Saber and SXT in the ATK LE data referred to above. A Ranger T had the same failure. Not so impressed with all these wonder rounds that you guys are boasting of.
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Old 10-03-2011, 18:56   #12
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I agree. I like 12" as a minimum. Preferably more.
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Old 10-04-2011, 00:48   #13
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Too much is made of the core/jacket separation. In small caliber bullets like 9mm, it may be ab issue. In larger calibers, it just doesn't matter. The jacket on a 230gr JHP weighs about 30gr +/-, so even w/ complete separation, the core still weighs 200gr & is still going to penetrate well. The jacket may or may not create a separate wound channel causing more damage.
For LE that have to shoot through a lot of car mat'l there is a lot to be said for them. For the CCW, bonded are fine, but many designs actually expand to a smaller frontal area, aids penetration but sacrafices expansion. Where I do see a benefit is in the really high vel rounds like 357sig & 357mag. THe bonded bullet will not fragment & suffer penetraiton issues. I would be happy shooting what ever I have in the gun & don't feel handicapped but this or that JHP design in most calibers.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G21MAN View Post
I also saw two to three core jacket separations for Golden Saber and SXT in the ATK LE data referred to above. A Ranger T had the same failure. Not so impressed with all these wonder rounds that you guys are boasting of.
Of course a given manufacturer is probably going to cherry pick what they include in their listed testing results, to maximize their product over another. It's their advertising, after all.

While I've only been to a handful of the gel test events over the years (they get boring and more than a little repetitive after a while, after all), I can only remember seeing 1 T-series bullet lose it's jacket in a glass shot, and 1 GS do so (the 165gr load I posted in another thread). I've seen many more which didn't lost their jackets, even in the more difficult intermediate barrier conditions.

That's all just "testing scenarios", though.

I don't lose any sleep worrying about jackets being shed by my defensive handgun ammunition, non-bonded or bonded.

I do tend to think about whether I'm using a design/load which will have the greatest potential to exhibit consistently reliable expansion after achieving sufficient penetration in a variety of situations and conditions which have been found to occur in defensive shooting situations.

I try to obtain one of the more modern designs being offered by one or another of the major ammo companies who have invested in making quality duty ammunition for LE/Gov customers and who have acquired some experience in being awarded contracts after their products have endured rigorous testing (and actual service use) ... and then I turn my attention to other things.

If you think the standard HST load produced for Federal's LE/Gov customers is something that is worth the time and money to find and buy, that's your call to make. If you want to try and find their Tactical Bonded load (also produced for their LE/Gov customers, for the ones who feel it's a worthwhile expense to pay a little more for a bonded duty load), then it's also your call to make.

I don't see any of the duty loads being "wonder rounds", or something over which to "boast", myself.
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